Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, wrote a pamphlet in 1719, “The Anatomy of Exchange Alley or, a system of stock jobbing. Proving that scandalous trade, as it is now carry'd on, to be knavish in its private practice, and treason in its publick.” Does the sentiment sound familiar? I have republished some books from the turn of the 19th century with a preface saying basically, “Do you notice the stock market is basically unchanged even after more than a 100 years of historical turmoil?” The scams and attitudes of the market and its participants are still so recognizable after over 100 years you are left to wonder if the billions spent on compliance on the worlds bourses are not a complete waste of money.
Howling, expounding, hyping, none of this makes a difference to a market of any size. Markets are gigantic stochastic processes and it takes truly historic events to change or make the trends. If someone loses money investing there is no person to blame and that harsh reality needs to be embraced by anyone wishing to make money in the long term. Personifying the market warps the investor’s ability to understand the mechanism of buyers matching sellers and prices being made. “He said this, she said that” might make for tabloid journalism but it doesn’t make trends.
Only a few cryptocurrencies – such as Bitcoin and Ethereum – have achieved mainstream levels of popularity. However, even well-established currencies can fall victim to extreme price volatility. It can be difficult to predict how prices will fluctuate with newly minted coins because there is little historical information to analyze. Backing a new currency could prove extremely lucrative, but equally, there’s a chance you’ll make an expensive mistake if you don’t know what you’re doing.
ICOs, as you may have guessed, are much like IPOs. This is where coins are offered for the first time to the public. ICOs are not offered through exchanges, but rather you buy them directly from the creators of the project. Usually (it’s different for each project) you will send them Bitcoin or Ethereum that they will use to fund their project; in turn you receive a certain amount of their new coin.
Fiat Currency is still a thing; BTC isn’t legal tender; we don’t live in a Libertarian utopia; Governments and Banks aren’t as into Bitcoin as you. If you get caught up in the Bitcoin craze, it can easy to forget that the world’s governments aren’t super stoked on Bitcoin. Libertarians, Tech Geeks, Gangsters, these people are bullish on Bitcoin; world governments and banks, not so much. Last I checked, world governments had a little more power. Betting against them is a risky bet. As we move into the future states have started embracing Bitcoin and crypto, but there is no plan for a state-less state built upon digital currency. Digital currency is at best a supplemental asset class. Be realistic about the potential future here, it is bright, but it is likely not to look like your specific flavor of utopia.
The truth is that bitcoin is the hottest trading market right now, hotter than stock trading, oil trading, gold trading and any other market at this point. The reason people believe this is going to continue to be a hot market is because blockchain technology which is what allows transactions to happen without a central exchange. Here is another strategy on how to draw trend lines with fractals.
On the other side of the coin, decentralized exchanges (DEX) remove the middleman – meaning trading is automated and peer to peer. They include IDEX, Waves, Bitshares, and OasisDEX. Unlike their centralized counterparts, there is more of an emphasis on privacy here, allowing you to take further steps to protect your identity. The “trustless environment” on these platforms is driven by smart contracts. Although you retain 100 percent control of your cash through your own personal wallet, losing your private keys could make your funds irretrievable.