In the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, over 1,000 of the 3,200 savings and loan institutions in the United States failed in rapid succession. The FSLIC almost immediately became insolvent itself, and had to be recapitalized several times with over $25 billion dollars of taxpayer money. Even this didn’t even come close to being sufficient to solve the crisis, and the FSLIC managed to only resolve the failure of less than 300 of the 1000 bankrupt institutions, even with all the handouts from taxpayers, before it just flat out gave up and dissolved itself.
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.

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger
Litecoin (10%) – Litecoin is often marketed as being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold status. Being a hard fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin shares many similarities to the original coin; Litecoin can also be used as a value exchange coin. However, Litecoin’s block generation time of 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, and different hashing algorithm (Scrypt), are features designed to produce a more innovative blockchain and cryptocurrency.
The most common place where people buy and trade cryptocurrency is on the exchanges. Exchanges are places where you may buy and sell your crypto, using fiat. There are multiple measures to judge the reliability and quality of an exchange, such as liquidity, spread, fees, purchase and withdrawal limits, trading volume, security, insurance, user-friendliness. Out of all these, I find Coinbase as the best exchange hands down. It has a beginner-friendly user interface, and an unbeatable 100% crypto insurance.

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.
In general, bigger market cap coins are less risky but have a lower chance of phenomenal returns. On the other hand, lower market cap coins generally have much more risk attached, but sometimes have the potential for greater gains. In cryptocurrency you must be aware that a large market cap coin can still potentially lose 70% or even 100% of it’s value.
If you’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell cryptocurrency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.
The primary disadvantage of Bitcoin Investment Trust is that the share price of the trust doesn't necessarily mirror what the actual bitcoin market is doing. For instance, shares of the trust right now trade at between $8.50 and $9. That price is more than 30% higher than the actual value of the bitcoin within the trust that each share represents. In essence, for every $1.30 you invest in the trust right now, you're only getting $1 worth of bitcoin.
For the most part, things generally work fine on a day to day basis. This belies, however, the true fragility of the system. It’s hard to anticipate these things before they happen, because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of assuming that things will always be as they mostly always have been. If things have been fine yesterday, and the day before, and the few years before that, or even the few decades before that, we just naturally assume that they will continue to be fine for the indefinite future.
The Bank for International Settlements, the central banker for global central banks, has warned that cryptocurrencies in the future could become a "threat to financial stability" if regulators aren't vigilant. U.S. regulators appear to be playing catch-up. As of Feb. 6, the cryptocurrency working group put together by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had held a single meeting.

This leads to what’s known as a bank run, where the bank fails because it is unable to fulfill all the withdrawals customers demand. This can escalate quickly into a systemic bank panic, where multiple banks begin to suffer the same fate. Each successive failure compounds the collective panic, and quite quickly, the whole system can begin to collapse like a house of cards.
A rising trend in the world of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin ATMs allow users to purchase Bitcoin with cash through machines that work almost identically to standard ATMs. With over 3,000 Bitcoin ATMs scattered across the world (primarily in large metro areas throughout North America and Europe), you can use search tools such as Google Maps or Bitcoin ATM Radar to find one close. Just remember that while Bitcoin ATMs have low processing fees, they also have a low buying limit.

Trading on this spot market is a lot like trading a stock, with prices governed by supply and demand, and no role played by a central bank, like the Federal Reserve. Since bitcoin is not yet accepted by many merchants, its value depends on speculators' view on what others will pay in the future. To detractors, that encourages bubbles. Advocates see huge potential profits.
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.

Pointing to Grayscale Investments, the largest asset manager in the crypto sphere and part of DCG, Silbert showcased that mainstream funds are starting to put some money to work in the crypto space. Earlier on Wednesday, Grayscale announced it had raised $250 million to date, and 56% of that came from institutional investors. A year or two ago, that was almost non-existent.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger
The moment you look at the amount of support Tron has been receiving lately, you immediately realize it’s not just yet another blockchain-based platform. Tron’s technology aims to deploy world’s largest FREE content entertainment system. The platform allows anyone to store and own data, and to freely publish their content. Its app “Peiwo” already gathers 10 million enthusiasts and is on the road to become the world’s first TRON-compatible entertainment app. This technology revolves around the following ideology:  All contributions on the network should be of equal quantitative value, the Internet should be decentralized, and data creators should have the absolute ownership of the data. It’s important to realise though that Tron has been pushed like hell by an ambitious marketing department… I have not yet decided if this is a cryptocurrency which will survive but, for a one year hold, it seems a safe bet.

Nvidia (NVDA) , a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio, and AMD (AMD) are companies that make several types of technology; AMD makes processors for desktop and laptop computers, while Nvidia's products range from automotive use to cloud servers. Where the two most successfully intersect, though, are their graphics processing units. Even in the age of ASIC miners, a strong GPU has proven to be a competitive (and much more affordable) way to mine bitcoins.


That said, it’s extremely important to keep in mind that one doesn’t get infinite opportunities to keep playing this bet out over and over again. There is only one bitcoin in the world, and we only have one opportunity to play out this exact bet. Given this fact, it’s important to realize that if this were somehow to actually be a perfectly EV neutral bet, with a possibility of a 150X upside and a 0.66% chance of realizing that upside, it would still mean that we have a 99.33% chance of losing all our money that we place on this bet. It would be extremely foolish, therefore, to invest all our money into such a wildly speculative investment, even if it is technically EV neutral or even slightly EV positive. What might make sense, is to set aside a responsibly proportionate amount of money specifically earmarked for such wildly speculative investments as a part of a holistic investment portfolio, that one is fully willing and able to lose without significant impact to one’s well-being or quality of life, and to invest that amount of money in a +EV bet like this.
If you're looking for the perfect time to invest in bitcoin, you're just not going to find it. There are professional analysts who haven't been able to pin down where bitcoin will go. That unpredictability can certainly make it tempting, though. Mark Cuban's thoughts on bitcoin have gone back and forth, but his approach to investing in it is sound: only if you can spare some cash, and don't go overboard. The bitcoin market is the ultimate in high risk, high reward.
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.
For many investors, being able to invest in bitcoin through the Bitcoin Investment Trust is worth paying a fairly expensive fee. The trust sponsor deals with all of the mechanics of investing in bitcoin, including obtaining cryptocurrency tokens, holding them in safekeeping, and then making any future transactions as necessary. Investing in the trust is as easy as buying or selling shares when the stock market is open, and that has real advantages over the lengthening processing times involved in handling actual changes of ownership in bitcoin tokens themselves.
I’m in it for the long term and I don’t focus on daytrading, ever. However (and it took me a while to understand this), HODLing isn’t always the best way to fly either. Yes, the market is still in its infancy, and the new Googles and Facebooks may already be listed on Coinmarketcap and perhaps even in your portfolio. But your portfolio can be worth much more with a measured strategy, instead of passively HODLing. And let’s be honest, at least half of your motivation to buy crypto is to make a lot money.
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").

The purpose of this cryptocurrency portfolio is to outperform the overall market in market downturns, whilst still enjoying the significant upside of the market. TC expects this portfolio to significantly outperform assets such as stocks and shares in a bull market. It has been constructed to add flexibility for the future. For example, you could add additional positions or participate in ICOs by converting some Bitcoin or Ethereum holdings.


This is where the ‘crypto’, incidentally, in cryptocurrency comes from. Cryptographic hash functions are fundamentally necessary for the functioning of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as they are one-way functions. One-way functions work such that it is easy to calculate an output given an input, but near impossible to calculate the original input given the output. Hence, cryptographic one-way hash functions enable bitcoin’s proof of work system, as it ensures that it is nigh-impossible for someone to just see the output required to unlock new bitcoins, and calculate in reverse the input that created that output.
In general, bigger market cap coins are less risky but have a lower chance of phenomenal returns. On the other hand, lower market cap coins generally have much more risk attached, but sometimes have the potential for greater gains. In cryptocurrency you must be aware that a large market cap coin can still potentially lose 70% or even 100% of it’s value.
This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business or where such offer or solicitation would be contrary to the local laws and regulations of that jurisdiction, including, but not limited to persons residing in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UK, and the countries of the European Union.
×