By Steven Krohn · January 22, 2018
Bitcoin had a 1500% growth in price for 2017. Traders, entrepreneurs, and investors are suddenly taking notice of the cryptocurrency markets. Newcomers can easily get lost in this market unfortunately
Crypto is a new asset class that may generously reward those that are brave enough to delve into it. If you need help in understanding the evolving crypto market, then you are in the right place as that’s what we are going to review here.
The first known decentralized cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, founded in 2009. The coin has continued to grow ever since. Bitcoin did suffer multiple setbacks before reaching today’s price. There are a plethora of other coins that have joined the cryptocurrency markets since Bitcoin.
It’s safe to say that the coin market is the fastest growing asset class. Real estate, stock and bond markets are all constrained by national and geographical borders. Cryptocurrency, by comparison, is a worldwide market.
The market has a total capitalization of “billions” of dollars. Even in third world countries, respective stock markets are capped in the trillions. Considering these variables, it becomes very likely that cryptocurrency will continue to grow.
One crucial factor to understand is that cryptocurrency markets are largely de-regulated. Many consider this to be a great thing because it allows investing in an asset class with very few requirements. There are some exchanges that allow you to invest without requiring you to go through a “Know Your Customer” or KYC protocol.
Conversely, because of that de-regulated nature, there is no SEC (or regulatory body) to keep your money secure. Keeping funds safe becomes the responsibility of the investor.
Bitcoin is considered to be “Top of The Class”. That said, Bitcoin has a huge influence on the overall market behavior. This generally means that if Bitcoin goes up, you can expect other currencies to go up as well. This also means that if Bitcoin prices go down, it becomes very difficult for other coins to appreciate in price.
If you come from the world of stock trading, be prepared for large volatility swings. It’s also very important to realize that “volatility” is subjective. In the stock markets, most participants consider a drop of 10% in a day is “very volatile.”
In the cryptocurrency markets, a 10% drop in a day is considered “normal.” Most importantly, volatility is both good and bad. It’s common for major news outlets to describe the crypto market as volatile and too risky.
Without volatility, you can’t make money. Volatility makes the price move. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some smaller capped coins to double in price in just a matter of days. As for the downside, you can lose all of your money when not prepared.
Volatility is not bad or good. It’s all about your personal risk tolerance. The cryptocurrency markets can offer you an asset class that is outperforming anything that exists. The price you will pay for that is significantly higher volatility.
The technology that is behind Bitcoin is known as “Blockchain Technology.” Most of the coins in the crypto market are using blockchain technology, but there are now various types of technologies involved with coins.
IOTA makes use of a “Tangle.” Other coins make use of hybrid and new generation blockchain technologies such as RaiBlocks and Hashgraph We certainly cannot forget to mention the “Smart Contract” of Ethereum and Neo.
Crypto is not just based on blockchain technology anymore. It’s become an ecosystem that nurtures the birth of a myriad of technological advances.
Since Bitcoin is the most visible, most people assume that the markets are all about competing currencies. Yes and no. While some try to offer their coin as a better alternative to Bitcoin, others do not.
Blockchain technology also has other uses aside from currency. Anything that needs decentralized record keeping can make use of the technology.
Patientory is a coin that focuses on building a decentralized medical records database. Ripio Credit Network is trying to build a decentralized credit history for third-world countries.
ICO Tokens are yet another type of asset in the market. They are similar to a stock of a company, but with an additional utility. This totally depends on the issuing company.
Some would consider the cryptocurrency markets as the Wild, Wild West. It’s a new frontier and often labeled “dangerous.” While a coin carries a higher risk compared to the stock market, it has the potential to deliver significantly higher returns.
If you wait for everything to be perfectly safe before you invest, plan on paying a higher price for your coins. If you are offered outrageous returns with no risk, you are probably dealing with scammers committing fraud.
High risk equals high reward on most occasions. That is exactly what cryptocurrency markets currently offers you.