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.
Litecoin – Litecoin is regarded as Bitcoin's leading rival at present, and it is designed for processing smaller transactions faster. It was founded in October 2011 as "a coin that is silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” according to founder Charles Lee. Unlike the heavy computer horsepower required for Bitcoin mining, Litecoins can be mined by a normal desktop computer. Litecoin’s maximum limit is 84 million – four times Bitcoin’s 21-million limit – and it has a transaction processing time of about 2.5 minutes, about one-fourth that of Bitcoin.
For the most part, things generally work fine on a day to day basis. This belies, however, the true fragility of the system. It’s hard to anticipate these things before they happen, because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of assuming that things will always be as they mostly always have been. If things have been fine yesterday, and the day before, and the few years before that, or even the few decades before that, we just naturally assume that they will continue to be fine for the indefinite future.
There are two ways to balance your portfolio. You can create a balance based on several individual cryptocurrencies or you can balance your portfolio based on the types of cryptocurrencies. I’m actually doing both. I first created a balance based on the types of cryptocurrencies, then I created another balance of the cryptocurrencies within each of the types of cryptocurrencies.
I'd suggest the safest way to play the cryptocurrency market is through the graphic processing unit (GPU) manufacturers, NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD). Both NVIDIA and Advanced Micro make GPUs that cryptocurrency miners use to validate transactions. Being the first to solve these complex mathematical equations, which are a product of encryption within a blockchain, entitles crypto miners to a block reward that's paid out in tokens of the virtual currency being mined. Though the margins on cryptocurrency mining have come down significantly from where they were in December 2017, it's still quite profitable for miners to validate transactions and collect their reward. This puts NVIDIA's and AMD's GPUs in high demand.
To the other point, gold’s coveted status in jewelry is merely a derivative property of its perceived value, which leads to its designation as a status symbol. Without that underlying perceived value, it would command far less value in jewelry. Consequently, the question still remains about the gap between the industrial and medical value of gold and the actual value of gold as determined by the market. Where does the value in that gap come from?
We think that cryptocurrencies may be the opportunity of a lifetime. The market is still immature and relatively small. However, 2018 has seen the entry of well respected financial players into the space such as George Soros and the Rockefellers. We still think we are in the first innings in cryptocurrency and believe that as more large financial players enter the market, that there is the potential for extraordinary gains.
This is an extraordinarily difficult feat to accomplish, however, as the more people there are mining bitcoin, the harder it is to take over the network. At the current worldwide mining rate of almost 5 billion gigahashes a second, it would be extraordinarily difficult for even the most powerful organizations in the world (e.g., large-scale governments) to mount a successful 51% attack. It would be enormously costly, and quite possibly more financially detrimental to the attacker than to the network.
History has proven this to be an often fatal assumptive error. The second things start to stop working, they tend to stop working in an extremely rapid, catastrophic fashion. There’s very little, if anything, stopping us from seeing another Great Depression sometime in the future, be it the near or longer term future. When that does happen — and it almost certainly will, sooner or later, if history is any good teacher — those who haven’t adequately prepared for it and taken appropriate prophylactic measures may very well find themselves in a bad spot.
I enjoyed this interview. One growing use case for assets on blockchains is the tokenization of scarce digital assets in video game economies. This use case makes game items into digital bearer assets. World of Warcraft gold was an early example of this concept but blockchains are enabling the concept to grow even further. Digital game items and currencies potentially have value if game curators can manage supply effectively and there is sufficient demand for scarce game items/currencies from users. This has already started with in-game item purchases for games such as Fortnite. The next frontier to monetize in-game item purchases is to tokenize game items that can be used with third-party platforms. This is happening in an inefficient manner today with the CS:GO game skin gambling economy. I know it sounds wild but a google search will show this use case is potentially worth billions of dollars.
Anyone who has been drawn into the Apple ecosystem probably knows how powerful these can be. There are cryptocurrency projects that are creating ecosystems. We believe that successful ecosystems in the blockchain space will do exceptionally well long term. This is because they create efficiencies and are quite difficult for businesses to switch away from.
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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.