While futures products still carry unique and often significant risks, they can potentially provide a more regulated and stable environment to provide some exposure to bitcoin as a commodity as well. You should carefully consider whether trading in bitcoin futures is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources, and other relevant circumstances.
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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.
Bitcoin (50%) – When speaking about cryptocurrencies, it means speaking of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the base asset for the other alternative coins, and is the primary decentralized crypto currency. Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2009. Bitcoin is designed to function just like physical currency, which transfers value, and as time goes on more places accept Bitcoin as a legitimate way of payment.
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.
This is just my 0.02$, as always, I can be completely wrong, and I maintain the right to contradict myself in the future. Also, for the record, this article references only my opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice if you want to. And, remember, always do your own research (DYOR).
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.
After participating in the pre sale we diligently tracked the project and saw many signals indicative of tremendous growth potential ahead. Noteworthy metrics included node count/growth, rate of unique transactions and active wallet growth, accelerated community growth, developer interest/participation and institutional partnerships. We continued to invest in the single digits.
If you are a Beginner based on the bullet points above, you are likely somewhat experienced in the world of cryptocurrency investment, and have seen some success in the market. However, the strategies that you undertake tend to only be slightly above market and you find trading difficult when the market takes unusual turns that throws something unexpected at your trading strategy.
Moreover, in the event of a hard fork, whereby two blockchains are created, and consequently, two sets of coins that you technically should own, only some exchanges will actually give you access to both sets of coins. Most notably, Coinbase has explicitly stated that they will only give you access to the dominant blockchain that emerges from a hard fork, no matter how much value the market assigns the non-dominant chain. They may or may not give you access to the other coins in the future, but there is no guarantee either way. In any event, with any exchange you are fundamentally agreeing to trust them to give you access to both sets of your coins, even if they say they will. If you own your coins yourself in your own wallet, however, you need to trust no one. You will automatically own both sets of coins by default in the event of any fork.
I don’t chase the market. I have, and I have been burned. FOMO is not part of my strategy and I covered this in my blog. When a coin is making a parabolic move, and you chase it you can easily be caught as it drops back. If something goes up 20x in a short space of time, it has to do another 20x from the original position for you to achieve a 2x. There are always other trades out there.
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.
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.
With the advent of smart contracts made possible by the blockchain, however, this is (soon-to-be) a thing of the past. One can create a simple smart contract at effectively almost no cost that specifies in code that each party will send it $100 in bitcoin, and that upon the completion of the election process, it will either send all $200 to the party that bet on Donald Trump winning the election, or send the $200 to the party that bet on him losing the election. No ifs, ands, or buts. The code is clear, objective, and deterministic. Either the contract is fulfilled in one direction, or it is fulfilled in the other. No need to trust the other party in the bet at all, much less a third party to mediate.
If someone steals your Trezor, they won’t be able to find your coins either, as they’re protected by a PIN that only you know (plus a password if you want to use that feature I mentioned above). You can also recover the coins yourself with the recovery seed the Trezor will give you the first time you use it, which you should store in a super safe location like a safe deposit box somewhere. If you don’t use utilize the password feature, however, keep in mind that anyone who discovers this recovery seed instantly has access to all your coins, and all your other forms of security are for naught. If you enable the password feature, however, they will need your password as well as the recovery seed in able to access your cryptocurrency, which makes it significantly more secure.
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.
Steindorff: The market’s growth has accelerated much faster than I initially anticipated. However, I believe the market is still being driven by 99% retail investors. As the space matures, becomes recognized as a unique, uncorrelated asset class and institutional investors find investment vehicles they feel confident in we’ll see an influx of new money into the space. Witnessing the birth of an entirely new asset class which can provide a hedge against economic downturn is a once in a lifetime opportunity and institutional investors won’t continue to sit on the sidelines.
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.
The stop-loss option is an incredibly useful tool to protect your profits, and I highly recommend using it. Stop-losses are tools that automatically sell at, or slightly below, a set price. They help you remove yourself from the equation and prevent you from having to sit in front of your screen the entire day watching charts before deciding what to do.
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.
Government regulation is a looming threat for many in the world. It is quite easy for a government to ban centralised cryptocurrency exchanges. They will not be able to control decentralised exchanges. This means that cryptocurrency investors should be able to trade freely on a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange, even if there is negative regulation in their particular country.
The financial crisis of 2008 highlighted yet another risk of the modern banking system. When a bank goes out and spends the 90% of net deposits it holds in investments, it can often make very bad bets, and lose all that money. In the case of the 2008 crisis, banks in particular bet on high risk subprime mortgages. These were mortgages taken out by borrowers very likely to become delinquent, to purchase houses that were sharply inflated in value by the rampant ease of acquiring a mortgage.
More people are now paying attention to Bitcoin. Bitcoin's explosive growth in value over the past several months owes much to the fact that relatively few people owned Bitcoin before this summer. Now, a lot more people are paying attention to and investing in Bitcoin. The resolution of the Bitcoin scaling issue, the passing of worries about the deleterious effects of a Bitcoin fork and other developments have drawn more attention to the currency. What this means is that people who buy Bitcoin today are not getting in on the ground floor. Bitcoin's growth may continue for a long time to come, but it will certainly not be at the incredible rates of this summer.
For me, security tokens are too risky at the moment – take, for example, the SEC’s recent witch hunt, during which it subpoenaed 80 cryptocurrency companies. However, the tokenized model of securities has the potential to severely disrupt current fundraising and shareholding models. Once global regulatory bodies have created a clear regulatory framework to reduce their risk, investing in security tokens will become a highly attractive option.
If you’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell cryptocurrency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.
Even with the greater convenience that a trust whose shares are tradable has over actual bitcoin token ownership, paying a more than 30% premium to own Bitcoin Investment Trust shares is excessive. With it increasingly apparent that bitcoin ETFs are on the horizon, you'll likely have a better opportunity in the near future from them than you'd get from Bitcoin Investment Trust.
A cryptocurrency that aspires to become part of the mainstream financial system may have to satisfy widely divergent criteria. It would need to be mathematically complex (to avoid fraud and hacker attacks) but easy for consumers to understand; decentralized but with adequate consumer safeguards and protection; and preserve user anonymity without being a conduit for tax evasion, money laundering and other nefarious activities. Since these are formidable criteria to satisfy, is it possible that the most popular cryptocurrency in a few years’ time could have attributes that fall in between heavily-regulated fiat currencies and today’s cryptocurrencies? While that possibility looks remote, there is little doubt that as the leading cryptocurrency at present, Bitcoin’s success (or lack thereof) in dealing with the challenges it faces may determine the fortunes of other cryptocurrencies in the years ahead.
The best thing you can do to minimize risk and invest responsibly is to do your research. Look into different wallets and exchanges. Find trusted sources to answer your questions. If you need some guidance on how to break into the market, find a firm like IBI or International Blockchain Consulting to help you navigate the constantly fluctuating market.
Steindorff: We launched our first fund, Focus Investments in 2014, so we were one of the first crypto funds in existence. This was a much more challenging time to educate investors on the market opportunity because the asset class hadn’t had enough time to prove itself. Bitcoin had been in the news, but not always for the right reasons. Convincing traditional investors of the value of seeding the next generation of tokenized, open source and decentralized protocols was pretty far out there at the time. But, the exercise of educating traditional investors on this emerging digital asset class helped us refine our thesis and those early investors have become some of our biggest advocates. Things have changed quite a bit since then. There is now quite a strong tailwind for the space, and investors have done much more diligence and reading on the space before we meet.
Stratis also recently announced its “Breeze Wallet”. This is a specialist wallet that aims to increase the privacy of both Bitcoin and Stratis platform users. This Bitcoin wallet will have Tumblebit built in, which is an incredible deal and will raise awareness of Stratis tenfold. This will likely trigger a price hike. Read our in-depth article on Stratis coin here.
“The subsequent [to December 2017] bitcoin price declines were not caused by the introduction of these futures, but rather the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency market. In addition, we believe irrational speculation by pessimistic investors has also contributed to the price movement over the past six months. As such, we see the ongoing crypto bear market as clearly cleansing the ecosystem from short-term oriented speculators, which will be good for the crypto ecosystem long-term.”