Johnny Steindorff launched Focus Investments in 2014. Focus was one of the first pure play crypto funds to launch, and was a first mover in what is now a burgeoning sector of active management. Being such an early adopter, Focus faced significant headwinds launching and managing a fund based on an emergent asset class with no institutional backing. However, their strategy proved extremely prescient, and Focus aggressively took advantage of the several thousand percent growth of the crypto sector into a ~$300B+ asset class.
If you are a Beginner based on the bullet points above, you are likely somewhat experienced in the world of cryptocurrency investment, and have seen some success in the market. However, the strategies that you undertake tend to only be slightly above market and you find trading difficult when the market takes unusual turns that throws something unexpected at your trading strategy.
In addition, we have other financial institutions trying to build up their crypto portfolio while the price is still low. Goldman Sachs setting up a 100% dedicated cryptocurrency trading desk, Bloomberg’s Galaxy Crypto Index Fund, Coinbase’s custodial services now set up for large institutional investors, Susquehanna getting into the mix trading millions of dollars of bitcoin for their wealthy clients, and now Blackrock, the world’s largest investment fund manager is looking to also get into the mix.
Were I to send them a wire (as I used to), their banks demand a mountain of documentation detailing every last dollar and hold their money for upwards of half a month before ultimately releasing it to them. Naturally, this is a pain in the ass and highly inefficient, time consuming, and resource intensive for all of us. Bitcoin easily sidesteps all of these issues.
Transaction volume: in order to determine whether a cryptocurrency is actually being used, you can take a look at its transaction volume. In the case of Ethereum, its transaction volume per day is about 500,000 ETH. Historically, this is a number that is increasing and as long as this upward trend continues this reaffirms the long-term viability of holding Ethereum in our portfolio.
The most common mistake people seem to make is investing solely based on the price alone and its short term historical trajectory, and nothing else. The second mistake is investing in assets that they don’t actually understand or believe in long term, are not planning to hold for at least 5 years, and will be tempted to sell if the price begins to fall in the short term. The third mistake is believing that they’ve already missed the boat on the most established and successful cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ethereum, and that consequently they should invest in much less established, much more speculative ‘altcoins’ to achieve truly outsized gains, for no truly good reason besides the fact that the price/market cap for the altcoin is a lot lower than bitcoin’s, and seems like it has more room to grow. The fourth mistake is day trading, and trying to capitalize on short term market movements. I’ll address each of these in turn, and why I believe them to be mistakes.
The appeal for many is the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning no specific group or governing body has control over it. Instead, it is secured by advanced cryptography, a set of military-grade encryptions, and regulated by a network called the Blockchain. The Blockchain acts as a digital ledger, confirming buyer/seller funds and establishing the order in which transactions take place.
This is especially true given the number of new cryptocurrencies that have entered the market. There is no industry that is targeted by only one cryptocurrency, and even if you manage to find such an industry, new players will likely surface. IOTA was the crypto that didn’t use blockchain; now there’s Nano, Circle, and Hashgraph. Ripple was the crypto for banks; now there’s Stellar slowly eating away at Ripple’s first mover advantage.
At the time, the bulls were firmly behind the wheel. Under rosy skies Reddit’s co-founder predicted $20,000 bitcoin sometime this year; there were promising signs that Ethereum’s developers were successfully addressing some of the scalability issues associated with the Eth network; IOTA gave the world a sneak-preview into Qubic; and the market looked good, having recouped nearly $200bn in value since the start of April.
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.
Most ICO’s have a bonus system to reward early investors. The bonuses can range from between 10% – 100% depending on certain ICOs, where early investors will receive additional tokens for their contributions. Some ICO’s even have a presale stage (or pre-ICO) that allows the public to invest before the ICO dates. Usually, investments in the pre-ICO stage is higher than on the actual ICO period.
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?
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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.
"We see continued growth both in terms of the average daily volume and open interest," said Tim McCourt, group global head of equity products and alternative investments at the CME Group, a Chicago-based derivatives exchange. "The volume has steadily increased compared to when it was first launched in December. This is not a one-sided product because we have both supply and demand."
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What makes Sia so great is that anyone can participate and get paid for leasing their spare storage space. This is something many of us have with the price of hard drives being so low. When a host and an uploader connect a contract is formed. This contract is called a ‘smart contract’. It allows the renter to receive payments in exchange for their storage space being used.
“The subsequent [to December 2017] bitcoin price declines were not caused by the introduction of these futures, but rather the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency market. In addition, we believe irrational speculation by pessimistic investors has also contributed to the price movement over the past six months. As such, we see the ongoing crypto bear market as clearly cleansing the ecosystem from short-term oriented speculators, which will be good for the crypto ecosystem long-term.”
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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.
While Ethereum focuses on dapps and Ripple on ultra-fast finances, Monero focuses on – privacy! This technology actually uses cryptography to protect all incoming and outgoing addresses, as well as the transmitted amounts. Monero is an all-in-one solution for all privacy enthusiasts, and as such, it holds tremendous potential for great success in the crypto world. Monero is my favourite coin.
Psychologically, if it’s helpful, I think it may be fine to sell off some small portion of your upside if you do realize upside over time, in order to recoup your initially invested principal. I don’t think that this is necessarily the most optimal actual move to make, but do think it likely makes a huge difference psychologically, such that it makes it far easier for you to hold your remaining investment with sangfroid in the case that it ends up cratering sometime in the future.
If somehow, you’ve only heard of one cryptocurrency, it’s probably Bitcoin. It is the biggest cryptocurrency — it currently has a 40%i share in the total cryptocurrency market cap! It is the oldest cryptocurrency and it still dominates in the market. So, if Bitcoin continues to increase like it did in 2017, then investing in Bitcoin might be a good idea for 2018.
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.
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.
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.
This ‘intangible’ worth that we ascribe to currency, which accounts for the vast majority of the value of all currencies, not just bitcoin, is ultimately what makes money work. Yuval Noah Harari captures this fact very well in Sapiens, where he lays out the case that the value of a given form of money is essentially an indication of trust in that form of money. It is our shared collective trust and belief in a currency that gives it value, not its intrinsic tangible utility or anything else.
The easiest way to invest is to sign up at Coinbase.com. If you sign up with a referral code, you get $10 when you purchase $100 in bitcoin or ether. I’ve linked my mom’s referral code here if anyone is interested. Straight to her retirement fund! (In the interest of having zero monetary gain from my fiduciary advice, however, just email me if you use this link and buy over $100 of bitcoin, and I’ll send you the whole $10 my mom receives on her end as a referrer — so you get $20 for investing $100. Not bad!)
In all of these cases, however, a value investor first and foremost must decide, with rigorous analysis and thorough examination, what they believe the fair value of an investment to be, and what degree of future potential it has. Only from there do they then examine what value the market has assigned the investment, in order to ascertain whether or not the investment is a wise one likely to yield good returns. Under no circumstances should one ever buy into a stock without knowing much, or anything at all about the stock, save for the general market sentiment or hype surrounding it, and its short term price movements. Buying a stock merely because it has seen great gains in the past, without any understanding of why it saw those gains and what gains it might expect to see in the future based on fundamental analysis of the stock, is an inordinately risky and foundationally bereft strategy.
Investors must remember that when we first start investing in cryptocurrencies, we must buy them in small amounts. The small amount here refers to a few hundred dollars. Of course, this money can't buy a bitcoin now. You You can buy a small portion of Bitcoin. Start by investing a small amount of money, then gradually transfer, trade and securely store the cryptocurrency process. Once you become familiar, you can upgrade your investment. Once again, investors should invest in small amounts and then expand their investment funds. For example, iota coin price today, I buy a part first, and after I become familiar with its price fluctuations, I will expand the funds I invested.
Here’s a story about a completely random Norwegian student who bought 5000 bitcoins for $27 back in 2009. Today, with a single bitcoin pushing past $2700, those 5000 bitcoins are worth over $13.5 million. That’s a gain of over 500,000X. No other investment in recorded history that I’ve been able to discover has ever come close to touching these sorts of gains.
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.
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Moreover, people tend to become emotionally attached to specific coins and beliefs. You shouldn’t “believe” in a coin or in a market movement. I’ve read so many times that people are convinced something will go up because it has to, right? The market is just acting weird – it will understand that this or that crypto or the whole space is undervalued. The market is just wrong. Truth be told, the market does what it does, without any sympathy for how you feel about something.
Writer and hustler. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will has been on the road for nine years, travelling to far-flung lands on a budget. Today, he runs a number of online ventures. He is passionate about teaching others how to ditch their desks, hit the road and achieve real freedom by earning money online. Currently, Will is on a four year journey from the UK to Papua New Guinea; travelling through truly special countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Bhutan whilst running his businesses online.
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.
I use to like Tether, it was a way to move money into fiat currency without actually buying the fiat itself. However, today it seems to be yet another form of manipulation. Tether makes up roughly 1% of the cryptocurrency market, yet somehow it is responsible for over half of the bitcoin trading volume each day. Something does not seem right with that.
You can see the present difficulty of mining bitcoin here. It should be evident from a half-second glance that the amount of computing power working to mine bitcoin right now is immense, and the difficulty is proportionally similarly immense. As of the time of this writing right now, there are close to 5 billion billion hashes per second being run to try to find the next block of bitcoin.
If someone steals your Trezor, they won’t be able to find your coins either, as they’re protected by a PIN that only you know (plus a password if you want to use that feature I mentioned above). You can also recover the coins yourself with the recovery seed the Trezor will give you the first time you use it, which you should store in a super safe location like a safe deposit box somewhere. If you don’t use utilize the password feature, however, keep in mind that anyone who discovers this recovery seed instantly has access to all your coins, and all your other forms of security are for naught. If you enable the password feature, however, they will need your password as well as the recovery seed in able to access your cryptocurrency, which makes it significantly more secure.
Golem is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Golem is a project run by the group of Polish programmers. It is on track to becoming the world’s most powerful decentralised supercomputer. This supercomputer will process anything from scientific research in academia through to rendering the latest block buster movies, and once complete users will have supercomputer processing power at their fingertips.
I wrote about this on my blog. The market is only nine years old, and thus, the Crypto asset class is extremely new, and while these assets have been traded for a few years now, market conditions are continually changing. Unlike the stock market, we do not have decades of trading data to guide us. What worked a year ago might not work today, even things which worked three months ago might not work now. As new investors come into the market and liquidity improves, trading patterns are not always consistent. We must accept that nobody knows that the fuck will happen, and anyone who says so is purely speculating, and as such, it is essential that all ‘expert’ advice is taken with a pinch of salt.
Litecoin – Litecoin is regarded as Bitcoin's leading rival at present, and it is designed for processing smaller transactions faster. It was founded in October 2011 as "a coin that is silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” according to founder Charles Lee. Unlike the heavy computer horsepower required for Bitcoin mining, Litecoins can be mined by a normal desktop computer. Litecoin’s maximum limit is 84 million – four times Bitcoin’s 21-million limit – and it has a transaction processing time of about 2.5 minutes, about one-fourth that of Bitcoin.
Which would you trust? My personal bet would be absolutely, wholly, and unequivocally bitcoin. With the new US currency, I would be effectively required to trust that the US government would act without fail over the entire course of its indefinite existence to practice perfect fiscally responsible habits and not screw up its economy in any dramatic ways. I would also be aware that even under perfect circumstances, the currency would be fundamentally designed to inflate, and consequently my money would continue to lose value over time if I decided to hold and save it.