I hope that this elucidation provides some insight into why I personally see it as suspect to invest in something based on price alone, and why I urge extreme caution particularly if one is exploring whether or not to invest in an altcoin, especially if one is at least partially motivated to do so because of the feeling that the ship has already sailed for bitcoin, and that there might be better potential for outsized gains with a smaller altcoin. Again, this certainly may be true, and often is true even for altcoins destined for eventual failure in the short term while a bubble/bull market continues, but risks are amplified just as much as the opportunity itself when it comes to altcoins, and oftentimes moreso in a bubble than otherwise.
With this in mind, bitcoin can arguably be seen as the purest form of money, as its value is entirely predicated on trust in it, and nothing else. It can arguably also be seen as the most trustworthy of currencies, as it was bespoke made by intentional design to exhibit all the best elements of historically trustworthy currencies (e.g. gold), as well as to introduce for the first time a number of characteristics that make it even better than all previously extant currencies.
If you’re interested in learning more about value investing at large, I’d highly recommend The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham, who again was Warren Buffett’s personal mentor and a professor of economics at Columbia University. He pioneered a lot of the foundational concepts around value investing, and can give you much better and more nuanced advice than I ever could.
"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.
The intangibility of bitcoin, however, does seem to hang some people up. It’s sometimes difficult to immediately conceive of how bitcoins could possibly hold value, as these people contend, they are intrinsically worthless. They are nothing but a concept, backed up by some computer code. Gold is a physical, tangible object that you can hold in your hand. It has real uses in industry and as jewelry that lend it value. Even paper money can be used for kindling or toilet paper if the need necessitates.
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The futures contracts for bitcoin were launched by both the CME Group and Cboe last December as interest in the cryptocurrency rose and as institutional investors sought a method to hedge against their risk. The first bitcoin futures contract was launched by the Cboe and trading began on Dec. 10 as XBT, which is a U.S. dollar-denominated, cash-settled futures contract based on the auction price of bitcoin on the Gemini digital currency exchange.
And finally, let's not forget that crypto trading is primarily comprised of short-minded retail investors. These often emotional investors don't have the wherewithal to stick around for the long term, meaning any news event could send them running for the hills. We've witnessed more than one scare with bitcoin and other large digital currencies that sent the entire crypto market tumbling, with basically no exceptions.
I am not your guru. I’m a crypto enthusiast, not a professional trader, and I make plenty of mistakes. There are a huge amount of ‘gurus’ and ‘experts’ out there but the truth is that many of them haven’t got a fucking clue what they are talking about. Opinions in cryptocurrency are like assholes, everybody’s got one. It’s extremely easy to predict the market and hell, everybody seems like an expert, when cryptocurrency is experiencing a bull run.
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.
If you have a brokerage account, you can expect the bitcoin user experience to be similar. And, as with a brokerage account, you’re likely to pay transaction fees whenever you buy or sell. That means day-trading bitcoin probably isn’t a great strategy — since those transaction fees could quickly eat up any profits. If you’re using bitcoin instead of PayPal, Venmo, etc., check first to see if the seller will charge you a fee for paying in bitcoin.
All in all, I think the same factors I wrote about in my last article are still true now, and my overall outlook on the crypto market is still positive. Assuming you agree, and that you have some available funds to throw at the market and forget about for the next several years, here are my investment strategy principles laid out from top to bottom according to their importance.
No. 3: Institutional quality custody solutions could come to market soon: There is an urgent need for qualified custodians to safeguard the growing amount of crypto assets. Very few crypto custodians meet the strict security requirements demanded by regulators and institutional investors. Coinbase, one of the more popular exchanges, has launched custody services by partnering with Electronic Transaction Clearing (ETC), a regulated broker-dealer. ItBit and Xapo have also begun to offer similar services and we expect more to follow.