But even with many success stories surrounding bitcoin investments, seasoned investors are voicing caution. Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and "Oracle of Omaha" Warren Buffett warn of bitcoin's volatility. Legendary investor and index fund mogul Jack Bogle, at a recent Council on Foreign Relations event, told the audience, "Avoid bitcoin like the plague."
But not everyone is convinced it’s a good idea. On Dec. 6, the Futures Industry Association -- a group of major banks, brokers and traders -- said the contracts were rushed without enough consideration of the risks. Last month, Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers Group Inc., wrote an open letter to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, arguing that bitcoin’s large price swings mean its futures contracts shouldn’t be allowed on platforms that clear other derivatives.
That doesn't mean it's risk-free, though. Blockchain technology is an intriguing development that could disrupt a number of huge industries, but at the moment, it's also a fashionable word to throw around. Long Island Iced Tea, a beverage company, renamed itself Long Blockchain in late 2017, seemingly knowing that the word itself could cause a jump in stock. And for a brief moment, the stock actually did jump just because of that. Don't fall for tricks like that, stay vigilant and avoid cryptocurrency scams like these.
What’s also striking is that traditionally, these sorts of ‘angel or seed’ investments in new technologies have been closed off to all but an incredibly well connected inner circle of elite high net-worth individuals and institutions. Peter Thiel, for instance, was only approached to become Facebook’s first outside investor because he was already incredibly well known within Silicon Valley for having founded and sold PayPal for over a billion dollars. In contrast, with bitcoin, a random student in Norway was able to invest just $27 and make millions.
No. 6: Large financial institutions are moving ahead with crypto products: Crypto assets have drawn the attention of institutional investors. Large institutions, such as Goldman Sacs, Fidelity and Blackrock, have started to develop cryptocurrency products and the underlying Blockchain technology. To wit, Goldman is close to launching a Bitcoin trading desk. Fidelity debuted a crypto fund a year ago and is actively building teams for crypto custody and other related services. Blackrock, the world’s largest investment management firm, recently announced plans to invest in the Bitcoin futures market. We expect to see more institutions enter this industry and offer a variety of crypto-based derivative products.
Cryptocurrencies are not a get rich quick scheme; it takes time to see success and even then it’s not guaranteed. Remember you are backing young companies or complete startups and the odds are that 90% of these will fail in the long term. Before doing anything, you should be fully aware of the risks. If you are comfortable with it, then don’t invest more you can afford or feel comfortable with losing.
Most traders use a combination of the two but will tend to give weight towards one over the other. Chris Burniske, author of Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond, covered this recently on Twitter, explaining that it is essential that you understand what kind of strategy is right for you. He shared a link from Investopedia, outlining the difference.
The introduction of child chains opens up great levels of customisation. It also enables each child chain (which could be a group, institution, private/public organisation, company, etc.) to run its own self contained blockchain ecosystem whilst still benefitting from all the core features of Ardor itself. These features can also be turned on and off as per the requirements of that given project. This feature makes Ardor a very attractive platform for a wide range of use cases.
This is only the beginning. You don’t expect a horse to become a world champion racer straight from the womb. It takes time, training, and a fair bit of luck. The same is true of bitcoin and blockchain technology. But just because a horse may not be a world champion just quite yet, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bet on that horse in the long run. If you see potential in that horse, and are willing to wait it out for the long run, go ahead, bet on that horse. One day, it might just take over the world, and if it does, you might just win big.
The trade is also noteworthy because, as CCN reported, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has thus far only approved bitcoin futures products that are cash-settled, meaning that investors receive the cash value of bitcoin when a contract expires, rather than the physical asset itself. With the availability of EFPs, they will have more flexibility in how they interact with this nascent asset class.
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There were many reasons for the crypto community to eagerly anticipate Bitcoin futures’ introduction to regulated derivatives markets. Futures have long been seen as the first stepping stone on the path to reconciling the world of crypto finance with the system of traditional financial institutions. Existing within a well-defined legal and operational framework, futures contracts offer legitimacy and security that judicious Wall Street firms were waiting for in order to finally jump onto the crypto bandwagon.
The futures offered by Cboe Global Markets Inc., and similar contracts that start trading in a week at at another Chicago-based exchange, CME Group Inc., may open the door to greater inflows of institutional money, while also making it easier to bet on bitcoin’s decline. Either way, it’s likely trading will start slowly, said Mike Novogratz, chief executive officer of Galaxy Investment Partners, which is raising a crypto hedge fund targeted at $500 million.
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Even now, as ethereum flirts with a $500 price point and a ~$46B market cap, we believe that if Ethereum becomes the dominant smart contract protocol its market cap will be in excess of a trillion dollars. There are a lot of things that need to take place in the meantime to make this a reality, specifically around scalability but the potential is certainly real given the breadth and scope of its disruptive technology.
Some investors want a more immediate return, by buying bitcoin and selling it at the end of a price rally. There are several ways to do this, including relying on the cryptocurrency's volatility for a high rate of return, should the market move in your favor. Several bitcoin trading sites also now exist that provide leveraged trading, in which the trading site effectively lends you money to hopefully increase your return. Magnr is one such example.
Another benefit of holding coins yourself, in a hardware wallet or elsewhere, is that you know that you 100% own all of your money. Exchanges are just like banks, in the sense that you trust them to hold your money for you. If they end up losing that money to hackers or stealing it themselves, you’re out of luck. This isn’t just a scary bedtime story — countless cryptocurrencyexchanges have been embezzled or hacked (an enormous percentage, actually), and hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost.
This, too, is not merely a theoretical matter. Ethereum did indeed hard fork after the DAO hack, and split off into ETH (the current dominant blockchain for ethereum) and ETC (the ‘classic’, or original blockchain for ethereum). As of this time, ETC is worth over $20 a coin — more, in fact, than all of ethereum was worth before the hack. Had I kept my ethereum on Coinbase or another exchange like it at the time of the hard fork, I personally would have lost 5 figures in ETC (at present values) merely because the exchanges wouldn’t give me access to these coins that I rightfully owned.
No. 3: Institutional quality custody solutions could come to market soon: There is an urgent need for qualified custodians to safeguard the growing amount of crypto assets. Very few crypto custodians meet the strict security requirements demanded by regulators and institutional investors. Coinbase, one of the more popular exchanges, has launched custody services by partnering with Electronic Transaction Clearing (ETC), a regulated broker-dealer. ItBit and Xapo have also begun to offer similar services and we expect more to follow.