Pro 07

‘Buffett Bet 2.0’ – Investment Fund Puts $1M on Bitcoin to Outperform S&P 500

Asset manager, Morgan Creek Digital, is offering an interesting wager if anyone is willing to take it. It’s willing to bet $1 million, that its Bitcoin-focused Digital Asset Index Fund outperforms the S&P500 over the next ten years.


Buffett Bet 2.0

The fund tracks ten major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, although the bulk (78%) is Bitcoin. Morgan Creek is so sure of their success, that the partners are putting up the stake themselves.

The wager has been dubbed ‘Buffett Bet 2.0’, after a similar bet made by Warren Buffett, that the S&P500 would outperform a selection of hedge funds over a ten year period. Buffett won that bet, collecting his prize just last year.

Morgan Creek partner, Anthony Pompliano, says the plan is to donate the proceeds to charity, win or lose.

Cold Winter

The bet comes at an interesting time, as Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and other cryptocurrencies are enduring a prolonged crypto-winter. However, US stocks have also fallen recently, due to a number of concerns over global outlook.

Pompliano explained that the company was not just being bullish on crypto, but that its competition was also not exactly at an all-time high.

This is a combination of our outlook not only for the upside of cryptocurrencies but also the outlook on public equities.

Bad Form

Morgan Creek had better cling to the mantra of ‘past performance is not indicative of future results,’ however. The last big bet on Bitcoin is just weeks away from losing.

A call option costing $1 million was placed on a bitcoin price of $50,000 at the end of last year. Following a year which saw the price move from $1000 to $20,000, that may have seemed like a safe bet. However, for the contract to be worth anything now, Bitcoin must see an increase of almost the same magnitude in just three weeks.

Let’s hope that Morgan Creek Digital has stocked up on rabbit’s feet, horseshoes, and four-leaved clovers.

Earlier this year, an Australian investor tried to make a $6.3 million bet with Berkshire Hathaway, that Bitcoin would top its share price by 2023. It’s not thought that the famously crypto-skeptic company took him up on the offer.

Who will win the bet? Share your prediction below!


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Lis 26

Bitcoin ETF ‘Definitely Possible,’ SEC Commissioner Confirms

SEC commissioner, Hester Peirce, recently appeared on the ‘What Bitcoin Did’ podcast, confirming that a Bitcoin ETF was definitely possible.


‘I Dissent’

The most notably pro-bitcoin SEC commissioner, Hester Peirce, appeared on the ‘What Bitcoin Did’ podcast at the weekend. Whilst unwilling to describe a future Bitcoin ETF as inevitable, she did confirm it was definitely possible.

Peirce first won the hearts of the crypto-community with her ‘statement of dissent’, following yet another denied Winklevoss ETF application. In the statement made in July, she publicly disagreed with the Commission’s view, that Bitcoin was not “ripe enough, respectable enough, or regulated enough to be worthy of our markets.”

She felt that the SEC had gone beyond its jurisdiction, in assessing the underlying asset, rather than the specific market that it would trade in.

In the podcast she reasserts that the SEC has a specific mandate, to uphold the regulatory framework. She believes that the SEC should allow for innovation within that framework and not become interventionist.

‘Crypto’ Not A Free Pass

Peirce explains that the SEC has brought in specialists to advise in the area of cryptocurrency, who have led the agency to take to a cautious approach. She believes that it is right to pursue those who use “crypto” in an attempt to scam people out of money but is pushing to allow more scope for innovation.

Just because you are calling something Crypto does not mean you can ignore the rules we have had in place for years… but I do think we also need to be willing to open the doors a little bit wider for innovation.

She stresses that although so far all cryptocurrency ETF applications have been rejected, they are still open.

Ongoing Relationship

Peirce points out that the commissioners have been inviting comments from the public, and that this process is extremely useful. The applications are an ongoing relationship or conversation, the SEC’s orders following denial simply point out issues to address.

One the face of it, it may seem like the SEC is poking around and trying to cause issues but in reality, it might be the opposite.

Peirce explains that many comments enquire about the timing of the route to final approval, but this is not so easy to answer. Each proposal is assessed on its own merits, and each is designed differently. So when a particular proposal will convince three of the five commissioners is hard to say.

Peirce suggests it must run its course.

Meanwhile, this month Switzerland approved the first Bitcoin ETP to trade on the Six Stock Exchange. This is the main stock exchange in Switzerland and the fourth largest in Europe. So it seems the winds of change are blowing and it can only be a matter of time before they reach across the Atlantic.

Will the Bitcoin ETF be approved by the final deadline in February? Let us know below!


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Lis 18

Switzerland Approves First Bitcoin-Cryptocurrency ETF with Ticker $HODL

The Bitcoin ETF $HODL, offered by Amun Crypto, will begin trading on Switzerland’s Six Swiss Exchange beginning next week. The ETF’s earnings will be linked to five different cryptocurrencies.


The ETF is being offered by Amun Crypto, a U.K. based fintech company. It will begin trading on Six Swiss Exchange next week. Six is Switzerland’s chief stock exchange, as well as the fourth largest in Europe.

According to the Financial Times, the ETF “[…] has been designed to track an index based on the movements of five leading cryptocurrencies.”

Roughly half (48%) of the ETF’s assets will be invested in Bitcoin (BTC) 00. The rest will be put towards bitcoin cash, XRP (30%), ethereum, and litecoin.

New Kid On the Block

Financial Times‘ writer Matt Flood notes that the ETF has been crafted in close accordance with the standards expected from traditional exchange-traded funds. This is according Hany Rashwan, Amun’s top executive.

Rashwan describes the aims of the ETF:

The Amun ETP will give institutional investors that are restricted to investing only in securities or do not want to set up custody for digital assets exposure to cryptocurrencies. It will also provide access for retail investors that currently have no access to crypto exchanges due to local regulatory impediments

The Times reports that while competitors like CoinShares and Grayscale exist, they differ in legal form, whilst only being linked to one cryptocurrency. Seeding for the ETF will be fostered by Jane Street and Flow Traders, and it will trade using the ticker $HODL.

The Financial Times highlights the ETF’s arrival amid the lowest drop in BTC price 00 in over a year. The ETF is has been particularly the source of much hype in the cryptocurrency space. An exchange-traded fund product is expected to facilitate institutional buying of bitcoin.

Switzerland seems to be perpetually fixed in the crypto news cycle whether its happenings in Crypto Valley or the present ETF. Progress seems to abound.

In October, Bitcoinist reported on Crypto AG’s recently-granted cryptocurrency asset management license. A month earlier, Bitcoinist also wrote on Switzerland’s status as a top global Bitcoin destination.

What are your thoughts on the Bitcoin ETF $HODL? Share your thoughts below!


Images and media courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter (@boscryptocnn, @MANT121266), YouTube (ThinkCrypto).

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Lis 16

Ron Paul Survey: Half Would Choose Bitcoin For 10 Year Investment

Most people would choose to invest in Bitcoin over gold, fiat currency, and bonds, according to a survey by Ron Paul which continues on Twitter November 16.


Bitcoin Is Best Future-proof Investment

The former US lawmaker and presidential candidate, well known for his advocacy of the cryptocurrency, has so far yielded responses from over 58,000 people. Almost half of them would want to invest in Bitcoin.

Traditionally much larger than in-person surveys, such as those recently conducted in the UK and Russia which also showed strong popularity for Bitcoin, Twitter polls nonetheless cater to social media’s active cryptocurrency community.

Paul added the proviso that an investment must remain untouched until 2028, suggesting faith among respondents over Bitcoin’s longer-term future has not deflated with this year’s prices.

The survey reads:

A wealthy person gifts you $10,000. You get to choose in which form you’ll accept the gift. But there’s a catch: You must keep the gift in the form that you choose for 10 years without touching it. In which form would you accept the gift?

Bitcoin Criticism Backfires

At press time, 49 percent of 58,131 had voted for Bitcoin 00, followed by 39 percent for gold. Just 2 percent would choose cash US dollars.

Paul’s timing provides a sharp contrast with the cryptocurrency naysayers who continue to pour cold water on the market’s chances in the midst of this week’s fresh price downturn.

A speech by the European Central Bank board member Benoît Cœuré Thursday described Bitcoin as an “extremely clever idea” but added that “sadly, not every clever idea is a good idea.”

In an ironic twist, a Bitcoin analyst’s rebuttal on Twitter garnered more support in the form of likes than the original comment.

At the same time, economist Nouriel Roubini capitalized on BTC/USD’s fall below $5,500, reiterating his belief the pair “belongs” at “zero.”

What do you think about Ron Paul’s Bitcoin survey? Let us know in the comments below!


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Říj 28

Fidelity Won’t Build Its Own Exchange, Focused on Bitcoin Custody, Exec Confirms

Tom Jessop, President of Fidelity Digital Asset Services says that the asset manager will take crypto to the next level by enhancing the sector and providing a secure Bitcoin custody solution so institutional investors can get a piece of the crypto pie.


Bitcoin Custody Solution Will Remove Barrier

In the most recent episode of her Unconfirmed podcast, Laura Shin interviewed Fidelity president of Digital Asset Services Tom Jessop. The two had a cryptocurrency and blockchain focused discussion about the company’s plans to help develop the Bitcoin 00 and cryptocurrency market to a higher level of functionality and value.

When asked whether or not Fidelity would build its own cryptocurrency exchange, Jessop explained that he believed that the current exchanges do a fairly good job at this and Fidelity is more focused on providing custody services for institutions looking to become involved in cryptocurrency.  

Jessop also explained that a current barrier to cryptocurrency has been service providers that require pre-funded accounts and Fidelity intends to remedy this problem by building a more traditional investment platform, which allows users to execute trades on one or more exchanges at best price, then determine how to settle once completed.

Fidelity Foresees the Future of Crypto

Shin and Jessop them delved a bit deeper into the nuts and bolts of Fidelity custody solution and Jessop explained that at the moment there are plenty of investors with sizeable cryptocurrency positions that lack a custody solution and also find it tedious to carry out trades.

Fidelity intends to fill this niche by providing a cold storage solution and Jessop believes that the well-known fact that Fidelity manages more than $7 trillion in assets will provide the assurance of security that institutional investors require. According to Jessop, this is why Fidelity chooses to focus on custody rather than developing an exchange since “we know how to manage security at scale.”

Shin and Jessop closed the interview by forecasting future events in crypto and Jessop believe that retail and institutional interest in crypto is increasing as the market matures. He points out that hedge funds managers, family offices and emerging market analysts are all focused on creating new cryptocurrency products and instruments that will move the industry forward.

When asked what does 2019 hold, Jessop said the world can “expect more [influx] over this year and into ‘19, which will raise the bar for everyone and help accelerate growth in the market.”  

Do you think Fidelity’s Digital Assets Service will usher in the next cryptocurrency bull run? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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Říj 27

10 Years On: Five Things Needed for the Mass Adoption of Bitcoin

It’s been ten years since Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin White Paper and introduced cryptocurrencies to the world. His radical vision of a decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system was groundbreaking, as it sought to rebuild the structures that upheld our global financial institutions. A decade on, the cryptocurrencies market is now worth $209 billion globally, and there are more than a thousand separate tokens in circulation.


[Note: This is a guest op-ed article submitted by Samuel Leach, Founder of Yield Coin]

Despite this success, Nakamoto’s vision is yet to be fully realized. Although “cryptos” and associated phrases have entered the popular language, and awareness of them is at an all-time high, uptake has been restricted to a narrow subset of society.

Bloomberg estimates that around a thousand users own approximately 40 percent of all bitcoin currently in circulation and cryptos have failed to supplant fiat currency. Before we see the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, there are a number of obstacles that first need to be overcome.

Regulation

While regulation is often treated as a pariah among many in the crypto community, if executed properly, it will bring beneficial change for all. Cryptocurrencies have only been in existence for a relatively short amount of time meaning many governments are still figuring out the best way to regulate them. The result of this has been a crypto market structured in a laissez-faire fashion. While it can be argued that this has fostered further innovation, it has undoubtedly led to several negative side effects.

At present, anyone could set-up a new cryptocurrency and raise significant capital without having to face repercussions if they fail to implement their plans. This has reduced overall confidence in the market, as it can be difficult to differentiate legitimate projects from nefarious ones. This is also preventing many institutional investors from entering the market, as the lack of regulatory guidelines will lead to compliance issues on their part.

Volatility

A daily price swing of 10-20 percent is not uncommon among most cryptos, making them exceptionally volatile in comparison to fiat currencies; in comparison, the pound lost 4 percent of its value against the dollar on the infamous Black Wednesday. Finding a way to temper this instability would go some way to certifying cryptos as legitimate currencies.

Bitcoin Price Volatility

At the moment, it would take a very brave consumer and equally brave merchant to conduct a transaction using cryptocurrencies. The inherent volatility of most cryptos means consumers run the risk of massively overpaying and similarly, the outlet risks the value of the crypto received being eroded.

Practicality, Usability & Accessibility

While cryptocurrencies have seen some mainstream usage among investors interested in day trading and investing, this uptake hasn’t been reflected by everyday consumers.  This is mostly due to crypto’s impracticality for day-to-day usage. Some of this is due to its price volatility but a more central factor is the lack of businesses who are willing to accept it as a form of payment. If individuals are unable to find a legitimate use case for their crypto, then its value as a form of electronic cash is zero. Further, the process of acquiring crypto itself is difficult, meaning uptake has been restricted to a tech-savvy subset of the overall population.

It should be noted, however, that while numerous solutions are in place allowing the spending of bitcoin via third-party services such as gift cardsBTMs, etc. — this often adds friction and introduces more middlemen into the experience.

BTCPay is a Better (and Cheaper) BitPay, Says Core Developer Nicolas Dorier cryptocurrencies

Security

In the beginning, cryptocurrency related crime was almost non-existent, but as the market has grown, it has attracted the attention of organized scammers and hackers. Earlier this year, criminals stole $530 million worth of crypto from the Coincheck exchange, and there have been many other examples of large-scale thefts.

With ‘traditional’ financial systems, when a payment is made, third parties ensure that the transaction goes through and if anything does go wrong, they are liable for recovering the funds. Similarly, if your credit or debit card information is stolen, then you aren’t responsible for any transactions made. With cryptos, however, it is the user’s responsibility to ensure that all the data associated with a transaction is correct. If a user’s private key is stolen, then crypto can be stolen with a low chance of recovery.

Understanding

Research has found that 38 percent of the British population do not ‘understand’ cryptocurrency. With the commonly held misconception that it is a tool for criminals to launder money being the most cited reason for mistrusting it. While those involved in the community understand the revolutionary possibilities of cryptos, the wider public still needs further education on the potential benefits.

For those not familiar with trading concepts, the notional value and artificial scarcity that underpins crypto may be hard to grasp.  Further, the existing way in which money has been exchanged for goods has been long established, and cryptocurrencies will require people to think about transactions in an entirely new way.

Without a doubt, the introduction of cryptos has been revolutionary. However, whether we are within the midst of a complete reconstitution of the financial system remains to be seen. If the engineers and developers involved with cryptos can find a way to deal with the intense volatility and lack of widespread understanding around cryptos, then their benefits will be able to be enjoyed by all.

Do you agree with these barriers to adoption? Are there more? Share your thoughts below!


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Říj 25

Australia Post Delivers ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Service to Its 11.7 Million Customers

One of Australia’s oldest institutions, Australia Post, has announced that customers will now be able to buy bitcoin on participating exchanges within minutes through its Digital iD service.


Australia Post Delivers Bitcoin

Now Australians will be able to buy bitcoin through their post office. Australia Post lets users sign up to local Bitcoin exchanges through its Digital iD service, which eliminates the need to take selfies and verify documents.

Think ‘Log in with Facebook or LinkedIn’ button, but for buying BTC 00.

Brisbane-based Bitcoin exchange, Digital Surge, for example, is among the first adopters of the Digital iD platform, local news outlet Micky reports.

Director of Digital Surge, Josh Lehman, says the new service helps speed up the registration process that could discourage many potential users.

“Digital iD allows us to verify the identity of a prospective Bitcoin buyer in minutes,
instead of the days it takes other exchanges,” Mr Lehman explained.

For the first time, an Australian can log on to a computer, punch in their driver’s licence or
passport details, and be buying Bitcoin within minutes.

Digital iD also works with Australian companies Coinjar and Coin Loft, and could boost confidence for potential investors, who were previously reluctant to submit personal data to questionable online services.

Digital Identity Service Struggles

Australia Post has struggled with its Digital iD program, however, with budget hand staff cuts amid controversy and a potential conflict of interest with another government digital ID program, according to local news portal Innovationaus. In addition, an attempt to gauge the possibility of private sector funding has also been “halted.” 

The Digital iD project was rolled out earlier this year after development began in 2016 with 13 participating organizations, a number which has now grown to over 40, including Queensland Police, CUA, and Airtasker.

The process is simple. Customers submit their national ID such as a driver license or passport once, and then only use a smartphone app and QR codes instead. But ultimately, Australia Post’s Digital iD service does store all of this personal information and (purportedly) lets users share only the bits of data that are required for verification on participating platforms. 

“Digital iD gives people more control over the personal data they share with organizations,” General Manager of Australia Post’s Digital iD, Cameron Gough, says. 

Australia Could be an ICO Hub

A Privacy for Usability Tradeoff

Using this new way to buy bitcoin in Australia may indeed become the easiest method currently available. At the same time, there is a tradeoff for people who value privacy.

In June, Bitcoinist reported that the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) announced it will collect Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on cryptocurrency gains. In other words, users should expect to pay capital gains tax since their newly-purchased bitcoin can be easily traced to their digital ID.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped Australians from buying bitcoin as the number of cryptocurrency holders has nearly tripled since the beginning of 2018. Therefore, Australia Post, which services 11.7 million addresses across the country based on the latest data, could attract some new buyers of bitcoin who prefer to trust a government corporation over some off-shore exchange.

Would you use Australia Post to buy bitcoin? Let us know below!


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Říj 21

3 Ways Cryptocurrency Investors Can Adapt to Make Money in 2019

Cryptocurrency investors have endured an unbelievably tumultuous year but in spite of the markets dismal performance, there are still a few strategies investors could employ to make money in a down market.

[Editor’s note: This is a guest op-ed submitted by Julia Magas. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Bitcoinist and are not intended as financial advice. The given article is an opinion piece for educational purposes only. ] 


2017 was an almost magical time for cryptocurrencies. During this time, one could quite literally throw a bucket of paint at the wall and come up with a Monet. Obviously, this over exaggeration is a euphemism for the euphoria and FOMO (fear of missing out) that drove the cryptocurrency market up to new highs in December 2017 and sadly, those times have long gone.

As cryptocurrency investors approach Q4 of 2018, it can be assumed that after a bearish year almost everyone awaits the arrival of 2019 with crossed fingers and toes. Nearly all of the agreed-upon methods for making money from cryptocurrencies fell flat and unless one shorted the market or executed swing trades with impeccable timing, multiplying one’s funds proved to be something of a challenge throughout 2018.

What Happened to the Crypto-Explosion Everyone Expected in 2018?

Analysts, hedge fund managers and nearly every retail investors on the internet had forecast 2018 to be the year of unbelievable gains. ICOs, mainnet launches, airdrops, cryptocurrency futures, and institutional investment all expected to push the bitcoin’s price above $20,000 and the total market valuation – above $1 to $4 trillion dollars.

While at the time, each of these components combined to form what appeared to be an inevitable rally to new heights but considering that hindsight provides the clearest vision, we can now review each of these categories to see how powerful assumptions can sometimes be misleading.

ICOs Fell Flat

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) were meant to continue exploding into a nearly trillion dollar market in 2018 and various analysts predicted Ethereum 00 would rise from $1,400 to $3,500 – $4,000. Fast forward to the present and handfuls of ICOs have liquidated their crowdfunding for fiat and the hype and constant media coverage of ICOs nearly ground to a halt.

ICOs were meant to be an easy avenue for maximizing investments, but right at the start of 2018 global regulatory pressure by an assortment of governments and the precipitous decline in ETH prices made this less of a reality. Furthermore, a number of ICOs transitioned from being open investments to only allowing private and accredited investors which effectively cut out the little man.

Altcoin Mainnet Launches Misfired and Airdrops Fizzled Out

Once again, the general consensus dictated that altcoins would diverge from ERC20 standard by launching their own mainnets which would lure other crypto-startups to build on their platforms. This was further underpinned by the belief that altcoin values would skyrocket as numerous partnerships with established companies looking to become a part of the blockchain revolution occurred.

Investors expected to make a hefty profit from the flood of airdrops that would ensue after various altcoins transitioned from Ethereum standard to their own mainnet and while airdrops did occur, the frequency and projected price outcome failed to meet investor expectations.

Futures Placed a Damper on Price Growth and Temporarily Discouraged Institutional Investment

As the 2017 rally culminated in December 2017, the anticipation of CME and CBOE Bitcoin futures propelled the market higher and many investors expected Bitcoin gains to extend from $30,000 to $50,000 per coin. Fast-forward to today and research, along with an array of analysts now suggest that bitcoin futures may have had the opposite effect and bears shorting both bitcoin and ethereum may have actually pushed prices down.

Profits Still Exist, Even in a Down Market

So, since conventional cryptocurrency investing theory proved to be fallible, what options are left for turning a profit in the remainder of 2018 and the start of 2019? This is likely the question on the minds of every cryptocurrency investor.

Fortunately, all is not lost and there may be a guiding light at the end of the tunnel. While bullish price forecasts mostly fell short, adoption and crypto-investment platform expansion are definitely on the rise. From a technical standpoint it appears that the end of the bear market could be in sight and as Bitcoin approaches the end of the current long-term descending wedge, investors and analysts eagerly await a self-imposed deadline for either a strong upside or downside move.

The larger question should be: What if it doesn’t happen?

What if BTC 00 dips below the descending triangle and the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization plummets further?

The partnerships and blockchain adoption will continue. The exchanges will remain open for business. The world will keep on turning and blockchain technology will continue to grow its use cases, but what happens to investors? Or more importantly, how will investors make a buck in worsening market conditions?

Below we discuss three strategies that investors could employ while waiting on a bull market reversal.

Strategy 1: Go Long on Crypto-Startups with Real World Partnerships

Investors may need to re-adjust their expectations and allocate a certain percentage of their portfolio toward long picks. Of course, the cryptocurrency market is fast paced, high risk and possibly better suited to day traders in 2018, but a small selection of coins that one is willing to wait 2 to 5 years on might not be the worst idea.

Given the inherent volatility of cryptocurrency, it’s probably best to select cryptocurrencies that have solid partnerships with established industry players that are more likely to bear fruit over the long term.

Companies like IOTA, Ripple (XRP), GoByte (GBX), IOST and Stellar Lumens (XLM) are likely contenders.

Currently, IOTA has partnerships with Volkswagen, Bosch, Fujitsu and DNB ASA. Ripple (XRP), while contentious among many circles, remains a top 5 cryptocurrency with powerful partnerships and multiple use cases worldwide.

GoByte Network has partnered with iVend and is well positioned for the growing crypto-payments sector. Currently, revenues from e-commerce and mobile payment processing gravitate near $530 billion and the sector is expected to rise to $886 billion by 2021.

IOST develops blockchain infrastructure that serves as a bomb proof solution to the scalability issues commonly faced by Ethereum and Bitcoin. Their blockchain is fully capable of meeting the enterprise level needs that a company like Amazon or AliBaba might need and they have an impressive array of investors and partnerships. At the moment IOST price is possibly the most attractive it’s been since 2017.

Stellar Lumens is quite similar to Ripple (XRP) except for the fact that it is less centralized, has its own exchange and also recently launched a decentralized exchange where each token and ‘tether’ is paired with XLM. Stellar Lumens also has an array of impressive partnerships with IBM, Shift, Deloitte and Stripe to name just a few.

Strategy 2: Take a Break and Let Robots Handle the Trading

Instead of focusing on 50 to 100 percent gains and attempting to time the market, investors could go for the low hanging fruit and let robots do all the hard work. Most cryptocurrencies fluctuate at least 1 to 2 percent daily and trading bots could easily cover this for investors 24-hours a day 7-days a week.

To date, Gekko, Zenbot and Crypto Trader are the most popular, but traders could also have a look at some of the newcomers like Cryptohopper, Gunbot, and Haasbot.

Strategy 3: Run a Masternode to Maximize Returns while Accumulating Extra Coins

Instead of investing one’s full attention to trading, investors could also consider operating a node as this provides the opportunity to earn passive income in the form of extra coins, while also remaining positioned to benefit from the price appreciation of staked coins.

While operating a masternode tends to require a hefty initial investment, operators are rewarded with block rewards (tokens) of whichever cryptocurrency network they are supporting. Most operators are compensated with 5 to 20 percent of a block reward and these ‘rewards’ are meant to help compensate operators for the cost of running the node.

Here’s a look at what is expected of the top three digital currencies for the remainder of 2018, to help you make an informed trading decision.

While operating a node in 2017 required a treasure trove of capital, this year’s bear market has significantly reduced the cost and the opportunity to earn passive income on a cryptocurrency investment is worth considering. Node operators can hodl, exchange or sell their block rewards on any number of cryptocurrency exchanges and GoByte (GBX) is currently one of the most affordable cryptocurrency to operate a masternode.

GoByte CEO, Hisyam Nasir believes that operating a masternode has multiple advantages, even when run during a bear market. Nasir points out that “Printing coins allows operators to save on cost and this could potentially be more effective than just hodling.”

Nasir also explained that,

running a node is great in a bear market, because you are printing new coins to offset downturns in price. This is much more effective than hodling depreciating coins that don’t offer rewards.”

While there are are list of great cryptocurrencies that one could take a stake in, GoByte already has a firm foothold in e-commerce and mobile payments. Not to mention, the sector is slated to grow to represent 46% of the global e-commerce market by 2021 and a recent report found that 40% of survey participants with some cryptocurrency awareness would be content to use it for everyday purchases.

While nothing is a given, it is relatively sensible to surmise that as more vendors accept crypto-payments, GoByte token (GBX) will appreciate in value, thus making the operation of a masternode extremely lucrative.

Currently, the cost of operating a GoByte masternode is a one-time investment of 1,001 GBX and potential investors can visit https://masternodes.online/currencies/GBX/ to learn more about the process. At the time of writing, the cost is roughly $890.00 and hosting is merely $1.21 to $5.00 per month.

Smart Investors will be Ready for 2019 with a Multi-Level Investment Plan

2018 has been an incredibly rough year for cryptocurrency and unless one shorted the market it’s hard to argue against that observation. While the world’s top analysts are dead set in their belief that cryptocurrency prices will moon in 2019, nothing is a given and 2018 taught plenty of investors of the dangers of making cryptocurrency assumptions.

Investors and traders, whether long or short, need to have a multi-pronged strategy and the strategies mentioned in this article could be a fantastic starting point. Investors must retain a long vision for this nascent sector.

Blockchain adoption and partnerships between crypto-startups and established international companies are on the rise. Centralized exchanges are nearly finished completed investment platforms and services that have already attracted some of the biggest institutional investors. Meanwhile, decentralized exchanges are also popping up left and right and this new wave of peer-to-peer commerce is likely to draw in more retail investors looking to exchange and use their cryptocurrencies.

Going long on some crypto-startups that have these promising partnerships should be a step every investor considers. Furthermore, new technologies that can handle the more tedious parts of trading are readily and freely available so don’t be afraid to let the robots take over!

Also don’t forget that the e-commerce and payments sector is bound to continue growing, and as this occurs revenues from e-commerce and mobile payment processing are expected to rise significantly. Surely the wisest short and long-term move for investors would be to ensure they can catch this wave by investing in a node as this is proven to provide passive income while also allowing operators to benefit from the price appreciation of staked coins.

History has shown that the early bird nearly always gets the worm and with cryptocurrency valuations near 2018 lows this might be the best time to deploy well thought out investment strategies.  

What are your thoughts on these strategies? Share below!


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Říj 17

EToro CEO: We’ll See ‘Greatest Transfer of Wealth Ever Onto the Blockchain’ [Interview]

Bitcoinist spoke with Yoni Assia, CEO of the largest social trading platform in the world eToro on their latest push to take cryptocurrency mainstream. 


Interview with eToro CEO, Yoni Assia

With over 10 million users globally, eToro has become a somewhat of a household name. It is also no secret that the company has been a big supporter of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for a few years now. Its logo is often seen alongside numerous cryptocurrencies almost everywhere in the UK and elsewhere.

etoro

Assia explained why eToro is so focused on raising cryptocurrency awareness, why regulation is important for mass adoption, and his opinion on ‘Bitcoin maximalism.’

Bitcoinist: You’ve just announced a significant cut in spreads on crypto-assets. Why did you decide to do this? User feedback or simply a way to make trading more affordable for the average person?

Yoni Assia: We cut our crypto spreads as part of our efforts to support the mass adoption of crypto.  We want to make it as easy as possible for investors to buy, hold and sell crypto and cutting spreads so clients keep more of their gain is one part of this.

Bitcoinist: What other bottlenecks to wide-scale user adoption currently exist in your opinion?

Yoni Assia: Currently, the level of understanding of crypto-assets is one of the barriers to wide-scale user adoption of, and investment in, crypto-assets. It’s a barrier that we’ve looked to address at eToro through building our community of traders and investors who can share their investment strategies and insights. From this, others are able to follow the approaches of those who have been the most successful. We also provide educational material and a virtual portfolio.

Other barriers for crypto center on the fact that this is still a very young asset class. Bitcoin, the first crypto, is still less than 10 years old. We believe that the challenges around scalability, speed, volatility etc will be solved over time.

Bitcoinist: Your platform has over 10 million users. Since the so-called bubble ‘popped’ in 2018 following the historic bull-run of late 2017, has your platform seen a drop in new user signups or the opposite?

New clients continue to join the eToro platform every day. Some come for crypto, others for the other more traditional asset classes we offer such as stocks and commodities or our CopyPortfolios. It is also interesting to note that many of the clients who were attracted to eToro by crypto have also diversified into other assets on the platform.

Bitcoinist: At current rates, can you give us an idea of how many users you expect to start trading crypto on your platform over the next few years?

Yoni Assia: While I can’t give you a number, we expect to continue to grow the number of users on the platform over the next few years. EToro is continuing to expand its global footprint, for example, we will be launching in the US later this year. Some people come to eToro for crypto, but we also offer a multitude of other asset classes.

Bitcoinist: What is the most popular cryptocurrency on eToro? Do you think this could change in the future?

Yoni Assia: The most popular crypto on eToro is XRP 00. I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t predict the future. Our clients value diversification so we see interest in any new coins added to the platform.

Bitcoinist: Does a diversified crypto-asset portfolio still make sense given that Bitcoin has experienced the least bleeding relative to other cryptocurrencies?

Yoni Assia: Maintaining a diversified portfolio, both in terms of crypto-assets and in terms of wider assets, is a prudent way to invest regardless of market conditions or asset performance.

Bitcoinist: Etoro has signed numerous partnerships with major sports teams and pro athletes to promote cryptocurrencies. Have these efforts borne fruit so far? And what other initiatives do you have planned?

Yoni Assia: We’ve recently sponsored seven premier league clubs in the UK as well as German football team Eintracht Frankfurt. We’ve also partnered with French tennis player and eToro user Gaelle Monfils. These initiatives help us to raise awareness of crypto and we will continue to form partnerships that help us to strengthen our brand and build awareness.

Bitcoinist: Why do you believe regulation will accelerate mass adoption? Some regulations such as the BitLicense in New York state have forced companies to leave, for example. Do you favor more of a hands-off approach or clear-cut regulations just like in traditional finance?

Yoni Assia: A conducive regulatory environment is vital to protect consumers and foster growth and innovation within the investment industry. We believe that regulation will lead to greater adoption by institutions and intermediaries, which will accelerate mass adoption.

In the UK, eToro was the driving force behind the establishment of CryptoUK, the first self-regulatory trade association for the UK crypto-asset industry. Its remit is to promote higher standards of conduct and to educate politicians and regulators about the industry and its potential. We welcome the recent report from the UK’s Treasury Select Committee which reflected Crypto UK’s calls for the introduction of proportionate regulation to improve standards and encourage growth.

Bitcoinist: Why do you believe Bitcoin and crypto can offer opportunities to traditional finance? Wasn’t Bitcoin created to disrupt and disinter-mediate traditional finance, fractional-reserve banking, and fiat currencies?

Yoni Assia: We don’t’ believe that traditional finance will disappear overnight and we are already seeing many large financial institutions exploring the opportunities offered by crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it.

We believe that crypto, and the underlying blockchain technology, will have a huge impact on global finance. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize finance by enabling the tokenization of all assets, not just currencies. In time, we believe that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain.

Bitcoinist: Are you personally in the “Blockchain not Bitcoin” camp or vice versa? Why?

Yoni Assia: They are two separate things and being in favor of one doesn’t have to mean you are against the other. For me the easiest way to try and explain the significance of crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it is to compare it to the internet.

The relationship between blockchain and crypto is parallel to the internet and email. Much like email is just one use case of the internet, bitcoin is just one use case of the Blockchain. Bitcoin was the first crypto and almost ten years after the white paper was written remains the most dominant.

Whether Bitcoin will still be the most significant crypto in another ten years is not for me to say, but I do believe that blockchain will transform finance in the same way that the internet revolutionized communications.

Bitcoinist: What is your opinion on Bitcoin maximalism? Will it be winner takes all (with everything being built on the Bitcoin blockchain in the future) or will there be room for many cryptocurrencies to exist?

Yoni Assia: The crypto-asset market is still very much in its infancy, and crypto-assets are still vying to prove their respective use cases to the world. Currently, different crypto-assets seek to solve different problems and are experiencing varying levels of adoption. There absolutely could be room for a few cryptocurrencies to exist, but it’s too early to say which ones this could be at this stage.

Do you agree with Assia’s comments? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Srp 25

Over $6 Billion in Daily Trading Volume Faked Across Top 100 Exchanges

A new report found that over 70% of the top 100 exchanges on CoinMarketCap are engaging in excessive wash trading from three to thousands of times their stated volume.

[Note: This is a guest article submitted by researcher Marco Paez] 


Two-Thirds of 24 Hour Trade Volume May Be Fake

It’s been a month since CoinMarketCap (CMC) made changes to the way they post exchange volume stats after being called out by multiple sources for supporting bloated volume numbers. An adjusted volume metric was added to the site which changed up the rankings substantially, however, the new adjusted rankings still seemed to be suspect by many in the industry.

Released this week, research compiled by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) gives clearer insight into how massively overstated the daily volume numbers actually are. Tallying up the volume numbers of the top 130 exchanges, the report found that over $6 billion in daily trade volume is being faked, comprising over two-thirds of the total 24-hour trade volume.

Released this week, research compiled by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) gives clearer insight into how massively overstated the daily volume numbers actually are.

The largest offenders in the top 10 include Bibox, which appears to be wash trading their volume over 85x, Bit-Z to over 469x, ZB over 391x, LBank 4400x. The worst of the bunch is BCEX at over 22,000x.  All of these exchanges trail Binance in the daily unique visitor’s statistic between 50 and 600x.

The top exchange in the USA is Coinbase, which climbs the ranks up to #3. Another big mover into the top 10 is Bithumb at #4 which overtakes Upbit as the largest exchange in South Korea. Upbit is currently under investigation for fraud, money laundering, and wash trading which correlates with data showing an over-reporting of their volume by 11x.

Binance sits at the top of the chart at #1 with a massive amount of unique daily visitors to back them up.  Bitfinex slides into the number 2 spot behind their high dollar clientele and $10,000 minimum deposit for entry.

KuCoin, Cryptopia See Big Gains

A large chunk of the top 25 exchanges have dropped all the way out of the top 100. According to the data, these exchanges typically have less than 1,000 site visitors per day. The majority of these exchanges also seem to be mass produced, as they all appear to be using the same UI and trading engine.

Coinex, which was left out of CMC’s adjusted volume rankings due to transaction mining, finds itself inside the top 25 using this data. Other transaction mining exchanges such as Coinbene and Bit-Z dropped well outside of the top 25 exchanges from their previous rankings.

Kucoin and Cryptopia are the biggest movers-up the charts landing in at #19 and #24, and moving up from #58 and #90 respectively, after watching all the fake volume ahead of them disappear. Both of these sites have unique daily visitor counts in the top 10 of all exchanges. The BTI report notes that many of their customers are trading on low volume and low market cap coins, which keep them outside of the top 10.

The research team states they used data obtained from SimilarWeb on website traffic coupled with order book research conducted by Sylvain Ribes. His report detailed excessive slippage rates of top 15 exchanges including Okex, Huobi, Lbank, and Bit-Z. The combination of these data sets was plugged into a new formula which produced a vastly different top 25 than what is being reported. A rundown of their methodology for the rankings can be found here.

Data collected from SimilarWeb also reports many of these offender exchanges getting up to 90% of their referral volume from rankings pages, overwhelmingly from CMC. This naturally incentivizes wash trading by any exchange looking to move up the ranks.

When compared, the slippage data of the known respected exchanges and monthly traffic data appears to be in correlation. Binance, Coinbase, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, and Kucoin all have monthly visitor counts well above the rest of the top 100 exchanges as well as very low slippage when their order books were checked.

The report notes that although their data is reported with an accuracy of 1:1 this does not mean there is no wash trading going on, just that none could be proven using their current model.

The report notes that although their data is reported with an accuracy of 1:1 this does not mean there is no wash trading going on, just that none could be proven using their current model.

Lending credibility to these top exchanges, it was recently reported that Coinbase is building a new system to monitor suspicious trading activity known as the Coinbase Trade Surveillance Program. The system in place is one of the ways Coinbase says it is using to prepare for the $10 billion of institutional money waiting to move into the space.

Gemini also started a similar program in April when it partnered with Nasdaq to monitor its marketplace. Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology is currently monitoring activity across all of Gemini’s trading pairs. Gemini moved up from #26 to #14 in the BTI rankings.

These types of initiatives continue to be implemented as the space matures in preparing the market for institutional investors. With more important ETF decisions looming this year, these exchanges seek to prove to the SEC that they’re doing due diligence in securing their platforms from manipulation.

BTI’s full rankings list of the top 130 exchanges can be found here.

What are your thoughts on misrepresented and overstated value among major exchanges? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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