No. 6: Large financial institutions are moving ahead with crypto products: Crypto assets have drawn the attention of institutional investors. Large institutions, such as Goldman Sacs, Fidelity and Blackrock, have started to develop cryptocurrency products and the underlying Blockchain technology. To wit, Goldman is close to launching a Bitcoin trading desk. Fidelity debuted a crypto fund a year ago and is actively building teams for crypto custody and other related services. Blackrock, the world’s largest investment management firm, recently announced plans to invest in the Bitcoin futures market. We expect to see more institutions enter this industry and offer a variety of crypto-based derivative products.
Anyone who has been drawn into the Apple ecosystem probably knows how powerful these can be. There are cryptocurrency projects that are creating ecosystems. We believe that successful ecosystems in the blockchain space will do exceptionally well long term. This is because they create efficiencies and are quite difficult for businesses to switch away from.
Grayscale Investments, LLC (“Grayscale”) is the sponsor of Bitcoin Investment Trust, Bitcoin Cash Investment Trust, Ethereum Investment Trust, Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, Litecoin Investment Trust, XRP Investment Trust, Zcash Investment Trust and Zen Investment Trust, and the manager of Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund LLC. The trusts and the fund (collectively, the “Vehicles”) are private investment vehicles, are NOT registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or any other regulatory agency in any jurisdiction, and are NOT subject to the same regulatory requirements as SEC-registered exchange traded funds or mutual funds, including any requirement to provide certain periodic and standardized pricing and valuation information to investors. Shares of the Vehicles are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. Investments in the Vehicles are speculative investments that involve high degrees of risk.
With cryptocurrency projects, you are mainly investing in young startups. The sobering statistic is that 90% of all startups fail. We see no reason why the failure rate of cryptocurrency projects should be any lower in the long term. That’s right; if you invest in 10 random cryptocurrency projects, on average you ought to expect 9 of them to eventually be worth nothing.
You would have heard of Bitcoin and the ‘altcoins.’ How this naming convention started was because back in the days of 2011, forks of Bitcoin appeared in the markets. The forks, or clones, each aspire to serve a niche area, aiming to be ‘better’ than Bitcoin. Since then countless new crypto has emerged, eroding away Bitcoin’s crypto market cap dominance. These altcoins are gaining market share at an alarming speed. Ten times or more growth has been observed in a time span as short as six weeks (see PIVX, an altcoin).
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This has proved a mistake countless times throughout history. Zimbabwe is a classic example, where the Zimbabwean dollar, thanks to an incompetent government among other factors, experienced enormous levels of hyperinflation. At one point, inflation was estimated at almost 80 billionpercent in just a single month.The following image gives an idea of just how rapidly and absurdly a fiat currency can spiral out of control, once it reaches the point of no return.
Create a balanced portfolio on the basis of large amounts of information from multiple sources. None of the projects, except for perhaps Bitcoin, have gone mainstream yet, and until then the crypto market will remain highly speculative. Moreover, the bigger blockchain projects still have massive upside potential, so try to stick with those as much as possible.
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Beyond that, for most people, the best (i.e. simplest) way to invest in bitcoin starts with setting up a cryptocurrency wallet. Some of the better-known sites where you can do this are Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bitfinex, although there are a number of other platforms out there, as well. Once you establish an account, connect it to your payment source — a bank account or a credit or debit card — via two-factor authentication. Of note: It’s important to use a tool like Google Authenticator rather than just relying on text-based authentication, which can be more vulnerable to cybertheft, when investing in bitcoin.
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.
It is important to note that the use of Zcash is not just for cybercriminals who engage in illegal transactions in the dark web. There are a number of legitimate reasons why a user would opt for anonymous cryptocurrencies such as Zcash, including a couple who are into eye-brow raising bedroom toys; an entity who would like legal services for a private matter like bankruptcy; a company who would like to protect its trade secrets or supply chain information from competitors; an individual with a chronic medical condition who would like to buy his pills online anonymously; etc. These are all examples of individuals seeking anonymity for privacy reasons.
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.
A long-term investment is one where you expect a cryptocurrency to perform better over a longer period of time. Simple! Normally, the minimum time for long-term investment is 6 months to 1 year. Although, some people plan to hold onto their investments for 5-10+ years. It’s up to you how you choose to invest; you can either make your full investment in one go, or you can invest at different times.
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.