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Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Bitcoin came out almost 8 years ago and has already become the most popular form of cryptocurrency. Where Bitcoin has revolutionized the cryptocurrency transactions, the currency is still struggling to break into the traditional business as most corporations are still not willing to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.

To encourage the use of cryptocurrency, more corporations need to step up and start accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.

If you own a business, let’s say, a small store and are looking to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, here is everything you need to know about how to accept Bitcoin payments.

Person to Person Transfer:

One of the simplest and easiest forms of Bitcoin transfer. What you are supposed to do is tell your clients that you accept bitcoin payments and give them your wallet’s public key so they can send you the coins. The process is similar to cash-in-hand payment.

The person to person transfer can be done using several smartphone apps. Finding one shouldn’t be a big deal as there are countless apps for android, iOS and windows users.

However, this type of transfer is only suitable for a smaller business or individuals offering odd services for smaller amounts. Those working at a bigger scale incline towards a solution that fits in with their current POS (Point of Scale) framework, such as verified bitcoin merchants.

Following is a list of most renowned bitcoin merchants out there.

Coinify:

Coinify is a Danish firm which offers POS solutions for both brick-and-mortar and online stores.

Some merchants accept bitcoin currency as payment as well as fiat. Coinify also has a mobile app called “Coinify POS”, which is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

If you are an online user, you can use Coinify’s various integration tools, such as shopping cart plugins, payment buttons, or hosted invoicing for transactions.

CoinBase:

CoinBase is one of the most renowned Bitcoin merchants out there and has an Android app for bricks-and-mortar retailers.

The highlights of CoinBase include:

  • Currently, Bitcoin only supports US based bank accounts as a source of funding.
  • It also offers e-commerce support.
  • CoinBase likewise provides plugins for WooCommerce, WordPress, ZenCart and Magento

Learn how to buy bitcoin through Coinbase.

BitPay:

BitPay offers its services internationally for both businesses and charities. BitPay is integrated into the SoftTouch POS framework for bricks-and-mortar retail stores. However, it has an additional API which could be implemented into almost every other POS framework with a few alterations to the code.

BitXATM:

BitXATM is a Germany-based bitcoin cryptocurrency ATM.  The POS (point of sale) function of BitXATM has gained the worldwide attention as it has made it easier for merchants to accept payments from clients in digital currencies.

The machine has a 17” touch screen, costs €2,900 (around $3,993) and can accept any fiat currency. Moreover, it accepts/dispenses all forms of digital currency.

Conclusion:

These are some ways in which you can accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. For a smaller business; person to person transactions are the most suitable option. On the other hand, bigger corporations go for verified Bitcoin merchants.

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Beginner’s Guide to Tor

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Just a couple years ago, Tor was something known only by tech-geeks. However, since leaks about the surveillance strategies of US and UK spies have arisen, Tor has become a target of criticism, accusations of promoting a “dark web” of pedophiles, drug dealers, and arms traders.

 

What is Tor?

The Tor project is a non-profit association that allowed users to browse the internet anonymously. It is intended to stop individuals – including government organizations and partnerships – from knowing of your location or learning about your browsing traditions.

The Tor network conceals your identity by moving your traffic across various Tor servers while encrypting the traffic. This makes it almost impossible for anybody to recognize the source of the data or region of the web client.

Tor’s software package, the Tor browser bundle can be downloaded easily and does not require any setup procedure. Although, you’ll experience a much slower internet than usual due to the number of relays your data goes through.

 

Who created Tor?

It was originally developed by the US Navy and received 60% of its funding from the State Departments and Department of Defense, along with several other backing bodies.

When it was initially launched in 2002, the project’s main focus was on securing every internet users’ privacy from corporations over governments.

Related: How to use Tor browser on iPhone

Who uses Tor?

Tor users fall into four main groups:

  • Normal users looking to just keep their browsing activities concealed from websites and advertisers
  • Cyber-spying concerned users that do not want their personal information to be tracked by any corporation.
  • Journalists and activists in countries with restrictions on the internet.
  • Whistleblowers can leak information to journalists while maintaining their privacy and having the freedom to express their true opinions.

 

The dark side                

Regardless of all its perks, everything has its drawbacks as well. It is important to be fully aware of what you click on while browsing with Tor. While many sites are socially acceptable or legal for that matter, others are known for having disturbing content. Stumbling upon such a web page showcasing criminal behavior or anything of that sort could land you in serious trouble.

Additionally, along with cloaking your identity Tor is also able to host websites, which means these sites are only accessible by people on the Tor network. These are known as criminal sites or in more obvious words “the dark web”.  The FBI and NSA have tracked down many of such sites, promoting disturbing content, drug purchases, illegal arms trading and much more.

Related: What are top 5 Proxies to access .Onion sites without Tor Browser?

What’s next?

We’re in an era of free-flowing data available to us with just a click of a button. Moreover, the internet is expanding on a daily basis and its depths are still unknown. With Tor becoming more widely used by internet users, the FBI and NSA have become more persistent in attempting to crack the network. In the end, it all depends on the user and for what activities they use Tor.

 

Image credits: i-novice.net

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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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Bogus Company Registers to Exploit Telegram’s mega ICO

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On 28th February, Telegram Open Network Limited was registered in Britain under the name Pavel Durov (the founder of Telegram). Telegram is a chat app, which has almost 200 million monthly users and is a commonly used platform for both ICO teams and investors, so that they can interact with each other.

telegram ico news

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the latest telegram ICO news, the new crypto-project of the company has raised a huge amount of $1.7 billion in funding for its token sale, up to now, and will be providing services such as:

  • File storage
  • Private VPN
  • Encrypted browsing platforms
  • Services for decentralized apps
  • Decentralized browsing
  • Micropayments
  • P2P payment capabilities

Crypto Scam Alert

The company, Telegram Open Network appears to have been formed in an exertion to divert funds away from the legitimate project and it would have accomplished, if the scam didn’t expose. Their legal registration as a company could’ve legalized the project in the front of genuine investors, however, the project recently grabbed the attention of Telegram. A tweet was posted on 6th April, which revealed that it was entirely unrelated to the official project. According to this tweet by Telegram Open Network Limited, the company wasn’t linked to Durov and cited numerous red flags that raised incredulity in register document.

$1.13 Billion In Paid-Up Capital

Telegram Open Network has claimed to have $1.13 billion in paid-up capital in their registeration, and this is something which elevated uncertainties. Seemingly, the process of registration for British companies isn’t as severe as it might be anticipated however, applicants are expected to confirm their own details without actual oversight, and the procedure can be finished online for under $20 at Companies House.

Low Barriers to Entry

Even with difficulties for startups, the company’s registration can allow scammers to play away from the victims, especially from those who are searching for the legitimate registration without examining the details. Last week, the Telegram’s ICO made almost $850 million. Various investors have already earned a lot by flicking their tokens before the sale went public. With demand for a place in this enormous ICO success, it is not hard to envision how the bogus company could’ve deceived genuine investors who were eager to contribute to the action.

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Tom Lee’s Prediction About BTC: Bitcoin will hit $91,000 by March 2020

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According to Tom Lee (co-founder and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors), the price of Bitcoin will hit $91,000 by March 2020. This prediction by Lee was based on a chart that shows the performance of Bitcoin after the slumps that it has seen in the past. Even though there’ve been many bitcoin future predictions since its creation, but Tom Lee’s prediction holds an important place in the crypto-world.

bitcoin future predictions

Can this prediction affect Bitcoin’s users?

No doubt, this prediction is going to excite many investors, and especially those who bought this top-cryptocurrency when it had the worth of $20,000.  The whole nation is under the influence of Bitcoin future predictions. A lot of risky things have been done by the people to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon but unfortunately, this enthusiasm will not lose out on the cryptocurrency market as it has trapped investors in scams as well.

Not so long, a report said that Twitter was about to ban bitcoin advertisements after several credulous victims were caught in the recent scam.  On the other hand, the same thing was done by some other websites, as they also announced a ban on Bitcoin and ICO advertisements.

Following are the websites that are considering a ICO ads and Bitcoin.

  • Facebook
  • Google

How did Tom Lee predict Bitcoin’s price?

To predict the 2020 price of Bitcoin, Lee used an average of the percentage. The chart is based on a logarithmic scale and just because of its basis, as it’s divergent to the traditional linear-based graph, the ups and downs in the price of Bitcoin are not that dissimilar. The price of Bitcoin once fell to $3000 and since then, Lee has been predicting high-prices for this top-cryptocurrency.

Lee stated in July 2017 that the price of Bitcoin would hit the worth of $55,000 by 2022, and in January 2018, Lee said that by the end of this year, the price of Bitcoin would hit the value $25,000.

This year, at the beginning of March, Lee released “Bitcoin Misery Index”, which is defined as a “contrarian index’ and allows investors to understand how depressed Bitcoin holders are at the current price of Bitcoin right now.

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Australia Introduces Regulations for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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According to the latest information on the website of AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre), digital currency exchanges must have to be registered with authorities now and should also commit to several identity checking and reporting procedures. It’s been confirmed by the Australian government as well that the Australian cryptocurrency exchanges are abided by the new AML (Anti-Money Laundering) rules.

The Australian authorities are trying their best to close the remaining loopholes in cryptocurrency usage, concerning identity management and taxation of cryptocurrency. In contrast to a backdrop of discontent due to such sharp upsurge in scams, last week, the Australian Taxation Office was asked for taxpayer’s contribution into how deductions rising from the cryptocurrency returns should be assembled efficiently.

cryptocurrency exchange

Four-Principle Rules

Meanwhile, exchanges now must follow the four prime rules so that they can function above board, as a part of the security reformation. Following are the four rules:

  • Identification and verification of identities of their clients.
  • Keeping particular records for 7-years.
  • Accepting and maintaining a CTF/ AML program for the identification, alleviation, and management of terrorism financing perils and money laundering.
  • 6 months refinement period that will escort the new regulations, in which AUSTRAC will be a lot more compassionate on operators who “fall short of requirements.”
  • Reporting to AUSTRAC sceptical issues, and transactions linked to the physical currency of $10,000 and even more.

The laws relating to cryptocurrency exchanges regulations in Australia are also getting stricter, while the government has guaranteed that the investors wouldn’t feel left out. The Australian government took feedback from the public to know what their views are on the cryptocurrency taxation structure and are they going to like it or not.

The ATO (Australian Tax Office) had also posted:

“We’ve timed this consultation to coincide with an update to our website, which should address some of the feedback we have received to date about our cryptocurrency guidance. We’re eager to hear your feedback about cryptocurrency and its tax implications as the technology may impact how business operates in the future.”

Feedback from Taxpayers

Many governments across the world are getting stricter, especially when it comes to the taxation of cryptocurrencies. Many exchanges are being forced by the governments to disclose the data of consumers and to send out subpoenas to investors who have high net-worth. While many governments are getting stricter, the decision of Australian government to get the feedback from taxpayers before applying these tax laws is notable.

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