While the number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies has steadily increased, they are still very much in the minority. For cryptocurrencies to become more widely used, they have to first gain widespread acceptance among consumers. However, their relative complexity compared to conventional currencies will likely deter most people, except for the technologically adept.
In addition, we have other financial institutions trying to build up their crypto portfolio while the price is still low. Goldman Sachs setting up a 100% dedicated cryptocurrency trading desk, Bloomberg’s Galaxy Crypto Index Fund, Coinbase’s custodial services now set up for large institutional investors, Susquehanna getting into the mix trading millions of dollars of bitcoin for their wealthy clients, and now Blackrock, the world’s largest investment fund manager is looking to also get into the mix.
This is even more true of paper currency. Yes, you can utilize and reuse the paper for all the intrinsic value paper has. But what is that intrinsic value of paper? This is easy to answer, because we can just see how much the government pays to make paper money. $1 and $2 bills cost less than 5 cents to make on the low end of the spectrum, while $100 bills cost 12.3 cents on the high end.
The biggest risk when investing and trading is you: your emotions, biases, and beliefs. This strategy tries to remove the “you” as much as possible from the equation. This article accurately depicts the biases and shortcomings we all have. The markets are not rational; almost everyone lets their emotions (such as FOMO and panic-selling) get the best of them. In the end, big money will always beat you if you don’t come to terms with these cold hard truths.
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.
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.
Most traders use a combination of the two but will tend to give weight towards one over the other. Chris Burniske, author of Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond, covered this recently on Twitter, explaining that it is essential that you understand what kind of strategy is right for you. He shared a link from Investopedia, outlining the difference.
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.
Retailer Acceptance – A cryptocurrency isn’t much of use if you can’t purchase anything with it, so before you invest in it, it’s very important to know who and where it was accepted. Some coins are simply built for other purposes and they aren’t designed to be exchanged for goods. Some of the popular cryptocurrencies are widely accepted just like Bitcoin, while some cryptocurrencies can only be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
For instance, if two parties decide to make a bet on Donald Trump winning the election, historically, this could only be done by either word of honor or by some ad hoc legal contract. For a say, small $100 bet, it would be absolutely a non-starter to pursue legal action in the case that one of the parties decided to renege on the deal in the aftermath of the election. Normally, the reneged-upon party would simply be left in the dust without recourse.
There have been a lot of new digital asset fund launches in 2017, but still only a couple of funds with more than $10m under management and even fewer with more than $100m under management. Flows into actively managed digital asset funds were strongest in the UHNW, family office and VC channel in 2017. We believe 2018 will mark the beginning of Wall Street and institutional capital entering the digital asset market. You’ll see endowments and global macro managers enter the market in a big way. You’ll see some sovereign wealth funds look to get exposure. That said, it is important to level-set. This is a still a tiny market. It’s a $300 billion market today, so it still has a ways to go before hitting mainstream.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional (or even a veteran) trader. I am an intermediate trader with a passion for cryptocurrency. I am disclosing my own ventures in crypto because cryptocurrency trading does make up a chunk of my online income and I want to be 100% transparent with you when it comes to making money online. Investing in cryptocurrencies carries a risk – you may lose some or all of your investment. Always do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Again – this article is aimed purely at advising; draw your own conclusions on whether cryptocurrency trading is right for you.
Exposure to a particular cryptocurrency is primarily dependent on your risk appetite. This can be defined simply as, your tolerance towards taking risk. Using traditional investment markets as an example, if your tolerance towards risk is neutral, then a typical investment portfolio would be 50% equities and 50% bonds. Equities are known to be riskier than bonds, but also offer higher returns as a result. Conversely, bonds tend to be a safer asset than stocks, but offer a lower return over time as a result. Combined together, a balanced portfolio is produced, not too much risk, but also not too safe.
Ripple (XRP) is a more recently popular cryptocurrency, although some argue that it can't really be called a cryptocurrency at all. It does, however, have a market cap of $19.2 billion as of this writing, 3rd largest amongst cryptocurrencies. Ripple is meant to act as something of a payment processing system that could allow for instant international money transfers. It has partnered with several notable companies, including American Express.
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.
Almost every crypto-list today starts off with the king – Bitcoin! Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin a long time ago, and it was the first cryptocurrency to step blinking into the bright light of the world! Bitcoin has surpassed all expecatations and continues to grow in value and popularity – despite recent setbacks and a lot of FUD from trolls and haters (read: traditional banks) online. Will Bitcoin continue to increase in value in 2018? Recent trends say: Yes! In my opinion, any cryptocurrency portfolio should hold some Bitcoin.
It’s important to note that the mere fact that something is speculative does not necessarily mean it can’t be a good investment, or that it is merely akin to blind gambling, dependent solely on the luck of the draw. Poker might be a suitable analogy. Poker can be played well or poorly, and skill and calculation lends an incredible degree of advantage to a player’s odds of success. However, the game still fundamentally deals with an immense degree of unavoidable variation and unknowns, and even the best poker player is guaranteed to lose many of their games, even if they play each one ‘perfectly’. The goal, simply, is to win more than you lose, and with the right amount of skill, knowledge, and preparation, this is a possible feat in poker.
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.
Third, there's the disassociation between blockchain technology and the actual tokens themselves. The issue with nearly all cryptocurrencies is that their potential value is tied up in their blockchain and its ability to benefit an industry or sector. Investors who buy into virtual tokens rarely, if ever, gain ownership in the blockchain those coins are used on. Without ownership in the asset that matters, it leaves investors to more or less go along for the ride.
• In the United States, although Coinbase seems the go-to option in many cases, bear in mind that’s only an exchange, not a broker. You would be wiser to choose, for instance, TradeStation, one of the most reputable brokers, with a great site, great trading options and a solid mobile app. Because, you know, the crypto market moves so fast that you want to be able to check it while you’re drinking your Chai latte on your commute or waiting for your friends to show up at the bar.
If you don’t have an account at TD Ameritrade, you need to open an account and select that you plan to actively trade during the sign-up process. You will need to request that margin and options trading be added to your account before you can apply for futures. Please keep in mind that the full process may take 5-6 business days. Once you have been granted futures approval, contact the Futures Desk at 866-839-1100 or email us to request access to /XBT.