This can all be a little confusing and James Altucher gives a great overview in his ebook Cryptocurrencies 101. The way I see it is that each cryptocurrency can be viewed as a public company. You would do your due diligence to figure out a companies potential for growth long term before investing in its stocks and James argues that the same diligence must be applied when investing in crypto. The main question to be asked here is:

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!)
NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 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 a portion of the rights to Bitcoin Gold tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on October 24, 2017 to shareholders of record ("Record Date Shareholders") as of the close of business on December 4, 2017 (the "Record Date").
In addition, investing in Bitcoin Investment Trust allows investors to keep their holdings in both bitcoin and stocks together in one brokerage account. If you buy bitcoin directly, you typically have to use cryptocurrency exchanges that don't offer regular stock trading, forcing you to have two accounts and deal with the challenges involved in moving money between them.
If the underlying blockchain won’t be the one to be used, the application is definitely doomed. If, for example, Ethereum fails to scale, its applications will fail to deliver. I do believe that the utility tokens that will enter the mainstream will do so by creating a service that’s much better than anything we have right now. These will be the so-called “killer applications,” whose returns will be beyond imagination. High risk, high reward.
Bitcoin still is the king of crypto. It drags altcoins down hard when it drops, but, conversely, doesn’t necessarily cause altcoins to spike when it rises. Ultimately, you will have to decide whether your end game is to build as much Bitcoin holdings is possible by exchanging your altcoins, or whether you believe altcoins have a sustainable, profitable future too.

In the case of a watermelon, what we intuitively grasp is that there is some fundamental, intrinsic value to the watermelon, and a ‘fair’ price for it. We have a general understanding of what this price should be, and are more than happy to buy watermelons when they are on discount relative to their fair price, and are reticent to do so when they are being sold at a premium to their fair price.

Investments in cryptocurrencies are connected with the possibility of a loss for the Users, even with a small change in the price of the underlying instrument in the form of cryptocurrency. It is not possible to make a profit on cryptocurrencies without exposing yourself to the risk of incurring a loss. When making investment decisions, the User should be guided by his own judgment. More information is available in theDeclaration of Investment Risk.
Please note that virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Virtual currencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not currently backed nor supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional fiat currencies. Profits and losses related to this volatility are amplified in margined futures contracts.
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