The emergence of Bitcoin has sparked a debate about its future and that of other cryptocurrencies. Despite Bitcoin’s recent issues, its success since its 2009 launch has inspired the creation of alternative cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ripple and MintChip. A cryptocurrency that aspires to become part of the mainstream financial system would have to satisfy very divergent criteria. While that possibility looks remote, there is little doubt that Bitcoin’s success or failure in dealing with the challenges it faces may determine the fortunes of other cryptocurrencies in the years ahead.
In all of these cases, however, a value investor first and foremost must decide, with rigorous analysis and thorough examination, what they believe the fair value of an investment to be, and what degree of future potential it has. Only from there do they then examine what value the market has assigned the investment, in order to ascertain whether or not the investment is a wise one likely to yield good returns. Under no circumstances should one ever buy into a stock without knowing much, or anything at all about the stock, save for the general market sentiment or hype surrounding it, and its short term price movements. Buying a stock merely because it has seen great gains in the past, without any understanding of why it saw those gains and what gains it might expect to see in the future based on fundamental analysis of the stock, is an inordinately risky and foundationally bereft strategy.
Third, there's the disassociation between blockchain technology and the actual tokens themselves. The issue with nearly all cryptocurrencies is that their potential value is tied up in their blockchain and its ability to benefit an industry or sector. Investors who buy into virtual tokens rarely, if ever, gain ownership in the blockchain those coins are used on. Without ownership in the asset that matters, it leaves investors to more or less go along for the ride.
The most dangerous game of all, then, in my opinion, is day trading in altcoins that one doesn’t believe in long term. This is basically combining every ‘mistake’ I mention above: trading in something because of short term price movements, not holding it long term, day trading, and speculating in highly risky small cap altcoins. If you manage to survive doing this over any long period of time (5 years+, let’s say) and end up net profitable (particularly if you end up more profitable than just buying and holding over that same period of time), please do let me know, as I’d be extremely curious to hear just how you pulled it off.

The easiest way to invest is to sign up at 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!)

Litecoin was developed in 2011. While it has faltered of late in value with the other cryptocurrencies, if it gains back that value, it will be because of its strengths in comparison to bitcoin: Significantly faster transaction time (one major complaint when bitcoin exploded was that the increase in users slowed down transactions tremendously) and a larger number of crypto tokens.
What would be a good portfolio for a newbie today, I just keep losing with these popular Altcoins? Are you seeing just as much significant growth today (like doubling) as before with your portfolio? I need a fresh portfolio today that has just as much potential as the day when you had bought into your Altcoins. Can you also give an idea of the percentages of the spreads you mentioned in your wallet? Also, with the influx of coins/icos, do you think alot of coins will lose value and it will be harder to find the gem amongst the rocks?
Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, or GBTC, which tracks Bitcoin’s market price, has seen its net asset value hit its lowest point since the cryptocurrency’s price surged late last year. Shares of GBTC are down around 80 percent since Bitcoin hit a high of $19,511 in mid-December. The price of Bitcoin has dropped nearly 66 percent during the same time period, making the premium to the cryptocurrency almost nonexistent. The fund has traded at more than twice its net asset value.
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.
These characteristics make Bitcoin fundamentally different from a fiat currency, which is backed by the full faith and credit of its government. Fiat currency issuance is a highly centralized activity supervised by a nation’s central bank. While the bank regulates the amount of currency issued in accordance with its monetary policy objectives, there is theoretically no upper limit to the amount of such currency issuance. In addition, local currency deposits are generally insured against bank failures by a government body. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has no such support mechanisms. The value of a Bitcoin is wholly dependent on what investors are willing to pay for it at a point in time. As well, if a Bitcoin exchange folds up, clients with Bitcoin balances have no recourse to get them back.
This has meant there's been a larger demand than ever for GPUs, especially in the wake of bitcoin's sudden and massive rise in 2017. With the explosion of mining and the steady need for GPUs amongst gamers, Nvidia has been an investment worth looking into in 2018. AMD, meanwhile, has been a bit more volatile. They have proven to be two of the top manufacturers of GPUs in the wake of the bitcoin craze.
Bitcoin v alt balancing: my BTC v altcoin positions are balanced relative to how Bitcoin market dominance is trending, you can see this chart on CoinMarketCap. If Bitcoin market dominance is at 50% but falling, then my Bitcoin position will be at less than 40%. If Bitcoin market dominance is 50% but rising then my Bitcoin position will be over 60%. The reason I keep it ahead of the trend but never 100% of one is that BTC v altcoin market cycles change, there are times when they trade inversely and other times where they rise and fall together and as such this gives a more even growth trajectory.
If you are serious about cryptocurrency trading, I strongly recommend finding a mastermind group that suits your skill level and budget so that you can improve your knowledge, expose yourself to less risk, and gain access to news and tips before they hit the mainstream market – this is where the real money is to be made. In my opinion, your best bet is to sign up to use the Notorious Bot as you get a ton of value not only from the bot but also from the Discord channel where you have access to veteran traders and analysts.

Had I actually done my research and believed that it was a fair bet to make that one day bitcoins would be worth far more than even the height of the local maximum bubble at the time, it absolutely could have been the right decision to buy in then, even if it crashed later temporarily to $200. What wasn’t right was buying in simply because the price was going up and I had a fear of missing out.
There are hundreds of altcoins, and more appear every day. Most altcoins are little more than Bitcoin clones and they do not survive for very long. They only change minor features, such as its hashing algorithm, distribution method, or transactions speed. One exception is Litecoin, which has branded itself as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” The reason for that is that, in addition to using a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin, Litecoin has a much higher number of currency units.

Just because there is this element of luck, however, does not mean that you necessarily shouldn’t play the odds, if you so believe with very good reason that those odds are in your favor. What you do have to make sure of, however, is that you have such good reason to believe that those odds are in your favor, and that you don’t put up more than you can afford to lose, given the odds. The key takeaway and lesson to be learned, again, is to invest, both in speculations and in ‘safer’ investments, based on firm knowledge of the underlying asset and intrinsic analysis, to the extent possible, and never merely based on price movements.
Third, there's the disassociation between blockchain technology and the actual tokens themselves. The issue with nearly all cryptocurrencies is that their potential value is tied up in their blockchain and its ability to benefit an industry or sector. Investors who buy into virtual tokens rarely, if ever, gain ownership in the blockchain those coins are used on. Without ownership in the asset that matters, it leaves investors to more or less go along for the ride.
Be a part of the future of blockchain by owning the cryptocurrency products that are solving real problems to better humanity. I have started a cryptocurrency community where we uncover the projects that are building a better future for tomorrow and how we can profit from them when they do. One such example can be found by clicking here. If you like the way we work, there are a lot more where that came from. I hope to see you inside.

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 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
Then, when they successfully find a solution to the next hash problem and mine a block of bitcoins, something magical happens. They get to add the block they just mined to the end of the existing blockchain — and with it, they include every transaction that was initiated on the bitcoin network since the last block was mined. They then propagate this block they just created to the rest of the network of bitcoin miners, who all then update their own blockchains with this new block, and begin working on solving the next hash problem.
The price of bitcoin cratered about 80%, falling all the way to about $200, before stabilizing at that price for much of 2014 and 2015. Litecoin, on the other hand, fell from over $45 to about $1, and consequently lost over 97.5% of its value. PPC and NMC suffered so badly that I didn’t even bother to calculate how much I had lost, because it was basically everything.
This is just my 0.02$, as always, I can be completely wrong, and I maintain the right to contradict myself in the future. Also, for the record, this article references only my opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice if you want to. And, remember, always do your own research (DYOR).
This is even more true of paper currency. Yes, you can utilize and reuse the paper for all the intrinsic value paper has. But what is that intrinsic value of paper? This is easy to answer, because we can just see how much the government pays to make paper money. $1 and $2 bills cost less than 5 cents to make on the low end of the spectrum, while $100 bills cost 12.3 cents on the high end.
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.
More recently, the approval or rejection of a bitcoin ETF was widely touted as being the contributing factor to a bitcoin bull run from under $1000 to over $1200. It was speculated that if the ETF were to be rejected, that naturally the price would fall to where it was before the bull run began. Indeed, the moment the ETF was announced as rejected, the price did momentarily fall to almost $1000. However, it just as quickly recovered, and began an inexorable climb all the way up to over $2700, where it stands to this day.

“The insurance will cover loss of bitcoin by, among other things, theft, destruction, bitcoin in transit, computer fraud and other loss of the private keys that are necessary to access the bitcoin held by the Trust… The insurance policy will carry initial limits of $25 million in primary coverage and $100 million in excess coverage, with the ability to increase coverage depending on the value of the bitcoin held by the Trust.”
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.

In 2011, a study of academics by the University of California indicated that most individual investors achieve results that are worse than standard investment benchmarks. One of the main reasons was that people were trading emotionally, rather than following a clear strategy. Simply put, if in the past they entered a trade that “coincided with pleasure” they would try to repeat those actions and avoid those that “generated pain.”
How assets are valued is a changing model, and the quoted market cap of a coin is an excellent tool for benchmarking but can be misleading. Chris Burniske wrote about this on Medium. As currency use increases and utility tokens bring products to market, the economic models will be tested and as such valuation models will change. This could go either way; assets could be either under or overvalued. I believe that currencies are undervalued, and utility tokens are overvalued, hence my preference for investing in coins over tokens.
If you have an account with us but are not approved to trade futures, you first need to request futures trading privileges. Be sure to check that you have the right permissions and meet funding requirements on your account before you apply. Please note that the approval process may take 1-2 business days. Once you have been granted futures approval, contact the Futures Desk at 866-839-1100 or email us to request access to /XBT.