Bitcoin is often touted as an electronic currency that will change the world, but it is also a highly volatile type of financial asset. In fact, many governments don't recognize it as a currency at all. In spite of the many merchants now excepting bitcoin, a lot of the activity surrounding bitcoin comes from traders hoping to make money on fluctuations in its value.
On a bitcoin exchange, the investor trades at the coin's full price. For example, if bitcoin is trading at $8,000, an investor spends $8,000 on every coin priced at that amount. Most futures contracts involve leverage, allowing the trader to put up only a small fraction of the asset's price, but for bitcoin this "margin" is unusually high, at more than 40 percent. So the investor could control one $8,000 bitcoin for just over $3,200, plus a small fee for the transaction. If the price jumped 12.5 percent to $9,000, the gain would be 32 percent of the sum invested.
I’m not saying that HODLing won’t make you great returns in the long run – in fact, I firmly believe it will. However, by taking profits when an asset’s price is high and buying again when it’s low, your HODL position only becomes worth more and more. That being said (and assuming you bought in absolutely convinced of the long-term perspective of your holdings), never sell all your holdings when taking profits.
Create a balanced portfolio on the basis of large amounts of information from multiple sources. None of the projects, except for perhaps Bitcoin, have gone mainstream yet, and until then the crypto market will remain highly speculative. Moreover, the bigger blockchain projects still have massive upside potential, so try to stick with those as much as possible.
When a market is as volatile and unpredictable as this one, diversification is what ensures gains while limiting risk. Additionally, unlike most other markets, the cryptocurrency market tends to act as one cohesive unit, meaning that diversification does not threaten profits as it would in other markets. Rather, it ensures that one singular cryptocurrency’s drop in value will not have a large effect on your portfolio.
Johnny Steindorff launched Focus Investments in 2014. Focus was one of the first pure play crypto funds to launch, and was a first mover in what is now a burgeoning sector of active management. Being such an early adopter, Focus faced significant headwinds launching and managing a fund based on an emergent asset class with no institutional backing. However, their strategy proved extremely prescient, and Focus aggressively took advantage of the several thousand percent growth of the crypto sector into a ~$300B+ asset class.
For those who can remember back to the 90s, when the internet first started there was also no shortage of scams, fake professional looking e-commerce sites were popping up all over the place ready to take your credit card payment only never to deliver the product. If you were lucky, that would be the end of it. Otherwise, the less fortunate would have to chase down additional charges placed by the scammer once they had your credit card details.
Choose trusted wallets and exchanges. The hype surrounding the cryptocurrency market has led many people to jump in headfirst without checking whether they are doing business with reputable sources. As the market starts to settle in the coming years, it’s likely that up to 80% of the wallets and exchanges currently in business will disappear. Don’t make an already risky market worse by choosing an untrusted wallet or exchange.
This fast has brought so much attention to altcoins, and it’s coming to be that a coin will go up in value simply because it’s on the market. So many new investors want to get in on the ground level, so they’ll pump impressive funds into initial coin offerings (ICOs) with the hopes of literally getting rich overnight. For many investors, this actually comes true. A coin will take off after releasing to the public and early investors are rewarded greatly.
Steindorff: We launched our first fund, Focus Investments in 2014, so we were one of the first crypto funds in existence. This was a much more challenging time to educate investors on the market opportunity because the asset class hadn’t had enough time to prove itself. Bitcoin had been in the news, but not always for the right reasons. Convincing traditional investors of the value of seeding the next generation of tokenized, open source and decentralized protocols was pretty far out there at the time. But, the exercise of educating traditional investors on this emerging digital asset class helped us refine our thesis and those early investors have become some of our biggest advocates. Things have changed quite a bit since then. There is now quite a strong tailwind for the space, and investors have done much more diligence and reading on the space before we meet.
While it is enticing to attribute the underwhelming trading volumes to the decline in the underlying assets’ valuation, some observers point out that the two are actually tied in a kind of an egg-and-chicken cycle, mutually influencing each other. As early as in January, when a multitude of versions explaining the crash of Bitcoin price began to emerge in media space, one of the less-visible yet sound considerations was that futures trading had opened the crypto markets to bear investors.
I’m in it for the long term and I don’t focus on daytrading, ever. However (and it took me a while to understand this), HODLing isn’t always the best way to fly either. Yes, the market is still in its infancy, and the new Googles and Facebooks may already be listed on Coinmarketcap and perhaps even in your portfolio. But your portfolio can be worth much more with a measured strategy, instead of passively HODLing. And let’s be honest, at least half of your motivation to buy crypto is to make a lot money.
“It’s a little cliched, but it’s important to understand that when trading, your first goal should be to not lose money. If you’re not losing money, you’re making money, and you can start to strive for better returns. The market isn’t perfect, and being able to recognize when to cut losses and when to take profits will ensure that you have better long term results with fewer risks.”
There's a long list of factors people may point to in an attempt to explain this. Regulators have taken a hands-off approach to bitcoin in certain markets. Dozens of new hedge funds have launched this year to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The Nasdaq and Chicago Mercantile Exchange plan to let investors trade bitcoin futures, which may attract more professional investors.
The futures contracts for bitcoin were launched by both the CME Group and Cboe last December as interest in the cryptocurrency rose and as institutional investors sought a method to hedge against their risk. The first bitcoin futures contract was launched by the Cboe and trading began on Dec. 10 as XBT, which is a U.S. dollar-denominated, cash-settled futures contract based on the auction price of bitcoin on the Gemini digital currency exchange.
This is why no fiat currency has ever stood the test of time over a long enough timescale, whereas gold has to date always stood the test of time and retained its value well. Collective trust for gold has never collapsed because of its inherent scarcity and immunity to the vicissitudes fiat currencies must endure at the hands of capricious centralized governing powers, whereas collective trust in every historical fiat currency has inevitably failed to date, and collective trust in many present-day fiat currencies continues to fail as we speak.
I feel compelled to spread the word; cryptocurrency is an amazing chance to make a fuck ton of money with a relatively small investment. The problem is, the window is closing. Many coins have already doubled in value many many times, the more a coin doubles in value, the harder it gets for it to double again and you to make a tidy 100% on your portfolio…
I think that this is a great strategy, and personally practice it with a few modifications. While I’ll never sell at any price essentially (unlike other investments, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are unique in that they arecurrencies, and consequently if they succeed, you won’t have to sell them to gain value from them. You can just use them directly, just as you might US dollars or any other form of currency. In the manner that I use the word sell here however, I mean that I likely won’t sell at any price under $100,000, as that’s where I personally see the moonshot value of bitcoin going towards, in the slight chance that it does succeed), no matter how high the price rises in the short term, if and when the price becomes particularly low as a result of a cratering market, I will look to buy more than I normally would, to double down on my investment here — all the while keeping in mind never to invest more than I’m perfectly willing to lose entirely.
That’s the case as I see it for bitcoin. In the case of most altcoins, however, I don’t see remotely enough to even begin to justify the possibility of long term gain in the first place. Even with speculations, or perhaps especially with speculations, it’s incredibly important to thoroughly analyze a given investment opportunity for at least the potential for long term gain and success, and assess the magnitude of that possible gain, and then to weigh that potential versus the likelihood of outright failure of the speculation. With most altcoins, their value over bitcoin or ethereum is far from clear, and generally superficial or minor at best.
If you are wary of using your own funds to invest in Bitcoin, loans are an option. You can borrow money from a family member or friend, or you can use a peer-to-peer lending platform like SoFi to leverage funds for Bitcoin investments. However, be cautious when borrowing money for an investment. Interest rates can eliminate any gains you get from the investment, and the risk of losing money in such a volatile market is high.
Still, Interactive Brokers will offer its customers access to the futures, though with greater restrictions. They won’t be able to go short -- betting that prices will decline -- and Interactive’s margin requirement, or how much investors have to set aside as collateral, will be at least 50 percent. That’s higher than either Cboe’s or CME’s margin requirements.
This ability to transact more anonymously in a digital, global fashion than ever before has indeed opened the gateway to some of bitcoin’s more infamous use cases. Much illicit activity has been enabled by this pseudonymity of bitcoin, including the sale of drugs and other illegal goods online. A more recent development has also been ransomware, whereby malware can now cut straight to the chase and lock up your computer and demand straight up money in the form of bitcoin in exchange for the release of your computer’s data.
* Bitcoin Investment Trust does not currently operate a redemption program and may halt creations from time to time. There can be no assurance that the value of the shares will approximate the value of the Bitcoin held by the Trust and the shares may trade at a substantial premium over or discount to the value of the Trust's Bitcoin. The Trust may, but will not be required to, seek regulatory approval to operate a redemption program.
There are far too many variables and unknowns to take into consideration with most speculative bets, and cryptocurrency in particular, to be able to hope for anything so nice and clean as an exact mathematical probability of how + or -EV a given bet on a given cryptocurrency might turn out, just as there are far too many unknowns to calculate the precise fundamental present and future potential value of a cryptocurrency for the purpose of value investing analysis, but regardless, holding both principles at large as a general guiding strategy in determining one’s actions here and elsewhere is a good bet.
Second, there are no fundamental metrics for investors to examine, making a comparison between virtual currencies both difficult and arbitrary. At best, investors can look to project partnerships and processing speed as a few noteworthy comparisons, but that should be hardly enough to decipher whether one cryptocurrency will outperform another over the long run.
Similarly, if you were able to bet at 1:2 odds (meaning if you bet $100 and win, you get $200) that a coin would yield heads, this would also be very +EV (positive expected value). The coin would still yield heads half the time, but that half of the time, you would earn $200, and the other half of the time, you would only lose $100. Hence, repeating this bet an infinite number of times would allow you to dramatically earn more money than you lost yet again.
No. 4: Cryptocurrency futures, derivatives, and forward contracts are gaining adoption: The volatility of crypto prices at the beginning of the year dramatically boosted demand for crypto derivative products. With derivatives, investors do not need to hold the underlying crypto asset, but they can still enjoy the potential benefits while possibly minimizing loses, much like they hedge regular currencies. While many exchanges do not yet allow direct sales of Bitcoin, investors can speculate on cryptocurrency pricing by trading futures on exchanges like BitMEX, LedgerX and OKCoin. Institutional investors have used futures contracts to even influence crypto currency prices, especially BTC. In the United States, the move by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Exchange to offer futures trading has further validated the industry.