Homepage / Technology / Use caution before joining the bitcoin frenzy
Asian stocks set for subdued open after Nasdaq notches record close; trade concerns simmer GoodRx, a service for finding bargains on prescription drugs, is in sale talks for up to $3 billion The 4 fastest-growing job skills of the next three to five years: LinkedIn Saudi Arabia, Argentina to be part of MSCI emerging markets index Buffett, Bezos and Dimon's health-care pick is known as a thought leader, not a business leader Alexa goes to college: Northeastern is giving students Amazon Echo Dots Disney-Comcast bidding war for Fox will go up to $45 a share before Disney wins: media expert Tesla's alleged rogue employee is exactly what Congress is worried about with self-driving cars Former Citrix chief Mark Templeton takes over at cloud start-up DigitalOcean Apple makes a big push into kids' content with creators of Sesame Street A year later, what Uber has done to revamp its troubled image The United States just built the world's fastest supercomputer — here's what that means Instagram crosses 1 billion monthly active users, unveils long-form video Microsoft acquires Bonsai to help with its artificial intelligence push Stitch Fix shares pop on speculation of Oprah taking stake in the company The AT&T-Time Warner ruling is making the Murdoch family billions of dollars richer Here's why Google and Amazon probably will never be included in the Dow Chinese investment in the US drops 90% amid political pressure Tesla sues former employee for allegedly stealing gigabytes of data, making false claims to media Nasdaq CEO says ICOs are 'taking advantage' of retail investors JP Morgan is unleashing artificial intelligence on a business that moves $5 trillion for corporations every day This health tech start-up refused to take money from VC firms unless they had a female partner General Electric shareholders should rejoice at the Dow removal US existing home sales fall for second straight month Silicon Valley has an Achilles’ heel that threatens its supremacy in innovation Threatened by coalition partner, Merkel seeks to break migration deadlock China has an Iran oil lever over Trump and it's all playing out at OPEC meeting How tech companies conquered America's cities Nantucket home prices break record highs Oracle reduced visibility into its cloud business, and some analysts aren't happy Buffett, Bezos, Dimon appoint Dr. Atul Gawande as CEO of their newly formed health care company AMC will offer its own MoviePass-like subscription AT&T Advertising CEO: We need to buy more technology to make ads less obtrusive and more relevant Buy beaten-down Citi shares ahead of stress test results and earnings, Deutsche Bank says Disability applications plunge as the economy strengthens A ‘day of reckoning’ is coming for stocks. Here’s what could spark it, says market watcher Disney raises bid for Fox assets to $71.3 billion in cash and stock Morgan Stanley downgrades Starbucks due to its China sales growth stumble Trump wages trade conflicts during historically difficult time for the stock market A cruel summer for stocks is likely upon us, Federated's Phil Orlando warns OPEC set for a collision course over production policy ahead of landmark meeting Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: WGO, GE, FDX, ORCL, SBUX & more GE shares drop after the blue chip gets booted from the Dow, ending a 110-year run EU to hit $3.2 billion of US imports starting Friday in response to Trump's tariffs Mortgage applications jump 5.1% as interest rates settle Kroger, on a 'wild ride' in the last year, reports earnings this week. Here's how to play it Hopes are rising of a breakthrough in one of Africa's longest conflicts Bitcoin is 'not for me' but it's too 'arrogant' to say it won't have a future, Goldman Sachs CEO says High oil prices are a massive headache for India as economy gets 'pinched' The ECB has lost its independence in the wake of the debt crisis, a former member claims The ‘crypto sculpture’ and how hyped things have become Asian economies have a lot to lose in a US-China trade war CEO explains why his Australian company just announced 8,000 job cuts European stocks seen higher amid rising trade war fears; OPEC in focus White House says China's 'economic aggression' is a global threat The inspiration for tech titan Jack Ma's Alibaba was an unlikely politician Microsoft's Nadella: Trump administration policy separating children from families is 'abhorrent' A major cryptocurrency exchange says it was hacked and $30 million in coins was stolen Canada approves recreational use of marijuana Lapses at many levels of bank led to India's huge PNB fraud, internal report shows Australia's largest telco says it will cut 8,000 jobs over the next three years China-based hacking campaign is said to have breached satellite, defense companies Kim Jong Un and China's Xi discuss 'a new future,' North Korean media says Worst isn't over for General Electric, predicts ex-GE transportation CEO Asian shares set for mixed open after trade fears spook markets worldwide Cramer: Tesla's stock still has more upside—just use the right chart Cramer points to the trillion-dollar question about US-China trade: What about Apple? Elon Musk: If I can help kids at the border, I will SNAP CEO on Innovation and Imitation Oracle reports strong fourth quarter results and stock edges up Start-up that uses polymer science to make avocados last longer just scored a deal with Costco Here's a map of every Whole Foods where you'll get an Amazon Prime discount The CEO of agency giant IPG welcomes challengers to Facebook and Google: 'The more the merrier' Traders bet one soaring tech stock is about to lose steam Facebook takes another shot at grabbing social media stars from YouTube UK says it is happy with Rupert Murdoch's Sky News commitments related to bid for parent company Apple CEO Tim Cook says separating immigrant children at US border is 'inhumane' In the short history of Trump trade conflicts, it has paid to buy the market dip Danny Meyer stands by cashless push: 'We're unaware of any federal law' that requires accepting cash Express Scripts boots another online pharmacy — CareZone — from its network Home Depot and two other Dow stocks look ripe for a buy, says technician Snap shares plunge after analyst says users are less engaged White House's Navarro on China trade talks: No knowledge of Apple iPhone exemption Merkel, Macron agree on euro zone budget Walgreens and Humana are partnering to create senior health hubs Sarepta Therapeutics shares soar 50% on positive preliminary results for muscular dystrophy gene therapy Verizon pledges to stop some selling of phone-location data There's one Dow stock having a great day: Verizon Europe's IPO market heats up, and unicorns are getting in line Amazon wants a hand in all your deliveries, unveils last-step option for FedEx, UPS and private mail Soybean prices drop to two-year low on US-China trade war fears Cramer: US-China trade fight 'is not serious' right now; Trump has upper hand China has a limited number of weapons to use in a trade war with the US Laws governing medical marijuana could soon be relaxed in the UK The flip phone is about to make a big comeback as foldable screen nears reality Here is what a student could have made if they invested their 2014 summer earnings in FANG stocks VW names interim Audi boss, seeking to steady brand after its CEO's arrest Here’s the fundamental error in Trump’s trade strategy Chip stocks dive on trade war fears as industry gets a majority of its revenue from China New home construction booms to a near 11-year high in May

Technology

Use caution before joining the bitcoin frenzy

With bitcoin hitting a new all-time high in early trading Thursday, investors might be wondering whether they should venture into the developing world of cryptocurrency.

Tread with caution.

Bitcoin reached $5,231.28 on the news that China might reverse its recent shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges, surpassing its previous high of $5,013.91 hit on Sept. 2. Year to date, it’s up about 424 percent. (Click on the chart below to enlarge.)

Nevertheless, it’s part of a young asset class that comes with many unknowns.

“From an allocation standpoint, think of it as an alternative investment,” said certified financial planner Samuel Boyd, senior vice president of Capital Asset Management Group in Washington, D.C.

“You wouldn’t want more than 5 percent of your overall allocation in it,” said Boyd, who calls himself a fan of bitcoin, due to the technology underlying it.

In simple terms, bitcoin — which dates only to 2009 — is part currency, part commodity. It can be used as payment for transactions at companies that accept it the same way U.S. dollars are, or it can be viewed as an investment similar to gold.

The total value of all bitcoins in existence (roughly 66 million) stands at about $86 billion. Add in the other few hundred cryptocurrencies and it’s a $155 billion market.

Yet these new assets comprise just a fraction of the world’s multitrillion currency market. And as a new asset with a smaller pool of investors, cryptocurrencies are subject to wild swings in value. In the last week alone, for instance, one bitcoin has ranged from Thursday’s high of more than $5,200 to a low of about $4,200.

It’s also largely unpredictable which digital currencies will have staying power. Like any new market — remember all those dot-com busts? — it can take years for a shakeout and for lawmakers and regulators to figure out their oversight approach. Already, the anonymity that comes with these digital transactions raises concerns about money laundering and the funding of illicit activities.

Another major difference is that bitcoin’s creation, value and integrity come from complicated, mathematical wizardry, known as “blockchain” technology, which regulates the creation of new units and essentially ensures the security of every transaction involving the digital currency.

Basically, new bitcoins come into circulation via so-called miners, who use dedicated computer hardware and software to help create new bitcoins. (See chart below.) When 21 million units are reached, expected in 2040 or so, no more bitcoins will be created.

Source: Blockgeeks.com

Brian Sansom, of Middletown, Delaware, is both a cryptocurrency investor and miner. Intrigued by the technology used, which eliminates the need for traditional banks in transactions, the 36-year-old web designer and app developer began his foray into the world of digital currency about four years ago.

“It gives control to people instead of a government, and I like that,” Samson said. “And its value is going up. I like that, too.”

From the perspective of Samson and other bitcoin investors, digital currency is changing the way the global financial system works whether corporations realize it or not.

Samson, who paid $80 for his first bitcoin in 2013, said in August that he had earned about $140,000 in the digital currency from his mining activity and investing. He said he also holds roughly $26,000 in litecoin and ethereum from mining income.

Shoshi Bacon, of Forest Hills, Queens, began investing about a year ago when one bitcoin was worth $500. Since then, she has put a “significant chunk” of her net worth in bitcoin.

“It’s been a fascinating and exciting ride,” said Bacon, who is in her 50s. “The potential for the future of blockchain [technology] is just amazing. It’s a whole new frontier of opportunity.”

More from Your Money, Your Future:

Avoid these 3 mistakes when picking a Medicare plan

Watch out for hidden taxes when retiring to a new state

7 ways that cheap Tweety Bird figurine can screw up your estate

Source: Tech CNBC
Use caution before joining the bitcoin frenzy

Comments are closed.