Once adopted out of necessity, the gold standard became part and parcel of US currency, just as it was with most other currencies from around the world. The gold standard removed some of the need to have pure faith in US dollars in of themselves, as it guaranteed that all paper money the US issued would be exchangeable at a fixed rate for gold upon demand.
Keep in mind that while you can put however much money you want into GDAX at any point in time, you are generally limited to withdrawing $10,000 per 24 hour period. Thus, if you are buying a large amount of say, Ethereum to send to a token sale address, keep in mind that if you want to send over $10,000, you’ll need to purchase that amount and withdraw it well in advance of the token sale.
If you want to trade in cryptocurrencies, you’re going to need a platform on which to trade them, and an intermediary to communicate within the network of traders. Most of us lack the technological inclination or means to mine Bitcoin directly, or communicate and trade with miners directly, or store our digital currencies and assets. That’s where Coinbase comes in.

What I ended up learning was something the smartest people in the investment world had learned a long time ago. Benjamin Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffett, who became the richest man in the world by practicing the principle of value investing, has a pretty wonderful analogy that I think is worth repeating here. You should buy your stocks (or any investment, generally) like you buy your groceries — not like you buy your perfume.
Since there is a prevailing thought that the most valuable aspect of bitcoin is the blockchain technology behind it, investing in blockchain is another way of tangentially investing in bitcoin without the worrisome volatility. There are many large companies that have been developing their own blockchain networks for a variety of purposes that may be worth looking into.
When you get acquainted with buying crypto and start to itch for some crypto trading (e.g. BTC/ETH), simply perform an instant transfer from Coinbase to GDAX free of charge and start trading. Think of Coinbase as the place to conveniently buy and store your crypto and GDAX as your margin trading platform. Transfers between the two are instant and free.

Bitcoin Investment Trust is an entity that was established to give investors a way to get exposure to the bitcoin market without actually buying their own bitcoin. The trust itself owns a substantial amount of the cryptocurrency -- roughly 200,000 bitcoin currently. Each share of the trust works out to just under 0.001 bitcoin, meaning an equivalent net asset value of roughly $6.50 with bitcoin prices near $6,500 per token.
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.
The strategy isn’t guaranteed to be successful, but it is a smart and simple investing strategy that doesn’t take much skill or technical know-how to implement. Meanwhile, as eluded to above, if you want to add technical aspects, you can look at things like moving averages, support levels, RSI, and volume to get a sense of how low a price might go and get a sense of when recovery is likely. With the technicals added in, “buying the dips” can become a pretty solid strategy with a high success rate, without them, it is still generally better than FOMO buying the top or panic selling in a stagnant or bull market when the price pulls back (as it WILL pull back, crypto is volatile).
As for investing an initial lump sum to begin getting exposure in this space, my personal strategy would be to do a semi-timed dollar cost average, if one is particularly concerned that they might be investing just before a local minimum market crash, but also particularly concerned that the price may keep rapidly appreciating ad infinitum, and would like to get in before that happens. That is, I’d decide the total lump sum I’d be willing to set aside to invest here, say, $10,000, and invest 33% or 50% of it immediately. Then, if the market did crash, I’d be psychologically very happy, and be super excited to invest another 33% or 50%. On the flip side, if the market continued to rise indefinitely and never fell again, I’d also be happy that at least I was able to get exposure to the market and didn’t miss out entirely. A 33–33–33 split would allow me to invest 3 times when I felt the market was at a particularly good time for investment, and a 50–50 split twice. Just random arbitrary examples of divisions I might do here, depending on how exactly wary I feel about the market at the present moment in time.
Investments, under this distinction, would be clarified as things that could generally be safely assured not to suffer from dramatic, catastrophic losses in the absence of dramatic, catastrophic situations. Coca-Cola and Walmart might be considered investments. They’ve been around for well over a century and a half century respectively, are massive, mature companies with a healthy track record of stable, non-volatile growth, and show no general signs of turmoil that might portend a sudden collapse in value.
Ideally, you’ll keep the coins yourself on your own hardware device, which is ultra secure. I recommend Trezor.io (as of this writing, they’ve just run out of stock, but are only backordered a few days if you’re willing to pay a premium) for this purpose. Ledger Nano S is also good and cheaper to boot, but I personally haven’t used it and it’s very backordered in sales. I can recommend Trezor 100% wholeheartedly, however.
Yet there's reason to doubt that cryptocurrency frenzy will return. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) — Ma Bell in Warner's analogy — banned credit-card purchases of cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the SEC and foreign governments have cracked down on initial coin offerings. And lately, Alphabet (GOOGL)-unit Google, Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) have banned cryptocurrency ads.

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