About the author

Mark Melin

Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies.

  • Moi

    The only people who have the potential in making out well with Bitcoin, are the developers and early adopters…which is probably the whole point. Anyone can develop something, and then call it a “new currency”. It’s a scam in the making.

  • dave

    A question from someone who doesn’t even understand all the quirks of the stock market. How much of the price fluctuation could have been cuased by speculators manipulating the price?? If someone could have bought bitcoin at the low price of $102.00 it would seem selling at the $600.00 price later would make a tidy little fortune. Any way to track who and how often the same people buy and sell? Regardless of what caused the sell off and price dive a few people could have made a few hundred thousand or more for a few minutes attention to details??

  • FreeJack

    Incomplete reporting.

    The “flash crash” happened when Mt. Gox incorrectly (and unscrupulously) pointed the blame for Bitcoin losses at the Bitcoin protocol, insinuating that it has some kind of fatal security flaw. In point of fact, the ONLY time the “transaction malleability” in the Bitcoin protocol (or any of its derivative protocols) becomes a problem is when a developer creates their own, custom wallet software and fails to account for this well-documented aspect of the reference wallet’s functioning. Which Mt. Gox’s wallet developers did. It should also be noted that Mt. Gox was told – repeatedly – about this…and failed to address it. Just as they fail to address the litany of customer complaints that regularly flood their support center and go unanswered for weeks and even months.

    No, the fault for this lies squarely at Mt. Gox’s feet and the Bitcoin developers have clarified this in public statements, which this article fails to note.

    The Bitcoin protocol, like the hypertext transfer protocol, is not static…it is in constant development. There are so many people holding Bitcoin with their fingers hovering over the “sell” button, out of fear…but there shouldn’t be any such fear, unless development is suddenly and inexplicably abandoned. Which it won’t be. But people are investing money in it without REALLY understanding the underlying technology and are therefore extremely skittish…which is what leads to severe overreactions and sell-offs.

    This is part of the maturing process. We have exchanges that are only self-regulated, often set up with very small teams of people or independently, which lack the resources to address customer complaints in a timely manner…because it’s early days, yet. I predict that by year’s end, the first New York-based, regulated Bitcoin exchange will come online and at that point, I think the minds of EVERYONE will be eased and confidence in the future of Bitcoin and its stability will rise significantly.

    Mt. Gox will be an anecdote about the early days of Bitcoin that we joke about in 20 years…the trading card exchange that became the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, for a while. They will go down in history much the way Geocities has, in the annals of web history.

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