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Is Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Worth the Gamble

Is Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Worth the Gamble

Is Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Worth the Gamble

The Technology Behind Cryptocurrencies

 

The creation of Bitcoin back in 2008 fueled the exponential growth of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, facilitating the creation of a rich diversity of coins and applications that many would deem revolutionary. Those who invested in cheap coins at the outset are reaping huge returns on their capitals, dwarfing the average returns one can acquire in the stock markets. Think about it; if you had bought $1,000 worth of Bitcoin in 2010, you’d be worth a staggering $35 million now. The possibility of earning colossal returns has attracted many to the arena, and this begs a crucial question: Is the hype on cryptocurrencies warranted or it is just a game of Russian Roulette?

The birth of Bitcoin – the first digital cryptocurrency that is decentralized by design – gave rise to a technology with the potential to redefine the very fabric of our status quo. This technology is called the Blockchain, which underpins Bitcoin’s protocol.

“Every informed person needs to know about Bitcoin because it might be one of the world’s most important developments.” — Leon Luow, Nobel Peace Prize nominee

Blockchain is essentially a distributed, digital ledger where every transaction is broadcasted publicly and recorded chronologically. The database is ever growing, expanding in tandem with the amount of transactions made on the network. The decentralized nature of Blockchain technology ensures that transactions are immutable and thus immune to change, offering full transparency for each and every transaction. Add to that the traits of increased security, higher efficiency, error-resistant and reduced transaction costs, it leaves no doubt as to why many are excited about Blockchain’s possible use cases. The utility of Blockchain technology is endless, with an ever-growing list of governments, industries and companies looking to further explore its usage.

Hotbed for Money Making

The birth of a revolutionary technology would always entail those looking to capitalize on its profitability. Blockchain is no different. Investors, traders and speculators can get in on the action by buying cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies manifesting as variant applications of the Blockchain technology. There are over 900 coins available, with each offering a slightly different approach to solving a range of problems. Many early adopters have made a great sum of money, by buying the coins cheaply at its outset and realizing them much later on. Based on the statistics provided by ICOSTATS, the return on capital of 40 cryptocurrencies since their inception stands at a staggering 6703%! In order for you to earn similar rates of returns in the stock market, it will take you approximately 957 years.

These stellar returns inevitably attract many who are looking to earn multiples over their capital. Given the extreme technicality of cryptocurrencies and the underlying Blockchain technology, many do not fully understand the fundamentals of what they’re investing in. The immaturity of the current infrastructure – stemming from the relative infancy of the cryptocurrency industry — results in an inefficient price discovery mechanism, thereby creating an extremely volatile market environment. This poses huge risks for those looking to invest in a comprehensive list of coins.

Simply entering the market with the hopes of massive short-term gains without understanding the coins and their technology is akin to playing a deadly game of Russian Roulette. The radical volatility of the coins’ prices may significantly put your capital at risk. Just to draw a picture, Bitcoin’s price lost 40% of its value in a matter of days in December 2013, and at the start of this year, Bitcoin lost approximately 34% of its value in a week. While this can spell doom for many, there are those that find gratification by profiting from the intense gyration of prices.

The Verdict?

Nine years after Bitcoin kickstarted the technological revolution, the ecosystem centered around Blockchain technology has flourished and is looking ever so promising. New coins solving real world problems are launched at a tremendous pace, with new functionalities and applications pushing the boundaries of this nascent technology. With increasing user adoption and a keen interest by nations and corporations, it is only a matter of time before Blockchain technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives.

A flip side of this emergent technology is the great risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, especially for those with a short-term horizon and an absence of understanding in the coins they have invested in. Truly, the extraordinary volatility unique to cryptocurrencies creates a superficial impression of high stakes gambling in the eyes of many. Armed with the right understanding and knowledge of Blockchain technology, you would begin to appreciate its innate beauty.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Aziz Bin Zainuddin

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member