Dan Morehead and Joey Krug of the blockchain investment fund Pantera Capital sit down with Michael Green of Thiel Macro. The group explores the current state of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and the current investment environment. In addition, Morehead and Krug look ahead to the future of distributed ledger technology to explore how smart contracts will create value for users and investors by reducing transaction costs and eliminating middlemen. Filmed on May 22, 2018 in San Francisco.
Be skeptical of the hype. According to Welch, “in every way, the cryptocurrency market is a flow of supply and demand.” It’s one of the reasons it fluctuates so wildly. “When you see a lot of hype and excitement around a volatile investment that depends on supply and demand, take pause and look at what’s really going on.” He advises to take caution when you start to hear phrases like “get it before it’s gone” and “you won’t want to miss out on this.” A lot of hype can often be the precursor to a crash.
It is when the next financial crisis happens and people are locked out of their bank accounts that they will see the power of crypto and bitcoin (think Greece and Cyprus). Outside of precious metals there is no other escape from the corrupt debt based fractional reserve monetary system the world is trapped in -- Also, there are like 3 billion people in the world that are unbanked -- that alone should get someone to take 1 percent of their net worth into crypto -- the risk reward is insane. As far as the criminal activity in bitcoin LOL!!! OMG banks have committed more fraud and crimes and nothing happens to them. Under federal and state laws known as civil forfeiture, police can seize cash or property if they suspect it's tied to an illegal activity even if the property owner isn't charged with a crime -- Supreme Court has upheld this. I am sorry I do not trust governments (who in their right mind would) and am glad there is a place I can hold some of my wealth outside of their reach.
• You don’t necessarily need to understand MACD, RSI and Bollinger Band, the algorithms that help you decide if your currency has peaked or bottomed – though every bit of extra information can help move away from gut instinct to informed decision-making. But if you want to become a pro, maybe learn a bit of technical analysis (i.e. interpreting chart patterns). It works most of the time, though we’d say you should throw in a bit of fundamental analysis (i.e. contextual assessment) for good measure
Bitcoin (50%) – When speaking about cryptocurrencies, it means speaking of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the base asset for the other alternative coins, and is the primary decentralized crypto currency. Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2009. Bitcoin is designed to function just like physical currency, which transfers value, and as time goes on more places accept Bitcoin as a legitimate way of payment.
Connecting your bank account through an ACH transfer is a versatile option, allowing you to use a checking or savings account to buy Bitcoin or cash out when you want to sell. You’ll also be able to purchase a substantially larger amount of Bitcoin because of their higher buying limits. Just keep in mind that it can take up to 5 days for the transfer to be complete, and the value of Bitcoin can drastically change in that timeframe.
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.
There is no doubt bitcoin still has issues, which is why we continue to see such wild volatility. Bitcoin wants to move higher, but it keeps getting pulled back down by the fraudsters that want to cheat the system. Things are changing quickly, and for the better, it won’t be long before those scammers get stomped out, and when it happens, bitcoin will be left with little to hold it down.
The intangibility of bitcoin, however, does seem to hang some people up. It’s sometimes difficult to immediately conceive of how bitcoins could possibly hold value, as these people contend, they are intrinsically worthless. They are nothing but a concept, backed up by some computer code. Gold is a physical, tangible object that you can hold in your hand. It has real uses in industry and as jewelry that lend it value. Even paper money can be used for kindling or toilet paper if the need necessitates.
This is why no fiat currency has ever stood the test of time over a long enough timescale, whereas gold has to date always stood the test of time and retained its value well. Collective trust for gold has never collapsed because of its inherent scarcity and immunity to the vicissitudes fiat currencies must endure at the hands of capricious centralized governing powers, whereas collective trust in every historical fiat currency has inevitably failed to date, and collective trust in many present-day fiat currencies continues to fail as we speak.
Last month, Chainalysis published a study revealing that BTC investors and speculators held their positions over the summer, while markets seem to have become more stable overall. The monetary aggregates reportedly were “extremely steady” during the summer, showing that the amount of BTC held for speculation was stable from May to August at around 22 percent of available BTC. The amount of BTC held for investment also showed stability during the same period at around 30 percent.
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A cryptocurrency that aspires to become part of the mainstream financial system may have to satisfy widely divergent criteria. It would need to be mathematically complex (to avoid fraud and hacker attacks) but easy for consumers to understand; decentralized but with adequate consumer safeguards and protection; and preserve user anonymity without being a conduit for tax evasion, money laundering and other nefarious activities. Since these are formidable criteria to satisfy, is it possible that the most popular cryptocurrency in a few years’ time could have attributes that fall in between heavily-regulated fiat currencies and today’s cryptocurrencies? While that possibility looks remote, there is little doubt that as the leading cryptocurrency at present, Bitcoin’s success (or lack thereof) in dealing with the challenges it faces may determine the fortunes of other cryptocurrencies in the years ahead.
As the Chicago Board Options Exchange launched cash-settled Bitcoin futures trading on December 11, and their rivals Chicago Mercantile Exchange followed suit six day later, prices of both BTC derivatives and the coin itself surged amid an unprecedented wave of publicity. Each Cboe contract was for one Bitcoin, while each CME futures represented five. Both enabled traders to take either long (agreement to buy) or short (agreement to sell) positions, meaning that investors could bet on both increase and decline of Bitcoin price.
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.
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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).
Yes, today, it is far from this goal, but even now, we make progress in pushing forward the utility of bitcoin in every day pragmatic life. Already, it has proved indispensable to myself and hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I pay many of my employees today in bitcoin, even, because several of them live in Eastern Europe where they’re subject to draconian capital controls.
"We see continued growth both in terms of the average daily volume and open interest," said Tim McCourt, group global head of equity products and alternative investments at the CME Group, a Chicago-based derivatives exchange. "The volume has steadily increased compared to when it was first launched in December. This is not a one-sided product because we have both supply and demand."
There are a number of issues with this, however, and a lot of things would have to go right before this occurred. There are several cryptocurrencies, for instance, with ethereum being the most notable, that are already far larger than litecoin, and it would have to be demonstrated that there’s some reason something like ethereum couldn’t simply take the place of bitcoin, and that litecoin would have a better shot at doing so than the larger players that already exist in this space.
very interesting arguments on the Visa/Mastercard situation; these two companies profit so strongly from the oligopolistic market structure which gives them annuity returns, high FCF yields thus have become stock market darlings. would be great to get more info whether these companies can be disrupted in what time frame (soon or long patience required). I would not mind very soon disruption...; out of curiosity, in Switzerland, someone wants to bring the land/title register on to the blockchain, a move which I would view very positively. are there any similar moves elsewhere?
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.
It’s easy to be swept away in the fervor of a frenetic market, and the fear of missing out can be overwhelming especially when you see altcoins rising by wild amounts overnight, but my personal guiding philosophy is to always try to keep in mind fundamentals to the maximum extent possible, to never invest in anything I don’t actually understand or see long term value in, and to only invest in things I intend to hold very long term (for at least 5 years), especially in such a volatile market.
It does this by signing all transactions on the device itself using your private key, and only transmitting the signature to your computer, and never your private key. As a general rule, this is very good, because a good rule of thumb is to never expose your private keys to the internet, under the assumption that the internet is inherently insecure, and if you ever have your private keys interact in any direct way with a computer that has been connected to the internet, you should consider the addresses those private keys correspond to to be compromised and vulnerable to being hacked.
There are two fundamental classes of venture methodologies. One is dynamic venture and another is aloof speculation. The previous one includes dynamic administration of speculation portfolios and financial specialists need to alter their positions regularly. The last one stays away from visit tradings and it goes for consistent development in riches after some time.
Investors tend to focus more on fundamental analysis with technical analysis used to support entry positions and portfolio balancing. Investing long-term enables you to benefit from the compound growth of both your portfolio and individual investments, enhancing this by diversifying profits from good investments into new opportunities. Where investing in stocks allows you to benefit from incremental income from dividends, with certain Crypto investments you can do similar by staking and receiving newly minted coins from block rewards.
Speaking to that last point now (the ’second’ mistake I mentioned at the beginning of this part) I’m of the personal opinion that it is incredibly important to not only invest solely in things that I truly believe have the real potential to succeed in a big way long term, but to actually commit and hold to that investment, once I make it, no matter what happens with the price short term. If some fundamental fact underlying my investment changes, I can certainly re-evaluate it, but if the price drops 90% or even 95% in the short term for no particular reason except a collapse of a local maximum in price speculation (e.g., a bubble popping), I must never be tempted to sell and try to ‘time’ the market in any way. Instead, I have to hold that investment with firm conviction in what I believe the eventual price based on fundamentals is worth, regardless of how the market values it in the present moment.
There's a long list of factors people may point to in an attempt to explain this. Regulators have taken a hands-off approach to bitcoin in certain markets. Dozens of new hedge funds have launched this year to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The Nasdaq and Chicago Mercantile Exchange plan to let investors trade bitcoin futures, which may attract more professional investors.
There are many groups on Facebook where you can find likeminded folks who will happily talk crypto all day but the problem is that 99% of these groups are filled with people who have only a very basic understanding of cryptocurrency and the knowledge available here is not particularly strong. I have recently left almost every single group on Facebook as, in my opinion, they are largely filled with FUD.
Exchanges have inbuilt online wallets to keep the cryptocurrency you purchased. However, for those who heard of the Mt. Gox hack, you might feel uneasy to put on an exchange. If you do not wish to keep your crypto holdings on the exchange, you have the option to either use a paper wallet service like myetherwallet.com or spend 99 USD on a hardware wallet like KeepKey. Both serve the purpose of removing platform risk, at the cost of taking up the responsibility of keeping your cryptocurrency safe.
Then, when they successfully find a solution to the next hash problem and mine a block of bitcoins, something magical happens. They get to add the block they just mined to the end of the existing blockchain — and with it, they include every transaction that was initiated on the bitcoin network since the last block was mined. They then propagate this block they just created to the rest of the network of bitcoin miners, who all then update their own blockchains with this new block, and begin working on solving the next hash problem.
Nvidia (NVDA) , a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio, and AMD (AMD) are companies that make several types of technology; AMD makes processors for desktop and laptop computers, while Nvidia's products range from automotive use to cloud servers. Where the two most successfully intersect, though, are their graphics processing units. Even in the age of ASIC miners, a strong GPU has proven to be a competitive (and much more affordable) way to mine bitcoins.
Pro Tip:If you want to invest, but aren’t keen on using your own funds, consider utilizing accrued interest on a savings account to invest. Compare savings accounts and their interest rates. If you put a lot of money into savings every year, you could fund a sizable investment with just the money the bank pays you in interest. It eliminates your personal risk and maximizes your chances of a return.
MintChip – Unlike most cryptocurrencies, MintChip is actually the creation of a government institution, specifically the Royal Canadian Mint. MintChip is a smartcard that holds electronic value and can transfer it securely from one chip to another. Like Bitcoin, MintChip does not need personal identification; unlike Bitcoin, it is backed by a physical currency, the Canadian dollar.
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When buying altcoins, I always keep an eye on Bitcoin’s value, and over time I’ve made some important observations with regard to this. There are almost never three green days in row, and when the market is in the red, Bitcoin tends to decline less then altcoins. Once this happens, your order will be filled and you’ll get your 3% discount, since the altcoin tends to drop harder than Bitcoin.
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.
Beyond that, for most people, the best (i.e. simplest) way to invest in bitcoin starts with setting up a cryptocurrency wallet. Some of the better-known sites where you can do this are Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bitfinex, although there are a number of other platforms out there, as well. Once you establish an account, connect it to your payment source — a bank account or a credit or debit card — via two-factor authentication. Of note: It’s important to use a tool like Google Authenticator rather than just relying on text-based authentication, which can be more vulnerable to cybertheft, when investing in bitcoin.
Cboe’s futures are cash-settled and based on the Gemini auction price for bitcoin in U.S. dollars. The exchange plans to impose trading limits to curb volatility, halting trading for two minutes if prices rise or fall 10 percent, and a five-minute halt kicks in at 20 percent. Margins for Cboe bitcoin futures, which will be cleared by Options Clearing Corp., will be at 40 percent or higher.
In the simplest terms, a futures contract (or a future) is an agreement to buy or sell a certain product on a fixed date. Futures are used as both an instrument for mitigating risks associated with price volatility of vital commodities, and as a tradable derivative product. A comprehensive Cointelegraph primer timed to the launch of the first regulated BTC futures last December is still there for anyone in need to recapitulate the essentials.