The same might be said of speculative investments such as those in cryptocurrency. You can and absolutely should do your part to learn as much as possible about this field, and come to your own personal conclusions on its current and future potential value. However, no matter how much research you do and how many calculations you make, there will always be a fundamental and inextricable degree of pure luck involved in determining the ultimate outcome of your speculation. Any number of future events could tip the scales for or against cryptocurrency, or more specifically, any one cryptocurrency, and a number of these will be ‘black swan’ events that are fundamentally unpredictable in their nature and timing, but in aggregate whole, almost certain to occur.
“It’s a little cliched, but it’s important to understand that when trading, your first goal should be to not lose money. If you’re not losing money, you’re making money, and you can start to strive for better returns. The market isn’t perfect, and being able to recognize when to cut losses and when to take profits will ensure that you have better long term results with fewer risks.”
Coinbase, for example, has been such a popular bitcoin investment app that its CEO posted to the company’s blog last week a warning that the sudden influx “does create extreme volatility and stress on our systems,” which can create a lag for users. The Chicago Board Options Exchange, on which the first bitcoin futures trading took place this week, warned that a flood of traffic ahead of the launch was slowing its site.
More recently, the approval or rejection of a bitcoin ETF was widely touted as being the contributing factor to a bitcoin bull run from under $1000 to over $1200. It was speculated that if the ETF were to be rejected, that naturally the price would fall to where it was before the bull run began. Indeed, the moment the ETF was announced as rejected, the price did momentarily fall to almost $1000. However, it just as quickly recovered, and began an inexorable climb all the way up to over $2700, where it stands to this day.
Also in March, it suddenly emerged that the abovementioned startup Crypto Facilities has been offering futures contracts tied to Ripple’s XRP token since October 2016, without much publicity, for some reason. On May 11, Crypto Facilities exploded another bombshell in the crypto space, revealing ETH/USD futures as their latest offering. And to crown it all, in June the same company unveiled the first regulated Litecoin futures.
I don’t chase the market. I have, and I have been burned. FOMO is not part of my strategy and I covered this in my blog. When a coin is making a parabolic move, and you chase it you can easily be caught as it drops back. If something goes up 20x in a short space of time, it has to do another 20x from the original position for you to achieve a 2x. There are always other trades out there.
Furthermore, I would be forced to use an intermediary financial institution such as a bank to hold my money for me, and thereby expose myself to yet another layer of required trust and accompanying risk. I would also be aware that these institutions would almost certainly practice fractional reserve banking to the maximum extent they could get away with it, such that they would be extremely fragile to small perturbations and vulnerable to things like bank runs and runaway systemic banking collapses.
In the case of less risky users which prefer long-term investment, it is important to build a diversified cryptocurrency portfolio. Fiat investors usually use benchmark indices such as S&P500 and Nasdaq Composite as they allow the opportunity to trade whole sectors easily and manage complicated portfolios in a straightforward investment, thus reducing the risks and volatility of the portfolio.
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Once adopted out of necessity, the gold standard became part and parcel of US currency, just as it was with most other currencies from around the world. The gold standard removed some of the need to have pure faith in US dollars in of themselves, as it guaranteed that all paper money the US issued would be exchangeable at a fixed rate for gold upon demand.
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.
If you can figure it out, use MACD (the divergence and convergence of moving averages) to help you understand if we are in a bull or bear market, and to help you understand why the price just dipped or shot up. Other indicators are very useful, but MACD is particularly useful for the tactic being discussed because it gives you a quick visual of the current trend.
Since there is a prevailing thought that the most valuable aspect of bitcoin is the blockchain technology behind it, investing in blockchain is another way of tangentially investing in bitcoin without the worrisome volatility. There are many large companies that have been developing their own blockchain networks for a variety of purposes that may be worth looking into.
"Virtual currencies might just give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money," International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde predicted last fall. "Citizens may one day prefer virtual currencies, since they potentially offer the same cost and convenience as cash — no settlement risks, no clearing delays, no central registration, no intermediary to check accounts and identities," she said.
The aspect we particularly like about decentralised exchanges is that they solve the single point of failure problem and the need for third party trust. As cryptocurrencies grow in value, centralised exchanges become a bigger and bigger target for hackers. Any investor with cryptocurrency on a centralised exchange is forced to trust that it will behave properly and have the necessary security measures in place. With decentralised exchanges, these issues are removed and this is why we think they will eventually replace older centralised exchanges.
Here’s a story about a completely random Norwegian student who bought 5000 bitcoins for $27 back in 2009. Today, with a single bitcoin pushing past $2700, those 5000 bitcoins are worth over $13.5 million. That’s a gain of over 500,000X. No other investment in recorded history that I’ve been able to discover has ever come close to touching these sorts of gains.
It will micro crash many times, and almost certainly there will be a significant crash but timing this will be difficult. The market could crash tomorrow, in a week, in a month or two years. When it does, it could be 30%, 50% or even 80%. The crash could happen very quickly or drag on slowly over a more extended period. While I don’t expect a 2-year bear market like durung 2013/14, one is entirely possible. I think the market dynamics are very different from the last bear market, where the ecosystem was in its infancy.
Look at what the price has done over 1 hour, 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc. and set limit orders just under highs and lows. For assets that are somewhat stagnant, this can net you solid buying and selling opportunities in the short term. This strategy essentially mimics fibonacci retracement levels, but requires none of the technical knowledge.
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
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.
If the underlying blockchain won’t be the one to be used, the application is definitely doomed. If, for example, Ethereum fails to scale, its applications will fail to deliver. I do believe that the utility tokens that will enter the mainstream will do so by creating a service that’s much better than anything we have right now. These will be the so-called “killer applications,” whose returns will be beyond imagination. High risk, high reward.
Litecoin (10%) – Litecoin is often marketed as being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold status. Being a hard fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin shares many similarities to the original coin; Litecoin can also be used as a value exchange coin. However, Litecoin’s block generation time of 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, and different hashing algorithm (Scrypt), are features designed to produce a more innovative blockchain and cryptocurrency.
This is the most popular method of investing in Bitcoins. The best time to buy is when the currency value is low or it is expected to increase. Then we resell the coins when we believe that the time has come. Our investment does not have to be short-term, we can resell our Bitcoins after a few or several years. The advantage of this type of investment is that we are the owners of the purchased Bitcoins and we can use them as a payment method. The disadvantage is that in the case of a loss of the value of coins, we have to simply wait for their value to increase again.
Ofir Beigel, CEO of 99bitcoins.com, suggests taking a slow burn approach to the cryptocurrency market if you’re looking for the best return possible. “Keep in mind there can be a lot of ‘noise’ in the background, like short-term bad news that lead to a crash,” Beigel says. “The key is to find investments you believe will yield after X time according to your targets, and to try detaching yourself from the short-term noise.”
However, as I’ve mentioned before, this is far more difficult, if not impossible, to do with cryptocurrency, more than even normal investment vehicles like stocks. I’ve seen people who think that bitcoin has hit a peak and must necessarily stop going up sell, intending to wait until bitcoin falls again to buy in again and make maybe a 20% extra profit, miss out entirely because bitcoin kept going up and never came back down. There are numerous stories of those who bought into bitcoin at $1 or less, but sold well before it ever reached even $10, much less $2500.
Cboe capitalized on their partnership with Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange ran by the Winklevoss brothers, and used their experience with tracking crypto assets’ prices to create a tool called Cboe Gemini Bitcoin Futures Index. CME Group created its own price tracking instruments, CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate and CME CF Bitcoin Real Time Index, in cooperation with a UK-based firm Crypto Facilities, which has a vast experience with cryptocurrency derivatives.