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5 things you should know about Bitcoin

5 things you should know about Bitcoin
Jason Stutman Photo By Jason Stutman
Written Sunday, December 4, 2016
Referred to by some as “digital gold,” Bitcoin is one of the most controversial investment opportunities that exists today.

Over the past five years, the value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed nearly 25,000%, meaning if you had the foresight to buy and hold early, you could have earned as much as 250 times your initial investment.

That’s enough to take $10,000 and turn you into a multimillionaire…

But many investors are still keeping far away from Bitcoin, despite its historic rise. To the average person, it’s all just too unfamiliar, too intimidating, and too risky.

Yet after years of naysayers predicting that the sky will come crashing down, Bitcoin just keeps on chugging along.

Hard to believe, but the cryptocurrency has been around for almost a decade now, and at this point, it doesn’t seem to be going away.

In fact, Bitcoin’s bid as a serious investment has only matured in recent years as the digital currency has come of age. Once rightfully considered a virtual lottery ticket, Bitcoin has gradually cemented itself as a legitimate asset to consider for your portfolio.

This week, the cryptocurrency marked its longest stretch trading over $500 since its inception nearly a decade ago. For six months, Bitcoin has climbed well past that mark, now trading near $750.

If that makes you feel like you’ve been missing out, but you aren’t convinced just yet that Bitcoin is right for you, here are five things you should probably know about this unique investment…

#1: More and More People are Using Bitcoin Every Day

In its early days, Bitcoin was little more than a speculative bet for day traders hoping to turn a quick profit…

That’s because as a currency, Bitcoin had very little utility aside from on the black market. Like trying to pay your rent in yen, buying goods with Bitcoin was just something you didn’t do.

But after years of gradual adoption, more and more people are using Bitcoin for real-world transactions every day.

In January 2010, Bitcoin was averaging less than 200 transactions a day. Today, the digital currency is used in as many as 300,000 transactions per day.

Bitcoin Transations per day(Source: blockchain.info)

In other words, Bitcoin is no longer just a form of money in theory; it has become a form of money in practice. People are buying goods with it, just as they do with any other form of currency.

For long-term investors, this is great news, because after all, that’s where Bitcoin’s value exists. So long as adoption of Bitcoin as a currency continues to increase, its value should move in tandem.

#2: More Vendors are Accepting Bitcoin

There are two main reasons Bitcoin transactions have and will likely continue to increase. The first is a growing acceptance from legitimate vendors.

Since 2013 there have already been a number of major retailers that have taken the initiative to treat Bitcoin as a legitimate method of payment.

Notable companies include Expedia, which now accepts Bitcoin for all hotel bookings, Overstock.com, which began accepting Bitcoin for its products in January 2014, and Microsoft, which recently added Bitcoin as a payment option for its digital content.

Other major vendors include Dell, Subway, Newegg, TigerDirect, Tesla, PayPal, and REEDs Jewelers, to name just a few.

Even the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise now accepts Bitcoin online and at the Golden 1 Center arena. That means NBA fans can get tickets, jerseys, hot dogs, and, yes, even beer with their bitcoins.

#3: Volatility is Trending Down

On top of an increasing number of vendors accepting Bitcoin, price volatility is trending downward — and for long-term investors, that’s a good thing.

In 2011, the 30-day volatility of Bitcoin was nearly 16%, but today it’s closer to 2.0% on a dollar basis.

Bitcoin Volatility Trend(Source: btcvol.info)

This simply means the day-to-day fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin are decreasing and the value of Bitcoin is becoming more stable.

And for a form of currency, this is incredibly important, because it means consumers’ money is more reliable.

If a loaf of bread cost $4 yesterday, $2 today, and $7 tomorrow, chances are you wouldn’t have much faith in the dollar. The same rule applies to Bitcoin: the less volatile it is, the better it will fair in the market.

Of course, Bitcoin will continue to have bouts of volatility, and it is still years away from being completely stable, but as of today, its price stability is on par with the Mexican peso and South African rand.

For a 10-year-old currency, that’s not too shabby.

For decades, if not centuries, gold has been the go-to safe haven in times of economic uncertainty

#4: Bitcoin Has Been a Hedge Against Economic Uncertainty

When stocks go down, people buy gold. When economies collapse, people buy gold.

But investors have increasingly turned elsewhere in recent years in the face of economic turmoil.

When Cyprus’s economy tanked in 2013, Bitcoin soared.

When China’s yuan collapsed in 2015, it happened again.

And when Brexit sent tremors through the market in 2016, Bitcoin investors had a field day, as the currency’s value exploded as much as $100 in a day. In the month leading up to Brexit, fears sent prices from $400 to over $750.

Bitcoin tends to work as a hedge because it’s disconnected from the traditional financial system. It offers an easy way for people to exit economies that revolve around government money and bad monetary policy.

If you’re one of the many people worried that the U.S. dollar is on its last legs as the global reserve currency, Bitcoin isn’t a bad bet.

#5: Buying and Selling is Easier Than You Think

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a computer scientist to invest in Bitcoin.

Buying and selling the cryptocurrency is actually pretty simple: all you really need is a credit card, bank account, or PayPal to get started.

There are a number of easy-to-use platforms for trading and storing bitcoins. Some of the most reputable ones include Coinbase, Kraken, BitQuick, and Blockchain Wallet.

Buying and selling Bitcoin today is about as easy as trading stocks. Once you’re comfortable with whatever platform you choose, you can get started right away.

But remember, Bitcoin still carries plenty of risk and should only account for a small portion of your portfolio. The best investors are well diversified, and Bitcoin is just one place to potentially grow your wealth.

Until next time,

JS Sig

Jason Stutman

follow basic @JasonStutman on Twitter

Source: Will County News

This new app could save your life

Social media network concept.The seemingly endless amount of apps available in the App Store on my iPhone amazes me. Everyday I use Facebook, YouTube, Pandora and more. They keep me entertained, informed and, hopefully soon, healthy!

Skin cancer can look very harmless to the untrained eye. Luckily for us, there’s an app called SkinVision that analyzes pictures of the spots on a person’s skin and determines whether the person is at a low, medium or high risk of skin cancer using a dermatologist-approved algorithm that checks skin for irregularities in color, texture and shape.

This is welcome news considering skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among men and women. Skin cancer accounts for nearly half of all cancers combined. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and its rates have been on the rise for the past 30 years.

SkinVision isn’t currently available in the U.S., but the company says it will be soon. I encourage everyone to get this app as soon as it becomes available. Though an app like SkinVision can’t take the place of  an in-person visit to the dermatologist, it encourages people to examine their skin regularly and can help the untrained eye detect potentially dangerous moles or skin cancers.

While waiting for the SkinVision app to be available in the U.S., it’s important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately.

Asymmetry — One half doesn’t match the appearance of the other half.

Border irregularity — The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.

Color — The color is not uniform. Shades of tan, brown and black are present. Dashes of red, white and blue add to a mottled appearance.

Diameter — The size of the mole is greater than 1/4 inch (about the size of a pencil eraser). Any growth of a mole should be evaluated.

Evolution — There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding) or color of a mole.

There’s also been a big win for natural medicine in the fight against skin cancer. A common vegetable extract has been proven effective as a skin cancer treatment…

Eggplant extract, or BEC5, is especially potent against skin cancer. It bonds to a receptor on the surface of the cancer cell, making itself available as “food” for the cancer cell. However, as soon as the cancer cell digests the health benefits of eggplant extract, the BEC5 causes the cell to rupture. Once the cancer cell destroys itself, the body simply reabsorbs it.

And in terms of skin cancer prevention:

Vitamin A supplements could reduce the risk of developing melanoma. The reduced risk is more pronounced in women than men. Vitamin A is found in foods such as sweet potato, carrots, spinach, milk, eggs and liver.

A form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide is a cheap and readily available vitamin supplement appears to reduce a person’s risk of non-melanoma skin cancers. The vitamin supplement also appeared to reduce the numbers of thick, scaly patches of skin that can become cancer. Nicotinamide is very different from a more commonly known form of B3, niacin. People who take high doses of niacin can suffer from headaches, flushed skin and low blood pressure. None of these side effects were  seen with nicotinamide.

 

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C 8th Grade Girls Basketball team headed to State Compete Saturday in Macon

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Dec. 8. 2016

The Homer Junior High School Lady Mustangs celebrate after earning the IESA Sectional Championship on Dec. 7.

8th Grade Girls Basketball team headed to State

Compete Saturday in Macon

 

The Homer Junior High School 8th grade girls basketball team is headed to State!

 

The Lady Mustangs defeated Romeoville’s Lukancic Middle School on Dec. 7 with a score of 35-22, earning them a trip to Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Tournament this weekend.

 

The Sectional Champs will play New Lenox’s Liberty Junior High School at 11:30 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 10) at Macon Meridian High School, 728 S. Wall St, Macon. You can follow the games here.

 

The Mustangs enter the tournament with a record of 23-2 while the Patriots enter with a record of 18-8.

 

The Mustangs are coached by Melody Johnson.

 

 

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

Source: Will County News