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Showing results for tags 'blockchain'.

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  1. The world of gambling and online casinos has long been at the forefront of adapting to new technology as it develops. Crypto gambling and the blockchain were no different. One of the largest industries that run on the blockchain is NFTs. Creating, selling, and purchasing NFTs has become all the rage, but could they work for casino games? NFTS (non-fungible tokens) are images, music, in-game items and artwork that consist of digital data stored in a blockchain. These digital assets can be sold and traded by the owner for large sums of cash. Due to their massive popularity (and rather steep pricing,) the chance to win NFTs while playing an online slot or casino game is something that piques the interest of many gamblers. But how would it work? The Problem with NFT Casino Games The issue faced by software providers attempting to create NFT slots is that the games are simply not sustainable. NFTs are designed to be unique entities owned by a single person and stored on the blockchain. If a popular slot machine at a mainstream casino starts to draw many big winners, the provider would have to release more and more NFTs as payment. This would eventually dilute the value of the NFTs, and the game would become pointless. Currently, online slot providers are attempting to dip their toes into the blockchain pool. They're doing so by mimicking NFT stylings and using well-known NFTs as symbols (such as Paradise Trippies). One of the latest games to hit the Metaverse is Lucky Degens. This game lets players win real NFTs from the Lucky Crypto collection. Players can get their hands on OG Lucky Degen NFTs and any new collections that are set to be released in the future. There are also Free Spins, bonuses, and $LUCKY token crypto up for grabs. The only real issue with this game is that it is not available at mainstream online casinos. This means you'll need to be a true Metaverse-dwelling crypto user to even get a chance to play. Could ZOGI Labs Have the Answer? ZOGI Labs has designed a new game that is all about multi-player fun with the potential to earn crypto – designed for "non-crypto people". In their in-depth white paper, ZOGI Labs outlined how they've created a game that works for every aspect of gameplay and for every type of player. The aim of Legends of Bezogia is to make crypto, the blockchain and DeFi ecosystems as accessible as possible for everyone. Players can sign up for free, craft weapons, fight their foes, and take on a series of quests – all while earning MBLK. Magical Blocks (MBLK) are an ERC20 utility token on the Ethereum network and also act as the in-game currency found while playing Legends of Bezogia. That means real cryptocurrency can be earned and mined while playing an MMORPG in a fun, fantasy world. But how would this work for online casino games? Legends of Bezogia runs on the following core mechanics. Some of these could be adapted to work for online gambling if done correctly. Minting Summoning Renting Staking Exchange Virtual Real Estate Let's look at what the most relevant mechanics could do for Online Slots and casino games. About NFT Slots – Our Hypothesis Considering the way online slots run and the features they tend to offer, we think there are a few of the mechanics mentioned above that could work for online casino games. For instance, the summoning mechanic works on the ability to collect Bezogi (another form of in-game crypto) and use them to summon creatures at will. An online slot could use this feature and instead allow players to collect small amounts of crypto as they play (perhaps for unlocking achievements), and this crypto can then be exchanged for free spins or multipliers. In Legends of Bezogia, exchanges are done at marketplaces and pawn shops. Again, this could easily be adapted to suit the world of online casinos, where marketplaces could be established in order to purchase bonus games or special NFT rewards. Giving players the ability to post a reward they've won while spinning the reels of a slot in exchange for crypto means that players can interact and be a part of a living ecosystem. It also means that players who enjoy completing rewards collections could do so. One main feature of playing Legends of Bezogia is that they aim to keep players rewarded. This should be a standard for online casino games too, especially those on the blockchain. Whether via a special feature, a mini-game, or a game that plays completely differently from the slot being enjoyed, winning crypto should be a constant. Even small prizes such as tiny amounts of Satoshi could keep players engaged for longer. It appears that the only way to make NFT slots work is to reward players in many ways and leave the NFTs as the ultimate jackpot prize. This way, NFTs can be released only as required while also building a community of players who enjoy the game's entire experience, rather than just the main prize.
  2. In the history of mankind, there are those groundbreaking new innovations that spur us on to bigger and better things. These major inventions include harnessing electricity, the telephone, the motorcar, the internet and now the blockchain. Love it or hate it the development of cryptocurrencies on the blockchain has revolutionised how we view digital assets, our thinking around finance and how the world will transact for the foreseeable future. The Types of Cryptocurrencies While we have all heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and other well know crypto coins there is often some confusion when it comes to terms like decentralised cryptos, stable coins and alt coins. Here are some easy introductions to these terms: ✓True/Decentralised Cryptocurrencies When Satoshi Nakamoto first conceptualised Bitcoin his intent was to create a digital currency that would not reside on a single server but was spread across the Blockchain. This would ensure that no single country, corporation, or person could ever own it or control it. Crypto coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and others which follow this decentralised tradition by residing on the Blockchain and do not have a single controlling owner are considered by industry pundits to be “true” cryptos. ✓Alt Coins As the name denotes Alt-Coins are “alternatives to” an existing cryptocurrency. Due to the fact that blockchain and cryptocurrency code is open source, it allows anyone with the appropriate skill level to develop their own coin. Generally, an altcoin improves on one or more aspects of its original code. An example of this is Ethereum which improved on the transactional aspect of Bitcoin, allowing it to process blocks of transactions in two and a half minutes compared to Bitcoin’s much slower ten minutes per block. ✓Stable Coins Stable Coins are the type of crypto token which is the farthest removed from Satoshi’s vision for his invention for three reasons: They reside on a single server or closed series of servers They are owned and operated by single entities Its value is dictated by a fiat currency or precious metal While stable coins exist on the blockchain and offer all of its speed, security and low cost benefits they are simply the digital-only equivalents of our existing country-based currencies. Most governments around the world are in the process of developing stable coin versions of their currencies with the hopes of one day doing away with costly and short-lived paper and metal money. Visit our full guide to stablecoins for more on this interesting spin off of cryptocurrency technology. Why Crypto Gambling Is Popular With the unique way in which the blockchain stores and shares data it is the most hacker-proof system on the planet. Rather than store information in a single central location, which once cracked, gives the would-be thief full access to the data the blockchain splits it into thousands of tiny data packets. These packets of data are then spread across all the connected nodes on the internet and are each individually secured. In addition to this mind-blowing level of security the fact that it is only moving tiny bits of data around means that it can pass large volumes of information at incredibly high speeds. When applied to lightweight products like a casino deposit this means near-instant banking. Finally, the blockchain does not require you to give confirmable information to access and use it other than a personalised username and an email. It is not perfectly anonymous as there is the issue of using your internet connection (which can be addressed by the information we supplied in our guide to using a VPN for cyber security) and that purchasing Bitcoin is done via a crypto exchange like Security, speedy transactions and high levels of anonymity are some of the reasons that more players are making the move to gambling at crypto casinos. The Top 10 Cryptocurrencies To ensure that we do not fall into the trap of thinking about cryptocurrencies in a limited way we looked to CoinMarketCap to see which digital tokens are the most popular outside of our industry. Much to our delight, the online casino industry has adopted cryptos with open arms. The proof of this is that ten of the fifteen highest rated crypto coins are already in wide use by the best crypto casinos. If you are interested in gambling with Bitcoin and other leading cryptos here is a brief overview of the top 10 casino cryptos and an idea of where you can play with them: 1. Bitcoin – First Decentralised Coin As the first truly decentralised cryptocurrency Bitcoin captured the imagination of the world with its mysterious creator and incredible value growth. It not only drew attention to the potential of digital currencies but also the potential of the blockchain which has seen many industries begin to develop new and exciting innovations, tools and products that have changed the world. The first decentralised crypto coin Incredibly valuable digital asset One of the most secure currencies in the world If you would like to try your hand at playing your favourite online slots and tables games with Bitcoin, we recommend visiting Bitcoin Games casino and 22Bet casino. 2. Ethereum – Decentralised/Altcoin Ethereum is only second in terms of industry awareness and usability to Bitcoin. As a Bitcoin altcoin, Ethereum offers users the same safety and security with vastly superior processing times. Ethereum has set itself up as the “everyday driver” of cryptocurrencies processing up to 1 million transactions each day while Bitcoin only processes up to 250,000. Same secure framework as Bitcoin Ability to process up to 1,000,000 transactions per day One of the cheapest cryptos to use Ethereum’s processing power makes it incredibly popular with online casinos that offer digital token gambling. We recommend visiting Green Spin casino and Bitstarz casino to try it out for yourself. 3. Bitcoin Cash – Decentralised/Altcoin Bitcoin Cash is another Bitcoin altcoin, in this case, it was developed in 2017 from a fork of the original crypto. The benefits of Bitcoin Cash lie in its larger block size which means it is faster than BTC while capping its supply which gives it a similar asset value proposition to its progenitor. Follows the same digital asset mentality as Bitcoin Offers superior processing times as the original coin Very low fee structure If you’re looking to gamble with a cryptocurrency that is incredibly like Bitcoin but offers faster transactions, lower costs and a lower price per coin then Bitcoin Cash could be for you. Try it out today at Kosmonaut casino and 1xBit casino. 4. Cardano – Decentralised/Altcoin Cardano is the ledger that supports the independent cryptocurrency ADA. The digital coin is considered one of the leading alt-coins on the market due to its reasonable cost, widespread adoption by online businesses and incredibly cheap processing fees. Still available at a low price Uses a bespoke low-cost fee structure Widespread use by online shops and gambling sites If you are new to cryptos and want to test the waters with a usable and fairly cheap option, then you should consider buying some Cardano. You can play with it online at Fairspin casino and TrueFlip casino. 5. Tether – Stablecoin Tether is a stable coin that has anchored its value to the US dollar while still offering users the stability, processing speed and security of the blockchain. For banks, businesses, and new crypto enthusiasts it offers the benefits of the blockchain without the fear of massive price fluctuations associated with decentralised coins. Steady and predictable pricing Offers the digital security of the blockchain A popular digital currency for e-commerce We recommend trying out the benefits of cryptocurrency gambling by starting with the market stability offered by Tether. It is available at MyStake casino and Rolletto casino. 6. XRP – Decentralised/Altcoin XRP is the cryptocurrency used by products developed by Ripple Labs on the blockchain. The intent of creating XRP was not to launch the next crypto-asset like Bitcoin but to offer the community a network specifically designed to handle high volumes of digital payments Specifically designed to process high transaction volumes XRP is not mined but rather acquired through trading Ranked as one of the top 10 cryptos worldwide Test out the efficiency and processing power of the XRP network for yourself by using it as your deposit and withdrawal mechanism at both Bet Sensation casino and 1xBit casino today. 7. Dogecoin – Decentralised/Altcoin Developed a commentary on the insane prices that crypto-assets were demanding Dogecoin has positioned itself to be the ‘everyman’ cryptocurrency. Built on the Litecoin framework Dogecoin offers fantastic processing and low costs but has openly stated its supply will be unlimited ensuring none of the price spikes associated with limited-supply coins like Bitcoin. A real-life underdog story Unlimited supply manages price volatility Offers all the benefits of Litecoin Take this playful Shiba-token for a walk today by signing up at either 22Bet casino or Green Spin casino today and playing their selection of online slots, table games and arcade games. 8. USD Coin If you are a fan of innovation and new technology but are sceptical of the crazy price fluctuations of some cryptos then USDCoin could be your perfect solution. This stable coin offers all the processing and security benefits of the blockchain while guaranteeing that each USDCoin will always only cost $1.00. Price per coin will always be the equivalent of US$ 1.00 Enjoy all the benefits of the blockchain Built on the trusted and highly trafficked Ethereum framework USDCoin’s stable pricing anchor makes it the perfect cryptocurrency for players looking to move from fiat currency banking to digital banking without risking their bankroll to currency volatility. Play with it at 1XBit casino and Fairspin casino today. 9. Chainlink Chainlink is considered an Ethereum alt-coin. While it offers users all the expected speed, low costs and security of the blockchain it has the added benefit of integrating transactions that are not based on the blockchain. This is allowing people to seamlessly do business using fiat currencies with blockchain companies. Ethereum-based altcoin Seamless off-blockchain transaction processing Offer tamper-proof cross-blockchain smart contracts Test the high speeds, hack-proof security, and low fee structure of this altcoin for yourself by playing at Casino-Z and 1xSlots casino today. 10. Litecoin – Decentralised/Altcoin Litecoin is one of the early Bitcoin altcoins having been launched in 2011. In addition to offering the same anonymity and security options as its source, the developers behind Litecoin have also engineered the Lightning Network for instant global payments for everything from casino deposits to purchasing a coffee. Hack proof peer-to-peer transaction network Lightning network for instant payments Developers of Atomic Swap for cross crypto trading Try your hand at playing video slots, video poker, blackjack and more using Litecoin to deposit and withdraw at Bet Sensation casino and Green Spin casino today. How To Gamble With Cryptocurrencies Now that you are comfortable with what the differences are between the various types of coins, know a little more about the top 10 cryptos for gambling and have some idea of where to play with each of them let's talk about how to deposit and withdraw with cryptos. Despite being a groundbreaking new technology using them in practice is incredibly simple. To begin gambling with digital currencies all you need to do once you’ve joined your preferred crypto casino is follow the simple steps below: ✓How To Deposit with Crypto To make your first deposit at an online casino with cryptocurrency, plus claim the amazing welcome bonuses on offer, follow these simple steps: Step 1: Click on deposit at the top right of the page. Step 2: Select bitcoin, copy the private depositing address, and enter a relevant promo code. Step 3: Send the bitcoin to the private depositing address from your Bitcoin wallet of choice. With the speed and power of the blockchain, your first crypto deposit will be ready and waiting for you in your account within moments. ✓How To Withdraw with Crypto When it comes to cashing out your winnings the process is even more simple than making your first deposit. Follow these easy steps to withdraw your money: Step 1: Click Profile at top right of page, then click withdrawal. Step 2: Find your Bitcoin wallet address. Step 3: Select Bitcoin, enter your wallet address, the amount to be withdrawn, click withdrawal. For players who are used to waiting up to five business days for a withdrawal crypto-cash out will be mindblowing. At most, you will have to wait 15 minutes before you see your withdrawal become available in your wallet.
  3. The world of finance, investment and technology was irrevocably transformed with the invention of blockchain technology and the subsequent development of cryptocurrencies. For the first time, the world was offered a new way of storing data, securing information, and transacting that did not rely on the existing system that put the power and most of the profits in the hands of middlemen. As blockchain adoption grows and the general populace begin to understand the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies it is becoming apparent that a daily digital currency is needed, and stablecoin could very well be the answer. Clarifying What Stablecoin Is Stablecoin is the future of global monetary systems are they represent the best use of blockchain and crypto-technology while offering countries a stable digital currency devoid of the fluctuations prevalent in decentralised investment currencies. YouHolder clearly defines this new variant of cryptocurrency as: “A stablecoin is a currency pegged to another asset and acts as a practical way of using cryptocurrencies while being stable, secure, and convenient for transactions avoiding the highly volatile nature of traditional cryptocurrencies.” By building a daily use token on the same security, provability, and smart contracts as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin a country can seamlessly convert its paper money into a digital version that retains its local commercial value but offers far more benefits and security to the user. What Collateral Secures Stablecoin? The stability of stablecoin tokens is ensured by basing the value of the coin on one of the following asset types: An existing fiat currency – Simply put these are virtual currencies that base their value on a one-to-one exchange with an existing fiat currency. An example of this would be the Digital Dollar where one Digital Dollar is worth one US dollar. Precious metals – These stablecoin tokens base their value on the store of precious metals like gold and fluctuate their token value based on the price of a predetermined mineral. Other cryptocurrencies – While this is less common there are some tokens that base their value on the value of the cryptocurrency platform they are built on. This is seen with stablecoin’s using the Ethereum platform. Collateral free coins – Coins that become official government tender would fall into this category. These tokens are not valued based on a fiat currency or asset but draw their value from being the Central Banks monetary offering for that country. Why Bitcoin is Not a Stablecoin The reality of this new technology is that decentralised investment products such as Bitcoin, while they hold the allure of a modern-day gold rush, are not able to effectively function as a day-to-day transaction method. This is due primarily to the extreme volatility of Bitcoin and its peers, volatility which is driven by limited supply and the impact of public opinion on its perceived value. It is this low volume and reliance of market opinion that allows Tweets by Elon Musk to crash Bitcoin’s value by 30% in a single day. Stablecoin, however, combines the technological benefits of crypto-technology with the inherent stability associated with a centralised currency backed by a tangible asset such as gold, art, or even a fiat currency like the US dollar or Euro. Stablecoin is the Future of Global Economies At present there are several countries that are invested in launching a digital version of their local currency to advance the adoption of this new technology: Dubai – While Dubai does not consider Bitcoin legal tender it has launched its own cryptocurrency, DubaiCoin (DBIX). DubaiCoin is expected to become the regional method of transacting both locally and globally, with Dubai intending to become the “first blockchain-powered government”. America – The non-profit Digital Dollar Project is testing several programs over the coming year to help the country launch its Central Bank Digital Currency. It will become the official form in which the Centra Bank issues money to citizens and for trade. China – The Chinese government is rolling out the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP) system, which is essentially a digital Yuan. The project is Beijing’s attempt to protect their “currency sovereignty and legal currency status” while creating a trade environment not dominated by the US dollar. Russia – The Digital Ruble prototype is set to launch late in 2021 and based on user and central bank feedback is being eyed to become Russia’s primary currency within three years. India – While India is aggressively anti-Bitcoin, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it is currently developing an official digital currency for the country which will be regulated by the central bank. The pressing need for many countries is to facilitate buying and selling on a micro and macro scale without the need for paper money. There are several reasons for this need including secure trading in a world where hacking and digital theft are commonplace, instant international financial transactions, massive reduction in the cost of local and international banking, tracking, and reporting on all transactions on the network, being able to move away from maintaining a physical cash ecosystem and finally the health benefits of contactless transactions in a post-Covid world. How Can You Use Stablecoin in Daily Life While country-level currencies are a high-end use case for stablecoin technology here are some of the day-to-day uses of this unique token: Paying your rent and buying groceries Sending money overseas to family Easily paying for goods when travelling abroad Legal gambling in regulated markets Investing locally and internationally Paying for medical costs Given how the blockchain works it would also be possible for transacting with an approved central currency to mine the blockchain for cryptocurrencies. Rather than the current interest system using the network would reward you with more crypto. Cryptocurrencies and the Environment The surge in value and subsequent interest in cryptocurrency led to concerns over the environmental impact of the technology. Primarily concerns have centred around: Increased drain on electrical grids Burning through large quantities of fossil fuels Massive volumes of carbon emissions To put some of these concerns in perspective, Bitcoin mining alone uses more electricity in a year than the whole of the Netherlands for the same time period. While this negative attention did cause a dramatic decline in cryptocurrency values it has also been the driving force behind the mobilisation of crypto miners in pursuit of sustainable and renewable crypto mining. This initiative is being spearheaded by Elon Musk (Tesla) and Michael Saylor (MicroStrategy) who formed the Bitcoin Mining Council with the intention of addressing “climate issues and decentralisation”.
  4. While the news cycle is filled with talk of cryptocurrencies such a Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and even meme-tokens like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, truly little of the media hype focuses on the real star of the show, blockchain technology. In many people's minds cryptocurrency and the blockchain are the same thing, which is not the case. The innovative way in which the blockchain stores, transmits and ultimately secures data is the foundational element upon which crypto-technology is built. In practical terms, while the mainstream media has been focusing on the cryptocurrencies and their incredible immediate financial value, development firms have been quietly working on using this amazing new technology to create new industries and improve existing ones. 7 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Improve Your Life There are hundreds if not thousands of ways in which blockchain tech can be used to refine and redefine the world around us. We have chosen to focus on seven industries that will benefit from blockchain integration based on recent developments or news stories. ✓Value-Driven Arts and Entertainment Piracy has never been easier thanks to the ability to scan, print and share just about any type of media online easily. This has led to ‘one of a kind’ artworks ending up as cheap prints on everything from mousepads to children’s toys. Artists are unable to protect their intellectual property rights and it has a measurable impact on their bottom line. Whether you are self-publishing a novel, realising a new album or creating your perfect painting once you release it into the world someone will make an illegal copy and try to profit from your skill and hard work. Thanks to the incredible security, peer-to-peer sharing and provable nature of blockchain interactions artists are now able to securely display, share and sell their creations safely, and when dealing with a third-party agent, transparently to ensure they receive full value. This new level of trust and transparency has been the catalyst behind the boom in NFT (non-fungible token) art sales. Where, for the first time in history, it is possible to provably own an original digital creation. This ensures that the artist receives fair value, agents must deal fairly with buyers and sellers and collectors are ensured that their purchase will retain value given the ability to legally prove theirs is the original artwork and not a fake. ✓Beating Scalpers with Digital Ticketing and Sales One of the most recent uproars online has been the rise of the digital scalper. Using blockchain technology to ensure patrons received tickets to highly sought after events, rather than scalpers, has proven to be highly effective for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Florida. Assistant Vice President, Business Intelligence, Nicole Keating said: “While our work with True Tickets began as an initiative to keep tickets in the hands of our community and out of the hands of brokers, their mobile ticketing solution is, now more than ever, a critical component of our safety protocols.” An unexpected but positive spin-off has been their ability to offer contactless ticketing in a world recovering from the pandemic. Sadly, the reach of the scalping community has not been limited to ticket sales for events, as new age scalpers apply sophisticated algorithms to tracking the online releases of everything from the latest Nike trainers to NVidia’s 3000 series graphics cards. Using automated bots, these scalpers buy up all the available stock within seconds which then creates an artificial shortage. As has been the case with the release of Nvidia’s highly anticipated 3000 series GPU’s this has resulted in ‘resellers’ asking as much as $3000 for a graphics card that retails for $699. With a simple tweak of the blockchain code used by event hubs such as the Arsht Center, online retailers would be able to trigger individual smart contracts that ensured that each individual unit of a product sold online was going to an actual customer and not a platform looking to defraud the public. ✓Advancing the Potential of Ridesharing Despite being raised to never get in cars with stranger the cost-effectiveness of ridesharing combined with the ease of hailing a ride on short notice has seen the industry boom with start-ups like Uber and Lyft becoming multi-billion dollar companies while consisting of little more than some fairly basic technology, an app, and a control office. Yet the industry could be far more than what it is, and Arcade City is out to prove it. The innovative new rideshare hub is turning the industry on its head and using blockchain technology to do so. Inspired by the decentralised nature of the blockchain Arcade City CEO Christopher David began working on a model that better served the drivers and the people ordering their services. Rather than pre-setting rates and doling out contracts Arcade City allows the drivers to set their own rates, build recurring smart contract agreements with customers and even offer non-traditional rideshare services like deliveries, roadside assistance and more. This means that everyone from a student looking to work between classes and a small delivery business owner who needs additional income to pay his staff can all benefit from this decentralised blockchain-enabled opportunity. ✓Streamlined Banking Systems To decentralised currency evangelists the mainstream banking may be anathema, however, the reality is that the entire world runs on fiat currency systems and is underpinned by these traditional institutions. Three immediate areas that the blockchain could address are: Online identity verification systems – With the institution of protocols like Zero Knowledge Proof, an online user would only need to prove their identity at a single point. From there on that proof of identity is accepted by all other service providers on the blockchain. This reduces how far one’s personal data is shared enhancing your privacy, while still offering service providers and sellers the security of doing business with a trusted party. Financial clearing and payment settlements – With provable accounts, smart contracts, and the speed of transacting across the blockchain banks could begin to clear transactions and facilitate near instant global transfers while reducing costs by eliminating the multi-step processes that currently exist. Providing accounts for the unbanked – In poorer countries around the world there are estimated to be more than 2 billion people without access to any form of banking. Decentralised blockchain banking would allow secure, low cost, access for these people and allow them to receive international income to support their families and fight poverty. At its core banking is the simply the control, measurement, and facilitation of asset transfers between various private and public entities it can benefit greatly from the inherently secure and provable nature of blockchain transactions. The three items listed above are considered standard in any blockchain transaction, yet they would be revolutionary if applied to the traditional banking world. ✓New Era of Blockchain-Driven Advertising The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) postulates that by 2025 click fraud and other underhand tactics will have cost the digital advertising industry as much as $50 billion in lost revenues. Like every other industry the online advertising world is rife with fraudsters. The reality is that as soon as you hand over funds to a third party for access to a framework that obfuscates its mechanics you open yourself up to being taken advantage of. This becomes more likely the more you spend as it becomes less tenable to track each individual advertiser and their click data the more providers you must engage to meet your ad spend requirements. However, this is all null and void when the programmatic advertising platform is built on the blockchain. As all agreements are facilitated by smart contracts and each transaction is visible in its entirety to the person paying for the traffic it is simple to determine where your money is being allocated and to review the clicks that you have purchased. This will make click fraud incredibly difficult to facilitate, and should some genius work out how to do it, you have the visibility and the tools to shut it down immediately. ✓Voting in The People’s Choice The right to vote is the backbone of every democratic society around the globe. Yet, as the allegations of Russian tampering that clouded Donald Trump’s presidential term proved there is a level of distrust around traditional voting mechanics, their controls, and their final outcomes. As we discussed earlier with banking and online advertising the blockchain’s very construction ensures the secure transmission of data, offers the ability to prove the identity of each individual participating in the transaction, and finally offers provably fair data based on the information it has gathered. In practical terms this would allow for voters to be registered in an uncrackable blockchain database, using smart contracts allow them to vote privately and securely for their chosen politician, and finally allow the electoral body to report on who received what number of votes. The blockchain is the ideal platform for facilitating free, fair and unhackable democratically sound elections. ✓Safe and Secure Online Gambling As passionate fans of the online gambling community we cannot overlook to the benefits and advantages of blockchain gaming. Beyond the ability to stake wagers via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the blockchain is the ideal platform for hosting online casinos, online poker rooms, online bingo halls and sports books. Any blockchain-based gambling providers ensures: Your privacy – With the ability to store your data in an uncrackable decentralised environment your personal details and gambling history are guaranteed to be safe and secure. Provably fair gambling – The transparent nature of blockchain coding means that you can pull the server side results of each spin of the reels or deal of the cards. All blockchain-based casinos offer provably fair reports, so you have an obstructed view of your wagers and their outcomes. Secure money in and money out – Using blockchain based digital wallets to transact ensure that not only are your deposits processed instantly but they are untraceable. The same is true of your withdrawals as there is no delay in receiving your winnings once you cash out, and with the funds returning to the same secure wallet you deposited from they are also private. We can only hope that larger developers like Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt begin to invest in transitioning their casino games from traditional gambling environments to blockchain based servers. While there is obviously a financial implication to this type of new technology shift there is no disputing that as blockchain adoption increases traditional server and hosting platforms will begin to diminish in favour of one that offers security, privacy, lower costs, and much higher speeds.
  5. The recent months have been an absolute feeding frenzy for new and old Bitcoin fans alike. The granddaddy of all cryptocurrencies made headlines by skyrocketing in value to around the $40,000 mark. After an expected settling into the mid to high thirties, the decentralised coin received another boost a few days ago when electric-vehicle company Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin ahead of its announcement that it would begin accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its products. This move by Tesla saw the currency surge another 16% to peak at an all-time high of $44,795. Amid all the positive press coverage Bitcoin and its altcoin peers are currently receiving, there has been very little discussion of the recent concerns raised by reports of double spending and its impact on cryptocurrencies. At the time that double spending was brought to the public’s attention, Bitcoin saw an immediate 15% loss, a fact that has been whitewashed by celebrity tweets and now Tesla’s big investment. Are Bitcoins Infinite? At the outset, it is worth noting that Bitcoin is not an infinite resource. Much like any other precious commodity, the value of the virtual coin is based on its perceived scarcity and user perception of worth. When Satoshi Nakamoto created the blockchain-based coin he limited its scope to 21 million units. Once all 21 million Bitcoins have been mined there will be no new coins added to the Bitcoin ecosystem, at that point all that will happen is the circulation of existing coins. It is theorised that at the beginning of 2021 approximately 2.5 million Bitcoin remained out in the wild. More importantly, there will never be the full 21 million coins in circulation given that millions of early coins are stuck in wallets where passwords have been lost or owners have passed on without leaving behind the means to access their wallets. This reality of lack raised concerns over whether or not Bitcoin is adequately equipped to combat an activity known as double spend. What is a Double Spend Attack? As the name of the action denotes a “double spend” or “double spend attack” is when a technically savvy Bitcoin holder is able to spend the same Bitcoin more than once. The most like form of double spend that will successfully bypass the verification processes inherent to the blockchain is known as a “51% attack”. This is when 50% or more of a particular series of transaction ledgers is processed by one user. This would allow them to process transaction to multiple wallets and then reverse them before they can be locked into the blockchain ledger – essentially allowing wallets to receive Bitcoin while the originating account never loses the coins it sent. However, the larger the Bitcoin user base grows the more unlikely it becomes for a single user to be able to control in excess of 50% of the computing power that processes a string of transactions. Is Double Spending Illegal? The challenge of a decentralised cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is that it actively resists being boxed into existing frameworks. On the positive end this has created a free, fair and anonymous currency that is not at the behest of local governments, however on the flip side it has led to the coinage being used to process illicit transactions. Looking at existing banking regulations the practice of double dipping is absolutely illegal. A transaction requires the passing of an asset from one user to another in return for another asset. In this case the buyer transfers their Bitcoin in return for a service or product. In the case of a Double Spend Attack there is additional value added to one end of the chain while none is deducted from the source account. The US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) covers the intentional actions of such bad actors under its regulations addressing “fraud and related activity in connection with computers”. The criminal case would assume that it is illegal to: “... knowingly cause the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally cause damage without authorization, to a protected computer.” In this case injecting false and/or duplicate Bitcoin into the cryptocurrency’s blockchain-based ecosystem would be deemed as damage. Doing so currently holds a penalty of 10 years in jail and fines to be determined by a court of law. All that is required to trigger this penalty is the attempt to violate a CFAA statute where the loss incurred could be $5000 or more. With Bitcoin values resting around $40,000 BTC violating the $5000 minimum loss trigger of this criminal statute is almost a foregone conclusion. Does Bitcoin Solve Double Spending? The short answer is yes it does. Given the size and momentum of Bitcoin’s network it is highly unlikely that a real 51% double spend attack will be possible. By timestamping groups of transactions and saving them to the blockchain across multiple nodes Bitcoin is protected from having single transactions added and removed at the rate needed to trigger a true double spend attack. While BitMex did report on a potential Double Spend on block 666,833 in January 2021 market analysts do not consider it a real 51% attack based on the fact that no new coins were added to the blockchain. In this instance a user tried to speed up an existing transaction by resending it with a higher fee cap. Rather than new transaction replacing the original one the network processed both transactions, however the one was sent to an active chain and the duplicate was sent to a stale (also known as invalid) chain. In this case the blockchain only recognises one of these transactions, hence the duplicate being stored on an invalid chain. This way it is able to keep an accurate record of all posted transactions without the risk of adding false coins to the network. While double spend attacks are theoretically possible it is very unlikely to be see one occurring in relation to Bitcoin. This is not however necessarily true of smaller altcoins who due to their limited size could fall foul to unscrupulous users who gain the required 51% processing power needed to abuse the system.
  6. Cryptocurrency is causing the biggest shake-up to our financial system in history. In our ultimate guide to crypto currencies, you'll learn everything there is to know to get started on your journey. This guide will help you whether you're a laborer trading in your spare time or a software engineer hoping to change the world. So here's every question you wanted to ask about crypto, in its simplest form. Keep reading! Part 1: Defining Cryptocurrency In this first section, we'll break down the basics of describing cryptocurrency so you can apply that knowledge when learning about how to get started and get involved. What Is Cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency. It isn't the same as digital money you would associate with your online banking, which uses traditional fiat money (e.g., the dollar) as its underlying currency. We can break down the term cryptocurrency to understand how it differs from the money we know otherwise. Crypto refers to the digital technology used to make it (cryptography), and currency refers to it being a money system. To explain in greater detail, we'll be using examples of situations you'll be familiar with in everyday life. No doubt you've read many confusing articles already, so we'll try to keep it simple! What Exactly Is Cryptography? Cryptography is turning something with meaning into an unintelligible code. It is best known for its computing role, but it dates back to ancient Egypt and hieroglyphics. Another example in more recent history is the Morse Code, where clicks represent letters of the alphabet. How Does Cryptography Apply to Cryptocurrency? Building a currency using cryptography, especially when computers are involved, is an efficient way to validate it as legitimate. Following a stringent set of rules and properties is the most secure way of confirming a unit as genuine. You'll read many articles about how Bitcoin is nicknamed "digital gold." And there's an excellent reason for that. Gold has specific properties and is considered a valuable commodity. Many conmen try to pass Fools Gold off as legitimate. Specialists understand the differences between the two and can validate its authenticity. With cryptocurrency, the specialist is the computer. The properties of the currency exist within the code, so all properties must apply for it to be considered genuine. But even a computer can be outfooled by a human who spots a loophole. What Makes Crypto Foolproof? Cryptocurrencies have different ways of achieving this. But the most popular one is what's called Distributed Ledger Technology, or DLT for short. DLT is a technology that consists of a copy of transactions (ledger) distributed to many sources. DLT creates multiple matching copies, cross-referenced for anomalies. Even though DLT is a brilliant way of making sure nothing goes wrong, it isn't strictly foolproof. There are massive amounts of work in progress to solve the problems faced in its current forms. One of the very reasons Bitcoin originated was to create a decentralized network to allow freedom to transact. The idea is to get away from the centralized banks that caused the economy to collapse in 2007. How Does Decentralized Crypto Work? Decentralized crypto works by spreading the ledger out as widely as possible to as many computers, otherwise known as nodes, as possible. The more copies of the ledger, the more accurate the information is. As a result, any modifications have to be approved by the majority of copies. There's a term you will hear in the community called a 51% spend attack. Suppose the majority of ledgers contain the harmful code caused by the hacker. In that case, their majority vote overrides the legitimate code. This is why DLT must be spread as widely as possible to minimize this risk. It's also a leading cause of innovation in the space, which we'll discuss in more detail later. How Does Centralized Crypto Work? It's very similar to a bank. One majority monitors it, and you are putting your trust in someone to ensure it remains authentic. Let's go back to the gold scenario and dig deeper. One day, the accountant who looks after all the mine owners' transactions can't afford to pay his bills. So instead of $1000, he writes $100 and pockets the other $900 for himself. It takes years for anyone to realize that money is gone. On the flip side, another mine has a different set of transactions, mining coal. This accountant is a well-respected member of the community and prides himself on transparency. He has nothing to hide. His books are fine. So you can see here, with a centralized system, it all depends on who is looking after your assets. If you are the kind of person that will lose or spend banknotes, chances are you'll put them in a bank to keep them safe (pun intended). What if One Person Owns 10,000 Copies? Well, that is a real thing. And it's the source of much controversy in both cryptocurrencies and the real world. It's more reliable than having one copy but still requires trust on your part that the company holding your assets will look after them. You could have ten accountants working for the same mine in the gold mine scenario, each with a ledger copy. But if the fraudulent accountant says, "I'll give you each $50 to keep quiet", everyone changes their versions of the same book to match and read $100. It's the main argument why many believe a centralized system is broken and corrupt, even if all the foolproof technology exists. Bitcoin 21 million? bitcoin blockchain has a stipulation—set forth in its source code - meaning that it have a limited and finite supply of 21 million bitcoins. What is Bitcoin Cash? Bitcoin cash cryptocurrency was created in 2017, from a fork of Bitcoin. 1 Bitcoin Cash enable more transactions and payments to be processed. In 2018 yet another fork initiated and split into Bitcoin Cash ABC & Bitcoin Cash SV. So Is Centralized as Bad as It Sounds? Well, no. There are plenty of circumstances when a centralized network is vital. Otherwise, the asset's existence is rendered useless. There are many utilities when a company or government may want to operate a ledger for their purposes and not for public resale. Legal documents are a great example of this. A centralized database with many copies of the ledger will ensure that nobody can tamper with land ownership. As another example, sensitive files could be encrypted yet ingrained in the blockchain to avoid any editing or malpractice. Whether any of this happens, in reality, is relatively unknown. But the possibilities are there should anyone need the technology for their personal use. Is This How Cryptocurrency Was Born? Yes! A little history lesson will explain everything you need to understand why cryptocurrencies exist. We could jump in with the trading information, but you'll end up trading the wrong coins. Learning the history of crypto will ignite a fire inside you, and you'll soon begin to understand how crypto can change the future. Part 2: History of Cryptocurrency Throughout the last hundred years, generations have lost trust in the banks. They have sought alternative means of making sure their wealth is kept safe, beyond the traditional banking system. 20th Century Rebellion Those who lived through the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression of 1929 kept all their cash hidden in their house. This generation hugely distrusted the banking system, who they felt was gambling with their wealth. Many bought gold jewelry and other assets to make sure they were protected. Their children, the Boomers and Generation X, grew their wealth from nothing. They were the generation that gamified the bank balance. So they did everything in their means to protect their wealth by buying up houses and renting them out to those less fortunate. They were the generation that recycled their investments and built empires. 21st Century Rebellion And then there are the Millenials. Just like their grandparents of the 1920s, they ended up bitter and miserable with good reason. They're bitter at the banks for preying on the vulnerable, pushing house prices beyond affordability, and leaving renting as the only option. Graduates lucky enough to fund their education only went back to university because there were no jobs available. And to top it all off, those born in the mid-80s graduated in the years of the Great Recession. This was quite possibly the worst time to try and find a steady job. As a result, we end up at Bitcoin's birth in January 2009 as a decentralized peer-to-peer form of cash, with no middle-man. It promised to shake up the financial world for the better—the digital anti-bank. So Who Invented Bitcoin? It's the world's biggest mystery. Nobody knows. Created by an unknown source called Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, Bitcoin was a rebellion against the banks. Many theories surround Nakamoto's identity. And no matter how many conspiracy theories or studies you read, you won't get a straight answer. The lack of conclusive evidence leads many to believe that Nakamoto's most likely answer represents a group of several like-minded individuals prominent in the cypherpunk space of the 1990s. These visionaries, including Nick Szabo, Hal Finney, and David Chaum, dabbled with digital currency in the 20th century. And despite Craig Wright's controversial claims, nobody has been confirmed as Satoshi Nakamoto to date. Why Do Other Virtual Currencies Exist? There are several reasons. The main one which underlines all other reasons is that it doesn't do everything well. The Bitcoin we know today is very different from the one developed a decade ago. There has been a universal shift away from cryptocurrency to the term "crypto assets" in more recent years. Cryptocurrency is now a type of crypto asset, along with security tokens and utility tokens. Cryptocurrency still defines an asset used for transacting money. Even Bitcoin itself is debatable whether it is a currency any more. Its comparisons to gold are so familiar that many see it in the same light, as a store of value, not a transactional currency. Here are some different use cases and concerns that have given birth to alternative technologies. 1. Tokenized Assets Ethereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency to date and with good reason. It's an approach to the blockchain that is different in that it focuses on smart contracts. Like the age-old saying "written in stone," a smart contract allows writing conditions into the code. It ensures that an event will only occur if these criteria match. Compare this to Bitcoin. You can send Bitcoin to another person, but if you send it directly to their wallet, how can you guarantee they will return it? With Ethereum, conditional transactions allow you to lend and borrow without a middle-man involved. An exchange such as Binance offers centralized lending. The Ethereum network allows for decentralized finance or DeFi for short. 2. Privacy Concerns One of the biggest urban myths around Bitcoin is that it is anonymous. And that isn't true. It is straightforward for someone competent enough, or a computer, to analyze usage patterns to determine the source of illicit funds, for example. To many, this is a great advantage. Still, even to innocent individuals who require privacy, this can be a considerable disadvantage. For this reason, many innovators of cryptocurrency believe in adding levels of privacy to the ledger, and they do this in different ways. Monero, probably the most well-known privacy coin, uses ring signatures. This links a group of addresses to one transaction, with no clear idea who transacted. Other coins, such as Dash, use a technique called mixing. Think of this as putting your cash in a bucket of 500 coins, and the recipient pulls a random coin out. The chances of it being the same coin are very slim. Mixing can be taken further and used to exchange currencies anonymously. 3. Security Risks As we discussed earlier in the article, not all cryptocurrencies are foolproof. Many scientists believe that even the most secure cryptography won't be so secure once quantum computing arrives. One currency paving the way for this is QRL or Quantum Resistant Ledger. The technology here goes way beyond the beginner level. It's entirely plausible that their technologies will be implemented later by Bitcoin and other currencies. Still, for now, they are leading the way in protecting the future of cryptocurrency. 4. Non-Blockchain Technology These are a rare type of crypto asset, but the big one that is mastering alternatives to a blockchain is IOTA. IOTA works on a distributed ledger concept. But instead of a blockchain, it is a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). It's known affectionately as the Tangle. Its name derives from its appearance. For every transaction, two other users must approve it as valid. In turn, two users must authorize their transactions. This webbed network of transactions means that, just like a spider's web, the more the spider weaves the web, the stronger it becomes. All units of IOTA existed from day one. There isn't any mining, and the network is entirely free. Free transactions make it excellent for the future smart home, where microtransactions will occur. And they don't necessarily have to be financial either. It can be a car pulling up to a traffic light to tell the traffic light to change. You can also get paid to walk per meter in real-time via an app on your phone. Many technologies have the ability to microtransaction to some degree now, but the cost of transacting halts significant progress. Feeless transactions are something IOTA looks to remove from the equation. Another area this would greatly benefit is banking transactions. IOTA is such a pioneering technology that it has to be controlled by a centralized technology called a coordinator to avoid the network collapsing. The day the coordinator is removed, and the system becomes decentralized, its use cases become endless. Many believe it will pioneer a new wave of crypto technology. What About Stablecoins? Stablecoins are a category of cryptocurrency all of their own. In all their guises, they are designed to mirror a FIAT currency. The most well known of these is Tether (USDT) and DAI. Both coins mirror the US Dollar, making it easier to buy and sell assets without converting into FIAT money. Most investors will only trade back into FIAT money when they need to spend it elsewhere. Understanding the different types of coins is vital to do your research and understand which is the right choice for you to invest. Part 3: Where to Find Crypto Currencies Stop right there. There's something else we need to cover. You may know which coins you like, but do you understand the importance of having a diverse portfolio? What Makes a Good Portfolio? There's no right or wrong answer here. If you are well-versed in trading other assets, you won't need any help with this. Simply find a dynamic that fits your current portfolio. If you are new to this, it's simple. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, as the saying goes. Don't just buy half a Bitcoin and leave it. Bitcoin might look like it will be a long-lasting success story, but what happens if the blockchain gets hacked and it becomes worthless? You need a backup investment. We suggest doing your research on this one. An excellent way to spread risk is to start with three or four different types of coins and stick to the big ones at the start. You can find out their rankings on the ultimate crypto database CoinMarketCap. Then leave it. Do your research, follow the news. But don't keep messing around with it unless you need to. After a month or two, you can see what's working for you and what isn't. But you'll learn that's not the full story. Sample Portfolio Distribution Rebalancing a portfolio is sensible as part of a plan to which you can commit. For example, if you have $700 invested, your portfolio might look like this on day one: BTC - $200 ETH - $200 BNB - $100 IOTA - $100 BAT - $50 ZEN - $50 Let's say you find that in the first month, your IOTA doubles to $200, but your BTC has dropped to $100. Transferring $100 from IOTA to BTC means that you are rebalancing your portfolio. That way, you can buy more BTC, so when the price of BTC doubles, you will be in a better position than before. That's the basics of it. You can also cost average, which means sticking to a set amount invested each month irrelevant of whether it goes up or down in value. That way, you take an average price, and the whole experience becomes less risky. Now we've covered some different types of assets, and you have a strategy in place. You'll need some crypto! Getting hold of crypto can look like rocket science. But with today's choices, it's easier than ever to get started. You just have to decide what is the right path for you to take. There are two main ways, which can be sub-categorized further. 1. Trading and Investing Coins Investing is the go-to approach for any novice. It's simple enough to understand, and as long as you do your research and start small, you'll have no problems getting stuck. With the wealth of knowledge you have from earlier in the article, you can choose which path to take. In nearly every circumstance, you need to sign up for a reliable, trustworthy service that will accept your cash. To do this legally, you need to go through a centralized exchange. You will then have to provide your personal information regarding KYC, AML checks. Checks allow companies to trade legally and abide by laws relevant to your country or state. Sorry folks. There is one other way, but it is nowhere near as convenient or financially viable. Crypto ATMs are appearing all over the globe at a rapid rate. These allow you to deposit cash in exchange for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other coins. All you need is a personal wallet set up with an address you can use. As we said before, while it's more private to use an ATM, it is near impossible to remain truly anonymous. Plus, the commission rates are so high you will wish you signed up to use your bank account instead. What Do I Need to Start Trading? Aside from a bank account and exchange account, you'll need somewhere to store your coins. Coin storage is known rather appropriately as a wallet. A wallet is locked and comprises of keys that unlock it so you can transact. There are public keys, which is a bit like your home address so people can send you money, and the secret key, which is like your front door key. Never, ever, share your secret key. We'll explain this in detail below. There are different types of wallets, depending on your chosen coins. It's best to keep things simple at first and stick with an all-in-one solution. There are three different types of wallets: Exchange: As expected, this is keeping your coins on the exchange where you purchased them. Hot Wallet: Refers to a wallet that has access to the internet. An exchange is a hot wallet, but so is a mobile app or a web wallet. Cold Wallet: Refers to a wallet that has never seen an internet connection. A cold wallet is the safest solution. In the early days, this would have been a wallet code on a piece of paper generated on a computer that hasn't touched the internet so that no hackers can obtain its information. How Do I Keep My Crypto Safe? As more people invest in crypto every day, sadly, more people get your money. They can prey on those who make easy mistakes and leave themselves open to attack. Today, cold hardware wallets exist made by Ledger and Trezor that rely on enhanced security to make sure your hardware wallet never sees the internet. They give you a phrase to write down on a piece of paper and keep somewhere safe. Again, never share your secret key with anyone you don't trust. You can have the most secure system in the world, but if someone knows you own crypto, nothing is stopping them from trying anything to hack you. Whether you choose to keep it in a safety deposit box or memorize it, make sure there is a plan in place should you die. The last thing you want is to have a substantial sum on a wallet only for your grieving loved ones to never receive it. And remember, the moment you think it's compromised, learn how to reset your key, transfer to a new wallet, and repeat the security process. 2. Earning Coins Without Purchasing If you've got a wallet set up and a computer, you can start earning. Whether it's mining, bitcoin gambling, or other unique ways to earn money, it's a great way to get involved in the community. Did you know you can obtain coins without spending any of your precious FIAT money? When Bitcoin first started, mining Bitcoin on your computer was the only way to get hold of Bitcoin without buying it off somebody. Contrary to what some may think, you don't mine Bitcoin; you mine blocks for the chain. Nowadays, mining comes in different forms and is sub-categorized into many different areas, with some being more profitable than others. What Are the Different Types of Mining? The two main ones are Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS). In proof of work, it's similar to the gold analogy, where mining companies are looking for locations to set up a mine. If one finds gold, they can keep some of the gold as a reward. They can also keep transaction fees people pay for the mine. In proof of stake, everyone works for a mining company. When one discovers gold, a winner gets picked at random. Each hour's labor counts as one ticket. The more significant percentage of the pot you stake, the higher the chances of winning, but it isn't guaranteed. So as you can see, these are two very different ways of mining blocks on the blockchain. And coins have a limited supply. Which, like gold, makes it harder to find. This process is known as Block Difficulty. It can also be affected by the number of miners and the amount of effort taken to find them when more people are trying to find a block, the difficulty increases. It has been well-documented that the global mining of Bitcoin is incredibly resource-consuming due to its difficulty level. So much so, that mining companies have set up servers on a mass scale in the Arctic Circle to keep the computers cool enough. In 2019, Bitcoin mining contributed to 0.27% of the world's energy usage, Switzerland's equivalent. It's no surprise that many are starting to favor proof of stake for the sake of the planet. How Do I Mine? For proof of work, you will need some computing hardware and software. This will run the relevant blockchain and allow you to mine blocks. With Bitcoin, for example, you would need a large multi-million dollar operation to make it worthwhile. Therefore, a great way to get started is to find an alternative, lower-cap coin (with lower market share). If it is in its early days, you should be able to mine using just a laptop or a dedicated miner. If it's proof of stake you're after, this can be done with your existing tech, and you can do this centrally through an exchange like Binance. If you want to stake in a decentralized manner, this is embedded in smart contracts. It can be done with your existing wallet by sending funds to a specific address. Get Paid by Your Employer in Crypto More employers than ever are starting to see the benefits of transacting in cryptocurrency. They can reduce costs, increase speed, and see increased staff morale as the assets' long-term value increases over time. All you need for this is a wallet to accept your funds. It's a good idea to check the regulations where you live. Reviewing the rules makes sure your income is declared correctly. The value can fluctuate rapidly, so it's essential to know how much your assets are worth at all times. Alternatively, you can, of course, earn crypto in online casinos. This is a great way to earn yourself a small fortune, but as always, only bet what you can afford to lose! Get Paid to Watch Adverts (Or No Adverts) If you've used Brave's web browser for its ad-blocking properties, you'll be familiar with its BAT token. BAT is a token run on the Ethereum network. It allows consumers of content, i.e., their browser users, to pay content creators as compensation for ad-blocking software. It works the other way too. If you allow Brave to show pop-up ads on your browser, they will pay you for the inconvenience in BAT tokens. Tokenization is excellent because you can decide what to do with your funds. You can decide whether you would instead get paid for adverts' inconvenience and use that money to support those who make a living from adverts that the browser blocks. It's an easy way to earn a little extra, whichever side you are on. You will need an Uphold account to withdraw your BAT tokens. Still, if that doesn't bother you, you can keep your tokens in the ecosystem and issue them to your favorite content makers. Does All This Mean I Need to Pay Taxes? Ah yes, everyone's favorite topic. Taxes! Of course, you should be following any laws that apply to your own country when sending, receiving, or trading in digital currency. Take time to research laws in your own country, as they can all be very different. However, if you are investing large sums, we would recommend seeking professional advice. Ideally, this should come from a lawyer or accountant to make sure there are no profound implications. There are dozens of tools available to guide you through accounting for your investments and filing your taxes. Doing so will allow you to report to your local authorities should it be required for those who are confident enough. And if you aren't confident, we recommend seeking professional advice — especially if your profits and losses are significant. How Can I Keep Track of My Finances? There are three main methods of tracking finances, and much of it depends on your current circumstances. For example, how many coins you are trading in? Do you have any stocks and shares? Are you a business? 1. Exchanges and Wallets For most people, this will be the simplest way. We recommend starting with one exchange, but move most of your coins to a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano range is a great place to start. That way, you are spreading your assets out should anything terrible happen to one. You haven't lost them all. 2. Portfolio Tracker What if you have a more complex portfolio, whether that's in crypto or involving stocks? A portfolio tracker such as Delta or Blockfolio can be a great way to keep track of all your assets in one place. Many now show your wallets and exchanges automatically. So you don't need to manually input every single transaction, which can become a nightmare. 3. Accountancy Software Accountancy software is essentially a portfolio tracker that allows for tax reports to be made. One of the biggest names, Cointracking, has a wide range of tools, which is excellent for those with small niche coins. However, this can be overwhelming for some with the massive amounts of data, despite being incredibly useful for anyone choosing to day trade. Accointing is relatively new to space, but they have the interface elements nailed. It's simple to use and easy to read, so as long as you have the more popular coins. It's much easier to navigate. Koinly and Cryptotrader are two others that work well. Many also integrate with TurboTax if you are already using that to manage your accounts for other investments. What Is an IPO? Now you understand there are tax implications to investing in virtual currency. It's worth looking at how you can get in early and finding the right coins to invest. An IPO is an abbreviation of Initial Product Offering. A cryptocurrency IPO is very similar to an IPO in any other financial institution. It is a fundraising campaign that allows the creator of a crypto asset to raise capital to enable the project to succeed. They present a whitepaper of their project to the public, along with any other relevant information. The public can then decide if they wish to invest. Investing involves transacting in a universal cryptocurrency such as ETH. This tradition usually stems from a practical choice since many companies will launch their IPO as a token on Ethereum. They typically do so either as a test run of the final product or to prove that an individual owns those tokens ready for a main-net launch. What About Other Terminologies Like ICOs and STOs? These terms are more specific variations of the IPO. In the same way, cryptocurrency is a type of crypto asset. We would exercise caution with IPOs, however. Even if you manage to avoid a scam, it's easy to pick one that will fail. Therefore it is no different from investing in any other business or asset, such as stocks. The dreams of making millions investing in an IPO are real, but they are very risky, so make sure you do your research. And remember the mantra: Never invest more than you can afford to lose. What Is the Future of Cryptocurrencies? The 2020 Covid recession is the ultimate test for cryptocurrencies to see how society values its place in modern society. We are beginning to see traditional banking establishments experiment with cryptocurrency. Even Paypal has recently got in on the act. From the bank's side, this will allow them to integrate FIAT currency into the digital landscape. It allows for a smoother transition between different currencies while reducing cost and streamlining transactional data records. It's a controversial topic, but there are valid arguments, especially in regulatory terms. Having the banks on board makes regulation stricter, which, in the crypto landscape, is generally considered a positive. History shows that the right balance between law and freedom filters out unwanted parties from engaging in illicit activity. What is a Crypto hedge fund? Crypto hedge fund platforms enable crypto investors to invest in a expert-picked mix of cryptocurrencies. The crypto hedge fund enable investors with the option to mirror the market movements of Bitcoin and other popular coins including Ripple, Ethereum, and more. For Further Reading on Cryptocurrency Finally, there are plenty of other areas of crypto currencies we haven't fully discussed. For example, case studies of what happens when things go wrong, such as the infamous Mt. Gox collapse. Or, what it means to "hold through the FUD while not FOMOing over Vitalik's t-shirts, all while getting rekt trying to go to the moon!" The language used on crypto forums is, in itself, cryptographic at the best of times. Unless you are already a professional trader, stay away from the margin, futures, and options trading. If you don't know what you're doing, you can quickly lose your entire portfolio with a simple mistake. Leave that one to the pros until you become one! Now you are well equipped to understand the complex world of cryptocurrencies. You can go forth. You are in an excellent place to succeed in whatever path you decide to choose, whether it's trading, mining, or innovating. At the time publishing this guide bitcoin prices have reached time high and there's a big increase in bitcoin transaction and bitcoin exchange financial services. No one can really predict where the bitcoin btc will stand at 2021, however currently this digital asset market cap sits at 199.63 billion. Keep reading through our articles for more tips and information about bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.
  7. Crypto theft is on the rise at an alarming rate. Thieves are making the most out of the Covid-19 crisis by scamming people through the dark web. Criminals use phishing, ransomware, and other types of fraudulent techniques to target and lure hardworking people away from their money. Even with today's high tech, digital security measures, savvy and intelligent tech fraudsters find ways to scavenge their way around the marketplace illegally. Prevent yourself from being a target by taking precautionary measures. Stay informed by reading about the biggest scams to hit the cryptocurrency markets. ➀ The Chinese Wotoken $1.1 Billion Pyramid Scheme The nefarious Wotoken grand pyramid scheme defrauded over 700,000 Chinese citizens. Unbelievably, this grand crypto theft was masterminded by only six individuals. Four people have been sentenced to prison: Li Qibing Gao Yudong Tian Bo Wang Xiaoying The Wotoken platform promised high returns for little effort using a purported algorithm trading bots system. Investors received money from new investors in the Wotoken currency WOR as part of an unsuspecting Ponzi scheme. A pyramid scheme is an illegal financial system where investors pay to join a service and reap the profits from subsequent participants. ➁ Plustoken $6 Billion Ponzi Scheme Another widespread crypto theft plague originating from China has been stopped thanks to diligent law enforcement officials. Plustoken promised investors high yield returns on the PLUS token digital currency. This pyramid scheme involved 109 people, including 27 criminal masterminds. Furthermore, six top individuals of the criminal organization are now held criminally accountable for their crimes that mostly affect Chinese and South Korean investors. The fraudsters stole over 200,000 BTC, 26 million EOS, and approximately 789,000 ETH. After they collected the cryptocurrency, they ran off with the money leaving investors bewildered. Plustoken and investors' only communication after the theft was a short note that stated, "sorry we have run." ➂ Covid-19 Scare Techniques and Impersonation of Reputable Organizations Criminals know no bounds, and we've seen their unscrupulous activities flourish during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Emails sent to unsuspecting individuals use the name of leading researchers in health, including The World Health Organization and The Red Cross. Thieves gather personal information and request payment for pandemic related services in cryptocurrency. Virus tracking apps designed with spyware promise enhanced safety, but they have ransomware installed. The insidious app later demands payment in digital money to decrypt users' files. Dark web fraudsters market illicit Covid-19 tests and vaccines, and personal protective equipment. ➃ Decentralized Finance Unsecured Lending Crypto Theft DeFi financial hackers take advantage of the recent rush to supply consumers with lending products outside of traditional banking systems. DeFi networks lack sophisticated customer verification methods and exact regulatory implementations for security, leaving the system vulnerable to theft. Money-grubbing hackers notice when an electronic financial strategy is successful, as is the case with DeFi. With its current open infrastructure, DeFi is left vulnerable to money launderers and other types of criminals partaking in crypto crime. Algorithms on DeFi set real-time rates according to supply and demand. ➄ Bitcoin Impersonators Scam Victims Out of Millions of Dollars One of the most popular schemes is to impersonate a real Bitcoin account. The anonymity of Bitcoin users and the irreversible nature of transactions attract scammers under the guise of not being detectable. There are four main types of Bitcoin fraud: Bitcoin phishing: Victims click a link to a website where they're encouraged to enter their Bitcoin credentials so scammers can steal their money. Fake Bitcoin wallets: People who click on the link that attempts to download malware to the user's device. Bitcoin flipping: Crypto theft occurs when users are encouraged to invest in Bitcoin and receive double their investment. Bitcoin pyramid scheme: Multi-level marketing schemes promise a high-yield return. Investors lose money instead. Bitcoin scams change frequently. You can keep an eye out for the latest crypto scams by using a free service like CryptoScamDB. ➅ Hackers Infiltrate Official Accounts of Prominent People on Twitter Unbelievably, hackers orchestrated one of the largest scams on Twitter. Official accounts sent out tweets requesting Bitcoin payments, and in return, victims would receive double their money. Famous people targeted on the platform included: Bill Gates Barack Obama Elon Musk Kanye West Jeff Bezos Joe Biden Experts conclude that the hack was possible due to the direct attack on Twitter employees who access the social media giant's inner workings. Extra security measures put in place by the company limits access to internal systems. President Donald Trump's account wasn't affected, and his Twitter ID is still active. ➆ CoinCheck Thieves Net Over $534 Million in Brazen Attack Hackers pulled off the most massive heist in cryptocurrency history, netting 523 million XEM tokens from CoinCheck in 2018. Rumors spread, pointing the blame at North Korean criminals, but further evidence suggests Russian and Eastern European origin. Like the Twitter hack, employees of CoinCheck were targeted. Two major viruses, "Mokes" and "Netwire," were detected on the personal computers of CoinCheck personnel. It's believed that the viruses spread through an email to gain access to the exchange's private keys. Both viruses allow criminals to access infected computers remotely. How to Protect Yourself From Crypto Theft There are a few important lessons to take away from the biggest crypto thefts. While cryptocurrency companies strive to stay on top of security, you can help keep yourself safe from criminals by taking a few extra steps to protect yourself, including: Check the credibility of a business. Research the company and look at reviews, business registration, and do an online search. Be wary of uninitiated contact by phone or email. When you're solicited, don't give away your personal information. Don't open strange emails. No matter how good the offer looks, don't open a suspicious-looking email to prevent virus infestation of your device. Use a strong password for your cryptocurrency account. Don't use the same password for other accounts, and don't share your password with anyone. Using common-sense is your best defense from scrupulous criminals stealing your digital currency. Be Smart With Cryptocurrency Keep in mind that crypto crime is a serious threat, but don’t let that stop you from learning more about it.
  8. When Bitcoin first came out in 2009, 1 coin was worth basically nothing. But as of early November 2020, 1 bitcoin is worth over $15,000! And what's even more astonishing is that's not the highest value it's ever held either. It's clear that this cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm. And it's here to stay as well. You might want to get in on this action, but you should probably first learn a little more about this cryptocurrency. Here are 9 other facts about Bitcoin you probably didn't know. 1. The Concept Was Born in the 1980s While Bitcoin didn't come into existence until 2009, someone thought up the concept of cryptocurrency decades before that. David Chaum, an IT specialist, wanted to create an electronic payment system where nothing would be detectable. He first published this concept in a scientific journal in 1983. Chaum then created the first digital cash (or e-cash) under his company DigiCash, which was founded in 1989. 2. The Creator of Bitcoin Is Kind of Unknown We say "kind of" because there is a name associated with the creation of Bitcoin: Satoshi Nakamoto. However, no one's really sure exactly who this is, or if it even is an individual! There's some speculation that "Satoshi Nakamoto" can be anything from one person to a group of people, to a company or even a government organization! In any case, you have this entity to thank for the creation of this amazing cryptocurrency. 3. You Need to Be Particular About Spelling This might be getting nitpicky, but really do need to be particular about spelling when it comes to this cryptocurrency. For one thing, you only capitalize "Bitcoin" when you're talking about the protocol or system. If you're talking about how much currency you have, then the word is not capitalized. So you can have 1 bitcoin, not 1 Bitcoin. Also, you always use the term "bitcoin" when speaking about currency. So whether you have 1 or 5, it's always just "bitcoin," not "bitcoins." 4. Bitcoin Is Purely Digital Bitcoin is a purely digital form of currency that exists on blockchain networks. This is the reason that it's a truly decentralized type of currency, unlike fiat currency. If you receive offers for bitcoin in physical form, then take them as red flags. Again, Bitcoin is a completely digital type of currency. Do note that you can keep your bitcoin in physical "wallets," which are also called hardware wallets. This keeps your bitcoin safe from hackers since they can't access your crypto unless they actually have your hardware wallet and passwords. 5. The First Transaction Was for 2 Pizzas You might think we're kidding here, but we're not! Back in 2010, in the early days of Bitcoin, developer Laszlo Hanyecz gave a friend 10,000 bitcoin in exchange for buying 2 pizzas for him with a credit card. And no, you didn't read that number wrong; that is indeed 4 zeros! Of course, 1 bitcoin didn't hold nearly as much value as it does today. Nowadays, that'd be tens of millions of dollars! 6. January 3, 2009, Is an Important Date If you're into Bitcoin, then you might've noticed a lot of people with this date in their profiles or usernames. This is because January 3, 2009 is the day the first Bitcoin block (or Genesis Block) was mined. Essentially, this is the exact date that Bitcoin went live! As you can see, this is a day that forever changed history. 7. There's a Finite Amount of Bitcoin As you've seen in the above section, Bitcoin came to life when the Genesis Block was mined. Basically, bitcoin isn't "generated," but rather, "retrieved." What this means is that there isn't an infinite amount of bitcoin blocks being generated. Instead, there are only so many blocks that bitcoin miners can "unlock." After they've gone through them all, then there will be no more bitcoin. Currently, there's only an allowance for 21 million bitcoin in the world. However, there's always the possibility that the protocol will be changed and more bitcoin will come into the market. Considering over 18.5 million bitcoin have already been mined, this might come as good news to those who are late to the game. 8. Around a Quarter of Bitcoin Is Gone Forever Not only is there a finite amount of Bitcoin, but unfortunately, around 25% of it is gone forever. We mentioned that you can store bitcoin on hardware wallets, but before that, bitcoin is stored in digital wallets. These wallets require intricate keys that only the owner knows. Many people bought bitcoin at its early stages and then forgot about their crypto because nothing really happened with it for a little bit. Now, years after, people have either completely forgotten they have this cryptocurrency or can't remember and/or find their private keys. As a result, these bitcoin are lost forever, as there's no way to retrieve these keys. 9. Many Online Casinos Accept This Cryptocurrency What's incredible about the popularity of Bitcoin is that it's so widely accepted nowadays that even online casinos accept it, as well as many other cryptocurrencies. This means that if you want to gamble online in pure anonymity, it's entirely possible at these crypto casinos. In fact, many of them don't even require you to register with them, which means you'll get to truly gamble as an anonymous entity on their sites! Now You Know All About Bitcoin After reading this article, you now know a bunch of new facts about Bitcoin. While most are just some fun facts, others will help you make wiser decisions should you decide to invest some money into this cryptocurrency. So remember the Bitcoin facts we've given you here. You never know just when they'll come in handy! Do you want to gamble online with Bitcoin? Then check out our list of cryptocurrency casinos now!
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