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How Casinos Are Embracing Cryptocurrency

How Casinos Are Embracing Cryptocurrency

Digital currencies and blockchain technology have had an immense impact on kasinot across the globe.

One of the areas where this impact has been very profound is in the gambling sector – which has also been known for embracing the latest technologies. Gaming operators have always been at the frontlines when it comes to trying out new and innovative technologies all in a bid to keep their customers happy and interested. That said, it was only a matter of time before cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin among many others made their mark in the gambling industry. All of the features that these digital currencies promise are, without a doubt, very desirable features for gamblers across the world. The result is a mutually beneficial arrangement where digital currencies get the necessary boost to go mainstream while the gaming operators get a front-row seat as the world ushers in the new age of next-generation digital payments. Naturally, there has to be a framework for this and thankfully its already being implemented in both land-based casinos and in online gambling platforms. 

Crypto in Land-Based Casinos

Cryptocurrencies, since their conception, have always been digitized forms of payment. However, nearly everything is digitized nowadays. Still, brick-and-mortar casinos rely greatly on existing systems all of which are based on traditional payment options and fiat currency. Thankfully, there is a solution to this. Lots of land-based casinos have embraced digital currencies. It is quite common to be able to pay with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum or any other digital currency at several dozen land-based gaming facilities. However, this does not mean that these casinos shove them down people’s throats.

Instead, the cryptocurrencies are used alongside other traditional forms of payments. As such, in most of these casinos, your digital currency will be converted to fiat currency which you will then use to play your favorite casino games. It is that easy! Now, this might not necessarily be the future that most die-hard digital currency enthusiasts envisioned. However, the integration will certainly be a great way for the industry to market itself. Eventually, we might finally get to see mainstream crypto-online retail gambling space being made available but the existing solution is certainly acceptable. The wait might be rather long but thankfully the gears are already in motion which means that we certainly need to get ready for that future.

Crypto in Online Casinos

Online casinos are among the biggest beneficiaries of the digital currency revolution that is currently underway. In fact, it extends beyond just the digital currencies themselves to several other aspects including blockchain applications like smart contracts. The potential of these technologies can be said to be exponential especially because new use cases come up very often. Initially, online casino sites that accepted digital currencies were considered to be underground gambling sites. This is true to some extent.

However, things have since changed and legitimate Bitcoin casinos in the USA especially, have grasped all of the benefits that cryptocurrencies come with. Today, there are tons of crypto-only casinos that give players a whole new online gambling experience. On the same note, online gaming destinations that existed long before crypto took off have also joined the bandwagon. These ones allow you to convert your cryptocurrencies into fiat which you can then use to bet on the platforms. Just like in the case of most land-based casinos, while there is indeed a growing number of digital currency users, the number of people who still use good old fiat is still pretty hard to downplay.

What the Future Holds

One thing is for sure – the future looks very bright for the world of crypto and payments as a whole. A good number of people and businesses including casinos are quite happy with waiting. Still, it is very impressive that we have gotten to a point where you can participate in this development. Now, if you have any type of digital currency you are assured of finding a gambling facility or platform that will allow you to use it. There are a few things that, of course, need to be ironed out along the way which is expected of any nascent technology. Its rapid growth should, however, make up for this.

Article Produced By
Globalcoin

Independent ICO Research and Reporting on the Biggest Cryptocurrency Winners From a Top 10 Crypto News Site.
 

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Cryptocurrency Fraud is Evolving; Bitcoin ATMs Mitigate Risk

Cryptocurrency Fraud is Evolving; Bitcoin ATMs Mitigate Risk 

In one of the more overlooked aspects of the crypto ecosystem,

it appears that the bulk of illicit activities are shifting from hacks and thefts to cryptocurrency fraud and scams. CipherTrace, the crypto-surveillance, and analysis firm released a report at the end of Q4 2019 that revealed hacks and thefts had decreased by 66 percent in 2019 while fraud and misappropriation of funds surged by 533 percent. And beneath the COVID-19 hysteria of 2020, hacks in the crypto sector have been eerily isolated. Outside of a few exploited flaws in P2P exchanges and DeFi flash loan vulnerabilities, the headline-grabbing hacks of exchanges for hundreds of millions of dollars have been absent so far this year. Is the industry due for another massive hack, or are stringent KYC/AML processes, regulatory crackdowns, better security practices, and blockchain surveillance working? 

KYC/AML Improvements Are Reducing the Appeal of Crypto Exchange Laundering 

2020 is far removed from the no-KYC wild west days of the early-mid 2010s where anonymous altcoin casinos preponderated and the Dark Underbelly of Cryptocurrency Markets thrived. Today, bitcoin and the crypto ecosystem is becoming institutionalized with a surfeit of derivatives (e.g., options, futures, perp swaps, etc.) available on regulated exchanges. 

Most of the leading exchanges adhere to the demands of the regulatory regimes in their locales, whether they be in the US or some more obscure locations like Seychelles. Conventional wisdom would indicate that the growing adherence to stricter KYC/AML enforcement has reduced the appeal of major crypto exchanges for money laundering — a sentiment mirrored by CipherTrace’s most recent report. Many exchange venues are also embedding self-regulatory procedures into their business models. For example, exchanges are increasingly tapping blockchain surveillance companies to avoid regulatory ire when it comes to money laundering, regulators are dealing out enforcement dictates for AML compliance, and regulatory arbitrage is becoming harder for exchanges to manage. Even more grassroots access venues to crypto assets, like Bitcoin ATMs, are fully regulated under US KYC/AML laws. For example, Bitcoin ATM provider, Bitcoin of America (BOA), with more than 250 locations in 17 states, is a registered Money Services Business (MSB) with the Treasury Department. And the company’s compliance standards have already proved fruitful in mitigating fraud at a high level.  

For instance, in one case in September 2019, a BOA customer placed an online order for $500k in BTC. The transaction size raised the compliance level (e.g., identification requirements, etc.) along with increased scrutiny on the transaction by the team. Upon closer examination, the BOA team discovered that the customer had a restitution order against him in the state of California for a previous fraud scheme. BOA personnel subsequently notified the corresponding FBI office and alerted the agency that the transaction may be used to circumvent the restitution order. The FBI issued a seizure warrant for the funds, distributing to the victims of the previous scam. Bitcoin of America and other alternative fiat-to-crypto exchange services have strict command over fraud prevention. Wires and online transfers require ID And other personal info that increases in tiers in lockstep with the transaction amount increases. As the avalanche of KYC/AML processes continues to take the exchange market by storm, exchanges become less appealing for hackers. 

Gone are the days of absconding with $500 million anonymously. Exchanges thoroughly identify users withdrawing sizeable amounts, and blockchain surveillance companies like CipherTrace can trace and blacklist stolen assets on public blockchains. As a result, crypto hackers have turned into crypto fraudsters, or maybe fraudsters simply have their moment to shine. For example, debacles like QuadrigaCX, where roughly $200 million was “misplaced” by the founder, count as fraud. With reduced incentives for third-parties to maliciously steal funds from an exchange due to surveillance risks, inside jobs are becoming more commonplace. Inside jobs may be the new normal, especially when you consider the vastly improved security practices of most industry exchange venues. 

Better Security Practices are Forcing Hackers to Get Creative 

Unsurprisingly, many of the biggest crypto exchange hacks are inextricably linked to poor security standards of exchanges. Lousy security practices ranged from storing significant sums of customer deposits in hot wallets to a lack of multi-signature authorization for large withdrawals. Times are different now. Regulated custodians like BitGo are widely tapped by many of the leading exchanges, and self-custody digital asset management platforms like Ledger Vault are rapidly becoming the new standard. These services offer secure multi-signature authorization mechanisms, deep cold storage, and other conditional flows required to mitigate any potential exogenous threats to pilfer customer funds. Hackers are acutely aware of this dilemma. Naturally, they have shifted focus to DeFi hacks like the BZx attack. Flash loan attacks are likely to become the new normal as they essentially allow hackers to capitalize with massive sums at little cost. However, zooming out, DeFi liquidity pools and protocols contain vastly fewer aggregates of assets than their centralized exchange counterparts. 

Hackers will have to get creative probing DeFi KYC protocols, but the days of repetitive strings of high-profile centralized exchange hacks may be waning. That’s a net positive for the industry. Inside jobs are likely to continue in popularity, however, but that’s no different than the legacy financial world. Fraud is much more commonplace in banking that overt hacks on banking security layers, which may end up reflecting the new standard in the crypto ecosystem. Either the lack of headline-snatching hacks in 2020 is portending that we’re due for another big one, or KYC/AML processes and better security practices are working well. If that’s the case, look for more QuadrigaCX scandals than CoinCheck-style hacks. 

Article Produced By
Danielle Sabrina

Named by CIO as a female entrepreneur to follow, and member of the Forbes Agency Council, Danielle Sabrina started her career on Wall Street at just 19 years old, going to become one of the youngest equity traders in the industry. After a successful corporate career, she went on to found her media company Tribe Builder Media, a hybrid agency that connects the worlds of digital marketing, public relations and experiential marketing. Her experience with a diverse client base – which includes Tech, FinTech, Influencers, NBA/NFL players and celebrities has garnered Danielle the reputation of being one of the most sought-after publicists and strategists in media. Her thought leadership has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., Huffington Post and many others.
 

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IS CRITICAL THINKING BEING SUPPRESSED? 

IS CRITICAL THINKING BEING SUPPRESSED? 

What Exactly Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

Ban Anything That Upsets The Status Quo 

Over the last few years, YouTube has made headlines with its incessant banning of videos and de-platforming of influencers’ accounts causing loss of income and online presence. Last year, Youtube de-platformed a myriad of ‘alt-right’ and so-called ‘conspiracy’ groups and removed these channels from the video streaming site. 

Youtube also started targeting cryptocurrency content creators and YouTubers who operated channels that discussed bitcoin and other digital assets. In late 2019, YouTube officials removed a massive number of cryptocurrency video channels for very little reasoning. The company typically just tells the person that the channel had “violated community guidelines.”

This week Bitcoin.com was also censored for sharing a video about their bitcoin mining pool. Bitcoin.com’s YouTube account was given one strike for allegedly “violating community guidelines”. This begs the question,  “Who or what consists of their so-called community?” 

When YouTube, the online video-sharing platform first started back in 2005, it was a community of people sharing ideas and fun videos with very little moderation and censorship. Now it’s looking more like the Ministry of Propaganda.  For the last three months, YouTube, now under the ownership of Google, has taken part in historic amounts of censorship regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki said that any videos that were in opposition to the World Health Organization (WHO) narrative of the COVID-19 outbreak would be removed.  

Subsequently, Wojcicki’s ruling was carried out as many videos were banned that portrayed another opinion or fact that went against the WHO narrative regarding the ‘official’ coronavirus data. YouTube and Wojcicki decided to shelter the public from progressive ideas and data that just may have some truth in them because it went against the authorities. 

Since the beginning of this virus and the panic it has caused, we now have proof as more research is taking place from many respected scientific think tanks, and epidemiologists are now trying to tell the public that the lockdowns were very irrational. 

Despite the proof, Youtube has banned a number of videos that go against the ongoing fear-mongering narrative. When a video was posted on Youtube that featured Dr. Daniel W. Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi from California, the video got 5 million views before it was removed. 

 

Youtube also banned a video called “Plandemic,” which featured Dr. Judy Mikovits soon after it was published on the online video sharing platform. Youtube, however, does allow videos that rebut Judy Mikovits, Daniel W. Erickson, and Dr. Artin Massihi’s narratives. The company has no issues allowing rebuttals that stay on course with the fear-mongering narrative.

Whatever the veracity of the doctors’ claims, YouTube’s censorship of unorthodox ideas in the name of protecting the public from misinformation is misguided and counter-productive. Sheltering the public from ideas, even bad ones, only makes society more susceptible to dangerous error. Knowledge is power and surely we should be able to think for ourselves and have the ability to investigate.

 

Across social media, censors have been racing to limit the flow of information that questions these new laws imposed. Facebook also conceded it had been working with state governments in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska to remove pages for anti-stay-at-home protests events that are popping up all over the platform. 

Ron Coleman, a prominent First Amendment lawyer said in a recent interview. 

“It’s the kind of totalitarian thinking and conduct that has cost millions of lives in recent world history. The fact that it’s being done by private companies and not government doesn’t change that.” 

 

The former head of biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design at Rockefeller University, Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, recently told the public that Youtube had banned his video that went against the lockdown, and over-reaction narrative after it gathered more than 1.3 million views. 

Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.

“With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected,” he says in the now-deleted video.

Wittkowski told The Post, saying he had no idea why it was removed. 

“I was just explaining what we had…They don’t tell you. They just say it violates our community standards. There’s no explanation for what those standards are or what standards it violated.”

Dr. Andrew Kaufman’s videos were also removed when he spoke out against the stay-at-home narrative and the data spread by people like the epidemiologist Neil Ferguson dubbed Professor Lockdown who broke his own rule after convincing Prime Minister of the U.K. Boris Johnston to enforce the stay at home rule. 

 

YouTube’s Latest Target

Now Youtube has banned one of Bitcoin.com’s videos for sharing information about their mining pool. The video removal was based on the company’s “sale of regulated goods” policy and the video allegedly went against “community guidelines.” 

The Bitcoin.com account was given a single strike, which gives the account a one week probation period. Two to three strikes could lead to far worse restrictions against the Bitcoin.com account that merely shares information and resources about cryptocurrency solutions. 

Bitcoin.com’s CEO Mate Tokay has spoken out against the Youtube censorship in a tweet letting the company and Wojcicki know they have been immoral, irrational, and illogical. 

 

Censorship tends to manipulate reality and it has engendered evil numerous times over the course of history. Social media platforms are private companies and they can impose any restrictions they choose, but what they choose to censor seems to be agenda-driven and in line with the status quo of authoritarianism. 

 

Critical Thinking Not Allowed

YouTube seems to ban videos that allow for critical thinking. Cryptocurrency is one sector that gains grassroots attention and makes people think critically. Censorship and the fact they allow fake news and propaganda certainly unveil the true colors of YouTube that it just may not have the best interests of the global community in mind.  

YouTube has banned videos that question the ‘official’ COVID-19 statistics because people are now realizing that a virus with a 99% survival rate isn’t as devastating as we first thought. As they scurry to remove the videos as soon as they emerge, it’s too little too late as millions have already seen them and the information that may just deliver a different point of view or perhaps even the truth. 

As FEE.org explains, “Youtube’s censorship of dissenting doctors will backfire.” By taking down the videos, YouTube has limited the extent to which that social learning can happen and insulated the error from debunking. If anything, YouTube’s censorship has lent additional credence to whatever mistakes they made by feeding into the narrative that the powers-that-be fear its truth. The debunking is being drowned out by outrage over the censorship. And the Streisand Effect (how censorship can boost something’s publicity) is causing it to spread even more.

As more people realize and get sick and tired of the tech giants’ antics the more they will migrate to other platforms that do want to genuinely help people understand and change the world, giving back freedom of choice and allowing citizens to think for themselves. Once upon a time, there was nowhere else to go but now things are changing.  

 

Image credit: observatory.tec

Markethive Encourages Critical Thinking

We have a future here where we can operate on a platform of decentralized data, a platform that advocates self-sovereignty. Markethive is a next-generation Social Market Network, built on the Blockchain that has positioned itself as a complete ecosystem for Entrepreneurs. 

Incorporating its cryptocurrency consumer coin (MHV), it provides prosperous solutions for all business owners, marketers, commercial artists, etc, who require an online presence ensuring privacy, and autonomy along with no measures in place to ban you, terminate your account or censor your content.

Markethive's foundation is built upon integrity, transparency, and autonomy. As we live in a not so perfect world, there is always negativity, topics, and opinions that individuals may not agree with or even find offensive. You will have the ability to filter your newsfeed and block any, what you consider, unsavory characters, or content, remembering your newsfeed is your property. There are no corporate officials deciding for you. That gives people the right and freedom to choose for themselves who they wish to communicate with what they wish to see. There is a saying “Live And Let Live” and I consider these wise words.

 

Markethive’s Design And Vision

Markethive is a decentralized, autonomous, fluid environment which includes manifestations of intellectual achievements, social habits, innovation, music, literature, technology, commerce, and the arts. A central “hub” built using blockchain technology, is designed to encourage “reciprocal interchange” of ideas, knowledge, or skills as well as providing for exchange, sales or purchases of goods, services, and commodities. 

This premier hybrid social network includes news feeds, blogging platforms, video channels, chat channels, groups, image sharing, link hubs, resume, profile page, with additional platforms for ecommerce and digital news site. 

But more than a social network, Markethive has also delivered  “Inbound Marketing tools” like broadcasting, capture pages, lead funnels, autoresponders, self-replicating group tools, traffic analytics, CMS, and more. This is provided for free to you and what’s more, you are paid for learning and using the platform. Markethive’s focus is on the rights of the people and providing a user-friendly, rewarding solution that is so much in need of right now. 

 

Markethive Is About To Start Its Engines

Markethive is in BETA at the moment as engineers are working tirelessly to implement all facets of this monumental system that caters to the entire worldwide market of entrepreneurs. That includes small businesses, local businesses, regional businesses, global businesses, cottage industries, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, affiliate marketers, software innovators, musicians, churches, political platforms, political candidates, distributors, network marketers, innovators, and dreamers! 

The engine power that Markethive has will make this a goliath in social media, inbound marketing, cryptocurrency, ecommerce, and digital media distribution. 

Many systems within the platform are up and running now and as we near the completion of the Markethive wallet we are continuously growing as more people become aware of who and what we are and stand for. Intrinsically, Markethive gives the power back to the people. It has been built for the people, by the people and is of the people. We will reach that moment when the whole world will notice as we rise up as a giant voice of the ENTREPRENEUR! 

Join us at our weekly webinars for updates on Sundays at 10 am (mountain time) Markethive Weekly Meeting Link – meet.google

 

ecosystem for entrepreneurs

 

Reference: Bitcoin.com
 

Deb Williams
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept, and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals. 

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Crypto Startup Financing Feeling Well in 2020, Here Are Few Examples

Crypto Startup Financing Feeling Well in 2020, Here Are Few Examples

It’s just five months into the new year, but crypto fundraising is in rude health as several projects continue

to raise funds for their platforms with ease. This is welcome news at a time when the global economy has taken a hit from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last year IEOs managed to raise around $1.7 billion as they took over crypto fundraising amid the death of ICOs. However, most of the projects have had negative ROI, and this has seen the mode of fundraising slowdown in 2020. But, for the better as now, new projects are expected to be of high quality and preferably have at least a first round of backing from venture capital.

That said, it’s a great time to raise funds for new quality crypto projects with financing easily accessible thanks to exchange backed launchpads that guarantee a swift sale of tokens to millions of users. Additionally, there is more money coming in from venture capital as recently Andreessen Horowitz managed to raise $515 million for a new crypto fund that will focus on supporting projects that focus on creating next-generation payments, new methods of monetization, modern stores of value and decentralized finance. During the IEO boom last year, Binance led the way with 8 of the top 15 IEOs conducted there and the launchpad has picked where it left with its latest project being the Cartesi token sale which was held exclusively for the owners of Binance Coin (BNB). This is a shift in funding, from the previous boom in funding when BTC and ETH were the preferred vehicle for investments. In 2020, there are more signs that crypto funding is doing well, with a handful of notable token sales active in May.

Independent Token Sale by AlphaPlay

Independent token sales are still using the Ethereum infrastructure and offering an ERC-20 token. AlphaPlay, a betting and cryptocurrency trading platform, has already completed one round of token sale, and is on its second round right now with a $0.05 price per ALPHA token that gives token holders 6% of platform’s turnaround as bonuses. At the same time, users are winning 90% of the turnaround as prizes, and 4% they are getting for playing with friends and for referrals. AlphaPlay is already have an ecosystem of referrals to promote both its platform, as well as the ALPHA token. A total of five rounds of token sales will distribute 50 million ALPHA. The token sale has a maximum cap of $4 million, and already surpassed its minimum target of $300,000. Owning the ALPHA token will pay out commissions on all activities of AlphaPlay and share the earnings through a smart contract.

OKEx Birthday Token Special Sale

Issuing tokens is not only related to new projects. An established exchange like OKEx is constantly innovating, and recently performed a sale for the OKB token. The new asset was placed at 80% of market prices toward the end of April, at $3.52 equivalent. OKEx uses Tether (USDT) for its token sales, posting an intuitive dollar-denominated price. For now, OKEx has slowed down its IEO offerings, but allows the occasional token sale.

LAToken: Where Token Sales Find a Platform

LAToken started off as a cryptocurrency exchange. But the project is now offering one of the most active token sale platforms, with dozens of projects in their active fundraising stage. The funding relies on longer token sale periods. One of the latest active projects for LAToken is YouEngine, a tokenized online ad ecosystem. The platform aims to gain the attention of 200 million advertisers, and potentially reach billions of users. But there are many more highly active token sales through the LAToken platform, showing that crypto crowd-fundingis still alive, and there is an appetite for new tokens and new business models. LAToken already expanded its trading selection to more than 133 market pairs, bringing liquidity to the newly listed pairs. 

Celo ICO to Rival Libra

Where Facebook’s Libra failed, Celo ICO is trying to take over. Celo is an upcoming token sale that has decided to proceed with the fundraising, while some of the upcoming projects postponed their launch deadlines. Celo is ahead of the game, with already one round of funding completed. The crypto startup is considering a payment system based on stablecoins, with the aim of driving mainstream crypto adoption. The Celo payment system expects to incorporate personal finance tools, including small-scale lending, money transfers, even peer-to-peer insurance.

TRON-Based Token Sales Boost Funding Spree

Poloniex, through its LaunchBase token sale platform, is aiming to restore its former trading activity. The exchange is a close partner of TRON, hence LaunchBase is using TRX for its crowd funding, and generated TRON-based tokens. The latest sale, Just (JST) token, took only a few minutes to be sold out completely. JST will also become the newest asset to be listed on Poloniex, opening for trading on May 7. JUST is a decentralized lending ecosystem, built entirely on TRON, and featuring its own dollar-pegged coin, USDJ, in addition to the JST native token.Projects also continue to invite developer talent, and show that the blockchain infrastructure of Ethereum is still a leader. Other blockchains such as TRON, Binance Chain, and others also make crypto-based startups a possibility, and token sales have adapted to the changing climate of regulation and market activity.

Article Produced By
Andrey Sergeenkov

Andrey is a digital entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience, IEO Adviser, Hackernoon and BitTorrent investor. Assisted in raising more than 40 mln USD investments for more than 20 start-ups. He believes that actual usefulness is the best PR for any project.

https://bitcoingarden.org/crypto-startup-financing-feeling-well-in-2020-here-are-few-examples/

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Libonomy The next generation blockchain technology

Libonomy

The next generation blockchain technology

Every year, blockchain technology receives more and more fans who have appreciated all the advantages

of working with a decentralized registry. Moreover, a well-developed product on the blockchain enjoys a more trusting attitude from users who understand the reliability and honesty of such projects, especially when it comes to the financial sector.

Companies that decide to create their decentralized project will face two main problems:

  • The complexity of programming blockchain applications, which requires a high level of skill and relevant experience from developers.
  • Problems with scaling classical blockchains (Bitcoin, Ethereum), which will limit the future project both in the maximum number of users and in some technical aspects

Today we will talk about the new Libonomy Blockchain solution – a scalable, secure, and universal blockchain ecosystem that allows you to write Smart Contracts, create DEX, or any other decentralized application that thanks to interoperability can interact with other blockchains. The idea belongs to Fredrik Johansson, but it wouldn’t be possible without co-founders Richard Haverinen and Therese Berglund. Richard as a founder and owner of multiple companies through the years has picked up everything there is to know about running a business. Fredrik comes in with his unique ideas and leadership abilities. And Therese, being extremely structured, coordinated and with a very broad perspective, is the glue that keeps it all together. Collectively they form a strong, well-balanced team. So, it’s no surprise that they have created something as revolutionary as Libonomy. Libonomy is a fifth-generation blockchain, centered on the principle of consensus, regulated by artificial intelligence. Libonomy creators didn’t settle on using previously known consensus algorithms because of their significant shortcomings but developed their own, unique, error-free, AI-controlled consensus engine. Algorithms created as a result of a detailed mathematical analysis of AI, and controlled by it, are devoid of human intervention and therefore have an exceptional level of security.

Key benefits of the Libonomy Blockchain:

  • Better distribution of rewards;
  • Completely decentralized;
  • Energy-efficient;
  • Nodes are not required to have high computing power;
  • Very high TPS (and will increase over time);
  • Dynamically scalable
  • No security vulnerabilities;
  • Completely autonomous;
  • Interoperable;
  • Lower transaction fees;

Unlike classic DAPP development platforms, which are based on Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain, Libonomy developers have completely solved the scaling problem. The network uses the power of all nodes, respectively, the computing ability of the blockchain will grow in proportion to the number of nodes in the network. An additional advantage over existing DAPP platforms is the adjustable block size. AI determines the optimal value and can change it to this parameter. Starting TPS is equal to 6000, which is already quite a serious indicator, but thanks to the principles of Libonomy blockchain functioning described above, the throughput can be even higher. The advantage of Libonomy does not come just from its speed, the fact it’s massively scalable or the extreme security: Libonomy Blockchain is also interlinked with other blockchains. Moreover, developers will be able to create DAPPs and write smart contracts using Libonomy’s interoperability capabilities. This is the first blockchain technology solution in the world that has implemented full compatibility between different blockchains. Thus, developers do not propose to abandon all other decentralized registries, but rather provide their simultaneous existence and interaction within one ecosystem. The same applies to smart contracts that will be executed in different blockchains.

Soon Libonomy will launch the first truly interoperable decentralized exchange. Trading from wallet to wallet, all information stored on the blockchain, absolutely no interactions with the middleman. Moreover, with the launch of Libonomy’s DEX their decentralized trading engine will be shared with the public as well, developers will be able to use their SDK and APIs to create their own DEXs and base them on Libonomy. Libonomy focuses on the current requirements for consensus algorithms and combines the blockchain development process with artificial intelligence. Libonomy developers are working on global interoperability in the world of blockchain technology. According to the developers, all further updates and improvements to the blockchain will occur without hard forks to save information about previous transactions on the network.

Article Produced By
Alex White

Coinstelegram media and fund co-founder.

https://bitcoingarden.org/libonomy-next-generation-blockchain-technology/

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Better Mobile Trading with vTrader’s New Cryptocurrency App

Better Mobile Trading with vTrader’s New Cryptocurrency App

The crypto trading company, vTrader, introduces its new mobile app to bring the smartphone crypto trading to a new level.

Traders can now buy bitcoin with euro, transfer their assets between them free of charge, in a safe and instant environment, and make use of the reliable wallets offered within the app. Just as Revolut innovated online banking, vTrader brings to cryptocurrency the concept of transferring crypto assets to the users’ phone contact list. The app works on both Android and iOS and can be used to buy Bitcoin and other cryptos. Unlike exchange platforms, where you to create an order then wait for someone to fill in, vTrader allows you to trade directly with any of your contacts in a matter of seconds.

App Features

Although simple to use, vTrader’s cryptocurrency app comes with well-rounded features like:

  • Sending, receiving, trading, and requesting cryptos from your friends in the contact list;
  • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Cardano Monero, and Dash;
  • Consulting and managing wallets for every supported cryptocurrency;
  • Depositing and withdrawing fiat in Euro;
  • Cryptocurrency funding in Bitcoin and Ethereum;
  • Mobile app and desktop fully synchronized.

Are there any Fees?

Sending, receiving, trading, and requesting cryptos from your phone contacts is completely free of charge. The only fees are for the buy or sell orders (0.85%) on the desktop platform, and withdrawals or deposits (1.8% fee plus a 0.99 EUR).

Where Can I Find the App?

vTrader mobile app is developed for both Android and iOS devices. You can download the app for free from Google Play and App Store. As all legitimate financial services must ensure that all transactions are legally executed, vTrader’s requires its users to complete a KYC, before using its platform and trading services. This procedure can be completed from both desktop and mobile app.

Customer Support

vTrader’s support team is available 24/7 to answer and solve all platform and trading-related issues for all their users.

About vTrader

The liquidity problem is an issue most crypto exchanges are faced with. Therefore, three experienced Romanian programmers – Vlad Sas, Alex Gherghe, and Codrin Rareș – developed vTrader platform. With a system in which the orders are filled automatically close to market prices, placing the orders on Bittrex, the liquidity is always ensured. Furthermore, the co-founders created vTrader as a particularly safe and secure exchange by implementing strong security measures such as storing all the assets in cold wallets. Also, the fiat transfer services are enabled through a collaboration with the Globitex (NexPay UAB) company.

Article Produced By
Bitcoin Garden

This content is brought to you by the Bitcoin Garden staff

https://bitcoingarden.org/better-mobile-trading-with-vtraders-new-cryptocurrency-app/

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What is Ethereum? The ULTIMATE Research-Backed ETH Guide

What is Ethereum? The ULTIMATE Research-Backed ETH Guide

So what exactly is Ethereum?
Ethereum is the leading blockchain app platform that was proposed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and went live on July 30, 2015.

There are many different strands to this project and getting your head around it all can be quite the challenge. That’s why we have put together this comprehensive guide for those of you wondering “What is Ethereum?” and “How does Ethereum Work?” As the harbinger of the second generation of blockchains and home to the second largest digital currency in the world, Ether (ETH), the Ethereum project has started a new era of blockchain development that enables a global community of developers to unleash their creativity in the space. The ability to craft smart contracts gave developers a chance to think about new use cases for blockchain technology that previously remained largely connected to cryptocurrencies.

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.Ethereum also gave enterprises, organizations, and startups the ability to issue their own tokens, and build their own unique blockchain ecosystem using the Ethereum framework. Till date, Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens have been the most popular means for launching Initial Coin Offerings. Of course, Ethereum is still in development and has faced some hurdles. It has faced problems related to scalability, which was highlighted when the popular game dedicated to internet-bred cats called CryptoKitties managed to clog its network in December 2017. However, with a unique concept, upcoming developments, a strong developer community and the first-mover advantage (second only to the mighty Bitcoin), Ethereum is one blockchain project that continues to remain at the forefront of DLT and crypto development.

So… What is Ethereum?

In a nutshell, Ethereum is an open source Smart contract and Decentralized Application Platform. The Ethereum whitepaper describes the project as the next generation distributed computing platform, that provides a decentralized virtual machine known as the Ethereum Virtual machine EVM. The latter is able to execute Peer-to-Peer contracts by means of Ether (ETH), its proprietary crypto fuel. Blockchain technology is used as a tool of shared consensus, while Ether is the digital asset that is used to pay for transaction fees and computational services.

What’s the Difference Between Bitcoin and Ethereum?

Since the advent of the Ethereum project in late 2014 and its explosion of popularity within the confines of the nascent crypto space and beyond, Ethereum has always been compared to Bitcoin. All being similar to the use of Blockchain as the underpinning technology, both projects are fundamentally different. The main difference between them is the purpose of each one. In fact, Bitcoin was built as an alternative to regular money. Bitcoin can be used as a medium of value exchange, a means of payment and a store of value with no central authority to issue or control it and no intrinsic value or physical existence. On the other hand, Ethereum is rather a platform for developers to build and run Peer-to-Peer executable contracts and decentralized applications. Block time generation (seconds in the case of Ethereum and minutes in the case of Bitcoin), the rate at which new coins are mined (constant in Ethereum and halves every 4 year in the case of Bitcoin), the proof of work hashing algorithm (Ethhash in Ethereum, and Sha 256 in Bitcoin), and the total supply (capped to 21 millions in the case of Bitcoin and uncapped in that of Ethereum) are the other differences that set both projects apart.

The Ethereum Virtual Machine

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), is a 256-bit quasi-turning-complete virtual state machine that forms the runtime environment for smart contracts and specifies the execution model for such contracts. The machine is stack based, altogether separate from the main Ethereum Network, and has its own independent storage model. In fact, all the nodes on the Ethereum Network run the EVM in addition to validating transactions. The EVM could be seen as a testing ground for Smart contracts because once these contracts are deployed to the mainnet, such a step can’t be reversed. Any developer that wants to build on Ethereum, could deploy his/her untested code on this network of computers and see how it muddles along.

Ether (ETH) and Gas

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.In Ethereum each operation or work performed by the network has a cost assessed by the network which is known as a gas limit. In order to execute a smart contract, for example, developers need to pay for all the operations featured in their code. Sending Ether from one wallet to another one involves four gas units. These gas units are checking your balance, transferring ETH to a receiving address, subtracting ETH from your balance and adding ETH to the receivers.

So gas units refer to the smallest measurement of work needed to settle a given operation but don’t have a monetary value. The cost is paid in Ether. Gas is that unit that translates into Ether. Since Ethereum can only compute a limited number of gas units at any given time, miners are sort of bribed by network users to pace up the stream of request that is being sent over to the network. To pay miners, small fractions of ETH named Gwei are attached to each gas unit, which sets the gas price. What everyone should remember is that the gas price is how much you pay per gas unit, and the gas limit is how much work you are requesting from the network.

Smart Contracts – What Are They and How Do They Work?

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.Smart contracts refer to computer codes that facilitate the exchange of value whether it is money, property or content. They are called contracts because they translate the terms of an agreement, and smart because they automatically execute themselves once specific triggers are met. The notion of smart contracts was around way before the advent of Bitcoin or Ethereum.Simply put smart contracts are just like regular contracts in the real world, where two parties or more agree to specific terms of an arrangement and commit to sticking to it once signed. The main difference is that Smart contracts are fully digital. Furthermore, when running on a Blockchain like the Ethereum Network, a smart contract acts as a self-operating computer code that automatically executes itself once specific conditions are met. Blockchain-based smart contracts are immutable and would run exactly as programmed once deployed without any possibility of censorship, downtime, reversing, or third-party interference.

Other Blockchains Which Utilize Smart Contract

Smart contract enabling Blockchains are regarded by many as the “real deal,” this whole Blockchain revolution came up with since its rise to prominence. Put by Nick Szabo, the blockchain pioneer,

himself:

“New institutions and new ways to formalize the relationships that make up these institutions are now made possible by the digital revolution. I call these new contracts “smart” because they are far more functional than their inanimate paper-based ancestors. No use of artificial intelligence is implied. A smart contract is a set of promises, specified in digital form, including protocols within which the parties perform on these promises.

We crafted a list of ten blockchains, other that Ethereum, that support Smart Contract programming and deployment.

  • Cardano: a project that caught a lot of media attention, and that is allegedly developing a smart contract platform that seeks to deliver more advanced features than its competitors do.
  • EOS: a Smart Contract platform for industrial scale dApps deployments through a DAO model, commonly referred to as the alternative to Ethereum.
  • NEM: written in Java, the NEM platform is arguably one of the simplest to use since no specific platform programing language is required to code and deploy smart contracts on it.
  • Waves: the underdog of this list, it is an open source smart contract platform that focuses on scalability and speed of settlements.
  • Other interesting blockchain projects that could play an important role in the future of smart contracts, are Hyperledger Fabric, Lisk, NEO, Qtum, Stellar Lumens, and Tezos.
Ethereum Use Cases

Smart contracts make Ethereum flexible, providing it with more real-world use cases than its predecessor Bitcoin. A combination of smart contracts and dApps keep developers intrigued and users interested in the network. According to ConsenSys, some industries and sectors where use cases for Ethereum can be found include:

  •   Banking and Financial Services:

Large banks routinely spend more than $200 million per year on cybersecurity. If the servers of a central bank were to go down, you would see the collapse of a country’s payment clearing system. However, if every bank within a payment network instead transacted through a blockchain, there would be no single point of failure. Therefore, a country’s interbank payment network could be maintained even if multiple servers were to go down. Also, because the basic idea behind blockchains- creating a distributed, public and immutable ledger with a never-to-be-tampered with the record of transactions remains the same, the data behind the credit score of a user becomes more reliable for financial companies. Related industries like insurance can also be hugely benefitted as they can disburse payments more easily to their customers.

  •   Startups and ICOs:

Ethereum empowers startups by letting them launch their own Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). These tokens, usually created using the ERC20 protocol, help startups in raising the funds needed to realize their goals. Interestingly, one of the largest crypto exchanges and companies in the world, Binance, used funding generated through the sale of BNB, a coin that follows the ERC20 standards. Even Tron, one of the largest blockchain projects in the world started out with an ERC20 token offering.

  •   Digital Identities:

Since data and identity theft is such a menace, a smart contract solution is a good fit for this problem. Using information hidden behind a dedicated smart contract, users could not only take their identities digital but rest assured that they do not reveal more than what they are comfortable sharing. Services like uPort allow users to take back control of their identities and share only the information they choose through their mobile devices. Information can only be shared upon authentication from the user and the data is always stored safely on the Ethereum blockchain.

  •   Supply Chain:

A major application for Ethereum smart contracts looks set to be in supply chain management where it could benefit both consumers and suppliers through more efficient tracking. Whether you want to know about the freshness of produce or the origins of the diamonds you bought for your wedding, blockchain-based smart contracts can help to deliver this. The supply chain system of the world is currently broken but not beyond repair. Using an extensive network of smart contracts, companies can track their raw materials and the transportation of goods. They can accurately measure their manufacturing processes, related logistics and the process through which a product reaches a consumer. The consumer, on the other hand, is provided with reliable information that instantly proves whether a product is fresh, authentic, fair trade, locally produced and more.

  • Other major industries and applications where Ethereum could find many uses include Real Estate, Law, Oil and Gas, Energy Grid, Government, and Commodity Trade Finance and more as stated by ConsenSys.
Ethereum’s Most Popular dApps

Here are some of the most popular dApps that run on the Ethereum blockchain:

  •   CryptoKitties:

The internet’s obsession with cats knows no bounds and when CryptoKitties was launched, it was evident that there would be more than a handful of interested players.A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.The game allows players to buy, sell, collect, and breed digital cats. Each cat is unique and has its own value. CryptoKitties received widespread attention from the media, the crypto community and the “uninitiated” people who may have never heard about cryptocurrencies and blockchains before when cats on the game started selling for thousands of dollars. CryptoKitties remains one of the most popular dApps and should be credited for evolving the scope of dApps from “work” to “play” while adding value to “digital asset ownership.”

  •   LocalEthereum:

The second-generation blockchain cousin of LocalBitcoins, LocalEthereum solves one BIG problem for buyers- removing middlemen from the crypto ecosystem. You buy ETH over the counter using smart contracts and escrow services available on the platform. The seller’s Ethereum is locked via a smart contract and is released only when they receive the agreed fiat currency from the buyer.

  •   IDEX:

The IDEX decentralized exchange is considered by some a thing of beauty, especially as it introduces Ethereum users to the idea of giving up on “centralized exchanges.” Some of the most popular dApps on Ethereum are decentralized exchanges- they are new, innovative and remove a big hurdle from the world of digital currencies, providing more power to the users. The first adopters of IDEX were speculators, and the exchange enables a huge range of Ethereum and ERC20 tokens to be traded and exchanges. However, popular cryptocurrencies such as XRP, Litecoin, Bitcoin and Tron is not possible.

  •   Ethlance:

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.Giving other freelancing job platforms a run for their money, Ethlance allows users to work on gigs or projects of their choice without paying a hefty fee. This could mark the beginning of the end of freelancers having to give away over 20% of their earnings to centralized platforms such as Upwork in “fees” and part with even more dollars to get the money in their local currency. Ethlance, the decentralized freelance hiring platform allows you to work for zero fees. The only payment here is the gas utilized on Ethereum.

  • Other popular Ethereum dApps include FCK, Kyber, ForkDelta, Etheroll and more.
Pros and Cons of dApps

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.

The pros – Here are some of the key benefits of decentralized applications:

  1. Fault tolerance – Systems use redundancy to remove the risk of accidental failure. If one element goes down the network still works, this means applications can run with zero downtime.
  2. Attack resistance – There is no single point of failure, as the applications run on the blockchain. This makes them impervious to denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
  3. Tamper & corruption proof – Applications run precisely as programmed removing the possibility of fraud, censorship or third-party interference. This makes it more difficult for an individual or group to act for its own benefit at the expense of everyone else.
  4. No middlemen – This removes exuberant fees and allows users to interact directly with each other (peer-to-peer). This can lead to greater transparency, trust, and privacy.
  5. Open source –  An open source protocol enables anyone interested in the dApp to collectively contribute to its development for the benefit of everyone.

The Cons – Here are some of the negatives of decentralized applications:

  1. Speed – Currently the dApps can be quite slow with transactions also taking a long time.
  2. Scalability – The limit on how many transactions can be processed per second might be quite low which limits the dApps scalability.
  3. Fees – While in some ways the ‘compensating system’ is a benefit, it also means users have to pay each time they use the dApp.

It’s worth noting that solutions and new innovations are constantly occurring in the nascent dApp and blockchain industries, so the current ‘cons’ may well be overcome in the future.

The DAO Hack

The DAO was a project that crystallized most of what blockchain technology stood for since its inception, in both its business model and management structure. It was created in 2016 by members from within the Ethereum community, notably the Slock.it developer team. The DAO was conceived as a form of investor-oriented, stateless, decentralized venture capital firm after raising a record-breaking crowdfund sale of around $150 million worth of Ether in May 2016. Unfortunately, when things were looking up for the project, it turned out that there was a flaw in its source code, and that flaw was eventually preyed on. On June 17, 2016, some hacker(s) exploited a loophole in the DAO smart contract and drained as much as 3.6 million ETH (around $70 million at the time) to a subsidiary account in just a few hours of the attack.

In fact, the attack was found to be made possible when the hacker(s) realized that the smart contract was mistakenly coded to check the internal balance after sending coins not the other way around. The attacker(s) proceeded by requesting funds from the smart contract several times before the smart contract could update its balance. The hack marked the beginning of the end for the DAO and had far-reaching consequences on the Blockchain space that are still tangible today. Besides delisting the DAO token off major exchanges in the months following the hack, and hard forking the Ethereum main chain, the incident caught the eye of regulatory watchdogs all over the world, and put a special emphasis on the necessity of placing the cryptosphere under close scrutiny.

Ethereum Classic Fork

In the wake of the DAO hack, the Ethereum community gathered and debated on the proper actions the foundation should take in order to handle the disastrous situation the hacking incident has cast over the project. The community split into two fundamentally opposed groups. While one side suggested a hard fork to contain the hack, reverse it, and send the stolen funds back to their original wallets, the other side strongly opposed the move invoking ideological reasons, and arguing that prevailing with the code and trusting the smart contract under all circumstances, is the philosophy behind Blockchain, and failing to commit to it, could open the door for similar actions in the future. A vote took place in July 2016 and the decision to implement a hard fork to the Ethereum code and move the stolen Ether away to a new smart contract was agreed upon by a vast majority of the community including co-founders Gavin Woods and Vitalik Buterin. Consequently, a hard fork occurred on the main Blockchain at height 1,920,000, right before the hacking incident took place. The offshoot kept the name Ethereum and named its fuel Ether, ETH. However, the other group, or “the code is law” advocates, decided to stick with the original chain, which became known as Ethereum Classic.

Ethereum Mining

Did you know that Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s 11-year-old son mines Ethereum? The young one, Pichai says, understands a lot about cryptocurrency and has corrected him on occasion. Do you know as much about Ethereum mining as Pichai’s son? Well if not, don’t worry as we have all the information you need here to boost your knowledge on the subject. In a nutshell, Ethereum mining is similar to Bitcoin mining. The concept of mining, i.e., giving rewards to “miners” who create new blocks in the network in the form of a native cryptocurrency of the blockchain, is the same. However, the Ethereum blockchain is faster than Bitcoin’s, which means that blocks are created at a faster rate. In the Bitcoin Network, a new block is created every 10 minutes while Ethereum achieves the same in 15 seconds. Miners on the Ethereum network receive ETH tokens along with all the gas contained within their block (gas is the fuel of all Ethereum transactions which manifests as code-processing and transaction fees on the blockchain).

Can You Mine Ethereum With ASIC?

Yes, it is currently possible to mine Ethereum with ASIC. However, an Ethereum Core Development meeting recently pushed forward a proposal called ‘ProgPoW‘ that would make Ethereum ASIC resistant.

How Many Ethereum Nodes Are There?

According to Ethernodes.org, the Ethereum mainnet hosts about 8,752 nodes at the moment. However, this figure changes on a daily basis. Of these, the largest majority of nodes are based in the USA while China, Canada, Germany, the UK, Russia, and more trail quite far behind.

Are These Nodes Full Nodes?

A full node is any computer that enforces all the rules of consensus on the Ethereum network and is connected to it. A full node must have the entire Ethereum blockchain downloaded on its computer. By definition, all miners in the Ethereum network have to be full nodes. However, all full nodes do not have to mine the currency.

The nodes have a few important functions.

  1. They have to ensure that all the miners are given the correct block rewards.
  2. They must ensure all transactions have the right signatures.
  3. They must check that all blocks and transactions are in the right data format.
  4. They must make sure there is no double spending in the blocks.
How Can I Use Ether (ETH)?

Ether is one of the most versatile coins available in the cryptocurrency space today. As the second largest cryptocurrency in the world, Ether has many holders. Per the most recent CoinMarketCap data, Ether is valued at over $15 billion with 104 million coins in circulation currently.

Here are few of the common uses of ETH:

  •   For making transactions:

Ether can be used as an alternative to using credit cards and wire transfers. However, to make a transaction with Ether both the sender and receiver must have an Ether wallet set up. For cross-border payments, Ether could work to be much cheaper and faster than traditional methods.

  •   For buying ICO tokens:

When participating in token sales, Ethereum is often a popular cryptocurrency of choice. As a large number of Initial Coin Offerings are offered using the Ethereum blockchain, it means that buying tokens from these projects using ETH becomes easier.

  •   For making purchases in the real world:

Several cryptocurrency startups are pushing for the adoption of digital currencies and helping in the installation of PoS machines and other methods that enable purchases using ETH.

  •   For making digital purchases:

Many websites now accept payment in Ether, and your dApps could also accept ETH payments, enabling you to purchase anything from extra lives in games to subscriptions of a magazine.

  •   For trading/investing:

Ether is one of the most commonly available trading pairs for digital currencies used in exchanges around the world. You can purchase Ether and hold it as an investment or exchange it directly for other cryptocurrencies.

How Can I Store Ether (ETH)?

Once you have bought Ether, you will need an Ethereum wallet to store it securely. You have the option to use hot wallets, cold wallets, hardware wallets, paper wallets, desktop or mobile wallets. There is one for all platforms; some options will be better suited in comparison to others.

Let’s look into each option:

  •   Hot wallets- exchange wallets:

You will most likely buy ETH on an exchange like Coinbase or Binance. These exchanges will provide you with a wallet where you can store your ETH. Exchange hot wallets are easy to use, very simple and it’s usually easy to liquidate your holdings since your coins can be accessed on the exchange’s website. Therefore, exchange wallets can usually be accessed from multiple devices as long as you have a connection to the internet. The problem with these wallets is that they could be more vulnerable to theft than others depending on the security of the exchange and your account. If you trade regularly, then this is likely the best and most convenient option.

  •   Cold wallets- hardware wallets:

Hardware wallets can offer their users extremely strong security when used correctly. They are usually USB devices, and the market leading provider of hardware wallets currently is Ledger. You can store your Ether holdings on a hardware wallet for as long as you wish and rest assured that they cannot be reached by a hacker. Just make sure that you do not lose the device or tell anyone else your passwords.

  •   Cold wallets- paper wallets:

Paper wallets are considered the most secure way of storing your Ether safely away from malware and cyber-attackers. With a paper wallet, you print your private keys and Ether addresses and store them in a safe location. However, to many, this can seem like a big inconvenience when compared to using an exchange wallet for example. Again, like with hardware wallets, it’s important to keep your paper wallet somewhere safe and never share the information with anyone else.

  •   Desktop and mobile wallets:

As the name suggests, desktops and mobile wallets can be distinguished based on the devices where they are being used. Desktop wallets can be more functional, while mobile wallets provide more convenience. Mobile and desktop wallets can usually only be used on the device where they are installed. Therefore, if you lose the device, this will put your funds at risk. Some mobile/desktop wallets will be specifically designed for storing Ether and ERC20 tokens, whereas some will allow you to hold a wide range of cryptocurrencies together.

Which Is the Best Ethereum Wallet?

Given that there is such a wide range of wallet options out there, it begs the question, which ones are best? Well, to help answer that question, here are some of our handpicked favorites:

  •   Hardware wallet – Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S squeezes both advanced security and ease of use into one package. Our guide to storing cryptocurrencies securely on a Ledger Nano S can be found here.

  •   Desktop wallet – MetaMask

This simple, easy to install and easy to use browser-based wallet lets you connect to Ethereum and a host of dApps hosted on the blockchain instantly. MetaMask is a highly popular wallet which has also received funding and support from ConsenSys and Ethereum. Fake versions of this wallet are out there so make sure download a legit version.

  •   Basic Wallet – Mist Wallet

If you are looking for nothing but the bare basics, then the Mist Wallet is the right choice for you. It was created by the Ethereum Foundation for a no-frills, no-distraction experience and is listed as the most basic wallet available on ethereum.org.

  •   Multicurrency Wallet – Exodus

If you hold numerous cryptocurrencies and want a well-designed wallet that eliminates the need for multiple crypto wallets, then Exodus could be a good choice. Exodus is is fairly popular amongst crypto users and some cool features, including the portfolio feature where you can track your holdings.

  •   Web Wallet – MyEtherWallet

MyEtherWallet is one of the most popular Ether wallets out there. As a web wallet, it allows you to log in from any device, which does bring some security risks. However, these risks can be mitigated if it’s paired with a hardware wallet such a the Ledger Nano S.

  •   Mobile Wallet – Trust Wallet

Trust Wallet is now Binance’s official cryptocurrency wallet, and the app is available to download on both iOS and Android devices. It supports Ether and all Ethereum network tokens such as ERC20 tokens, as well as many other leading cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Tron, Litecoin, Bitcoin, and more.

Where Can I Buy or Sell Ethereum?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are the most common choice for buying or selling Ethereum.
Cryptocurrency exchanges can be centralized or decentralized.

The world’s three largest cryptocurrency exchanges are:

  1. Binance
  2. OKeX
  3. Huobi

Other prominent exchanges include:

  • Coinbase
  • Bitfinex
  • Upbit
  • Kraken
  • Digifinex

Ether is available to buy, sell, and trade on all of these exchanges. As Ether is a leading digital coin, it is available on most cryptocurrency exchanges.Different payment methods for purchasing Ether on exchanges include by credit/debit card, with fiat currencies, and with cryptocurrencies or stablecoins. The fees charged by different exchanges will vary and will also depend on the payment method. Other options include cryptocurrency ATMs where you can buy Ether with cash, trading Ether peer-to-peer on LocalEthereum, and using conversion exchanges like Changelly and Shapeshift to swap fiat-to-ether or crypto-to-ether instantly.

Is Coinbase Safe?

Coinbase is a leading and popular cryptocurrency exchange based in the US. Currently, over 18% of the platform’s volume comes from ETH/USD trades. For people using the exchange’s services, Coinbase provides a hot wallet which can be used to store currencies. Coinbase holds over 98% of its user’s funds offline and takes other security measures, which prevents thefts and hacks from damaging user’s holdings. Any funds stored online by Coinbase are covered by insurance.

Coinbase also enables two-factor authentication for the users, further protecting them from unauthorized access of accounts.
Coinbase also runs a bug bounty program with an active community of security researchers that help to keep the platform safe. None the less, some users still may want to take full control of their security rather than rely on an exchange. If so, using one of the secure methods mentioned above such as a hardware wallet or paper wallet would be a good option.

How Much Is Ethereum Worth?

As of February 21, 2019, the price of Ether currently stands at $143 with a market capitalization of  $15.2 billion. In November and December 2015, Ether traded below the $1 mark. However, a year later, between October and December 2016, Ether’s price was nearing $10. In June 2017, prices went as high as $377.56 with market capitalization reaching over $34 billion. on January 13, 2018, the price of Ether reached an all-time high near $1,400, with a market capitalization of $133 billion. Since then, Ethereum has witnessed a massive sell-offs and tumbling prices in an unwavering bear market. However, like with all markets, a boom and bust cycle exists, and now everyone is waiting for a new bull market, with hopes that Ether could one day make an all-time high again.

Ethereum Price Predictions From Big Names

Ethereum has caught the attention of many crypto enthusiasts as well as prominent personalities from the traditional finance sector. Some have also made predictions about Ethereum’s price. Let’s look at what they had to say.

Jeff Reed considers Ethereum more valuable than Bitcoin:
Crypto author Jeff Reed believes that Bitcoin and Ethereum have little in their way to stop them from becoming alternative currency systems.

He said:

“You can conceivably trade anything using Ethereum, but this is not Ethereum’s strength in comparison to other cryptocurrencies – they can all do this. It’s rather the computing language that allows the smart contracts to exist that makes Ethereum more valuable than BTC (in my opinion).”

Steven Nerayoff predicted $3,000:
Co-creator of Ethereum, Steven Nerayoff noted that billions of dollars were being poured into the Ethereum ecosystem in Jan 2018, through ICOs. He was vouching for a $3000 price tag on Ether by the end of 2018, but unfortunately, this did not materialize.

Nigel Green sticks to $2,500:
deVere Group CEO Nigel Green suggested that Ethereum could reach $2500 by the end of 2018, followed by further increases in 2019 and 2020.

He said:

“The price of Ethereum is predicted to increase significantly this year, and could hit $2,500 by the end of 2018 with a further increase by 2019 and 2020. This general upswing will be fueled by three mains drivers. First, more and more platforms are using Ethereum as a means of trading. Second, the increased use of smart contracts by Ethereum. And third, the decentralization of cloud computing.”

Who Is the Founder of Ethereum?

Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum. Vitalik conceived the idea of Ethereum and released a white paper in 2013 describing in detail its design and rationale. Vitalik had already been interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies since 2011. He co-founded the news website named ‘Bitcoin Magazine’ where he published hundreds of articles and was also involved with the privacy-focused Dark Wallet project. It was during this time that Vitalik came up with the idea of a single blockchain that could be reprogrammed to create custom decentralized applications rather than having to develop a whole new blockchain. In January 2014 Vitalik formally announced Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami and started working with Dr. Gavin Wood who he went on to co-found Ethereum with. In July 2014 they launched a 42-day public sale of Ethereum tokens known as ‘Ether’ raising more than $18 million, which was the most successful ever crowd sale at the time. The Ethereum platform went live and launched a year later on June 30, 2015, allowing developers to start creating and running decentralized applications.

The Founding Team

Apart from Vitalik Buterin, other people were also involved in designing and perfecting the concept of Ethereum. The most prominent among them is doctor Dr. Gavin Wood who wrote the “technical bible” called Ethereum yellow paper, which outlines the details of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Dr. Joseph Lubin is another prominent name who later built ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based startup focusing on the Ethereum ecosystem. When the project was publicly announced in 2014, the core team consisted of Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Lorio and Charles Hoskinson.

How Can Programmers Use Ethereum?

Ethereum is a single blockchain with a built-in programming language. It serves as a platform where programmers can create, use and run many different types of decentralized applications. This has led to Ethereum being described as ‘The World Computer’ where just like with conventional computers the potential uses depend in part on the creativity of its users. To get started, programmers can start learning more about the foundational concepts of blockchains- decentralization and cryptography. They must familiarize themselves with the key feature of the Ethereum blockchain, smart contracts, as well as other components like GAS, Ether (ETH), and the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Programmers will also need to learn Solidity, the programming language used for Ethereum.

What is Solidity?

Solidity is the programming language used for creating smart contracts on Ethereum. According to Blockchain Council, Solidity is a high-level programming language, and the syntax is similar to the JavaScript scripting language.What is Solidity? – Source: Blockchain Council Solidity was initially proposed by Gavin Wood in August 2014. It was then developed by Gavin Wood, Alex Beregszaszi, Christian Reitwiessner, Yoichi Hirai, Liana Husikyan, and other former Ethereum core contributors. It was designed to enable the writing of smart contracts on platforms like Ethereum. For programmers who are well versed in JavaScript or C, Solidity will seem relatively proverbial. While Solidity is a fairly new language, there are numerous experts working on it, and there is ample documentation available to help new programmers who want to learn the basics.

Ethereum’s Future Plans

Ethereum has struggled with some scalability issues which could be a hurdle to the widespread adoption of the platform and Ether. Ethereum wants to overcome these hurdles with Ethereum 2.0, the Casper Upgrade. The upgrade is expected to arrive in 2019. It will include concepts like sharding which is expected to make the blockchain faster and more efficient. Once successfully upgraded, Ethereum 2.0 will then start on its journey moving towards Ethereum 3.0 which will provide the network with security against the power of quantum computers.

Scaling

Scaling could be considered the Achilles’ heel of the Ethereum network; however, a lot of work is being done in the background to try and overcome this. As Ethereum is not just a single blockchain, it also allows users to create their own blockchain-based projects on the original Ethereum blockchain. urthermore, over 1400 dApps are running on Ethereum currently which means that the network already has a large number of users and processes millions of transactions.

The problem begins when the number of apps, projects, and users increases to a level where the Ethereum blockchain nodes are unable to handle the ever-increasing amount of transactions. In fact, when the CryptoKitties game on the Ethereum network went viral in late 2017, the network became congested and saw a 600% increase in pending transactions. This surge resulted in the network slowing down and expensive transactions fees, therefore, reducing the usability/viability of Ethereum applications.

The solutions currently being developed to overcome the scaling issue include:

  • Casper – The upgrade that will set to bring about Ethereum 2.0 and move Ethereum to a Proof-of-Stake protocol. It is expected to occur in 2019.
  • Sharding – Splits up the entire network into separate ‘shards’. Each independent shard and its allocated nodes can process certain transactions, rather than the entire network processing each transaction, therefore, increasing throughput.
  • Serenity – A new blockchain system that would be connected to Ethereum. The goal would be to move all the existing Ethereum applications here where they would be “sort of folded into a contract on one shard of the new system.”

 

Proof of Stake vs. Proof of Work

Proof of Stake (PoS) and Proof of Work (PoW) are two popular types of blockchain consensus mechanisms. A consensus mechanism is used to verify and validate the information that’s being added to the blockchain ledger. This ensures that there is no double spending or other invalid data is being added to the blockchain. It also prevents the networks from being harmed through constant forking. There are pros and cons to each consensus mechanism, but, they all aim to serve the same purpose. A primary difference between consensus mechanisms is how the verification of transactions are delegated and rewarded. Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake infographic by 3iQ Research Group. Ethereum currently uses a Proof of Work system, but the Casper upgrade will start the transition of Ethereum to a Proof of Stake system. The new system will also have a penalty system built in to punish malicious actors.

Good Audience state that:

“The penalty system has the additional benefit of deterring 51% attacks. In a PoW system, a 51% attack is costly but repeatable as long as enough hashing power has been collected. With PoS, the attackers run the risk of losing their stake should the attack fail. In such a case, the only way to relaunch an attack would be to acquire new Ether.”

Casper, Sharding & Ethereum 2.0

The roadmap to Ethereum 2.0 consists of two combined upgrades, which are Casper and Sharding, as is designed to bring scalability and security benefits to Ethereum. It may take several years for these both to be implemented fully and form Ethereum 2.0. Despite that Casper and Sharding will be combined to form Ethereum 2.0, both are separate projects that will have different phases and implementation and completion times. The Casper protocol is a proof of stake consensus mechanism that forms a major part of Ethereum 2.0 roadmap. With Casper, validators will have to set aside part of their Ether as a stake.

When blocks are discovered by validators which they think should be added to the Ethereum blockchain (validated), they will make a bet on it in Ether. If the block is appended to the chain then the validators are rewarded based on their bet sizes. As mentioned above it will have built-in mechanisms for punishing malicious actors on the protocol which will ensure that they cannot game the system and that the system remains trustless. Validators acting badly will have their stakes removed. Sharding, on the other hand, will divide the network into separate shards. Each shard will be designated to process specific transactions, which it can do so on its own. Currently, the entire network is needed to process each transaction, which is likely an excessive use of the network’s resources. That’s why implementing sharding could significantly increase throughput on Ethereum and enable greater scaling.

This is how Vitalik Buterin explains sharding:

“Imagine that Ethereum has been split into thousands of islands. Each island can do its own thing. Each of the islands has its own unique features, and everyone is belonging on that island, i.e., the accounts, can interact with each other AND they can freely indulge in all its features. If they want to contact other islands, they will have to use some sort of protocol.”

Conclusion

Ethereum’s contribution to the blockchain/crypto world is enormous. Ethereum has opened up new possibilities with blockchain through the introduction of smart contracts, decentralized applications, and tokenized economies. There is no doubt that Ethereum is still a work in progress. It has some issues, especially those related to scaling and the solutions needed will not just come overnight. The future of Ethereum depends on how widely adopted and powerful the network becomes as well as the creativity and talent of the developers who use the platform. Ethereum indeed appears to be heading in the right direction, gaining the attention of many large corporations and institutions. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance currently has over 386 members that support and back Ethereum related developments. Members include heavy hitters like Intel, JPMorgan, Microsoft, BP, and even the Indian Government. No one can predict for sure what impact Ethereum will have, just like in the 1990’s no one knew how much the internet would impact the world. It’s still early days for Ethereum, but it certainly has the potential to be a revolutionary platform.

Article Produced By
Malek Mezni

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.

https://blokt.com/guides/what-is-ethereum-eth

TP

12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges [2020] – Buy Bitcoin & Altcoins

12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges [2020] – Buy Bitcoin & Altcoins

Which is the best cryptocurrency exchange for buying or selling Bitcoin or altcoins in 2020? We list and review 12 top exchanges worthy of your consideration.When trying to decide on the best cryptocurrency exchanges, it is not simply a matter of ranking by volume or performing a broad comparison according to fees, accessibility, trading tools, or other common features.

Find a Bitcoin exchange which suits your needs

Most exchanges aim to support a particular type of client based on their location, experience, payment method, need for anonymity and so on, while very few can be considered broad catch-all exchanges designed for a non-existent “average user.” That is why we decided to offer a list of the best Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges to cover the needs of all our readers. We will include the top major exchanges that offer the broadest range of services, as well as some smaller exchanges that focus on more specific types of clients. This way, every reader will be able to find the best cryptocurrency or Bitcoin exchange for their unique needs. With the Fed pumping trillions of dollars into the US money system in recent weeks, now is as good a time as ever to purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. After all, Bitcoin doesn’t partake in quantitative easing, right? Let’s get started with our list of the top exchanges.

The 12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

This table features the top 12 best Bitcoin and crypto exchanges: Read on to find out the specifics of each exchange

Coinbase

Coinbase was created to be the most trusted name in cryptocurrency exchanges, and in this respect, it is more or less unrivaled in the marketplace. Coinbase is regulated as a US financial institution, including FDIC insurance for US deposits of $250,000 or less, and is compliant with key EU financial regulations. Coinbase is also backed by major mainstream investors, such as banks and investment funds. “The most trusted digital currency platform” – Source: Coinbase This level of trust ensures that Coinbase is the exchange of choice for most beginner cryptocurrency investors, and features a simple design to accommodate this client base.

Unfortunately, this focus on trust means that Coinbase trades in only a limited number of cryptocurrencies, though it does trade in all the top names. Clients are also limited to a relatively small number of countries of origin in North America, Europe, and Oceania. Coinbase has a fantastic track record when it comes to security, with only 2% of its customer’s funds held online at any one point. Along with its insure-policy, this makes Coinbase one of the safest exchanges to use for users looking to purchase cryptocurrency.t Coinbase, our first priority is to ensure that we operate the most secure and compliant digital currency exchange in the world.”

Binance

Binance was founded by Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, a Chinese software developer who previously built systems for the Tokyo Stock Exchange and developed futures trading software for Bloomberg’s Tradebook. Although initially based in China, a crackdown in regulations on cryptocurrencies there led the exchange to move to Japan. However, when Japan’s FCA issued Binance a warning, they decided to relocate to Malta. Binance is the exchange of choice for coin-to-coin cryptocurrency trading with some of the largest numbers for available coin pairs and trading volumes in the industry.

However, Binance flagship exchange also does not deal in fiat currency at all, making it a strictly cryptocurrency-based exchange. The base unit of exchange, then, is not USD, but rather Bitcoin itself. Binance also boasts low fees for trades and withdrawals. Trading fees are discounted if the user is holding Binance Coin (BNB). In 2017, Binance became the exchange with the largest trading volume, largely due to its huge selection of crypto assets available to trade. In February 2020, In an effort to sustain its impressive growth, Binance introduced margin trading, which is now available for BTC, ETH XRP, BNB, ETH and TRX. Binance has made some interesting acquisitions over the years, including Trust Wallet in 2018 and CoinMarketCap in April, 2020.

FTX.com

FTX.com is a revolutionary new exchange which has stormed on to the scene in the last 6 months. Founded by Alameda Research a cryptocurrency trading firm, it has made a bunch of cool new products. Read our full review of it here: FTX exchange review

FTX has many amazing new crypto products

Leveraged Tokens – Special Erc-20 etheruem based tokens called ‘bull’ or ‘bear’ which represent either a 3x long or a 3x short on an underlying cryptocurrency.
Indexes – Baskets of coins which together represent a certain index and can be traded on perp contracts. For example the ‘Shitcoin Index’ which contains 58 altcoins.
Perpetual contracts – Until recently these were really only available in Bitmex, but FTX has taken these contracts to a new level, offering them on many smaller coins (LEO, TEZOS, BNB, ETC just to name a few.
Presidential 2020 – USA presidential election futures which allow you to either short or long your preferred candidate.

These are just some of the cool features, but there are a bunch more.

CEX.io

CEX.io is a fiat-to-crypto exchange that offers some advanced trading features while still being very friendly for beginners to use.
Otherwise experienced investors who are new to cryptocurrencies often use CEX.io for the kind of trading that they are accustomed to with traditional securities and platforms.

Reasons to choose CEX.io cryptocurrency exchange – Source: CEX.io

CEX.io allows for free bank transfers for verified accounts and charges a small fee for unverified accounts using VISA or Mastercard. CEX.io also features low trading fees.
Most CEX.io users are drawn to the advanced trading features that traditional cryptocurrency exchanges do not generally offer. CEX.io also offers margin trading, which is essential to many trading strategies.
CEX.io does have a limited offering of cryptocurrencies, though it covers all the major coins. It also allows for a variety of coin-to-fiat pairs, including EUR, GBP, and RUB, which most exchanges do not.

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange for trading between fiat currencies and Bitcoin.

As a peer-to-peer exchange, LocalBitcoins acts as a medium between two parties who decide for themselves how many Bitcoins to trade, at what price and through which method. This means that people can make personal transfers of both fiat currency and Bitcoin while avoiding any regulations or taxes that they might face for making the same trade on a traditional exchange. LocalBitcoins allows people from all over the world to trade Bitcoins for any fiat currency based on a peer-to-peer system regardless of local cryptocurrency laws or financial regulations. LocalBitcoins operates by letting sellers place an advertisement for a percentage cost of the total value of the proposed trade. Buyers can then choose to trade with these sellers based on the offered terms. Buyers and sellers both have reputation scores based on past transactions, and users must decide for themselves whom to trust.

Bitfinex

Bitfinex is among the most advanced fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading platforms, boasting some of the highest liquidity and trading volumes among exchanges. Bitfinex has few rivals when it comes to cryptocurrency traders who are looking to implement advanced trading techniques and trade large volumes. Bitfinex offers the full range of features that traders expect from a platform, including advanced order types, margin trading, and a vast range of coins and fiat currency pairs.

Bitfinex also boasts low fees that are geared toward high-value traders, with fees dropping dramatically as the trade value increases. Bitfinex has suffered two major hacks in the past as its massive volumes made it a prime target, but they have since paid back all losses to clients and significantly improved their security set up to be among the best in the industry.

Bittrex

Bittrex is a crypto-to-crypto exchange that was designed with one priority in mind above all else: security. Bittrex was designed by a team with decades of experience in security for major software developers, such as Microsoft and Amazon. Bittrex also keeps most of its client funds in cold storage (inaccessible to hackers) and has a robust system for verification. In addition to security, Bittrex focuses on offering an enormous range of crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, with some of the highest trading volumes in the industry. While Bittrex may not be the first choice for experienced cryptocurrency traders looking to trade major coins, it is arguably the best exchange for trading less popular coins. Bittrex does have slightly higher trading fees than most exchanges and accounts can only be funded using Bitcoin, Ether or Tether.

Coinmama

Coinmama is a simple cryptocurrency broker that offers users a quick and easy way to buy coins using fiat currency without needing to store them on a third party exchange. Coinmama is ideal for people who simply want to purchase a cryptocurrency using fiat money without delays, hassles, lengthy registration, or hacking risk. Most often, people will make an initial cryptocurrency purchase using Coinmama, and then deposit the resulting coins from their personal wallet into a crypto-to-crypto exchange. Coinmama does charge relatively high fees for its services, so it is only recommended for users that are willing to pay a premium for speed, discretion, and simplicity.

Kraken

Kraken is one of the oldest and largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It trades in both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, with a larger number of pairs available than most similar exchanges, though not by an enormous amount. Kraken caters to advanced cryptocurrency traders by offering features like margin trading, OTC, and futures, though it does also make an effort to be accessible for beginners as well. Advanced traders will find all the features that they expect from an advanced platform, as well as relatively low fees that scale down with volume size.

Kraken promotes its essential features as having:

  • A comprehensive security approach
  • An intuitive crypto trading platform
  • Fees as low as 0%
  • A global 24/7 support team
  • A range of funding options

Kraken did have some performance issues in 2018 that garnered it a slightly poor reputation, but it has performed problem-free since then.

Changelly

Changelly offers a rare service in the crypto space: fast and anonymous crypto-to-crypto transfers with no third party holding.
Changelly is not designed for investing or trading, but rather as a fast, discreet and efficient means for exchanging the coins in your private wallets. Changelly works by offering you competitive exchange rates for a large range of coins and then making the transfer directly between your own private wallet. For this service,
Changelly charges a higher fee than most trading and investing exchanges, but not excessively so. The premium paid is for the anonymity and simplicity compared to a more traditional crypto-to-crypto exchange.
Changelly does also allow fiat-to-crypto exchanges, but these have notoriously high and opaque fees, and this service is not widely used.

Prime XBT

Prime XBT is a next-generation fiat-to-crypto exchange that offers cutting-edge trading tools, extremely high leverage and pooled liquidity from other cryptocurrency exchanges. This combination of features makes
Prime XBT a top pick among advanced traders looking to capitalize on short term price movements in the top 5 coins.
Prime XBT accounts can be directly funded with Bitcoin or indirectly funded through Changelly using fiat or other coins.
Prime XBT offers by far the lowest trading fees in the industry, as well as the highest liquidity by drawing on the trading volumes from the top 12 existing exchanges.
Prime XBT also has an extremely advanced interface, the ability to short crypto/fiat pairs and up to 100 times leverage, which is far more than the 2 to 3 times leverage offered by even the most competitive trading platforms.

BitMEX

For those who want to increase their purchasing power in pursuit of bigger and faster profits, BitMEX is undoubtedly the king in this area with its cryptocurrency derivitives trading platform that provides up to 100x leverage. That means if your account balance stood at either $10,000 or 1 BTC, you would be able to trade with funds worth up to $1 million or 100 BTC respectively thanks to the leverage offered. We do not recommend using 100x leverage, as it is a gamble and basically the same as playing roulette in a bitcoin casino.

BitMEX – “The next generation of Bitcoin trading products”

You can see how this has the potential to hugely increase gains, and equally, massively increase losses! And with it widely reported that “95% of traders fail” and lose money across most financial markets, this leverage should definitely be utilized with caution. Nonetheless, leverage certainly has its benefits and BitMEX is a vastly popular trading platform, so it’s definitely doing a lot right. BitMEX has excellent security, it’s easy to sign up, and allows its users to trade 8 different cryptocurrencies both long and short. So, whether you’re an aggressive trader looking for big returns, or simply looking for a way to free up some trading capital or go short, BitMEX is definitely a leading exchange that’s worth checking out.

Article Produced By
Ben Basarab

Experienced trader and finance writer, Ben spends most of his waking hours (and some of his sleeping ones) dealing with cryptocurrencies and markets in general. With an education in economics and finance and an interest in history and politics, there isn't much happening in the world of finance that he's not following.

https://blokt.com/guides/best-cryptocurrency-bitcoin-exchanges

TP

How to Store & Secure Crypto on a Ledger Nano S [2020 Expert Guide]

How to Store & Secure Crypto on a Ledger Nano S [2020 Expert Guide]

How to keep your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency safe using a Ledger Nano S and expert methods.

1 Introduction

There comes a time in every crypto-holder’s life when he or she has to take a serious look at how secure their current holdings are. Over the years, I’ve witnessed multiple people storing their crypto in ways that are begging for trouble. This includes the following:

  • Leaving their coins in an exchange wallet (with or without 2FA enabled).
  • Using a browser-based wallet with an unsecured computer.
  • Using a mobile wallet with known security flaws.
  • Storing a wallet on a rooted mobile.
  • Using a software wallet on their virus riddled PC.
  • Not using a hardware or paper wallet to store large amounts of crypto assets.

You shouldn’t be leaving your coins on an exchange, and if you can avoid it, you shouldn’t be using a software wallet. If you’re going to take away anything from this article, make it the fact you must obtain and use a hardware wallet or a paper wallet if you hold more crypto than you are willing to lose. If you’re interested in general security practices, it’s worth checking out our post on OPSEC and the best way to stay safe as a cryptocurrency holder online. To drill this point home let’s outline some previous known events in which users have lost obscene amounts of crypto.

2 Known Hacks & Losses

The following are (mostly recent) events in which large amounts of cryptocurrency were compromised resulting in losses for the victims. I’m not going to list every example, these are cases off the top of my head and should be enough to give you an idea of how common this is. There are likely many similar cases every year that are not made public by the victims. I’ll update this list periodically. As you can see, securing your coins should be taken seriously!http://blog.chuck-reynolds.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/securing-background-324×160-1.jpg Let’s discuss one of the two decent options for securing your crypto: hardware wallets. Paper wallets are also a good option in certain circumstances but are not as suited for regular access to your funds on an internet-enabled computer, so we won’t examine them here. Paper wallets are discussed in our blockchain guides.

3 Hardware Wallets – Ledger Nano S vs. Trezor

There are many hardware wallets available, and most manufacturers offer many models. For the sake of simplicity, we are only going to discuss these two options today, as they are usually readily available and are arguably the most popular. The KeepKey deserves mention here too as it’s been getting some positive reviews. The aim of this article is not to shill you my favorite hardware wallets, however, it’s an important purchase, so let’s briefly go over the pros and cons of these two:

Conclusion

The Ledger Nano S takes the cake mostly due to price and currency support. That’s not to say other hardware wallets aren’t good. Do your own research and buy a wallet that’s right for you. And remember, always purchase your hardware wallet direct from vendors or authorized distributors. Never purchase from Amazon, eBay or third parties if you can’t be sure the device hasn’t been tampered with.

Article Produced By
Greg Adams

Managing Director, Editor, Proprietor & avid crypto-enthusiast. Greg is the founder of [blokt] and was the original editor responsible for building the team of journalists we have today.Greg specializes in crypto-security and sees himself as accountable for ensuring our readership, both new and experienced cryptocurrency users, stay safe and maintain high standards of personal security and OPSEC.Greg has broken many security-based news stories before any other publication, including the Parity Vulnerability story in November 2017, and the Bee Token Hack story in January 2018. Greg's industry commentary has been published on investing.com, capital.com, and express.co.uk.

https://blokt.com/guides/storing-crypto

TP

Bitcoin (BTC) Struggles to Maintain $10,000, Falls to $9,500 Support

Bitcoin (BTC) Struggles to Maintain $10,000, Falls to $9,500 Support

Bitcoin price is seeking support at $9,500 after touching $10,500 this month.

Bitcoin price has come under significant pressure this week as it failed to hold the $10,000 level,

which it had reached rather easily since starting this year around $6,900. While the price broke $10,000 on February 9, 2020, following a golden cross between the 50-day and 150-day moving averages, and even managed to defend the breakout for a couple of days, it could not hold its own against significant profit-taking, which turned the tide against the bulls. The $9,500 support is holding for now, and earlier, had served as the launchpad to breach $10,000. While downward pressure is increasing as market sentiment is turning bearish, the RSI is also cooling down, and technicals indicate that a fall to $9,000 should be the worst-case scenario in the short to mid-term.

On the upside, $10,000 is still a realistic target, but investors may hold off for now given the negative comments coming out of the United States. Last week, Steven Mnuchin, the United States Secretary of the Treasury claimed ‘significant’ new crypto regulations are on the way, while the Department of Justice is calling Bitcoin mixing a crime. Meanwhile, the upcoming Bitcoin halving is still widely anticipated as a positive driver for the price, but it is possible that the development may be priced-in at $10,000 per Bitcoin. Even though 2017 saw Bitcoin hit $20,000 without stopping, the crypto market has matured since, and there is money to be made on both, longs and shorts, which has resulted in major price swings. For now, $10,000 is a major price level for Bitcoin, and failure to breach it in the coming days may exposure further weakness in the price.

Article Produced By
Hunain Naseer

https://cryptovest.com/news/bitcoin-btc-struggles-to-maintain-10000-falls-to-9500-support/

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