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According to a report, the cryptocurrency market has struggled to sustain its momentum, yet failed to do so, and dropped to $463 billion. Similarly, other major cryptocurrencies including the top cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has struggled to record gains.

Ethereum and Bitcoin:

Only Bitcoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash are the ones amongst the 5 most valuable cryptocurrencies in the global market that have managed to record daily gains. Native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, Ether, has shown a slight upsurge in its value and has increased by 4% after seeing a plunge below $820. Ether still remains in the cryptocurrencies that have shown some upward momentum.

Ether has tended to follow the bitcoin price trend throughout its recovery time. However, in some periods, Ether moved in a different path from other cryptocurrencies including bitcoin. When the price of bitcoin hit the value of $12,000 last week, ICO tokens/ ERC 20 tokens and Ether didn’t perform well. But, Ether has performed a lot better than other cryptocurrencies this week, by moving in a diverse direction to the most leading cryptocurrency in the market.

Bitcoin is still priced above the $10,000 mark, and many experts have labelled it as the psychological threshold for both buyers and sellers. It is quite hard to assess the short-term trend of bitcoin at this time when bitcoin, the most leading cryptocurrency in the market, is experiencing massive ups and downs on a regular basis.

Bitcoin price doubled from its yearly low at $6,100 just one week ago and then breached the $12,000 mark later. Even in some regions like South Korea, bitcoin price surpassed the mark of $13,000. But today, the price of bitcoin is valued at $10,769, which shows signs that it would recover back to the $12,000 mark.

A cryptocurrency that is funded by the US dollar, Tether, is an imperative indicator of the short-term performance of the crypto-market. Many investors on most important cryptocurrency exchanges like; Bitfinex and Binance use Tether to hedge the cryptocurrencies worth during the time of volatility, especially when the market commences to drop.

The daily trading volume of Tether is $2.684 billion, on 27th February, which makes it the second most liquid cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. This large daily trading volume of Tether shows that a lot of traders are ambiguous about the short-term trend of most important cryptocurrencies, and are also evading the price of cryptocurrencies in the crypto-market to the US dollar.

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IBM’s Affordable Blockchain ‘Starter Plan’

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The IBM Blockchain is a hot topic these days. No doubt, blockchain technology is an ingenious invention which allows digital information to be distributed without allowing to it to be copied or modified. Though it was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in its initial form but uptill now it has evolved itself into a digital giant. That’s why every person somehow related to the internet technology has asked the question:

What is blockchain?

In short, blockchain is the backbone of a new kind of internet technology. In its original form, blockchain was being devised specifically for the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. It is also known as the distributed ledger technology as it maintains a flawless record of digital transactions. Due to its credibility, blockchain has also been used by the tech community in various other ways. Furthermore, IBM Blockchain technology is a much more refined form of this digital platform.

As we all know, IBM is on the top of the list as it has been working with Blockchain technology since 2015. The credit of bringing blockchain to mainstream also goes to IBM. It was in 2016, when IBM started to use Blockchain technology in their own company.

And now IBM has presented the concept of an affordable Blockchain Starter Plan especially designed for small scale businesses.

IBM’s business blockchain network

At an initial stage a beta version of Blockchain Starter Plan will be launched in order to facilitate the use of Blockchain in all sorts of businesses. For that purpose, in 2016 IBM launched a test Blockchain program in partnership with Walmart.

This starter plan will be free for the duration of its beta version. After completion of the beta version duration a 30-day free trial will be offered once the plan becomes applicable in its full form.

How will all this work?

To be precise, business blockchain network uses the so called distributed ledger technology in order to make sure a secure transfer of business assets inside that network. The beauty of this process is that these assets can be both in physical or digital form. Members of this network would use a concord mechanism instead of depending upon a bank or other such institute for the validation of their transactions. It will automatically not only improve the processing speed of transactions but will also become the first step towards transparency across the business network.

According to Marie Wieck, the general manager of IBM Blockchain, the company currently has over 250 active blockchain networks. She further stated that this new plan will suit pilot projects and will be perfect for those who want to build solutions on the IBM blockchain platform.

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Buying bitcoins with bank transfer

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Bitcoin users that are looking to purchase large sums of bitcoin would probably opt for buying bitcoins with their bank account. Fortunately, it is also a less risky option and the fees for this process is much lower. Bank transfers are considered irreversible and unlike credit card payments, they reduce the risk of chargeback. Also, bank transfer offers much higher bitcoin buying limits than a credit card or debit card.

Depending on where you live in the world there are different exchanges that will be best suited for you. In this post, we will cover the main reputable exchanges that supply bank wire services.

Coinbase

Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin vault. In the US, you can buy bitcoin with a connected bank account via ACH bank transfer and, in Europe you can, via SEPA transfer. Purchases with ACH takes around 5 days whereas, with SEPA it’s just two working days. A 1.49% fee is charged on all Coinbase transactions. For instant payments, Americans may add a Visa or MasterCard as a backup to carry out instant payments.

PROS

  • High liquidity and buying limits
  • User-friendly for newcomers wanting to buy bitcoin
  • “Instant Buy” option available with credit card or debit card

CONS

  • Purchases can take up to 5 days
  • Coinbase can track how and where you spend your bitcoins
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
Transaction FeesAverage
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

BitPanda

BitPanda accepts bank transfer payments from Online Bank Transfer, SEPA, and SOFORT.

PROS

  • Very low fees for buying bitcoins with credit/debit card
  • Reliable & a trusted locker

CONS

  • Fees aren’t shown openly on the site but instead included in the buying site
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedFast
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

GDAX

US customers can fund their Coinbase Exchange trading accounts via ACH or bank wire. Europe and the UK Residents can desposit their accounts with SEPA transfer.

PROS

  • Very low fees for EU and US customers
  • Possible to buy bitcoins without any fees

CONS

  • User interface might seem confusing for first-time buyers
  • Sending bitcoins directly from GDAX to any legally-questionable site may result in closure of your account
User-friendlyHard
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

CEX.io

CEX.io allows for purchases of bitcoins using ACH in the US or SEPA transfer for European countries.

PROS

  • Supported by many countries and regions
  • Very low transaction fees
  • Established and trusted exchange

CONS

  • Verification process is extensive, requiring much personal information (including a photo) and incurring a long delay
  • GBP market lacks liquidity
User-friendlyAverage
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
Transaction FeesAverage
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsAverage

 

Gemini

US customers can purchase bitcoins on Gemini by funding their account with ACH transfer.

PROS

  • Trustworthy and regulated exchange
  • Instant deposit lets you buy coins quickly (but not withdraw them)
  • Some of the lowest fees in the US and Canada

CONS

  • Might confusing to use for new buyers
  • Not available in all of the US states
User-friendlyHard
PrivacyLow
SpeedSlow
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

Bittylicious

UK residents can purchase bitcoins in a matter of 15 minutes via online bank transfer.

PROS

  • One of the fastest ways to buy bitcoins in the UK
  • Refund guaranteed in the event of delayed payment

CONS

  • SEPA transfer not available as payment method
  • RBS/NatWest PYC payment method unavailable
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedFast
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

Coinfloor

UK residents can fund their Coinfloor exchange account with SEPA or online bank transfer, while EU residents can use SEPA. Note that there is a minimum deposit amount of 1,000 currency units (i.e. 1,000 euros or 1,000 pounds).

PROS

  • Trustworthy and regulated exchange
  • Offers a sophisticated bitcoin storage service, Coinfloor vaults

CONS

  • Coinfloor has a high minimum deposit amount, must deposit at least 1000 units of currency.
  • Coinfloor market only accepts GBP bank transfers
User-friendlyHard
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
Transaction FeesHigh
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsAverage

 

Confinity

Residents of Austria can purchase bitcoins online using SOFORT transfer.

PROS

  • Trusted and established exchange

CONS

  • ID verification is asked, so privacy is low
  • Limited payment methods available
User-friendlyAverage
PrivacyLow
SpeedFast
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

Paymium

A bitcoin exchange based in France. It’s very user-friendly so anyone can get bitcoins with Paymium.

PROS

  • Mobile app available
  • Established and trustworthy exchange

CONS

  • ID verification required for any amount above €2,500
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedFast
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

Bity

It’s a Bitcoin broker that lets all Europeans purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer. It only requires verification using a mobile phone in the start.

PROS

  • Easy to buy bitcoins after mobile number verification
  • Payment limit is very high. Up to €100,000, after intensive verification

CONS

  • Not a private way to buy since ID verification is required.
  • Low annual limit of only €4,000, with no verification required.
User-friendlyAverage
PrivacyLow
SpeedFast
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

Safello

PROS

  • Available in 32 countries
  • Offers a wide variety of payment methods
  • Deep liquidity ensures prices near the fair market rate
  • Customer service available on weekdays from 8 AM to 10 PM

CONS

  • Not a private way to buy since ID verification is required
  • Only Swish payments will confirm over weekends
  • Fees isn’t mentioned but included in your buying price
User-friendlyAverage
PrivacyLow
SpeedFast
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

Bitstamp

It is one of the largest bitcoin exchanges. Europeans are able to easily purchase bitcoins using SEPA bank transfer. Bitstamp allows anyone in the world to use their bank account and send a wire transfer. However, there will be some fees charged.

PROS

  • One of the longest-running Bitcoin exchanges
  • Very low fees, ranging from 0.1% to 0.25%
  • Good range of deposit and withdrawal options
  • Deep liquidity promotes a price close to fair market rate
  • Offers a wide range of altcoins

CONS

  • Has been hacked before, users should not avoid storing their funds on the exchange at all times
  • High 8% fee on small credit card purchases, falling to 5% with sufficient trading volume
  • Aimed towards traders; slightly confusing for first-time buyers
User-friendlyHard
PrivacyLow
SpeedSlow
Transaction FeesAverage
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

Kraken

Kraken is known the world’s largest euro-denominated Bitcoin exchange based on daily average trading rates. It supports bank transfer deposits from the US, European, Canadian, British, and Japanese customers. Deposits can even be made via international bank transfer, SEPA transfer, and Interac.

PROS

  • Well-financed and reliable exchange
  • Very low taker fee
  • Very low maker fee
  • Deep liquidity for large volume buyers in European markets ensures a price close to fair market fare
  • Highly secured
  • Publishes proof of reserve audits

CONS

  • Difficult for first-time buyers
  • Requires ID verification so, not private
User-friendlyHard
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

 

CoinCorner

It’s a bitcoin exchange based in the Isle of Man. Buyers from UK and Europe can purchase bitcoins with credit/debit card, SEPA, and GBP bank transfer.

PROS

  • Trusted company
  • Variety of options for payment
  • Customer service is very helpful
  • Instant credit card purchases
  • Available in a wide range of countries
  • Offers video tutorials covering the basics of Bitcoin, buying and selling, MultiSig escrow features

CONS

  • There is a 5% fee on purchasing with credit card
  • Requires ID verification, so not private
  • Slightly confusing for first-time buyers
  • Doesn’t provide exchange prices to compare without signing up
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
Transaction FeesAverage
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsAverage

 

Cubits

Cubits accepts SWIFT transfers, as well as other local bank transfer methods like SOFORT and Online Bank Transfer.

PROS

  • Fair 0.9% trading fee
  • Wide range of payment methods offered
  • Supports 20 fiat currencies
  • Super clean design makes the buying process easy

CONS

  • Offers a wallet that should not be used to store bitcoins
  • Requires ID verification, so not private
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedFast
Transaction FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsLow

 

Bitfinex

Customers can deposit large amounts into their accounts using SWIFT.

PROS

  • Low fees for buyers, market makers and takers
  • One of best ways to buy large sums of bitcoin
  • Allows lending of fiat or bitcoin to margin traders at interest
  • Deep liquidity promotes price close to the fair market rate
  • Supports various altcoins as well

CONS

  • Was hacked recently and has yet to compensate most users for their loss
  • Quite confusing for first-time buyers
  • Single payment option
User-friendlyHard
PrivacyLow
SpeedVaries
Transaction FeesAverage
ReputationLow trust
Buying LimitsHigh

 

Xapo

Xapo is known to accept account deposits via international wire transfer.

PROS

  • Originally started off as a vaulting service. Claimed security investment above $20 million
  • User-friendly for first-time buyers
  • Deep liquidity which promotes a price close to fair market rate

CONS

  • ID verification required
  • Trading fees not stated on website
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedVaries
Transaction FeesAverage
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsHigh

HappyCoins

HappyCoins offers bank-related instant payment methods such as iDEAL, GiroPay, myBank, Sofort, and SEPA.

PROS

  • Long term and trusted exchange
  • Wide range of payment methods available
  • Occasional “Happy Hour” with 0% fee on purchases
  • Privacy maintained, only email and bank account number required

CONS

  • Fees are only included during checkout.
User-friendlyEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
Transaction FeesAverage
ReputationTrusted
Buying LimitsAverage

 

To conclude, if you’re planning on buying large amounts of bitcoins and do not have any credit card on hand, the above-mentioned options are good enough. However, keep in mind that some of these banks might require additional information to confirm a transaction.

If you’re looking to sell your bitcoins, check out our how to sell Bitcoin article.

Good Luck!

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Will Pantera Fund Succeed, Even if Bitcoin Flops?

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As the first U.S. Bitcoin investment firm, Pantera Capital mainly focuses on tokens and projects related to crypto assets. Its chief executive officer, Dan Morehead (CEO) recently claimed that even if bitcoin fails, the Pantera fund would still not disappoint the crypto investors and they would continue to make money.

The above-mentioned words of Morehead were a part of his statement, which was included in a letter sent to Pantera’s investors. According to Dan Morehead in case any bad luck they could even make use of Pantera’s ICO Fund. Though Pantera´s ICO Fund lost about 25 percent of its value last year, it is still up more than 200 percent of its value since its creation. Pantera Capital is famous for exploring and growing digital coin ventures.

Facts behind Pantera’s Success Strategy

After its huge success with Bitcoin, Pantera has expanded its mode of investments to buy other digital tokens. Most prominent one of these is the Pantera Digital Asset fund, which currently holds 25 cryptocurrencies. Many of these tokens were introduced through the ICOs (initial coin offerings).

Advice For The Investors

A letter was sent to the investors by Morehead in which it was noted that if bitcoin fails, the hedge will still work well. Taking an example of Pantera’s ICO Fund, he highlighted that it’s going to be still positive for them. In his letter, Dan Morehead, advised investors to have 1 or 2 percent of their portfolio invested in blockchain technology. He further explained that he was not certain either blockchain will be able to make a return of 20,000% again or not.

It was also revealed by Morehead that he is optimistic about ICOs, as he expects their thriving success to be similar to the 90s IPO boom, however it’s much bigger if they’re compared. ICOs have been under pressure lately, as dozens of subpoenas have been issued by the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).

The Bitter Example Of Amazon

Morehead further elaborated his point by presenting the example of Amazon. If someone remembers, Amazon was a major investor behind Pets.com. Although the company was filed for bankruptcy, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos still managed to earn an intense amount of wealth due to his innovative set of strategies.

According to Morehead this was only because Bezos’ investment strategy was to put his money in more than one companies, and he did so to make sure that he had exposure to the ultimate winners.

After the bankruptcy of Pets.com, Amazon’s shares came down to 4,000 percent which still is a handsome amount and that’s why Bezos is one of the richest people on earth as he’s still worth over 130 billion dollars.

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What Should Be Considered in an ICO Whitepaper?

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As the popularity of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) is mounting along market’s instability and other cryptocurrencies fraud around the world, a debate has emerged about the appropriate regulatory policies for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The most frequently asked questions include the proper division of authority amid the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), whether authority of these commissions should reach the core of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as others are expecting that a whole new regulatory rule is required for cryptocurrency and token fundraisers. This blog illustrates the congressional testimony on cryptocurrencies, which aims to reflect the existing regulatory approach that is being used by the regulators to observe and manage ICOs and cryptocurrencies, and how more regulatory clarity can be achieved in such markets.

US Securities laws disclosure system is the prime one, where promoters can easily share information related to their company and management, openly. With SEC, this information is filed later. By dissimilarity, most of the ICO disclosures are enabled via “whitepapers” which are unregulated at this time, focusing mainly on the current technology and on such technologies that are under-development.

Investors and buyers of ICO tokens that are looking for a good return or technology users that are looking forward to contribute and support in an advanced product would have to expect certain disclosures for making a purchase in a conversant way. Some of the disclosures that have been identified by the entrepreneurs themselves are specifically relevant to ICOs transition.

Location of Promotors

According to a study, in 32% of ICOs, it is literally impossible to identify the promoter’s origin. From an investor’s point of view, this is a serious information asymmetry. It won’t be possible to identify what legal protections and rules are. without this information. Moreover, there are few ways through which investor can interact with related public authorities especially in case of fraud, like; loss or theft. So, ICO whitepaper should set out a comprehensive report of where the issuer and its key management are placed.

Issues

If we talk about the history of US Securities law, there was no such information important for investors than the financial statements of the issuer. Investors could easily evaluate the past performance of the company by scrutinizing income statements, cash flow and balance sheets, and by doing so, they could make well-versed guesses about the future performance of the company as well as its profitability.  A whole ecosystem of third-party auditors, credit rating agencies, and accountants, were settled due to the criticality of financial statements in securities offerings, to make sure the accuracy of financial statements.

ICOs serves for a different purpose as compared to most of the traditional IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). Rather than funding trading companies, ICOs involve products industrialized by startups identifying technology-based issues and offering the sale of solutions based on technology.

It’s not the past performance of the company or financial statements for most of the offerings, but it’s the venture’s technology plan. Therefore, guaranteeing that investors/retail buyers comprehend the crucial contours of the fundamental technology solution is ultimate as ICOs turn out to be a more and more popular way of fundraising.

Moreover, further technical chunks of the ICO whitepaper would be a perfect subject to a system of third-party authentication, especially for larger fundraises. Also, when describing the solution, hyperbole should be avoided by the promoters which are an endemic problem in whitepapers. Plus, investors should be required to identify an objective base for all the upcoming statements as well.

Blockchain

Investors should be well-versed about how the secondary infrastructure works, and how it is going to affect the governance of the token. Also, the consensus method for a virtual currency’s Blockchain should also be revealed as well, along with a summary of how the governance decisions, plus other decisions affect the network, such as; software upgrades, which will be synchronized amid the several investors such as designers, miners, and users.

Token’s Description

This is obvious that tokens can have a number of different economic and qualitative features, like; currency, utility, or securities. The disclosures would have to elucidate what it means to a typical holder, if the tokens are created in a technological format, complying with firm guidelines, like; ERC20 standard.

Likewise, if some efforts will be made for listing a token, for example, to list a securities token on an ATS (alternative trading system), or if there are trading limitations on the security, then such facts have to be disclosed in a way that is clear to the owner of the token. The description of token should specify the envisioned use of the coins that are issued in the offering, their quantity, plus whether the advisors will keep the reserve coins, and if they do, then how they’d liquidate them. Promoters should be required to reveal their intellectual ownership of the company’s protocol.

Technical Team Qualification

Common disclosure requirement in registered offerings is the information about the business experience of executive officers as the investors are given a sense of the quality of management and are probably the success of the company once it goes public. In ICOs, companies have restricted histories and the problem may be exceptional, if same information about the offering’s technical team could be evaluated. At the same time, coders have diverging backgrounds, as some are more qualified and experienced than others. Also, to provide investors with an intellect as to the proficiency and reliability of the white paper, many founders should provide all info linked to key engineering experience, skills, qualifications and other relevant features. Plus, it should also be mandatory for developers to provide links to their previous work.

Risks

ICOs should involve disclosures regarding the most substantial risk aspects affecting token holders in the offering document. Even though many investors will probably understand that even successful ventures can be later disintermediated by more effectual nonentities. A token holder may get astonished to discover that the product doesn’t function as it’s intended or might develop a purpose all-in-all contingent on the progress of the technology, possibly even less in all likelihood, the requirements of the contributors in the ecosystem. Shareholders should comprehend as well that the greater sectoral risks, including variations in the trade that could demote some designs of blockchain into further parts of the sector, making many tokens worthless. Buyers had to be completely aware of their latent susceptibility to hacking, disruption, and data-loss, also authorized subjects like privacy concerns and information transportability across borders.

No doubt, there are other imperative disclosures as well that should be operationalized in means that are way too much effective.

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Crypto Exchange EtherDelta Gets Hacked – Loses Coins Worth Millions

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A renowned crypto exchange EtherDelta got its DNS server breached by an attacker on Wednesday, allowing the hacker to redirect millions of users to a malicious website.

The announcement of the hacking was made in a series of tweets where EtherDelta warned users that a hacker had temporarily hacked their DNS server and was redirecting users to a malicious version of the site.

Being a decentralized exchange, EtherData comes under the control of Smart Contracts, meaning that it doesn’t provide the third-party control of user funds. However, the exchange does allow users to import private keys to the exchange itself.

As a result of this attack, the hacker was able to steal private keys from users who unwittingly imported their private keys into the imposter website.

The data obtained has revealed that the hacker stole around 308 ether – worth around $250,000 at the time of writing.

EtherDelta said that clients who got to the exchange using either MetaMask or a hardware wallet are “totally sheltered” from the phishing attack. The organization included that funds from clients who never imported their key on the malicious site “should be safe,” but brokers might need to consider moving their assets to another wallet address as a safety effort — and reconsider their choice to import their private keys directly into a site.

The Risks Associated With Crypto Exchanges:

The attack came days after South Korean exchange Youbit revealed that it lost 17 percent of its assets as the aftereffect of a hack — the second the organization had faced this year — compelling its administrator, Yaipan, to declare bankruptcy.

Like Youbit, EtherDelta was a small exchange. CoinMarketCap reports that it processed just around $7 million of volume during the previous 24 hours, a figure that is, to some degree, lower-than-normal because of the breach. However, the exchange was well known among ERC20 token merchants, as it was one of the first exchanges to support tokens derived from lower profile ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

Neither of these hacks will prompt a huge disturbance in the worldwide digital currency markets, but each exhibits the risks related to using crypto exchanges.

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