Bitcoin has captured America’s imagination. Whether or not the cryptocurrency will ultimately turn out to be a good investment or just a passing fad remains to be seen. Indeed, in the past several months Bitcoin prices have enjoyed a run-up that makes the 1999 tech bubble look staid by comparison. That excitement — the promise of sudden riches or sudden ruin — has a lot of people wondering how a bitcoin investment actually works.
This portfolio gives us diversified exposure to more exotic cryptocurrency projects with higher risk / reward profiles, whilst holding the majority of our funds in a core large cap position. In a down market, we would expect this portfolio to perform worse than our conservative one. However, we expect a superior performance if the cryptocurrency market goes on a bull run.
One further benefit to bitcoin is that it is truly yours to own, and you can keep it yourself, without the need for a bank or any other intermediary, and use it just as easily as you might a credit card. This ensures that you won’t fall victim to a banking system collapse brought on by fractional reserve banking or irresponsible government and financial institution fiscal policies in general. It also ensures, however, that no one can take your money from you even on an individual basis, global financial apocalypse aside.
Hey RV, could we maybe do a bit more of a technical/tradable look at crypto next? This along with John Burbank's section was very general discussion with rehashed netscape/internet analogies, removing middle men which offer nothing new. Focus is always on the transaction coins (admittedly there was more on smart contracts here) but what about other industries for blockchain: decentralized data, personal data, computing power, energy, supply chain etc?
The short term price movements of a stock shouldn’t concern a long term value investor in the slightest, as a value investor doesn’t care about what the market has valued the price of a stock at, but rather only about the intrinsic value of the business behind the stock, and its future potential value. Only after coming to a conclusion about the actual value of a company and its future potential value, should an investor then look to what price the market has assigned a stock, in ascertaining whether or not a stock is a good purchase.
I'd suggest the safest way to play the cryptocurrency market is through the graphic processing unit (GPU) manufacturers, NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD). Both NVIDIA and Advanced Micro make GPUs that cryptocurrency miners use to validate transactions. Being the first to solve these complex mathematical equations, which are a product of encryption within a blockchain, entitles crypto miners to a block reward that's paid out in tokens of the virtual currency being mined. Though the margins on cryptocurrency mining have come down significantly from where they were in December 2017, it's still quite profitable for miners to validate transactions and collect their reward. This puts NVIDIA's and AMD's GPUs in high demand.
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.
There is one risk involved with stop-losses because of this though, which is when a price drastically drops. This is because a stop-loss is automatically triggered once the price threshold is reached. It could be that the price plummets so hard that the stop-loss sells for a far lower price than you anticipated. This is because during a crash, a lot of people are selling but nobody’s buying, meaning the price can only be determined once anyone buys. Using the example above, if Lisk were to drop from $32 to $27 without anyone buying in between, your stop loss would sell at $27.
Cryptocurrency price movements can be massive. In a day you need to be comfortable with the idea of our investments going up and down 50%. Somehow making a loss feels 10 times worse than making the same gain feels good. This is why only investing what you can afford to lose is so important. If you are over invested in crypto, you will be more emotionally susceptible to buying at the highs and selling at the lows.
Personally, for myself, a quick back of the napkin calculation that I can do to estimate the possible future value of bitcoin is to see what the market has valued all of the gold in the world at, and use this as a rough guiding principle for seeing how much appetite the world currently has for something that can hedge against other currencies and holds similar characteristics to gold as a store of value. I can see that the total value of all the gold in the world is over 8 trillion dollars, and consequently, if bitcoin were to reach that same total valuation, each bitcoin, assuming 21 million eventual bitcoins, would be worth approximately $400,000. Dividing this by bitcoin’s current value, I can see that there’s still room for approximately 150X gains. This means that if I truly believe this is a possible outcome for bitcoin, then as long as I believe this outcome has more than a 0.66 percent chance of happening, or 1/150 chances of success, it would be an +EV bet to make.
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).
If you have a brokerage account, you can expect the bitcoin user experience to be similar. And, as with a brokerage account, you’re likely to pay transaction fees whenever you buy or sell. That means day-trading bitcoin probably isn’t a great strategy — since those transaction fees could quickly eat up any profits. If you’re using bitcoin instead of PayPal, Venmo, etc., check first to see if the seller will charge you a fee for paying in bitcoin.
Generally speaking, diversification -- the ability for investors to buy stocks in different industries and sectors, or based on market cap, growth rate, or dividend yield -- has allowed investors the opportunity to maximize their long-term capital appreciation potential. If one sector is doing poorly, a diversified portfolio might be hedged with another industry or sector that's thriving. Plus, with the ability to load a diversified portfolio with dividend-paying stocks, complete with reinvestment, it's often easy to build wealth over time. All it really takes is patience, discipline, and the resolve to buy stocks at regular intervals over time, regardless of how "high" or "low" the market is trading.
This gave birth to a whole new industry of business, companies like Verisign were created to ensure sites asking for your credit card details were in fact who they said they were by creating digital certificates that employed encryption to online shoppers. Eventually, most fraudsters were stomped out. The same thing is happening in the blockchain space right now and with it, a whole new industry is taking shape to change blockchain for the better.
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