I ended up making another big mistake here too, and figured that bitcoin had already gone up way too much, and that my best bet was to invest in some smaller altcoins as well. I made this decision after seeing litecoin (LTC) skyrocket from $4 to $40 in just a few days. The buzz at the time was that litecoin would be to silver what bitcoin was to gold. The price seemed incredibly low compared to bitcoin, and this made a superficial sort of sense (meaning, no sense at all), so I decided to jump in. For good measure, I also decided to jump into a few of the other most popular altcoins of the time — peercoin (PPC) and namecoin (NMC).
If you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies, it may be best to treat your “investment” in the same way you would treat any other highly speculative venture. In other words, recognize that you run the risk of losing most of your investment, if not all of it. As stated earlier, a cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value apart from what a buyer is willing to pay for it at a point in time. This makes it very susceptible to huge price swings, which in turn increases the risk of loss for an investor. Bitcoin, for example, plunged from $260 to about $130 within a six-hour period on April 11, 2013. If you cannot stomach that kind of volatility, look elsewhere for investments that are better suited to you. While opinion continues to be deeply divided about the merits of Bitcoin as an investment – supporters point to its limited supply and growing usage as value drivers, while detractors see it as just another speculative bubble – this is one debate that a conservative investor would do well to avoid.
"We see continued growth both in terms of the average daily volume and open interest," said Tim McCourt, group global head of equity products and alternative investments at the CME Group, a Chicago-based derivatives exchange. "The volume has steadily increased compared to when it was first launched in December. This is not a one-sided product because we have both supply and demand."
The stop-loss option is an incredibly useful tool to protect your profits, and I highly recommend using it. Stop-losses are tools that automatically sell at, or slightly below, a set price. They help you remove yourself from the equation and prevent you from having to sit in front of your screen the entire day watching charts before deciding what to do.
* Bitcoin Investment Trust does not currently operate a redemption program and may halt creations from time to time. There can be no assurance that the value of the shares will approximate the value of the Bitcoin held by the Trust and the shares may trade at a substantial premium over or discount to the value of the Trust's Bitcoin. The Trust may, but will not be required to, seek regulatory approval to operate a redemption program.
The crash proved to be the best thing that could have happened, however, because it gave me time to actually do my research and learn about bitcoin, and have real reasons for believing in it long term, at a point in time where the price was unusually deflated. As a consequence, I was able to buy morebitcoin at the very bottom of the market, around $230 or so, when I became truly convinced of bitcoin’s long term potential. I was also lucky enough to decide not to sell the bitcoins I had originally purchased for $1000 or so, and ultimately saw even those return 250%+ in profit.
Bitcoin is a digital currency, also known as a cryptocurrency, and is created or mined when people solve complex math puzzles online. These bitcoins are then stored in a digital wallet that exists on the cloud or the user’s computer. Because bitcoins are not housed in bank accounts, brokerage, or futures accounts, they are not insured by the FDIC or SIPC.