What I ended up learning was something the smartest people in the investment world had learned a long time ago. Benjamin Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffett, who became the richest man in the world by practicing the principle of value investing, has a pretty wonderful analogy that I think is worth repeating here. You should buy your stocks (or any investment, generally) like you buy your groceries — not like you buy your perfume.
If people have trusted gold to date as a store of value because of its inherent scarcity and resistance to centralized control and price/supply manipulation, bitcoin does all that and more, and does it all better. Gold’s scarcity, as illustrated above, is anything but constant, and we’ve more than doubled our world’s supply of gold in just the last 50 years. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a precisely and publicly known proliferation schedule, and will approach the limit of its supply in just a few more decades.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is created and managed through the use of advanced encryption techniques known as cryptography. Cryptocurrency made the leap from being an academic concept to (virtual) reality with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. While Bitcoin attracted a growing following in subsequent years, it captured significant investor and media attention in April 2013 when it peaked at a record $266 per bitcoin after surging 10-fold in the preceding two months. Bitcoin sported a market value of over $2 billion at its peak, but a 50% plunge shortly thereafter sparked a raging debate about the future of cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular. So, will these alternative currencies eventually supplant conventional currencies and become as ubiquitous as dollars and euros someday? Or are cryptocurrencies a passing fad that will flame out before long? The answer lies with Bitcoin.
If you have a brokerage account, you can expect the bitcoin user experience to be similar. And, as with a brokerage account, you’re likely to pay transaction fees whenever you buy or sell. That means day-trading bitcoin probably isn’t a great strategy — since those transaction fees could quickly eat up any profits. If you’re using bitcoin instead of PayPal, Venmo, etc., check first to see if the seller will charge you a fee for paying in bitcoin.
What’s striking in this is that while everything he said at the time was true, and certainly none of those things were particularly possible back in 1995, it all came to pass eventually. Today, remote workers are a huge part of the global workforce. Online education is booming. Amazon is taking over all of commerce and is larger than any retail store in the world. Print newspapers and magazines are dying left and right, replaced by a proliferation of online news.
We have several financial institutions trying to get an ETF to market, while thus far all have been shot down by the SEC, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) seems to have the best shot to win approval due to their long-term reputation of excellence, new product innovation, and there bulletproof insurance. If any bitcoins get stolen, you can bet the customers are well covered. Many were counting on the SEC approving an ETF this month, but it will likely not happen until the beginning of 2019, but when it does, that’s when the real fireworks will begin.
Derivatives trading is the culmination of a wild year for bitcoin, which captured imaginations and investment around the world, propelled by its stratospheric gains, and its anti-establishment mission as a currency without the backing of a government or a central bank, and a payment system without a reliance on banks. The derivatives contracts should thrust bitcoin more squarely into the realm of regulators, banks and institutional investors. In addition to the contracts at Cboe and CME, which will start trading Dec. 18, Cantor Fitzgerald LP won approval from regulators to trade binary options, and LedgerX, a startup exchange, already trades bitcoin options.
At Total Crypto, we think that investing 20% of our Total Net Wealth in cryptocurrencies is actually a high allocation. No matter how high our conviction was in a cryptocurrency, we would never finance a purchase with debt. Again, this can lead to very stressful and financially damaging situations. When looking at things through the lens of Total Net Wealth, we think it’s easier to determine what we can actually afford to lose in cryptocurrency investing.
This has meant there's been a larger demand than ever for GPUs, especially in the wake of bitcoin's sudden and massive rise in 2017. With the explosion of mining and the steady need for GPUs amongst gamers, Nvidia has been an investment worth looking into in 2018. AMD, meanwhile, has been a bit more volatile. They have proven to be two of the top manufacturers of GPUs in the wake of the bitcoin craze.
Bitcoin v alt balancing: my BTC v altcoin positions are balanced relative to how Bitcoin market dominance is trending, you can see this chart on CoinMarketCap. If Bitcoin market dominance is at 50% but falling, then my Bitcoin position will be at less than 40%. If Bitcoin market dominance is 50% but rising then my Bitcoin position will be over 60%. The reason I keep it ahead of the trend but never 100% of one is that BTC v altcoin market cycles change, there are times when they trade inversely and other times where they rise and fall together and as such this gives a more even growth trajectory.
Some investors want a more immediate return, by buying bitcoin and selling it at the end of a price rally. There are several ways to do this, including relying on the cryptocurrency's volatility for a high rate of return, should the market move in your favor. Several bitcoin trading sites also now exist that provide leveraged trading, in which the trading site effectively lends you money to hopefully increase your return. Magnr is one such example.
When buying altcoins, I always keep an eye on Bitcoin’s value, and over time I’ve made some important observations with regard to this. There are almost never three green days in row, and when the market is in the red, Bitcoin tends to decline less then altcoins. Once this happens, your order will be filled and you’ll get your 3% discount, since the altcoin tends to drop harder than Bitcoin.
Last month, Chainalysis published a study revealing that BTC investors and speculators held their positions over the summer, while markets seem to have become more stable overall. The monetary aggregates reportedly were “extremely steady” during the summer, showing that the amount of BTC held for speculation was stable from May to August at around 22 percent of available BTC. The amount of BTC held for investment also showed stability during the same period at around 30 percent.
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.
When examining strategies, it is of course a good idea to find the strategy that fits the best with current market conditions, but the real long-term value is found when remaining analytical and critical of every asset and every trading strategy. Even the best and most complex strategies being employed by the best crypto traders on the planet are not perfect, so recognizing the faults of every trading strategy is just as important as examining the potential upsides. The cryptocurrency market is not perfect, and assuming that there is a perfect strategy to match the imperfect market is not a recipe for success.
The Ides of June saw a regulatory breakthrough that might prove highly consequential for crypto futures in the US, as the SEC Corporation Finance Director William Hinman had shed some light on Ethereum’s status as perceived by the regulator, suggesting that ‘current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions.’ This statement has energized the industry and prompted Chris Concannon, Cboe’s crypto-savvy president, to speak of futures on ETH as of a settled deal. If Cboe breaks the path with such a product, it’s not difficult to imagine CME catching up quickly, given the firm’s partnership with Crypto Facilities, whose Ethereum derivatives infrastructure is already in place.
Now that the benefits of a long term-investment strategy have been made clear, it is also important to consider which cryptocurrencies you want in your long-term portfolio, or how to build your portfolio. Before that, let’s identify some indicators that we can use to measure the potential of the crypto project in the long term. These are just a few indicators that we have identified; feel free to include yours in the comments section below.
Historically speaking, the stock market has been the greatest creator of wealth. Sure, it hits its rough patches from time to time, with 20 bear markets in the S&P 500 occurring over the last 90 years, according to data from Yardeni Research. But at the end of the day, stocks have returned an average of 7% annually, inclusive of dividend reinvestment, and when adjusted for inflation. Compared to bonds, commodities, CDs, and other assets, the stock market has trounced them all over the long run.
Transaction volume: in order to determine whether a cryptocurrency is actually being used, you can take a look at its transaction volume. In the case of Ethereum, its transaction volume per day is about 500,000 ETH. Historically, this is a number that is increasing and as long as this upward trend continues this reaffirms the long-term viability of holding Ethereum in our portfolio.
When too many people pump and dump these coins over and over, they lose their power. For example, if a coin goes up and down so much, then fewer investors are likely to hop on board once it starts to go up again. They might think, “This coin goes up, but it always comes down. I’m not going to risk it by investing.” This is actually harmful to a coin when it skyrockets and crashes, and this is why you should be wary in 2018 where you put your money.
Long downtrends in bear markets can last weeks or months in crypto (and Bull markets can last a long time to)… so be aware of the overall trend! Meanwhile dips in a bull or stagnant market can last hours or days and rallies in a bear market can last hours or days as well. It is general wisdom that one should avoid being a bull in a bear market, and avoid being a bear in a bull market. The trick is understanding what market we are in, in a longterm bear market you’ll want to buy slowly and be willing to take profits, in a short dip in a bull market you may want to spam the buy button. If you don’t know which type of market we are in, slowly creating a position and planning for the worst is far more conservative (assuming the asset is going to zero, and making sure you have enough cash on hand to buy all the way to zero, is about as conservative as it gets).
Trading on this spot market is a lot like trading a stock, with prices governed by supply and demand, and no role played by a central bank, like the Federal Reserve. Since bitcoin is not yet accepted by many merchants, its value depends on speculators' view on what others will pay in the future. To detractors, that encourages bubbles. Advocates see huge potential profits.
Gold Investments is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. The demand for gold investment has risen substantially as investors increasingly seek safety from paper investments through precious metals. This higher demand for gold based assets has increased both metals values by more than 400% since 2001. With nearly two decades of operation, Gold Investments is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry.
If everyone expects to get rich from a coin, the price will drive up. This is called a “pump”. Once the coin reaches a certain value – anywhere from 3 to 20 times over its original cost – then people will sell off in troves. This is called a “dump”. These pumps and dumps are heavily frowned upon in the world of Wall Street – in fact they are quite illegal – yet they are so prevalent in the unregulated world of cryptocurrency.
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.
Ethereum – Ethereum is the second most famous name in the virtual currency market. It somewhat similar to the concept of bitcoins however it possesses some additional attributes. It is purely a blockchain based platform. What makes it special is the Ethereum Virtual Machine. The blockcain in ethereum is used not to store the data of the transaction but to make sure smooth run of a decentralized application. Having the second highest market cap after bitcoin, the price of ether has started to rally again. After seeing a major pullback from its all-time high above USD 400, ether has regained its footing and is close to its peak levels.
These are just a few of countless twists and turns and vicissitudes our much vaunted (and much derided) bitcoin will have to endure before its long journey comes to an end, either six feet under or as an indelible fixture in our global economy. There’s no telling which way it will go, and one must come to one’s own conclusion on how much faith and conviction one chooses to place in bitcoin.
Generally, the strategy suggested to average out such short term volatility for something that one is investing in long term is to practice dollar cost averaging. This preaches that one should set an exact time at regular time intervals to buy an exact amount in fiat currency of the investment one is looking to purchase — e.g., $1,000 worth of bitcoin on the 1st of every week, or every month. This means that over time, you’ll be able to take advantage of bitcoin’s general trajectory upwards, but balance out the relative short term volatile price movements both high and low, such that you experience a more linear growth trajectory over time of your principal.
You won’t always have time to buy once the price starts recovering (or to sell when the price starts dipping). With the last point in mind, sometimes cryptos can rally or correct by 10% or more in a matter of moments after a harsh dip. It can be next to impossible to buy into some rallies once the price starts recovering or to sell once it starts dropping (without a market order and some slippage at least). It is from this perspective that it can be a solid strategy to mistime the bottom rather than waiting for the price to go back up. Sure, it is more conservative to wait for a trend to be confirmed, but this method can work much better after a very harsh dip down to a key support level you think the price will rebound off of quickly.
But even with many success stories surrounding bitcoin investments, seasoned investors are voicing caution. Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and "Oracle of Omaha" Warren Buffett warn of bitcoin's volatility. Legendary investor and index fund mogul Jack Bogle, at a recent Council on Foreign Relations event, told the audience, "Avoid bitcoin like the plague."
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While futures products still carry unique and often significant risks, they can potentially provide a more regulated and stable environment to provide some exposure to bitcoin as a commodity as well. You should carefully consider whether trading in bitcoin futures is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources, and other relevant circumstances.