Bitcoin: The Return of The King

Most of you have seen this little, tiny, minuscule, almost invisible jump in volume that happen on the 12th April 2018. So far, it has been the singular highest jump in volume ever seen as market cap went from ~ $270 Billion to ~ $300 Billion. It means around $30 Billion were added to the market in less than 3 hours.

Bitcoin’s dominance remains over 40% and I suspect it will continue to rise as most money that just entered the market should be institutional. There are some strong contenders, like Ripple, due to the nature of the backers (mainly banks and financial institutions).

Nevertheless, there are two ways of looking at this, in my own personal opinion:

  • Either the money that just entered the market stays with the King, or
  • It’s distributed among preferential projects (top-10 I would bet on).

Because there is currently a huge time gap between technological developments and price, meaning price moves due to pure speculation rather than technological advancements or issues that arise. If you think differently look at the examples of IOTA or Verge which have been hacked, however prices of both coins kept rising afterwards. Heck, think about bitcoin: when did the price hit its maximum valuation? At the same time fees were the highest ever.

Price is dictated by volume and what happened was a grand spike in smart-money coming into the market. Maybe some of the money that left at the end of January is coming back.

 

Should we expect the price to continue rising?

Some technical analysts believe price will continue to rise. Then again, the opposite might happen depending on many factors:

  1. Geopolitical tensions between Russia and the U.S. will most definitely shake-up traditional markets. This will no doubt influence the amount of money available to invest in the cryptocurrency market. I’m just not sure how this will affect all markets as at the end, there might be a surprising shift; people could begin to trust more in bitcoin due to its security, resilience and the fact it’s independent from governments and economies.
  2. Investors going short on bitcoin got destroyed and likely lost a lot of money. What can counter this is the CME Bitcoin contracts futures price, as I expect the futures’ volume to rise exponentially. Why? That’s easy: because it’s profitable for those investing in both markets.

  1. News sources. When many positive news start to arrive we usually see a growing euphoria and hype (check google trends) from dumb-money entering the market leading to massive price runs. I see no reason for this to be different this time. If history taught us something is that it “repeats” itself, going around and around in circles.
  2. Small technological hops (pun intended) will play a massive role in the long-term future, as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being given time to prepare for adoption worldwide. Hopefully exchanges won’t need to block new hordes of users signing up, bitcoin’s lightning network will be fully operational and segwit adopted by most mining agents and trading platforms.

We cannot forget price is crucial to bring new people into the market, but to keep those users technology must answer today’s problems. People do not care if money is centralized, decentralized, distributed, digital, or physical; People care about:

  • How can I get that money?
  • How much do I pay to store and transfer that money?

For truly massive adoption either the bitcoin team thinks of a way to easily distribute it among where is needed, this is, in countries where banking is limited for example, or a benign group of people develops a way to distribute the currency directly to people in exchange for something, other than money (time, attention, services, etc). I understand those who think until this currency is used by business worldwide it’s a joke. I get it, I truly do, however if the purpose of this cryptocurrency is to bank the un-banked and to be successful in connecting communities worldwide by allowing anyone to transfer and store value over the internet, then maybe the right way to do this would be to simply find ways to trade bitcoin for time and services in those places.

–note: i did not mention the question “how long does that money take to get to another account?”as the current banking system needs 3-5 business days for international transfers to take place. When the bitcoin network is clogged, i have personally waited around 24h for a bitcoin transfer to get approved. It still beats the banking system for personal transactions, which is the final aim of this cryptocurrency (in my opinion)–

Easier said than done

The reality, of course, is that acceptance dictates the rules of the game; businesses  have to start pushing cryptocurrencies by accepting them. At the end of the day for cryptocurrency to be used, all intervening agents must participate.

We must not forget there will always be two sides to the same coin:

  • Should we focus solely on price and volume, to master our gains? Or
  • Should we focus in improving technology scalability and marketing, to achieve worldwide adoption?

Doing one alone would be unwise as balancing both seems to be the right way for the market to grow. My only hope is that the entire community keeps improving the consensus in bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), never forgetting its true purpose

UK Watchdog to Publish its Review on Cryptocurrencies Later this Year

Britain’s financial regulator and markets watchdog outline its policy thinking on cryptocurrencies with a review to be published later this year.

In revealing its business plan for the coming financial year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) underlined cryptocurrencies as ‘an area of increasing interest for markets and regulators globally’. While admitting that cryptocurrencies do not directly fall under its regulatory scope, the FCA stressed that certain models of their usage bring them under its purview in a ‘complex’ landscape.

Pointedly, the FCA confirmed it would reveal its own take on cryptocurrencies, policy-wise, later this year. The regulator said:

We will work with the Bank of England and the Treasury as part of a taskforce to develop thinking and publish a Discussion Paper later this year outlining our policy thinking on cryptocurrencies.

The FCA is notably a member of the ‘Cryptoassets Task Force’ established by the British government in March 2018, consisting of the regulator, Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Bank of England (the central bank). The working group will explore and study the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said last month, helping the UK’s fintech sector to ‘grow and flourish’ in a regulatory climate that has broadly been supportive of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies over the years.

On Friday, the FCA mandated firms offering cryptocurrency derivatives to comply with all applicable rules to be authorized, stating it would be a ‘criminal offence’ otherwise.

Earlier in February, the UK’s Treasury Select Committee, an influential group of cross-party members of parliament (MPs), launched an inquiry into cryptocurrencies in an effort to better understand them.

While the Treasury Committee confirmed it would look at risks and threats posed by cryptocurrencies to ‘consumers, businesses and governments’, committee chair Nicky Morgan stressed the group would “also examine the potential the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies and the technology underpinning them, how they can create innovative opportunities, and to what extent they could disrupt the economy and replace traditional means of payment.”

Committee member Alison McGovern added that the inquiry would help UK lawmakers and politicians to better educate themselves on cryptocurrencies before enforcing policies. “It is time that Whitehall and Westminster understood cryptocurrency better and thought more clearly about the policy environment for blockchain technology,” she stated.

Bitcoin Raise 7% to $8,460 Overnight as Cryptocurrency Market Rebounds

After dipping below $7,300 on most major cryptocurrency exchanges, the price of bitcoin has raised 7 percent overnight, increasing from $7,240 to $8,467, triggered by a variety of factors.

G20

Many analysts have attributed the recent increase in the price of bitcoin to the result of the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit, during which the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the global watchdog that oversees banks and financial networks as a representative of 20 major economies, stated that existing regulations on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will be held and no additional restriction or regulation shall be issued.

FSB’s official report referencing FSB Chair and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney’s letter read:

“The FSB’s initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time. The market continues to evolve rapidly, however, and this initial assessment could change if crypto-assets were to become significantly more widely used or interconnected with the core of the regulated financial system.”

Previously, up until this week, several analysts noted that the upcoming G20 meetup has contributed to the decline in the value of cryptocurrencies, as investors anticipated the G20 financial watchdog FSB to crackdown on cryptocurrencies and issue stricter regulations. Investors expected major economies to come together to regulate the global cryptocurrency market with harsher policies.

However, governments have decided to accommodate existing regulations on the global cryptocurrency market, which are already strict in regions like the US and Japan, and follow the regulatory roadmap of leading cryptocurrency markets to facilitate the rapidly growing demand for the emerging asset class.

It is highly unlikely that the G20 meetup was the sole factor behind the recent price surge of bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency market. But, the cryptocurrency market was in need of an optimistic and positive development to secure an upward trend again, after being in a slump for over a week.

Consequently, the valuation of the cryptocurrency market recovered beyond $310 billion, subsequent to falling below $280 billion, and is eyeing to initiate a short-term rally.

In previous reports, CCN emphasized that the January correction would require several months to recover because many investors were hurt by the decline in the price of cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the cryptocurrency market was considered the path for short-term profits. In early 2018, investors have stated to view the market differently, and speculators or weak hands have left the market.

2018 saw significantly developments in bitcoin, Ethereum, and other major cryptocurrencies along with emerging blockchain technologies. Yet, the price has not represented the magnitude of developments that have happened in the space, most likely because speculators and weak hands were not interested in the technology, but rather in short-term profits.

Short-Term

In the short-term, given the continuous increase in the dominance index of bitcoin, it is highly likely that bitcoin will maintain its dominance over the market in a volatile period like this. Bitcoin’s dominance index is already at 44 percent, and has been increasing since February, as more investors have started to eye bitcoin as a safe investment over other cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency news: Will Litecoin ever overtake Bitcoin?

LITECOIN is currently ranked as the fifth cryptocurrency on the market, it has grown more than 3855.16 percent over the past year and has shot from $4.26 this time last year to a price of $168.49. So why has it experienced this remarkable growth and could it overtake the number one cryptocurrency bitcoin?

Litecoin was founded in 2011, two years after bitcoin was born.

The token is often referred to as the ‘silver to bitcoin’s gold’, as it was launched using the same code as bitcoin and its aim was to improve on the transaction speed of bitcoin.

Instead of using bitcoin’s SHA256 network, Litecoin used scrypt functions which helped to improve transaction speeds.

Bitcoin creates a block of information with data encrypted in 10 minutes, whereas Litecoin does it in two and half minutes per block.

As a cryptocurrency, it is favoured by traders as it is considered to be not as congested as bitcoin and is a lot cheaper as a result.

And experts claim Litecoin has asserted itself as a cryptocurrency which deserves to be in the top five, but does it have the potential to ever overtake bitcoin?

Will Litecoin ever overtake Bitcoin?

Litecoin has experienced remarkable growth this year, increasing in price by 3855.16 percent, compared to bitcoin’s 593.39 percent.

Bitcoin has been plagued by extended transaction speeds as users flood the network – many have said it has become a victim of its own success and has become too congested.

Despite this, experts do not predict Litecoin overtaking bitcoin any time soon.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency on the market so has first advantage and is recognised as a well-know cryptocurrency name, Nicholas Cawley, analyst at Daily FX explained to Express.co.uk.

The number one cryptocurrency managed to garner a critical mass and drew in investors and traders, and Mr Crawley said he does not envisage Litecoin ever outshining bitcoin.

However the analyst also predicts Litecoin will overtake another cryptocurrency this year, which is currently fourth on CoinMarketCap.com.

“I think Litecoin will overtake Bitcoin cash but in market capitalisation terms will struggle to overtake Bitcoin,” Mr Cawley said.

Bitcoin Cash has just under 17 million tokens in circulation against a maximum of 21 million, while Litecoin has 55.5 million of a maximum 84 million in supply, so if prices remain the same litecoin’s market cap will grow faster than Bitcoin Cash.

“I also like the Litepal payment system and when we eventually see the launch of the Litepay debit card, then I can see Litecoin overtaking Bitcoin Cash.”

Kristjan Dekleva, head of product development at Blocktrade was in agreement and did not forsee Litecoin taking the number one spot on the cryptocurrency market.

Mr Tekleva said: “I don’t believe that Litecoin will overtake bitcoin. Litecoin does its intended job well for certain intents and purposes and has somewhat wide market penetration.

“But one it lacks the name recognition that Bitcoin has, which helps it stay where it is despite its flaws, and two there are numerous other altcoins that do Litecoin’s intended job, quick and cheap transactions, much better.

“Ultimately, it functions ok, but not well enough to break out of mid-market in the long run.”

While Andrei Barysevich, Director of Advanced Collection at Record Future, believes Litecoin has the capability to overtake bitcoin at some point, but not in the current climate.

“Bitcoin is not going anyway, everybody knows about bitcoin, in my view, it is going to remain as a gold standard. People will continue to use and continue to store money in bitcoin,” he said.

“However in day to day operations, I think Litecoin is to become more dominant currency, as soon as we start to see established e-commerce websites accepting Litecoin, that’s the time when i think Litecoin is going to dominate bitcoin cash.”

Mr Barysevich added to say he believes Litecoin will continue to experience growth in 2018 and will add on the success it is already experienced.

 

Traditional Liechtenstein Bank Launches Cryptocurrency Investment Platform

Citizens of Liechtenstein, a country that has become rather famous for its cryptocurrency acceptance, will soon be able to purchase digital currencies directly from a bank. Given the royal family’s demonstrated interest in the asset class and the general willingness to embrace cryptocurrency development, the move is perhaps not too surprising.

According to a press release issued by Bank Frick on February 28, 2018, it will be offering a wide variety of cryptocurrencies on its trading platform effective immediately. The initial set of digital currencies available for purchase will include BitcoinEthereumLitecoin, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash.

The target audience of the bank likely comprises of high net worth individuals and institutional investors, or rather, the type of individuals that already have a sizeable amount of funds in various banking instruments.

For any cryptocurrency exchange or broker, especially those, security is an important consideration. As is traditional for any cryptocurrency exchange, Bank Frick has stated that it will store all of its customers’ cryptocurrency assets in cold wallets, or rather, on computers air-gapped from the internet for the most part. Other security features, however, were not detailed in the press release.

The financial institution in question is already a fully-regulated bank that complies with all know-your-customer related laws at the country and EU level. Thus, it is safe to conclude that the same identification requirements will be carried over for any investor looking to purchase any amount of cryptocurrency from Bank Frick.

The bank also confirms regulatory compliance in its statement,

“At Bank Frick, cryptocurrency investments are subject to the same strict statutory measures as traditional financial transactions,” and “Clients can only invest in cryptocurrencies once they have been fully identified and verified. The verification and identification process also involves checking the origin of the money used to invest in them.”

Even though Bank Frick is a financial institution that primarily caters to Liechtenstein citizens, it has announced that the platform will be available to any European entity interested in it. The Chief Client Officer, Huber Büchel, said,

“Our services are in demand from companies across the whole of Europe. This is because they know that we can offer them reliable support in implementing their business models with cryptocurrencies and blockchains in line with the existing regulatory framework.”

Furthermore, the bank has announced that it will be accepting foreign currencies in exchange for cryptocurrency assets. At this time, investors can transact in US Dollars, Euros or Swiss Francs.

Bank Frick joins a rather exclusive list of banks willing to not only adopt, but also facilitate the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. With most financial institutions around the world heading in the exact opposite direction, it is clear that Liechtenstein’s banks have other intentions.

Vladivostok as Russia’s New ”Crypto Hub”

Bankers and government officials have discussed the possible creation of a crypto valley on Russia’s Pacific coast. Representatives of the Central Bank and the executive power in Moscow have taken part in the consultations initiated by the Fund for Development of the Far East. The city of Vladivostok, where local authorities want to allow cryptocurrency trade, may become a crypto hub.  

Test Site for Crypto Regulations

The Fund for Development of the Far East has proposed the creation of a crypto valley, centered on the Russian city of Vladivostok, its general director Alexei Chekunov told RNS. The FDFE, along with the digital platform “Voshod” [sunrise], are currently discussing the idea with representatives of the Central Bank of Russia and government officials. The necessary regulatory framework and the risks associated with the project are under examination, as well.

“From around $2 billion dollars raised though crypto assets offerings, Russian projects account for about 5%, or approximately $100 million. It is obvious that the potential of our country in this new and perspective field has not been fully realized”, Chekunov said. He noted that the FDFE had been tasked by President Putin to explore the possibility of setting up a financial center in Vladivostok. “We have proposed to combine these two initiatives”, he added.

Chekunov called the experiment a “Russian Crypto Valley” and described it as a “test site for technical and regulatory approaches”. This week a local representative of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain told lawmakers in the Duma that Crimea’s jurisdiction can also be used to test the crypto “phenomenon”. A couple of days ago the head of the Russian republic of Udmurtia urged deputies to quickly adopt regulations and offered its territory for pilot projects. Other regions want to set up large mining facilities.

FDFE has also announced intentions to turn Vladivostok into Russia’s first crypto hub, taking advantage of the special economic ecosphere in its Free Port. The Deputy Finance Minister of Russia recently said that authorities in the administrative center of Primorsky Krai were interested in hosting cryptocurrency trade. The nearby Russky Island has been mentioned as a zone of free crypto interactions.

“At the moment we are focused on finalizing the regulatory rules and analyzing the possible risks. The Voshod platform is ready to start operations with crypto assets. We are working with all interested parties to begin trading after the adoption of the legal framework in mid-2018”, FDFE director Alexei Chekunov said. The Fund for Development of the Far East was created by Vnesheconombank, the government owned Russian development bank.

Do you think Moscow authorities will create a crypto valley in the Far East to experiment with crypto technologies and regulations? Tell us in the comments section below.

Belarus Wants to Run a Global Crypto Hub

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, who’s labored for years under the title of Europe’s last dictator, is making a bid for a shiny new image as the continent’s freewheeling cryptocurrency king.

 Lukashenko, who’s ruled the former communist republic that’s wedged between Poland and Russia since 1994, signed a decree on Friday offering tax breaks and legal incentives for dealing in digital currencies in an effort to turn Belarus into an international tech haven.
 “Belarus will become the first government in the world that opens wide opportunities for the use of blockchain technology,” Lukashenko said in a statement in his website. “We have every chance of becoming a regional center in this area.”
 The decree legalizes business based on blockchain — the technology underlying cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin — and all digital “tokens,” as Belarus seeks to become a global crypto coin hub for raising funds via so-called initial coin offerings, or ICOs. Revenue and profit from all operations using digital tokens will be exempt from taxes until 2023, while there’ll be measures to simplify the flow of venture capital between Belarus and other countries, according to a summary of the decree published by Viktor Prokopenya, one of the businessmen lobbying for the legislation

Belarus is seeking to capitalize on a thriving tech industry that’s grown up there in recent years as young programmers have created products that appeal far beyond the borders of the former Soviet republic. The phone messaging application Viber was developed in Belarus as were the NYSE-listed offshore programming company EPAM Systems Inc. and the popular online gaming service World of Tanks, which made founder Victor Kislyi the country’s first billionaire.

Sandbox Haven

Even as Alphabet Inc., owner of Google, and Facebook Inc. snapped up Belarus-made startups, the country’s restrictive business environment made it all but impossible for venture capital to flow freely into promising ideas. Lukashenko’s new law may change that.

Belarus plans to cloak its repressive reputation with a “sandbox” — the creation of a legal tech enclave where companies working with digital currencies will pay no taxes and rely on some elements of English law in commercial matters, a radical innovation for a country whose security service is still called the KGB.

The sandbox would be set up within the so-called Hi-Tech Park, which the authorities opened in 2005 near the capital, Minsk, to try to spur innovation. Today, most of the park’s  residents are offshore software companies taking advantage of cheap and skilled local programmers as well as reduced taxes to serve foreign clients.

’Tech Nation’

Lukashenko said this month that his goal in signing the decree is to make Belarus a “tech nation.” The country’s major technology companies lobbied for the legal changes, which also gained support among government officials and in the central bank.

The novelty of the proposed law is that Belarus would provide legal clarity for dealing in digital currencies which is yet unseen in other countries, said Denis Aleinikov, whose law firm Aleinikov and Partners helped to draft the decree. It also establishes a direct legal link between issuers of tokens and their obligations toward the holders.

To protect against fraudsters, the regulation would set capital requirements for operators of cryptocurrency exchanges. It would also introduce “smart contracts” in Belarus — self-executable computer-coded applications that serve as an alternative to traditional paper agreements.

“The decree has been written exactly the way our tech community wanted it,” Vsevolod Yanchevsky, head of Hi-Tech Park, said in an interview in Minsk. “Belarus will be one of the best jurisdictions in the world for cryptocurrencies and blockchain.”

Cryptocurrency Regulation in 2018

If 2017 was the year of the ICO, it seems as if 2018 is destined to become the year of regulatory reckoning. Things have already begun to heat up as countries around the world grapple with cryptocurrencies and try to determine how they are going to treat them. Some are welcoming, others are cautious. And some countries are downright antagonistic. Here is a brief overview of how 15 countries/unions from various regions are treating cryptocurrency regulations.

United States

The United States, at the time of this writing, has no coherent direction on its cryptocurrency regulation other than that there will be some soon. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned investors of cryptocurrency investing risks, halted several ICOs and hintedat the need for greater cryptocurrency regulation.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) became the first U.S. regulator to allowfor cryptocurrency derivatives to trade publicly, then organized meetings to talk about possibly changing the rules for cryptocurrency derivatives clearing (one of the meetings was postponed due to the federal government shutdown).

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has indicated a preference for minted fiat currency over cryptocurrency. Speaking on January 12, 2018, at the Economic Club in Washington, D.C., Secretary Mnuchin warned those in attendance that he and other regulators were looking into the possibility that cryptocurrency could be used in money-laundering activities. The secretary then announced to the group that the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) had formed a working group to explore the cryptocurrency marketplace and that he hoped to work with the G20 to prevent bitcoin from becoming a digital equivalent of a “Swiss bank account.”

Defending his stance to World Economic Forum attendees on January 25, 2018, Mnuchin explained that his number one focus on cryptocurrency was “to make sure that they’re not used for illicit activities.”

On January 26, 2018, U.S. Treasury Deputy Director Sigal Mandelker echoed the secretary’s sentiments after a visit to China, South Korea and Japan. At a press conference in Tokyo, she applauded the three Asian countries for keeping tabs on cryptocurrency trading, stating, “We feel very strongly that we need to have this kind of regulation all over the world.”

It should be noted that non-U.S. investors may have concerns over clearing licensing hurdles put up individually by the states. If the U.S. treats cryptocurrencies as currency, it seems more likely that the actions by the federal government and federal regulatory agencies would preempt states’ licensing. However, if treated as “securities” (the SEC has not completely cleared the issue up), cryptocurrencies, especially ICOs, would have to clear “blue sky laws” on a state-by-state basis.

Canada

The Financial Consumer Agency in Canada does not consider cryptocurrencies to be “legal tender,” excluding all but Canadian bank notes and coins from that definition. The True North, however, is not all harsh on its cryptocurrency regulatory stances. In fact, it appears to be the most transparent country in this list when it comes to understanding laws surrounding the digital currency industry (aside from Switzerland, which wants to be “THE crypto-nation”).

After weeks of hearings, which included testimony from experts like Andreas Antonopoulos, the Canadian Parliament approved Bill C-31 on June 19, 2014, the world’s first national law on digital currencies. The Canadian government has been communicative in its regulatory stances on cryptocurrency ever since: the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) sent out a regulatory notice on August 24, 2017, confirming “the potential applicability of Canadian securities laws to cryptocurrencies and related trading and marketplace operations and to provide market participants with guidance on analyzing these requirements.” If you want a clear and concise interpretation of this notice, check out this article.

More recently, the head of the Central Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, was quoted as saying on January 25, 2018, that  “I object to the term cryptocurrencies because they are crypto but they aren’t currencies … they aren’t assets for the most part … I suppose they are securities technically … There is no intrinsic value for something like bitcoin so it’s not really an asset one can analyze. It’s just essentially speculative or gambling.” It should be noted that as part of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Canada joined an association-wide “cautionary directive” on the risks of cryptocurrencies, with all representatives from every province in the country believing there is a “high risk of fraud.”

Venezuela

Venezuela is not a major world economy or a large portion of the cryptocurrency investing community. The country’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies, however,  is noteworthy because the government, under the restrictive regime of Nicolás Maduro, is seeking to skirt economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by announcing its own oil-backed “petro” cryptocurrency.

Under Maduro, the country has been divided for years by protests and clashes between opposition parties and the government. Venezuela started off 2017 seemingly seeking to crack down on cryptocurrencies as the Venezuelan Bolivar remained relatively unusable. And even as recently as December 13, 2017, the Maduro government sought to regulate cryptocurrency mining as the newly minted superintendent of cryptocurrencies, Carlos Vargas, announced the compilation of a detailed registry of cryptocurrency miners in the country.

In a country where the fiat currency is worth little and sanctions from the U.S. continue to mount, a state-sanctioned cryptocurrency may cause Venezuela — a typically restrictive regime — to become one of the most progressive countries on cryptocurrency regulations (even if only to further sales of petro).

Japan

Japan isn’t particularly liberal toward digital currency regulation; it’s merely winning the race to attract the best from Asia’s cryptocurrency industry, as China and South Korea have been creating hostile/uncertain environments. Whether or not Japan will allow for a cryptocurrency-themed J-pop band, the Japanese government has certainly been more welcoming of cryptocurrencies than its Asian neighbors.

Recent events may have tempered Japanese enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, however. The hack of a Japanese exchange on January 26, 2018, resulting in the loss of $530 million worth of NEM coins, has prompted backlash from the community and closer oversight from the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

China

China has been taking ever-increasing actions to clamp down on all things cryptocurrency. Starting off by banning ICOs, China ordered a bank account freeze associated with exchanges, kicked out bitcoin miners, and instituted a nationwide ban on internet and mobile access to all things related to cryptocurrency trading. The People’s Republic of China appears to be the most stringent cryptocurrency regulator of the major economies regarding cryptocurrencies. This is an odd about-face given that, in 2017, Chinese bitcoin miners made up over 50 percent of the worldwide mining population and that cryptocurrency adoption in China increased at a rate higher than any other country.

Though strict, the regulatory actions of the People’s Republic of China, under the stewardship of Xi Jinping, makes contextual sense as the country has recently been focused on stemming capital outflows and stomping out corruption.

South Korea

Where to begin with South Korean regulation? The country boasted a significant cryptocurrency presence in the past and was initially thought of as the country of refuge from the crackdowns occurring in China late last year. However, discord surfaced in January 2018 amongst top Korean officials on future regulatory actions for the digital currency industry, with declarations, clarifications, misinformation and ultimately some limited implementation. The uncertainty and potential negative regulatory impacts have now been cited as the cause for marketwide sell-offs on Red Tuesday as well as on January 30, 2018, when Korean officials began enforcing a January 23, 2018, rule disallowing anonymous accounts from trading cryptocurrencies.

To add external regulatory drama to the political dissonance demonstrated by a government less than a year out from ousting their former president, regulatory prospects for South Koreans have also been hindered by New York State’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), as they reportedly requested customer information on accounts associated with cryptocurrency trading among six commercial Korean banks with branches in New York on January 26, 2018.

Singapore

Until recently, the finance and banking center of Asia has been relatively lax compared to many of its Asian counterparts on cryptocurrency regulation. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), like many financial regulators, warned of risks of speculating in the cryptocurrency markets during the December 2017 peak in bitcoin prices. And Singapore’s International Commercial Court heard a trial that same month over a bitcoin trading dispute, seeming to legitimize the economic stakes in dispute.

On January 9, 2018, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that “the country’s laws do not make any distinction between transactions conducted using fiat currency, cryptocurrency or other novel ways of transmitting value.”

MAS fintech chief Sopnendu Mohanty on January 24, 2018 did state that he does not foresee a Lehman Brothers-like financial meltdown with Bitcoin at this point in time, adding that there is “a great indication that regulators are getting serious about this whole cryptocurrency market.”

Mohanty also stated regulators would need to apply consumer protections for digital currencies like bitcoin for it to continue to grow. While there has been no statement yet from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the $530 million hack that attacked Japanese exchange Coincheck on January 26, 2018, targeted Singaporean-based NEM coins.

India

India, once viewed as a burgeoning, friendly environment for cryptocurrencies, has been clamping down on cryptocurrencies in 2018. India’s tough stance stems from similar concerns that other, more stringent regulatory regimes have cited: money laundering, illegal activity proliferation, sponsorship of terrorism, tax evasion, etc. While the cash-reliant country is facing stern regulations, participants of the local cryptocurrency industry do not believe India can “ban” cryptocurrencies through regulations in the same way China has.

Australia

In the wake of the August 2017 financial scandal surrounding the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the Australian government sought to follow in Japan’s footsteps by strengthening its anti-money laundering laws and regulating digital currencies. This differed slightly from the view in 2015 that the Aussie government would seek a “hands-off” approach to cryptocurrencies. Still, the lack of more concise regulation has purportedly had a negative impact on the country as the end of 2017 saw Australian cryptocurrency brokers halt Australian dollar deposits. December 2017 also saw an issuance from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which hinted at the way potential future regulation could go. The ATO guidance stated:

Transacting with bitcoin is akin to a barter arrangement, with similar tax consequences. Our view is that bitcoin is neither money nor a foreign currency, and the supply of bitcoin is not a financial supply for goods and services tax (GST) purposes. Bitcoin is, however, an asset for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes.

Australia, however, has supporters of digital currencies in government, as August 2017 sawsenators from both major parties (Labor and Coalition) stepping forward to call on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to accept cryptocurrencies as an official form of currency. Therefore, the future of further cryptocurrency regulation remains uncertain but potentially industry-friendly in the land down under.

United Kingdom/European Union

While Brexit is scheduled to force the U.K. and the European Union to part ways in March 2019, the United Kingdom and the EU remain united in their plans to regulate cryptocurrencies. On December 4, 2017, The Guardian and The Telegraph reported that the U.K. Treasury and the EU both had made plans aimed at ending anonymity for cryptocurrency traders, citing anti-money laundering and tax evasion crackdowns.

The European Union plan would require cryptocurrency platforms to conduct proper due diligence on customers and report any suspicious transactions. Likewise, the Treasury of the United Kingdom stated that they are “working to address concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.” The Treasury did, however, add that “there is little current evidence of [cryptocurrencies] being used to launder money, though this risk is expected to grow.”

While one European Union commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, stated in an interview with Bloomberg on December 18, 2017, that the EU was not looking to regulate bitcoin, the commissioner’s statements seemed out of sync with prior and consequential messaging. Two days later, Moscovici’s message was seemingly countermanded by Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president of the European Commission (the Executive for the European Union), when he toldreporters in Brussels that:

There are clear risks for investors and consumers associated to price volatility, including the risk of complete loss of investment, operational and security failures, market manipulation and liability gaps.

Calls for greater cryptocurrency regulations echoed across Europe in January 2018. On January 15, 2018, French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire announced the creation of a working group with the purpose of regulating cryptocurrencies. Similarly, Joachim Wuermeling, a board member of the German Bundesbank, called for effective regulation of virtual currencies on a global scale.

On January 22, 2018, Dombrovskis furthered his regulatory agenda for cryptocurrencies by writing three of the EU’s watch dogs warning them of a bubble in bitcoin. On January 25, 2018, embattled U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May joined the fray, echoing the sentiments of International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde and U.S. President Donald Trump. When speaking to Bloomberg during the World Economic Forum at Davos, the prime minister stated, “We should be looking at these very seriously — precisely because of the way they can be used, particularly by criminals.”

While the U.K. and EU have not announced finalized regulations of cryptocurrencies, an expected announcement is likely due in the spring.

Switzerland

Switzerland, known for its progressive attitudes toward individual rights in banking, has kept a similar attitude toward cryptocurrency regulation. The Western European country is conspicuously absent from the European Union and appears to have an open attitude toward the cryptocurrency industry.

Johann Schneider-Ammann, economics minister, told reporters on January 18, 2018, that he wants Switzerland to be “the crypto-nation.” According to an article by the Financial Times, Jörg Gasser, state secretary at the Swiss finance ministry, stated, “We want it [the ICO market] to prosper but without compromising standards or the integrity of our financial markets.”

To that end, on January 18, 2018, the Swiss set up an ICO working group with an aim to “increase legal certainty, maintain the integrity of the financial center and ensure technology-neutral regulation.” The working group will report to the Swiss Federal Council by the end of 2018.

Russia

Russia, like South Korea, can’t seem to decide how it wants to handle cryptocurrency regulations. In September 2017, Russian Federation Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina saidthe central bank was against regulating cryptocurrencies as currency (as a payment for goods and services) and against equating them with a foreign currency. This statement seemed toindicate a progressive hands-off approach was in store for the cryptocurrency industry in Russia.

However, on September 8, 2017, the deputy finance minister for the Russian Federation, Alexei Moiseev, told reporters at a Moscow financial forum that settlements of payments in cryptocurrencies “are not legal now.” The deputy minister continued, stating, “Obviously, now there is a legal vacuum, and accordingly it’s hard for me to say if these actions are legal or not.”

Until these statements, the position proposed by the Russian federation was to allow only “qualified investors” to deal with cryptocurrencies. Russian President Vladimir Putin sided with the position of the Finance Ministry on October 11, 2017, when the president said that the use of cryptocurrencies carries serious risks, being an opportunity for laundering criminal capitals, evading taxes, financing terrorism and spreading fraudulent schemes that would victimize Russian citizens.

The Finance Ministry continued its strict regulatory posturing by suggesting a taxation on cryptocurrency mining ventures on December 28, 2017. The new year began with even more hints at a Russian crackdown on cryptocurrencies, as Putin again sided with the Ministry of Finance on January 11, 2018, when he remarked that legislative regulation of the cryptocurrency market may be needed in the future.

President Putin stated, “This is the prerogative of the Central Bank at present and the Central Bank has sufficient authority so far. However, in broad terms, legislative regulation will be definitely required in the future.” (translation by TASS)

Two weeks later, on January 25, 2018, the Finance Ministry published a draft law “On Digital Financial Assets.” The law, if finalized, would define tokens, establish ICO procedures and determine the legal regime for cryptocurrencies and mining.

Presidential candidate Boris Titov decried the proposed legislation on January 26, 2018, stating that the draft law was excessively strict. According to Titov’s press service, “The Finance Ministry’s proposals present a much tougher regulation than in Japan, Switzerland, Belarus [and] Armenia; that is, in all countries that have adopted some form of legislation. It would be better not to adopt anything than to adopt such legislation.”

Further muddying the waters was a concession by Deputy Minister Moiseev that the December 2017 Belarusian adoption of the “Digital Economy Development Ordinance” could cause capital outflows from Russia to neighboring Belarus if heavy crypto-regulation occurred in the Russian Federation.

Nigeria

Last year saw Africa’s largest economy struggle through a recession that caused a “crunch” to its fiat currency. Bitcoin trading boomed as Nigerians used cryptocurrencies to end-run currency controls restricting access to the dollar put in place to curtail the recession. January 2017 started off with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) seeming to ban cryptocurrencies, only to have CBN Deputy Director Musa Itopa Jimoh walk back the position by stating, the “Central bank cannot control or regulate bitcoin. [the] Central bank cannot control or regulate blockchain. Just the same way no one is going to control or regulate the internet. We don’t own it.” Bitcoin trading boomed by 1500 percent during 2017.

Though the IMF report from December 2017 said the country has exited its recession, tepid GDP growth forecasts and reliance on crude oil exports make calls on January 25, 2018, from CBN Governor Edwin Emefiele to regulate cryptocurrencies seem tenuous. The CBN governor stated, “Cryptocurrency or bitcoin is like a gamble … We cannot, as a central bank, give support to situations where people risk their savings to ‘gamble.’”

Ghana

The governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, stated on January 22, 2018, that “Bitcoin is not yet legal tender” at a media briefing. While there is a bill before Ghanaian parliament which will allow for the use of cryptocurrencies (seemingly with companies registered as “Electronic Money Issuers” by the government), the current stance of bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) is, according to Graphic Online, one of “six countries that have outlawed [bitcoin].” Addison’s statements come weeks after a recommendation from the Ghanaian investment bank, Group Ndoum, suggested that the Bank of Ghana invest 1 percent of its reserves in bitcoin.

South Africa

South Africa is relatively progressive on the subject of cryptocurrencies compared to others on the list. While the 2014 position paper on virtual currencies issued by the South African Reserve Bank seemed promising for the industry, the South African government began in July of 2017 to work with Bankymoon, a blockchain-based solutions provider, on creating a “balanced” approach to bitcoin regulation.

The country has had valuation issues with its fiat currency, the South African Rand, being devalued several times over the past decade. The 2015 devaluation saw the rand drop 26 percent in response to the Chinese yuan devaluing by a mere 2 percent. Most recently, the country faced devaluation prospects again in March of 2017 as the president fired South Africa’s finance minister. The country has remained relatively mum on cryptocurrency regulation in January 2018, but it will be interesting to see if the reliance South Africa’s fiat currency has on China translates at all to its regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies.

South Korea says no plans to ban cryptocurrency exchanges

South Korea’s finance minister said the government has no plans to shut down cryptocurrency trading, welcome news for investors worried that authorities might go as far as China’s tough action in blocking virtual coin platforms.

The comment by Kim Dong-yeon on Wednesday comes as traders at home and around the world have been spooked by conflicting comments from government officials in South Korea, a major hub for cryptocurrency trade, that Seoul was planning to ban local digital coin exchanges.

“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency (market),” Kim said, adding the government’s immediate task is to regulate exchanges.

Reinforcing Seoul’s intent to tighten the screws on a market widely seen as opaque and risky by global policymakers, the country’s customs earlier on Wednesday announced it had uncovered illegal cryptocurrency foreign exchange trading worth nearly $600 million.

“Customs service has been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force,” it said.

South Korea has been at the forefront of pushing for broad regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency trading as many locals, including students and housewives, jumped into a frenzied market despite warnings from policy makers around the world of a bubble.

Seoul previously said that it is considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which threw the market into turmoil and hammered bitcoin prices. Officials later clarified that an outright ban is only one of the steps being considered, and a final decision was yet to be made.

CRYPTO CRIMES

Customs said about 637.5 billion won ($596.02 million) worth of foreign exchange crimes were detected.

Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, it said in a statement, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches.

In one case, an illegal FX agency collected a total of 1.7 billion won ($1.59 million) from local residents in a form of “electric wallet” coins to transfer it to a partner agent abroad. The partner agent then cashed them out and distributed the settlement to clients based in that country, according to the statement.

In South Korea, only licensed banks and brokers can offer foreign exchange services. Local companies and residents who move more than $3,000 out of the country at a time must submit documents to tax authorities explaining reasons for the transfers. Annual overseas transfers of more than $50,000 must also be reported with similar documents.

Effective from Jan. 30, authorities imposed rules which allow only real-name bank accounts to be used for cryptocurrency trading designed to stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes.

Among other breaches, Customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.

It said authorities will continue to monitor for any violations of foreign exchange rules or of money laundering activities.

Bitcoin stood at $10,123.13 as of 0842 GMT on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. The heightened regulatory scrutiny around the world, however, has seen bitcoin dive about 27.1 percent so far this month, on track for its biggest monthly decline since January 2015.

Cryptocurrencies got another jolt last week after Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck said hackers stole over $500 million in one of the world’s biggest cyber heists.

The cryptocurrency investing course

Toward the start of the mid year I had a major issue.

I simply acknowledged another occupation and between the work hours, the drive, suppers, and an exercise I was left with at most a hour of available time a day amid the work week.

This was a noteworthy issue since I’m a learning someone who is addicted. I should ace something outside of work or I begin to stagnate. However, a hour daily didn’t appear as though it would have been sufficient to go anyplace regarding any matter.

So I asked myself “How would i be able to best use a hour daily?”

I did what I generally do when looked with an intense problem, I was inclining towards learning Spanish, yet then I had three companions message me about cryptocurrency. Every one of them said this was something I expected to look into. After a half hour of perusing about cryptocurrency  I knew I had discovered my task for the late spring.

Making a plunge

At to begin with, the perusing was energizing. Digital money, a transformation in electronic cash exchange that could without much of a stretch snowball into something as world-changing as the web.

I altogether delighted in perusing the distinctive strategies for success every digital money had. Every one had their own procedure to secure their place in the market. I thought it was captivating to see a cash have a strategy for success.

My first obstacle, the blockchain

I hit my first wall when learning about the blockchain. The blockchain is one of the most important technologies underlying how cryptocurrencies work. Unfortunately, I found learning about the blockchain boring and confusing. It was the last thing I wanted to be reading about after a tough day at work.

I started to lose interest in cryptocurrency. My once productive hour started to get whittled down by Facebook, emails and other distractions. I had to do something to get myself back on track, but how could I make the blockchain interesting?

I decided I would make some stakes.

I found a reputable online cryptocurrency exchange, typed in my credit card number and bought 100 dollars worth of Litecoin (a cryptocurrency).

At the time I didn’t even know how to transfer the cryptocurrency back into U.S. dollars. For all I knew I just sent my money into the oblivion.

But, now I was an investor.

I felt more connected to the subject, it was the breath of fresh air I needed. The next day I sat down and read as feverishly as an ivy league researcher.

I decided to make a class out of it

I was impressed by how much of an impact investing had on my motivation so I decided to take it a step further. I decided to turn this little adventure of mine into a class.

I refined the subject from cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency investing and decided the cost of the class would be 5000 dollars.

I would throw 5000 dollars into the cryptocurrency market assuming I would lose it all. I figured the knowledge I would gain from learning about investing and cryptocurrency would be worth much more than the 5000 dollar cost.

Why 5000 dollars?

  1. It was around the cost of a class on investing at a top university
  2. It was 90% of the savings I would make over the summer. I wanted it to be a large enough amount that I would have an emotional connection to the money. I wanted to see how I would react when I started losing it.

*I don’t recommend anyone else invest such a large portion of their savings.

What did my course look like:

  1. Read and take notes on a classic investing book. [ June 1st to June 14th]
  2. Obtain a high-level understanding of what cryptocurrencies are and what their future applications might be [June 15th to June 26th]
  3. Pick up to three cryptocurrencies to invest in [ June 27th to July 11th]
  4. Develop a buying and selling strategy [July 12th to July 13th]
  5. Invest and see what happens [July 14th — Sept. 1st]

1) Read and take notes on a classic investing book

I only had enough time in my course for one book on traditional investing so I had to be very picky about it.

After asking mentors, friends, and the internet, the most commonly cited book was “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham. I decided this would be the book for my course.

While parts of the book were a little dated (it came out in 1949) I found the core principals helpful.

  1. Do your research into a company and only invest when you are confident they have a high chance of long-term success.
  2. Don’t let the market scare you, rely on the research you did.
  3. Stick to a formula, don’t arbitrarily buy and sell.

2) Obtain an overview of what cryptocurrencies are and what their future applications might be

I used a combination of podcasts, YouTube videos, and websites to educate myself about the cryptocurrency space. I cheated a little bit on my hour rule and listened to the podcasts during my commute.

My main takeaways were that cryptocurrencies are a cheaper, more secure and more versatile way to digitally transfer money.

There is a lot more to be said on this subject that I’ll write about in a separate piece. I’ve included all the resources I used at the end of this article in case anyone wants to jump into the subject.

3) Research and pick up to three cryptocurrencies to invest in

I didn’t want to invest in more than three cryptocurrencies because I felt that even three was spreading my focus too thin.

As per Benjamin Graham’s advice I wanted to have a deep understanding of each cryptocurrency(or company) I was investing in. This would take a lot of time and time was something I didn’t have much of.

After doing light research into ten different cryptocurrencies I decided I liked Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. So I started to dig deeper into these three currencies. I looked at:

  • How strong is their team
  • What is their long-term strategy
  • Who is backing them

I was happy with what I found and confident that these three currencies had a high chance of long-term success. So now all I had to do was figure out a plan of action.

4) Develop a buying and selling strategy

I wanted to keep my buying and selling strategy simple so I gave myself three rules:

  1. Don’t buy when it is at an all-time high
  2. Don’t sell for a loss, meaning I would either earn a profit or lose everything if the currency disappeared
  3. Sell when my investment went up by 35%

I picked the 35% target because it seemed unreachable for a two-month investment.

5) Invest and see what happens

I had my cryptocurrencies of choice and I had my buying and selling strategy, now all that was left was to invest.

In mid-July, I started to put my money into the market.

I invested 2000 dollars into Ethereum on July 14th at ~ $203/ether

I invested 2000 dollars into Ripple on July 14th at ~$0.19/ripple

I invested 1000 dollars into Bitcoin on July 14th at ~$2300/bitcoin

Then the real life portion of the course started

The first few moments after the money left my bank account were good. I felt like a success for committing to a big plan, but then panic set in.

I always thought the mental side of investing was overplayed. I’m a logical, easy going individual, I didn’t think fluctuations in market price would affect me. Plus I had even planned to lose all the money I invested. Losing or earning money wasn’t going to corrupt me.

Well, I was wrong.

My life exploded

After my money went into the market, the hour a day I allotted for my cryptocurrency investing course became insufficient. My life quickly became ruled by my investments.

I developed an awful habit of checking the price charts every ten minutes. If the investments were doing well I’d get a hit of dopamine and feel great. If my investments were doing bad I would freak out and start pouring over market analysis after market analysis.

I forgot everything I learned in “The Intelligent Investor”. I let the market play with my emotions.

I reached a breaking point at the end of July. After staying up late for the third night in a row reading about cryptocurrency news and price predictions, I slept through my morning alarm. I wound up waking up late and missing an important meeting at work.

After a myriad of apologies to the vice presidents of the company, I was ready to end my course.

I told myself “This isn’t worth my job”

How I got my life back on track

I sat with that thought the whole day. Then I looked at the problem as if I was really taking a university class.

If I got a bad grade in a class would I drop it? No! I would figure out why I got the bad grade and then develop a strategy so it didn’t happen again.

I decided I could do it, it was OK that I failed, failure is how you learn.

I reminded myself why I was taking the course, to learn, not to make money. I knew that I was going to need more than willpower to stop myself from looking at the price charts and market analysis thought. So I found two tools that I would depend on.

Tool number one: Blockfolio

  • Blockfolio is a phone app that lets you set price targets for your cryptocurrency investments. I set it so I would only get alerted if my investments ever hit their targets. This way I had no good reason to convince myself that I needed to check the price charts.

Tool number two: A bet with my friend

  • I gave a friend 50 dollars and told him if I read one more market analysis to burn the money in front of my face. It was the honor system so I could always just lie to him about it, but I knew I would feel like a scumbag if I did and no one likes feeling like a scumbag.

The week following my break down was tough. I wanted to check how my investments were doing constantly. I kept reassuring myself that Blockfolio would notify me if anything major happened.

One day I even sat with “Ethereum price analysis” typed into google for 5 minutes. My mouse sat there hovering over the search button, but I wouldn’t let myself click. I didn’t want to to have 50 dollars burned in front of my face.

After the initial week, it got much easier and then near the end of August, my phone started buzzing off the table.

So how did my investments fair?

On August 6th, while I was furiously typing away at a report my phone came to life.

It said:

“Bitcoin is above 3105”

$3105 was my 35% price target! I didn’t know what to do, I told myself I would sell when it hit 35% but I couldn’t bring my self to sell. I was so high on the fact that I hit what I thought was an impossible target that I thought I could do anything. So I said while if it hit 35%, 45% shouldn’t be much of a stretch.

Then on August 9th my phone buzzed again

“ Ethereum is above 274”

and again

“Bitcoin is above 3,335”

$3,335! An all-time high for bitcoin! (at least back then it was), the confidence I had three days earlier started to melt away. Would the price keep going up, or would the whole market collapse. Did I invest in a scam and was the carpet about to be pulled out from underneath me?

I was letting the market control my emotions again, so I took a long walk and thought.

I had confidence that all three cryptocurrencies I picked had a future, but I only had three weeks left of my course. How could I best play these last three weeks?

I looked at my three investments and saw Bitcoin and Ethereum jumping up but Ripple staying relatively calm.

I reasoned that the jump in Bitcoin and Ethereum would bring new investors to the market. These new investors might be interested in ripple just like I was. I also knew other investors had to be afraid that the bitcoin price might crash because of its quick rise.

I thought other investors might want to hedge their bets against a bitcoin crash by moving money out of bitcoin and into other currencies. Ripple had a high chance of being one of those other currencies.

So I put all my investments and earnings into ripple.

On August 10, I invested all of my Bitcoin and Ethereum ($4150 worth) into ripple at ~0.18 dollars/ripple

So now I had $6150 invested in ripple. I set an alert on Blockfolio for 0.24 dollars/ripple ( 35% increase) and did my best to forgot about the whole thing.

Unfortunately, news kept popping up about Bitcoin reaching all new heights. It made me feel like an idiot for not keeping my money in Bitcoin. Why did I switch it all over to ripple I should have put it in Bitcoin.

Frustrated I called a close friend and mentor to tell him about my stupid investment decisions. After I told him what a moron I was, he gave me the best piece of investment advice I’ve ever received.

He said “ Joe, this is one of the biggest problems with investing, everybody is trying to buy at the feet and sell at the head. The thing is, you never know when you are at either. Instead, aim for buying at the knees and selling at the shoulders. Don’t beat yourself up if it goes higher, be happy with what you made. If you get greedy and try to go for the head those investments will ruin your life.”

I stopped stressing about missing out on bitcoins rise in price and instead was happy with how well I was doing at this investment course. I wasn’t calling every shot perfectly but so far I had turned 3000 into 4150 in less than a month, I should be proud of that.

Then on August 24th while I was in a meeting my phone went off

“Ripple is above 0.24”

By the time I got out of the meeting the price had already hit 0.27. Part of me wanted to hold on for longer, but I remembered my friend’s advice, aim for the shoulders, not the head. I sold it all right then and there.

My initial 2000 dollar investment grew to 2,842 dollars and my 4150 investment had grown to 6,225.

I still had 7 days left in my investment course but under the mantra of “don’t be greedy,” I decided to keep it out of the market. I spent the last week reflecting on the experience.

In total my 5000 investment turned into 9,064 dollars. Not too shabby for a month and a half. At the same time, people are currently seeing 1000% plus returns in this market so I shouldn’t get too full of myself. I still have a long way to go.


Key Takeaways

1) If spent right, a focused hour a day can compound to something huge

The key to making a focused hour add up to something major is to first figure out your goal.

  • My goal was to learn about cryptocurrency investing.

Then you have to break down your goal into measurable, time-sensitive chunks.

  • I did this by making my course, i.e read and take notes on “The Intelligent Investor” by June 14th

Finally, you have to set some metric to measure your overall success. How will you know when you accomplished your goal?

  • I did this by adding in the 35% selling target

2) Having trouble sticking to your plan, set stakes

If you find your motivation waning, give yourself some real-life consequences for not achieving your goal. If you do this, I guarantee you’ll be more motivated to accomplish your goal.

  • I did this three times throughout the summer. The first time was when I invested 100 dollars in Litecoin. The second was when I invested 5000 dollars into Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. Finally, the third time was when I gave my friend 50 dollars to burn in front of my face if I looked at one more market analysis. Each of these gave me real consequences for not continuing towards my goal.

3) Losing or earning money on an investment will mess with your head, be prepared for it

This was the biggest revelation for me. I didn’t think investing was going to take over my life as much as it did. I severely underestimated how much it was going to play with my emotions.

If you invest, prepare some mechanisms so that the status of your investments isn’t the status of your life.

4) Don’t trust the market analysis, trust your research

When making an investment don’t let the market rule your life. Do research on whatever you are investing in and trust in your research, not the market analysis.

5) You will never trade at the best moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money

You will never time all of the peaks and valleys in the market correctly. Stick to your buying strategy and don’t worry about what could have been. Focus on what you should do next.