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AMA Recap of CEO and Co-founder of Chromia, Henrik Hjelte in the @binancenigeria Telegram group on 03/05/2020.
here it is AMA time!Introducingu/ChaoWang — COO Bitpie Wallet andu/Kongour ambassador from China!AMA Duration: 35 minutesRounds: Team Round (first 20 min) and Community Round (last 15 min)
Thx DanielAbout myself, I heard bitcoin in 2013, started buying and a little bit mining by end of that year. And of course, I lose a lot of money during the market collapse in 2014–15, just like a lot of friends just suffered in the past weeks.Luckily, as a hodler, I didn’t sell any coin during bear market and most of those coins are still in my wallet until today.In 2017 I joined Bitpie. Prior to that, I have been in the traditional IT industry for more than a decade. During my 15-years career, I have worked for organizations including online service company, big data company and IT services company. Responsible for IT system, product R&D, business management and has been stationed in the United States to manage a series of project cooperate with IT giants such as Microsoft and Cisco.My last role before joining Bitpie was the general manager of a business division at one of largest IT service companies in China, managing the solution business related to new technologies such as cloud computing and AI, also got some chance to work with partner for business-oriented blockchain PoC projects.It is a tough time for everyone, it is my great honor to have the opportunity to meet and learn from you guys at this special moment.
Hi, all. I am Kong from Bitpie Wallet. Also ambassador of Algorand Beijing. I have been working for Bitpie since 2018 and now mainly in charge of marketing job. Tonight, Mr Wang chao will bring us his presentation and I will help answer questions if needed.Long for Bitpie and Algorand
Thanks a lot for sharing your introductionu/ChaoWangu/Kong! Seems you have been in the industry since a long while! Glad to have your experience and support for Algorand!Really appreciate Bitpie as a global partner of Algorand and you have also supported ASA these days. Could you tell us more about Bitpie Wallet and what do you think about the cooperation with Algorand?
Bitpie is an industry-leading non-custody wallet with very high market penetration in Asia area. We have been focused on the blockchain wallet for more than six years.As a professional wallet service provider, we have 3 wallet products.Bitpie Wallet — a multi-chain wallet with DeFi and DApp portal along with a lot of other crypto-based scenarios.Bither Wallet, a bitcoin.org recommended open-sourced bitcoin wallet.BitHD — an open-sourced multichain Hardware cold Wallet.Among 3 products, Bitpie is the most famous one.Our products helped millions of global users manage dozens of billions of US Dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies in the past 6 years with 0 security accident. We are also very proud of being a contributor to the early blockchain community for we introduced a variety of novel technologies in the field of cryptology and security.The cooperation between Algorand and Bitpie began in 2018 when we met Professor Micali and Steven for the first time in Beijing. The conversation was very pleasant and soon determined willingness of both parties to cooperate.In 2019, with the launch of the Algorand mainnet, we have 360-degree cooperation with Algorand in technology, network, marketing and ecosystem support.With the launch of Algorand 2.0 and ASA assets, great innovations are emerging on Algorand blockchain. We are very happy to participate in this process and look forward to more cooperation in the future.
Thank you for the detailed introduction about Bitpie and your cooperation with Algorand!Do you have large market share for BTC, USDT or any other currencies in Asia?
Yes, we are the most popular BTC wallet in Asia, and for stable currencies, we are probably the wallet with №1 volume in the world 🙂I would like to say more about USDT.
Sure please go ahead!
We all know Stable coin is extremely important for a public chain ecology.As a wallet operator, our experience in this area is direct, and we have observed a lot in the past when the stable currency market and the underlying public chain were constantly changing. Before the launch of Algorand USDT, we had several conversations with foundation and shared our understanding of this market.Each public chain has unique development route, and this route also determine the market development route of stable currency on that Chain. The application-oriented blockchain is still in a very early stage, now it is difficult to determine which direction is better and more likely to succeed.But no matter which route you take, one thing is for sure, which is to increase the usability as much as possible and help users reduce the barrier. This is the main reason why erc20 USDT can take most of the market share from omni USDT.Market promotion is also very important. If Algorand has some related plans in the future, Bitpie as the direct entry point to reach users, is very willing to provide help as much as we can.
Glad to see our goals align Chao 🙂 We wish to have Algorand- USDT as major value capture on Algo public chain! Really excited to explore more use-cases and co-marketing opportunities with you.While on the subject, I noticed you have DeFi and Dapp portal. As a leading wallet provider, what do you think is the future of wallets ? Is it DeFi, something else?
Yes, DeFi and DApp are extremely important for wallet. But that not all we are aiming for.In the past, wallet is viewed as a tool that managed private keys to send and receive assets. With the emergence of various scenarios in the blockchain world, the functions integrated on the blockchain wallet today have far exceeded asset sending and receiving.Almost all major wallets on the market have integrated different forms of coin trade. Staking, voting, Borrowing & Lending functions have also been integrated into wallet.More wallets have even begun to support Dapp and DeFi based on different blockchain networks, thereby introducing more open scenarios.But we see that the users of the wallet are all users who already have crypto assets and already has some understanding of the blockchain.However, the proportion of such users in the entire society is very small, and currently there are few wallets or applications that can develop people who do not know the blockchain through their own scenarios. I think that will change in the future.There will be a variety of innovations constantly emerging, and some of them, although possibly a small part, will draw quite a lot of people from the general community to blockchain world.They are not typical crypto asset holders, and they do not understand what a blockchain is or what an oval algorithm is.In fact, they don’t need to understand. Both public chains and wallets will evolve, allowing ordinary users to enjoy the innovation brought to them by the blockchain without perception.At that time, the wallet, as a carrier of rights and on-chain identities, will be closely related to people’s daily lives. And the form of the wallet will be very different from now.For the simplest example, suppose a billion people have entered the world of blockchain. Can you imagine all one billion people are writing down mnemonic words like current wallet users? That’s not possible.
You make quite a few interesting points Chao. Mnemonic words is an interesting one as well! Since we are running low on time, my last question would be on Algorand itself.What are your thoughts about Algorand? 🙂
I have worked in the IT service industry for many years. The clients I have dealt with involve various industries, finance, manufacturing, retail, transportation, government.My major business focus was to provide them with the underlying business support systems. This gives me some understanding of the fundamental supporting of commercial facilities.In these mature business ecosystems, there is a complete and meticulous industry chain collaboration. Some are responsible for basic technical/science innovations, and some are responsible for the implementation of the underlying platform based on these innovations.Some people use their technical capabilities to design solutions suitable for the industry, and some people apply these solutions to help them expand their business.In the end, no matter how many layers are passed, it is the consumers who pay for all of this. Of course, consumers also enjoy the convenience brought by technological development and industrial chain collaboration.Blockchain system will also play the role to support business. However, blockchain technology and ecology are still very early, such industrial collaboration cannot yet be formed.Some public chains have focused on faster and more direct 2C scenarios. This is understandable, but in my opinion, industrial collaboration will eventually come, and at that time, tens of millions of people will enjoy the beauty that blockchain technology brings to everyone.Compared with other public chains, Algorand’s path is very solid, and it is constantly laying the foundation, not only the technical foundation, but also the basis of industrial chain collaboration. This process may not be that fast, but I think it is all necessary.
Appreciate you sharing your thoughts Chao! We are really committed towards industrial collaboration. You summed it all up really well! I will be compiling a full blog-post and publishing it for those who couldn’t join the AMAu/hereCommunity Round can start now! You can ask any questions that you have! This one would run for the next 15 minutes.
Really appreciate the time you guys are taking to have this AMAFor Bitpie, which countries are most popular for using your wallet service?By the looks of it asia, but curious on where the majority of users are from? 😄
As a team from China, users from China take the largest part. But our penetration in Southeast Asian countries is also very high.Some of our users are in China, our team are based on Hong Kong. We welcome and embrace regulation relate to wallet service. This is a must done thing before blockchain permeate everyone’s life.
Will you be offering any kind of staking on the POS networks you support?
Yes, we are providing Staking services for blockchains such as Cosmos and EOS .
I suppose there’s interest in increasing the number of tokens that can be staked on your platform yep?
Yes, everyone want to manage their asset in one wallet rather than install wallet for each blockchain network.
You’re right .. Binance is quite fierce in adopting new staking servicestoo it must be a challenge to gain market share
does the wallet support other cryptocurrencies/erc20 tokens?
Yes, we support 30+ blockchain network including BTC/ETH/Algorand.All ERC20 Tokens is supported.
Retailers Around The World That Accept Crypto, From Pizza to Travel
News by Cointelegraph: Jinia Shawdagor Earlier on, when Bitcoin (BTC) arrived on the scene, most cryptocurrency enthusiasts held on to their coins, as there were only so many places they could be spent. Nowadays, the list of marketplaces and retailers accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is significantly larger, providing crypto enthusiasts with more options for making real-world purchases. After all, with recognizable organizations like Microsoft and Wikipedia now accepting Bitcoin as payment, conversations about Bitcoin and the power of cryptocurrencies are becoming more prominent. Currently, several fast-food restaurants and coffee shops have started accepting Bitcoin as payment. This will likely provide traction for mass adoption as cryptocurrency payments become increasingly commonplace in day-to-day purchases. Granted, there are some jurisdictions that do not consider Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as legal tender. Despite this set back, even big tech companies like Facebook are coming up with payment systems that mimic cryptocurrencies. Here are some of the leading retailers, merchants and companies that will let you book flights and hotels, buy coffee or pizza, or even go to space with crypto.
Pay for a burger in Germany with crypto
The German branch of fast-food restaurant chain Burger King now claims to accept Bitcoin as payment for its online orders and deliveries, but this is not the first time Burger King has warmed up to Bitcoin as a form of payment. The company, headquartered in Florida in the United States, had its Russian branch announce in 2017 that it would start accepting Bitcoin payments, but it ultimately did not take off. The global fast-food retailer reports an annual revenue of about $20 billion and serves about 11 million customers around the world. If all its outlets move to accept Bitcoin as payment, cryptocurrency adoption would inevitably spread.
Spend crypto at Starbucks and other places
For crypto payments to gain traction, merchants need to implement systems that enable swift and easy cryptocurrency spending. Starbucks is one of the companies taking advantage of this concept through Flexa, a U.S.-based payment startup that is helping the cafe giant, as well as dozens of other companies, accept cryptocurrency payments. The company developed an app called Spedn that enables crypto holders to make purchases with merchants like Starbucks. The company’s CEO believes that by making cryptocurrencies spendable in the mainstream, commerce will realize the full benefit of blockchain technology all over the world. Crypto enthusiasts in Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto might already be familiar with Coupa Cafe for other reasons apart from its coffee and food. Through its partnership with a Facebook software developer, Coupa Cafe has been accepting Bitcoin as payment since 2013. Reports show that the cafe received a steady stream of Bitcoin revenue as soon as they started implementing crypto payments — a clear sign of how eager its customers were to pay in Bitcoin. Coupa Cafe is among the few physical businesses in Palo Alto that accept Bitcoin at the moment. The cafe owners believe that their collaboration with the Facebook software engineer will create more traction in terms of Bitcoin adoption.
Buy food with crypto
With over 50,000 takeaway restaurants listed on its United Kingdom-based site, OrderTakeaways is one of the surest ways to get a pizza paid for with crypto delivered to your doorstep. The company has been accepting Bitcoin payments for online takeout orders since 2018. And other similar services include the Korean platform Shuttledelivery as well as German-based service Lieferando and its subsidiaries in several other countries. Apart from online orders, crypto can also be spent at a regular Subway restaurants. As early as 2013, several Subway branches started accepting Bitcoin as payment. Now, for a fraction of a Bitcoin, a Subway sandwich can be purchased at select restaurants.
Pay with Bitcoin to tour space
Besides buying food and inexpensive, day-to-day items with crypto, a trip to space can now be bought with Bitcoin. That’s right. Richard Branson’s space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, started accepting Bitcoin as payment as far back as 2013. Although Branson’s predicted date for the first commercial flight has been pushed back several times, the company achieved its first suborbital space flight last year. Perhaps soon, people will be able to tour the moon on crypto’s dime.
Buy jewelry with Bitcoin
A brick-and-mortar American jewelry company called Reeds Jewelers accepts Bitcoin for both its physical and online stores. What’s more, if a purchase is worth more than $25,000, the company provides free armored delivery for safety. Other jewelry companies accepting Bitcoin include Blue Nile Jewelry, Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry and Coaex Jewelry, to name a few. A big advantage of purchasing large ticket items — like a diamond — with crypto is that it makes moving around large amounts of money cheap and effortless. Reports show that more Silicon Valley investors are buying jewelry with Bitcoin. Last year, Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry reported a 20% growth in crypto transactions, leading to a boost in the company’s sales. The company has been accepting Bitcoin since 2014.
Send and redeem gift cards with Bitcoin
Gyft, a digital platform that allows users to buy, send and redeem gift cards, was one of the first merchants enabling cryptocurrency adoption to gain traction in the real world. The mobile gift card app allows Bitcoin to be used to purchase gift cards from several retailers, some of which include Burger King, Subway, Amazon and Starbucks. The company has also partnered with popular crypto exchange Coinbase to enable users to buy gift cards from their Coinbase wallets.
Travel and pay in Bitcoin
If a traveler only has Bitcoin at their disposal, the following merchants will gladly offer services in exchange for it. TravelbyBit, a flight and hotel booking service, accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Binance Coin and Litecoin (LTC) as payment. With a network of over 300 crypto-friendly merchants, the platform is one of the biggest supporters of crypto adoption. TravelbyBit can also alert you to upcoming blockchain events in order to interact with other crypto enthusiasts from around the globe. Other platforms to book flights with crypto include Destinia, CheapBizClass, CheapAir, AirBaltic, Bitcoin.Travel and ABitSky, among others.
Use crypto to book a five-star hotel in Zurich
If ever one finds themselves traveling to Zurich Switzerland, either BTC or Ether (ETH) can be used to pay for a stay in a five-star hotel in Zurich. In May 2019, five-star hotel and spa Dodler Grand announced that it will start accepting Bitcoin and Ether as payment. The hotel has partnered with a fintech firm Inacta as well as Bity (a Swiss-based crypto exchange) to facilitate the payment and conversion of crypto to fiat money. The hotel boasts an amazing view of the Swiss landscape among other enticing amenities that come with a five-star hotel.
Pay for electronics and more with crypto
For all the gadget lovers, there are a bunch of platforms that allow electronic purchases with cryptocurrency. Newegg, for instance, is an electronic retail giant that uses BitPay to process payments made with digital currencies. Even though one cannot get refunds for Bitcoin purchases, Newegg has a good reputation for quality items. Plus, the company boasts its being among the first merchants to support cryptocurrency adoption. Other platforms for gadget junkies include Eyeboot (a platform that sells crypto mining rigs in exchange for crypto), Microsoft, FastTech and Alza (a U.K.-based online store that sells phones and beauty products).
An ever-expanding list
It seems clear that more retailers are warming up to the idea of accepting cryptocurrencies. There is still a long way to go before full adoption can be achieved, but many companies have nevertheless benefited from being early adopters. Despite the volatile price movements of cryptocurrencies, all evidence points to a future cashless society that uses digital currencies, and crypto is leading the way.
Introduction: Greetings, cryptax! Tax season is upon us, and in the next couple of months, taxpayers across the US will be filing their 2017 tax returns. As a tax professional, an Enrolled Agent, and a cryptocurrency investor and enthusiast, I wanted to write up a brief guide on how your investments in cryptocurrencies are taxed in the US.
1. Are cryptocurrency realized gains taxable? Yes. The IRS treats virtual currency (such as cryptocurrency) as property. That means if you sell BTC, ETH, or any other cryptocurrency that has appreciated in value, you have realized a capital gain and must pay taxes on this income. If you held the position for one year or less, it is a short-term capital gain which is taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. If you held the position for more than one year, it is a long-term capital gain which is taxed at your long-term capital gains tax rate. In most cases, this is 15%, but could also be 0% or 20% depending on your specific ordinary income tax bracket.
2. If I sell my BTC for USD on Coinbase but do not transfer the USD from Coinbase to my bank account, am I still taxed? Yes. The only thing that matters is that you sold the BTC, which creates a taxable transaction. Whether you transfer the USD to your bank account or not does not matter.
3. If I use my BTC to buy another cryptocurrency (XMR for example), is this a taxable transaction? Most likely yes. See #4 below for a more detailed explanation. If assuming crypto to crypto trades are not able to be like-kind exchanged, then continue on to the next paragraph here. This is actually two different transactions. The first transaction is selling your BTC for USD. The second transaction is buying the XMR with your USD. You must manually calculate these amounts (or use a website such as bitcoin.tax or software to calculate it for you). For example, I buy 1 BTC for $8,000 on Coinbase. Later on, the price of 1 BTC rises to $9,000. I transfer that 1 BTC to Bittrex and use it to buy 38 XMR. I have to report a capital gain of $1,000 because of this transaction. My total cost basis for the 38 XMR I purchased is $9,000.
5. How do I calculate the realized capital gain or loss on the sale of my cryptocurrency? The realized gain or loss is your total proceeds from the sale minus what you purchased those positions for (your cost basis). For example, you bought 1 BTC for $3,000 in June of 2017. In December of 2017, you sold that 1 BTC for $18,000. Your realized gain would be $18,000 - $3,000 = $15,000. Since you held it for one year or less, the $15,000 would be a short-term capital gain taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.
6. Which BTC's cost basis do I use if I have multiple purchases? The cost basis reporting method is up to you. For example, I buy my first BTC at $3,000, a second BTC at $5,300, and a third BTC at $4,000. Later on, I sell one BTC for $8,000. I can use: FIFO (first in first out) - cost basis would the first BTC, $3,000, which would result in a gain of $5,000. LIFO (last in first out) - cost basis would be the third BTC, $4,000, which would result in a gain of $4,000. Average cost - cost basis would be the average of the three BTC, $4,100, which would result in a gain of $3,900. Specific identification - I can choose which coin's cost basis to use. For example, I can choose the second BTC's cost basis, $5,300, which would result in the lowest capital gains possible of $2,700. The IRS has not given any guidance on cost basis accounting methods for cryptocurrency, but I am taking the position that any method can be used, and that you can change your method at any time as you please (e.g. FIFO for one year, LIFO for another. Or, FIFO for the sale of a specific lot, then LIFO for the sale of another lot on the same day).
7. If I end up with a net capital loss, can I claim this on my tax return? Capital gains and capital losses are netted on your tax return. If the net result of this is a capital loss, you may offset it against ordinary income on your tax return, but only at a maximum of $3,000 per year. The remaining losses are carried forward until you use them up.
9. If I mine BTC or any other cryptocurrency, is this taxable? Yes. IRS Notice 2014-21 states that mining cryptocurrency is taxable. For example, if you mined $8,000 worth of BTC in 2017, you must report $8,000 of ordinary income on your 2017 tax return. For many taxpayers, this will be reported on your Schedule C, and you will most likely owe self-employment taxes on this income as well. The $8,000 becomes the cost basis in your BTC position.
10. How do I calculate income for the cryptocurrency I mined? This is the approach I would take. Say I mined 0.01 BTC on December 31, 2017. I would look up the daily historical prices for BTC and average the high and low prices for BTC on December 31, 2017, which is ($14,377.40 + $12,755.60) / 2 = $13,566.50. I would report $13,566.50 * 0.01 = $135.67 of income on my tax return. This would also be the cost basis of the 0.01 BTC I mined.
11. Can I deduct mining expenses on my tax return? If you are reporting the income from mining on Schedule C, then you can deduct expenses on Schedule C as well. You can deduct the portion of your electricity costs allocated to mining, and then you depreciate the cost of your mining rig over time (probably over five years). Section 179 also allows for the full deduction of the cost of certain equipment in year 1, so you could choose to do that if you wanted to instead.
12. If I receive BTC or other cryptocurrency as a payment for my business, is this taxable? Yes. Similar to mining, your income would be what the value of the coins you received was. This would also be your cost basis in the coins.
13. If I received Bitcoin Cash as a result of the hard fork on August 1, 2017, is this taxable? Most likely yes. For example, if you owned 1 Bitcoin and received 1 Bitcoin Cash on August 1, 2017 as a result of the hard fork, your income would be the value of 1 Bitcoin Cash on that date. Bitcoin.tax uses a value of $277. This value would also be your cost basis in the position. Any other hard forks would probably be treated similarly. Airdrops may be treated similarly as well, in the IRS' view. Here are a couple more good articles about reporting the Bitcoin Cash fork as taxable ordinary income. The second one goes into depth and cites a US Supreme Court decision as precedent: one, two
14. If I use BTC or other cryptocurrency to purchase goods or services, is this a taxable transaction? Yes. It would be treated as selling your cryptocurrency for USD, and then using that USD to purchase those goods or services. This is because the IRS treats cryptocurrency as property and not currency.
15. Are cryptocurrencies subject to the wash sale rule? Probably not. Section 1091 only applies to stock or securities. Cryptocurrencies are not classified as stocks or securities. Therefore, you could sell your BTC at a loss, repurchase it immediately, and still realize this loss on your tax return, whereas you cannot do the same with a stock. Please see this link for more information.
16. What if I hold cryptocurrency on an exchange based outside of the US? There are two separate foreign account reporting requirements: FBAR and FATCA. A FBAR must be filed if you held more than $10,000 on an exchange based outside of the US at any point during the tax year. A Form 8938 (FATCA) must be filed if you held more than $75,000 on an exchange based outside of the US at any point during the tax year, or more than $50,000 on the last day of the tax year. The penalties are severe for not filing these two forms if you are required to. Please see the second half of this post for more information on foreign account reporting.
17. What are the tax implications of gifting cryptocurrency? Small gifts of cryptocurrency do not have a tax implication for the gift giver or for the recipient. The recipient would retain the gift giver's old cost basis, so it could be a good idea for the gift giver to provide records of the original cost basis to the recipient as well (or else the recipient would have to assume a cost basis of $0 if the recipient ever sells the cryptocurrency). Large gifts of cryptocurrency could start having gift and estate tax implications on the giver if the value exceeds more than $14,000 (in 2017) or $15,000 (in 2018) per year per recipient. Here's a good article on Investopedia on this issue. An important exception applies if the gift giver gives cryptocurrency that has a cost basis that is higher than the market value at the time of the gift. Please see the middle of this post for more information on that.
19. Are there any websites that you recommend in helping me with all of this? Yes - I have used bitcoin.tax and highly recommend it. You can import directly from an exchange to the website using API, and/or export a .csv/excel file from the exchange and import it into the website. The exchanges I successfully imported from were Coinbase, GDAX, Bittrex, and Binance. The result is a .csv or other file that you can import into your tax software. I have also heard good things about cointracking.info but have not personally used it myself.
20. If I move my BTC from one exchange to another, or into a hard wallet, is this a taxable event? No - you are not selling anything, so no gains are realized.
21. Where do I report cryptocurrency sales on my tax return? The summary of your sales would reported on Schedule D on line 3 and/or line 10 depending on short-term or long-term. Supplemental Form 8949 must also be included with Box C or Box F checked depending on short-term or long-term. Form 8949 is where you must list each individual sale.
22. If coins become lost or inaccessible (e.g. lost or forgotten passphrase or thrown away hard drive), can I claim that as a loss? What about coins that have gotten stolen? What about losing money in investment or ICO scams (e.g. Bitconnect or Confido)? These are really tricky questions. Unfortunately, the potential to claim such a loss against ordinary income is very low, especially with the new tax law. At the very least, capital losses can be claimed, but the deduction is capped at $3,000 per year against ordinary income with the rest carrying forward indefinitely. The new tax law changed the casualty and theft loss to only apply to presidential disaster areas, so at least in the case of a loss passphrase, I think the answer is no for 2018 and going forward. For 2017, the answer is possibly yes. Here is an article on the subject if you are interested in reading more.
23. Taxation is theft! Sorry, I can't help you there.
That is the summary I have for now. There have been a lot of excellent cryptocurrency tax guides on reddit, such as this one and this one, but I wanted to post my guide on cryptax which hopefully answers some of the questions you all may have about US taxation of cryptocurrencies. Please let me know if you have any more questions, and I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. Thank you! Regarding edits: I may make many edits to my post after I originally post it. Please refresh to see the latest edits to my guide. Thank you.
Disclaimer: The information contained within this post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining tax, accounting, or financial advice from a professional. Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this post is not intended to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under U.S. federal tax law. Presentation of the information via the Internet is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an advisor-client relationship. Internet users are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a tax professional.
Atomic Swaps: Changelly Vs Shapeshift Vs Changenow Vs Fairlay Shift Exchange.
Centralized Crypto Exchanges are on the verge of elimination largely due to the evolution of Instant/Atomic swaps in the crypto space. If you find large, centralized crypto exchanges awkward, perplexing or frustrating to use, then you are not alone. Although centralized crypto exchanges provide a wide variety of supported digital currencies, they are often vulnerable to service interruptions caused by large transaction volumes, technical problems, and cyber-attacks. Recently, almost $30 million was lost in the Bithumb Exchange hack. Additionally, in July this year, Binance, a giant global crypto exchange, put off trading for some hours because of “atypical trading” activity they considered suspicious. Lastly, even if everything is working well, there is the user experience to ponder about. Centralized crypto exchanges naturally demand clients to provide their detailed personal information, not forgetting headshots and photos of delicate documents like Driving Licenses and Passports to conform to the KYC/AML requirements. For those longing to enjoy their rights to privacy on these services, kindly keep off. Such kind of awkward, perplexing and frustrating experiences are thought to make some traders and investors pull out of the crypto world. Because of that, instant exchanges like Changelly, Shapeshift, Changenow and the Fairlay Shift were invented. Instead of storing your crypto assets, these instant exchanges link directly your hardware or software wallet and enables you to swap one digital currency for another without taking them out of your wallet first. This is more safe, private and convenient. Now, let us compare the features and supported coins of these instant exchanges. Shapeshift It is an inventive method of swapping cryptocurrencies. Shapeshift allows users to do the whole exchange within 10 seconds without the need of setting up an account. You basically pick the currency you want to exchange and the cryptocurrency you want to receive. The main feature of Shapeshift is that it has been developed basically to be incorporated into other services via API. This means that, from the viewpoint of an average customer, it is not directly a crypto exchange, rather an invention that is now being incorporated to various wallets enabling a user to create an account in various cryptocurrencies. It is good to note that Shapeshift has its flaws/limits too. First, it is advisable not surpass the amount of the Deposit limit. Else, the sent amount will be declined and sent back to the address from which they were sent. Small deposits of less than $0.10 might also be rejected and refunded minus any charge. Besides, for every cryptocurrency, Shapeshift has a specified upper limit, which is required to avoid a reserve balance of that coin. Changelly Changelly is a common exchange founded in 2013 in Prague by the same founders who started MinerGate mining pool. The site has over one million customers and it has a simple user interface and provides a convenient way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The “slippery” side of this platform is that the amount available when you make a transaction request in the “You Get” form may contrast from the actual sum that you will finally receive. Apart from digital currencies, Changelly also facilitates local currency exchange using Visa or MasterCard. Changelly charges a constant transaction fee of 0.5%. However, it is good to point out that the rate for swapping digital currencies with local currencies is very high due to the need for third-party services for these transactions. Fairlay Shift Exchange This platform is hosted by Fairlay.com, an open Bitcoin (BTC) Prediction Market. One of the key features of the Fairlay Shift service is that they facilitate swaps from and to BTC through ETH, DASH, LTC, and BCH. Currently, Fairlay doesn’t charge any fee for using the Shift Exchange service, except for the transaction charges paid to be blockchain and the spread between ask and bid orders, which is normally between 0.1 – 0.5%. This makes the Shift Exchange the cheapest service provider compared to other exchange services. The Fairlay Shift Exchange transaction charges have been labelled to be as low as the network allows and MUCH lower than any other exchange and highly competitive. Another stronghold of this exchange service is that, unlike Changelly and Shapeshift, the exact minimum and maximum amounts are shown transparently on the Status Deposit page. The site also has the lowest lower limits, for instance, you can swap 0.00003 DASH. How the Shift Exchange Precise Mode Works All orders are executed out in quick mode by default. This is the fastest option the company can provide. The amount deposited will be instantly be converted at the real-time market rate and directly deposited in the receiver address. The entire process takes less than a second once the deposited amount arrives and are established, which may take a bit longer. Precise Mode functions differently from this and will certify that the EXACT amount one desires to obtain is swapped. This is important especially in cases that demand exact bills and orders, where a customer wants to ensure only the required amount is exchanged and sent. Changenow Changenow is another new, but very successful exchange that seeks to simplify the exchange of cryptocurrencies as much as possible. It was launched in September 2017 and made a giant leap with the release of Bitcoin Gold (November 12th, 2017), and became the first exchange to work with this cryptocurrency. This led to a turnover of $1 million in just one day. Changenow has a very simple interface which even a child can understand. All you have to do is specify the amount and the coin you want to send, as well as the coin you want to receive. Next, specify the wallet where you want to receive the money and pay the order. Everything happens automatically, and before confirming the application, you can immediately see how much the commission will be and how much money you get as a result. The commission is stable – 0.5% regardless of the volume or load of the system. We should also note the speed of the transactions –Changenow states that usually a transaction is performed within 5-15 minutes. Conclusion The instant swap services are a step in the right direction but cutting out the third-party middlemen altogether is the ultimate goal. The original concept was a trustless transaction between two people without a custodian holding the funds in between. That was the revelation. And then what did we do? We went straight back to the traditional banking model where we trust people we don't know to look after our money for us. Then the exchanges lost that money, just like the banks do. Stupid human nature, ever repeating the mistakes of the past. So at least the Fairlay Shift, Changelly, Shapeshift, and Changenow is an improvement on that. Considering the length of processing a transaction and the costs of the services, I strongly recommend people to try out the Fairlay Shift Exchange. The service is super-fast, and the transaction costs are zero. Try it out here and thank me later.
Recurring Revenue Model - you have a unique URL affiliate link, and when you send it to people their account is linked to yours, and you get a percentage of whatever they spend or trade during their time. Sometimes this can be time limited (for 30 days), but typically goes for the life of the person you refer. Typically referral fees are taken from the company, so the company might advertise as 30% of Company's revenue, or it may say 1% of money spent on the platform.
Initial payout Model - this is the most popular and simplest model for paying affiliates. A simple pay per sign up, typically between $5 and $15 per sign up you get. However, rarely will you get paid just for the signup, instead the new user must complete some "engaging action" on the website - a purchase, a trade, or a post.
Multi-tiered Revenue Model - this is an extrapolated model from the recurring revenue model, where there are multiple tiers, or levels, so you get paid for the people who get referred by the people you refer. Typically it's a smaller % for the indirect tier, since you didn't do any work, but it does incentivize people to find the power players and refer them to the website.
Below are the Top 10 Affiliate Programs to Earn Cryptocurrency that we've found. Granted there are many affiliate programs out there, but if you're looking to start a blog, Youtube channel, or other content idea to get paid through affiliate links, check these out first. LocalBitcoins https://localbitcoins.com/ https://preview.redd.it/0zy08bsxjjx31.png?width=504&format=png&auto=webp&s=30b0b2f9c140d681a3dd9330f7b44d1d433dbe14 LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer trading site for bitcoin to 100's of other currencies. A fantastic option to get access to bitcoin. LocalBitcoins offers a 20% commission for your affiliates directly to your Local Bitcoins wallet. If you refer both a buyer and seller, you will get a commission from both referrals or 40% of the total transaction. Payouts will be paid daily to your LocalBitcoins wallet for one (1) year from user's registration. Redeeem https://www.redeeem.com/ https://preview.redd.it/26jy3yj4kjx31.png?width=508&format=png&auto=webp&s=30d1d56ceba2ea9cc405af6729cce46248d1f5ad Founded in 2018, Redeeem is a fast, safe and easy way to buy and sell gift cards using cryptocurrencies. The goal is to accelerate the adoption of Bitcoin into the global economy and showcase its endless potential. For every person that signs up with your affiliate link you earn 1% of their total crypto trade volume, paid nightly in bitcoin. This has no expiration nor limits so you continue to earn passively as long as your old and new affiliates trade. Abra https://www.abra.com/ Founded in 2014 by Bill Barhydt, serial entrepreneur and global mobile-banking veteran, our team is based in Silicon Valley and committed to forever changing how the world moves money. Abra's Affiliate Program lets you offer a $25 joining bonus to your referrals, and earn $25 for each affiliate that will sign up using your Referral Link. For affiliates and new users to receive their $25, they must either 1) Deposit a minimum of $5 to their Abra wallet via a US bank account or eligible American Express card; Or 2) Deposit crypto and exchange it to other assets EXCEPT for BTC, BCH, ETH or LTC. This option will allow the referrer and referred to receive 0.75% of the exchange total, up to $25. The referred user must also have accrued a minimum of $5 in rewards to receive the payment. Binance https://www.binance.com/en https://preview.redd.it/41719u90ljx31.png?width=1284&format=png&auto=webp&s=beda5720d18f614ed2621b36ce32d6fd9e1fb025 Binance is a global cryptocurrency exchange that provides a platform for trading more than 100 cryptocurrencies. Since early 2018, Binance is considered as the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of trading volume. Inviters and referrals can share up to 40% referral commissions from their trading fees under Binance's upgraded Referral Program. Inviters can choose to share a portion of the commissions received of the friends they invite and set the sharing rate as 0%, 5% or 10% (for inviters with daily average BNB of less than 500, and base referral rate is 20%). For inviters that have a daily average BNB of more than 500, their base referral rate is bumped up to 40% and have the option to share 15% or 20% with their referrals. All referral commissions (both those received by inviters and those shared with their invited friends) are calculated in real-time and transferred to the respective Binance accounts every hour from 12:00 AM until 1:00 AM (UTC) of the next day. CEX.IO https://cex.io/ https://preview.redd.it/tu065lucljx31.png?width=1115&format=png&auto=webp&s=ae09a725648954d62c055a3090fb61b56a2d189c Established in 2013 as the first cloud mining provider, CEX.IO has become a multi-functional cryptocurrency exchange, trusted by over a million users. CEX.IO offers cross-platform trading via website, mobile app, WebSocket and REST API, providing access to high liquidity orderbook for top currency pairs on the market. Current Affiliate program offers a 30% commission on the fee of exchange transactions of every new user that signs up with your Referral link. Changelly https://changelly.com/ https://preview.redd.it/og6x94thljx31.png?width=1208&format=png&auto=webp&s=c462b8dd39c33026ab3f33f42c6369e60a23bff9 Changelly is a non-custodial instant cryptocurrency exchange. They act as an intermediary between crypto exchanges and users, offering access to 130+ cryptocurrencies. The company mission is making exchange process effortless for everyone who wants to invest in cryptocurrency. Operating since 2015, the platform and its mobile app attract over a million visitors monthly who enjoy high limits, fast transactions, and 24/7 live support. Loyal customers get a special feature in the Affiliate Program. Customers who share their affiliate link or add the Changelly widget can get 50% profit from every transaction made by new users that signed up via your referral link. The link is permanent, and the reward is given in bitcoin equivalent. YouHodler https://www.youhodler.com/ https://preview.redd.it/5re0e4zxljx31.png?width=980&format=png&auto=webp&s=a9e260730dbd4fa50069875cd9fc8c612c468499 YouHodler is a Blockchain-based Financial Ecosystem focused on cryptocurrency-backed lending with fiat loans. YouHodler lending platform provides USD and/or EUR loans, secured by collateral in BTC, ETH, XRP, and other popular cryptocurrencies. The YouHodler Referral Program allows you to earn $25 with each successfully activated account from your referral link and promo code. Everyone that follows your link and activates their account (funding their account and using at least one product such as Turbocharge or conversion) also gets $25 instantly. Aside from the instant reward, you can also receive 50% in average of YouHodler's revenue from the next 10 products your invitee gets. Cryptohopper https://www.cryptohopper.com/ https://preview.redd.it/clq699w4mjx31.png?width=1189&format=png&auto=webp&s=b194202d7997a07391abf28f7aa2ba4946c30d0c Cryptohopper was started by two brothers. After hearing about the opportunities of cryptocurrencies for the first time, they were hooked. One of them was successful as a daytrader. The other brother, a brilliant web developer, didn't have the funds to invest. This got him thinking, what if there was a way to let a bot trade for you. It would work 24/7, trading as many coins as you wanted it to, constantly monitoring the market. You can earn a minimum of $1.90 a month for each user who signs up for an Explorer Hopper, $4.90 for each Adventure Hopper referral and $9.90 for each Hero! To maximize your earnings, each referral will also earn you up to 15% over each of their payments, including; signals, strategies and marketplace items. It all counts. Trezor https://trezor.io/ https://preview.redd.it/boazp1gamjx31.png?width=1044&format=png&auto=webp&s=97a64a99b3233f28b25e3226c09ad19823c4b465 Trezor is a Bitcoin hardware wallet and launched in August 2014. It was the first Bitcoin hardware wallet, offering secure cold storage plus the ability to spend with the convenience of a hot wallet. You will earn 12% - 15% referral commission for each sale. (net sale amount, excluding VAT and shipping). Monthly payouts via wire transfer or Bitcoin. Wire Transfer (USD, EUR and CZK) or Bitcoin. Coinhouse https://www.coinhouse.com/ https://preview.redd.it/w3bb6fggmjx31.png?width=1136&format=png&auto=webp&s=a69f7cc478dbcb1b46e858c7c0a10b36d38cddf1 Founded in 2014 in Paris, Coinhouse is a pioneer in cryptoassets investments. Both an online platform and a brick-and-mortar location, Coinhouse is the trusted partner for individuals and qualified investors looking to analyse, acquire, sell, and securely store cryptoassets. Earn 30% commission on your clients’ transactions for 1 year when they sign up using your unique and personalized tracking link. Get paid directly in Bitcoin to optimize your income.
https://preview.redd.it/hixbz9f3lxm31.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=43896de84a3693d840c84057c0314af71718f0a3 What is Zcoin? Zcoin, also referred to as XZC or Zerocoin, is an open source decentralized cryptocurrency that provides privacy and anonymity for its users when making transactions. To achieve its privacy and anonymity, Zcoin uses zero-knowledge proofs via the Zerocoin protocol, which is at this moment in time one of the most cited cryptography papers. According to Wikipedia, in cryptography, a zero-knowledge proof or zero-knowledge protocol is a method in which one party proves to another party (the verifier) that a given statement is actually true. In other words, in a transaction with Bitcoin or Ethereum or something similar, your transaction history is always linked to your coins by default, leaving you vulnerable. All it takes is one link to your personal information or IP to find out the origin of the coins. However, when you trade with Zcoin’s Zercoin feature, your transaction history is not linked to the actual coins. Only the receiver and sender know that the funds have actually been exchanged.
How Does Zcoin Work?
Zcoin works on the Zerocoin protocol by enforcing Zero-knowledge proofs. Here are the components of Zcoin to explain how it works. Mint: When sending a private transaction with Zcoin, all you need to do is select the number of coins you want to mint. Post that your normal Zcoin balance would reduce automatically and you will be credited with new coins and no transaction history. In essence, your old coins are burned cryptographically, which prevents anyone else from using them again and being directed to your transaction history. You get credited with new coins with no history, while the total supply is maintained. For now, you can only mint in denominations of 1, 10, 25, 50 and 100. If you choose ‘100’ coins to be minted, for instance, you will instantly be credited with 100 new Zcoins with no history attached to them.
Spend: When you want to make a private transaction, you will be required to use these ‘100’ newly minted coins. From this pool of funds, you can now send any amount in any denomination to anyone anonymously because no history is attached to it.
Repeat: You can ‘mint’ and ‘send’ Zcoins any number of times at anytime with your privacy intact.
Zcoin seeks to improve things that Bitcoin hasn’t been able to so far, some of which include fungibility, privacy and miner’s centralization. Users of Zcoin can enjoy full fungibility and privacy along with demolishing miner’s centralization by implementing a better proof of work algorithm called MTP. Total Zcoin supply Only 21 million units of Zcoin will ever be produced. Currently, there are about 3.4 million units in circulation, with the rest yet to be mined. But the total supply has increased by 388450 XZC units after a Zcoin code bug, which the team refused to roll back due to economic reasons, which is why the total supply stands at approximately 21.4 million. Every 10 minutes, a Zcoin block is mined and 50 coins are generated, making 72,000 Zcoins per day. Market cap of Zcoin According to CoinMarketCap, the total circulating supply of Zcoin is 5,757,841 XZC and the current unit price is $9.6. That makes the market cap approximately $55 million*.* https://preview.redd.it/qw2igvupoxm31.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=cfaa195d5d75ba8f20e5894d0351b2eabf76825a
How To Buy Zcoin Cryptocurrency
If you are looking to get some Zcoin, here is a list of resources where it can be bought from.
Atomars – Supported pairs are XZC/BTC, XZC/ETH, XZC/USDT
Binance - Supported pairs are XZC/BTC, XZC/ETH, XZC/BNB
Note: At the moment, buying XZC in fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, or GBP is quite difficult. https://preview.redd.it/rrwao97woxm31.png?width=1460&format=png&auto=webp&s=442bf152f86a63300c5c4a029bb07369a69e6f70 Zcash: Zcash is a decentralized and open-source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that provides strong privacy protections. It was created as a fork of Bitcoin and, like bitcoin, it also has a hard limit of 21 million coins. Unlike bitcoin, however, Zcash offers total privacy for its users maintaining the absolute anonymity behind each transaction along with the parties and the amounts involved in it. PIVX: PIVX, which stands for Private Instant Verified Transaction, is an open-source, decentralized form of digital online money that uses blockchain technology. This makes it easy to transfer all around the world in an instant with low transaction fees with market leading security & privacy. PIVX focuses on privacy, security, anonymity, and instant transactions. Monero: Monero is a fast, private, secure and untraceable digital currency system that uses a special kind of cryptography to keep all its transactions 100% unlinkable and untraceable. With Monero, you are your own bank. You can spend safely, knowing that others cannot see your balances or track your activity. Some Zcoin misconceptions There are some misconceptions regarding Zcoin:
Some believe that, since Zcoin has a trusted setup that allows indefinite minting of coins, it is not safe. This is untrue. Of course, to start with they had to use a trusted setup because they have an auditable total coin supply that prevents any form of cheating. This downside however, is being taken care of by removing this trusted setup in the near future and when that happens, Zcoin will be one of the serious coins to count on for privacy.
Zcoin has been considered as Zcash’s fork but that is also not true because Zcash is based on the Zerocash protocol whereas Zcoin was started from scratch by applying Zerocoin tech.
Now that some of the Zcoin’s misconceptions have been cleared, here’s a look into its future.
Zcoin’s Future & Roadmap
Zcoin’s future is quite promising and worth watching based on these interesting milestones on their roadmap:
Zcoin is the first coin to implement MTP proof of work, which makes it possible for general masses to mine Zcoin with GPUs and CPUs. MTP doesn’t allow costly ASIC-like miners to mine XZC coins.
Zcoin is also implementing Znodes to make their cryptocurrency more decentralized and anonymous. These Znodes will be like masternodes and facilitate anonymous transactions as making an anonymous transaction single-handedly is quite computational.
Znodes will be incentivized by reducing some portion of the founder’s reward. Also, the surplus funds that get generated from the founder’s reward reduction would be used for hiring new developers and increased marketing efforts.
Another agenda on their roadmap is to bring inbuilt Tor or some IP obfuscation mechanism that will make it completely anonymous.
Apart from these, some innovative and exciting things like sigma protocol, decentralized anonymous voting and Zcoin Labs are on their roadmap, making this project worth checking out.
Last but not least, its recent price is a good indicator of its healthy market sentiment and shows that there are people who understand this project’s worth. Just to put things into perspective – a unit of Zcoin was priced $2 in March 2017 and now it is $37*.*
Zcoin Team & Progress
Zerocoin is a cryptocurrency proposed by professor Matthew D. Green, a professor of Johns Hopkins University, and graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman. It was proposed as an extension to the Bitcoin protocol that would add true cryptographic anonymity to Bitcoin transactions. Zerocoin was first implemented into a fully functional cryptocurrency and released to the public by Poramin Insom, the lead developer, as Zcoin in September 2016. Some of the notable dev members of the team are listed below. Poramin Insom Founder and Core Developer Poramin Insom created what was the world's 4th most valuable cryptocurrency in February 2014. He is also the world's first person to implement stealth addresses in QT-Wallets, improving cryptocurrency anonymity. He earned a master’s degree in Information Security from Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote a paper on a proposed practical implementation of the Zerocoin protocol. Alexander N. Developer Alexander N. aka Aizensou is a full-stack developer who has experience in many programming languages (C++, C#, Python, Perl, Java etc.) and has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since 2013. He has a broad development portfolio from low level APIs in Python and C++ to Android native applications in Java. In addition to his involvement in cryptocurrencies, Alexander was doing his P.h.D. in machine learning at a German university from 2012 to 2016. Saran Siriphantnon Developer Saran Siriphantnon is the CTO of Satang.co/Satoshift, a fintech company focusing on creating an open financial system for Southeast Asia. He served as President of the Computer System Administrator Group at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. Tadhg Riordan Solidity Developer Tadhg Riordan is a 24 year old Software Developer from Wexford, Ireland. He recently completed his MSc from Trinity College Dublin, where he worked with Blockchain privacy mechanisms, focusing particularly on Zero-Knowledge Proofs and the Ethereum platform. He is a strong advocate for the adoption of cryptocurrency and for complete financial privacy. Apart from these, their team comprises of other developers, community managers, support personnel and advisors who maintain the required balance.
Aram Jivanyan (Cryptography Advisor): Co-Founder at Skycryptor & KMSchai Torphop Korgtadam (It Security Consultant): Senior Vice President, Head Of Internal Audit Strategy, Innovation and Decision Science at United Overseas Bank Limited Alexander N. aka Aizensou (Advisor)
Unique/Key Features Against Its Competitors:
Anonymous transactions. The project establishes a notably higher level of anonymity and seeks to bypass current analysis techniques which governments use to reveal the identity of users.
Not subject to transaction graph analysis. Zcoin has an anonymity set that encompasses all minted coins in a particular RSA accumulator that can scale to many thousands.
Innovative process. Tokens are burned cryptographically and replaced with new coins without a transaction history. This actively prevents anyone else from using the tokens again and stops the public from being directed to a user's transaction history.
Transparency focused. Zcoin's main advantage is its auditable money supply.
Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
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