A question to everybody out there who knows more about cryptos and blockchain than I do (so basically everybody...): is there actually a real life application for cryptos for Joe Sixpack who does not live in a 3rd world country? I owned bitcoin at some point and it was a pain in the a.. to make any use of them. So, is there something nowerdays which would make my life easier if I used cryptos? Answers very much appreciated.
If somehow, you’ve only heard of one cryptocurrency, it’s probably Bitcoin. It is the biggest cryptocurrency — it currently has a 40%i share in the total cryptocurrency market cap! It is the oldest cryptocurrency and it still dominates in the market. So, if Bitcoin continues to increase like it did in 2017, then investing in Bitcoin might be a good idea for 2018.
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.
With things like brain wallets possible, this means that even in the worst case scenario, you can literally store your bitcoins in your brain and nowhere else, and thereby easily prevent their confiscation. Just yet another fundamental innovation in the evolution of currency that bitcoin has made possible — its fully intangible nature is actually an asset.
Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.
What I ended up learning was something the smartest people in the investment world had learned a long time ago. Benjamin Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffett, who became the richest man in the world by practicing the principle of value investing, has a pretty wonderful analogy that I think is worth repeating here. You should buy your stocks (or any investment, generally) like you buy your groceries — not like you buy your perfume.
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.
At the same time, I also see a million and one ways where bitcoin fails to reach the promised land. Bitcoin has already experienced numerous growing pains, and at the present moment, is suffering most acutely from a huge backlog of transactions that can’t be fit on the blockchain. This is because blocks are presently limited to 1 MB in size, and can consequently fit only a small fraction of all the transactions that are trying to be propagated over the network. This forces those who want to have their transactions go through to pay inordinately high transaction fees in order to prioritize their transaction over other transactions.
To buy a crypto or multiple cryptos for the best average price, dollar cost averaging is the best way to go. In a previous article, I fully describe this method. Dollar cost averaging is used to gain the average best price for an investment, and it removes all emotions from the equation. You ignore market sentiment, price fluctuations, and your own beliefs by setting up a buying schedule. This schedule comprises two elements: the frequency of buy-ins and the amount you’re investing during each buying round.
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."
NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has irrevocably abandoned (i) all of the rights to Bitcoin Diamond tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on November 24, 2017 and (ii) all of the rights to Bytether tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on August 1, 2017.

Like any speculative investment, buying bitcoin at sky-high valuations is risky business. If you’re asking, “Is it smart to invest in bitcoin?” you might do well to heed this advice from billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who told MONEY, “It’s still very much a gamble.” You need to know that your bitcoin investment might lose money. If you’re not prepared to face that prospect, bitcoin investment might not be for you.
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.
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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.
On a bitcoin exchange, the investor trades at the coin's full price. For example, if bitcoin is trading at $8,000, an investor spends $8,000 on every coin priced at that amount. Most futures contracts involve leverage, allowing the trader to put up only a small fraction of the asset's price, but for bitcoin this "margin" is unusually high, at more than 40 percent. So the investor could control one $8,000 bitcoin for just over $3,200, plus a small fee for the transaction. If the price jumped 12.5 percent to $9,000, the gain would be 32 percent of the sum invested.
If everyone expects to get rich from a coin, the price will drive up. This is called a “pump”. Once the coin reaches a certain value – anywhere from 3 to 20 times over its original cost – then people will sell off in troves. This is called a “dump”. These pumps and dumps are heavily frowned upon in the world of Wall Street – in fact they are quite illegal – yet they are so prevalent in the unregulated world of cryptocurrency.
“Blockchain is a system of automated trust,” answered Trevor Welch, Chief Investment Officer at International Blockchain Investments (IBI). “We currently live in a world where some economies lack trust and transparency, others, like the US, apply it manually and with high cost and financial burden as well as a significant degree of human error. As a result any global economy can benefit from processing transactions that are verified and validated on a distributed public ledger.”
The problem with this is that just about everyone else investing in these things is thinking the same thing, and everyone involved is effectively playing the greater fool theory, expecting that they will be smarter than everyone else and be able to time the market better than everyone else, and get out before everyone else does, and before the price eventually collapses. By mere inviolable fact, most people who engage in this form of speculation are guaranteed to lose in a big way. Over enough iterations, the eventual likelihood of loss generally grows to become one, in my opinion, as one must continue to time a market correctly time and time again for this to work. While it may seem like the market will continue being bullish for you to get in and get out before things go south, this is true of every moment in time right up until things go south all at once. Inevitably, at some point, the gravy train will have to derail and explode in a rolling ball of fire.
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.
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 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.

This illustrates even more vividly why it’s incredibly dangerous to invest in anything you don’t actually believe in, and aren’t willing to hold, long term. If you aren’t going to hold something long term, then generally you must believe that while the price will rise in the short term, it will not continue to rise in the long term. If you hold this belief, it generally means that there’s some reason that you believe what you are investing in won’t hold true value long term, but that there is enough speculative mania in the short term to make the price go up anyway. The thinking goes that if this is going to be true, you might as well profit from this speculative mania and buy in now, wait for a little bit for the price to rise, and then sell it for short term profit.

If people have trusted gold to date as a store of value because of its inherent scarcity and resistance to centralized control and price/supply manipulation, bitcoin does all that and more, and does it all better. Gold’s scarcity, as illustrated above, is anything but constant, and we’ve more than doubled our world’s supply of gold in just the last 50 years. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a precisely and publicly known proliferation schedule, and will approach the limit of its supply in just a few more decades.
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.
People are getting excited about Hempcoin (THC) because it’s slowly but surely starting to re-surface again and receive some of the media’s attention that it deserves. Even though a couple of competitors recently showed up (PotCoin and CannabisCoin) – Hempcoin is actually the oldest technologies and coins – not just in the industry – but in the crypto world altogether. Hempcoin was founded back in 2014 and its sole purpose is to act as a digital currency for the Agriculture/Farming industry and naturally – the Hemp/Marijuana field.
This is when I first saw the light, and realized that investing in altcoins that I didn’t really believe in, and that didn’t really have any truly compelling reasons they would ever overtake bitcoin or deserve any level of market share, was an incredibly foolish move. It was certainly true that these altcoins did often gain on bitcoin and appreciated far more rapidly in many cases while the bubble held strong, but the moment it began to collapse, the altcoins were the first to go, and often fell all the way to zero.
As Satoshi notes, bitcoin’s irreversible, trustless nature removes the need for any middlemen to mediate and broker the process of payments from one person to another. Middlemen (e.g. banks and credit card networks) inherently introduce overhead costs and inefficiency into the system, which make transactions — and micropayments in particular — more costly than would otherwise be the case.

The most common place where people buy and trade cryptocurrency is on the exchanges. Exchanges are places where you may buy and sell your crypto, using fiat. There are multiple measures to judge the reliability and quality of an exchange, such as liquidity, spread, fees, purchase and withdrawal limits, trading volume, security, insurance, user-friendliness. Out of all these, I find Coinbase as the best exchange hands down. It has a beginner-friendly user interface, and an unbeatable 100% crypto insurance.
There are already a number of proposed solutions to this issue, such as the implementation of the Lightning Network, but in order to implement these solutions, the majority of bitcoin miners must agree to update their bitcoin software. Many bitcoin miners are reluctant to do so, in large part because high transaction fees are good for miners, at least on a short term basis, as it means they earn far more per each block mined. The implementation of the Lightning Network and other solutions threatens to take away this extra revenue stream. Hence, users of bitcoin and miners of bitcoin find themselves at odds with a very understandable conflict of interest. It’s unclear as of yet how this will be resolved, though it seems the community is pushing forward towards a resolution, and I’m of the personal belief that they’ll get there eventually.
In the case of a watermelon, what we intuitively grasp is that there is some fundamental, intrinsic value to the watermelon, and a ‘fair’ price for it. We have a general understanding of what this price should be, and are more than happy to buy watermelons when they are on discount relative to their fair price, and are reticent to do so when they are being sold at a premium to their fair price.
The strategy isn’t guaranteed to be successful, but it is a smart and simple investing strategy that doesn’t take much skill or technical know-how to implement. Meanwhile, as eluded to above, if you want to add technical aspects, you can look at things like moving averages, support levels, RSI, and volume to get a sense of how low a price might go and get a sense of when recovery is likely. With the technicals added in, “buying the dips” can become a pretty solid strategy with a high success rate, without them, it is still generally better than FOMO buying the top or panic selling in a stagnant or bull market when the price pulls back (as it WILL pull back, crypto is volatile).
That conversation would become the starting point of my ever-growing obsession with digital-assets. Shortly after I made my first investment, I became an active participant in a small and extremely passionate community of bitcoin enthusiasts. It became increasingly obvious to me how distributed ledger technology would become the primary catalyst for the disintermediation of trusted third parties while simultaneously birthing an entirely new asset class.
How assets are valued is a changing model, and the quoted market cap of a coin is an excellent tool for benchmarking but can be misleading. Chris Burniske wrote about this on Medium. As currency use increases and utility tokens bring products to market, the economic models will be tested and as such valuation models will change. This could go either way; assets could be either under or overvalued. I believe that currencies are undervalued, and utility tokens are overvalued, hence my preference for investing in coins over tokens.

It’s human nature to panic when something unexpected enters the fray, and cryptocurrency trading is no different. Experts agree that this human reflex is one major weakness in crypto trading beginners. This usually happens when the market takes an unexpected turn and the strategy that is being employed suddenly does not seem optimal for market conditions. In this state of panic, beginner investors frequently abandon their strategy if they did not expect or plan for these changes, leaving a considerable amount of value left unclaimed.
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.
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.
NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has irrevocably abandoned (i) all of the rights to Bitcoin Diamond tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on November 24, 2017 and (ii) all of the rights to Bytether tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on August 1, 2017.
NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has irrevocably abandoned (i) all of the rights to Bitcoin Diamond tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on November 24, 2017 and (ii) all of the rights to Bytether tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on August 1, 2017.
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.
When a market is as volatile and unpredictable as this one, diversification is what ensures gains while limiting risk. Additionally, unlike most other markets, the cryptocurrency market tends to act as one cohesive unit, meaning that diversification does not threaten profits as it would in other markets. Rather, it ensures that one singular cryptocurrency’s drop in value will not have a large effect on your portfolio.

Second: Investment in cryptocurrency isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s extremely risky, extremely speculative, and extremely early stage still at this point in time. Countless speculators and day traders have lost their entire fortunes trading cryptocurrency. I was no different when I first started investing in crypto. The first $5000 I put into crypto fell almost immediately to less than $500 — a net loss of over 90%.
Litecoin – Litecoin is regarded as Bitcoin's leading rival at present, and it is designed for processing smaller transactions faster. It was founded in October 2011 as "a coin that is silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” according to founder Charles Lee. Unlike the heavy computer horsepower required for Bitcoin mining, Litecoins can be mined by a normal desktop computer. Litecoin’s maximum limit is 84 million – four times Bitcoin’s 21-million limit – and it has a transaction processing time of about 2.5 minutes, about one-fourth that of Bitcoin.
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.
Other coins might embrace niche aspects such as entertainment, bill paying, security, and other aspects of decentralization. For example, consider DentaCoin that is the dental world’s first cryptocurrency enhancement. This coin does not vow to be the next Bitcoin; it simply wants to be widely used in the world of dentistry. The coin Ripple wants to be used by banks opposed to competing against them. The coin SunContract eliminates the middleman between providing and purchasing solar energy, which increases what homeowners earn from their solar panels. These kind of niche applications allow various industries to take advantage of the powers of cryptocurrency in very specific areas.
Bitcoin is often touted as an electronic currency that will change the world, but it is also a highly volatile type of financial asset. In fact, many governments don't recognize it as a currency at all. In spite of the many merchants now excepting bitcoin, a lot of the activity surrounding bitcoin comes from traders hoping to make money on fluctuations in its value.
It didn’t take a genius to see a clear arbitrage opportunity here, and I wrote up a quick blog post detailing this opportunity and fired out a single Facebook post telling my friends about it. From that post and just a few hours of work, I ended up earning almost 17 bitcoins entirely for free — worth over $45,000 today. I had plans to scale this strategy en masse, but singlehandedly ended up killing the program almost as soon as it started, when Coinbase finally came to its senses and realized just how much money it was hemorrhaging here with no hope for eventual recoupment (at the time, the lifetime value of the average customer was only something like $25 to Coinbase — a far cry from the $75 they were offering).
Steindorff: The most significant and noticeable disruption will stem from the disintermediation of trusted third parties. Decentralized smart contracts will have far reaching implications beyond the financial segment and will eliminate the need for third parties in most industries including insurance, energy, real estate, medical, travel, and governance. In theory, entire cities, states or countries could run autonomously via programmable, trustless smart contracts, but in reality that future is a ways off until we solve some of the scaling and security challenges.

Shockingly, this is actually how banks work in reality. In the United States, the reserve requirement, or the percentage of net deposits banks are actually required to keep in liquid financial instruments on hand, is generally 10% for most banks. This means that if a bank has net deposits of a billion dollars, it needs to only keep 100 million on hand at any given time.

OmiseGO (OMG) is a public financial technology that’s based on Ethereum. The concept of OMG is to enable peer-to-peer value exchange and payment service in real time across not only decentralized currencies but fiat money as well. OmiseGO allows anyone on its network to process financial transactions (payrolls, B2B, remittances, payments, etc.) in a much more inexpensive and decentralized manner.
Bitcoin’s main benefits of decentralization and transaction anonymity have also made it a favored currency for a host of illegal activities including money laundering, drug peddling, smuggling and weapons procurement. This has attracted the attention of powerful regulatory and other government agencies such as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the SEC, and even the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In March 2013, FinCEN issued rules that defined virtual currency exchanges and administrators as money service businesses, bringing them within the ambit of government regulation. In May that year, the DHS froze an account of Mt. Gox – the largest Bitcoin exchange – that was held at Wells Fargo, alleging that it broke anti-money laundering laws. And in August, New York’s Department of Financial Services issued subpoenas to 22 emerging payment companies, many of which handled Bitcoin, asking about their measures to prevent money laundering and ensure consumer protection.  
After entering a position, we just hold them until the market goes on a bull run. Our strategy is to wait for the overall cryptocurrency market cap to hit it’s all-time high again and sell a portion of our portfolio for USD every week. This means we take profits and can reinvest them back into the market, when it eventually turns bear-ish and repeat. This process also rebalances our portfolio after every market cycle, so we don’t become too overweight in any single position.
Bitcoin is further ingeniously devised to guarantee that on average, new bitcoins are only found every 10 minutes or so. It guarantees this by ensuring that the code that dictates the new creation of bitcoin automatically increases the difficulty of the proof-of-work system in proportion to the number of computers trying to solve the problem at hand.
Some investors want a more immediate return, by buying bitcoin and selling it at the end of a price rally. There are several ways to do this, including relying on the cryptocurrency's volatility for a high rate of return, should the market move in your favor. Several bitcoin trading sites also now exist that provide leveraged trading, in which the trading site effectively lends you money to hopefully increase your return. Magnr is one such example.
At the time, however, these concerns seemed to have faded from the mainstream media’s radars. It wasn’t until May that they resurfaced full-blown following the publication of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank’s letter suggesting that the advent of Bitcoin futures and the coin’s price decline did not ‘appear to be a coincidence.’ The Fed analysists explained that the rise of crypto futures for the first time gave the ‘pessimists’ a tool to counteract the ‘optimists’ who had previously fueled the growth unimpeded. Another attestation in a similar vein has been Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee’s attribution of falling Bitcoin prices to Cboe futures’ expiration that made rounds in mid-June.
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