1/7/18

Looks like there have been some crazy returns available for those investing in ICOs mid-2017.

Is it a case of being too late to the party now given the sheer number of ICOs occurring and potential cannabilisation of available funds?

I've put small amounts of money in to some over the past month or so, purely due to curiousity and FOMO. However, after having educated myself a bit more over these I am confident that circa 20% I've entered are scams (which is cool) but equally a few with definite legitimacy and purpose.

Just curious to hear others views and any success/failure stories?

Comments (88)

12/27/17

Bump

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12/27/17

How did you go about choosing ICOs to invest in?

12/27/17

Well initially in a very ill-informed manner.

But doing some analysis off of ICOs where the tokens reached external exchange, 69% have over a 1x return with an average return of 39x and median return of 4x.

Yet to realise any of my investments.

Was just curious as to whether anyone in the community had any success or experiences?

12/30/17

How did you conduct your research in terms of determining good ICOs from bad ones and then picking which ones to go after? Honestly haven't paid much attention to ICOs as the majority of them seem like bullshit.

12/27/17

Bumping to follow.

ICOs seem to be a scam given the craze with so many unknown and not-unique coins. Own Litecoin and Ripple currently.

26 Broadway
where's your sense of humor?

12/27/17

XRB didn't have an ICO because they distributed their coins through a faucet, but I got in a few weeks ago at $.60 and have made quite a bit, it hit $10 last night. I'm looking into this ICO called Birdchain at the moment.

The only ICO I invested in so far was EnjinCoin, the gaming crypto currency, which ended up paying off, but took months to do so. Be prepared for an ICOs to dump as soon as they hit the exchange sometimes.

1/3/18

How did you know, other than a mention from someone here on WSO, to go for Ripple? The more I see values on coins sky rocketing the more I don't want to miss out on the gains. I've been risk averse up to this point because tulip bulbs. There's so many different coins, how do you decide which to buy into?

1/3/18

The key is to invest only as much as you can afford to lose, which is why, in my estimation, there aren't many people making substantial money. I have $5,150 cost basis in cryptocurrency. I suspect I have a considerably higher investment than the median investment size (potentially less than the average). So people are bragging about their ICO gains, but they are gains on a few hundred or a few thousand dollars.

1/5/18

How's that looking on a market value basis?

1/5/18

As of this second, $6,348.

1/5/18

Nice - are you involved in any ICOs where the tokens/coins are yet to hit the external exchange?

1/5/18
TONA09:

Nice - are you involved in any ICOs where the tokens/coins are yet to hit the external exchange?

Nope. I'm not that deeply involved yet. In fact, at this juncture, I've promised myself to stand pat for now at my $5,150 cost basis. My main investment is real estate and I'm always in need of more liquidity, so at this juncture this is what I feel comfortable with.

1/6/18

What coins are you into?

Array

1/3/18

Planning on putting more $ into Ripple, the more I read the more I like it. Sounds like it has lots of potential with adoption by various banks and financial institutions.

Array

1/3/18

You guys should check out Omisego (OMG)... pretty groundbreaking stuff if their plans go through

1/5/18

Seems like every coin has its own merits and "groundbreaking" technology. One day the meta is OMG, next it is XRB then XLM - without understanding the underlying technology it is such a lottery. The fact that Ripple is where it is and it is centralised is mind-blowing.

1/3/18

only problem is ripple isn't decentralised, which is one of the main points of having a crypto currency in the first place. don't get me wrong, I was going to get in @ 1.20$ a few weeks ago, now its at 3.20$ but I'm still waiting to get approved on the fucking platform its taking so fucking long. everyone trying to get in on it

1/3/18

Same here...Bitstamp is killing me. Ripple was under a dollar when I set my account up, but I am still waiting for them to verify my shit!!!

1/4/18

Exchange bitcoin, litecoin, or ethereum from coinbase into XRP using the Evercoin app and store it in Toast Wallet.

1/5/18

good tip on evercoin!

1/6/18

let me give that a try... I'm a complete noob... might take me a while, thanks for the tip!

12/27/17

Interesting - why birdchain?

have invested in the following for various different reasons:

WAX - very optimistic of legitimacy and genuine business success
INS - very optimistic of legitimacy and genuine business success
Naga - unsure was drunk
Cashaa - big following but rather disappointed with the lack of professionalism which leads me to believe it is all smoke.

Davorcoin, Ucoincash and Eigencoin - some of the hilarious lending platforms which are undoubtedly a ponzi scheme (purporting to provide over 1% interest per day - so funny that some people believe this is genuine) - just looking to gain off the token price rise as people rush to pour their cash away in these schemes.

12/27/17
TONA09:

Interesting - why birdchain?

have invested in the following for various different reasons:

WAX - very optimistic of legitimacy and genuine business success
INS - very optimistic of legitimacy and genuine business success
Naga - unsure was drunk
Cashaa - big following but rather disappointed with the lack of professionalism which leads me to believe it is all smoke.

Davorcoin, Ucoincash and Eigencoin - some of the hilarious lending platforms which are undoubtedly a ponzi scheme (purporting to provide over 1% interest per day - so funny that some people believe this is genuine) - just looking to gain off the token price rise as people rush to pour their cash away in these schemes.

Also,

CFKRS - Promising investment. Creative company, especially the name. Pretty ingenious to invent a cryptocurrency called Coinfuckers.

You give them money and in the end they fuck you with their coins. You kind of knew it going into it, so hard to complain.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

12/27/17
TONA09:

Naga - unsure was drunk

Honesty

26 Broadway
where's your sense of humor?

12/28/17

For those following this thread, the following link shows some of the returns that could have been made on some ICOs

https://icowatchlist.com/finished/best-returns
At the time I write this, Stratis could have returned an ROI of 161,238.34% haha - madness.

Does anyone know of any personal blog/journals out there where an individual is documenting their investments and progress in a forum? Haven't been able to find any but would be really interesting to see.

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12/29/17

How do you choose which ICOs to participate in? Read the whitepaper, check out the development team, etc. (i.e. the same way you'd evaluate an existing coin)?

I've avoided ICOs and just gone with coins that I believe are undervalued, have a solid development team, a working or close to working product, great teach, and an actual need for the coin (vs. using the coin as a substitute for stock).

12/30/17

Hey Sil, where do you find the information on these things? Trying to understand the drivers of ICOs and figure out how crypto 'funds' would work.

12/30/17

For ICOs, I check ICObench, which has ratings, reviews, and a calendar of upcoming ICOs. You can then read the whitepaper, look at the team of developers, look at the stage of product release, etc. I would also do some Googling and look them up on Reddit.

For learning about coins and staying in the know, I read r/CryptoCurrency on Reddit. It's full of shills and crap content, but you do see some really good analysis if you sift through it. It's at the very least a good source to stay in the know.

12/30/17

SB'd!

12/30/17

So far I hadn't really put much thought into it and it has just been an exercise of curiosity more than anything else.

I had started looking at putting together a framework with the following metrics, however given that this bubble is mental it is probably pointless and not worth the time and thought)

Financial Metrics
Insignificance of Target Market Cap against total Crypto Market Cap
ICO Tokens v Total Supply

Business Metrics
Quality of team and experience
Existence of Prototype
Whitepaper Quality
Legitimate Business Case
Github rating (although I do not fully understand how this could be done)

Social Metrics
Alexa website ranking (just to track the "hype")

All pretty basic though

Best Response
12/30/17

As a former currency trader who now invests in technology businesses, I feel compelled to comment--this shit is nuts. The vast majority of these ICOs are going to 0. The vast majority of so-called 'blockchain' businesses are going to 0. I'm old enough to remember the dot.com bubble.

In 1997, any internet company was well bid precisely because the people investing in it did not understand what they were buying. I got asked by a waitress at a cocktail bar recently about whether she should invest in bitcoin. She has NO other investments and knows nothing about finance or the underlying technology. And while that anecdote doesn't implicitly scale to the larger market, I think it's an indication of it.

I had a friend in high school who went to jail for dealing drugs that killed one of our other friends. He's out of jail now, can barely spell, and has $1M worth of cryptocurrencies. While there are a few respectable TRADERS who are into this at the moment, there are few respectable INVESTORS who have jumped into the deep end of the pool as of yet.

Traders can make a lot of money in a bubble so long as they get out before the collapse, but as a former trader, I warn those of you who aren't professionals that it's exceedingly difficult to pick tops and bottoms. That's not how any trader makes money. And for those of you who don't understand A LOT of the underlying technology and the corresponding policy drivers that will invariably poke a hole in the sidewall of this over-inflated nonsense, I have another anecdote: I have never known a successful tech investor who doesn't understand the tech in which they invest.

Now, there is a chance that I'm simply too old, too dumb or too myopic to understand this newfangled technology, but I think not. One or two of these will work out. For ICOs that are ostensibly replacements for shares, I think they're almost all going to 0. For 'crypto' companies that change their name to 'reflect the new reality of what their companies do', they're almost surely going to 0. For people who think they're buying a currency with their investments in the space, they're likely to be disappointed. Most of these 'assets' will never become currencies. They will mostly become valueless commodities. For those of you who think you have the chops to pick the handful of winners out of hundreds of options, I say to you, "Good luck." For those of you who just want to make some money trading, keep it light and take profits when you can. For every person who made a fortune in the dot.com bubble, there were dozens of people who lost their shirts, their shoes and most importantly, their chance to take risk in their careers.

If you're not risking much, knock yourself out. But view this as a gamble, not an investment. And if you get lucky, and happen to pick the winner in this chariot race, congratulations. But try not to pretend ex post that you were some sort of genius, and saw the whole thing playing out precisely as it did. I know far too many dicks in the VC world who got lucky or were in the right place at the only moment someone like them could ever have made any real money. They concoct some narrative after-the-fact that paints themselves as some sort of sagacious prognosticator. Don't be that guy.

12/30/17

Great take - thank you.

I definitely lack the knowledge of the underlying tech and 100% agree it is a gamble and not an investment - just looking to have fun with small amounts of capital attempting to ride the rise and for no better reason than wanting to be involved (an air-tight strategy).

As you say, everyone and their blind dog is getting involved and it is evident that many are financially ill-informed. I'm not sure if you've seen the likes of the below but people will get very very hurt from them:

bitconnect.com
davor.io
ucoincash.co

They dress themselves up as p2p lending platforms and purport to provide +1% interest a day, which just has to be a ponzi scheme. There are many many more of these "platforms" and I don't understand why people aren't talking about it.

This site itself is hilarious but provides an idea of how many of these "platforms" there are:

https://lendingplatformreviews.com/

1/17/18
1/17/18

you called it bro, good shit.

1/19/18

Thank you sir

12/31/17

Very true. These are all zeroes. But as a trader I guess I wish I played. Way easier money than anything else in the trading space. As long as you trade it and manage risks there's money to be made. But at the end of the day they are zeroes.

I'm not the biggest fan of cryptos at all. But if they end up being real we will likely have a crash at some point. Where all the dumb money dumps. You could have bought amazon at $5 after the crash. If you are an investor wait for the crash and pick thru the rubble.

Array
1/8/18

@traderlife I see your logic, but I'm not sure the crash comes when the dumb money dumps. If the whales -- early developers, early technologists, corporate entities (XRP) -- started dumping en mass, then we could see a massive crash. (Ripple has safeguarded against this to appease concerns and prevent market manipulations.) However, the whales are the smart money-- they have likely already cashed out enough that they are at no real risk of losing their principal or their profits so far--and they know they don't have have great liquidity, as dumping would cause massive slippage and deteriorate their existing assets. Thus, the whales likely help stabilize prices by buying back when retail traders are dumping or bulls are losing force, to help protect their existing assets. Additionally, I think the whales have unparalleled access to market manipulations compared to other assets. Just look at Bitcoin Cash for the most extreme example.

So, yes, the real crash should come if the whales have already quietly exited, and the dumb money dumps OR retail bulls run out of steam as there is no more whale money artificially inflating the price. But if this happens, I think the market might never recover. Or it would completely reinvent itself with new cryptocurrency assets, and we could see a similar bubble.

1/8/18

Don't things go to zero if they have no purpose or use?

Array
1/8/18

Things go to zero if they are perceived to have no purpose or use. Most of this froth is due to perceived future value and FOMO--most of the tokens currently have no value or use.

1/3/18

Fantastic response.

It is widely known of bubbles that the time to get out of the market is when the least sophisticated investors are pouring in.

@brotherbear has it exactly correct - it is just not sustainable for people who know nothing and are buying whatever ICO hits the market to make eye-popping returns ad infinitum. But that is what is happening now, and this impression fuels ever more inflows to the space every day.

If your investment feels like rolling the dice, it's probably because it is. Just remember that even though casinos reward the few, the house always wins. Are you going to be the lucky one?

1/3/18

I don't buy your logic entirely. Essentially 100% of the American population is invested in the U.S. Dollar. The dollar is a currency. If you believe that cryptocurrency will become a useful currency in the long-term then you would expect "unsophisticated" people to be using it; in fact, unsophisticated people using a currency would be a show of strength.

1/3/18

I understand your gripes with my logic. However I don't think it's entirely fair of you to use the USD as a counterfactual to BTC. The USD is the currency of last reserve for the global economy, and it rests upon centuries of global dominance as well as the power of the US government to tax its citizens. BTC is a newfangled financial instrument, the creator of which remains anonymous, and the machinations of which remain opaque by comparison to those of the Fed and other reputable central banks.

I understand the gist of your point - yes, we would expect the majority of users of a mature currency to be unsophisticated. However, BTC is not mature. Furthermore, I don't know if there is a precedent in modernity for a internationally recognized legal tender without some fiat power that sits behind it. So we are witnessing the growth of something that is philosophically and practically unprecedented, and I admit, it is interesting, which is part of what is fueling the rapid growth.

Now, you bring up the long term - I do think that there is a place for crypto currency in the global economy of the future, just as there was and is a future for tulips. But I think the way these opportunities are being characterized right now is wildly optimistic and resembles speculation far more than investment.

1/3/18
Fugue:

I understand your gripes with my logic. However I don't think it's entirely fair of you to use the USD as a counterfactual to BTC. The USD is the currency of last reserve for the global economy, and it rests upon centuries of global dominance as well as the power of the US government to tax its citizens. BTC is a newfangled financial instrument, the creator of which remains anonymous, and the machinations of which remain opaque by comparison to those of the Fed and other reputable central banks.

Fine, replace USD with Mexican peso or Swiss franc or Russian ruble. The more the "vulgarity" uses a currency the more legitimacy it has. BTC's growth in market cap may be a speculative boom, but it's a speculative boom by the masses of people, giving it wider credibility as a currency.

The point is, crypto currency only makes sense if it is adopted widely by unsophisticated investors. If it were not adopted by unsophisticated investors then it would have no credibility as a currency.

Fugue:

I understand the gist of your point - yes, we would expect the majority of users of a mature currency to be unsophisticated. However, BTC is not mature. Furthermore, I don't know if there is a precedent in modernity for a internationally recognized legal tender without some fiat power that sits behind it. So we are witnessing the growth of something that is philosophically and practically unprecedented, and I admit, it is interesting, which is part of what is fueling the rapid growth.

You're right; it isn't mature and there is no precedent, which is why values today are volatile, but potential returns are high. For BTC (or others) to become legitimate currencies they need, paradoxically, a greater speculative boom.

Fugue:

Now, you bring up the long term - I do think that there is a place for crypto currency in the global economy of the future, just as there was and is a future for tulips. But I think the way these opportunities are being characterized right now is wildly optimistic and resembles speculation far more than investment.

Half the world lives in a banana republic. I think once a crypto currency (whichever one it is) gains enough market cap and liquidity and values become less volatile, I could definitely see it being a medium of exchange in the half of the world that is a banana republic.

1/3/18

I agree that a stable, globally recognized blockchain-based currency is preferable to banana republic fiat currencies for people in those banana republics.

Taking a step back though - again, yes, I agree that a true currency must be used by the unsophisticated masses. But they have to use it for transactions in the real economy for your argument to make sense, and they don't do that in actuality.

The vast majority of coins are owned by a comparative handful of early adopters. The vast majority of "transactions" are just speculation on an asset between trader, not expenditures of currency in exchange for tangible goods that are in turn consumed by "the masses". I cannot buy bread with BTC, My mortgage cannot be denominated in it. All the global corporations which I would want to accept BTC or its ilk are instead pioneering their own blockchain-based solutions to market to me.

Furthermore, at present pace, it will not be many years before the value of BTC (large as it is) will be dwarfed by the cost of the electricity that is consumed in the creation and maintenance of a BTC-based economy. Transaction costs are also ludicrously high for crypto currencies, so there is no current rational incentive for "the masses" to use it as a store of value rather than the USD or another fiat currency. Further, its uncertain existence vis-a-vis regulation means that at any time, anywhere in the world, there is the risk that these coins become outlawed and therefore useless.

In summary, I think we mostly agree. I want to clarify, my point originally was not that a great currency is only used by sophisticated investors - my real point is that cryptos don't currently merit being called a currency because they are not used as the coin of the land anywhere other than the very outermost fringes of the global economy. Because they are not currently being used to purchase goods and services in the real economy en masse, they need to be regarded as what they are, which in my opinion is closer to a commodity. As such, they should be regarded warily - because whenever the most unsophisticated investors wade in to the deep end of a speculative boom, you know it's going to be over soon.

1/3/18

I don't think BTC is a speculative bubble. It is almost 9 years old now--it's gone through many ups and downs but has climbed irretrievably from <$1 to $15,000+. What's finally happening is it's starting to snowball, and people who don't understand it are calling it a bubble, which would have been a conceivable claim at almost any price above, say, $5. At what point do you say BTC is on its way to legitimacy and is not merely a temporary spike? We are pushing a decade now...

1/5/18

So what, because some asset trends upwards over 9 years, it's not a bubble?

Housing prices rose without a single year of decline for 36 years, at which point they lost 30% of their value and almost blew up the global economy. Enron was around for 16 years before being exposed as a fraud. So what's your point? My point is that the mere fact of a thing being around for nine years doesn't mean anything about its validity as an investment whatsoever.

1/5/18
Fugue:

So what, because some asset trends upwards over 9 years, it's not a bubble?

Housing prices rose without a single year of decline for 36 years, at which point they lost 30% of their value and almost blew up the global economy. Enron was around for 16 years before being exposed as a fraud. So what's your point? My point is that the mere fact of a thing being around for nine years doesn't mean anything about its validity as an investment whatsoever.

You're wrong on the housing market and on Enron, and neither is comparable to crypto currency. For one, a company and housing both have underlying economic metrics that cause prices to rise and fall, thus you can identify a bubble (at least in hindsight) when prices no longer reflect cash flows. Crypto currency has no underlying economic mechanism that determine proper pricing. Crypto currency prices are a simple function of supply and demand. Calling crypto currency a bubble is like calling prices for fine art a bubble. I'll further my point by asking you these questions: how much should Bitcoin be worth? Why? How much should a Picasso painting be worth? Why? If you give me an address, there is a good chance I can tell you how much a house should be worth; if you give me a financial statement, there is a good chance I can tell you what an apartment building should be worth and why. If you can't do that with crypto currency then you can't call it a bubble until (or if) the bubble bursts. You have no greater insight than anyone else.

Housing price chart:
https://economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016...
Secondly, the housing market "bubbled" over a very short period of time (about 2 years) in that price increases were not a reflection of economic reality. When the bubble burst there were 2 years of declines, and then housing prices rapidly recovered and are as high as ever today. Finally, Enron wasn't a bubble--Enron was fraud. Not comparable to tulips, housing, or crypto currency.

1/8/18

@brotherbear @Fugue @Fugue

This exchange is very thoughtful and useful. I wrote below while considering the original question without reading the backlog of comments. My background is more technical, but not as technical as the blockchain devs-- hopefully it can add some value to this discussion.

--
Sorry, I'm too new to post any links, so Google will need to suffice if you are interested in any of the topics I mention.

OP-"I've put small amounts of money in to some over the past month or so, purely due to curiousity and FOMO" -- I think this is great self-awareness. RE: "Just curious to hear others views and any success/failure stories?" -- to that question, I think it would be the early adopters who have the most success stories ;) Given the genesis of bitcoin, they are probably not lurking on this forum.*

I have some skin in the game, but unfortunately I'm not one of the long-time BTC investors/devs. Here are a few of my thoughts about investing/trading/gambling crypto:

  1. Don't invest more than you are willing to lose. Also, I'll go on to say that in crypto it is probably better to let the crypto draw down considerably and then (likely) come back in a couple months to see it recover. I've had this happen and also crazy bull runs out of nowhere.
  2. IMHO, the whitepaper is the best place to do any fundamental analysis of the founding team, use case, and value proposition, and what they are looking to do with the funds raised for their tokens. Google : Basic Attention Token Whitepaper. That said, I don't think that utility really correlate with short-term price action in this space. We are seeing many 10X or 100X returns on ideas with whitepapers that are not worth the price of the hard drive storage for the PDF. For longer-term, maybe fundamental analysis is useful, but it's too early to be said.
  3. If you haven't already, would suggest reading the OG whitepaper -- "Bitcoin : A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Google: Bitcoin Whitepaper You could argue that Bitcoin has not been successful in it's original use case for p2p cash, and you would be right, at least so far. Instead, it is the preferred "reserve" concurrency for traders (along with ETH, USDT*) and digital gold.
  4. Consider the source of your information. Most of the people online who are praising a coin could be pumping & dumping.
  5. RE: " Is it a case of being too late to the party now given the sheer number of ICOs" --
    Consider that experts have been calling bitcoin "a bubble" since the dawn of bitcoin. Yes, it is a bubble, and it will crash/correct, but over time it has obviously proven to be a very lucrative bubble for the early adopters. Perhaps driven by FOMO, perhaps by perceived future utility (too early to tell). These individuals who are very early adopters have likely taken out enough profits that they are set for life. The early investors had very inexpensive call options. The rest of us may not have those same options.
  6. There is an insane amount of froth, and the total crypto market could correct 50% or 80%, but long-term, personally, I see a value in this technology. Cliched, but I agree with whomever likens this to the 1990s tech bubble scene -- there will be winners and losers and picking them might be hard, but I believe distributed ledger technologies will change and hopefully co-exist harmoniously alongside existing/future business processes & various financial service use cases.
  7. I suggest the website CryptoCompare. Google Cryptocompare The USD chart is useful to see some of some the fluctuations across the various currencies, and I think is more useful than the OG comparison tool, coinmarketcap. Cryptocompare is also useful to help you sort by market cap and drill into the forums where people like to pump & dump their specific coins (or praise, bash, etc.) Additionally, you will notice their are different cult of personalities for each token. Many of the original adopters are likely wildly profitable, or so they tell you.
  8. Most of above is about "trading", not "investing." I think you should really consider your investment horizon and understand what you are looking to get. Would you (1) OK accepting a 20% profit in a month or (2) a 1000% profit in a year? Would you be (3) OK having a 200% paper profit in 3 months to see that (4) crash 50% in one day? These are valid questions given the volatility of this market, and I I have seen experienced/had more regrets stemming from (1) than anything else -- it is hard to take profits in a market this frothy. Or, it is easy to take profits and kick yourself later for doing so.
  9. "However, after having educated myself a bit more over these I am confident that circa 20% I've entered are scams (which is cool) but equally a few with definite legitimacy and purpose." Having educated myself perhaps a little bit more, I am confident that number is at least 85%.
  10. Consider DCA into Bitcoin - the pains are not that hard and then you don't need the invest the time or mental energy to time the market.
  11. Institutional money - consider that it was already being pumped into the market before we were generally aware of this. Given the consumer attention and general froth surrounding crypto right now (when is the last time Bitcoin/crypto wasn't reported on in WSJ within the last week? last day? ) -- do we really think this will be gone in 2 years? In 5 years? Is the institutional money being dragged, kicking & screaming perhaps, into this brave new world -- at least with a toe?
  12. This is all uncharted stuff. Sorry if I am ranting, but I hope it's somewhat useful for you. I was vaguely inspired by this very interesting article and prognostication for 2018 crypto trends. Google: 95 crypto theses for 2018 I would count up all of the numbers that you understand of that list and then do a gut check on how much risk you are willing to take on gambling in this space and for how long you can gamble the money until you force yourself to "cash" out.
  13. Do you hold your own private keys? Do you know what that means? (Not being pedantic. If you do, that's good, but I'd imagine > 75% of the new retail USD money being converted to BTC is coming from retail investors who haven't the foggiest.) Do you realize that those who truly believe in this new economy don't think you would ever need to "cash" out at all?*
  14. Don't be a bag holder.

*interesting article on Bitcoin's genesis block : ** Google : What Satoshi Said**

**very likely a scam currency

***I do not go as far as these true believers.

Also : XRP / Ripple is one of the most non-centralized, non-distributed cryptos of the lot. It is pre-mined by a corporation that still owns roughly 61% of its market cap. Not knocking XRP, it has a clear use case and good execution plan. We see a lot of re-centralization in this space among the more successful corporations (Bitmain / Bitcoin Cash). As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, I think that we will see increasing re-centralization, as consumers realize that they do not want to hold their own private keys, and they would prefer a bank to do so.

1/8/18

Thanks intrinsic - it is good to get the 2 cents from someone with a more technical (as in the underlying technology) background.

Your re-centralisation is really interesting and I wonder if you see this as more of a 3 to 5 year consideration as I would suspect it is?

Do you mind me asking where your skin in the game currently lies?

I have read the 95 crypto theses: I understand c. 65%, of which 20% explains an outlook I hope is not true. The author suggests that utility tokens are "going to zero" - what is your take on this?

On a side note: I am getting increasingly infuriated by "crypto-personalities", that are claiming to perform Technical Analysis (effective chartism) to make trading decisions (as opposed to fundamentals). In the current market it seems that you could throw a dart at a list from coinmarketcap and make money - what is even worse is the number of people lapping up these individuals as trading gods - do me a favour.

1/8/18

You are right of course but the TA is rather effective on a short-term basis-- the tokens spike almost purely bc of price action in a low-volume environment, thus any news or market manipulation can cause an outsizes trend. But my point is there are no business or financially qualitatively information available. The coins I hold are mostly the top 20 by market cap which I view not to be a scam and I believe in the use case and founders . I think that most tokens should decline in value as soon as people do not think there is utility/get impatient/general market froth declines. No crystal ball there.

What concerns me most is that I agree you could throw darts and if you threw darts 6 or 12 or 18 months ago you probably have paper profits in excess of all of those multiples today. The trading gods are at best simply new people telling those people the intracies of trading in an unrefined environment or at worse charlatans/pumpers looking to profit on their own ability to find the next greater fool.

I am bullish on crypto and I think this. I don't trust many in crypto other than the development teams and those calling for better regulation.

1/3/18

insightful post. I agree that you don't want to be the last one standing when the music stops.

+SB

12/30/17

I have been buying some coins lately, but have yet to do any ICO's (not really even sure how to participate in an ICO).

For any of you who have bought into ICO's what websites did you use?

12/31/17

Start at ICObech.com.

EDIT: Just be aware that ICOs, like most existing coins, are absolute crap. Since there is so little written about ICOs, it's also harder to do your DD on them before jumping in.

1/1/18

I have seen them described as "magic internet money" - I like that

12/31/17

Semi-serious question: Is anyone here planning to purchase any of the Venezuelan Petro at ICO?

1/1/18

I admittedly have not read much into it, but I quickly wrote this off as a government in need of money just trying to get on the blockchain hype train.

12/31/17

Know a guy who's been investing in ICO's since this September, he gets most of his tips from a crypto hedge fund in Korea. A lot of the tips are also just insider info for altcoins that are already listed, but hey it works lol.

1/2/18

Apparently Peter Thiel, who is a f*cking sex god, is crushing it in Bitcoin.

https://wsj.com/articles/peter-thiels-founders...

1/3/18

"sex god"?!?

1/3/18

No, a f*cking sex god.

1/3/18

What makes you say that though? Do you know from personal experience?

1/4/18

Nice try, we're onto you Peter!

1/2/18

First day on the job, you know what I learned? How to spot a murderer. Let's say you arrest three guys for the same killing. You put them all in jail overnight. The next morning, whoever's sleeping is your man. You see, if you're guilty, you know you're caught, you get some rest, you let your guard down. You follow me?

1/3/18

The whole "it's a bubble!" commentary isn't helpful. Yeah, the dot com phenomenon was a bubble in the 2000s. That doesn't mean that those invested in Google didn't make a killing. Block chain is the future. It takes complex relationships with multiple layers of middle men and replaces it with a secured, decentralized technology. Those who roll their eyes on this statement don't quite get it. It really is THAT revolutionary. It's going to revolutionize supply chain, insurance, finance (particularly PE/VC), real estate, etc.

That said, a lot of these ICOs are going to zero. Big deal. Invest in the ones that aren't. If you hold a broad enough portfolio, you'll make a killing. There was a dot com bubble, but the internet is legit technology. Many struck gold. You can do the same in this space. Bloc chain technology is legit and it's improving.

Don't listen to the old farts that scream "bubble!" at everything.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

1/3/18

I generally agree with your statements on the future of blockchain but have some concerns about this post overall.

"a lot of these ICOs are going to zero. Big deal. Invest in the ones that aren't."

This is a duh statement and is easier said than done. You can apply this to retail stocks in today's market, of course you can purchase the brick-and-mortar stocks that will survive (and possibly thrive) at a deep discount and reap great returns, but how do you know which will survive?

" If you hold a broad enough portfolio, you'll make a killing."

I'm not sure this is correct. Did people with a broad portfolio of dot com stocks "make a killing" during and after the tech bubble burst? I would think not. Apply this to cryptos, a broad portfolio of garbage is still garbage....

1/3/18
BobTheBaker:

"a lot of these ICOs are going to zero. Big deal. Invest in the ones that aren't."

This is a duh statement and is easier said than done. You can apply this to retail stocks in today's market, of course you can purchase the brick-and-mortar stocks that will survive (and possibly thrive) at a deep discount and reap great returns, but how do you know which will survive?

The two industry's aren't comparable so there isn't much to respond to here. The upside potential in ICOs doesn't compare to that of retailers. Different universe.

BobTheBaker:

" If you hold a broad enough portfolio, you'll make a killing."

I'm not sure this is correct. Did people with a broad portfolio of dot com stocks "make a killing" during and after the tech bubble burst?

Yeah, they made a killing. Those that got in super early and held until the burst of the bubble made a killing. Those that bought super late and held into the burst were destroyed. It's still reallllllyyyyyyy early in the ICO game. The market hasn't been formed yet. The idea is in its very infancy. The technology itself (with the smart contract) didn't even really exist until 2013 (with Ethereum) in a meaningful way.

So I would say get as broad exposure as you possibly can now. The losers will be outweighed by the winners. Again, we're talking about upside potential in the 10,000% to 1,000,000% order of magnitude range.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

1/3/18

1.) The two industries being incomparable has absolutely nothing to do with my point, which was that "Big deal. Invest in the ones that aren't" is easier said than done. I just used retail as an example.

2.) You're saying people who held a diversified set of dot com stocks bought before the bubble and held through the bubble "made a killing"? I'd like to see some cold, hard numbers on that.

1/3/18
BobTheBaker:

1.) The two industries being incomparable has absolutely nothing to do with my point, which was that "Big deal. Invest in the ones that aren't" is easier said than done. I just used retail as an example.

2.) You're saying people who held a diversified set of dot com stocks bought before the bubble and held through the bubble "made a killing"? I'd like to see some cold, hard numbers on that.

  1. Your retail example is shit because the risk/return characteristics aren't even remotely comparable. Do you understand the concept of analogs? If getting it right in retail meant a 1 million percent return then you might be onto something.
  2. Yes. The people that got in in the early 90s and held a broad, diversified portfolio of tech stocks (Dell, intel, amazon, ebay, etc.) made a killing. Go ahead and do your own research, or do you expect me to do it for you?

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

1/3/18

You seem upset, are you okay bro? Try and chill and make conversation without sounding like a twat.

1.) Again, interchange the industry with any you'd like or ignore the example all together. It has nothing to do with my point dude, I mean how much clearer do I have to make that? You're latching on to the industry is perplexing to be honest. Your statement stating "Invest in the ones that aren't" is easier said than done is my point. Please address that, I don't know how else to state something that should've been obvious from my initial post.

2.) Of course a diversifited portfolio of the stocks you mentioned would've been fine, but from what I understand on the dot com bubble is that for every amazon there were quite a few duds. What I am trying to understand is whether a diversififed portfolio of dot com stocks (let's call this a dot com etf that included all the dot com stocks trading on the NYSE/ NASDAQ) would've "made a killing" if you purchased said ETF prior to the bubble and held it through the bubble. You're the one making the claim, so provide the numbers to back that claim, I don't have the time to prove your claim for you.

1/3/18
  1. You can't interchange the industry with any other, at this point in time. That's precisely my point. Of course my statement "invest the ones that aren't" is easier said than done. I'm not making the case that any ICO investment is as good as any other or that there's a guaranteed return. The ability to pick the winners is obviously relevant here, and I can give you my views, if you like. My only point is that there's no other industry with this risk/return profile - with this much upside potential. Blockchain is real and so are cryptos.
  2. Right. You can do the math. Create an index of early-stage tech companies from late 80s and early 90s, do an equal allocation across all holdings and track the total return today(through all of the various acquisitions, IPOs, stock splits, etc.) and through the tech bubble (early PE/VC investment in Google, facebook, etc.). I'm not your FA so I won't do this for you and if you don't agree with my recommendation, that's fine. We agree to disagree.

When it comes to ICO, you can participate here the way that PE/VC got into tech giants at seed stages.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

1/7/18

Well said sir

1/4/18

No it isn't. Bitcoin averages 3.3 transactions per second, Visa averages 3,674 per second. It's just not scalable or backed by anything substantive to hold value over the long run. Even if you could solve the former, how many nearly identical crypto currencies can be created offering the same blockchain technology? Infinite. The USD isn't backed by gold, but it is legal tender, backed by an 18T economy, subject to regulation/recourse and protected by a powerful government with everything to lose if it starts breaking it's promises.

1/4/18

Who's talking about just bitcoin? There's wayyyyyy more to block chain than just bitcoin or even crypto-currencies for that matter. In many cases the tokens are merely equity shares in a company that takes the form of a trading platform. There's all sorts of activity popping up, from REITs, to cloud storage, to options and derivative trading, etc.. The people harping about bitcoin are really out of the loop.

Also, crypto is very real. The average national currency has a life span of less than 28 years. All around the world there is an enormous demand for money that isn't controlled by central banks. Americans may roll their eyes at this statement, but that's because they've never experienced hyperinflation. The networks are growing globally. In many countries, select cryptos are legal tender. Large banks have formed strategic relationships (i.e., UBS and Ripple) and, of course, there's the underground economy (ransoms, drugs, etc.) propping up the value.

So yeah, cryptos are real, there's more to block chain than just cryptos (and certainly more to it than just bitcoin) and those that get in early will do well.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

1/5/18

Yer - from what I have read within the crypto communities is that BTC (in comparison) is garbage.

It appears to have a first-mover advantage and subsequently where the majority of stupid money is going (albeit there is a lottery aspect to all crypto "investments").

In my view one of the real challenges for cryptos is the number of exchanges that exist. Arbitrage opportunities are significant and fees can be extortionate. I have considered getting involved in exchange ICOs with the anticipation of future acquisitions - although I haven't looked into the rights assigned to tokens in the ICO of an exchange as this could render the idea meaningless.

1/7/18

100% renders the idea meaningless. There are no "rights", the tokens aren't shares. It's literally a way for them to raise funds that they never have to pay back. The more you learn the more you will realize the entire thing is shiesty. Make your money in the way up then get out!

Learn more about crypto currencies and ask all your questions at thecoinboard.com - I check and reply to questions multiple times a day.
1/10/18

tokens can be whatever you want them to be. they're not bound by any definition... again, blockchains are just a ledger recording who owns what. the what... can be anything you want. they can inherently represent stocks, bonds, commodities or any other asset. you can raise money with the same form and substance as stocks and bonds but for the first time in a thousand years we don't need the whole litany of disciplines that exist to ensure trust, honesty, and security in every commercial transaction.

It sounds like many of you don't know the technology as well as you think you do and that's a dangerous spot to be in

1/8/18

Vhs and betamax in the beginning were emerging technologies...the future...but one became a household items while the other became relegated to obscurity.

Blockchain may be a valuable technology, this doesn't magically make a 1,000 various 'coins' valuable.

The main issue is without knowing which coin could be the 'winner', a lot of value can be lost. That is what speculation and bubbles are all about.

The true coin to make it, if any do at all, may not have been released yet. What 10yr old technology is seeing a rush of investors?

Bitcoins age is a large negative, quite the opposite of what a poster said above as being a positive.

It's inefficient, volitile, and caught on the radar of governments that will affect it's value indirectly-see Korea eyeing regulation and the ensuing selloff.

There will be few winners and many losers.

Esuric:

The whole "it's a bubble!" commentary isn't helpful. Yeah, the dot com phenomenon was a bubble in the 2000s. That doesn't mean that those invested in Google didn't make a killing. Block chain is the future. It takes complex relationships with multiple layers of middle men and replaces it with a secured, decentralized technology. Those who roll their eyes on this statement don't quite get it. It really is THAT revolutionary. It's going to revolutionize supply chain, insurance, finance (particularly PE/VC), real estate, etc.

That said, a lot of these ICOs are going to zero. Big deal. Invest in the ones that aren't. If you hold a broad enough portfolio, you'll make a killing. There was a dot com bubble, but the internet is legit technology. Many struck gold. You can do the same in this space. Bloc chain technology is legit and it's improving.

Don't listen to the old farts that scream "bubble!" at everything.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

1/4/18

I've personally invested a few hundred into the crypto market, but mostly because all the online casinos and sports betting sites are blocked in the office. I think cryptos fundamentally have a future over the long-term, but right now the high amount of friction around transactions and the limited opportunities for actually using these to buy stuff make them just a speculative asset class.

This however does not detract from the fun of waking up and seeing your portfolio up by 20% over night. Honestly at this point, if I lose the entire 200 bucks I initially put into this, it'll still have been totally worth it just for the entertainment value alone.

1/4/18

+1 ^^This. I put in $300 across a bunch of different coins (hat tip to Praesto) and they are now worth ~$1,100. May cash out some gains and just let the balance keep going and I will enjoy watching the show.

"Give me a fucking beer", Anonymous Genius

1/7/18

Glad I could help. It's nice to trade on house money. I haven't used my own funds in a while in the crypto market. The key is to take profits at regular intervals because the bottom will fall out at some point.

Learn more about crypto currencies and ask all your questions at thecoinboard.com - I check and reply to questions multiple times a day.
1/4/18

As a Canadian, I'd like to just say the grass is greener on the other side ;) but that's just me. I just hear there's a lot of problems liquidating into actual fiat though

1/7/18

The rationale is this: if you don't invest a token amount of money, you could be seriously kicking yourself in a month or two. That alone should make you pause.

I know too many people who've made thousands, millions (and in one case a billion $), not to get involved. But only with money I am perfectly ok with losing.

Which is basically the rationale for anything for anything outside of govt bonds.

1/9/18

Do you mind me asking what the average profile is of the people you mention? Do the majority of them have tech backgrounds?

1/7/18

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