Gold, unlike fiat currencies, requires no trust and faith in a government to responsibly manage its money supply and other financial dealings in order to believe that it will retain its value well over time. This is because gold has no central authority that controls it and effectively dictates its supply and creation arbitrarily. Gold is fundamentally scarce, and only a small amount of it can be mined every year and added to the whole net supply. To date, the estimated total of all the gold ever mined in the history of humankind is only 165,000 metric tons. To put that in perspective, all that gold wouldn’t even fill up 3.5 Olympic sized swimming pools.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He went on to say that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were “far from” an opportunity for institutional investors, especially that none of BlackRock’s clients wanted to invest in it. This comes after a statement by the company that it is “looking at blockchain technology for several years”, even as it declined to comment on cryptocurrencies specifically.
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.

The crash proved to be the best thing that could have happened, however, because it gave me time to actually do my research and learn about bitcoin, and have real reasons for believing in it long term, at a point in time where the price was unusually deflated. As a consequence, I was able to buy morebitcoin at the very bottom of the market, around $230 or so, when I became truly convinced of bitcoin’s long term potential. I was also lucky enough to decide not to sell the bitcoins I had originally purchased for $1000 or so, and ultimately saw even those return 250%+ in profit.
But here, more than anywhere else, is where you need to proceed with caution. Bitcoin is already incredibly risky, imagine what risks smaller and lesser-known crypto brings. Rounding out a portfolio with other cryptocurrencies may be able to help you evaluate the state and perhaps the future of that market, but many of them can quickly prove to be a flash in the pan. The sudden rise of initial coin offerings -- a method of crowdfunding new cryptocurrencies in a way that avoids venture capital entirely -- has many people excited for the future, but also has many wondering if it's going to create an even more dangerous bitcoin bubble.
If you can figure it out, use MACD (the divergence and convergence of moving averages) to help you understand if we are in a bull or bear market, and to help you understand why the price just dipped or shot up. Other indicators are very useful, but MACD is particularly useful for the tactic being discussed because it gives you a quick visual of the current trend.
Previously, Cointelegraph reported that institutional investors replaced high net-worth individuals as the biggest buyers of cryptocurrency transactions worth over $100,000. Traditional investors and hedge funds have reportedly become more involved in the $220 billion crypto market through private transactions. At the same time, miners have begun scheduling regular coin sales instead of holding or offloading them during market rallies.

Holding gold privately removes the need to trust either of these points of failure in the modern banking system, but comes with its own host of problems. Namely, while gold has proven to be an excellent store of value over time, it is incredibly poor for actual day to day use in the modern economy. To transact with gold is excessively cumbersome and inconvenient. No one would consider walking around with an ounce of gold on them, measuring and shaving off exact portions of gold to pay for a cup of coffee, groceries, or a bus ride. Worse, it’s even more difficult and time consuming to send gold to anyone who isn’t physically in the same exact location as you.

"Virtual currencies might just give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money," International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde predicted last fall. "Citizens may one day prefer virtual currencies, since they potentially offer the same cost and convenience as cash — no settlement risks, no clearing delays, no central registration, no intermediary to check accounts and identities," she said.
Sia is the very first decentralized storage platform that’s based on and secured by the blockchain technology. Through the blockchain tech, Sia can provide much reliable data storage options that do not have a single point of failure, can offer more storage space – at much lower costs than traditional cloud storage providers. Besides the obvious, investors are readily jumping on the Sia-train for one more reason: Privacy. Unlike cloud-storage provides, Sia’s tech gives you all the keys to your own (encrypted) data, and mandates that no third party will control nor access your files.
The shares of each Vehicle are intended to reflect the price of the digital asset(s) held by that Vehicle, less fees and expenses. However, none of the Vehicles currently operates a redemption program and any Vehicle may halt creations from time to time. As a result, there can be no assurance that the value of a Vehicle’s shares will approximate the value of the applicable digital asset(s) held by that Vehicle, and indeed, in cases where shares are transferable, they may trade at a substantial premium over or discount to the value of such assets. Moreover, the prices of the underlying digital assets are derived from third-party indices and reference rates, and no assurance can be given as to the accuracy of these prices.
Gold holds its value well because we trust that we will all collectively continue to trust it as a store of value forever, predominantly due to its scarcity and lack of centralized control. Fiat currencies hold their value well when they do because people trust that everyone else trusts the currency as well, and that it is deserving of trust. The moment that collective trust collapses, so too does the currency, no matter what its intrinsic ‘tangible’ value.

Other coins might embrace niche aspects such as entertainment, bill paying, security, and other aspects of decentralization. For example, consider DentaCoin that is the dental world’s first cryptocurrency enhancement. This coin does not vow to be the next Bitcoin; it simply wants to be widely used in the world of dentistry. The coin Ripple wants to be used by banks opposed to competing against them. The coin SunContract eliminates the middleman between providing and purchasing solar energy, which increases what homeowners earn from their solar panels. These kind of niche applications allow various industries to take advantage of the powers of cryptocurrency in very specific areas.

Paypal was one of the first large-scale financial companies to come out in support of Bitcoin, but it has quickly become harder to find exchanges that allow customers to purchase through Paypal. Cryptocurrency purchases are at a high risk for chargebacks, which has caused some exchanges to ban the usage of Paypal. However, for small transactions or more anonymous buying, Paypal might be a good option for you.
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.
Yes, today, it is far from this goal, but even now, we make progress in pushing forward the utility of bitcoin in every day pragmatic life. Already, it has proved indispensable to myself and hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I pay many of my employees today in bitcoin, even, because several of them live in Eastern Europe where they’re subject to draconian capital controls.
Litecoin (10%) – Litecoin is often marketed as being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold status. Being a hard fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin shares many similarities to the original coin; Litecoin can also be used as a value exchange coin. However, Litecoin’s block generation time of 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, and different hashing algorithm (Scrypt), are features designed to produce a more innovative blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Furthermore, I would be forced to use an intermediary financial institution such as a bank to hold my money for me, and thereby expose myself to yet another layer of required trust and accompanying risk. I would also be aware that these institutions would almost certainly practice fractional reserve banking to the maximum extent they could get away with it, such that they would be extremely fragile to small perturbations and vulnerable to things like bank runs and runaway systemic banking collapses.
Notice: Information contained herein is not and should not be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell securities. The information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however no guarantee is made or implied with respect to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness. Authors may own the stocks they discuss. The information and content are subject to change without notice.

Investors exchange the base currency of Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) for a stake in the initial stages of the project. The project will thereafter issue their native tokens to investors in return for the base currencies. This is similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), where stocks of companies will be offered to the public. Here’s an article outlining the differences between an ICO and an IPO.


When all is said and done, there will hence be 21 million bitcoins. Exactly that, no more, no less. Elegant, no? This eliminates yet another risk with extant currencies, gold included: there are absolutely no surprises when it comes to knowing the present and future supply of bitcoin. A million bitcoin will never be found randomly in California one day and incite a digital gold rush.


If you understand the difference between leveraged and non-leveraged positions, so you could choose between them. (Also, bear in mind not all broker platforms offer leveraged trade.) Leverage means you only have a small percentage of what you invest or trade. You can own $50 out of $1,000, with the rest borrowed from a broker. In its turn, the broker works on several risk levels, offering higher returns for higher risk. However, you yourself do not own the underlying asset; the broker does.
“Blockchain is a system of automated trust,” answered Trevor Welch, Chief Investment Officer at International Blockchain Investments (IBI). “We currently live in a world where some economies lack trust and transparency, others, like the US, apply it manually and with high cost and financial burden as well as a significant degree of human error. As a result any global economy can benefit from processing transactions that are verified and validated on a distributed public ledger.”
The Ides of June saw a regulatory breakthrough that might prove highly consequential for crypto futures in the US, as the SEC Corporation Finance Director William Hinman had shed some light on Ethereum’s status as perceived by the regulator, suggesting that ‘current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions.’ This statement has energized the industry and prompted Chris Concannon, Cboe’s crypto-savvy president, to speak of futures on ETH as of a settled deal. If Cboe breaks the path with such a product, it’s not difficult to imagine CME catching up quickly, given the firm’s partnership with Crypto Facilities, whose Ethereum derivatives infrastructure is already in place.
The short term price movements of a stock shouldn’t concern a long term value investor in the slightest, as a value investor doesn’t care about what the market has valued the price of a stock at, but rather only about the intrinsic value of the business behind the stock, and its future potential value. Only after coming to a conclusion about the actual value of a company and its future potential value, should an investor then look to what price the market has assigned a stock, in ascertaining whether or not a stock is a good purchase.
We think that cryptocurrencies may be the opportunity of a lifetime. The market is still immature and relatively small. However, 2018 has seen the entry of well respected financial players into the space such as George Soros and the Rockefellers. We still think we are in the first innings in cryptocurrency and believe that as more large financial players enter the market, that there is the potential for extraordinary gains.
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.
Generally, the strategy suggested to average out such short term volatility for something that one is investing in long term is to practice dollar cost averaging. This preaches that one should set an exact time at regular time intervals to buy an exact amount in fiat currency of the investment one is looking to purchase — e.g., $1,000 worth of bitcoin on the 1st of every week, or every month. This means that over time, you’ll be able to take advantage of bitcoin’s general trajectory upwards, but balance out the relative short term volatile price movements both high and low, such that you experience a more linear growth trajectory over time of your principal.

We have several financial institutions trying to get an ETF to market, while thus far all have been shot down by the SEC, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) seems to have the best shot to win approval due to their long-term reputation of excellence, new product innovation, and there bulletproof insurance. If any bitcoins get stolen, you can bet the customers are well covered. Many were counting on the SEC approving an ETF this month, but it will likely not happen until the beginning of 2019, but when it does, that’s when the real fireworks will begin.
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.
Ofir Beigel, CEO of 99bitcoins.com, suggests taking a slow burn approach to the cryptocurrency market if you’re looking for the best return possible. “Keep in mind there can be a lot of ‘noise’ in the background, like short-term bad news that lead to a crash,” Beigel says. “The key is to find investments you believe will yield after X time according to your targets, and to try detaching yourself from the short-term noise.”

Bitcoin futures have fairly extreme pros and cons to them. Contracts are leveraged in that you're paying a fraction of bitcoin's actual price when you buy futures, giving you a chance to profit off them. However, the contract has an expiration date in the near future. If the price is down when it expires, you can't simply hold and wait to see if it bounces back; you just lose.

This underscores the oft mercurial whims of governments, even well-regarded ones like that of the United States, that most citizens heretofore have been subject to without relief or alternative. Most of the time, things run well enough that we all get by without having to think about this fact too much. Sometimes, however, things do go really, really wrong.

Once you’ve decided that you truly believe in a cryptocurrency long term, and are willing to commit to it for the long term and hold it no matter what the short term price movements might be, the next step is to decide how much to invest, and when to invest. One might be hesitant, with not bad reason, to invest at an all time high, even if one believes that that all time high will one day be exceeded.
Gold, unlike fiat currencies, requires no trust and faith in a government to responsibly manage its money supply and other financial dealings in order to believe that it will retain its value well over time. This is because gold has no central authority that controls it and effectively dictates its supply and creation arbitrarily. Gold is fundamentally scarce, and only a small amount of it can be mined every year and added to the whole net supply. To date, the estimated total of all the gold ever mined in the history of humankind is only 165,000 metric tons. To put that in perspective, all that gold wouldn’t even fill up 3.5 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Sia is the very first decentralized storage platform that’s based on and secured by the blockchain technology. Through the blockchain tech, Sia can provide much reliable data storage options that do not have a single point of failure, can offer more storage space – at much lower costs than traditional cloud storage providers. Besides the obvious, investors are readily jumping on the Sia-train for one more reason: Privacy. Unlike cloud-storage provides, Sia’s tech gives you all the keys to your own (encrypted) data, and mandates that no third party will control nor access your files.
NOTE: The image below shows daily candles on a 1 year BTC chart. When the short term 12 day exponential moving average crossed under the longer term 26 day in January 2018, it pretty clearly marked the start of a bear market in retrospect (a true correction, not just “a dip”). You can see that buying the dip and holding in this time was not ideal (not the worst move perhaps long term, and not a bad move for short term trades, just not ideal for a buy and hold strategy as far as we know so far). That overarching bear market is an example of a market in which one has to apply a bit more nuance to their “buy the dips” strategy.

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Investors could lose all or a substantial portion of their investment. Investors must have the financial ability, sophistication, experience and willingness to bear the risks of an investment in any Vehicle. In particular, each Vehicle invests in digital assets. The trading prices of many digital assets have experienced extreme volatility in recent periods and may continue to do so. In light of recent steep increases in the value of certain digital assets, multiple market observers have asserted that digital assets are currently experiencing a “bubble.” If these observers are correct, trading prices for the digital assets held by the Vehicles could experience steep declines in value and the Vehicles’ shares could lose all or substantially all of their value.
Of course, last year's cryptocurrency craze ran circles around traditional equities, including stocks. After beginning the year with a combined market cap of just $17.7 billion, the aggregate market cap of all virtual currencies by year's end had surged to $613 billion, equaling a climb of more than 3,300%. There may not be another year like this for any asset class for as long as we live.
We have several financial institutions trying to get an ETF to market, while thus far all have been shot down by the SEC, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) seems to have the best shot to win approval due to their long-term reputation of excellence, new product innovation, and there bulletproof insurance. If any bitcoins get stolen, you can bet the customers are well covered. Many were counting on the SEC approving an ETF this month, but it will likely not happen until the beginning of 2019, but when it does, that’s when the real fireworks will begin.

Litecoin was developed in 2011. While it has faltered of late in value with the other cryptocurrencies, if it gains back that value, it will be because of its strengths in comparison to bitcoin: Significantly faster transaction time (one major complaint when bitcoin exploded was that the increase in users slowed down transactions tremendously) and a larger number of crypto tokens.
If one wants, rather, to keep the movement of their money less overt, one simply needs to ensure that the bitcoins they own are never tied to their identities, and that their transactions on the network are obfuscated. This can be accomplished with a variety of methods, such as using a tumbler, which allows one to send bitcoins to an intermediary service that will mix these bitcoins with bitcoins from numerous other sources, and then send bitcoins forward to the intended destination from sources entirely unrelated to the sender’s original bitcoins.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger
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