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The point of using a digital currency is that it’s completely decentralized and disconnected from any government control. Yet, some exchanges completely defeat the purpose of digital currency by placing it into third-party systems. It is essential to understand that we no longer have to give up our control over our assets and shouldn’t be dependent on governments to protect them.

This is a review of “Tim Swanson’s” – “Eight Things Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Probably Won’t Tell You.” Read on to know more.

Here are eight areas that require your attention:

crypto world

1. Bitfinex

A Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange that is known to be hacked several times in the past. A little over a year ago, $65 million dollars’ worth of bitcoins were stolen from the exchange. Till now, Bitfinex has failed to provide evidence as to how they were hacked or where those funds led to. Users were fooled by the potential for returns but in turn faced a major loss as their accounts were left empty.

2. Ransomware, Ponzi’s, Zero-fee and AML-less exchanges

A report from Xinhua was released last month that read:

China’s two biggest bitcoin exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, collectively invested around 1 billion yuan ($150 million) of idle client funds into “wealth-management products.”

In simple words, these exchanges were functioning while charging zero-fees by using customer deposits to invest in other financial products without the customer’s knowledge. According to insiders and reporters that many exchanges in China carried out similar practices. Also, exchanges in developing countries lacking AML and KYC measures majorly benefit from scams and thefts.

3. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Many investors are chasing quick profits instead of utility. Recently, many firms are aiming towards scamming practices due to which several other legitimate ICOs are suffering. Several ICO boot camps in China were set up with past experience in pyramid schemes, this leads to not just single fraud incidents but very frequent ones as well.

4. VC-backed entities

5. The decline of Maximalism

6. Market caps

We have very little idea of what is really happening with Bitcoin transactions or any cryptocurrency for that matter.  Market cap is based mainly on a company’s assets and future cash flows but with cryptocurrencies, it is completely misleading. Especially, when random meaningless coins sell a small segment of their total supply then, claim a huge market cap.

7. Buy-side analysts and con media

Many big-name media companies practice a biased reporting which mainly focus on the benefits of coins but not equally shed light on the potential risks as well. They cover basically everything and anything regarding market caps, statistics and basic buy/own cryptocurrencies articles. But what if these major companies are funding other odd companies side by side?

The point is, that if these firms want to be taken seriously, they might as well take on the best practices so they support long-term capital inflows.

 

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What Are Some Best Ways to Own Bitcoins?

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Best Ways to Own Bitcoins

Are you looking to own some bitcoins but don’t know where, and how to do it? Don’t worry. Here you will find everything that you are looking for regarding bitcoin-generation.

This 5-point guide will help you learn some killer ways to earn your own bitcoins and have something to brag about in front of your friends. So, let’s get started with knowing what are some way to earn bitcoins.

Get a Wallet:

First of all, get a wallet as this is where you are going to store the coins. Getting a Bitcoin wallet is pretty straight forward as there are several Internet-based wallet services, like Coinbase, Blockchain, etc. that provide digital wallets to their clients.

These two are considered to be most reliable and well-secured wallet services. However, neither can give 100% guarantee against security breaches.

There are also mobile apps of these wallets. But for now, only iOS users can download them on their devices.

Buy Bitcoins from Exchanges:

Bitcoin exchanges sell coins at current market rates. To purchase the coins, you are required to link your traditional bank account to the exchange account in order to transfer funds between the two accounts.

Coinbase is the most renowned and trusted exchange out there. The exchange doesn’t charge any fees for accepting payments made by others using your wallet. However, it does charge 1% to convert your bitcoins into local currency.

Buy It from A Nearby Trader or A Friend:

The number of people using Bitcoin is a lot more than you’d imagine. If you want to buy bitcoins, but going to an exchange is not an option, then ask around your friends or go to a nearby trader.

You can easily find them at LocalBitcoins.com by simply entering your nearest city. The service helps you find people trading bitcoins for USD and other major traditional currencies in your neck of the woods.

This technique requires you meeting with random people. People whom you never met before. So, make sure to have your meet ups at a public place to avoid any mishap.

Accept Bitcoin as A Form of Payment:

You can also pile up your stock by accepting bitcoins as a form of payment for the services you provide. All you have to do is inform your customers by simply chatting them up, via newsletter or putting up a signboard in front of your shop/office.

Bitcoin Mining:

Bitcoin mining is one of the primary ways to earn coins. To mine the coins, however, you will need to connect with a group of miners, have a powerful computer and internet access.

The miners work on solving mathematical algorithms in the form of groups. Those who solve them successfully are rewarded with bitcoins.

Conclusion:

These are some mainstream ways which can help you own large bitcoin assets. In conclusion, you can do it by getting in touch with friends, nearby traders, through online exchanges and via bitcoin mining. All the approaches are pretty simple and straightforward. You might find it difficult in the beginning but with a little guidance, it becomes as easy as ABC.

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Bitcoin Highlights – 2017 Edition

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2017 has been an adrenaline-packed roller-coaster ride for Bitcoin so far. Especially taking in the fact that it hit its highest record, crossing over 2,900 USD towards the end of June.

Here we are going to take a look at this year’s top bitcoin news from around the world.

 

BITCOIN VS. GOLD:

Who could’ve ever thought that something that exists virtually could cross the value of something as valuable as GOLD?

On March 3rd, 2017, the cryptocurrency set a fresh record of $1,268 while Gold rested at $1,233. The precious metal seemed to be having a bad month as it had dropped more than 2 percent within the same week. Meanwhile, Bitcoin seemed to be on the rise, with a 7 percent rise in a weeks’ time.

This cross is something that will always remain symbolic due to Bitcoin’s incomparable fighting power.

JAPAN:

The reasons behind the success of Bitcoin, particularly in 2017 could begin with the legalization of the cryptocurrency in Japan, which is Asia’s richest economy. Following the announcement, retailers and companies began queueing up to accept the popular digital currency. Moreover, the number of retail storefronts has risen to 300,000 in 2017 alone, things are definitely turning around for Japan.

Also, let us not forget that Japan has officially eliminated the tax on Bitcoin which is bound to drive an increase in Bitcoin trading.

RUSSIA:

Russia announced their legalization of the use of cryptocurrencies in 2017. Their government confirmed in late April, that a draft bill would create the legal framework for trading in cryptocurrencies. Surprisingly, this is coming exactly a year after the same Russian institutions had announced that anyone caught using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency would be jailed.

Why this change you may ask?

Russia plans on implementing the blockchain technology within its banking sector, to eliminate liquidity crisis and money laundering. Central authorities have closed down many banks but shutting down is not enough to wipe out frauds. Ultimately, authorities have decided to implement new technological applications that allow the government to surveillance people throughout. Thus, the sudden involvement is being shown in the digital world.

EDUCATIONAL INDUSTRY:

The University of Ohio has now officially begun hosting their first classes about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a part of its MFE curriculum. To follow up, several colleges have even started to accept Bitcoin as a payment method, a step that has definitely pushed Bitcoins to new heights.

In addition, two Montessori schools in Flatiron & Soho have now started to accept Bitcoin as a payment and 10 parents have already opted to enroll their kids using Bitcoin. Marco Ciocca, co-founder, and chairman of the schools added this payment option in June.

The above points prove that Bitcoin is becoming more and more popular as we type this article. People are intrigued to know more about the cryptocurrency and have adapted to the system to develop a better understanding. Obviously, because who wouldn’t want to exchange or shop for anything and everything without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

These are the major bitcoin highlights 2017 but, this is definitely not the end of it. Bitcoin is known for its staying power and we know that despite all of its competitors, it’s one tough cookie!

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Jay Clayton Believes ‘All ICOs Are Not Fraudulent’

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According to the chairman of the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), Jay Clayton, ‘all ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are not fraudulent’. These remarks were made by Clayton, on 5th April, during a speech at Princeton University. Clayton also added that stamping out fraud in the cryptocurrency market is perilous to protect customers. As well as, the improved regulatory analysis will essentially benefit the industry by removing fraudsters from it and con artists who give the whole place a bad name. Since there’ve been many ICO fraud cases before, the remarks of Clayton became viral.

SEC Investigation

Jay Clayton’s Remarks

Clayton said:

“Is the approach taken in Washington by the SEC adversely affecting distributed ledger technology in other areas? My hope is that it’s actually helping because this technology is being used for fraud… And to the extent that it’s being used for fraud, history shows that government comes down harshly on that technology later.”

He also added:

“If we don’t stop the fraudsters, there is a serious risk that the regulatory pendulum – the regulatory actions – will be so severe that they will restrict the capacity of this new security.”

Clayton signalled about SEC investigations, in February 2018, that his agency would be investigating cryptocurrencies and at that time, he said:

“I believe every ICO I’ve seen is a security.”

However, a few weeks later, ICOs were again targeted by the SEC as it issued dozens of subpoenas to the tech-companies related to cryptocurrencies, and counsellors to explore how ICOs are organized.

ICOs Ceased for Scam

Fraud charges were filed against the co-founders of Centra Tech, Robert Farkas and Sohrab Sharma on April 2, by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Centra tech co-founders were accused of raising $32 million by vending unregistered securities throughout the Centra ICO, as it was promoted by Floyd Mayweather (boxing champ) and DJ Khaled (record producer).

According to public documents, the SEC is now looking forward to two bitcoin exchange-traded funds for listing on the NYSE Arca, which is the first “all-electronic” exchange in the US. The name of these two-bitcoin exchange-traded funds are:

  • The ProShares Bitcoin ETF
  • The ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF

 

SEC to Allow Cryptocurrency ETFs

Cboe president, Chris Concannon advised the agency to permit crypto ETFs and soon after that, the SEC consideration of bitcoin ETFs showed up. In a letter, that was sent to the SEC, on23rd March, Concannon sacked criticism that virtual currencies are extremely volatile to be treated like other dependable commodities.

Concannon wrote in the letter:

“Because of its innovative features as a digital asset, bitcoin has gained wide acceptance as a secure means of exchange in the commercial marketplace and has generated significant interest among investors.”

Concannon also added that there is sufficient reliable price info from the bitcoin futures market on CME and Cboe Futures Exchange that must alleviate the regulatory uncertainties about its impenetrability as an asset-tool.

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Initial Coin Offering – How to Avoid ICO Scams?

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You can find lots of advertisements and links related to ICO startup companies, but do you know what ICO really is? If you don’t, we’re here to help you out. In this blog, we are going to enlighten you about what ICO means, what it involves, and how you can avoid Initial Coin Offering scams.

initial coin offering

What is ICO?

ICO stands for “Initial Coin Offering.” ICO wasn’t known to many people until cryptocurrencies we created and became a trend. The word “ICO” is borrowed from IPO (Initial Public Offering). Now, you must be wondering, what’s IPO? IPO is the event in which a company goes public in the finance world. But, what happens when a company goes public? Well, it means that the company is going to launch stock options publicly, for each and every one out there to purchase its share, with this hope that these purchased-shares would have more worth one day. You can also say that an IPO is one of the possible exoduses of a venture-capital-investment.

 

What Makes It Different?

An ICO is usually used as a crowdfunding project by cryptocurrency startup ventures to fund a startup company. Funds are provided through well-recognized cryptocurrencies like; Bitcoin or Ethereum or in the form of traditional currency and in exchange, they are given a quantity of the cryptocurrency, which they’re funding with, which means, in the form of “tokens!” After the ICO project gets successfully completed, tokens are exchanged into the functional units of a cryptocurrency that is newly created.

 

No Regulations

Many companies find ICOs attractive since they are not under any regulations, and the startup ventures can collect funding without any exertion and cost for the regulatory acquiescence. On the other side, risks for investors also get increased as countries like South Korea and China have banned the ICOs.

 

For ICO crowdfunding ventures, the marketing heavily depends on social media platforms which also include paid-ads. Similarly, there are many ICO ads now, which are being shown on different websites. The social media giant, Facebook has already banned ICO-related advertisements; however, from June 2018, Google is also going to put a ban on advertisements related to ICO.

 

Is ICO a Scam?

No, ICOs are not always a scam. However, the way they work is the main thing that allows scammers to gain a lot of money from those investors who believed in the startup. Just because of this, few top-investors recommend “real businesses” to avoid these ICOs and continue their business in the same way they were doing before. The year, 2017 has shown that almost 46% of all-known ICO ventures have been proven to be unsuccessful and after the payments were made, the websites, as well as social media profiles were left abandoned or were quickly vanished.

Well, all of this data shows that all ICOs aren’t always a scam, however, like other crowdfunding ventures, especially investing in general, you have to very careful where you invest. While assessing Initial Coin Offering scams, make sure to do your research about the individuals behind it. A robust ICO will offer potential investors every single detail about the developers, security experts, advisors, and others linked with the project. A legitimate ICO will offer a variety of places and social media links where investors can communicate with developers. They’ll also provide their Facebook page of the project so that you could assess its engagement levels.

How to Avoid ICO Scams

If we look at the recent lists of Initial Coin Offering campaigns, it’s quite hard to come up with a reasonable filter, and there’s no doubt that experienced investors wouldn’t consider how sceptical it is, but as with any investment, nothing can be predicted related to ICO or about its certainty. Even in some cases, basic managerial accounting data isn’t available; however, many ICO trackers still try to combine lists of seemingly pertinent parameters.

Initial Coin Offering scams show that fraudsters are going to extraordinary-extents to scam gullible investors. Also, when it comes to taking decisions related to investment, it focuses on the needs of investors. According to the founder of Skill Incubator, Chris Dunn, the cryptocurrency community must have to become extra incisive towards new ICOs; otherwise, governments around the world are expected to take stricter stances into cryptocurrencies at a whole new level.

Also, an ICO whitepaper is the initial document for the project, which describes the aim, background, strategy, and concerns for the implementation of all blockchain-related projects. Whitepapers can be extremely skimpy like; companies that have an ostentatious website may unveil that they lack a basic-sound concept. Then again, a company with a website that contains spelling errors might have a whitepaper that shows a rigid concept and a prudently created implementation strategy.

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Digital currencies like bitcoin are coming (and it’s a good thing): Juan Llanos at TEDxMidAtlantic

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