I hope that this elucidation provides some insight into why I personally see it as suspect to invest in something based on price alone, and why I urge extreme caution particularly if one is exploring whether or not to invest in an altcoin, especially if one is at least partially motivated to do so because of the feeling that the ship has already sailed for bitcoin, and that there might be better potential for outsized gains with a smaller altcoin. Again, this certainly may be true, and often is true even for altcoins destined for eventual failure in the short term while a bubble/bull market continues, but risks are amplified just as much as the opportunity itself when it comes to altcoins, and oftentimes moreso in a bubble than otherwise.
Less immediately obvious examples include things like Litecoin. Litecoin, too, offers fundamentally no truly great innovations over bitcoin — in short, nothing that bitcoin itself couldn’t adopt over time. It uses a different hashing algorithm and just adopted Segregated Witness, the same update that bitcoin is debating adopting that would allow the implementation of layer two protocols such as the lightning network, but beyond this, doesn’t have much in the way of unique differentiation going for it. This said, Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin and previously the Director of Engineering at Coinbase, one of the most well respected and successful bitcoin exchanges, just announced his departure from Coinbase to focus solely on improving Litecoin. It remains to be seen what will come from this endeavor, as Charlie certainly is without question one of the most accomplished and formidable players in the cryptocurrency sphere, but largely litecoin appears to be a small hedge in the slight off chance that bitcoin doesn’t actually manage to resolve its scaling issues, and begins to catastrophically lose market adoption and faith and crumble into the ground. In a case like that, the notion is that litecoin would be able to quickly take over the ground lost by bitcoin, and become the dominant cryptocurrency.
Some of the more notable cryptocurrencies, though, offer some things that bitcoin does not, making it harder to definitively call them a bitcoin copy. It's natural to be interested in them. Do your proper research, discuss with your financial advisor, and use your common sense -- don't put more of your money into these than you can afford. They're riskier than usual.
Market Capitalization and Daily Trading Volume – A cryptocurrency’s market capitalization is the total worth of all coins currently in circulation, and at the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization is nearly $139 billion. High market capitalization can indicate a high value per coin. It is important to note that the daily trading volume of currencies is more important than market capitalization.
Even the Dutch tulip bubble, which is classically regarded as one of the first instances of massive speculative market mania, saw increases only on the magnitude of 10–100X — not even remotely close to 100,000X+. And even the most successful of extremely risky angel investments in companies, such as Peter Thiel’s initial $500,000 seed investment in Facebook, see returns on the scale of 10,000X or so or less — Thiel’s $500,000 investment, had he held it all the way to the present day, would be worth $6.8 billion, or approximately a ~13,500X gain. More incredible than just about anything else, certainly, but still nowhere even near Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in price.
Ofir Beigel, CEO of 99bitcoins.com, suggests taking a slow burn approach to the cryptocurrency market if you’re looking for the best return possible. “Keep in mind there can be a lot of ‘noise’ in the background, like short-term bad news that lead to a crash,” Beigel says. “The key is to find investments you believe will yield after X time according to your targets, and to try detaching yourself from the short-term noise.”
This type of cryptocurrency is on the rise. In this model, a cryptocurrency represents the value of an underlying asset such as gold, art, fiat currencies, etc. It represents a new, more accessible way to invest in assets other than cryptocurrencies, through cryptocurrencies. Stable coins provide an excellent way to take shelter from a corrective storm. I’m only interested in projects leveraging blockchain technology to create completely new business models and disrupting existing ones, but these cryptos are very interesting nonetheless.
This, too, is not merely a theoretical matter. Ethereum did indeed hard fork after the DAO hack, and split off into ETH (the current dominant blockchain for ethereum) and ETC (the ‘classic’, or original blockchain for ethereum). As of this time, ETC is worth over $20 a coin — more, in fact, than all of ethereum was worth before the hack. Had I kept my ethereum on Coinbase or another exchange like it at the time of the hard fork, I personally would have lost 5 figures in ETC (at present values) merely because the exchanges wouldn’t give me access to these coins that I rightfully owned.
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.
If you invest a high percentage of our Total Net Wealth into cryptocurrencies, then you are exceptionally exposed to the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency market. This is not only potentially stressful, but could severely damage your Total Net Wealth and have an impact on your personal life. It’s all about balancing risk, whilst maximising the potential for gains.
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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.
While the adjusted outlook lists cryptocurrency instability as a possible risk factor, it also states that “we continue to believe that such declines will not negatively impact the performance of broader financial assets, because cryptocurrencies represent just 0.3 percent of world GDP as of mid-2018.” The report adds that cryptocurrencies “would not retain value in their current incarnation.”
If we apply this to cryptocurrency, we can draw some parallels between the traditional markets and the cryptocurrency market. One would typically regard Bitcoin as being less risky than an unknown altcoin. From this, we can then tailor our level of exposure to suit our risk appetite. For example, a very risky portfolio might be 80% in small-cap cryptocurrency and 20% in Bitcoin. Using the information we have gathered so far, we can now construct our own long-term portfolio.
NEW YORK, April 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, in its role as agent (the "Agent") of the shareholders of record as of December 4, 2017 (the "Record Date Shareholders") of Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced today that, on behalf of the Record Date Shareholders, it has completed the liquidation of approximately 172,244 Bitcoin Gold tokens, the rights to which were distributed to the Record Date Shareholders on December 4, 2017.
Okay — so that’s about it for investing in the dominant cryptocurrencies available today. If you want to invest in other more speculative altcoins, you’ll have to create your own wallets for them, and investigate the best and most secure solution for doing so yourself. This should generally be a good exercise in any case to determine if you meet the bare minimum requirements for responsible investment in a given altcoin.
Ripple (XRP) is a more recently popular cryptocurrency, although some argue that it can't really be called a cryptocurrency at all. It does, however, have a market cap of $19.2 billion as of this writing, 3rd largest amongst cryptocurrencies. Ripple is meant to act as something of a payment processing system that could allow for instant international money transfers. It has partnered with several notable companies, including American Express.
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.
Update 1st October 2018: The cryptocurrency market has been volatile as ever over the last 6 months. Unless you are a skilled trader, it is harder to make money in a bear market than in a bull market – and we have been in a bear market for some time now. Personally, I have stopped trading and I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can find out more about this here. If you are new to crypto, read on!
Before going all in on ICOs, investors must understand that investing in Cryptocurrencies is an extremely high-risk endeavour. ICOs have a particularly higher risk profile as most of them are only at the conceptualization stage; they often do not have a working protocol/product and hence, there’s minimal indication that it is going to be a success or even viable in the long-term. Therefore, it is vital that thorough due diligence is undertaken.
Stratis also recently announced its “Breeze Wallet”. This is a specialist wallet that aims to increase the privacy of both Bitcoin and Stratis platform users. This Bitcoin wallet will have Tumblebit built in, which is an incredible deal and will raise awareness of Stratis tenfold. This will likely trigger a price hike. Read our in-depth article on Stratis coin here.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger
NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (the "Trust") (OTCQX:GBTC), announced that a fork in the Bitcoin blockchain occurred yesterday, August 1, 2017. The Sponsor is monitoring events relating to the fork and the Bitcoin Cash resulting from the fork. A record date has not been established for the purposes of any distribution that may be made in connection with Bitcoin Cash. The Sponsor will announce a record date, if any, once established.
Of course, last year's cryptocurrency craze ran circles around traditional equities, including stocks. After beginning the year with a combined market cap of just $17.7 billion, the aggregate market cap of all virtual currencies by year's end had surged to $613 billion, equaling a climb of more than 3,300%. There may not be another year like this for any asset class for as long as we live.
For those who are more comfortable with a predictable form of reward, mining is the way. Mining involves setting up of a rig, consisting of GPUs or CPUs and an investment in the electricity. Mining is only possible on cryptocurrencies that follow the Proof of Work protocol. It takes some effort to setup and gets things running, but it is attractive as a long-term passive income as long as you frontload the work.
The answer is no, because miners are not solely rewarded by the new bitcoin that is generated each time they mine a block. Users may also send a transaction fee along with their transactions, which is paid out to any miner who decides to include their transaction in a block they mine. Over time, as the bitcoin network becomes used for more and more transactions, it is expected that transaction fees will be more than sufficient for incentivizing enough miners to continue mining blocks to keep the bitcoin network safe, secure, and robust.
In case you forgot what bitcoin is, it's not a physical form of currency, nor is it a company or corporation that can go public. So there isn't exactly a stock for it, per se. However, you can treat the bitcoins you have as an asset that can be bought and sold, and its value as the bitcoin stock price. The fluctuation in price can be tracked in the same way you can track any other stock in your portfolio.
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