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Investing
Bitcoin, Cloud Mining, Investing

Should You Invest in Bitcoin Cloud Mining?

bitcoin cloud community

When the Bitcoin protocol was first introduced, the first and only method to get some bitcoins was to mine them, using your own computer, as the mining difficulty was very low. Then, Bitcoin mining difficulty grew, and people started using GPUs, and then FPGAs & ASICs to mine.

People started to gather into mining pools, to have more chance together to mine some bitcoins. However, and while mining pools still exists and are going strong, it’s not the ideal situation. You still need to own your own hardware, pay the electricity bill and try to sell the hardware again when your mining efficiency starts to go down.

Cloud mining proposes to solve all these problems, by allowing people to buy Bitcoin mining power from some piece of dedicated hardware that is hosted remotely. Is it a good investment vector? That’s what we are going to see in this article.

What is Cloud Mining?

The idea behind cloud mining is simple: a company buys a significant piece of Bitcoin mining hardware (usually ASICs, which are dedicated chips for Bitcoin mining), host this hardware somewhere, pays the electricity and maintenance bills, starts mining with it, and then rent out a piece of this power to you.


There are many websites out there that propose such a service. We are not going to go into the details of each of them now, but here are three that I used successfully myself:

  • zeushash.com
  • genesis-mining.com
  • Cloudminr.io

These websites all work around the same principle: you buy a piece of their Bitcoin hashing power (in GHS or THS) in exchange of a given amount of money. Then, they pay you a given sum of bitcoins (or other coins like litecoins) every day or every week, which corresponds to what the piece of computing power you bought produced (sometimes minus charges).

This creates a cashflow from your investment, that is then deposited on a local Bitcoin wallet of the company you chose for the mining. Some of them even propose to automatically reinvest your gains into more computing power, therefore creating a nice compounding effect.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

So what returns can you really expect from cloud mining? Well, you need to be very careful. Indeed, unlike a more typical financial placement for example, you are pretty sure that your monthly returns will go down over time. Why? Simply because with a constant computing power, and with an increasing Bitcoin mining difficulty, your gains will slowly go down over time.

So don’t be lured by the nice payouts advertised by some websites: they are only valid for a short period of time, basically until the Bitcoin difficulty increases. Because your returns are going down with time, it is absolutely necessary to get till the point where you at least break even, so when you get your invested money back.

This is why I really recommend using a calculator to know when (and if) you will break even, before doing any investment. I searched a lot for the best calculator out there, and for Bitcoin I found the following one simply called Mining Profit:

https://mining-profit.com/calculator

And what you really need to be careful about is the price of the computing power you are buying. Let’s take an example. At the date this article was written, I used a simple scenario of cloud mining, for a 12 months period, without any fees or Bitcoin price change. It’s a bit idealistic, but it’s for the sake of the example.

Let’s assume you buy 1 THS of hashing power on a cloud mining site. On a given site, it costs 1.5 BTC, and on another website the same power costs 2.2 BTC. Both websites advertises similar payouts. Well, in the first case you will realise a nice APR (Annual Percentage Rate) of 30%, whereas in the second case you will actually loose 9%, as you will never reach the break even point.

You also need to be careful with fees on these websites. Anything that lowers your payouts will compromise your chances to break even, and therefore you will just be throwing your bitcoins away(or more precisely, you will be throwing them into the cloud mining company pockets).

Finally, you have to be very careful about scams around cloud mining. Even more than other Bitcoin websites, cloud mining is well known for Ponzi schemes. Basically, you will get your money, see some regular payouts (given not by mining, but with your own money or money invested by others!) and then after some months the website will just disappear. Make sure to always consult forums (like https://bitcointalk.org/) to get some information about the cloud mining company you plan to use.

SO SHOULD YOU INVEST IN CLOUD MINING?

We can now back to the essential question of this article: should you have cloud mining as a part of your Bitcoin investment portfolio? Despite all the concerns I raised in the previous section, my personal opinion is still yes, and I’ll tell you why.

First, it’s nice diversification option for your portfolio. I like peer-to-peer Bitcoin lending, but I also don’t like the idea to have all my eggs in the lending basket. Having some of my bitcoins invested in cloud mining is a good option for me in that sense. You can usually start with quite low sums of money (starting from $10) and still make a good return on investment.

Then, if you make things right, you will also get a nice return on it, similar to Bitcoin lending. With the example I took in the previous section, you can easily get to 30% of annual returns, if you carefully use a Bitcoin returns calculator. Be sure to get the lowest price possible on the Bitcoin mining power, choose a website without fees, and you should get at least a 20% return on your investment.

I known that cloud mining is a controversial topic in the Bitcoin community, so I would really like to have your opinion on the topic! What do you actually prefer, cloud mining or owning your hardware & mining in a pool? Or other kind of investments? Share in the comments!……

Investing, Reports

My Bitcoin Investments Returns for Q4 of 2014

roi

In order to encourage more and more people to use their bitcoins as an investment vector, every quarter I publish a report showing the total returns that I made via my invested bitcoins.

As this is the first report of this kind on the website, you will note that the returns are not amazing. Indeed, I started a brand new account at my favorite lending website, BTCJam, to illustrate my investment strategy. The goal is that anyone following the advices found on this blog can follow along by using similar numbers.

Some notes on this table:

  • I always publish my returns in Bitcoin and Bitcoin only. Yes, the value of Bitcoin fluctuates, but it would be a nightmare to report the gains in a fiat currency.
  • The account values are given by my personal spreadsheet that I use to track my Bitcoin investments. This is not the money I have available in Bitcoin, but the total number of bitcoins including the money already invested in loans or on cloud mining websites.
  • Deposits are the money I actually injected into the accounts during this quarter.
  • The Net Interest column is the most important one, as this is the money I actually made during this quarter.
  • The 12 months return is the return I got on my investment (also called yield) that I got during the last 12 months. Here, it is an estimated returned based on this quarter performances.

Comments

As this is the first report I publish on this site, the returns are not huge yet for this new investment account on BTCJam. At the date this article was written, the total return for this quarter in US dollars was around $24. However, we can already see that the yield is quite good, with an estimation of 18% annually. However, a lot of loans were active when this report was written, so I expect much better returns during the next quarter.

What’s Next

The next step is of course to continue investing the gains from this basic account on BTCJam, to get better returns in the next quarter. I will also diversify my investments by injecting the gains from this account in different lending websites than BTCJam, and also into cloud mining investments.…

Bitcoin, Investing, Lending

My Investment Strategy On Bitcoin P2P Lending Sites

investing-strategy

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Bitcoin lending is my favorite way to invest my bitcoins. P2P lending is when you give somebody money, and expect to get it back over a given period of time with interests. Compared to investing in cloud mining for example, you can know exactly how much you can expect to get back from your investment, and over which period of time. You also have the possibility to talk directly to the people you are investing in, talk about their projects and drive in life, and even make some friends in the process.

However, lending money always comes with risks, whereas it’s with bitcoins, dollars, or any other currency. People can have problems paying back the loan, they can just disappear suddenly, the website where you lend money can go bankrupt … In this article, I will share with you the strategy that I use to reduce the risk that comes with Bitcoin lending.

The First Rule: Diversify

I will start with the obvious: you should always, always, always diversify. For P2P lending, it means only going to trusted websites (for example my favorite, BTCJam), but never having all your coins in a given website. For example, invest some of your bitcoins in Bitcoin lending, some other bitcoins in cloud mining, and the rest in other kind of investments, or in a secure wallet in case an investment opportunity shows up.

It also means diversifying on the Bitcoin lending site itself: never put most of your money in a given loan, even if you think it’s a safe loan. You never really know who is behind the loan, and even a trusted person can have issues and never be able to pay you back. As a general rule, I never invest more than 0.5 Bitcoin into a single loan.

The Basics

The last section dealt with the obvious and high-level strategy for Bitcoin lending. In this section, we are going to see what are the fundamentals of my investing strategy when it comes to lending. I developed a set of criteria to help me quickly assess if I should consider investing in a loan or not. And as an example, I will use my favorite website BTCJam. However, this is perfectly adaptable to other lending websites.

The first step is of course to have an account ready with some bitcoins loaded. You can for example follow my step-by-step guide on how to invest with BTCJam.

Here, my first strategy is to filter these listings by the BTCJam score on the left, to see if there are ‘safe’ loans to invest in first. This score is basic indication generated by the lending site to indicate you quickly the risk factor of the loan. However, we will see that this score is not enough to make a good investment.

As you can see, usually there aren’t that much safe ‘A’ listings, so you will nearly for sure have to dive into lower listings as well. I never invest in any listing that has a lower rating than ‘C’.

To illustrate my strategy on individual loans, we’ll take two examples: first what I consider to be a ‘good’ investment, and then a ‘bad’ one. Let’s start with the good loan.

There are many things I am looking at on each loan page before investing. First, I check the listing rate, on the bottom center of the image. Of course I want the person to have his/her identity verified, with personal references, but I also want that at least some kind of financial record to be verified: Paypal, Credit Card, Bank, etc… I also like when the person’s income is verified, so he/she can repay you even if the projects fails.

Then, I look at the reputation: if the person has negative comments, it ends here. If the person has at least more than 10 positive comments, I continue examining the loan.

I also look at the APR on the top right side. This is the annual return you can expect from this investment. Usually, it will be around 20-40%. Be cautious about unrealistic values here, a huge APR can be attractive but usually indicates a scam.

After that, I look at the active/repaid ratio on the left side. You can simply get this ratio by dividing the active loans (still to be paid by this person) by the repaid loans. Here, this person has a ratio around 0.3, which is good, as I usually aim for a ratio below 0.5. When the ratio is above 1, just run away, as it means this person has more debt than repaid loans and is quite likely to never pay you back.

Finally, I look at the project itself. I like when it’s about taking the loan to make another investment, like cloud mining, investing in real estate, buying a website, etc. It’s actually not the case here, as this person wants to use the bitcoins to do trading. But this person seems to be trustworthy looking at all the numbers, so I actually invested in this loan and got repaid.

Let’s apply the same criteria as before. This person has good listing verifications, but has a bad score due to other reasons. For example, no reputation at all so far.

Then, the APR is completely of the roof at 298%! This doesn’t seem realistic at all, especially as the person says he wants to buy mining equipment.

Finally, there is the active/repaid ratio. Because this person as never repaid any loan but has some active ones, the ratio is in theory… infinity! I never invest in anybody with a ratio of more than 1, so just for this reason alone I would skip this loan.

Advanced Strategies

Now that we saw my basics criteria for Bitcoin lending, let’s dive into more advanced tactics. You can actually learn more about the person that is asking for the money that what is displayed on the loan page.

As you can see, this person paid all other loans, and by clicking on the individual loans I checked that there was only good comments and that they all went well.

On the other hand, this is an example of a borrower that has several active loans, but still wants to get more money.

This is a bad sign, as it usually indicates this person is just raising as much money as possible and is ready to disappear with the cash.

On the same profile page, you can check other information about the borrower. I like to look for example at personal references. These are more than just evaluations: it’s personal referrals from people that know the borrower.

In that case, one of these persons was a well-known scammer on the website. Of course, it doesn’t indicate that the borrower himself is a scammer, but I am more cautious when I see such references in a borrower’s profile.

Finally, I also get a detailed look at the project itself of the borrower. For example, if the person wants to invest in cloud mining on a given website, I go visit it and check that this website has a good reputation as well.

After The Investment

Based on all these criteria, you can now ‘safely’ invest your bitcoins. Of course, nothing will never guarantee that you won’t have any people not paying back, but at least it greatly reduces the risk to have some rules to follow when deciding to invest or not.

Now, that’s not the end of my strategy. Because quickly, you will have money coming back at you that you will be able to reinvest. I usually wait until I have at least 0.25 BTC back before considering investing again in a new loan. I also regularly buy new Bitcoins (when the Bitcoin price index is low) and inject them into new loans.

I hope this article helped you to define your own investment strategy for P2P Bitcoin lending. If you have other tips for Bitcoin investment or you want to discuss the strategy I shared in the article, please share in the comments below!…

Bitcoin, Investing

Why You Should Invest Your Bitcoins

Why You Should Invest Your Bitcoins

For many people, investing in Bitcoins is the end of the road. People buy some Bitcoins (or other cryptocurrencies like Litecoins) and then just store them in a secure wallet, hoping they would get value over time. But that’s a dangerous move. In fact, at the date this article was written, the price of Bitcoin compared to USD has been falling down over the past few months. On the other hand, you also have people that mine Bitcoins with huge computing power, only to sell them immediately for cash after that.

In this article, I want to show you that there is much more you can do with your Bitcoins, by investing them in different ways. We’ll see the main reasons why you should invest your Bitcoins, and how to avoid the risks that come with Bitcoin investing. Let’s dive in!

1. Great Returns

The first thing that I really like about investing your Bitcoins is that there is a great return on your investment, especially compared to more classical financial investments. For example, if you just leave your money (for example your dollars) sitting on a bank account, you will be lucky if you get a 1% return annually. In France for example, where I have some of my money, the annual interest rate on your saving is 1.25%.

If you take more risks and invest your money for example in bonds, you’ll be around 5% of annual return, before taxes. And even with some riskier investment like index funds, you’ll be lucky to have a 10% return on average.

By investing your Bitcoins, you can get much more. For example, my favorite way of investing Bitcoins is lending. The principle is simple: you give Bitcoins to borrowers, to finance some of their projects (for example buying websites as an investment) and they give you your money back over a given period of time, with interests.

My favorite website for this kind of investment is BTCJam, that I use regularly.  This website, similar to odther peer-to-peer lending websites like LendingClub or Prosper, advertise annual returns around 20%, but from my own experience it is not unusual to get returns of 40% or more. Try getting that at your local bank!

One other way to invest your Bitcoins is cloud mining. This basically means you invest into computing power of a company, which then gives you back the Bitcoins mined by this computing power. The returns on this kind of investment are complicated to estimate as the difficulty of mining is constantly changing, but some websites advertise annual returns of more than 100%!

2. It’s Safe … If You Diversify

Of course, such gains with your Bitcoins are not ‘safe’ as putting your money in a bank is safe. On lending websites for example, it can happen that somebody doesn’t pay back, or that the company itself goes bankrupt. Same goes with cloud mining: a mismanaged company can go bankrupt and make your investment disappear over a single day.

However, there are some ways you can protect yourself against that, and make your overall investment relatively safe. And this is done by diversifying your Bitcoin investment, just as you would diversify a more classical investment portfolio. Diversification will be the topic of an article on its own, but we will see the basics here.

First, you need to diversify in the type of investments you are making. For example, diversify by investing some Bitcoins in peer-to-peer lending, and the rest of your Bitcoins in cloud mining. Also, I like to always keep some of my coins in cash on a secure wallet, just in case a new investment opportunity shows up.

Also, you need to diversify in each category. For example, don’t invest all your Bitcoins on a given website. This will ensure that if the website closes, you won’t loose it all in this category. Also, on given website, for example on a lending website, make sure to lend money to several people that all have verified accounts and references. This will also ensure that in case one of them doesn’t pay you back, you will only have a limited loss.

3. You Get Actual Cash

What I also like with Bitcoin investing is that you usually get actual cash (in Bitcoins, of course) from your investments. Let me explain. When you invest in the stock market for example, your money is blocked on an account. You can sell your shares of course, but there are fees to do so and it is not immediate. As the price of your investment grows, you can’t take the profits immediately and use these profits as you wish if you need them.

With Bitcoin investing, you invest Bitcoins, and you get Bitcoins back, that you can use as you wish. You can reinvest them immediately (creating a compounding effect on your investment), or take them out and use them immediately. You can use convert the result from your investments to fiat currencies (like dollars) to buy things, or use them directly as more and more shops are accepting Bitcoins, especially eCommerce stores.

4. Bitcoin is The Future of Payments

Finally, I believe that Bitcoin is the future of payments, especially on the web, and this makes another reason why you should invest your existing Bitcoins and make even more of them. Already more and more stores on the web are accepting Bitcoins. You can even buy plane tickets now directly in Bitcoins. And some industry giants like Microsoft announced that they will accept Bitcoins for their online services.

Bitcoins are also more and more accepted in physical stores. You can find a list of this stores on some websites like Coinmap. Which means that using the results of your investments, you will soon be able to just go to your local store and buy things directly with Bitcoins!

With all these reasons, I hope I convinced you that there is much more you can do with your Bitcoins that just keeping them in a wallet. Are you already investing your Bitcoins? Do you see other reasons to do so?…