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.
Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes.
Steindorff: Litecoin. LTC taught us a very valuable lesson about the strength of a brand and its corresponding community. We missed the boat on LTC early on because we felt that its use case overlapped too heavily with BTC. It was hard to imagine that LTC could gain any significant market share from its dominant predecessor but despite our beliefs, Litecoin’s brand and community have driven it to become a top 10 cryptocurrency with a lot of volume and liquidity. The lesson here was that the power of a trusted brand and a devoted community has the ability to outweigh innovative tech.
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.
Technology development: this is a key aspect in cryptocurrency. If the technology behind a cryptocurrency is not fit for purpose, then it is likely that in the long-term, the cryptocurrency will fail. An example of a positive technological development is Ethereum’s recent Byzantium hard fork. This hard fork allowed for more transactions to be processed on the Ethereum blockchain. This positive technological development increases the likelihood of Ethereum being widely adopted, and so once again makes it a viable candidate for our portfolio.
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.
There are also similar tools for the crypto market — for example, Cryptoindex 100 (CIX100) is an automated index calculated by a machine-learning algorithm which analyzes cryptocurrencies. This tool allows traders to build sophisticated portfolios of 100 coins with reduced volatility and risks. Due to automation, human influences are reduced to a minimum. After the portfolio is built, an investor can track coins via specialized platform services from time to time.
A contract written with and enforced by code, however, removes the need to trust a third party arbitrator (such as a court system), in much the same way that transactions enforced by bitcoin’s code remove the need to trust a third party financial institution. The code is written in such a way that clearly specifies the conditions of the contract, and will automatically enforce these conditions.
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.