Opportunities on this scale only seem to come about when the world is going through mass technological change. Yes, i’m likening bitcoin to the dot-com era and the thousands who made bank because they chose to become early adopters of the technology. They saw opportunity and took a risk which paid off immensely once the rest of the world got over their prejudice and realised the value.
Some of the limitations that cryptocurrencies presently face – such as the fact that one’s digital fortune can be erased by a computer crash, or that a virtual vault may be ransacked by a hacker – may be overcome in time through technological advances. What will be harder to surmount is the basic paradox that bedevils cryptocurrencies – the more popular they become, the more regulation and government scrutiny they are likely to attract, which erodes the fundamental premise for their existence.
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"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."
Yet this is not to say that the US companies halted their efforts to facilitate crypto-based derivatives trading. During the first week of May, the New York Times reported that both Goldman Sachs and the New York Stock Exchange were briskly moving ahead with their plans to launch crypto trading platforms and products. A few weeks later, a Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna International Group listed Bitcoin futures among their financial products.

The most common mistake people seem to make is investing solely based on the price alone and its short term historical trajectory, and nothing else. The second mistake is investing in assets that they don’t actually understand or believe in long term, are not planning to hold for at least 5 years, and will be tempted to sell if the price begins to fall in the short term. The third mistake is believing that they’ve already missed the boat on the most established and successful cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ethereum, and that consequently they should invest in much less established, much more speculative ‘altcoins’ to achieve truly outsized gains, for no truly good reason besides the fact that the price/market cap for the altcoin is a lot lower than bitcoin’s, and seems like it has more room to grow. The fourth mistake is day trading, and trying to capitalize on short term market movements. I’ll address each of these in turn, and why I believe them to be mistakes.
No. 2: Cryptocurrencies provide a unique and attractive combination of returns and volatility: Crypto assets are appealing because they enjoy relatively low correlation to other asset classes, like bonds (negative correlation) and gold (zero correlation). In other words, crypto assets can be an ideal way for investors to diversify a portfolio consisting of stocks and bonds. Research shows that a 2 percent exposure to crypto assets in a portfolio could, on average, boost returns by up to 200 bps. Five percent exposure could boost performance by over 500bps, nearly double that of a typical stock/bond blended portfolio. At the same time, active managers seeking retuns better than the market will possibly seek the high volatility of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Over the last half a year, Cboe and CME were not the only entities to have a dig at crypto futures, and Bitcoin was not the only asset underlying these contracts. Since March, UK-based financial institutions were responsible for a steady supply of breaking news in this domain. In March, a British cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinfloor made headlines by announcing the launch of the first physically settled Bitcoin-based futures product.
Basecoin is a stable coin (not volatile cryptocurrency) whose money supply algorithmically contracts and expands based on market demand and a decentralized Consumer Price Index.  What this means in english is that this token is effectively managed by a robot central bank free from the political interference that real central banks face.  We still have not come across a stable coin that can act as an everyday usable cryptocurrency, but doesn’t wind up in fiascos involving the legality of the token (see Tether articles).  If the project works as intentioned, it could change modern currency markets.  One could reasonably pay wages in basecoin, or use basecoin to more effectively trade digital assets, but the best use case of the basecoin would be for the digital currency to alleviate the inflation madness occurring in countries like Venezuela or Zimbabwe.  
What makes Sia so great is that anyone can participate and get paid for leasing their spare storage space. This is something many of us have with the price of hard drives being so low. When a host and an uploader connect a contract is formed. This contract is called a ‘smart contract’. It allows the renter to receive payments in exchange for their storage space being used.
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.
The recent weeks, however, saw a shift in this previously serene mental landscape, as new considerations about crypto futures began to pour into media space with increased frequency. From allegations of massively suppressing crypto prices to a widening range of platforms offering crypto derivatives to a real prospect of Ethereum futures coming about soon, these developments point to the need of revisiting the realm of cryptocurrency-based futures. Now that these derivatives have been around for more than half a year, a more nuanced picture of this asset class’ role in crypto finance is emerging.
Just like any other currency, you have to have a place to store your Bitcoin, or more accurately, store the private keys you can use to access your Bitcoin. These aren’t the type of wallets you buy at Target, though. The software comes in many different forms, most of which can be downloaded on your smartphone, tablet, or computer desktop. Here are the different types of wallets:
Sia is the very first decentralized storage platform that’s based on and secured by the blockchain technology. Through the blockchain tech, Sia can provide much reliable data storage options that do not have a single point of failure, can offer more storage space – at much lower costs than traditional cloud storage providers. Besides the obvious, investors are readily jumping on the Sia-train for one more reason: Privacy. Unlike cloud-storage provides, Sia’s tech gives you all the keys to your own (encrypted) data, and mandates that no third party will control nor access your files.
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.
This, too, is not merely a theoretical matter. Ethereum did indeed hard fork after the DAO hack, and split off into ETH (the current dominant blockchain for ethereum) and ETC (the ‘classic’, or original blockchain for ethereum). As of this time, ETC is worth over $20 a coin — more, in fact, than all of ethereum was worth before the hack. Had I kept my ethereum on Coinbase or another exchange like it at the time of the hard fork, I personally would have lost 5 figures in ETC (at present values) merely because the exchanges wouldn’t give me access to these coins that I rightfully owned.
Right now, I can use my bitcoin holdings to pay for purchases at Overstock (OSTBP), or book a hotel on Expedia (EXPE). But if I use bitcoin to buy $25 worth of socks on Overstock today, and the price of bitcoin quadruples next week, I'll feel like those socks actually cost me $100. Then again, if bitcoin crashes, at least I'll always have the socks.
Factom is useful for all kinds of business apps, and they have got a huge contract with more than 25 smart cities in China. They are also working with other countries to create immutable database, which will allow government to secure their data. Factom had initially raised 5.3 million dollars in its Series A funding, but the company is so appealing that private investors were compelled to increase their investment in Factom. Factom raised a total of 8 million dollars in April 2017 from various high-profile investors, including Tim Draper, Stewart Title, and Bill Gates. See more on Factom cryptocurrency here.
The crypto market is being constantly flooded with people who just gamble their money without any solid cryptocurrency investment strategy. The reason for that are success stories that usually go viral. You hear about a person who turned a small investment into a life-changing sum and now you want to have skin in the game. What you don’t hear, however, are countless of stories of folks who wasted their precious capital because of making typical rookie mistakes.
The moment you look at the amount of support Tron has been receiving lately, you immediately realize it’s not just yet another blockchain-based platform. Tron’s technology aims to deploy world’s largest FREE content entertainment system. The platform allows anyone to store and own data, and to freely publish their content. Its app “Peiwo” already gathers 10 million enthusiasts and is on the road to become the world’s first TRON-compatible entertainment app. This technology revolves around the following ideology:  All contributions on the network should be of equal quantitative value, the Internet should be decentralized, and data creators should have the absolute ownership of the data. It’s important to realise though that Tron has been pushed like hell by an ambitious marketing department… I have not yet decided if this is a cryptocurrency which will survive but, for a one year hold, it seems a safe bet.
However, the cryptocurrency is a varied and often contradictory, marketplace. There are well-over 1,500 crypto projects out there; people who bought bitcoin at $20,000; others, like the Winklevoss twins who got in at $0.08; hulking great-big corporations in financial centers like Hong Kong, London and New York preparing $20m OTC buy-ins, as well as middle-aged dentists in the American Midwest injecting $50 into obscure coins that they think might well have a chance.
You will notice that many crypto exchanges will have differing buy/sell rates. I’ve noticed that sometimes the price even differs by $1000 or more, especially between the exchanges of different countries. This is because the price is determined by whatever the buyers and sellers are willing to pay on that exchange. This means that theoretically, you could purchase bitcoin from one exchange and sell it in another where it’s listed for higher. I’m still looking into this myself, but it seems that with the fees, limits and exchange times associated with each exchange it may not be as worthwhile as it seems.

The crypto market is being constantly flooded with people who just gamble their money without any solid cryptocurrency investment strategy. The reason for that are success stories that usually go viral. You hear about a person who turned a small investment into a life-changing sum and now you want to have skin in the game. What you don’t hear, however, are countless of stories of folks who wasted their precious capital because of making typical rookie mistakes.
In general, bigger market cap coins are less risky but have a lower chance of phenomenal returns. On the other hand, lower market cap coins generally have much more risk attached, but sometimes have the potential for greater gains. In cryptocurrency you must be aware that a large market cap coin can still potentially lose 70% or even 100% of it’s value.
That doesn't mean it's risk-free, though. Blockchain technology is an intriguing development that could disrupt a number of huge industries, but at the moment, it's also a fashionable word to throw around. Long Island Iced Tea, a beverage company, renamed itself Long Blockchain in late 2017, seemingly knowing that the word itself could cause a jump in stock. And for a brief moment, the stock actually did jump just because of that. Don't fall for tricks like that, stay vigilant and avoid cryptocurrency scams like these.
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.
Steindorff: Litecoin. LTC taught us a very valuable lesson about the strength of a brand and its corresponding community. We missed the boat on LTC early on because we felt that its use case overlapped too heavily with BTC. It was hard to imagine that LTC could gain any significant market share from its dominant predecessor but despite our beliefs, Litecoin’s brand and community have driven it to become a top 10 cryptocurrency with a lot of volume and liquidity. The lesson here was that the power of a trusted brand and a devoted community has the ability to outweigh innovative tech. 
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.
It was at this time, incidentally, that Coinbase, became worried about stagnant growth of their user base, and decided to offer a truly astounding proposition. They offered to pay anyone who referred a new customer to Coinbase $75 if the new customer purchased just $100 in bitcoin. Coinbase took a 1% transaction fee at the time, meaning that for every $100 in bitcoin a person purchased, Coinbase charged $1. In short, Coinbase would pay out $75 for every $1 a new customer paid them.
This serves a dual purpose of both allowing extreme transparency when desired in making transactions, and also allowing a lot of anonymity when desired. If one wants to ensure that they have perfect undeniable proof of their transactions, all they have to do is prove they own certain bitcoins, and then any and all transactions conducted with those bitcoins are undeniably theirs and most certainly occurred.

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Cryptocurrency investors have speculated that Amazon might accept Bitcoin or one of its digital rivals. That specific cryptocurrency would vault past competitors as a trusted store of value and useful medium of exchange. Amazon even registered the domains AmazonEthereum.com, AmazonCryptocurrency.com and AmazonCryptocurrencies, kicking such talk into high gear.
I use to like Tether, it was a way to move money into fiat currency without actually buying the fiat itself. However, today it seems to be yet another form of manipulation. Tether makes up roughly 1% of the cryptocurrency market, yet somehow it is responsible for over half of the bitcoin trading volume each day. Something does not seem right with that.
When I first started taking an interest in cryptocurrency I thought I was so lost in this huge sea of unknowns. Where do I start? What are the useful keywords to look up and keep in mind? What are the available helpful resources? This cryptocurrency investing guide is written so that in just 20 minutes, you would have a sense of what to expect of your upcoming crypto journey, and how to best go about starting it. Enjoy it, it might just be the most exhilarating ride of your life.
This is a fundamentally flawed argument that can be lobbied against absolutely any new technology or invention, and fails to take into account the natural process of growth and gradual adoption over time. The exact same argument was used against the internet in its early days, and I find this article from Newsweek, published in 1995, particularly illuminating in this regard.
Once you’ve decided that you truly believe in a cryptocurrency long term, and are willing to commit to it for the long term and hold it no matter what the short term price movements might be, the next step is to decide how much to invest, and when to invest. One might be hesitant, with not bad reason, to invest at an all time high, even if one believes that that all time high will one day be exceeded.
This is critically important precisely for incredibly volatile speculative investments such as cryptocurrency, and plays into the fourth mistake I mentioned above, day trading, as well. More than possibly any other market I’ve seen, short term price movements for cryptocurrencies are oftentimes absolutely mystifying and nothing short of mind boggling. Highly anticipated events, such as halvings in bitcoin’s reward per block mined, come and go without any real perturbation in price. Other times, things rise when reason seems to suggest they should fall, and fall when they seem to have every reason to rise. For instance, bitcoin’s price collapsed to $200 after the bubble popped in 2013, and stayed stagnant at those levels, despite massive development in bitcoin infrastructure and significant growth in the adoption and usage of bitcoin over that same period of time.
Some of the more notable cryptocurrencies, though, offer some things that bitcoin does not, making it harder to definitively call them a bitcoin copy. It's natural to be interested in them. Do your proper research, discuss with your financial advisor, and use your common sense -- don't put more of your money into these than you can afford. They're riskier than usual.
Grayscale Investment Trust is the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, and it charges shareholders an annual expense ratio in order to manage the fund. The current charge is 2% of assets, and because the trust's bitcoin holdings don't generate regular income for trust shareholders, Grayscale has the ability to liquidate bitcoin in order to pay itself its fee. That's the reason why over time, each share of the trust will be equivalent to a decreasing amount of bitcoin, as fees eat into the trust's principal assets.

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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.
Traditionally, with a legal contract, two parties agree to certain terms with the understanding that if one party reneges, the other party can seek legal recourse with the governmental justice system. Lawsuits, however, can often be inordinately expensive, and in many cases the outcome is far from certain. A good or bad lawyer can make or break a case, and one is also at the mercy of a judge and/or jury and their subjective, possibly mercurial whims. Not the most efficient or foolproof system.
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Some of the collateral perks included increased liquidity of the market and transparent reference prices – in other words, more legitimacy and stability. At the same time, crypto futures held a promise for an alleged horde of retail investors who were interested in crypto assets yet wary of trading them on unregulated spot exchanges. Perhaps the biggest advantage of Bitcoin futures for this category of traders is security: since owning a cash-settled crypto future does not entail touching a coin itself, the scheme does away with fears of hacking and theft of cryptoassets. However, a flipside of not owning an actual coin is that futures traders would not be eligible for free coins in an event of a fork.
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