With the advent of smart contracts made possible by the blockchain, however, this is (soon-to-be) a thing of the past. One can create a simple smart contract at effectively almost no cost that specifies in code that each party will send it $100 in bitcoin, and that upon the completion of the election process, it will either send all $200 to the party that bet on Donald Trump winning the election, or send the $200 to the party that bet on him losing the election. No ifs, ands, or buts. The code is clear, objective, and deterministic. Either the contract is fulfilled in one direction, or it is fulfilled in the other. No need to trust the other party in the bet at all, much less a third party to mediate.
The book’s General Kutosov perfectly encapsulates this. The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army, Tolstoy’s Kutosov does not see the struggle as a personal one between himself and the French Emperor, but rather an event influenced by a plenitude of known and unknown factors – morale, the weather, the temperature of the stew –  which can only be observed and reacted to.
The best thing you can do to minimize risk and invest responsibly is to do your research. Look into different wallets and exchanges. Find trusted sources to answer your questions. If you need some guidance on how to break into the market, find a firm like IBI or International Blockchain Consulting to help you navigate the constantly fluctuating market.
There have been lots of good news for IOTA in the recent couple of week and that caused a big rally in prices and market cap. Some of the alleged partnerships they announced raised some eyebrows and questioning from the community, but nevertheless – the concept and the team make a good combo and IOTA certainly holds a lot of potential in the future.
Ripple – Ripple was launched by OpenCoin, a company founded by technology entrepreneur Chris Larsen in 2012. Like Bitcoin, Ripple is both a currency and a payment system. The currency component is XRP, which has a mathematical foundation like Bitcoin. The payment mechanism enables the transfer of funds in any currency to another user on the Ripple network within seconds, in contrast  to Bitcoin transactions, which can take as long as 10 minutes to confirm.
Cryptocurrencies are a completely digital form of money designed specifically to take advantage of the architecture of the internet. They can be used in ways that ordinary currencies can’t. Cryptocurrencies don’t rely on a standard financial institution to guarantee and verify transactions. Instead, cryptocurrency transactions are checked, or “confirmed,” by the computers of the users on the currency’s network. The computers that verify the transactions usually receive a small amount of currency as a reward, and the process of receiving rewards in exchange for verifying transactions is called “mining”. Mining is the main way how a new currency is produced here, and it works differently for different currencies.
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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.
These are tokens built on one of the above mentioned platforms. They give access to a specific blockchain application, and are designed for a specific task. Utility tokens are not really my cup of tea yet, as they’re extremely risky due to two things. It’s still too early for mass adoption of these utilities because the technology is not ready yet (Ethereum’s scalability issues, for example), and because we don’t know what platforms will actually become the blockchain backbone of the digital world.

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OmiseGO (OMG) is a public financial technology that’s based on Ethereum. The concept of OMG is to enable peer-to-peer value exchange and payment service in real time across not only decentralized currencies but fiat money as well. OmiseGO allows anyone on its network to process financial transactions (payrolls, B2B, remittances, payments, etc.) in a much more inexpensive and decentralized manner.
There were many reasons for the crypto community to eagerly anticipate Bitcoin futures’ introduction to regulated derivatives markets. Futures have long been seen as the first stepping stone on the path to reconciling the world of crypto finance with the system of traditional financial institutions. Existing within a well-defined legal and operational framework, futures contracts offer legitimacy and security that judicious Wall Street firms were waiting for in order to finally jump onto the crypto bandwagon.
Utility value: when determining if a cryptocurrency will be here in a few years from now, we have to ask ourselves, is the cryptocurrency useful? Does it have a users’ market? This question is important because it is the most useful cryptocurrencies that are likely to be widely adopted. Take Ethereum for example, its utility value derives from its function of allowing developers to build Decentralized Applications (DApps) on top of its blockchain. We can conclude that, as long as Ethereum is the go-to-place for DApp development, it is likely to maintain, and possibly increase, its utility value. Therefore, Ethereum would be a viable cryptocurrency to include in our portfolio.
You’d be in good company in that case, anyway. Jack Bogle’s bitcoin investment advice is pretty simple, and blunt: You should avoid Bitcoin speculation “like the plague.” And this is coming from the guy who founded Vanguard, so he knows a thing or two about investments. The other risk to keep in mind if you plan to invest in bitcoin, aside from the overall volatility of the cryptocurrency, is of a cyber attack. Hackers descended on digital currency exchange Bitfinex on Tuesday, less than a week after cybercrooks made off with $70 million in a separate heist.
These are tokens built on one of the above mentioned platforms. They give access to a specific blockchain application, and are designed for a specific task. Utility tokens are not really my cup of tea yet, as they’re extremely risky due to two things. It’s still too early for mass adoption of these utilities because the technology is not ready yet (Ethereum’s scalability issues, for example), and because we don’t know what platforms will actually become the blockchain backbone of the digital world.
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.

Johnny Steindorff: Like many of us in the crypto digital-asset space I was roped in through an overzealous friend who’d fallen down the bitcoin rabbit hole. I’d had prior exposure to bitcoin from friends or acquaintances but those initial discussions were superficial and centered around price, profits, losses and trading. This conversation was different, it was centered around the technology, philosophy and the revolutionary implications of a digital, trust-less currency and decentralization. 
A ledger is a database technology used to record transaction histories and ownership; it is a definitive account of who has given what to who, and who owns what. Most ledger technologies are physical and they’re centralized -- they’re controlled by a central bank.  This means that they are subject to the discretion and power of individuals, and are alterable and impermanent. This gives those ledger recording entities a tremendous amount of power over an individual’s financial transactions; it also means the ledger is vulnerable to manipulation.

It’s been a difficult task to evaluate which cryptocurrency scams are run by people, but now we have to deal with an army of scam bots. The security software company Duo Security have discovered over 15,000 bots working through automated Twitter profiles coming together to try to perpetuate cryptocurrency scams. These bots are a nuisance, spreading spam and malware, as well as infiltrating online discussions.

When buying altcoins, I always keep an eye on Bitcoin’s value, and over time I’ve made some important observations with regard to this. There are almost never three green days in row, and when the market is in the red, Bitcoin tends to decline less then altcoins. Once this happens, your order will be filled and you’ll get your 3% discount, since the altcoin tends to drop harder than Bitcoin.
Design issues. Despite Bitcoin's massive rise in popularity over the past several years, it is not immune to design problems. For example, starting late last year Bitcoin transaction speeds became very slow because of a scaling problem related to the way the Bitcoin blockchain works. (You can read the details here.) That issue did not end up creating the existential crisis for Bitcoin that some analysts predicted, and the problem has now more or less been solved via something called SegWit. Still, the Bitcoin scaling issue was a reminder that a new type of serious problem may creep up in the future that undoes Bitcoin.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is created and managed through the use of advanced encryption techniques known as cryptography. Cryptocurrency made the leap from being an academic concept to (virtual) reality with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. While Bitcoin attracted a growing following in subsequent years, it captured significant investor and media attention in April 2013 when it peaked at a record $266 per bitcoin after surging 10-fold in the preceding two months. Bitcoin sported a market value of over $2 billion at its peak, but a 50% plunge shortly thereafter sparked a raging debate about the future of cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular. So, will these alternative currencies eventually supplant conventional currencies and become as ubiquitous as dollars and euros someday? Or are cryptocurrencies a passing fad that will flame out before long? The answer lies with Bitcoin.
"Because the future can be traded on regulated markets, it will attract investors, making the market liquid, stabilizing prices, and [it will] not suffer from low transaction speeds of bitcoin [exchanges]," he said, adding, "If prices stabilize, we may start seeing more companies accepting bitcoin as a mode of payment. This may further bring liquidity to the market."
I ended up wiring several thousand dollars to an incredibly sketchy Russian exchange, BTC-E.com, to purchase my first few bitcoins at around $1000 apiece. Before I knew it, I was addicted to constantly checking the price, and spent a full 48 hours doing nothing at the height of the November 2013 bubble doing nothing but refreshing BTC-E.com and seeing how my investments were doing.
Bitcoin is often touted as an electronic currency that will change the world, but it is also a highly volatile type of financial asset. In fact, many governments don't recognize it as a currency at all. In spite of the many merchants now excepting bitcoin, a lot of the activity surrounding bitcoin comes from traders hoping to make money on fluctuations in its value.
There have been lots of good news for IOTA in the recent couple of week and that caused a big rally in prices and market cap. Some of the alleged partnerships they announced raised some eyebrows and questioning from the community, but nevertheless – the concept and the team make a good combo and IOTA certainly holds a lot of potential in the future.
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There is one risk involved with stop-losses because of this though, which is when a price drastically drops. This is because a stop-loss is automatically triggered once the price threshold is reached. It could be that the price plummets so hard that the stop-loss sells for a far lower price than you anticipated. This is because during a crash, a lot of people are selling but nobody’s buying, meaning the price can only be determined once anyone buys. Using the example above, if Lisk were to drop from $32 to $27 without anyone buying in between, your stop loss would sell at $27.

What makes Leo Tolstoy’s magnum opus unusual is that he disputed the invasion of Russia being caused by Napoleon, or that the series of conflicts during this period were called the Napoleonic Wars. He argues that doing so makes it easy to disregard the untold millions of people who also participated in the conflict as little more than pawns on a chessboard.
Similarly, if you were able to bet at 1:2 odds (meaning if you bet $100 and win, you get $200) that a coin would yield heads, this would also be very +EV (positive expected value). The coin would still yield heads half the time, but that half of the time, you would earn $200, and the other half of the time, you would only lose $100. Hence, repeating this bet an infinite number of times would allow you to dramatically earn more money than you lost yet again.
What he means by that is that for some reason, people tend to buy stocks when they’re going up in price, and sell them when they’re going down. At face value, this makes no sense. We wouldn’t buy a watermelon when it was $10, and sell it when it was $2. With groceries, it makes intrinsic sense to us to buy watermelons at $2, not $10, but seemingly not so with our investments.
When examining strategies, it is of course a good idea to find the strategy that fits the best with current market conditions, but the real long-term value is found when remaining analytical and critical of every asset and every trading strategy. Even the best and most complex strategies being employed by the best crypto traders on the planet are not perfect, so recognizing the faults of every trading strategy is just as important as examining the potential upsides. The cryptocurrency market is not perfect, and assuming that there is a perfect strategy to match the imperfect market is not a recipe for success.
I enjoyed this interview. One growing use case for assets on blockchains is the tokenization of scarce digital assets in video game economies. This use case makes game items into digital bearer assets. World of Warcraft gold was an early example of this concept but blockchains are enabling the concept to grow even further. Digital game items and currencies potentially have value if game curators can manage supply effectively and there is sufficient demand for scarce game items/currencies from users. This has already started with in-game item purchases for games such as Fortnite. The next frontier to monetize in-game item purchases is to tokenize game items that can be used with third-party platforms. This is happening in an inefficient manner today with the CS:GO game skin gambling economy. I know it sounds wild but a google search will show this use case is potentially worth billions of dollars.
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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.
Dubbed as NXT 2.0 – Ardor is a scalable blockchain platform that natively supports a wide range of features including voting, privacy based coin mixing, account management, blockchain storage, transaction aliasing, and built in marketplace creation. However, Ardor’s implementation of child chains is the stand out feature that makes this platform a truly innovative project.
It was at this time, incidentally, that Coinbase, became worried about stagnant growth of their user base, and decided to offer a truly astounding proposition. They offered to pay anyone who referred a new customer to Coinbase $75 if the new customer purchased just $100 in bitcoin. Coinbase took a 1% transaction fee at the time, meaning that for every $100 in bitcoin a person purchased, Coinbase charged $1. In short, Coinbase would pay out $75 for every $1 a new customer paid them.
This isn’t necessarily wrong, or inaccurate. This is the reason I first started paying attention to bitcoin. Countless people *have* made shocking amounts of money investing in cryptocurrency. I’ve personally made over $400,000 in less than two years. In fact, bitcoin has already proven to be the best investment in all of recorded history by a shocking margin for those who got in at its most early stages.

A cryptocurrency that aspires to become part of the mainstream financial system may have to satisfy widely divergent criteria. It would need to be mathematically complex (to avoid fraud and hacker attacks) but easy for consumers to understand; decentralized but with adequate consumer safeguards and protection; and preserve user anonymity without being a conduit for tax evasion, money laundering and other nefarious activities. Since these are formidable criteria to satisfy, is it possible that the most popular cryptocurrency in a few years’ time could have attributes that fall in between heavily-regulated fiat currencies and today’s cryptocurrencies? While that possibility looks remote, there is little doubt that as the leading cryptocurrency at present, Bitcoin’s success (or lack thereof) in dealing with the challenges it faces may determine the fortunes of other cryptocurrencies in the years ahead.

So, unlike an ETF, the amount of Bitcoin held does not increase or decrease from market activity like people buying in or selling out (with the exception of new entrants who must be accredited investors, and in that case they must wait a full year to trade their shares). This creates a situation where the amount of Bitcoin purchased with a single share of GBTC does not always equate to the fair market value of the underlying asset.

At the same time, it’s entirely unclear how governments will respond to bitcoin as it continues to grow, and if they’ll attempt to crack down in a very strong way and prohibit the use of bitcoin, or the creation of bitcoin related service companies, such as exchanges. If exchanges were banned from operating, for instance, it could very well make it very difficult for most people to transact between fiat currencies and bitcoin, and render the latter far less useful than it otherwise might be.
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.
Rebalancing is a classic portfolio management process. Through the rebalancing method, assets are bought and sold to maintain a predetermined portfolio balance. This technique prevents specific assets within a portfolio from becoming too important or from being ignored completely. If a cryptocurrency has mooned 400% while others have remained stagnant, this asset could become 20% of your entire portfolio, even though you initially decided it would only be 5%.
Bitcoin Investment Trust, Bitcoin Cash Investment Trust, Ethereum Investment Trust, Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, Litecoin Investment Trust, XRP Investment Trust, Zcash Investment Trust and Zen Investment Trust are passive investment vehicles and their shares may be adversely affected by losses that, had they been actively managed, might have been avoidable. Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund LLC is actively managed using proprietary investment strategies and processes. There can be no guarantee that these strategies and processes will produce the intended results and no guarantee that the fund will achieve its investment objective. This could result in the fund’s underperformance compared to other funds with similar investment objectives.
Virtual currencies, including bitcoin, experience significant price volatility. Fluctuations in the underlying virtual currency's value between the time you place a trade for a virtual currency futures contract and the time you attempt to liquidate it will affect the value of your futures contract and the potential profit and losses related to it. Investors must be very cautious and monitor any investment that they make.