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  1. Key Takeaways Women scored higher than men when quizzed on stock market basics. 83% of respondents incorrectly defined short selling. The average respondent score on our stock market quiz was 49%, a failing grade. Swathes of new investors have entered the stock market since the pandemic, with first-timers now making up 15% of all retail investors. This is due in part to new apps like Robinhood and Acorn enabling investors to begin with as little as one dollar, while the GameStop phenomenon inspired a frenzy of people to join the investing game. But how much do these newbies know? How much do all investors really know? We spoke to more than 1,000 people who have invested at least once to find out. Investors were asked to rate their own knowledge, which was then put to the test. After asking people basic questions related to the stock market, we were able to see how all types of investors performed. Average scores were broken down by everything from gender and generation to whether participants invested in crypto. We also found out the answers that investors most frequently got wrong. Keep reading to discover our results. Top Portfolio Choices Our study first asked respondents to share what they've invested in. We looked at the top stocks and digital currencies and compared answers by generation. We also asked them to rate their own stock market knowledge before taking the quiz. GameStop was the most popular stock for our respondents in the last six months. A third of investors had put their money on this company, which is actually seeing another financial rally at the time of writing. The second most popular choice was another "meme stock," BlackBerry, which is also up this past month. Even generationally, GameStop and BlackBerry were among the three most popular investments for baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials alike. Where cryptocurrencies were concerned, Bitcoin was the most popular by far. Seventy percent of digital investors had invested in Bitcoin, compared to only 39% who invested in Litecoin, the next most popular coin. Only a small 3% invested in coins other than the top 11 options listed. Before taking the exam, most respondents rated their stock market knowledge as average (38.9%) or even above average (31.5%). Only 8.3% were able to admit that their knowledge was below average. As we'll see in the coming research, these responses were falsely optimistic. Investment Knowledge Scores Moving onto the quiz, the next section of our study looks at average scores across all respondents, then breaks those scores down by gender, generation, and crypto ownership. We even compared scores with how each person assessed their knowledge beforehand. Men and women were pretty much neck and neck, although women won the day with an average score of 51.4% in comparison to an average of 50.4% for men. Scores were also not so different among people who said they took the stock market very seriously versus those who were not at all serious about it. In fact, those who took it very seriously actually fared slightly worse than other respondents. What made the real difference was whether or not a person owned cryptocurrencies. Those who did not performed much better with a score of 63.5% than those who did (44.8%). This could be because cryptocurrencies tend to appeal to younger, and therefore less experienced, investors or because crypto investors are opting out of the traditional stock market altogether and have no interest in gaining stock market knowledge. A person's opinion on whether or not the stock market was akin to gambling also seemed to affect how well they performed. Those who saw the process as gambling got only 44% of questions right, compared to 73% for those who saw the stock market as true investing –the highest score of any demographic breakdown. Perhaps it's a healthy love and respect for the stock market that improves knowledge most of all. Common Investment Knowledge Gaps Our study concludes with a look at the specific questions from the investment quiz that most people got wrong. The most common incorrect answers were also analyzed in terms of how much respondents had claimed to know about the stock market prior to taking the quiz. In spite of the short sell behind the GameStop frenzy, 83% of people could not properly identify the definition in a multiple choice question. Short selling refers to borrowing a share of a stock and then selling it. If the price does as anticipated, traders can rebuy the stock at a lower price and hold onto the difference. GameStop was one of the most heavily shorted stocks on Wall Street. And speaking of GameStop, most people couldn't identify the correct term for the abbreviation GME. GME is an example of a "ticker symbol," something that 73% of respondents did not know. More than half of investors couldn't properly explain what the "ask" and the "bid" were, either. For clarification, the "bid" price is the maximum amount that a buyer is willing to pay for a stock. The "ask," on the other hand, is the minimum price that a seller would take for that same stock. Another common knowledge gap was how to correctly define hedge funds, mutual funds, and exchange funds. Investing in Knowledge Ultimately, investment knowledge wasn't reserved for the elites or enthusiasts. Even those who claimed excellent understanding missed basic questions, while the vast majority of all investors failed to pass the test at all. That said, not everybody claimed to take the process seriously and may very well still be enjoying the fruits of their investment decisions. If you are looking to experience the fun of investing (or gambling, as many think of it), try using GamblersPick. Gamblerspick.com has all of the latest information on things like cryptocurrencies and recent jackpots. To get in on the action and expand your knowledge, head to Gamblerspick.com today. Methodology and Limitations This study uses survey data from 1,006 people who have some amount of money in the stock market. Responses were gathered using Amazon Mechanical Turk, where users were presented with a quiz-style survey followed by a variety of other survey questions, including an attention-check question. Of the respondents, 371 identified as women, 634 identified as men, and one individual identified as nonbinary. The survey included 99 baby boomers, 256 Gen Xers, 595 millennials, 34 Gen Zers, and 22 respondents from other generations. All data reported in the above survey rely on self-report, which can be subject to issues such as exaggeration, telescoping, and recency bias. Fair Use Statement If you feel like teaching the world a little something about investing, you're welcome to share the data in this article. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  2. Exploring How Investors Are Managing cryptocurrencies in Today's World [Survey] To save or to spend crypto? That is very much the question for many investors today. As they invest more, they are often forgoing other purchases – some of them essential. Many have even started to accumulate debt in order to buy more crypto or avoid selling it. In order to get to the bottom of what the cryptocurrency craze is really costing Americans, we spoke to 1,000 people on the topic. Crypto investors shared the amount they had, how they were financing the holding, and what they had given up in order to maintain the investment. Responses showed interesting differences across genders and generations. To see how different demographics and Americans as a whole are maintaining their crypto portfolios, keep reading. Trade-Offs for Holding On to Cryptocurrency The total cost of cryptocurrency is more than just a dollar amount. It also includes the cost of the things you can't afford to buy if you choose to keep your money invested. The first part of this study looks at how much cryptocurrency respondents are holding, on average, as well as the top things they're choosing to forgo paying for in order to hold on to that investment. Diamond hands are as expensive as they sound. On average, Americans reported currently holding $1,707 of cryptocurrency each but often admitted that they wouldn't touch that money even if a necessary bill or critical payment came up. More than 1 in 10 stopped saving for an emergency to buy crypto, while the same amount said they had skipped out on a purchase that would have genuinely improved their life. Millennials were the most likely to skip saving for their retirement or miss credit card payments to hold onto their existing crypto stashes. That said, the majority of credit card debt is currently held by Generation X, so perhaps millennials have slightly more wiggle room here. Baby boomers, though unlikely to take on debt for cryptocurrency, also had the highest average value already saved up. Affording More Cryptocurrency So how exactly did Americans come to own their roughly $1,700 worth of cryptocurrency? The next part of our study asked respondents how they purchased their crypto, how much they had to borrow, and what they plan on doing in the future to perhaps buy more. Cryptocurrency may well be one of the reasons that many Americans have credit card debt in the first place: 1 in 4 respondents said they purchased cryptocurrency with credit instead of cash. And, in spite of holding only $1,707 worth of crypto, respondents had borrowed nearly $500 more than that to afford it, whether from the bank or from friends and family. Twenty-one percent of respondents planned on accumulating consumer debt in the future to afford more cryptocurrency. The investment gender gap also appears to continue over from traditional investments into cryptocurrency. Men were planning to invest an average of $1,988 into cryptocurrency this upcoming year – $878 more than women. Men were also more likely to borrow in order to add more crypto to their personal rosters. However, while men were more likely to borrow in general, generational breakdowns show that Gen Xer and Baby boomer women had borrowed more on average than men of the same age. Reasons for Holding Respondents had clearly made some drastic financial decisions in order to stay involved with digital currencies. This part of our study asks about their reasons for doing so and the sources they were most commonly influenced by. People taking on debt or avoiding critical purchases may ultimately have the last laugh: Three-quarters of people holding on to cryptocurrency said they believed it has much more value to gain. About a third of respondents said they held on to their cryptocurrency simply to maintain a diverse portfolio. Decisions on how and when to invest were made mostly after consulting Reddit, with over a third of crypto holders getting their information there. While not all information on the site is verified, the world has recently seen the power that Reddit can have over the financial industry. The only source more influential was a single individual – Elon Musk –whose tweets have been known to impact Bitcoin greatly. In one instance, a tweet from Musk plummeted the price of Bitcoin to below $30,000 – a low for this fluctuating currency. Planning Ahead Looking forward, respondents had already laid out some cryptocurrency-related plans. Our study concludes with a look at their anticipated future actions and what they feel willing to sell in order to buy even more digital currency. On average, respondents planned on maintaining their crypto balances for another five years. That said, enormous increases in price would certainly sway a few to start selling. Overall, respondents agreed that a 61% price increase in bitcoin could cause them to sell. Baby boomers, however, had the highest threshold for selling: This generation wanted a 65% increase before they sold. Respondents were highly unwilling to sell all of their crypto, even in exchange for some pretty valuable things. Only a third said they would sell all of their crypto in exchange for a new home. Considering that the average house price in the U.S. is roughly $287,000, and the respondents we spoke to had fewer than $2,000 worth of crypto, this speaks to an incredibly high anticipated rate of return. Gen Z, however, had many respondents agreeing that they would get rid of all of their cryptocurrency if it would cover their student loan debt. Cryptocurrency Costs Respondents proved that there are more costs involved in investing in cryptocurrency than just the dollar amount. They were often investing in lieu of life-improving purchases, paying down credit card bills, or even covering medical expenses. Men and baby boomers were the most likely to borrow in order to continue financing crypto. In the future, most anticipated doubling down on aggressive decisions like these. Few would sell everything even for a new home or being able to quit their jobs. Of course, they felt their decisions were the right ones, as three-fourths said their primary motivation was an anticipation of a solid return on investment. For most, a 61% price increase would cause them to sell what they had. For others, diamond hands were the most valuable asset of all. Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 1,000 crypto investors on their behavior while investing. Among them, 60% were men, 39% were women, and 1% identified as nonbinary. For generational breakdowns, the sample sizes were: Baby boomers: 135 Generation X: 212 Millennials: 442 Generation Z: 206 Other: 5 For short, open-ended questions, outliers were removed. To help ensure that all respondents took our survey seriously, they were required to identify and correctly answer an attention-check question. These data rely on self-reporting by the respondents and are only exploratory. Issues with self-reported responses include, but aren't limited to, the following: exaggeration, selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and bias. All values are based on estimation. Fair Use Statement As the cryptocurrency conversation grows in pace and fervor, data-based information becomes more important than ever. If you or your followers would be interested in this type of information, you are welcome to share it. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  3. As lifelong fans of gambling and in particular online gambling it is fantastic to see how many countries are adopting a positive stance towards the hobby. Even if a region does not currently allow local licensing and advertising opportunities, they tend to adopt a ‘no harm, no foul’ approach which allows players to gamble at offshore casinos without any legislative requirements. In a 2021 review of the legal online gambling landscape Slotegrator reported that gambling regulation falls into one of four distinct categories: Those where gambling websites must be licensed by the local regulator (32 countries) Those where only local gaming sites need a license, not foreign sites (32 Countries) Those where online gambling is prohibited, but no legal action is taken against play at foreign sites (28 countries) Those where there are no gambling restrictions at all (93 countries) When looking at the European Union in the context of these categories is becomes clear that the majority of the member states have adopted or are investigating a multi-license regime. ✓EU Free Trade Supports Gambling Regulation For those who are unfamiliar with how the European Union works simply put it is an agreement between 27 member countries that make up most of continental Europe that aim to promote economic and political unity. As a response to the devastating impact of World War 2 on Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC) was created in 1958 to foster financial dependencies. The logic being that when countries are reliant on one another for trade the likelihood of aggression declines. According to a report by the EU Commission in 2021 “82% of products traded in the Single Market are subject to harmonised rules and some 18% of intra-EU trade in goods fall under mutual recognition”. Given that the EU free trade agreement is such a pivotal part of the makeup and longevity of the Union, online gambling became a hotly debated topic as the UK, who was still a member of the EU at the time, promoted full regulation and licensing and expected to be able to trade with its partners. Jurisdictional legislators such as Malta became highly respected markets who expected EU member states to recognise the validity of an MGA licensed casino to trade within the Union. Members that stood against regulated online gambling were seen to be contradicting the compact, and this early friction ultimately led to a burgeoning European online gambling industry. ✓EGBA Striving for Standardised Regulation As with any other multi-party endeavour one of the challenges members of the EU have had to face is how their differing definitions, requirements and even fee structures have become stumbling blocks for their peers. To assist in creating a unified logic to regulation and a set of standards the Brussels-based European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) was founded. “EGBA works together with national and EU regulatory authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated and well-channelled online gambling market which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes into account the realities of the internet and online consumer demand.” To achieve a sustainable online gambling regime the EGBA strives to: Achieve a well-regulated and competitive market Define an ambitious set of European industry standards Build an integrity-based betting market Address betting-related match-fixing and corruption In addition to creating forums for discourse and staying on top of the day-to-day minutiae associated with tracking the gambling rulings and legislative decision making of 27 member countries the EGBA is also a founding partner of the EU Athletes program, a member of the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and registered with the EU Transparency register since 2009. A July 2021 decision by the EU Commission to not reinstate the Expert Group on Online Gambling to assist regulators in coordinating their legal efforts could see the EGBA having an even more authoritative voice as it fills the role that the Commission renounced. ✓The French Gambling Legislation Interestingly enough when looking at online gambling regulation it is important not to interchange online gambling and online casino, especially if you are looking to play Online Slots in France. While many gambling sites will say that online casino is legal in France, they are in fact incorrect, however, it is correct to say that online gambling is legal in the country. This is because in 2010 France had a massive overhaul of its gambling law which both created the current body known as the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) and legalised all forms of land-based gambling including casino games, card games, and sports betting. However, in an unexpected turn of events when addressing online gambling the regulation only made allowance for the licensing of online poker and online sports betting, while online games of chance remained a restricted category. ✓An Avid Gambling Community Despite the exclusion of online slots and other casino games, online gambling has flourished in France with La Française des Jeux (FDJ) being responsible for betting and lottery games, while Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) is specifically responsible for horse racing. The Q2 2021 report by BusinessWire on the financial results of the FDJ reported that the “digitalised and online stakes” showed an impressive 70% growth over its Q1 results reaching €1.1 billion in revenue from stakes of €9.2 billion. Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ, said: “Our stakes are increasing, both online and in our point-of-sale network. Over the half-year, we accordingly recorded an increase of nearly 9% in revenue compared with the same period in 2019. Barring new restrictions in response to developments in the health situation, the Group expects to maintain good momentum in the second half and is confident in its business and results prospects in accordance with its responsible gaming model.” These reports show that the FDJ’s online performance is tracking perfectly for the body to achieve its target of €2.2 billion for the year. Market analysts expect this to come from just over €19 billion in stakes. However, the growth in both player stakes and overall revenue for France’s online gambling market has raised the question of whether their reasoning for excluding online gambling was genuine. When the regulations were announced in 2010 ARJEL argued that games of chance held too high a risk of gambling addiction. That games like slot machines encouraged high engagement and participation, something they then claimed to be looking to actively discourage. However, with the €9.2 billion in stakes over six months it proves French gamblers are an engaged and active community. Despite numerous calls in recent years for other EU member states to open their borders to regulated online gambling, to protect locals and actively participate in the free trade compact France has silently refused to budge on the issue, deflecting the conversation around casino games to a discussion of regulated online gambling instead. In a decision that further confuses the matter, France declared that its citizens may gamble at international offshore casinos. Yet this puts them at risk of playing with casinos who do not adhere to EU safer gambling standards, reduces channelisation by not offering a casino game option for slots players, and driving revenues offshore which could be funnelled into programs that would uplift the French community such education programs and compulsive disorder treatment centres. ✓The Bitcoin Casino Stumbling Block France is one of the most progressive nations in the world and as such has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption. The French are proud HODLERs with nearly 4% of the population owning Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital tokens. Unsurprisingly the lion’s share of this ownership sits with wealthy, tech-savvy men and women in their late mid-twenties to mid-thirties. It should come as no surprise then that in the absence of regulation making online casino gambling illegal a large portion of the French casino market is turning to bitcoin casinos. Not only do they get to engage in leading online slots and tables games, but they stand the chance to withdraw even more of the valuable cryptocurrency in the process. However, July 13th saw a Parisian court rule that French ISPs had to block local users from accessing two cryptocurrency gambling sites. The ruling came of the back of a decision to hand over cryptocurrency regulations to Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), a securities watchdog with a specific brief to manage digital currency exchanges in the region. In this case while the casino games themselves were not the issue the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in an unregulated marketplace saw the AMF flex its muscle and once again limit French players access to online casino entertainment. Once again, sane minds argue that if France would extend its current online gambling legislation to include online casino games, they could offer local players access to a secure crypto-exchange and secure a valuable revenue resource in the process.
  4. A few short years ago no one in the world understood what digital currency was let alone how it would one day change the world. Yet today discussions around Bitcoin price hikes, Dogecoin as a meme token, the impact of cryptocurrency mining on both graphic card prices and the environment are dinner table chatter around the world. As an industry where speed of processing, data security and the potential for large financial transactions are central to its day to day running the online gambling market has been heavily invested in the development of blockchain technology and the adoption of cryptocurrencies. In this article, we will delve into what separates an online casino from a cryptocurrency casino. Are there tangible benefits? What are the challenges? Can you legally gamble using cryptocurrency and what games can you enjoy? Online Casino vs Crypto Casino – The Provably Fair Difference In recent years, the line between a blockchain casino and a casino that accepts cryptocurrency payments such as Bitcoin has blurred the definition of what a “crypto casino” is. There is an increasing number of online casinos that have begun accepting deposits and will honour withdrawals via your cryptocurrency wallet. Allowing you to gamble at their casino with credits purchased via Bitcoin, Ethereum or whichever token they accept. However, a true crypto casino does far more than just trade Bitcoin for casino credits. These casinos operate on the blockchain themselves. Their websites, their games, your personal information and ultimately your wagers are placed directly on the blockchain meaning it is all protected by the most advanced encryption platform known today. With the unique hash records available when processing transactions on the blockchain, the same technology used to verify Bitcoin transactions, you can track the validity of the outcome of each game you play at a crypto casino. This system of Provably Fair gaming puts the power to review every hand of blackjack, every spin of the reels and every roll of the dice in Craps and verify that the outcome you were shown is true and unaltered by any third party interference. A great example of this Bitcoin.com which now offers casino games on its platform, that is as close the source as one can hope to get when gambling with BTC. Advantages of Crypto Gambling – Count the Cost In any scenario where you are investing your time and money, both precious commodities, we always recommend looking at the facts and making a reasoned decision from there. The advantages of crypto casinos are: Unparalleled security – Given the virtually impenetrable nature of the blockchain it offers gamblers unprecedented levels of privacy and data protection. Less intrusive experience – When transacting via the blockchain the code behind your wallet is what is needed to complete a transaction. In this case gambling at a true crypto casino will require very little personal information from you to sign up and no additional KYC documentation when you cash out. Transactional transparency – The peer to peer nature of the blockchain ensures that you have a full view of who you send money to and receive it from, as well as giving you access to Provably Fair reviews of the individual games you play. Growing selection of licensed casinos – As Bitcoin continues to pave the way for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies so more regulated markets are beginning to accept cryptocurrencies. This ensures you all the benefits of virtual currency gambling with the support of player-centric gambling authorities. Superior banking options – The low costs, advanced security and unmatched processing speeds of cryptocurrencies make them the superior option when transacting online. However, as more casinos accept Bitcoin and other virtual currencies you still have access to web wallets and credit card transactions if you want them. Better payout percentages – With the low cost of operating an online casino on the blockchain and other revenue generation models for operators that include using the power of gambling transactions to mine for tokens blockchain casinos can offer overall payout percentages of up to 99%. This is far better than 93% to 97% offered by traditional online casinos. Casino game selection – Gambling on the blockchain no longer limits you to playing special blockchain games with poor graphics and limited animations. The world’s leading developers like Big Time Gaming now develop for the blockchain offering great casino games for true crypto casinos. Accessing traditional online casinos which transact in Bitcoin means you have access to award-winning slots and live dealer games from providers like Evolution and NetEnt. When it comes to shifting your online gambling from a known and trusted online casino to a new crypto casino it is worth digging into the pros and cons of the move and making a decision based on a balanced review of the facts and your personal needs. Choosing a Crypto Casino – Hot Button Items When discussing crypto-based casinos with our community and finding out from them what their most important selection criteria were for choosing a new online casino the following points were the most common across the board: Can I trust the casino to pay me? Will they find excuses to delay my payment? How safe is my information? Do they offer good bonuses? When it comes to finding a trustworthy online casino to play at the addition of cryptocurrencies to a casino is in fact an extraordinarily strong trust cue. With the total transparency and Provable Fair nature of the blockchain, these casinos are more exposed to their players than any traditional online casino. When you consider that you can also play at a regulated casino in Bitcoin you have added another layer of security as now have a safe technology platform and a stringent gaming authority both protecting you. The speed with which you can withdraw your winnings has always been a hot topic for online gamblers. Looking at the FAQs of leading cryptocurrency casinos like BitStarz, BitCasino and Bitcoin Games Casino they all offer instant withdrawals. The protection of your personal and financial information is of paramount importance to all reputable online casinos. In this case, it becomes a matter of degrees; online casinos are as secure as banks when they utilise 128-bit SSL encryption but the blockchain is objectively the superior encryption method and so blockchain-based casinos will always be the safer option. At their core, the types of bonuses you receive at online casinos and cryptocurrency casinos will be the same either deposit match offers, free bonus credits or Free Spins. However, you may find the wagering requirements less stringent at crypto sites and their overall payout percentages higher which could mean you stand to withdraw more at a crypto casino on paper, but only Lady Luck knows where those chips will fall. Licensing and Regulation – Does it Matter for Crypto? No matter what your preferred gambling platform is, even when playing offline, there is no substitute for the peace of mind that gambling under a globally recognised regulator brings. They are far more than just a marketing watchdog that rakes in licensing fees. These gaming authorities ensure that operators have sufficient funds to pay your withdrawals, manage national safe gambling programs, require license holders to have their business practices reviewed by third-party auditors and work with law enforcement to shut down illegal operations. Adding the technology-based protections inherent to the blockchain to this substantial jurisdictional protection ensures that you have the safest and potentially profitable online gambling experience possible. In Conclusion With the advancements made in the online gambling services available on the blockchain, it is a good time to see if at the very least your current online casino accounts offer the option to transact in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. If you live in a regulated gambling market that has approved Bitcoin gambling it is worth adding the added protection provided by the blockchain to the security you already experience under your current legislation. Cryptocurrencies are growing in mainstream adoption so getting to grips with this technical and financial phenomenon through a medium you already enjoy, online gambling, is an easy way to luddite to crypto-pro!
  5. When Satoshi Nakamoto penned his now revered whitepaper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008 it was taken as nothing more than the ravings of an anti-establishment nut by those who bothered to take note. For the most part, the idea of an electronic financial system, run by the people and for the people, free from government oversight and unshackled from the established banking infrastructure was pure fantasy. However, as with most bleeding-edge technologies that hold any real value one of three sectors will drive its progress: the war machine, the adult industry, or the criminal underground. Even in the world of gambling, this trinity of progress holds true. The history of land-based gambling is rife with stories of mobsters and gangsters; however, the business has matured into a legitimate gambling entertainment industry. The internet was developed and nurtured by governments intent of its data transmission potential, something vital to national security measures and in gaining an advantage in times of war. This new technology received funding and was driven into the mainstream by the adult industry as its need to store and transmit high-resolution images and video files became central to how it operated online. Whether you support or appreciate any of these individual building blocks is irrelevant. The reality is that we all benefit from the advancement and adoption of high-speed internet, data storage technology and high-resolution streaming available to us today – be it watching content on YouTube or playing Live Dealer casino games at your favourite mobile casino. Silk Road’s Rough Edges One of the early adopters of the then fledgling decentralised cryptocurrency Bitcoin was a 26 year old Penn State graduate, Ross Ulbricht. During his studies Ulbricht became enamoured with the economic musings of the libertarian economist Ludwig von Mises. Investopedia describes von Mises as: “… an economist of the Austrian school who argued for free markets and against socialism, interventionism, and government manipulation of money.” Confronted with the potential of Bitcoin, full of passion and head knowledge, swayed by the outlandish teachings of an expert, and confronted with a once in a lifetime opportunity to make difference in the world of finance and market economies Ulbricht leapt without thinking… and in 2011 he landed on the idea of Silk Road. In a recorded call with Bitcoin Magazine Ulbricht said: “I thought with Bitcoin, I could try and do something that actually makes a difference— Back then, I was impatient. I rushed ahead with my first idea, which was Silk Road… That’s a 26-year-old who thinks he has to save the world before someone beats him to it. I had no idea Silk Road would work, but now we all know it caught on.” In concept it a great idea, the perfect digital resistance to world full of government dominance and financial strangulation. A truly free and unfettered marketplace where buyers and sellers can transact using Bitcoin without Big Brother tracking their every move. The sad reality is free from restraint and needing specialised skills to enter this new decentralised world it was the criminal element that attached itself to his new venture, not the everyman that he believed would be best served by it. And it would be this element that would be his downfall. Duality of Decentralisation Conceptually the free market economy of Silk Road was a great idea and a practical way to prove the potential of decentralised currencies. You can sell your property, skills, and goods free of excessive fees and taxes. Restraints of goods and materials that exist only because of the squabbles of politicians can be sidestepped in the name of the greater good. The flip side to this altruistic coin is that profit is the real driving force in any economic environment and there is no denying the amount of money behind organised crime. Where Silk Road had the potential to do good, the charges brought against Ulbricht tell a quite different story. Ulbricht, who operated under the moniker “Dread Pirate Roberts”, was arrested in 2013 for creating and maintaining a darknet marketplace which facilitated: The sale of illegal narcotics The sale of stolen weapons Murder-for-hire contracts While Ulbricht never personally traded in drugs or firearms and was never connected to any provable assassination contracts, he ran the empire that brokered the relationships and financial transactions that made these possible. Not only did he facilitate these illicit transactions, but Silk Road took a percentage of the cost of the transaction meaning he benefited directly from each contract. Silk Road is recorded as having generated $213.9 million in sales during its two-year run which meant $13.2 million in commissions for Ulbricht. While many of his supporters cry foul, lumping Ulbricht in with the likes of infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, Ulbricht’s laptop was shown to hold millions of words in conversations between Ulbricht and his team discussing the types of sales available on the site. Proving he knowingly profited from illegal and even life-threatening activities. What may have begun as an altruistic movement sadly ended up being nothing more than a highly profitable criminal platform. One that has seen Ulbricht sentenced to two-life terms plus forty years without the possibility of parole. The Power of a Maturate Market The world we are in today seems incredibly far removed from the wild times that saw the meteoric rise and fall of Silk Road. Discussions around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and many others are part of daily life. The need for specialised access to tools like Tor browsers and access to the dark web is virtually non-existent as exchanges have simplified the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, and mainstream financial institutions begin to offer crypto investment options as part of the portfolios. Even the adoption of stablecoin methodologies by world governments in the pursuit of the creation and institutionalisation of digital currencies such as the digital Yuan and digital Dollar is proof that blockchain technology is changing the world. For the online gambling community, this means even faster and more secure banking options, instant withdrawals of winnings and the highest possible levels of data security for your personal information. While Nakamoto’s vision of a global financial system free from restraint and control by external parties may one day come into being, where we are right now is a good place to be. We have a groundbreaking technology that is changing the world by allowing unbanked and poor countries to transact internationally in order to feed families and save lives, it is creating the potential for a new trade paradigm not dominated by the US dollar and it is doing so in the public domain, where the global community is learning and growing together.
  6. Online gambling has been around for close to three decades now and has evolved and grown immensely over that time. Enhancements in technology have been one of the biggest motivating factors for these changes, coupled together with the demands from the player-base for increased innovation in keeping with these modern conveniences. The perfect example of this trend playing out can be found in the call for a mobile gambling market. Did you know? The first mobile gambling venture in the UK (the biggest iGaming market in Europe) was a mobile lottery, which launched in 2003. One of the most significant evolutions happening at the moment is the increased growth and influence of the cryptocurrency market. The popularity of crypto casinos is on the rise, thanks to the increasing technology in the blockchain world – a world dominated by a millennial generation that is comfortable adapting to fresh technology and ideas. In fact, they demand it! Because the future is in the hands of the current generation, tomorrow’s gambling market must evolve to meet their needs and desires, or it will die out. Current data suggests that sub-40-year-olds are not as drawn to mainstream casino games as older generations are and are more prone to enjoy the latest social gaming innovations from the crypto space. What is the Winning Recipe for the Future? To understand the future for crypto and general online casino gaming, we need to understand the subtle changes that are happening in the market right now. These are indicating factors of where the gambling market is going. Currently, all the communicating factors point towards the position that strong ‘’digital community’’ values are at the heart of this current and up-and-coming generation of players. Interaction online is becoming a major trend across various markets. Just look at a few of the obvious examples around us. Social Media Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are bigger than ever before and newcomer, TikTok, is making big waves. Billions of people use these applications daily to reach out to their friends and the greater world. Quick Fact: Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. It boasts a massive 2.8 billion active users in the first quarter of 2021. These platforms provide the perfect setting for a digital communal environment. People can find their voice and link themselves to special interest groups and communicate with friends across the span of the globe in a matter of seconds. The social media craze is a real indicator that the current generation is a fan of digital community qualities. The Latest Video Gaming Crazes While single-player games were a lot of fun for those over 35 years of age when they were growing up, this is no longer the case. Today the most popular games in the world are all multi-player options. Games such as Roblox, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends draw millions of players around the world daily. All the pre-mentioned gaming brands have one thing in common – they are multi-player based. In fact, Fortnite, Warzone, and Apex Legends are all Battle Royale type games, meaning that players can team up with others to compete against other player-based teams. Technology like Discord and other team chat software applications even allow the gamers to talk to each other while playing. Why are these multi-player titles the most popular games right now? Because they all offer a social environment where people can interact with others. It seems like common sense that players exposed to such gaming environments would seek similar or better-quality gaming interactions when they graduate to the gambling sphere. ✓ The E-sports Boom One of the fastest-growing digital industries at the moment is e-gaming. This immerging market not only harnesses the qualities of one-on-one competition but affords fans the option to bet on the outcomes of the games. While e-sport is in its infancy, educated estimates predict that this fresh and fast-paced gaming market should reach a capitalisation of around $13 billion by 2025. Once again, the driving influence for this popular digital sport form is the fact that players compete against each other for a shot at the prize. In many games (like FIFA), each side can comprise of multiple gamers. It is no longer as thrilling to compete against a machine as it is to take on your peers head-to-head. It seems that even in the world of machines and high-end tech that basic human qualities will endure, albeit that the social trends are a little different from the norms of generations gone by. ✓ Live Casino and Poker Trends Closer to home, two of the quickest growing game options at online casinos are online poker rooms and live dealer games. Evolution Gaming has taken the world by storm and is a heavyweight in international gambling circles. They just recently acquired gaming giant, NetEnt, for a massive sum. The recipe behind the company’s success has been its ability to join real people together in a casino environment for a common cause. The social interaction involved makes live table games and gameshow titles very popular. Virtual table game libraries are shrinking on casino sites while live game portfolios are growing. Did you know? Trends amongst younger gamblers show that live casino games such as Live Monopoly, and other such gameshow titles are firm favourites in the live dealer marketplace. Online poker similarly offers a social aspect to the game. While the dealers are not visible via stream, multiple players can take seats at the virtual tables and interact via a live chat tool. Online poker has exploded thanks to fabulous social poker sites like PokerStars. ✓ The Outcome The simple fact is that the current generation loves technology and can spend hours lost in the digital realms. However, they remain human and therefore crave interaction as social beings. A platform that can combine this form of entertainment with the necessary interaction qualities is onto the winning solution for the future. Up until now, the crypto casino world has done a sterling job in identifying this need and working towards placating its punters. Why Does Crypto = Community? There are few good reasons why cryptocurrency and crypto casinos are on the cutting edge of the social gambling trend and why they are community-friendly. These include: Multi-Player Games: There are a number of casino games coming from the decentralised market that focus on multi-player playability. They are extremely popular. As a relatively new tech in casino realms, blockchain-based casinos are usually frequented by younger players. Power to the People: Decentralised blockchain technology removes the need for a trusted middleman. This ideology directly empowers the people and encourages person-to-person interaction and trade. It implements a return to a more basic and personal way of life. Us against the world: The crypto world is very misunderstood and often shunned by mainstream finance, much like the current millennial generation is misunderstood by the ‘boomers’ who have gone before it. Both the platform and the people have an ‘’us versus the world’’ outlook on life. A common cause is usually a great unifier and brings communities closer together. One thing we can learn from crypto is that the next generation is eager for change. A change that sees a move away from isolated gaming experiences and embraces a more social and inclusive environment. What We Hope to See Soon The crypto realms are already on the right path and are quite likely to lead the way ahead. This is what we hope to see happening soon. ✓ More Innovative Multi-Player Games Now that we know what the industry needs to attract the next generation, we hope to see more and more mainstream and blockchain-based game providers introduce such games into the marketplace. Spearhead Gaming’s debut arcade/gambling game, Astroboomers: To the Moon, is a classic example of the type of entertainment we need to attract the up-and-coming player base. We also hope to see advanced mechanisms for players to share their accolades and wins within groups and special social media platforms. This alone provides great incentives for more competitive player types. ✓ Increased Usability at Crypto Casinos The practical issues involving high costs for microtransactions need solving to bring the crypto casino market to its full potential. Quick Fact: Ethereum launched a second blockchain platform called ‘’Ethereum 2.0’’ to try and solve the high transaction fee dilemma facing the usability of Ether for smaller transactions. Right now, decentralised blockchains cater better to big funds transfers than to multiple small ones. Blockchains, like Ethereum, are leading the way towards this sort of usability. ✓ Increased Education on Crypto Tech ‘An informed people are a happy people,’ according to a wise old adage. More education about crypto-realms and the qualities of the blockchain would go a long way towards the evolution and enhancement of the current online industry and influence current player bases to make the change. This should include a change of ideology to follow current social trends and an increased willingness from mainstream operators to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of tender on their sites. Round-Up One thing is for certain, the online casino industry has proven itself resilient over the years. Its ability to change and adapt is demonstrated in its year-on-year revenue growth. Its versatility is sure to continue as leading brands place big money into monitoring current trends and ensuring they stay on the cutting edge of innovation. Journey with us, at GamblersPick, as we keep you up to date with all the latest trends and introduce you to all the newest innovations and technologies as they drop.
  7. While the adage "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" would have you believe that there is no real difference between gambling online or at your local casino, that simply is not true. While land-based casinos do offer certain benefits like the potential to get free drinks, be comped a meal, and the experience of a night out “on the town”, playing at an online casino offers far more benefits for both experienced and beginner gamblers to enjoy. Why Gambling Online is the Best Here are 10 reasons why we believe online casinos trump their land-based peers every day of the week: 1. Perfect Environment for New Players Most online casinos offer free to play versions of the real money games they have on offer. This is the perfect way for new players to get to grips with the mechanics, features and bet sizes of any game they intend to play for real money later. Not only can you play these games for free, but each game comes with handy in-game hints and a detailed help file that explains everything from what each button does to how wins are determined and the games specific return to player percentage. 2. Online Casinos Offer Better Payouts The simple fact of the matter is that the House always has an advantage, whether playing online or at a land-based gambling venue – the trick is optimising that advantage as best possible. This is where online casinos beat out their brick and mortar counterpart’s hands down. Land-based casinos must cover the costs of running sprawling complexes which include restaurants, bars, clubs and all the staff to man these various activities. Online casinos only have support staff and tech-related costs which cost a fraction of what it takes to run an offline casino. This is why online casinos offer payouts of around 96%, this means the average house edge is as low as 4%. 3. Incredibly Range of Online Slots Slot machines are by far the most popular game type whether you choose to play online or offline, this is due to their wide range of themes, interactive features, payline options and jackpot win potential. Plus, individual developers each offer something unique to give their slots even more appeal. Big Time Gaming created their Megaways system offering up to 117,649 ways to win, Microgaming offers incredible progressive jackpot wins on their Mega Moolah slots and so much more. 4. Gamble When It Suits You Unlike online casinos which are open all year round, not all local casinos offer 24/7 access to their games. By playing online you can hop onto your favourite slot machine or play a few hands of blackjack whenever it is best for you. Oftentimes it is also simply not possible to coordinate getting to a casino venue at conventional times given the demands placed on our time by work, travel, family and more. In this instance being able to relax over a cup of coffee and a few spins of the reels when you have downtime available to you is an important feature. When you add this to the fact that you can play on your mobile device online gambling offers the most comprehensive, customer-first, gambling experience you could hope for. 5. Live and Play on Your Mobile The mobile device is far more than just a phone these days, we all run our lives from these tiny handheld computers. Online casinos understand this and offer an engaging gambling experience right there in the palm of your hand. Best of all thanks to high-quality apps and HTML5 these casinos offer the same entertainment on your device as they do when you play on your laptop or desktop computer. Allowing you to gamble whenever and wherever you want to. 6. There is Always a Seat for You A very real downside to gambling at a land-based venue, especially in smaller towns, is limited seating or access to popular games. At an online casino, whether you are playing at peak traffic times or in the middle of the night, your favourite casino table or online slot will be waiting for you to dive right in. This is equally true of buying additional casino chips while playing your favourite game. Online casinos allow you to easily top your chip stack from within the game you are playing rather than expecting you to get out of the action to go get more chips as you would at your local casino. 7. Fantastic Casino Bonus Selection Receiving bonuses at a land-based casino is highly unlikely for a new player. All new players at reputable online casinos will receive some form of welcome bonus. This bonus acts both as a gift basket to make you feel at home and as a safety net with which you can test out casino games without risking your own money. These casino bonuses will include deposit match bonuses, Free Spins, no deposit bonuses, wager free bonuses or a combination of these. Once you are a regular at the casino you will be able to avail yourself of reload bonuses, cashback and Loyalty bonuses. 8. Choose When to Play with Others A big part of ensuring your mental health though, especially during lockdowns is having the choice to play with others when you need contact and give yourself space when that is more important. One of the fastest-growing niches within the online gaming industry is the live casino sector. This allows players to step away from purely RNG casino games to enjoy the experience of interacting with a live dealer and the players around the table. As the market appetite for live games has grown so developers like Evolution Gaming have stepped up to grow their selection beyond traditional games like blackjack, roulette, and craps, to include custom games like Monopoly Live, Deal or No Deal Live and Mega Ball. 9. Protect Your Privacy with Bitcoin For players who are looking to further enhance the privacy and security offered by online gambling, there is the option to gamble at a Bitcoin casino. These sites are built on the blockchain, offer provably fair gambling, and ensure that your transactions are hidden from prying eyes thanks to Bitcoin’s incredible encryption. This is over and above any other measures, one can take online to protect their search histories and online banking by using virtual private networks (VPN) to connect to the internet. 10. Safety First When making the decision whether to play online or go to a local casino one must consider the potential health risks. Given the current situation we all find ourselves in, it is prudent to avoid crowds of people and rather play from home. With the ease of access to multiple casinos and swathes of cutting edge casino games, not to mention the bonuses and 24/7 personal support, there is very little reason to play at a land-based casino when with the click of a button you can enjoy world-class entertainment from the comfort of your home.
  8. Since its launch in 2009, cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm. In essence, it can be described as digital money. Many people invest in it, hoping the value of whatever crypto they have goes up. For example, at the start of 2013, Bitcoin was trading at around $13.50 per coin and peaked at just under $24,000 per coin in December of 2020. To understand the full scope of the cryptocurrency global landscape, we surveyed over 1,000 people regarding their investment tendencies and feelings toward the digital dollar. What does the future hold for Bitcoin and the many other cryptocurrencies circulating around the net? With their rapid rise in popularity and worth, they may be here for the long haul and might even eventually render the physical money we know and love obsolete. Keep reading to discover who's investing in what and why. Cryptocurrency at a Glance From the surveyed population, 76% had invested in cryptocurrency entering 2021. Millennials were the most keen on it – 80.1% of them fell into this age category. Among respondents, 64% were men, and 36% were women. By a large margin, the most owned cryptocurrency was Bitcoin (51.4%). The next highest was Bitcoin cash at 10.4%, and the rest were all well under that. Investors were five times more likely to own Bitcoin versus other cryptocurrencies – there are a handful of factors that contribute to its popularity. Bitcoin is worth a lot (over $35,000 USD apiece at the time of writing this), has been around longer than other cryptocurrencies and major companies have started to accept it as a legitimate payment option. Crypto influencers offer advice, news, and predictions for the crypto world – almost 60% of cryptocurrency owners took influencer knowledge into account when investing. Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian-Russian programmer, is one of the most famous figures in the crypto world. He co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2012 and Ethereum in 2015, which has become the second-largest cryptocurrency worldwide. Another influencer, Erik Voorhees, is an American entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of numerous crypto-related ventures. He launched a bitcoin gambling website in 2012 called SatoshiDICE and founded Coinapult in 2013 which allowed users to send bitcoins via SMS. In 2015, he turned his attention toward his new venture, ShapeShift, a currency exchange and management platform that supported many different cryptocurrencies. Of the last 12 years, 2018 saw the highest level of first-time cryptocurrency investment, with 21.4% of respondents entering the market at the time. Overall, 46% of respondents started to invest in 2018 and beyond. A tremendous increase in Bitcoin price over the last couple years could explain the rise in interest and subsequent investments. The Crypto Experience When further analyzing respondent's feelings toward cryptocurrency investment, more can be learned about their views, opinions, and experiences with it. Firstly, 53% of current cryptocurrency owners worried about criminal activity. According to a Crypto Crime Report conducted by Chainanalysis, the value of Bitcoin that had been sent to and from various markets on the dark web totalled over $600 million. To that end, 65% of respondents agreed that cryptocurrency should be regulated and monitored by the government in an attempt to crack down against the rampant illegal activity in the crypto underworld. Forty-one percent of investors claimed they had fallen for a scam or experienced an attempted scam. There are a lot of tricks scammers can use to con people out of their money. It is usually done by email or telephone – a common strategy used is to offer participation in online referral strategy schemes or investment in a "surefire" business opportunity. Unfortunately, some people send their hard-earned money to the person on the other end of the line. They may promise to double your investment, but the money is almost always never seen again. Seventeen percent of all respondents and a quarter of baby boomers felt cryptocurrency as a whole is just a scam. Seeing as the concept and usage of cryptocurrency is fairly new, the hostility and uncertainty toward its long-term legitimacy isn't entirely surprising. More on Investments Respondent's average initial investment into cryptocurrencies was $2,235. In all, the average investment totaled $9,305. Seventy-seven percent of investors had set up automatic investment payments to continually increase their crypto accounts. Not every investment led to financial success, though. Over 56% of baby boomer respondents claimed to have lost money to the crypto market, followed by 49.2% of Gen Xers and 44.6% of millennials. Overall, 47% said they had suffered losses on their invested money, the average being $2,763. Fifty-eight percent decided to pull their previously invested money, averaging $3,305 in withdrawals. Well over half of respondents attributed their use of cryptocurrencies to investment purposes. Investment can be an attractive option, seeing as Bitcoin, for example, is a scarce asset, many believe its value can continue to rise as fiat currencies (e.g., the U.S. dollar) depreciate. Only 8.3% of respondents used it for direct spending – there is an increasing number of companies that have begun to accept crypto payments, and as more allow it, direct spending will likely increase as well. Just under 15% of respondents claimed to have invested in cryptocurrency in the hopes of churning out large profits. The majority (37%) had invested purely out of curiosity. It is still too early to tell how cryptocurrencies will fare in the future – it seems as if many people are just happy to be along for the ride and see how their investments do. It also provides investors an opportunity to learn more about the crypto world in the event a global movement toward digital monetary assets takes place. The Future Is Crypto Twenty-one percent of cryptocurrency skeptics said they plan on investing in the new year. On average, those that have already invested plan on injecting $7,145 into their crypto accounts. Newcomers planned on investing considerably less, at an average of $965. Unsurprisingly, 31.3% of respondents are looking to invest in Bitcoin over other types of cryptocurrency. Also, most of them (65.6%) felt hopeful about the future of cryptocurrency – a positive mindset could be the first step toward (financial) success. As a whole, 45% of respondents felt a $100,000 mark is within reach for Bitcoin in 2021. Just over 54% of cryptocurrency owners believed as much, as did 16% of those without any crypto to their name. Seventy-seven percent of cryptocurrency owners believed that it will become just as popular as government-issued currencies, whereas 40.2% of nonowners agreed. On average, 68% of respondents believed the two currencies will eventually become equally as popular. With the increase in interest in cryptocurrencies and subsequent investments, as well as Bitcoin being the best performing asset this past decade, a level playing field between crypto and government currencies could be here sooner than we think. Crypto Quick Stats Top 5 Crypto-Friendly States: Colorado Ohio Texas California Wyoming Top 10 Richest Crypto Investors: ‘Nakamoto' Chris Larsen Joseph Lubin Changpeng Zhao Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss Matthew Roszak Brock Pierce Brian Armstrong Anthony Di Iorio Xu Mingxing Top 9 Countries With the Highest Increase in Users Between Ages of 18 and 24: Nigeria Australia Spain Canada Mexico U.K. Colombia India Pakistan Top 9 Countries With the Highest Increase in Female Users: Greece Romania Argentina Portugal Indonesia Ukraine Czechia Colombia Venezuela The Digital Gold Rush The rise of cryptocurrency is a fascinating one, and there is much controversy that surrounds the topic. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey famously tweeted in 2018 that he believed the internet and the world as a whole will operate on one single currency, being Bitcoin. Although there has been consistent elevated interest displayed by the public in their investment efforts, many are skeptical about the safety of a digital currency. An average person may fear scammers and hackers, and governments are worried that it might destabilize their national currencies and hurt their economies. The influence that cryptocurrency will have in the future is uncertain, as there are both positive and negative aspects that come with its total adoption. For now, it seems that people are happy investing casually and learning what it's all about. What we do know, though, is that the landscape may very well drastically change in the next ten years, maybe just as quickly as it has since Bitcoin's inception. Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 1,015 people about their views on cryptocurrency. Respondents were 42.1% men, and 57.6% women. One respondent was nonbinary, and two respondents chose not to disclose their gender. The average age of respondents was 38.3 with a standard deviation of 11.8 years. Our survey included respondents currently invested in cryptocurrencies and those who are not. 244 respondents were currently invested in cryptocurrencies and 771 respondents were not. Questions on which cryptocurrency respondents own, their reasons for investing, what they use it for, which crypto influencers they actively follow, and what they associate cryptocurrency with were asked as check-all-that-apply questions. Therefore, percentages won't add to 100. The data we are presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration. Fair Use Statement Think your friends and family might want to brush up on their cryptocurrency knowledge? Feel free to share these findings – we only ask that you do so for noncommercial use and that you provide a link back to this original page so the study's contributors can earn credit for their work.
  9. Key Takeaways: Gen Z’s investment habits are more likely to be influenced by Reddit, Twitter, and other social media, while older generations are more likely to have their investments influenced by magazines, newspapers, and TV. Gen Z is less likely to invest in a majority of typical/traditional/common assets but more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies, meme investments, currencies, and NFTs. Gen Z is less likely to invest in collectibles but more likely to invest in clothing and sneakers. Reasons Gen Z and many millennials are investing include the desire to “participate in a movement” and “fight back against institutions.” Investing for All Ages The ‘crypto craze’ has taken the world by storm – a week into 2021, the market value of cryptocurrencies surpassed a whopping $1 trillion. To put its surge into perspective, the value of all digital currencies added up to only around $260 billion last June, and it is now the fifth-most circulated currency worldwide, even surpassing huge economies like India and the UK. With the investment world booming, we wanted to take a closer look at investment strategies among the generations, with a particular focus on Gen Z. Let’s see how often they invest and when they feel is the right time to do so. Also, what kind of assets are they interested in, and what mediums do they use to (attempt to) grow their money? Lastly, we’ll assess respondents’ investment motivations as well as their sensitivity to risk. Read on to see who and what is pulling in the big bucks. Trigger-Happy Overall, a quarter of respondents admitted to investing frequently. It was a relatively popular activity among them, as only 12% said they rarely did it. On a generational level, Gen Zers couldn’t get enough of the practice – 28% said they were constantly investing. That being said, they were also the most likely to say they rarely do. As people got older, they were generally less active in the investment world; millennials were most likely to frequently invest, Gen Xers would do it often, and baby boomers and older generations would only sometimes try their hand at it. Respondents were most eager to invest when they felt like they had extra money to spend. Over half of them pulled the trigger when market conditions were right and would invest on a regular basis. Jumping into the stock market and other investment mediums can be exhilarating, so people should keep a few tips in mind to maximize success: Focus on the future by keeping a long-term perspective, don’t sweat the small stuff, and be open-minded. Weighing the Options With many different asset options to invest in and methods to do so, what do people tend to use the most? By a margin of just over 20 percentage points, the most popular asset to invest in was stocks – almost three-quarters of millennials and Gen Xers preferred to put their money in them over the other options. Putting your money into the stock market can be very financially beneficial – the simplest reason to invest is to grow your wealth, and people tend to amass anywhere between 7% and 10% of their original investment in returns per year. Historically, stocks generally rise and earn more money for investors than other options – therefore, investing in stocks is a relatively safe strategy, making it an attractive choice for many. The most common medium used to invest were retail investment platforms – Gen Zers especially preferred them, but baby boomers (or older) tended to use financial service companies to help them invest their money. There are a ton of investment apps at our disposal, and they are known to excel in different areas – for example, ‘Invstr’ was deemed the best for learning all about investing; ‘Wealthfront’ is known for its sophisticated portfolio management; and ‘Betterment’ is great for people who are interested in socially responsible investing strategies. Assessing Motivations Some are skeptical about the legitimacy of the investment world. Either way, they continue to attempt to grow their money. A conspiracy is afoot, as 77% of respondents believed the markets are manipulated by high-power investors and institutions, and many also agree that the stock market is biased toward them. Generally, baby boomers (and older) were a little more skeptical of these theories, but the younger generations were pretty sure there’s some truth behind them. A lot of research has been done to figure out what’s going on, and technically speaking, it would be difficult to prove that the stock market is rigged for the average investor due to laws and governing bodies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to keep things in check. That being said, there are clear advantages that higher-ups, such as the money managers on Wall Street, have access to – among them are access to private and sensitive information, a ton of capital, political influence, and generally high experience when it comes to trading. Regarding investment motivations, Gen Zers, and in many cases millennials, did not have the same incentives as older generations. While Gen Xers and older respondents were interested in long-term gains, saving for the future, and making solid returns, their younger counterparts were particularly drawn to doing it for social causes, like fighting back against institutions and participating in movements. Risk and Influences Are people high-rollers, or do they prefer the small victories? Also, what are they influenced by when it comes to investment decisions? From the data collected, we can see that Gen Zers had a much higher risk tolerance than older generations, and baby boomers (and older respondents) tended to prefer to be a little safer with their investments. The most important aspect considered, by far, when investing was the market condition at the time. Instead of the stock fundamentals, Gen Zers were more interested in the tips and opinions from their family and friends, as well as the advice they found on Reddit. Millennials were the most likely to look for advice on social media and were also most likely to attribute moral or ethical reasoning to their investment decisions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gen Zers were more influenced by the online landscape, including YouTube, Reddit, and other social media applications, whereas the older generations tended to make their decisions based on what they were seeing in magazines, newspapers, and on television. The reality is, older people just aren't online nearly as much as young people. For example, 2021 Facebook demographic data shows that out of the 2.7 billion active monthly users, 86% of them are aged 18 to 29, whereas only 34% are 65 or older. The difference is even greater for Instagram’s 1 billion active monthly users – the split is 67% to 8%, respectively. The Learning Curve Clearly, the idea of investing has piqued the interest of many Gen Zers. Their preferred assets, method choices, motivations, and considered factors when investing are different than older generations. This is to be expected, especially with how much they use the internet and their dedication to social causes. A common stereotype is that young people are reckless, especially with their financials, but it was Gen Zers who were the most likely to invest to gain more insight about the investment landscape. Aside from the stock market, another way to grow your money is by rolling the dice at the casino. One thing that these two potential money-growing platforms have in common is that if you’re well informed on what you’re doing, you’re more likely to succeed. Gambler’s Pick is your go-to resource for learning about the ins and outs of online gambling – take a look at their casino reviews, helpful guides, and suggestions before diving into the many casino games you can try your hand at on their website. Head over there now to become a gambling guru! Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 872 people about their investment strategies to explore how different generations are investing. Twenty-four percent of respondents were Gen Zers, 27% were millennials, 25% were Gen Xers, and 24% were baby boomers or older. An attention-check question was used to help ensure respondents read questions and answers in their entirety. The data we’re presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data which include, but are not limited to, the following: attribution, exaggeration, telescoping, and selective memory. Fair Use Statement If you know someone who’s interested in dipping their toes into the world of investing or just wants to learn more about investment strategies, feel free to send this article their way. We just ask that you do so for noncommercial use only and to provide a link back to the original page so contributors can earn credit for their work.
  10. Key Takeaways: 45% of respondents had heard of Dogecoin, and 27.6% had invested in it. 30% of respondents believed that Dogecoin was the new Bitcoin. 48.8% of respondents regretted investing in Reddit-hyped stocks, while 40% regretted investing in Dogecoin. More than half of respondents were familiar with NFTs, while 40.5% had invested in NFTs. From Dogecoin to NFTs Bitcoin has been discounted before and still has its critics but always seems to come out on top. Even after years of disappointment, the digital currency came back stronger than ever. And with investing becoming more accessible to masses of people instead of the wealthy elite, we all want to know: What's the future of digital currency? As we saw with the GameStop story, large influxes of micro-investors have scale-tipping abilities comparable to those of established hedge funds. To better understand these scale-tippers, which we now know can hugely sway trading prices, we got to asking. More than 1,000 people across the country recently participated in our crypto trend research. They shared with us their opinions on everything from Reddit’s influence to Dogecoin and NFTs. If you're interested in what the average American was planning to do with these investment opportunities, keep reading. Determining the Future of Dogecoin Dogecoin was actually started as a joke in 2013 based on a popular Shiba Inu meme. But as we know today, jokes have power in the markets. Our study kicks off with a look at Dogecoin, how many Americans have heard of it, and how they feel about Elon Musk involving himself. While most people had heard of Dogecoin through social media (33.7%) or conversations with friends and family (21.7%), Elon Musk was single-handedly popularizing the coin as well. Eighteen percent of respondents had first heard of Dogecoin because of news covering Elon Musk's-related tweets. Most respondents either approved of or didn't care when it came to Musk's Doge-related information. Musk's tweets show enormous support for Dogecoin. When asked if he wanted the coin available for purchase on Coinbase, he tweeted with a resounding "Yes!" moving Dogecoin almost 10% north. Even if he meant it as a joke, we can say Dogecoin is at least considered a safer bet than the lottery –most respondents agreed that they would purchase Dogecoin over a lottery ticket, all costs being equal. Looking Forward to Dogecoin With Dogecoin getting so much attention on social media and from Elon Musk, we wanted to know what respondents felt the future of the currency was. They told us where they thought the price would go, what they would invest, and how it would compare to Bitcoin. People are placing a premium on Dogecoin's meaning in their life. Instead of investing "just for fun" or even to have a safe, reliable investment, the majority of Dogecoin purchasers see this as their chance to truly "get rich." They evidently have massive faith in the price of Dogecoin to soar, as they intended to get this rich with an average investment of $227. If Dogecoin goes up to $1 by the end of the year, however, which 23% of people thought it will, that $227 investment could be worth quite a lot, as the coin is hovering around a worth of just 5 cents at the time of writing of this article. Even with these high hopes, most people didn't see the coin as taking over Bitcoin's place. Instead, most felt Bitcoin would maintain its dominant stance in the cryptomarket. Buying With Bitcoin and Digital currencies Digital currencies like Bitcoin are supposed to be exactly that: currency, or money with which to buy things. We next asked our respondents which retailers they wish accepted Dogecoin as payment. Most people thought it would be a perk for Amazon to accept Dogecoin as payment. While other stores were considered, 41.1% of respondents said they didn't really want any stores to accept Dogecoin. Evidently, the value often lay elsewhere. When asked, however, to consider what they would do were Amazon to release their own digital currency, the resounding answer was to invest. Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed that they would invest in Amazon's cryptocurrency. Fortunately for this group, Amazon's digital currency appears to be in the works. Trusting in Reddit The conversation around investing today often now leads to discourse about Reddit and memes. The next part of our study asks people what their response was to Reddit hypes and what investments they had chosen because of the platform's information. Similarly to an Elon Musk tweet, a group of Redditors also has the power to run up the price of alt coins (like Doge) when they put their mind (and money) to it. Even though it's highly associated with meme-style investing, the Reddit community's power has certainly been proven this year. It is not at all uncommon for digital investors today to use Reddit to inform their investments as well. Reddit's influence became unignorable with the GameStop phenomenon. The little guys from the internet were finally taking on the big hedge funds on Wall Street – and they were winning. GameStop was still the number one investment people made who took Reddit recommendations. Next was BlackBerry, which 31% of people also invested in because of Reddit. While BlackBerry was one of the biggest winners from the initial GameStop frenzy, this stock didn't have as large of a short interest as GameStop, making it harder to maintain the squeeze. The stock has fallen from $30 to around $9. Even though people were much more likely to invest in Reddit stocks than they were Dogecoin, they were also much more likely to regret the investment. While 48.8% of respondents said they regretted their Reddit-informed stock purchases, only 40% said the same thing about Dogecoin. While most planned to shed their Reddit investments within the next six months, perhaps they had higher hopes for Dogecoin still. Non-Fungible Tokens Chances are the acronym NFT has come across your radar more than once recently. NFT stands for non-fungible token. "Non-fungible" means that it's unique and can't be replaced –unlike Bitcoin, which can be replaced for another Bitcoin. NFTs, like truly one-of-a-kind trading cards, are part of the Ethereum blockchain at their highest level, though some others have implemented their own forms of NFTs. The last part of our study asks respondents to weigh in on this ongoing NFT boom. Just under half of respondents had even heard of Ethereum, though slightly more had heard of NFTs (which derive from Ethereum typically). While nearly a third couldn't provide the definition for NFTs, a whopping 61.7% of respondents planned to invest in them shortly. Women expressed particular interest in the opportunity, with 66.1% planning to invest in 2021. While millennials were most familiar with NFTs, almost a third of baby boomers knew the concept as well. NFTs made mainstream news when Beeple's NFT sold for over $60 million at auction – the most expensive NFT sold … so far. Trading and Trusting Even expert traders will tell you there's no way to predict the stock market. That said, there are certainly signposts and indications along the way. In today's Reddit-influenced and digital-informed markets, some of those signposts may be the communities that have arisen. With micro-investors banning together on such massive scales for the first time, the evidence compiled here from everyday Americans may actually indicate where digital currency trends may go. There's still optimism around Dogecoin and cryptocurrency and less hype around Reddit stocks and meme choices. That said, respondents weren't willing to sell everything just yet. If you're interested in having an investing-style community of your own, GamblersPick is the place for you. People from all over the world who share your interests and excitement are available to weigh in on whatever investments you may be considering. You'll also find news, guides, casino information, and whatever you may need related to money and fun! Head to GamblersPick today to check it out. Methodology This study uses data from a survey of 1,001 respondents familiar with cryptocurrencies located in the U.S. Survey respondents were gathered through the Amazon Mechanical Turk survey platform where they were presented with a series of questions, including attention-check and disqualification questions. 59.3% of respondents identified as men, while 40.7% identified as women. Participants incorrectly answering any attention-check question had their answers disqualified. This study has a 3% margin of error on a 95% confidence interval. 5.9% of respondents were Gen Zers, 60.8% millennials, 22.6% Gen Xers, and 10.7% baby boomers. Please note that survey responses are self-reported and are subject to issues, such as exaggeration, recency bias, and telescoping. Fair Use Statement Feeling the frenzy building in yourself as well? Community and sharing information is all part of it. Feel free to share this article, just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  11. In February this year, electric car manufacturer Tesla made headlines when it announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and would shortly begin accepting Bitcoin as payment on a limited basis. At the time, industry experts lined up to question the wisdom - or madness - of the decision, with one commentator openly declaring it a "publicity stunt". Another publication did not see the humour in Elon Musk’s future-forward approach to his business calling it a "dangerous bet" that endangered the company and those who would follow in his lead. Contrary to the predictions of doom and gloom, the move is proving to be a masterstroke for Musk and his company with recent reports postulating that Tesla has netted more than $1.2 billion from its BTC investment. This would mean that the company has earned nearly twice as much from its gamble on Bitcoin as it did for the entire year of 2020 where it reported profits of $721 million. Showboating or Necessary Action? Musk has been a vocal supporter of cryptocurrencies, taking to social media and even waxing lyrical in interviews about his belief in the burgeoning technology and what it means for the future of finance. Detractors of Musk have called the investment in Bitcoin a risky bit of showmanship, however, the company had declared its intent to diversify its cash holdings and investment as part of their US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. The filing they submitted for review spoke of their desire to maximise the value of their holdings saying: “We may invest a portion of such cash in certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future." It is also important to view the investment as a percentage of their value, rather than simply looking at the dollar value. At $1.5 billion, their investment in Bitcoin only represented a 7.7% divestiture of their $19 billion asset pool. A position they made clear in their SEC filing stating that they were updating their investment policy to allow for flexibility on “cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity”. In layman’s terms, Tesla checked under the couch cushions and invested the change they found there. Big Business Boards the Gravy Train While Tesla is one of the more recognisable names to get involved with Bitcoin, and certainly one of the most aggressive in terms of investment size, they are by no means the first. Over the past few years several well-regarded companies have shifted a portion of their investment portfolio into crypto. ✓Morgan Stanley Wealth management company Morgan Stanley has shrugged of its stuffy demeanour in favour of embracing Bitcoin. A recent internal memo indicated that the company is planning to provide access to funds that will allow investors to purchase BTC. The bank took this decision after high profile clients petitioned for access to the token. However, this option is not for everyone; only clients who have at least $2 million in assets with the bank will be eligible to access the new Bitcoin fund. Morgan Stanley has also laid out certain minimum investment conditions which include having an account that is at least six months old, as well as limiting bitcoin investments to a maximum of 2.5% of a client’s total net worth. ✓Square Inc. E-commerce firm Square Inc. is firmly on the Bitcoin bandwagon. In October last year, the Jack Dorsey-owned enterprise committed $50 million to Bitcoin, a financial outlay that represents about 1% of Square’s total assets. At the tokens current value, the investment is currently worth around $200 million – a fantastic 6 month return on investment by anyone standards. Amrita Ahuja, the group’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future … As it grows in adoption, we intend to learn and participate in a disciplined way. For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey.” This is not the company’s first foray into the crypto space. In 2018, Square launched Bitcoin trading via its mobile payments service, Cash App. Two years later, Square announced that Cash App’s crypto revenue had surged by an astronomical 600%. Following this success, the company formed Square Crypto, an independent company that focused on Bitcoin open-sourced work. ✓Grayscale Investments Grayscale Investments is rightly considered a frontrunner when it comes to corporate Bitcoin investments. Through its Bitcoin Trust Fund, the firm currently manages more than 656,166 BTC. This amounts to almost 3.1% of the total BTC currently in circulation on the blockchain. With the cryptocurrencies sharp increase in price the company's BTC holdings are valued at more than $35 billion, giving it the largest bitcoin portfolio of any institutional investment platform in the world. ✓CoinShares Group Digital asset management firm CoinShares is another UK-based, publicly-traded organisation with substantial Bitcoin holdings. The company is noted for being the first to launch a regulated BTC hedge fund as well as an exchange-traded Bitcoin product. CoinShares CEO Jean-Marie Mognetti summed up their attitude toward Bitcoin when she clarified that it was no longer a risk to invest in Bitcoin, rather investment houses now see not allocating funds to Bitcoin as the risky play. This is a massive about-face for the traditional investment houses who only a few years ago considered Bitcoin and its ilk a passing fad. As of February 2021, CoinShares Group held a little under 70 000 BTC which is valued at approximately $3.2 billion. ✓MicroStrategy Inc. Nasdaq-listed MicroStrategy specialises in developing mobile software and providing cloud-based services. It is also the owner of more than 71,000 BTC, currently valued at more than $3 billion. Back in September 2020, MicroStrategy made headlines when it bought $425 million worth of BTC. At the time, CEO Michael Saylor stated: “This investment reflects our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely adopted cryptocurrency, is a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.” This crypto treasure trove ensures that MicroStrategy holds the largest number of BTC by a publicly traded organisation. The company has officially adopted Bitcoin as its primary reserve asset due to its “compelling returns”. ✓Ruffer Investment Company UK-based asset management firm Ruffer Investment Company has decided to dip its toes into the Bitcoin pool. Late last year, the company diverted a fraction of its Multi-Strategies Fund into crypto, purchasing 45,000 Bitcoin. Ruffer views this investment as an “insurance policy against the continuing devaluation of the world’s major currencies”. Their investors are praising this bullish policy as the $870 million the firm invested in BTC is currently worth a little over $2 billion! ✓Galaxy Digital Holdings Galaxy Digital Holdings is an investment and asset management company which owns an astounding number of Bitcoin in its own rights. The company was founded in 2018 by former Wall Street icon Michael Novogratz specifically to cater to the needs of investors looking to get into the digital asset, cryptocurrency, and blockchain sectors. An early BTC adopter Galaxy currently holds 16,400 BTC with a resale value of more than $770 million. How Big Can This Bubble Get? Regardless of origin, core service or origin the one trait all of these company’s share is their reason for investing in Bitcoin - they see the cryptocurrency as an effective buffer against the continuing devaluing of fiat currencies around the globe. Only time will tell if their fears prove to be founded or if the current cryptocurrency bull market becomes this generations dotcom bubble.
  12. Bitcoin is one of the most exciting and globally impactful new technologies to hit the planet since the invention of the internet. With that being said it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of Bitcoin, and which other cryptocurrencies can fill in where Bitcoin falls short. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at what Bitcoin’s 21 million limit actually means, investigate ten affordable Bitcoin competitors who offer long term acquisition possibilities, and discuss Bitcoin’s market cap to help you better understand the value of the cryptocurrencies you choose to invest in. Why Is Bitcoin Limited to 21 Million? An intriguing aspect of Bitcoin is the fact that when Satoshi Nakamoto designed his visionary decentralised virtual currency, he limited its expansion to 21 million BTC. More than 18.5 million Bitcoin have been mined in the first decade since the cryptocurrency’s creation, however, it is predicted that mining the last remaining 2.5 million coins (11.9% of total) will take anywhere from fifteen to twenty years to complete. This is thanks to a process known as The Halving. Nakamoto included a process which effectively cuts the Bitcoin rewards for mining in half every four years. In practical terms, the total BTC reward for 2016 was 12.5 million, however by mid-2020 the same amount of “work on the blockchain” only rewarded miners with 6.25 million BTC. This may sound like it is a lifetime away however it represents less than two decades of “carefree” mining before the only way to monetise the cryptocurrency will be via transactional fees and direct sales of the BTC you own. Who Are Bitcoin Competitors? Considering the real world limitations of Bitcoin here are 10 affordable Bitcoin competitors. For ease of use we have sorted them using the total percentage available for mining (based on CoinMarketCap data for 17 February 2021): Avalanche (AVAX) - price: $36.38, mining availability: 89% The Graph (GRT) - price: $2.18, mining availability: 88% Uniswap (UNI) - price: $21.44, mining availability: 69% Huobi Token (HT) - price: $14.50, mining availability: 61% Chainlink (LINK) – price: $32.19, mining availability: 59% Synthetix (SNX) - price: $24.27, mining availability: 56% XRP (XRP) – price: $0.53, mining availability: 55% Stellar (XLM) – price: $0.49, mining availability: 55% Cardano (ADA) - price: $0.89, mining availability: 31% Neo (NEO) - price: $42.58, mining availability: 30% Whether it is due to rising prices or the scarcity created by its 21 million limitation the fact is that Bitcoin will not be able to dominate the market for much longer. This means that the smart money is on diversifying your options by looking into altcoins which could grow into the next Bitcoin. What Does Bitcoin Market Cap Mean? When looking at any investment vehicle market cap, or market capitalisation, refers to the number of shares which have been bought and then held by the investors. In the case of Bitcoin, this would then refer to the total value of all BTC currently held by people who have either bought, traded or mined them. Traditionally calculating the market cap of stock would mean looking at the number of shares held by investors multiplied by the closing value of the stock. The same logic is applied to cryptocurrency market caps, here we look at the number of BTC being held multiplied by the current value of a single coin. What is the Market Cap Value of Bitcoin? In January 2021 market and consumer data provider Statista calculated the relative market cap of Bitcoin to be approximately $600 billion. This is an amazing success story when you consider that in 2013 analysts placed the company’s market cap at $1 billion. The reason for the surge in Bitcoin’s market valuation is based on the number of Bitcoin which have been mined and the recent price surge which saw the virtual coin’s value hit an astounding $49,951 BTC thanks to Tesla’s massive investment in the technology. For those doing the math on this, it may seem off-kilter given that approximately 18.5 million BTC have been mined to date. However, market analysts consider who much BTC is available for circulation. Given public reports of lost wallets, misplaced passwords and genesis blocks which cannot be traded the number of coins in circulation is far lower than the number of blocks mined.
  13. 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.
  14. The biggest name in the cryptocurrency game is Bitcoin, so much so that in many cases the word “bitcoin” has become synonymous for the entire industry. However, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is an incredibly interesting industry which has been built on an innovative codebase known as the Blockchain. We won’t get into the weeds with this code base other than to note that it is what makes cryptocurrencies virtually impervious to hacking, promises zero server downtime and ensures you can remain anonymous while exercising full control over your funds. Four Noteworthy Cryptocurrencies With more than 1000 cryptocurrencies on the market we have simplified matters by focusing on 5 intriguing non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies. Join us as we delve into what makes them both unique and potentially the next big breakout coin. ✓Ethereum (ETH) – Smart Contracts Ethereum is a well-known name in cryptocurrency circles, mostly for being the Pepsi to Bitcoin’s Coca Cola. What is less commonly known about Ethereum is where it secures its value proposition? Unlike Bitcoin which sees its value-driven by public awareness and scarcity, Ethereum generates its value from how useful it is to its users. Ethereum allows its users to perform credible transactions with buyers and sellers via smart contracts. These smart contracts use secure code to ensure the transactions in question are secure and will be honoured by both parties. Ethereum stands to see rapid growth once corporations become familiar with the benefits and features of doing business on the blockchain. The cryptocurrency has positioned itself as the one to work with once smart contract adoption hits the mainstream. ✓Litecoin (LTC) – Fastest Transactions There is very little to differentiate Litecoin from Bitcoin when looking at its basic setup. This is not unexpected given that Litecoin is considered a ‘hard fork’ of BTC, having been built using the same basic premise. Where Litecoin does shine however is in the cryptocurrency evangelism and technology adoption. Created by ex-Google engineer and creator of Coinbase, Charlie Lee, the cryptocurrency showcases the latest in blockchain development using its own algorithm for mining and requiring different hardware to other mining solutions. It is this constant dedication to speed, data security and enhancement that allows Litecoin to be the fastest processing coin on the market, showing up to 75% faster transaction speeds than Bitcoin. Charlie Lee is also an outspoken supporter of cryptocurrency adoption and works to educate the public and corporations of its benefits through the non-profit Litecoin Foundation. ✓Ripple (XRP) – Banking Pioneers Where most cryptocurrencies see themselves as leather jacket-wearing rebels, Ripple has taken a more mature approach to growing its user base. The bulk of its growth was achieved by partnering with more than 300 existing financial institutions. Their financial infrastructure is called Ripplenet, and by partnering with the likes of American Express, Bank of America, HSBC, Siam Bank, Nium, Moneygram and many others they have access to a limitless user base that literally crisscrosses the entire planet. These users are also the recipients of the faster transactions and lower costs offered by a virtual coin network. Another unique feature of Ripple is that while the cryptocurrency does use a ledger system like Bitcoin and its peers the coinage does not require traditional mining to be performed to acquire it making it cryptocurrency that does not come with massive power bills associated with crypto-mining. ✓Dash (DASH) – Traceless Transactions Dash lives up its name by being a virtual currency which offers lighting fast transaction speeds of 1 second, across more than 4300 global merchants. For those looking to interact with Dash as an investment item, it can be traded on more than 260 exchanges around the world. While all blockchain-based cryptocurrencies offer users the safety net of anonymity, Dash has taken that promise one step further. Rather than keep a transaction history – which would allow a third party to track your digital movements - Dash does not publish your transaction data to the blockchain. This added layer of security is proving popular with users, which sees them process more than 20,000 transactions daily. This transaction limit could see a sharp increase in the near future as Dash readies to launch the new DashPay Wallet for both Apple iOS and Android. Honourable Mentions During our journey through the weird and wonderful world of altcoins, there were several that caught our attention but did not seem poised to become big names in the industry. That is not to say that they do not serve a niche audience, check out our runners up to see if any of these meet your needs. USD Coin – While not a decentralised cryptocurrency in the true sense this is a virtual coin based on the value of the US Dollar. It could very well the way to transact on a daily basis should the fiat banking world do away with paper money. Dentacoin – One of the many niche coins which use Ethereum as its base, Dentacoin is the first virtual currency targeting the dental profession. With the coin, users can pay for care, earn rewards and even trade the coin on a participating exchange. Sexcoin – Where there is money there is sex, as the internet has proven over and over again. Established in 2013 Sexcoin aims to become to the go-to virtual coin for all your adult needs, everything from hiring a dancer to tipping your favourite camgirl. Let us know if you have any interesting altcoins that you feel have the potential to blow up in the future.
  15. In the online gambling world, few game types take as much intricate planning to produce as Online Slots. Increasing innovation and technological enhancements have made playing video slots super exciting. The special graphic effects, sounds, and features developed over the past few years have been entertaining and have inadvertently churned up a heated and competitive market space. Did you know? In the USA, the latest stats show that nearly half of all casino visitors play slots. The trends are not set to change either, as a new generation is entering the market. These players have grown up on video games and are likely to engage better with slots than other game types. Quick fact: Online gambling stats in the UK show that young adults between the ages of 25 and 44 years old dominate the gambling player market. This is sure to make an impact on gambling trends. It is believed that online slot games will rule the casino world for years to come. We can expect to see so much more from this sector. Each year, the quality of the games improves, and the diversity of features and mechanics grow. This has us excited about the prospects for 2021! Let’s take a look at what we can expect in the slot world this coming year. ✓ Bitcoin is Booming! Decentralised casinos are a big thing right now, especially with all the attention that Bitcoin is getting in the finance sector thanks to its hefty growth over the past year. This has resulted in a healthy introduction of casino start-ups in this segment. With a push for a more transparent gaming environment, Game developers in this segment are introducing more and more titles with provably fair algorithms built into the RNG software. This way players can validate that each game is random and fair. Quick Fact: With provably fair games, the game developer provides specific tools for players to use that grant them access to the software’s open-source code. Gamblers can check to make sure that no alterations are made to the RNGs algorithms while a spin of the reels is underway, thereby proving that the result is unmanipulated and random. For this reason, we can expect that far more provably fair online slot games will enter the marketplace over the course of 2021. This is sure to set a strong trend for greater transparency in the casino market, as a whole. ✓ Mobile is Mapping the Future While mobile gaming is not new to the online gambling industry, we expect that far more players will be turning to “on the go” gaming options in 2021. More and more people are acquiring mobile phones year on year, which bodes well for gambling statistics. Did you know? Many top gaming providers are developing their games for mobile-first, in keeping with the obvious trends in this market. More and more people are using their mobile phones to manage every part of their lives. From watching Netflix to diarising their days and spending time on social media. It is only natural that these same people would use their handsets to play their favourite online slot games too. ✓ Keep an Eye on AR and VR Technology Virtual Reality entered the market a few years ago, providing players with a far more immersive way to play slots. Players could actually enter into the virtual world of the game by donning special headgear. They could control the mechanics with hand gestures which would be relayed back to the gaming software via sophisticated sensors. The main reason that VR did not catch on then was that the hardware was very expensive to purchase and not everyone could afford the tech needed for it. New tech is always over-inflated when it comes to cost, but we can hope to see these prices normalise soon. The implementation of VR for mobile is a far more cost-effective alternative as well, so expect to see VR’s possible return this year. Augmented Reality (AR) is another engaging gaming alternative to watch out for. The technology uses overlays in the mobile app software to superimpose an augmented reality over your present environment, which is visible on your phone’s screen. Did you know: One of the most popular Augmented Reality games still played today is Pokémon Go. While it is not a gambling title, it provides us with the perfect example of how slots may play out in the near future. We said earlier that this was the year for mobile technology innovation, and this may be two ways in which “on the go” gameplay might steal the show in 2021. ✓ Enhancements in 3D Imagery The noticeable demand for titles in video gaming culture has been for games that look more realistic. The better the graphics and effects, the more popular games tend to be. This is becoming the norm among modern video slot players too. This is also one of the reasons that games like Gonzo’s Quest are timeless classics. Here, 3D imagery was used to provide a cinematic-like experience for its players. With enhancements in CGI, game developers have all the tools at their disposal to create ground-breaking strides in the graphics department. Quick Fact: CGI stands for Computer Generated Imagery. It is a popular form of technology used to enhance the special effects visible in movies and TV programs. It is based on the 3D imagery that we are seeing more and more in video games and slots today. Keep your eye on the line up of games each month to earmark the stacks of ‘pretty’ games we are expecting will arrive this coming year. ✓ AI to Handle Slot Security The standards of security are set for enhancement this year, as game developers and online casinos opt for AI-backed protection for their players. Quick Fact: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer science that uses machine learning protocols to undertake smart actions that would normally require human intelligence. In many sectors, AI is used to greater effect than a human workforce, because of the speed of transactions possible through the software mechanics. Artificial Intelligence protocols will be able to pick up on suspicious activities and hacking risks within seconds and move to resolve/neutralise the issues that players are facing in real-time. The Promise of More While the forecasting for the future of the slot industry is no exact science, all the trends suggest that the above technologies and innovations will be metered out over the next few years. One thing is certain though – This year promises advancements in the iGaming realms and is bound to build upon the innovations of last year to give us something more than we had in the past.
  16. If you know anything about cryptocurrency, then you'll know of the "joke" crypto Dogecoin. While it's true that it was first created as a joke back in 2013 (based on the doge meme), Dogecoin is no laughing matter now. Today, it's a currency used mainly by people on Twitter to tip one another. But did you know you can do a lot more with this crypto? For instance, there are lots of online casinos that actually accept this type of currency. Are you interested in gambling with Dogecoin now? Then you're in the right place! Here, we'll show you what the best Dogecoin casinos are for 2021! BitStarz Did you know that BitStarz was the first online casino to ever let punters bet with Bitcoin? This means that this casino is not only well-versed in crypto, but that it should be fairly easy and smooth to use Dogecoin as well. This casino was started in 2014 and they started allowing Ethereum and Dogecoin as of early 2018, so that's great news for you! And for those who want to use fiat money while gambling online, you'll be pleased to know that this site accepts those too. On BitStarz, you'll get to enjoy playing on over 850 games. You'll never get bored when you spend time on this site! software providers that have contributed to these games include Evolution Gaming, NetEnt, such as Bitcoin. Once you acquire Dogecoin, keep it safe by depositing it into a wallet, whether they're hard (offline) or soft (online). Then, simply go to the online casinos that interest you above. If you want to commit to gambling, then deposit your Dogecoin by using your wallet. After your deposit goes through, then you're free to play! Try Out These Dogecoin Casinos Today Now you have a wonderful selection of Dogecoin casinos to try out! Plus, we've also shown you the general idea of how to deposit and withdraw on online casinos with this cryptocurrency. While Dogecoin might've started off as a joke, and you might've even bought some as a joke, isn't it great that you can potentially make some money off of it? Even if you don't, at least you'll get to spend your cryptocurrency doing something you love: gambling! So take your Dogecoin and start playing on these recommended online casinos. Striking it big with a huge jackpot could just be around the corner for you! Are you interested in trying out other crypto casinos? Then check out our list of the top ones around!
  17. By now, everyone's heard of Bitcoin. It's probably the most famous cryptocurrency out there. And the growth of Bitcoin brought in its wake the expansion of crypto casinos, whose popularity was tied to fair gambling and instant payouts. But the exciting thing about blockchain-based currencies is that there are so many of them. Bitcoin isn't the only player in town—Monero is another open-source currency that's taking the online gambling world by storm. It's even one of the top ten cryptocurrencies on the market. Let's take a look at what Monero is, and examine some of the best Monero casinos in 2021. The 411 on Monero So just what is Monero? Appearing in 2014, Monero is a cryptocurrency that's a little newer than the more established cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. It's an open-source cryptocurrency that leverages the decentralization, interchangeability, and privacy features for which blockchain-based financial systems are famous. So, whether you're an international terrorist bent on world domination, or just really privacy-conscious, Monero is the cryptocurrency for you. It was created by an individual colorfully known as "thankful_for_today," a frequenter of the Bitcointalk forum. Called at first "BitMonero," it had a slow and shaky start; later, it was taken over by a character named "Johnny Mnemonic," and renamed Monero. Since then, the cryptocurrency has enjoyed a rather dubious history, becoming the crypto of choice for many black marketeers and drug dealers. You know, the good guys. Some of Monero's Privacy and Security Features So what is it that makes Monero such a secure cryptocurrency? Why is it a favorite of online gamblers? Here are some of the crypto's security and privacy features: Bulletproofs: These are a form of NIZK (non-interactive, zero-knowledge) proof. That means transactions can be verified without any exchange of details between the sender and the receiver. Stealth Address: The sender's address is a one-time, cryptographically generated address link. This ensures the sender's privacy. Encrypted Transactions: All transactions using Monero are encrypted, so users cannot be tracked. And there are some other complicated, blockchain-type stuff that works to ensure the security and privacy of transactions. Basically, if you're trying to keep your online financial transactions on the down-low, Monero is the go-to cryptocurrency. How to Get Monero Getting your hands on some Monero may be the most difficult part of the whole process, but once that's taken care of, you're ready to hit the casinos. Like other cryptocurrencies, Monero is listed on various exchanges, such as Kraken or Poloniex. You purchase the amount of Monero you'll need, and store it in your crypto wallet. MyMonero, Monerujo, and Cake Wallet are considered among the most secure and trusted Monero wallets you can find. Best Monero Casinos Okay, now let's get down to business. Monero is growing in popularity as the perfect crypto for online gambling. Its peerless security features and anonymity conspire to make it an ideal medium of exchange for gambling sites. Nevertheless, Monero has yet to fully infiltrate the online gambling space. Which means your options are somewhat limited. Still, there are several good options available. Let's take a look at some of the best online casinos that accept Monero. 1. FortuneJack Casino FortuneJack Casino is without doubt one of the best crypto casinos out there. It offers nine different cryptocurrencies, including (you guessed it) Monero. Then there's the fact that it has over three thousand (!) games, including slots, dice, table games, and much else. In fact, there are so many games offered that you're virtually assured of finding something that is to your liking and skill level. The site features a number of bonuses and promotions, and it has a slick layout that will keep you coming back for more. 2. Betcoin Betcoin is a long-standing Bitcoin casino, but it also offers other cryptocurrencies, including Monero. It has an extensive gaming library—though not as extensive as FortuneJack's. The casino offers 150 games, including blackjack, Baccarat, craps, dice, slots, etc. There's also a poker room with impressive tournaments, and a sportsbook. Betcoin's overall look and feel may not be as slick as FortuneJack Casino, but it gets the job done with a number of online games. 3. 1xBit Founded in 2015, 1xBit has established itself as a comprehensive Bitcoin gaming portal, catering to many different games, as it is not only an online casino. It also offers a much wider range of cryptocurrencies than just Bitcoin, and this includes Monero. As for gaming—1xBit has a truly massive selection of well over three thousand games available for play. There are standard casino games and slots, multiplayer games, a sportsbook, fantasy soccer tournaments, and betting on various televised games and financial events. 4. 7BitCasino 7BitCasino has been around since 2014, and boasts a gaming license from the government of Curaçao. It has an attractive online interface, and offers over two thousand popular online casino games. It comes with the usual slot and table games, and also has a live dealer lobby—something of a rarity. The site also offers numerous promotions and bonuses. Hit the Slots at the Best Monero Casinos of 2021! Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed some spectacular growth in the past decade. Whether it's the old standbys like Bitcoin and Ether, to edgier newcomers like Monero and ZCash, there's a whole lot to choose from. Finding the right Monero casinos is all about doing your research and finding the right fit for you. We think these five casinos, however, make a pretty good start. To learn more about cryptocurrencies click here, or visit out Monero Casinos section for the complete list XMR online casinos.
  18. While 2020 has been a downtrodden year, it hasn't stopped card players and slot machine enthusiasts from winning big. While many of them haven't been able to visit actual slots or card tables, online casinos still remain a viable option. Within that scene, cryptocurrencies like XRP or Ripple are becoming more popular due to reliable blockchain technology and easier payouts. But what is Ripple, and which online casinos support it? That's what we're looking at today. In this article, we'll be outlining the 4 best online Ripple casinos for players to visit in 2021. Why Play at Ripple Casinos? With the COVID-19 pandemic placing a lot of restrictions on gamblers, card players, and casino owners alike, there's going to be a continued emphasis on online casinos for many people to get their fix. As such, Ripple, one of the world's leading cryptocurrencies, is going to remain prominent as a way for players to deposit their wagers. Mobile gaming will also remain popular, with online casinos developing their own mobile apps so players can bet money and win big on the go. With advancements in blockchain technology, getting big payouts with a cryptocurrency like Ripple is becoming easier than ever. So with the rise in mobile gaming, the inability to visit casinos, and the growing popularity of cryptocurrency, playing at Ripple casinos seems like it's the way of the future. Best Ripple Online Casinos So what are the best ripple online casinos? Here are our favorites. Bitcasino BitCasino is arguably the leading online crypto casinos. They utilize versatile blockchain technology that lets you play with multiple types of cryptocurrency. This includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tron, XRP, Litecoin, and more. They also allow users to use traditional payment methods. In terms of variety, Bitcasino is certainly not lacking in that department. They have a variety of slots, jackpot, table, and live games that are constantly being added. All told, Bitcasino has over 2,000 games available to play. This variety greatly improves the number of features, bet limits, and potential payouts. Bitcasino also has a carefully selected and well-curated list of partnerships with different companies, including Microgaming, Betsoft, and Pragmatic Play. Depending on your region and game provider, Bitcasino lets you choose from a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Ripple and Tron. Depositing currency is a breeze, and withdrawal is instant, making for a convenient experience. They're also known for their security and licensing work, as Bitcoin is among the top in the industry when it comes to securely facilitate transactions. Overall, Bitcasino grants players a wide variety of games and has dedicated cryptocurrency support. Nomini For players who enjoy a fun and colorful casino atmosphere, Nomini might just be the site for you. Contrasting heavily with the ultra-serious and adult-oriented vibes of other online casinos, Nomini offers a diverse set of classic and video slots on top of its fun aesthetic. Best of all, Nomini accepts cryptocurrency services while providing fast deposits and withdrawals. They boast over 250 slots, including popular titles from NetEnt. classic slots, such as 3 and 5-roll machines, are also available for people more inclined to that style. Live casino games, such as roulette and blackjack, and about 50 more different table and card games are available to the player. Nomini also has a wide selection of promotions and bonuses. While some have complained that the terms for these bonuses are not explained very well. We recommend reading up on their terms and conditions just in case, but we don't imagine this being an issue for most players. Deposits are instant, and Nomini accepts various eWallets to put in money for a game. Banking methods are relatively diverse, including cryptocurrency support. Withdrawal takes several days but is processed safely and securely. Nomini offers much in the way of variety and offers a great deal of fun for anyone looking for a ripple online casino with a diverse set of games. Zet Don't let Zet's time in the business fool you - this online casino is a force that's to be reckoned with in the online casino business. They offer a wide variety of quality casino games, along with an even bigger selection of bonuses and promotions. Whether you're into slots, blackjack, poker, or Baccarat, Zet's got you covered. Its excellent user interface is combined with an intuitive mobile offering, meaning you'll be able to easily navigate Zet's services regardless of whether you're on your phone or desktop. Zet Casino doesn't skimp on its bonuses with an extremely high number of generous offerings. While some have higher wagering requirements, bonus hunters will still enjoy the bonuses, some of which can be claimed an unlimited number of times a day. Users will also enjoy a lack of withdrawal fees but might be a little put off by the length of time it takes to receive their earnings. They do support cryptocurrency, including Ripple, many of which have instant deposit time and both of which have no withdrawal fees All in all, Zet is shaping up to be a promising online casino after only two years in the game with a diverse set of games and excellent payment options. Cadoola While some may dismiss Cadoola as a smaller casino, that doesn't mean players will have any lesser of a time exploring its diverse set of games and extensive payout options. Whether you're looking for slots, roulette, blackjack, or baccarat, Cadoola offers dedicated online gameplay for any classic table casino game. You can engage in live games along with bingo and even video poker if that's more up your alley. Cadoola also employs a dedicated group of casino game providers, including NetEnt, BetSoft, and Pragmatic Play. Because Cadoola is an international service, their games can be translated into multiple languages. What's even more diverse is Cadoola's payment options. They offer well over a dozen different payment options ranging from regular Mastercard and Visa to Ripple, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies to boot. With quick deposit and withdrawal times, Cadoola is a dedicated online ripple casino that shouldn't fall under anyone's radar. Find the Best Ripple Online Casino For You Whether you want to casually bet on some slots or looking to win big at an online casino, use this article to find the best ripple online casino for your needs in 2021. For more information on online casinos that accept XRP , visit our Ripple Online Casinos page.
  19. Gambling in casinos these days has grown more diverse in terms of payment, which is thanks to the rise of crypto casinos, where you gamble with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Over the years, both cryptocurrencies have given online gamblers new ways to store their winnings. Gamblers can deposit and withdraw money fast to and from their accounts. There are some differences between bitcoin and cryptocurrencies that one needs to know when figuring out which to use while online gambling. If you want to know which kind of bitcoin casinos work for you versus Ethereum, keep on reading. What Are Bitcoin Casinos? You may be very familiar with bitcoin, given its popularity as a cryptocurrency and its acceptance among government regulators. However, you may not be as familiar with bitcoin casinos when playing for the first time. Here is the way a bitcoin casino works. The software behind the casino game conducts and runs it, with occasional minor human interference. If a game only needs human players, the software will act out the role of a table dealer. Bitcoin itself can either be used as the means for the primary transaction or offered as an additional currency. Bitcoin casinos have to assure users of the operation's impartiality since all transactions happen online. Most bitcoin casinos will try to build their players' trust by being transparent about how their software's algorithms work. Otherwise, the casino's reputation is grown by word-of-mouth or online advertising about how unique their offering of casino games are. The Pros and Cons of Bitcoin Casinos One great benefit of using a bitcoin casino is that it allows for the right amount of total anonymity. This is different from regular casinos where they are always connected to a specific person that can be easily identified and traced. When engaging in a bitcoin transaction, there is no risk of financial volatility during payment processing, and it will automatically convert to your country's currency. Some other pros about using bitcoin casinos are as follows: Offering higher limits for withdrawals and deposits Great bonuses offered by various websites when depositing with Bitcoin No processing fees Providing instant transactions Not subject to taxation Note that even if a crypto casino does offer Bitcoin, it is best to check the fine print when signing up. Some sites may not accept Bitcoin at all, while others may need the player to be a certain age if using Bitcoin. Bitcoin can have its issues too. Gambling websites will process the Bitcoin withdrawals manually for security purposes, thereby making Bitcoin withdrawals take more time than with credit or debit cards. What Is Ethereum? Different from Bitcoin, Ethereum, as a blockchain platform, is an open-source software that generates and runs decentralized digital applications. These digital apps then enable users to make agreements and conduct transactions directly with each other. This means users can buy, sell, and trade without a middle man. Their cryptocurrency is known as Ether. It can be used as a digital currency on exchanges and on the Ethereum network to run applications. The Pros and Cons of Ethereum Because of its unique nature, Ethereum can add some unique benefits for a user's online gambling experience. Some of the benefits of Ether include the following: Cheaper because of a lack of third parties Not regulated by government entities Its open-source creation means more stability and transparency Has its own identifiers It does have its own issues, though. For example, the transaction speed can get congested and sluggish at times. In addition, some may find the platform too complicated and comprehensive to use easily. Another major disadvantage is that many casinos may not be as familiar, so it may reject Ether users if the site does not support it. Ultimately, Ether and Ethereum were created to make possible unchangeable, programmatic contracts and applications through its own currency. Crypto Casinos Now that we have introduced the differences between these two types of cryptocurrencies, here are some online gambling sites and crypto casinos that may work best with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Slots Heaven While this site mainly specializes in bitcoin slots, it also allows players to play live casino crypto games or table games such as Bitcoin Blackjack or Roulette. BitStarz Notable for being one of the first crypto casinos to accept Bitcoin as a form of deposit and wager, this website has over 2,900 games available to play. They let you deposit your Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency into your account, which will be held in your desired cryptocurrency. This site also supports both Bitcoin and Ethereum, along with many other forms of payment. No Bonus Casino This crypto casino is known among online gamblers as a site acting as a clubhouse for players who would rather play without bonuses (except their 10% cashback feature). When withdrawing Bitcoin, the casino will issue the funds to your account in no more than 24 hours. Choose the Right Type of Bitcoin Casinos for You Online gambling has grown to a very diverse size over the last decade, thanks to the growing use of Bitcoin casinos and Ethereum. Cryptocurrency transactions in crypto casinos can be sparse, but you can find the right casino for you if you take our advice on the best crypto casinos out there. We offer some great tips and information about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies for online gambling. To find out more or to add your brand to our site, contact us today.
  20. Having now been around for more than a decade, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherium have become household names. Today, more people than ever before are turning to crypto as a way to make payments and store funds. But when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency, storing it is just as important as buying or selling it. Choosing the right crypto wallet is crucial to safely and conveniently storing and accessing your Bitcoin or other crypto funds. What Is A Crypto Wallet? A cryptocurrency wallet is a program, service, or device that allows you to store cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. When someone acquires cryptocurrecny, they can store it in their crypto wallet until they need to use it for a transaction. How Does A Crypto Wallet Work? Wallets store private keys – very long hexademical codes that are known only by you and your wallet. In order for a transaction to take place, the key in your wallet must be matched with a public key in the blockchain. Until your keys are needed for a transaction, they will be stored safely in youe crypto wallet. How Much Does A bitcoin wallet Cost? Using a bitcoin e-wallet likely won’t cost you anything if you’re simply using it to store your crypto. However, whenever you complete a transaction using the funds in your e-wallet, the exchange or service will likely charge you a fee depending on what you are trying to do. This fee will vary depending on the service. If you prefer an added layer of advanced security, then you should consider using a hardware wallet. While hardware wallets offer many security benefits that e-wallets just can’t, they will also cost a bit of money to purchase. How Do You Cash Out Your Crypto E-Wallet? Nowadays, the cryptocurrency trading process has been simplified, and many crypto trading services also give you the ability to cash out your cryptocurrency. For example, if you live in the US or certain parts of Europe, exchanges like Coinbase and Binance will allow you to withdraw your funds directly to your bank account. Additionally, there are also peer-to-peer cash out services like LocalBitcoins that connect you to real people seeking to buy bitcoins in right now. How you choose to accept funds (bank transfer, cash deposit, cash etc.) is up to you, giving you a bit more flexibility when cashing out. Need To Use A Crypto Wallet Today? Now that you know what a crypto wallet is and how it works, let’s talk about which ones you can use right now. Here are our top 3 cryptocurrency wallets that you can use to store your crypto today! Coinbase – The Best Crypto E-Wallet RATING: 5/5 Coinbase is one of the most popular crypto exchanges and is a great choice for anyone looking to quickly purchase, store, or transfer cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Coinbase not only makes it incredibly easy to exchange your bitcoin for other crypto currencies, but also makes it very easy to withdraw your crypto funds directly to your bank account. Coinbase is a great crypto storage option that can conveniently be accessed from both your desktop and your mobile phone. And if you ever decide that you want to exchange the cryptocurrency in your e-wallet for another (from bitcoin to ethereum for example), you can do so within minutes. Who Is Coinbase For? Coinbase is great for everyone but is especially welcoming for beginners to crypto. Its simple interface, many features, and ease-of-use makes it perfect for anybody that is new to crypto trading and e-wallets. What Separates Coinbase From The Pack? Coinbase is incredibly convenient. Just link up your bank account, purchase your currency, and store it in your coinbase account. Coinbase has a massive user base and is the biggest crypto exchange online today. Exodus – Versatility & Flexibility RATING: 4.5/5 Founded in 2015, Exodus is a crypto wallet/exchange that has quickly come to rival Coinbase as the most popular e-wallet around today. Exodus features both desktop and mobile functionality and is compatible with several different kinds of platforms, making it a more versatile and flexible wallet than most others. Exodus is compatible with hardware ‘cold wallets’, allowing you to take advantage of the added security that a hardware wallet provides while also giving you the benefits of having a e-wallet that is accessible through both desktop and mobile. Why Is Coinbase Superior To Exodus? Exodus has many features that may appeal to crypto traders, but it also has been known to have security issues which may make it less appealing to those seeking to store serious funds. Additionally, the transaction fees when trading crypto can be quite high. Who Is Exodus For? Like Coinbase, Exodus is a great e-wallet for beginners and for those looking to store their crypto with minimum hassle. However, advanced users and serious crypto traders may find it lacking in certain features. PayPal – The New Kid On The Block RATING: N/A The mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has been limited by the small number of platforms willing to let you buy, sell, and trade with them. In early 2021, PayPal, one of the most popular payment processors on the planet will begin handling cryptocurrency. PayPal’s service will allow people to buy, hold, and transfer cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account. By linking your bank account to your PayPal account, you will be able to convert crypto and withdraw it directly into your account. Additionally, storing your crypto in your PayPal account will give you the added benefit of allowing you to spend it at any of the 26 million+ merchants in PayPal’s network. Is Storing Crypto In PayPal Safe? PayPal has a long history as a secure place to stash funds and transfer money. There’s no need to worry about placing your crypto in the hands of PayPal, even if cryptocurrency isn’t something they specialize in. When Is Crypto Support Coming To PayPal? Cryptocurrency support is expected to come to PayPal by early to mid 2021 at the latest. Which Cryptocurrencies Will PayPal Handle? PayPal is expected to allow users to buy, trade, and sell bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin cash. Make use of our free crypto guide to learn more about cryptocurrencies and discover our 2021 top picks for Bitcoin Casinos.
  21. As of September 2020, there are over 5,000 cryptocurrencies available in the market. There is no exact number as it's an open-source — anyone can create their own virtual money using a code. Below we have listed 10 of the top currencies in the market today. Find out the main differences between them. 1. Bitcoin Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency in the world. As virtual money, you can use it for buying anything so long as the shop accepts Bitcoin cash. It can also be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies. Each bitcoin is a computer file stored in a virtual wallet either on your computer or a smartphone. All transactions are on a public ledger called the blockchain. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 and started the year after and was released in an open-source software. By far, it's still the largest cryptocurrency in the world. 2. Ethereum On July 30, 2015, Vitalik Buterin launched Ethereum — a software platform that enables Decentralized Applications and Smart Contracts to run without control or interference by other parties. Its crypto token is Ether and it's the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Ethereum started when Buterin suggested that Bitcoin needed a scripting language. A pre-sale for crypto coin ether was then launched and it can be used to decentralize, secure and trade just about anything. Today, Ethereum was split into Ethereum Classic and Ethereum. 3. Ripple Also referred to as Ripple protocol or Ripple Transaction Protocol, cryptocurrency Ripple is a gross settlement system in real-time. It started in 2004 when Ryan Fugger thought of a monetary system that can effectively allow people to make their own money. RipplePay.com was then launched the following year to provide a more secured payment via a global network. In 2011, Jed McCaleb developed that verified transactions by consensus among the members instead of relying on blockchain ledgers. With this, a new version of the cryptocurrency was launched which effectively performs transactions and uses less electricity compared to Bitcoin. 4. Tether Tether is the 4th largest cryptocurrency by market cap. It was launched in 2014 designed to use fiat money digitally. To allow users to take advantage of trading, it facilitates trading between other cryptocurrencies with a fixed rate to the US dollar. It utilizes the blockchain network and similar technologies in transacting traditional cryptocurrencies sans its complexity associated with trading. 5. Litecoin Launched in 2011 by former Google engineer Charlie Lee, Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies to follow Bitcoin. It's dubbed as the silver and Bitcoin's gold. This digital currency uses a scrypt for proof of transactions and it isn't controlled by any central authority. While Litecoin and Bitcoin are quite similar, the former provides a faster transaction and block generate rate. Today, Litecoin is the 6th largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap. 6. Bitcoin Cash In May 2017, Bitcoin payments take about 4 days — a little longer for small transactions. They want something more practical just for day to day transactions so they implemented a change or code and then Bitcoin Cash was born on August 1, 2017. It's one of the most successful and the earliest hard forks in the cryptocurrency world. 7. Monero You can't trace Monero as it's extremely private and secure. It launched in 2014 and developed primarily on donation-based. Its main objective is to focus more on scalability and decentralization. They have achieved complete privacy with their technique called ring signatures. With the ring technique, a group of encrypted signatures appears and all but one is valid. While it's very secure, individuals who use Monero may be devising some criminal operations. All things considered, it's still one of the top cryptocurrencies in the world. 8. Libra Libra blockchain was proposed by Facebook and it's designed to improve financial services. It aims to include a new payment system that will meet the financial needs of billions of people around the world. It will be accessible to anyone and transactions will be easy and quick regardless of location or who is sending/receiving the money. Libra was created by David Marcus, Morgan Beller and Kevin Weil. 9. EOS Like Ethereum, EOS enables developers to build decentralized applications. Launched in 2018 and created by Dan Larimer, EOS aims to offer more scalability than its competitor cryptocurrency. Mining is not needed to produce coins with EOS. It consists of EOS.IO which acts as its blockchain network both for the digital currency and the EOS coins. 10. Binance Coin or BNB If you own a Binance coin, you can trade in several cryptocurrencies using the Binance cryptocurrency exchange platform. BNB was launched in 2017 and is one of the largest trade volume wise. You can use the BNB virtual money for paying goods and services, and for facilitating transaction fees. FAQs on Cryptocurrencies: Why should you use cryptocurrency? Unlike conventional currencies, bitcoin and other digital currencies are highly secured and offer extreme anonymity. In addition, the fees are lower and because it's decentralized — it's available to anyone. Transactions made in the system cannot be altered nor reversed. It's completely safe and secure. What is a cryptocurrency wallet? A cryptocurrency wallet is where you store your cryptocurrency or private keys. The latter serves as an address to which a user can send cryptocurrency. You can't transact anything without the private key. There are several cryptocurrency wallets available in the market today: Internet-connected wallet is the hot wallet which is easier to spend although vulnerable to attacks. You are more protected from cybercrime with cold storage or wallet. Do online casinos accept cryptocurrencies? Yes, in fact, there are a growing number of gambling sites and online casinos accepting virtual money. The popularity of digital currencies has enabled other industries to grow such as gambling and online casinos. Check out our top recommended casinos that accept cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are the new generation of money. You can acquire it by purchasing coins, by mining or by accepting payment for certain goods and services. The industry is still growing — you can invest in it, make private transactions, participate in online gambling, make a loan, etc. If you're not sure which cryptocurrency to acquire, make sure you check our list above and visit our complete guide to cryptocurrencies.
  22. 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.
  23. Are you looking to expand your cryptocurrency portfolio? Maybe you're new to virtual coins and are looking for a new investment opportunity? Due to the number of new cryptocurrencies available, many people get overwhelmed when deciding which one to buy. If you're new to blockchain technology, then choosing cryptocurrencies to invest in can be confusing. That's why we've created this helpful guide. Keep reading to find out the top 10 crypto investments you can make in 2021. 1. Bitcoin (BTC) Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has been dominating the cryptocurrency space. Users trust Bitcoin because of its general stability and resistance to market crashes. Some experts are predicting Bitcoin to have a very strong year in 2021. Although the price of Bitcoin hit a low in March of this year, within 6 months it had already recovered. When it comes to market capitalization, Bitcoin is way ahead of the competition. And this isn't going to change any time soon. For many cryptocurrency experts, Bitcoin is the top investment choice for 2021. 2. Ethereum (ETH) Ethereum was released in 2015 and runs on its own, unique blockchain platform. Ethereum is the closest rival to Bitcoin in terms of popularity and market capitalization. In fact, Ethereum's market cap is currently sitting at $53,864,420,277. One of the reasons for Ethereum's rise is the growth of DeFi - also known as decentralized finance. Many cryptocurrencies driving DeFi are built on the Ethereum blockchain platform. This includes Chainlink (LINK) and Maker (MKR). 3. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Anyone who's interested in cryptocurrency is aware that Bitcoin Cash is one to watch. First launched in 2017, Bitcoin Cash is an electronic cash system. It was built as a scalable branch of the original Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin Cash was created because traders were concerned about Bitcoin's future scalability. It is now one of the most popular cryptocurrencies to invest in. It is also one of the top 10 biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap. There are varying predictions for the price of Bitcoin Cash. Some experts predict that BTC will reach over $6,000 by the end of 2021. 4. Litecoin (LTC) Litecoin was launched in 2011 as a competitor to Bitcoin. Since then it's become a strong player in the crypto space. Although the price of Litecoin is only $73.17, it is currently the 6th largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Litecoin showed huge growth back in 2017, putting it on the radar of many cryptocurrency investors. There is also a role-playing game available on the Litecoin blockchain called LiteBringer which has caused a surge in transactions. Because of this, many are predicting Litecoin to show strong growth in 2021. 5. Tezos (XTZ) Tezos has seen slow but steady growth recently. Despite this, it's still among the top 20 cryptocurrencies in the world by market cap. The price of Tezos is around $2,08 so it's a low-risk, high-reward investment. The Tezos blockchain is also built using a smart security protocol so all coins are kept safe. A financial group called Elevated Returns (ER) is using the Tezos blockchain to tokenize over $1 billion worth of real estate. This investment by ER is excellent news for the future of Tezos. 6. Ripple (XRP) Ripple refers to both the blockchain platform called RippleNet and its cryptocurrency called XRP. By comparing market cap, XRP is the fourth largest cryptocurrency in the world. The price of XRP is around $0.29. So, if you're looking for a low-cost cryptocurrency investment then XRP is a good choice. XRP has been stable this year and didn't suffer as badly during March as some other virtual currencies. Some experts predict Ripple's XRP will grow in 2021. 7. Tron (TRX) The TRON cryptocurrency was created in 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain platform. Since then it has switched to its own independent platform. TRON has been one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world for a few years now. It uses a proof-of-stake algorithm to process and validate all transactions. Although its price is only $0.025, TRON is still a good investment for 2021. Why? Because the TRON blockchain hosts more decentralized apps than the Ethereum platform. As more and more organizations adopt the TRON platform, the value of its virtual currency will grow. 8. Cardano (ADA) Cardano's proof-of-stake blockchain platform is currently among the top ten cryptocurrencies in the world, with a market cap of $3,303,948,528. Although the price of Cardano is only $0.106, many are predicting it to increase during 2021. The Cardano blockchain also has some big developments coming. With the release of 'Hydra', a 2-layer scalability solution, Cardano will be able to process a huge number of transactions at lightning speeds. This recent innovation makes Cardano is a solid investment for 2021. 9. IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA is an open-source ledger and cryptocurrency system. It sits at the 31st spot for market cap and its price is around $0.25. So why is it a good investment for 2021? IOTA has partnered with various companies in the insurance, manufacturing, and automobile industries. This provides a great opportunity for IOTA to take advantage of the growth of decentralized finance. IOTA is built for processing transactions on the Internet of Things (IoT) network. And as the IoT grows, so will IOTA. 10. Binance Coin (BNB) Binance Coin is issued by the Binance exchange, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Binance Coin runs on the Ethereum blockchain and is now among the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the world by market cap. As long as the Binance exchange continues to thrive, so will Binance Coin. Due to its prospects of future growth, Binance Coin is a solid investment for anyone looking to expand their cryptocurrency portfolio. Looking Ahead: These Are the Top Cryptocurrencies to Invest In Choosing cryptocurrencies to invest in can be confusing. There are a lot of different virtual coins these days and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin retains its spot as the number one cryptocurrency investment for 2021. However, some experts think that Bitcoin is unstable in the long-term and prefer to put their money into smaller coins like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, or TRON. Did you find this post helpful? We regularly update our blog with new and interesting content so make sure to check out more of our articles.
  24. Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, trades at 17,764.40 US dollars at the time of writing this article. Yes, that’s per single Bitcoin. It seems every few months, a new crypto coin enters the market. Everyone is looking for that Bitcoin success. Or, they’re looking to take advantage of it. There have been countless crypto scams and flops. While some cryptos have had successful IPOs, many others have suffered painful failures. Keep reading for the top 10 failed crypto coin ICOs. 1. Bitconnect Bitconnect is the first on the list because it was one of the most public flops of all the crypto coin fails. Many people accuse this coin of being a Ponzi scheme because of its multi-level marketing (otherwise known as a pyramid scheme). Bitconnect came out to the public in 2016. The premise of their company was for coin holders to be able to lend out their shares with the promise of a return in interest. Through Bitconnet, users traded their Bitcoins, which are highly valued, for Bitconnect coins. They promised gains as interest on the loan accumulated. Bitconnect calculated their interest payouts via a “Bitconnect Bot.” They issued payouts at a fraction of the rise and fall of Bitcoin on the stock market and were susceptible to an interest-earning cap. Eventually, disgruntled users started to complain there was a lack of transparency in how they calculated interest payments exactly. Eventually, unsurprisingly, the company was sued multiple times and the government froze their assets. 2. Bitcoin Diamond Bitcoin Diamond may have started innocently enough. However, its use-case was elusive, and eventually, it was subject to online scammers. Bitcoin Diamond started as a stem from Bitcoin. Though it had marked differences from its parent coin, the price of Bitcoin Diamond has dropped over 100% since its first public appearance. Part of the reason we consider Bitcoin Diamond a fail is because of the many scammer applications of the crypto. Some websites emerged that claimed to exchange other cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin Diamond. However, those sites turned out to be stealing users' money. Users’ lack of trust toward currency exchange caused the crypto to fall out of popularity. 3. XEM (NEM) The New Economy Movement (NEM) launched its blockchain in 2016. They developed the cryptocurrency on an open-source platform, which immediately boosted its popularity. Though the currency is successful now, in 2018 it suffered a large fail when a Coincheck (a Chinese currency exchange company) reported that over 20 million dollars in XEM was stolen. XEM suffered a major loss of users and popularity. 4. Ripple (XRP) Ripple is another cryptocurrency with promising beginnings. Yet, they were unable to keep the momentum going. When going public, Ripple found that they couldn’t compete with other cryptocurrencies on the market. Since beginning trading, Ripple has lost over 40%. It’s no surprise they’ve not been as successful as their top competitor, Bitcoin. In 2018, a lawsuit claimed the company was selling unregistered coins and creating a never-ending supply of coins. Though that method might keep their product in circulation, it proved to decrease its value. 5. Universa This Russian crypto coin began its short time in the spotlight with a not-so-meager 28 million dollars in initial coin sales. Not only did the company do well with sales, but they were also gearing up for the future. Soon after having a successful initial coin sale, they partnered with a local Russian bank. Things were looking up for the company by all accounts. However, knowledge of disagreements between the company’s executives became public knowledge. Once their dirty laundry was out in the open, the coin dropped so significantly that HitBTC (a respected crypto exchange platform) delisted the currency. 6. IOTA (MIOTA) In 2016, IOTA went live with 500,000 US dollars donated to its cause. The company started with a fixed amount of tokens, which helps maintain their value. The currency has suffered rises and falls throughout its creation, like any other cryptocurrency. However, in the past two years, the company has failed to take advantage of a want in the market for new cryptocurrencies to buy. In 2018, the company lost 1 billion dollars in value. Unfortunately, 2019 wasn’t any better. It seems this crypto coin is on the decline. 7. Quantum (QTUM) Quantum is a public access blockchain that is secure and simple to use. Their business model targeted mostly large businesses. However, despite open source code and all the ingredients for a successful launch, QTUM went down almost 98% in 2018. Of all the cryptocurrency losses in 2018, Quantum suffered the most. 8. Waves (WAVES) At the end of beta testing, Waves was making waves (pun intended). They started with a 6 million dollar transaction day. They quickly started gaining traction, mostly due to their easy to use interface and fast transactions. However, after the first year and a half of beta testing, they decided to launch their entire program. Only, they were immediately hacked. It turned out their easy interface not only made it simple for users but also simple for hackers to get into. 9. SpaceBit SpaceBit promised to be the most exciting cryptocurrency of all time. They spoke of launching satellites into space that would allow access to crypto coin blockchains for everyone around the world. They did the media circuit, they got everyone hyped up, and then nothing happened. SpaceBit might be the ultimate fail because it never even made it to a demo launch. 10. DogeCoin Another crowd favorite, DogeCoin started as a joke. However, as fans flocked to the cute dog logo, it became a real crypto coin to exchange. Most famously, the DogeCoin user community raised enough money in 2014 to send a Jamaican bobsled team to the winter Olympics. But the crypto coin miracle came to a screeching halt when it ran out of money. The company founder decided to end all exchanges of the currency and essentially ran off with the money. Since then, DogeCoin is all but completely dead. What Crypto Coin Will You Bet On? The options for crypto coins are limitless. It seems like no matter how good the market looks for one company, it can all come crashing down in a matter of days. Crypto coin follows its own rules when it comes to what makes them work. Deciding where to put your money is the ultimate gamble. Read the latest about bitcoin predictions: Will bitcoin be Traded at $318,000 by 2021?
  25. 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.
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