There isn't a way to invest in Bitcoin the way you would invest in the stock of a company. But depending on the long-term plan for your newfound cryptocurrency, buying Bitcoin and monitoring its value can technically make you an investor of sorts. By attempting to buy bitcoin at the lowest price and sell at a higher rate, you could make money off your purchase like an investment.
In the case of a watermelon, what we intuitively grasp is that there is some fundamental, intrinsic value to the watermelon, and a ‘fair’ price for it. We have a general understanding of what this price should be, and are more than happy to buy watermelons when they are on discount relative to their fair price, and are reticent to do so when they are being sold at a premium to their fair price.
Yet there's reason to doubt that cryptocurrency frenzy will return. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) — Ma Bell in Warner's analogy — banned credit-card purchases of cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the SEC and foreign governments have cracked down on initial coin offerings. And lately, Alphabet (GOOGL)-unit Google, Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) have banned cryptocurrency ads.
“The subsequent [to December 2017] bitcoin price declines were not caused by the introduction of these futures, but rather the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency market. In addition, we believe irrational speculation by pessimistic investors has also contributed to the price movement over the past six months. As such, we see the ongoing crypto bear market as clearly cleansing the ecosystem from short-term oriented speculators, which will be good for the crypto ecosystem long-term.”
Bitcoin Investment Trust is an entity that was established to give investors a way to get exposure to the bitcoin market without actually buying their own bitcoin. The trust itself owns a substantial amount of the cryptocurrency -- roughly 200,000 bitcoin currently. Each share of the trust works out to just under 0.001 bitcoin, meaning an equivalent net asset value of roughly $6.50 with bitcoin prices near $6,500 per token.
FunFair (https://www.funfair.io/) is a decentralised gaming platform, and it is advertised as “The world’s fastest Ethereum casino platform.” Thanks to their breakthrough technology, FUN tokens will be used as chips inside the casino. This is the first platform that solves many big challenges other blockchain casinos have. They have a working proof of concept (POC). They are working hard at finishing the development, so we should expect to see a raise in the token’s value once FunFair officially opens.
Trustlessness in this sense is a huge component and advantage of bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large. Another ground-breaking innovation the blockchain introduces is the concept of a smart contract, or a contract that similarly requires no trust or middleman to mediate, but is rather contractually executed in a deterministic fashion through code run on the blockchain.
Exchanges have inbuilt online wallets to keep the cryptocurrency you purchased. However, for those who heard of the Mt. Gox hack, you might feel uneasy to put on an exchange. If you do not wish to keep your crypto holdings on the exchange, you have the option to either use a paper wallet service like myetherwallet.com or spend 99 USD on a hardware wallet like KeepKey. Both serve the purpose of removing platform risk, at the cost of taking up the responsibility of keeping your cryptocurrency safe.
Returning to the question of calculating potential investment upside here, there are countless other ways to make projections on the future potential value of bitcoin, and I encourage you to try to make some depending on your personal beliefs regarding the level of success bitcoin might have, and the ultimate utility it might provide to the world. For instance, if you see bitcoin primarily as a way to simplify making international transactions and cut out inefficiencies there, you might look to see what the overall market size is for a solution that might solve that problem and capture that market. Western Union, as one example, is a company with a market cap of $9 billion. Consequently, it might be reasonable to expect that bitcoin’s true ultimate value would be something roughly in that order of magnitude, if this were to be bitcoin’s one true long term use case.
The same might be said of speculative investments such as those in cryptocurrency. You can and absolutely should do your part to learn as much as possible about this field, and come to your own personal conclusions on its current and future potential value. However, no matter how much research you do and how many calculations you make, there will always be a fundamental and inextricable degree of pure luck involved in determining the ultimate outcome of your speculation. Any number of future events could tip the scales for or against cryptocurrency, or more specifically, any one cryptocurrency, and a number of these will be ‘black swan’ events that are fundamentally unpredictable in their nature and timing, but in aggregate whole, almost certain to occur.
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Any cryptocurrency other than bitcoin is referred to as an altcoin. Remember, you should treat cryptocurrencies as if you were a VC looking to invest in a startup. You’d invest in the startup that would have the greatest chance of succeeding because it provides a unique benefit to the world that will continue to be useful in the long run. The main wallet i’m using to invest in altcoins is CoinSpot because it gives me the option of purchasing a plethora of cryptocurrencies from just one account.
Speaking to that last point now (the ’second’ mistake I mentioned at the beginning of this part) I’m of the personal opinion that it is incredibly important to not only invest solely in things that I truly believe have the real potential to succeed in a big way long term, but to actually commit and hold to that investment, once I make it, no matter what happens with the price short term. If some fundamental fact underlying my investment changes, I can certainly re-evaluate it, but if the price drops 90% or even 95% in the short term for no particular reason except a collapse of a local maximum in price speculation (e.g., a bubble popping), I must never be tempted to sell and try to ‘time’ the market in any way. Instead, I have to hold that investment with firm conviction in what I believe the eventual price based on fundamentals is worth, regardless of how the market values it in the present moment.
Debit cards, on the other hand, allow you to buy cryptocurrencies available on the platform pretty much instantaneously. Simply by transferring funds from that card to the platform, you can purchase cryptocurrency in an instant. However, debit cards cannot be used to sell crypto, to deposit money in one’s account, or to withdraw money from one’s Coinbase account. On Coinbase, debit cards can be used exclusively to purchase crypto, and even then, only in smaller amounts. With a debit card, the limit is much lower than with a bank account ($1,125). It should be noted, though, that limits are, or can be, increased by purchasing cryptocurrency and spending a particular amount of money in doing so, either from a bank account or a debit card.
I think that this is a great strategy, and personally practice it with a few modifications. While I’ll never sell at any price essentially (unlike other investments, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are unique in that they arecurrencies, and consequently if they succeed, you won’t have to sell them to gain value from them. You can just use them directly, just as you might US dollars or any other form of currency. In the manner that I use the word sell here however, I mean that I likely won’t sell at any price under $100,000, as that’s where I personally see the moonshot value of bitcoin going towards, in the slight chance that it does succeed), no matter how high the price rises in the short term, if and when the price becomes particularly low as a result of a cratering market, I will look to buy more than I normally would, to double down on my investment here — all the while keeping in mind never to invest more than I’m perfectly willing to lose entirely.
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.
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.
No. 4: Cryptocurrency futures, derivatives, and forward contracts are gaining adoption: The volatility of crypto prices at the beginning of the year dramatically boosted demand for crypto derivative products. With derivatives, investors do not need to hold the underlying crypto asset, but they can still enjoy the potential benefits while possibly minimizing loses, much like they hedge regular currencies. While many exchanges do not yet allow direct sales of Bitcoin, investors can speculate on cryptocurrency pricing by trading futures on exchanges like BitMEX, LedgerX and OKCoin. Institutional investors have used futures contracts to even influence crypto currency prices, especially BTC. In the United States, the move by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Exchange to offer futures trading has further validated the industry.