steemit.com · November 12, 2017
By Teeka Tiwari
"Are you still buying tulip bulbs, Tiwari?"
I was on the phone with one of the best market timers I know.
In another life, he was a floor trader on the Philadelphia options exchange. That's where he developed an uncanny knack for reading the direction of the stock market.
The guy is smart as a whip. Most of the time, he's quite likeable. On the day of our call, he was being unbearably obnoxious.
A few months before the call, I told him to load up on Bitcoin and a small under-the-radar idea called Ethereum.
He laughed and called both ideas "dumb and worthless." He then compared them to one of the most infamous bubbles in history: the Dutch Tulip mania of the 1630s.
At its peak in 1636, one tulip bulb could fetch $141,762. By 1637, the bubble had burst.
在1636年的顶峰期，一只郁金香球茎价值 141,762 美元。到1637年，泡沫破裂了。
Hence the "tulip" jab.
This guy's ideas have made me a lot of money over the years. I was trying to repay the favor.
I told him it wasn't too late to get in. But he wouldn't listen. After hitting me with a few choice insults, I wished him well and ended the call.
I can't blame him for being skeptical.
Cryptos are a brand-new asset class. They're completely different from stocks, bonds, and traditional currencies.
But that was over 18 months ago.
Since then, Bitcoin has risen 1,600% and ether (the coin for the Ethereum network) is up 2,563%.
自那以后，比特币上涨了 1,600%，以太币 (以太坊网络的虚拟币) 上涨了 2,563%。
Like my floor trader colleague, perhaps you feel that crypto assets aren't assets at all. Perhaps you've missed out on this incredible run and think it's too late to get in.
I want to show you why cryptocurrencies are not like the Dutch Tulip Craze. In fact, we're still in the early days of the cryptocurrency boom.
According to billionaire hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, the entire crypto market is set to become 25-times larger in the next 5 years. That would be a 2,400+% rise from today. (And he's putting his money where his mouth is. Novogratz recently put 10% of his net worth into crypto assets.)
根据亿万富翁对冲基金经理 Mike Novogratz 的说法，今后 5 年内整个密币市场将会增长 25 倍。和今天相比，涨幅是 2400%。(并且 Novogratz 不是一个光说不练的人：他最近把自己 10% 的身家投入了密币资产。)
That means this asset class still has plenty of room to run... and there's still time for you to join the ride.
What I'm about to share with you could be very valuable.
Like the internet before them, cryptocurrencies have the potential to reshape the economy... And they offer a rare opportunity for ordinary individuals to make life-changing gains.
The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
To kick off your education, you need to understand there are two types of crypto assets: cryptocurrencies and utility coins (also called app coins).
Think of cryptocurrencies as the digital equivalent of traditional fiat currencies such as dollars, euros, and pounds.
You can use them as a medium of exchange or to store value. The only difference is they're exchanged over the blockchain.
Think of utility coins as crypto-equities. They're like buying shares in IBM, Walmart, or Apple. Instead, you're buying a stake in a blockchain venture.
Cryptocurrencies and utility coins are similar in that they both operate on a blockchain.
The blockchain is like an online public ledger. It's used to track cryptocurrency transactions.
[Blockchain is a public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions executed. It's a shared network that can move value around and represent property ownership.]
Now that you know the two types of crypto assets, let me explain how each works...
A New Form of Money
Cryptocurrencies are the crypto asset that most folks are familiar with. So, we'll dive into this one first.
The most common cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin.
It was created to act as alternatives to fiat (paper) money.
Two frequent questions we get are why would anyone buy a cryptocurrency that's backed by nothing and can be created by anyone.
These aren't only fair questions, but smart ones.
Here's the thing to remember about money: It's whatever people mutually agree it is.
In the past, beads, cowrie shells, silver, gold, and of course paper, have all been used as money.
You'll notice that none of them have any intrinsic value.
At the end of the day, a sack of flour has more practical value than a $100 bill or even a bar of gold.
And yet, we value both far more than a sack of flour. That's the mutual agreement we've all come to.
When you think about it, it's not that rational.
How does a piece of green paper or a bar of yellow metal hold more value to a human than a sack of flour that can be used to feed a family for weeks?
Because we all agree it does.
In my opinion, paper currency may be the most irrational form of money in human history. At least you can decorate yourself with gold, silver, beads, and cowrie shells.
Not only that... There's a limit to how much gold, silver, and shells that can be found. There's no limit on the amount of paper money that can be created.
The closest thing to true money (outside of food) is gold. Gold meets several historical rules that we use to judge value.
It's prized for its beauty. It's difficult to find. It's expensive to extract. It's also a scarce resource.
But there are problems with gold, too.
We have to trust that the refineries that certify the gold's purity are telling the truth.
Gold is also difficult to transfer (think of carrying around bags of gold coins or chests of gold bars).
And that makes it virtually useless as a practical medium of exchange in daily life.
What I mean is you can't buy a new car, house, or even a book with gold bars.
Here's How Cryptocurrencies Are Creating Value
Well-designed cryptocurrencies have many features that humans look for when measuring value. Let's talk about them now.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are pre-programmed to create a set amount of coins. Once this limit is reached, no new coins will be created. This creates scarcity.
For instance, the algorithm that governs Bitcoin will create no more than 21 million Bitcoins.
Think about this... There are 35 million millionaires in the world. That means if every millionaire wanted to own an entire Bitcoin, they wouldn't be able to.
There literally is not enough to go around.
Contrast that with paper money.
With paper money, there's no limit to how much can be created. However, gold is finite. That limits how much new gold can be refined each year.
You can see that cryptocurrencies actually have more in common with gold than with paper money.
Difficult to Counterfeit
Cryptocurrencies rely on a technology called the "blockchain."
This blockchain uses cryptography to secure transactions. These complex mathematical algorithms make counterfeiting cryptocurrencies almost impossible.
Now, compare that to cash.
It's estimated that almost a quarter-billion dollars of counterfeit paper money sloshes around the U.S. every year.
据估计，每年有近 25 亿美元的伪钞在美国流通。
What about gold?
Fake gold will never fool an expert. But counterfeit gold could be passed off to someone with an untrained eye.
Cryptocurrencies share two important criteria that give value to traditional assets: scarcity and irreproducibility (hard to counterfeit).
These are necessary to create value. But you need something else, too...
A Final Criterion
For a thing to have value, it needs one final thing: Some form of utility.
Even art (which some will argue is worth little more than the sum of its parts), creates massive utility by stirring deep emotions in the hearts of people that can appreciate it.
That emotional response is a very valuable form of utility. It's the reason people spend billions on art annually.
So, what type of utility do cryptocurrencies provide?
Rapid Transfer of Funds
Unlike the transfer of gold or even cash, cryptocurrencies can transfer value almost instantly. And they can do it at very low costs.
On the Bitcoin network, you can send $50,000 for about $3. The receiver will get it in about 10 minutes.
在比特币网络上，发送 50,000 美元的手续费大概是 3 美元。接收者在大约10分钟内就能拿到。
Compare that to a traditional wire transfer.
The fastest I've seen a wire hit is 24 hours. The cost to send a domestic wire can vary from $35 to $70. International wires can eat up 1%-15% of the total amount of money sent.
我见过的最快的电汇到账是 24 小时。国内电汇的费用从 35 美元到 70 美元不等。国际电汇则可能扣除汇款总金额的1%-15%。
As far as sending gold, it takes 3-14 days domestically and is very expensive.
至于递送黄金，国内需要 3 - 14 天，而且非常昂贵。
So, being able to quickly send money anywhere in the world is a very valuable utility that cryptocurrencies possess.
Free from Government Control
Over the years, both gold and cash have been either confiscated or severely restricted through capital controls.
Capital controls are government restrictions on your ability to access or move your money.
Even here in the U.S., we have capital controls. For instance, you can't just stroll through airport security with more than $10,000 in cash.
Unless you declare it, you're breaking the law.
Even though it's our money, the government insists we report when and where we're moving it. This is an outrageous demand that we accept because there are no alternatives.
That is until cryptocurrencies came around.
With cryptocurrencies, we are in complete control of our own funds. We can store them on our own devices free from government intervention.
If you store your cryptocurrencies properly, it is impossible for the government to confiscate or control them.
This is a truly liberating utility that is very valuable.
Highly Secure Decentralized Payment Network
One common criticism of cryptocurrencies is that anyone can make one. How can something have value if you can create a currency with just a few lines of code?
This criticism is spot on.
But remember, anyone can buy a printing press and start making his or her own paper money. What stops people is that no one would use it. The same is true in crypto. Only currencies that gain widespread adoption actually take off.
One of the ways we measure this widespread adoption is by looking at the number of computers that are in a cryptocurrency network. For instance, more than 7,000 separate computers are running the Bitcoin blockchain.
That widespread adoption is a vote of confidence by the market. It's a way for us to objectively identify "good" cryptocurrencies from bad ones.
As the network of users grows, so does the volume of cryptocurrency being transacted. This in turn creates a network effect that snowballs.
For instance, $143 million per day of Bitcoin changed hands in 2016. Today, it's over $4 billion per day.
The widespread use of this currency is giving it value. Thousands of people are coming together and agreeing to exchange goods and services for Bitcoin.
That is the true test for any currency. Are people accepting it? The answer is a resounding yes.
For these reasons, we believe you'll see more people continue to adopt cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
They offer utility that neither cash nor gold can.
A Second Type of Crypto Asset
Earlier, I told you there are two types of crypto assets. The first is cryptocurrencies (which I've just explained to you).
The second type of crypto asset goes by several names. Some folks call them "application coins" others call them "utility coins."
The terms are interchangeable.
So, what is a utility coin?
A utility coin is a crypto asset that is used to secure or deliver a service.
Our biggest gains have come from investing in utility coins.
That's why I want to spend the rest of this email talking about them. If you can understand how utility coins work, you can make a fortune in them.
In my Palm Beach Confidential service, I have readers that are transforming $300 investments into six-figure windfalls by getting in early on utility coins.
在我的棕榈滩保密服务中，我有读者正在通过早期投资实用币来将 300 美元的投资转化为六位数的横财。
Three Themes Driving the Value of Utility Coins
Over 2017, I've been to conferences in Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin, Las Vegas, New York City, Berlin, London, and Copenhagen.
在 2017 年，我在硅谷，波士顿，奥斯汀，拉斯维加斯，纽约，柏林，伦敦和哥本哈根参加过会议。
During these conferences, I've met with hundreds of people. I've met crypto project founders, venture capitalists, government regulators, central bankers, Fortune 500 executives, hedge fund managers, and digital currency miners.
These are the three primary themes that are driving their research, development, and investment decisions:
If you don't know what these terms mean, don't worry. I'll explain each for you right now.
Theme 1: Fat Protocols
What is a "fat protocol"?
I had to ask myself the same question.
I stumbled upon this theme at the Consensus 2017 event in New York City in late May. And I heard about fat protocols in more detail in Berlin.
Let's start with protocol. In the technology world, a protocol is a set of rules.
For instance, the internet is governed by two protocols: TCP and IP.
TCP stands for transmission control protocol. This is a set of rules that governs the exchange of packets of data over the internet.
IP stands for internet protocol. This is a set of rules that governs sending and receiving data at the internet address level.
IP by itself is something like the postal system. It allows you to address a package and drop it in the system, but there's no direct link between you and the recipient. TCP/IP, on the other hand, establishes a connection between two hosts, so they can send messages back and forth for a period of time.
IP 本身就像邮政系统一样。它让你提供一个包裹的地址，并将其放到系统中，但你和收件人之间没有直接的联系。另一方面，TCP / IP 在两个主机之间建立连接，所以它们可以在一段时间内来回发送消息。
Nobody owns TCP/IP. But imagine if someone did. How valuable would the protocols be?
Think about this...
According to a Harvard Business Review article, more than half the world's most valuable public companies have built business models on TCP/IP.
根据“哈佛商业评论”的文章，世界上最有价值的上市公司中，有一半以上，其商业模式都建立在 TCP/ IP 之上。
That's $5.4 trillion dollars in value traced right back to TCP/IP.
这是 $5.4 万亿美元的价值，和 TCP / IP 直接相关。
Think of the biggest names in the internet space: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Priceline, eBay, Netflix, Uber, etc... They are applications, not protocols.
Applications (or "apps") are computer programs that run specific tasks. They include simple desktop apps like calculators, clocks, and word processors to mobile apps like media players, games, instant messengers, and maps.
Google's YouTube, Facebook's Messenger, and Microsoft Word are examples of popular web applications. Companies own their applications.
Google 的 YouTube，Facebook 的 Messenger，和 Microsoft Word 是流行的 Web 应用程序的例子。公司拥有其应用程序。
Protocols are the rules computers use to communicate with each other. TCP and IP are examples of widely used protocols. Unlike applications, no one owns computer or internet protocols.
协议则是计算机之间用来互相通信的规则。TCP 和 IP 就是被广泛使用的协议的例子。不像应用程序，没有人对计算机或互联网协议拥有所有权。
For instance, the Ethereum platform has created a protocol for the issuance of crypto tokens (among many other things).
Ethereum has created rules that make it easy to launch and manage digital tokens. That's why more than 50% of new tokens coming to market are using the Ethereum platform.
以太坊制定了这些规则，可以轻松启动和管理数字令牌。这就是为什么超过 50% 的新令牌正在使用以太坊平台。
As more projects are launched on the Ethereum network, the demand for ether tokens increases.
Said another way, the more the protocol is used, the more valuable the ether tokens become.
These protocols are called "fat" because most of the economic value and profits will be captured at the protocol level.
All the tokens launched on the Ethereum platform are only worth $6.8 billion. But the Ethereum platform itself is now worth $34 billion.
在以太坊平台上推出的所有令牌只值 68 亿美元。但以太坊平台本身现在价值 340 亿美元。
Even as more and more companies go "public" on the Ethereum platform, we think Ethereum will be more valuable than the applications that end up running on it.
即使越来越多的公司在 Ethereum 平台上“上市”，我们认为以太坊将比最终运行的应用程序更有价值。
The reason is that the more the protocol is used, the more demand is generated for the underlying protocol token. That's how utility coins like ether gain their value.
Theme 2: Interoperability
Hundreds of new blockchain ledgers are emerging. On top of that, there are hundreds of established centralized ledgers and payment networks.
These established payment channels are used by banks and payment providers. We're talking about giants like JPMorgan, PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard.
As the world migrates from a centralized to a decentralized model, how do you get these different networks to communicate with one another?
This is a huge problem. That's why we think the next boom will be in companies that allow different ledgers to "talk" to each other.
Imagine there's an English speaker, German speaker, and French speaker in the same room. And no one speaker understands any other speaker. This is the problem right now with blockchains and payment networks.
They all "speak" different languages.
But what if somebody could create a technology that would allow these different languages to understand one another?
In the tech world, this is called "interoperability."
The Difference Between Financial Ledgers and Blockchain Ledgers
Today's financial system requires a lot of overlap. Financial institutions spend a lot of time and money maintaining their systems and even more time and money making sure their systems agree with other systems on common facts.
This is done so that there is no single point of control or single point of failure. The solution is decentralization. It eliminates single points of failure and the necessity for each institution to duplicate the data.
Imagine a version of eBay or PayPal that can work with virtually any digital or fiat payment system. That's the goal of interoperability.
想象一个几乎可以与任何数字或法定付款系统通用的 eBay 或 PayPal。这就是互通性的目标。
Here's the key takeaway: The utility coins that are building in easy-to-use interoperability will be the ones that become highly valuable.
Theme 3: Scaling
While in Berlin, I met a group of executives from drug giant Merck.
These folks oversee Merck's European innovation group. They are tasked with identifying and getting management "buy-in" on implementing innovative technology.
They have a terrific grasp of the blockchain. They know it could potentially save Merck millions of dollars in costs.
他们对区块链理解得非常好。他们知道这可能为 Merck 节省数百万美元的成本。
The problem is none of the current blockchain platforms scale. Meaning they just can't operate at the speed and level of complexity Merck requires. This is a common complaint. I've heard it from executives in London, Boston, Silicon Valley, New York City, and now Berlin.
The two most popular blockchains, Bitcoin and Ethereum, can only handle seven and 15 transactions per second, respectively. Like the old 56k telephone modems of the '90s, that's awful. But it would be a mistake to think that it will stay that way forever.
比特币和以太坊是两个最受欢迎的区块链，但比特币每秒只能处理7个交易，以太坊每秒15个，就像90年代的 56k 电话调制解调器一样，这太糟糕了。但认为它会永远保持这种方式是错误的。
Just as those modems eventually transformed into the high-speed internet we enjoy today, it's only a question of time before Bitcoin and Ethereum crack the scaling problem.
Bringing It All Together
The future for cryptocurrencies and utility coins is bright.
As more people look to take control of their money, they'll turn to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and others.
As I track the developments in fat protocols, interoperability, and scaling, I'm seeing more and more widespread adoption of utility coins like ether and many others.
But remember: These are still very early days.
We'll see massive volatility ahead. It's unavoidable. The key to thriving in the chaos of the early days of a new technology is to remain rational.
Friends, hear me when I tell you that it is irrational to expect the crypto market to be stable.
Any market this new is highly unstable. The way we manage and profit from that instability is to use small position sizes. With crypto assets, we rely on asymmetric risk.
With crypto we can swing for the fences without putting the rest of our existing wealth at risk. This is a rare opportunity for ordinary people to make life-changing gains without having to take life-changing risk.
That means we risk a small amount of money for a massive potential payoff. This strategy is working well for my readers.
The best part is this trend is just beginning. Right now, the entire crypto market is valued at about $195 billion. Novogratz, the hedge fund billionaire I mentioned earlier, sees the entire market growing to $5 trillion. That's 2,400+% upside ahead.
最好的部分是这个趋势才刚刚开始。目前，整个密币市场价值约为 1950 亿美元。我刚才提到的对冲基金亿万富豪 Novogratz 认为，整个市场将会增长到 5 万亿美元。这意味着未来将有超过 2400% 的上涨空间。
That means we have many more opportunities in front of us to make life-changing gains.
So get out there. At the very least, buy some Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Remember, you don't have to own a whole Bitcoin. You can own just a fraction of a coin.
And as all these developments unfold – along with others like them – I'm confident that one day you'll be grateful you took action.
随着事态逐步发展 — 和其他相关的事件一起 — 我有信心，在将来的某一天，你会因为今天采取了行动而感谢自己。
1. 新版中删除了和 monero 相关的内容，仅仅谈到了比特币和以太坊；