UPDATE: I do not recommend paying to enter a Cryptocurrency mastermind group – I’ve tried a few and found the ROI to be disappointing. I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively utilising a cryptocurrency trading bot, the renowned Notorious Bot. Having a bot that trades for me, without emotion, using an advanced algorithm, allows me to grow my portfolio in the background without it cutting into my time or stressing me out. You can familiarise yourself with the basics of cryptocurrency trading bots here. 
For people who don't pay attention to development trends - one observation of high significance is Go popping up in the popularity list associated with Ethereum. Why is Go in particular an important sign? It's almost as fast and less clumsy compared to C++ and C Sharp. At the same time, it's relatively new. People who know Go are experienced and choosing to learn it because it is better. In my opinion, it will be the default backend language for most Silicon Valley tech companies in the next 5 years. Those same people are choosing to play around with Ethereum using Go.
On top of that, the cryptocurrency market travels at lightspeed compared to other markets. New coins enter the market on a daily basis (in 2016, there were about 550 different coins, today there are about 1,500), and each one has news every day. I’m not doubting your ability to consume and analyze news, but that level of information bombardment will always be more effectively consumed as a group. In these communities, you’ll see members link news and relevant articles about coins you’ve invested in and coins you’ve never heard of. The community will definitely expand your knowledge much faster than doing it all yourself.
We will see Lightning Network dramatically increase adoption in 2018. That being said, it’s really hard to predict development cycles and we could see Lightning Network growing slowly this year and only hit its stride in 2019/2020. I predict currency coins that do not adopt Lightning Network will lose market share to Bitcoin. BCH, Dash, Pivx appear particularly vulnerable.
TIP: A good first foray into cryptocurrency investing is the obvious, buying a major cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. After that, you’ll probably want to trade USD for crypto on an exchange like GDAX. Once you have done that, you could try trading BTC and ETH for other cryptocurrencies. Trading “crypto pairs” can be rewarding, but it is more complex and often more risky than just buying a single cryptocurrency as an investment.
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.
Bitcoin faced extreme headwinds in March when Alphabet's Google (ticker: GOOG, GOOGL) joined Facebook (FB) in banning ads for cryptocurrencies, which lowered liquidity in the market. In an abrupt reversal, Facebook said on June 26 that it would allow some ads for cryptocurrencies, but continues its ban against initial coin offerings and binary options.
A small number of cryptocurrency pairs. It is true. You will not find any altcoins from above the top 20. However, Bitstamp offers in its turn the possibility to work with hybrid pairs including USD and other fiats. The exchange can be used as your pass into the world of altcoins as you may buy BTC or ETH here and then transfer those cryptos to other exchanges with a wider range of pairs, which do not support fiat money.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.
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