While the number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies has steadily increased, they are still very much in the minority. For cryptocurrencies to become more widely used, they have to first gain widespread acceptance among consumers. However, their relative complexity compared to conventional currencies will likely deter most people, except for the technologically adept.
It didn’t take a genius to see a clear arbitrage opportunity here, and I wrote up a quick blog post detailing this opportunity and fired out a single Facebook post telling my friends about it. From that post and just a few hours of work, I ended up earning almost 17 bitcoins entirely for free — worth over $45,000 today. I had plans to scale this strategy en masse, but singlehandedly ended up killing the program almost as soon as it started, when Coinbase finally came to its senses and realized just how much money it was hemorrhaging here with no hope for eventual recoupment (at the time, the lifetime value of the average customer was only something like $25 to Coinbase — a far cry from the $75 they were offering).
When a coin has just skyrocketed by 300%, take profits. HODLing everything after such a major run-up is greed, nothing more. I’ve made this mistake more than once, thinking that it’s completely rational that since a coin’s value has gone up by that much, it will probably continue that way. It won’t. There will always be a correction. When you see a major run-up, like the one in December, it’s wise to start taking profits. How the hell can you buy the dip if you have nothing left to buy it with?
Ethereum – Ethereum is the second most famous name in the virtual currency market. It somewhat similar to the concept of bitcoins however it possesses some additional attributes. It is purely a blockchain based platform. What makes it special is the Ethereum Virtual Machine. The blockcain in ethereum is used not to store the data of the transaction but to make sure smooth run of a decentralized application. Having the second highest market cap after bitcoin, the price of ether has started to rally again. After seeing a major pullback from its all-time high above USD 400, ether has regained its footing and is close to its peak levels.
Avoid borrowing money. One of the drawbacks when credit cards were the most popular way to pay for Bitcoin was the concept of borrowing money on such an unpredictable investment. When you borrow money that requires you to pay interest (credit cards and personal loans, for example), you risk having to pay extra for an investment that doesn’t give you a return, which exponentially increases your risk.
These are just a few of countless twists and turns and vicissitudes our much vaunted (and much derided) bitcoin will have to endure before its long journey comes to an end, either six feet under or as an indelible fixture in our global economy. There’s no telling which way it will go, and one must come to one’s own conclusion on how much faith and conviction one chooses to place in bitcoin.
These are tokens built on one of the above mentioned platforms. They give access to a specific blockchain application, and are designed for a specific task. Utility tokens are not really my cup of tea yet, as they’re extremely risky due to two things. It’s still too early for mass adoption of these utilities because the technology is not ready yet (Ethereum’s scalability issues, for example), and because we don’t know what platforms will actually become the blockchain backbone of the digital world.

With cryptocurrency projects, you are mainly investing in young startups. The sobering statistic is that 90% of all startups fail. We see no reason why the failure rate of cryptocurrency projects should be any lower in the long term. That’s right; if you invest in 10 random cryptocurrency projects, on average you ought to expect 9 of them to eventually be worth nothing.
Yet there's reason to doubt that cryptocurrency frenzy will return. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) — Ma Bell in Warner's analogy — banned credit-card purchases of cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the SEC and foreign governments have cracked down on initial coin offerings. And lately, Alphabet (GOOGL)-unit Google, Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) have banned cryptocurrency ads.
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.
 Historical statistical data of a growing economy has proven that it works: Looking at the S&P 500 over a 5-year period, it has achieved a return of around 60%. The same can be said for the FTSE 100, which achieved a return of 25% over the same time period. Markets generally tend to trend upwards over a period of time, so with this in mind, long-term investing does have its merits. This can be said not only about the last 5 years, but for almost every 5 years throughout the history of the new economy.

You can see the present difficulty of mining bitcoin here. It should be evident from a half-second glance that the amount of computing power working to mine bitcoin right now is immense, and the difficulty is proportionally similarly immense. As of the time of this writing right now, there are close to 5 billion billion hashes per second being run to try to find the next block of bitcoin.
A question to everybody out there who knows more about cryptos and blockchain than I do (so basically everybody...): is there actually a real life application for cryptos for Joe Sixpack who does not live in a 3rd world country? I owned bitcoin at some point and it was a pain in the a.. to make any use of them. So, is there something nowerdays which would make my life easier if I used cryptos? Answers very much appreciated.
Please note that virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Virtual currencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not currently backed nor supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional fiat currencies. Profits and losses related to this volatility are amplified in margined futures contracts.
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