Unfortunately, the gold standard collapsed multiple times during the 20th century and was ultimately abandoned altogether by almost every nation in the world, because governments effectively played fractional reserve banking with their gold reserves. Who could blame them? It must be irresistibly tempting, knowing that in all likelihood, the vast majority of the time, only a fraction of people will ever want to trade in their dollars for gold. Why hold all that gold when you could hold just a fraction of it and get to spend the rest with no consequences in the short term?
Monero (10%) – Monero is similar to Bitcoin in that it allows value exchange. However, Monero differs from Bitcoin in that it is focused on providing greater privacy to those that utilize their blockchain, using their stealth address mechanism. Anonymity is likely to become more and more important in a world where Bitcoin addresses can be traced. As more regulation starts entering the cryptocurrency space, an increasing number of individuals will gravitate towards privacy coins such as Monero, Zcash and Dash, that can mask their transaction activities.
“There really isn't much benefit for Main Street investors to use the Wall Street futures. They can just as easily buy bitcoin directly. As well, the minimum contract size on the futures could be a barrier to entry. The contracts of the CME are set at blocks of 5 BTC each, which is more than most retail customers are used to dealing with. Even the CBOE contracts that are set at 1 BTC each are difficult to deal with for most people,” – concludes eToro’s Mati Greenspan.
Under the Bretton Woods system, numerous foreign governments held US dollars as an indirect and more convenient method of holding gold, as US dollars were supposedly directly exchangeable at a fixed rate for gold. However, by 1966, gold reserves actually held by the US were already pitifully low, with only $13.2 billion worth of gold being held by the government.
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.
This ability to transact more anonymously in a digital, global fashion than ever before has indeed opened the gateway to some of bitcoin’s more infamous use cases. Much illicit activity has been enabled by this pseudonymity of bitcoin, including the sale of drugs and other illegal goods online. A more recent development has also been ransomware, whereby malware can now cut straight to the chase and lock up your computer and demand straight up money in the form of bitcoin in exchange for the release of your computer’s data.

Historically speaking, the stock market has been the greatest creator of wealth. Sure, it hits its rough patches from time to time, with 20 bear markets in the S&P 500 occurring over the last 90 years, according to data from Yardeni Research. But at the end of the day, stocks have returned an average of 7% annually, inclusive of dividend reinvestment, and when adjusted for inflation. Compared to bonds, commodities, CDs, and other assets, the stock market has trounced them all over the long run.


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.”


The purpose of this cryptocurrency portfolio is to outperform the overall market in market downturns, whilst still enjoying the significant upside of the market. TC expects this portfolio to significantly outperform assets such as stocks and shares in a bull market. It has been constructed to add flexibility for the future. For example, you could add additional positions or participate in ICOs by converting some Bitcoin or Ethereum holdings.
Ripple – Ripple is more in the nature of a payment protocol created and developed by a company named Ripple, which is based on the concept of Real time Gross Settlement. It was initially released in the year 2012. Also known as the corporate cousin of bitcoin, ripple is another cryptocurrency which saw sudden uptick in August. It shot from levels of 16 cents to 30 cents within a span of 24 hours on August 23. Since then, it has retreated back to levels of 20 cents.
Generally speaking, diversification -- the ability for investors to buy stocks in different industries and sectors, or based on market cap, growth rate, or dividend yield -- has allowed investors the opportunity to maximize their long-term capital appreciation potential. If one sector is doing poorly, a diversified portfolio might be hedged with another industry or sector that's thriving. Plus, with the ability to load a diversified portfolio with dividend-paying stocks, complete with reinvestment, it's often easy to build wealth over time. All it really takes is patience, discipline, and the resolve to buy stocks at regular intervals over time, regardless of how "high" or "low" the market is trading.

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.

Hey RV, could we maybe do a bit more of a technical/tradable look at crypto next? This along with John Burbank's section was very general discussion with rehashed netscape/internet analogies, removing middle men which offer nothing new. Focus is always on the transaction coins (admittedly there was more on smart contracts here) but what about other industries for blockchain: decentralized data, personal data, computing power, energy, supply chain etc?
The financial crisis of 2008 highlighted yet another risk of the modern banking system. When a bank goes out and spends the 90% of net deposits it holds in investments, it can often make very bad bets, and lose all that money. In the case of the 2008 crisis, banks in particular bet on high risk subprime mortgages. These were mortgages taken out by borrowers very likely to become delinquent, to purchase houses that were sharply inflated in value by the rampant ease of acquiring a mortgage.
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.
These are cryptocurrencies bound to blockchains that allow for the creation of applications on them, such as Ethereum, NEO, Cardano, Lisk, VeChainThor, and many more. The underlying platforms of these coins create an actual need – and thus a demand – for the coins, as they are needed to make use of the applications and buy into ICOs. In my opinion, these coins are currently the safest and have the largest growth potential, as the blockchains they are built on have the capacity to become the foundation of the decentralized world.
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With things like brain wallets possible, this means that even in the worst case scenario, you can literally store your bitcoins in your brain and nowhere else, and thereby easily prevent their confiscation. Just yet another fundamental innovation in the evolution of currency that bitcoin has made possible — its fully intangible nature is actually an asset.


NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has today declared a distribution and established a record date for the distribution of all of the Bitcoin Cash currently held by the Trust to shareholders of record ("Record Date Shareholders") as of the close of business on November 6, 2017 (the "Record Date").
NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), today announced on behalf of the Trust that the Trust will resume private placements of shares today. The Trust plans to create shares from time to time in exchange for deposits of Bitcoin. Shares may only be created by certain authorized participants. Pursuant to the terms of the Trust's governing documents, the Sponsor may cause the Trust to cease creations of shares from time to time, including during affiliate sales windows.
NEW YORK, Jan. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has today declared a 91-for-1 stock split of the Trust's issued and outstanding shares. With the split, shareholders of record on January 22, 2018 will receive 90 additional shares of the Trust for each share held.

If people have trusted gold to date as a store of value because of its inherent scarcity and resistance to centralized control and price/supply manipulation, bitcoin does all that and more, and does it all better. Gold’s scarcity, as illustrated above, is anything but constant, and we’ve more than doubled our world’s supply of gold in just the last 50 years. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a precisely and publicly known proliferation schedule, and will approach the limit of its supply in just a few more decades.
If everyone expects to get rich from a coin, the price will drive up. This is called a “pump”. Once the coin reaches a certain value – anywhere from 3 to 20 times over its original cost – then people will sell off in troves. This is called a “dump”. These pumps and dumps are heavily frowned upon in the world of Wall Street – in fact they are quite illegal – yet they are so prevalent in the unregulated world of cryptocurrency.
For most experienced Bitcoin traders, gaining as much Bitcoin as possible is still the name of the game. We see this time and time again, mostly after a big altcoin run-up. An altcoin run-up usually causes a fall in the dominance of Bitcoin. Then, once the altcoin run-up seems to have peaked, traders start selling their altcoins for Bitcoin again, which causes its dominance to rise. In the past, there were many incidents in which the total market cap only dropped a little while altcoins suffered. This indicates that most people are selling their altcoins for Bitcoin, but are not leaving the market just yet.
Once adopted out of necessity, the gold standard became part and parcel of US currency, just as it was with most other currencies from around the world. The gold standard removed some of the need to have pure faith in US dollars in of themselves, as it guaranteed that all paper money the US issued would be exchangeable at a fixed rate for gold upon demand.

I’m in it for the long term and I don’t focus on daytrading, ever. However (and it took me a while to understand this), HODLing isn’t always the best way to fly either. Yes, the market is still in its infancy, and the new Googles and Facebooks may already be listed on Coinmarketcap and perhaps even in your portfolio. But your portfolio can be worth much more with a measured strategy, instead of passively HODLing. And let’s be honest, at least half of your motivation to buy crypto is to make a lot money.
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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.

This is even more true of paper currency. Yes, you can utilize and reuse the paper for all the intrinsic value paper has. But what is that intrinsic value of paper? This is easy to answer, because we can just see how much the government pays to make paper money. $1 and $2 bills cost less than 5 cents to make on the low end of the spectrum, while $100 bills cost 12.3 cents on the high end.
While the number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies has steadily increased, they are still very much in the minority. For cryptocurrencies to become more widely used, they have to first gain widespread acceptance among consumers. However, their relative complexity compared to conventional currencies will likely deter most people, except for the technologically adept.

This system holds a lot of advantages even over gold’s natural system of being mined out of the ground. Gold’s mining is effectively random and not dictated by any perfect computer algorithm, and is consequently much more unpredictable in its output at any given moment. If a huge supply of gold is serendipitously found somewhere, it could theoretically dramatically inflate the rate at which gold enters the existing supply, and consequently cause an unanticipated decrease in the unit price of gold.
Coinbase, for example, has been such a popular bitcoin investment app that its CEO posted to the company’s blog last week a warning that the sudden influx “does create extreme volatility and stress on our systems,” which can create a lag for users. The Chicago Board Options Exchange, on which the first bitcoin futures trading took place this week, warned that a flood of traffic ahead of the launch was slowing its site.
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.
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