Traders Plan for Correction as Crypto Market Falls Below $100 Billion

Traders Plan for Correction as Crypto Market Falls Below $100 Billion

Traders Plan for Correction as Crypto Market Falls Below $100 Billion

The total value of all publicly traded cryptocurrencies may be at an all-time high, but trader confidence isn't keeping pace.

After rising more than 1,500% from just over $7bn on 1st January, the market is beginning to show signs that its rapid ascent in 2017 may be slowing.

According data from CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency asset class fell from a high of $117bn yesterday to just under $100bn today, a period in which more than 80 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies have seen double-digit declines.

While this decline may just be a speed bump in the world of cryptocurrencies, some analysts report it is sufficient enough that they are beginning to reassess their positions in light of recent activity.

Hedging for a crash?

Indeed, several traders spoke with CoinDesk about the strategies they're currently using to hedge against a potential decline in cryptocurrency prices, with some indicating they're employing simple strategies by reducing their holdings.

For example, Charlie Shrem, a bitcoin entrepreneur and over-the-counter (OTC) trader, is in this camp. He reported he's been buying more bitcoin lately, with "less than 10%" of his portfolio in alternative assets.

Marius Rupsys, a cryptocurrency trader and co-founder of fintech startup InvoicePool, took a bolder approach, telling CoinDesk he liquidated his entire cryptocurrency portfolio and has started shorting bitcoin, actively betting its price will go down.

Rupsys predicted:

"There should be larger correction at some point which will cause altcoins to fall and bitcoin to fall at the same time."

While several traders identified portfolio management and active trading strategies as ways to hedge against a cryptocurrency price crash, cryptocurrency trader Kong Gao offered a different solution.

One way to hedge against this decline, he said, is to begin mining on alternative asset protocols, and simply hold the coins they receive instead of selling them.

Irrational exuberance

Elsewhere, Rupsys spoke to how he believes the increasing price has been largely caused by highly optimistic newcomers, a prospect that leads him to believe the bull run could soon fade.

"Many of these new traders are retail traders that have little knowledge of crypto-assets or trading in general," Rupsys told CoinDesk.

He added, many people have contacted him interested in getting rich quick.

Tim Enneking, managing director of cryptocurrency hedger fund, Crypto Asset Management, also spoke to the exuberance in the market.

While cryptocurrencies have been experiencing sharp gains, they will reverse direction at some point, Enneking predicted. Crypto Asset Management has set up stop loss orders to liquidate positions in certain cryptocurrencies should these digital assets suffer an "abrupt crash", he said.

And according to Charles Hayter, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CryptoCompare, a crash is likely. The attention alternative asset protocols have gained lately have highlighted some of this overconfidence, he said.

While there may be no clear signs yet, Hayter is still putting his money where his mouth is, noting CryptoCompare is going so far as to reallocate its active positions in the market.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Charles Bovaird

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Getting High on Cryptocurrencies

Getting High on Cryptocurrencies

Getting High on Cryptocurrencies

There are now four times as many cryptocurrencies in circulation as fiat currencies.That's amazing. And encouraging.According to the Swiss Association for Standardization, which maintains the International Standards Organization database, there are 177 national currencies currently in use. That list generously includes four precious-metals and four bond-market units (codes XBA to XBD, for the curious).NUMBER OF DIGITAL CURRENCIES753The CoinMarketCap website lists 753 cryptocurrencies, all the way from Bitcoin and Ethereum down to StrongHands and Paccoin (current value: $0.00000014).With a retired basketball star promoting one such incarnation — tied to marijuana — on a recent trip to a repressive Asian nation lying to the north of South Korea, I'm tempted to call Peak Crypto.But let's not kid ourselves: The madness is far from over. Bitcoin skeptics have been eating their words ever since the leading digital currency reached $1,000. January seems like such a long time ago now that Bitcoin is trading above $2,700.

Bruised Bears

Although Bitcoin has climbed 300 percent in the past 12 months, giving its "coins" in circulation a value of $45 billion, Satoshi Nakamoto's brainchild is actually declining in relative importance. From more than 95 percent in late 2013, Bitcoin now accounts for 39 percent of the value of all cryptocurrency in circulation. Ethereum has caught up fast, from 3.9 percent at the start of the year to 31 percent of the total now, according to CoinMarketCap. Ripple is in third place at around 8.8 percent after briefly overtaking Ethereum last month.

VIRTUAL VALUE

The other 20 percent of cryptocurrency value is unevenly distributed among the 750 wannabes along a very long tail. It's possible some will rise to a level of legitimacy that will make them viable in the long term. Many are betting not on mass uptake but on niche acceptance — one pitches itself as the payments platform for online games; another limits the amount of coins to the number of kilometers between Earth and its moon; one seeks to be the official currency of a fictitious nation.

Market Force

Bitcoin remains the world's biggest cryptocurrency, but its dominance has waned

Yet Bitcoin itself remains so niche that the WannaCry hackers reaped a minuscule harvest after infecting more than 200,000 computers, because they insisted on being paid in the cryptocurrency.Just because the boom is ridiculous doesn't mean it lacks momentum — it just tells you that consolidation also is inevitable. Not in the traditional M&A sense, but in the way that messenger apps like AIM, ICQ, Yahoo and MSN quietly gave way to WhatsApp and WeChat, which then led to the ubiquity of instant-messaging technology.Morgan Stanley posited last week that government acceptance will be key to Bitcoin's continued rise, with the flipside being some kind of regulation of the currency. That's probably right, and if proponents of cryptocurrencies think they'll achieve widespread uptake without a nod from the authorities, they're probably smoking something.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Author : Tim Culpan

 

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a New Direction for Cryptocurrency Investment

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a New Direction for Cryptocurrency Investment

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a New Direction for Cryptocurrency Investment

This week CoinDesk released its State of Blockchain Q1 2017 study, which details recent trends, statistics and sentiment around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

While the entire report is worth a read (there are some surprises), two slides especially caught my attention. When put together and compared with current data, they point to what could be a fundamental shift in market dynamics.

Now, why would investors give up bitcoin to buy into ethereum? Either they believe that bitcoin will soon start heading down – slide 62 shows that almost 45% of respondents are negative on the cryptocurrency – or that it could continue to go up, but that ethereum will increase by even more. Either way, we’re looking at an asset reallocation.

If you take a look at the ether trading volumes today, though, you see a different picture.

The volume of fiat purchases of ether has shot past that of bitcoin to account for approximately 70% of volume (at time of writing). A large part of that growth is due to a jump in interest from South Korea, but US dollar purchases have also increased significantly.

This looks like ‘new money’ is coming into cryptocurrencies and choosing ethereum over other alternatives. Bitcoin’s trading volume is also increasing (and still dwarfs that of ethereum), but not by as much.

What could this mean?

While trading data of a few weeks does not necessarily translate to new market trends, it could hint at a shift in portfolio prominence. While bitcoin has traditionally been the main cryptocurrency holding for both private and institutional portfolios, ether is emerging as a strong contender.

One interesting effect from this will most likely be a change in the conversation. It should move from the 'bitcoin isn't money' diatribe, to one of 'what can ethereum do?'.

Although over 85% of our survey respondents felt that ether could serve as a currency as well as bitcoin could, it has never worn the currency cloak like bitcoin has. Ether has traditionally been positioned more as a ‘digital token’ that can engage with scripts and contracts, and can be used to enable apps across a wide range of sectors.

From an asset allocation and a sentiment perspective, ether’s rise in prominence is encouraging. A shift in focus from threat to innovation would be more constructive for all, and should push development in the cryptocurrency sector even further.

From an asset allocation and a sentiment perspective, ether’s rise in prominence is encouraging. A shift in focus from threat to innovation would be more constructive for all, and should push development in the cryptocurrency sector even further.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Article by Noelle Acheson

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, CoinDesk.

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Hedge Funds Are Quietly Investing in Bitcoin

Hedge Funds Are Quietly Investing in Bitcoin

Hedge Funds Are Quietly Investing in Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s price has gained over 180 percent this year, while hedge funds have only returned 3.5 percent on average. Most hedge fund managers have stayed away from bitcoin. However, the few that have included it are significantly outperforming their peers.

Average Hedge Funds Return 3.5% This Year

Hedge fundsHedge Funds Are Quietly Investing in Bitcoin are investment funds whose clients are accredited or institutional investors. They are less regulated than mutual funds since they are not subject to strict rules designed to protect investors. Some of them are not even required to register or file public reports with financial regulators.

Investments in hedge funds are only restricted by each fund’s mandate. They can effectively be anything including land, real estate and currencies, as long as they seek to maximize investors’ returns while reducing risks.

The comprehensive overall returns of hedge funds are measured by the hedge fund absolute return index (HFRX), which is representative of all hedge fund strategies. Hedge Fund Research (HFR), which provides data on more than 150 hedge fund indices, is the industry’s leading provider of hedge fund index data. According to HFR, the HFRI Weighted Composite Index only returned 0.46% in May and 3.5% year-to-date. In comparison, the S&P500 total return was 1.16% in May and 9.61% year-to-date.

Bitcoin Helps Hedge Funds’ Bottom Line

HFR’s data reveals that most hedge fund strategies underperformed the market both in May and year-to-date, CNBC reported. The index provider noted that technology and currencies were the only two strategies that performed well in both time periods, adding that:

The FX funds did well because of exposure to digital currencies like bitcoin.

The hedge funds that do invest in bitcoin currently do not have large positions. The best performing hedge fund index in May was the HFRI Macro Currency Index which gained 3.49% in the month and 8.22% year-to-date.

“In addition to contributions from Euro, Swiss Franc, New Zealand Dollar and Korean Won, the Currency Index also had strong contributions from exposure to digital currencies,” according to the HFR report.

Why Don’t More Hedge Funds Invest in Bitcoin?

“Many hedge funds are still very reluctant to dip a toe into the asset class,” CNBC recently reported. One hedge fund veteran, with 16 years of experience, told the news outlet:

To be honest, I just don’t know enough about it.

The reasons hedge funds are reluctant to invest in bitcoin “really boils down to concerns over volatility, security and perception,” Louis Gargour, the founder of asset manager LNG Capital, told the publication.

He listed three concerns. Firstly, “bitcoin’s extreme volatility doesn’t sit well with managers working on a risk-adjusted return basis.” Secondly, fund managers are concerned with the digital currency being hacked or stolen. Lastly, “there’s a perception that bitcoin remains a niche, retail investment that does not yet demonstrate sufficient quality to be seriously considered for many reputable institutions,” he explained.

However, as bitcoin continues to outperform other asset classes, more hedge fund managers may start following their peers and invest in the digital currency. At press time, Bitstamp shows that bitcoin has gained over 180% so far this year and over 70% in May.

By Kevin Helms

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Is Bitcoin or Other CryptoCurrency a Good Investment

Is Bitcoin or Other CryptoCurrency a Good Investment

Is Bitcoin or Other CryptoCurrency a Good Investment

Despite all denials of the techies, the Bitcoin continues to fly under the pressure of marketing that makes it a form of Russian roulette that benefits those who know the manipulation. Since March 26, the Bitcoin has increased from $ 973 to $ 2,795. A real explosion of prices which can only be explained by fraudulent maneuvers. It went from $ 16 billion to $ 43 billion.

But behind this surge, there are formidable manipulators who have means that are the exchanges of bitcoins of which several leaders are in prison. The founder of the world’s largest depository based in Bitcoins, now based in Zug, Switzerland, predicts that the value of a Bitcoin will surpass the million dollar mark in 10 years, taking by surprise the whole assembly and even the most Optimists in the sector. Some see the replacement of gold. We are in full delirium.

On several occasions, these dramatic increases came from the conversion of dirty money into Bitcoin. We do not know what causes these mood swings that fall quickly. Do they pose a fundamental question: Beyond the technology behind the object, from where comes the value of $ 32 billion?

No regulation of false rumors or manipulations

There is a lot of talk about the Bitcoin right now, as well as a few other crypto-currencies, but are they really good investments? Recently I read research which describes why Bitcoin are a good investment for the future. They also provide detailed analysis and data to showcase their study. So I am exploring based on that and my personal opinion on crypto-currencies.

I will divide this question into three points:

1. Are crypto-currencies really an investment?

2. What currency crypto choose?

3.Are crypto-currencies really an investment?

Nowadays, virtually everything is called an “investment”. In the case of crypto-currencies, trading (trading) and investment are again confused, even by financial professionals.

 

An investment is when you buy an asset that produces something, and that by extension creates income.

For example, if you buy a tractor and lease it, it will allow someone to dig to then put the foundation of a house, pull farm machinery, and much more. In exchange for the productivity of your assets, you receive an income.

The question is, therefore: does the crypto-currency produce something?

The main added value of crypto-money is that it can make anonymous transactions, so it increases economic activity (albeit generally illegal).

That said, it produces nothing tangible for you because its overall productivity is drowned in the pool of all transactions.

Your only hope is therefore that its overall productivity in the form of a currency function is growing so that you can “freak out” your crypto-currency.

Basically, crypto-currency does not produce income for you, and your only option to make money is that its demand increases.

When a profit is generated not by production but by the difference between the purchase price and the selling price, it is called trading and not an investment.

What does it actually mean that it is trading and not an investment?

Trading is speculation and it’s not complicated, 95% of people lose at this activity.

Investing is a much safer way to get rich. You simply need to be aware of what you are doing with your money, and not speculate in thinking that you are investing.

Which crypto-currency to choose?

Bitcoin? Zcash and Zcoin? SafeCoin? Syscoin?

Admitting that you understand that you are speculating, the only crypto-currency I would negotiate personally is the Bitcoin, for two reasons:

 

Reason # 1: Everyone knows the Bitcoin

This point seems banal and simplistic. However, it should not be forgotten that the value of crypto-currencies is based on people’s trust. Indeed they are “fiat currencies”, like the Canadian dollar, the US dollar, and virtually all currencies in the world.

People have a tremendous confidence in the Canadian dollar and particularly the US dollar, which is the world’s reserve currency. What about crypto-currencies?

How do people trust you, the Bitcoin, the Zcoin, or the Syscoin? Obviously, people have more confidence in the Bitcoin, and one can easily assume that it will only go by increasing over time.

However, there is always resistance, and people do not have enough confidence in the Bitcoin to move away from the Canadian dollar or the US dollar.

In particular, the critical point or the Bitcoin could explode in price is when people will have enough confidence to use another function of the currency: the reservoir of value.

When people have confidence in Bitcoin to use it as saving, as an entity where they can retain the value of their work, then everything will change.

But how could the Bitcoin reach this level? How to develop this trust? These questions lead me to the second reason.

 

Reason # 2: The Bitcoin is the only crypto-currency that has a real chance

The Bitcoin is the only crypto-currency that has a real chance of what? To become an official currency, endorsed by the government and the financial system.

A strong and unshakeable confidence in the Bitcoin can only exist if governments and the financial system give it their approval.

In fact, it seems that in Canada the government is increasingly ready to incorporate the Bitcoin into daily transactions. This is not cast in concrete, and the future is still vague at the legislative level.

One of the barriers to official currency status for Bitcoin is that the government cannot legalize a private currency, which would limit its ability to tax transactions.

Can another crypto-currency based on the blockchain possibly be adopted rather than the Bitcoin? Yes, but precisely, there lies the whole aspect of speculation: we must try to predict the future.

In summary, invest in crypto-currencies or not?

Honestly, the majority of people do not even have $ 2,000 in an emergency, according to an article I read, so I do not see myself buying Bitcoins.

In this situation, I would buy stocks, bonds, gold, and real estate well before buying Bitcoins.

So unless I have a full RRSP and a TFSA, stuffed with income-producing assets, I cannot justify buying crypto-currencies.

I understand the desire to hit a home run with the Bitcoin, the desire to make 10 times his initial bet. This may be suitable for some people, but I cannot endorse this strategy because it makes a lot more losers than winners.

The strategy to get rich that works for me and in general is to get rich in the long run, walking by walk, so surely find myself at the top of the stairs.

 

Aashish Sharma

 

The article above is quite interesting but many people do not realise you do not need to to purchase a wholw bitcoin, there are ways and means to earn bits for free completing surveys, or by investing in Trade Coin Club

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

What Do UK Election Results And Brexit Mean For Cryptocurrency Value

What Do UK Election Results And Brexit Mean For Cryptocurrency Value

What Do UK Election Results And Brexit Mean For Cryptocurrency Value

The United Kingdom’s Conservative Party failed to secure a clear majority in the UK election on Thursday. The political upheaval surrounding Prime Minister Theresa May sent shockwaves throughout the economy. The New York Times reports London’s position as a “dominant global financial center” could be jeopardized. According to CNBC, by Friday morning the British pound dropped to the lowest value it has had in months: $1.2632.

"The financial markets had almost already priced-in a hard Brexit and will now have to quickly reassess their position,” Nigel Green, CEO of the financial consultancy deVere Group, said in a press release. "As this adjustment takes place we can expect the uncertainty in the financial markets not only to continue but to intensify.” Although the pound is expected to recover, recent developments in London raise questions about the future of global fintech markets. Will the U.K. elections increase growing demand for cryptocurrency like bitcoin?

The pound has long been considered a “safe haven” currency for international investors and people with long-term savings. The London-based founder of BitcoinAfrica.io, Alexander Lielacher, wrote in a blog post that he is optimistic the British government will invest in blockchain as it moves away from the European Union.

“Since the UK government will lose out of tax revenues from its traditional banking sector as banks are moving operations to the Eurozone,” he wrote on the cryptocurrency site BTCmanager. “It is not too far-fetched to think that the government may put more effort into supporting its tech and, more so, the fintech sector.”

The U.K. is one of the few places in the world with a regulatory fintech “sandbox,” a nimble legal structure that is particularly advantageous for blockchain businesses. “The party that can protect the fintech industry is one that can negotiate a Brexit that causes the least amount of damage to the UK financial services and technology industries,” British fintech expert Elizabeth Lumley told Forbes before the election.

Plus, even bad news for the pound could be good news for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether. The Telegraph reported Hargreaves Lansdown, the U.K.’s largest online trading platform, will soon let customers invest in bitcoin. Meanwhile, Coinfirm, a blockchain compliance and analytics platform based in London, told International Business Times the British company is currently working on a partnership with the American company CSI Capital Management to support blockchain assets and cryptocurrency investments. An uptick in British customers with bitcoin pensions could set a precedent for international blockchain pensions.

The number one reason why cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology aren’t widely adopted yet is because of confusion over regulatory standards. Coinfirm aims to provide a standardized and blockchain agnostic platform, which means it is integrable and technically compatible with everything from bitcoin to Ethereum, Dash and Ripple. “Brexit smexit,” the startup’s CMO Grant Blaisdell told IBT over Skype. “It’s only going to add fuel to it. Any time there is instability it’s going to add more fuel and more reasons to back this [blockchain] ecosystem.”

It’s too soon to say how British politics will impact the global demand for cryptocurrencies. But people like Coinfirm’s CEO, Pawel Kuskowski, don’t appear concerned the shift in British politics will undermine their regulatory safe haven, at least not the fintech ecosystem. Kuskowski told IBT in an email that London will continue to reign as the global capital of the blockchain ecosystem. Brexit or moves towards isolation may drive traditional banking institutions away, but it could also increase the flexibility and strength of the U.K.'s regulatory independence.

"The British pound will be always connected to the performance of the economy," Kuskowski's statement said. "Institutions may find solutions for international transfer of funds and commerce using blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This something that has to be seriously explored as blockchain could provide a serious benefit in a time like this for the U.K."

Article by Leigh Cuen

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Australian Stock Exchange Announces First-Ever Bitcoin Investment

Australian Stock Exchange Announces First-Ever Bitcoin Investment

Australian Stock Exchange Announces First-Ever Bitcoin Investment
 

In a first, Melbourne-based Blockchain Global Limited (BGL) has used bitcoin in an AUD$4.35 million investment to acquire a 40% stake in ASX-listed blockchain payments fintech DigitalX.

Details from an announcement today on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) reveal DigitalX to receive, in bitcoin, AUD$300,000 in a convertible loan. A further AUD$550,000 will be invested in convertible notes along with AUD$3.8 million in shares.

“DigitalX has received AUD$300,000 by way of a convertible loan in Bitcoin (BTC),” the announcement stated. “The convertible loan is convertible into shares in DigitalX…”

Blockchain Global Limtied (BGL), formerly operating as the Bitcoin Group, began as a bitcoin mining operator before diversifying into a blockchain solutions provider, a corporate incubator and more recently, an ICO specialist. The Bitcoin Group raised AUD$5.9 million and missed out on its target of AUD$20 million following a number of delays to get listed on the ASX itself.

Ultimately, the firm scrapped its efforts to become the world’s first publicly-listed bitcoin miner after the ASX raised liquidity and regulatory concerns.

Perth-based DigitalX, formerly Digital CC, also saw a rebrand in late 2015 and shifted its objectives from mining bitcoin to blockchain software development. As a part of its shift in strategy, DigitalX has now developed AirPocket, a blockchain payments and remittance app that enables payments to 14 countries with a majority of them in Latin America.

“DigitalX welcomes BGL as an investor in the company, and appreciates the confidence it has shown in DigitalX’s growth and understanding within the blockchain ecosystem,” said DigitalX CEO Leigh Travers.

The executive added:

“Having just returned from Consensus, the biggest blockchain conference in the world, the growing support for blockchain, digital currency and decentralized organisations is unquestionable”.
 

As a part of its investment, BGL is voluntarily escrowing its shareholding in DigitalX for a 12 month period from the date of issuance.

Meanwhile, the ASX is invested in blockchain technology itself, having paid AUD $14.9 million for a 5% equity interest in New York-based blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings (DAH). Australia’s biggest private stock exchange is currently trialing a DAH-developed blockchain system to replace its existing post-trade processing system.

Author: Samburaj Das

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Crypto Asset Fund looks to raise $400 million to buy into blockchain frenzy

Crypto Asset Fund looks to raise $400 million to buy into blockchain frenzy

Crypto Asset Fund looks to raise $400 million to buy into blockchain frenzy

 

Timothy Enneking started a cryptocurrency fund in 2014, when the market was almost exclusively bitcoin. That's no longer the case.

The 58-year-old money manager is now aiming to raise up to $400 million for the Crypto Asset Fund, a diversified pool of digital currencies and assets that he expects to be in the tens of millions of dollars by the end of this year. Enneking filed with the SEC on Monday.

With the soaring value of ethereum, Ripple XRP and NEM, the top 100 cryptocurrencies combined are now worth more than $98 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin accounts for 46 percent of the total. Enneking said just six to eight months ago, the total value was in the low teens and 85 to 95 percent was bitcoin.

"We can actually now apply much more sophisticated tools to a portfolio of investments," said Enneking, who started managing money in Russia in 2002 and is now based in San Diego. "I don't think the world has seen but the pointy end of the spear in terms of what's going to happen in cryptocurrencies."

Crypto Asset is a trading fund, so it's not for the buy-and-hold investor. Enneking said that the minimum investment for the fund is $25,000 and that most of the institutions that are approaching him have between $100 million and $2 billion under management.

What Is Blockchain

The craze around cryptocurrencies stems from growing adoption of blockchain, a distributed electronic ledger that makes all transactions trackable. Banks are using it for payments and back-office functions, while companies in digital music, ride-sharing and cybersecurity are starting to use blockchain for tracking, sharing or protecting assets.

It's still very early and speculators abound. Start-ups built on blockchain are creating their own crypto-tokens and selling them to investors and prospective customers in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Buyers can hold the tokens in the hopes of price appreciation or, in some cases, use them as currency in the company's ecosystem. For example, a cloud storage company called Storj sold tokens that customers can use to buy digital storage space.

Enneking said he participated in an ICO for INTCoin, which calls itself "a next-generation decentralized currency that takes advantage of blockchain capabilities for instant transactions with a minimum fee."

'Less regulation'

As for the Crypto Asset Fund's strategy, Enneking said he's broken the market up into six pieces, ranging from the "blue chips" valued at above $2 billion all the way down to the currencies with so little value that they don't trade. There are currently four cryptocurrencies that fall into the blue chips category — bitcoin, ethereum, XRP and NEM — and another 22 in his large-cap group with coins outstanding valued at $200 million or more, according to CoinMarketCap.

Enneking spends much of his time educating investors about the market and trying to get them comfortable with the idea that crypto is just like any other asset, except it's moving much more quickly and the regulators have yet to become a presence.

That's a big part of the risk.

"It's not nearly as different as the average fiat investor thinks it is," Enneking said. "It's better, faster and with less regulation, which isn't always good."

Ari Levy

Senior Tech Reporter CNBC

 

If you do not have $25,000 to invest, you could go to Trade Coin Club where minimum starting investment is 0.35 Bitcoin

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

 

New York City

About a dozen rain-soaked people were crammed between the revolving doors and security barriers in the lobby of New York University’s Stern School of Business as torrents pelted down outside. All desperately wanted in to the hottest ticket in town, one that promised to make some of them overnight millionaires, if not billionaires. Among them was Dan Morehead, a former Wall Street titan turned bitcoin investor, and a dentist working on a blockchain startup who had flown in from Seoul.

“I don’t really care that you overbooked, it’s not my problem! I don’t care about a refund,” one agitated man seeking entry barked at two T-shirt clad twentysomethings on the other side, one of them clutching a clipboard.

“You can be upset and raise your voice, but we can’t change anything,” one of the gatekeepers replied.

“We have three clients down there!” another man interjected.

The clipboard holder dutifully scribbled down names. When it was my turn, she said NYU wanted to clear out the huddled mass blocking the building’s entrance: “The auditorium holds like 470 people. We have more than 500 people down there right now. NYU is calling security.”

Inside, a conference called “Token Summit” was in full swing. The event was the first to focus on a rapidly snowballing phenomenon called cryptocurrency token offerings—a new fundraising method that allows companies to raise millions of dollars in mere minutes.

The cryptocurrency world has gone mad for token offerings. These launches, popularly known as ICOs or initial coin offerings, have already raised more than $150 million this year, according to research firm Smith + Crown. They are seen as a disruptive new mechanism that could displace traditional venture capitalists from the fund raising process—a view that’s been endorsed by a coterie of brand name VCs themselves—and remake the internet’s business model with decentralized applications and cryptocurrencies. Take an outfit known as Gnosis, a decentralized prediction market, which raised $12 million in under 15 minutes, valuing it at $300 million. Investors had invested based solely on a PDF prepared by its founders (recently a firm called Brave raised $35 million in 30 seconds).

As cryptocurrency prices exploded, ICO fever gripped the over 2,700 blockchain tech enthusiasts who descended on New York in late May for a series of back-to-back industry conferences. Rumors flew about the fortunes being made, as the cryptocurrency ethereum climbed from $127 per unit of ether at the start of the week to $228 by Thursday. The head of an ethereum app development shop was said to hold 6 million ether, meaning he went from being a mere millionaire on Monday to an ether billionaire, holding $1.4 billion worth of the stuff, three days later. “Out of the 2,700 attendees there were at least 500 millionaires, and between zero to five billionaires,” said one longtime observer of the cryptocurrency scene, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Why are tokens a big deal?

The oracles of Silicon Valley say token offerings could reinvent the “freemium” business model of the internet, upending the huge centralized services—think of Facebook or Google—that have emerged. Instead of enticing users with free services, paid for by venture capital, and then eventually turning a profit by showing ads to those users, tokens offer a direct channel for capital to flow between user and the technologist.

The user would pay for a token upfront, providing funds for coders to develop the promised technology. If the technology works as advertised and gains popularity, it should attract more users, thus increasing demand for the token offered at the start. As the token value increases, those early users who bought tokens will benefit from appreciating token prices. Each token offering has different rules around the total supply of tokens and when they are released.

“This is a ‘better-than-free’ business model, where users make money for being early adopters,” write Balaji Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant, a partner at venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and the founder of investing platform AngelList, respectively. Ravikant has launched a platform called CoinList that will help accredited investors put money into token launches.

Token offerings could also correct an imbalance in the way financial rewards are distributed among technologists. Historically, the people who develop foundational technologies, such as protocols, have watched from the sidelines as others—firms that build the applications running atop those protocols—reap the riches. The Google search engine, for instance, is an application that trawls the world wide web, which is made up of a collection of open-source protocols. Yet it’s Google’s founders who are billionaires and not Tim Berners-Lee, who came up with the protocols that made not just Google, but the entire web, possible.

Cryptotokens could change that because protocol creators now have a way to be rewarded for the success of their technology, without having to create a hit application on top of it. “With tokens … the creators of a protocol can ‘monetize’ it directly and will in fact benefit more as others build businesses on top of that protocol,” writes Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures.

This is the argument behind the “fat protocol” investment thesis: the protocols of the past were “thin” and unable to accrue financial value. The application layer resting atop those protocols were the ones to reap the rewards. But cryptotokens could enable the protocols of today to become “fat”—creating more wealth and value than even the enormously successful applications of the past. “These new ‘fat protocols’ may eventually create and capture more value than the last generation of Internet companies,” Srinivasan and Ravikant write.

Venture firms who subscribe to this theory have wasted no time putting their money where their mouths are. This is why firms like Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz have backed funds like Polychain Capital, which invest exclusively in token offerings. While the tokens are being raised for digital services at the moment—things like storage, identity management, or chat room stickers—one can imagine them being used for offline products and services someday in the future, too.

Nor are tokens limited to new projects. The chat platform Kik, with 15 million monthly active users, launched its own token last week at the conference, in the hopes of seeding an “economy built around chat (pdf).” In practice this means Kik users can earn and spend on special stickers, images, or even entry to celebrity chat rooms using the chat app’s Kin token. Unlike traditional loyalty points issued by a merchant, however, the Kin tokens are decentralized because they are issued on top of ethereum (more on that below). The Kin digital currency could exist even if the chat app vanished after issuance—although it probably wouldn’t be used very much and would be worth little.

What are tokens, exactly?

At this stage, an explainer on what tokens are, exactly, is helpful. You can think of a token offering as a hybrid between a Kickstarter campaign and a stock market flotation. On one hand, the launch lets customers reserve a product or service before it’s completed and ready for the market—that’s the Kickstarter part. On the other hand, it also gives those customers a stake in the future of that product or service; if the service gains in popularity, the token should rise in price, enriching the original users, making it a lot like getting in on a hot IPO. However, one of those analogies puts token issuers squarely in the sights of securities regulators, so the distinction is crucial. More on that later when we discuss the legal gray area that tokens occupy.

Like the rest of the cryptocurrency industry, token offerings rely on a basic circular logic: A token has as much value as its users bestow on it, just as bitcoin rises in price so long as demand outstrips supply. But token boosters say their units of digital currency are different from bitcoin in one critical respect: they are programmable, and have been coded to perform various useful functions.

Tokens issued today are built atop ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency on the market. Ethereum is like bitcoin because it is a tradable digital currency, which is called ether. It’s unlike bitcoin because it was designed with its own programming language—a significant departure from, and its creators say, an upgrade over, bitcoin. This language allows people to write “smart contracts” or automatically executed agreements on ethereum. A bond, for instance, might automatically pay out its coupon, without the need for an intermediary or paperwork.

It turns out that ethereum’s programming language is powerful enough that coders can write smart contracts that issue new units of digital currency, bound by their own rules. This is what the tokens offered today are: a series of complicated ethereum smart contracts. The ethereum network itself is being used as a giant token-issuing machine. “Right now ethereum is a token factory,” says Muneeb Ali, co-founder of Blockstack, a startup working on building tools for a decentralized internet.

The circularity of cryptocurrency economics is at play again here: Ethereum itself raised capital from its users by offering ether tokens in 2014, raising $18 million. The ethereum protocol then became a staging ground for experiments in token funding: A vehicle called the Decentralized Autonomous Organization managed to raise $150 million on the promise that it would be a new form of business structure, one that automated away managers using a combination of smart contracts and tokens. It was promptly hacked for millions and flamed out spectacularly.

An ethereum-based token is to ether as a concert ticket is to a US dollar, Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at the Coin Center think tank, suggests. “In the real world we often use all sorts of items rather like we use cash,” he writes. “We use tickets, coupons … and a variety of bearer instruments because they entitle the holder to different things.” These customized tokens can be traded on secondary markets, like exchanges, and have their own value, independent of the price of ether.

Orange groves and securities law

While the potential of token launches remains vague, though powerful, almost everyone I spoke to at the New York conferences agreed on one thing: The US government would crack down on the offerings eventually. No one seems to think the good times for ICOs will last.

The legality of tokens hinges on something called the “Howey test,” named after a Florida company in the 1940s that tried to raise capital by selling contracts against its citrus groves—a practice that the US Supreme Court ruled was similar to a stock offering. At the Consensus conference, the debate about whether or not ICOs were like citrus grove contracts was captured by an exchange between Van Valkenburg, who argued that tokens are like products and not securities, and Preston Bryne, a lawyer and founder of a blockchain company called Monax.

“It’s like buying gold … it’s not like buying a security in a gold mine,” said Van Valkenburg. Responded Bryne, “This is complete nonsense. Everybody knows what this is. It’s, in substance and form, the sale of investments that people are purchasing with expectation of profit at a later date.”

Of course, what really matters is the regulator’s opinion. The US Securities and Exchange Commission hasn’t weighed in on the matter yet. But an SEC official who spoke at the Consensus conference, Valerie Szczepanik, who heads its unit looking at blockchain tech, sounded a note of caution, according to Reuters: “Whether or not you are regulated by the SEC, you still have fiduciary duties to your investors. If you want this industry to flourish, protection of investors should be at the forefront.”

Token boosters await official intervention with a mixture of trepidation and relief. Take Stan Miroshnik, who was a veteran investment banker with Morgan Stanley in London. He now runs a firm called Argon that corrals big investors—like cryptocurrency “whales,” adventurous family offices, and hedge funds—into token launches to ensure they’re sold out.

When a group of coders wants to raise money for their project, Miroshnik hits Slack teams, Telegram groups, and gets press in the cryptocurrency trade media to rustle up business. “Having seen the technology boom in the 90s, this is just another emerging capital market,” he says. “It needs institutional grade providers like ourselves who come out of traditional investment banks. One day Fidelity is going to show up and say, ‘I want $4 billion of that token, help me buy it.’ You need someone who can, frankly, speak their language.”

For Miroshnik, the sooner the SEC steps in, the better. “I welcome it,” he says. “It would be helpful to figure out where the boundaries are.”

WRITTEN BY
Joon Ian Wong

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

How to get started in the cryptocurrency game

How to get  started in the cryptocurrency game

How to get started in the cryptocurrency game

 

As bitcoin reaches for $2,500 again, I thought this would be a good time to let readers know exactly how digital currencies work and how to get more information if you wish to partake in this alternative investment.

There will be only 21 million bitcoins created, and as of last month, roughly 16.8 million or 80 percent of all the bitcoins have been “mined,” or created. So unlike the paper currencies in the world today, no governing body can print more bitcoin to dilute its value.

To get started, the first thing you will need is a digital wallet.

The wallet can be thought of more like a bank account, which can reside on your computer, phone or other smart device. It is always advisable to have your wallet backed up in another location so that a crashed hard drive does not wipe out your bitcoins.

There are many wallets out there to choose from, depending on your security needs and whether you wish to be an active trader or a more passive buy-and-hold investor.

Once you have set up your wallet, then you can go to one of the many digital currency exchanges to purchase a bitcoin.

Many exchanges now allow you to buy bitcoin with a credit card over the Web. Coinbase.com and Coindesk.com are two of the largest, and offer tutorials on digital currencies.

However, if you do not wish to use your bank account, there is one site called LocalBitcoins.com that allows face-to-face purchases.

Bitcoins are mined, or searched for, by using computing processing power in a distributed network to locate and solve mathematical problems to acquire the code for the “coin.”

This distributed network also provides the backbone to use bitcoin to purchase items or identify the bitcoin you hold.

There are a growing number of outlets that are accepting bitcoin for payment, including an Acura dealership in Valley Stream, LI, which offers pricing using bitcoin.

Bitpremier.com has an entire Web site dedicated to high-end Brooklyn real estate listing for $1.975 million or 809 bitcoin and other luxury items including a Peter Max print for $5,000 or 2.05 bitcoin all just a mouse click away.

As the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed, most bitcoin holders are investors, however, not consumers.

One year ago, bitcoin was trading at $525. It is now nearing $2,500, so at this point it does not make sense to purchase items using bitcoin until the price finds its level.

Like any other investment, there’s no guarantee that bitcoin will continue this rapid rise, but there are some aspects of bitcoin that point in that direction.
 

A bullish marker for bitcoin is that a vast majority of the planet does not know of, or is yet involved in, digital currencies, so as this news moves into the mainstream, more investors may jump in.

There are some very outlandish predictions for bitcoin’s value over the next three years due to its scarcity and a growing number of investors becoming aware. But as I said, no investment goes straight up.

As the value rises, a very important aspect to bitcoin is it can be divided into smaller parts. The smallest divisible amount is one hundred millionth of a bitcoin, and is called a “Satoshi,” after Satoshi Nakamoto, the software developer who founded bitcoin.

Remember, this is just a primer, and there are many resources out there to help you to study up on this new form of currency.

By Michael Gray

Once you have purchased you first bitcoin there is a way to continue to grow your number of bitcoin and that is to invest in Trade Coin Club which will help to continue to grow your wealth even if the price goes up or down.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden