Managing Enormous Risk - Bitcoin and Altcoin Investment Strategies

Managing Enormous Risk – Bitcoin and Altcoin Investment Strategies

While some have made millions investing in digital currencies, others would call it degenerate gambling. If you’re reading this, then you know how exciting and unpredictable the crypto world is. Fortunes are built and demolished in seconds, new and exciting technology pops up every day, and controversy rules the land. It’s pretty much the Wild West of finance.

The unprecedented growth of cryptocurrencies has attracted investors from all walks of life, many of whom have been enticed by the staggering returns made by early investors. If this sounds like you, then keep reading. Unfortunately, we're not going to teach you how to get rich in a few days; in fact, we're going to try and deter you from that objective.

Not that we don’t want you to be super-rich, don’t get us wrong. But we prefer to have more grounded goals and we want you to do the same. Investment is a tricky game and the patient person usually wins. Avoiding “fear of missing out” (FOMO) is essential, especially in crypto, where disinformation, fake news and drama are commonplace.

So what exactly is the point of this article, you may wonder? Well, today, we want to give new players in the cryptosphere some ideas on how they can begin to navigate the tricky world of investment. We feel this is important due to the growing amount of scams and low quality projects out there.

We’re not saying that the strategies we discuss are foolproof or even profitable. They are not based on any mathematical formula nor were they devised by any experienced investment professional. These are simple ideas that are popular among entrants and old school digital currency investors alike.

It’s important to note that this article is not to be taken as investment advice and that you should always remember the golden rule of investment: Never invest more than what you can afford to lose.

Diversify and play it safe

This is a simple one. If your portfolio only has one coin on it, you’re doing it wrong. Now, we know some people will say Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency you should own, but at this point it’s safe to say that this is an absurd statement founded on feelings and ideals, rather than actual facts.

Bitcoin is thriving because it is the first and most popular cryptocurrency out there. It has the first mover advantage and it is also backed by an extensive network of miners who keep it safe. In terms of technology or features, however, Bitcoin falls short of its peers. We’re not saying you shouldn’t have Bitcoin, but you should also acknowledge other cryptocurrencies out there.

It may be a good idea to play it safe, however, and to “bet” on the most popular coins only, such as the top 10 by market capitalization. At present, those are: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, NEM, NEO, BitConnect and Monero.
 

Bet on the idea, not the project

The world of Blockchain technology has evolved to a point where currency is just one of the many functions a cryptocurrency can have. There are smart contract platforms like Ethereum, NEO and Qtum, there are decentralized storage networks like Storj, Sia Coin and Filecoin and there are decentralized exchange platforms like Waves, Bitshares and others.

Our suggestion is, instead of buying one cryptocurrency in each category, you should spread your investment throughout multiple options inside each category. This will allow you to reduce the risk of investing in one single currency. In the world of crypto, a technical difficulty or even a grievance within one of the teams can lead to an rapid crash in the price, regardless of how promising the project and tech are. Just look at what happened with Tezos.
 

Hedging

Again, diversification is the name of the game. If you’re in crypto, then you are probably aware of how risky it all is. The cryptocurrency movement could end in days if some major security flaw was discovered or if all governments decided to ban them. The same can happen if some new and improved alternative to Blockchain technology comes along. These are, of course, worse case scenarios that are unlikely but possible nonetheless.

So, if you’re not one to have all your eggs in the same basket, you may want to extend your investment strategy to instruments outside of crypto. Precious metals, stocks, and other traditional investment vehicles may be a great addition to your portfolio and will allow you to reduce the risk you would take by investing in cryptocurrencies only.

Some companies, for example, manage cryptocurrency investment funds that combine cryptocurrency investments with investments in other sectors, like real estate. We talked to Kirill Bensonoff, CEO and founder of Caviar, about the importance of heeding your investment in the cryptocurrency space with traditional instruments.

He stated:

“We found a couple of major issues with crypto-asset investing, namely, it’s difficult and time consuming, and all assets are highly correlated. There is no ‘safety’ asset that also produces an income. We also see a movement towards having crypto be backed by traditional assets, such as gold, real estate and others, and we are addressing this head on.”

Liquidity, liquidity, liquidity

This is something that many new players forget about. You may find yourself investing in a cryptocurrency, having it increase in value several times over, only to realise that you can’t really sell it. If you try to sell large amounts at once, you’ll crash the price. Why? Because there is no liquidity. If a coin has no trading volume, significant price swings are bound to happen.

You can play it safe and avoid low volume coins all together but if you don’t want to, the least you can do is to know the risk you’re taking. CryptoCompare has a portfolio tool that allows you to analyse several risk factors in your portfolio, including volatility, exposure and, of course, liquidity. Their tool allows you to get an estimate of how long it would take to sell a certain coin based on the current volume. We asked Charles Hayter, CEO of CryptoCompare, why this tool is important for entrant users. He stated:

“We want to make it easy for users to track how well they're doing. Crypto is risky in the extreme and we want to help people understand where these risks lie and how to quantify them.”

Room to grow

Remember what we just told you about liquidity? Well, this strategy is somewhat contradictory, but it’s important to note that not all of these strategies are compatible with one another. Also, some involve more risk than others, and this one is risky. So, what do we mean with “room to grow”?

Small market cap cryptocurrencies have more growth potential than the ones at the top. Of course, other factors will determine if the price will rise or not but the idea is that, if you invest in cryptocurrencies before they are big, you may get to see your investment grow several times over.

Now, before you go to the nearest exchange and start stacking up on useless meme coins, have a think about what you want to buy. Then, perform your due diligence, check the roadmap, check the team, read the whitepaper, learn about the technology. Do everything in your power to ensure that your investment is justified. This will also make it easier for you to stick to your strategy, knowing that you are invested in something you believe in.

Technical analysis

Yes, chart wizardry. To be honest, I have no idea how it works and I admire anyone that does. All those numbers and lines give me headaches. Nevertheless, if you have it in you, learning T.A. can do wonders for your investment strategy even if you only touch the surface! We asked Jonathan Hobbs, CFA and author of the Stop Saving Start Investing: Ten Simple Rules for Effectively Investing in Funds investment book how technical analysis can be useful even for a newbie investor. He stated:

“Any good investment strategy needs rules. Technical Analysis (or “TA”) uses rules to look for price and volume patterns in charts to try and predict what’s going to happen next. It helps investors choose when to buy or sell. One example of TA is the Simple Moving Average (or “SMA”). The 50-day SMA, for instance, is the average price over the last 50 days, which changes or ‘moves’ each day. When an investment starts trading above its SMA, this is could be a bullish sign. Since TA can also protect the downside, it’s a good risk management tool for volatile investments like cryptocurrencies.”

Proof of Stake interest

A lot of people would love to invest in cryptocurrency mining, but at this point, you either go big or go home. Mining has become an industrialized practice reserved only for those with large financial backing, high tech equipment and access to low energy prices. Although there are several alternatives to traditional mining, Proof of Stake is the most relevant one for the subject at hand.

To put it simply, Proof of Stake allows users to “mine” coins without mining equipment. In this system, the amount of coins a user holds will determine how many coins he mines. Although most PoS cryptocurrencies will require you to leave your wallet running, some implementations of PoS like Waves and Lisk allow you to earn interest by leasing or delegating your stake.

Do note that you shouldn’t go out and buy every PoS coin out there. You should, however, check your holdings for these types of coins and, if you have them, mine them! In the worst case scenario, you’ll need to leave the wallet running which can be done with any laptop or even a Raspberry Pi device.

 

Author: Frisco d'Anconia

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Is Paying Out Dividends Now

Bitcoin Is Paying Out Dividends Now — Just Not to Everyone

On top of stupendous capital gains, investors in bitcoin are also getting a dividend — if they’re lucky.

A split in the blockchain created a new offshoot in the form of bitcoin gold on Tuesday, with bitcoin holders receiving one unit for every bitcoin they own, according to the offshoot’s developers. The cryptocurrency fell from a record high after the so-called hard fork, just as stocks typically drop after going ex-dividend. Other major digital currencies including ethereum gained, as investors sold bitcoin and moved the cash to alternatives, saidGavin Yeung, chief executive officer at investment company Cryptomover.

“It’s very healthy for the ecosystem to be able to say, I am an investor, I collect my dividend, and then I can do what I want with my investment,” Yeung said on Tuesday.

There are, of course, differences. Unlike a stock payout, in order to get the additional bitcoin gold, investors have to be using a wallet or exchange that supports the new asset. Coinbase, one of the largest exchanges, has said it won’t.

Additionally, bitcoin gold and an earlier offshoot called bitcoin cash arose from conflicting visions within the decentralized community — as opposed to a conscious decision to boost investor returns. In this sense, such “forks” are more like stock spinoffs.

Bitcoin gold traded at $97 on the exchange Bitfinex as of 12:03 p.m. in Hong Kong. Bitcoin was down 0.5 percent to $5,568, after sliding as much as 5.9 percent on Tuesday, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

 

Author: Justina Lee

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Gold - What to Know About the Blockchain's Next Split

Bitcoin Gold – What to Know About the Blockchain's Next Split

Anyone who owns bitcoin will soon be able to receive a new cryptocurrency.

As of block 491,407 on the bitcoin blockchain, another alternative version of the protocol will be launched, resulting in a variant that's being branded bitcoin gold (BTG).

The project, which seeks to improve bitcoin's technology by changing how its competition for rewards is conducted, is the second to launch since August via an increasingly common process called a "hard fork."

Readers may remember the term from the launch of bitcoin cash, the alternative version of the bitcoin protocol that spurred global headlines for unexpectedly creating billions of dollars in value, seemingly out of thin air.

Looking ahead, many industry observers are expecting the same results this time around, though there may be reasons for enthusiasm to be tempered.
 

What is bitcoin gold?

In short, bitcoin gold aims to achieve two goals:

  • First, bitcoin gold wants to change how mining works by making it so the most powerful mining machines (called ASICs) can no longer be used.
  • Second, by attracting more people to this system over time, it hopes to free the bitcoin network from the large companies that offer these products, and it argues, command undue influence on the network.

Instead of scaling bitcoin to support more users, bitcoin gold tweaks bitcoin in an effort to "make bitcoin decentralized again." This, proponents argue, will make the network, designed to offer an egalitarian way to send payments digitally around the globe, more accessible to users.

And while created via the same mechanism, bitcoin gold differs from bitcoin cash in a few ways, most notably in its distribution.

Differences include:

  • The bitcoin gold cryptocurrency is set to be created in advance (prior to the code being open-sourced to the public).
  • About 1 percent of the total cryptocurrency tokens mined before the blockchain goes public will be used to pay the bitcoin gold development team.
  • Once this distribution is over, the team claims it will launch the cryptocurrency so that users can redeem their coins.

Of course, while it aims to become the de-facto version of bitcoin,others might consider bitcoin gold an "altcoin" – the term has long been used to denote any cryptocurrency launched using bitcoin’s existing code, but that has an alternative market or use case.

Do I have bitcoin gold?

All bitcoin owners will receive the cryptocurrency at a rate of 1 BTC to 1 BTG, setting the stage for possible market activity.

But, that's not to say it's totally intuitive to retrieve.

One quirk is that it'll be easier to redeem the funds from wallets or exchanges that recognize the cryptocurrency. The easiest way, then, to retrieve the bitcoin gold is to move bitcoin to a wallet or exchange that supports bitcoin gold, or to hold bitcoin in a wallet where you own your private keys (rather than holding them with an exchange).

To date, 20 exchanges and wallets promise to support bitcoin gold once it launches, according to the project's website.

Although one of the most popular U.S.-based exchanges, Coinbase stated on October 20 that it does not support bitcoin gold due to skepticism about how developers have made project information available to others.

"At this time, Coinbase cannot support bitcoin gold because its developers have not made the code available to the public for review. This is a major security risk,” the post reads.

This is perhaps something to keep an eye on as the project progresses. Although the project will officially fork on Monday night, it's not yet open to anyone and everyone, and there’s still plenty left on the developers' to-do list.
 

Who is behind bitcoin gold?

The team behind the hard fork appears to be a relatively small group.

Hong Kong-based LightningAsic CEO Jack Liao, who's an outspoken critic of the state of bitcoin mining, first broached the idea of bitcoin gold back in July.

His company LightningAsic sells mining equipment, including GPUs, the type of computing hardware bitcoin gold is supposed to rely on.

Since first introduced earlier this summer, the team has expanded to include pseudonymous lead developer h4x3rotab, as well as a team of five other volunteers who are now working on developing and promoting the cryptocurrency in their spare time.

The project can be tracked on Github and on the community Slack group.
 

How do people feel about bitcoin gold?

All that said, for those interested in exploring or using bitcoin gold, it's worth noting that it has generated its share of controversy.

Satoshi Labs CEO Marek Palatinus, who launched bitcoin's first ever mining pool, is skeptical the project will actually work to decentralize mining as planned.

And he's not the only one to throw shade at the new project.

Bitcoin developer Rhett Creighton is working on alternative bitcoin gold "protest fork" software that seeks to pursue the same idea but without setting aside some of the new cryptocurrency for development.

If more than 51% of miners choose to use his software, the so-called pre-distribution to developers will be erased, he told CoinDesk. "It's up to the miners to decide what they want," he added.

All in all, it's unclear if business and mining groups will ultimately support the project, and if they do, how much value the alternative blockchain could create.

For example, while a list of roughly 50 businesses and miners support the so-called Segwit2x fork, similar support hasn't been seen for bitcoin gold. Likewise, though bitcoin cash began with support from vocal miners and exchanges, bitcoin gold has arguably yet to benefit from such early activity.

 

Author: Alyssa Hertig

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 23rd October

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 23rd October – Another Break, Another Pullback

Bitcoin price zoomed up to set new all-time highs and is pulling back to offer an opportunity to ride the rally.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price surged to new highs at the $6200 area once more, indicating that bullish momentum is very strong.

  • Price has quickly pulled back after reaching this area, giving more bulls an opportunity to hop in the climb.

  • Applying the Fibonacci retracement tool on the breakout move shows nearby support levels.

  • Bitcoin price zoomed up to set new all-time highs and is pulling back to offer an opportunity to ride the rally.

 

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is safely above the longer-term 200 SMA to confirm that the path of least resistance is to the upside. The gap is even widening to reflect strengthening bullish pressure. The 100 SMA is also close to the ascending trend line connecting the latest lows of bitcoin price action, adding to its strength as a floor.

In addition, the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level lines up with this trend line around the $5500 levels. This is also a short-term area of interest or former resistance that might hold as support.

If so, bitcoin price could bounce right back up to the $6214 highs and beyond. Stochastic has been on the move down but is pulling higher without even hitting oversold levels, which means that bulls are eager to charge. RSI, on the other hand, has plenty of room to fall so the correction could still materialize.

Market Factors

Dollar strength came into play late in the week but bitcoin price has been able to hold its ground on strengthening expectations that the November upgrade could turn out well. Apart from that, political risks all over the globe like in New Zealand and Europe could continue to keep investors interested in digital gold.

Reports that bitcoin is about to get regulated in Australia gave the cryptocurrency a boost as this could mean better infrastructure for firms in that area. Apart from that, there have been rumors that China could reverse its recent bitcoin ban, reviving demand and volumes for the cryptocurrency. Some predict that this could send bitcoin price up to $10,000 in the next six to 10 months.

Author Sarah Jenn

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Could Bitcoin’s Bubble Lead to Long Crypto Winter?

In the mad mania for cryptocurrencies, there are some dissenting voices from old timers, calling this irrational exuberance. Could a crypto winter be in the offing?

Eerie similarities to 2013

A year after the block reward halving, with media buzzing about Bitcoin, and a multifold increase in price – this is not just a description of 2017 but also perfectly fits 2013. After the block reward halving in 2012, the price of Bitcoin shot up during the following year. The price increased from around $13 at the starting of 2013 to a peak of over $1200.

The reasons for this jump are manifold (including the bots – Willie and Markus, which bought Bitcoins on Mt. Gox), but the almost 100 fold increase in price was unprecedented. The 500% increase in price of Bitcoin in 2017 appears tame in comparison. Of course, the base effect does make such 100 fold increases in price almost impossible now, with Bitcoin's market capitalization crossing $100 Bn.

This time Is different

When comparisons to 2013 are made, the common refrain is “this time is different.” There is increased Bitcoin adoption, there is no Mt. Gox, the ecosystem is better developed, institutional money is coming in and so on. If time has taught us one thing, it is that history usually repeats itself. Or rather, as Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

A 500% increase in price in just a year is the sign of a bubble building up. There has been no catalyst driving the growth and a fear-of-missing-out mentality seems to be at play. Newbies are being attracted to Bitcoin (and ICOs) driven by the promise of massive gains. They believe that "this time is different."

House money at play

While traditional economists believe that the market is made up of rational investors, behavioural economists believe otherwise. People who have made windfall profits take higher risks than they normally would. This is similar to gamblers taking higher risks after winning, believing that they are playing with "house money."

With Bitcoin's rapid rise in price this year, a lot of investors have seen their portfolio appreciate rapidly in price. Rather than evaluating whether Bitcoin is overvalued and it is time to sell, these investors may be willing to hold longer because of their windfall profits.

2013 ended badly

The crash of 2013 was the first long term downtrend in Bitcoin's price. Although there were previous crashes with higher percentage drops (from $32 to $2), this was the first time that the price didn't recover quickly. Bitcoin's price had risen during every calendar year until 2013 and people believed the price would recover in 2014.

This was not to be. It would take more than three years for the price to cross the $1200 levels attained in November 2013. This year has been extremely strong so far, but a crash would be terribly painful. A lot of recent cryptocurrency converts could get hurt and it could take even longer to recover this time.

 

Author: Jacob J

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin breaks above $6,000, and $100 billion in value for the first time in its history

Bitcoin breaks above $6,000, and $100 billion in value for the first time in its history

The world’s most prominent digital currency was on track to mark a fresh milestone on Friday, with bitcoin rallying and putting the cyber currency in position to hit a total market value of around $100 billion.

Such a valuation would place the No. 1 cryptographic currency above or on par with blue-chip companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.71% like United Technologies Corp UTX, +1.21% with a market value at $96 billion, American Express Co. AXP, +0.21% at $82 billion, Caterpillar Inc. CAT, +0.45% at $77 billion and Travelers Cos. Inc. TRV, +0.11% at $36 billion.

To be sure, it is questionable to draw value parallels between the asset and more traditional companies, but it highlights the stratospheric rise of bitcoin BTCUSD, +3.00% which didn’t exist a decade ago:

Bitcoin surges on Friday to near a $100 billion valuation.

A single bitcoin also broke above a milestone of $6,000, reaching an intraday high of $6,064.14 Friday afternoon, according to research and data site CoinDesk.com. Bitcoin also boasted a market value of roughly $100.81 billion at its peak on the day, according to data site Coinmarketcap.com. The move comes just as the Dow cleared its own psychologically important level of 23,000 on Wednesday.

The Dow has enjoyed an impressive run-up of 17% year to date, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.51% has climbed nearly 15% so far this year, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.36% has charged up more than 23% thus far in 2017.

However, those paper gains pale in comparison with bitcoin’s run-up. The cyber unit has surged a mind-numbing 520% over the past nine months from $968.23 on Dec. 31, 2016.

Iqbal Gandham, U.K managing director at eToro, a trading platform, said continued buying in bitcoin ahead of a hard fork later in October that will create another version of bitcoin is helping to stimulate investment. So-called Bitcoin Gold, designed to address challenges mining for bitcoin using computers to solve complex problems, will be launched on Oct. 25.

Then on Nov. 18, bitcoin will face a second version of Segregation Witness, or SegWit2x.

Both so-called hard forks are expected to create alternative versions of bitcoin, with owners of the core currency being granted the newer versions on a one-for-one basis.

Diminished expectations that China will ban cryptocurrency exchanges also has helped boost bitcoin’s value. Beijing is expected to require a license to operate bitcoin platforms rather than banning them outright, as had been feared earlier, according to recent reports.

“It’s the flow of positive news clarifying earlier rumors which is moving the price up,” Gandham said.

Jason English, vice president of protocol marketing at Sweetbridge, a blockchain related company, chalked recent moves higher to growing enthusiasm around bitcoin and other cyber units.

“It’s an exciting time to be in cryptocurrencies today,” he said. “More and more individuals and businesses are viewing bitcoin as a store of value that they should be exposed to”

Of course, there are no dearth of critics who see the rapid ascent of digital currencies as a bubble.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, +1.43% CEO Jamie Dimon has been one of the more vocal critics of the currency as a store of value.

“If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price someday,” he said during a panel discussion last week. Meanwhile BlackRock’s head Larry Fink has described bitcoin as “an index to launder money.”

The No. 2 most prominent cryptocurrency, Ether tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, meanwhile, were also higher. One Ether token was recently valued at $307.
 

Author MARK DECAMBRE

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back, Crypto Markets Recover to $170 Billion

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back, Crypto Markets Recover to $170 Billion

The crypto markets bounced back on Thursday following a significant contraction the previous day. The bitcoin price led the charge, rising more than 6% to put the $5,700 barrier within its sights, while the ethereum price ticked up 3% to $309. Unfortunately, the recovery was not comprehensive, and some cryptocurrencies — including ripple — continued to decline.


Chart from CoinMarketCap

The downturn forced the total cryptocurrency market cap as far down as $156.5 million, which represented a one-week low. However, the markets began to recover Wednesday afternoon and quickly rose above $160 billion. They continued to climb leading into Thursday morning and have since risen to a present value of $169.7 billion.

Chart from CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back

Wednesday’s bitcoin price decline caught many investors by surprise, and it was difficult to ascertain what caused it, other than that traders were taking profits following last week’s rally. The pullback put severe downward pressure on the bitcoin price, which fell as low as $5,151. However, bitcoin held firm at this level, and support gradually began to return, enabling the flagship cryptocurrency to mount a successful recovery. Ultimately, the bitcoin price posted a single-day return of 6%, bringing it to a present value of $5,679, which translates into a $94.5 billion market cap.

Bitcoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Ethereum Price Holds Above $300

The ethereum price experienced a single-day recovery as well, although its performance was not quite as impressive as that of bitcoin. After dipping as low as $291, the ethereum price managed to fight its way back across the $300 threshold. Ethereum is currently trading at $309, which represents a 24-hour recovery of about 3%. Ethereum now has a market cap of $29.4 billion.

Ethereum Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Altcoins Eye Generally Recovery

Altcoins lost ground to bitcoin on Thursday, which saw its dominant market share rise about 1% to 55.7%. However, the majority of altcoins experienced recoveries against the value of USD, adding about $2 billion to their combined market cap.

Altcoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

But there were some significant outliers. In fact, three of the top 10 cryptocurrencies posted negative movement for the day, and the worst performance belonged to ripple. XRP holders had expected Ripple to make a major announcement during “Swell”, a conference hosted by the fintech startup. However, nothing materialized — at least not of the caliber they were expecting — causing the ripple price to add to its losses from yesterday. At present, the ripple price is $0.212, which represents a 24-hour decline of 7%.

Ripple Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Fourth-ranked bitcoin cash also posted a minor decline, causing it to tick down to about $334. Several major bitcoin cash proponents — including Roger Ver and Calvin Ayre — intend to start a campaign to assert that “bitcoin cash is bitcoin”, so it will be interesting to see if this has any lasting effects on the trajectory of BCH.

Litecoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

The litecoin price, on the other hand, rose by 8%. This advance pushed it back over the $60 threshold, and litecoin is currently priced at $61. This translates into a market cap of $3.2 billion.

Dash added 3%, but it was unable to climb past the $300 mark, while NEM surged by just under 10%. NEO declined 3% after weathering the Wednesday downturn quite respectably, and bitconnect rose by 8% to $201. Monero rounds out the top 10 with a 1% increase, which was just enough to inch above the $90 barrier.

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 19/10/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Why Silicon Valley is going gaga for Bitcoin

Why Silicon Valley is going gaga for Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies are on a historic tear right now. And Silicon Valley’s infatuation with the industry explains a lot about itself.

Should I buy bitcoin? As a technology reporter, the questions I receive from random people at birthday parties, say, or seatmates on a plane, are usually emblematic of what is going on in the digital world. (And, increasingly, the real one, too, for that matter.) Not too long ago, the predominant question was Should I buy the new iPhone? Then it became Do I need to be on Twitter? or Do I need to be on Facebook? or Do I need to be on Snapchat? (That question has since come full circle to Should I quit Twitter and Facebook?) These days, the question I hear the most—well, besides whether Twitter should ban Trump—is Should I buy bitcoin?

I usually respond with the story of Laszlo Hanyecz. If you’ve come within 500 feet of bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency, over the past few years, the name alone will make you cringe. Back in 2010, when the currency was in its infancy, Hanyecz went “mining” for bitcoins for a few months and collected 10,000 of them; he subsequently traded them, in what would be the first cryptocurrency transaction in history, to a guy who bought him two Papa John’s pizzas with a couple sides of that tasty, buttery garlic sauce. Back then, Hanyecz’s bitcoins had no value, and the $30 value of two pies and an accoutrement made his individual bitcoin units worth 0.003 cents apiece. Today, at their current market valuation, bitcoin units are worth around $5,800 each, which means Hanyecz’s 10,000 bitcoins would be worth around $58 million. “It wasn’t like bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz told me in 2013, when bitcoin was already valued at $1,242 each. “No one knew it was going to get so big.”

For a lot of people on the periphery of this technology, the extraordinary rise in bitcoin’s value has become cause for alarm. The Web is littered with news articles, blog posts, and white papers warning that bitcoin and its sibling currencies are worth nothing, and the rise and fall of the currencies’ worth, which can fluctuate by billions of dollars a minute, certainly backs that up. But while Jamie Dimon and other bankers might scoff at these digital currencies, Silicon Valley is extremely bullish. There’s a reason, too: if Dimon had invested in bitcoin when he first called it a joke, in 2015, he would have received a tenfold return on his investment.

There are a number of reasons why bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are doing so well right now. One of the more plausible scenarios was outlined this week in a very clever post written by Adam Ludwin, an investor and co-founder of Chain.com, a bitcoin developer platform, which argues that bitcoin is an entirely new asset class, similar to equities and bonds, and that “bitcoin is capitalism, distilled.” The “capitalism” part of the sentence helps explain why some in Silicon Valley are so specifically exuberant about it right now. “In the short-run, there will be extreme volatility as FOMO competes with FUD, confusion competes with understanding, and greed competes with fear (on both the buyer side and the issuer side),” Ludwin wrote. “Most people buying into crypto assets have checked their judgement at the door.”

This gets someone like me a bit nervous about what cryptocurrencies could end up doing to society in the long run. Silicon Valley culture is largely fueled by people who love to decimate industries that don’t work, often without any thought of how the disruption could lead to other negative results happening in society (see the recent social-media debacle around the election ). In typical Valley fantasy, people are seeing only the positive potential with bitcoin, not the potentially ugly outcomes when humans molest it for their own interests.

One of the many factors currently fueling the ascent of bitcoin is the rise of initial coin offerings, or I.C.O.s, where some lucky investors are reaping astounding returns. You can think of these like a traditional initial public offering, or I.P.O., but without the layers upon layers of regulation and government bureaucracy that come with a company going public. With an I.C.O., a start-up raises money for a new venture by selling “coins” that are very similar to shares of a public company. The coins then rise and fall as the company’s value oscillates. In 2014, when the founding of a new cryptocurrency called Ethereum was announced, it raised $18 million by selling a new digital coin called “Ether” for 40 cents per coin. Today, Ethereum has a market cap of around $30 billion. So if you had spent $100 on Ether during the I.C.O., you would have made $74,900 in profit. As Nathaniel Popper detailed in The New York Times earlier this summer, I.C.O.s have been generating billions of dollars in returns for some—and a lot of scams, too.

The lack of regulation in the cryptocurrency world, after all, means that there is a lot of fraud, extreme volatility, and coin values can jump up or down in mere seconds. Someone I recently spoke with who works with, and monitors, the crypto I.C.O. markets pointed out that some of these I.C.O.s feel awfully similar to the Dot Com public offerings of the late 90s, where the public was buying into nothing and ended up with exactly that when the entire market came crashing down and trillions of dollars were wiped off the stock market. In China, I.C.O.s became so troubling that they were banned earlier this year. In September, the People’s Bank of China issued a blunt statement saying that this practice was “illegal and disruptive to economic and financial stability.” I.C.O.s in China were occurring at an astounding rate, with one report claiming that more than $750 million was raised in I.C.O.s in July and August alone. A lot of people think the ban by China is temporary, slowing the dizzying speed of these offerings.

As a result of all the movement in the cryptocurrency market over the past couple of years, there are a lot of options out there for people who want to try their hand in crypto-investing. There’s bitcoin, the first and most well known of all the currencies, which currently oscillates in value at around $5,000 a coin. I’ve heard predictions all over the map, from bitcoins one day being worth as much as $500,000 each to units being worth absolutely nothing if a better coin comes along. (My personal prediction is that they will continue to rise for at least the next couple of years.) Ether had remained relatively flat until earlier this year when it spiked in value to over $350 apiece. (It’s since fallen to $300 each.) The current coin du jour is called Litecoin, which is getting a lot of attention because it’s still priced relatively low, at around $55 each, and is expected to rise considerably over the next year or so on account of new features that will be added to enable more privacy options. Then there are a slew of other coins to explore, including Monero, which is an open-source currency that was developed in April 2014, but which spiked this year after the illegal drug market AlphaBay was taken down. Monero, unlike other currencies, is truly anonymous, making it the perfect currency with which to buy and sell drugs, guns, and other illegal contraband on the Dark Web. If you look at the World Coin Index Web site, you can see a long list of other coins and their values over time, including Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Qtum, NEO, Nav Coin, NEM, and a number of other coins.

For Silicon Valley, betting on one of these early can mean profiting beyond all imagination, exceeding even the famed 1,000x start-up returns from companies like Facebook and Uber. Earlier this summer, I interviewed Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twins who co-founded The Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, and they are now obsessively investing in cryptocurrencies. In a settlement with Facebook, the two brothers were awarded $60 million, but to hear them talk about it, it appears their investments in bitcoin and other currencies are going to reap a far bigger return over time. I’ve spoken with countless other people about the current state of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and I’ve heard two truths that seems consistent. No one—and I mean no one—knows exactly which digital currency will be successful in the future. It could be bitcoin, it could be Litecoin, it could be something that hasn’t even been created yet. But, the other resounding feeling is that these currencies are here to stay in one form or another and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them. Which brings me back to that question that I’m often asked these days: “should I buy bitcoin?”

There’s an old saying in real estate that “you shouldn’t wait to buy, but rather you should buy and then wait.” That’s the way I feel about these cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking for a quick and dramatic financial boost, realize that you could probably get similar odds by buying a plane ticket to Las Vegas, walking into the first casino you see, and putting all your money on black or red. But, if you’re willing to wait it out, there’s a chance that your investment in a cryptocurrency could make for an impressive return over time. Just be prepared to go it the long haul. Or at least until the price spikes tomorrow.

Author Nick Bilton – special correspondent for Vanity Fair.

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Bitcoin gets official blessing in Japan

Bitcoin gets official blessing in Japan

The broader fintech sector is struggling even as cryptocurrencies take off

Entrepreneurs do not often welcome regulation. For Japanese cryptocurrency start-ups, however, a framework put in place by the country’s financial authorities has been a boon.

Rules announced this year by the Financial Services Agency allow people to pay for goods and services with bitcoin and require cryptocurrency exchanges or remittance operators to be licensed and subject to annual audits. These have given bitcoin official approval.

“The Japanese have felt that cryptocurrencies are a scary thing but trading volumes have increased as many now see it as trustworthy thanks to government approval,” says Yusuke Otsuka, chief operating officer at Coincheck, a bitcoin exchange.

The FSA issued operating licences to 11 bitcoin exchanges late last month. Coincheck has applied for a licence and is hoping to receive approval next month, Mr Otsuka says.

The new digital currency rules come as other governments clamp down on cryptocurrencies. China, for instance, has banned companies from issuing their own virtual currencies and is cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

However, for Japan, cryptocurrencies sit within the realm of fintech. The government and banking leaders hope that this sector’s businesses — ranging from artificial intelligence-led investment advisory groups to cloud data storage — will free up cash sitting in bank deposits and reignite the economy.

There has been domestic hand-wringing over the investment going into fintech ventures in Japan compared with that in other developed countries. Japan’s fintech sector, seen as a laggard, had investments of $65m in 2015. This compares with $12bn in the US, $974m in the UK and $69m in Singapore, according to consultants Accenture.

“We’re hoping that fintech will change economic and corporate activity,” says Takuya Fukumoto, director of industrial finance in the economy, trade and industry ministry. The ministry set out the government’s vision in August, calling for an increase in cashless consumer payments, digitising back-office functions and new technologies to enhance cash flow between companies.

Japanese banks, worried that fintech ventures will become mainstream players, are trying to gain exposure to new technologies by either creating a business or investing in a start-up.

 

Author   Emiko Terazono

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

Bitcoin Wallet Blockchain: ‘Buy Some Ether' to Make Transactions After SegWit2x

Bitcoin Wallet Blockchain: ‘Buy Some Ether’ to Make Transactions After SegWit2x

Crypto wallet Blockchain has announced its intention to join with Xapo in following the blockchain with the most accumulated difficulty following the proposed SegWit2x. The wallet service advised its users to “buy some ether” if they intend to make transactions immediately following the fork.
 

Blockchain Wallet to Follow Chain With Most Difficulty

In mid-November, the Bitcoin blockchain is expected to split into two, competing chains following SegWit2x, a hard fork designed to upgrade the Bitcoin network and enable it to scale more effectively. The proposal appears to have strong support from miners and crypto firms — although this support has steadily waned as the fork has gotten closer — but it is opposed by the Bitcoin Core developers, as well as many other businesses and users.

Consequently, bitcoin services have to decide how they will approach the hard fork. Some, such as Bitfinex, are treating the SegWit2x fork as a separate cryptocurrency, while others, including Xapo, state that they will assign the label “Bitcoin” to the blockchain with the highest accumulated difficulty.

Crypto wallet Blockchain — a SegWit2x supporter — has signaled its intent to follow Xapo’s example and determine which chain will receive the label “Bitcoin” based on the amount of accumulated difficulty each blockchain obtains.

Blockchain chief executive Peter Smith made the announcement in a blog post, stating that the service will provide users with access to the coins on the minority chain if they have “significant value”. Like Xapo, they will label the minority chain either BC1 (incumbent) or BC2 (SegWit2x)
 

Buy Some Ether’

Smith goes on to say that Blockchain may suspend outgoing bitcoin transactions following the fork until the networks have stabilized. He suggests users “buy some ether” if they plan to make transactions in late November following the fork.

During this period, it may be necessary to temporarily suspend outgoing bitcoin transactions for a period of time during network instability. However, even in this scenario, your funds will remain safe and you’ll be able to monitor them from within the wallet. You’ll also be able to use all Ethereum related functionality.

“If you have transactions to make around late November,” he adds, “we suggest you buy some Ether in our wallet today.”

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 16/10/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
Davkid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur