Litecoin (10%) – Litecoin is often marketed as being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold status. Being a hard fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin shares many similarities to the original coin; Litecoin can also be used as a value exchange coin. However, Litecoin’s block generation time of 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, and different hashing algorithm (Scrypt), are features designed to produce a more innovative blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is a decentralized currency that uses peer-to-peer technology, which enables all functions such as currency issuance, transaction processing and verification to be carried out collectively by the network. While this decentralization renders Bitcoin free from government manipulation or interference, the flipside is that there is no central authority to ensure that things run smoothly or to back the value of a Bitcoin. Bitcoins are created digitally through a “mining” process that requires powerful computers to solve complex algorithms and crunch numbers. They are currently created at the rate of 25 Bitcoins every 10 minutes and will be capped at 21 million, a level that is expected to be reached in 2140.
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.
Cryptocurrencies have attracted the attention of several investors all over the world. But in general, institutions did not participate in the market. Back in August, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which operates an important number of regulated exchanges all over the world, announced its intention to launch a new institutional-grade crypto platform known as Bakkt.
We think ‘Total Net Wealth’ is an exceptionally important consideration when making any investment. The reason is to reduce our risk by diversifying amongst different asset classes like property, bonds, stocks & shares, gold, cryptocurrency etc. This means that if one asset class like cryptocurrency goes down, you do not have all your eggs in one basket.
First, there's a clear lack of differentiation. There are, as noted, over 1,600 investable cryptocurrencies for folks to choose from. That's simply too many. You could probably get rid of 1,500 of them, and virtual currency investors would still struggle to keep track of the partnerships, projects, and missions of each of the remaining digital currencies. It's just impossible to weed out which virtual currencies have staying potential and which don't.
Pointing to Grayscale Investments, the largest asset manager in the crypto sphere and part of DCG, Silbert showcased that mainstream funds are starting to put some money to work in the crypto space. Earlier on Wednesday, Grayscale announced it had raised $250 million to date, and 56% of that came from institutional investors. A year or two ago, that was almost non-existent.
“Blockchain is a system of automated trust,” answered Trevor Welch, Chief Investment Officer at International Blockchain Investments (IBI). “We currently live in a world where some economies lack trust and transparency, others, like the US, apply it manually and with high cost and financial burden as well as a significant degree of human error. As a result any global economy can benefit from processing transactions that are verified and validated on a distributed public ledger.”
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.
Created by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer, Litecoin is an open-source payment network that operates on a global scale. It is not controlled by any centralized power, and it uses the “scrypt” as proof-of-work. It is similar to Bitcoin but has the advantage of offering a faster rate of generation and therefore faster transactions. This is one of the main reasons why its enthusiasts continue to invest or hold onto the coin even after finding out that its founder sold his stack.
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.
There's a long list of factors people may point to in an attempt to explain this. Regulators have taken a hands-off approach to bitcoin in certain markets. Dozens of new hedge funds have launched this year to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The Nasdaq and Chicago Mercantile Exchange plan to let investors trade bitcoin futures, which may attract more professional investors.
On a bitcoin exchange, the investor trades at the coin's full price. For example, if bitcoin is trading at $8,000, an investor spends $8,000 on every coin priced at that amount. Most futures contracts involve leverage, allowing the trader to put up only a small fraction of the asset's price, but for bitcoin this "margin" is unusually high, at more than 40 percent. So the investor could control one $8,000 bitcoin for just over $3,200, plus a small fee for the transaction. If the price jumped 12.5 percent to $9,000, the gain would be 32 percent of the sum invested.
The easiest way to invest is to sign up at Coinbase.com. If you sign up with a referral code, you get $10 when you purchase $100 in bitcoin or ether. I’ve linked my mom’s referral code here if anyone is interested. Straight to her retirement fund! (In the interest of having zero monetary gain from my fiduciary advice, however, just email me if you use this link and buy over $100 of bitcoin, and I’ll send you the whole $10 my mom receives on her end as a referrer — so you get $20 for investing $100. Not bad!)
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Gold, unlike fiat currencies, requires no trust and faith in a government to responsibly manage its money supply and other financial dealings in order to believe that it will retain its value well over time. This is because gold has no central authority that controls it and effectively dictates its supply and creation arbitrarily. Gold is fundamentally scarce, and only a small amount of it can be mined every year and added to the whole net supply. To date, the estimated total of all the gold ever mined in the history of humankind is only 165,000 metric tons. To put that in perspective, all that gold wouldn’t even fill up 3.5 Olympic sized swimming pools.
The difficulty is knowing when the trend has changed, as such, I hedge altcoins and BTC against each other and make changes in my portfolio when a change in the trend becomes more obvious. When BTC dominance is falling, altcoins tend to perform better and vice versa, but this is not always the case, when they rise together, my gut instinct tells me that significant volumes of new capital are entering the market.
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.