The Ultimate Quick Start Guide to Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

What is a Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset or digital form of money enabled by blockchain. Cryptocurrencies rely on cryptography (i.e., the study of encrypting information) to verify and secure transactions – hence the name!

One of the unique things about cryptocurrency is its decentralised nature. That is, cryptocurrencies are managed by a peer-to-peer network of computers running open-source code. Unlike the money we use today, cryptocurrencies aren’t controlled by a government or central bank.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network of nodes that maintain a blockchain-based distributed ledger of bitcoin balances. Wait, there’s Bitcoin and bitcoin? Correct. The cryptocurrency native to the Bitcoin network is called bitcoin (BTC). It is the oldest and most well-known cryptocurrency.

People use bitcoin to store and transmit value among other participants in the Bitcoin network, no matter where they are in the world. To maintain scarcity, there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins issued. The final bitcoin is expected to be “mined” in the year 2140.

What is Litecoin?

Often dubbed the silver to bitcoin’s gold, litecoin (LTC) is a cryptocurrency native to the Litecoin network. It was created by former Google software engineer Charlie Lee in October 2011. Litecoin was designed with an emphasis on faster transaction processing speeds.

Litecoin’s source code is a fork of Bitcoin Core, the most popular software client of Bitcoin. For this reason, there are significant overlaps between how Bitcoin and Litecoin function. Transaction speeds are widely considered the main difference between the two. Lee designed Litecoin to process transactions much faster than Bitcoin.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is an open source, globally decentralised computing infrastructure that uses blockchain technology to synchronise and store changes in state. The cryptocurrency native to Ethereum – called ether (ETH) – is both integral to and necessary for the operation of Ethereum.

Ethereum’s whitepaper was published in November 2013 by computer programmer Vitalik Buterin. After being built by a group of developers working alongside Buterin, the first Ethereum block was mined in July 2015.

Ethereum is best known for supporting smart contracts. Think of these as bits of code that perform a set of instructions. Whilst Bitcoin has always supported smart contracts, Ethereum provides developers with many more ways to use them. How? Thanks to something called the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), an environment where smart contracts live and interact with each other.

How to buy Neo?

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset or digital form of money enabled by blockchain. Cryptocurrencies rely on cryptography (i.e., the study of encrypting information) to verify and secure transactions – hence the name!

One of the unique things about cryptocurrency is its decentralised nature. That is, cryptocurrencies are managed by a peer-to-peer network of computers running open-source code. Unlike the money we use today, cryptocurrencies aren’t controlled by a government or central bank.

How to buy Altcoin?

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset or digital form of money enabled by blockchain. Cryptocurrencies rely on cryptography (i.e., the study of encrypting information) to verify and secure transactions – hence the name!

One of the unique things about cryptocurrency is its decentralised nature. That is, cryptocurrencies are managed by a peer-to-peer network of computers running open-source code. Unlike the money we use today, cryptocurrencies aren’t controlled by a government or central bank.

Nugget’s Hot Tips

The identity of Bitcoin’s creator – Satoshi Nakamoto – remains a mystery to this day. It could be a man, a woman, or even a group of people. They published the Bitcoin whitepaper in October 2008, before participating in forum and mailing list discussions for a couple of years thereafter. Then in April 2011, Satoshi Nakamoto sent their final email stating “I’ve moved on to other things.”

What is a Blockchain?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that represents a time-stamped series of immutable records of data. This data, which is stored in so-called ‘blocks’, is linked together using cryptography; creating a ‘chain’ of ‘blocks’.

The Big Deal with Blockchain

Blockchains are decentralised in nature, meaning no single actor controls the network. This is totally different to the centralised databases we see being used today by banks and social media platforms, for example.

Operating on a centralised system is problematic in many ways. A major one is security. If a central database gets hacked, everything stored on it becomes vulnerable. Another is data ownership. In today’s world, you rarely own your data. Worse still, your data is often monetised by the very networks you trusted it with. This brings us to another big issue with centralised databases: transparency – it’s almost impossible to verify how centralised network operators use your data.

Blockchains and Consensus

Each node participating in a blockchain network has their own version of the truth. Remember, blockchains are decentralised. And so, you may be wondering: how on earth do all nodes agree on a unified transaction ledger without the help of a central authority?

This all has to do with what we call blockchain consensus protocols. Think of these as the set of rules that define how participating nodes reach an agreement (i.e., consensus) on a single state of the blockchain ledger.

Often misunderstood, there are multiple key components to any given blockchain consensus protocol. In the case of Bitcoin, it uses the Nakamoto consensus protocol, which features a block proposing scheme called proof-of-work (PoW). Sound confusing? You’re not alone!

First Things First

Before buying any cryptocurrency, there are some things you should note. Firstly: the importance of DYOR (Do Your Own Research). It’s an acronym you will see used a lot in the crypto space – and for good reason! If you solely rely on the advice of others to inform your investment decisions, then you may as well throw your money away.

In a similar vein, be sure to put serious thought into how you plan on interacting with the crypto markets. That is, as an investor or as a day trader. Believe us when we say: this decision will significantly affect your investment strategies moving forward.

This dovetails lastly into our final point: strongly consider seeking professional advice before buying cryptocurrencies. From country to country, the regulatory status of crypto varies tremendously, especially with regards to how it’s treated for tax purposes – something that affects traders and investors alike.

Choosing an On-Ramp

There are many factors to consider when deciding how to convert your fiat currency into cryptocurrency. Given the mostly unregulated nature of the crypto industry, it cannot be understated how important it is for newcomers to research and examine their options when it comes to buying cryptocurrency.

The most widely utilised fiat on-ramps are cryptocurrency exchanges (more on these soon). There are also cryptocurrency brokers – professionals who specialise in helping others buy and sell crypto using fiat currencies.

Factors that often sway people’s decision include things like reputability; liquidity; trading fees and other rates; accepted deposit and withdrawal methods; location; security; and exchange rate.

Centralised Exchanges

Operated by for-profit businesses, centralised exchanges are sites that facilitate the buying and selling of different cryptocurrencies. They make profits by charging users a transaction fee any time they execute a buy or sell order.

Centralised exchanges are appealing for reasons to do with usability, functionality, and liquidity. They are, however, constantly under attack from hackers; a major risk for those who keep their crypto holdings in exchange wallets. Popular centralised exchanges include Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.

Non-Custodial Exchanges

Sometimes referred to as a decentralised exchange (DEX) – despite often being operated by a central entity – these exchanges are a place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in a peer-to-peer manner. Here, market prices are set by the sellers, rather than the exchange itself.

Non-custodial exchanges are favoured by those who deeply value maintaining custody over their cryptocurrency at all times. Even if it means putting up with issues related to low liquidity such as price slippage. Some well-known non-custodial exchanges includes IDEX, Binance DEX, and Paradex.

Choosing an Off-Ramp

Just as there are many ways to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies (i.e., on-ramps), there are also many ways to sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for fiat currencies (i.e., off-ramps). Again, the most popular avenues used by crypto investors are exchanges and brokers. Worth pointing out, ‘cashing out’ is not the only way to exit crypto. Indeed, there are a growing number of businesses offering goods and services in exchange for cryptocurrency. The two most popular in Australia are Living Room of Satoshi and TravelbyBit.

Cryptocurrency Storage: Know Your Keys!

In order to understand what it means to store your cryptocurrency, you firstly need to wrap your head around something called public-key cryptography (or asymmetric cryptography).

This is a cryptographic system that uses a set of public keys and a set of private keys. Public keys are visible to anyone, whereas private keys are visible only to the owner. Why do blockchains use this system? Being peer-to-peer systems (i.e., decentralised), blockchains need to have a way to authenticate users. Public-key cryptography does just that.

Here’s how: a private key generates a “digital signature” for each blockchain transaction a user sends out. This ensures authenticity in two ways, by: (1) confirming the transaction is indeed coming from the user and (2) preventing the transaction from being altered by anyone in the future.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Blockchains, and the cryptocurrencies that are enabled by them, are decentralised. Whilst this is exciting for a great number of reasons, it means that cryptocurrency owners must take steps to ensure their holdings are secure.

Quite simply, protecting your private keys = protecting your funds. “You are your own bank” is often preached by crypto pundits. And for good reason! If you choose to leave your cryptocurrencies on an exchange or broker wallet, realise his: you do not control the private keys until you withdraw your funds to a personal wallet.

Shore Up Your Online Security

The crypto industry is rife with hackers constantly thinking of new ways to trick you. Here are some tips to help you stay safe: enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for all possible services; bookmark your most visited sites; uninstall clipboard managers; do not rely on your browser’s inbuilt password manager; never use public wi-fi; and be cynical of links in emails.

Suggested resource: MyCrypto’s Security Guide For Dummies And Smart People Too

Safely Storing Your Private Keys

By far, the safest way to store your private keys is by moving them on to some sort of remote storage. You’ll often hear this referred to as cold storage. Cryptocurrencies placed in cold storage are completely offline and disconnected from any automated system.

By far, the most popular cold storage solution for cryptocurrencies are hardware security modules (HSMs). These are often referred to as hardware wallets or cold wallets.

Other solutions you can use to store your private keys offline include a stainless-steel wallet, an air-gapped computer wallet, and a laminated paper wallet stored in a fire-resistant safe.

Wallets: What to Know

You’ve likely noticed the word ‘wallet’ appearing here and there. It’s about time we define what it means – in the context of cryptocurrency wallets, that is.

A cryptocurrency wallet is a piece of software you use to store your public and private keys. The term ‘wallet’ is a bit of a misnomer, however, as they don’t store cryptocurrencies in the same way a regular wallet stores your cash.

Quite simply, the purpose of a cryptocurrency wallet is to look after the key you must use to access your cryptocurrency. Just so we’re clear: saying something like “I want to put my bitcoins in my hardware wallet” does not make any sense.

Types of Wallets

As we touched on in module #4, there are many different types of cryptocurrency wallets out there. There is no “best” cryptocurrency wallet type. It all depends on the needs of the individual. Below is a quick outline of the available wallet types.

Hardware wallets are dedicated devices intended to provide. Software wallets are downloadable and installable software packages that can run on either a desktop, mobile, or the Internet. A paper wallet is a printed piece of paper containing a cryptocurrency address and private key that are accessible via a QR code.

Choosing What’s Right For You

As we alluded to before, the “best” wallet depends on personal circumstances. If you’re the type of person who prioritises convenience, then a hot wallet is the way to go. If you care more about security, then a hardware wallet – or any other cold storage solution – is where you should be looking.

Homing In on Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are the most popular type of cryptocurrency wallet. Why? Because – at least for the time being – cryptocurrency is primarily used as a speculative asset. Almost always, long-term investors buy cryptocurrencies on an exchange only to send it moments later to an address they can access with a private key maintained by their hardware wallet. This wallet is then kept somewhere safe, often for a period that lasts years.

What hardware wallets offer in terms of security, they lack in terms of convenience – at least relative to hot wallet solutions. Whilst hardware wallets do demand more of your time and effort, it’s a small price to pay when you consider the more vulnerable alternatives.

To be sure, you’d want to choose a hardware wallet that’s right for you. Some questions to keep in mind when browsing: “does this hardware wallet support the cryptocurrencies I own?” and “does this hardware wallet have a large enough storage capacity for my needs?

Using Your Public Address or QR Code

Whilst you’ll almost always hear cryptocurrency being talked about as an investment, they can also be used for sending value to anyone in the world quickly and for little cost. Indeed, the title of Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper is ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’.

The most common way to send cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is to an address, which is a hash of a public key. This is worth emphasising: your address and public key are not the same.

Also worth pointing out: you can only send cryptocurrencies to an address of the same blockchain. Sending bitcoin to a Bitcoin address? That’s okay. Sending bitcoin to an Ethereum address? That’s not okay. Nor is sending ether to a Bitcoin address.

In the crypto space, you’ll often see people’s addresses depicted as a QR code. When you scan it with your phone, for example, you’re scanning their public address. This is a lot more convenient than having to accurately copy and paste a long string of letters and numbers.

Understanding Transaction Fees

Whenever you go to transact using cryptocurrencies, your transaction must go into a new block – which joins on to the ‘end’ of the blockchain once mined – in order for it to be successful.

The work to validate your transaction and add it into a new block is done by miners (in blockchains like Bitcoin and – for the time being – Ethereum). This work is done for a financial reward, which miners receive when they ‘mine’ a new block. A small part of this reward comes from fees sent with the transactions that were included in the block.

This is why you must pay a fee whenever you transact with cryptocurrency. Think of it as a small price you pay to help keep a blockchain running properly.

What is the ‘correct’ fee you should pay? There isn’t one. It depends on various factors like transaction size and how much traffic is on the network. Ultimately, your decision comes down to how fast you want (or need) your transaction to be confirmed by a miner.

Resources: Ethereum Gas | ETH Gas Station | Transaction fees: your most common questions

Monitoring Transactions

To monitor transactions, you need to use what’s known as a block explorer. These are online browsers that allow you to see the contents of every single block within a given blockchain. Think of them like how we use browsers like Google Chrome to access the World Wide Web.

Block explorers let you view individual transactions, transaction histories, and balances of addresses. The most popular block explorers are Blockchain.com (for Bitcoin) and Etherscan (for Ethereum).

Why Are You Buying Cryptocurrency?

When thinking about buying a certain cryptocurrency, you should know the answer to the following question: “why am I buying this cryptocurrency?”

We’ve all heard enough horror stories in our everyday lives to know how real of a thing buyer’s remorse is. Believe us when we say: this absolutely exists in the world of cryptocurrency.

Removing Emotion from the Equation

Not dissimilarly, you should try your best to remain level-headed when deciding whether or not to buy a cryptocurrency. Time and time again, the inability to control emotions is the pitfall of many stock investors and traders. And to think, that’s concerning an asset class with far less price volatility than cryptocurrencies!

To help you, be aware of these two widely used acronyms: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt). Each of these are extremely powerful forces in the cryptocurrency markets. They are directly responsible for causing emotional investors and traders to lose some serious amounts of money. This is what we call ‘getting rekt’. Don’t get rekt.

Plan, Plan, Plan

You’ve found a cryptocurrency you want to invest in. Next up: planning time. For all the talk about researching what cryptocurrencies to buy, very little is said about putting in place a plan surrounding that investment.

What we’re talking about here are entry and exit strategies. For traders, both are equally important. For investors, the latter tends to be focussed on more. Deciding, ahead of time, what price you will sell your cryptocurrency is an incredibly effective way to control your emotions and minimise risk.

We see far too many skip this crucial step. This type of person generally puts far too much emphasis on research, in our opinion. It’s highly important, to be sure. But, if you invest in a cryptocurrency without having defined any sort of parameters related to that investment, then all that time you spent researching can (and often does) amount to little.

Value Proposition

As a prospective investor researching a given project, you should focus on gaining an understanding of how the team uses (or plans to use) blockchain technology to enable their project.

Moreover, you should learn why the hypothetical ‘success’ of the project – which is usually ‘mass adoption’ – would drive up the value of the underlying cryptocurrency.

Why is this so important? Because you are investing in the cryptocurrency itself. This is not the same as, for example, buying a company’s shares in exchange for an equity stake.

Classifying Crypto

It’s vital to know the function of the cryptocurrency you’re looking at investing in. Up until now – for the sake of simplicity – we’ve been using the umbrella term ‘cryptocurrencies’ to describe all the tokens and coins that comprise the industry.

Truth is, ‘cryptocurrencies’ are only a portion of what’s out there today. We’ll refrain from exploring this further for now, but just know this: the way cryptocurrencies capture value varies tremendously.

For example, work tokens (e.g. LPT) are fundamentally different to utility tokens (e.g. BAT), which are fundamentally different to cryptocurrencies (e.g. BTC).

Can You Trust the Team?

Before you buy a given cryptocurrency, you’d better be comfortable with the composition and quality of the team building out the blockchain-based solution to which the cryptocurrency belongs to.

The vast majority of projects remain years away from fully coming to fruition. And so, the team’s ability to execute is paramount to the long-term value of the cryptocurrency tied to the project.

Things to look out for: (1) the ratio of engineers and developers to marketers and community ambassadors; and (2) the experience, background, and reputation of key team members.

Compare the Competition

There are thousands of crypto startups out there; many of which share near-identical goals. It’s certainly worth researching how many other projects are building something similar to what the project you’re looking at is building.

A sign of a quality project is when they openly distinguish their solution from each of its competitors, rather than not addressing competition altogether.

Charts: Covering the Basics

In the cryptocurrency space, price charts are relied upon just as much as they are in the world of stock trading. Why? Because they serve the same function: to visually represent the price of an asset over a set period of time.

Simply put, charts exist to help technical analysts – people who study the past price action of a given cryptocurrency – be able to analyse movements in price.

Whilst there are many types of charts out there, you’ll often come across the following three: line charts, bar charts, and candlestick charts. Among cryptocurrency traders and investors, the latter is by far the most widely used chart type.

Factors Influencing Cryptocurrency Prices

Knowing each and every factor that influences the value of a given cryptocurrency is basically impossible. However, there certainly are some you should try to wrap your head around.

The first is token supply. Despite literally meaning “a given number of tokens,” this crucial metric is often misunderstood. Why’s this? Because there are many subsets of token supply that people often confuse for token supply itself. Examples include initial token supply, current token supply (also referred to as circulating supply), total token supply, unlimited total token supply, maximum token supply, and minted tokens.

The second major factor affecting cryptocurrency prices is market capitalisation (i.e., market cap). Rightly or wrongly, market cap is the most popular method for calculating the value of a given cryptocurrency. It is the output of the following equation: circulating supply x current market price.

Why Crypto Chartists Love Candlesticks

As previously stated, the most popular chart type you’ll see used in the cryptocurrency space is the candlestick chart. Each candlestick gives you information on the opening, high, low, and closing price of a given cryptocurrency in relation to a specific time frame.

For this reason, candlestick charts are considered a type of OHLC chart. Another chart you’ll often see cryptocurrency traders use is the bar chart; also an OHLC chart.

The reason OHLC charts are so popular among cryptocurrency traders – as opposed to, say, stock traders – is because they show price volatility; something other well-known chart types, like line charts, fail to do.

‘Open’ (‘close’) is the cryptocurrency’s price when the trading period begins (ends) and ‘high’ (‘low’) represents the highest (lowest) price recorded during said trading period.

In terms of candlestick charts, you’ll notice the ‘open’ and ‘close’ define the vertical ends of the candlestick’s rectangular box (i.e., the body’). As for the ‘high’ and ‘low’ points, they are defined by each end (i.e., ‘wicks’) of the single vertical line running through the middle of the candlestick. A green (red) candlestick means the ‘close’ is higher (lower) than the ‘open’.

Charting Indicators and Tools

There are many indicators and tools available for cryptocurrency technical analysts. Below is a short description of some you will often see used:

      Simple Moving Average (SMA): a constantly updating average price calculated by taking the mean of a given number of data points – usually 50, 100, or 200 – and plotting it on a chart. Useful for tracking the direction and strength of a trend.

      Relative Strength Index (RSI): a momentum indicator designed for determining if a cryptocurrency is overbought or oversold. The RSI’s formula returns a value of 0-100. Generally, values above 85 and below 15 are considered overbought and oversold, respectively.

      Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD): a so-called ‘trend following’ indicator used to identify new trends in a market for a given cryptocurrency and confirm if it is bearish or bullish. Depicts buy and sell signals simply by the crossing of two lines.

Types of Basic Trends

A trend is the direction that cryptocurrency prices are moving in, based on where they have been in the past. Two terms to know when discussing trends: peaks and troughs. Quite simply, a market’s trend is defined by the direction of peaks and troughs.

There are only three ways peaks and troughs can move: up, down, or sideways. This explains the name of the three basic chart trends: uptrends, downtrends, and sideways trends (i.e., consolidation).

      Uptrend: ascending peaks and troughs (i.e., “higher highs and lower lows”)
      Downtrend: descending peaks and troughs (i.e., “lower highs and lower lows”)
      Consolidation: prices move sideways within a horizontal range.

Cryptocurrency Trading Pairs

A frequent sticking point for newcomers is the concept of ‘trading pairs’. These are two different types of currency that are being traded against one another. Thanks to trading pairs, you are able to know how much the value of one currency is in relation to another currency.

The whole reason cryptocurrency exchanges exist is to offer trading pairs to the public. The vast majority of trading pairs you will come across are between two cryptocurrencies (e.g., ETH/BTC).

Many exchanges also offer trading pairs comprising one cryptocurrency and one fiat currency. This gives you the ability to buy (sell) cryptocurrency using (for) your local currency.

The terms ‘base currency’ or ‘base pair’ are often used in the crypto space. These are the cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies that exchanges form markets around. For instance, you’ll often hear exchanges promote the fact their BTC market features [x] number of trading pairs.

When it comes to choosing a trading pair, it all depends on your goals. Do you care about taking fiat-denominated profits? Then use trading pairs that include your local currency. Are you concerned with accumulating BTC? Then sell profitable cryptocurrency trades using a trading pair that includes BTC.

Worthy of Reiteration

You’ve learnt a lot in these first nine modules. Well done on getting this far! Whilst everything we’ve explained is important, there are a few points we’d like to reiterate.

  • Ownership: when you leave cryptocurrency on an exchange, you do not own the private key linked to the address where your funds are stored. Commit the following maxim to your memory: “not your keys, not your cryptocurrency.”
  •  
  • Security: a lot of people (falsely) believe that “if I just get my cryptocurrencies off exchanges, then I’m safe!” Whilst this is a big part of keeping your cryptocurrencies secure, by no means is it a panacea. It’s highly recommended you adopt best practices relating to cybersecurity and data protection.
  •  
  • Research: the crypto space remains largely unregulated, so it’s a good idea you treat it like the wild west. What does this mean, exactly? It means being sceptical of every bit of new information you come across – even if it’s from us! If you see something new and exciting, take note and read about it on your own time before even thinking about anything investment-related.

Acknowledge the Macro Headwinds

The crypto industry continues to grow at speed. This is exciting. It means new opportunities are constantly arising. However, it’d be foolish to overlook the problems that come with such fast-paced growth. And yes, there are more than a few!

What are some of these key problems?

  • – Increased regulatory scrutiny.
  • – Fallibility of crypto exchanges.
  • – Alarmingly high wash trading volumes.
  • – Struggles crypto companies have accessing banking services.
  • – Lack of regulated custody solutions.
  • – Widespread over-reliance on Tether (USDT).
  •  

Why do all these problems exist? Mostly, it comes down to a mix of regulatory ambiguity, lack of public interest, and self-infliction. All of these are solvable. Just know that it may take quite some time, though.

The Most Crucial Challenge

All these obstacles just highlighted seem easy to overcome when you compare them to the greatest threat to mass adoption of blockchain technology: the technology itself.

The most common technical issue you’ll hear of is the so-called ‘scalability trilemma’. Coined by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, the term contends that blockchains are only able to achieve two of the following three properties: security, decentralisation, and scalability.

Other technical problems the industry is dealing with include privacy (i.e., on-chain data is visible to all; severely limiting the applicability of public blockchains) and the so-called ‘oracle problem’ (i.e., how can smart contracts running on decentralised networks rely on external data?).

There is also the less pressing – but nonetheless crucial – problem posed by quantum computing. Many believe it’s only a matter of time before quantum computers can crack public-key encryption. If this hypothetical scenario were to play out, it’d affect not just cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, but also modern internet communications and e-commerce. Fortunately, researchers are busy working away on an area known as post-quantum cryptography.

Closing Word on Crypto

The cryptocurrency ecosystem has come a long way since the first Bitcoin block was mined on January 3, 2009. Despite countless attempts by global institutions and corporate leaders to publicly downplay it, the industry just keeps on growing from strength to strength.

With every mainnet release, every venture capital financing round, every hackathon, every C-suite hire, and every community meetup, the blockchain and cryptocurrency space continues to gain legitimacy.

Sure, there are a number of challenges to overcome. But there are lots of clever people working day in, day out on solving these; many of whom are actively collaborating with academic researchers and government regulators.

At the end of the day, it’s perfectly okay for you to be optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Before such an opinion is formed, however, make sure you are acutely aware of the headwinds the industry is contending with.

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