Cryptocurrency is on the tip of everybody’s tongue these days, and the LimeLight office is no exception, with a fair number of crypto investors filling our ranks. As everyone wonders what’s going to happen next, we took a supremely unofficial survey of our coworkers who have jumped into the crypto craze to get their thoughts on the big questions hanging over the world of cryptocurrency.
The big crypto players have plenty of standing in our office: 60% of respondents had Bitcoin, 60% had Litecoin and 60% had Ethereum, but few people had all three at once. But there were plenty of wild cards in the bunch: LimeLighters had also invested in the 0x Protocol, Neo, Ripple, Substratum, INS Ecosystems, Neo, Cardano, Monero and Iota, among others.
While we’ve hit most of the major crypto players, as Investopedia points out, Zcash and Dash (AKA Darkcoin) are also industry heavyweights, with technology focused on privacy, security, and anonymity.
So what’s your best bet on currency? Well, nobody knows (and if anyone tells you they do, they’re lying). But based on our NLEI metric (Number of LimeLight Employees Invested), you’re best off with an even Bitcoin/Litecoin/Ethereum split. Based off of an actual survey of the entire market, 47% of money invested in crypto as of 2017 is invested in Bitcoin, with Ethereum in second place at 19%. So it’s up to you: do you think the most popular currency is the best currency?
How much potential does blockchain technology offer?
A common theory is that while cryptocurrencies themselves don’t hold much value–they’re more of an object of speculation in the vein of Dutch tulips in the 1600s–it’s the blockchain itself that holds the real potential.
Opinions from around our office[and maybe yours as well] range from “I think blockchain is going to revolutionize the world” to “there’s a disproportionate amount of hype. Why is Bitcoin worth more than Bank of America right now? That’s ridiculous.” Blockchain could potentially affect any agreement, task, process, or payment, touching the worlds of digital identity, data management, audit trails, contracts, automated governance, and more, claims Coindesk, while the Harvard Business Review cautions that security issues still abound, and the curve of widespread technology adoption is slow, with societal, organizational, technological and governmental barriers still blocking the way.
So who to believe? Well, nobody knows. But blockchain sure is neat, right?
When is the bubble going to burst? HODL or sell?
The vast majority of our LimeLight crypto enthusiasts invested recently, between September and December 2017, with one crypto hipster who dipped their toe in years before it was cool. But when, if ever, do they sell? The sentiment amongst the long-time crypto community is HODL, (“hold,”) advising nervous investors to stay strong and hang on to their crypto, while others look at terrifying, spiky line graphs and hover their mouse over the “sell” button.
LimeLighters’ guesses at when the bubble burst vary. Guesses voiced included:
- 10 months. (There’s another upturn coming in the next few months, similar to the pattern observed in early 2017.)
- In 6 months…or 6 years.
- No idea: waiting on the edge of their seat and watching news alerts
- 12 months, bursting at the end of 2018.
So perhaps the collective LimeLight team wouldn’t be a great investment advisor. Julian Hosp, co-founder of TenX, predicted to CNBC that Bitcoin will hit $60,000 at an undetermined time, but also that it would “dip down” in the “long run.” On the other hand, a survey of crypto and fintech experts predicted increases in value of all major cryptocurrencies (except Verge) by December 2018, varying from a 24% increase (Litecoin) to a 8000% increase (Cardano.) These experts ignore the possibility of a crash completely, focusing on potential long term gains.
TL;DR: Nobody knows.
Are you going to lose it all to a hack?
Fraud and security are big news in cryptoland. Some LimeLighters have been taking extra security measures as news breaks that 10% of funds raised in ICOs between 2015 and 2017 have been hacked–a whopping $400 million. Crypto scammers have also been floating around: PlexCoin recently had its assets frozen by the SEC for falsely promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month, and Facebook just banned advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and binary options because they are “financial products frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” Meanwhile, a survey from a security firm found that 90% of the top 30 coin wallet apps on Google Play had at least two “high-risk” issues.
So is there any way to protect yourself from hacks, or does the very infrastructure of crypto make hacking unavoidable? And if the chance of hacking is that high, would it be better to stay out of crypto entirely and trudge back to the boring world of traditional investments? There are a few best practices (here’s a few more) that you can follow to protect your personal coin wallet and computer, but hacks of coin exchanges are out of your hands. If the 10% figure holds true, you have as much chance of being hacked as being born left-handed, of not owning a single book, or of eating your daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables. Do those seem like good odds to you? We don’t know, but they sure keep things interesting.
Whatever happens with crypto, it sure gives us something to talk about around the office, and that’s half the fun.