When I first started taking an interest in cryptocurrency I thought I was so lost in this huge sea of unknowns. Where do I start? What are the useful keywords to look up and keep in mind? What are the available helpful resources? This cryptocurrency investing guide is written so that in just 20 minutes, you would have a sense of what to expect of your upcoming crypto journey, and how to best go about starting it. Enjoy it, it might just be the most exhilarating ride of your life.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger
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."
Dubbed as NXT 2.0 – Ardor is a scalable blockchain platform that natively supports a wide range of features including voting, privacy based coin mixing, account management, blockchain storage, transaction aliasing, and built in marketplace creation. However, Ardor’s implementation of child chains is the stand out feature that makes this platform a truly innovative project.
Over the last half a year, Cboe and CME were not the only entities to have a dig at crypto futures, and Bitcoin was not the only asset underlying these contracts. Since March, UK-based financial institutions were responsible for a steady supply of breaking news in this domain. In March, a British cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinfloor made headlines by announcing the launch of the first physically settled Bitcoin-based futures product.
When all is said and done, there will hence be 21 million bitcoins. Exactly that, no more, no less. Elegant, no? This eliminates yet another risk with extant currencies, gold included: there are absolutely no surprises when it comes to knowing the present and future supply of bitcoin. A million bitcoin will never be found randomly in California one day and incite a digital gold rush.
Gold, unlike fiat currencies, requires no trust and faith in a government to responsibly manage its money supply and other financial dealings in order to believe that it will retain its value well over time. This is because gold has no central authority that controls it and effectively dictates its supply and creation arbitrarily. Gold is fundamentally scarce, and only a small amount of it can be mined every year and added to the whole net supply. To date, the estimated total of all the gold ever mined in the history of humankind is only 165,000 metric tons. To put that in perspective, all that gold wouldn’t even fill up 3.5 Olympic sized swimming pools.
I would venture to say that most people have far more confidence in their ability to predict short term market movements than is actually the case. I’ve seen plenty of instances of people who have thought that they could capitalize on short term volatility on the way up, and essentially ‘buy the dips and sell the tips’, and in every single instance I can recall, this strategy eventually fails, and often in a big way. At face value, this seems to make sense. If you think you can time when the dips will occur and when they will end, and similarly when the peaks will occur and when those will end, you can definitely make more profit along the way by selling high and buying low.
When too many people pump and dump these coins over and over, they lose their power. For example, if a coin goes up and down so much, then fewer investors are likely to hop on board once it starts to go up again. They might think, “This coin goes up, but it always comes down. I’m not going to risk it by investing.” This is actually harmful to a coin when it skyrockets and crashes, and this is why you should be wary in 2018 where you put your money.
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.
IBM (IBM) has developed blockchain technology that they are using with a large variety of partners in a large variety of industries. One example is their partnership with food retailers, most notably Walmart, to help quickly, efficiently, and securely track the supply chain to help ensure ideal food safety. They have also partnered with Maersk to work on a blockchain platform for global trade.
Design issues. Despite Bitcoin's massive rise in popularity over the past several years, it is not immune to design problems. For example, starting late last year Bitcoin transaction speeds became very slow because of a scaling problem related to the way the Bitcoin blockchain works. (You can read the details here.) That issue did not end up creating the existential crisis for Bitcoin that some analysts predicted, and the problem has now more or less been solved via something called SegWit. Still, the Bitcoin scaling issue was a reminder that a new type of serious problem may creep up in the future that undoes Bitcoin.
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.
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.
Taking profit in Bitcoin means that you sell your altcoins for Bitcoin, and in contrast to using the sum to buy other altcoins for rebalancing purposes, you keep the value in Bitcoin. This is a necessary precaution to protect yourself from a possible correction or crash. As the past 2 years have clearly indicated, Bitcoin tends to decline in value less than altcoins, and as such taking profits in Bitcoin shields your portfolio from market crashes better than any altcoin can.
The purpose of this cryptocurrency portfolio is to outperform the overall market in market downturns, whilst still enjoying the significant upside of the market. TC expects this portfolio to significantly outperform assets such as stocks and shares in a bull market. It has been constructed to add flexibility for the future. For example, you could add additional positions or participate in ICOs by converting some Bitcoin or Ethereum holdings.
There isn't a way to invest in Bitcoin the way you would invest in the stock of a company. But depending on the long-term plan for your newfound cryptocurrency, buying Bitcoin and monitoring its value can technically make you an investor of sorts. By attempting to buy bitcoin at the lowest price and sell at a higher rate, you could make money off your purchase like an investment.
Lastly, you’ll have to connect a payment method. For years, credit cards were the most common way to pay for Bitcoin. Recently, however, credit card issuers and some international governments have put strict regulations on using credit cards as a buying option. Most credit cards are no longer accepted as a method of payment, meaning people have had to look into other options.
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