As Satoshi notes, bitcoin’s irreversible, trustless nature removes the need for any middlemen to mediate and broker the process of payments from one person to another. Middlemen (e.g. banks and credit card networks) inherently introduce overhead costs and inefficiency into the system, which make transactions — and micropayments in particular — more costly than would otherwise be the case.
Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes.

Hey RV, could we maybe do a bit more of a technical/tradable look at crypto next? This along with John Burbank's section was very general discussion with rehashed netscape/internet analogies, removing middle men which offer nothing new. Focus is always on the transaction coins (admittedly there was more on smart contracts here) but what about other industries for blockchain: decentralized data, personal data, computing power, energy, supply chain etc?

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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.
"We see continued growth both in terms of the average daily volume and open interest," said Tim McCourt, group global head of equity products and alternative investments at the CME Group, a Chicago-based derivatives exchange. "The volume has steadily increased compared to when it was first launched in December. This is not a one-sided product because we have both supply and demand."
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)
In crypto, we see many little dips, and then every few weeks or months we tend to see some very big dips (we might call “corrections” or “crashes”). Both little dips or big dips can make sense to buy depending on your investing strategy. If you are range trading, then little dips are great to buy, if you are a long-term investor, then the bigger dips can be rewarding for building a long position (but of course you have to be careful about how you time your buys).
This article is a very high level introduction to the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX:GBTC). If you are unsure about what Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is, then you can start by reading some of my articles on the subject. Alternatively, if you're a visual learner there are many great videos that can get you up to a basic level of understanding. Let's begin.
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I invest in altcoins to grow my BTC position: as such; my altcoin positions are medium to long-term, which is 2–6 months in crypto. As altcoins are traded on most exchanges using the BTC pair, I trade altcoins with the goal of selling the altcoin for more BTC than I paid. This is a new part of my strategy as I historically always tracked investments against fiat but spending time learning from Luke Martin and crucial other Crypto traders have shifted this for me.
Ripple – Ripple was launched by OpenCoin, a company founded by technology entrepreneur Chris Larsen in 2012. Like Bitcoin, Ripple is both a currency and a payment system. The currency component is XRP, which has a mathematical foundation like Bitcoin. The payment mechanism enables the transfer of funds in any currency to another user on the Ripple network within seconds, in contrast  to Bitcoin transactions, which can take as long as 10 minutes to confirm.

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.
Cryptocurrencies are not a get rich quick scheme; it takes time to see success and even then it’s not guaranteed. Remember you are backing young companies or complete startups and the odds are that 90% of these will fail in the long term. Before doing anything, you should be fully aware of the risks. If you are comfortable with it, then don’t invest more you can afford or feel comfortable with losing.
Over the past six months, the cryptocurrency crash has brought out the skeptics. In fact, the ongoing “Crypto Winter” is a healthy cleansing of the ecosystem because the correction is effectively separating long-term value creators from short-term day traders. All in all, we believe that a “Crypto Spring” will arrive. And, institutional capital, a.k.a. the sticky, smart money, could possibly usher in this new season.