There is also the Bitcoin Investment Trust from Grayscale Investments. We’re mentioning it for the sake of comprehensiveness, but it’s a bit of a different animal. The fund is invested in bitcoin, but keep in mind, you’re actually buying the fund, not bitcoin. You’re a step removed from owning actual bitcoin, even though you are still exposed to its volatility. The pluses, Grayscale says on its site, are that you get the structure and tax benefits you wouldn’t get trading bitcoin directly; on the other hand, fees will eat up a chunk of anything you earn, negating the reason many people are drawn to cryptocurrencies in the first place. All of which is to say, you should really, really know what you’re doing as an investor if you’re going to dive into this pool.
For the most part, things generally work fine on a day to day basis. This belies, however, the true fragility of the system. It’s hard to anticipate these things before they happen, because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of assuming that things will always be as they mostly always have been. If things have been fine yesterday, and the day before, and the few years before that, or even the few decades before that, we just naturally assume that they will continue to be fine for the indefinite future.
This option is most similar to using a credit card but without the associated risks of interest rates. You can use a standard debit card that is connected to your checking account, or you can buy a prepaid card. Using a debit card is widely accepted on most exchanges and instantly transfers, meaning you won’t have to worry about Bitcoin prices fluctuating before the transfer is complete.
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.
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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.
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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.

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.
The digital assets market will either be 0 or a multi-trillion dollar space. We obviously believe the latter. Highly disruptive technologies have always experienced tremendous challenges early on. Most people are unaware that even technologies such as the automobile and the lightbulb were initially met with massive resistance. Initially, technological breakthroughs do not have the right infrastructure in place to showcase their true potential. This will take time, but if it’s truly transformative the infrastructure will eventually develop, and the new technology will be accepted. We think the truly extraordinary returns will come earlier in the cycle from investors willing to take the extra risk. In my opinion we’ll look back on this day like it was mid-1990’s internet, we had the vision, but the true winners had not distinguished themselves yet. 

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I don't know where this is going to go. And let me let you in on a little secret. Neither do you. One thing I know to be true, that has played out throughout history over and over across several different landscapes, be it political, economic, science and technology, etc is the following... It only takes about .00001% percent of the RIGHT part of the population to get on board with an idea whose time has come. ( 1.) The colonies should declare independence from Great Britain (The American Revolution) , 2.) Free men should not be able to be imprisoned or whimsically taxed by the king (The Magna Carta) 3.) Powered flight is possible (The Wright Brothers, etc) 4.) Racial discrimination should not be supported by the state (Martin Luther King) 4.) The Catholic Church is not only not infallible, but is corrupt and we need to split from it (Martin Luther) 5.) It is stupid to build a rocket, launch it, and then crash into the ocean (Elon Musk) etc. etc. etc. All that being said I think I can make the following statement with absolute confidence. *** Given the perceived injustice and full display of avarice perpetrated by the global central banks, the banking/finance guild/medical guild (to include healthcare, insurance, drug companies etc), the global political class, and the amount of leverage/debt and soon to be unfulfilled social contract promises and the corresponding counterparty risk/chain of custody issues AND given the GLOBAL talent pool that is lining up behind ico's/blockchain in all its use cases to think that revolutionary change is not only possible but imminent would seem very likely to be a suckers bet. It is worth keeping in mind that MOST of the rational sounding population will dismiss this idea out of hand. People that are "rational' in a fucked up world are in effect the radicals and mean reversion both illustrates this in hindsight, and prunes their belief systems and all the structures and constructs that those flawed belief systems were supporting from existence. The current global situation seems to be very near full term pregnant with crisis and opportunity.
A long time horizon also gives us the opportunity of compounding gains over time. Look at the cryptocurrency market as the challenge to find the next Amazon and potentially enjoy larger long term gains. Who wants to be the type of guys to sell Amazon when they were up a little in the year 2000 and miss out on nearly two decades of heavy gains? Also, if you are convinced about the long term growth potential of a cryptocurrency project, why sell it in a few months time?
First, there's a clear lack of differentiation. There are, as noted, over 1,600 investable cryptocurrencies for folks to choose from. That's simply too many. You could probably get rid of 1,500 of them, and virtual currency investors would still struggle to keep track of the partnerships, projects, and missions of each of the remaining digital currencies. It's just impossible to weed out which virtual currencies have staying potential and which don't.
• 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
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