A bitcoin is a virtual currency first introduced in the year 2008 by an anonymous group called Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an open source peer-to-peer cryptographical system (direct connections without an intermediary) where transactions happen through a public ledger called blockchain, handling users’ data anonymously. Eight years since its introduction, bitcoin is today the most widely used and accepted digital currency.
I strongly disagree with what Robert & Brian posted. I have been following the crypto / blockchain space for 4 years and investing in it for nearly 3 years. I am seeing enormous amounts of financial & human capital, investor interest and passion flood this industry. Unless you are seeing the amount of work going on behind the scenes, it is easy to dismiss this stuff as frivolous or even "rat poison". However, Jamie Dimon just said that technology is the #1 threat to JP Morgan. The technology he is thinking about is blockchain / crypto. To borrow a quote from twitter, crypto is rat poison and the banks are the rats. Ignore this space at your own peril.
NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has today declared a distribution and established a record date for the distribution of the rights to Bitcoin Segwit2X tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on December 28, 2017 to shareholders of record ("Record Date Shareholders") as of the close of business on January 8, 2018 (the "Record Date").
Crypto tokens are essentially startup companies, therefore when reviewing blockchain infrastructure projects, look for the ones that control their own intellectual property, not the ones which are clones of some other blockchain. When looking at blockchain based projects, look for the ones that are solving a real market problem, have a real business plan, and an experienced team behind them. Avoid tokens which pay people to use them or tokens which look like a marketing operation without substance or tokens which just happen to be listed by some exchange for no reason. And for god sake don’t refresh coinmarketcap.com every few minutes.

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.
It’s important to note that the mere fact that something is speculative does not necessarily mean it can’t be a good investment, or that it is merely akin to blind gambling, dependent solely on the luck of the draw. Poker might be a suitable analogy. Poker can be played well or poorly, and skill and calculation lends an incredible degree of advantage to a player’s odds of success. However, the game still fundamentally deals with an immense degree of unavoidable variation and unknowns, and even the best poker player is guaranteed to lose many of their games, even if they play each one ‘perfectly’. The goal, simply, is to win more than you lose, and with the right amount of skill, knowledge, and preparation, this is a possible feat in poker.

The administrator, which is the entity that decides how your personal data will be used, is Pinewood Holdings Limited with its registered office at: 35 Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1434, Malta, entered into the company register under number C 86244. Additionally, access to your personal data will be given to our co-administrators: taXsaprent Sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Katowice at ul. Kępowa 45, registered in the National Court Register maintained by the Katowice-Wschód VIII Commercial department of the Court in Katowice, under KRS number 0000720989. Bitbay Sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Katowice (40-583), ul. Kępowa 45. More information and contact with the inspector.

Most people are at least somewhat familiar with Bitcoin even if they do not accurately understand how it works. However, once they begin to get involved with cryptocurrency, they may be surprised to learn that there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies (a.k.a altcoins) out there besides Bitcoin (CoinMarketCap listed more than 2000 altcoins at the time this guide was written).
Steindorff: QTUM is an emerging smart-contract platform with a strong team and promising future. You can think of QTUM as a bitcoin/ethereum hybrid in the sense that the platform enables smart contracts to be built atop bitcoin’s UTXO blockchain. This is an important technological achievement as it enables mobile and IoT compatibility for smart contract backed decentralized applications, a feature not currently available with Ethereum. Mobile compatibility will accelerate the proliferation of smart-contract adoption among businesses while simultaneously broadening its use case as a digital currency via mobile friendly QTUM wallets. Additionally, QTUM has shifted away from the Proof of Work consensus model (Bitcoin/Ethereum) and instead leverages the Proof of Stake model which rewards QTUM token owners for confirming transactions via “staking” instead of “mining.” Without getting into too many details this method is both more environmentally friendly and less prohibitive for individuals to participate than the Proof of Work method.  Since launching in early 2017 QTUM has garnered a massive community throughout the Asia-Pacific and the United States. We believe the QTUM team is unrivalled in Asia and their protocol stack has the potential to become the dominant Smart Contract platform of Asia. 

You should look for projects that have good long-term fundamentals. Assessing a project based on its vision, the problems it is trying to solve and the quality of its developing team is vital in understanding whether the project has great prospects. Good projects will tend to achieve their objectives and deliverables, which will, in turn, be reflected in an appreciation of their token’s price over the long-term. (See more: Coins, Tokens & Altcoins: What’s the Difference?)


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.
Sia is the very first decentralized storage platform that’s based on and secured by the blockchain technology. Through the blockchain tech, Sia can provide much reliable data storage options that do not have a single point of failure, can offer more storage space – at much lower costs than traditional cloud storage providers. Besides the obvious, investors are readily jumping on the Sia-train for one more reason: Privacy. Unlike cloud-storage provides, Sia’s tech gives you all the keys to your own (encrypted) data, and mandates that no third party will control nor access your files.

This system holds a lot of advantages even over gold’s natural system of being mined out of the ground. Gold’s mining is effectively random and not dictated by any perfect computer algorithm, and is consequently much more unpredictable in its output at any given moment. If a huge supply of gold is serendipitously found somewhere, it could theoretically dramatically inflate the rate at which gold enters the existing supply, and consequently cause an unanticipated decrease in the unit price of gold.


Because of this, I actually personally keep my cryptocurrency distributed in several reasonably safe baskets. For instance, despite Coinbase being an exchange that fundamentally requires some trust, they are more trustworthy than almost any other exchange on a technical level (their customer service, however, leaves something to be desired), and it is virtually impossible for their coins to be hacked to any significant degree, and all those at risk of being hacked are fully insured. As a consequence, I leave some of my coins with them, merely because in many ways, I trust their technical security measures more than I trust my own. Before GBTC started trading at such an absurd premium, I also kept some of my funds with them, both in part to diversify across multiple platforms to reduce the risk of losing all my coins with one bad black swan event, and also because it was the only immediately easy way to put some of my retirement funds into bitcoin, short of creating a self directed IRA.

As for investing an initial lump sum to begin getting exposure in this space, my personal strategy would be to do a semi-timed dollar cost average, if one is particularly concerned that they might be investing just before a local minimum market crash, but also particularly concerned that the price may keep rapidly appreciating ad infinitum, and would like to get in before that happens. That is, I’d decide the total lump sum I’d be willing to set aside to invest here, say, $10,000, and invest 33% or 50% of it immediately. Then, if the market did crash, I’d be psychologically very happy, and be super excited to invest another 33% or 50%. On the flip side, if the market continued to rise indefinitely and never fell again, I’d also be happy that at least I was able to get exposure to the market and didn’t miss out entirely. A 33–33–33 split would allow me to invest 3 times when I felt the market was at a particularly good time for investment, and a 50–50 split twice. Just random arbitrary examples of divisions I might do here, depending on how exactly wary I feel about the market at the present moment in time.


Despite the recent bumps in the road, bitcoin continues to grow and at an expediential rate, but with that comes some harsh setbacks. There are going to be those who want to take advantage of the momentary disorganization and try to steal or cheat the system. Because bitcoin is not a company but lives in cyberspace, that is just part of the reality of what it takes before we get to where we need to be.

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.


Zcash is a crypto that aims to solve the same issues Monero does. Zcash leverages zero-knowledge proof constructions called zk-SNARKs. These constructions allow two users to exchange information without revealing their identities. The bitcoin blockchain contains records of the participants in a transaction, as well as the amount involved. On the other hand, Zcash’s blockchain shows only that a transaction took place, not who was involved or what the amount was.

Golem is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Golem is a project run by the group of Polish programmers. It is on track to becoming the world’s most powerful decentralised supercomputer. This supercomputer will process anything from scientific research in academia through to rendering the latest block buster movies, and once complete users will have supercomputer processing power at their fingertips.
The crash proved to be the best thing that could have happened, however, because it gave me time to actually do my research and learn about bitcoin, and have real reasons for believing in it long term, at a point in time where the price was unusually deflated. As a consequence, I was able to buy morebitcoin at the very bottom of the market, around $230 or so, when I became truly convinced of bitcoin’s long term potential. I was also lucky enough to decide not to sell the bitcoins I had originally purchased for $1000 or so, and ultimately saw even those return 250%+ in profit.

However, into the second week of June the optimism all but evaporated. The highly-awaited EOS mainnet launch got off to a very shaky start with bug issues and a series of delays; the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail experienced a hack; as other exchanges, including Kraken, face increasing scrutiny by US authorities into allegations of price manipulation. The mainstream media continues to run screaming headlines about the terrible fate awaiting the prudent investor… plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
You should look for projects that have good long-term fundamentals. Assessing a project based on its vision, the problems it is trying to solve and the quality of its developing team is vital in understanding whether the project has great prospects. Good projects will tend to achieve their objectives and deliverables, which will, in turn, be reflected in an appreciation of their token’s price over the long-term. (See more: Coins, Tokens & Altcoins: What’s the Difference?)
In the case of less risky users which prefer long-term investment, it is important to build a diversified cryptocurrency portfolio. Fiat investors usually use benchmark indices such as S&P500 and Nasdaq Composite as they allow the opportunity to trade whole sectors easily and manage complicated portfolios in a straightforward investment, thus reducing the risks and volatility of the portfolio.

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.
Civic is a “secure identity platform” that provides on-demand, secure, and low-cost identity verification on the blockchain.  Civic is trying to eliminate the need for usernames and passwords, so it provides multi-factor authentication without a password, username, physical hardware token, or third party authenticator. All the data is fully encrypted in the app. This means that the creators/owners do not have any access to your personal data, and you only share what YOU want to share about yourself.

Golem is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Golem is a project run by the group of Polish programmers. It is on track to becoming the world’s most powerful decentralised supercomputer. This supercomputer will process anything from scientific research in academia through to rendering the latest block buster movies, and once complete users will have supercomputer processing power at their fingertips.
The first part will speak to a broad explanation of what bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large are. The second will discuss my personal investment philosophy as it pertains to crypto. The third will show you step by step how to actually begin investing in crypto, if you so choose. Each section will be clearly delineated, so feel free to skip parts if they’re already familiar to you.

The administrator, which is the entity that decides how your personal data will be used, is Pinewood Holdings Limited with its registered office at: 35 Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1434, Malta, entered into the company register under number C 86244. Additionally, access to your personal data will be given to our co-administrators: taXsaprent Sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Katowice at ul. Kępowa 45, registered in the National Court Register maintained by the Katowice-Wschód VIII Commercial department of the Court in Katowice, under KRS number 0000720989. Bitbay Sp. z o.o. with its registered office in Katowice (40-583), ul. Kępowa 45. More information and contact with the inspector.
There isn't much liquidity in the bitcoin marketplace, relatively speaking, meaning that the volume of trading activity is relatively low. When liquidity is low, volatility is high. Some of the giants in the bitcoin world also own significant amounts of the cryptocurrency, meaning that they can move the price relatively easily by trading large amounts in a short period.
This is fine most of the time, as generally the customers of that bank won’t all try to cash out at the same time, and the bank is able to stay liquid. However, the moment customers start to question the bank‘s financial stability, things can go south very quickly. If just a small number of customers begin asking for all their deposits back, a bank can rapidly become depleted of all its liquid funds.
Indeed, the only thing a 51% attacker could really accomplish is destroying collective faith in bitcoin. They couldn’t somehow steal and gain all the value of bitcoins for itself. The attacker wouldn’t be able to generate new bitcoins on demand arbitrarily, and would still have to mine for them. They also would have no control over taking bitcoins created in the past that didn’t belong to them. The only thing they could do, really, is repeatedly spend bitcoin they already owned again and again, but even this is limited in its value, because ‘honest’ miner nodes would never accept these fraudulent payments.

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 Market share: this can be defined as the proportion of market capitalization that a cryptocurrency has. A large market share typically indicates dominance. For example, Bitcoin’s market share is currently 60% (at the time of writing) of total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency space. We can use this as an indicator to determine the long-term viability of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, in our portfolio.
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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).

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.
Because of this, I actually personally keep my cryptocurrency distributed in several reasonably safe baskets. For instance, despite Coinbase being an exchange that fundamentally requires some trust, they are more trustworthy than almost any other exchange on a technical level (their customer service, however, leaves something to be desired), and it is virtually impossible for their coins to be hacked to any significant degree, and all those at risk of being hacked are fully insured. As a consequence, I leave some of my coins with them, merely because in many ways, I trust their technical security measures more than I trust my own. Before GBTC started trading at such an absurd premium, I also kept some of my funds with them, both in part to diversify across multiple platforms to reduce the risk of losing all my coins with one bad black swan event, and also because it was the only immediately easy way to put some of my retirement funds into bitcoin, short of creating a self directed IRA.
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.

Since their triumphant advent in the wake of the December 2017 bull run, Bitcoin futures seem to have occupied an oddly fixed position in the minds of many cryptocurrency buffs. A popular view among those who follow the dynamics of the crypto world rests on a set of established points about BTC futures: they exist since late 2017; they are offered by Cboe and CME, two respectable regulated exchanges; they help manage investment risks and as such are supposed to draw institutional money into the crypto space, mitigating price volatility and lending credence to the underlying asset.
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