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Should You Still Invest in Bitcoin in 2018?

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investment in bitcoin in 2018

Bitcoin in 2017

2017, quite remarkably, is being dubbed as the Year of Bitcoin. It hit the $1000 in the beginning of the year and accelerated right upto the $19,000 mark by mid-December, registering an almost 1800% increase in its price. Such a remarkable hit made it to the news headlines almost daily, and coaxed millions of people to look up Bitcoin and consider it as a potential investment for themselves. People have since wanted to know more and more about this digital currency, which resulted in Bitcoin securing the second position in the Google Trends list of the top trending topics for 2017.

Should you invest in Bitcoin in 2018?

More than ever in the history of investments, first time investors are looking at Bitcoins as a source of herculean returns. However, the limited number of Bitcoins available, and its constantly rising prices has brought up the question of whether Bitcoin is still a sound investment for the year of 2018. Before looking at the pros and cons of any form of investment it is vital to understand that the inherent property of any investment is instability – if not all then at least the most bankable ones do. And since Bitcoin is majorly a decentralized platform, it deters traditional investors from being highly excited about investing in it. They regard it as something with mercurial value, deficient of a formal structure, doomed to eventually fall out of the financial world in the coming years.

However, this is also one aspect that intrigues them. Bitcoin is unregulated and is not backed by any financial unit or singular government. Bitcoin users find this a very remarkable feature of this form of virtual currency since they are not levied any high transaction fees, additional fees, conversion rates etc. Not only this, the Blockchain technology on which Bitcoin is developed upon, provides for a public log of all the transactions ever processed, accessible to every user of the Bitcoin community. This open source nature of the Bitcoin platform provides unprecedented clarity in its functioning. The security and speediness of Bitcoin transactions has made it a growing popularity in several big countries.

Investing in Bitcoins in simple terms means buying them and then waiting for its value to appreciate with time in the hope of reaping massive returns. Thus said, people have been investing in it for majorly two purposes – first, to represent it as the future of money and thus do their part in supporting a the idea of a decentralized platform for financial savings and transactions and secondly, to make money.

HODL your Bitcoin

One would hold Bitcoins in their digital wallets in the only hope that one day in the subsequent years they could actually make real world purchases with it. That being said and considering the volatile nature of the Bitcoin’s value presently, one needs to question themselves the nature of their investment. Someone looking to reap benefits in the short term has loads of money making opportunities to explore by understanding the rapidly fluctuating value of Bitcoins, however anyone looking to use Bitcoins as a legal future of payment in the real world needs to decide whether or not the rapid volatile fluctuations would eventually subside and a more stable value of its price be determined.

Owing to the risky nature of a Bitcoin investment, it’s important for any investor to realize that investing more than they are willing to or able to lose would only push them towards depths of high risk situations. It is very important to do your own research about these investments and not blindly take the word of anyone. Understand the technicalities behind the process of not just buying Bitcoins but also those of Bitcoin mining. That being said, anyone looking into Bitcoin mining should understand how expensive the process is and that it is profitable only if done on a large scale. Bitcoin mining calls for a huge investment in the mining hardware in the very first place and requires you to have access to a lot of electricity. There are several cloud mining sites promising to do the work for you but more often than usual these are scams and it is much more wise and cost effective to buy your Bitcoins instead of spending them on mining hardware and/or paying cloud mining sites to do the job for you.

Yes or No?

If the answer to whether or not one should invest in Bitcoins was as simple and binary as a quick yes or no, everyone would be buying it or vice versa. This is in fact a complete process of doing your research, understanding the technology, educating yourself about it, and if one decides to finally make an investment, should always stay up to date with the current trends. Bitcoin is still a relatively new invention in the financial world, however a huge set of points do indicate in the direction of a new era. Like any other traditional investment, one should be in a position to lose everything, however, higher risks are always a steady companion of humongous returns.

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Mt Gox: Final chance to claim, last 4 days

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Clients of the dead crypto exchange Mt. Gox must submit claims for caught funds by Oct. 22. Claim for your lost bitcoin within 4 days

Clients of the dead crypto exchange Mt. Gox must submit claims for caught funds by Oct. 22.

The exchange initially opened up the cases procedure in August, after an extended bankruptcy fight.

In June, candidates requesting their bitcoin back won a remarkable triumph, as the Japanese bankruptcy court regulating the procedures moved the case to one of civil rehabilitation, which means creditors could petition for their cryptocurrency property, as opposed to a fiat proportional dependent on cryptocurrency costs in 2014.

Bitcoin was worth under $600 at the time the exchange opted for non-payment, however, like this took off to around $20,000 in December 2017 and is about $6,552 at press time.

 

After the October due date goes, as set out in late June, Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi will have a further three months to document an announcement of endorsement or dismissal.

While creditors can petition for bitcoin claims, they can’t yet guarantee continues from any of the bitcoin forks that happened since the funds were first solidified in 2014.

As per the announcement laying out the civil rehabilitation process:

 

“At this moment, we plan not to accept specific filing of cryptocurrencies other than bitcoins. Instead, we plan to deem bitcoin creditors who have filed a proof of claim for bitcoins have also filed a proof of claims for other cryptocurrencies proportionate to the number of bitcoins filed. We will post the further detailed information on this website.”

 

Both corporate and individual creditors have possessed the capacity to petition for cases starting a month ago.

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Latest: Bitcoin Mining Complete Analysis

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The bitter truth is that Bitcoin mining has a centralized business operation as few handfuls of Companies have taken over the Bitcoin mining industry.

Citing various possibilities of regaining decentralization in the Bitcoin mining industry.

Why do we need a Consensus?

Any particular system, for efficient functioning, must have a governance mechanism, in order to avoid exploitation of the resources. This can be related to the Cryptocurrencies, where for its smooth functioning the consensus algorithm is applied. The power of decision making is taken from an individual and distributed among the community itself, which is the inherent reason for the development of Crypto economy. Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, Delegated Proof of Stake, etc is some of the only algorithms applied. Specifically, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin incorporates the Proof of Work algorithm which implies the bitcoin mining operations.   

 

Decrease in the block reward over time

Mining is very similar to the traditional Gold mining where the users utilize the computer resources in order to solve a particular puzzle generated by the algorithm. The algorithm is designed in such a way that, on solving a puzzle successfully, that particular node of the network receives something known as block reward, in the form of Bitcoins along with the total transaction fees of the transactions he or she verifies. Currently, the block reward is 12.5 Bitcoins and before that was 25 and 50 Bitcoins respectively. It is estimated that approximately, for every 4 years the block reward gets halved.

 

The dominance of Bitcoin mining pools of China

The bitter truth is that Bitcoin mining has a centralized business operation as few handfuls of Companies have taken over the Bitcoin mining industry through their extensive hardware pieces of equipment. Specifically, Bitcoin mining companies from China namely Bitmain, BTCC/BTC China, and discus fish/F2Pool. The algorithm is designed in such a way that if the number of nodes club together and solve a common problem, then the difficulty is not increased but if the same number of minors individually try to you solve it, then the difficulty of solving increases. Therefore, people in early day days preferred to join the mining pools rather than individual mining. As an uninvited consequence of which, has resulted in the centralization of the mining pools.

 

Individual mining from home is non-profitable

If you are thinking of setting up a Bitcoin mining facility at your home, then it would be an utter failure, as the returns from the operations would be negligible, compared to the expenditure for electricity and types of equipment. In fact, smaller mining pools have also been suffering greatly and a Swedish Bitcoin mining pool, KnCMiner had also filed for bankruptcy. Hence, joining major Bitcoin mining pools is only way out, but even that has its own consequence as it leads to centralization of the mining operations. In a nutshell, it is highly challenging for an individual to undertake the Bitcoin mining operations.

 

Environmental effects and cost of electricity due to Bitcoin mining

Bitcoin mining operations have become so rampant, that they are eating up electricity which can be utilized by an entire country for a year. As mining operations have skyrocketed, even the price of electricity in various countries have been increased, particularly in China as they dominate it. The electricity bill of China’s largest Bitcoin mining pool, Antminer (Bitmain) accounts for a staggering $39,000 per day. China accounts for almost two-thirds of the total computational power vested in the field of Bitcoin mining. As mining operations require lots of electricity and generate thermal energy, it has environmental hazards and creates an imbalance in nature.

 

Increased electricity costs

On citing the harmful effects of Bitcoin Mining, governments of various countries have taken a stance of regulating them. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, they have increased the prices of electricity in order to control the mining operations but this would indirectly affect the Crypto Economy, as the mining pools would be forced to reduce their operations which would indirectly have an adverse effect on the prices of Bitcoin as the transaction fees would be affected. The combined effect of all these consequences might also push the price of Bitcoin.

 

Nearly impossible to regain the sanity of Bitcoin Mining

Long story short, Bitcoin mining have slipped from the hands of people as major business corporations have dominated over the industry. Regaining back decentralization in Bitcoin Mining, as it used to be in the earlier days, is highly challenging and equally competitive.

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Fortnite using Cryptocurrency: ERC20, ERC721 and more, good or bad?

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Incorporation of ERC20 and ERC721 tokens by Fortnite would effectively enable the players around the world, to utilize the cryptocurrency realistically.

Estimating the probability of introduction of cryptocurrencies within Fortnite.

Cryptocurrencies have become an integral part of the gaming industry

Cryptocurrencies have been quite popular and are actively being incorporated in almost all the domain, which entails some or the other kind of financial asset. Interestingly, the cryptocurrencies are also a crucial part of the gaming community where they are utilized by the users, to buy or sell the commodities in the virtual world. Although developed to revolutionize the real world economy of the world, the cryptocurrencies don’t stay back, when it comes to their popularity amongst the gaming community. Even Satoshi Nakamoto wouldn’t have imagined the way cryptocurrencies are being incorporated these days, apart from the economic perspective.

 

It all started with the Ethereum network

Notably, with the discovery of the Ethereum Protocol, Vitalik Buterin opened tons of gates for the Developers, Gamers, Investors, Entrepreneurs, and various other people to utilize the blockchain based template and, specifically enable the developers to develop their custom cryptocurrency project based on the Ethereum blockchain. The ERC20 protocol is effectively being used by various Decentralised applications which were designed to trade the virtual assets with real monetary value.  

 

Some favorite games using Crypto tokens

Currently, there are a lot of games which incorporate the use of cryptocurrencies within them, and the users can play games to earn cryptocurrencies. Some of the most popular ones in the list are Ever Dragon, Crypto baseball, Cropbytes, etc. However, the trend got escalated when Cryptokitties became popular, as it had blocked the entire Ethereum network. Followed by which, all the strategy and game building genre of games incorporated cryptocurrencies especially the Ethereum’s ERC20 based protocol tokens.

 

The Ethereum community is concentrated towards developing their protocols

Ethereum was a pioneer in developing non-fungible tokens which are predominantly used by the gaming community. The network has even focused upon the development of advanced versions of ERC20 protocol and hence improved the ERC721 tokens. However, much lesser known ERC1155 protocol has also been developed by the Ethereum team. The fungible tokens in games like Cryptokitties are used to buy or sell various in-game assets.

 

Should Fortnite use cryptocurrencies?

Take one of the most popular games of the current generation, Fortnite for instance. With millions of players playing Fortnite at any point in time throughout the world, they always seem to be dealing with the in-game assets due to the way they are designed. Traditionally, the users need to utilize the in-game currency known as V bucks to purchase things. But there are practical problems of liquidity, fungibility, and ownership which persist in the game, which can effectively be solved by cryptocurrencies.

 

ERC20 & ERC721 Protocols

Incorporation of ERC20 and ERC721 tokens by Fortnite would effectively enable the players around the world, to utilize the cryptocurrency realistically. Currently, the business model of Epic Games, which owns Fortnite, is concentrated towards its profit, as it controls the scarcity of the costumes, skins, cosmetics, etc. in the game. The data analysts at Epic, observe the demand and supply of various commodities within the game and respectively change them.

 

Reasons point towards a downward probability of such initiatives

Therefore, the incorporation of ERC20 or ERC721 tokens, in Fortnite might take quite a lot of time as the business model of the company is at stake. Epic might even ban the users who use the in-game assets in the secondary market. There are also various reasons pointing towards the inefficiencies, by incorporating cryptocurrencies in Fortnite. First of all, the tokens are well suited for decentralized applications such as Cryptokitties, Decentraland, etc. and as Fortnite was not predominantly developed within this genre, it would be quite challenging, to incentivize the entire game with blockchain based currencies in the upcoming updates.

 

Future of cryptocurrencies if Fortnite considers it

But, if the developers are serious about introducing the Cryptos, within Fortnite, then it would invariably take the crypto community by storm, as the vast customer base from Fortnite, would also be made available for the Crypto world. The cryptocurrencies would gain access to a broader market of the audience through this initiative and are better for the democratization of the global economy towards a bright future.

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