Generally, the strategy suggested to average out such short term volatility for something that one is investing in long term is to practice dollar cost averaging. This preaches that one should set an exact time at regular time intervals to buy an exact amount in fiat currency of the investment one is looking to purchase — e.g., $1,000 worth of bitcoin on the 1st of every week, or every month. This means that over time, you’ll be able to take advantage of bitcoin’s general trajectory upwards, but balance out the relative short term volatile price movements both high and low, such that you experience a more linear growth trajectory over time of your principal.
If we apply this to cryptocurrency, we can draw some parallels between the traditional markets and the cryptocurrency market. One would typically regard Bitcoin as being less risky than an unknown altcoin. From this, we can then tailor our level of exposure to suit our risk appetite. For example, a very risky portfolio might be 80% in small-cap cryptocurrency and 20% in Bitcoin. Using the information we have gathered so far, we can now construct our own long-term portfolio.
The inspiration behind Distributed Global dates back to 2013 when my thesis shifted around how this space would impact the world and where value would ultimately be captured, in digital assets not traditional equity in private companies. This catalyzed a partnership with fellow enthusiast and investor, Tucker Waterman and together we launched one of the first digital-asset funds, Focus Investments, with a thesis on capturing value by investing in the greatest digital asset backed protocols. We believed then and continue to believe today that most industries will inevitably be disrupted by distributed ledger technologies and decentralized digital-asset backed protocols.
Connecting your bank account through an ACH transfer is a versatile option, allowing you to use a checking or savings account to buy Bitcoin or cash out when you want to sell. You’ll also be able to purchase a substantially larger amount of Bitcoin because of their higher buying limits. Just keep in mind that it can take up to 5 days for the transfer to be complete, and the value of Bitcoin can drastically change in that timeframe.
We think ‘Total Net Wealth’ is an exceptionally important consideration when making any investment. The reason is to reduce our risk by diversifying amongst different asset classes like property, bonds, stocks & shares, gold, cryptocurrency etc. This means that if one asset class like cryptocurrency goes down, you do not have all your eggs in one basket.
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.
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More people are now paying attention to Bitcoin. Bitcoin's explosive growth in value over the past several months owes much to the fact that relatively few people owned Bitcoin before this summer. Now, a lot more people are paying attention to and investing in Bitcoin. The resolution of the Bitcoin scaling issue, the passing of worries about the deleterious effects of a Bitcoin fork and other developments have drawn more attention to the currency. What this means is that people who buy Bitcoin today are not getting in on the ground floor. Bitcoin's growth may continue for a long time to come, but it will certainly not be at the incredible rates of this summer.
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).
Lisk is a new altcoin, having launched on 24 May 2016. Lisk is a decentralized network with its own blockchain. It has been launched to enable developers to build a wide range of apps on the Lisk network by developing custom side chains. It has similarities to the Ethereum network, but the Lisk blockchain has not been built with the intention to create smart contracts. It has been built to develop different apps and functionalities using the Lisk App SDK framework. Furthermore, Lisk has entered into a partnership with Microsoft Azure. This means that developers worldwide can develop, test, and deploy Lisk blockchain applications using Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform and infrastructure.
Bitcoin futures have fairly extreme pros and cons to them. Contracts are leveraged in that you're paying a fraction of bitcoin's actual price when you buy futures, giving you a chance to profit off them. However, the contract has an expiration date in the near future. If the price is down when it expires, you can't simply hold and wait to see if it bounces back; you just lose.
This ‘intangible’ worth that we ascribe to currency, which accounts for the vast majority of the value of all currencies, not just bitcoin, is ultimately what makes money work. Yuval Noah Harari captures this fact very well in Sapiens, where he lays out the case that the value of a given form of money is essentially an indication of trust in that form of money. It is our shared collective trust and belief in a currency that gives it value, not its intrinsic tangible utility or anything else.
Bitcoin essentially dictates the cryptocurrency market because the most popular trading pairs are Bitcoin ones. Most Altcoins do not actually have a direct USD value and only hold a value in Bitcoin, which is then converted to USD to give their USD value. Usually if Bitcoin does badly, altcoins do worse. In a bull market, bitcoin generally goes up slower than altcoins. This leads us to believe that although Bitcoin is volatile, it is less so than other cryptocurrencies.
If you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies, it may be best to treat your “investment” in the same way you would treat any other highly speculative venture. In other words, recognize that you run the risk of losing most of your investment, if not all of it. As stated earlier, a cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value apart from what a buyer is willing to pay for it at a point in time. This makes it very susceptible to huge price swings, which in turn increases the risk of loss for an investor. Bitcoin, for example, plunged from $260 to about $130 within a six-hour period on April 11, 2013. If you cannot stomach that kind of volatility, look elsewhere for investments that are better suited to you. While opinion continues to be deeply divided about the merits of Bitcoin as an investment – supporters point to its limited supply and growing usage as value drivers, while detractors see it as just another speculative bubble – this is one debate that a conservative investor would do well to avoid.
There is no doubt bitcoin still has issues, which is why we continue to see such wild volatility. Bitcoin wants to move higher, but it keeps getting pulled back down by the fraudsters that want to cheat the system. Things are changing quickly, and for the better, it won’t be long before those scammers get stomped out, and when it happens, bitcoin will be left with little to hold it down.
With this strategy, I’ve been trying to build a systematic approach to buying low and selling high that will continuously increase the value of my portfolio. It rides the big waves of the crypto market in a relaxed way. Don’t try to predict anything, but just go with the flow. Also, don’t sweat the small movements. The market is incredibly volatile, and the sooner you accept this and learn to ignore it, the better.
On the flip side, if the world suffers a global financial meltdown on the scale of the Great Depression or something similar again, and fiat currencies start to crater, it very well may be such that governments are forced to resort to accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, if enough people simply flat out refuse to put their stock in fiat. This was exactly what the US government was forced to do just 13 years into their original experiment with Continental currency, when they agreed to promise to back all the currency they issued with hard gold and silver.
This isn’t a concern, however, because the bitcoin network runs on consensus, and accepts whichever blockchain is the longest. In practice, this means that whichever blockchain has the most computing power behind it is effectively guaranteed to win, as they’ll be able to calculate the solutions to the hash problems and find new blocks faster than their less powerful competitors.
The price of bitcoin cratered about 80%, falling all the way to about $200, before stabilizing at that price for much of 2014 and 2015. Litecoin, on the other hand, fell from over $45 to about $1, and consequently lost over 97.5% of its value. PPC and NMC suffered so badly that I didn’t even bother to calculate how much I had lost, because it was basically everything.
Once you’ve established your portfolio, or you have built up a cash/Bitcoin position with previous profits, it’s time to start buying in. It’s advisable to do this in parts instead of doing it all at once, due to the volatility in the crypto market. Timing the market is extremely difficult, and, according to almost every expert, it can’t be consistently done.
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It’s been a difficult task to evaluate which cryptocurrency scams are run by people, but now we have to deal with an army of scam bots. The security software company Duo Security have discovered over 15,000 bots working through automated Twitter profiles coming together to try to perpetuate cryptocurrency scams. These bots are a nuisance, spreading spam and malware, as well as infiltrating online discussions.
The same might be said of speculative investments such as those in cryptocurrency. You can and absolutely should do your part to learn as much as possible about this field, and come to your own personal conclusions on its current and future potential value. However, no matter how much research you do and how many calculations you make, there will always be a fundamental and inextricable degree of pure luck involved in determining the ultimate outcome of your speculation. Any number of future events could tip the scales for or against cryptocurrency, or more specifically, any one cryptocurrency, and a number of these will be ‘black swan’ events that are fundamentally unpredictable in their nature and timing, but in aggregate whole, almost certain to occur.
For those who are more comfortable with a predictable form of reward, mining is the way. Mining involves setting up of a rig, consisting of GPUs or CPUs and an investment in the electricity. Mining is only possible on cryptocurrencies that follow the Proof of Work protocol. It takes some effort to setup and gets things running, but it is attractive as a long-term passive income as long as you frontload the work.
Steindorff: We believe that we’re still in the early stages of adoption of decentralized protocols. The technology itself is evolving quickly and most of the technology is aimed at developers, not at end users. However, the run up in prices has attracted more interest in the space. This is a feature, not a bug. It is part of how tokenized protocols bootstrap by levering off of interest from investors, attracting new developers, and ultimately driving more adoption.
You’ll find that different exchanges cater to different markets. Today, most countries have at least one cryptocurrency exchange specializing in their own currency. There are exchanges that can accept New Zealand Dollars in exchange for bitcoin, for example. Other exchanges are known for certain pairs. Bithumb, for example, has particularly strong liquidity in the ETH/KRW (South Korean Won) pair at the moment (and it’s easily the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Korea).