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Spotting bubbles have become a national passion after dot-come and the housing bubble burst in 2000 and 2008. Moreover, few year back investors use to spotted bubbles in gold, equities, credit, and bonds as well.

Here, I will not discuss b-word here to describe those investments. Accordingly, not even nominate any of them. I will give that division to digital currency named bitcoin and its brief Bitcoin Info.

Bitcoin has all characteristics of a bubble in making. First, it totally new. Second, a digital currency that allows the public to do transactions freely without any second party. Where the transactions are controlled by the proper network of computers.

British journalist Mike Dash in his book “Tulipmania” in 17th-century states; “It is impossible to comprehend the Tulipmania without understanding just how different tulips were from every other flower known to horticulturists in the 17th century.” Same sayings with the internet in the 1990s and about cryptocurrency today.

Second, bitcoin is something scary. Like, both parties took part in transaction process anonymously. Which is being the interest for scams, hackers, and criminals as well. Just like a mystery. Similarly, creator of the bitcoin goes by Satoshi Nakamoto, but it is totally unclear who that person is, or is that only one person?

It reminds the bubble in 1720 at the height of the England South Sea bubble, a company floated shares “For carrying-on an undertaking of great advantage but no-one to know what it is.” Definitely, investors do not stop investing in the company.

Third, the thing which makes the bitcoin susceptible is its value. An investment in Bitcoin gives the return of 351 percent annually inspection in July 2010 through Tuesday. To put that in standpoint, investment of $100 is equal to $3 million today. It’s totally an insane return from any investment like Bitcoin Battle.

Riding the wave

In 1720, a share price of the company South Sea rose up to 400 percent within three months and collapse quickly.

Digital gold

Bitcoin is not different from other commodities like gold, oil, vegetables etc. Nevertheless, government and currency market exchanges are standing behind the system. Whereas, with the commodities, investor hold the something at the end of the transaction process. However, bitcoin is something more speculative because it is a digital money.

This treatment is not only with all the investments. A shareholder is enabled to share the company’s assets, sale and purchase transactions. Same as bond’s payments of principle and interest.

This division of value allows many observers to warn that internet stock in the 1990s. In addition, during the housing bubble mortgage bonds were not safe. Similarly, this sort of statement is not possible about the bitcoin.

Good luck!

Tags: bitcoin investment trust

 

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How ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is Raising Millions in Seconds?

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Are you looking out for the biggest trends in cryptocurrency? Well, Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is going to be a fine start. Today, we’re going to give you an overview on the ICO.

Initial Coin Offering

The abbreviation of ICO is “Initial Coin Offering” and since 2013, ICOs are frequently used for evolving new cryptocurrencies. When we talk about ICOs, this also means individuals offering investors some units of crypto-token or new cryptocurrency in exchange, contrary to major cryptocurrencies such as; Bitcoin and Ethereum. If there’s a demand for pre-created tokens, then they can be easily traded and sold in all cryptocurrency exchanges.

ICO token could become the shares and securities of tomorrow and with the success of Ethereum, more and more ICOs are being used for funding the crypto project development. ICO has become a tool that doesn’t only reform the currency, but also the entire financial system.

initial coin offering

History of ICOs

At the beginning of 2013, around 100 billion XRP tokens were created in the Ripple Labs, as the first cryptocurrency distributed by an ICO was Ripple. The main reason why the company sold these tokens was to fund the development of the Ripple platform.

A layer on top of Bitcoin was promised to be created by Mastercoin, for tokenizing Bitcoin transactions and executing smart contracts. Almost $1 million was received by the developer against the top-cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

ICO has funded numerous other cryptocurrencies like; Lisk, which sold around $5 million coins at the beginning of 2016. The Ethereum Foundation sold ETH against 0.0005 Bitcoin in the mid-2014 respectively. By doing so, around 20 million was received, and it became one of the largest crowdfunding, and now, it serves as the capital base for Ethereum development.

 

A simple token, which can be transacted on the on the blockchain of Ethereum is one of the simplest applications of Ethereum’s smart contract system and this type of contract was standardized with ERC#20. This is something that made Ethereum host of such an extensive scope of ICO that now you can say that Ethereum has finally found its Killer App.

Legitimacy

The token is sold as a digital good, not as a financial asset and this is why it’s sometimes called “crowd-sale”. The legal state of ICO is undefined and in this case, the funding with an ICO is not regulated, making it quite simple and paperless.

ICO – Fundraising Future

The DAO is amongst the most prominent demonstration of Ethereum’s smart contracts. Ether, worth $100 million, fueled the distributed investment company. The idea of funding projects with a token on Ethereum turned out to be a highly successful generation of crowdfunding projects. You’d know that investing in token on top of Ethereum is very easy especially, if you’ve already tried it out. Just transfer ETH and paste the contract in your wallet. You’ll be able to see the token in your account and then you can easily transfer it as you want.

ICOs could be used for completely reconstructing the financial system of securities, shares, and decentralizing, not just money, but trade and stock creation as well.

Do you want to assess Ethereum’s market capitalization? Do not only look at the market cap of Ether but also on the token’s value.

Is it Profitable?

ICO has been a blessing for many investors but, on the other hand, many ICO ends with losses. Many scammers and semi-scammers have used ICO for; promising the greatest cryptocurrency ever or building a sleek website. In addition to that, the successful and largest ICOs, like Iconomi, Melonpost, Lisk, Melonpost, and Augur collected funds and delivered literally nothing.

Let’s find out what’s happening in the market for ICO.

Mastercoin

Building a layer on top of Bitcoin was announced by Mastercoin in 2013, and Mastercoin-token were sold to investors. Around 10,000 Bitcoin was received by the developers and had the worth of $1 million at that time. Some investors made hefty profits and later, Mastercoin merged with Omni and Counterparty.

Ethereum

One of the largest ICOs has been made by Ethereum yet, with a pre-sale of almost 60 million ETH and around 31,500 Bitcoin were raised by the Ethereum Foundation. ETH-presale investors also profited immensely.

Ripple

100 billion XRP-tokens were created in Ripple Labs and serve as an anti-spam mechanism in the Ripple payment network. Ripple Labs are selling XRP but their value doesn’t move in a clear direction. It started with almost 5,000 Satoshi, felt below 1,000 Satoshi, then raised above 7,000.

Next

In 2013, a new gen-cryptocurrency made, Next. Around 1 billion tokens were sold to early investors and the developers only got a double digit’s amount of Bitcoins with the ICO. However, today the NXT token is valued much more and NXT has become a successful and firm cryptocurrency relatively.

Lisk

Lisk enables smart contracts on sidechains and is a JavaScript written Blockchain, based on BitShares. Around $5 million was received by Lisk, by selling the coins for Bitcoins.

Ethereum token ICO:

First Blood

An Asian platform for decentralized Sportsbet completed the ICO of its token within few seconds and many of them have been purchased by a Chinese exchange.

Golem

The aim of Golem project is to create a decentralized supercomputer, through which applicants can earn money by selling its power. The ICO was limited to 820,000,000 tokens, and more than 10,000 BTC were received by the developers. Today, the Golem market share is beyond 50,000 BTC.

Augur

The decentralized prediction market uses REP-token to choose the outcome of events in which 80% of these tokens have been sold for funding the development and got around $5 million. Today all these tokens are worth more than $100 million.

ICONOMI

Well, Iconomi is a platform for managing the virtual assets and the ICN token is like shares on the platform. 85,000,000 tokens were sold by the developers and more than 17,000 BTC were received for it. Today, it has a market cap of almost 40,000 BTC.

SingularDTV

SingularDTV with the ICO raised more than 12,000 BTC and today, tokens as a whole are worth about 40,000 BTC.

The above ICO tokens can be easily purchased and traded on exchanges but some extra ICOs have just completed some time ago and are now preparing to release the newly created token on the Ethereum Blockchain.

This is the following projects:

Melonport

Melonport’s aim is to advance a platform for managing the blockchain assets made on Ethereum. The MLN token that the developers sold were around more than 2,000 BTC.

Dfinity

Dfinity aims to build a decentralized platform for cloud computing and has raised more than 3,000 Bitcoin in its ICO.

Qtum

The main aim of this project is to build a platform for the easy formation and blockchain based smart contracts and could raise more than 14,000 Bitcoin in an ICO for this mission.

Today’s ICOs

You can currently invest in ICOs like:

 

  • Humaniq (a wallet for the unbanked)
  • Aeternity (“scalable smart contracts interfacing with real-world data”)
  • Internet of Coins (a distributed environment for several blockchains)
  • Cosmos (similar: “a network of distributed ledgers”)

 

ICO Blockchain Capital allows everybody to contribute to its investment rounds. But, not every ICO is worth your money.

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Why Is North Korea So Interested in Bitcoin?

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Bitcoin Interest North Korea:

It was observed in 2016, certain actors that seemed to be North Korean were conducting cyber-crime. Their target being banks and global financial institutions. Although, looking at bitcoin investment North Korea, the country’s reputation as a nation that is entirely cut off from the global economy and also a nation that has a government unit dedicated to carrying out illegal economic tasks. This act was possibly carried out to fund the Pyongyang’s elite especially, with them having complete control of their military forces.

A second wave has already begun as these state-sponsored actors are now seeking to steal bitcoins and other digital currencies. It began in May 2017, three South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges were targeted with the intention of stealing resources. According to observations made previously, these actors mostly target personal accounts of employees at these cryptocurrency exchanges using phishing scams. In particular, the attacks used malware called PEACHPIT.

Buy Bitcoin Online North Korea – Activities Conducted by North Korea Against South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2017

 

  • April 22 – A South Korean digital currency exchange, Yapizon, had four wallets stolen.
  • April 26 – The US announces an increased economic sanctions strategy against North Korea. These international sanctions could be the reason behind North Korea’s interest in cryptocurrency.
  • Early May – First spearphishing attempt against South Korea is taken.
  • Late May ­– Second South Korean exchange is targeted.
  • Early June – Increased North Korean activity took place with cryptocurrency service providers in South Korea targeted.
  • Early July – Third South Korean digital currency exchange targeted.

 

The Advantage of Targeting Cryptocurrencies:

If they keep this up and plan to take on an exchange itself, they could be able to control online wallets and much more. From moving cryptocurrencies out of online wallets to sending cryptocurrencies to other wallets and even swapping cryptocurrencies for other ones. Since the digital currency realm is still pretty new, several exchanges might have less secure anti-money laundering security measures which make these exchanges a hot-spot for such attacks.

Conclusion:

As the adaptation of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have increased within the past few years, various nation states have begun to take notice. While many countries are beginning to open new digital currency exchanges or launch their own cryptocurrency, there are some that use it for criminal activities as well. Currently, North Korea is winning over their cyber spying skills but this isn’t long-term either with the advancing cyber powers.

 

Story Credits: fireeye.com

Image Credits: money.cnn.com

 

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What Is Litecoin – A Detailed Look at One of The Top Cryptocurrencies

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Litecoin is a peer to peer digital currency which enables instant, almost zero-cost payment in the world. Litecoin is a global and an open source network which is completely decentralized without any fundamental authorities.

The blockchain of Litecoin is capable of handling higher transaction volume than its corresponding currency – Bitcoin. Because of generating more frequent blocks, the network supports more transaction without modification of the software in the future. By this way, merchants get the faster confirmation times.

Miners are awarded currently with 50 new Litecoin per block. Therefore, the Litecoin network is scheduled to generate 84 million Litecoin, which is 4 times as Bitcoin.

Wallet encryption allows their users to secure coins through a wallet so that user can check transactions and account balance. This requires entering user password before spending Litecoin. This method provides protection from wallet-stealing trojans and viruses as well as check sanity before sending payments.

It is an open source software project which is released under the MIT/X11 license that gives you the full control to run, copy, and modify the software. It also gives the power to distribute at your option and modified copies of the software. The Intel integrated graphics cards which are in most laptops are just not suitable for this purpose. To retain speeds up to a high level, most Litecoin miners build dedicated machines by using motherboards which can hold many graphics cards, generally via riser cables.

How to Get Started with Litecoin?

It’s very simple to get started with Litecoin.

Here are some ways to start:

  • Get a Litecoin Wallet
  • Get Some Litecoin From an Exchange
  • Use Your Litecoin
  • Stay Up-To-Date

What are Main Litecoin Features:

Litecoin features are:

  • Faster Transaction Confirmation Time
  • Improved Efficiency than the top math-based currency.

How to Mine Litecoin:

Except you own specific mining hardware, there are two ways to mine digital currency:

  • With Your Central Processing Unit
  • With Your Graphics Processing Units

GPU provides better performance which required for the cryptographic calculations. If you are making your first ever raid in mining and don’t have a heavy gaming computer, then with just a laptop having Intel integrated graphics will possible to mine Litecoin.

Be careful, mining digital coins is highly system intensive and may reduce the lifespan of your electronic machinery. It’s a good idea to be sure that you have an adequate place, keep an eye on the temperature, and also keep in view any other warranties, just in case.

Mining may also be a solitary project or you may join a mining ‘pool’. In mining pool, many people combine their mining system and all take a share of the rewards.

How Much is a Litecoin Worth?

At the time of writing, one Litecoin is worth $52.75111396. The past few weeks was quite remarkable for Litecoin. However, many people assumed this currency will be dead but that is not the case. In fact, this currency is heading to a very bullish direction. The value of Litecoin has increased by over 700%. This is because of Coinbase listing and SegWit locking in. The future is looking bright for Litecoin because the price of Litecoin Continues to Climb.

How to Buy Litecoin:

Some points which will lead you how to buy Litecoin:

  • A way of getting Litecoin is mining them through standard computing apparatus.
  • Always try to have a check balance before investing funds, and should not take a risk the amounts you can’t afford.
  • Buying Litecoin is not an easy job as buying Bitcoin.
  • One of the straightforward ways is to simply buy Litecoin with Bitcoins, this is actually the fastest approach, and it is also the cheapest option for most of the users.

Anyone with Bitcoin can easily buy Litecoin from a number of exchanges:

  • Kraken
  • Cryptsy
  • BTC-e
  • Others have mentioned on Litecoin wiki.

You are thinking that buying Litecoin is the much easy way via fiat transfer through an exchange, but it can be a boring process for some reasons. Some main exchanges of Bitcoin like Coinbase and BTC China don’t deal with Litecoin transactions.

Another way is to buy Litecoin locally, forgoing the disturbance of wiring currency abroad, and changing it into Litecoin.

What are The Top Litecoin Wallets?

  • Many exchanges provide the service of online Litecoin wallets, but they are not modern solutions. Most of the users want something more secure as offline or cold storage wallets. Litecoin has luckily built-in encryption features that you can use to secure your wallet by just a few clicks.
  • Many users like to use the official Litecoin-Qt desktop client, but it has some syncing issues with another fair share of faults.
  • For a more secure and long-term storage, you have to setup a Litecoin paper wallet.
  • It is also possible to get a paper wallet with credit card quality from Crypto Coin Wallet Cards, but some smaller companies are also selling physical Litecoin or coin holograms.

What Is the Difference Between Litecoin And Bitcoin?

Here are some differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin:

  • The coin Limit of Bitcoin is 21 million and the Litecoin network will generate 84 million Litecoins, which four times more than coins issued by the Bitcoin network.
  • Bitcoin uses SHA -256 algorithms, however, Litecoin uses Scrypt algorithm, the main purpose of using the Scrypt was to allow the miners to mine both Litecoin and Bitcoin at the same time.
  • The mean block time of Bitcoin is 10minutes whether it is 2.5 minutes for the Litecoin.
  • The initial reward of Bitcoin is 50 BTC and the initial reward for Litecoin is 50 LTC.
  • The market cap of Bitcoin $10,467,596,650.78 and Market cap of Litecoin is $540,274,528.26.

Conclusion:

In the end, many people still looking at Litecoin as a Bitcoin testbed. Many people will keep an eye of SegWit malleability fix and be looking at how it effects Litecoin. This time is still much exciting to involve in Litecoin, although people having Litecoin may see the increment in the value of Litecoin these coming weeks.

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Crypto Regulations – South Korea’s Impact on the Crypto-world

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One of the largest markets for cryptocurrencies after Japan and U.S. is South Korea, as it’s believed by many. South Korea’s population is equivalent to Arizona and California if they’re put together. The cryptocurrency speculation looks like it has been overhyped unreasonably and South Korea’s government wants to take some fundamental steps now, to control this cryptocurrency trend in the crypto world.

South Korean’s Crypto-Market – Current Situation

At this time, you can clearly see a lot of chaos in South Korea. It all started when the government of South Korean officially legalized Bitcoin service back in July 2017, which caused a momentous progress in the demand for cryptocurrency trading all around the country.

North Korean hackers targeted South Korean Bitcoin exchanges in August 2017, and by the end of September, there were many rumours that South Korea was planning to execute stricter regulations on cryptocurrencies. These rumours turned out to be more serious by December and based on speculations, it changed into an absolute ban on cryptocurrency exchanges and had a bad impact on the crypto world.

crypto world

South Korea Influence on the Cryptocurrency Prices

According to an estimation by The Blockchain Industry Association, South Korea has many cryptocurrency exchanges, including;

  • Coinone
  • Bithumb
  • Korbit

This tells us that even with 50 million people in a country, the demand for cryptocurrencies is so high that it has traded at more than a 30 % higher price than other countries.

80% of the investors in South Korea have earned from investments in cryptocurrency and almost one-third of salaried Koreans have an average of $5,000 in cryptocurrency, which is a huge acceptance of an unapproved investment based only on speculation.

How are cryptocurrency traders operating in South Korea?

Many banks including the second largest one in the country, Shinhan Bank, offer local cryptocurrency exchanges with computer-generated bank accounts. Each investor/user can use these virtual bank accounts for depositing or withdrawing huge amounts of Korean Won without using their real bank accounts, which takes a lot of time and is costly at the same time.

The industry is currently under the government’s radar, amid other fears, that illegal funds will be entering the market and management of price of cryptocurrencies will be based on speculative investments.

How’s 2018 been so far for Cryptocurrencies in South Korea?

More regulatory plans have been announced by the government to ban this anonymous cryptocurrency, in order to control cryptocurrency speculation. Meanwhile, after this announcement, several South Korean exchanges were removed by the CoinMarketCap from its website, stating that extreme price divergence is the main reason for this. Around $20 billion was wiped off Ripple’s market cap as a result. After a statement by the Ministry of Justice, news of a whole cryptocurrency ban arose once again.

Is there going to be any ban on the cryptocurrencies?

The government started to notice huge speculation that drove instabilities in the cryptocurrency market since September 2017 and in order to evade money laundering and other crimes related to it, strategies to prohibit anonymous trading on local exchanges were testified in December 2017.

The Prime minister of South Korea, Lee Nak-Yeon, warned about the hazard of cryptocurrencies being an easy way for the younger generation especially students, to get involved with such illegal activities.

Regardless of the media misrepresentation of more stricter rules for cryptocurrencies, at the beginning of 2018, Kim Dong-yeon (the Finance Minister) ensured that there’d be no ban of cryptocurrencies in South Korea. The government also proclaimed that there’ll be tax on cryptocurrency exchanges around 24%. Apart from banning anonymous trading, they’ll be banning foreigners and minors from opening any other new cryptocurrency accounts as well.

How South Korean government will enforce bans?

The south Korean government has restricted the opening of new virtual accounts and cryptocurrency traders won’t be permitted to make any deposits into their virtual currency exchange wallets. They’ll be only able to deposit it only if they’ve the name of their cryptocurrency exchange and it matches that of their bank accounts.

It’s been demanded by financial authorities to the cryptocurrency exchanges to revamp their AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know-Your-Customer).

Are These planned regulations of South Korean affecting the crypto-industry?

Because South Korea has such a huge cryptocurrency market, this means that these regulatory decisions of government will have a huge impact on the crypto market worldwide.

During all these rumoured reports of the government banning cryptocurrency, the total market cap of all coins was declined by 40% in just one day. But shortly afterwards, the market cap started to rise once again.

All the rumours have played a big role in the cryptocurrencies’ price, and any change in the economic decisions or law made in the hubs of major crypto, will always result in such instabilities.

However, there’s always a possibility that it will climb back to the pre-crash levels.

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Tax Authorities of Spain Request for Cryptocurrency Users’ Information

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A source from Spain’s tax agency has confirmed that requests have been sent to over 60 companies by Spanish tax authorities to get information about the cryptocurrency users.  According to the source, the authorities have contacted almost a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges, 16 banks, companies operating cryptocurrency ATMs and over 40 businesses that allow online cryptocurrency payments.

crypto taxes

Details of Requests

The agency is looking for an authentic information about the transactions of cryptocurrencies as well as the parties that are involved in their implementation. The details of these requests include:

  • The identities of the businesses’ clients.
  • Bank account Information.
  • Credit card information.
  • The amount in the bank account/credit card.
  • Exchange rates involved in transactions.

The tax agency source has defined these information requests as an opening to the stricter investigation and scrutinizing. The source also added that the agency is already doing an analysis on the use of domestic cryptocurrency. The news originates from a sensitive interest amongst the international tax agencies in cryptocurrency, one that follows the surge of the market to over $800 billion in value.

Improved Oversight and Supervision

In addition, the news follows exertions from the ministry of finance, which manages the tax agency, to focus on cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, as it was released in an official announcement which was published in the month of March. At the time, officials of government remarkably wanted to connect the technology to organized delinquency, calling for improved omission and regulation.

The worldwide regulatory environment has now become more challenging for cryptocurrency investors, especially for those who once bloomed in a climate of obscurity and legitimate ambiguity. Also, Australia has announced that it is imposing new regulations on digital-currency exchanges. Spain is not the first country which is sending out warnings to the market involving the buying of cryptocurrency and crypto taxes, linked to the activity because this is something that numerous countries are trying to crack down on, and it also makes it clear that buying digital coins will not provide exception from tax.

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