Connect with us

Education

Stop and Consider This Before Investing

Published

on

It seems like everywhere we look there is a sensational media account of bitcoin’s stratospheric price and amazing quadruple digit appreciation. About as often a new ever-higher forecast for 2018 appears.

Massive volatility permits fear and greed exists side by side. That usually means we all need to take a deep breath and try to put emotions aside.

Fundamental help is rare these days. Headlines dominate our actions. Here are a couple of examples. The CME and CBOE’s offering of a bitcoin futures contract will help smooth price volitility. Bloomberg News reports that Goldman Sacs is close to opening it trading desk to Bitcoin.

What Are Headlines Really Worth

These are two announcements are good for investors driving Bitcoin prices ever higher. But they don’t answer the most important question: What are digital currencies worth?

It is an educated guess, so here are some of the best educated guesses so far.

First we need a valuation method and one of the most interesting that I have come across is from crypto disciple Thomas Lee. He currently forecasts a $25,000 Bitcoin price before 2022. Here is how he gets there.

Metcalfe’s Law Makes Sense

Using something called Metcalfe’s Law he compares the value of a cryptocurrency to the value of companies like Facebook and Google.

Here is how the formula works. Take to total number of users, multiple that number by itself. Then, take that result and multiply it by the average transaction for each user.

If this all sounds way too geeky, you’re not alone. It helps if you remember the self generating explosion that took place in social networking and apply that to cryptocurrencies; applying Metcalfe’s Law makes sense.

Lee claims this method explains virtually all of the historic price movements of Facebook, Google and Bitcoin. We haven’t double-checked his work, so we are taking this explanation at face value.

Metcalfe’s On Steroids

Ok, so if we apply Metcalfe’s Law to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is it just as appropriate to compare their potential to Facebook and Google? That is an easy question to answer, of course it is.

The market for Facebook and Google services is virtually every person on planet earth. The same holds for Bitcoin. So please allow me burn some battery life on my iPhone calculator. Numbers can be really boring so keep some coffee nearby.

Comparing Facebook and Google

The combined value of Facebook and Google is just a tad over $1.25 trillion dollars. Meanwhile bitcoin is bouncing somewhere around the $300 billion level. That is a big upside for bitcoin, if it reaches some sort of level comparable to two of the biggest tech giants of the past 25 years. Here is where things get really interesting.

BusinessInsiders.com recently posted an article with some jaw dropping stats on the global supply of money. This is the addressable market for cryptocurrencies. Under their Broad Based Definition, there is a staggering $90.4 trillion of money floating around the world.

For bitcoin’s theoretical value to match the Facebook, Google combo, bitcoin would need to capture a mere 1.3% of the global loot. Achieving that level of acceptance means bitcoin’s value could reach three times present levels. Is that realistic; from our illustration it looks very achievable. If all these developments took fives years, that offers a better return than most.

Applying Metcalfe to Ether

 If you accept Metcalfe’s law as a starting point for valuing bitcoin then consider applying it to Ethereum. The mantra of successful investing is applying the discipline of comparative selection. Here is the case for Ether, the crypto that fuels the Ethereum blockchain.

The Ethereum platform is not so much a currency as it is a decentralized blockchain the holds the promise of making corporate big data safer to store. Companies that have tested applications of the Smart Contracts that is part of Ethereum have found savings in the billions. Security and savings are two words that are powerful selling tools to corporate CEO every day of the week.

There are limitless business applications to Ethereum. The open source nature of the platform help explain why nearly $4 billion will be raised in startup capital by the end of 2017 and why over 300 major corporations have joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance since it founding in February.

Ethereum’s potential should be viewed in terms of the $110 trillion+ World Gross Product. This is not an absurd figure considering that every part of the world is becoming digitized and decentralized blockchain technology has a role anywhere where data is stored and manipulated.

Bitcoin versus Ethereum

 It is virtually impossible to come up with a good reason that either of the two largest cryptocurrencies has greater potential over the other. The prospects for both are pretty amazing. But if that is the case then consider this.

At it’s recent $20,000 all time high bitcoin was valued around $300 billion. Ethereum on the other hand at its $687 high was worth only about $70 billion. Investment analysis is the discipline of comparative selection. This makes Ethereum the clear choice when looking at comparative values.

Over long periods, this spread in values could and should narrow. In the short term, as we witness in Decembers severe price correction, both crypto’s lost equally: about a third of their value: something to keep in mind.

The purpose of all this exercise is to draw attention to a way of looking at value. It is not the only method, but it is something that puts emotion in its place. These are our opinions only so do not consider this in the same context as advice from your regular investment advisor.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.  

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4.4 stars on average, based on 82 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




Feedback or Requests?

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Education

Understanding the Lightning Network: Where We Stand

Published

on

The scaling of bitcoin’s network has long been a source of strife among supporters and detractors alike. As the network gained momentum over the last few years, users have seen both the transaction fees and wait times increase significantly.

Other cryptocurrencies have spawned based on this weakness, but bitcoin’s development community is hard at work on the scalability problem. The most promising project at the moment is the Lightning Network.

The Shortcomings of Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s original promise of being able to create a trustless network that enabled immutable financial transactions is still true to this day. With the implementation of SegWit on August 24th, 2017, it was hoped that the issues could be solved by finding a roundabout way to increase the block size. However, the protocol has not been widely adopted, and as such, a new solution is required.

This is where the need for the Lightning Network arose from, and it has been in development since 2015. The simplest way to understand the network is that it helps manage bitcoin transactions without executing them directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.

The Basics of the Technology

The core idea behind the Lightning Network is that you can create small “bidirectional payment channels” that act as a running tab between two accounts. The smart contracts determine how much is owed to who, but none of this is stored directly on the blockchain until a payment is rendered. Basically, it is a running tab system that allows for microtransactions. Allocations are made between parties off-blockchain, with all the confidence of performing commerce on-blockchain.

Multi-signature wallets are the connecting force that acts as a running tab in a safety deposit box for the two parties. Their cryptocurrency sits in the wallet and is debited and credited according to the pre-existing agreement.

The result is that all of the different payment channels connect multi-sig wallets to create a network of two-party ledger entries. This means you don’t need to have a wallet between every duo that wishes to do transfer money. The connections can occur across a network of users with the same effect.

The Benefits of Lightning

The most salient benefit of the Lightning Network are the faster payments at a lower cost. The presence of instant payments will increase the usability of the entire network, and the smart contracts used will still be secure enough to prevent tampering.

As we mentioned before, the Bitcoin network was previously limited by its lack of scalability, so on a meta-level, the lightning network is enabling the network to continue its expansion.

The presence of the Lightning Network will also enable cross blockchain transactions (also known as atomic swaps), even with heterogeneous blockchain consensus rules. The enablement of these instant transactions between blockchains will eliminate the need for third party custodians and change the way the networks interact.

Where We Are Now

In order for Bitcoin to be a viable payment option in the future, something like the lightning network is absolutely essential. Scaling requires the ability for small payments to be made quickly, otherwise it will never be feasible to make everyday purchases like coffee or lunch with bitcoin.

Looking at all the potential benefits listed above, it is clear that the lightning network will have a drastic effect not only on the Bitcoin network, but the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. As such, the protocol is not only being developed for the Bitcoin network, but many other of the top cryptocurrencies (Litecoin, Stellar, zcash, Ethereum, and Ripple). The test results are starting to come in, however, none of the implementations are ready for launch yet. Lightning Labs has released a beta version, but before this technology can change the industry, a lot more work must be done.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
1 vote, average: 1.00 out of 51 vote, average: 1.00 out of 51 vote, average: 1.00 out of 51 vote, average: 1.00 out of 51 vote, average: 1.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 1.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

3.5 stars on average, based on 12 rated posts




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Education

What is Proof of Stake?

Published

on

Newbies to the cryptocurrency space often struggle to understand how the mining mechanism works. The idea of having a cryptographic algorithm that mints new coins to reward those who help maintain the blockchain isn’t exactly a natural one, and a long explanation is usually required.

But once this group understands how the traditional proof of work theorem functions, they often find out that there are algorithms different than the one implemented by Satoshi in the beginning.

Where Proof of Work Falls Short

News stories keep surfacing about the growing energy requirements of networks using proof of work algorithms. The enforced scarcity of coins means that as more miners join the network, the amount of computation required continues to increase. Not only is this not sustainable in the future, but it also prices out smaller mining pools that don’t have the capital required, leaving a market structure similar to the oligopoly of the banking industry.

Additionally, from an economic standpoint, the proof of work theorem is vulnerable to the tragedy of the commons. This is an economic scenario where users are incentivized to act in accordance with what is best for them, rather than what is best for the group. Profitability on mining coins like Bitcoin will begin to fall, and that will drive miners out of the market, hurting the whole network.

Proof of Stake as an Alternative

So if proof of work rewards you for the amount of work you do, proof of stake will reward you for the amount of coins you hold. You will mine coins in proportion to the amount you hold, which is much like the traditional interest rate structure.

Our previously described tragedy of the commons issue is solved, because people now have reason to continue holding the coin and are rewarded for it. Additionally, the centralization risks are minimized, as those with the most mining power or capital are no longer in control.

51% attacks are hardly a worry on the Bitcoin network, because you’d need to gain access to more than 51% of the computing power of the network. However, with PoS there is an even smaller risk because of how expensive it would be to buy 51% of a coin, only to devalue it.

Many Cryptocurrencies Using It

Since the incentives are different, proof of stake algorithms essentially change the entire structure of the market for a cryptocurrency. The fact you can earn coins just by holding cryptocurrency would be very appealing as an alternative to using tons of electricity.

Dash, or digital cash, may be the best known cryptocurrency using PoS, but NEO, PIVX, and many more are currently using it. The incentives change when you use these coins, because of all the additional benefits of just holding them. Often the only way to gain this interest is by joining a masternode or having a significant amount of coins yourself, but it is still something worth looking into.

Finally, we are finally starting to see larger cryptocurrencies like Ethereum considering a move to a hybrid algorithm that uses proof of stake as well, it is clear the consensus method will finally get tested at scale.

The Risks of PoS

As with any solution, there are risks involved with the potential implementation of proof of stake algorithms. The biggest risk inherent in a proof of stake system is that the bad actors aren’t pruned out in the same way as with a proof of work system. They can continue to collect “interest” while they vote for “invalid” blocks, and not be harmed in any way. For the proof of stake system to work, this problem will eventually need to be solved, but at the same time, it shows a lot of potential.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

3.5 stars on average, based on 12 rated posts




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Education

How to Convert Your Cryptocurrency Back to Fiat Currency

Published

on

It is possible that at some point in your cryptocurrency investing journey, you feel the need to sell off some of your crypto. Most of the time, this means you are just converting it back into the USD of cryptocurrency, bitcoin, but you could also be trying to get your money out of cryptocurrency entirely.

If your goal is to convert back into fiat currency, then there are a few paths you can take. As you might remember when you were first putting your money into cryptocurrency, it isn’t nearly as simple as using a regular brokerage account, but it is getting easier.

Simplest Possible Method

This sort of goes without saying, but if you did acquire your cryptocurrency on an exchange that allows for fiat deposits, you are likely going to be able to convert your money back into fiat with that same exchange. Exchanges known to do this are Gemini, Coinbase, Kraken, and Coinmama, although there are many others that do and it is worth checking yourself.

Exchanges are generally motivated to increase their revenue, and as a result, they tend to have fees set for withdrawal. Not only does this make them money when you withdraw your money, but it also makes it more likely you will keep your money in the exchange and continue trade it, which will also make them more money.

The final thing you should realize here are that the exchanges may put actual limits on the amount you can withdraw or the time period you must wait before withdrawing. Both of these serve to the same effect as high withdrawal fees, and help them control their liquidity in a way very similar to a bank.

Using Services and Vendors

It is possible you have already moved your money to a separate hardware or software wallet, in which case, it might not make sense to move it back to an exchange, just to pay fees on the withdrawal. There are other ways of getting your cryptocurrency back into fiat, and some of them work out to be quite a bit cheaper.

In fact, websites like LocalBitcoins.com make it possible you to actually sell your cryptocurrency at a premium because of the extra effort. LocalBitcoins does take a fee, but it still works out quite nicely for the seller in the end.

Another option you may find appealing is using your money to directly pay for goods or services. There are an increasing amount of companies that accept cryptocurrency, and this saves you a lot of hassle, as it is working very similarly to LocalBitcoins.com. You are bartering with each other rather than have a third party act as market maker, and the costs are reduced as a result.

Similar to this is the idea of using your cryptocurrency to purchase a prepaid debit card. Services like Monaco and Tenx are making this easier than ever, and it minimized the number of times your money needs to change hands before it is spent.

What to Do About Your Altcoins

If you are trying to convert your altcoins back into cryptocurrency, you will have one extra step. Since most altcoins transact on a different exchange than those that convert into fiat, you will need to sell your altcoin for a more well-known cryptocurrency, and then convert it to fiat.

Generally, users choose to do this using Ethereum, because of the significantly lower network fee. You would sell your altcoin for Ethereum, transfer that Ethereum to your fiat exchange, and then sell back to your fiat currency.

No matter why you’re choosing to convert your crypto back to fiat, it is even nice to know how you would if you were in a pinch or were worried about potential crashes. The best way to think of it is having an escape plan, just in case.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

3.5 stars on average, based on 12 rated posts




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

11 of 15 Seats Available

Learn more here.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

A part of CCN

Hacked.com is Neutral and Unbiased

Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

Trending