Monero (10%) – Monero is similar to Bitcoin in that it allows value exchange. However, Monero differs from Bitcoin in that it is focused on providing greater privacy to those that utilize their blockchain, using their stealth address mechanism. Anonymity is likely to become more and more important in a world where Bitcoin addresses can be traced. As more regulation starts entering the cryptocurrency space, an increasing number of individuals will gravitate towards privacy coins such as Monero, Zcash and Dash, that can mask their transaction activities.
There isn't much liquidity in the bitcoin marketplace, relatively speaking, meaning that the volume of trading activity is relatively low. When liquidity is low, volatility is high. Some of the giants in the bitcoin world also own significant amounts of the cryptocurrency, meaning that they can move the price relatively easily by trading large amounts in a short period.
With something as speculative as cryptocurrency in the first place, it makes no sense to invest in this space to begin with if your only goal is to make 20% profit. It almost certainly isn’t worth the risk at that level of gain. Hence, risking losing out on the long term upside of 10X+ that you’ve calculated and come to the conclusion does exist for a gain of less than 1X or .5X in most cases makes little to no sense at all. It only makes sense if it’s essentially a guaranteed gain with no risk, and that, again, is almost certainly not the case.
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.
Ripple is an open-source digital payment network, and it’s already being used by some of the world’s largest banks – such as the bank of Tokyo and Santandar. XRP has shown significant potential recently and has been turning a lot of heads. Ripple aims to become the go-to tool for banks on a global scale, while still giving an exciting investment opportunity to crypto advocates and solo investors. Ripple has many haters and I’ve been burned by it myself in the past – I sold 30,000 XRP at 20 cents… painful. Still, I did buy them at 3 cents a pop, so it could have been worse. I hold 10,000 XRP today and will hold until 2022.
Coinbase is a global digital asset exchange company (GDAX), providing a marketplace for digital currencies, and then sending information about the transactions that happen in its marketplace to the appropriate blockchain network, so that those transactions can be recorded in the blockchain. Coinbase serves as a digital wallet, too, where you can store the digital currencies you purchase on the platform. The currencies available on Coinbase? Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ether.
The 2013 cryptocurrency bubble burst just a few days later, brought on by the collapse of Mt Gox, the largest bitcoin trading exchange at the time. It was revealed that Mt Gox had either been hacked or embezzled from, and no longer had any funds left to honor customer withdrawals. As a result, anyone who had decided to keep their bitcoins in Mt Gox at the time instead of withdrawing them to their own wallets ended up losing all their money. How much the price of bitcoin rises doesn’t mean anything if you lose all your bitcoins, unfortunately.
You’ll find that different exchanges cater to different markets. Today, most countries have at least one cryptocurrency exchange specializing in their own currency. There are exchanges that can accept New Zealand Dollars in exchange for bitcoin, for example. Other exchanges are known for certain pairs. Bithumb, for example, has particularly strong liquidity in the ETH/KRW (South Korean Won) pair at the moment (and it’s easily the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Korea).
However, as I’ve mentioned before, this is far more difficult, if not impossible, to do with cryptocurrency, more than even normal investment vehicles like stocks. I’ve seen people who think that bitcoin has hit a peak and must necessarily stop going up sell, intending to wait until bitcoin falls again to buy in again and make maybe a 20% extra profit, miss out entirely because bitcoin kept going up and never came back down. There are numerous stories of those who bought into bitcoin at $1 or less, but sold well before it ever reached even $10, much less $2500.
While Goldman Sachs’ skeptical stance on crypto “remains intact,” the investment bank’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein has suggested that the adoption of crypto like Bitcoin could happen in a similar way as that of paper money, which replaced gold and silver coins. In an interview in June, Blankfein stated that it is “too arrogant” to argue that crypto cannot be adopted on a large scale only because it is “uncomfortable” or “unfamiliar.”
Debit cards, on the other hand, allow you to buy cryptocurrencies available on the platform pretty much instantaneously. Simply by transferring funds from that card to the platform, you can purchase cryptocurrency in an instant. However, debit cards cannot be used to sell crypto, to deposit money in one’s account, or to withdraw money from one’s Coinbase account. On Coinbase, debit cards can be used exclusively to purchase crypto, and even then, only in smaller amounts. With a debit card, the limit is much lower than with a bank account ($1,125). It should be noted, though, that limits are, or can be, increased by purchasing cryptocurrency and spending a particular amount of money in doing so, either from a bank account or a debit card.
Numerous banks and other financial institutions failed across the world, and had to be bailed out by governments at the expense of their taxpayers. This underscored the fragility of the modern financial system, where the health of our monetary system is reliant on banks and other financial institutions that we are forced to trust to make wise and prudent decisions with the money we give them. Too often for comfort, they fail to carry out this fiduciary responsibility to an adequate degree.
NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has irrevocably abandoned (i) all of the rights to Bitcoin Diamond tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on November 24, 2017 and (ii) all of the rights to Bytether tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on August 1, 2017.
Golem is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Golem is a project run by the group of Polish programmers. It is on track to becoming the world’s most powerful decentralised supercomputer. This supercomputer will process anything from scientific research in academia through to rendering the latest block buster movies, and once complete users will have supercomputer processing power at their fingertips.
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.

Like any speculative investment, buying bitcoin at sky-high valuations is risky business. If you’re asking, “Is it smart to invest in bitcoin?” you might do well to heed this advice from billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who told MONEY, “It’s still very much a gamble.” You need to know that your bitcoin investment might lose money. If you’re not prepared to face that prospect, bitcoin investment might not be for you.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is created and managed through the use of advanced encryption techniques known as cryptography. Cryptocurrency made the leap from being an academic concept to (virtual) reality with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. While Bitcoin attracted a growing following in subsequent years, it captured significant investor and media attention in April 2013 when it peaked at a record $266 per bitcoin after surging 10-fold in the preceding two months. Bitcoin sported a market value of over $2 billion at its peak, but a 50% plunge shortly thereafter sparked a raging debate about the future of cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular. So, will these alternative currencies eventually supplant conventional currencies and become as ubiquitous as dollars and euros someday? Or are cryptocurrencies a passing fad that will flame out before long? The answer lies with Bitcoin.
Unfortunately, the gold standard collapsed multiple times during the 20th century and was ultimately abandoned altogether by almost every nation in the world, because governments effectively played fractional reserve banking with their gold reserves. Who could blame them? It must be irresistibly tempting, knowing that in all likelihood, the vast majority of the time, only a fraction of people will ever want to trade in their dollars for gold. Why hold all that gold when you could hold just a fraction of it and get to spend the rest with no consequences in the short term?
It can do this by making the problem more or less difficult, by requiring more or less zeros at the beginning of the output that solves the problem. The more zeros that are required at the beginning of the output, the more exponentially difficult the problem becomes to solve. To understand this why this is, click here for a reasonably good explanation.

While the number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies has steadily increased, they are still very much in the minority. For cryptocurrencies to become more widely used, they have to first gain widespread acceptance among consumers. However, their relative complexity compared to conventional currencies will likely deter most people, except for the technologically adept.
All in all, I think the same factors I wrote about in my last article are still true now, and my overall outlook on the crypto market is still positive. Assuming you agree, and that you have some available funds to throw at the market and forget about for the next several years, here are my investment strategy principles laid out from top to bottom according to their importance.
Hey RV, could we maybe do a bit more of a technical/tradable look at crypto next? This along with John Burbank's section was very general discussion with rehashed netscape/internet analogies, removing middle men which offer nothing new. Focus is always on the transaction coins (admittedly there was more on smart contracts here) but what about other industries for blockchain: decentralized data, personal data, computing power, energy, supply chain etc?
Shockingly, this is actually how banks work in reality. In the United States, the reserve requirement, or the percentage of net deposits banks are actually required to keep in liquid financial instruments on hand, is generally 10% for most banks. This means that if a bank has net deposits of a billion dollars, it needs to only keep 100 million on hand at any given time.

Bitcoin Cash (5%) – Bitcoin Cash is similar to Bitcoin in that it too is supposed to be a currency that is dedicated to serving as a medium for the purchase of various goods and services. The key difference between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin is that the former has an 8MB block size, whereas Bitcoin has a 1MB block size. A bigger block size allows Bitcoin Cash to process transactions faster than Bitcoin, and at a lower fee.


Grayscale Investment Trust is the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, and it charges shareholders an annual expense ratio in order to manage the fund. The current charge is 2% of assets, and because the trust's bitcoin holdings don't generate regular income for trust shareholders, Grayscale has the ability to liquidate bitcoin in order to pay itself its fee. That's the reason why over time, each share of the trust will be equivalent to a decreasing amount of bitcoin, as fees eat into the trust's principal assets.
Investors tend to focus more on fundamental analysis with technical analysis used to support entry positions and portfolio balancing. Investing long-term enables you to benefit from the compound growth of both your portfolio and individual investments, enhancing this by diversifying profits from good investments into new opportunities. Where investing in stocks allows you to benefit from incremental income from dividends, with certain Crypto investments you can do similar by staking and receiving newly minted coins from block rewards.
0x Aelf Aeternity Aion Altcoins Ardor Augur Basic Attention Token Bitcoin Bitcoin Cash Bitcoin Diamond Bitcoin Gold Bitshares BNB Bytecoin Bytom Cardano ChainLink Dash Decred Dentacoin DigiByte Dogecoin Dragonchain Elastos Electroneum EOS Ethereum Ethereum Classic Forks Golem GXChain Hcash Holochain ICON IOST IOTA Komodo Kyber Network Lisk Litecoin Loopring Maker Mithril Monero Nano NEM NEO OmiseGo Ontology Polymath Populous Privacy Coins Qtum Quantstamp Raiden Rchain ReddCoin Request Network Siacoin Stablecoins Status Steem Stellar Stratis Substratum Tether Tezos TRON VeChain Verge Wanchain Waves XRP Zcash Zilliqa

Avoid borrowing money. One of the drawbacks when credit cards were the most popular way to pay for Bitcoin was the concept of borrowing money on such an unpredictable investment. When you borrow money that requires you to pay interest (credit cards and personal loans, for example), you risk having to pay extra for an investment that doesn’t give you a return, which exponentially increases your risk.


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.
The aspect we particularly like about decentralised exchanges is that they solve the single point of failure problem and the need for third party trust. As cryptocurrencies grow in value, centralised exchanges become a bigger and bigger target for hackers. Any investor with cryptocurrency on a centralised exchange is forced to trust that it will behave properly and have the necessary security measures in place. With decentralised exchanges, these issues are removed and this is why we think they will eventually replace older centralised exchanges.
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.
Exposure to a particular cryptocurrency is primarily dependent on your risk appetite. This can be defined simply as, your tolerance towards taking risk. Using traditional investment markets as an example, if your tolerance towards risk is neutral, then a typical investment portfolio would be 50% equities and 50% bonds. Equities are known to be riskier than bonds, but also offer higher returns as a result. Conversely, bonds tend to be a safer asset than stocks, but offer a lower return over time as a result. Combined together, a balanced portfolio is produced, not too much risk, but also not too safe.
Unfortunately, the gold standard collapsed multiple times during the 20th century and was ultimately abandoned altogether by almost every nation in the world, because governments effectively played fractional reserve banking with their gold reserves. Who could blame them? It must be irresistibly tempting, knowing that in all likelihood, the vast majority of the time, only a fraction of people will ever want to trade in their dollars for gold. Why hold all that gold when you could hold just a fraction of it and get to spend the rest with no consequences in the short term?

These are just a few of countless twists and turns and vicissitudes our much vaunted (and much derided) bitcoin will have to endure before its long journey comes to an end, either six feet under or as an indelible fixture in our global economy. There’s no telling which way it will go, and one must come to one’s own conclusion on how much faith and conviction one chooses to place in bitcoin.
Most altcoins will reach a specific peak during a trading cycle, and the goal is to exit as close to the top as possible, the difficulty is identifying the top. I monitor these positions regularly and try and determine momentum. Depending on the coin and speed of growth, I will look to remove my original BTC investment as quickly as possible, for example, with 3–4x I will take out the initial investment, maintaining my original BTC position but, essentially freerolling the rest. From this point, each 100% move will lead to a 25% reduction in position until I feel that a coin has reached a peak, at which point I will exit the entire trade.
We have a long and successful history of investing across a wide range of industries and transactions, including leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations, corporate divestitures spin-offs and roll-outs. Active local development policy of Bitcoin Investment Inc is aimed at providing the clients in any part on the world’s map with the service of definite high quality to get high investment income. We provide significant value over the life of our investments through active involvement. We provide assistance to our management teams in many areas including strategic planning, finance, marketing, recruiting, analyzing and closing acquisitions or divestitures, developing treasury strategies and assessing financial markets.
NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has irrevocably abandoned (i) all of the rights to Bitcoin Diamond tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on November 24, 2017 and (ii) all of the rights to Bytether tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on August 1, 2017.

With things like brain wallets possible, this means that even in the worst case scenario, you can literally store your bitcoins in your brain and nowhere else, and thereby easily prevent their confiscation. Just yet another fundamental innovation in the evolution of currency that bitcoin has made possible — its fully intangible nature is actually an asset.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no cryptocurrencies.
Due to the relatively low liquidity of crypto markets, the ease of market manipulation and the relative inexperience of traders, the market are super volatile. What might be considered a market crash within the stock market is a regular movement in Crypto? Entire market movements of +/-20% are entirely possible, and individual assets can drop -50% or grow +100% in a day. The stock market crash of 1987, known as Black Monday, saw +22% wiped from the Dow Jones, causing waves across the world. 22% movements in Crypto are normal.
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.
How about investing in Ether (ETH) at the start of 2017 when it was worth less than $10? These spectacular gains would have made you extremely rich, and this possibility is what excites many entering into the cryptocurrency world. ICOs provides you with the opportunity to invest in the project at its earliest stage, and if they are successful in executing their vision, then investors will stand to reap the potentially tremendous returns.
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.
While we invest at every stage, we believe the best returns lie at the earliest stage, where deal flow is critical. To be successful at an early stage we believe a fund needs to be able to add value to those teams via feedback on their protocol design, access to a broader pool of investors, and help attracting partnerships and engineers. We believe our disciplined long-term investment approach combined with our attractiveness to early protocol development teams will be a part of our unfair advantage.
Steindorff: QTUM is an emerging smart-contract platform with a strong team and promising future. You can think of QTUM as a bitcoin/ethereum hybrid in the sense that the platform enables smart contracts to be built atop bitcoin’s UTXO blockchain. This is an important technological achievement as it enables mobile and IoT compatibility for smart contract backed decentralized applications, a feature not currently available with Ethereum. Mobile compatibility will accelerate the proliferation of smart-contract adoption among businesses while simultaneously broadening its use case as a digital currency via mobile friendly QTUM wallets. Additionally, QTUM has shifted away from the Proof of Work consensus model (Bitcoin/Ethereum) and instead leverages the Proof of Stake model which rewards QTUM token owners for confirming transactions via “staking” instead of “mining.” Without getting into too many details this method is both more environmentally friendly and less prohibitive for individuals to participate than the Proof of Work method.  Since launching in early 2017 QTUM has garnered a massive community throughout the Asia-Pacific and the United States. We believe the QTUM team is unrivalled in Asia and their protocol stack has the potential to become the dominant Smart Contract platform of Asia. 
Bitcoin trading occurs on exchanges. These exchanges accept your fiat currencies (like USD and EUR) in exchange for a cryptocurrency (like BTC). These exchanges maintain a liquid pool of bitcoin, allowing users to withdraw their bitcoin at any time. Investors who wish to trade on that exchange can deposit bitcoin into their personal wallet on the exchange, or make a wire transfer to the exchange’s bank account. The exchange notices this transfer, then credits your account.
These are cryptocurrencies bound to blockchains that allow for the creation of applications on them, such as Ethereum, NEO, Cardano, Lisk, VeChainThor, and many more. The underlying platforms of these coins create an actual need – and thus a demand – for the coins, as they are needed to make use of the applications and buy into ICOs. In my opinion, these coins are currently the safest and have the largest growth potential, as the blockchains they are built on have the capacity to become the foundation of the decentralized world.
There have been lots of good news for IOTA in the recent couple of week and that caused a big rally in prices and market cap. Some of the alleged partnerships they announced raised some eyebrows and questioning from the community, but nevertheless – the concept and the team make a good combo and IOTA certainly holds a lot of potential in the future.
Grayscale Investment Trust is the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, and it charges shareholders an annual expense ratio in order to manage the fund. The current charge is 2% of assets, and because the trust's bitcoin holdings don't generate regular income for trust shareholders, Grayscale has the ability to liquidate bitcoin in order to pay itself its fee. That's the reason why over time, each share of the trust will be equivalent to a decreasing amount of bitcoin, as fees eat into the trust's principal assets.
The same might be said of speculative investments such as those in cryptocurrency. You can and absolutely should do your part to learn as much as possible about this field, and come to your own personal conclusions on its current and future potential value. However, no matter how much research you do and how many calculations you make, there will always be a fundamental and inextricable degree of pure luck involved in determining the ultimate outcome of your speculation. Any number of future events could tip the scales for or against cryptocurrency, or more specifically, any one cryptocurrency, and a number of these will be ‘black swan’ events that are fundamentally unpredictable in their nature and timing, but in aggregate whole, almost certain to occur.
This isn’t a concern, however, because the bitcoin network runs on consensus, and accepts whichever blockchain is the longest. In practice, this means that whichever blockchain has the most computing power behind it is effectively guaranteed to win, as they’ll be able to calculate the solutions to the hash problems and find new blocks faster than their less powerful competitors.
Instability is good for Bitcoin. In general, political unrest is not good for the stock market -- whose value is tied to established companies that depend on government services, stable financial institutions, a dependable workforce and so on. However, unrest is good for Bitcoin, which is resilient to political unrest because it is not a government-backed currency. There's evidence that recent unrest in Asia contributed to the Bitcoin price surge. If you think the future holds more instability for governments and traditional banks, you might find Bitcoin to  be a compelling investment.

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.

I think that this is a great strategy, and personally practice it with a few modifications. While I’ll never sell at any price essentially (unlike other investments, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are unique in that they arecurrencies, and consequently if they succeed, you won’t have to sell them to gain value from them. You can just use them directly, just as you might US dollars or any other form of currency. In the manner that I use the word sell here however, I mean that I likely won’t sell at any price under $100,000, as that’s where I personally see the moonshot value of bitcoin going towards, in the slight chance that it does succeed), no matter how high the price rises in the short term, if and when the price becomes particularly low as a result of a cratering market, I will look to buy more than I normally would, to double down on my investment here — all the while keeping in mind never to invest more than I’m perfectly willing to lose entirely.
MintChip – Unlike most cryptocurrencies, MintChip is actually the creation of a government institution, specifically the Royal Canadian Mint. MintChip is a smartcard that holds electronic value and can transfer it securely from one chip to another. Like Bitcoin, MintChip does not need personal identification; unlike Bitcoin, it is backed by a physical currency, the Canadian dollar.
If we apply this to cryptocurrency, we can draw some parallels between the traditional markets and the cryptocurrency market. One would typically regard Bitcoin as being less risky than an unknown altcoin. From this, we can then tailor our level of exposure to suit our risk appetite. For example, a very risky portfolio might be 80% in small-cap cryptocurrency and 20% in Bitcoin.  Using the information we have gathered so far, we can now construct our own long-term portfolio.
Indeed, the only thing a 51% attacker could really accomplish is destroying collective faith in bitcoin. They couldn’t somehow steal and gain all the value of bitcoins for itself. The attacker wouldn’t be able to generate new bitcoins on demand arbitrarily, and would still have to mine for them. They also would have no control over taking bitcoins created in the past that didn’t belong to them. The only thing they could do, really, is repeatedly spend bitcoin they already owned again and again, but even this is limited in its value, because ‘honest’ miner nodes would never accept these fraudulent payments.

If one wants, rather, to keep the movement of their money less overt, one simply needs to ensure that the bitcoins they own are never tied to their identities, and that their transactions on the network are obfuscated. This can be accomplished with a variety of methods, such as using a tumbler, which allows one to send bitcoins to an intermediary service that will mix these bitcoins with bitcoins from numerous other sources, and then send bitcoins forward to the intended destination from sources entirely unrelated to the sender’s original bitcoins.
When signing up on these exchanges for the first time, do make it a point to verify your account with the required documents early, as you do not want to be caught in the middle of some tedious and slow admin work when the trading opportunity comes. Verification on these exchanges may take days, and purchase/withdraw limits may only increase gradually as you trade.
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 Fool.com. 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

Even now, as ethereum flirts with a $500 price point and a ~$46B market cap, we believe that if Ethereum becomes the dominant smart contract protocol its market cap will be in excess of a trillion dollars. There are a lot of things that need to take place in the meantime to make this a reality, specifically around scalability but the potential is certainly real given the breadth and scope of its disruptive technology.
But here, more than anywhere else, is where you need to proceed with caution. Bitcoin is already incredibly risky, imagine what risks smaller and lesser-known crypto brings. Rounding out a portfolio with other cryptocurrencies may be able to help you evaluate the state and perhaps the future of that market, but many of them can quickly prove to be a flash in the pan. The sudden rise of initial coin offerings -- a method of crowdfunding new cryptocurrencies in a way that avoids venture capital entirely -- has many people excited for the future, but also has many wondering if it's going to create an even more dangerous bitcoin bubble.
Design issues. Despite Bitcoin's massive rise in popularity over the past several years, it is not immune to design problems. For example, starting late last year Bitcoin transaction speeds became very slow because of a scaling problem related to the way the Bitcoin blockchain works. (You can read the details here.) That issue did not end up creating the existential crisis for Bitcoin that some analysts predicted, and the problem has now more or less been solved via something called SegWit. Still, the Bitcoin scaling issue was a reminder that a new type of serious problem may creep up in the future that undoes Bitcoin.
Ripple is an open-source digital payment network, and it’s already being used by some of the world’s largest banks – such as the bank of Tokyo and Santandar. XRP has shown significant potential recently and has been turning a lot of heads. Ripple aims to become the go-to tool for banks on a global scale, while still giving an exciting investment opportunity to crypto advocates and solo investors. Ripple has many haters and I’ve been burned by it myself in the past – I sold 30,000 XRP at 20 cents… painful. Still, I did buy them at 3 cents a pop, so it could have been worse. I hold 10,000 XRP today and will hold until 2022.

Cardano (ADA) is a fully open-source, decentralized, public blockchain and cryptocurrency. Cardano is very similar to Ethereum, and the team wants to build on that. Cardano aims to operate a global smart-contract platform which will deliver much more advanced features compared to its competitors. Loads of existing investors are excited because Cardano is the first blockchain founded on scientific philosophy, and also the very first provably secure proof of stake algorithm.
No. 2: Cryptocurrencies provide a unique and attractive combination of returns and volatility: Crypto assets are appealing because they enjoy relatively low correlation to other asset classes, like bonds (negative correlation) and gold (zero correlation). In other words, crypto assets can be an ideal way for investors to diversify a portfolio consisting of stocks and bonds. Research shows that a 2 percent exposure to crypto assets in a portfolio could, on average, boost returns by up to 200 bps. Five percent exposure could boost performance by over 500bps, nearly double that of a typical stock/bond blended portfolio. At the same time, active managers seeking retuns better than the market will possibly seek the high volatility of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
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