A futures contract commits its owner to buy or sell an underlying commodity, currency or market index at a set price on a given date weeks or months in the future. In most cases the trader never takes possession of the corn, crude oil or bitcoin covered by the contract. Instead, gains or losses are reflected in the changing price of the contracts themselves as the underlying asset rises or falls.
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.
What’s also striking is that traditionally, these sorts of ‘angel or seed’ investments in new technologies have been closed off to all but an incredibly well connected inner circle of elite high net-worth individuals and institutions. Peter Thiel, for instance, was only approached to become Facebook’s first outside investor because he was already incredibly well known within Silicon Valley for having founded and sold PayPal for over a billion dollars. In contrast, with bitcoin, a random student in Norway was able to invest just $27 and make millions.
The appeal for many is the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning no specific group or governing body has control over it. Instead, it is secured by advanced cryptography, a set of military-grade encryptions, and regulated by a network called the Blockchain. The Blockchain acts as a digital ledger, confirming buyer/seller funds and establishing the order in which transactions take place.
The cryptocurrency market, which consists of bitcoin and other virtual coins such as ethereum, ripple, litecoin and monero, faced extreme volatility and lost a minimum of $350 billion in value year-to-date due to orders from regulators and hacking. Losing billions of dollars in market cap for cryptocurrencies is not unusual. In December, bitcoin reached a high of $20,000, but dipped to $8,500 by mid-March and is now trading at $6,300.
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.
If someone steals your Trezor, they won’t be able to find your coins either, as they’re protected by a PIN that only you know (plus a password if you want to use that feature I mentioned above). You can also recover the coins yourself with the recovery seed the Trezor will give you the first time you use it, which you should store in a super safe location like a safe deposit box somewhere. If you don’t use utilize the password feature, however, keep in mind that anyone who discovers this recovery seed instantly has access to all your coins, and all your other forms of security are for naught. If you enable the password feature, however, they will need your password as well as the recovery seed in able to access your cryptocurrency, which makes it significantly more secure.

Most ICO’s have a bonus system to reward early investors. The bonuses can range from between 10% – 100% depending on certain ICOs, where early investors will receive additional tokens for their contributions. Some ICO’s even have a presale stage (or pre-ICO) that allows the public to invest before the ICO dates. Usually, investments in the pre-ICO stage is higher than on the actual ICO period.
Trustlessness in this sense is a huge component and advantage of bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large. Another ground-breaking innovation the blockchain introduces is the concept of a smart contract, or a contract that similarly requires no trust or middleman to mediate, but is rather contractually executed in a deterministic fashion through code run on the blockchain.
Ripple is an open-source digital payment network, and it’s already being used by some of the world’s largest banks – such as the bank of Tokyo and Santandar. XRP has shown significant potential recently and has been turning a lot of heads. Ripple aims to become the go-to tool for banks on a global scale, while still giving an exciting investment opportunity to crypto advocates and solo investors. Ripple has many haters and I’ve been burned by it myself in the past – I sold 30,000 XRP at 20 cents… painful. Still, I did buy them at 3 cents a pop, so it could have been worse. I hold 10,000 XRP today and will hold until 2022.
UPDATE: I do not recommend paying to enter a Cryptocurrency mastermind group – I’ve tried a few and found the ROI to be disappointing. I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively utilising a cryptocurrency trading bot, the renowned Notorious Bot. Having a bot that trades for me, without emotion, using an advanced algorithm, allows me to grow my portfolio in the background without it cutting into my time or stressing me out. You can familiarise yourself with the basics of cryptocurrency trading bots here. 

In the case of a watermelon, what we intuitively grasp is that there is some fundamental, intrinsic value to the watermelon, and a ‘fair’ price for it. We have a general understanding of what this price should be, and are more than happy to buy watermelons when they are on discount relative to their fair price, and are reticent to do so when they are being sold at a premium to their fair price.
Litecoin was developed in 2011. While it has faltered of late in value with the other cryptocurrencies, if it gains back that value, it will be because of its strengths in comparison to bitcoin: Significantly faster transaction time (one major complaint when bitcoin exploded was that the increase in users slowed down transactions tremendously) and a larger number of crypto tokens.
Bitcoin is further ingeniously devised to guarantee that on average, new bitcoins are only found every 10 minutes or so. It guarantees this by ensuring that the code that dictates the new creation of bitcoin automatically increases the difficulty of the proof-of-work system in proportion to the number of computers trying to solve the problem at hand.
The recent weeks, however, saw a shift in this previously serene mental landscape, as new considerations about crypto futures began to pour into media space with increased frequency. From allegations of massively suppressing crypto prices to a widening range of platforms offering crypto derivatives to a real prospect of Ethereum futures coming about soon, these developments point to the need of revisiting the realm of cryptocurrency-based futures. Now that these derivatives have been around for more than half a year, a more nuanced picture of this asset class’ role in crypto finance is emerging.

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.
The stop-loss option is an incredibly useful tool to protect your profits, and I highly recommend using it. Stop-losses are tools that automatically sell at, or slightly below, a set price. They help you remove yourself from the equation and prevent you from having to sit in front of your screen the entire day watching charts before deciding what to do.
The same growth trajectory is how I see bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology at large playing out. If all goes well — and there’s no guarantee it might, everything indeed might fail and all our hopes and dreams might gang aft agley — there’s no reason at all that bitcoin can’t one day surpass even our wildest imaginations today, just like the internet did before it, and fundamentally rewrite the script for how we interact with money and the world as a whole.
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