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.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no cryptocurrencies.
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Do note that this will put your portfolio out of balance. But it’s prudent to do this as a measure of risk mitigation whenever your portfolio has been doing incredibly well. The market won’t go up forever, and you can rest assured that there will always be another correction. By taking profits in Bitcoin, you partly secure your profits while at the same time staying in the game lest you miss out on another leg of a bull run.
The aspect we particularly like about decentralised exchanges is that they solve the single point of failure problem and the need for third party trust. As cryptocurrencies grow in value, centralised exchanges become a bigger and bigger target for hackers. Any investor with cryptocurrency on a centralised exchange is forced to trust that it will behave properly and have the necessary security measures in place. With decentralised exchanges, these issues are removed and this is why we think they will eventually replace older centralised exchanges.
Technology development: this is a key aspect in cryptocurrency. If the technology behind a cryptocurrency is not fit for purpose, then it is likely that in the long-term, the cryptocurrency will fail. An example of a positive technological development is Ethereum’s recent Byzantium hard fork. This hard fork allowed for more transactions to be processed on the Ethereum blockchain. This positive technological development increases the likelihood of Ethereum being widely adopted, and so once again makes it a viable candidate for our portfolio.
What he means by that is that for some reason, people tend to buy stocks when they’re going up in price, and sell them when they’re going down. At face value, this makes no sense. We wouldn’t buy a watermelon when it was $10, and sell it when it was $2. With groceries, it makes intrinsic sense to us to buy watermelons at $2, not $10, but seemingly not so with our investments.
MintChip – Unlike most cryptocurrencies, MintChip is actually the creation of a government institution, specifically the Royal Canadian Mint. MintChip is a smartcard that holds electronic value and can transfer it securely from one chip to another. Like Bitcoin, MintChip does not need personal identification; unlike Bitcoin, it is backed by a physical currency, the Canadian dollar.
I’ve also seen plenty of people who intend to hold long term, but lose faith when they see their investment crater 30%, 50%, or even 70%. At this point, they lose faith, and decide to sell their investment to at least recoup some of their initial capital, and not lose everything outright. Thus, they end up buying high and selling low, and then having double regret when bitcoin eventually ended up rebounding even higher than the ‘high’ they bought at.
The most common place where people buy and trade cryptocurrency is on the exchanges. Exchanges are places where you may buy and sell your crypto, using fiat. There are multiple measures to judge the reliability and quality of an exchange, such as liquidity, spread, fees, purchase and withdrawal limits, trading volume, security, insurance, user-friendliness. Out of all these, I find Coinbase as the best exchange hands down. It has a beginner-friendly user interface, and an unbeatable 100% crypto insurance.
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.
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