bitcoin simply explained

Bitcoin and Blockchain Explained Simply

Bitcoin took the world by storm over the course of the last twelve months with the meteoric rise in its market value.

Bitcoin peaked at an all-time high of $16,699 on December 8, 2017, and made the headlines across the globe.

Bitcoin is no doubt innovative as a payment option, and it runs on Blockchain technology.

An understanding of the Blockchain is equally important for anyone who is keen to follow-up on its underlying basics. Blockchain is best described as a distributed ledger that operates within a decentralized network of linked computers, nodes and devices. 

There is no central control over the Blockchain, and it can be accessed anywhere around the globe.

The use of Blockchain extends across several spheres of human endeavor from medicine to shipping, payment systems to database validation, etc.

Payroll processing, invoice management, and Insurance are some of the other facets of life that are revolutionized by the Blockchain. Bitcoin value in itself can be traced to the transparency, traceability, and auditable nature of the Blockchain.

How Bitcoin is Created

Bitcoin arose from the innovative work of Satoshi Nakamoto, who laid out the specification and operating methodology. Satoshi did not create Bitcoin alone, as he worked with other developers on the project. As a result of this approach, Bitcoin operates as an open source and decentralized platform.

While many people have wondered whether Satoshi was a pseudonym or a true identity; the answer remains unknown. Other collaborators on the Bitcoin project are Gavin Andresen, Jeff Garzik, Mike Hearn, among others. Bitcoin is definitely the outcome of a painstaking work that includes the footprints of several people.

Bitcoin is created when a computational difficulty is solved on the Bitcoin Blockchain, and this is rewarded through block rewards. Block rewards are given to miners who successfully completed the recognized process that gives rise to a Bitcoin. Block rewards are not arbitrary as they are subject to a verification process built-in as a part of the Bitcoin algorithm.

The Acceptance of Bitcoin

acceptance of bitcoin
Statista.com Image -Global Spread of Bitcoin Usage

Bitcoin has come a long way since it was first introduced in 1998, and it has become a global currency without boundaries. The value of Bitcoin is universal, and it is accepted as a means of payment in many countries on earth.  The popularity of Bitcoin has given rise to alternative coins (or altcoins) like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, among others.

You can shop online and buy a range of goods and pay for services with Bitcoin. Many merchants accept Bitcoin as a means of exchange, and this has become easier with the issuance of Bitcoin debit cards.

The bandwagon effect of Bitcoin has led to a growing acceptance of the altcoins, and this can be seen in the increasing market activity. For example, ethereum price leaped to its highest peak of $1,389 on January 15, 2018 as the demand for it exploded. Bitcoin is accepted by businesses like Microsoft, Dell, WordPress, and PayPal.


Answers to Important Questions – There are some important questions that newbies always ask about Bitcoin. Here are the major ones you should know:

What Drives The Price of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin derives its price from the interplay of the forces of demand and supply. As people increasingly acquire it, the price soars and the inverse leads to a price drop as demand reduces. Bitcoin can then be seen in the likeness of gold or diamond that is scarce in supply.

Bitcoin is limited in supply to the tune of only 21,000,000, and about 17,000,000 of these are in supply at present. It is not known if any change can be made successfully to the underlying framework of Bitcoin; otherwise, it has a fixed supply.

Is Bitcoin Legal?

Bitcoin has attracted lots of controversies in the course of the last few months as a result of concerns and misrepresentations. The United States, Europe, and several countries have accepted Bitcoin as legit, and efforts are being made to regulate it. This is not to say that it faces opposition in a couple of countries.

In China, Bitcoin is illegal, and South Korea has also imposed a couple of restrictions on it.  A few other countries have come up with laws to restrict its use. However, an overwhelming number of countries are open to Bitcoin.

Are Bitcoin Transactions free?

One important aspect of Bitcoin transactions is the fact that it also attracts transaction fees. While the fees charged might vary according to the processor, transacting in Bitcoin is not free. When you buy Bitcoin, you have to pay trading fees, and if you exchange it for fiat money, you will incur charges.

What is a Bitcoin Account Like?

Bitcoin is stored in an account that you can liken to a Bank account. The difference is that unlike a Bank account, your Bitcoin account is a virtual Bitcoin wallet. There is a unique address for each Bitcoin wallet that is created, and you can use it globally.

On a trading exchange, when you create your account, your Bitcoin wallet address is automatically created. You can choose to leave your Bitcoin on the exchange for trading or withdraw it to a private Bitcoin wallet. There are hardware, online, mobile, paper, web, brain, multi-sig, desktop wallets for Bitcoin.

There are different kinds of non-exchange wallets that you can use to store your Bitcoin for security purposes. Every wallet has a public wallet address and a private key used for accessing it. Your private key is like your password for emails.

Where Do I Buy Bitcoin?

Bitcoin can be bought in a variety of ways depending on where you live on earth.  The following options are widely used:

1) Peer-to-Peer Avenues
Peer-to-Peer avenues like LocalBitcoins give you an opportunity to buy Bitcoin. You will need to register an account on the platform to be able to use the platform to buy Bitcoin. Sellers and buyers are registered on LocalBitcoins to facilitate Bitcoin trading.

2) Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin can also be bought by using an exchange. In any of the exchanges like Coinbase, Binance or Poloniex, you need to provide your personal details to register an account and be validated. While Coinbase is restricted to users from America and a few countries, you can register on Poloniex and Binance from other countries.

3) Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATMs are increasingly becoming a glaring feature in major global cities. In America, Europe, Asia and South Africa, there are Bitcoin ATMs that give you a chance to buy Bitcoin. You need to have your Bitcoin account barcode scanned at the ATM to buy the quantity of your choice.

If there is a Bitcoin ATM around where you live or visit, you can locate it on Google Map and buy your Bitcoin with ease.

bitcoin atms
Google Map of Bitcoin ATMs in New York City

4) Mobile Apps

Buying Bitcoin is now easier than ever before with several apps on mobile phones now making it easier to do so. The Square app can be used to buy and sell bitcoin on your mobile phone.

Several other apps have a similar function, and they can be downloaded from Google Play and Apple iStore.

Can I Lose My Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is safe if you have it stored in your private wallet. There is a difference between storing your Bitcoin in your trading exchange wallet and a private wallet. Your trading exchange wallet is considered to be risky to store your Bitcoin.

When hackers attack exchanges or there is a system breakdown, you can lose access to your Bitcoin. To prevent this, it is advisable to use a hardware wallet for storage. Trezor and Ledgerwallet are two of the best known hardware Bitcoin wallets.

You can also lose your Bitcoin if you send it to a wrong address. It is important that you use ‘CTRL C’ on your keyboard when copying a recipient’s address. If you send Bitcoin to an unknown address, there is no way to claim it back at present.

Can I Mine Bitcoin?

Bitcoin can be mined by anyone who is interested in doing so. There are a few options when it comes to mining Bitcoin. You can decide to buy a mining gadget for that purpose and this is a common practice in many countries.

While the profitability of the mining exercise also depends on the market price of Bitcoin, the electricity implications have to be evaluated. As Bitcoin surges in market price, mining becomes more lucrative, and a crash in market price also means that you could incur losses.

You can also decide to use your PC for Bitcoin mining, and this will require that you download a Bitcoin mining extension by using your browser. Using a browser extension for Bitcoin mining is a rather passive means to earn an income. You will be credited a share of the Bitcoin mined with your browser by the service provider.

The outlook for Bitcoin looks bright with many countries opting for regulation instead of a ban. This perception is a green light for many people as they look out for ways to share in the Bitcoin boom. Evidently, Bitcoin will wax stronger in the days ahead.

Cryptocurrency Trading

If you have taken at least a momentary glance into online trading operations, you will likely have heard something about cryptocurrencies and their associated terms.

One of the main reasons that drive the popularity and in some cases, the infamy of cryptocurrencies, is their capacity to bring in a huge profit or a catastrophic loss to traders.

This is no free for all party, you do need the right skills and a little bit of luck if you are going to – well, get lucky.

Unfortunately, understanding the nature of cryptocurrencies and how they operate is far from the simplest thing in the world. But give yourself enough time you will get the hang of it, and eventually the confidence, to start trading.

How to Trade and Invest Cryptocurrencies

The first thing to know about cryptocurrencies is that they carry a lot more value compared to their fiat counterparts. For example, the price of a single Bitcoin currently hovers well over $8000, and that value keeps changing unpredictably.

It is important to make a clear distinction between investing in cryptocurrencies and trading them. Investing simply refers to the purchase of a particular cryptocurrency, holding onto it, and then selling it when the price goes up.

Trading cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, is a lot similar to your typical forex trade. It involves trading one cryptocurrency in exchange for another or fiat currency via a cryptocurrency exchange. It is common for traders to swap cryptocurrencies in order to maintain the highest market value.

Is It Real Money?

Being a fairly recent arrival to online trading, cryptocurrencies are not quite a widely accepted means for trade although their industry is already so profitable. The forerunners like Bitcoin are introducing the concept to more and more people which may eventually normalize day-to-day trading with virtual funds. Bitcoin is by far the most prominent cryptocurrency in existence but since its launch back in 2009, it has seen the rise of hundreds of competitors desperate to knock it off the top spot.

The rest of these cryptocurrencies are known collectively as altcoins and a few of them like Ethereum represent a very real threat to Bitcoin’s position on the charts, especially given that they offer some unique features that are not available to Bitcoin users.

Government Regulation

Cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin are essentially decentralized meaning they do not answer to a central authority like a bank or government.

Predictably, this does not sit well with the administrations of some nations. In a country where mining Bitcoin is illegal, miners tend to continue their work underground and mine other cryptocurrencies if they prove to be safer and more profitable.

There is also a lot riding on the decisions made by the NFA or SEC. The value of some cryptocurrencies could change dramatically based on such decisions. As a general rule, you would be better off trading a cryptocurrency that is not likely to be blacklisted by your local government. To do that, you would have to keep in touch with the political atmosphere of the government.

Is Trading Cryptocurrencies Worth Your While?

Maybe. Maybe not. It really is your own determination that will help you make it as a trader. It certainly carries the prospect of a very good payday but is also accompanied by risks that are just not justifiable to some traders. Some even say that cryptocurrencies will be all but irrelevant in the new future but for now, no one can really know for sure.

Whatever you think about trading cryptocurrencies, never lose sight of the golden rule, ‘Do not invest more than you can afford to lose.

That way, if things do go terribly wrong, you will have sustained a loss but more importantly, you would still remain afloat financially and be ready to play a second hand. As unpredictable as these cryptocurrencies are, there is certainly a lot to learn that could help your chances. And no one is a veteran here. It has not even been 10 years since the first ever cryptocurrency network, Bitcoin, arrived on the scene.

Conclusion

Trading and investing in cryptocurrencies is a growing trend in online markets today. While they do represent certain considerable risks, they have also proven to churn out worthy profits for those traders that have gambled on them.

binance review

Binance Review

Binance is a fairly recent yet highly popular Chinese cryptocurrency exchange. Its main attractions include a significant amount of Initial Coin Offering listings as well as extremely low trading fees.

Binance.com Review – The Platform

Upon visiting the Binance exchange platform, you will immediately come across the two options offered to traders of cryptocurrencies – basic and advanced. This, however, is not to be confused as a matter of usability. Both versions are only recommended for traders with working knowledge of cryptocurrencies and how to trade them.

The best way to draw a distinction between the basic and advanced version of the Binance platform is by evaluating the level of technical analysis provided by each of them in the long run. Simply put, the advanced version goes more in-depth into analyzing the value of cryptocurrencies than the base version.

binance screenshot

If it all happens to suit you just fine and you get yourself registered with this exchange, the next logical step is to begin funding your account. For this, there is a multitude of different cryptocurrencies to choose from, but the most recommended happen to be BTC and ETH. Afterward, you can get into exchanging, investing, and trading numerous cryptocurrency pairs. The platform also allows you to generate and limit and market orders.

Unless you are entirely new to the world of cryptocurrencies, you will find trading them on Binance to be a fairly straightforward matter.

Binance Fees & Limitations

The fee rates charged by Binance are quite low and that only contributes to its appeal in the market. On average, the exchange gets 0.1% of a given trade. Meanwhile, if you trade using the Binance token, you will be paying at the discounted rate of 50%.

When it comes to withdrawals, the fees are variable, depending on which cryptocurrency is involved. Bitcoin, for example, comes with a 0.0005 fee rate while for Ethereum, the rate is 0.005.

On the subject of transfers, there are no limits regarding how many coins may be deposited. On the other hand, there is a limit on withdrawal amounts if there is no prior verification. Verifying your identity with Binance requires your full name, gender, country, and a photograph from either your passport or ID card.

We’ve checked several binance reviews online and most of them were also positive.

Security

In spite of its recent arrival, Binance has already gained huge popularity and trust among cryptocurrency traders, so you would expect that security measures are up-to-date and highly efficient. But as it turns out, not as much as we expected. For instance, access to information regarding secure funding is rather limited. But there is a two-factor authentication system and the platform does offer a multi-tier system architecture.

Customer Support

But while pretty much any cryptocurrency exchange has the capacity to be a well-oiled machine harboring an attractive array of trading tools and opportunities, it still has to present itself well to actual people. And that is where customer support is so important. With Binance, customer support is fairly responsive and helpful to traders.

However, it does lack a few important features that are standard for most other cryptocurrency exchanges. There is no telephone number to call or a live chat option on the website. What you can do is submit a support ticket through an online form on the platform to which a response will be communicated via email.

Conclusion

Binance is one of the fastest exchanges currently operating, capable of processing nearly one and a half million orders every second. What’s more, it is compatible with several different devices including Android, HTML5, web, and WeChat.

Binance is also accessible in different languages including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and of course, English.

In summing up Binance, you will likely have mixed feelings about it. While it may not be the most user-friendly platform in the world, it certainly has one of the lowest fee rates and a highly competent customer support team. It also provides traders with a wealth of opportunities and trading tools.

But of course, you can never be too careful when dealing in cryptocurrencies, no matter how good a deal your exchange will be presenting. Always remember the basic steps such as using a unique password, activating 2-factor authentication, and not storing a large number of virtual funds on the exchange for very long.

How To Buy Neo

NEO is one of the most promising cryptocurrencies of this year.

What draws traders toward NEO appears to be its keenness to improve on the operations first started on the Ethereum platform.

You might say that NEO is to Ethereum what Litecoin is to Bitcoin. But before we arrive at that conclusion, let us find out a little more about NEO.

Big news February 26th: eToro has just added NEO to their trading platform. The price of NEO is already up 15% for today: Check out NEO on eToro

What is NEO?

The first thing to know about NEO is that it is a Chinese-based currency and was actually founded under a different name. Its blockchain entered Github in 2015, becoming China’s first ever public open source blockchain. It would arrive in the west the next year as Antshares.

As of today, NEO is still seen as China’s response to Ethereum. Both are users of smart contracts. However, NEO utilizes its innovative blockchain as a step from what the Ethereum network can offer right now. NEO is marketed as a sort of disseminated network for a smart economy. That involves digital assets, digital identification, and of course, smart contracts.

The NEO network rests on two tokens – NEO and neoGAS. The tokens have all been pre-mined and have a hard cap of 100 million. Their uses are for creating blocks, managing the network, and meeting consensus requirements. Meanwhile, the GAS token serves as fuel and a kind of security for the blockchain.

How to invest in NEO

As it turns out, purchasing NEO is not the most straightforward thing in the world. You would have to buy Bitcoin first before trading it for NEO. The issue with this method is that it takes up a considerable amount of time and also carries some risks, some of which are less apparent than others.

In order to trade successfully with NEO, you are going to have to step-up your security beforehand. Precautions, like enabling two-factor authentication, use of a power manager, and updating yourself with the most recent threats to cybersecurity are all very useful and necessary.

It will not be just hackers that you will be up against, but also corrupt or incompetent owners that may cause your investment to backfire. If you desire an example, look no further than the hacking incident involving the MtGox users in 2013, where a reported $500 million in Bitcoin was stolen during the attack.

Unfortunately, we are yet to see an end to these kinds of attacks even at present. Earlier this year, Bitfinex sustained a similar attack and lost a reported $72 million right out of user wallets. So naturally, anyone interested in purchasing NEO would prefer a safer method. Fortunately, there is! Thank goodness for brokers.

If you want to alleviate the risks involved with relying on an exchange, you could consider CFD trading with a licensed and regulated broker. Now, it is just a matter of choosing the right broker to trade with. The first step involves verifying whether your broker is regulated, and adheres to a rigid code of conduct that makes it a lot safer to trade with than with an unregulated broker.

Now that we are exploring regulated brokers, the decision-making starts to close in on the finer details of trading and that requires some pretty comprehensive reviewing. However, we have done just that, so that you don’t have to, and according to our research, the best broker you can trade with right now in order to acquire NEO is eToro and Plus500.

Why Plus500? For starters, it submits to a great deal of regulation on an international level. That means that even in the unlikely event you encounter any problems with your broker, you could take them up with a regulator and resolve it.

Plus500’s fee structure is very competitive. Commissions are an absolute zero and the only charges incurred by users are the spreads on their CFDs. For NEO CFDs, that is usually around 1.80% but may be subject to change. As a rate, however, it is very competitive. It is also important to note that premiums become valid when holding a position overnight and an inactivity fee may be charged if your account remains inactive over a 3-month period.

Plus500 harbors among the most thorough toolkits for risk management you could find anywhere. As a trader, you have the liberty of customizing your leverage set according to loss and profit limits. There are also additional tools that are not available with other brokers.  The most useful of all is the trailing stop, which enables your stop position to rise with the market at your consent. As a result, you stand to increase your profit without the need to adjust your stop position manually. Even if the market heads downhill, you will remain safe. That is good news for your NEO and CFD trades.

Another reason why you should consider Plus500 is that it is one of those brokers that goes the extra mile to make its platform accessible to traders all over the world. The platform itself is user-friendly even to novice traders and is accessible in up to 31 languages. It has also been localized in up to 50 countries.

What’s more, the mobile app is exceedingly good as well, operating much the same way as it would on your desktop, and allowing you to execute trades while on the move. While there may be other brokers to try out for those traders with specific trading needs, Plus500 takes the majority vote as the ideal broker for dealing in NEO CFD trades.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrencies have remained an intense subject ever since bitcoin, the first of its kind, arrived in the online trading scene back in 2009. Now, less than a decade later, there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies that seek to rival it for the top spot. Many of the top players tend to emphasize on the unique features they contain that are not shared by bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

In the end, it is always important to know that NEO, like any cryptocurrency, is a highly volatile commodity. Even if you have chosen to buy it as a CFD, using a regulated broker, your capital is always at risk. If the market heads in the opposite direction of your interests, you could end up losing some or the entirety of your initial capital.

Trading NEO is ultimately like trading any other commodity, and as such, you should always take care never to trade more than you could afford to lose.

kucoin review

Kucoin Review

Kucoin is a fairly recent addition to an ever-growing list of cryptocurrency exchanges, but there are quite a few reasons why you would feel very confident about it straight away.

It was actually started by the same people that were behind GF securities, Youling, jianbang, and iBOX PAY. That is quite a CV. But more importantly, its founders are well-versed in blockchain technology.

>> Visit the Kucoin Homepage

So be in no doubt that future prospects for this exchange are looking good. There has not been a single glitch with it since it was launched. To get an idea of how much traction this exchange is gaining, its research and development team only came together in May last year.

Since then, there has already been a Kucoin bonus plan as well as a multitude of additional currencies and apps with both Android and iOS compatibility.

But you do not get to build something so good so fast, without a strong foundation, and Kucoin has a very strong foundation. Its founding members have been researching the blockchain technology as far back as 2011 and had already formulated its technical structure in 2013.

The following years were devoted to the refinement of the more candid details until eventually, the platform achieved a seamless level of service. Lets see what the exchange has to offer to new traders in this Kucoin review.

Markets and Trading

The Kucoin website is a joy to use, retaining a clean and contemporary layout that also covers the market overview screen which displays the different trading pairs available. You can choose between BTC, ETH, NEO, KCS, and USDT.

Fees

Kucoin is a highly affordable exchange, charging extremely low fee rates in comparison to most other exchanges. Trading fees only amount to 0.1% depending on which assets you buy. There no fees at all for making deposits and for withdrawals, the percentage depends on which cryptocurrency is being withdrawn.

A few like NEO and GAS have no withdrawal fees attached to them and others have extremely low rates. The rate BTC is just 0.0005, for ETH, 0.01, and for LTC, 0.001.

Customer Support

Kucoin maintains very efficient services for its traders, offering multiple ways of getting in touch with the support team. Customer support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and has a record of resolving any and all issues in the quickest and most efficient possible way.

You can reach customer support via email or through the official website. In addition to answering questions, the support team is open to suggestions from traders regarding the platform and how it could be improved on.

Safety

Kucoin is no cheapskate on security. Making the platform a secure place to trade has been its prime focus from the time it was being developed. This is where you will really notice that it was developed with the use of financing level standards which contain a standard transfer encryption protocol for layers of data transfers.

That means that all sensitive and user data are encrypted and stored at a bank level. A multifactor dynamic authentication further heightens the security.

On the operational front, there is a department each for internal risk control and operations. Each department adheres to a rigid standard for the use of data that requires reviews and approvals at multiple levels.

Really the only test left for Kucoin to prove its worth as a safe cryptocurrency exchange is the test of time. Being so new to the industry, we will have to wait and see if all its safety measures will continue to respond well to security threats in the future.

However, knowing the vast experience of the people behind it is already good enough for many traders to sign themselves on and make full use of its facilities. In a way, their prowess in the security department has already been proven by the numerous platforms they have built before.

Conclusion

While Kucoin is still in its infant stages in the market, suffice it to say that it is a fast-growing baby, mostly because it has years of careful planning and research to back it up. If there is one criticism we make of it, it would have to be the still limited availability of trading pairs. However, it will not be long before more and more coins will be added.

That said, however, its phenomenal services, low fee rates, and tight security measures make this one of the more exciting and promising cryptocurrency exchanges to look forward to.

Bitcoin Security

It is true that Bitcoin is highly volatile in nature and turns out to be a lot tougher at mining and more expensive to purchase compared to other cryptocurrencies. However, none of those factors seem to threaten its place in the market at any considerable rate.

After all, the number of ways which you can trade bitcoin seem endless and despite numerous predictions of its demise in the past, it is still very much here today as the most prominent digital currency of them all. And we are still scratching our heads over who came up with it in the first place. Irony abounds.

In any case, you had best remain sober and choose not to look at bitcoin as a pure money making machine. For one thing, the price for entry is rather steep and for another, you do not get to maintain a digital wallet or use other exchange and storage services without security concerns.

So let us now get our eye in on what security is like with bitcoin, both protocols and services.

Encryption and the Blockchain

Bitcoin was the first ever cryptocurrency and there many more that propped up since its launch in 2009. Simply put, cryptocurrencies refer to digital currencies that use cryptography as the central element to their protocol so they are essentially decentralized. They are not validated by any government or bank.

Is Bitconnect a scam? – Find out in this article

For its PoW (Proof-of-Work) system as well as its transaction verification, bitcoin uses SHA-256 encryption.

Bitcoin Blockchain

The backbone of bitcoin security is essentially the transaction blockchain – a chain consisting of multiple blocks which keep a record of transaction history. It begins with the so-called genesis block and it keeps building on further transactions and solved hashes to eventually form what we call a blockchain.

Double Spending

Double spending refers to the possible trickery of the blockchain into spending the same bitcoins twice, since a bitcoin is already considered spent when a transaction is verified. There are multiple ways by which it can be done. Assuming a trader does not await the transaction verification, an attacker can double spend on bitcoins by swiftly dispatching a couple of conflicting transactions into the network. Another way involves pre-mining a single transaction into a block and spending those same coins prior to releasing that block into the blockchain. The only catch is you are going to need an astronomical level of computing power to pull it off, or else it is better to do things legally.

Bitcoin Wallets

You store your bitcoins in a wallet but your wallet does not actually store your bitcoins per se. Wait, what? Yes, it is perfectly reasonable. How a bitcoin wallet functions instead by containing a public key – like a bank account number – which is then used to receive bitcoins, and then there is a private key – like your ATM pin number – which you use to identify yourself as the owner of the bitcoins you want to sell.

Storing Bitcoins Offline

While a digital wallet is a storage option that only works online, there are even safer ways to store away your precious bitcoin. A perk you get from owning a digital wallet is it is not tangible. You can therefore have it printed and stored on paper. So now you have a paper wallet containing both your private and public keys on it.

Cryptocurrency Brokers – Top rated brokers that offer crypto trading

You can also try hardware wallets that also store critical details offline. The main benefit here is you are free of any threat posed by software or viruses since your private details are kept in a protected area of a microcontroller. Also, storing bitcoins in hardware wallets allows you use them directly, unlike with paper wallets, which must first be keyed in or transferred into software.

Security Breaches

The bitcoin protocol itself is as secure as it needs to be but that is not counting in the numerous sites and services that deal with it regularly. It is best to study previous security-related cases to gain a better understanding of where to place your trust.

Conclusion

Yes, bitcoin is not without its issues concerning security and there is no shortage of cases which highlight that. But it is important to draw that all-important distinction between the protocols which are more or less faultless, and the people and services dealing with bitcoin, which are far more prone to a fault.

bitcoin simply explained

Pump And Dump Crypto

Pump And Dump is a method of artificially increasing the price of a cryptocurrency coin or stock. Traders then try to sell the coin/stock for a big profit.

We will focus on crypto pump and dumps in this article.

With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, more and more pump and dump groups appear on apps like discord and telegram.

CFTC and SEC Are Warning Against Crypto Pump-and-Dumps. Stay away from these groups.

How Does Pump And Dump Work?

Usually thousands of traders gather in a group and pump different coins at once. Usually the owners decide which coin will be dumped next. They usually buy it before announcing it to their group to make maximum profits.

However there are more fair groups where the owner finds out about the coin the same time as the others.

Who Starts These PnD Groups?

Traders who try to profit even more from cryptocurrencies and how don’t care about the losses of others.

How Can I Spot A Pump And Dump?

It’s fairly easy. Look at this screenshot – do you see that huge spike? Normal growth doesn’t look like this.

This was a pump and dump organized by the biggest PnD discord group.

Pumps like these only take a few minutes.

Is Pump And Dump Legal?

Pump and Dump is illegal with stock trading, however cryptocurrency trading is still unregulated, which means that it’s not illegal there. That’s why so many people do it.

Is It Profitable?

Yes, pump and dumps can be very profitable. You can make a lot of money this way.

Who Loses With This?

I don’t have any official numbers on how many percent of a pump and dump group makes money and how many lose money. My guess is that 80% make money with this, while 20% lose money.

Also traders, who are not aware that a coin is being pumped and dumped and want to buy the coin at the same moment, may lose a lot of money. Maybe they see it go up like crazy and start to feel like they are missing out (FOMO).

Or there are traders that are part of the pump and dump group, but they get greedy and try to make multiple trades or they set your sell orders (profit) too high.

Is It Safe To Do Pump And Dumps?

As said it’s not illegal to do it. However there may be some changes in the future.

Pump And Dump Advantages

This differs from group to group. Usually the pumps are being organized on discord (mainly used by gamers) where there are ranks based on how many people you have invited. People who invite their friends to these groups will usually have a bigger time advantage. There are ranks within a group and the higher your rank is, the faster you find out the name of the coin.

It’s up to you if you want to take part of such pumps. It’s really interesting to see how fast the coins are being bought when these pumps happen. Usually people will tell you to stay away from these finds of groups, but I know many who made a lot of money this way.

Let me know what you think about this, in the comments.

How To Buy Monero

What could be said about Monero? It is certainly one of the hottest cryptocurrencies in existence right now.

We often tend to look at cryptocurrencies based on the defining focus of their services. With Ethereum and NEO, the focus is on smart contracts.

Ripple is more oriented toward making transactions convenient and efficient. We know Monero primarily because of its focus on giving traders the highest level of privacy possible.

So far, this has proven to be a massive selling point for Monero. Who would not fancy a cryptocurrency that affords a high level of privacy?

Monero even uses innovative mechanisms such as the ring signature to maintain anonymity and safety for its users. But before you go ahead and get some for yourself, it is good to familiarize yourself with how Monero actually works and then decide if you want to buy it.

History

Although it is fair to emphasize on Monero’s obsession with anonymity, the fact is that all cryptocurrencies lend some kind of anonymity to their users. Some just happen to be better at it than others. Ever since its launch in 2013,Monero’s key design principle has been to afford the highest level of privacy possible for users.

2016,in particular, was a good year for Monero, as it received acceptance as a method of payment by the darknet market alphabay. Monero has since been given comprehensive updates and improvements to its ring signature and gained immense popularity.

Monero’s privacypolicy

Monero is arguably one of the most popular cryptocurrencies currently operating. So how does it compare to the daddy of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin? Their levels of privacy are certainly comparable. But this is where Monero starts to edge ahead. Unlike Bitcoin, Monero does not reveal the recipient’s holdings to the sender. Instead, the funds are sent via a random account created for that specific transaction. Plus, Monero’s ledger only remembers that one-time address and does not link it to either the sender or recipient.

Purchasing Monero

So are you completely sold on Monero? Are you keen to get yourself some? Now all that is left to figure out is how you can actually acquire some XMR. Unfortunately, this where you may run into a bit of a snag. As it turns out, it is a lot simpler to buy prominent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherum, using US currency than it is with Monero.

Instead of making a direct purchase, you will usually have to purchase bitcoin first and then exchange BTC for XMR, for which you need a cryptocurrency exchange.

You should always be cautious when using a cryptocurrency exchange. Most are fairly reputed and safe, but some are just plain crooked. Even if you manage to find one that is very trustworthy, it is advisable to take as many precautions as you can to secure your investment.

Now if it comes to purchasing bitcoin prior to Monero, you are going to have to learn how to purchase bitcoin. One of the most popular methods is with Coinbase, one of the biggest exchanges for cryptocurrency anywhere in the world.

From Coinbase, you can buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum with your credit/debit card or bank transfer, which are simple enough methods even for novice traders. Coinbase charges 3.99% for cards and 1.49% for the transfers.

However, a point of concern for those intending to buy Monero is the ID verification process enforced by Coinbase, a typical requirement of most reputed cryptocurrency exchanges. The idea behind it is to discourage criminal activity such as money laundering.

So if privacy is an all-important factor for you, you can buy bitcoin via a peer-to-peer exchange like localbitcoins. However, you will be compromising on the level of security offered by an exchange like Coinbase.

Once you have purchased your bitcoin, you can focus on how to buy Monero. There are some reputed places where BTC can be exchanged for XMR. One such source is called Kraken and it does require a verification process to be undertaken prior to trading.

Once again, there is an alternative for the more private users. It is called Bitsquare, and once again, its lack of a verification process means it is also a less secure option. You will have to rely not only on other users of Bitsquare but also on Bitsquare’s own Arbitration system.

It would also be more helpful for you to open an account with a highly reputed cryptocurrency broker like Plus500 that counts a healthy variety of cryptocurrencies among its services.

Whichever one you choose, the next step will remain the same: switching from BTC to XMR. All you have to do here is open up a trade for your selected exchange and wait for your offer to be taken up by another trader. Once that is done, you will receive your Monero.

It is important to remember that using an exchange does carry an element of risk considerable enough to warrant extra safety precautions for your computer. It is best to always allow two-factor authorization and distribute your coins among multiple wallets.

Also take care not to leave any coins in your exchange wallet, unless of course, you intend to trade them. A Hardware wallet or cold storage is the best way to secure your cryptocurrency. With these, you can store your cryptocurrency offline.

But in any case, no matter how safe and efficient your plan may be, you should never be tempted to risk trading more than you can afford to lose. A risk factor is certainly present in many stages of purchasing and dealing with cryptocurrencies, as they are still highly volatile commodities. There is the ever-present threat from the market to move against you and return a significant loss on your trades.

Conclusion

All things considered, investing in Monero is much the same as investing in most other things. Your main principle should always be to invest only as much as you can afford to give up, never more.

Wins and losses are part of the game, and you want to make sure the effects of a loss are as minimal as possible so that the effects of a win are magnified as much as possible. Take this and other necessary precautions, and you can virtually guarantee your success as a trader.

 

binance referral

Binance Referral Code

Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange at the moment. Binance even has it’s own coin called BNB (Binance Coin).

Binance is my favorite exchange (in addition to CoinBase and KuCoin) because it has most of the currencies I am interested in.

Binance has all features you should be looking for in a crypto exchange. What makes Binance unique is the fact that it has the most users, it can process 1,4 million orders per second, it has a unique coin called BNB and has multi-language support.

The trading fee on Binance is 0.1%, however if you own Binance Coins, you can pay your fees with them. Binance offers a discount for traders using the BNB coin, so you will pay a low amount of 0.05% (compared to 0.1% with no binance coins).

Here Is a Binance Referral ID

Binance Referral ID: 11285553. Sign Up Here

In October 2017, Binance launched the Binance Referral Program and it’s a great success. Traders can invite their friends to Binance and get a cut of their trading fees. This happens in real time.

Binance used to offer 50% referral bonus, but in January 2018 they changed it to 20%. Even with 20% it’s still a good deal.

Where To Find The Binance Referral Code

First of all you need a Binance account. Signing up is very easy. It takes less than a minute.

When signing up you may get this message:

Fellow Binancians,
Due to the overwhelming surge in popularity, Binance will have to temporarily disable new user registrations to allow for an infrastructure upgrade. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Thank you for your support!

If you see this, then try again later. Binance sometimes disables the registration form for a few hours, but it should be back later.

After you have signed up, log in to your account.

When you log in to Binance you should see a banner on top of the page that says: “Binance Referral Program. It pays to have friends”.

If you can’t find the banner then simply click this page: https://www.binance.com/invite.html.

binance referral id

As you see on the screenshot above on this page you will have your Binance Referral Code, the number of referred friends and the amount you have earned so far.

Is Binance A Good Exchange?

The growth of Binance is crazy. The fact that they have to stop new registrations is even crazier. I’ve read somewhere that they have up to 250.000 users sign up every hour. This is why their coin BNB tops new highs so often.

If you believe that Binance will continue like this, then it may be a good idea to get some of their coins.

Binance is an awesome cryptocurrency exchange. The are safe and trustworthy. They offer two factor authentication via Google Authenticator that you can download on your smartphone (recommended) or to your PC (Chrome).

We really recommend activating the two factor authentication to avoid getting your account hacked.

Binance continues to be the top choice of many traders including me, and I really think Binance will remain the #1 for a while. Good luck with your trades guys!

Let me know in the comments, what you think about Binance.

bitcoin simply explained

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

A cryptocurrency exchange refers to a website that allows you to trade, that is to purchase, sell, or exchange cryptocurrencies either for different cryptocurrencies or prominent fiat currencies like the American dollar or Euro.

Those traders who are particularly keen on trading professionally and have advanced trading tools at their disposal had best subscribe to reputed exchanges that requires national ID verification to open an account.

There are basically two types of exchanges: ones that require ID verification and the ones that don’t. The reason for this is that whenever there is fiat money (USD, EUR) involved, they have to check your identity. In order to get started with crypto trading, you will have to first deposit fiat money.

You can do this on exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken. While these exchanges aren’t the best for trading altcoins, you may want to move the newly purchased coins to another exchange that offers the altcoins you want to buy.

There is no exchange that offers both: fiat money deposit and withdrawals and high number of tradable altcoins (other coins than Bitcoin). This means that you will have to use at least two exchanges.

Let us now look into a few different types of exchanges that would be more suited to the specific needs of traders.

Types of Exchanges

  • Trading Platforms/Exchanges: Websites that match buyers with sellers and retain a commission from every transaction.
  • Brokers: These refer to online websites that you can visit to purchase cryptocurrencies at a price that is set by the broker.
  • Direct Trading: These are platforms that facilitate direct trades between persons. That includes traders trading from different countries. There is no fixed market price here, only the exchange rates set by the seller.

What To Look For Before Signing Up With A Crypto Exchange?

Research is always helpful. You never know when you might uncover something that could alter your entire perspective on the subject or change your mind just a little. It all adds up to a better end result. Here are some crucial factors of a cryptocurrency exchange that you should explore thoroughly before you join them.

  • Reputation: Exchanges are constantly reviewed by their users as well as the experts. Head over to Q&A forums like BitcoinTalk or Reddit to clarify answer any questions you might have.
  • Requirements for verification: Most Bitcoin trading platforms in both the UK and the US require some kind of ID before allowing for any deposits or withdrawals. However, there are some that allow users to remain anonymous. Verification can take as long as a few days which can be irritating. However, it does come with protection against various scams and money laundering.
  • Methods of payment: This is particularly important. You need to know that the exchange you are signing up with accepts your preferred methods of payment. It could be via credit/debit card, bank wire transfer or PayPal. If the number of payment of options at your exchange is strictly limited, you may want to consider using another. Also bear in mind that buying cryptocurrencies with your credit card always comes with an ID verification as well as a premium price due to the risk of fraud, higher transaction, and fees for processing. Using a bank wire transfer to purchase cryptocurrency will take a relatively long time due to the processing speed of the bank.
  • Fees: Your cryptocurrency exchange should not be shy about containing information regarding fees on its website. It will help you get your eye in on how deposits, withdrawal, and transaction fees will work before you join. The fees are not all the same with each exchange. They can differ substantially.
  • Exchange Rate: Rates differ for different exchanges. If you take the time to really figure out your options, you could save yourself a lot more money. It is not at all an anomaly for rates to fluctuate as much as 10% or higher on certain occasions.
  • Geographical Restrictions: Some of the more specific services from exchanges are only available in certain countries. So make sure that the exchange you sign up with provides your region with full access to the tools and functions of its platform.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Now that we have covered what cryptocurrency exchanges are and what you should think about before signing up with one, we can focus on what the best cryptocurrency exchanges are.

The list of short reviews detailed below has been compiled from extensive research and also draws from reviews by users that cover fees, security, accessibility, and overall user-friendliness. So without further delay, let us get into the list.

1. Coinbase Review

Being accessible from many currency zones, CoinBase has come up with a simple and stress-free process for purchasing Bitcoin.

It was first launched in 2012 and is represented in more 30 countries. The largest customer bases for Coinbase reside in the United States, United Kingdom, and Brazil.

It is also highly reputed for its level of security and trustworthiness as a platform. It easily qualifies itself here as one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges. This is one of the cryptocurrency exchanges that takes USD.

Pros

  • 2 digital wallets available
  • Easy trading of cryptocurrency with other traders
  • Deposits are ensured, except in the event where an account is hacked with the user password.

Cons

  • Strict security measures mean that your account can be frozen from time to time causing you to wait a while before using it
  • Withdrawals are always tracked, which discourages the use of Bitcoin purchases for gambling and other shady transactions.

Visit Coinbase.com

2. CEX.IO Review

CEX.IO is a trusted cryptocurrency exchange for over 700,000 users worldwide, particularly those who are interested in the Bitcoin trade. CEX.IO is renowned for its simplicity. You can easily deposit funds using your credit or debit card. You can also transfer funds by having your account checked to your CEX.IO account and just like that, you just about ready to begin trading in cryptocurrency. This exchange does make the top 5 list in the minds of many people.

Pros

  • Reputed for being among the best Bitcoin trading platforms for its ability to enable virtually instant trading
  • Users can purchase BTC with good payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, bank wire transfer, and of course, cryptocurrency

Cons

  • Currently operates only for Bitcoin exchange due to the closing of cloud mining activities at the beginning of 2015
  • The platform operates on a ‘Fill or Kill’ or FOK basis which means that what you have agreed to pay initially is indeed what you will end up paying. Changing your mind is not an option.
  • May not necessarily retain the best exchange rates for cryptocurrencies. You will probably find better rates on a site that allows you to make purchases from other traders.

3. Coinmama Review

Many users of cryptocurrencies have declared Coinmama to be the easiest Bitcoin market for opening a new account and getting straight into coin exchange. Its popularity has been rising significantly since its launch back in 2012. At the time, it was one of the very few trading sites for Bitcoin that accepted deposits via a Western Union transfer.

Pros

  • One of the top-rated and reliable sights for purchasing Bitcoin online
  • Exquisite quality of service
  • You can easily open an account after depositing funds with your credit card

Cons

  • With the credit card method being so simple, there are higher user fees being charged – as high as 6.5% – depending on your method of payment.
  • If you rely on alternative payment options, you are better off seeking out another site that chargers lower commissions

4. Localbitcoins.com Review

Are you in search of a reliable BTC trading site that connects you with other traders in your region for making cryptocurrency exchanges? Localbitcoins.com could be exactly what you are looking for. Unfortunately, it is yet to be available worldwide. However, since its launch in 2012, it has managed to extend its services to over 248 nations. Chances are, you live in one of them.

Pros

  • The fees structure is very simple – 1% per transaction paid by the seller. There is also a network fee in addition to the transaction fee. The seller usually includes the transaction fee as part of the asking price.
  • Escrow service guarantees fairness for both buyers and sellers of Bitcoin
  • Signing up requires nothing more than your valid email address. No personal information needs to be submitted. However, other users can require seeing identification prior to trading with you

Cons

  • Not particularly suitable for inordinate purchases of Bitcoin. You may want to try out another site which makes bulk purchases a lot easier and less expensive
  • Platform is not particularly user-friendly for novice traders
  • The probability of being scammed is relatively high so you will need to keep yourself informed of the latest safety precautions as well as methods of approaching other traders

5. Changelly Review

One of the better-known features of this site is its ability to keep track of transactions. Its interface is considered by many to be simple and user-friendly, containing some unique features such as low exchange rates, the exchange of bitcoin into other acceptable cryptocurrencies, and of course, keeping track of the transactions.

Pros

  • Transactions are made quick and easy
  • Trusted exchange for thousands of cryptocurrency traders
  • Very low fee rate. Changelly charges a mere 0.5% for an exchange between cryptocurrencies.

Cons

  • Since not all transactions happen in real time, you could end up purchasing BTC online for and be given a lower amount due to the exchange time.
  • Purchasing cryptocurrency with Changelly using a credit or debit card carries fee rates that can be as high as 40%. Therefore, you may want to consider more inexpensive alternatives.

6. BitPanda Review

BitPanda was initially known as Coinimal. It is a widely recommended site for purchasing and selling the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The options to purchase either of them is available 24 hours a day for all 365 days of the year. Also, there at least 10 methods of payment available including Visa, Mastercard, Amazon, Skrill, Neteller, and Sepa.

Pros

  • Fantastic online customer support
  • Bitcoin wallet is freely available
  • The Bitcoin transaction executed swiftly making this one of the best sites for purchasing BTC

Cons

  • You will be required to submit some form of identification prior to making a purchase which is not ideal for those concerned about their privacy
  • While many other sites will display the fees cost separately, BitPanda includes it as part of the price you pay

7. Coinhouse Review

Traders looking to exchange Bitcoin will appreciate this company for making the payment process a simple one. Simplifying the process involves Coinhouse purchasing Kraken crypto and selling it to its users. This is beneficial because Kraken trading can be rather confounding. Plus, it does not accept credit or debit cards. In order to validate your account with Coinhouse, you must submit government-issued identification and then you can purchase BTC.

Pros

  • Reputed for being a reliable, solid Bitcoin broker
  • Contains great and highly responsive customer service
  • By far, the best method for purchasing bitcoin in Europe with a credit card

Cons

  • Fees are relatively high, so purchasing Bitcoin in bulk can be problematic
  • Your capacity for making purchases is limited on a monthly basis

8. Kraken Review

Kraken is a renowned Bitcoin website which charges lower fees and is the choice of many professional traders all across the world. It boasts some formidable security features as well as healthy connections with banks and the capacity to make transaction quick and easy. It is the preferred choice for millions of Bitcoin buyers. All of these features help place Kraken among the top 10 highest-rated trading platforms in the industry, which is also very encouraging for prospective users.

Pros

  • One of the reliable and reputed options for purchasing Bitcoin anywhere in the world
  • Security for your trades and exchanges is high since you will be signing into the service with a two-factor authentication
  • Has managed to cultivate a good reputation and remain competitive ever since its launch in 2011

Cons

  • The fee structure is rather complex to get around since there is slippage, conversion, deposit and withdrawal fees concerning both Bitcoin and Kraken.

9. Bitstamp Review

Not unlike Kraken, Bitstamp was also launched in 2011 and remains to this day one of the best BTC exchanges you can find. The main reason you can be assured financial security by using Bitstamp is that over 98% of the digital funds are kept in offline places. Bitstamp also makes cryptocurrency exchanges quick, safe, and hassle-free no matter what amount you decide to purchase.

Pros

  • Ranked high on most rating lists since it has never been reported to scam its users with any hidden fees
  • Bitstamp was the first nationally licensed exchange for Bitcoin
  • One of the easiest options for buying Bitcoin since users can make purchases with credit cards
  • Customer service is highly responsive, at least within an hour of being contacted

Cons

  • Margin trading and exchange of Altcoin is not available
  • Transaction times are not very consistent. Users have reported the first couple or so transactions to appear within minutes and then extend to as long as 5 days after that.

10. HitBTC Review

HitBTC is a more recent cryptocurrency exchange to join the industry, launching only in 2015. It is headquartered in London. Despite being fairly recent, its numbers have been rising consistently ever since it started. It offers good security measures for its users with a two-factor authentication process and variable trading fees going by the time when a transaction is executed. For those interested in a UK BTC exchange, HitBTC is becoming a fast favorite.

Pros

  • Platform is easy to use even for novice traders
  • Backups for software can be accessed on a daily basis through a computer as well as a mobile device
  • Professional traders can enjoy the benefits of low fees and high liquidity

Cons

  • There have been reports claiming that this is not one of the safest options for purchase of Bitcoin
  • The reviews have not been consistent regarding the quality of services and responsiveness of the customer support team

11. 247exchange Review

247exchange is renowned for providing a user interface that is easy to access and highly transparent on matters like fees so traders can feel more knowledgeable and relaxed when they sign up for it. Also, once you are through the process of verification, you will be entitled to purchasing Bitcoins with your credit card. However, it falls somewhat short of making it as one of the best exchanges since it makes the process of verification and other documents available in English only.

Pros

  • User interface is simple and easy to use and is accessible from your computer and mobile devices
  • Customer service is good, particularly with the verification process
  • Verification does involve revealing your phone number which can be easily managed with a text message

Cons

  • Verification for credit card can take as long as a couple of days
  • You may encounter some trouble with the verification documents if you are not familiar with the English language
  • There is room for improvement regarding communication of the verification process

12. POLONIEX Review

The poloneix cryptocurrency exchange is based in the United States and promises great security with the use of monitoring programs that are active all day, every day.  There plenty of reviews online that regard Poloneix as a safe and reliable service. In fact, it is so highly regarded that it has actually been overloaded with users giving its customer service team a very hectic schedule.

Pros

  • Altcoin exchanges are available
  • Good liquidity available
  • Capable of serving international customers even if the primary focus is on the US market

Cons

  • Fiat trading is not available
  • Customer service takes a while to respond due to the surge in popularity which has caused an overload of customers

13. BitBay Review

Bitbay is an exchange for Bitcoin that is based in Poland. It is important to know upfront that this not an exchange that offers any international trading services. It is also not exactly the cheapest option for purchasing Bitcoin, but it charges fees that are lower compared to the majority of its competitors. You can assess the fee rates more accurately after comparing them to several more sites.

Pros

  • Enables transaction to be instant so that you will receive the prevailing market price
  • You can have bot do the trading for you in case you cannot do it on your own
  • User interface easy to use thanks to some great features that help make Bitcoin exchanges immediately
  • Traders are allowed to set whatever price they content with paying as well as how much cryptocurrency they would like to buy

Cons

  • Not the ideal option for you if you are not residing in Poland
  • It has been reported by some users that the site is somewhat unstable
  • Debit card or Mastercard privileges are restricted only to users operating from Poland

14. Bitfinex Review

Bitfinex is based in Hong Kong and is an immensely popular exchange site for traders seeking to trade cryptocurrencies in US currency. Bitfinex has been listed consistently among the highest ranking cryptocurrency exchanges since 2014. It prides itself on its transparency of services, policies, and user-friendliness. It is certainly one of the most prominent players in the market for cryptocurrencies.

Pros

  • Trading on margin and margin-funding are available
  • One of the largest platforms for cryptocurrency exchange
  • Access to a wealth of useful trading tools

Cons

  • There is just one method of making deposits and that is via SWIFT along with a bank transfer
  • Customer service does not have a swift response time
  • Withdrawals often take more than a day to process

15. CoinCorner Review

CoinCorner was created only in 2014, and it is well known for making it an easy process to purchase and sell Bitcoin. It also contains a very generous affiliate program offering a commission rate as high as 25% along with daily payments in Bitcoin as well. Management of this exchange is handled by peers that work tirelessly to keep the platform open-source allowing anyone to make a purchase.

Pros

  • Customer support is very responsive not merely to inquiries but also posts on other forums
  • Interface is user-friendly even for novice traders

Cons

  • Account verification can make the process rather slow
  • Setup help videos are of little help.

As you can see, there is no shortage of good cryptocurrency exchanges for you to try. All that is left do is pick the one that is the closest match to your specific trading needs and carry fewer risks.

kucoin review

KuCoin invitation code

KuCoin.com is the hottest cryptocurrency exchange at the moment. Kucoin even has its own token called KuCoin Shares (KCS).

VISIT KuCoin

I am a kucoin user myself, and I love the fact that this exchanges listens to the community – they have integrated many features that the traders asked for.

UPDATE May 2018 – The KuCoin “Referral Bonus” program is open again. Use KuCoin Invitation Code: 24R8w and Sign Up Here.

Kucoin is not considered one of the fastest growing and most trusted crypto exchanges. Most of the time you will find cryptocurrency on kucoin first, before they add it to bigger exchanges like Binance and Bittrex.

Here Is a KuCoin Invitation Code

KuCoin invitation code: 24R8wSign Up Here

So if you want to invest in lesser known coins that have a higher possibility to go 5x or 10x, then Kucoin is the right exchange for you.

KuCoin even has a referral programs, where you can refer your friends and get a cut of their trading fees.

Lets say you sign up to KuCoin today. You get your unique referal link and invite your friend. He generates $1 trading fees. You will get a cut of these fees (you get 20%).

The reward program has 3 tiers. That means that once you invite your friend, you will also earn from his invited friends and so on (up to 3 tiers). You get 20% for tier 1 (your friend), 12% for tier 2 (your friend’s friend), 8% for tier 3 (your friend’s friend’s friend).

To understand it better, take a look here:

Where To Find The KuCoin Invitation Code

If you want to start inviting your friends to this exchange then you first need a KuCoin account. Registration is very easy, and it takes only a few seconds.

There is no complicated verifcation process or anything like that. You’ll have an account in a minute.

Next you should go to the Explore > Invitation Bonus menu. It should look like this:

Buy Kucoin Tokens

There are a few advantages for buying KCS (KuCoins own token):

  • Less Fees: All KuCoin Token holders get a 50% fee discount when trading on their platform. This works just like on binance. It’s always better to use these tokens to pay the fees.
  • Better Support: Some people claim that you get faster support, this way (unconfirmed).

I really think that KuCoin is one of the better exchanges out there. Their platform is fantastic and you will find all features you need to trade currencies successfully. They really listen to their community and try to add even more features in the future. The layout is simple and clean. The fact that they add ICOs and lesser known coins faster than others, means that you can get your hands on these before they start pumping.

Good luck with your trades. To the moon!!!

List Of Cryptocurrencies

In the arena of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin casts a long dark shadow over all the rest. It was, after all, the first of its kind, launched in 2009 a person or persons whose identity or identities we are still no closer to uncovering than when we first asked the question.

However, in the wake of bitcoin’s revolutionary involvement in online trading, other cryptocurrencies have also propped up to rival it. We know them categorically as altcoins and the ones that are not bitcoin try to market themselves as more improved and sophisticated over the daddy.

In some ways, that is true. But none have so far been able to take the crown away from bitcoin since all have their own fair of risk that causes them to fall short of achieving bitcoin status. Now, there several hundred cryptocurrencies currently in existence but we have isolated what we believe to be the top four that you can try out if you are not keen on trading bitcoin.

1. Litecoin (LTC)

Launched in 2011, Litecoin is only a couple of years junior to bitcoin and has often been called the ‘silver to bitcoin’s gold.’ We would not be surprised if the founder, Charlie Lee found that a tad bit insulting. Lee was a graduate of MIT as well as an engineer for Google. His cryptocurrency is rooted in a network of open source global payment which is decentralized and relies on ‘scrypt’ for a proof of work.

It is also simple enough to be decoded with a consumer grade CPU. Litecoin as generates blocks a lot faster compared to bitcoin and therefore faster confirmation on transactions as well. And its popularity among traders is fast growing.

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is fairly recent arrival to the cryptocurrency market launching only in 2015. It too is a decentralized online platform which also allows smart contracts and Distributed applications. More importantly, it enables these functions without the threat of downtime, control, fraud or other interference from outside. Ethereum’s cryptographic token is called ether. It is the essential vehicle by which you navigate through Ethereum’s platform. There was even a pre-sale for it back in 2014 which was met with an overwhelming response. Although being a relatively young cryptocurrency, ethereum has already managed a managed a market cap of well over $4 billion which is only second to – you guessed – bitcoin which is in excess of 7 billion right now.

3. Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash is an even more recent cryptocurrency launched late into 2016 but it has already garnered a good reputation within trading circles. Like Litecoin, it comes across as a decentralized, open source cryptocurrency. Also like Litecoin, it has its own associated catch-phrase in relation to bitcoin. In this case, it is“If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https,” because Zcash promises better security measures on both privacy and security concerning any and all transactions that are recorded on a blockchain. Specifically, details such as the identity of the sender and receiver, and also the transacted amount are kept confidential. Zcash also offers options with shielded transactions so that information can be encrypted through an advanced technique or zk-SNARK, a zero-knowledge proof construction.

4. Dash

Dash was originally known as Darkcoin and they should have stuck with that name because what it really is, is a darker version of bitcoin. It operates on a decentralized mastercode which lends more anonymity to both individuals as well as transactions. It is not the most recently released cryptocurrency, debuting in January of 2014 but it has enjoyed an exponential growth of its fan base since becoming active. It was developed by a certain Evan Duffield and is simple enough to be mined with a CPU or GPU. The brand name was switched to Dash in March of 2015. It is really just an abbreviation for Digital Cash and no further changes were made to any of the technological aspects like InstantX or Darksend.

List Of Cryptocurrencies By Market Cap

Here is a top10 list of cryptocurrencies by market cap (time of writing Jan 4 – 2018):

1 Bitcoin $250,743,017,922
2 Ripple $140,471,238,347
3 Ethereum $93,282,769,858
4 Bitcoin Cash $40,284,011,730
5 Cardano $31,910,260,606
6 NEM $16,838,819,998
7 Stellar $15,448,836,303
8 Litecoin $12,798,135,752
9 IOTA $10,862,098,598
10 TRON $9,788,130,658

List Of Lesser Known Cryptocurrencies

Here is a list of cryptocurrencies that aren’t in the top10: 0x, AdEx, Aeternity, Aragon, Ardor, ATMChain, Augur, Bancor, Basic Attention Token, Binance Coin, Bytom, ChainLink, Civic, DigixDAO, Edgeless, EOS, Ethos, FunFair, Gas, Gnosis, Golem, Iconomi, Kyber Network, Loopring, MaidSafeCoin, Metal, MobileGo, Monaco, OmiseGO, PayPie, Populous, Power Ledger, Raiden Network Token, SALT, SingularDTV, Status, Storj, TenX, Tether, TRON, Veritaseum, Walton.

Conclusion

Bitcoin still retains its position at the top of the leaderboard for cryptocurrencies and we are yet to see it get knocked over even once. But these four have been biting at its heels for a while now and who knows, perhaps one of them will take the lead one day.

Is Bitconnect A Scam?

Update Jan 17, 2018 – As most of the community has predicted BitConnect has just closed today. Their coin dropped 92% in one day.

Don’t sign up to anything related to Bitconnect

Short answer: Probably (please read on).

There is a significant ongoing debate in the cryptocurrency trading community concerning BitConnect. Is it a scam or not?

There is no question thatBitConnect has turned out to be one of the most controversial cryptocurrencies in existence courtesy of its unique methods of doing business as well as how it attracts new users.

Back in May of this year, BitConnect’s market cap was reported to be well under $50 million. But right now, it has inflated at a simply staggering rate to be in excess of $1.5 billion. As a result, it also holds aninth place in the overall market cap rankings.

The official description of BitConnect is a peer-to-peer, open source, decentralized cryptocurrency that is community-driven and enables traders to invest and conserve their wealth in a currency that is independent of government mechanisms.

Plus, they also have the opportunity of earning significant interest on their investments.

One of the fundamental elements of the BitConnectcryptocurrency is the BitConnect Lending Program. Users of BitConnect are free to exchange BTC for BCC and then lend it for a certain time period. In that time, the initial BTC that was lent may not be withdrawn, even with penalties.

Also in the meantime, that BTC gains interest, which averages out at a reported 1% each day.

Users of BitConnect have the option of withdrawing their interest daily or reinvesting it into the Lending Program to gain bigger profits.

This helps accelerate the so-called ‘Capital Back’. It is also the main reason why many in the cryptocurrency industry suspect BitConnect of being a scam.

Now let us examine some of the more prevalent scam claims that have been made about BitConnect.

#1. It is logistically impossible for any financial investment to guarantee an average profit of 1% everyday so BitConnect may well be a Ponzi Scheme

This claim is not strictly accurate. BitConnect does not outright guarantee the 1% profit per day. On the contrary, they have suggested that there could be several days when the interest gained is 0%. BitConnect does rely on a volatility software that maps out the daily rate of interest over a period of weeks, months, and even years.

However, the volatility chart does suggest that the average interest per day is 1% even counting those days when BitConnect claims that it is 0%. Hence, that is a bit of a dicey statistic.

The main reason for that is compounding interest which is also why traders get a return on their initial investment so promptly.

Let us look at an example. If a trader lent $100 with the average interest assumed at 1% per day, the daily interest for that investment would be $1 per day. But by the second day, the interest amount would be drawn from $101. So now the interest is at $1.01. By day 3, the 1% interest would be drawn out of $103 and so forth. That is compounding interest.

BitConnect saysthey have a trading bot that executes several trades with BTC and earns a profit from these. However, they have not presented any information about said bot or its designated code.

To sum up this claim, one of the main concerns that have been brought out here is that users do not get to withdraw the BTC which they themselves have staked. However, BitConnect does allow users to make withdrawals from their daily interest.

Thanks to the effects of compounding interest, users can withdraw the BTC equivalent of their initial investment in around 6 to 10 months.

Meanwhile, the trading bot claim could explain how BitConnect maintains its alleged average interest per day. But with no concrete evidence being offered to show that this trading bot is real, believing it is a bit of a long shot, which brings us to the second claim.

#2. The source code of the alleged trading bot has not been revealed to the public, therefore, the trading bot is a fake

This does appear to be a strong argument at face value. But it can be understood that such a code could be worth billions and the incentive to profit off of that would be greater than the incentive to gain the trust of the public.

BitConnect may well contain such a source code. Are they just not interested in revealing it?

#3. Why can you only purchase BCC on BitConnect’s own exchange? They could be rigging the coin value

As it turns out, BitConnect is not the only exchange where you can trade BCC. There are other options like Novaexchange and Livecoin. Among the exchanges that have expressed hesitation to open themselves to BCC trading is Bittrex, and in the eyes of many, they have made the right call.

BitConnect’s coin value is on the rise simply because of the increasing number of participants in its Lending Program. Also, BCC is useful for little else apart from lending, so it follows that most of the coins are traded through BitConnect’s exchange.

#4. BitConnect attracts new customers with the help of its affiliate program which is effectively a pyramid scheme

First of all, you may be unfamiliar with what a pyramid scheme is. It is a program where the profit gained with the addition of new members is more whencompared to the profit gained by selling a product or service. In the case of BitConnect, the daily earnings of members appear to be coming from the Lending Program rather than the affiliate program.

#5. The founders of BitConnect remain anonymous to make it easier for them to defy the law in the event of their cryptocurrency collapsing

This is possibly the most sensational claim of them all. After all, Bitcoin is the number one cryptocurrency in the world and has been since it was started back in 2009. Yet, no one has uncovered the true identity of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto.’ That said,however, every other cryptocurrency has made no secret who its founders are and there could well be some shady activity underlying the case with BitConnect.

It is not clear outright whether BitConnect is a scam, but there is enough smoke surrounding it to point many traders and experts in the opposite direction. If you are a trader playing it safe, you will probably hold onto your funds until a concrete verdict has been reached.

Cryptocurrency Brokers

I’m sure you already heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin or Monero. Cryptocurrency trading has become really popular in 2017. It’s growing even more this year.

Luckily for traders, some brokers have already added some of these cryptocurrencies to their platform. This means that everybody can sign up and start trading Bitcoin or other coins. This is the easiest way to invest in cryptocurrency.

After trying out most brokers, here are the best cryptocurrency brokers:

Best Cryptocurrency Brokers (Non-US Traders Only)

eToro – Top Rated Provider

eToro is one of the most known names in the trading industry. They have a CYSEC and FCA license. Buy/Sell Bitcoin on eToro.

  • Trade Bitcoin + 9 other Cryptos
  • Minimum Deposit is $200
  • Regulated and Trusted

OPEN FREE ACCOUNT

We have tested all brokers that offer cryptocurrency trading or platforms where you can buy crypto on. We looked for safe and secure platforms that are regulated and licensed.

This is really important because the crypto market itself is unregulated. Depositing on a regulated broker means that your money is safe.

We’ve also looked at the support team and the payment methods. You can deposit easily using multiple payment methods on the brokers below.

How to Choose your Cryptocurrency Broker

While we are all familiar with the broad definition of a broker, is there something more to it when it comes to cryptocurrencies? Simply put, a cryptocurrency broker refers to a website that traders will visit to trade cryptocurrencies at a set price. In many ways, they are similar to forex brokers whose services are a lot more familiar to the general public.

Only Non-US Traders can register with the brokers below. US Traders can use Binance (referral code: 11285553), the #1 rated cryptocurrency exchange: Binance Homepage

Rank Broker Min. Deposit Regulated Features Visit*
1
review $200 YES + CRYPTO TRADING
TRADE NOW
2
review $10 YES + CRYPTO/BINARY TRADING
TRADE NOW
3
review $100 YES + BITCOIN & 9 CRYPTOS
TRADE NOW
4
review $200 YES + ASIC LICENSE
TRADE NOW

*Risk warning: Your capital is at risk. Plus500 is a CFD provider.

Now, we shall go into what aspects you as a trader must consider when choosing a broker to trade cryptocurrencies.

Which Cryptocurrencies Are You Interested In Trading?

Make sure you have decided on which cryptocurrencies you want to trade in before signing up with your broker. If your choice is a prominent cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum, there will be a relatively broad availability of brokers that have trading options for those. However, less prevalent examples like Monero, IOTA, or Zcash may be a little harder to come by. So study the cryptocurrencies being offered by a broker before you sign up for an account.

Is Leverage Really Necessary? Cryptocurrency markets are volatile in nature with prices fluctuating immensely thereby generating high profits even in the absence of leverage. But for some traders, the desire for more earnings justifies the use of leverage.

Before choosing your broker, settle yourself on whether the already immense profits that come from a cryptocurrency market are enough for you or you would like to use leverage to enhance them even further, bearing in mind, of course, that will also significantly increase the risk factor to your funds.

Negative Balance Protection: It is always advisable to trade with a broker that affords the negative balance protection facility. That way, you will never be at risk of losing more than what you invested in case you sustain very heavy losses.

How Suitable Is The Required Capital For You? This is another subjective part to your decision. Do you prefer trading with a small capital or bigger one to help you zero in on bigger returns? Find out what size trades your broker is offering before you open an account.

Narrow Spreads for the Win: Let us be honest, it is only fair that your broker gets a cut from the money you generated having provided you with the essential facilities for it and all. But let us be honest, you definitely want every last dime for yourself.

A spread refers to the difference between the buying price and selling price of a trade and it varies with each broker. The spread is what counts as fees for your broker so the smaller it is, the lower the cost will be on your part.

Top 10 Cryptocurrency Brokers

Rank Broker Min. Deposit Max. Leverage Get Started*
1
ETORO $200 1:400
TRADE NOW
2
PLUS500 $100 1:30
TRADE NOW
3
AVATRADE $100 1:400
TRADE NOW
4
PEPPERSTONE $200 1:500
TRADE NOW
5
IQOPTION $10 1:1000
TRADE NOW
6
24OPTION $250 1:1000
TRADE NOW
7
TRADE.COM $250 1:400
8
ICMARKETS $100 1:500
9
VANTAGE FX $100 1:500
10
FXTM $5 1:1000

*RISK WARNING: Your capital may be at risk.

Cryptocurrency Brokers – What To Look For

Here are some of the more understated details about your cryptocurrency broker that could make your trading experiences so much more efficient and successful.

1. What Are The Weekend Hours Like?

This is a key detail that distinguishes cryptocurrencies from other prominent trading markets like forex, futures, and equity. Cryptocurrency brokers operate during the weekends as well. There is virtually no difference in purchasing bitcoin at the end of the week as opposed to the middle of the week during peak hours.

But there is a catch. While digital currency exchanges are available during the weekend, your broker may not. So in effect, if there is considerable movement within your relevant cryptocurrency market during a weekend when your broker is not operating, you may not have the ability to respond in any way.

2. How Is It Hedging?

Your broker is probably not keen on revealing if it is hedging cryptocurrency traders but it is important information for you to know. Why is it so important for you to know? Because, as a trader, you want to be absolutely in the clear regarding the policies for risk management being followed by your broker. Let us not forget that cryptocurrency markets are extremely volatile and an unhedged broker is more easily prone to major losses incurred by its clients. Naturally, those costs will warrant compensation via fatter spreads and additional costs for traders. It will be best to sign up with a broker that will not withhold the relevant information from you.

3. What about Commissions and Trading On Margin?

An important thing to note while trading cryptocurrencies is that their prices tend to be more similar to equities than they are to real currencies. So your broker could be charging you commissions in addition to a wide spread on each trade. That, of course, raises the cost probably a bit much for your liking.

Another similarity with equities is that the margin conditions with cryptocurrencies are significantly more than they are with forex or CFDs. Consequently, leverage is usually up to 10x. How considerable the margin rate will be for traders is down to what trading strategies and risk management they subscribe to.

4. The Authenticity of Market Data?

Aside from merely evaluating how it influences spreads, market data for cryptocurrency CFD prices can be a good indicator of how the quality of the product will be in the future. One of the more recent examples of this is BTC-e which was an immensely popular platform for trading bitcoin before it was shut down by Feds. BTC-e was the first bitcoin exchange to incorporate forex trades and so made their exchange accessible via MT4 and supplied cryptocurrency liquidity for brokers.

But once it was shut down, every broker that depended squarely upon BTC-e was left with no hedging options or market data to put a price on its crypto CFDs.

5. Are Short Sales Available?

For many traders, shorting is a crucial strategy option, the lack of which can be a deal breaker with a potential broker.  Many brokers tend to offer ‘long’ only since there are only a few hedging solutions when opening short trades.

Conclusion

Investing in cryptocurrencies can be a truly lucrative venture for you but only if you get it right. And a lot of that is down to which broker you decide to trade with. Trade with the cryptocurrency brokers listed above to make sure that your money is safe, you pick a broker with a stellar reputation and you keep the fees low.

These cryptocurrency brokers make it really easy to trade bitcoin and other coins. You don’t have to be a trading expert. It helps if you know what a blockchain is or how the ledger and transactions work, but this is all optional. Sign up now and see for yourself how easy it is to get started.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum

Straight away, the distinction to make regarding bitcoin here is that it is still the dominant player in the cryptocurrency arena. Although that is not to say Ethereum has not been snapping at its heels lately, it has. What Ethereum offers that bitcoin does not is a wider range of applications and functions. But let us take a more detailed look at those differences now.

Ethereum Concerns More Than Mere Money

The term ‘digital currency’ does not quite cover all of what Ethereum really is. It is after all a platform rooted in blockchain containing numerous different aspects to it. There are variables like smart contracts and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to consider as well as the currency it uses, called ether for the same sort of peer-to-peer transaction you engage with bitcoin.

Applications stored in blockchain are used by Ethereum’s smart contracts for contract facilitation and negotiation. The main benefit of said contracts is the blockchain supplies a decentralized method of validating them. Being decentralized makes it a lot tougher for the occurrence of fraud and censors. The smart contracts have an objective not only to enhance security over traditional contracts, but also to reduce the costs involved.

Ethereum is not entirely separate from bitcoin. The two do share striking similarities. They are both decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrencies and use a blockchain. Both are useful for the storage and transfer of value. But the fundamental intention with Ethereum is rather different. With Ethereum, a smart contract is basically Ethereum addresses which have a viable code and are stored in the blockchain.

Both these currencies are still relatively young along with the whole concept of cryptocurrency. However, if you were to ask which of the two are more stable, the answer would be bitcoin. Perhaps that is why it is still sitting pretty on the number one spot. But who’s to say that will not change? Ethereum is fast growing and volatile in nature. In this year alone, its value has spike thousands of times over.

Implementing Smart Contracts with Your Own Cryptocurrency

With Ethereum, you can create digital tokens which can be used to can represent assets, virtual shares, proof of membership and so on. They are compliant with any digital wallet and exchanges using the standard coin API.

After copying the code on the Ethereum website, you can use the tokens for multiple reasons from the representation of shares to fundraising and voting. Based on your established rules, you can have your circulation of tokens either in a fixed amount or a fluctuating amount.

Ethereum Does Not Require You to Have a Kickstarter

Ethereum enables you to increase funding for several uses. If you are trying to get a new venture going, simply set up a contract and look to the community for assistance. The funds that have been raised will be held until the aim is reached or the any certain date that has been agreed upon in advance. If your goal is not reached, the funds will go right back to the contributors or be diverted to another project which was successful. Taking out the third party, rules, fees, and all is what constitutes kicking out Kickstarter.

Skip Over Traditional Management with Democratic Autonomous Establishments

In addition to helping you outsource your funding, Ethereum can help you with organization and structuring as well. You can acquire different proposals from people who have supported your idea and put it to a vote to decide how you should proceed. This alleviates the cost of traditional structuring that includes doing paperwork and hiring managers. Ethereum will also safeguard your project from outer influences.

Block Times

With bitcoin, your block time lasts on average for 10 minutes. With Ethereum, it is closer to 12 seconds thanks to its GHOST protocol. So confirmations are faster but there are more abandoned blocks.

Conclusion

We have not had time to cover all of the differences here but from what we have shown, it is easy to understand how Ethereum and bitcoin are two different beasts. While they have their cryptocurrency status in common, that is all there is regarding their similarities.

Bitcoin is still the more stable cryptocurrency but Ethereum branches out more. Ether is merely a working part of it smart contract operations.