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Many Bitcoin enthusiasts argue that altcoins are totally unnecessary. Also, some say that, because they cannot rival the infrastructure Bitcoin boasts, altcoins will not succeed. However, altcoins have a significant role. Altcoins allow developers to experiment with unique features, and while it is true that, if the developers or community desires, Bitcoin can copy these features, fully-functioning altcoins are much better “cryptocurrency laboratories” than Bitcoin’s testnet. Moreover, one of Bitcoin’s most prominent goals is decentralization, and altcoins further decentralize the cryptocurrency community. Finally, altcoins give Bitcoin healthy competition and they give cryptocurrency users alternative options and forces Bitcoin’s developers to remain active and continue innovating. Users can adopt an altcoin if they do not feel that Bitcoin satisfies their digital desires. Also, the Bitcoin developers would have to adopt the features the community desired or risk losing its place as the preeminent cryptocurrency if enough users left Bitcoin for a particular altcoin.
The futures contracts for bitcoin were launched by both the CME Group and Cboe last December as interest in the cryptocurrency rose and as institutional investors sought a method to hedge against their risk. The first bitcoin futures contract was launched by the Cboe and trading began on Dec. 10 as XBT, which is a U.S. dollar-denominated, cash-settled futures contract based on the auction price of bitcoin on the Gemini digital currency exchange.
The aspect that makes a coin unique apart from the others is known as its value proposition. A coin must have a value proposition that either enhances or adds on to Bitcoin’s limitations. For example, Bitcoin only allows for 7 transactions per second, whereas some of the newer coins allow for thousands or more transactions per second. This results in not only faster transfer speeds but cheaper fees as well.
On a bitcoin exchange, the investor trades at the coin's full price. For example, if bitcoin is trading at $8,000, an investor spends $8,000 on every coin priced at that amount. Most futures contracts involve leverage, allowing the trader to put up only a small fraction of the asset's price, but for bitcoin this "margin" is unusually high, at more than 40 percent. So the investor could control one $8,000 bitcoin for just over $3,200, plus a small fee for the transaction. If the price jumped 12.5 percent to $9,000, the gain would be 32 percent of the sum invested.
Generally, the strategy suggested to average out such short term volatility for something that one is investing in long term is to practice dollar cost averaging. This preaches that one should set an exact time at regular time intervals to buy an exact amount in fiat currency of the investment one is looking to purchase — e.g., $1,000 worth of bitcoin on the 1st of every week, or every month. This means that over time, you’ll be able to take advantage of bitcoin’s general trajectory upwards, but balance out the relative short term volatile price movements both high and low, such that you experience a more linear growth trajectory over time of your principal.
The cryptocurrency market has returned over 900% since the beginning of 2017 (at the time of writing this). You cannot find these kinds of return on investments in the stock market or anywhere. If you had made an investment of $500 in January, you would have made $5000 in less than a year (!). This type of strategy is known as long-term investing, and this guide is aiming to show you how to implement this investment method – to construct a long-term cryptocurrency portfolio.
Choose trusted wallets and exchanges. The hype surrounding the cryptocurrency market has led many people to jump in headfirst without checking whether they are doing business with reputable sources. As the market starts to settle in the coming years, it’s likely that up to 80% of the wallets and exchanges currently in business will disappear. Don’t make an already risky market worse by choosing an untrusted wallet or exchange.
As you get a hand in multiple exchanges, you may wish to buy from one exchange and sell on another to make ‘arbitrage’ gains when you spot an arbitraging opportunity. Take note of two things if you wish to do so: remember to factor in fees, and remember that the price could change when you are transferring your coin between exchanges, especially during volatile times. USD tends to be liquid so this happens less for it, but for other currencies such as CAD (Canadian dollar) and SGD (Singapore dollar), there may exist more arbitraging opportunities to exploit.