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  • Avatar Dont_know_mind 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 774
    Joined: 11/21/2017
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    In 2017 the US spent 3.5 trillion dollars on “healthcare” representing 18% of GDP.  This is approximately 10,700 dollars/person.  We are 22 trillion dollars in debt, therefore, I do not think this can continue for much longer.

     

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    No offense intended here. Why does this matter in regards to blockchain? How does it address it?

    What do our debt levels have to do with anything? Why can it not go on? How long is much longer and under what circumstances cant it continue.

    Most everyone, this forum included is woefully ignorant of how the monetary system works from basic perspective and sayings invoking debt/gdp/ and it being a problem etc…are pretty big giveaways in that regard.

    The US may have that much debt, but what about its assets? Do you ever worry about debt in isolation or out of context to such things? What about whose asset this debt is? Interesting questions.

    I guess if the US was smart they could have converted the debt to Bitcoin in December and it would have taken care of itself.

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    Zaphod – Thanks for your questions and comments. Sincerely appreciated.  In my initial post, I mentioned that, IMO, blockchain technology could offer benefits within the health care sector.  I mention the cost of healthcare, because as most experts agree, we spend too much on healthcare in this country.  As physicians, we see the inner workings of the system. We cannot continue to spend 18% of GDP on healthcare and still have an uninsured rate of over 10%.  Blockchain could offer a solution.  I have hesitated to go into the details because it seems that most on here are very skeptical, to say the least, about cryptocurrency and blockchain.  Therefore, explaining how it could help seems to be a moot point. I totally understand the concerns that many of you have mentioned.  It has been helpful for me to see the relative lack of interest.

     

     

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    You didnt answer any of the questions. Of course we’re skeptical, and we were just as skeptical at 20k, hell I was near giddy, but alas found it to difficult to short.

    People are wondering since there is no endogenous way blockchain automagically does anything to healthcare. Do you know an application where blockchain addition has done anything other than increase costs? It has to do something. Healthcares problems arent solely or majority a technical one.

    Why cant we continue to spend 18% on healthcare? Is there some rule or percent that isnt allowed? We spend what we deem valuable, should these diverge and you have a problem. We are a rich country and if we choose to spend on healthcare so be it, it only seems a natural thing to do in a rich country.

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    It wasn’t that hard to short. I shorted one at 16k, but I was really sweating how much margin I would need to set aside as it went parabolic. It could have gone to 40k or 80k. I think at the time I was really sweating whether it might go to 500k. Really, it seemed possible.

    I think I have learnt something from it though. First bubble (internet) I bought into the top and on the way down averaging down to oblivion.

    Bitcoin, I shorted before the top which was too risky given my experience and didn’t have the nerve to hold it through the volatility for much profit. I ended up exiting for a small profit instead of riding it out.

    Next time I play a bubble, I am going to short soon before the top with a small size, then scale in as it breaks down. I’m going to zone out all the clatter and just focus on when the euphoria is at a maximum.

    The only real use I see for Bitcoin is for Chinese to move out funds but they are cracking down on access to bitcoin exchanges via the internet in China now.

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    No it wasnt hard to short but it was difficult to hedge adequately.

    Next time you first hear bubble, probably a good idea to buy. Then when grandma starts asking about bitcoin at xmas, sell and start shorting. ha

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    I think it was Soros who said “When I see a bubble forming, I rush in to buy, adding fuel to the fire…”

    I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it, except when I was a newbie during the internet bubble, but I’ll give it a go next time. Next time I hear an expert I respect saying something is a bubble, I will be looking at buying (and then offloading, then shorting)

    In a best case scenario bitcoin could be like the internet bubble. Out of the medium, maybe there will be an Amazon or Facebook in the future, but 99% of the stuff currently could well be like pets.com and the other stuff during the internet craze. One thing that gives me pause, having been through both of them is that with the internet bubble, it really was plausible and things like Netscape, Google and Ebay seemed to have value from the beginning. With the coin sector, it’s not clear that they can get over the authentication inefficiencies. Etherium claims to have some type of solution but whether it is viable in practice or not is not clear to me. In this sense, it may well be a flash in the pan, unlike the internet sector which came back from the bubble to be more powerful in reality 15 years later. With the coin sector, this is possible but far from likely from what I see. I just don’t see a viable business case, but doesn’t mean there isn’t one (maybe there is and I don’t see it). If I had to bet, I would bet on an dispersion of coins than the medical marijuana sector. But both just seem like not that plausible. Maybe I’m too old and missing something in both. The internet I was fully sold on though.

    #189186 Reply
    Jaqen Haghar, MD Jaqen Haghar, MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 160
    Joined: 07/27/2017

    Was really pulling for crixus to chime in (still am) but his second in command will have to do for now.

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    Ouch.

    The guys from The Annual Central Bank-Eyes Wide Shut-Underground Masons-New World Order-Lizard People-Gold Doubloon Horder Conference will never let me live this down.

    🙁

    #189261 Reply
    Avatar docnews 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 371
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Definitely was one heck of a bubble.

    But I’m sure WCI thinks he can make money on the internet and in real estate, despite their recent bubbles. If you had told people in 1999 the video store and book store will be effectively dead in 2019, they’d laugh. We have trouble envisioning tech applications. But this book helped me get beyond the hype:

    The Internet of Money: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L9WM0H8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_IcDxCbJEFN23H

    So I bought 2 bitcoin at about $5k/btc and 2 ethereum at $300/eth. So definitely lost some money (if I sell now). And I’m not able to predict if they will actually be the blockchains that win out but I believe there is a big first/second to the market advantage and I don’t think a centralized decentralized coin can work as effectively (a privately controlled blockchain is just a good company internet network, not something that can grow since everyone would worry about the ones who control it). Cryptocurrency is super high risk but I think the name calling on here is unwarranted. Criticize the lack of current value (aka the bubble) but don’t write crypto off yet.

    #189317 Reply
    Liked by Doc Spouse
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5496
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    Definitely was one heck of a bubble.

    But I’m sure WCI thinks he can make money on the internet and in real estate, despite their recent bubbles. If you had told people in 1999 the video store and book store will be effectively dead in 2019, they’d laugh. We have trouble envisioning tech applications. But this book helped me get beyond the hype:

    The Internet of Money: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L9WM0H8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_IcDxCbJEFN23H

    So I bought 2 bitcoin at about $5k/btc and 2 ethereum at $300/eth. So definitely lost some money (if I sell now). And I’m not able to predict if they will actually be the blockchains that win out but I believe there is a big first/second to the market advantage and I don’t think a centralized decentralized coin can work as effectively (a privately controlled blockchain is just a good company internet network, not something that can grow since everyone would worry about the ones who control it). Cryptocurrency is super high risk but I think the name calling on here is unwarranted. Criticize the lack of current value (aka the bubble) but don’t write crypto off yet.

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    Many bubbles come and go, and the hype gets wild around them…however, its usually grounded in reality. The bubble comes when the hype drives the price people are willing to pay too far into the future so even if the hype comes to fruition its usually not possible to happen fast enough in an investors time frame to over come the price paid.

    The rail roads, telcos, tech, the internet, phones, etc…all largely fulfilled and exceeded wildest dreams. And it all made perfect sense at the time and you could see how it would do amazing.

    Crypto on the other hand is more akin to a solution for a problem that does not exist, and also this solution pays someone to implement said unnecessary solution. Almost universally there are faster and cheaper ways to achieve the same goals.

    Lets take bitcoin for example. What are its great attributes? Basically it boils down to a censorship free transaction. This is only very desirable in a few situations outside of criminal activity and capital flight. However the tradeoff is the same mechanism allows one to be defrauded with no recourse.

    Bitcoin used for most anything else as it has been hyped for is ridiculous just given the obvious of the structural components. Its a self defeating equation that becomes less and less useful and more expensive to utilize the more its adopted. This makes it unscalable. Therefore as it stands today will never work as a transactional currency with any kind of volume.

    Ether is an app platform and should be judged on its developed products, of which there are currently (maybe in future) zero of note.

    The interesting thing about bubbles is that it attracts a ton of capital to the space in question which breathes life into the innovation and gives it a chance to become something where it might not have succeeded otherwise. Blockchain has been given a tremendous amount of capital. If it cant produce something useful, that will be beyond condemnation.

    Unfortunately I am not a tech/coder type of person, I can think of a few good ideas but as mentioned, idk if that is in the blockchain realm in reality.

    #189318 Reply
    Avatar Doc Spouse 
    Moderator
    Status: Small Business Owner, Spouse
    Posts: 131
    Joined: 10/20/2017

    I like bubbles, as long as I can spot them before they get stupid big. 😉  I firmly believe the technology of blockchain is going to have a huge impact and will be around for a long time.  The current crop of coins and tokens though?  Who knows.

    I liken it to TCP/IP.  When it was invented, everyone knew it was important, but who would have dreamed we’d be watching cat videos because of it?  Even if you did somehow picture that, how would you invest in it back in 1975?

    Until then, I just plan to take advantage of the hype.  I made good money on the last bump, but I didn’t throw all the profits right back into the market. It’s just too early.  I have been buying a few hundred bucks of XRP and POE every month as a long-term play.  Check back in a few years to see if that’s a smart move or not 😉

    #189338 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5496
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    I like bubbles, as long as I can spot them before they get stupid big. ?  I firmly believe the technology of blockchain is going to have a huge impact and will be around for a long time.  The current crop of coins and tokens though?  Who knows.

    I liken it to TCP/IP.  When it was invented, everyone knew it was important, but who would have dreamed we’d be watching cat videos because of it?  Even if you did somehow picture that, how would you invest in it back in 1975?

    Until then, I just plan to take advantage of the hype.  I made good money on the last bump, but I didn’t throw all the profits right back into the market. It’s just too early.  I have been buying a few hundred bucks of XRP and POE every month as a long-term play.  Check back in a few years to see if that’s a smart move or not ?

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    This is the true difficulty of even easy to spot paradigm shifts. Usually, and almost universally there is no such thing as a ‘first-mover advantage’. They create the market and someone else who latches on later actually profits from it. Its also an issue with things that may be characterized as the underlying infrastructure or commodity. Sure the internet is massive, but you cant really nor has it been long term profitable to invest in whatever ‘the internet’ is. Its what this infrastructure allows to bring to market that really has potential, its derivatives.

    Blockchain and many of the ‘coins’ of today strike me as infrastructure. They are not the end product that has scale and a large TAM. They build the ground work and create the market, someone else sees the value that has in allowing them to create something further that becomes huge and thats where the money is.

    #189342 Reply
    abds abds 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 168
    Joined: 01/16/2017

    Was really pulling for crixus to chime in (still am) but his second in command will have to do for now.

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    Ouch.

    The guys from The Annual Central Bank-Eyes Wide Shut-Underground Masons-New World Order-Lizard People-Gold Doubloon Horder Conference will never let me live this down.

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    Funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

    #189343 Reply
    Avatar burritos 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 275
    Joined: 04/23/2018

    I investing in marijuana equities on the same par as cryptocurrency?

    #189372 Reply
    The White Coat Investor The White Coat Investor 
    Keymaster
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4180
    Joined: 05/13/2011

    I investing in marijuana equities on the same par as cryptocurrency?

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    No, that’s just taking on uncompensated risk by buying individual stocks. Cryptocurrency is like investing in a currency that isn’t actually used as a currency. I don’t do either (and think they’re both dumb ways to invest), of course so I guess they’re on par in that way.

    Site/Forum Owner, Emergency Physician, Blogger, and author of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
    Helping Those Who Wear The White Coat Get A "Fair Shake" on Wall Street since 2011

    #189399 Reply
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    ACPC ACPC 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 31
    Joined: 12/31/2018

    My impression has been that one reason cryptocurrencies are weak precisely because of the perceived strength that they aren’t tied to an institution. While one could argue that the dollar is threatened by the large US debt, at least there are very large interests (e.g. US government) preserving it’s long term stability. As others have noted, all interest in crypto appears to arise from either it’s ability to be used over the internet in an un-traceable way, or as an object of financial speculation (with a value that is more subjective than tulips even…). In the physical world, most places still have cash for un-traceable purchases, and for the internet, presumably you could buy gift cards with cash and use those online.

    Crypto generation and maintenance by blockchain wastes a lot of electricity and burns a lot of time in the process. As recent articles have pointed out, it has serious problems when you use it for business transactions, and it requires a lot of trust in technology not being undermined and also in people who manage exchanges (https://www.wired.com/story/theres-no-good-reason-to-trust-blockchain-technology/).

    If I had to bet on future currencies that might emerge, I would bet on the emergence of corporate credits from large multinationals (#AppleBucks #HalliburtonBits !!!) than any kind of fully-distributed currency of the people. As soon as applepay or googlepay introduce a floating unit of their own that can be bought with any currency and converted on an exchange at time of purchase, we’ll be there.

     

    #189428 Reply
    Avatar Don 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 20
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    Are there any reliable sources of information/advice regarding cryptocurrency use and/or investment?

     

    There is an article in yesterday’s WSJ about stress in the crypto market after last year’s crash:

    Bitcoin’s Fall Casts a Pall Over Crypto Market (https://www.wsj.com/articles/bitcoin-is-in-the-dumps-spreading-gloom-over-crypto-world-11552927208?mod=hp_major_pos21)

    and one from the day before about the CBOE dropping bitcoin futures trading:

    Cboe Abandons Bitcoin Futures (https://www.wsj.com/articles/cboe-abandons-bitcoin-futures-11552914001?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=7)

     

    Sounds like a contrarian buy signal and/or an inverse variant on the historic “TIME Magazine Cover Story” indicator.

    #199849 Reply
    Avatar IntensiveCareBear 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 91
    Joined: 12/22/2018

    Are there any reliable sources of information/advice regarding cryptocurrency use and/or investment?…

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    You won’t get “reliable sources of information/advice” regarding crypto or anything financial. It is all pay to play, and therefore biased.

    You can’t mistake sales pitches for financial education. It almost all has hidden interest. That doesn’t mean there can’t be educational value intertwined, but it all needs to be taken with a sizable grain of salt. That principle applies whether it is mutual fund recommendations from a magazine or journal or advisor where those funds discussed are paid advertisers or partners, gold buying advice from a site that sells gold, crypto pump articles from a crypto heavy investor or exchange website, seekingalpha stocks article from a fund manager whose fund is heavy on those stocks, or even WCI “preferred” financial advisors that are there largely due to being paid site advertisers. In the end, you always have to do your own due diligence and make your own informed decision.

    …crypto just makes no intuitive sense to me. You are buying something that is backed by nothing (no underlying business, product, service, commodity, etc). It would then be a commodity, except it also has very little use. Worse yet, it has poorly understood creation and supply expansion. Nobody understands the math problem frequency and generation that supposedly create coins, and BitCoin and most others have already had their supply forked multiple times and max supply limits ‘adjusted.’ Numerous crypto banks have disappeared or been hacked. It is also barely used for real trade and exchange of goods and services (due to high fees, low acceptance at merchants, long transaction times, better alternatives). It is basically a poorly designed, insecure, and much less accepted or regulated version of Visa or Paypal or Zelle. I’m not saying don’t invest in crypto, but decide what you are getting and why it truly makes sense. Figure out what regulates the supply and what need it fills. To me, I see absolutely no reason for crypto right now… that means no reason to buy it, besides the greater fool theory (buy it on hype and sell it to someone else for more).

    Maybe ask yourself this: why is Bitcoin and other crypto “mined”? Why is it pictured as shiny and gold… sorta like, you know… actual gold? Hmmm. Well, gold can’t be created in a lab or whipped up on a computer or printed on a press or have shares stolen or replicated in an account. If you are against the central banking system or down on the USD, the same answer that has existed for thousands of years still exists (borrow money at today’s rates and pay them back with inflated future dollars, ie real estate… and/or buy gold and other commodities or stocks which essentially short the USD). Silver and gold or similar things are fine speculative plays for a small percent of your portfolio that won’t have you grasping at straws. JMO.

    BitCoin and crypto are nothing but a get-rich-quick play as far as I can see. It obviously caters to millenials who like tech, are anti-establishment, and don’t have much money to spend. They use “the market” and “trends” like “double bottom on the charts” and even “dividends” or “trading” to make it seem like a real commodity or stock investment, yet it is nothing at the end of the day. They honestly missed well be trading colors or shapes, but they will scream “you clearly don’t understand the tech” if you ever tell them so.

    Currency and money might very well be moving more and more digital (I would say it has been for decades now), but many traditional banks, payment service companies, and central bank currency supplies have that well covered. They aren’t going anywhere. Even if cryptos were so great or so much of an improvement (they’re not), consider who has the guns, the ability to tax populations, who creates law and social polity, and who has the wealth to lose. It is certainly not the crypto fanboys promising BitCoin to the moon. Betting on cryptos now would be like betting on internet companies when they were in infancy or credit cards back in the 1960s. Most of today’s leaders weren’t even around then… and most of the early ones are long gone. US Treasury will eventually just make their own “crypto”currency (although wire transfers and phone transfers and e-checks and etc have been around for years and years). They could also make alternative crypto non-govt ones illegal. Bitcoin will probably go down to $100 or $200 or whatever per coin and be relegated to whatever black market niche it can retreat to. I would imagine the only thing keeping its price any higher right now is mainly speculation and black market stuff outside the USA? GL

    #200130 Reply
    ACPC ACPC 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 31
    Joined: 12/31/2018
    If I had to bet on future currencies that might emerge, I would bet on the emergence of corporate credits from large multinationals (#AppleBucks #HalliburtonBits !!!) than any kind of fully-distributed currency of the people. As soon as applepay or googlepay introduce a floating unit of their own that can be bought with any currency and converted on an exchange at time of purchase, we’ll be there.

    Click to expand…

    Apple credit card is coming: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/25/goldman-sachs-ceo-says-apple-card-completely-changes-the-credit-card-experience.html. Once these have floating units of some kind, with interchangeable credit, it will be a company currency.

    #201152 Reply
    Avatar momentumstocks 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 10
    Joined: 10/31/2018

    Never short term trade anything.

     

    Bit coin was a one on a lifetime trend. Over now. I like all the prediction of $100,000+ by 2020….seems a bit off now.

     

    Anyone that predicts anything is selling something

    #202131 Reply

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