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Bitcoin: Why You Need It

Most people know little about Bitcoin. It’s a brand, like the internet was in the late 1990s that created great excitement in a small fanatical audience but confusion, indifference and often hostility in the mainstream and establishment.

“I don’t need email,” people said, while many would look blank and not know what it was. It wasn’t until the social media floodgates opened that the mainstream piled in. Now all the marvelous benefits and distractions of being connected are taken as read.

The benefits of crypto are not well understood or even considered beyond the possibility of a life change rising in value for coins that an investor might ride to riches. This may well be the future for Bitcoin so to start a list of reasons why you should hold some Bitcoin must start with:

1)  A lottery ticket to a ride that some see having a 1,000% upside.

It could happen. There are only going to be 21 million bitcoins (BTC), many of which like Roman gold coins are already lost forever. If bitcoin was to be worth just half of the gold in the world it would be  about $200,000 a coin. If all the BTC was worth $1 trillion then the price would be north of $50,000.

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With BTC currently at $7,400 and the ability for people to buy tiny amounts, there is a fun dividend in actually holding.

2) Blockchain is “the next big thing.”

If you want to catch that wave when it lands, you need to know a bit about it. Buying crazes on the basis of zero knowledge is the short cut to the poorhouse. Owning bitcoin and going through all the stages to “get” crypto will position you perfectly for the day “crypto IPO” hits. That day will come and it will be big. Owning bitcoin will position you to take advantage of that boom.

3) Portfolio diversification is crucial.

Everyone should have a little gold, for example, to buffer the roller coaster of other financial instruments. Bitcoin and gold are very similar in as much as they are havens. “Physical” bitcoin however is easier to store, faster to sell and has much greater upside if you are laying in assets for what you see as being extremely volatile times in the future. If you are not in the “bullets and corn beef” legion, the gold, silver and bitcoin are must haves, with bitcoin the king if you feel you might have to jump on a plane to safety. It’s easy to travel with bitcoin; with gold bars and sacks of silver, not so much.

4) Bitcoin is currently a great hedge especially for equities.

This is because for now at least, bad news for equities is good news for bitcoin. That bad news is currently the China trade war. The trade war is bad for equities and there is a clear link to moves in BTC and emergent good/bad news on the trade negotiations. Bitcoin sends the signal then the news appears, which one would imagine is because of the insider news flow in crypto-hungry China.

5) Bitcoin is useful money.

You can buy things with bitcoin, and with bitcoin debit cards you can use it to buy things anywhere that takes Visa/Mastercard. While this can prove expensive, a bitcoin debit card is another off ramp for holders wishing to spend their profits. Bitcoin is also a useful currency for B2B and while currently niche, bitcoin use for international payments is quickly expanding when products need to be bought quickly and the vendor needs to establish transfer of funds fast to cut out delays. For large sums bitcoin beats credit cards hands down as a bitcoin transaction can’t be reversed unlike a credit card payment that is always vulnerable to charge backs. Transfers can take days to materialize, so for anything that’s a “rush job” bitcoin is the best possible way to pay if the vendor takes BTC.

Every investor should buy some bitcoin, even if it’s just $1. It is always best to be too early to a financial phenomenon than too late and it turns out the bitcoin story is still in its early chapters.

If you are an investor, it was obvious you need to hold equities, bonds, gold and cash. That is still true but these days, you need to hold a little crypto, because it is a new positive sum financial instrument. If you don’t have Bitcoin, the world won’t end, but you will be less diversified and more at risk than an investor that does hold some. Bitcoin will continue to be the ‘kingpin’ of the emergent blockchain industry and everybody needs a little bit of exposure to that in the same way as they needed a little Amazon in 2002.

Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor cuts through the hype and identifies real investor opportunities in the emerging world of blockchain and crypto assets. Click to learn more.

Clem Chambers is the CEO of private investors website ADVFN.com and author of 101 Ways to Pick Stock Market Winners and Trading Cryptocurrencies: A Beginner’s Guide.

In 2018, Chambers won Journalist of the Year in the Business Market Commentary category in the State Street UK Institutional Press Awards.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I am the CEO of stocks and investment website ADVFN . As well as running Europe and South America’s leading financial market website I am a prolific financial writer. I wrote a stock column for WIRED – which described me as a ‘Market Maven’ – and am a regular columnist for numerous financial publications around the world. I have written for titles including: Working Money, Active Trader, SFO and Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities in the US and have written for pretty much every UK national newspaper. In the last few years I have become a financial thriller writer and have just had my first non-fiction title published: 101 ways to pick stock market winners. Find me here on US Amazon. You’ll also see me regularly on CNBC, CNN, SKY, Business News Network and the BBC giving my take on the markets.

Source: Bitcoin: Why You Need It

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Bitcoin Has ‘No Intrinsic Value,’ As U.K. ‘Moves Towards’ Crypto Ban

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation has been pushed into the limelight over recent weeks, thanks to social media giant Facebook’s high profile plans to launch its own potential rival to bitcoin sometime next year.

The bitcoin price, which had been climbing on rumors that big technology companies were taking an interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, has plateaued at around $10,000 per bitcoin after a number of countries rebuffed Facebook’s plans, unveiled in June.

Now, the U.K.’s financial services watchdog has warned potential investors that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have “no intrinsic value,” with some taking the caution as a signal the country could be moving towards a bitcoin ban.

“This is a small, complex and evolving market covering a broad range of activities,” said Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which oversees London’s huge banking industry.

“Today’s guidance will help clarify which crypto-asset activities fall inside our regulatory perimeter,” Woolard added, with the FCA warning: “Consumers should be cautious when investing in such crypto-assets and should ensure they understand and can bear the risks involved with assets that have no intrinsic value.”

The FCA branding bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as without “intrinsic value” is likely to rile many bitcoin believers who have long argued blockchain technology, which underpins bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies, gives the digital tokens value.

“It is technically true that cryptocurrencies have no ‘intrinsic value’ when compared to share ownership in actual companies, however there are many examples where a marketplace bestows value on an intangible asset,” Jon Ostler, of comparison site Finder.com, told the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper. “For example, the brand of ‘bitcoin’ itself has value and although its future place in society is still unclear, it is one of the most likely coins to stay the course.”

The warning from the U.K. comes shortly after U.S. president Donald Trump unleashed a scathing attack on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, comments that were then echoed by other senior officials in his administration, including Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin who branded bitcoin and cryptocurrencies a “national security issue.”

It’s thought that Trump’s attacks on bitcoin and crypto were in direct response to Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency project, which, if successful, could undermine the international dominance of the U.S. dollar.

“Although not a ban, [the U.K.’s FCA warning is] a move in that direction,” said Herbert Sim, head of business development from Broctagon Fintech Group. “This lack of enthusiasm is shared by several countries; the U.S. with its scrutiny of libra, and India, who are looking to implement a similar ban on cryptocurrencies which are not state regulated. These movements could end up coming back to bite. The international competition on cryptocurrencies is heating up and there are huge risks in being left behind.”

Meanwhile, the watchdog warned investing in what it called “unregulated crypto-assets” will not be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which pays out if the investment collapses.

“It remains possible in the future that if an unregulated token is subject to common acceptance and usage in the U.K. then either the FCA or the Bank of England will reconsider this position in order to ensure that adequate consumer protection exists,” said Tim Dolan, partner at law firm Reed Smith.

Follow me on Twitter.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk

 

Source: Bitcoin Has ‘No Intrinsic Value,’ As U.K. ‘Moves Towards’ Crypto Ban

US Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin

Those who have been longtime critics of Bitcoin usually have one key theory in common, which is that governments will eventually ban Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will then cease to exist in any meaningful form. For examples of this point of view, just look at economist Nouriel Roubini and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

That said, implementing such a ban is no easy task. After all, Bitcoin was built by cypherpunks as a form of digital money that would be unaffected by the desires of politicians and regulators around the world.

Lately, it appears that lawmakers in the United States are starting to realize the difficulties associated with a potential Bitcoin ban.

Bitcoin Ban Deemed Unlikely During Congressional Hearings

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology regulation. During that hearing, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) shared his belief that the United States would not be able to succeed in banning Bitcoin.

“If the United States were to decide — and I’m not saying that it should — if the United States were to decide we don’t want cryptocurrency to happen in the United States and tried to ban it, I’m pretty confident we couldn’t succeed in doing that because this is a global innovation,” said Crapo.

This statement came in the form of a question to Jeremy Allaire, who is the co-founder and CEO of global financial services company Circle. In his response, Allaire explained the new reality created by the creation of Bitcoin.

“I think the challenge that we all face with this is some of these cryptocurrencies — they’re literally just a piece of open-source software,” said Allaire. “There’s nothing else. It exists on the internet, it’s open-source software, anyone can implement it, it runs wherever the internet runs, and these have a monetary policy where these assets are algorithmically generated . . . That is a challenge that every government in the world now faces — that money, digital money, will move frictionlessly everywhere in the world at the speed of the internet.”

These remarks made during Tuesday’s hearing follow comments made by U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) from earlier in the month when he stated “there’s no capacity to kill Bitcoin” during an interview with CNBC.

Back in May, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) claimed that Congress should implement a ban on Bitcoin, but Sherman did not share specific details as to how such a ban could be effectively achieved.

                                

The difficulties associated with implementing a ban on Bitcoin are behind one economist’s theory that the best way to kill the cryptocurrency would be for governments to become more competitive in terms of monetary policy and financial freedom.

Abra CEO Bill Barhydt has also pointed out that bringing forth a Bitcoin ban could be legally difficult for the U.S. Government. That said, there is growing support for bans on encryption-based technologies among various law enforcement agencies in the United States, in addition to the Trump White House.

On the other hand, more centralized cryptocurrency systems like Facebook’s Libra project, which is really a cryptocurrency in name only, would be much easier for governments to control.

It should be noted that extreme limitations on technology and financial freedom, such as the new cash-related bill making its way through the Parliament of Australia, may end up unintentionally educating more people as to why Bitcoin has value in the first place.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I’m a writer who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. I’ve worked all over the Bitcoin media space — from being editor-in-chief at Inside Bitcoins to contributing to Bitcoin Magazine on a regular basis. My work has also been featured in Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, and many other financial and tech media outlets. I’m mostly interested in the use of Bitcoin for transactions that would be censored by the traditional financial system (think darknet markets and ransomware) in addition to the use of bitcoin as an unseizable, digital store of value. Altcoins, appcoins, and ICOs don’t make much sense to me. Find all of my work at kyletorpey.com. Disclosure: I hold some bitcoin.

Source: US Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin

Warren Buffett: ‘Gambling Device Bitcoin Hasn’t Produced Anything’

Turns out 88-year-old Warren Buffett isn’t warming up to crypto after all. Speaking at what’s been dubbed the “Woodstock of Capitalism”, the billionaire investor told shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway how he really feels about bitcoin. His company’s annual shareholder event is being held in Omaha today, and he just couldn’t resist lamenting the digital currency that he just doesn’t understand. Buffett reportedly stated:

“It’s a gambling device… there’s been a lot of frauds connected with it. There’s been disappearances, so there’s a lot lost on it. Bitcoin hasn’t produced anything.”

At least Buffett didn’t call it “rat poison squared” like he did last year. His partner in crime, Charlie Munger, reportedly once compared crypto trading to “dementia.” Buffett’s shareholders probably come to Omaha just to hear what he’ll say next about the crypto revolution taking the economy by storm.

bitcoin

The bitcoin price is barreling for $5,700. | Source: CoinMarketCap

BITCOIN ‘ISN’T AN INVESTMENT’

Buffett didn’t stop there. He went on to insult investors who not only have benefitted from the peer-to-peer nature of bitcoin but he also suggested that it’s not an investment at all. Tell that to the 100-million strong crypto community, many of whom have seen their portfolios balloon since the bitcoin price hit a new 2019 high this week. Buffett is digging his own grave, so to speak, saying:

“It doesn’t do anything. It just sits there. It’s like a seashell or something, and that is not an investment to me.”

Bitcoin’s market cap is now $101 billion; it’s increased from $89 billion in the past two weeks or so. If that’s a seashell, then take us to the beach so we can start collecting them.

berkshire hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway shares are underperforming the S&P 500 year-to-date. | Source: Yahoo Finance

WARREN BUFFETT’S BUTTON ICO

He went on to seemingly poke fun at ICOs next because he couldn’t possibly mean bitcoin when he says:

“I’ll tear off a button here. What I’ll have here is a little token…I’ll offer it to you for $1000, and I’ll see if I can get the price up to $2000 by the end of the day… But the button has one use and it’s a very limited use.”

Hmm, let’s see. Bitcoin is a store of value that rivals gold. It is a peer-to-peer digital currency that gives migrants a way to send money to their families faster and cheaper than any money-transfer service without the blockchain can do. And it’s decentralized, so it’s not subject to the whims of any central bank or government that turns on the printing press and causes inflation.

IMF to crypto: “please be gentle with our house of cards” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/11/cryptocurrencies-fintech-clearly-shaking-the-system-imfs-lagarde.html 

Cryptocurrencies are ‘clearly shaking the system,’ IMF’s Lagarde says

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that new technologies like digital assets and cryptocurrencies are having a clear impact on the banking sector.

cnbc.com

Whether he realizes it or not, Buffett is spreading FUD about bitcoin and the blockchain, saying:

“Blockchain…is very big, but it didn’t need bitcoin. J.P. Morgan, of course, came out with their own cryptocurrency.”

Blockchain pioneer Wences Casares once said that people who fail to recognize the value of bitcoin but believe in blockchain tech demonstrate an “ignorance for how the system works.” We’ll leave Warren with Wences’ words of wisdom:

“Blockchain doesn’t exist without bitcoin…If you were to remove the bitcoin, miners would disappear and so would the blockchain.”

Source: Warren Buffett: ‘Gambling Device Bitcoin Hasn’t Produced Anything’

$3.2 Million From Cryptopia Hack Liquidated on Major Crypto Exchanges

The infamous Cryptopia hack of January 14, which led to over $16 million in stolen Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 tokens, has been under close investigation by New Zealand police and specialists worldwide.Thanks to the open nature of cryptocurrencies on the blockchain, analysts and investigators have been successful in tracking the stolen crypto funds, leading major cryptocurrency exchanges to liquidate $3.2 million in stolen tokens on February 4…………

Source: $3.2 Million From Cryptopia Hack Liquidated on Major Crypto Exchanges

10 Year Anniversary of Hal Finney’s Running Bitcoin Tweet: Rapid Growth

The late cypherpunk and cryptographer had just become the first person to receive the digital currency from its creator Satoshi Nakamoto himself. But more importantly, he had become the first person to trust bitcoin for its immense potential. He would run its code, review its anonymity and environmental drawbacks, suggest changes, and would entirely immerse himself to support an open-source project that would one day grow up to challenge the status-quo of mainstream finance.

Source: 10 Year Anniversary of Hal Finney’s Running Bitcoin Tweet: Rapid Growth

Bitcoin Continues Descent to $3600 as Hackers Steal 200 BTC from Electrum Wallet

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