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March 9th, 2018- In This Issue:

BITCOIN DOWN 4.5 % @ $8,747.00

How quickly things can change in the crypto-currency space.  It was only 3 days ago we were attempting to crest the $12,000 mark and just like that the market turns south.

With the latest news about Mt. Gox receiver selling off 400 million in bitcoin with the potential to dump another 180k coins on the market in the nearterm its no wonder the market is all in a tizzy about it.

Our outlook is the same as always, buy the dips and hodl on as long as you can, in our opinion bitcoin will be trading above $50,000 sooner or later.

If you've approached this investment with a long term outlook with a 3-5 year window then you will not be affected by the short term gyrations of this volatile market.

As always, buy the dips, hold on to your bitcoins for as long as you can and spread the word. Tell your friends, your relatives and anyone else who will stand around long enough to listen about Bitcoins, believe me you will be doing them a huge favor.

Visit BitvestIRA for information on using your IRA to invest in bitcoin at 20% below spot price. Or call us directly with any questions at 1-844-BIT-VEST (1-844-248-8378)

Early internet investor Tim Draper predicts in five years we'll only be using cryptocurrencies to pay

One of the earliest investors in the internet expects that  bitcoin  and other cryptocurrencies will be the primary means of payment in five years.

"In five years you're going to walk in and try to pay fiat [a government-backed currency like the U.S. dollar] for a Starbucks coffee, and the barista is going to laugh at you, because they're going to say, 'What is this? Are you counting out pennies? Give me shells?' venture capitalist Tim Draper said Tuesday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

"They're not going to use fiat. Five years from now, none us of will be," Draper said. "Because all of this engineering effort, all that excitement, this focus is really on bitcoin and all of the cryptos around it. And I think that's what we're all going to be using and paying with."

Starbucks' Executive Chairman Howard Schultz has hinted in the last two months about how the company may use the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies for a consumer payments application.

"I think blockchain technology is probably the rails in which an integrated app at Starbucks will be sitting on top of," Schultz said last week on Fox Business, echoing remarks from a January conference call.

Draper has invested in Skype and Tesla, and is a founding partner of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and DFJ. He bought nearly 30,000 bitcoins in a 2014 U.S. Marshals Service auction. He told CNBC in December he was still holding all those coins. If that is still the case, Draper's holding is worth $322.5 million at Tuesday's bitcoin prices.

"This is the most excited I've ever been as an investor, and I was right there at the beginning of the internet," Draper said Tuesday.

Struggling bitcoin will double by midyear, 
Wall Street's Tom Lee says

Fundstrat's Tom Lee expects the cryptocurrency market to recover, helped by historical price trends and crypto-related announcements by some major companies.

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten announced Tuesday it is planning to launch a cryptocurrency called "Rakuten Coin," according to news reports.

"The announcement by Rakuten is another example of positive developments in crypto in 2018, suggesting the large sell-off in bitcoin and others at the start of the year was an overshoot to the downside," Lee, co-founder and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, said in a Wednesday report.

Rakuten did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

On Wednesday, Lee maintained his midyear bitcoin price target of $20,000 - roughly double Wednesday's prices - and a year-end target of $25,000. Lee is the only major Wall Street strategist to issue formal price targets on bitcoin, although an increasing number of financial firms have published reports on cryptocurrencies recently.

Lee also pointed out that bitcoin's low for the year has typically occurred in the first two months of the calendar year. That was the case in six of the last seven years, he said.
Bitcoin was trading near $10,450 Wednesday morning, up about 2.9 percent for February but down nearly 21 percent for the year. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization plunged from a mid-December record high above $19,000 amid worries about heavy-handed crackdowns by regulators in different countries. In the last few weeks, bitcoin hit a low below $6,000 - its lowest since November - before recovering.

$5.7 Trln Investment Company BlackRock: Cryptocurrency Will Be 'Widely Used' In Future

The world's largest investment company BlackRock has continued its bullish forecast for cryptocurrency, saying it sees "wider use" in the future in its  weekly commentary  report released Monday, Feb. 26.

The  investment management giant with $5.7 trln in assets under its control said that it would take time for  cryptocurrency's volatility to dissipate so it could enter traditional investment portfolios.
"Our bottom line: We see cryptocurrencies potentially becoming more widely used in the future as the markets mature," the report determined.

BlackRock stands out among fellow finance industry giants with its quietly supportive stance on Bitcoin and other crypto assets' investment potential.

As Cointelegraph  reported  late January, the corporation's chief multi-asset strategist had gone public with comments that crypto was being kept under "close review " as an "interesting development ."

Continued interest despite volatile periods, Isabelle Mateos Y Lago said, constituted proof there "really is something to" the phenomenon.

Genesis Trading Launches Crypto Lending Service for Investors

Genesis Global Trading Inc., a big institutional market maker for digital currencies, has started a lending business.

The new subsidiary, Genesis Global Capital, will allow investors and businesses to borrow cryptocurrencies in quantities of $100,000 or more for fixed terms ranging from two weeks to six months. Loans will be issued in bitcoin, ether, ether classic, XRP, bitcoin cash and zcash among others.

"We believe now is a great time to offer an institutional-focused lending service because it will  increase general liquidity in the marketplace, encourage new financial institutions to participate in a two-sided market and increase the working capital that companies use to scale their digital currency-centric businesses," Genesis Capital said in a  press release .

The company suggests that investors could use its lending capacity to "hedge total portfolio risk or take speculative short positions," but it also envisions other use cases for the service.

One such example, the company explained in the statement, could be remittance companies that "need to make immediate settlements to their customers, but don't want to buy a large balance of bitcoin and hold that risk on their books."

Genesis Capital has already attracted notable clients such as BlockTower Capital, an existing client of the parent trading company, and DV Chain, a crypto trading firm.

Here's how to keep your Bitcoin safe

A lucrative target

With the equivalent of billions of dollars potentially out there in the form of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it's a prime target for hackers - and indeed has already proved extremely profitable for them. In some cases, computers get hijacked via apparently benign software, such as BrowseAloud, a browser plugin for text-to-speech designed to help the blind and those with reading problems, but which contained the  Coinhive cryptojacking script , which turned the victim's computers into crypto-mining rigs.

In other cases the coins are stolen more directly, such as in 2014 when Bitcoin bank  Flexcoin was taken for 896 BTC, resulting in it shutting down, and the larger exchange  MtGox also was hacked, which sent it into bankruptcy. While those early setbacks could perhaps be seen as part of the growing pains of cryptocurrency, the problems continue, with  NiceHash getting hacked, and losing $63 million, at the end of 2017.
Finally, some users lose their Bitcoin the old-fashioned way - they lose their password or their computer hardware, as in the (admittedly extreme) example of  James Howells, whose hard drive ended up in a landfill with 7500 BTC on it, valued at over $100 million.

You want a wallet

The ultimate in convenience is a mobile wallet, with your funds easily available via an app on a mobile device, for spending and transfer. However, this should be thought of as the Bitcoin equivalent of 'walking around with cash' - and most folks have more common sense than to walk around with their life savings in their pocket. As these wallets are internet-based, on a mobile platform they're hardly secure, and it's been demonstrated that they can be hacked via  SMS interception .

Another type of wallet is the web wallet, also called the online wallet. These are browser-based, and also considered less secure. While they offer conveniences such as multi-currency support, and instant access for spending, they also represent an attractive target for thieves. This is equivalent to storing cash in a desk drawer, which is no real improvement on just keeping it in your pocket, as it can be just as easily stolen.

Up your security

There are more secure methods of keeping your Bitcoin stored. The first is a desktop wallet, which takes the form of software located on the storage drive of your computer. How secure this wallet is depends on how secure the computer is, whether or not it gets taken out and about, and whether it contains malware. Ideally, it should be on a computer that isn't left connected to the internet at all times. An older computer that can be dedicated to this task is a good solution, although only if the OS is up to date and secure. As the wallet contains all the data of the full blockchain, including your cryptocurrency holdings, it also requires a serious amount of storage. For example,  Bitcoin Core  currently requires 145GB of storage, and that number is increasing by the day.

An even more secure storage option is the hardware wallet. These are designed to offer cold storage, with a high level of security, for as little as  under $100. They're generally kept offline, and can be plugged into a computer via the USB port when needed for a transaction. A hardware wallet is the fiat currency equivalent of keeping cash in a safety deposit box at a Swiss bank, and they're available from multiple manufacturers, including  KeepKeyLedger and  Trezor.

Five reasons 2018 could be the best year yet 
for cryptocurrencies

In  an earlier piece for CNBC, I explained why a potential cryptocurrency bubble could burst in 2018. Many people asked me afterward: If I'm so skeptical about the space, why am I invested in it?

Let me clarify. I'm someone who always calculates the potential upsides and downsides, and I think many people take unnecessary risks: They either invest too much or too little because they don't do proper analysis.

So I want to highlight five reasons why 2018 might be the best ever year for cryptocurrencies and why I'm heavily invested in them.

1. The work on scaling issues

Bitcoin (BTC) is the most important cryptocurrency. Most government-backed money that goes in and out of crypto goes through bitcoin, so what happens to the original cryptocurrency affects the entire market.

The token's market dominance  stood at about 40 percent as of Wednesday. By my estimates, however, it's clear bitcoin's market dominance should return to 75 percent of the entire space.

I actually see a 150 percent potential upside in bitcoin for 2018.
Why? Well, BTC is still dominant. It has the biggest user base and the biggest industry. Still, it faces a challenge in scaling up for wider use.

Bitcoin now can't handle more than six or seven (or, with the "Segregated Witness" protocol upgrade, it's 12 to 14) transactions a second. Compare that with credit cards, which involve thousands of transactions per second, so the criticism about bitcoin's ability to be useful at larger scales is understandable.

The scalability challenge results in high fees as well.

2. Large scale and more legitimate ICOs

Like last year, initial coin offerings (ICOs) will impact the ethereum network because ICOs usually require plenty of ether. That will buttress the demand for the platform's digital coin. More legitimate ICOs will lead to greater interest in ether as we are already seeing with  the billion-dollar ICO of messaging app provider Telegram and  that of Kodak.

That means we could see a rise in the market cap of ethereum to $200 billion by the end of the year from less than $90 billion on Wednesday. The cryptocurrency's price could possibly double to $2,000.

Though other platforms could see similar gains, I believe ethereum will be the main focus.

3. Regulation

Many believe regulations hurt markets, but that is a short-sighted perspective. In the long run, companies require rules for the sake of legal stability and certainty. Regulation gives users and institutional clients the confidence to invest.

We saw something similar when Japan started regulating bitcoin. The market dropped initially, but it rose eventually. Ditto in Australia.

Other countries could follow the same rule book - I think we are going to see something like that with South Korea and probably many others - but the market's fate will be no different than after what played out in Japan and Australia.

4. A lot of execution and usability

There are several start-ups like  my own that offer debit cards to help people spend their cryptocurrency holdings .

That means the number of users and merchants is set to increase sharply in 2018.

This would burnish the reputation of cryptocurrencies, with more and more companies trusting them. The firms that execute well this year will stand out and create a survivorship bias - where a few companies thrive and others fail, but people focus on the winners and ignore the losers.

Most start-ups bomb, but the spectacular successes of companies such as Facebook and Airbnb help mask those failures. Likewise, the success stories of a few entities in the cryptocurrency space will overshadow the negative news of several going bankrupt.

5. Institutional investors

The last reason why 2018 will be a stellar year for cryptocurrencies is that this will be the first year of solid institutional money flowing into the ecosystem.

It is estimated that $10 billion to $12 billion has so far flown into the crypto ecosystem, but that's nothing compared to what institutional funds could invest. Since those first funds propped up the market to around $500 billion, the next $10 billion to $12 billion, which is peanuts for some funds, could double the market cap this year.

Summing up

To sum up, the likelihood of all five factors happening is not 100 percent. But I still see a probability of 70 to 75 percent. And each one of them might grow the market's overall size 50 to 100 percent - maybe even 200 percent.

If you combine those factors, the market's upside potential could rise to up to seven or eight times the present levels. While this might not be as much of a multiple as what we saw in 2017, it is much higher in absolute terms. That could make 2018 the most successful year in crypto ever. Additionally, the growth might not be based so much on hype or hope as it would be on solid foundations.

That being said, the reader should not see this piece as investment advice, and should definitely read  my discussion of potential risks. When you dismiss real risks as fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), you could be blindsided.


Use bitcoin to hedge fears of losses during 
a trade war: Bitcoin bull Brian Kelly

To combat fears of a trade war, put your money in bitcoin, said hedge-fund manager and bitcoin bull Brian Kelly. 

"[Bitcoin] is the new gold," Kelly said Friday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

"In this environment," Kelly said of fears of a potential trade war, "I want to own those things that are deflationary and fixed supply in an inflationary environment. And look at what bitcoin has done the last couple of days."

Bitcoin is up about 6.5 percent this week, while gold is down 0.7 percent.

During a trade war, Kelly said, currencies get weaker, such as the dollar's depreciating value last week, and prices rise.

"Generally speaking, you want to own hard assets," he said.

In the past, said Kelly, who has "like 90 percent" of his money invested in bitcoin, investors would hedge with gold.

"But you know what, now we have bitcoin," he said. "Bitcoin has a fixed supply. It acts exactly like a hard asset, exactly like a commodity."
"In the trade war," he said, "it does well."

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