Historical statistical data of a growing economy has proven that it works: Looking at the S&P 500 over a 5-year period, it has achieved a return of around 60%. The same can be said for the FTSE 100, which achieved a return of 25% over the same time period. Markets generally tend to trend upwards over a period of time, so with this in mind, long-term investing does have its merits. This can be said not only about the last 5 years, but for almost every 5 years throughout the history of the new economy.
“There will be a ramp-up time,” said Ari Paul, chief investment officer of Blocktower Capital Advisors LP. “There just isn’t a rush. The professional traders will mostly be looking to do arbitrage, between the futures and bitcoin itself. I don’t expect massive money flows right away but then I expect gradual buying from people who want passive exposure” without buying bitcoin directly.
A long-term investment is one where you expect a cryptocurrency to perform better over a longer period of time. Simple! Normally, the minimum time for long-term investment is 6 months to 1 year. Although, some people plan to hold onto their investments for 5-10+ years. It’s up to you how you choose to invest; you can either make your full investment in one go, or you can invest at different times.
It is an exciting time to get involved in cryptocurrency investing. It is a new asset class that is currently delivering better returns than the traditional markets (as of writing these lines). However, it is also important to have a strategy. Not having an investment plan for cryptocurrency investing, or any other market for that matter, can result in heavy loss of your funds. A long-term investment approach is just one strategy that you can choose to adopt. You can even vary the long-term investment approach to suit your own style. The most important thing is to have a plan for each scenario that might happen.
For now, let’s start with a quick history lesson about bitcoin. Bitcoin was officially unveiled to the public in a white paper published October 31st, 2008. The white paper is actually extremely readable, very short (just 8 pages), and incredibly elegantly written. If you want to understand why bitcoin is so compelling straight from the horse’s mouth, you must read this paper. It will explain everything better than I or anyone else likely ever could.
NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 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 all of the Bitcoin Cash currently held by the Trust to shareholders of record ("Record Date Shareholders") as of the close of business on November 6, 2017 (the "Record Date").
A fork is sort of like a stock split and happens when a complex set of conditions are met. On August 1, 2017, for example, bitcoin speculators received one unit of bitcoin cash for every bitcoin already owned. The fork occurred after a number of big players called "developers" agreed to modify the algorithm to speed transactions as trading volume grew. Today, bitcoin cash trades at around $1,100, compared to under $7,000 for bitcoin itself.
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.
Speculations, on the other hand, are like the Wild West of opportunities. They’re extremely high risk, extremely volatile, and could on one hand multiply one’s principal manyfold, and on the other, dissipate it all into thin air. A seed ‘investment’ in Facebook, for instance, could be considered a speculation. In the vast majority of cases, such an investment is likely to fail outright and lose all of the money invested. In a few instances, however, that investment just might succeed, and return tens, hundreds, or even thousands of times the principal invested.
These are cryptocurrencies bound to blockchains that allow for the creation of applications on them, such as Ethereum, NEO, Cardano, Lisk, VeChainThor, and many more. The underlying platforms of these coins create an actual need – and thus a demand – for the coins, as they are needed to make use of the applications and buy into ICOs. In my opinion, these coins are currently the safest and have the largest growth potential, as the blockchains they are built on have the capacity to become the foundation of the decentralized world.
This ability to transact more anonymously in a digital, global fashion than ever before has indeed opened the gateway to some of bitcoin’s more infamous use cases. Much illicit activity has been enabled by this pseudonymity of bitcoin, including the sale of drugs and other illegal goods online. A more recent development has also been ransomware, whereby malware can now cut straight to the chase and lock up your computer and demand straight up money in the form of bitcoin in exchange for the release of your computer’s data.
UK-based cryptocurrency trading startup, Crypto Facilities, has become the first crypto platform to launch regulated Ethereum futures contracts, making a new derivatives contract available from 4 pm UK time on the 11th of May. The new Ethereum futures contracts represent another step toward the maturation of the cryptocurrency market as complex financial products such as index funds and crypto ETFs loom on the horizon.
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.
Choose trusted wallets and exchanges. The hype surrounding the cryptocurrency market has led many people to jump in headfirst without checking whether they are doing business with reputable sources. As the market starts to settle in the coming years, it’s likely that up to 80% of the wallets and exchanges currently in business will disappear. Don’t make an already risky market worse by choosing an untrusted wallet or exchange.
When a coin has just skyrocketed by 300%, take profits. HODLing everything after such a major run-up is greed, nothing more. I’ve made this mistake more than once, thinking that it’s completely rational that since a coin’s value has gone up by that much, it will probably continue that way. It won’t. There will always be a correction. When you see a major run-up, like the one in December, it’s wise to start taking profits. How the hell can you buy the dip if you have nothing left to buy it with?
I’ve also seen plenty of people who intend to hold long term, but lose faith when they see their investment crater 30%, 50%, or even 70%. At this point, they lose faith, and decide to sell their investment to at least recoup some of their initial capital, and not lose everything outright. Thus, they end up buying high and selling low, and then having double regret when bitcoin eventually ended up rebounding even higher than the ‘high’ they bought at.
UPDATE: I do not recommend paying to enter a Cryptocurrency mastermind group – I’ve tried a few and found the ROI to be disappointing. I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively utilising a cryptocurrency trading bot, the renowned Notorious Bot. Having a bot that trades for me, without emotion, using an advanced algorithm, allows me to grow my portfolio in the background without it cutting into my time or stressing me out. You can familiarise yourself with the basics of cryptocurrency trading bots here.
Steindorff: The market’s growth has accelerated much faster than I initially anticipated. However, I believe the market is still being driven by 99% retail investors. As the space matures, becomes recognized as a unique, uncorrelated asset class and institutional investors find investment vehicles they feel confident in we’ll see an influx of new money into the space. Witnessing the birth of an entirely new asset class which can provide a hedge against economic downturn is a once in a lifetime opportunity and institutional investors won’t continue to sit on the sidelines.
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.
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All of this said, while these principles can and should be kept in mind at large for just about any investment, cryptocurrencies are dramatically different from stocks, bonds, or any other sort of traditional investment vehicle. They’re also so early stage and so volatile that it’s a near-certainty that a value investor like Benjamin Graham wouldn’t even dream of labeling such opportunities as investments, rather than speculations (at best, they would be labeled growth investments, but I’m working with the Buffett philosophy that there is no difference between ‘value’ and ‘growth’ investing, and that good value investing appropriately takes into account growth).
If you have mastered the points of improvement we focused on in the Guide for Early Beginners, one important point of improvement to focus on is testing and evolving strategies. Because you are at this skill level, you have enough knowledge, experience, and know-how in the cryptocurrency market to be able to test different trading strategies, and make edits to best fit the current market trends. Similarly, in order to guarantee better results, playing with and mastering different strategies is crucial.
The easiest way to invest is to sign up at Coinbase.com. If you sign up with a referral code, you get $10 when you purchase $100 in bitcoin or ether. I’ve linked my mom’s referral code here if anyone is interested. Straight to her retirement fund! (In the interest of having zero monetary gain from my fiduciary advice, however, just email me if you use this link and buy over $100 of bitcoin, and I’ll send you the whole $10 my mom receives on her end as a referrer — so you get $20 for investing $100. Not bad!)
Grayscale Investments, LLC (“Grayscale”) is the sponsor of Bitcoin Investment Trust, Bitcoin Cash Investment Trust, Ethereum Investment Trust, Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, Litecoin Investment Trust, XRP Investment Trust, Zcash Investment Trust and Zen Investment Trust, and the manager of Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund LLC. The trusts and the fund (collectively, the “Vehicles”) are private investment vehicles, are NOT registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or any other regulatory agency in any jurisdiction, and are NOT subject to the same regulatory requirements as SEC-registered exchange traded funds or mutual funds, including any requirement to provide certain periodic and standardized pricing and valuation information to investors. Shares of the Vehicles are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. Investments in the Vehicles are speculative investments that involve high degrees of risk.
Competing cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is by no means the only blockchain-based cryptocurrency out there. Another popular option is Ethereum, and there are plenty of others. Bitcoin leads in cryptocurrency market share today, probably because it was the first currency of its kind. But there's no guarantee that it will enjoy a market-leading position forever.
What he means by that is that for some reason, people tend to buy stocks when they’re going up in price, and sell them when they’re going down. At face value, this makes no sense. We wouldn’t buy a watermelon when it was $10, and sell it when it was $2. With groceries, it makes intrinsic sense to us to buy watermelons at $2, not $10, but seemingly not so with our investments.
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.