After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.
The cryptocurrency market, which consists of bitcoin and other virtual coins such as ethereum, ripple, litecoin and monero, faced extreme volatility and lost a minimum of $350 billion in value year-to-date due to orders from regulators and hacking. Losing billions of dollars in market cap for cryptocurrencies is not unusual. In December, bitcoin reached a high of $20,000, but dipped to $8,500 by mid-March and is now trading at $6,300.
Grayscale is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group Inc. (“DCG”). DGC has interests in multiple digital currency ventures in addition to Grayscale. CoinDesk, the leading digital media, events and information services company for the digital asset and blockchain technology community, is also a subsidiary of DCG. CoinDesk is editorially independent from DCG and Grayscale, and any views or opinions expressed by CoinDesk are not the views or opinions of Grayscale.
Last month, Chainalysis published a study revealing that BTC investors and speculators held their positions over the summer, while markets seem to have become more stable overall. The monetary aggregates reportedly were “extremely steady” during the summer, showing that the amount of BTC held for speculation was stable from May to August at around 22 percent of available BTC. The amount of BTC held for investment also showed stability during the same period at around 30 percent.
Bitcoin is often touted as an electronic currency that will change the world, but it is also a highly volatile type of financial asset. In fact, many governments don't recognize it as a currency at all. In spite of the many merchants now excepting bitcoin, a lot of the activity surrounding bitcoin comes from traders hoping to make money on fluctuations in its value.
But even with many success stories surrounding bitcoin investments, seasoned investors are voicing caution. Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and "Oracle of Omaha" Warren Buffett warn of bitcoin's volatility. Legendary investor and index fund mogul Jack Bogle, at a recent Council on Foreign Relations event, told the audience, "Avoid bitcoin like the plague."
First one piece of good news: You can buy fractions up to the eighth decimal place of bitcoin. That means you don’t need to plunk down the nearly $17,000 you often see quoted as the price for a full bitcoin — which is probably for the best, as we noted above. As of Thursday afternoon, that one ten-thousandth — four decimal places or 0.0001 — of a bitcoin is worth about $1.65.

If you’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell cryptocurrency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.


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Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, or GBTC, which tracks Bitcoin’s market price, has seen its net asset value hit its lowest point since the cryptocurrency’s price surged late last year. Shares of GBTC are down around 80 percent since Bitcoin hit a high of $19,511 in mid-December. The price of Bitcoin has dropped nearly 66 percent during the same time period, making the premium to the cryptocurrency almost nonexistent. The fund has traded at more than twice its net asset value.
The first part will speak to a broad explanation of what bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large are. The second will discuss my personal investment philosophy as it pertains to crypto. The third will show you step by step how to actually begin investing in crypto, if you so choose. Each section will be clearly delineated, so feel free to skip parts if they’re already familiar to you.
More recently, the approval or rejection of a bitcoin ETF was widely touted as being the contributing factor to a bitcoin bull run from under $1000 to over $1200. It was speculated that if the ETF were to be rejected, that naturally the price would fall to where it was before the bull run began. Indeed, the moment the ETF was announced as rejected, the price did momentarily fall to almost $1000. However, it just as quickly recovered, and began an inexorable climb all the way up to over $2700, where it stands to this day.

It is important to note that the use of Zcash is not just for cybercriminals who engage in illegal transactions in the dark web. There are a number of legitimate reasons why a user would opt for anonymous cryptocurrencies such as Zcash, including a couple who are into eye-brow raising bedroom toys; an entity who would like legal services for a private matter like bankruptcy; a company who would like to protect its trade secrets or supply chain information from competitors; an individual with a chronic medical condition who would like to buy his pills online anonymously; etc. These are all examples of individuals seeking anonymity for privacy reasons.
Civic is a “secure identity platform” that provides on-demand, secure, and low-cost identity verification on the blockchain.  Civic is trying to eliminate the need for usernames and passwords, so it provides multi-factor authentication without a password, username, physical hardware token, or third party authenticator. All the data is fully encrypted in the app. This means that the creators/owners do not have any access to your personal data, and you only share what YOU want to share about yourself.
As the Chicago Board Options Exchange launched cash-settled Bitcoin futures trading on December 11, and their rivals Chicago Mercantile Exchange followed suit six day later, prices of both BTC derivatives and the coin itself surged amid an unprecedented wave of publicity. Each Cboe contract was for one Bitcoin, while each CME futures represented five. Both enabled traders to take either long (agreement to buy) or short (agreement to sell) positions, meaning that investors could bet on both increase and decline of Bitcoin price.

It’s important to note that the mere fact that something is speculative does not necessarily mean it can’t be a good investment, or that it is merely akin to blind gambling, dependent solely on the luck of the draw. Poker might be a suitable analogy. Poker can be played well or poorly, and skill and calculation lends an incredible degree of advantage to a player’s odds of success. However, the game still fundamentally deals with an immense degree of unavoidable variation and unknowns, and even the best poker player is guaranteed to lose many of their games, even if they play each one ‘perfectly’. The goal, simply, is to win more than you lose, and with the right amount of skill, knowledge, and preparation, this is a possible feat in poker.
Tom is a cryptocurrency expert and investor from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, with over 5 years of experience in the field. He holds an MA in diplomacy and BA in politics from the University of Nottingham, giving him a firm understanding of the social implications and political factors in cryptocurrency. He believes in long-term projects rather than any short term gains, and is a strong advocate of the future application of blockchain technology. Contact Tom: [email protected]

Over the last half a year, Cboe and CME were not the only entities to have a dig at crypto futures, and Bitcoin was not the only asset underlying these contracts. Since March, UK-based financial institutions were responsible for a steady supply of breaking news in this domain. In March, a British cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinfloor made headlines by announcing the launch of the first physically settled Bitcoin-based futures product.
Long downtrends in bear markets can last weeks or months in crypto (and Bull markets can last a long time to)… so be aware of the overall trend! Meanwhile dips in a bull or stagnant market can last hours or days and rallies in a bear market can last hours or days as well. It is general wisdom that one should avoid being a bull in a bear market, and avoid being a bear in a bull market. The trick is understanding what market we are in, in a longterm bear market you’ll want to buy slowly and be willing to take profits, in a short dip in a bull market you may want to spam the buy button. If you don’t know which type of market we are in, slowly creating a position and planning for the worst is far more conservative (assuming the asset is going to zero, and making sure you have enough cash on hand to buy all the way to zero, is about as conservative as it gets).
There are a number of issues with this, however, and a lot of things would have to go right before this occurred. There are several cryptocurrencies, for instance, with ethereum being the most notable, that are already far larger than litecoin, and it would have to be demonstrated that there’s some reason something like ethereum couldn’t simply take the place of bitcoin, and that litecoin would have a better shot at doing so than the larger players that already exist in this space.
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.
Long downtrends in bear markets can last weeks or months in crypto (and Bull markets can last a long time to)… so be aware of the overall trend! Meanwhile dips in a bull or stagnant market can last hours or days and rallies in a bear market can last hours or days as well. It is general wisdom that one should avoid being a bull in a bear market, and avoid being a bear in a bull market. The trick is understanding what market we are in, in a longterm bear market you’ll want to buy slowly and be willing to take profits, in a short dip in a bull market you may want to spam the buy button. If you don’t know which type of market we are in, slowly creating a position and planning for the worst is far more conservative (assuming the asset is going to zero, and making sure you have enough cash on hand to buy all the way to zero, is about as conservative as it gets).
Even now, as ethereum flirts with a $500 price point and a ~$46B market cap, we believe that if Ethereum becomes the dominant smart contract protocol its market cap will be in excess of a trillion dollars. There are a lot of things that need to take place in the meantime to make this a reality, specifically around scalability but the potential is certainly real given the breadth and scope of its disruptive technology.
• In the United States, although Coinbase seems the go-to option in many cases, bear in mind that’s only an exchange, not a broker. You would be wiser to choose, for instance, TradeStation, one of the most reputable brokers, with a great site, great trading options and a solid mobile app. Because, you know, the crypto market moves so fast that you want to be able to check it while you’re drinking your Chai latte on your commute or waiting for your friends to show up at the bar.
Many Bitcoin enthusiasts argue that altcoins are totally unnecessary. Also, some say that, because they cannot rival the infrastructure Bitcoin boasts, altcoins will not succeed. However, altcoins have a significant role. Altcoins allow developers to experiment with unique features, and while it is true that, if the developers or community desires, Bitcoin can copy these features, fully-functioning altcoins are much better “cryptocurrency laboratories” than Bitcoin’s testnet. Moreover, one of Bitcoin’s most prominent goals is decentralization, and altcoins further decentralize the cryptocurrency community. Finally, altcoins give Bitcoin healthy competition and they give cryptocurrency users alternative options and forces Bitcoin’s developers to remain active and continue innovating. Users can adopt an altcoin if they do not feel that Bitcoin satisfies their digital desires. Also, the Bitcoin developers would have to adopt the features the community desired or risk losing its place as the preeminent cryptocurrency if enough users left Bitcoin for a particular altcoin.
NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (the "Trust") (OTCQX:GBTC), announced that a fork in the Bitcoin blockchain occurred yesterday, August 1, 2017. The Sponsor is monitoring events relating to the fork and the Bitcoin Cash resulting from the fork. A record date has not been established for the purposes of any distribution that may be made in connection with Bitcoin Cash. The Sponsor will announce a record date, if any, once established.
It is composed of several key disciplines that will help you keep your profits and maintain a strong portfolio by removing inherent human psychological weaknesses. I’m not claiming to have the golden goose of cryptocurrency investing, but these strategic elements will certainly help in making the most out of what some see as a catastrophic cryptocurrency bear run – and what others see as an opportunity.
Nvidia (NVDA) , a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio, and AMD (AMD) are companies that make several types of technology; AMD makes processors for desktop and laptop computers, while Nvidia's products range from automotive use to cloud servers. Where the two most successfully intersect, though, are their graphics processing units. Even in the age of ASIC miners, a strong GPU has proven to be a competitive (and much more affordable) way to mine bitcoins.
Digression aside, that sums up most of the thoughts I have about the primary things to be cautious about when it comes to bitcoin investment. There are a few more practical matters to be extremely cautious about (namely, how you store your cryptocurrency), but I’ll address those in the next part, which will be an actual how-to guide showing actually actionable steps for those interested in getting into bitcoin investment.
The most dangerous game of all, then, in my opinion, is day trading in altcoins that one doesn’t believe in long term. This is basically combining every ‘mistake’ I mention above: trading in something because of short term price movements, not holding it long term, day trading, and speculating in highly risky small cap altcoins. If you manage to survive doing this over any long period of time (5 years+, let’s say) and end up net profitable (particularly if you end up more profitable than just buying and holding over that same period of time), please do let me know, as I’d be extremely curious to hear just how you pulled it off.

Another benefit of holding coins yourself, in a hardware wallet or elsewhere, is that you know that you 100% own all of your money. Exchanges are just like banks, in the sense that you trust them to hold your money for you. If they end up losing that money to hackers or stealing it themselves, you’re out of luck. This isn’t just a scary bedtime story — countless cryptocurrencyexchanges have been embezzled or hacked (an enormous percentage, actually), and hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost.
It’s important to note that the mere fact that something is speculative does not necessarily mean it can’t be a good investment, or that it is merely akin to blind gambling, dependent solely on the luck of the draw. Poker might be a suitable analogy. Poker can be played well or poorly, and skill and calculation lends an incredible degree of advantage to a player’s odds of success. However, the game still fundamentally deals with an immense degree of unavoidable variation and unknowns, and even the best poker player is guaranteed to lose many of their games, even if they play each one ‘perfectly’. The goal, simply, is to win more than you lose, and with the right amount of skill, knowledge, and preparation, this is a possible feat in poker.
A long time horizon also gives us the opportunity of compounding gains over time. Look at the cryptocurrency market as the challenge to find the next Amazon and potentially enjoy larger long term gains. Who wants to be the type of guys to sell Amazon when they were up a little in the year 2000 and miss out on nearly two decades of heavy gains? Also, if you are convinced about the long term growth potential of a cryptocurrency project, why sell it in a few months time?
Steem has a built in inflation of 100% annualy and no coin limit. The platform itself (Steemit) has grown considerably since the Coin launched and currently has over 70,000 users. Steem is the fundamental unit of account on the Steem blockchain, and all other units (Steem power and Steem dollars) derive their value from the value of Steem. There is no need to hold on to Steem in its cryptocurrency form. Instead, it should be used either to purchase Steem dollars, Steem power or be converted to Bitcoins.
This occurs because any block that the rogue miner who changed their software mines won’t be accepted by all the other miners who are still running the original software. Consequently, all the other miners will begin mining different blocks, and adding those to their blockchain. This leads to a fork in the road, essentially, where two completely different blockchains are formed — one by the rogue miner, and one by all the other miners.
The stop-loss option is an incredibly useful tool to protect your profits, and I highly recommend using it. Stop-losses are tools that automatically sell at, or slightly below, a set price. They help you remove yourself from the equation and prevent you from having to sit in front of your screen the entire day watching charts before deciding what to do.
There are hundreds of altcoins, and more appear every day. Most altcoins are little more than Bitcoin clones and they do not survive for very long. They only change minor features, such as its hashing algorithm, distribution method, or transactions speed. One exception is Litecoin, which has branded itself as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” The reason for that is that, in addition to using a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin, Litecoin has a much higher number of currency units.
There is one risk involved with stop-losses because of this though, which is when a price drastically drops. This is because a stop-loss is automatically triggered once the price threshold is reached. It could be that the price plummets so hard that the stop-loss sells for a far lower price than you anticipated. This is because during a crash, a lot of people are selling but nobody’s buying, meaning the price can only be determined once anyone buys. Using the example above, if Lisk were to drop from $32 to $27 without anyone buying in between, your stop loss would sell at $27.
A long time horizon also gives us the opportunity of compounding gains over time. Look at the cryptocurrency market as the challenge to find the next Amazon and potentially enjoy larger long term gains. Who wants to be the type of guys to sell Amazon when they were up a little in the year 2000 and miss out on nearly two decades of heavy gains? Also, if you are convinced about the long term growth potential of a cryptocurrency project, why sell it in a few months time?

As for investing an initial lump sum to begin getting exposure in this space, my personal strategy would be to do a semi-timed dollar cost average, if one is particularly concerned that they might be investing just before a local minimum market crash, but also particularly concerned that the price may keep rapidly appreciating ad infinitum, and would like to get in before that happens. That is, I’d decide the total lump sum I’d be willing to set aside to invest here, say, $10,000, and invest 33% or 50% of it immediately. Then, if the market did crash, I’d be psychologically very happy, and be super excited to invest another 33% or 50%. On the flip side, if the market continued to rise indefinitely and never fell again, I’d also be happy that at least I was able to get exposure to the market and didn’t miss out entirely. A 33–33–33 split would allow me to invest 3 times when I felt the market was at a particularly good time for investment, and a 50–50 split twice. Just random arbitrary examples of divisions I might do here, depending on how exactly wary I feel about the market at the present moment in time.
If you’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell cryptocurrency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.

Nevertheless, NVIDIA and AMD aren't absolved from downside, either. In fact, you could say the two are stuck in a pervasive cryptocurrency conundrum. As a result of the high demand for GPUs, graphics card prices have shot through the roof. In doing so, it's angered their core gaming customers, who are being forced to pay significant premiums for graphics cards at the moment. These companies could risk alienating their core customer and do nothing or they could create a GPU specific for miners, hurting the growth they've received from miners by increasing supply. 
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.
Traditionally, with a legal contract, two parties agree to certain terms with the understanding that if one party reneges, the other party can seek legal recourse with the governmental justice system. Lawsuits, however, can often be inordinately expensive, and in many cases the outcome is far from certain. A good or bad lawyer can make or break a case, and one is also at the mercy of a judge and/or jury and their subjective, possibly mercurial whims. Not the most efficient or foolproof system.
A key component is not to worry about trying to time the market perfectly. Even the most seasoned investors aren’t able to consistently buy at the absolute bottom and sell at the peak. Worrying about this causes stress and leads to mistakes caused by emotional reactions, which should be avoided at all cost. We are merely smart apes, and by accepting this, we can become very successful apes.

UK-based cryptocurrency trading startup, Crypto Facilities, has become the first crypto platform to launch regulated Ethereum futures contracts, making a new derivatives contract available from 4 pm UK time on the 11th of May. The new Ethereum futures contracts represent another step toward the maturation of the cryptocurrency market as complex financial products such as index funds and crypto ETFs loom on the horizon.
The futures offered by Cboe Global Markets Inc., and similar contracts that start trading in a week at at another Chicago-based exchange, CME Group Inc., may open the door to greater inflows of institutional money, while also making it easier to bet on bitcoin’s decline. Either way, it’s likely trading will start slowly, said Mike Novogratz, chief executive officer of Galaxy Investment Partners, which is raising a crypto hedge fund targeted at $500 million.
How assets are valued is a changing model, and the quoted market cap of a coin is an excellent tool for benchmarking but can be misleading. Chris Burniske wrote about this on Medium. As currency use increases and utility tokens bring products to market, the economic models will be tested and as such valuation models will change. This could go either way; assets could be either under or overvalued. I believe that currencies are undervalued, and utility tokens are overvalued, hence my preference for investing in coins over tokens.
The latter is very important, as situations where investors lose their funds due to hacks and security breaches happen quite often. This is why traders try to pick exchanges which can offer insurance (like Coinbase does) or have some sort of reserve fund to cover expenses if something happens. For example, Bithumb exchange which was recently hacked, promised that it would fully compensate users out of its fund of $450 million.
Most people are at least somewhat familiar with Bitcoin even if they do not accurately understand how it works. However, once they begin to get involved with cryptocurrency, they may be surprised to learn that there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies (a.k.a altcoins) out there besides Bitcoin (CoinMarketCap listed more than 2000 altcoins at the time this guide was written).
Market Capitalization and Daily Trading Volume – A cryptocurrency’s market capitalization is the total worth of all coins currently in circulation, and at the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization is nearly $139 billion. High market capitalization can indicate a high value per coin. It is important to note that the daily trading volume of currencies is more important than market capitalization.
I’m a nomad from The States, currently residing in Indonesia. Can you suggest the best global service for wallets/exchanges? In The States it’s Coinbase but its supported countries are extremely limited for my needs limited. I need something I can access in basically any country without issue. I know there are a options out there, but I wanted to get you opinion of how other travelers have gotten past this.
The primary disadvantage of Bitcoin Investment Trust is that the share price of the trust doesn't necessarily mirror what the actual bitcoin market is doing. For instance, shares of the trust right now trade at between $8.50 and $9. That price is more than 30% higher than the actual value of the bitcoin within the trust that each share represents. In essence, for every $1.30 you invest in the trust right now, you're only getting $1 worth of bitcoin.

A long-term investment is one where you expect a cryptocurrency to perform better over a longer period of time. Simple! Normally, the minimum time for long-term investment is 6 months to 1 year. Although, some people plan to hold onto their investments for 5-10+ years. It’s up to you how you choose to invest; you can either make your full investment in one go, or you can invest at different times.
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