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Beginner's Guide to Trading Crypto. Part 9
Cryptocurrency Coin Vs Token: The Hierophants Of The Crypto Market
The cryptocurrencies market is rapidly changing as new terms are emerging along with their technological backing. But no matter how advanced blockchain technologies may become, the fundamental pillars of the market are the token and the coin. The irony is that many market participants do not yet know the difference between the two terms, or may even consider knowing those differences redundant. That is a pity, since the crypto coin vs token dilemma has been around for years and can never have too much explanation. https://preview.redd.it/u8n6oqkt4g241.png?width=763&format=png&auto=webp&s=ef16e7cf5b10a9e0f78559243aca57a9711250cb
What Is A Token?
The token is the most basic form of asset available on the crypto market. Tokens are digital assets, which are issued by a project on the blockchain. Their main purpose is serving as means of payment for goods and services within the framework of the project ecosystem. They also grant their holders the right of participation in the network through joining groups or even voting much like a share on the financial market. There are two types of tokens, the utility and security tokens. Utility tokens are exactly what their name implies, they are used as means for achieving a goal, much like a token in the subway, which, once entered into the machine, will give the holder the right to take a ride. On the other hand, security tokens are representative of a project’s share and give their holders the right to expect profit in the future much like a security on the financial market. The most comment abbreviation on the market is ERC-20 and many people would ask “What are ERC-20 tokens?” There are two main types of standards for tokens, the ERC-20 and the ERC-721. ERC-20, or Ethereum Request For Comment (20 stands for the number assigned to the standard by the programmers) is the most popular programming standard used for the operation of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. ERC-721 is much less frequently encountered, but it is a free and open standard as well. It is used for building non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike ERC-20 tokens, which are all the same in their standard, each ERC-721 token is unique by virtue of its nature. There are many other standards on the market with their own unique characteristics, for example ERC-223, which is a variation of ERC-20 with added functionality, the ERC-777, which is an improved version of ERC-20. There are also the ERC-1155, ERC-1337 and others.
What Is A Coin?
Coins are the firstborn of the crypto market with the greatest value. Coins are the original digital money built on the basis of cryptographic technologies with blockchain at their core. Just like money, coins were designed to hold value and bear it over time. The blockchain serves as the substitute for banks and provides transparency and fraud-free operation for coins. Coins have many of the main characteristics of money, since they are fungible, divisible into smaller portions, acceptable as an equivalent of money at outlets for goods and services, portable like cash or bank cards, durable thanks to their electronic nature, and have a limited supply, or emission. Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero and many others are coins. Two of the main characteristics of coins that set them apart from all other assets are:
Coins can be mined from a limited emission pool, and they can be sent or received like ordinary money;
Coins are meant to act only as money and are not used in any particular project as an asset for receiving goods or services provided by that project.
The Difference Between Coins And Tokens
If we were to sum up the crypto token vs coin dilemma, then we have to look at the essence of the coins and tokens together. Coins are money that does not act within the framework of any project as a means of gaining goods or services, they act as a store of value and either appreciate or depreciate over time, and coins can be mined from a limited issuance pool. Tokens cannot be mined, they act as either utility assets granting access to goods and services within the framework of a specific project, or as a security and share equivalent of a project. They are non-fungible and can be bought at exchanges from the issuing projects. Most tokens are pre-mined and cannot be mined beyond the limited issuance. https://preview.redd.it/be0drk7z4g241.png?width=799&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d383f4f1b1992dfcb83e1dc69a0f9792c17adf6
Coin Vs Token: Where To Buy?
Coins and tokens can be bought or sold on exchanges. The most popular means of buying tokens and coins is through the use of US Dollars or other Coins. Tokens cannot be exchanged for other tokens in essence, since exchanges operate with coins or fiat currencies, like the US Dollar. To buy the tokens of a project, traders must either use fiat currencies or buy coins and then buy the tokens. The same applies for coins, which can only be bought for other coins or fiat currencies. There are dozens of exchanges on the market, but one of the most convenient is Binance. We invite everyone to visit Binance and try it out to evaluate its convenience and broad range of functions.
Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.
Ariel Ling, co-founder and COO of BitMax, has shared her thoughts on the current state of digital assets and what to expect in the next years, what retail investor should take into account when buying any cryptocurrencie and the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin. Ariel Ling, BitMax COO Why, when and how have you started your crypto journey? I started my crypto journey at the beginning of 2018 when my long-time friend, the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao “pulled” me out of the traditional Wall Street and asked me to join him in launching this exciting venture. Three main drivers are 1) to learn more about blockchain technology and its transformational applications in different industries; 2) to leverage in-depth traditional finance expertise to improve overall crypto trading and exchange market structure for better efficiency and transparency; 3) to have a chance to work with a talented and driven team who share similar vision, passion and conviction to build a top global digital asset trading platform as well as a wonderful organization from good to great! If your friend will ask you: should I consider cryptocurrencies as investment opportunity? What will be your answer? Will you recommend any specific digital asset? Coming from traditional finance perspective, I would explain my thoughts process from three angles — 1) types of crypto or digital assets as the foundation for understanding; 2) whether they, are more for short-term trading or mid-term investment 2) what are elements for investment valuation and decision-making so our friends can assess and make decision for themselves. First, in general there are three types of digital assets:
Major currency / coin-type like Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, Litecoin, etc. and stable coins;
Security-type tokens representing some equity or debt rights of underlying projects;
Utility tokens for usage on specific blockchain platform or network.
Each type represents different type of opportunity and risk. Second: is digital asset good for trading or investment? due to the nascent nature and very short history of market development with most of retail investors’ participation and lack of proper regulatory framework globally, there are quite some market manipulation, speculation and fraud activities in the current market, causing significant volatility and investors loss across all types within very short period of time. This made it very hard for any investors to assess the real valuation and momentum drivers behind those large swings. So at this point, I would think with its high volatility and risk, digital asset in general is more of very short-term trading product than investment vehicle. From liquidity perspective, major currency/coin-type will have more market depth across exchanges, hence more suitable for short-term trading-focused strategies. Third, from traditional investment perspective, it is critical to assess digital asset investing from valuation and fundamental perspectives, such as business model, future growth, economic return vs. person’s risk tolerance and investment objectives. For major coins, especially Bitcoin itself with its longest history among all the digital assets, have started to provide certain payment function similar to fiat currencies in certain countries. Hence, there are more interesting dynamics to the Bitcoin investing based on one’s view of Bitcoin usage over mid-term horizon and the relative valuation vs its production (mining cost) especially with the price down to 3,500–3,650 USD. For security-type or utility tokens, the performance over short-to-medium term really comes down to combination of intrinsic value of underlying blockchain projects and token economics. Similar to Internet in 1990s, blockchain technology projects are still at the early stage of development and looking for meaningful and applicable use cases to bring real economic benefit from the economics and business model perspective, so it becomes very difficult to apply traditional finance valuation and assess the real intrinsic value of those projects. Recent market crash has brought many of those tokens down to near zero value. So the investment in those tokens are extremely high risk and everyone should be really careful and prudent in the evaluation of any specific projects for the decision-making and risk protection. What is the story behind BitMax? Who are the foundefounders? When it was founded? Q1 2018, Dr. George Cao and I founded Global Digital Mercantile (GDM), global operator of digital asset platforms, including BitMax.io based on Singapore for overseas markets and North America’s trading platform aiming for the first half of 2019. BitMax.io started public beta testing mid July, 2018, and was officially launched later mid August. On November 18th , we launched our mining mechanism, the industry very first transaction-mining & reverse-mining mechanism, which has made us the industry leading third-generation cryptocurrency exchange — after first generation of traditional exchanges like Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, etc. and 2nd generation of transaction-mining ones like FCoin, Bitthumb, etc. Just a quick introduction of my partner. Dr. Cao studied Computer Science in the University of Science and Technology of China, and earned his PhD degree from the University of Chicago. Dr. Cao was the Founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Delpha Capital Management, LLC., New York, specializing in trading equity, ETFs and commodity future products in all major exchanges across the globe. He is also the founder and managing partner of Whitestone Investment Group, a New York based venture fund that invests in a large variety of startup companies that are in the high tech, fintech, big data and medical area. Before founding Delpha Capital, Mr. Cao worked at the Equity Division of Barclays Capital in both the New York and London offices. During that period, he oversaw equity electronic trading in the U.S., European and Asian markets. Prior to Barclays, he researched and traded U.S. equity as a Portfolio Manager at Knight Capital Group. For me, I have built more than 18-year extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, financial risk management and regulatory implementation across major trading asset classes (Equity, FX, and Fixed Income) at several top global banks. Previous to jumping into digital asset trading, I ran USD liquidity and investment product for top financial institutions and corporate clients at tier-one global investment bank. Before that, I ran US Broker Dealer as COO and head of Business Development for Germany 2nd largest bank. Earlier from 2007 to 2012, I was global equity trading COO across Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, building out trading franchise and market making businesses globally. I have four degrees — graduated top of class from Nankai University with two Bachelor degrees in Finance and English Literature and got my MBA from NYU and Master of Mass Communication from University of Georgia. Where is Bitmax located? Are you a distributed team or do you have an office to work together? How many people work for Bitmax? Our global team of 50 members are based off two main location — New York with 20 members, including all the founding members, and Beijing with 30 members. Would you be so kind to introduce briefly the core team members? Both George and I are very proud of our 10-member founding team. Similar to us, they are all from Wall Street top firms like Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and top high-frequency hedge funds with deep experience in the fields of financial engineering research and development of large-scale quant trading infrastructure. Our educational background span across multiple prestigious institutions including Columbia University, University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and New York University in the United States, as well as Peking University and Tsinghua University in China. So one special thing about BitMax.io is that very few exchanges in the crypto trading space are built by solid team like ours with strong traditional finance mindset and trading background. You’ve started BitMax during market downtrend in pretty competitive environment. What is your value proposition? Why traders should switch to BitMax? I think BitMax.io is actually very special in this market, and our team is very proud of what we have built in the short period of six months. There are at least three reasons I think traders should chooseBitMax.io:
It’s our real-word professional trading experience and expertise;
It’s is our platform, resilient, high volume quantitative-trading platform;
It’s is our top-quality customer-centric strategy.
First of all, as I mentioned in the last question, architected by a group of Wall Street veterans, BitMax.io builds upon the core value of blockchain, transparency and reliability, and delivers high-quality client services and trading experience through its innovative trading platform. Second, our quant-driven tech platform. Our development members were all from high frequency and quantitative systematic trading shops. They definitely make sure the platform was resilient and it can actually handle billions of volume during the design and build. The platform resilience and scalability were fully being tested when we launched the transaction mining and reverse-mining. The first day, we actually had, within the first 24 hours, the trading volume of 1.6 billion in notional; and our system didn’t flinch, didn’t slow down, and didn’t shut down. This is very rare in any of today’s exchanges where you can frequently see the slowdown, the crash, and very slow user responses, especially with transaction mining exchanges. Third, what we are extremely proud of and all the users can see, is our 24/7 customer services built upon the core Wall Street client-centric concept. Besides our customer support team who never sleep, George actually stands behind the platform almost 24/7 answering questions from the customers, seeking solutions for their issues, and providing the most responsive customer service for the entire crypto trading space. BitMax CEO, George Cao, is often seen in official Telegram group answering different questions. We constantly remind our team: customer first. When we design a product, when we launch a system, and when we look at user needs, we all look from customers’ perspective, from how we can protect the users. When we look at primary listing, we only select the high-quality projects because we want our users to have the best investment and trading experience on BitMax.io. Are you satisfied with the current results of BitMax? Is transaction mining model giving expected volume? What is the % of traders using this model? We are very pleased with current business development and delivery results from client acquisition and trading perspectives. On the business development side, we completed the global setup for both 50-member team organization and comprehensive legal entity structure from Asia to North Americas in 2018, which laid down foundation and paved way for 2019 business expansion especially with US. Since our platform launch in mid Aug, we successfully started Industry FIRST transaction mining and reverse-mining exchange and built out the most active global communities and users within four months in the bear market, with registered users more than 95k; average daily active traders more than quadrupled since the start of transaction mining; average daily trading volume of $465mm through the month of January and February in 2019. Those are extremely promising under this tough market condition. From the composition of trading volumes, there are two parts — transaction mining which grows exponentially; second is organic, the regular trading which has experienced healthy increase as well because of all the listing activities and all the incentives we have. The regular trading takes about 5% of total trading volume, which is very good for an exchange which was launched in August and running right into the bear market. What are the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin? From traditional finance /investment view token economics is really a balance act between business / economic model and exchange market force, driven by three factors: intrinsic value and sustainability, supply and demand, and liquidity and depth. First, from a traditional finance perspective, we need to look at the intrinsic value, the economic valuation behind a project. How does this project make money? Do they really have fundamentals? Do they really have a viable business model? Do they really have a solid user base for future growth? For example, our exchange business model is very simple. We are exchange; People trade on our platform. The more they trade, the more transaction fee the exchange collect — the revenue source. The exchange will last when people keep trading on the platform and the transaction revenue generated covers the operating cost of running an exchange. Second, it is the supply and demand of token on the market — who will buy and for what purpose; who will sell and under what scenarios. For major currency coins like Bitcoin, people might buy and sell for potential investment or use in actual payment processing. For other types of token, it is more driven by short-term trading pattern and profit taking. So it is extremely important to set up certain token mechanism to support the equilibrium of supply and demand like how Central Banks manage the supply of currency in circulation through monetary policies. Third, when the market force comes in, it comes down to the liquidity and depth. Exchange is about liquidity and market depth. That means there has to be enough of trading volumes at each pricing level for each token. For BitMax.io, we have very sophisticated market making model that is similar to Designated Market Maker model of New York Stock Exchange. We focus on providing liquidity and maintaining a fair and orderly market for those token listings who agree to engage our market making services. Every exchange is looking for good projects in order to become a premiere market for this new asset. Can you name some projects that impressed you recently (even if you are not discussing possible listing with them)? BitMax.io has strict listing requirements in order to identify high-quality projects for our users. Very proud that we have listed five industry star projects in the last several weeks, with more in the pipeline. All of them have the following attributes that made them successful — viable and profitable business model, growing user bases, strong community support, and comprehensive funding sources. One of the shining examples is European project named LTO Network listed mid Jan. Its price has been steadily rising since then, as more and more people get to know their business model and more project support comes into the market place to buy the tokens — It uses blockchain technology to streamline a lot of legal processing for one of EU governments, which is very easy to understand its economic value from a revenue perspective. This is simply what people need to see eventually, clean and clear from business economic model perspective. Let’s imagine a crypto market in 5 or 10 years. Can you make any prediction what the market will look like? What customers will expect from exchange in 5–10 years? Based off my long-time experience in traditional trading, especially how equity market evolved last twenty years, I would imagine maturing market structure and entrance of institutional investors are key mandatory and healthy development of digital asset market. First, As the market develops and expands globally, traditional institution participation is a must, in order to upgrade and strengthen the overall market structure and maturity, making it more transparent and resilient, and most importantly enabling the real broad-base adoption of digital assets. Most institutional investors, such as mutual fund, pension fund and other financial institutions, hold the majority of world investment assets, not individual retail investors. Only when those big guys join the market, will there be real revolutionary improvement and expansion of the digital asset just like any other financial markets. Second, I would expect the market to become more structured with major building blocks for transparent trade life cycle processing and separate risk analytics supporting services. Current crypto trading market is very fragmented with exchanges taking on different roles of trading, wallet management, custodian, etc. Also the lack of clear and consistence regulation on market structure has led to many aspects of market inefficiency — inconsistent liquidity and depth, wide spread, high transaction cost, high volatility, speculation, etc. This definitely hampers the broader adoption of digital assets from institutional investors. Forward looking, multi-tier structure under some level of regulatory framework with clear guidance is required for future maturing market. Similar to security market, there should be at least three layers of different and independent roles: the role of broker dealer to handle the client relationship with good KYC/ AML processes, retail clients, other financial institutions, blockchain players and to take client order as agent or dealer; the role of exchange to focus on listing and trading — liquidity provision and order matching; the role of clearing house to provide clearing and settlement and custodian on custody of assets with proper control and independence. It is very clean and clear with good check and balance in place. What are the key challenges for 2019? During our 2018 business planning, we clearly view 2019 to continue being full of challenges with market uncertainty from both asset price and valuation as well as regulatory development globally. In prep for that and further growth of our platform, we have laid out the following four main strategic objectives and they are all well underway:
To launch North America trading platform for high networth and institutional clients. With North America being heavily regulated market, there are two aspects of our plan — First is to leverage a trust structure to facilitate the major coin trading with fiat, and the second is broker-dealer license application with potential for securitized tokens pending regulatory guidance in place.
To enhance BitMax.io platform and reach global top-tier exchange. We will continue listening to our users and working hard to enhance user interface and experience by upgrading website vs. other competitors for better client retention.We will continue leading product innovation among the competitors with margin trading (successfully launched in mid Feb) and then derivative to attract new clients.
Relent focus on implementation and expansion of current business lines — listing, Market Making, marketing advisory services to grow current revenue base; and further seek new revenue opportunity through North America platform while maintaining cost discipline.
we are always on the lookout in terms of exchange alignments, acquisition target, and any business partnership from different aspects of the value chain.
When do you expect a market recovery or next bull run? What are the factors that will influence the start of the market recovery? With current market crash or correction, there are two possibilities from trading perspective — recovery depending on whether this is a V down or U curve. The U curve occurs when the market collapses, it takes a longer time for market to find the bottom and struggle to rise up. The V down is like a quick collapse — dropping down very fast and reaching the bottom, and then, with some catalyst event, either catalyst from market structure, or catalyst from the market expansion itself, suddenly it gives a boost and bounces right back up. For market recovery, besides all the investment and economics elements I’ve discussed above, I believe one critical factor is the regulatory development especially clear guidance from key regulatory bodies of those major financial markets such as US, UK, EU, etc. on those key building blocks I mentioned in the maturing market structure. Once those in place, more traditional institutional investors will be ready to get in and hence boost the liquidity and valuation of the digital assets. That is the new beginning of digital assets being accepted as part of Main Street investment globally.
Stellar Lumens HODL alert: 2017 Round up, Partnerships, Lumens vs. Other Cryptos
Welcome everyone! The future of Stellar Lumens is bright! Today we will look at the accomplishments of Stellar.org in 2017. . . 2017 Round Up • IBM / Stellar Partnership • Kik Messenger’s KIN coin to move from Ethereum to Stellar in 2018 • Stellar ATM introduced in Singapore • Jed McCaleb confirms IBM/Stellar has 30 banks on board (Youtube Video) • Lightyear.io enables forward thinking financial entities to easily join the Stellar ecosystem. • IBM adds 8 new validators from 8 different countries onto the Stellar network (article) • Forbes calls Stellar “venmo, but on a global scale - and for larger bodies like banks and corporations.” • Stellar Lumens Is Up 6,300% Since March and Is Aiming for Big Blockchain Partners (article) • Many new partnerships (listed below) that will be using the Stellar network in 2018. • Binance and GoPax Exchanges Adds Stellar • Ledger Nano S support is now available for Lumens (XLM) • The next coin to break into the top 10 cryptos (article) . . 2017 Partnerships & Financial Institutions • IBM - is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States, with operations in over 170 countries. IBM partnered with Stellar to help financial institutions address the processes of universal cross-border payments, designed to reduce the settlement time and lower the cost of completing global payments for businesses and consumers. • SatoshiPay - a web payment system that helps online publishers monetize digital assets like news articles, videos, or PDFs in tiny increments without friction. • EXCH.ONE - is a FinTech software company based in Switzerland currently working to integrate its platform and its first technology adopter Euro Exchange Securities UK Ltd. into the Stellar network. This addition to the Stellar network will bring access to currency markets of South and Central America,UK and a number of EU countries. • Novati (ASX:NOV) - is an Australian-based software technology and payment services provider. Novatti is currently working to integrate it’s platform into the Stellar network with the ultimate aim to build a global money transfer solution to provide cross border, cross currency and cross asset payments. • Pundi X - is an Indonesia based fintech company that provides POS device, debit card, multi-currency wallet that empowers individuals to buy and sell cryptocurrency at any physical store in the world. They say "buying cryptocurrency should be as easy as buying a bottled water." • MoneyMatch - is a Malaysia based fintech startup that provides a fully-digital peer-to-peer currency exchange platform for customers to transfer and exchange foreign currencies with complete ease and at great value. The company plans to integrate with the Stellar network and enable pay in and pay out from Malaysia. • Streami - is a Korea based fintech company that offers blockchain enabled cross-border remittance service and recently launched a cryptocurrency exchange. The partnership extends both on the exchange side and remittance operations. • Neoframe - is developing and marketing trading solutions for big brokerage firms in Korea and extends its business to blockchain based applications. Neoframe developed high performance centralized cryptocurrency exchange as well as secure wallet solutions and is working with big financial players. The company is planning to launch a remittance business for ASEAN countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos, Brunei) using Stellar. • SureRemit($RMT) - is a Nigeria based global non-cash remittances company. SureRemit leverages the Stellar blockchain platform to connect immigrants abroad directly with merchants that provide the services needed by their loved ones back home. With Remit tokens, immigrants all over the world can access digital shopping vouchers that can be spent on goods and services at accepting merchants wherever they are. • Cowrie Integrated Systems - is a Nigerian based Value Added Service Provider. Cowrie provides services at the intersection between telecoms and finance. Cowrie recently joined the Stellar network to bring novel fintech services to the African market. • Smartlands - is a Stellar-based platform designed to create a new class of low-risk tokens, secured by real, profitable assets in the real-world economy. Smartlands is designed to promote investments in the agricultural sector by allowing investment in individual projects, agricultural companies or indexes of groups of projects. These investments will be fully collateralized by agricultural real estate, other productive assets such as fruit or nut trees or, in some cases, the actual crop. • Klick-Ex - is an award winning regional cross-border payments system delivering financial infrastructure for emerging markets. It has been responsible for dramatic uptake in digital financial services in unbanked regions of the world, and lowering costs for banks, central banks and consumers in low liquidity currencies. Its key presence is in the Pacific and Europe, and it is a founding member of www.APFII.org processing more than 775,000 transactions per second, per billion of population (source). • Mobius - Mobius connects any app, device, and data stream to the blockchain ecosystem. Our simple and easy to use bidirectional API allows non-blockchain developers to easily connect resources to smart contracts and more. The Mobius MVP acts like Stripe for Blockchain by introducing innovative standards for cross-blockchain login, payment, smart contract management, and oracles. The Mobius Team includes David Gobaud, Jed McCaleb (Stellar.org founder), Jackson Palmer (creator of Dogecoin), and Chandler Guo (notorious Bitcoin & blockchain investor). • Chaineum - Chaineum, the first French ICO Boutique, will use the Stellar network for upcoming ICOs. “Chaineum is positioned as the first “ICO Boutique” in France, providing a range of end-to-end services to companies and international start-ups wishing to develop with this new funding mechanism. Chaineum is preparing 8 ICOs by the end of 2017, for European, North American and Asian companies, of which cumulative amount could reach € 200 million." (source) • Poseidon Foundation - Poseidon will simplify the carbon credit market with the creation of an ecosystem built on Stellar.org’s blockchain technology. This technology will prevent double counting of carbon and will be consistent across jurisdictions, making it easier for companies to deliver and measure progress towards their climate targets or other goals such as deforestation-free commitments. • Remitr - Remitr is a global platform for cross border payments, licensed in Canada. Remitr uses the Stellar network for international settlements for businesses as well as other payment partners. Remitr’s own payout network of 63 countries, comprising several currencies, is extended onto the Stellar network. • MSewa Software Solution (MSS) - MSewa Software Solution (MSS) Payments provides a one-stop digital payment service available across the Globe. MSS Payments aims at serving the consumers (Banked, Unbanked and Underbanked) with mobile banking facilities on the move from anywhere by transferring funds in their mobile phone. • PesaChoice - PesaChoice is a leader in international bill payment services for the African diaspora. PesaChoice aims at making international bill payment process easy, seamless, secure, with reasonable and competitive service fees, and up to date technological advances. • SendX - Singapore based SendX, in partnership with Stellar, is the better way to move money worldwide. The SendX team believes that the future of transactions is decentralized and distributed, bringing true equity to everyone across the value chain. • VoguePay - VoguePay, with offices in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, is partnering with Stellar to become the cheapest and most efficient way to send money between the United Kingdom and Nigeria. In the coming months, they expect to expand this service to other selected African countries. • HashCash - Hashcash consultants build financial solutions for banks and financial institutions over blockchain. We leverage the Stellar platform to build products that vastly improve the remittance and payments experience for banks and their customers. Transfers happen lightning fast at a fraction of current rates and operational cost is significantly reduced. HashCash is headquartered in India, with operations across South Asia and the Gulf. . . Stellar Lumens vs Other Cryptocurrencies • Lumens vs. Bitcoin: Jed McCaleb spoke at Distributed Markets in 2017 about the advantages, but more importantly, the disadvantages of Bitcoin. Listen to the talk here. Jed said, “Bitcoin is this awesome innovation. The first thing it does is converts a real world resource, electricity, into a digital asset. So it takes something from the real world and puts it into the digital realm. The second thing it does is provides immutable public record. It’s basically a database that everyone can see but no one change arbitrarily… That’s great, Bitcoin solves the double spin problem [ of proving possession and transmitting volume]… [However, to fix the problems of bitcoin] you might think well maybe we’ll just kind of keep adding [software] to Bitcoin until we get there, but that’s not really the way software works. You want to have the design from the beginning and solve these simple issues. Bitcoin was designed to be a new currency, it wasn’t really designed to be this unifying universal payment network. So that’s what Stellar does. It solves these three remaining issues.” • Lumens vs. Bitcoin #2: According to wired.com, "Bitcoin mining guzzles energy - and it's carbon footprint just keeps growing." Wired says "Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the US for one day... The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge—an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year." Because Stellar is based on a consensus algorithm rather than mining, it takes much less energy to run the Stellar network. The Poseidon Foundation decided to build their platform on Stellar rather than Ethereum or Bitcoin because of this (twitter source). • Lumens ICO tokens vs. Ethereum ICO tokens: According to Stellar.org, "traditionally, ICO tokens have been issued on the Ethereum network in the form of ERC20 tokens. ERC20 tokens are easy to issue and are infinitely customizable using Ethereum’s smart contracting language. However, recent events have highlighted and exacerbated some weaknesses of the network, including slow transaction processing times for the network during ICOs and increasingly expensive gas prices (by fiat standards) for transactions and smart contract execution. Moreover, many organizations require only basic tokens; they adopt the risk of Ethereum’s Turing complete programming language without taking advantage of many of its benefits." "While Ethereum has the most expressive programming capabilities, we believe Stellar is the best choice for ICOs that do not require complex smart contracts. Stellar’s primary goal is to facilitate issuing and trading tokens, especially those tied to legal commitments by known organizations, such as claims on real-world assets or fiat currency." • Stellar vs. Ethereum #2: The median transaction time on Stellar is 5 seconds, compared to approximately 3.5 minutes on Ethereum (source). Stellar has a negligible transaction fee (.00001 XLM ~= $0.0000002) with no gas fee for computation, while depending on the complexity of the computation, the median cost for a transfer on the Ethereum network is $0.094. Security: While both Stellar and Ethereum run on a decentralized network, the Stellar network has fewer security pitfalls. Stellar uses atomic transactions comprised of simple, declarative operations while Ethereum uses turing complete programming capabilities which produces less auditable code and greater risk of exploitable vulnerabilities(source). Recently, a security flaw in the Ethereum network froze millions of dollars. According to Mobius ariticle written by David Gobaud, "On November 6, 2017, Github user deveps199 'accidentally' triggered a bug in Parity, a popular Ethereum mult-sig wallet, that froze more than $152 million in Ether across 151 addresses. The bug impacted several token sales including Polkadot, which has had ~$98 million out of its recent $145 million sale frozen." "Mobius had none of its ongoing pre-sale Ether frozen because we do not trust Ethereum’s Smart Contract based multi-sig wallets given the vast Turing complete attack surface and did not use one. Security broadly is one of the main reasons the MOBI token that powers the DApp Store is a Stellar Protocol token and not an Ethereum token." • Lumens vs. Ripple: According to Wall Street Bitcoin Exchange, "Many investors like to compare the company [Stellar] to Ripple, and there are a lot of similarities, being that some of the founders worked on the Ripple team. In what can now be looked at as another blockchain development drama that plays out on chat boards and in interviews all across the globe. Stellar declared they fixed Ripple’s problems with their hard fork, however, Ripple has failed to admit to any of the flaws in its design that the Stellar team has pointed out." The article concludes by saying, "We Choose XLM Over XRP For 2018. That is why we are going with Stellar Lumens over Ripple in our portfolio for the rest of 2017 and 2018. After holding Ripple for a long time this year, it just never seems to make the big break like other names with bigger market caps like Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Litecoin have. While we are holding on most all our larger market caps, we feel that Stellar Lumens will be one of the break out coins for 2018." . . Conclusion The stellar.org team is doing an amazing job making partnerships and pioneering the use of blockchain technology for various types of transactions. What we are seeing is a new technology that can actually be used to solve real-world problems. As a community, we need to continue supporting Stellar and we will quickly see it power transactions across the world. What are your thoughts about Stellar? What do you see in the future of Stellar? Any important news you want to share? Comment below.
For anyone who it interested in learning more about investing, crypto, finance, blockchain, and entrepreneurship can checkout this list I made of the top podcasts to follow in 2019 with some selected episodes chosen from each one: Off The Chain With Anthony Pompliano Host Anthony Pompliano talks to some of the most respected names in crypto and Wall Street to find out how intelligent investors from the new and old financial system are thinking about digital assets. Top Episodes: CZ, Founder and CEO of Binance: Binance and the Future of Global Crypto Regulation Murad Mahmudov: The Ultimate Bitcoin Argument Travis Kling: The Secrets of A Crypto Trader Unchained: Your No-Hype Resource for All Things Crypto This weekly, hour-long podcast with host Laura Shin dives deep into the people building the decentralized internet, the details of this technology that could underpin our future, and some of the thorniest topics in crypto, such as regulation, security and privacy. Top Episodes: Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum, On The Big Guy vs. The Little Guy Naval Ravikant On How Crypto Is Squeezing VCs, Hindering Regulators, and Bringing Users Choice Blockchain 101 with Andreas Antonoloulos What Grinds My Gears From Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson, What Grinds My Gears is a podcast about the bizarre and buzzworthy happenings in the world of cryptocurrency. Each week, they delve into one key theme in crypto, and examine this theme through a broader financial, political, and cultural lens to learn from the past, understand the present, and explore the future. Top Episodes: An Unfetted Orgy Of Capitalism It’s All About The DEX, Baby! Tarred & Tethered What Bitcoin Did Since the birth of Bitcoin in 2009, a new class of Crypto assets built using the innovative design of the blockchain is disrupting technology and financial markets. In this podcast you will hear host Peter McCormack speak with crypto traders, miners, venture capitalist, investors, technical developers, CEOs, journalist and other people driving forward the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Link To Listen Top Episodes: Andreas Antonopoulos: What Happens When Bitcoin Takes Over? Peter Van Valkenburg on Lightning & The Law Tuur Demeester on Why Bitcoin Is In Heavy Accumulation Untold Stories with Charlie Shrem Host Charlie Shrem dives deep into the lives and personal histories of some of crypto’s most influential leaders. A focus on personal stories weaves together a nuanced, untold narrative of how the crypto movement truly came to be. Top Episodes: J. Maurice “Wiz” — The Real Story of Mt. Gox & How to Become a Self-Sovereign Bitcoin Miner Arianna Simpson — Why Founders Shouldn’t Think About an Exit & Becoming BitGo’s 3rd Employee Steven Nerayoff — Crypto as a Disruptive Technology & Governments Debasing Their Own Currencies Tales From The Crypt Tales from the Crypt is a podcast hosted by Marty Bent about Bitcoin. Join Marty, Editor in Chief of “the best newsletter in crypto”, as he sits down to discuss Bitcoin with interesting people. Top Episodes: Tales from the Crypt: Pierre Rochard Pt. I Tales from the Crypt #3: Santiago Siri Tales from the Crypt Ep1: The History of Bitcoin Pt. 1 The Token Daily with Soona Amhaz Host soona amhaz sits down with the movers and shakers of the crypto industry to discuss the big ideas they spend their days thinking about. Soona and her guests examine everything from industry trends, to what books they’re reading, to human psychology and investing. Top Episodes: Taylor Pearson, Author of The End of Jobs: Markets Are Eating the World Dani Grant, Analyst at Union Square Ventures: The VC Outlook on Crypto’s Trends and Future Tony Sheng, Independent Analyst: A Writer’s Take on Bitcoin Lore The Flippening Flippening is for cryptocurrency investors. Each week host Clay Collins discusses the cryptocurrency economy, new investment strategies for maximizing returns, and stories from the front lines of financial disruption. Flippening is for a new class of investors that were not part of the financial services world before bitcoin, but got into the finance because of their passion for cryptoassets, blockchain, altcoins, and distributed ledger technology. Top Episodes: Strategies for Accumulating BTC (Instead of USD) w/ Tuur Demeester from Adamant Capital The Economics of Cryptoasset Markets w/ Professor Stephen McKeon Bootstrapping A Crypto Nation State From Scratch, w/ Eric Meltzer of INBlockchain The Chain Reaction Podcast Host Tom Shaughnessy of Delphi Digital converses with the top names in crypto and blockchain. Top Episodes: ConsenSys’ Joe Lubin: Ethereum’s Competition Isn’t Even Close Delphi Digital’s March Analyst Call — Ethereum, Enjin and Our Short Term Bitcoin Outlook Vision Hill Group’s Scott Army: Digital Asset Management of the Future a16z Podcast The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future — especially as ‘software eats the world’. It features industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world. This podcast is produced by Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”), a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. Top Episodes: What Time Is It? From Technical to Product to Sales CEO Principles and Algorithms for Work and Life Five Open Problems Toward Building a Blockchain Computer Unconfirmed: Insights and Analysis From the Top Minds in Crypto Events in crypto take place at warp speed. This weekly crypto podcast reveals how the marquee names in crypto are reacting to the week’s top headlines. With host Laura Shin, the guests also discuss what they’re thinking about these days and reveal what they believe is on the horizon in crypto. Disclosure: Laura is a nocoiner. Top Episodes: To the Moon and Back With Polychain’s Olaf Carlson-Wee Don Wilson of DRW Holdings on What’s Been Driving 2018’s Crypto Downturn Hu Liang of Omniex on What Institutional Players Are Planning to Do in Crypto The Unhashed Podcast Unhashed breaks down the latest in Bitcoin news and developments and puts them into terms everyone can understand. Expect to be both entertained and educated about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. How do hardware wallets work and do they really keep you safe? Which crypto exchanges pose the greatest risk to the bitcoin ecosystem? Does Litecoin help or hinder bitcoin development? Expect the answers to these and many other questions from the Unhashed professionals offering different perspectives to all the blockchain issues you care about! Top Episodes: The Very Rich, Very Patient Binance Hacker Bitcoin Goes High Fidelity Initiating Unhash The Scoop The Block’s team, led by Frank Chaparro, draw out the freshest and deepest insights about digital assets from traditional Wall Street, crypto native, Fortune 500 and many other crypto ecosystem leaders. It’s light, fun and informative brain food! Top Episodes: A Conversation with Mark Yusko, CEO and CIO of Morgan Creek Capital Management A Conversation with Stephen Palley, Partner at Anderson Kill A Conversation with Emilie Choi, VP Business and Data, Coinbase Base Layer Base Layer with host David Nage will be providing insights from founders and investors in the base layer of cryptoassets. Simplifying complex projects and the technology being developed, from interoperability to relayers and more — who is building the future, why are they and how are they doing it. Top Episodes: Base Layer Episode 028 — Zaki Manian (SkuChain, Cosmos, Tendermint) Base Layer Episode 026 — Diogo Monica (Co — Founder, Anchorage) Base Layer Episode 032 — Alexander Skidanov (NEAR) Blockchain Innovation: Interviewing The Brightest Minds In Blockchain Blockchain Innovation is where host Frederick Munawa interviews the brightest minds in Blockchain and cryptocurrency — entrepreneurs, executives, and top academics — to discuss present and future applications of Blockchain Technology. Why? To determine how Blockchain can be used to increase profits, cut costs, and disrupt traditional industries and business models — so you can borrow their strategies, tools, and tactics for your own success. Join Frederick every Tuesday to learn how the brightest minds in Blockchain are pushing the envelope with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales, public blockchains, private blockchains, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, smart contracts, and much more. Top Episodes: Why Bitcoin Should Hard Fork With Roger Ver How Blockchain Assets Are Changing The World With Erik Voorhees Blockchain Meets Artificial Intelligence with Dr. Ben Goertzel Blockchain Insider Blockchain Insider, hosted by Simon Taylor and Colin Platt is a dedicated podcast specializing in Bitcoin, Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). Simon and Colin break down the week’s news with expertise and enthusiasm for the blockchain and digital currency sector. Since the price of Bitcoin has rocketed, and Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin have become household names, Blockchain Insider has charted their rise in a way that’s accessible to new listeners. Top Episodes: Ep. 42. Santander Makes Ripples and Charles Hoskinson Shares His Vision of Cardano Ep. 27. XRP’s Ripple effect and Blockchain use cases Ep. 43. Sexism in Crypto, Pornhub takes Verge, and Binance Denies the Dollar Let’s Talk Crypto Have you ever heard of digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and buzzwords like blockchain, cryptocurrencies and mining? Don’t know what it all means or how to get started? Let’s Talk Crypto with Barry Moore and Tom Galeski breaks it all down in easy to understand terms and helps you “learn and earn” in the age of cryptocurrencies. Top Episodes: 006: Altcoins 017: Fiat & Crypto 010: Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake Blockchain 2025 Blockchain is a technology that will disrupt nearly every industry. Host Matt Aaron and Blake Moore explore one industry in every episode. How will blockchain change art, music, or online advertising? What projects are already underway? Listen & find out. Top Episodes: Online Ads — Publishers and Advertisers vs. Centralized Platforms Music Biz — Can Artists Have More Money + Freedom? Crypto Debit Cards — A Bridge to the Future? TenX, Monaco, Comit IBM Blockchain Pulse Host and blockchain-evangelist Matt Hooper engages with the planet’s most dynamic blockchain thought-leaders, explorers and innovators to discover the countless new ways blockchain is leaping from theory to reality: From entertainment to identity, from payments to secure supply-chain transparency. Top Episodes: Making Cross-Border Payments Seamless — IBM Blockchain and Stellar’s Collaboration That is Bringing Commercial Payments to the Financial World A Blockchain Origin Story and Enabling Complete Ownership With Blockchain The Future of Protecting Your Wallet and Identity: Blockchain Identity and Digital Credentials, with Adam Gunther and Drummond Reed Messari’s Unqualified Opinions Unqualified Opinions is a podcast hosted by Messari’s CEO Ryan Selkis featuring candid, fast-paced interviews with crypto’s top builders and investors. Top Episodes: Bill Barhydt, CEO & Founder of Abra Anthony Pompliano, Founder at Morgan Creek Digital Unlock Protocol CEO Julien Genestoux
Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Beginners Before we get into exchanges, let’s refresh our minds about what cryptocurrency is. The concept behind cryptocurrencies is relatively simple, while the math and technology are not. Essentially, a cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency that utilizes cryptography as a means for protection and security. Cryptography is also used to regulate the creation of additional units, so as to not drive the overall digital currency market wild. One of the greatest appeals of cryptocurrencies is that they are not regulated by any government agencies. The most popular digital asset is the bitcoin, followed by ethereum.
What Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
Cryptocurrencies can be traded through cryptocurrency exchanges. These cryptocurrency exchanges are platforms through which you can purchase or sell digital currencies for dollars, euros, and pounds, as well as other digital assets. For example, you can sell bitcoins and purchase dollars with the sold bitcoins, or you could exchange bitcoins for ether. These exchanges are a vital part of the virtual currency expansion rate. There are private exchanges, which are exclusive and operate by invite only, as well as those available for the public. Local exchanges also exist. Some are easier to use than others are; certain exchanges are so flexible that digital assets can be traded directly through the built-in chat features of specific popular messengers, like Telegram.
What to Consider When Picking the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Here are a few things you will want to consider before picking the best cryptocurrency exchange suited for your trading and speculative needs. Fees – Almost all exchanges charge fees for you to do business on their platforms. Make sure that when you are signing up or committing yourself to a specific exchange that you know everything about its fees. Verification Requirements and Security – These are vital to understand before starting out on an exchange. Most exchanges require some sort of identity verification in the form of a passport, driver’s license, proof of residence, or other similar document before joining. The more complex the verification process, the safer the exchange platform. Exchange Rates – Exchange rates are also important, as you don’t want to join a cryptocurrency exchange that charges draconian fees for transactions and exchanges. That just wouldn’t be fair to you or financially savvy. Reputation – The best cryptocurrency exchanges always have ups and downs. However, the general opinion of the top ones is positive. The best exchanges have a solid reputation and are well trusted by traders. Region – It’s also important to find an exchange that supports your geographic region. Some exchanges may support all of the countries in South America, while not supporting any of the countries in Asia, and vice versa. If you are living in Russia, for example, make sure you pick the best exchange platform that supports your region. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges out there.
Something which is important to bare in mind when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange to make your trades and purchases on is their security measures. It is well-known that many exchanges have been hacked in the past, most notably the Mt Gox exchange, which people are still feeling the fall-out from ever since. You should know that the your funds or coins on an exchange or not really yours, unless you own the private keys to the wallet of your coins you are relying on someone else to be custodian of your funds. Luckily there are some basic measures you can take when using an exchange. The most important is to never store more there than you are willing to lose, if you have a significant balance, you should withdraw it back to your own wallet and for extra security, use a Hardware wallet to secure these funds. Exchanges should be used for quick purchases of your desired cryptocurrency or for trading an amount you are happy with. They should never be used as your primary wallet, that is not their intended function. Another important step to take is to use all the security options available on the site, make sure that two-factor authentication (2FA) is setup correctly and you use an app like Authy or Google authenticator. Do not use the mobile phone option which texts you a code, this is not safe as their have been a number of high-profile hacks involving sim-swaps which allow a would-be hacker to take over your phone number and then gain access to your account.
Coinbase is one of the, if not the, most trusted cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world. It is also the largest digital asset exchange platform in the world. The platform supports more than 32 countries and has more than 4 million active users. Traders are allowed to acquire and sell bitcoins using their bank account, credit card, PayPal, and other payment methods, as well. In order to begin trading on Coinbase, you will have to set up an e-wallet for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, users have to be able to link a valid bank account in order to purchase bitcoins. https://preview.redd.it/dauw912k1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=25f1df9624cea90cc1359160ac7fd8b133eba1e7 Currently, fully verified U.S. residents are only allowed to hold up to 50,000 bitcoins per day. Overall, Coinbase has a great reputation and is highly respected in the trader community. Most transactions through Coinbase only have a 1 percent transaction fee in addition to any fees that your selected payment method may carry. As with CEX, you can only purchase a few currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. You would then need to use Changelly to convert these to other crypto currencies. Another benefit of registering with Coinbase is the fact you are then able to use the Coinbase Pro exchange which is owed by the same company. Coinbase Pro allows to more advanced trading features such as margin trading and Market, Limit, & Stop Orders. Coinbase Pro also has lower fees than Coinbase. Read our full Coinbase Review here to learn more. We have also conducted a thourough look at Coinbase’s security measures here. Visit Coinbase
Binance is a newer exchange but one we have grown to love, it has a wide range of cryptocurrencies available to purchase and trade and has a basic and advanced view which you can switch between easily. Their fees are very reasonable and they allow you to register and trade immediately without having to verify your account. You will then be able to make withdrawals of up to 2 BTC per day, if you want to withdraw higher amounts you will then need to upload your photo ID and a “selfie” photo. https://preview.redd.it/01yawgfl1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=28c23efac9899a48ce174693ed30a6dba08d94db The public opinion of Binance at this time is very high with people praising the speed of the site, ease of use and cheap fees. For more details you can read our complete review of Binance here. Visit Binance
KuCoin is a new but very exciting exchange based in South Korea. They operate similarly to Binance in the fact that they list new altcoins much quicker than other exchanges so it’s a good place to purchase cryptocurrencies shortly after their ICO meaning there is a greater opportunity to profit by getting in early. The interface is very clean and modern and much easier to operate than other older and more clunky exchanges. They also offer their own token KCS which allows all holders to receive a daily share of profits of the platform, this is a great token to hold as you are paid in the many different currencies that the site allows people to trade in. https://preview.redd.it/qav0qx9m1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2635f1242f7474a56f21fe123c0ad1c7718a8ee8 Visit Kucoin
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange used in most big cities around the world. The general principle behind this exchange is that you can find people who live in your area or city and meet with them in person to conduct an exchange. The platform also offers options for purchasing digital currencies via PayPal, Square, direct-to-bank transfers, and many other payment-processing methods. The platform charges a small fee of 1 percent per transaction in cases where sellers apply their own exchange rate. https://preview.redd.it/p3igqf3n1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2eae56e0e8dbe452e1d327f24ecc96642de2bc70 Similar to the way Uber passengers and drivers are rated, LocalBitcoins applies a rating to each trader that uses the platform, and this rating is publicly displayed. Trades first have to undergo an escrow process to ensure that nobody will be scammed by using the platform. Once everything is verified, the funds and cryptocurrencies transfer between traders. LocalBitcoins takes a commission of 1 percent from sellers. W Take a look at our LocalBitcoins Review to find out more. Visit LocalBitcoins
CoinMama is a large bitcoin brokerage that allows users to acquire coins with their debit or credit cards. The platform issues small fees for transactions. To make up for this, however, the limits for how many bitcoins a user can buy are much higher in comparison to Coinbase. Users can acquire up to $5,000 of coins per day or up to $20,000 per month. All users need to do to use CoinMama is to set up an account, log in, and navigate to the profile page section to fill in personal information. https://preview.redd.it/rafwelwn1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e1ee6986f8f04ebfb40f0110fabab246203c2c66 Following this, users will be introduced to a page that allows them to select how many bitcoins they would like to purchase, and once a fitting amount has been selected, users will be allowed to add their preferred payment methods and bitcoin addresses. Users will also be required to verify their phone number and email address. CoinMama does not require most users to upload their government-issued ID. After completing the aforementioned steps and passing the verification process, users will be able to acquire bitcoins through CoinMama. Read our complete CoinMama Review here. Visit CoinMama
CEX.IO is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. However, despite being referred to as a cryptocurrency exchange, CEX.IO can only be used with bitcoins and ethereum which are the main two trading pairs for alt-coins. If you want to purchase other currencies, you can use CEX and then a service named Changelly to convert them to many other cryptos. The platform is registered with the FINCEN and applies KYC and AML principles. In other words, users have to completely verify their identity before they can get involved in any trades with this platform. Currently, the platform supports purchases with credit cards, wire transfers, or SEPA transfers for European residents. https://preview.redd.it/dvrr5yto1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=46fa36889957b7742bf1eb1f682c6c8c31c1f164 Once you enter a trade, the platform automatically calculates the price of the transaction and freezes the exchange rate for 120 seconds, which is quite convenient. However, many users note that there are occasional hidden fees. CEX.IO has a flat fee of 7 percent for anything involving fiat currencies. For example, if you acquire $100 in bitcoins, you will only receive $93 in coins. Read our indepth CEX Review here to learn more. Visit CEX
Bittrex is well established and highly regarded crypto trading platform, with many coins and tokens to choose from. The interface is not for complete beginner’s but you should be able to find your way around after a little while. https://preview.redd.it/xa00ycmp1ze31.jpg?width=808&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e42aedf2b51ff01005847ec0867c69ba94e8a7dd Read our full review of Bittrex here. Unsurprisingly, Bittrex’s most popular trading pairs are BTC and ETH. It must be noted that the exchange currently does not offer any kind of fiat-to-crypto pairs, e.g. with U.S. dollars, euros, or British pounds). One thing investors can do is buy USDT (Tether tokens) via wired bank transfers in order to use USDT for crypto-to-crypto exchanges. However, you’ll need to be fully verified and willing to slap down at least $10,000 USD for Bittrex to even consider the transfer. And we here at Blockonomi don’t remind this approach anyways; there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Tether lately, and it’s best just to stay away for now until further developments actualize. Visit Bittrex
Picking the ideal cryptocurrency exchange platform for your specific needs may be a difficult and time-consuming process. Remember to pay attention to the fees, reputation, security, verification processes, and geographical services an exchange platform has to offer. Remember that you are not limited to using only one cryptocurrency exchange. Hopefully, the information provided will assist you in deciding which exchange platform to use. We have selected 6 Cryptocurrency exchanges here which are trustworthy and easy to use for beginners to get started building their investment portfolios. Original article link: https://blockonomi.com/cryptocurrency-exchanges/
Coinbase Tutorial. A Definitive Guide for Newcomers.
Coinbase Tutorial. A Definitive Guide for Newcomers.
As cryptocurrencies become more abundant throughout our society, more information must be prevalent to educate the newcomers into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. If you’re new to cryptocurrencies, then you’ve come to the right place as Coinbase is one of the simplest cryptocurrency trading platforms to get started on. Once you understand Coinbase, more advanced trading platforms such as Binance won’t seem as intimidating.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency trading platform which allows you to buy and sell five different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. Note that there are over thousands of different cryptocurrencies but these four are what Coinbase specializes in.
Making a Coinbase account
Creating a Coinbase account is very simple but there’s much more to it compared to something like creating a Reddit account. Be sure to have either your driver’s license, passport, or identification card at hand as you’ll be asked to provide this information via upload. Coinbase currently has a sign-up promotion going on. If you haven't signed up yet, sign up using this link and you'll receive $10 free in bitcoin (after you spend $100).
Why does Coinbase need to see my ID?
Coinbase needs to be able to verify your identify because they are a regulated financial service company operating in the US. As they state on their website:
As a regulated financial service company operating in the US we are periodically required to identify users on our platform. This ensures we remain in compliance with KYC/AML laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate, something that is necessary for us to be able to continue to offer digital currency exchange services to our customers.
Once you’ve created your account, you’ll have to wait until you get approved before you’re allowed to start buying and trading on the platform. This can take upwards of 7 days till approval. Coinbase will also make two distinct small charges towards your bank account. You will need to find these charges and register them into Coinbase as a part of the approval process. The time in which it’ll take to get approved will vary person to person, just be patient and you eventually will get approved. In the mean-time I highly recommend taking some extra steps done to ensure the security, and longevity of your account.
Securing Your Coinbase Account
Two Factor Authentication
Upon signing into your Coinbase account, you’ll be sent a text message containing a code in which you will have to input allowing you to access your account. This is a security measure done to ensure it is specifically you trying to access your account, it’s important to note that a hacker could still compromise your account through a social engineering attack with what is known as a phone porting attack. This attack is done after obtaining your phone number and various other personal information, the hacker will then call up your phone carrier impersonating you, and then attempt to port your number over to a new device. Once a hacker has access to your text messages, they can then access your account with your SMS two-factor authentication code. If you’d like to see a real example of how this can play out, Cody Brown shares his example of how he lost $8k worth of bitcoin to this attack. Anyways, the best way to prevent this is through the use of an authenticator. The most common being Google Authenticator. I don’t want to get into too much technical details as to how authenticators work. Think of it as a digital key, stored on a device that changes every 30 seconds. In order to enable authenticator for Coinbase, go to Settings > Security and Enable Authenticator as shown here. After that a prompt will appear along with a QR code and a secret code (comprised of a random string of 16 letters & numbers). You will need to open up your Google Authenticator app and scan in your QR code. You will also need to write down your secret code and keep it in a safe place such as a safe and/or security deposit box. Once enabled, any time you wish to access your Coinbase account or make trades/transfers, you will need access to the 6-digit code provided by your authenticator. IMPORTANT: If you lose access to the device you’ve enacted authenticator on, you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT be able to recover your account UNLESS you have that 16 digit secret code. This is a serious matter that should be taken with serious caution. It is important you take preventative security measures to ensure the security of your cryptocurrency. I highly recommend calling your bank and opening a security deposit box. This will mostly likely cost a yearly fee but the peace of mind alone is worth it IMO.
I’d like to briefly touch on phishing schemes. Phishing is the act of attempting to obtain personal information through the use of social engineering. Common phishing schemes/methods include: fraudulent e-mails in which the sender tries to impersonate an entity of authority (we’ve all received these sketchy e-mails before) and websites registered under the misspelling of a popular domain. In the world of crypto, it is essential to be attentive to schemes like these as it is much easier to fall victim than you may think. The anonymity of crypto alone makes it very appealing to hackers & scammers. You should always be on the lookout for fraudulent schemes. Some preventative actions you may want to consider taking:
Creating a bookmarks folder of all the popular crypto-related sites you visit
Creating email inbox rules to distinguish trusted entities.
As a safety precaution, ensure you have authenticator enabled throughout all your crypto-related accounts with the security keys kept in a safety deposit box.
Use a hardware wallet to store your cryptocurrency instead of keeping them on exchanges (I’ll touch more on this later)
Funding Your Coinbase Account
Congratulations, your Coinbase account got approved! You can now start funding your account… or so you thought. Upon your first cryptocurrency purchase with Coinbase, it is very likely your bank will automatically flag the purchase as fraudulent. If this happens to you (which it most likely will), you will need to call up your bank and let them know to let the purchase go through. Once you’ve taken care of that, buying and selling cryptocurrency is relatively self-explanatory. Just go to Buy/Sell in the menu and choose which currency you’d like to buy/sell as shown below. https://imgur.com/isNuaSJ
Coinbase has weekly limits as to how much cryptocurrency you may purchase. Your limits will not start out this high but increase with proper verification and the longer you have an account. Weekly Buy Limits
Bank Account: $25,000
Credit/Debit Card: $7,500
Weekly Sell Limits
Credit/Debit Card and bank account purchases are both instantaneous, however, for bank account purchases, it'll take 5-7 business days for you to see the charge in your account. For information see:
There’s three distinct fee’s you will encounter with Coinbase.
Conversion & Exchange Fees: These are fees you’ll encounter through the buying, selling or exchanging of crypto. A fee is charged when you convert fiat to crypto.
Transfer Fees: A fee is charged if you’re transferring crypto to a different wallet (IE: Crypto Binance). Note that if this wallet happens to be another Coinbase wallet, there is no fee.
Mining Fees: These's are inherent fee's you'll encounter with any sort of crypto transaction. Mining fee's will also change depending on which cryptocurrency you are purchasing. I don't want to delve to much into the technical aspects as to why this is (as it can get very technical). I'll have to save this for a later post.
Note that the Bitcoin network is notorious for insanely high fee's. Purchase and transaction fee's upwards of $50+ are not uncommon during periods of high network congestion. Using Bitcoin to purchase something like a cup of coffee is completely trivial, and as we advance forward into the space, it's becoming more apparent that Bitcoin's main use case will be that of a digital gold rather than a global payment network.
Lowest Possible Fee With Coinbase
If you're going to be making large crypto purchases through Coinbase, ideally you'd want to get the lowest fee possible. I have found that the best way to do this is by your linking a bank account rather then by purchasing through debit/credit card. See photo.
Funding via bank account: 1.46% fee
Funding via debit/credit card: 3.83% fee
See photo. As you can see, both allow instantaneous availability of funds. However, it'll take 5-7 business days for the bank account transfer charge to appear in your account. Note: The fee you receive will also depend on how large of an amount you are purchasing. Expect fees to be a bit higher for smaller purchasing amounts and lower for larger amounts.
It's important to know that fees will change depending on what country you're from and what cryptocurrency you happen to be purchasing. For more information on Coinbase fees I highly recommend visiting their fee disclosure page.
Avoiding Coinbase Transfer Fees Using GDAX
There is a bit of loophole to avoid Coinbase transfer fees. This is done through Coinbase’s advanced trading platform known as GDAX. It looks intimidating, but it’s a lot easier to use than they make it seem. Luckily, as Coinbase user, you technically already have a GDAX account. Simply follow the sign-up steps for GDAX, and you’ll find your information pre-populated. No need for long wait-times for verification etc. To mitigate Coinbase transfer fees, send your money: Coinbase - GDAX - wallet of your choice
Sending & Receiving Cryptocurrency
Sending and receiving crypto with Coinbase is super easy…
Go to Accounts in the menu, look for the currency you’d like to send, then click Send. A prompt will come up instructing you to put in the recipients address and the amount you’d like to send. Ethereum example.
Go to Accounts in the menu, look for the currency you’d like to receive, then click Receive. A QR code and random string of numbers will appear. That random string of letters & numbers is your wallet address. This string is what you’d give to someone if you were looking to receive crypto. Your wallet address is also crypto specific. This means that if you try to send Litecoin to your Bitcoin wallet address, the transaction will fail. Random LPT: If you’re ever needing to transfer a large amount of crypto to another wallet, I recommend sending a test amount which is basically just a small amount of crypto. If said small amount appears in the wallet, you know you have the correct address. If not… you may need to just wait a bit longer and hopefully it will appear, or you’ve sent it to the wrong wallet address.
Securing Your Cryptocurrency
There are many ways you could go about securing your cryptocurrency. I’m going to discuss two.
The Vault is a feature Coinbase offers free of charge to safeguard your funds by adding multiple layers of security. With the vault, there is a designated time frame for withdrawals. This helps to safeguard against hackers getting into and emptying your account. Additionally, you can have other people (or email addresses) needed to confirm these withdrawals for an added layer of security. Warning: The vault is a feature you should use if you are planning on holding your cryptocurrency for a longer period of time. It is not recommended if you are looking to turn quick profits through buying and selling often due to the 3 day waiting period for withdrawals.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet. It allows you to store your cryptocurrency in physical device akin to that of a USB drive. You would then ideally keep this in a safe at home. This is my personal preferred method of storing cryptocurrency because I don’t have to worry about hackers potentially gaining access to my cryptocurrency online, rather, that security falls into my own hand. I just have to make sure I don’t lose or damage my Ledger, and even if I managed to do that, there is a 16 word recovery phrase provided by the Ledger in the event of a lost, damaged, or stolen Ledger. As long as you have the recovery phrase, you can recover all your cryptocurrency. So after purchasing crypto through Coinbase, instead of leaving my digital goods on the exchange, I transfer it to cold storage (which is another word for hardware wallet IE: Ledger Nano S).
My Primary use of Coinbase
I primarily use Coinbase as an easy access point into the crypto world. Coinbase makes it very easy to purchase the largest of cryptocurrencys and once you have access to these, you can start purchasing more niche cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, EOS, IOTA, NEO, etc... You would do this through the use of much larger exchange such as Binance. You cannot directly convert fiat to crypto with Binance yet. So in order to fund a Binance account, you need to convert your fiat to crypto through an exchange that allows you to do so, (this is where Coinbase comes into play) send that crypto to your Binance account, then make a purchase. The way I go about doing this is:
1st I purchase Ethereum through Coinbase. I purchase Ethereum instead of Bitcoin, because as I mentioned before, Bitcoin is notorious for insanely mining and transaction fees. Ethereum has much lower fees.
2nd I send said Ethereum to my Binance account
3rd Once I receive that Ethereum on my Binance account, I make my niche cryptocurrency purchase through the Binance exchange.
I have a step-by-step guide that details out this process. You can view it here. PHEWWWW. That was a lot of words... Anyways, I hope this was beneficial to you crypto newbies out there. I plan on making more tutorials like this in the future :) If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments sections down below. I’m sure either myself or the community would be able to respond.
I’ve been researching privacy coins deeply and feel I’ve reached a sufficient findings to merit sharing my stance re SUMO.
By Taylor Margot. Everyone should read this! THE BASICS SUMOkoin is a fork of MONERO (XMR). XMR is a fork of Bytecoin. In my opinion, XMR is hands down the most undervalued coin in the top 15. Its hurdle is that people do not know how to price in privacy to the price of a coin yet. Once people figure out how to accurately assess the value privacy into the value of a coin, XMR, along with other privacy coins like SUMOkoin, will go parabolic. Let’s be clear about something. I am not here to argue SUMOkoin is superior to XMR. That’s not what this article is about and frankly is missing the point. I don’t find the SUMOkoin vs. XMR debate interesting. From where I stand, investing in SUMOkoin has nothing to do with SUMOkoin overtaking XMR or who has superior tech. If anything, I think the merits of XMR underline the value of SUMOkoin. What I do find interesting is return on investment (“ROI”). Imagine SUMO was an upcoming ICO. But you knew ahead of time that they had a proven product-market fit and an awesome, blue chip code base. That’s basically what you have in SUMO. Most good ICOs raise over 20mil (meaning their starting market cap is $20 mil) but after that, it’s a crapshoot. Investing in SUMO is akin to getting ICO prices but with the amount of information associated with more established coins. Let me make one more thing clear. Investing is all about information. Specifically it’s about the information imbalance between current value and the quality of your information. SUMO is highly imbalanced. The fact of the matter is that if you are interested in getting the vision and product/market fit of a $6 billion market cap coin for $20 mil, you should keep reading. If you are interested in arguing about XMR vs. SUMOkoin, I point you to this infographic Background I’m a corporate tech & IP lawyer in Silicon Valley. My practice focuses on venture capital (“VC)”) and mergers & acquisitions (“M&A”). Recently I have begun doing more IP strategy. Basically I spend all day every day reviewing cap tables, stock purchase agreements, merger agreements and patent portfolios. I’m also the CEO of a startup (Scry Chat) and have a team of three full-time engineers. I started using BTC in 2014 in conjunction with Silk Road and TOR. I recently had a minor conniption when I discovered how much BTC I handled in 2014. My 2017 has been good with IOTA at sub $0.30, POWR at $0.12, ENJIN at $0.02, REQ at $0.05, ENIGMA at $0.50, ITC (IoT Chain) and SUMO. My crypto investing philosophy is based on betting long odds. In the words of Warren Buffet, consolidate to get rich, diversify to stay rich. Or as I like to say, nobody ever got rich diversifying. That being said I STRONGLY recommend you have an IRA and/or 401(k) in place prior to venturing into crypto. But when it comes to crypto, I’d rather strike out dozens of times to have a chance at hitting a 100x home run. This approach is probably born out of working with VCs in Silicon Valley who do the same only with companies, not coins. I view myself as an aggressive VC in the cryptosphere. The Number 1 thing I’ve taken away from venture law is that it pays to get in EARLY. Did you know that the typical founder buys their shares for $0.00001 per share? So if a founder owns 5 million shares, they bought those shares for $50 total. The typical IPO goes out the door at $10-20 per share. My iPhone calculator says ERROR when it tries to divide $10/0.00001 because it runs out of screen real estate. At the time of this writing, SUMO has a Marketcap of $18 million. That is 3/10,000th or 1/3333th. Let that sink in for a minute. BCH is a fork of BTC and it has the fourth largest market cap of all cryptos. Given it’s market cap, I am positive SUMO is the best value proposition in the Privacy Coin arena at the time of this writing. * ROI MERITS OF SUMOkoin So what’s so good about SUMOkoin? Didn’t you say it was just a Monero knock-off? 1) Well, sort of. SUMO is based on CryptoNote and was conceived from a fork of Monero, with a little bit of extra privacy thrown in. It would not be wrong to think SUMO is to Litecoin as XMR is to Bitcoin. 2) Increased Privacy. Which brings us to point 2. SUMO is doing several things to increase privacy (see below). If Monero is the King of Privacy Coins, then SUMO is the Standard Bearer fighting on the front lines. Note: Monero does many of these too (though at the time of fork XMR could not). Don’t forget Monero is also 5.8 billion market cap to SUMO’s 18 million. a) RingCT. All transactions since genesis are RingCT (ring confidential transactions) and the minimum “mixin” transactions is 13 (12 plus the original transaction). This passes the threshold to statistically resist blockchain attacks. No transactions made on the SUMO blockchain can ever be traced to the actual participants. Nifty huh? Monero (3+1 mixins) is considering a community-wide fork to increase their minimum transactions to 6, 9, or 12. Not a bad market signal if you’re SUMOkoin eh? b) Sub-addresses. The wallet deploys disposable sub-addresses to conceal your real sumo wallet address even from senders (who typically would need to know your actual address to send currency). Monero also does this. 3) Fungibility aka “Digital Cash” aka Broad Use Case. “Fungibility” gets thrown about a bunch but basically it means ‘how close is this coin to cash in terms of usage?’ SUMO is one of a few cryptos that can boast true fungibility — it acts just like physical cash i.e. other people can never trace where the money came from or how many coins were transferred. MONERO will never be able to boast this because it did not start as fungible. 4) Mining Made Easy Mode. Seeing as SUMO was a fork, and not an ICO, they didn’t have to rewrite the wheel. Instead they focused on product by putting together solid fundamentals like a great wallet and a dedicated mining app. Basically anyone can mine with the most intuitive GUI mining app out there. Google “Sumo Easy Miner” – run and mine. 5) Intuitive and Secure Wallet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, yet in this day and age, apparently it is not a prereq. They have a GUI wallet plus those unlimited sub-addresses I mentioned above. Here’s the github if you’d like to review: https://github.com/sumoprojects/SumoGUIWallet The wallet really is one of the best I have seen (ENJIN’s will be better). Clear, intuitive, idiot proof (as possible). 6) Decentralization. SUMO is botnet-proof, and therefore botnet mining resistant. When a botnet joins a mining pool, it adjusts the mining difficulty, thereby balancing the difficulty level of mining. 7) Coin Emission Scheme. SUMO’s block reward changes every 6-months as the following “Camel” distribution schema (inspired by real-world mining production like of crude oil, coal, etc. that is often slow at first, then accelerated in before decline and depletion). MONERO lacks this schema and it is significant. Camel ensures that Sumokoin won’t be a short-lived phenomena. Specifically, since Sumo is proof-of-work, not all SUMO can be mined. If it were all mined, miners would no longer be properly incentivized to contribute to the network (unless transaction fees were raised, which is how Bitcoin plans on handling when all 21 million coins have been mined, which will go poorly given that people already complain about fees). A good emission scheme is vital to viability. Compare Camel and Monero’s scheme if you must: https://github.com/sumoprojects/sumokoin/blob/mastescripts/sumokoin_camel_emission_cal.cpp vs. https://monero.stackexchange.com/questions/242/how-was-the-monero-emission-curve-chosen/247. 8) Dev Team // Locked Coins // Future Development Funds. There are lots of things that make this coin a ‘go.’ but perhaps the most overlooked in crypto is that the devs have delivered ahead of schedule. If you’re an engineer or have managed CS projects, you know how difficult hitting projected deadlines can be. These guys update github very frequently and there is a high degree of visibility. The devs have also time-locked their pre-mine in a publicly view-able wallet for years so they aren’t bailing out with a pump and dump. The dev team is based in Japan. 9) Broad Appeal. If marketed properly, SUMO has the ability to appeal to older individuals venturing into crypto due to the fungibility / similarities to cash. This is not different than XMR, and I expect it will be exploited in 2018 by all privacy coins. It could breed familiarity with new money, and new money is the future of crypto. 10) Absent from Major Exchanges. Thank god. ALL of my best investments have happened off Binance, Bittrex, Polo, GDAX, etc. Why? Because by the time a coin hits a major exchange you’re already too late. Your TOI is fucked. You’re no longer a savant. SUMO is on Cryptopia, the best jenky exchange. 11) Marketing. Which brings me to my final point – and it happens to be a weakness. SUMO has not focused on marketing. They’ve instead gathered together tech speaks for itself (or rather doesn’t). So what SUMO needs a community effort to distribute facts about SUMO’s value prop to the masses. A good example is Vert Coin. Their team is very good at disseminating information. I’m not talking about hyping a coin; I’m talking about how effectively can you spread facts about your product to the masses. To get mainstream SUMO needs something like this VertCoin post: https://np.reddit.com/vertcoin/comments/7ixkbf/vertbase_a_vertcoin_to_usd_exchange/ MARKET CAP DISCUSSION For a coin with using Monero’s tech, 20 million is minuscule. For any coin 20 mil is nothing. Some MC comparisons [as of Jan 2, 2017]:
SUMO: 18 million
ENJIN: 150 million (9x)
Enigma: 465 million (26x)
REQ: 500 million (28x)
POWR: 500 million (28x)
Monero: 5.8 billion (mental maths iz hard)
Let’s talk about market cap (“MC”) for a minute. It gets tossed around a lot but I don’t think people appreciate how important getting in as early as possible can be. Say you buy $1000 of SUMO at 20 mil MC. Things go well and 40 million new money gets poured into SUMO. Now the MC = 60 million. Your ROI is 200% (you invested $1,000 and now you have 3,000, netting 2,000). Now let’s says say you bought at 40 million instead of 20 million. $20 mill gets poured in until the MC again reaches 60 mil. Your ROI is 50% (you put in $1,000, you now have 1,500, netting 500). Remember: investing at 20 mil MC vs. 40 mil MC represents an EXTREMELY subtle shift in time of investment (“TOI”). But the difference in net profit is dramatic. the biggest factor is that your ROI multiplier is locked in at your TOI — look at the difference in the above example. 200% ROI vs. 50% ROI. That’s huge. But the difference was only 20 mil — that’s 12 hours in the crypto world. I strongly believe SUMO can and will 25x in Q1 2018 (400m MC) and 50x by Q4 2018 reach. There is ample room for a tricked out Monero clone at 1 bil MC. That’s 50x. Guess how many coins have 500 mil market caps? 58 as of this writing. 58! Have many of these coins with about ~500 mil MC have you heard of? MaidSafeCoin? Status? Decred? Veritaseum? DRAGONCHAIN ARE YOU KIDDING ME THE ROLE OF PRIVACY I want to close with a brief discussion of privacy as it relates to fundamental rights and as to crypto. 2018 will be remembered as the Year of Privacy Coins. Privacy has always been at the core of crypto. This is no coincidence. “Privacy” is the word we have attached to the concept of possessing the freedom to do as you please within the law without explaining yourself to the government or financial institution. Discussing privacy from a financial perspective is difficult because it has very deep political significance. But that is precisely why it is so valuable. Privacy is the right of billions of people not to be surveilled. We live in a world where every single transaction you do through the majority financial system is recorded, analyzed and sold — and yet where the money goes is completely opaque. Our transactions are visible from the top, but we can’t see up. Privacy coins turn that upside down. Privacy is a human right. It is the guarantor of American constitutional freedom. It is the cornerstone of freedoms of expression, association, political speech and all our other freedoms for that matter. And privacy coins are at the root of that freedom. What the internet did for freedom of information, privacy coins will do for freedom of financial transactions. POST SCRIPT: AN ENGINEER’S PERSPECTIVE Recently a well respected engineer reached out to me and had this to say about SUMO. I thought I’d share. "I’m messaging you because I came at this from a different perspective. For reference, I started investing in Sumo back when it was around $0.5 per coin. My background is in CS and Computer Engineering. I currently research in CS. When I was looking for a coin to invest in, I approached it in a completely different way from what you described in your post, I first made a list of coins with market caps < 20m, and then I removed all the coins that didn’t have active communities. Next, because of my background, I read through the code for each of the remaining coins, and picked the coins which had both frequent commits to GitHub (proving dev activity), and while more subjective, code that was well written. Sumo had both active devs, and (very) well written code. I could tell that the people behind this knew what they were doing, and so I invested. I say all of this, because I find it interesting how we seem to have very different strategies for selecting ‘winners’ but yet we both ended up finding Sumo." — Legal Disclaimer: THIS POST AND ANY SUBSEQUENT STATEMENTS BY THE AUTHOR DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE OR RELIED UPON. NO REFERENCES TO THIS POST SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE. THIS POST REPRESENTS THE LONE OPINION OF A NON-SOPHISTICATED INVESTOR.
Super Beginners Guide to getting started in Cryptocurrency. (written from a Canadians Perspective)
Getting Started in Crypto What is cryptocurrency? In the most basic sense a cryptocurrency is an encrypted currency (generally decentralized but not always) that functions on a blockchain. This was executed first by satoshi nakamoto in 2008 after the financial crisis caused by the crash of the housing market. The creation of bitcoin and blockchain solved the double spending problem, which in turn paved the way for everything that has and will come. What is blockchain? This question can be answered in many ways, for sake of this guide I’m just going to do it in the simplest and if you want more detail I am happy to provide. “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value”. What that means is that it’s a system the cannot be corrupted, and records everything done on a given exchange network. In terms of currency that means that every transaction is recorded somewhere on the blockchain. In terms of other goods or services there are endless possibilities. Coin vs Token. In its most basic sense a coin is a cryptocurrency unit that is exactly that, a currency. Generally, the early players in the cryptocurrency world are coins. You have coins such as bitcoin, litecoin, and monero. A token on the other hand is a cryptocurrency that has a broader function. These tend to be the new school of crypto and you get things like ether, ripple, raiblocks, and so on. It is important to be able to distinguish between the two so that you know exactly what you end up investing in. Exchanges and Wallets. So, once you finally decide you want to get involved the first steps are to find yourself a wallet and exchange for your desired currency. Wallets can be found online and generally most cryptocurrencies have designated wallets you can find on their website. Exchanges are where your fiat currency (things like cad and usd) and then exchange for whatever you desire. Coinbase is the biggest exchange as of right now, however it isn’t Canadian friendly and only holds 4 currencies as of now (that number will change in the future). I personally use Quadrigacx, it is a Canadian exchange based out of Vancouver where uploading fiat currency is easy once you become verified (submit required documents). It is very secure, and I have had no problems with it to date. Now, quadrigacx only exchanges a handful of currencies so if you are looking for one that isn’t on there these will be your steps. Wire capital to quadrigacx, buy BTC, transfer your BTC to an exchange that carries what you like, and purchase it through there. The list of exchanges I use, and trust include: bittrex, binance, kucoin, yobit, coinexchange.io. kraken, and radar relay. Now once you start to get involved I suggest you stick to quadrigacx, bittrex, binance. Those are the major players and by far the easiest to use. Once you get more accustomed to the environment of trading then I would say branching out is a good idea. What to buy? Fuck, good question. The most important question you must ask yourself is do you want a short or long-term investment. To start your journey, I would say long term would be the best bet. You can purchase some crypto, watch it go, pay attention to the market and what influences it and make some steady gains (hopefully). Long term investments are held (in my opinion) for at minimum three weeks. My rule of thumb for long term investments is that it must fit 3 criteria. It must be a technology I believe in and like, a reputable team must back it, and it MUST BE SCALABLE. If something fits those then I’m in for the long haul. Now short-term investments are not day trading. What I mean by short term investments are small shitcions that have good ideas, followings, and has potential to gain fast traction. Personally, when I choose short term investments I like them to be under 2 dollars and I hold them for 3 days to 3 weeks. If I’m not happy with them at any time within that period, then I’m out. DON’T BE A GREEDY SON OF BITCH Now to elaborate on my previous points, if you have a long-term investment… ITS SUPPOSED TO BE LONG TERM. Now I’m not saying you can never walk away with profit because profit isn’t profit until you pull it out. This is kind of a double-edged sword and this is what distinguishes good traders from average. You need to have the stomach to hold when others pull out and panic sell, and you need to have the brains to pull out before it crashes. In other words, you need to be smart about every single action you make in the crypto world and you need to make every decision for yourself. Not because you read some crackpot of reddit panic selling over a 2% dip. INFORMATION INFORMATION INFORMATION You must understand that cryptocurrency is not stocks. You are not buying into a company, you are purchasing a good. This is imperative to understand. The cryptocurrency world does not sleep like the stock market does, it is constantly moving whether you are paying attention to it or not. This means that sometimes you are going to get lucky and stumble upon something at 2am on a Tuesday night that could make you rich, or maybe you lose out on something because you were sleeping. Shit happens, and you can’t dwell on it. It is a volatile market and you must do the best you can in the present moment and not get caught up in the past or future. Those who try to predict the market lose it all. Be smart all the time and think every decision through. Information is constantly flowing which means you need to be an active member in the community if you want to stay on top of it, this means reddit, google news, telegram, discord, and people. It is so easy to network and get involved, and it really is an overall safe and good community. One of the best parts of cryptocurrency is that everyone involved wants it to succeed, and for it to succeed everyone needs to help everyone. That is why I am writing this for you. You need to constantly be educating yourself. Understand that you can’t be an expert, but you can be educated. There will always be others out there who know more than you, and you must be willing to find and learn from them. Be respectful and ask questions ALL THE TIME. Is it a bubble? Notice how I didn’t ask the question “will it crash” because the answer to that is always going to yes. That is how people buy low and sell high to make money. You want to get in low, and sell before it crashes. In the past 2 months the crypto world has experienced 3 major crashes. All of them has recovered and all of them were great opportunities to make good money. Like I said, be smart and try your best to be ahead of the game. That being said you are going to lose money at times. That is okay, just make sure you learn from it. Sometimes it can be attributed to poor decision making, and other times its just shit luck. ITS OKAY. In my opinion crypto currency is not a bubble. Blockchain technology has the ability to change the world in radical ways we haven’t even thought of yet. For something to be a bubble it must lack utility, but everyday more and more utility comes around for cryptocurrency. Whether it be buying goods with bitcoin or banks implementing ripple into their everyday business life. Safety Now in an online world you must do a lot on your own. This means you must be safe about everything. Double and triple check everything, avoid anything you don’t 100% believe in, and keep everything safe. This means all your passwords and code need to be written down in at least 3 places as well as up your ass for good measure. You lose your shit you lose your money. Simple. Don’t be fucking around and handing anything out to anyone because in an environment where you can make everything in an hour… you can lose more in seconds. So be weary and trust your gut. And that’s it for the basic guide. If you have any more questions or want more in depth knowledge or insight I’m happy to give what I know upon further request. Remember that this is a volatile market and everything I said it just MY opinion and knowledge. Take it with a grain of salt and question everything for yourself. Don’t invest anything you aren’t willing to lose and be involved for the right reasons. Cheers and good luck.
About some years ago, one of my friends hailed his belief in Bitcoin and explained how he moved his whole life savings onto a hardware wallet and erudite his private alphanumeric key. He sounded like a character from a Neal Stephenson novel-gritty, daring and irreverent of the world’s established banking systems. While Bitcoin has soared since then and made him a millionaire many times over, the question now is if it will continue to rise in value or if it’s already reached its height. A digital currency “crypto currency” that has no tangible paper or physical coin representation. Instead, encryption techniques using computers and open source software generate the currency based on mathematical proof, or blockchains. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are decentralized: There’s no place like a bank where the currency is held, and a private security key tied to an open source ledger proves who holds the value. 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Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
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