I’ve literally dipped my toe in the water this week, and it’s good to see that I’m headed the right direction in spreading the investment over various alts, as well as Daddy BTC. I’ve had an even split until now, using tips from online articles as to where to invest, so will head off to your how to research article and see what I can find for myself and come up with a nice balance for the portfolio.
Long-term investing is simply as its name says – taking a long-term view of investments. Everyone defines ‘long-term’ differently. In the stock market, ‘long-term’ normally means anything that lasts years… However, given the fact that the cryptocurrency market moves extremely quickly, we can scale that number down to couple of months or a year. If we look at stock market investment, the legendary investor, Warren Buffet, is an advocate of long-term investment because of the many advantages it has to offer.
This can be an interesting way to gauge the bitcoin market without all the work of getting bitcoins, but it comes at a price. Literally, you'll be paying very high premiums. The stock recently split to make things more affordable, but the premium remains steep. As of this writing, one share from GBTC is worth 0.00100396 BTC, or $6.77. Yet shares are going for $10.70. You'll also need to factor in management fees as well. As a result, some think it's more worth it to just own the bitcoins yourself.
Just like any other currency, you have to have a place to store your Bitcoin, or more accurately, store the private keys you can use to access your Bitcoin. These aren’t the type of wallets you buy at Target, though. The software comes in many different forms, most of which can be downloaded on your smartphone, tablet, or computer desktop. Here are the different types of wallets:
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.
Crypto tokens are essentially startup companies, therefore when reviewing blockchain infrastructure projects, look for the ones that control their own intellectual property, not the ones which are clones of some other blockchain. When looking at blockchain based projects, look for the ones that are solving a real market problem, have a real business plan, and an experienced team behind them. Avoid tokens which pay people to use them or tokens which look like a marketing operation without substance or tokens which just happen to be listed by some exchange for no reason. And for god sake don’t refresh coinmarketcap.com every few minutes.
The primary difference between options and futures is that options give the holder the right to buy or sell the underlying asset at expiration, while the holder of a futures contract is obligated to fulfill the terms of his contract. In real life, the actual delivery rate of the underlying goods specified in futures contracts is very low as the hedging or speculating benefits of the contracts can be had largely without actually holding the contract until expiry and delivering the good. For example, if you were long in a futures contract, you could go short in the same type of contract to offset your position. This serves to exit your position, much like selling a stock in the equity markets closes a trade.
If you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies, it may be best to treat your “investment” in the same way you would treat any other highly speculative venture. In other words, recognize that you run the risk of losing most of your investment, if not all of it. As stated earlier, a cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value apart from what a buyer is willing to pay for it at a point in time. This makes it very susceptible to huge price swings, which in turn increases the risk of loss for an investor. Bitcoin, for example, plunged from $260 to about $130 within a six-hour period on April 11, 2013. If you cannot stomach that kind of volatility, look elsewhere for investments that are better suited to you. While opinion continues to be deeply divided about the merits of Bitcoin as an investment – supporters point to its limited supply and growing usage as value drivers, while detractors see it as just another speculative bubble – this is one debate that a conservative investor would do well to avoid.
When a market is as volatile and unpredictable as this one, diversification is what ensures gains while limiting risk. Additionally, unlike most other markets, the cryptocurrency market tends to act as one cohesive unit, meaning that diversification does not threaten profits as it would in other markets. Rather, it ensures that one singular cryptocurrency’s drop in value will not have a large effect on your portfolio.
That said, it’s extremely important to keep in mind that one doesn’t get infinite opportunities to keep playing this bet out over and over again. There is only one bitcoin in the world, and we only have one opportunity to play out this exact bet. Given this fact, it’s important to realize that if this were somehow to actually be a perfectly EV neutral bet, with a possibility of a 150X upside and a 0.66% chance of realizing that upside, it would still mean that we have a 99.33% chance of losing all our money that we place on this bet. It would be extremely foolish, therefore, to invest all our money into such a wildly speculative investment, even if it is technically EV neutral or even slightly EV positive. What might make sense, is to set aside a responsibly proportionate amount of money specifically earmarked for such wildly speculative investments as a part of a holistic investment portfolio, that one is fully willing and able to lose without significant impact to one’s well-being or quality of life, and to invest that amount of money in a +EV bet like this.
As a general rule, what goes up can come down, and what goes up particularly quickly is privy to come down just as quickly. This is not to say that things will come down if they go up, but merely that they can, and certainly have before. This is particularly noteworthy today, with ethereum having seen some truly wild gains this year, all the way up from $7 back in December of last year to over $350 presently — a gain of 50X in just about half a year. Again, this isn’t to say ethereum will fall, but merely that it very well might, for any host of reasons, and it’s very important to keep this fact in mind and not overextend yourself with investments you perceive to be less volatile than they truly are. I’ll get back to this more later.
Here’s how it works. You use exactly the same schedule as for regular dollar cost averaging, and you use the same periods and take the same investment portion as a base point. However, instead of completely ignoring the price, you use the relative change of price compared to the last buy-in period and apply this change to your preset recurring budget. Let me show you how this works.
Lastly, you’ll have to connect a payment method. For years, credit cards were the most common way to pay for Bitcoin. Recently, however, credit card issuers and some international governments have put strict regulations on using credit cards as a buying option. Most credit cards are no longer accepted as a method of payment, meaning people have had to look into other options.
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.
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The price of bitcoin cratered about 80%, falling all the way to about $200, before stabilizing at that price for much of 2014 and 2015. Litecoin, on the other hand, fell from over $45 to about $1, and consequently lost over 97.5% of its value. PPC and NMC suffered so badly that I didn’t even bother to calculate how much I had lost, because it was basically everything.
Some of the limitations that cryptocurrencies presently face – such as the fact that one’s digital fortune can be erased by a computer crash, or that a virtual vault may be ransacked by a hacker – may be overcome in time through technological advances. What will be harder to surmount is the basic paradox that bedevils cryptocurrencies – the more popular they become, the more regulation and government scrutiny they are likely to attract, which erodes the fundamental premise for their existence.
The trade is also noteworthy because, as CCN reported, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has thus far only approved bitcoin futures products that are cash-settled, meaning that investors receive the cash value of bitcoin when a contract expires, rather than the physical asset itself. With the availability of EFPs, they will have more flexibility in how they interact with this nascent asset class.
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This type of cryptocurrency is on the rise. In this model, a cryptocurrency represents the value of an underlying asset such as gold, art, fiat currencies, etc. It represents a new, more accessible way to invest in assets other than cryptocurrencies, through cryptocurrencies. Stable coins provide an excellent way to take shelter from a corrective storm. I’m only interested in projects leveraging blockchain technology to create completely new business models and disrupting existing ones, but these cryptos are very interesting nonetheless.
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.
Bitcoin is also dramatically cheaper to use than almost any other form of international money transfer today. Already, for this use case alone, it proves its worth over current dominant international money transfer solutions, such as Western Union. I can transfer money to anyone in the world, in any amount, and have them receive it without moving a finger in just a few minutes. For this privilege, I have to pay just a few cents, no matter how much I’m sending, instead of a huge proportional percentage, with hefty minimum fees and surcharges.
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