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Complete Guide to CoinBase
Coinbase - The reference platform for investing in cryptocurrencies: here is the complete guide. Coinbase is currently the most famous website or web platform for trading cryptocurrencies. This is not a classic Exchange but a real Broker that allows you to buy, sell and convert many of the main cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin and Ethereum among others - using traditional currency such as the Euro. In this complete guide to Coinbase we will try to explain all its features in detail. Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, it was born as a simple online Bitcoin wallet. Over time it has transformed into a cryptocurrency trading site that now reaches over 33 countries. Being a broker, registering on the site requires all the necessary steps (KYC) to verify the user who holds the account. By signing up via the following secure link you can immediately earn 10 Dollars which will be credited to you by Coinbase. Complete Guide to CoinBase Coinbase as well as an intermediary for the purchase and sale of over 15 cryptocurrencies directly in Euro, also provides a real exchange (crypto exchange site) called Coinbase Pro (ex-GDax): The exchange behaves as a normal stock trading site with purchases and sales in real time with obviously much lower commissions when compared with those of classic trading platforms. What Coinbase Pro offers. Coinbase can receive crypto from other exchanges and specifically generates more permanent online wallets that will always remain at your disposal. To all intents and purposes, Coinbase's main task is to act as an archive for its cryptocurrencies for all those who do not want to try their hand at decentralized wallets. The transfer between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, for example, will be quick and free (but this does not apply to other exchanges) thus allowing all those who wish to trade between the main cryptocurrencies to be able to avoid expensive passages on other exchanges. Coinbase Pro allows you to exchange a range of cryptocurrencies with each other higher than that of its brother site but at a much lower cost. While on Coinbase the exchange between cryptocurrencies involves the payment of a maximum commission of 2%, on Coinbase Pro the rates fluctuate between 0.15 and 0.25%. Values that will tend to decrease as the volumes traded increase. The Coinbase account will also allow you to operate on Coinbase Pro. However, an additional request for user verification via Webcam may occur. All these levels of security are obviously necessary to protect customers and comply with the stringent regulations of the various countries in which the company operates. Thanks to the guide, let's see what the interface shows us. In this complete guide to Coinbase we also want to clarify the visual aspect. Once inside the site you will find yourself in the Dashboard or Home Page which will show from top to bottom the value of your Portfolio with its historical graph, the list of cryptocurrencies that you decide to keep under observation, a box that shows the 5 heaviest cryptocurrencies in your Portfolio (a pie chart is also available) and a second box with the latest transactions. In the center of the page there is also the link to register with Coinbase Earn. By subscribing to the waiting list, you will have the opportunity to receive an invitation that will make you earn additional cryptocurrencies simply by following some very short video courses lasting a few minutes. In addition to the Home Page, there is the Prices page with the listing of all the cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase and a very long list of those not available. By selecting the star on the right you can decide which ones to always keep in the foreground on the home page. Clicking on one of them will open a new screen that will offer a large amount of technical and historical information on the crypto in question as well as a fair number of constantly updated news. Your funds are well organized. The Portfolio page will report the amount of the balance in Euro of all the cryptocurrencies deposited on Coinbase. Here you can send and receive crypto to external wallets. By clicking on Overview you will be sent back to the Prices page just described. The Safe item, on the other hand, allows you to set aside cryptocurrency at a higher level of security. Finally, a brief description of the "Make Transactions" item visible at the top right and present in almost all Coinbase pages. By clicking on it in any position you find it on the site, a small screen will open with the items "Buy, Sell, Convert". To purchase, you will first need to associate a payment method to your account. The Credit Card would be the most immediate choice due to its rapidity in crediting if it were not for the high commissions required by Coinbase. We therefore recommend that you be patient and use a normal Sepa standard bank transfer to credit the funds. Selling your cryptocurrencies on Coinbase, depositing them in your Euro account, is simple and immediate as well as foolproof thanks to the Preview that will always be shown before confirming the transaction. This will involve the payment of a commission between 0.99 and 2.99 Dollars. Rather high fees due to its wallet nature. For those who love trading, we obviously recommend moving to the Pro version. The site offers a complete and comprehensive technical support page: https://support.coinbase.com/ We conclude this complete guide to Coinbase with a note on the mobile versions. There are two versions of for smartphones: a standard one called Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet and a personal one called Coinbase Wallet. This second app allows you to transfer your cryptocurrencies from Coinbase Standard to an encrypted wallet on your smartphone (Coinbase Wallet). The substantial difference is the following: Coinbase Standard is an online wallet and therefore subject to the remote risk of an external cyber attack while Coinbase Wallet stores the encryption key locally on the phone. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.coinbase.android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.toshi We remind trading enthusiasts of the availability on our blog of the article dedicated to Exodus Wallet. If you liked this article and would like to contribute with a donation: Bitcoin: 1Ld9b165ZYHZcY9eUQmL9UjwzcphRE5S8Z Ethereum: 0x8D7E456A11f4D9bB9e6683A5ac52e7DB79DBbEE7 Litecoin: LamSRc1jmwgx5xwDgzZNoXYd6ENczUZViK Stellar: GBLDIRIQWRZCN5IXPIKYFQOE46OG2SI7AFVWFSLAHK52MVYDGVJ6IXGI Ripple: rUb8v4wbGWYrtXzUpj7TxCFfUWgfvym9xf By: cryptoall.it Telegram Channel: t.me/giulo75 Netbox Browser: https://netbox.global/PZn5A https://www.coinbase.com/join/rosa_fj https://coinbase.com/earn/eos/invite/6r5m2fwn https://coinbase.com/earn/oxt/invite/tkdjy946
Disclaimer:This post is not an endorsement to either buy or sell Bitcoins. I am simply attempting to outline the reasons why there is inherent value in Bitcoins, as well as the risks that come with investing in a crypto-currency. In full disclosure, I personally own and use them, but only a very small portion of my overall portfolio which I would be ok if BTC went to 0 tomorrow. Purpose: I’ve been seeing a lot of doom and gloom (as well as irrational exuberance) in a lot of posts lately, and a lot of people saying this or that with no evidence or fundamentals to back up their claims. So I wanted to put my thoughts and experiences [more about me below] out there in the hopes that people actually serious about utilizing Bitcoins (BTC from here on) might find this information helpful, as well as to connect with and solicit thoughts from anybody else that’s done research on the future of BTC. Also mods: I searched through old posts and the FAQ but couldn’t really find anything like this, so let me know if there is a more appropriate place to post this. I can also add hyperlinked sources to this to make it a reference document if there is interest. Summary/tl;dr: The fundamentals underlying the intrinsic value of Bitcoins haven’t changed. In fact, they continue to improve day-by-day, as merchant and user adoption increases. As long as this trend continues, and certain risk factors - see below - are minimized, BTC will eventually become widely accepted as a currency. That being said, you should never “invest” more money than you are willing to completely lose, or money that you would otherwise need for living expenses. Otherwise, you are gambling. (I put “invest” in quotes because I believe BTC are currently far too speculative to be considered an “investment.” This may change in the future, but the technology is still so new, and there are so many unknowns, that it should not be considered anything more than a speculative investment at this point.) This has happened before and it will happen again: This week hasn’t been good for those holding Bitcoins. In fact, if you invested in BTC anytime in the past year, I’d say it’s been a pretty shitty year, period. But the thing is, we’ve seen this type of thing in financial markets before, almost exactly to a t, and how they tend to play out. There have been various bubbles of all shapes and sizes throughout history, and the run-up in prices earlier this year, was no exception. However, unlike the critics, I believe BTCs are different, as there is significant intrinsic value in the BTC network and BTC as a value store - which I outline below. I also think it’s useless to speculate about the direction of BTC in the short to medium-term (I would argue the price adjustment has been a good thing for the long-term), so to me the only meaningful way to analyze what’s going on is to examine the fundamentals (apologies if a lot of this is basic, but I wanted to cover all the key points as I saw them):
Currency As a Store of Value: A currency has value because the holders of it believe it has value. This might seem like a paradox, but it is how fiat currencies (namely, the USD and every other major currency in the world) function, and BTC is no different. As the number of people owning and using BTC increases, the relative value of BTC will have to grow as the supply is limited to 21million BTC (to use an economics analogy: In this case, we can’t find more seashells, we can only break the ones we have into smaller pieces). What if user adoption were to plateau or decrease? Even if growth were to stop today, and not a single more person in the world were to use BTC than already are, there would still be value assigned to them by those who currently hold, which is reflected in the BTC/USD rate. There is already value there by virtue of the number of people that own it and merchants that accept it. As of me writing this, there are an estimated 1.2million BTC holders on ledgers worldwide. This number is greater than the population of many countries that have their own currency. I believe BTC are past the point where people should question the viability of BTC as a store of value, and instead look at BTC for the value it provides for the following reasons.
Worldwide Transaction Network: In my analysis, this represents the true potential value of BTC. Think of the major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX) - they’re accepted pretty much anywhere right? You can walk into almost any shop throughout the world, and as long as you hold one of these cards, the merchant will trade you his/her goods and services for a portion of what you’ve got in your account. And this is hugely valuable. To the tune of $Billions per year these companies make in profit, all because of the network of merchants that accept them worldwide. But one thing that people might forget is these companies had to grow their merchant network, just like BTC, one at a time. Thus, this to me represents the primary growth potential of BTC. I’ve seen estimates that 10,000 retailers are currently accepting them, and there are some pretty big names in the list (Overstock, Target, eBay via PayPal, CVS). As the number of places that accept BTC increase, so does the intrinsic value. This also has a compounding, even self-fulfilling, effect: as the number of places that accept BTC increases, the value increases, thus more merchants are willing to accept BTC as a currency because it has value…chew on that for a second.
Growing BTC Eco-system: This is represented by the growing number of Bitcoin-related venture startups and websites/wallets/apps that support BTC transactions. There is a network effect here, and as long as people are invested into it, will continue to grow.
Security/Anonymity/Ease of Transaction: I think most of us are familiar with BTC security measures (how important the password to your wallet/account is), how the hashes are generated by an algorithm that cannot be faked (essentially counterfeit-proof), and low transaction costs. These are all pluses that make the currency attractive as a value store, with some caveats listed in the “Risks” section below.
Hedge Against Fiat Currencies: This is a two-edged sword. I think there’s a lot of investment in BTC because of the fear of overactive Central Banks inflating other currencies (again, namely the USD), but as we saw this week, this can work against BTC. I explain more later below.
So I’ve briefly outlined above some pretty clear reasons why there is inherent value in BTC, and the reasons why I personally am optimistic about the long-term future and will continue to use them. That being said, I’ve also identified several primary risk factors that worry me as a long-term investor, ones that all holders of BTC should be aware of. Please, if you know or can think of any others, reply or PM me so I can add them to this list:
Continued market volatility: Price volatility might be good for day-traders, but for a currency, it’s killer. As described above, one of the core elements a currency must have is as a store of value, and if the price fluctuates wildly from day-to-day, merchants (and currency owners) will be less willing to accept it. Who would want to hold currency that’s worth 1/2 of what it was last week? This is also a reason why it’s essential for the currency to have a limited supply (or perception thereof), or else rampant inflation would occur - look at Zimbabwe. The bottom-line is, if the USD (US Dollar) were to drop 25% in one week, like we saw with BTC this week, it would indicate a complete economic collapse was occurring. Faith in the currency would be destroyed, and it would take extreme measures to preserve it. It’s actually kind of a small miracle BTC hasn’t completely collapsed, but I think it’s because (1) there is real value in it, and (2) BTC are not widely used yet. The remedy for this is there has to be either (1) a large holder of the currency that is able to inject or take out some currency to keep the price stable -- if you look at the US Federal Reserve this is one of its two primary mandates, or (2) the number of BTC owners has to reach a saturation “tipping point” where enough people are utilizing the currency for day-to-day transactions, and not for speculative reasons. I don’t believe we’re quite at this point yet, but getting there.
Governmental regulation: This is a big unknown for me, and with recent news that Russia and China have prohibited use of BTCs, presumably in the effort to curb illegal transactions, could become a trend. However, to address people who are concerned about this, I would make the following points:
What is the reason for government regulation? Is it to curb illegal activity transacted in BTC? If this is the case, there is plenty of illegal activity being transacted in US Dollars, Russian Rubles, gold coins, jewelry, etc… What makes BTC special? If the reason is to prohibit a competing national currency, then that is a separate legal issue which will have to be resolved, but probably not until far in the future. In the US, a case like this would almost definitely go to the Supreme Court for clarification.
Which government agency should have regulatory authority? In more democratic societies (than Russia and China) that have a strong rule of law (most of the rest of the western world), government agencies can’t simply do something because they want to (unfortunately the trend is changing even in the US). There has to be a legal jurisdiction or precedence that would allow this, and because crypto-currencies are so new, none has been set. For example, just look at how long it took most state governments to start taxing Amazon purchases. I used to live in Virginia, and they just started in Dec 2013, almost 20 years after Amazon was founded…
How would governments enforce restrictions? Would it be by imposing fines on merchants that accept the crypto-currencies? Legally, how is this different than restricting payment in gold or silver then, or Craigslist transactions?
Ease of use: BTC are not quite easy enough to use where the average person will find it appealing. I think a lot of companies are working to address this (e.g. the hardest part of signing up on Coinbase was remembering my password), so to me this risk is what we can do the most about, but still a concern.
Loss potential: If you forget or lose your password, you’re SOL at this point. But this isn’t really different from losing cash on the street.
Market Cornering(added): There is the possibility a large percentage of the total available BTC are owned by a handful of individuals. For example, it is estimated that Satoshi alone owns ~1 million BTC. In the event that one or more of these owners were to attempt to corner the BTC market there could be extreme price volatility.
Current overall valuation may be a bit high: Back of the napkin calculation follows- Total valuation of BTC = (# of BTC available) x (current price/BTC) Total valuation of BTC = ~13million x $330 = ~$4billion $4 billion of perceived value is probably high for as small as the BTC network currently is. But, this number is reflective of the high growth rate in the number of users/owners and merchants that have accepted BTC. In other words, this may be a fair price. And, by definition, it is technically the actual fair price since it is, after all, an actual currency.
I could go on, but those are the major value and risk factors I see. If you have anything to add, please feel free. So, in the context of everything I said above, I’d like to talk about what happened this week in particular: I believe this week’s price movement (as of me writing this, has been a 25% drop) is a result of several factors:
Capitulation: I don’t have the ability to do Technical Analysis on BTC right now, but just eyeing the 1-year chart, it looks like $400 was a key support point for the price of BTC. Once it broke through that, psychological barriers were broken and selling cascaded.
And that’s it. That’s all I can find about Bitcoins in the news. The value fundamentals I listed have not changed one bit, and if anything, the rate of user adoption has increased as more people are learningwhatit is. Which is why I’m excited about the future of BTC. It’s a product that I use and like, and see tremendous value for. This week’s sell-off just means I can buy more. About me: In a past life, I was an equity research analyst responsible for due diligence, fundamental/technical analysis, and making recommendations to the PM on which stocks a certain mutual fund should buy or sell. This meant reading through a lot of annual reports, financial statements, 10-K, 10-Q, shareholder calls, etc… My primary influences were Warren Buffett, Philip Fisher, and Ben Graham. If you recognize these names, you’ll probably guess that I was a value investor1 , and you’d be right. The fundamental premise behind value investing, for those that don’t know, is that you can find companies that are trading at a discount to their “true” intrinsic value, and thus can make money by buying the stock at a low price and selling when the market has realized the fair value of the company and the price has subsequently gone up. This is essentially how Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway and became the world’s richest man (for a short period); his strategy has since greatly evolved, but this was the core philosophy he used for a long time. 1 Utilizing this strategy, our fund bought a significant stake in AAPL when the price per share was less than the amount of cash per share the company currently held (split adjusted something like ~$2 per share when we bought). It hasn’t all been a bed of roses, we’ve made some not-so-great investments, but that’s a story for a different time :) Edit: Paragraphs within bullets? How do you do them?
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