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2 Cryptocurrency Plays for People Who Are Scared of Cryptocurrency – Motley Fool

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Returns as of 11/17/2021
Returns as of 11/17/2021
Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.
A couple of years ago, when I made a serious attempt to research cryptocurrency, I found myself utterly overwhelmed. It wasn’t at all like researching a stock. Usually when I research a stock, I understand the business that it’s in. I already have some knowledge that helps me with my research.
With cryptocurrency, I had none of that. It was like that time my parents asked me if they should watch Star Wars. I wasn’t sure they were ready for the commitment. There’s a whole universe to understand, and at least nine movies you have to watch. 
For instance, Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who is anonymous even to the IRS! So that gave me no confidence whatsoever. And then there was the halving, which made me nervous, too. Could there be a quadrupling next week?
image source: Getty Images
Do I want to go with proof of work or proof of stake? These were just a few of the questions I had. There was no Shiba Inu (CRYPTO: SHIB) back then. My feeling on this is that if you’re going to invest in a dog coin, you definitely ought to stick to the Shiba Inu breed. Don’t be jumping into Poodle or Golden Retriever. And these meme coins that give investors 10,000% returns don’t make me feel any optimism. The pet-rock NFT guy is a millionaire, but I’m not copying that move.
So cryptocurrency still scares me. But I have discovered ways to profit from this madness (aka, this great investment idea that is over my head).
The historic way to make money during a gold rush is to open up a store and sell the picks and shovels. So you could buy Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN), a cryptocurrency exchange, and its numbers are fantastic. While I just bought shares of Coinbase, my favorite cryptocurrency stock is actually their behind-the-scenes banking partnerSilvergate Capital (NYSE:SI)
Of course, if you’re invested in Square (NYSE: SQ) or PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), you’re also indirectly invested in cryptocurrency. Last year, these two fintech giants made deep commitments in the sector. PayPal opened up its Venmo app to allow users to start trading several coins on it. And Square basically proposed marriage to Bitcoin.
Square and PayPal are both widely respected in the financial industry as fintech stalwarts that are transforming banking and finance. So when these two leaders validate cryptocurrency, that validation changes hearts and minds about the sector. Now, many bankers and institutions are trying to understand what they originally dismissed as a fad.
One of the reasons that Silvergate is such a fantastic investment is that it’s a play on institutional awakening to the cryptocurrency opportunity. It banks all the cryptocurrency exchanges, and so that’s where a lot of dollars sit while people buy digital tokens. But Silvergate is also the bank for the institutions that want to make investments in this new asset class. This innovation is clearly reflected in its price.
SI Chart
SI data by YCharts.
Right now, I’m seeing a divergence in the cryptocurrency universe. On the one hand, we have Square and the Bitcoin miners, which are making pure bets on Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Coinbase, Silvergate, PayPal, and Robinhood Markets (NASDAQ: HOOD) will all profit regardless of which coin comes out on top. In fact, Coinbase actually performs better when we have more coin options (and coin confusion). The more unwieldy and scary and crazy the cryptocurrency universe becomes, the more important it is to have knowledgeable guides.
Silvergate’s recent deal with Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB), means the bank will profit if Facebook’s new coin, Diem, takes off. But Silvergate has multiple partners and supports multiple coins. Perhaps the most important part of the Facebook deal is that it cements Silvergate’s status as a key banking partner for institutions that want to jump in and invest in this new asset class.
You know what’s not scary at all? Investing $10 in a cryptocurrency game. While I was researching digital currency, and trying to figure out if I should buy some Steem (CRYPTO: STEEM) coins, I got sidetracked into playing this really cool game, Splinterlands (CRYPTO: SPS), on the Steem blockchain. The game has since moved to another blockchain. And I never bought any Steem coins, anyway. But man, oh man, this game is a lot of fun.
It’s a monster card game on the blockchain. When you battle, you have a couple of minutes to fill out your lineup. If you win the battle, you receive Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), which allow you to buy more monster cards. But the really cool part is that once you pay the $10, you own all the cards you win, which are non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the blockchain. You can buy them, sell them, rent them. My assets are now allegedly worth $19,000, up from $17,000 last week.
Image Source: Getty Images.
The other day I tried to sell one of my cards for $92. My cost basis on this card is $0. It took a couple of days, but somebody bought it, which was great. Except she paid in DEC, which was kind of aggravating.
I should have transferred DEC into Splinterlands, and then transferred that into dollars, and then moved it over to PayPal, and from there I’m pretty sure I could get it into my bank account and could go to an ATM and put the actual $92 in my hands. Instead of doing all that, I just bought more monster cards.  
So if you’re scared of putting money into cryptocurrency, but you’re interested and want to learn more, I would start by playing this $10 game, Splinterlands, on the blockchain. I’ve learned about cryptocurrency, the blockchain, digital wallets, and NFT assets. And while I still have more questions than answers, I’ve also had a lot of fun.

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Aggregate Bitcoin Price Has Increased By $87 Billion In Last Five Months – Bitcoin Magazine

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The realized market capitalization of bitcoin, or aggregate price paid for every coin on the network, increased by $87 billion since last August.
The below is from a recent edition of the Deep Dive, Bitcoin Magazine's premium markets newsletter. To be among the first to receive these insights and other on-chain bitcoin market analysis straight to your inbox, subscribe now.
In recent weeks, much of our analysis has been focused on the consolidation period currently occurring in the bitcoin market, with a particular focus on realized price as an indicator of lackluster capital flow. As shown by the chart below, the realized market capitalization of bitcoin, which can otherwise be thought of as an aggregate price paid for every coin on the network, has increased by $87 billion since the beginning of August. 
While significant in absolute terms, given that the realized market capitalization of bitcoin was a mere $90 billion at its peak following the 2017 bull market, in relative terms realized cap has not meaningfully increased since early fall of 2021.
A look at the 30-day rate of change of realized price gives additional context to this dynamic. 
To dig deeper into the dynamic of price and realized price, we can examine the Delta Gradient indicator. The metric gauges market momentum relative to capital inflows.
As per Glassnode,
“The momentum of a market can be considered by assessing the rate of change of price, or the verticality over some period. The simplest example is a parabolic advance, whereby the rate of price appreciation increases in magnitude as a result of market momentum.
“The Realized Price reflects the aggregate price at which each coin in the supply last moved. Steeper increases in the Realized Price indicates a true and organic capital inflow is occurring, as every coin that is spent on-chain and sold, has a buyer with fresh capital. The steepness of this curve therefore represents a rational baseline for sustainable value growth.
“The Delta Gradient is calculated as the difference between the gradient of the spot Price, and the gradient of the Realized Price. This metric therefore measures the relative change in momentum between speculative value, and true organic capital inflows.
“Statistical normalization is then applied to bring historical values, and log-scale price changes into a consistent scale.”

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Crypto Podcast: Markets Dip and a Closer Look at the Metaverse – Coindesk

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With crypto markets slightly dipping and a look at why we need rules if we want our virtual worlds to be free and open, CoinDesk’s Markets Daily is back with the latest news roundup.
Adam B. Levine
Adrian Blust
This episode is sponsored by Kava.
Dogecoin Surge Sees Short Traders Lose $8M After Tesla Store Addition
European stocks slip after declines on Wall Street | Financial Times
Stock Futures Edge Up Ahead of Bank Earnings – WSJ
Central banks start turning off the cash taps | Reuters
North Korean Hackers Stole $400M in 2021, Mostly in Ether
Pakistan Plans to Ban Cryptocurrencies as Stance Hardens
House of Lords Committee Sees ‘No Convincing Case’ for UK CBDC
Crypto Exchange FTX Establishes $2B Fund to Invest in Crypto Startups
Payments Giant Block to Build Open-Source Bitcoin Mining System
Nike and Adidas Are Dipping Toes Into the NFT Market. The Sneakerheads Are Into It
Axie Infinity’s Gaming Sidechain Is Bigger Than Many Major Layer 1s by Volume: Nansen
Featured Story: The Metaverse Needs a Constitution
This episode was edited and produced by Adrian Blust.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
@2021 CoinDesk

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Tim Cook said Apple is looking at cryptocurrency – Here’s what the company is likely to do – 9to5Mac

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December 28, 2021
Bradley Chambers
– Dec. 28th 2021 6:00 am PT


A few weeks ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook made headlines when he said he personally owns cryptocurrency while mentioning that Apple is looking at it from a technology perspective, but not from a treasury decision. What will Apple do with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency?

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It’s something we are looking at, it’s not something we have immediate plans to do. I would characterize it as there are things that I would not do like our cash balance. I would not go and invest that in crypto not because I would not invest my own money in crypto, but because I don’t think people buy Apple stock to get exposure to crypto. So if they want to do that, they can, you know, invest directly in crypto through other means. And so I would not do that. I’m not planning to in the immediate future to take crypto for our products. As a mane of tender, but there are other things that we are definitely looking at.
During the interview, Cook revealed that he owns cryptocurrency, saying “it’s reasonable to own it as a part of a diversified portfolio,” while also noting that he’s “not giving anybody investment advice.” However, Cook didn’t mention if he owns Bitcoin or another particular type of cryptocurrency.
Apple has plans for its retail financial arm. Its Apple Pay service allows people to send money in particular jurisdictions over iMessage. It also has its Apple Wallet app and associated Apple Pay services for mobile payments. Apple wants to grow its services business, and siphoning off banking services is an ideal way to do it. What does this have to do with cryptocurrency?
I believe that Apple will build a Bitcoin wallet directly into Apple Wallet shortly while also allowing for a low-cost way to purchase Bitcoin on iPhone.
With Bitcoin wallets – where you maintain full control of your bitcoin and move it off an exchange like Coinbase –you are responsible for securing your wallet with a seed phrase. I personally reccomend using a couple of Trezor, Ledger, or Coldcard hardware wallets with a multisig vault with a company like Unchained Capital to eliminate single points of failure with your Bitcoin wallets. I also recommend using a steel wallet like billfodl or SEEDPLATE for securing your seed phrase in case of hardware failure.
For newcomers to Bitcoin, this whole process might seem overwhelming, which is why I think Apple might approach it in a couple of ways:
If Apple operates as a Bitcoin exchange, they’ll let you buy bitcoin directly in the Apple Wallet app using whatever payment methods you have on file. They’ll allow you to store your holdings in Apple Wallet while Apple itself will retain the keys. It’ll look a lot like what Cash App or Coinbase does, where you can send, receive, and store Bitcoin without needing to store your seed phrase.
If Apple sets up a software wallet directly on iPhone, it’ll likely look similar to BlueWallet, where you take self custody of your Bitcoin with a seed phrase backup. You’ll own the keys to your Bitcoin directly on your iPhone and be responsible for backing up the seed phrase. If Apple goes this route, I suspect they’ll build in an encrypted iCloud backup of your seed phrase that’s tied to multi factor authentication in such a way where only you can decrypt it. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
Finally, Strike is a company I could see Apple partnering with for global Apple Pay Cash transactions. Twitter is already working with the company for its tipping service. Strike does a couple of things that could be of interest to Apple:
It accomplishes the global payment system using Bitcoin as the transaction medium. If I want to send someone in another country money, I input dollars, it converts it to Bitcoin and converts it back to local currency when received. It sounds simple, but it’s a pretty revolutionary way to process payments globally for free.
I just published Announcing the Strike API
Today, @Twitter enables free, instant, global payments for their users with their integration of the Strike API.
What the internet did for communication, #Bitcoin + the Lightning Network is doing for money.https://t.co/jHkY6knXkP pic.twitter.com/FXujknG7sM
— Jack Mallers (@jackmallers) September 23, 2021

Ultimately, Bitcoin is becoming a significant force to be reckoned with in our world. With a finite supply, decentralization, and digitization of our financial system, it’s likely to continue to play a significant role as digital gold and global settlement network. Apple doesn’t want to miss a massive shift in technology as it seeks to drive services revenue and become a significant player in the financial services industry.
It’s also possible Apple will use Bitcoin as a transaction layer with its online store when the company is concerned about the stability of the local currency as we saw recently in Turkey.
Bitcoin’s energy usage is a common discussion among its critics. While there is a lot to unpack here, I’ve found the video I’ve embedded below to be a great resource to explain how there’s more to the discussion about Bitcoin and energy usage than most people would lead you to believe.
TL;DW: The Bitcoin network uses less energy than the use of Christmas lights in the US.
What do you think Apple will do with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Leave a comment below! Interested in learning how to buy Bitcoin? We’ve put together a detailed guide on the best apps for buying Bitcoin on your iPhone
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:
Breaking news from Cupertino. We’ll give you the latest from Apple headquarters and decipher fact from fiction from the rumor mill.


Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.
Tips, feedback, corrections and questions can be sent to Bradley@9to5mac.com.
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