Dec 01, · First of all, Bitcoin mining has a lot of variables. This is why buying bitcoin on an exchange can be a simpler way to make a profit. However, when done efficiently it is possible to end up with more bitcoin from mining than from simply hodling. One of the most important variables for miners is the price of Bitcoin itself. Dec 07, · Bitcoin is built on the blockchain, a public ledger containing all the transaction data from anyone who uses bitcoin. Transactions are added to "blocks" or the links of code that make . Bitcoin is an open-source project - the developers devote their free time to work on it and don't necessarily do it for profit. Other crypto currencies sometimes come pre-mined, or the developers don't share them too quick in order to create a supply of coins for themselves only to sell it for profit later.
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It is freaking complicated, but everyone who cares already knows. Bitcoin is based on blockchain , which is the handy name for a distributed ledger technology.
Ledgers are databases. At this point, people often get ahead of themselves and start talking about trustless before trust. But trustless is necessary because trust costs money. A thousand years ago, I lend my buddy a couple of sheep. He runs off with my sheep and I get a huge hard on of resentment.
This is the risk of opportunism. A contract based on trust gives the other party an opportunity to do me over. Dear readers from elsewhere, this is the money of the United Kingdom. You used to be able to buy twelve loaves of bread with this back in the s. Now you would be a few slices off a single loaf.
Anyways, back when I was a small boy, it was worth two loaves of bread. The kid never paid me back. I wanted to push him off an extremely high ledge. This enduring hatred had a good reason. No money, no chips. What I needed was a go between. I needed a big kid that could kick his ass to make sure he paid up. I needed a bank. Banks are referred to as a trusted counter party.
But they carry a big stick: lawyers, debt collectors, bounty hunters. You want to make your life a misery? Go do over a bank. Trusted counter parties come in many forms. They might be a bank. They might be a clearing house , sitting in the middle of a futures exchange, collecting collateral.
They might be your mom , making sure you and your siblings play nice. I quite like counter parties. I definitely needed one when I was eight. Central counter parties mean somebody with power. They can easily make a lot of money just sitting on their big fat ass in the middle. They often do not have your interests at heart. Nakamoto hated CCPs so much they wrote a stack of amazing, breakthrough code that virtually eliminates the risk of opportunism.
They relied on cryptography instead of a trusted central party. Commentators like to say that blockchain solves the Byzantine general problem. I have always been fascinated by the Byzantine Empire , which was actually the stub end of the Roman empire.
By then, this stub of the old Rome was being run by the Greeks out of a town called Byzantine. We did this even though Emperor Constantine renamed the city itself after himself. In other words, a group of people calling themselves Romans got named after a town they renamed Constantinople: the Byzantine Empire.
People just did not want to admit that it was the Muslims that ended the Roman Empire. They are determined to pretend it was white Germans. Before you email in to complain, yes Germanic tribes did seize what we now know as Italy, Spain and France. But for many centuries later, Byzantine would still occasionally control Rome. The Byzantine Empire has a really harsh rep. They lost so they must be weaklings. However, think about the dates.
They fought off a waves and waves of Arab and Turkish invaders for centuries. Their first big defeat to the Arabs was in The reputation should be the other way round. If they were weak then Paris would probably have been renamed Pardad and Europe would be Islamic.
Byzantium was the meat shield of Christendom for seven hundred years. People forget that there used to be more Christians on the other side of the Mediterranean than on the northern, white European side. Islam ate the world of the 10 th century. It just happened that the next stubby end, the poor part of Christendom they did not eat, came to dominate the world of the 15 th century onward.
Interestingly, the Byzantine general problem is also a clever rebrand. Three computer programmers Leslie Lamport, Robert Shostak and Marshall Pease had an algorithm to solve a systems failure issue. You have a bunch of processes and some of them are faulty. Their algorithm sent lots of messages until it became clear who was using the tippex. The only things that they required were that the messages were unforgettable and that at least two thirds of the generals were loyal or that two thirds of the processes actually worked.
They used generals and Byzantium to make their algo sound cool. This definitely worked. Never forget the importance of marketing. Blockchain solved coming to a consensus as effectively as their algo, but in a far more elegant way. There are three things I feel obliged to explain. You already know that ledgers are databases. Society is built on these things, from your driving license , to your bank balance to your health records.
Equally you know that the government controls the first, your bank holds your money and your hospital or HMO keeps tracks of the last one. Blockchain opens the possibility of getting rid of your HMO, your bank and maybe even the government. All these three exist either to establish trust or to fulfill a contract. Blockchain happens to be pretty good at both of these. Is this gonna happen? Are revolutions ever easy? Personally I suspect these institutions will change, but only a bit.
The key problem with Blockchain smart contracts the rules written in programming code , is there has to be no mistakes right at the beginning.
If it is there at the beginning, then it is part of the contract. But others would certainly take issue with the many occasions when the details of a smart contract are not the same as the spirit of the contract. I mean have you ever bought a used car? Digital signatures are the cryptographic trick that underlies blockchain.
If I give you two big prime numbers, you can tell me the multiplicative sum of the two. One of the inputs you are multiplying or strictly speaking hashing is your private key, and the other one is the transaction you want to do. You hash them together and then show off to everybody the result and your public key. The clever thing about the public key is that other people can use your public key on your result and prove that the private key was used here.
They know that a specific identity or wallet was involved in this transaction. They can see your digital signature. Couple of things. Like its immutable. If everyone changes their mind, then the blockchain changes its mind. This is what you call mutable. A mega hack might involve launching denial of service DoS attacks on all the big mining pools and then hiring all the capacity off of Amazon AWS to do half an hour of Bitcoin mining. This should be able to seize control of the Bitcoin blockchain from the miners that survive your DoS.
Bitcoin is actually game theoretically secure. And maybe that is better. Imagine, if someone did this mega hack, what is Bitcoin worth? Maybe nothing, negating the value of all the money you spent on AWS to steal those Bitcoins. Time is of course mentioned, but no, Nakamoto dropped the time stamp because whoever gets to stamp the time is guaranteed to be more trusted and more powerful than everyone else.
In practice it got dropped. Satoshi Nakamoto did not come up with digital signatures. Look up Wikipedia if you want to know the many people involved in creating digital signatures. Nakamoto also did not invent the proof of work that underlies Bitcoin mining. That was Adam Back. He chained these blocks of info and made it totally public. Professional traders, however, will. Additionally, while a day trader can buy low and sell high in a bull market, during a bear market, those patterns usually result in a succession of lower peaks and bigger dips.
This makes it impossible for the average trader who is not properly trained to make money and they may actually lose more than if they had simply held through the fall. The second part to this is what you are planning to keep as a reserve currency? If you are attempting to grow your USD value, for example, then in a bull market it is very possible as the value of BTC continues to increase against the dollar. In a bear market, it would be a tall order to accomplish, as the value is decreasing against the dollar.
That being said, if you were simply trying to increase the amount of Bitcoin you have during these downtrends, that would be a lot easier. This is because, though they both are dropping in value against the USD, they will not drop at the exact same rate on the way down. So, during a downtrend, Ethereum would be converted to BTC, and during an uptrend, it would be converted back to Ethereum.
This is by no means a guarantee and I have seen the market do the opposite as well. In both cases, however, you will have less USD in coin value. When the market turns bullish, you will have a lot more of either currency and will profit immensely. The final part is how much time can you devote to trading? If you can only spend a few hours a day trading, many times you will find the opportunities going back and forth between currencies will be missed.
Additionally, not being around during flash crashes or panic sells, or not taking profits when markets reach resistance levels, will mean you may make nothing. Professional traders also spend countless hours working on these strategies and doing market research to identify opportunities. You will also need to identify what your overall strategy is. Are you going to try and make profits in fiat? I also strongly suggest educating yourself on financial.
Another key — and a huge part of deciding your strategy — is to keep up-to-date on rules, regulations, sector news, and whatever else may affect the markets and increase volatility. CoinBeat is a great place to get that information, as we aim to deliver those details directly to our readers and put them ahead of the informational curve.
If you can put those things into play, you can make a decent return and live trading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
For example, though it is possible for anyone to cook a meal, it is not possible for everyone to devote the time and energy required to run a successful restaurant. Hence why we have professional cooks.
If the swings in a single day are more, they make more. In the above chart, for example, if a trader had cashed out at every peak and bought back in at every dip, they would have made a very tidy profit even in a falling market. That, however, would have taken a strong understanding of market signals, intuition that can only be gained by actively trading, and a knowledge of where resistance and support levels within the market were.
While not everyone has the ability, skills, time, or resources to devote to trading at that level, professionals do exist that can help guide you in the right direction.
CoinBeat, for example, is a publication that connects investors with professional traders, analysts, researchers, and industry insiders. Using CoinBeat as a primary informational resource, an investor can copy or mimic positions of professional traders, tapping into their knowledge base and skill set.
Using it, you may find that you can make more and learn from professional traders as to how they position their trades and maximize profits while minimizing risks. To join these professionals and tap into their knowledge and expertise, make sure to subscribe and join the CoinBeat community. In short, trading Bitcoin can be highly profitable if done correctly.