Historical statistical data of a growing economy has proven that it works: Looking at the S&P 500 over a 5-year period, it has achieved a return of around 60%. The same can be said for the FTSE 100, which achieved a return of 25% over the same time period. Markets generally tend to trend upwards over a period of time, so with this in mind, long-term investing does have its merits. This can be said not only about the last 5 years, but for almost every 5 years throughout the history of the new economy.
In the year 2018, we’ll see these aspects and more flourish. Imagine all of the industries in the world and imagine if each industry had a cryptocurrency backing it. Bitcoin is a very generic coin used in anonymous wealth transfer. We’ll see fewer of these generic coins come to exist; we’ll start to see very creative and ingenious applications of specific technology in very specific industries.
There are already a number of proposed solutions to this issue, such as the implementation of the Lightning Network, but in order to implement these solutions, the majority of bitcoin miners must agree to update their bitcoin software. Many bitcoin miners are reluctant to do so, in large part because high transaction fees are good for miners, at least on a short term basis, as it means they earn far more per each block mined. The implementation of the Lightning Network and other solutions threatens to take away this extra revenue stream. Hence, users of bitcoin and miners of bitcoin find themselves at odds with a very understandable conflict of interest. It’s unclear as of yet how this will be resolved, though it seems the community is pushing forward towards a resolution, and I’m of the personal belief that they’ll get there eventually.
Just like any other currency, you have to have a place to store your Bitcoin, or more accurately, store the private keys you can use to access your Bitcoin. These aren’t the type of wallets you buy at Target, though. The software comes in many different forms, most of which can be downloaded on your smartphone, tablet, or computer desktop. Here are the different types of wallets:
If you can figure it out, use MACD (the divergence and convergence of moving averages) to help you understand if we are in a bull or bear market, and to help you understand why the price just dipped or shot up. Other indicators are very useful, but MACD is particularly useful for the tactic being discussed because it gives you a quick visual of the current trend.
This project has all the ingredients required to be extremely successful. The concept is awesome – connecting the publishers and advertiser without the middle man and his commission. People getting paid for their attention (hence basic attention token) and advertisers getting more awareness for their money while also having happy publishers who get more money as well (no middleman fees).
The simplest example is flipping a coin. This will yield heads 50% of the time, and tails 50% of the time. Expected value of betting on the coin yielding heads, hence, is 0. This is because in any one given flip, the coin has exactly a 50% chance of coming up heads. Hence, if you bet $100 on the coin coming up heads an infinite number of times, your expected gain, or value, from such an action, is to be $0.
When all is said and done, there will hence be 21 million bitcoins. Exactly that, no more, no less. Elegant, no? This eliminates yet another risk with extant currencies, gold included: there are absolutely no surprises when it comes to knowing the present and future supply of bitcoin. A million bitcoin will never be found randomly in California one day and incite a digital gold rush.
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What’s important to consider as crypto evolves is to learn everything (or as much as possible) for yourself. Crypto coins all offer white papers to the public (though they’re not always easy to find). They’re for a scientific audience, but you’ve probably read worse if you have a university degree. Find them and read them. Don’t understand something, ask a question.
All in all, I think the same factors I wrote about in my last article are still true now, and my overall outlook on the crypto market is still positive. Assuming you agree, and that you have some available funds to throw at the market and forget about for the next several years, here are my investment strategy principles laid out from top to bottom according to their importance.
When signing up on these exchanges for the first time, do make it a point to verify your account with the required documents early, as you do not want to be caught in the middle of some tedious and slow admin work when the trading opportunity comes. Verification on these exchanges may take days, and purchase/withdraw limits may only increase gradually as you trade.
This is an extraordinarily difficult feat to accomplish, however, as the more people there are mining bitcoin, the harder it is to take over the network. At the current worldwide mining rate of almost 5 billion gigahashes a second, it would be extraordinarily difficult for even the most powerful organizations in the world (e.g., large-scale governments) to mount a successful 51% attack. It would be enormously costly, and quite possibly more financially detrimental to the attacker than to the network.
This is fine most of the time, as generally the customers of that bank won’t all try to cash out at the same time, and the bank is able to stay liquid. However, the moment customers start to question the bank‘s financial stability, things can go south very quickly. If just a small number of customers begin asking for all their deposits back, a bank can rapidly become depleted of all its liquid funds.
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
Right now, I can use my bitcoin holdings to pay for purchases at Overstock (OSTBP), or book a hotel on Expedia (EXPE). But if I use bitcoin to buy $25 worth of socks on Overstock today, and the price of bitcoin quadruples next week, I'll feel like those socks actually cost me $100. Then again, if bitcoin crashes, at least I'll always have the socks.
"This isn't comparable to other markets since what is unique about cryptocurrencies is that you can transfer ownership from peer to peer in a short amount of time and receive the actual asset," he says. "Settlement happens instantaneously and allows people to trade in a more free environment while the futures contracts are for institutional buyers."
You’ll find that different exchanges cater to different markets. Today, most countries have at least one cryptocurrency exchange specializing in their own currency. There are exchanges that can accept New Zealand Dollars in exchange for bitcoin, for example. Other exchanges are known for certain pairs. Bithumb, for example, has particularly strong liquidity in the ETH/KRW (South Korean Won) pair at the moment (and it’s easily the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Korea).
Ofir Beigel, CEO of 99bitcoins.com, suggests taking a slow burn approach to the cryptocurrency market if you’re looking for the best return possible. “Keep in mind there can be a lot of ‘noise’ in the background, like short-term bad news that lead to a crash,” Beigel says. “The key is to find investments you believe will yield after X time according to your targets, and to try detaching yourself from the short-term noise.”
"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."
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.
These tokens don’t have an inherent use case but are issued by a company to raise funds. They don’t give access to a service, but allow users to participate in the growth of the value of the company through, for example, buybacks of the tokens by the issuing company. This is still a very grey area in terms of regulations, and there have been frantic discussions on what exactly differentiates security tokens from utility tokens.
Instability is good for Bitcoin. In general, political unrest is not good for the stock market -- whose value is tied to established companies that depend on government services, stable financial institutions, a dependable workforce and so on. However, unrest is good for Bitcoin, which is resilient to political unrest because it is not a government-backed currency. There's evidence that recent unrest in Asia contributed to the Bitcoin price surge. If you think the future holds more instability for governments and traditional banks, you might find Bitcoin to be a compelling investment.
When too many people pump and dump these coins over and over, they lose their power. For example, if a coin goes up and down so much, then fewer investors are likely to hop on board once it starts to go up again. They might think, “This coin goes up, but it always comes down. I’m not going to risk it by investing.” This is actually harmful to a coin when it skyrockets and crashes, and this is why you should be wary in 2018 where you put your money.
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The introduction of child chains opens up great levels of customisation. It also enables each child chain (which could be a group, institution, private/public organisation, company, etc.) to run its own self contained blockchain ecosystem whilst still benefitting from all the core features of Ardor itself. These features can also be turned on and off as per the requirements of that given project. This feature makes Ardor a very attractive platform for a wide range of use cases.
Previously, Cointelegraph reported that institutional investors replaced high net-worth individuals as the biggest buyers of cryptocurrency transactions worth over $100,000. Traditional investors and hedge funds have reportedly become more involved in the $220 billion crypto market through private transactions. At the same time, miners have begun scheduling regular coin sales instead of holding or offloading them during market rallies.
Despite the recent bumps in the road, bitcoin continues to grow and at an expediential rate, but with that comes some harsh setbacks. There are going to be those who want to take advantage of the momentary disorganization and try to steal or cheat the system. Because bitcoin is not a company but lives in cyberspace, that is just part of the reality of what it takes before we get to where we need to be.
That doesn't mean it's risk-free, though. Blockchain technology is an intriguing development that could disrupt a number of huge industries, but at the moment, it's also a fashionable word to throw around. Long Island Iced Tea, a beverage company, renamed itself Long Blockchain in late 2017, seemingly knowing that the word itself could cause a jump in stock. And for a brief moment, the stock actually did jump just because of that. Don't fall for tricks like that, stay vigilant and avoid cryptocurrency scams like these.
Pro Tip:If you want to invest, but aren’t keen on using your own funds, consider utilizing accrued interest on a savings account to invest. Compare savings accounts and their interest rates. If you put a lot of money into savings every year, you could fund a sizable investment with just the money the bank pays you in interest. It eliminates your personal risk and maximizes your chances of a return.
If we apply this to cryptocurrency, we can draw some parallels between the traditional markets and the cryptocurrency market. One would typically regard Bitcoin as being less risky than an unknown altcoin. From this, we can then tailor our level of exposure to suit our risk appetite. For example, a very risky portfolio might be 80% in small-cap cryptocurrency and 20% in Bitcoin. Using the information we have gathered so far, we can now construct our own long-term portfolio.
This, thus, requires anyone holding fiat currencies to have extreme trust that their government will manage their money supply responsibly, and not make poor financial decisions that will severely devalue the currency they hold. This compounds with the trust one must hold in the banks in which one deposits their fiat currency, to create an ultimate monetary system that has multiple points of very real possible failure, as history has shown time and again.
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.
“There really isn't much benefit for Main Street investors to use the Wall Street futures. They can just as easily buy bitcoin directly. As well, the minimum contract size on the futures could be a barrier to entry. The contracts of the CME are set at blocks of 5 BTC each, which is more than most retail customers are used to dealing with. Even the CBOE contracts that are set at 1 BTC each are difficult to deal with for most people,” – concludes eToro’s Mati Greenspan.