The appeal for many is the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning no specific group or governing body has control over it. Instead, it is secured by advanced cryptography, a set of military-grade encryptions, and regulated by a network called the Blockchain. The Blockchain acts as a digital ledger, confirming buyer/seller funds and establishing the order in which transactions take place.
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.
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.
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.
And finally, let's not forget that crypto trading is primarily comprised of short-minded retail investors. These often emotional investors don't have the wherewithal to stick around for the long term, meaning any news event could send them running for the hills. We've witnessed more than one scare with bitcoin and other large digital currencies that sent the entire crypto market tumbling, with basically no exceptions.
This underscores the oft mercurial whims of governments, even well-regarded ones like that of the United States, that most citizens heretofore have been subject to without relief or alternative. Most of the time, things run well enough that we all get by without having to think about this fact too much. Sometimes, however, things do go really, really wrong.
Generally speaking, diversification -- the ability for investors to buy stocks in different industries and sectors, or based on market cap, growth rate, or dividend yield -- has allowed investors the opportunity to maximize their long-term capital appreciation potential. If one sector is doing poorly, a diversified portfolio might be hedged with another industry or sector that's thriving. Plus, with the ability to load a diversified portfolio with dividend-paying stocks, complete with reinvestment, it's often easy to build wealth over time. All it really takes is patience, discipline, and the resolve to buy stocks at regular intervals over time, regardless of how "high" or "low" the market is trading.
This part will be wildly subjective. Crypto has the potential to realize many ‘rags to riches’ stories, but its volatility makes it unpredictable. As a precaution, the money you put in crypto should be money that you are fine with losing. I cannot emphasize the importance of this as we often underestimate how the volatility affects our emotional capacities. The upside is huge, but it comes with lots of risks and, if I may put it, emotional torment.
The problem with this is that just about everyone else investing in these things is thinking the same thing, and everyone involved is effectively playing the greater fool theory, expecting that they will be smarter than everyone else and be able to time the market better than everyone else, and get out before everyone else does, and before the price eventually collapses. By mere inviolable fact, most people who engage in this form of speculation are guaranteed to lose in a big way. Over enough iterations, the eventual likelihood of loss generally grows to become one, in my opinion, as one must continue to time a market correctly time and time again for this to work. While it may seem like the market will continue being bullish for you to get in and get out before things go south, this is true of every moment in time right up until things go south all at once. Inevitably, at some point, the gravy train will have to derail and explode in a rolling ball of fire.
Even though rebalancing means a bit more work (there’s no portfolio tracker to my knowledge that does this yet), you can use this method to establish the relative presence of an overarching type of coin in your portfolio, like the financial transactions/protocol/utility coin distribution. Are utility tokens taking up a bigger and bigger part of your entire portfolio? Then it’s a good idea to identify why this is happening and consider selling some of the leading utility tokens to buy some more transaction or protocol coins.
Going back to my personal story, ultimately the crash from $1200 to $200 for bitcoin was the best thing that could have ever possibly happened to me. At the time, of course, it certainly didn’t feel that way. It felt like I had made an absolutely stupid, foolish decision, and had lost all my money. In fact, I did make a stupid, foolish decision, but not for the reason I thought at the time. I didn’t make a stupid, foolish decision because the price had cratered to $200. I made a stupid, foolish decision in deciding to invest in bitcoin and altcoins without actually having done my research and without really knowing anything about them.
“Custodial concerns are extremely important for CIOs, and if they are unfamiliar with the brand of the custodian of the asset, they won’t get comfortable getting involved in the market,” he said. “Volatility is always a key concern as well, in addition to skepticism about the driver of returns on crypto assets and a lack of regulation in the space.”
“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.
It’s easy to be swept away in the fervor of a frenetic market, and the fear of missing out can be overwhelming especially when you see altcoins rising by wild amounts overnight, but my personal guiding philosophy is to always try to keep in mind fundamentals to the maximum extent possible, to never invest in anything I don’t actually understand or see long term value in, and to only invest in things I intend to hold very long term (for at least 5 years), especially in such a volatile market.