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.
There are a number of issues with this, however, and a lot of things would have to go right before this occurred. There are several cryptocurrencies, for instance, with ethereum being the most notable, that are already far larger than litecoin, and it would have to be demonstrated that there’s some reason something like ethereum couldn’t simply take the place of bitcoin, and that litecoin would have a better shot at doing so than the larger players that already exist in this space.
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.
Digression aside, that sums up most of the thoughts I have about the primary things to be cautious about when it comes to bitcoin investment. There are a few more practical matters to be extremely cautious about (namely, how you store your cryptocurrency), but I’ll address those in the next part, which will be an actual how-to guide showing actually actionable steps for those interested in getting into bitcoin investment.
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The purpose of hedging is not to gain from favorable price movements but prevent losses from potentially unfavorable price changes and in the process, maintain a predetermined financial result as permitted under the current market price. To hedge, someone is in the business of actually using or producing the underlying asset in a futures contract. When there is a gain from the futures contract, there is always a loss from the spot market, or vice versa. With such a gain and loss offsetting each other, the hedging effectively locks in the acceptable, current market price.
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.
This fast has brought so much attention to altcoins, and it’s coming to be that a coin will go up in value simply because it’s on the market. So many new investors want to get in on the ground level, so they’ll pump impressive funds into initial coin offerings (ICOs) with the hopes of literally getting rich overnight. For many investors, this actually comes true. A coin will take off after releasing to the public and early investors are rewarded greatly.
Investors could lose all or a substantial portion of their investment. Investors must have the financial ability, sophistication, experience and willingness to bear the risks of an investment in any Vehicle. In particular, each Vehicle invests in digital assets. The trading prices of many digital assets have experienced extreme volatility in recent periods and may continue to do so. In light of recent steep increases in the value of certain digital assets, multiple market observers have asserted that digital assets are currently experiencing a “bubble.” If these observers are correct, trading prices for the digital assets held by the Vehicles could experience steep declines in value and the Vehicles’ shares could lose all or substantially all of their value.
This part will be wildly subjective. Crypto has the potential to realize many ‘rags to riches’ stories, but its volatility makes it unpredictable. As a precaution, the money you put in crypto should be money that you are fine with losing. I cannot emphasize the importance of this as we often underestimate how the volatility affects our emotional capacities. The upside is huge, but it comes with lots of risks and, if I may put it, emotional torment.
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Virtual currencies, including bitcoin, experience significant price volatility. Fluctuations in the underlying virtual currency's value between the time you place a trade for a virtual currency futures contract and the time you attempt to liquidate it will affect the value of your futures contract and the potential profit and losses related to it. Investors must be very cautious and monitor any investment that they make.