First Global Credit announces a 10BTC trading fund for the winner of a market trading competition. From March 16, users taking part will have a month to trade their way through global financial markets.
Players in the contest will use First Global Credit's paper trading service to work the international markets with a fund of 100 virtual bitcoins. Competing against each other to day-trade their way to profit, the winner will be the user who makes the most gains for their virtual fund.
Day-trading may seem like an intimidating market to some; however, this “Wolf of Wall Street” level of intensity is also the reason that such trading can attract the Wall Street-sized rewards it often does.
First Global Credit's reward scheme for traders includes a leased Porsche Boxster arriving on a trader's doorstep by the time they hit level 11.
The trading platform service has created a “paper” trading service as a way to get newcomers to try their hand playing the market without financial risk. Marcie Terman of First Global Credit explains:
“The purpose of our paper trading platform and our trading competition is to allow people to see if active trading suits their temperament and their lifestyle without them risking a single satoshi of their own money.”
Beyond their paper trading service, users are also able to trade global markets using real BTC funds as collateral. In this way, First Global Credit has opened up day-trading to the cryptocurrency community without fiat conversions.
Users of the full bitcoin funded service can also take advantage of the newly released feature where positions can be placed in BTC but automatically converted to be held in a fiat currency. Such hedging features will allow users to play their hunches about market movements to their full advantages.
For more details about the competition, go to the competition page and open a free paper trading account before March 16 to enter the contest.
Cointelegraph spoke to Marcie Terman, First Global Credit's Business Development Director, about the competition and where she sees Bitcoin heading in the future.
Cointelegraph: Have you had much reaction from more traditional trading setups to you supporting a cryptocurrency?
Marcie Terman: We have received very positive feedback, which has been really encouraging. Unlike traditional banks that see cryptocurrency as a threat to their profits due to decreased transaction fees, it seems that the investment business see the opportunities in digital currency and are actively looking for ways they can become involved. We are especially encouraged by the discussion we have entered into with hedge funds that are interested in trading a hybrid bitcoin/stock product to overcome restrictions in their trading mandates.
CT: Day-trading is a lot more demanding and high-pace than some people might imagine. How accessible do you think market trading is for someone who hasn't tried it before?
MT: One thing we’ve learned from our experience with traditional markets is there is no clear profile that marks a profitable trader from an unprofitable one or any given personality that will enjoy the pressure of actively trading in markets. The purpose of our paper trading platform and our trading competition is to allow people to see if active trading suits their temperament and their lifestyle without them risking a single satoshi of their own money.
CT: The currency switch feature allows users to automatically hold their positions in a fiat currency, do you think cryptocurrencies will ever become stable enough for this not to be necessary?
MT: This question should best be answered in two parts.
Do I believe cryptocurrencies will become more stable? Without doubt this will be the case.
Within our team we liken bitcoin to the US dollar at the end of the 19th Century. It was a fledgling currency with very little international support and huge volatility. Over time, the volatility lessened and non US holders of the currency became more willing to retain ownership rather than just use it when absolutely necessary.
Bitcoin is at that same stage, most merchants who transact business in bitcoin exchange the currency for their own Fiat currency as soon as they possibly can – we believe this situation will change, so much so that one of the driving visions is to provide people with bitcoin investment opportunities, allowing them to hold bitcoin and make investments rather than cash those bitcoins in to take positions in other things.
The second half of the question, will Bitcoin become stable enough to remove the need to hedge the risk?
We believe that bitcoins are destined to become a fully-fledged investment currency with its own capital market and investment opportunities; part of this will be the continued need investors will have to hedge their currency exposure.
This is a common practice in the Fiat currency markets where an investor holds and wants to continue to hold investments in a particular currency but, short term, wants to hedge against predicted downside move. They will take out a short term hedge until the storm clouds have passed and then reestablish their original exposure; all the while maintaining their original investment.
This capability, we believe, will encourage adoption of bitcoin, not discourage it, because it provides a simple way to protect against short term risk. [But the base currency on our system remains bitcoin]
CT: Security is always a big concern for cryptocurrency platforms, what steps has First Global Credit taken to protect users' funds?
MT: We are constantly adapting our security as new threats become apparent but we have some key processes in place that protect client funds from a breach of First Global Credit’s security
We don’t use online hot wallets at all. While having a manual step in place does slow down the process of deposit and withdrawal but it provides an added layer of security to our client funds.
All funds are held in a multi-sig offline wallet. All withdrawal requests must be signed first by our system; this is triggered using two-factor authentication by the client. The transaction must then be signed by a Senior member of our operations team. Finally a member of our Risk team must sign the transaction before publishing the transaction onto the blockchain. At each stage checks are made to verify that the withdrawal request is genuine.
Funds must be returned to the wallet address that made the original deposit. Sometimes we recognize this is not convenient, in this instance further checks will be required to verify identity.
No wallet holds significant numbers of bitcoins. When a wallet increases above a designated threshold the funds are split across 2 new holding wallets with the original wallet emptied. This dynamic movement through wallets helps ensure that no single wallet can be identified as the source of significant funds.
CT: What's the response been like so far regarding your competition?
MT: This is the second time we have run this competition and the first competition had an awesome response. In the office we had great fun watching people’s different trading styles and we started routing for the plucky individuals that really put thought and effort into their strategies.
There are a lot of different things people can trade and they can go long or short. I’ve had a lot of excitement from guys about the Porsche Boxster, which they can ask for at Level 11, after the winner has traded for a while. I live in fear that the winner will be a 10 year old kid. But we do clearly say on the website that part of the arrangement is subject to legal limitations!
CT: What will users have to do in order to win the 10 BTC competition prize?
MT: Well we had 100’s competing last time around and I think CT readers will be keen to play so you are going to have to really think and actively play to win. But I would definitely say, DON’T GIVE UP! Some people seem to have a few trades go against them and stop trading. But that is the thing about being a trader is we are tough and persevere! And hey if you get something wrong, as long as you learn from it, then you did get something out of the experience. There are ALWAYS opportunities in the markets.
CT: Any tips you can give to get new-comers started on their first trades?
MT: We give you 100 ‘play’ bitcoins in the competition. But you have 5 times leverage. That’s a lot of buying (or selling) power! But remember, aggressive leveraging can work for you and you can make big money on a good decision but it can also work against you. And learn absolutely everything you can. Trading is one of those careers you can work your whole life to be a better, more profitably trader.
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