5 Tips to Consider Before Integrating Cryptocurrencies in Your Business

Even though the cryptocurrency market has more or less plummeted since the end of 2017, the interest for these digital currencies is still high. During 2018 the focus in cryptocurrencies has slowly started shifting from mostly being an investment opportunity for private investors to something businesses are becoming more interested in.

Now, whether you have an interest in investing in cryptocurrencies using your company or you want to start using them and blockchain technology as a part of your business, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Before you start investing in cryptocurrencies with your business you need to consider the following.

Knowledge is everything

This might sound obvious, but you really must educate yourself before you get started. Most people have a vague idea of what cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are, but a vague idea is not enough. In fact, most major losses and issues regarding cryptocurrency investments could have been avoided with some basic education. This is a completely new market and just because you know about stock or forex trading doesn’t mean you understand cryptocurrencies.

Also, learning more about cryptocurrencies will help you determine how you can best approach the market as a business solution. Do you want to handle cryptocurrencies as an investment or would you benefit from using Bitcoin as a means of payment? Maybe you want to run an ICO to create a new asset while funding your next development.

Are your customers interested in cryptocurrencies?

This is a question you need to ask yourself before you continue and you need to make sure that you’re right about the answer.

Over the past few years, we have seen that businesses that integrate cryptocurrencies experience one of two things. If their customers are okay with the idea of using or being associated with cryptocurrencies, the business gets a competitive edge which can be extremely important. There are several examples of businesses becoming industry leaders for being early adopters of cryptocurrency solutions.

On the other hand, a cryptocurrency integration has the potential to hurt a business if the customers are not interested in using digital currencies. Also, cryptocurrencies and blockchains are not a necessity for most businesses, and if it won’t help you solve a problem, you should consider holding off on the integration.

The lack of a middleman can mean two things

One of the main selling points of cryptocurrencies and the foundation that Bitcoin is based on is decentralization. Most cryptocurrencies, with a few exceptions, are decentralized to a certain extent, and that alone creates unique possibilities.

The lack of governing bodies and the exclusion of banks has created a marketplace with very little to no regulation. Little regulation can be good since you can avoid all middlemen and the extra fees and charges that come with that. However, it also creates increased risks and leaves you more vulnerable to problems, which brings us to our next advice.

Be aware of market manipulation and volatility

The cryptocurrency market is known to be highly volatile which creates problematic situations for businesses, especially those that use cryptocurrencies for payments. It’s hard to use a currency that’s constantly changing in value. Also, if you make a profit from a cryptocurrency investment, that profit could be gone overnight which could seriously hurt your company. Although, there is a more concerning issue with the market’s volatility.

Recently, a comprehensive study was published with proof showing that much of last year’s record-breaking prices were created by market manipulation. Not only does that mean that much of the fluctuations were controlled and planned, but it also means that it could take very long before we reach the same prices as we saw last year again.

Market manipulation is a major concern, and you might want to consider waiting to enter the market until the situation has been dealt with accordingly. Then again, you could also benefit from volatility by going both long and short with your investments and for that CFD trading is perfect. Also, there are several options of regulated brokers that offers cryptocurrencies. Using a regulated broker in an unregulated market provides a lot of safety.

You will risk losing it all

We’ve already touched on this subject, but it doesn’t hurt to bring it up again to summarize our advice.

There are some really great benefits of using cryptocurrencies, both as a private person and as a business. As mentioned, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can help take your company to the next level, and it can give you an edge over your competitors. By you using it and encouraging others to do the same, you will help drive the technology forward and at the same time increase awareness for something that will most likely be an important role in the future of our society.

All that being said, there is always a risk that you’ll lose everything you invest, especially at this point in the development. No one really knows where the market is going and even though most agree that the technology won’t disappear, certain assets might. For example, most ICOs that have ever been launched are either losing money or have disappeared completely.

The market is still young, and both the potential reward and the risk is high, so be careful.

Best Cryptocurrencies Apps – 2018

Cryptocurrencies are no longer a fad but a spectacle that is taking the world by storm, amidst talk they could be the currency of the future. Unlike in the past when digital currencies were confined to the internet, they are having an impact in the real world on increased usage as a means of settling transactions.

Cryptocurrencies are increasingly becoming mainstream, a development that has forced developers to come up with apps for storing, tracking and mining an array of Altcoins. If you are a trader, then you will need to track the price of your investments from time to time on mobile.

Below are some of the best cryptocurrencies apps for both Android and IOS platforms.

Coinbase App

Coinbase tops the list as one of the best cryptocurrencies apps, in part because it comes with a user-friendly interface that lets people manage their cryptocurrencies holdings with ease. Dubbed as the PayPal for the Bitcoin Market, the app allows users to buy, sell and spend their Bitcoin holdings. The app also allows users to send bitcoins to each other.

Supported by one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange, the app comes with a phone disable the feature that is useful if a phone is lost or stolen.  The app is open to both iOS and Android users.

Blockfolio App

Blockfolio is an app for ardent cryptocurrency users. It is also ideal for people who are thinking about investing. The app comes with tools that allow users to swiftly compare thousands of currencies as well as set price alerts.

Blockfolio supports more than 800 cryptocurrencies and comes with a portfolio overview that allows people to view all their blockchain assets at once.  A price notification feature provides notifications whenever the price of a cryptocurrency hits a particular target.

The app also comes with a news portal that provides all the latest Bitcoin and Altcoin news from CoinDesk, Bitcoin Magazine among other news outlets.

Delta Portfolio Tracker App

Delta Portfolio Tracker casts itself as the ultimate cryptocurrency portfolio tracker tool as it supports more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies. In addition, it provides a way for users to track virtual currencies that aren’t yet on an exchange by entering customer details. The app comes with support for Coinbase, Bittrex, KuCoin, and GDAX among other wallet apps.

Cryptocurrencies prices in the mobile app also tend to be more accurate compared to other apps. The app also comes with neat options such as watch list and ability to track separate portfolios.  Delta is available free at Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

Coins.ph Wallet App

Coins.ph Wallet is another top mobile cryptocurrency wallet suited for transferring funds, making payments and checking a balance. With the app, you can be able to do some shopping such as buying gift cards from 120+ merchants. The app also comes with features for locating banks as well as retailers

Supported by Philippines largest Bitcoin exchange, the app is designed with an eye on people in emerging markets. The app is perfect for sending cash to family and friends as well as for paying bills and topping up prepaid phones.

CryptoTrader App

CryptoTrader is a free cryptocurrency mobile app that comes with a clean user interface as well as charts optimized for mobile screens.  With the app, you stand to gain access to instant charts as well as graphs of a good number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Monero Ethereum Augur, and Dash. The app also has support for various exchange including Poloniex, OKCoin, and Kraken.

The app is ideal for people planning to trade cryptocurrencies as it allows one to buy, sell and engage in leverage margin trading. Cryptocurrency prices alert also come in plenty but won’t consume any traffic or battery.

Crypto Price IQ App

Crypto Price IQ is a free cryptocurrency app that supports over 400 Digital currencies. The app comes with portals for accessing cryptocurrencies price history charts that allow users to track price trend on various time frames. There is also a news portal for tracking and accessing cryptocurrency news as they break.

With the app, you can set up a watch list of your favorite cryptocurrencies as well as get alerts whenever certain events occur. The app is ideal for people who are into cryptocurrencies trading, as it provides a quick and easy reference to study price changes. It also comes with resources for crypto mining.

CoinPaper App

CoinPaper app simplifies the process of tracking current prices of Ethereum, Litecoin among other cryptocurrencies, right from a Live Wallpaper. It also comes with a color scheme designed to enhance users experience while in the app   The Live Wallpaper app can be used to access the live graph of any altcoin.

CoinCap App

CoinCap is a unique cryptocurrency app that comes with features only available in the app. With the app, users can create Altfolios for keeping track of various cryptocurrencies as well as accessing price changes.

It is also possible to create Push notifications with the app, to get price alerts whenever a cryptocurrency price hits set out highs or lows, in addition to weekly and daily updates. The app also simplifies the process of sharing price information on social media channels or send a text message or email.

A native ShapeShift integration makes it possible to exchange coins at a touch of a button. When it comes to security, CoinCap comes with a passcode and a touch ID feature for keeping information private.

 

Best Cryptocurrencies to Mine in 2018

Whether it’s in reputable publications like Forbes and Newsweek, or your insufferable desk mate Ian who brings Soylent to work and who won’t stop telling you that “it’s the future of the free market, man,” cryptocurrency is just about on everyone’s minds these days.

Brought to popularity by Bitcoin in the early 2010s, cryptocurrency has slowly become one of the most intriguing and innovative new ways of conducting encrypted transactions. In an age where ever more of our information and economic activity takes place online, cryptocurrency has begun to gain prominence as a new method of decentralizing that process.

Here’s the thing, though – while Ian wears too many Homestuck T-shirts to the office and smells a bit like fish, he’s not super wrong about cryptocurrency. The last decade or so has seen an incredible boost in crypto’s profile, and along with that a wave of new currencies for people to mine (i.e. verifying crypto transactions through blockchain software).

Sure, everyone knows Bitcoin, but what other cryptocurrencies are out there? In 2018, a plethora of other cryptocurrencies have arrived, many of which have developed substantial user bases and no shortage of monetary value. If you’re looking to start mining cryptocurrency, you’ll want to keep a close eye on which ones are on the upswing and steer clear of those flash in the pan memecoins and dogecoins.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on which cryptocurrencies we’re most excited about in 2018; to help you decide which one(s) you want to start mining, we’ve put together a handy guide to the best cryptocurrencies to mine in 2018.

5. Bitcoin

  • Launched: January 3, 2009
  • Created By: Satoshi Nakamoto (unknown if he is an individual or group of people)
  • Algorithm: SHA256
  • Anonymity: Low
  • Maximum Supply: 21 million
  • Website: org

Why It’s Good

The O.G. cryptocurrency, Bitcoin remains by far the most well-known – and therefore well-mined – cryptocurrency on the books.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency run on consensus and decentralization: instead of one overarching system determining the value of a transaction, Bitcoin revolutionized the idea of creating a large general consensus from each of its members on what transactions are worth how much bitcoin.

Because of its popularity and notoriety, Bitcoin arguably has the largest consensus-based cryptocurrency system out there, making it a very popular choice for crypto mining.

However, there are some downsides to mining popular cryptocurrencies – whenever a new coin starts getting more recognized in the overall community, the more rigs are dedicated to mining them. This actually makes it more difficult to mine, as each new rig joins the network; the more miners are interested in a coin, the harder the time you’ll have.

In the case of Bitcoin, its popularity is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. As a beginner’s coin, it’s very valuable, and the aforementioned consensus means that it’s relatively stable as coins go. However, lots of other cryptocurrency miners have started mining Bitcoin long before you, so in a way, you’ll be fighting for scraps.

(If you do want to keep track of Bitcoin’s ever-changing value, check out this Bitcoin price chart, which updates in real time.)

4. Zcash

  • Launched: October 28, 2016
  • Created By: Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn
  • Algorithm: Equihash
  • Anonymity: Medium
  • Maximum Supply: 21 million
  • Website: cash

Why It’s Good

Zcash is a smaller cryptocurrency, but it’s a promising entry to the scene that shows a lot of potentials. Headed by founder and CEO Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, Zcash was launched in 2016 as a decentralized, open-source cryptocurrency.

Zcash’s major claim to fame is to be the HTTPS to Bitcoin’s HTTP; Zcash works to keep transactions transparent just like Bitcoin, but that transparency is private and highly selective. This adds an extra level of security to these transactions – while blockchains still record and publish transaction data, they don’t include sender/recipient/amount data.

Zcash also lets people have the option to ‘shield’ their transactions, letting you encrypt your content with zero-knowledge proof constructions or other advanced cryptographic techniques. Zcash has its own brand of the former, which they call a zk-SNARK.

Overall, Zcash is the best cryptocurrency to mine in 2018 if you want to invest in a coin that values a bit more privacy compared to the extreme openness and transparency of other, bigger coins. While decentralization is an important value to cryptocurrency, coins like Zcash provide a great alternative to putting all your transaction info out in the open.

If you’re looking to start mining Zcash, two of the best mining pools are Flypool (for the highest profitability) and Nanopool (for the best service).

3. Dash

  • Launched: January 2014
  • Created By: Evan Duffield
  • Algorithm: X11
  • Anonymity: Low
  • Maximum Supply: 22 million
  • Website: Org

Why It’s Good

Originally known as Darkcoin, Dash is very similar to Bitcoin but places a greater focus on secrecy. Dash miners and users enjoy greater anonymity through its decentralized master code network, which effectively makes it impossible to trace transactions.

One of Dash’s most innovative ideas is the introduction of the X11 algorithm, a composite function of a number of hashing algorithms

In just a few short years, Dash has reached a surprisingly large fanbase, likely due to its aforementioned emphasis on security and secrecy. This makes it perfect for mining; it’s stable, established, but not yet broken through into the mainstream.

Today, Dash has a market capitalization of $4.8 billion and handles almost $100 million worth of transactions on a daily basis. It’s small, but mighty, and has a tremendous hold on the cryptocurrency community.

If you want to start mining Dash, some of the biggest mining pools out there are Zpool, Supernova, MinerGate, Coinfoundry, and via BTC. You can use ASIC Miner Hardware to mine, or use your GPU or CPU. Bear in mind, though, that this kind of mining is not really cost effective anymore; it’s best to just stick to ASIC mining or follow the coin’s Reddit community to keep informed.

2. Litecoin

  • Launched: October 7, 2011
  • Created By: MIT graduate (and former Google engineer) Charlie Lee
  • Algorithm: Scrypt
  • Anonymity: Low
  • Maximum Supply: 84 million
  • Website: Org

Why It’s Good

Since Bitcoin is the big coin on campus, and therefore hogs all the attention, it may do you well to focus on a more obscure coin to maximize the value of your mining. Litecoin is a peer-to-peer online currency that allows for global payments at no cost, performed instantly.

Litecoin is a bit smaller in stature than Bitcoin but enjoys a lot of complementary success, as well as no small amount of respect in the cryptocurrency industry. It’s tremendously liquid, and has high trade volumes, meaning it’s not likely to go away any time soon.

Compared to Bitcoin, its smaller size allows for some distinct advantages: transaction confirmation times are much faster, and storage efficiency is much better. Rather than using Bitcoin’s SHA-256 function, Litecoin makes use of the Scrypt has the function used by another early altcoin, Tenebrix, offering a different kind of cryptocurrency that still enjoys robust industry support.

If you want to start mining Litecoin, some of the biggest mining pools out there are Litecoin Pool, Antpool, and LTC.top; those are great places to get started. Litecoin also features a downloadable client (Litecoin Core) on which you can store your LTC.

1. Ethereum

  • Launched: July 20, 2016
  • Created By: Vitalik Buterin, cryptocurrency programmer, and researcher
  • Algorithm: Ethash
  • Anonymity: Low
  • Maximum Supply: Infinite
  • Website: Org

Why It’s Good

If cryptocurrency mining gets you the most value for jumping onto smaller coins earlier in their lifespan, Ethereum might be a good place to start. An open-source, blockchain-based OS and computing platform, Ethereum is public, secure, and in the early stages of its lifespan.

Proposed by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum started around 2015 with a brief run of around 12 million pre-mined coins, only to see a huge spike in popularity over the past year. In 2017, the coin increased its value by 13,000%, making it clearly a coin on the rise.

Though it’s only been around for a couple of years, Ethereum has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success – right now, Ethereum is the second priciest crypto coin on the market. While it’s incredibly difficult to mine, this also means that there’s a greater likelihood of profitability – not as many people will be doing it, so you can reap the benefits with the right mining rig.

Ethereum runs on a modified version of Nakamoto-style consensus, using transaction-based state transitions to track value and keep records. With the SHA-3 hash algorithm, Ethereum miners typically mine the coin using AMD and Nvidia cards; popular pools for Ethereum include 2Miners, Ethpool and Ethermine. For GPU mining, it’s best to use Ethminer.

While Bitcoin enjoys great popularity, it’s too established to give you the kind of profitability you want right away. However, Ethereum is perfectly positioned in 2018 to start mining, allowing you to get on the ground floor of a rapidly rising cryptocurrency. For that reason, we think it’s the best cryptocurrency to mine in 2018.

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Cryptocurrency Trading: Exchange vs Brokerage

Nowadays, everyone who knows at least something about finance has heard of cryptocurrencies. In 2017, this industry exploded in popularity, and the crypto market began attracting the attention of more and more traders throughout the world. With extreme volatility and virtually unlimited profit potential, people started going absolutely crazy about it. As a result, a lot of tools, products, and services appeared in the market that opened the door to earning with cryptocurrencies.

There are however two ways of trading cryptocurrencies: over an exchange or with a broker. These two do have some differences, which are not very clear to the general public. The following will look into the basic things a trader has to deal with when trading cryptos over an exchange or on the online broker trading platform. This will help you to finally understand which kind of trading is better: with an exchange or with a broker.

Signing up and Verification

Exchange

In some of the largest crypto exchanges the signup process is closed, but where it’s still available, the process is as simple as registration on other websites. What you need to do is to provide your email, create a password, confirm your email address, and that’s it! You are signed up. After you have signed up you need to go through the verification process in order to enable depositing and withdrawing funds from your account. To get this done, you will have to upload or send your photo ID colored copy and provide a photo of you with your ID near you. The exchanges respond to such verification request within between a few hours and a few days. There are some cases when you don’t have to get verified once signed up. For example, with Binance, one of the most popular crypto exchanges out there, you can deposit to and withdraw from your account right away, although only 2 BTC per 24 hours. With your transactions growing bigger, you will still have to get verified.

Broker

Signing up with a broker is not a very difficult thing either, it is mostly the same as on an exchange. However, in order to deposit funds and start trading, verifying your account is mandatory. As a rule, you will be required to submit scan copies of one or two docs, those being your ID and proof of address. Different requirements can be in place for different jurisdictions. The verification process as such runs quite faster than on an exchange, being complete within just 30 minutes or even without verification (15-days period of verification). After your account has been successfully verified and your trading account open, you can easily deposit funds and start trading.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Exchange

Depositing fiat money to crypto exchanges is often a hassle. As such, you cannot deposit USD or EUR on Binance, and must use cryptocurrencies instead, which means you have to buy some crypto first before that. There are many ways to buy digital currencies out there, but such transactions are often paired with high fees and commissions. If you need to run multiple transactions when making a deposit, you should bear in mind that you will have to pay a fee each and every time; this way, you may lose up to 15% when depositing.

Withdrawing funds from exchanges in fiat currencies is again a piece of hassle. Of course, you can use e-wallets and online exchanges, but this again involves commissions. Withdrawing to a bank account can be an issue, too, as not all banks accept money from crypto exchanges because of the origin of such money and transactions.

Broker

Unlike currency exchanges, depositing with a broker is a breeze. A broker’s client has a large number of ways to make a deposit, including credit cards, popular e-wallets, etc. You can deposit US dollars, euros, and sometimes other currencies. This simplifies the whole process a lot, while, as a rule, there are no deposit fees whatsoever.

As for withdrawals, broker terms are usually still much more attractive than those of a crypto exchange. Instead of paying 5% or 6%, you just have to pay a fee of between 0% and 3%, which depends on your withdrawal method.

Trading

Exchange

Trading on a crypto exchange is not rocket science. You just need to select the desired trading instrument, open your trade and watch the price chart. You can place by and sell orders, as well as stop limit orders. In this aspect, crypto exchange features are somewhat limited compared to those of a broker platform.

One of the advantages of an exchange is that you can choose among a lot of different digital coins to trade. Binance, for instance, offers 120 cryptocurrencies for trading, which gives you a nice set of diversification options when selecting your trading strategy.

Broker

Using a broker platform, you get extensive feature set that will help you to work out your strategies and risks more precisely. As such, you will be able to put additional indications on the chart and use the in-built tech analysis tools. However, the broker platform will not offer you such an impressive number of cryptos to trade as an exchange. Each broker has different cryptocurrency offerings, but, most likely, you will find only the most popular cryptos out there.

Among the absolutely positive things about the brokers are the relatively tight spreads. The spreads in the cryptocurrency market may reach a few hundreds of dollars, but on the trading platforms, you will get the tightest spreads possible. As such, the BTC/USD spread is as low as 0.1 pips in R Trader, which is one of the tightest in the industry.

Another advantage is that the broker platforms have much more features to offer. Unlike the exchanges, you can put multiple charts in your window, track the quote flow, use indicator sets and other extensions, etc.

As such, there is a strategy builder feature in R Trader, which allows creating automatic trading strategies without any coding background. Using strategy builder, you will be able to create trading robots that could drastically raise your performance.

Safety & Security

Exchange

Crypto exchanges are relatively unsafe. You can, of course, create a very strong password and even enable 2-factor authentication, but, unluckily, this cannot guarantee 100% safety of funds. Besides, each crypto exchange security level is different, and one can’t tell what is going to happen going forward. Lately, news on hacking and robbing client funds appear everywhere. This year, in the course, if BitGrail and Coincheck (both very large exchanges) hack the investors lost around $700M. There are even some cases when the crypto exchange owners do frauds and then try to get away with the client money. In this light, crypto trading is overall riskier than other types of trading, as the crypto market is not regulated and, thus, is very vulnerable.

Broker

Trading cryptocurrencies with a regulated broker guarantee some degree of safety to the clients. First, if a broker is regulated with a reliable authority, such as CySEC, FCA, SEC, etc, this means the company is at least not a scam. Second, a regulated broker’s business is strictly audited, and the client has a right to file a complaint whenever the broker is thought to breach the rules. Third, regulated brokers, as a rule, are members of investor compensation schemes, the object of which is to secure claims of clients against brokerage houses that are unable to meet obligations due to financial circumstances or bankruptcy. Finally, unlike exchanges, brokers keep the client money on the bank accounts, which works as an additional guarantee.

In conclusion, one should say that cryptocurrencies are high risk and very volatile assets, which can bring both quick profits and quick losses. When choosing a trading method for cryptos, one should study all pros and cons carefully. You have to understand very well which companies or exchanges you are going to use when trading cryptocurrencies. Both broker and exchange trading have their advantages and disadvantages, so your final decision will depend upon your goals and personal preferences.

This article was written by Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, a Chief Analyst at RoboForex

How to Buy Bytecoin(BCN): A Complete Guide

So what is ByteCoin?

ByteCoin is a decentralized digital currency that focuses heavily on privacy and security.  Simply put, it is an untraceable cryptocurrency, which uses CryptoNote signatures to ensure anonymous transactions. The privacy-focused crypto coin was created’ in 2012 and released to the public on March 2014.

Just like the core objective of the cryptocurrency, developers behind the Altcoin have remained anonymous. However, the team has gone on to make a number of improvements that have enhanced ByteCoin privacy-focused features. For instance, the cryptocurrency can now support multi-valued transactions supported by unique security features.

ByteCoin developer’s team has been working on improving a number of issues that have prevented people from using Bitcoin. Top on the agenda is fixing the privacy issues of the largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

The team is also hoping to address scalability issues that will make it possible for the Altcoin to support more transactions per second, thereby making it scalable in the ever-changing financial atmosphere.

How to Buy ByteCoin

There are several ways to buy ByteCoin using fiat currency. However, it is not possible to buy the Altcoin directly like Bitcoin and Ethereum in most cryptocurrency exchanges. Below is an easy tutorial on how to go about the same.

Create a Cryptocurrency wallet account

A digital wallet is a must as it is where cryptocurrencies are stored once bought from cryptocurrency exchanges. It is not advisable to leave cryptocurrencies in exchanges, as they are usually susceptible to hack attacks.

Given that ByteCoin is bought by exchanging it with other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin wallet, you will have to open a digital wallet that supports either bitcoin or Ethereum. One of the best, in this case, is MyEtherWallet.

Create a cryptocurrency Exchange Account

Once a digital wallet account is set up, you will have to create an account with one of the reputable cryptocurrency exchange. Such platforms provide an easy way of buying popular cryptocurrencies that can be used to purchase other digital currencies.

Coinbase is a perfect fit in this case as it is regulated by the U.S government and follows strict financial rules.

Buy Ethereum

Once you have opened a Coinbase account, use your credit card or other payment options offered to buy some Ethereum’s from the cryptocurrency exchange. Once you have purchased, some Ethereum, be sure to transfer them to your digital wallet which in this case is MyEtherWallet.

Open an Account in an Exchange That Accepts ByteCoin

Now that you have Ethereum, you will have to open an account with an exchange that supports ByteCoin. Some of the exchanges where BCN is traded include, Binance, HitBTC.

Once you have opened the account, find your ETH wallet address, as the details for finding can be different depending on the website. Copy or write the ETW wallet address in the BCN exchange account to transfer the Ethereum’s from your digital wallet.

When Ethereum appears in your BCN exchange account, you will now be able to exchange them for BCN tokens depending on the exchange rate and the total amount of Ethereum’s transferred. To complete the process, you will have to look for BCN/ETH trading pair to initiate a ‘Buy’ order with the ETH funds.

Once you initiate Buy Order, you should be able to buy some BCN.

You can also buy BCN using Bitcoin. In this case, open an account with Binance to be able to exchange bitcoins for ByteCoin.  BitPanda is another platform that allows people to use Skrill money transfer to buy bitcoins or Ethereum, which is then exchanged for BCN.

Where to Store BCN

Once you have bought, BCN from you will have to find a secure a ByteCoin wallet to store the tokens as Cryptocurrency exchanges are always on hacker’s radar.

Desktop Wallet: Desktop are some of the best for storing BCN as they are compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. A desktop wallet can also be accessed from any web browser. Android users can also store their BCN holdings on a mobile wallet. The team is yet to release an iOS wallet.

Encrypted passwords accompanied with two-factor authentication should always be used with these wallets as an additional measure of keeping hackers at bay.

How ByteCoin Works

Transactions involving most cryptocurrencies are usually posted to a public ledger, making it possible for third parties to trace transfers between wallets. This is a deficiency’ that most privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like ByteCoin are trying to address.

By using a third-party tumbler to mix transactions, ByteCoin hopes to seal the loophole that makes it possible for people to trace transactions on a public ledger. To do so, all ByteCoin transactions are based on CryptoNote, a payment scheme that is completely untraceable.

The technology implements a ring signature technology, which allows anyone in a group to sign on behalf of a group. All possible signers are indistinguishable from each other. One-time ring signatures are usually mixed with other possible accounts on a network, thereby providing another layer of anonymity.

CryptoNote ensures untraceable transactions on a public ledger and unlinkable. Each transaction, in this case, uses a one-time public key, even if a person is conducting multiple transactions. The use of a one-time public key eliminates the problem of address re-use, familiar with other cryptocurrencies, thereby making it impossible to trace the origin of a transaction.

Mining of ByteCoin

The use of Proof-of Work algorithm increases the possibility of mining operations in cryptocurrencies being centralized’ among miners with powerful GPU and ASIC Machines. In a bid to ensure mining operations are entirely decentralized, ByteCoin relies on a new algorithm dubbed Egalitarian proof-of-work.

Egalitarian uses a version of the script, a proof of work function, similar to the hash cash function. Because the algorithm is not memory bound, it makes it easier and cheaper to produce highly efficient CPU mining rigs that anyone can use to mine ByteCoin.

ByteCoin Features

Use of Proof Work Algorithm

ByteCoin being an open source software uses the Principle of proof-of-work for mining. The algorithm for mining in ByteCoin differs from others, as it uses AES command system for X86 microprocessors and a significant amount of memory.

The mining protocol also uses CryptoNote algorithm which provides the maximum program anonymity. All transactions in the stream are therefore anonymous, and all participants in the system can use plausible deniability in the event of capture.

ByteCoin Emission

Unlike fiat currencies, ByteCoin emission is an open process that employs the computing powers of all network members. Anyone can join the network with a substantial amount of computing power and be able to mine the token. Mining in the network results in the creation of new money and miners are normally rewarded for the addition of a new block on the blockchain.

Transactions on ByteCoin network are carried out every 120 seconds and miners ensure that transactions are processed correctly while providing cryptographic protection of transactions and personal data.

Given that ByteCoin is a privacy-focused Altcoin, miners cannot access user’s financial information while processing transactions.

Deflation

The total number of ByteCoin coins that will ever be mined is currently capped at 184.47 billion. With the number of coins emitted every 120 seconds on a constant decline, the token appears to be getting expensive and becoming more valuable with each passing day.

ByteCoin emissions are decreasing slowly something that protects the currency from economic shocks

ByteCoin transactions

Transactions carried out using fiat currencies are normally processed using an intermediary which in most cases is usually a bank or other financial institutions. ByteCoin transactions, on the other hand, are carried out over the internet where there is no intermediary for privacy reasons.

ByteCoin network offers instant payments globally as it works as fast as the internet. Transactions are normally processed in about 2 minutes. Cryptographic algorithms that cannot be hacked secure user’s money.

Safety and Reliability

ByteCoin transactions are extremely reliable because computational power of all the computers in the network facilitate transactions. The network tends to be more reliable with an increase in the processing power.

Bottom Line

ByteCoin is one of the best blockchain projects to take privacy and anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions to another level.  The Altcoin is not a replacement of Bitcoin, but a digital currency that addresses some of the deficiencies of the popular cryptocurrency.

By implementing, the CryptoNote Protocol, ByteCoin continues to serve as a model for other cryptocurrencies looking to enhance transparency and anonymity when it comes to transactions on a blockchain. As the technology continues to evolve and advance, ByteCoin should continue to advance the privacy needs of users around the globe.

Top 5 Altcoin Cryptocurrencies Exchanges

What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are businesses that operate like stock exchanges where people go to buy and sell digital currencies. Simply put, they are online platforms where people exchange cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currency.

There are two types of cryptocurrency exchange

Fiat Exchange

A fiat cryptocurrency exchange is an exchange that allows the use of fiat currencies (USD, Euros or GBP) for the purchase of digital currencies.

Cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency exchange

Cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency exchange allows virtual currencies to be traded for each other. In this case, a person may hand over Bitcoins to get a certain amount of Ethereum.

Below is a list of the top 5 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

  1. Coinbase
  • Fiat Support: Yes
  • Order Types: Market, Limit Stop Limit
  • Transaction Fees: No Marker fees, moderate taker fees

Coinbase should be a good start for novice traders looking to find their way in the cryptocurrency business. The cryptocurrency exchange comes with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase is a reputable cryptocurrency exchange, backed and trusted by millions of customers. The exchange platform makes it easy and secure to buy, use, store and trade a wide range of cryptocurrencies.

The exchange accepts credit cards, and banks account for the purchase of cryptocurrencies, ranging from Bitcoin to ether, Litecoin, Ripple among others. Coinbase does not have restrictions on who can carry out transactions on the platform as it allows people from all walks of life regardless of jurisdiction.

The fees for buying a cryptocurrency using a credit card are currently pegged at 3.99%, while fees for bank transfers are pegged at about 1.49%. The exchange has a sign-up bonus of $10 in Free Bitcoin for the first $100 order than one makes.

  1. Binance
  • Fiat Support: No
  • Altcoin Support: Yes
  • Order Types: Market, Limit Stop Limit
  • Transaction Fees: 0.1%

Binance is a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange that charges some of the lowest fees for cryptocurrencies transactions. The low transaction fees are made possible by the fact that the platform is funded by its underlying coin BNB.

Binance is a crypto to crypto exchange, whereby cryptocurrencies are used to buy other cryptocurrencies rather than fiat currencies. The platform comes with two interfaces one Basic, which is designed by those that are just getting started and Advanced suited for experienced users.

Binance is perfect for those looking to trade an excellent array of cryptocurrencies at low transaction fees of 0.1% per trade.

  1. CEX.IO
  • Fiat Support: Yes
  • Altcoin Support: Yes
  • Order Types: Market, limit stop limit
  • Transaction fees: Moderate taker, lower maker

Cex.io is a fiat based cryptocurrency exchange that allows people to buy a wide array of cryptocurrencies using fiat money. The exchange comes with a personalized and easy to use dashboards for trading various cryptocurrencies. The exchange also offers security, high liquidity, and cross-platform trading.

Based in London, the exchange is available to 99% of the countries in the world. It is also the first cloud-mining provider as it also doubles up as a multi-functional cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange is perfectly suited for individual businesses and corporation looking to buy various cryptocurrencies with no limits.

The exchange compensates for the lower transaction fees it charges by charging a premium on Bitcoin price.

  1. HitBTC

Launched in 2013, HitBTC cast itself as an advanced Bitcoin Exchange that allows people to trade bitcoin in exchange for other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, Dash, and Zcash.   The exchange also provides support for Ethereum, Litecoin Dogecoin, and Monero among others.  It claims to provide the most reliable, fast and powerful platform solution in the market.

The cryptocurrency exchange uses the 2-factor authentication advanced encryption technology and uses cutting-edge matching engine technologies.  The exchange also offers cold-storage services for cryptocurrencies.

HitBTC charges as low as 0.1% in fees for every marker trade that people make. Traders also stand to enjoy 0.01% rebate on LP orders. The exchange has no limits on deposits and withdrawals.

  1. YoBit

YoBit is a Russian based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2015.  YoBit platform allows people from all walks of life to buy and sell a vast array of cryptocurrencies.  In addition to bitcoin, the exchange offers support to hundreds of other Altcoins.  The exchange currently supports two fiat currencies, the U.S dollar, and the Russian Ruble

Some of the deposit methods include Payee AdvCash, Perfect Money, and QIWI. The exchange also accepts cryptocurrencies from digital wallets which can be exchanged for other digital currencies in the trading platform.

YoBit does not charge any trading fees, it is also free to deposit money into the account. Withdrawal fees vary depending on the mode of transfer. Cryptocurrency withdrawal fees are pegged at 0.0005, Perfect Money at 5%, Payer 7% AdvCash 4% Credit card 4%.

YoBit offers the option of two-factor authentication for people who wish to secure their account as an added layer of security.  Also, a bonus program rewards frequent users of the platform.

Conclusion

While all cryptocurrency exchanges serve the purpose of letting people buy and sell cryptocurrencies, they differ a great deal. That said, when it comes to selecting a platform to use to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, it is essential to look at exchange fees as well as the number of coins supported, as well as the location in which it is available.

Customer support is also essential as from time to time one may need help to be able to complete certain operations.  It is also important to consider whether an exchange is a fiat or crypto-based.

A Guide on How To Secure Cryptographic Keys

The rise of the cryptocurrency industry and the digitization of the banking industry have been crucial steps towards achieving an advanced future that is centered on technology.

Unfortunately, there are always enemies of progress or people who try to take advantage of situations for their own personal gain. The cryptocurrency and banking industries have particularly been under the threat of hackers and there have been various reports of cryptocurrency theft over the past few months. This presents a challenge to developers because it necessitates extra steps aimed at making sure that adequate steps are taken through proper encryption.

Understanding Cryptographic Keys

Cryptographic keys are at the top of the list as far as securing digital currencies from malicious attacks. However, in order to understand them, one must first understand digital wallets. They are coded and secure programs that are used to hold and store cryptocurrencies. Digital wallets are classified as hot and cold wallets. The former is used by organizations and individuals to store small amounts of cryptocurrencies and these types of wallets tend to be easily accessible because they are always connected to the internet.

Some cryptocurrency exchanges and services store the cryptocurrencies of their users through hot wallets so that they can provide easy access to users. Such wallets are usually protected through passwords. Cold wallets are a lot different because they feature less fluidity and are mostly used by security-savvy individuals and organizations. Additionally, they are usually associated with large amounts of cryptocurrencies and thus tend to go an extra mile in terms of security.

Cold wallets use private keys or cryptographic keys that are kept off the internet for security purposes. It is thus important to make sure that the cryptographic keys are kept safe. Some solutions include putting them in small devices that look like USB sticks from which the key cannot be extracted. However, they can unlock the cold wallets by simply inserting them into the computer holding the cryptocurrency. Additionally, cryptographic keys can be used outside the realm of cryptocurrency to protect other forms of important data.

There are other solutions for holding the cryptography keys that are mostly used by major companies to avoid giving too much control to one person. Here are some of the alternatives for making sure that the security keys are protected.

  • Keep the cryptographic keys hidden in a safe digital vault. The security keys should be stored in a digital vault that has highly secure measures such as multi-factor authentication for those who need to access it.
  • Implement role segregation-Make sure that there is controlled access for those who need to use the cryptography keys.
  • Secure application access should be enabled- access to stored keys can be enabled especially for verified applications and they can also be used to make sure that the applications are legitimate.
  • Access keys should be audited and reviewed- There should be alerts every time that keys are accessed.
  • Workflow approvals should be enforced-This should be done especially in cases where data is highly sensitive.
  • Cryptocurrency administrator activities should be monitored to make sure a high level of security.

Hackers will constantly be looking for new ways to access cryptocurrencies and high-profile data. This is why it is important to make sure that cryptographers come up with more secure options.

The Complete Cryptocurrency Guide

Bitcoin is arguably the most well-known cryptocurrency, yet there are many others that provide exciting investment opportunities. We teamed up with BitcoinIRA.com, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency retirement platform, to break down some of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market today – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic. Check out the below graphic to learn more about the functionality and benefits of each.

The Complete Cryptocurrency Guide

ICO vs. DAICO: What’s the Difference?

What is an ICO?

ICO is an acronym for Initial Coin Offering and refers to the creation and sale of digital tokens. In this case, a person or a business may create a set number of tokens, like stock shares, and then sell them to early investors in a bid to raise capital to finance a given project.

What happens in most cases is that projects create a certain amount of digital token and then try to sell them to the public in exchange for other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or ether. For people that participate in ICOs the ability to take advantage of the benefits of the new tokens such as being able to use them to access a new service is lucrative as they can achieve two purposes:  a speculative investment as well as the token’s services.

People are also likely to buy new tokens in an ICO in anticipation of their value rising depending on the value of the underlying project they are being used to finance. Tokens of projects with vast prospects of success are usually listed on exchanges where initial buyers can sell their holdings, and new buyers can join the project.

To participate in an ICO one must register on the website of the firm offering the ICO by essentially adding an email address in a process known as ‘getting whitelisted.’ Once an email is registered, companies usually send Know your Customer KYC or Anti Money Laundering forms as part of the identification process.

What is a DAICO?

A DAICO, on the other hand, is an improvement of an Initial Coin Offering and incorporates certain aspects of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. The idea about DAICO was first suggested in January 2018, in response to growing cases of fraud around ICOs

DAICO’s are designed to make ICOs look more secure by allowing investors to participate in the initial process of project development. DAICOs allow investors and token holders to vote for a refund on invested funds, whenever they’re not happy with project developers and the progress being made.

A DAICO operates by first, a development team publishing a smart contract that is used to raise funds. The contract comes with a feature that allows investors to send money to the project in exchange for network specific coins. The sale can be capped or uncapped.

Once the fundraising period ends, the smart contract will prohibit anyone from contributing further. The DAICO smart contract will then distribute the token balances after which the token becomes tradable. The tap variable feature comes into effect ones the token sale is closed. This feature is programmed to predetermine the amount per second that developers can withdraw from the token sale funds.

ICO vs. DAICO: The Differences

While both ICO and DAICO provide a way for projects to raise funds through token sale, they also differ a great deal.

Influence

With DAICOs, contributors or token holders have more say and influence on the direction of a project. This is made possible by the fact that they are part of the project, right from the initial stage, unlike ICOs that are typically used to raise funds for projects that have already started.

Funds Control

DAICOs provides a framework in which developers of a project cannot use funds as they wish. All decisions, in this case, are decentralized. There is a predetermined way of how funds from a token sale are withdrawn and used to finance various project development stages.

The same cannot be said about ICOs where project developers have full control of funds collected and can decide to use them as they find it fit.

Funds Refund

Once funds are raised with an ICO model, they cannot be refunded to investors or token holders even on a project stalling or getting terminated along the way. However, with DAICO there is a provision that allows investors to get a refund in case a project is terminated or stalls.

Investors in DAICOs are entitled to a vote where they can decide the fate of remaining funds if they don’t wish to proceed with the project.

Project Development

Once a team raises millions of dollars with an ICO, there is nothing to stop it from going on a go slow on the development of a project. However, with DAICOs, it is common for teams to remain motivated in a bid to bring a project to fruition, given the predetermined phases of development as well as how funds are to be used.


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DAICO: The New Evolution of Fundraising

A lack of regulations in the cryptocurrency space has forced many investors to be extra cautious especially on a number of ICO projects closing shop with people’s money. DAICO is slowly emerging as a preferred mode of donating funds in the cryptocurrency space, in part because it offers investors a higher level of security.

DAICO is the new evolution of fundraising in the cryptocurrency space because investors can control how project developers interact with funds collected. This aspect is expected to improve the ICO space that has been shrouded in concerns amidst growing cases of fraud and scams.

This mode of raising funds also acts as a deterrent to cybercriminals looking to take advantage of a lack of regulations within the ICO market, to steal from unsuspecting investors. The fact that investors have the power to dissolve a DAICO if they are not happy with the progress of a project also makes it a preferred method for investing, compared to ICOs.

DAICOs are expected to keep project developers on their toes when it comes to the development of projects as laxity of anyway, could lead to the dissolution of the entire project altogether. DAICO developers are thus expected to continue hitting their targets in a bid to stay operational.  This feature is not readily available with ICOs.

DAICOs could soon become the standard in digital fundraising given that they have the potential to introduce a level of accountability that lacks with ICOs. DAICOs are also expected to ensure that only worthy projects get listed and get to raise the much-needed finances.

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Complete Guide: How Can it Solve Bitcoin’s Biggest Problem?

Bitcoin scalability Issue

Scalability is one of the biggest issues that has made Bitcoin mainstream adoption difficult. The issue relates to the number of transactions that the bitcoin network can process at any given time.

Bitcoin ecosystem has evolved from what it used to be in the early years when it paid host to only a few dozen passionate enthusiasts. The network has grown to a point where it attracts over 10 million users a day.

An increase in the number of users, while a good thing, has resulted in an increase in the number of daily transactions carried out through the blockchain, believed to be hundreds of thousands. Increased numbers of transactions has led to delays, with some transactions taking hours to be added in the blockchain.

Despite being the biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, Bitcoin lags behind when it comes to transaction processing speeds compared to other blockchain projects. Ripple leads the pack as its blockchain processes transactions in seconds.

Hefty transaction fees is another issue that continues to dent bitcoin sentiments in the crypto sector. Transactions fees can hit highs of $28, something that is unacceptable given that the network is expected to be an improved version of online payment systems.

Concerned by the scalability menace, some developers appear to have found a solution that could address the high transaction fees as well as slow transaction speeds once and for all.

Bitcoin Lightning network is the new protocol, touted as the ultimate solution to Bitcoin’s havoc causing an issue.

What Is Bitcoin Lightning Network?

Simply put, Lightning Network is a new payment protocol that will be added on top of bitcoin to enable instant transactions between nodes in a blockchain. It is seen as the answer to bitcoin’s persistent scaling issue as it will reduce transaction fees while making it easy for people to send and receive instant payments.

Thaddeus Dryja proposed, and Joseph Poon proposed the new protocol in a white paper published in 2015. The proposed protocol consists of user-generated channels able to send payments back and forth, in a secure and trustless fashion

How Bitcoin Lightning Network Works?

For Lightning Network to operate, there must be two people looking to transact with each other using Bitcoin. In that case, the two will have to set up a multiSig wallet, which is to be used as a storage facility for bitcoins transacted.

Once a wallet address is saved on a bitcoin blockchain, a setup payment channel is opened through which the two parties can conduct an unlimited number of transactions without touching information stored on the blockchain.

It is important to note that it is not a must to set up a channel to be able to carry out a transaction with the new network. Lightning Network is designed in such a way that it can send payments to the desired node, using the shortest route possible.

With the completion of each transaction, each party involved must sign an updated balance sheet to indicate how much of the bitcoins stored in the wallet belongs to them. The channel is only closed when the two parties are done transacting.

The resulting balance on completion of the transaction would only be reflected in the blockchain on the closure of the channel. Information stored in the blockchain can be used in the event of a dispute.


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How Can Lightning Network Solve Bitcoin’s Problem?

Even though Lightning Network is yet to be fully implemented on Bitcoin Blockchain, some people have shared their experiences of using it. The experiences so far have been good with a good number of people confirming fast transaction speeds as well as reduced transaction fees.

A Reddit user claims to have used the new protocol to purchase a VPN router through a payment channel provided by TorGuard, a proxy service provider that claims to accept Lightning network. Michael Landau, a Twitter user, also claims to have made a Lightning payment on Bitcoin testnet with the transactions being confirmed in under 2 seconds. Transaction fee, in this case, was 0.000001.

Amidst the positive remarks, Lightning network may not be the ultimate cure for Bitcoins scalability issue. The protocol is only expected to phase out a good chunk of the issues. First and foremost, Lightning pre-funded channels tie up funds that could as well be used for other purposes. Because of this, people may opt to keep low balances in the channels and top them from time to time when the need arises.

The second challenge that could grip Lightning Network has to do with the fact that people could end up funding their channels at the same time. Soon after funding, the balance could diminish considerably on payments being made. Such a move could trigger liquidity issues on the network. In such a case, it could be difficult to find a payment route for large payments in some cases.

However, the illiquid problem could be solved through the creation of a large payment channel that would be left open and fully funded all the time. By doing so, there will always be a route for making payments regardless of the amount being transacted.

Benefits of Lightning Network

Earn Interest on Providing Liquidity

Using Lightning Node promises to be a win-win situation for parties, on both sides of a transaction. The network will reward users who provide liquidity by lending bitcoins to be used in the channels. It is still unclear the amount of interest Lightning Node will pay.

However, it is expected to be something exciting sure to keep people running the lightning node. For a start, the interest for lending bitcoins is expected to be high as Lightning Network looks to get its way into most people accounts.

The rate could drop as the technology is adopted’ by more people. The profits on the Lightning node can be perceived as transactions fees for using the network.

Fast Transaction Speeds

The new protocol offers the best scaling solution to a problem that has plagued Bitcoin for months. With Lightning Network, people will no longer have to wait hours for transactions to be completed.

The added layer on bitcoin will enable the processing of millions of transactions per second. The network will also allow users to enjoy the security of decentralized blockchain without having to increase the size of a blockchain

Nearly free Bitcoin Fees

Bitcoin widespread adoption has been disrupted by growing concerns over transaction fees. Transaction costs have been known to clock highs of $28, regardless of the amount one is transferring. That said, fees incurred in transacting through Bitcoin Lightning Network should be much lower than when a transaction is carried out through Bitcoin blockchain. In some cases, some people may end up being paid for using the new protocol.

The fact that Lightning fees are not paid to miners all but mean it will be a cheaper way of sending money on the network. Lightning transaction fees will end up to users on the system that stake money. The owners are expected to charge a small fee for microloans

Lightning transaction fees are expected to keep dropping as more Bitcoins hit the network. People who wish to send money also stand a chance to select custom routes, if more privacy is needed, but at extra costs.

Smaller Micropayments

The smallest amount of bitcoin that one can send now is 0.00000001 BTC. However, with Lightning Network, people will be able to send much smaller bitcoins thereby enabling micro-payments.

People in some of the world’s poorest nations cannot transact using bitcoins, but with Lightning Network, they will be able to afford transactions in the popular cryptocurrency.

Increased Decentralization

There has been growing concerns that Bitcoin blockchains could become bigger and get out of control. With the implementation of Lightning network, bitcoin blocks are expected to be smaller which will allow people to run a full node.

In addition, it will be much easier to self-authenticate bitcoin transactions and enforce bitcoin rules thereby making Bitcoins Network more decentralized.

Increase Security

The use of channels with Lightning Network will make it nearly impossible for hackers to steal people bitcoins. For example, if an exchange has open channels with each user who has a wallet, a hacker will not be able to simply take coins held in LN channels.

The only thing that hackers will be able to do with the new protocol in place, is close channels to be able to access the portion of the balance belonging to an exchange. While the same can be done without user consent, they will still have to wait for the lock-time built into the channel. During this time, an exchange would have ample time to regain control and advice users to close channels from their side.

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How Can Anyone Join Lightning Network?

Lighting Network is Off-Chain, which means it is not part of Bitcoin Record now. That said, there are a number of ways one can be able to enjoy fast bitcoin transactions at low costs via the new protocol

Using A web Wallet

The simplest way to access and enjoy the benefits of Lightning Network is to use a web wallet such as HTLC.me. The web-based lightning wallet makes it possible to start making Bitcoin payments using the protocol without any configuration.

All you need to do in this case is ask the person you would wish to transact with, to as open a Lightning wallet on the HTLC.me to be able to send them some Bitcoins

Using Desktop Wallets

There are two desktop wallets that’ make it possible to use the new bitcoin protocol. Lightning-ape wallet and Zap use Lightning Network Daemon LND as the back-end client to use balance and channels. To be able to set up the Lightning app, you will have to go to Github page and download the latest version of the app for installation. To install Zap wallet, you will have to visit its official webpage Zap.jackmallers.com to learn more

Phone Wallet

Currently, there are three phone wallet, LND, Éclair and C-Lightning designed to enable transactions through Lightning Network. Éclair is the first Android Lightning Network enabled-app that one can download on Google Play store and be able to carry out low-cost bitcoin transactions.

Lightning Network Releases

It is still unclear when lightning Network will be part and parcel of Bitcoin blockchain in addition to the third party apps that people can use, to access it. The network’s developer’s team recently released a beta version of Lightning Network Daemon that allows people to access the Bitcoin’s Lightning Network which is still in development.

The release comes after more than a year extensive research. However, there are still a number of implementations, which Lightning Network labs team is still working on, ahead of the official launch. It appears’, the official launch could happen soon, given the milestone the developer’s team has achieved so far.

For instance, Lightning network has surpassed 1000 active nodes milestone on its Bitcoin Mainnet. Since its launch in testnet and mainnet, it has continued to achieve significant growth seen by the number of bitcoin nodes joining the network.

However, there has been growing concerns about the robustness of the network’s protocol, which is important if it is to stand any chance of handling thousands of transactions on a daily basis. It is also unclear whether the protocol is super tight to ensure users don’t lose their funds in the long run.

Security considerations as well as lack of understanding of how the protocol works have been the biggest headwind that has prevented fast roll-out of the protocol.

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15 Must-Do Tips to Read ICO Whitepaper

Initial Coin Offerings aka ICO is the stage when the crypto project is gathering funds for their on-going development. However, this is not necessarily true for all crypto projects. Some ICOs also plan to grow their existing businesses as well.

Unlike IPO (Initial Public Offerings) in stock markets, Cryptoasset (more generally referred as cryptocurrencies or altcoins) market is not regulated by any state or government entity until today. It’s the trust that governs this crypto ecosystem. It is funny to consider that a level of trust needs to be built in any ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) when the sole purpose of blockchain is to transact in a trustless manner. Since ICOs are not yet endorsed by any Governmental entities the money if invested in ICO then there is zero protection.

Before proceeding further, we would like to clearly state a small disclaimer. Considering the way current crypto space works, there are no strict rules on writing white papers for any ICO. And do not consider this article as investment advice, we do not advice on any kind of investment.

We share 15 point checklist to read ICO whitepapers to help build some level of trust. It is safe to assume that author of this article has invested in few ICOs.

  1. Establish validity of registered company behind any ICO. Being a registered company as a first filter helps us identify two things. One ICO is backed by a valid firm and second, it is quite possible to track history online of a registered firm, nowadays.
  2. Identify the product/service that ICO is proposing. Is it a feasible product or service?
  3. What is the key problem being solved? and how efficiently it is solved?
  4. Are there any other solutions in the market that solve a similar or same problem? ,i.e. identify the competition.
  5. Is there any prototype already available? If not then what are the timelines for the first prototype and subsequent product/service milestone dates?
  6. Apply PESTEL analysis as a rule of thumb. The political pillar (P in PESTEL) can be discounted considering unregulated crypto space.
  7. The leadership team is the key to any project. It is true for any ICO as well. It may not be hundred percent accurate, but Linked is the good place to establish the identity of the leadership team and their experience at the very high level. Do your due diligence to establish leadership credentials.
  8. Also look for endorsements by popular entities or people that you know or trust. This is not hundred percent accurate filter but another point in our checklist.
  9. Underlying blockchain ecosystem is another aspect to look at. Is it altogether a new blockchain or existing blockchains such as Ethereum or NEO are used?
  10. Is token symbol finalized and registered on the underlying blockchain?
  11. The growth prospects of the crypto token is another key area to look at, i.e an investment yield.
  12. The ICO’s plan to use different crypto exchanges. Are popular exchanges are listed? Remember crypto exchanges are private entities and not backed by any government at the time of writing this article. But these crypto exchanges are only way to trade or buy/sell crypto tokens.
  13. What will be the buying pressure on the tokens once it starts trading? This will help us gauge token growth in terms of its dollar value ($).
  14. Token distribution: Cleary identify token spread. The total number of tokens for the whole project Vs its distribution among core team members, early investors and available during ICO.
  15. Read fine lines aka terms and conditions listed in the whitepaper.

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Finally, remember ICO whitepaper is PDF document not endorsed by any legal entity but written by a private party (assumption only true at the time of writing this article). Try to go through some of the completed ICOs, read their whitepapers, apply this checklist.
This article was written by Mandar Pise and originally posted at TechSutram.com

Monero – The Secure and Private Cryptocurrency: How to Buy XMR?

Most existing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have transparent blockchain, meaning the transactions are openly verifiable and traceable by all and sundry. Monero, on the other hand, uses cryptography to hide sender’s and receiver’s address as well as the transacted amount. It was launched in April 2014.

This always on-privacy means every Monero’s user activity enhances the privacy of all others, unlike semi-transparent cryptocurrencies. Monero users also have a 25-word mnemonic seed at the time of their account creation. It can be written down to back up the account. The account files are also encrypted with a passphrase, to ensure that they’ll be useless if stolen.

How Do You Get Monero?

Same as any other cryptocurrency, the first step in order to put your hands ( in a digital way of course) on Monero coin is to open a digital wallet that supports Monero.

Getting a Monero wallet

If a trader wants to generate Monero wallet, he can check websites such as MyMonero which can generate a wallet within a small period of time. There are different ways to go about this. One needs to download the wallet from the website, disconnect from the internet, click the button to generate a wallet and write down the 25-word mnemonic seed. A trader can also note down the address if they wish to send money to it.

There are four things a trader may need while accessing a Monero wallet.

  1. Public Address
  2. Mnemonic seed
  3. Spend Key
  4. View Key.

The public address is an address that is visible to everybody who wishes to send Monero to a trader. Mnemonic seed and spend key are more or less the same concepts, i.e. these will grant access to a trader to his account. A view key is one that will allow a trader to only view his account balance and no other function.

Buy Monero with other Cryptocurrencies

There are different ways to buy Monero. For those that hold Bitcoin or Ethereum, the best will be to open an account at Binance and purchase your Moneros with Bitcoin or Ethereum. We recommend Binance as it has the widest selection of cryptos and altcoins.

For those who do not own Bitcoin or Ethereum and prefer to buy Monero via Binance, we recommend buying Bitcoin or Ethereum via Coinbase. Check whether the exchange operates in your location.

Buy Monero with Fiat Currencies

The other way to buy Monero would be with fiat currencies. For some investors, it will be easier as they already hold these currencies. In order to buy Monero with fiat currencies, a trader can log into exchanges such as Kraken or Exmo. In these exchanges, you can purchase Monero directly with USD.

Monero Best Exchanges

It is very easy to buy Monero if a trader knows where to go. It is essentially an upgrade on Bitcoin’s central ideologies of decentralization and secrecy. Some exchanges that provide Monero are HitBTC, Binance, and Kraken.

In the US, there are no exchanges that allow buying Monero through credit cards. A trader has the option of buying Bitcoin through credit card at exchanges like Coinbase and then logging into Changelly which will convert Bitcoin into Monero in the space of 10 minutes.

Buy Monero with Bitcoin or Ethereum via Binance

  1. Create an account on Binance
  2. Go to Deposit and select Bitcoin or Ethereum
  3. Transfer your coins to address you received
  4. Click on Funds in order to confirm the transaction
  5. Go to Exchanges and search for XMR/BTC or XMR/ETH
  6. Click on Buy XMR and Monero coins will be transferred to your Binance digital wallet

Why is Monero Better than Bitcoin?

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is completely transparent and that leads to some flaws in the network. However, there are some obvious advantages to trading in Monero over Bitcoin. Some of them are:

  • Monero’s superior mining algorithm- Monero’s mining software consumes less electricity as compared to bitcoin’s mining, which is primarily based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC).
  • Monero’s adaptive block size limit- As compared to bitcoin, Monero has a more flexible block limit which means a trader’s transaction can be verified within two minutes (time taken to produce a block on Monero).
  • Heightened privacy measures- Monero has plans to integrate Invisible Internet Project( ‘I2P’ ) which means, not only will a trader’s transactions remain protected, anybody snooping on the network will not be able to detect, if Monero is being used or not.
  • Superior design team- Monero has around 180 contributors which contribute to the superior quality of the development and research.

Monero CFD’s Trading

Monero is an open-source, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency. However, in this context, the topic is purely for trading in Monero. As discussed above, exchanges are one way of going about it.

Another way to trade Monero is through Contract for Differences (CFD’s). Some brokers provide you the option to trade Monero price fluctuation. Trading CFD’s does not provide you a legal possession of Monero as a coin but the opportunity to speculate the price.


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Monero Mining

Monero mining is a little more challenging as compared to other mining. The amount of effort required to mine Monero is more than other cryptos. Monero can either be mined solo or in a pool. Mining on a pool comes with a fee but it has its advantages. Users who do not have enough computer power may need to wait for a longer time to wait for a reward.

Whereas in a mining pool, users can collate their entire computer power together and have a steady flow of income.

There are also rumors that connect North Korea to a massive mining of Monero. Due to its privacy and secure qualities, governments can find this crypto as an attractive asset.

Conclusion

Currently, Monero is not as well known as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or ripple. However, it has its own band of loyal fans who like the cryptocurrency for its stringent privacy. As great as it sounds in theory, due to this privacy, there is also a negative reputation attached to Monero. It is often claimed to be the cryptocurrency which is used for underhand activities.

Given time, hopefully, more people will see the benefits of using Monero, which will lead to increased number of users and perhaps a rise in price.

How to Buy Bitcoin with Credit Card?

Bitcoins are turning out to be the rage around the financial world over the last few months. The volatility in their prices, the returns that it can provide and the risk that it is open to and the fact that the market is open 24×7 has made it a very attractive instrument for those who know trading and for those who do not know it as well.

After starting off as an instrument that could facilitate cross-border payments, it has slowly increased its grip over the payment industry and now has control over the trading industry as well as more and more speculators join the bandwagon in buying and selling bitcoins as they view it as a vehicle to quick profits.

But it is not an easy job to lay hands on bitcoins for people in certain parts of the world as bitcoins are not physical instruments which can be purchased only at exchanges. In other words, a trader or an investor can only buy bitcoins from someone who already owns it. This transaction is best done at an exchange and not every country in the world has an exchange. In such cases, the trader has to rely on external exchanges like CoinMama and to transfer funds quickly into his wallet at that exchange, the trader is likely to prefer to use his credit cards.

Credit cards provide an easy and quick way to buy bitcoins as a lot of traders have their own credit cards already and they can use it to quickly deposit funds into their account at any domestic or international BTC exchange. Once the account is funded, they can use these funds to purchase bitcoins at the exchange and there begins their journey into the world of bitcoins.

Buy and Sell Bitcoin with Credit Cards

As of now, unlike certain other businesses and instruments, credit cards are not blocked by the major companies from being used for the purchase of bitcoins. Many credit card companies block users of many countries from investing in forex, gambling and other such industries in alignment with the laws of the country that the trader belongs to. Many countries are still in the process of evaluation of bitcoins and usage and hence very few of them have banned bitcoins outright. This has ensured that traders in most parts of the world can freely use their credit cards to buy bitcoins at the exchanges.

As described above, all that the trader needs to do is to open an account at the exchange and the exchange would give them a BTC wallet. Then they can deposit fiat currency using their credit card and fund their account and these funds can be used to buy bitcoins at the exchange. Once the bitcoin is bought and stored in their wallet, they could choose to sell it at any point of time and once this is sold, they can request for a withdrawal from the exchange which would then be able to deposit back their funds into their credit card.

there are many exchanges that provide the purchase of Bitcoin by credit card. For those who are interested in buying bitcoin and hold it for a long period of time, Coinbase can be a reliable option. Check before that the exchange operates in your location.

For those who are more interested in buying bitcoin and exchange it for other cryptos, Binance provides the widest selection of cryptocurrencies and altcoin in particular.

Many exchanges insist that the amount equal to the deposit would be deposited back into the credit card only. This will help companies to avoid being charged back by the trader. Once this is done, the rest of the funds can then be sent back to the trader in any other method that the exchanges use for withdrawal.

As can be seen, the process of buying and selling bitcoins using credit cards is pretty straightforward and this is the method that is most preferred among many traders due to its ease and speed as well.

How to Buy Bitcoin with a Credit Card Instantly?

Here, we have to mention that it is the speed of the fund transfer that makes the credit cards one of the most preferred methods of purchasing bitcoins. The bitcoin industry itself is all about speed nowadays as the joining of more and more speculators into the bitcoin trading industry has led to a lot of volatility in bitcoin prices. Hence, we have been seeing the prices jump up and down by around 10% on many days and this acts both as a boon as well as a bane as it throws open the possibility of the trader being able to make a lot of money or lose a lot of money within a short span of time.

Considering this, we would be able to understand why speed is likely to be paramount for buying and selling of bitcoins, especially for those who would like to speculate and make use of the quick and small movements that are seen in the bitcoin prices. This is the reason why such traders prefer to use their credit card as it is very easy for them to deposit and withdraw the funds using their credit cards. What’s more, it also helps them to add points based on the usage of the credit cards and hence for them, this is a double bonus as they can make profits out of the bitcoin trading and also they can make use of the extra points earned based on their credit card usage. 

Although not via bitcoin exchange, the fastest way to buy bitcoin with a credit card being via a CFD’s broker such AvaTrade. Buying bitcoin via AvaTrade does not provide you a legal possession of the coin, however, it allows you speculate on bitcoin’s price fluctuations.

Types of Credit Cards You can Buy Bitcoin with

As we had mentioned earlier in the article, the credit card companies are yet to take a very strict view of the usage of their cards for the purpose of purchasing bitcoins. One of the major reasons is the fact that most of the regulatory authorities are still only in a period of discussion and contemplation and have not yet taken any action against the bitcoin industry. So, with the legality of this industry hanging in the balance in many countries, the credit card companies have not yet had the need to ban the usage of their cards for purchasing bitcoins.

That is the reason why we are seeing the cards from various companies, including Visa and MasterCard being used by traders to purchase bitcoins at various exchanges and we believe that the card companies could continue to allow this to happen for many years to come as it is highly unlikely that there would be a total global ban on this industry anytime soon.

Credit Card Bitcoin Exchanges

The bitcoin exchanges around the world have also realized the preference of retail traders and investors for the usage of credit cards to buy bitcoins and that is the reason why we are seeing more and more bitcoin exchanges allowing traders to fund their accounts with them using their credit cards. We can see that Visa and Master cards can be used at exchanges like Binance, Coinbase and CEX.IO to buy bitcoins and this trend is only going to grow more and more as lots of retail traders begin to jump into this industry in the short and medium term.

The trader also has to choose whether he wants to take delivery of the bitcoin and hence use an exchange or whether he wants to just speculate in which case, he could do that at a broker like Avatrade which also allows the trader to use credit cards to fund their accounts with them. It would be foolish for any major bitcoin exchange not to give the choice of credit cards as a funding mechanism for its clients.

Is it safe to Purchase Bitcoin with Credit Card?

As far as the legality of purchasing bitcoins using credit card is concerned, the scenario is the same as with using wire transfer or any other payment method and hence if it is fine for a trader to use wire transfer to buy bitcoins, then it should be fine for him to use his credit card to buy bitcoins as well. But, of course, traders have to make sure that they are careful while using credit cards as bitcoin exchanges and other places where bitcoins are used and purchased are always under the eyes of various hackers. The bitcoin industry has gained a lot of attention from hackers in recent times due to the fact that it provides anonymity and is also proving to be an industry where a lot of funds are being used in an unregulated environment.

With the industry spreading and with many untrained developers also entering into the industry, it opens up the vulnerability of this industry to hackers and that is why it is important for the traders to safeguard themselves while using credit cards to buy bitcoins. It opens up the possibility that their bitcoins could be stolen along with card information and hence it is important for the traders to be aware of the same. But, as long as the traders stick to the major bitcoin exchanges, which have a good track record and have high security, it should not be a major safety issue.


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Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin with Credit Cards

The biggest advantage of buying bitcoins using a credit card is the speed of the entire transaction. As we had discussed before, the bitcoin market is a volatile one and in such markets, speed is paramount. It is important that the funding of the trader’s account at the exchange and the withdrawal takes place in a quick and seamless manner so that the trader can take full advantage of the price movement in bitcoin and this is facilitated by credit cards.

Traders can fund their accounts instantly using their credit cards and can continue to top up their account as long as the credit card has the right limits set. This helps to buy and sell bitcoins quickly and as said before, this also adds up the usage points in the credit card which is an added bonus as these points can then be redeemed at various outlets. Also, the fact that credit card payments can be done within the next 30 days ensures that the traders’ deposits, make profits and withdraw them and use these profits to pay back the credit card balance.

The disadvantage is the security aspect of the transaction as more and more exchanges come in and some of them are quite vulnerable to attacks from hackers. So, the trader needs to be very careful in choosing the right exchange so that his credit card information is secure. Also, if the trader is caught in a loss, it becomes very difficult for him to repay the credit card balance and the interest that is charged on this compounds the situation.

Tips on Buying Bitcoins Online with Credit Card

  1. Make sure that you only deposit that amount which you can afford to lose.
  2. Do not deposit your life savings using a credit card.
  3. Ensure that you pay off your credit card balance every month.
  4. Be careful about the exchange that you choose and ensure that it has good security.
  5. Do not give out your credit card details to any person at the exchange or if any person calls and asks for it.
  6. Ensure that you have a trading system in place before buying bitcoins.
  7. Check if your card details are stored in a secure manner and if you are not sure, you can remove the details from the exchange and add it later, when you are going to deposit again.

Conclusion

As can be seen, buying bitcoins using a credit card is one of the quickest and simplest ways of doing so. It does not need the trader to be tech savvy and at the same time, it provides a great opportunity for nimble traders to buy the bitcoins within short notice and profit from it. The fact that the card company gives you 30 days to repay your balance ensures that the traders can make a profit out of the transaction and then repay the balance and the volatility in the bitcoin market ensures that this entire trading cycle is completed within 30 days.

On the other hand, care should be taken to ensure that the trader does not get himself caught in the credit card noose and that he repays his balance promptly. As long as the trader chooses a highly secure exchange where his card information is safe, using a credit card to buy bitcoins is probably the best way.

Bitcoin Gold: A Return to Mining?

Cryptocurrencies have some confusing aspects and terms. For some people, this can start with the name itself. What is the “crypto” in cryptocurrency?  It can get more confusing from there. Looking at the bigger picture, cryptocurrencies are dependent on blockchain technology. This involves another set of new ideas and unique terms. Too often explanations are more confusing than helpful.

Fortunately, these concepts can be understood by the cryptocurrency and blockchain novice. Bitcoin Gold provides the perfect example of how all of these elements can come together and create value. A proper evaluation of Bitcoin Gold walks through the cryptocurrency world from start to finish.

What is Bitcoin Gold?

This journey starts with the idea that digital currencies can exist without centralized control. This is the brilliant concept that Bitcoin proved could work in the real world. In order to implement this idea, it was necessary to create the units of cryptocurrency through computer software. Bitcoin Gold and others pay individuals and groups to perform this task. This called mining.

Mining a cryptocurrency is nothing more than solving a math problem on a computer by running this software. The math involved in creating blocks is the “crypto” part of cryptocurrency. Those who solve the problem add that solution to the list of solutions. This is the blockchain. Those who solved the problem have the address of this block – i.e., own the cryptocurrency they created– and can transfer it to someone else.

Bitcoin ran into a problem because the type of math it used allowed certain types of computers to do the math better than other types. Because the value of Bitcoin was so high, it became financially rewarding to build this type of computer. These “ASIC” machines came to dominate mining, and so dominated the Bitcoin blockchain.

Some viewed this as centralized control of what was always intended to be de-centralized. They considered this a threat to the philosophical underpinning of blockchain that was serious enough that something had to be done about it. Their proposed solution was to change the type of math required to so that specialized computers did not have an advantage. The solution was Bitcoin Gold.

Hard Forks

Not everyone agreed that the problem was this severe or that the proposed solution was the best answer. This is not surprising since the community included those who owned machines specifically built to do the “old math” and had a financial incentive to keep things the way they were. A rift developed in the Bitcoin community over this issue.

The structure of blockchain includes a solution to this type of disagreement. The solution is called a hard fork, and it is just what it sounds like. A hard fork is a new string of transactions branching off from the previous list. The start of this new list is the change to Bitcoin Gold, and it happened on October 24, 2017. Everyone holding Bitcoin at that date received an equal amount of Bitcoin Gold to use on the new fork of the blockchain, that is, the new string of transactions.

This move was criticized at the time as a simple attempt to create new value off the “Bitcoin” brand. Keep in mind that the total number of cryptocurrency units doubled at the time of the hard fork. However, this does not mean the value double since the market value of Bitcoin Gold was not the market value of Bitcoin. In fact, if no one supported the new Bitcoin Gold cryptocurrency it would quickly become worthless.

This threatened to be the case, particularly because of criticism of how the transition was handled. Some actions by the proponents of Bitcoin Gold had at least the appearance of simple greed, including delaying the release of mining software to the cryptocurrency community. This supposedly allowed those with “insider “access the opportunity to create units of Bitcoin Gold without competition.

Eventually Bitcoin Gold achieved a stand-alone status in the cryptocurrency markets. Although the value does not rival Bitcoin, it does command a respectable market price and is actively involved in the development of new blockchain technology, including the Lightning Network.

Bitcoin Gold Mining

However, the low market price relative to Bitcoin means that specialized miners have not flocked to the creation of Bitcoin Gold. Keep in mind that any concentration would undermine the expressed purpose of creating Bitcoin Gold in the first place. This has created an opportunity for less technologically savvy individuals to participate in the creation of units of Bitcoin Gold without assembling computers specifically tailored to this purpose.

However, the value and potential value has attracted enough miners that some specialization is recommended. Remember that solving the math equation – hashing – is only one step in the process. It’s also necessary to arrive at the answer before anyone else and successfully post that solution to the blockchain. In effect, miners compete with each other in a cooperative venture.

Mining enthusiasts recommend against using a standard personal computer for this purpose. They suggest that using a high-quality graphics card significantly increases the likelihood of successful mining. Keep in mind that even if a computer is already owned and is not being used for other purposes, mining is not free. There are electrical costs. Mining Bitcoin Gold requires enough success to represent a return on this investment.

In addition to a graphics card, mining enthusiasts also recommend installing additional memory and checking the power supply for the entire system. The technical aspects of evaluating and installing any of these components are well beyond the scope of this article. However, they can be easily found on the Internet, along with the software required for mining.

For those unwilling or unable to take on the technical aspects of mining by themselves, it is possible to join a mining pool, which is a cooperative group that uses the computing power of individual machines to mine Bitcoin Gold. Each member of the group is rewarded with a percentage of the profits equal to their contribution. Mining groups can be easily found on the Internet and have a range of technical requirements.

How to Buy Bitcoin Gold (BTG)?

It is also possible to purchase Bitcoin Gold on a variety of exchanges. The market is very dynamic with new exchanges adding Bitcoin Gold. The best option for identifying an exchange is the official Bitcoin Gold website which currently lists 19 different exchanges where Bitcoin Gold is available.

The exchanges operate in a variety of locations and are not available in all countries. Some offer to exchange national fiat currencies such as US dollars for Bitcoin Gold, while others only exchange for Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Buying Bitcoin Gold with Fiat Currencies

For those who are looking to buy Bitcoin Gold with fiat currencies, not many exchanges provide this option. CEX.IO is one of the only exchanges that provide you the purchase of Bitcoin Gold with USD. If you previously own Bitcoin, all you need to do is to register in CEX.IO, confirm your account and search for BTG/USD.

Other exchanges that support Bitcoin Gold with fiat currencies include YoBit and DSX.

Another easy way to buy Bitcoin Gold is via AvaTrade which provides Contract for Differences (CFD’s) on Bitcoin Gold. The broker allows you to buy cryptocurrencies with a leverage position in a fairly simple process.

Buying Bitcoin Gold with Cryptocurrencies

For those looking to buy Bitcoin Gold with cryptocurrencies, you will need to go through an exchange that caters for the BTG/BTC or BTG/ETH pairing that you are looking to buy Bitcoin Gold coins with. Binance has the largest wide selection of cryptocurrencies, including BTG/BTC.

In the event that you don’t already have an existing account on an exchange and are not holding Bitcoins or Ethereum, open an account on Coinbase and purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum. Do note that, while there are higher transaction fees when purchasing with debit or credit card, the purchase is instantaneous.

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Bitcoin Gold Wallets

Regardless of how you plan on obtaining Bitcoin Gold, it will be necessary to hold it in a wallet. Like everything else in the cryptocurrency world, wallets are going through rapid change. Wallets that support the Bitcoin Gold blockchain are listed on the Bitcoin Gold website. Each has its own attributes and advantages.

The main distinction between wallets is between “hot” (online software wallets) and “cold” (offline hardware wallets). A cold wallet that is not plugged into the Internet is clearly more secure than a hot wallet that exists on a central server. Even wallets housed on personal computers that are connected to the Internet are vulnerable to attack.

Keep in mind that wallets are distinct from accounts on exchanges. While both can hold Bitcoin Gold or other cryptocurrency, accounts at exchanges are much more vulnerable to theft by hackers. This is simply because they represent a richer target. All cryptocurrency experts agree that Bitcoin Gold and other currencies should be stored in a private wallet –either hot or cold – and moved to an exchange only for trading.


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BTG – Holding and Trading

Bitcoin Gold is growing in popularity, as evidenced by the growing number of exchanges that offer it. However, it is also still very young, even under the standards by which cryptocurrencies are measured. These factors mean that the brief trading history might not be a good indication of the trading value. Still, there is one clear relationship that stands out.

The chart below from Coinmarketcap.com shows the price of Bitcoin Gold expressed in US dollars (Green line) and Bitcoin (Yellow line). There is a clear distinction before November 27, 2017, and afterward (seen as the point where the blue market cap line is calculated correctly).

Bitcoin Gold Chart
Bitcoin Gold Chart

Since this point in time, the price of Bitcoin Gold has been significantly more volatile when measured in US dollars than it has been when measured in Bitcoin. In fact, for most of 2018, the price of Bitcoin Gold has seen little movement when measured in Bitcoin.

This strongly suggests that the price of Bitcoin Gold moves directly with the price of Bitcoin. Anyone seeking to trade Bitcoin Gold based on volatility such as day traders will be disappointed if they hold Bitcoin as their reserve currency (assets that are held until a favorable buying opportunity is identified and after the targeted asset is sold).

There are two reasons for this. First, the movement in price going from Bitcoin to Bitcoin Gold is small (i.e., the yellow line is relatively flat). This leaves little opportunity for profitable trades. Second, volatility in the price of Bitcoin itself could potentially eliminate any profits made on trading Bitcoin Gold.

Holding Bitcoin Gold as a long-term asset instead of Bitcoin is also somewhat problematic. The chart indicates that the market does not perceive a significant difference between these two cryptocurrencies. Keep in mind that Bitcoin Gold has the same mission, vision, and values as Bitcoin. The developers simply feel that they have followed these standards more closely than Bitcoin.

In other words, as a cryptocurrency investment, Bitcoin Gold is fairly indistinguishable from Bitcoin. The most significant differences are the separate blockchain and the different mining technique. These are technical matters that may make a difference in market value in the future if Bitcoin Gold proves successful.

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Conclusions

Understanding these core value propositions is critical to understanding Bitcoin Gold and the investment opportunity it may represent. It is impossible to predict if these factors will materialize in an increasing market price, and even more difficult to determine if that price movement will be independent of Bitcoin. In this view Bitcoin Gold is a very similar investment to Bitcoin.

However, the most fundamental error that can be made is to assume that the current price differential between Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin will close because the two are interchangeable. This assumption ignores the “first mover” advantage of Bitcoin and the fact that the Bitcoin community does not completely support Bitcoin Gold.

The technical issues that distinguish Bitcoin Gold may prove to be inconsequential in the long-run, and the market price may continue to move with Bitcoin. It is simply too early in the development cycle of Bitcoin Gold to fully judge the situation accurately. However, to the extent that Bitcoin continues to be accepted as the premier cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Gold will not be far behind.

How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash?

Bitcoin does not exist as a physical asset, but cash does. There are currently a few bridges between the electronic world of cryptocurrencies and the physical world of cash. Please keep in mind that the marketplace for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is changing rapidly and that additional options may be available in the future.

Buying Bitcoin with Cash Only

There is an important distinction to be made before describing the ways of buying Bitcoin for cash, and that is between physical cash and bank deposits. Physical cash is cash held in your hand. Bank deposits are often treated as cash since they can be withdrawn easily or accessed electronically. The options described here are for individuals using physical cash, not bank deposits

Individuals can have a variety of reasons for choosing to buy Bitcoin with cash, including the desire to remain anonymous. One of the primary purposes of Bitcoin is to allow untraceable transactions, and individuals valuing this feature may want to start with a “blank slate”. Others may be concerned with using any type of electronic transfer over the Internet for fear of exposing their account information to hackers.

5 Ways to Buy Bitcoin for Cash

Cash transactions have their own risks, and care needs to be exercised anytime you are carrying cash. This is of particular concern since the amount of cash necessary to purchase even a small amount of Bitcoin can be significant. The risk that comes from this reality may make some of these methods more attractive than others.

LocalBitcoins is an intermediary that allows individuals to buy (and sell) Bitcoin to other individuals. It matches people based on location and provides quotes that specify price and quantities of Bitcoins available from each seller. Individuals make their own arrangements for meetings, which increases the element of risk.

The website has acknowledged that it has listed scam transactions, and fees are generally higher than on other exchanges. However, many sellers do not require any identification at all, making this a completely untraceable transaction. The website also lists online alternatives to meeting in person.

BitQuick allows matches buyers and sellers but is functionally more like an exchange. Sellers place Bitcoin into escrow and buyers deposit the funds for the purchase in the bank account of the seller. The transaction is completed when the buyer provides evidence of this deposit.

The fact that money changes hands at a bank and the parties do not meet makes this a safer transaction. However, the website does require registration with identification and is only available in the United States (excluding New York).

WallofCoins connects buyers and sellers while acting as an intermediary. It lists sellers like LocalBitcoins, but works off bank deposits like BitQuick. This means that the most convenient banking location may not be associated with a seller who offers the lowest price.

WallofCoins prices include fees, which can make comparisons with prices on other platforms more difficult. However, it also offers a live chat feature and a toll-free number for customer service. These features make it an attractive option for first-time buyers.

LibertyX is the closest any exchange comes to a retail operation. The website directs you to an affiliated retail location based on your zip code. A mobile app is available to find locations when you are on the road. The payment and transfer take place at the retail location, increasing personal security.

However, identification is required and the service is only available in the United States. In addition, the participating locations add their own fees on top of those charged by LibertyX. Each location also sets its own minimum, and there is a $1,000 maximum platform daily limit.

MyCeliumWallet is one of several mobile applications that is available through GooglePlay to buy, store and send Bitcoin. Most of the applications include a feature that allows buyers to find sellers based on location.

These applications do not act as intermediaries like other platforms listed here. The terms of the exchange are negotiated between the buyer and the seller individually, as is the price. While this increases the potential risk, it also allows the buyer to select sellers who will provide the desired level of anonymity.

Keep in mind that the cryptocurrency market is extremely dynamic, and changes in purchase limits and operational systems are taking place continually. In addition, fees are expected to experience rapid change as a new way to buy Bitcoin for cash come into the marketplace and create competition.

Bitcoin ATM’s

There is a second method of purchasing Bitcoin for cash that does not involve meeting with the seller, either in person or through an intermediary. This is the Bitcoin ATM. These are Bitcoin kiosks that are connected to the Internet and which accept cash as the means of payment.

Please note that the use of the phrase “ATM” can be confusing, as it typically associated with a bank. Bitcoin ATMs are not stand-alone tellers and are not connected to any banking institutions. Rather, they can be thought of as computers with input devices that accept currency and transfer Bitcoin to a new or existing wallet.

Several trading platforms offer Bitcoin ATMs, and the number of locations is increasing rapidly. Although they are most prevalent in the United States, most countries offer at least one location. It is not unusual to find Bitcoin ATMs located in convenience stores and gas stations in the United States since they generate revenue for the store owner with little to no maintenance.

Operation of ATMs

Because they operate on several different platforms there is no standard procedure on how to use a Bitcoin ATM. However, each version is equipped with a touchscreen and provides step-by-step instructions. Bitcoin ATMs are clearly designed for the beginning purchaser.

The basic safety precautions that apply to using any ATM also apply to using a Bitcoin ATM. These include The amount of Bitcoin that can be purchased also varies by machine.

Some Bitcoin ATMs create a new Bitcoin wallet for each purchase, and some allow the newly purchased coins to be deposited into an existing wallet. Instructions on how to select from the available options will appear on the screen. Bitcoin ATMs that do create a new wallet either as an option or by default will then print a paper wallet for each transaction.

The paper wallet is a QR or alphanumeric code that includes both the public key and the private key. The Bitcoins are actually stored on the blockchain, and the information on the paper contains all the necessary information to access them. This is vital information and should be treated carefully.


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Key Decision Points

Evaluating all these options for buying Bitcoin with cash can seem like a complicated process, but keep in mind that not all options may be available to all buyers. Some, like Bitcoin ATMs and LibertyX, are not common in rural locations. However, for buyers who have a range of options the following decision points may be helpful.

Safety Comes First

It is reasonable to put personal safety at the top of the list of considerations when purchasing Bitcoin for cash. In general, as buying and owning cryptocurrencies might be risky, there are some methods and tips to secure your device and crypto coins. Meeting an unknown person to transact business is more concerning for some individuals than others. These concerns are highlighted by the fact that many exchanges that facilitate meeting in person stress that it is advisable to bring someone along.

Quantity

Each of the different methods of buying Bitcoin for cash has a different lower and upper limit on the amount that can be purchased. This is clearly a determining factor in choosing a platform. Like the rest of the Bitcoin market, these limits are changing quickly and should be reviewed at the appropriate website before selecting an option.

Price

References to the “price of Bitcoin” are slightly misleading. The market for Bitcoin has different prices. A review of the options for personal sales, as an example, shows Bitcoin offered at various prices. Other platforms have only a single price. The volatility of the price at the time of purchase may make one option more attractive.

Fees

Fees are difficult to evaluate because they are not always transparent. Of course, this is unfortunate since lower transaction fees are attractive. However, given the difficulty and the variation in price among platforms, the most sensible approach may be to look at the total cost of the transaction rather than the level of fees charged.

Convenience

This factor can mean both the location of and travel time to the exchange or Bitcoin ATM, but it can also mean the level of anonymity provided by the platform. Some purchasers will prefer to travel in order not to provide identification. For others the safety

Balancing these factors means that there is no “best” way to buy Bitcoin for cash. The developing market has created a range of options that, depending on location, may make it possible for most buyers to find the venue that meets their needs. As the market continues to grow, the platforms described here will continue to expand and other options may become available.

The Complete Guide to Litecoin: How to Buy LTC?

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is often referred to as Bitcoin’s little brother. It is a peer-to-peer internet currency that enables instant near-zero cost payments to the world. The cryptocurrency, like others, is an open source global payment that is completely decentralized without any central authority. Mathematics plays an important part in securing the network and allows individuals to control their finances.

With substantial industry support, liquidity and trade volume, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce that complements Bitcoin. What sets it apart is that the Litecoin blockchain is capable of handling higher transaction volume than bitcoin.

as of the time of writing, Litecoin seems like a worthwhile investment. Some governments have even come around to accepting it. There is a clear trend of a surge in cryptocurrency investments such as Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Ripple, and Ethereum. For instance, Russia is attempting to legitimize cryptocurrency as it would help the government to crack down on money laundering.

Why is Litecoin Better than Bitcoin?

One of the major differences that set apart Bitcoin and Litecoin is their proof of work algorithm. Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm, which involves calculations that can be greatly accelerated in parallel processing. Litecoin, on the other hand, uses the script algorithm. Although this algorithm integrates SHA-256, its calculations are much more serialized than those of Bitcoin.

Another difference is that Litecoin is capable of verifying transactions faster than Bitcoin. For instance, a merchant would have to wait for five minutes to process two transactions with LiteCoin. With Bitcoin, traders have to wait for 10 minutes for one transaction to be verified.

How to Buy Litecoin via Exchanges?

Same as other popular cryptocurrencies, there are two ways to purchase Litecoin via exchanges. The first option being with other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT, etc. The second option to buy Litecoin is with fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP). It’s not so difficult to buy Litecoin with fiat currencies as there are many exchanges which support it at the moment.

Below is a step by step guide to buying Litecoin via exchanges:

Step 1 – Getting a Litecoin Wallet

Getting a LiteCoin wallet is the prerequisite of trading with this form of cryptocurrency. Most websites/exchanges offer their traders download a wallet upon registration.

Another way to get Litecoin wallets is by signing into litecoin.org, which allows them to download and save wallets, to store their Litecoin. Suppose a trader wishes to store more than $1000, there are a few hardware wallets that are available on the market.

Step 2 – Find Exchange that Supports Litecoin

Surprisingly, there is no dearth of Litecoin exchanges where one can trade this cryptocurrency in exchange for dollars or Bitcoins. For those who are interested to buy Litecoin via exchanges that support Litecoin purchase with fiat currencies, Exmo and Bitfinex provide this service.

For those who search for an exchange that supports Litecoin with other cryptocurrencies, Binance would be the most recommended exchange as it has a wide selection of cryptos.

In the case you prefer to buy Litecoin with cryptocurrencies, however, you do not own any cryptocurrency, then enter Coinbase, open an account, follow the instructions and you are ready to go.

Step 3 – Buy and Sell Litecoin

Now, after you opened the digital wallet and an account in one of the exchanges that support Litecoin, you can start trading Litecoin. Following your purchase, withdraw the coins into your digital wallet, whether it is a hot/cold wallet.

Litecoin Trading Through CFD’s

Litecoin is a vast open-source network and is a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. However, in this context, the topic is purely for trading in Litecoin. As discussed above, exchanges are one way of going about it. Another way to trade Litecoin is through a contract for difference (CFD’s). When a trader engages in a contract with an exchange, there is an agreement drawn up between the two parties the difference in starting Litecoin price and ending price will be settled between them.

One of the brokers that provide the option to trade Litecoin is Plus500 (*76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money, Availability subject to regulation). The broker allows you to leverage the position as well as to short (bet on a decrease in Litecoin’s value) the coin. Plus500 (*76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money)also provide you a leverage position on Litecoin. Note that when you trade through a CFD broker you do not own any agreement or possessing the coin but speculate Litecoin’s price fluctuations.


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Litecoin Mining

There are different ways to mine Litecoin. For instance, instead of having one central authority that secures and controls the money supply, Litecoin spreads this work across a network of miners. Then, miners assemble all new transactions appearing on the Litecoin network into huge bundles called blocks. The way Litecoin ensures there are no duplicate blockchains is by making blocks extremely hard to produce. Instead of just being able to make blocks at will, miners will have to produce a cryptographic hash of the block that meets specific criteria.

These days, more people tend to rely more on mining pools as mining independently can lead to over-utilization of a lot of resources which simply does not seem like a worthy investment. Mining pools were invented to share processing power so that miners can find blocks much faster. Pool users earn shares by sharing proof of work and they are rewarded accordingly.

However, if a trader is determined to mine on his own, then Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) devices are the best bet because they come integrated with pre-installed mining software. They also require little to no configuration.

Ther are many ways to mine Litecoin as it is currently one of the most profitable cryptocurrencies to mine. If you wish to mine Litecoin, research deeply, through articles, videos, and forums to find out the best way for you to mine Litecoin.

Litecoin ATMs

Litecoin ATMs seem to be in great demand lately. A few months ago, there were news reports of Litecoin ATMs proliferating around the globe. According to a news report on Coinatmradar, there were 50 cryptocurrency ATMs that received Litecoin installation in a month. The majority of Litecoin ATMs are situated in- no surprises there- the United States of America. Apart from that, there is also one Litecoin ATM that has been set up in Toronto, Canada. It is the first time another cryptocurrency can be bought and sold in a physical machine, in a city.

Conclusion

With Bitcoin, reaching a temporary stagnant phase, other forms of cryptocurrencies are jumping into the fray. Ethereum, Litecoin, ripple, and IOTA have reached new highs lately and opened up a new conversation as to a new alternative to the traditional money system. Litecoin as purely a form of cryptocurrency was introduced to address the gaping flaws in Bitcoin. Lately, people are also taking note of this cryptocurrency and that was part of its rising in price in 2017.

The Ultimate Guide to Buy Ethereum (ETH); All You Need to Know

Being the second most popular cryptocurrency is no mean feat especially if you are not a mere imitation of the master.

Ethereum has charted a beautiful but risky path to distinguish itself from Bitcoin and claim its place as a unique blockchain.

But how?

In this guide, we will discover all about Ethereum (ETH).

What is Ethereum?

The Buterin Story

When Bitcoin was getting all sorts of attention as a breakthrough in the scaling of digital currencies in 2011, a father brought the earth-shaking blockchain technology to the mathematical genius who was his teenage son.

Dmitry Buterin may not have known at the time, but his son, Vitalik Buterin, would evolve in a few short years to co-found and spearhead the most disruptive blockchain after Bitcoin, known as Ethereum.

At the time, Vitalik was a student and a tech blogger who was brought up in Canada.

Mihai Elisie, 23, who was working in Poland at the time, had noticed Vitalik’s unique writing in crypto blogs. He asked the young Buterin to join him in founding Bitcoin Magazine. The young lad promptly accepted and became the magazine’s chief techie writer.

Later, after conceptualizing the massive potential proposed by Satoshi’s invention, Buterin dropped out of college, contacted and started working with Dr. Gavin Wood to develop Ethereum. The Programming started in 2013 and, by January 2014, The Ethereum Blockchain was introduced to the world.

With it, Vitalik Buterin changed the Distributed Ledger technology… for the better, for good.

Definition of Ethereum

Put simply, Ethereum is a source of all sorts of open source (or free) applications that are based on the blockchain technology.

Applications enabling transactions that cannot be altered because of the immutable and decentralized nature of the blockchain is a huge addition to blockchain technology, especially when its innovation promises the immutable digitization of the world’s assets that do not directly involve money. Such applications were first made possible on the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum is therefore introduced as the blockchain that would ‘do for everything else what Bitcoin did for money.

The Ethereum Community

The blockchain has a very dynamic community. It consists of individuals and organizations, working together to develop and secure the network. These entities collectively assist in the realization of the Ethereum dream. They include;

  • Core developers: Vitalik Buterin leads a team of developers who are dedicated to the implementation of the wishes of the rest of the community through hard coding of agreed rules into the cryptographic algorithms that created the blockchain.
  • The miners; Though the blockchain is moving from mining to staking, miners run the nodes that confirm transactions, update the ledger and secure the platform.
  • Independent Developers; Creators of the smart contracts and the dApps, independent developers give life to the blockchain.
  • Researchers who are the technical capability of the blockchain’s fraternity to dream and bring complex ideas into context.
  • Clients: The reasons why any blockchain is formed. They make the transactions and give the blockchain life.
  • Organizations: The blockchain is funded and facilitated by organizations that use the decentralized applications.

How to Buy Ethereum (ETH) – A Step-by-Step Guide

Buying Ether is amazingly simple due to its popularity. It has three steps.

Step 1 – Get an Ethereum Wallet

Before you buy your ether, you need to either buy or install the wallet on which to store your ether.

There are various types of wallets that can hold Ethereum. For the Ethereum official wallet click here.

Ethereum Hardware wallets are the most secure way of storing Ether. The main ones are Ledger and TREZOR.

Electrum Software wallets are ideal for starters who may have little holdings or no funds to buy hardware wallets. They are free software wallets but are less secure because they are often connected to the internet and can, therefore, be hacked. The main ones are Exodus, Jaxx, and MyEtherWallet.

Step 2 – Buy Ether from the best exchanges

Many exchanges provide Ethereum (ETH). In this article, we review the processes for Coinbase and Binance.

Acquire Ethereum with Credit Card through Coinbase

Coinbase is the largest Bitcoin broker in the world. However, it also offers Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin.

After signing up and going through the security authentication, you can then Log in and deposit fiat currency. Finally, go to the buy/sell button to acquire your ETH.

Coinbase will keep refreshing the devices you use to access your account through email verification, even after the verification step after sign-in. This is a welcome added security feature.

Coinbase is available in 32 countries worldwide, mainly in Europe, Canada, the US, and Singapore.

Buying Ethereum (ETH) at Binance

Being a crypto-to-crypto exchange, the main way to acquire Ethereum at Binance would be to import Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies that you previously own) and use the funds to purchase Eth.

Enter Binance, get to the site registration page where you put in your details and password. Then log in to Binance.

You will have to go to your email to click on the verification code sent to you on email.

Binance will take you to the 2FA page, where you use the Google Authenticator on your mobile device to provide you with a constantly updating authentication code. It provides increased security.
Once in Binance, go to ‘funds’ – ‘Deposits and withdrawals’;

Scroll down and find BTC and click on the corresponding deposit button.

binance deposit and withdrawls

Import Funds and Buy Ethereum

You will be given the BTC Address on which to send your funds. Do not send any crypto to an address belonging to another.

Binance will deposit your BTC immediately after 30 confirmations.

Once you have the funds on Binance, proceed to Exchange – Basic and select the Eth pairing as follows;

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Once the pair is selected, go to the dashboard below the graph on the exchange.

Buy as much Eth as you can afford with the BTC you have on the platform.

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Step 3 – Transfer your crypto to your secure wallet

No crypto is entirely safe on an exchange or online wallet. Sending ETH to the chosen offline wallet is an important and easy step that protects your holding.

Trading Ethereum Through CFD’s 

CFD stands for Contracts for Difference. This means that you can open a trading position to speculate on the increase or decrease of an asset you don’t necessarily own, by leveraging a percentage of the price.

Plus500 (*76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money)offers Ethereum CFD trading along with other cryptocurrencies. The broker has endeavored to be regulated in many jurisdictions, with the current ones being the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

To open an account via Plus500 is a simple process and all requires is a minimum deposit of 100 USD/EUR/GBP to open an account.

Once you apply, you can deposit your funds and start trading. You get to explore on your own.

However, you cannot send your crypto to another wallet from a forex exchange; you can only cash out to fiat.

Technologies Supported by Ethereum

Ethereum Smart Contracts

A smart contract is a cryptographic computer protocol that facilitates, monitors, verifies or enforces the execution of an agreement immutably and exactly as programmed. It accomplishes this without the burden of expensive and inefficient third parties and human error.

It carries the potential of eliminating most need for lawyers, auditors, witnesses, banks, experts, governments or trustees.

With the blockchain technology, witnesses become honest nodes operating anonymously in the distributed network, across the world, executing hard-coded consensus algorithms to satisfy themselves that all the conditions for executing the agreement have been met, and hence enabling the contract to execute expected outcomes.

Introducing the technology in 1994, Nick Szabo envisioned a way of creating trackable and irreversible contract outcomes by use of a computer protocol that would be superior to pen and paper contracts.

According to him, smart contracts would;

  • facilitate mutual monitoring of both parties’ performance inside the contract,
  • Verify the successful completion of a contract, or of a condition therein.
  • guarantee selective distribution of contractual details to ensure only necessary information is passed
  • be self-enforcing and autonomously deployable to minimize human intervention.

In 2009, Satoshi provided the first successful use-case for smart contracts when he created the blockchain.

With it, he ensured the security of smart contracts’ outcomes through the decentralized Byzantine Fault Tolerant (dBFT) algorithm,  made possible by the distributed nature of the blockchain.

He made it possible to assure privity, anonymity, observability, and enforceability of smart contracts like the ones that run Bitcoin.

Soon, Vitalik Buterin posited that Ethereum would use the technology to bring any business to the blockchain.

Ethereum Decentralized Applications (dApps)

dApps, as they are commonly known, are programs that are designed to do for ‘everything’ what bitcoin did for money. They are complex smart contracts, or many smart contracts working in harmony.

We can, therefore, say that decentralized applications are computer software programs that are deployed on a blockchain to perform more complex tasks than smart contracts.

Dapps have self-incentivizing features (i.e., have resident tokens that fuel its operation) and run on the distributed ledger technology. Anything short of this is not a Dapp. It is just computer software.

What are decentralized autonomous organizations or DAOs?

Calling a DAO a company can be confusing, though it is tempting. A DAO is simply a for-profit entity that exists on a distributed network, working autonomously, and relying on hiring humans to perform certain tasks that cannot be automated.

A consensus is achieved through voting on who to employ, what to do, how to spend money, how to share profits etc.

Ethereum members created the inaugural DAO in May 2016, bullishly named ‘The DAO‘. However, it died a premature death due to a security breach in August of the same year that drained it of $50 million worth of Eth before the blockchain hard forked to stem the theft.

This was the first indication that the technology would not be deployed as easily as originally thought due to security.

Ethereum vs. Bitcoin: How is Ethereum Different than Bitcoin?

Bitcoin Recap

As he labored hard to break the age-old kleptocracy that existed in the governance of money, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto had no illusions that he was onto an explosive but necessary odyssey.

We paid him no heed when, in 2009 January, he brought the blockchain to the world.

He would often plead with fellow cryptographers to participate in bitcoin mining. By May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, one of the geeks, made the first ever purchase of a good with bitcoin, and the era of cryptocurrencies begun.

Since then, bitcoin has gone through it all to record one of the most incredible appreciation records of any asset in trading history.

It has suffered staff desertion (including Satoshi himself), price dumps and hard forks.

It has enjoyed price hikes, been targeted by all manner of regulators, and fought off crime abetting claims to record a high of almost $20,000 by December 2017.

And that is huge, considering that bitcoin achieved dollar parity only in February 2011.

As the gold standard of cryptocurrencies, no altcoin coin has ever surpassed it in market capitalization or unit price.

Ethereum and Bitcoin: Comparison of the Blockchains

When you look at the two blockchain use cases, the niches are stark in contrast, and this is instructive when understanding the different opportunities they hold for different interested parties.

A quick pairing of the two cryptocurrencies gives us a clear picture of the main differences as depicted below;

Feature Bitcoin Ethereum
Current Price $ 8,053.00 $ 809.00
Market Cap $ 136 Billion $ 80 Billion
Consensus Algorithm Proof of Work Proof of Stake
Current Market Dominance 35% 17%
Current Supply 16.8 Million 97 million
Total Availability 21Million Not Defined
Block Size 1 MB N/A. Uses gas limit so block sizes can vary
Block Time 10 minutes 10-20 seconds
Transaction per Second 7 15
Decentralization Achieved Achieved
Coin Creation Distributed Mining Proof of Stake
Main Feature Cash Transfer Smart Contracts and Dapps
Year of Creation 2009 2014
Price on Jan 1st, 2016 $ 434.33 $ 0.948
Price on Jan 1st, 2017 $ 1,003.08 $ 8.18
Price on Jan 1st, 2018 $ 14,112.12 $ 773

Ethereum’s main objective is to enable the creation of decentralized applications that will reshape main global markets and bring them to the trust less unassuming distributed mainstream. It, therefore, allows for other blockchains to be built on it.

Bitcoin seems primarily solves the problem of expensive and slow transfer of money, worldwide. While Bitcoin chooses a decentralized ledger


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How can you Spend/Use Ether?

Ether is mainly designed to work as the fuel that allows you to access the Ethereum Blockchain. It may not scale into a mainstream currency, but is a good bet for crypto speculators.

Being the main gateway for most ERC20 tokens which account for most of the crypto coins, Eth is a good bet for increased demand as we delve deeper into the decentralized application era, and owning it at the right time is a good thing.

This means that Eth can be used for many applications that deal with anything from gaming, entertainment, medical, and a myriad of other dApps.

ICO’s and Ethereum

Due to the decentralized applications that are possible on its blockchain, Ethereum has enabled the onset of online crowd sales for business ideas that scale to become profitable.

Ideas that would never have been funded by banks and other traditional financial institutions of yesterday.

When an idea like that is broadcast to the public, and a date for the crowd sale is announced, it is known as an initial coin offering. Or an ICO, which is a play on the more mainstream IPO.

Final Thoughts

Ethereum is easily the broadest crypto to understand. It has a very elaborate and well-structured growth curve.

When the Casper algorithm is finally established, the blockchain promises very good prospects for growth.

However, it must be said here and now that all investments in crypto are risky, and no information presented in this article should be taken as solid financial advice.

What is Binance (BNB) Coin and How to Buy it?

Before We Start

Digital cryptocurrency is a form of money that is accepted internationally does not depend on governments and central banks to cross borders. Hence, these currencies are decentralized. Currently, more people adopt this new form of money as its value is preserved, and can be an alternative to gold and to the most traditional way of fiat currencies.

If you are new to cryptocurrency, it is worth mentioning that the revolution has come a long way. While we think that the crypto trade is at its peak, we are probably mistaken since the crypto market is everblooming with new and innovative digital coins and tokens.

The virtual currencies are being introduced into the global digital market at an unprecedented rate. There is a rising interest in the digital currencies, making the trading arena to be incredibly dynamic.

What is Binance (BNB)?

Binance comes from the words “Binary” and “Finance.” It has 2 meanings.

  • It is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • The BNB Coin is a cryptocurrency which can be used as an intermediary when exchanging money, from one crypto-coin to another.

In 2017, ChangPeng Zhao founded a Chinese company called Beijie Technology. Beijie is the holding company which runs Binance exchange. It is currently headquartered in Hong Kong. Zhao, together with the Binance team, has worked to boost the growth of the platform into one of the most successful exchanges in the world.

The Binance (BNB) Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

To fund the creation of the exchange platform, Zhao, and his team developed a token and raised funds through an Initial Coin Offering. The ICO lasted for about a month, raising some $15 million. This was enough for paying startup expenses like hiring new developers, marketing, and bolstering the security of the exchange servers.

The BNB token can be used for paying the transaction fees incurred while exchanging the digital coins. For instance, if you want to convert your Litecoins to Bitcoin, you would need to pay some transaction fee (by receiving a slightly less amount of BTC than expected).

The Binance Token was innovative. Users who bought the token and used it as a means of paying the transaction fees were rewarded with a 50% discount. Most users would take advantage of the tokens to buy more Bitcoin or other major altcoins – and got some great returns.

The excellent management of the exchange platform helped bring in millions of users. The coin exchange space was competitive, but Binance has risen to be among the top 3 on the market. Most of the days, it is the largest exchange worldwide by volume traded.

How to Buy the Binance (BNB) Coin?

There are two scenarios that we should consider if you want to buy Binance (BNB) Tokens.

  • How to buy BNB tokens in the case you already own another cryptocurrency
  • The process to follow if you do not previously own any crypto coins.

I Own Bitcoin, Ethereum or Other Altcoins. How Do I Buy BNB?

Your procedure would be simple – just exchange your coins for an equivalent value of BNB. Here is the procedure. Let’s assume you have Cardano (ADA) or Ripple (XRP).

Step 1 – Create an Account on Binance

To create an account, go to the registration page here. You need:

  • Your email address (to an email client that you can access).
  • A strong password.

You fill in the registration form and solve an easy puzzle (to verify that you are human) and voila! You are good to go. An email confirmation will be sent to you. Once you click it, you can move on to the next step.

It is important to read the verification email carefully since it gives you basic security tips (like not giving your password to anybody).

binance

The next step is to log in and get started with the account. You will need to read some more tips on handling your account.

binance - Safety Risk

Click the checkbox to the right of each tip to show that you have understood it. After ticking all of them, you can proceed.

Step 2 – Enable the 2 Factor Authentication (2FA)

The 2FA is a method of ensuring that only one person, you, accesses the account anytime. It helps to protect your account from hackers or online conmen and scammers. Binance holds funds for you and millions of users and takes security very seriously.

Fortunately, enabling 2FA is very easy as you only need to install an app on your mobile phone which will always generate a code for you when logging into the account.

If you do not wish to install an app (or if you are unable to), you can use SMS for receiving a code whenever you log in.

binanace 4

You could always skip this step for later. However, skipping it will mean you remain unverified and hence your withdrawal limit will be low.

bnb 5

Step 3 – Account Verification

Next, you might want to verify yourself if you want to withdraw coins later. Verification involves sending a timestamped picture of yourself with an identification document.

You could opt to skip this step and go directly to depositing coins.

Step 4 – Depositing Your Coins to Binance

We had started off with the assumption that you already have some Cardano (ADA) or Ripple (XRP) coins. Note that the process is similar with any other crypto coin. Let’s take Cardano as an example.

Cardano

First, go to the “Funds” tab.

bnb exchange

Type the Coin’s international symbol in the search box. In Cardano’s case, type ADA.

bnb 8

Next, click “Copy Address” and go to the wallet which has your ADA tokens. Send the coins to the address you copied from your Binance account. Please double check that you are sending ADA coins, not something else – since you could lose money if you sent a different type of coin.

After depositing it, your money might show up immediately on the exchange balance. You can check it in the “Funds” tab above.

It is available that you wait for 15 confirmations on the Cardano Blockchain explorer before making any more transactions.

Once it shows up on your balance, you can trade it for BTC, XRP or any other coin available on the exchange. In the rare case that your deposit did not reflect on the dashboard, it could mean 2 things:

  • The transaction is incomplete
  • The blockchain is congested due to high traffic.

Step 5 – Exchanging the Coins

Now that you have successfully deposited the funds, it’s time to change the coins into BNB. In the Binance trading platform, go to the “Exchange” tab and look for the pair to trade.

binanace 9

For convenience, choose “Basic” dashboard, instead of “Advanced.”

binanace 10

Choose BNB and proceed with trading. You will sell your ADA or XRP for BNB. When buying the BNB, you will use percentages to calculate how much you want of your money to be changed to BNB.

For instance, if you want all of the funds that you deposited to be converted to Binance coins, you will choose to sell 100%.

I Don’t Have any Cryptocurrency, How can I Buy Binance (BNB) Coins?

Since Binance doesn’t accept “real world” or fiat currencies like the USD or Chinese Yuan, you will need to buy some cryptocurrency first. It is recommended that you purchase the most liquid and stable currencies out there, such as:

  • Bitcoin (Bitcoin Cash or Gold)
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Ripple

To do so, you will need to get them from a crypto exchange that is permitted in your country. For example, if you live in the USA, Australia, Singapore or Europe, you can use Coinbase. If you are located in another country, you should find a verified service that can serve you. Coinmama is one of the biggest exchanges in terms of reach.

Once you have your coins, you can head to Binance and follow the procedure outlined above.

Why Buy the Binance Coin? The BNB Qualities

Here are Some Great Reasons to Buy Binance (BNB) Coins

  • Low cost

BNB is favorable in buying other coins in place of Bitcoin because it is quite affordable. You can freely trade BNB currency on the Binance platform.

  • Supply and Demand

Supply and demand determine the growth of the value of a currency in a digital exchange. Bitcoin gained value due to its 21 million supply cap. In the same way, 99 million BNB coins are already in the market, and with its fast spreading fame, its supply decreases. This will have a good effect on the coin’s future.

  • Community trust

Binance is evidently one of the most trusted coins out there, due to its ease of operation and a high withdrawal limit of $30,000. Investors are drawing more confidence in BNB due to its minimal security issues. It was built with the robust, ERC 20 principles and its affiliation with the NEO coin has a direct impact on the growth of BNB.

  • Growth

As the Binance platform grows in value, BNB currency equally grows. It has infrastructure that is as strong as Bitcoin’s protocol.

Where to Buy and Store BNB?

BNB coins are available on the Binance Exchange and Ether Delta since it is ERC20 compliant. You can buy it from either source.

It is recommended that you do not keep the coins on any exchange platform after buying them. Immediately they hit your account. You should transfer it to a safe place – like a cold wallet. The reason for this is that exchanges are soft targets for hackers these days, and people with their coins stored on them are sitting ducks.

MyEtherWallet and Trezor Wallet are the best options available for safekeeping of the BNB coins when withdrawn from the active exchange.

The Future of BNB Token

The Binance Team has provided lots of incentives for people to adopt their tokens and use their exchange as the user default. It has used contests, rebates and more alluring methods to attract investors to use the platform.

Binance Coin Prediction

Many investors who are using BNB for trading and speculation are reaping the benefits of discounts through a healthy ROI. BNB exhibits all characteristics of a flourishing asset. Analytic simulation of the short-term returns, using Monte Carlo simulation shows more than a 50 percent likelihood that BNB will maintain healthy growth in 2018.

In addition, Binance periodical technical analysis indicates that the cryptocurrency is likely to be an excellent long-term object of investment. There is an anticipated rise in the long-term value of the crypto-coin, and a five-year price prediction for BNB is more than $31.978.

A Small Caveat

You need comprehensive historical data for making informed investment choices, as you would do in the stocks & bonds. Cryptocurrencies just like the fiat currencies are subject to economic tides and the global market volatilities.

The Last Word

The future of Binance is quite bright. As an exchange, it has ultra-fast speed. In fact, the technology underlying Binance is also powering more than 30 exchanges in Asia. The people running this company are very competent and have several hundreds of years of experience in finance between them. Its future outlook certainly seems to be bright.

As for the coin, it is something worth adding to your portfolio. The coins are quite compelling and when watched closely, can give nice returns. Just be sure not to invest more than you are comfortable with investing and “hodling”.

How to Buy Verge (XVG): The Ultimate Guide

How to Buy Verge (XVG)? – A Step-by-Step Guide

The first step in the process of buying Verge is to set up a Verge wallet that can store your Verge (XVG) coins following the purchase. The wallet will also be used when looking to sell XVG coins, where the coins need to be transferred to the exchange for sale, or to a merchant in the event of a purchase.

Step 1 – Create Verge (XVG) Digital Wallet

When deciding on a wallet, as with all other cryptocurrencies, it is advised to choose a wallet that has been recommended by the cryptocurrency’s website.

On the Verge website a number of wallets have been recommended, catering for MAC, Windows and Linux users as well as for OSX and Android mobile phones.

In addition to the preferred tab, which has a number of wallets to choose from, there are also individual tabs that separate wallets by desktop, mobile and other, though we would recommend downloading from the preferred tab for obvious reasons.

Verge has also provided the option to download Verge blockchain in order to speed up the process of setting up for holding XVG coins if an Electrum wallet is not chosen. The fact that additional steps are required in case an Electrum wallet is not used, suggests that an Electrum wallet is the best option, the only downside being that Electrum wallets are currently incompatible with android phones.

Once the wallet has been downloaded to your desktop, unzip the file and run the executable, in the Electrum Wizard, select ‘Create New Wallet’ and ‘Standard Wallet’ assuming that you are not looking for a wallet that requires multi-user and significantly higher security characteristics.

At this point, you will receive a ‘seed’ for the wallet, which needs to be stored and backed up somewhere safe as this is needed to restore your wallet in event of a loss of the wallet.

The next step in the wallet process is to enter a password, that is also particularly important and if you forget it, will result in the loss of your coins.

Once the wallet is open, select the receive tab and copy the receiving address to a file for safekeeping, as you will need this address when buying your XVG coins.

Step 2 – Buy Verge (XVG) Coin

With the wallet now created, there are two ways in which you can buy the XVG coins. One option would be to buy Verge (XVG) with fiat currencies, with the second option being to buy with another cryptocurrency.

Buying Verge (XVG) with Fiat Currencies

While not many exchanges cater for the purchase of Verge (XVG) with fiat currencies, HitBTC does provide for an XVG/USD pairing for those looking to purchase with fiat currencies.

Buying Verge (XVG) with Cryptocurrencies

For those looking to buy Verge with cryptocurrencies, you will need to go through an exchange that caters for the XVG/Altcoin pairing that you are looking to buy the Verge coins with. By volume, Binance has the largest market share, with Binance’s XVG/BTC accounting for just over 44% of total Verge trading volumes. On this basis, we would, therefore, recommend Binance as the preferred exchange for Verge and the XVG/BTC pairing.

Below is a Step-by-Step guide to buying Verge (XVG) with other cryptocurrencies:

  1. In the event that you don’t already have an existing account on an exchange and are not holding Bitcoins or Ethereum, open an account on Coinbase and purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum. Do note that, while there are higher transaction fees when purchasing with debit or credit card, the purchase is instantaneous.
  2. After purchasing your Bitcoin from one of the above exchanges, sign into Binance and open an account. (Remember to always use strong passwords and also enable the 2FA option when prompted).
  3. Withdraw your BTC from the chosen exchange and transfer them to the newly opened Binance. This can be achieved by selecting the funds’ tab and choose “Deposits Withdrawals.” In the search box, type ‘Bitcoin’ or Ethereum that will provide a list of wallets for Bitcoin or Ethereum and select ‘Deposit.’ Copy the BTC deposit address from the newly created Binance account and paste it into the exchange from where the Bitcoins are to be withdrawn, by selecting ‘Send’. The transfer can take up to an hour depending upon backlogs and Binance will send you an update once your Binance wallet receives the Bitcoins.
  4. Upon notification, go to the Binance trading platform and search for XVG/BTC and complete the XVG purchase with your Bitcoins.
  5. Once purchased, you can locate your newly purchased XVG coins in the Deposits ‘Withdrawals’ tab located in the ‘Funds’ section. We would recommend not leaving your XVG coins on the exchange and transfer them to your recently downloaded Verge Electrum wallet. Select ‘Withdrawal’, enter the details and select submit. Remember that you had already saved your Verge Electrum wallet address safely. The XVG coins will then transfer from Binance to your Verge Electrum wallet and will remain there until you wish to sell them.

What is Verge?

Verge Currency is a decentralized currency based on an open-source platform, with no central control over the coin, founded in 2014 under the name DogeCoinDark. In 2016, it was rebranded to Verge Currency.

Verge is a 100% open-source software, with development and marketing efforts supported by thousands of its community members and is not a private company funded through an ICO or pre-mining.

Verge is a cryptocurrency that has been designed for everyday use. Verge originated directly from Bitcoin, with the Verge team making a number of improvements to the original blockchain technology so that it can achieve its goal of providing individuals and businesses with a fast, efficient and decentralized way of making direct transactions while ensuring personal privacy.

Compared with Bitcoin’s 10-minute block-times, Verge has up to a 30-second block-time capable of supporting up to 100 transactions per second, significantly greater than the 7 transactions per second with Bitcoin.

Additionally, while Bitcoin miners can only use the advanced ASICS hardware, Verge miners are able to mine on CPUs, while also being able to mine on some GPUs and ASICs hardware, with Verge’s proof-of-work algorithms bringing mining to the entire mining community.

The Verge Mission is to empower people around the world by bringing blockchain transactions into everyday life.

With Verge currency, businesses and individuals have flexible options for sending and receiving payments at the flick of a switch, with tools on offer that are capable of handling both large and small transactions between merchants and private payments.

Verge Features

Verge’s blockchain protocol uses proof-of-work algorithms, with verification carried out by decentralized nodes in Verge’s multiple anonymity-centric networks such as TOR and I2P. Within Verge’s network, each node connects to the network over TOR (The Onion Router).

Tor is a global network of servers that allows users to browse the internet anonymously. When browsing the internet over TOR, each search is bounced across a number of servers, which obfuscate the IP address of the user, ensuring that transactions with Verge’s blockchain tech are completely untraceable.

With significantly faster transaction times and capable of handling a vastly higher number of transactions per second, not to mention the increased privacy, the Verge platform is ready for mass adoption.

Verge’s Tor Android Wallet offers mobile anonymity that is a unique feature among the privacy-orientated.

The maximum supply of Verge Currency is capped at 16.5bn XVG. The total supply is on the higher side to facilitate convenient payment amounts for everyday use, while also making it harder to control a large portion of the total supply.

Because there was no ICO or pre-mine, the Verge team do not hold a significant amount of XVG coins that can affect coin distribution or total circulation.

While the privacy offering is already significant, the Verge team is currently working on its Wraith Protocol that is expected to materially enhance the privacy attributes, by allowing for the user to opt for transactions to be either public or private. Enabling the Wraith Protocol in a Verge Wallet would generate an address that cannot be traced back to the user’s Verge address.

The Verge team has also been working on introducing Smart Contracts with RSK technology that is also expected to lead to transaction capacity to surge to 2,000 transactions per second.

Features that are particular to Verge can, therefore, be summarised as:

  • Proof-of-work algorithm working best with CPUs and some GPU and ASICs hardware, leveling the playing field for miners.
  • Particularly fast transaction times of between 5 and 10 seconds depending upon the load of the network.
  • A Sizeable transaction capacity, which is projected to hit 2,000 transactions per second on the rollout of RSK.
  • Enhanced privacy offering, with the next milestone being the release of Wraith Protocol that gives the user the option to transact publicly or privately.

Verge Best Digital Wallets

Digital wallets are virtual wallets that allow coin holders to hold their cryptocurrencies away from the exchange from which they were purchased, with coin holders also able to send and receive cryptocurrencies from the wallet to exchanges or merchants.

It is possible for a coin holder to store coins on an exchange, but it is not advisable, with coins at risk of cyber-theft from hackers.

In the case of Verge, there are two types of wallets that XVG coin holders can use: QT and/or Electrum, as indicated by the team. The team also recommends that an Electrum wallet is used for everyday users.

Electrum is described as an open-source Bitcoin lite wallet solution. A Verge Electrum wallet, which was hard forked from the Electrum wallet, focuses on speed and low resource usage. Simple Payment Verification (SPV) technology is used that verifies transactions on the Verge blockchain without needing to download the entire blockchain.

As highlighted earlier, other digital wallets recommended by the Verge team require the entire blockchain to be downloaded.

The SPV technology speeds up transaction times from 30 seconds to around 5 seconds.

The alternative QT wallet requires the entire Verge blockchain to be downloaded and the device on which the wallet is stored will need to have enough storage capacity to not only handle the 1GB blockchain, but its growth as more transactions are made.

An added incentive to go with the Verge Electrum Wallet is that no back up is needed, only retaining the 9-word ‘seedphrase’ in a secure place is sufficient and preferably in hard copy so that it cannot be stolen by hackers.


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Verge Exchanges

There are a number of exchanges that support Verge XVG, with the largest by volume of trade being Binance with Bittrex coming in second. Combined, the two accounted for more than 80% of total XVG transactions over the last 24-hours.

By currency, the largest trading was with Bitcoin, followed by Ethereum and then USDT.

Other exchanges include HitBTC; CoinSwitch and Cryptopia.

Why can Verge be a top Leading Cryptocurrency?

For cryptocurrency investors, anonymity remains a major concern, as the markets remain sensitive to regulations and bans news.

Regulators and governments have already established ways to link Bitcoin users to their wallet addresses, which allows governments and regulators to track individual transactions.

Verge has taken Bitcoin’s blockchain technology and made improvements to its privacy characteristics, by incorporating Tor and i2P networks that maintain the anonymity of Verge users, easing the concerns that Bitcoin holders continue to face.

With significantly faster transaction times and transaction times that are impressive, to say the least, the future looks bright for Verge.

The Verge team has already made ground, with a number of vendors accepting Verge Currency and with the far superior transaction times, Verge will likely see the list grow in the coming months and become a real threat to Bitcoin in particular.

One uncertainty will be the issue of anonymity and whether governments will permit the continued use of anonymous buying of cryptocurrencies from exchanges and what this could mean for Verge and its privacy protocols.

The good news for Verge investors is that the Wraith Protocol should address this, with privacy settings in the control of the coin holder, allowing for Verge to be bought and sold in South Korea once the ban is imposed.

How to Pick the Right ICO Investments: The Essential Guide

Initial coin offerings have become the norm when companies want to raise money to fund their projects. For investors, it’s an opportunity to get tokens that can then be sold later on at a profit. With hundreds of ICOs coming up every other year, it is critical that an investor knows what to do once they decide to invest.

How to Read a Whitepaper?

If you are intending to invest in an ICO then you know one of the first things to do is read the project’s whitepaper. Knowing that there is a whitepaper isn’t enough for an investor; knowing what to look for or how to read it is what matters. This article will guide you on how to do it.

So, what’s a whitepaper?

A whitepaper is a document prepared by a company or project team whose content explain to the readers how the company intends to handle a given project that appears complex. The main reason is to assist readers to understand the project, get the solutions or make decisions.

Take note of the words “to understand the project” and “make decisions”- this is the core business of reading the whitepaper.

The ICO whitepaper will give you all the information concerning:

  • The project and why it is necessary
  • Issues or problems the project seeks to address
  • Current solutions and how the ICO seeks to improve them.
  • Project description and roadmap
  • Technical details of the project.
  • The project team and their expertise
  • The ICO funding (token sale)

Now, how do you read the whitepaper so as to get the best out of it for the purpose of making investment decisions?

Examine the introduction – it will tell you about the project and why it is necessary. Read this carefully to get the context of the ICO ideas. The introduction will put forward the problem and its background in general. Do not skip this part, as it is here that the project’s appeal is established and credibility defined.

The product – to understand an ICO means you need to understand their product. When reading an ICOs whitepaper, find out the following:

  • Product Definition
  • Current solutions and how the ICO seeks to improve them
  • Project description details
  • Technical details of the project

I will tell you how to do it, but generally, knowing the product entails getting the above four key areas.

The project team and their expertise – this essentially means you need to know who is behind the project. Research them and establish whether they have the expertise necessary for the project.

The ICO funding (token sale) – this section should be where you get information on the ICOs funding details. I’ll talk about this later on in this article, but essentially, you are looking at how much is required and how it should be raised.

The whitepaper will conclude by giving a roadmap and may include a call to action message. If you read the whitepaper well, this call should not be difficult to make.

The Team

When looking to invest in an Ico, getting to know the team should involve more than you knowing their names and checking out their LinkedIn or Facebook accounts.

It is important to undertake a thorough research on each of the team members to find out more that could shed light on their capability to deliver what the project promises.

Before you go on to invest in that ICO, ask these questions about the team.

  • Who is on the management team and can they lead the rest f the team to successful project implementation?

We acknowledge that the team works together with a goal of delivering the project. However, a team that lacks great leadership personalities often ends up failing.

So, when researching the team, take time to find out a little more about this group. Get to know what experience they have as project leaders (they usually have links to Linkedin profiles). Did the project on which the individual took a leadership role succeed?

Are they known for their accountability? Or did any of them face questions about fraudulent activities? Suspicious pasts are clear red flags for you. Finding more about this part of the team will give you the confidence to get going with the investment or not.

  • Do the team members exhibit expertise in the ICOs business niche?

An ICO project whose team members have the experience required to see the project off is better that one whose members do not have any experience. Look at the portfolio of each member to see whether their expertise relates to the ICOs intended niche. If not, it’s a signal the team may not deliver.

  • Is the team list complete with all the necessary experts?

Once you have checked out and researched the people indicated as the ICO team, it’s time you asked yourself whether what is presented is all there is to be for the team. The team could be missing some very vital members. Find out whether the ICO leadership has plans to fill such roles. Go to the ICO project’s career/jobs page and find out if the advertised posts relate to the missing roles. What you should be interested in are key roles like those of project developers, engineers, designers, and marketers.

  • Who are the advisors?

Although this may not ultimately tell you about how/whether the ICO will succeed, it is always good to know who makes up the advisory team. Find out how the advisors relate to the project team. Look out for interviews they give, social media posts and how they generally view the ICO. Such advisors can have a positive impact on the project’s token value at the ICO or later when the token starts trading.

What is the product?

This is one of the main considerations to make. You should strive to understand the product being offered by the ICO.

Well, here is what you need to know about the product before you decide to put your bucks on it.

Product Definition – a simple definition of the product is the first thing. This is where the company explains the issues or problems the project seeks to address. Take note of what the project refers to as issues or problems they wish to solve. Can you picture the issue and relate them to the current market? Try to find out business-related issues that can be addressed in the future. Also, examine how the project’s technology is explained in relation to the issues pointed out. An example in mind here is the Crypterium that is in the Fintech niche. The ICO defines its project as a mobile crypto bank that will have a credit sub-token.

Current solutions and how the ICO seeks to improve them – as a prospective investor, once you understand current problems, you need to get to know of the current solutions in the market. Why are they ineffective and need to be improved? Look at what the ICO says about their competitors’ solutions and technological failures; here you are looking for reasons why what is there isn’t good enough and the ICO could have a better idea.

Project description details – in this section, your attention should be on exactly what the project is. You should be asking: What is this ICO? Take a keen interest in how the ICO proposes to be unique in what they will try to accomplish. You should understand all the key proposals and find out if they are feasible. Ask yourself if the solutions are unique and can be implemented.

Technical details of the project – After gaining insights into how the project plans to solve given issues, this section should actually make you literally see how everything works. Remember, this part of the whitepaper consists of several technical terms. You should, therefore, ensure you research terms and analogies that you do not understand. Ensure you note down information about the blockchain technology, toke type, and security. Be thorough.

The Blockchain Technology

Investing in an ICO should be more than just knowing the product or team behind it. You should know what blockchain technology the ICO project will use. Key questions you need to ask should be:

Is the blockchain technology behind the project just P2P money? Is it a kind of distributed ledger technology or like Ethereum’s “smart contracts”?

Find out whether the blockchain protocol open-source and based on the proof-of-work consensus mechanism or is it based on the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm? There is even the Proof-of-Importance method.

Knowing the kind of blockchain will help you have an idea how you could engage with the ICO project in the future and whether you are likely to gain any rewards other than the resale value of the coin.


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How does the Company plan to Raise Capital through ICO?

ICO startups usually use crowd sales as a means of raising capital for the project.

  • Find out if the tokens will be sold at an exchange site
  • Distributed to investors who make investment with the company

Moreover, it is good to find out if there any venture capitalists associated with the ICO.

 Find out about the total number of token coins the project has earmarked for sale. Do they have a hard cap and are the coins pre-mined?  Read about distribution strategies for the tokens.

What Tokens does the Company Launch?

Before you invest in that ICO you have identified, take time to find out about the type of coin token the project will launch. Find out whether it is purely a crypto coin i.e. currency or does the token have any other value attached to it?

It is important to understand the token type, because if you don’t, then it becomes hard for you to evaluate what potential that coin has as an investment. So you will need to find out whether the ICO token is in the category of stable coins, utility coins, security/equity coins or just an app coin.

Therefore, read about all the above tokens to determine which one you are about to invest in.

Read Reviews and other People Opinion towards the ICO

When looking to invest in an ICO it may pay to take time to read what other people think of the ICO. Although you will find a lot of information from the ICOs own marketing strategies, these are often one-sided.

Therefore, it is advisable to join cryptocurrency forums like BitcoinTalk, Reddit and other social media platforms to read or listen to what others have to say about the ICO. You will most likely gain valuable insights into the ICO and possibly, get one or two red flags you missed during your own research.

However, take caution against blindly following the advice given on social media or opinion reviews, you may be misled.

Bottom line!

Investing in ICOs is always risky business. Therefore, before you decide to undertake any cryptocurrency venture, it is advisable that you research to identify serious projects from hastily organized ones that may simply be out to get your money. However, the nature of cryptocurrency means there can never be a surety that a given project will succeed. Invest only that which you could afford to lose if things go wrong.