Monero (10%) – Monero is similar to Bitcoin in that it allows value exchange. However, Monero differs from Bitcoin in that it is focused on providing greater privacy to those that utilize their blockchain, using their stealth address mechanism. Anonymity is likely to become more and more important in a world where Bitcoin addresses can be traced. As more regulation starts entering the cryptocurrency space, an increasing number of individuals will gravitate towards privacy coins such as Monero, Zcash and Dash, that can mask their transaction activities.
Steindorff: In 2014 my business partner, Tucker Waterman and I drove to San Francisco to attend Coin Congress. The conference was primarily dominated by Bitcoin maximalists, a colloquial term for those who believed bitcoin would be the only successful blockchain based digital-asset. Simultaneously, there was a small minority group of about a dozen of us with a brewing excitement about the prospect of BTC 2.0. All 12 of us grabbed lunch during the conference and discussed the prospect of alternative digital-asset backed protocols leveraging blockchain technology to establish use cases beyond a medium of exchange, unit of account or store of value. Among these fringe thinkers was Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin.
A select few cryptocurrencies out of the thousands will survive and be adopted mainstream just as there are a select few currencies that are used by the majority of the world. However, the main crypto currencies won’t be determined by economic power but by the unique value and benefits that they provide. e.g. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency however, it is built on a platform that allows developers to create smart contracts and decentralised apps on the blockchain. This unique and useful feature of Ethereum gives it a strong chance of surviving in the long run.
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.
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The aspect we particularly like about decentralised exchanges is that they solve the single point of failure problem and the need for third party trust. As cryptocurrencies grow in value, centralised exchanges become a bigger and bigger target for hackers. Any investor with cryptocurrency on a centralised exchange is forced to trust that it will behave properly and have the necessary security measures in place. With decentralised exchanges, these issues are removed and this is why we think they will eventually replace older centralised exchanges.

Many investors are nervous about trying to invest directly in bitcoin, given the high-profile hackings of several major bitcoin exchanges over the years. The Bitcoin Investment Trust (NASDAQOTH:GBTC) offers an alternative method of investing in cryptocurrency, making it possible to buy shares of an entity that itself holds a substantial amount of bitcoin. Here, we'll take a closer look at Bitcoin Investment Trust to see if it's worth adding to your portfolio.
Johnny Steindorff: Like many of us in the crypto digital-asset space I was roped in through an overzealous friend who’d fallen down the bitcoin rabbit hole. I’d had prior exposure to bitcoin from friends or acquaintances but those initial discussions were superficial and centered around price, profits, losses and trading. This conversation was different, it was centered around the technology, philosophy and the revolutionary implications of a digital, trust-less currency and decentralization. 
Welcome to the new year. You may have noticed Bitcoin’s extraordinary take-off last year, during which a majority of cryptocurrencies experienced huge gains. What does 2018 have in store for Bitcoin and all of the other cryptocurrencies? You’re soon to learn why things might not happen as you would expect. Let’s dive into the year of the AltCoins and see how a lot of coins other than Bitcoin will take the spotlight.
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.
Coinbase, for example, has been such a popular bitcoin investment app that its CEO posted to the company’s blog last week a warning that the sudden influx “does create extreme volatility and stress on our systems,” which can create a lag for users. The Chicago Board Options Exchange, on which the first bitcoin futures trading took place this week, warned that a flood of traffic ahead of the launch was slowing its site.

Bitcoin exchanges are pretty easy to deal with if you have traded stocks, but futures exchanges are alien territory for many ordinary investors and require a much deeper understanding of the issues that determine risks and returns, things like time to expiration, volatility and the day's news. Futures traders need to stay on top of the situation all the time and be ready to buy or sell on short notice.

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Almost every crypto-list today starts off with the king – Bitcoin! Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin a long time ago, and it was the first cryptocurrency to step blinking into the bright light of the world! Bitcoin has surpassed all expecatations and continues to grow in value and popularity – despite recent setbacks and a lot of FUD from trolls and haters (read: traditional banks) online.  Will Bitcoin continue to increase in value in 2018? Recent trends say: Yes! In my opinion, any cryptocurrency portfolio should hold some Bitcoin.

So, unlike an ETF, the amount of Bitcoin held does not increase or decrease from market activity like people buying in or selling out (with the exception of new entrants who must be accredited investors, and in that case they must wait a full year to trade their shares). This creates a situation where the amount of Bitcoin purchased with a single share of GBTC does not always equate to the fair market value of the underlying asset.


Investors in any Vehicle must have the financial ability, sophistication, experience and willingness to bear the risks of an investment in that Vehicle. Any offering or solicitation will be made only to certain qualified investors who are “accredited investors” as defined under Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”). Qualified investors may only invest in a Vehicle pursuant to documentation made available by Grayscale, which should be read in its entirety. Information provided about a Vehicle is not intended to be, nor should it be construed or used as, investment, tax or legal advice, an investment recommendation, or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, shares in any Vehicle. Any offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy shares in any Vehicle is made only by delivery to qualified investors of the offering documents for that Vehicle (the “Offering Documents”), which contain material information not available on this website and which, in the event of conflict, supersede any information available on this website in its entirety. In making an investment decision, investors must rely on their own examination of the applicable Vehicle and the terms of the offering contemplated by the applicable Offering Documents, including the risks involved.
Other coins might embrace niche aspects such as entertainment, bill paying, security, and other aspects of decentralization. For example, consider DentaCoin that is the dental world’s first cryptocurrency enhancement. This coin does not vow to be the next Bitcoin; it simply wants to be widely used in the world of dentistry. The coin Ripple wants to be used by banks opposed to competing against them. The coin SunContract eliminates the middleman between providing and purchasing solar energy, which increases what homeowners earn from their solar panels. These kind of niche applications allow various industries to take advantage of the powers of cryptocurrency in very specific areas.

Basecoin is a stable coin (not volatile cryptocurrency) whose money supply algorithmically contracts and expands based on market demand and a decentralized Consumer Price Index.  What this means in english is that this token is effectively managed by a robot central bank free from the political interference that real central banks face.  We still have not come across a stable coin that can act as an everyday usable cryptocurrency, but doesn’t wind up in fiascos involving the legality of the token (see Tether articles).  If the project works as intentioned, it could change modern currency markets.  One could reasonably pay wages in basecoin, or use basecoin to more effectively trade digital assets, but the best use case of the basecoin would be for the digital currency to alleviate the inflation madness occurring in countries like Venezuela or Zimbabwe.  
very interesting arguments on the Visa/Mastercard situation; these two companies profit so strongly from the oligopolistic market structure which gives them annuity returns, high FCF yields thus have become stock market darlings. would be great to get more info whether these companies can be disrupted in what time frame (soon or long patience required). I would not mind very soon disruption...; out of curiosity, in Switzerland, someone wants to bring the land/title register on to the blockchain, a move which I would view very positively. are there any similar moves elsewhere?
Writer and hustler. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will has been on the road for nine years, travelling to far-flung lands on a budget. Today, he runs a number of online ventures. He is passionate about teaching others how to ditch their desks, hit the road and achieve real freedom by earning money online. Currently, Will is on a four year journey from the UK to Papua New Guinea; travelling through truly special countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Bhutan whilst running his businesses online.

What’s striking in this is that while everything he said at the time was true, and certainly none of those things were particularly possible back in 1995, it all came to pass eventually. Today, remote workers are a huge part of the global workforce. Online education is booming. Amazon is taking over all of commerce and is larger than any retail store in the world. Print newspapers and magazines are dying left and right, replaced by a proliferation of online news.

Ripple (XRP) is a more recently popular cryptocurrency, although some argue that it can't really be called a cryptocurrency at all. It does, however, have a market cap of $19.2 billion as of this writing, 3rd largest amongst cryptocurrencies. Ripple is meant to act as something of a payment processing system that could allow for instant international money transfers. It has partnered with several notable companies, including American Express.
Are my investments safe with the dev team? The first rule of investing should always be the preservation of capital. Can you trust the dev team with your money? Are you about to leave your money with founders who have been involved in previous scams? If you see these telling signs, back off immediately. The coin’s price might grow for all you care, but it is just not worth it to put your capital at such risk.
A fork is sort of like a stock split and happens when a complex set of conditions are met. On August 1, 2017, for example, bitcoin speculators received one unit of bitcoin cash for every bitcoin already owned. The fork occurred after a number of big players called "developers" agreed to modify the algorithm to speed transactions as trading volume grew. Today, bitcoin cash trades at around $1,100, compared to under $7,000 for bitcoin itself.

A ledger is a database technology used to record transaction histories and ownership; it is a definitive account of who has given what to who, and who owns what. Most ledger technologies are physical and they’re centralized -- they’re controlled by a central bank.  This means that they are subject to the discretion and power of individuals, and are alterable and impermanent. This gives those ledger recording entities a tremendous amount of power over an individual’s financial transactions; it also means the ledger is vulnerable to manipulation.
To the other point, gold’s coveted status in jewelry is merely a derivative property of its perceived value, which leads to its designation as a status symbol. Without that underlying perceived value, it would command far less value in jewelry. Consequently, the question still remains about the gap between the industrial and medical value of gold and the actual value of gold as determined by the market. Where does the value in that gap come from?

Consensus Method – One of the main differences between cryptocurrencies is their verification method, and the oldest and most common method is called Proof of Work (POW). A computer has to spend time and energy solving a difficult math problem to gain the right to verify a transaction. But the problem with this method is that it needs a huge amount of energy to operate. On the other hand, Proof-of-Stake (POS) systems try to solve this issue by letting the users with the largest share of the currency verify the transactions. These systems claim faster transaction speeds and require less processing power to operate. However, concern over security means that few coins use an entirely proof-of-stake-based system.
It is composed of several key disciplines that will help you keep your profits and maintain a strong portfolio by removing inherent human psychological weaknesses. I’m not claiming to have the golden goose of cryptocurrency investing, but these strategic elements will certainly help in making the most out of what some see as a catastrophic cryptocurrency bear run – and what others see as an opportunity.
All of this said, it does seem extremely likely to me that there will inevitably be some true innovation in this space, and that some cryptocurrencies will be able to carve out niches of varying degrees of value. One might even prove to ultimately demonstrate so many more advantages as to overtake bitcoin one day — ethereum, for instance, is teetering remarkably close to doing just that, at least in terms of market cap, if not quite yet other markers such as developer activity and transaction volume. The true feat here will be discerning those few new technologies with true fundamental potential and innovative advantage (and an incredible execution strategy) behind them, from the vast swaths of similar looking yet ultimately worthless contenders almost certainly doomed to eventual failure.
Here’s what’s Lisk all about: Most developers today rely on centralized giants, such as Google Play and the AppStore to put up their newly developed apps. These giants take much of the profits and attention from these apps, and Lisk believes all this should be going to the developers themselves. This is where its Javascript-based tech comes in. Lisk is incredibly exciting because it aims to offer a decentralized apps platform, one that actually favors the developers, and therefore gives them the bigger piece of the cake. Lisk was previously Crypti, and after proving itself on a community level, it was forked by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows into Lisk, in 2016.
Coinbase Pro expands on these basic capabilities. Coinbase Pro offers options to make market orders, limit orders and stop orders, to buy and sell. Instead of trading exclusively from USD to a given crypto, Coinbase Pro allows users to trade between cryptocurrencies (so, selling Ethereum for Bitcoin, for instance), and in different currencies (USD, EUR, GBP). Like Coinbase, the cryptocurrencies available for trading on Coinbase Pro are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ether.
Transaction volume: in order to determine whether a cryptocurrency is actually being used, you can take a look at its transaction volume. In the case of Ethereum, its transaction volume per day is about 500,000 ETH. Historically, this is a number that is increasing and as long as this upward trend continues this reaffirms the long-term viability of holding Ethereum in our portfolio.
These characteristics make Bitcoin fundamentally different from a fiat currency, which is backed by the full faith and credit of its government. Fiat currency issuance is a highly centralized activity supervised by a nation’s central bank. While the bank regulates the amount of currency issued in accordance with its monetary policy objectives, there is theoretically no upper limit to the amount of such currency issuance. In addition, local currency deposits are generally insured against bank failures by a government body. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has no such support mechanisms. The value of a Bitcoin is wholly dependent on what investors are willing to pay for it at a point in time. As well, if a Bitcoin exchange folds up, clients with Bitcoin balances have no recourse to get them back.
Once you have done all your research and established your portfolio balances, it’s time to add some more elements to your strategy. These elements ensure consistency and promote discipline, something that is of utmost importance for any strategy. Consistent discipline removes your emotions from the strategy and creates the biggest upside potential. Nothing goes up forever.
"Because the future can be traded on regulated markets, it will attract investors, making the market liquid, stabilizing prices, and [it will] not suffer from low transaction speeds of bitcoin [exchanges]," he said, adding, "If prices stabilize, we may start seeing more companies accepting bitcoin as a mode of payment. This may further bring liquidity to the market."
TIP: If the RSI is really high (like 70+ on all time frames), then the asset is considered “overbought” and the rally probably only has so much longer to go before a dip. If the RSI is really low, like 30 or less on all time frames, we are “oversold” by that indicator. There is no actual limit to how high or low the RSI can go, but you can see in the chart above (which shows the RSI on daily candles) that the oversold and overbought states are not the norm and are generally not sustained for long. Simple indicators like this can help you time your trades when timing your trades. Just remember, indicators help you analyze historic data, they can’t predict the future!
Nevertheless, NVIDIA and AMD aren't absolved from downside, either. In fact, you could say the two are stuck in a pervasive cryptocurrency conundrum. As a result of the high demand for GPUs, graphics card prices have shot through the roof. In doing so, it's angered their core gaming customers, who are being forced to pay significant premiums for graphics cards at the moment. These companies could risk alienating their core customer and do nothing or they could create a GPU specific for miners, hurting the growth they've received from miners by increasing supply. 
Virtual currencies, including bitcoin, experience significant price volatility. Fluctuations in the underlying virtual currency's value between the time you place a trade for a virtual currency futures contract and the time you attempt to liquidate it will affect the value of your futures contract and the potential profit and losses related to it. Investors must be very cautious and monitor any investment that they make.
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