This illustrates even more vividly why it’s incredibly dangerous to invest in anything you don’t actually believe in, and aren’t willing to hold, long term. If you aren’t going to hold something long term, then generally you must believe that while the price will rise in the short term, it will not continue to rise in the long term. If you hold this belief, it generally means that there’s some reason that you believe what you are investing in won’t hold true value long term, but that there is enough speculative mania in the short term to make the price go up anyway. The thinking goes that if this is going to be true, you might as well profit from this speculative mania and buy in now, wait for a little bit for the price to rise, and then sell it for short term profit.
No. 4: Cryptocurrency futures, derivatives, and forward contracts are gaining adoption: The volatility of crypto prices at the beginning of the year dramatically boosted demand for crypto derivative products. With derivatives, investors do not need to hold the underlying crypto asset, but they can still enjoy the potential benefits while possibly minimizing loses, much like they hedge regular currencies. While many exchanges do not yet allow direct sales of Bitcoin, investors can speculate on cryptocurrency pricing by trading futures on exchanges like BitMEX, LedgerX and OKCoin. Institutional investors have used futures contracts to even influence crypto currency prices, especially BTC. In the United States, the move by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Exchange to offer futures trading has further validated the industry.
A long time horizon also gives us the opportunity of compounding gains over time. Look at the cryptocurrency market as the challenge to find the next Amazon and potentially enjoy larger long term gains. Who wants to be the type of guys to sell Amazon when they were up a little in the year 2000 and miss out on nearly two decades of heavy gains? Also, if you are convinced about the long term growth potential of a cryptocurrency project, why sell it in a few months time?
Retailer Acceptance – A cryptocurrency isn’t much of use if you can’t purchase anything with it, so before you invest in it, it’s very important to know who and where it was accepted. Some coins are simply built for other purposes and they aren’t designed to be exchanged for goods. Some of the popular cryptocurrencies are widely accepted just like Bitcoin, while some cryptocurrencies can only be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
If you’re interested in learning more about value investing at large, I’d highly recommend The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham, who again was Warren Buffett’s personal mentor and a professor of economics at Columbia University. He pioneered a lot of the foundational concepts around value investing, and can give you much better and more nuanced advice than I ever could.
That’s the case as I see it for bitcoin. In the case of most altcoins, however, I don’t see remotely enough to even begin to justify the possibility of long term gain in the first place. Even with speculations, or perhaps especially with speculations, it’s incredibly important to thoroughly analyze a given investment opportunity for at least the potential for long term gain and success, and assess the magnitude of that possible gain, and then to weigh that potential versus the likelihood of outright failure of the speculation. With most altcoins, their value over bitcoin or ethereum is far from clear, and generally superficial or minor at best.
Virtual currencies, including bitcoin, experience significant price volatility. Fluctuations in the underlying virtual currency's value between the time you place a trade for a virtual currency futures contract and the time you attempt to liquidate it will affect the value of your futures contract and the potential profit and losses related to it. Investors must be very cautious and monitor any investment that they make.