Don’t give up your gold

Gold is not dead.

Just ask Germany.

Germany’s Bundesbank recently announced that it had completed the transfer of $13 billion in gold bullion that had been stored in vaults beneath Lower Manhattan, bringing the metal back home. The country began repatriating its gold in 2013 with the goal of re-storing 50% of its reserves in Frankfurt.

When the gold transfer is complete, Germany will remove all the gold it has stored in Paris, leaving only 13% of its reserves in London and about one-third of its reserves in New York.

With the rise of cryptocurrencies – like bitcoin – and digital cash like PayPal, Apple Pay and other apps, there has been a steady decline in the use of physical cash, making the yellow metal seem downright archaic.

But gold has a special status, stronger even than the few twenties in your wallet right now. The precious metal offers protection and security. It is considered more credible than any government-issued currency.

Just look at the euro – the currency for a union of countries that threatens to break up. (Germany sure feels better to have its golden home again.)

Or even the US dollar – a currency backed by roughly $20 trillion in debt.

Not only is gold alive and kicking, but it should play an important role in your portfolio…

Let me start with this: I am not a gold bug.

I am a trader, first and foremost, and usually with a short time frame as my target. I was raised on variety of options and fast trading for good profits. I don’t care if the market is bullish, bearish or – come to think of it – range bound. There is always a way to make money if you know where to look.

But gold is a tricky thing.

It does not pay dividends, so there is an opportunity cost associated with the metal.

However, when there is market uncertainty, shaky economic growth or geopolitical discord, gold shines as a safe haven in the storm. When stocks take a hit, investors will run to gold as a safe way to store some of their bills instead of just turning it into cash and stuffing it under their mattresses.

And looking at how gold has been trading, it looks like many investors aren’t too sure about this market rally.

The Hedge

In 2016, the price of gold rose more than 8%, almost keeping pace with the stock market, as the S&P 500 gained 9.5%.

In fact, the World Gold Council reported that gold demand rose 2% in 2016 to 4,309 tonnes, marking a new three-year high.

And less than two months into the new year, gold is up another 8%, outpacing the S&P’s roughly 5% gain – which is noteworthy.

When stocks are strong and investors believe in rising markets, they are happy to ditch gold for high-flying stocks that promise far better returns.

For example, during the dot-com bubble, the S&P 500 gained more than 200% from January 1995 to September 2000. In contrast, gold has declined 27% over the same time period.

Or look at the market’s rise from October 2012 to January 2016, when the S&P 500 gained 37% while the yellow metal declined 35%.

In short, when times are good, gold is the forgotten child that remains in time-out until it learns to play well with other assets.

And when times are bad, gold is the prodigal son that offers security and protection.

So if the stock market is trading at all-time highs and regularly setting new records, why is gold still shining as the favorite?

The financial market has its fair share of potential stumbling blocks that could send things plummeting lower. Let’s take a quick look at the list:

  • Stocks are overvalued. We recently explained that, by traditional measures, stocks are painfully overvalued and we are preparing for a mean reversion.

  • Washington in turmoil. Our new president has promised a series of extreme moves that could have significant repercussions on both the US market and the global market that could begin with a sharp slowdown in earnings.

  • Next exit to Europe. The EU and Great Britain are reeling through Brexit, as well as major upcoming elections – Italy, Germany, Holland and France. Furthermore, European growth has been largely overlooked by many investors and could become the next hot trade as they tire of the US drama

  • Derivatives nightmare. The US is facing a collapse that could rival the aftermath of the housing debacle, as the five biggest US banks piled on interest rate derivatives.

  • The Fed’s wild card. The latest transcripts from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting revealed that the Federal Reserve wants to raise interest rates “quite quickly.” Higher interest rates will take money out of the economy because it costs more to service our growing debt. Higher interest rates also tend to dampen equity gains.

Investors are watching these issues closely, waiting for one or more of them to knock the stock off its current track.

Your Catastrophe Insurance

Of course, this does not mean that the market will fall off a cliff tomorrow.

I think the one quote that beats every speculator over the head is, “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

In short, just because a stock or index has risen to an all-time high doesn’t mean it can’t continue to rise, even if it doesn’t make logical sense to you and me.

But it doesn’t hurt to have a hedge to protect yourself when it all comes crashing down.

Gold remains that perfect hedge: your insurance against the Fed, Washington, reckless banks, Europe, and even that black swan that’s not even on our radar yet. That’s why gold continues to shine as a favorite even during this year’s stock markets – investors know they need a safe haven, just in case.

Physical gold is your best option instead of investing in “paper gold” such as exchange-traded funds.

Regardless of how you choose to add physical gold to your portfolio, the important thing is that it’s there, ready to be your safe haven when everything falls apart.

Is Bitcoin safe?

Bitcoin is reported to be rolling into restricted areas as it creates a series of controversies among “high” society and savvy digital investors. These digital marketers are trying to get their share of the billion-dollar-a-day digital pie as corporate society seeks to reduce the spiraling value of what appears to be a “monetary threat.” Some who seek to exploit the poor and vulnerable are not having this as they try to inoculate the masses in an attempt to quell this growing “digital monster”.

These seemingly corporate fraudsters continue to suffocate the less fortunate from spending their money while trying to build financial cartels around the world, but thanks to digital technology, Bitcoins have revolutionized money control in the 21st!

The Cons

Despite the growth of digital currencies such as bitcoins, it would be remiss of me not to reveal the disadvantages of these virtual currencies. Due to the fact that their digital prints are encrypted, they cannot be traced online. While you enjoy privacy and security when trading, it provides another approach to hide and conduct illegal transactions.

When this happens, drug dealers, terrorists and other suspected criminals will continue to conduct their illegal trade without being detected when they use Bitcoin.

The Pros

However, amid the monetary chaos, bitcoins offer everyone enormous investment opportunities and growth potential. No one controls virtual currency because the public can access it in cyberspace and the value continues to rise as society stumbles over the debris of inflation.

The common man on the street can shop, save, trade, invest and increase his chances of becoming financially successful without the interference of government restrictions, controls and fiduciary regulations; therefore spiral inflations become a thing of the past.

Many truly believe that the #1 problem in our society is the establishment of financial monopolies. When a corporation decides to control foreign exchange, gold, and fuel, it uses its power to dictate how money should be spent.

Regulations put in place by large and wealthy multi-corporations are only aimed at adding more wealth and power to their portfolios, not to benefit borrowers seeking financial assistance. Besides, those at the top are trying to drain the swamp so others can depend on them while they can get richer, but they can’t control the digital currency!

The lighter side of the coin

The time has come to open the eyes of the world and that is what Bitcoin is all about. Those trying to control the world are threatened by this Frankenstein, but I doubt they can stop him or take action. Currently, 1 Bitcoin is worth 844099.07 Jamaican dollars or $6895.80. The price for 1 Bitcoin in 2009 was $0.05!

Bitcoin Buying Guide – A simple 3 step guide to buying your first Bitcoin

Looking for a guide to buying bitcoins? Wondering where to start? People have many misconceptions about bitcoin – the first widely known and accepted cryptocurrency around the world.

Many people think for example that only hackers and shady people use it. However, bitcoin is actually going mainstream with everyone from TigerDirect to Expedia.com to Dell and even Subway now accepting bitcoin payments.

Why so popular?

Well, bitcoin has many advantages over other currencies. For example, you can send bitcoins to someone as payment without having to go through a bank intermediary (and incur additional fees). It’s also much faster than sending money via bank wire or wire transfer. You can send bitcoins to someone and have them receive coins in seconds.

With all this, it’s no surprise that many people are now trying to buy bitcoin for the first time. However, it’s not as easy as going to a bank and withdrawing bitcoins – or going to a store and dropping in your hard-earned bitcoins.

The system works a little differently than that. This Bitcoin Buying Guide will go over a few things you need to know before buying – so you can buy safely and securely.

First of all, even though the price might be over $2000 per coin, you don’t have to buy all the bitcoins. Most places will let you buy bitcoin chunks for as little as $20. So you can start small and go from there as you are more comfortable with how things work.

Second, this article is for general purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Bitcoin can be risky and before making any purchase you should consult your financial advisor to see if it is right for you.

So here are 3 easy steps to buy Bitcoin:

#1 Get a Bitcoin wallet

The first thing you need to do before buying your coins is to get a virtual wallet to store your coins. This wallet is a string of text that people can use to send you bitcoins.

There are a number of different types of wallets, including ones you download to your phone or computer, online wallets, and even offline storage wallets.

Most people prefer to have their wallet on their phone or computer. Popular wallets include Blockchain, Armory, Bitgo MyCelium and Xapo.

This is usually as simple as downloading the wallet to your phone as an app or downloading the software to your computer from the wallet’s main website.

#2 Decide where to buy

There are several types of places to shop and each one is a little different. There are online sellers who will sell you bitcoins directly for cash (or bank or credit card).

There are exchanges where you can buy and sell bitcoins from others – much like a stock market. There are also local exchanges that connect you with sellers in your area who want to sell.

There are also ATMs where you can buy with cash and get your coins in your wallet in minutes.

Each bitcoin seller has its pros and cons. For example, ATMs are great for privacy, but they will charge you up to 20% on the going rate, which is ridiculous. (At a BTC price of $2000, that’s $400! So you’re paying $2400 instead of $2000).

Regardless of where you decide to shop, remember to do your research and go to a trusted dealer with a good reputation and strong customer service. First-time buyers in particular will have questions and may need additional support to help with their first transaction.

Take your time and research different places to shop before making a decision. Factors to consider include coin prices, additional fees, payment method, and customer support.

#3 Buy Bitcoin and move it to your wallet

Once you find a place to buy, prepare your funds (ie you can send a bank transfer or use your Visa to fund your account). Then wait for a good price. (Bitcoin prices are always fluctuating 24/7). Then order when you’re ready.

Once your order is filled and you have your coins, you’ll want to send them to your wallet. Simply enter your bitcoin address and ask the seller to send you your bitcoins. You should see them in your wallet within a few minutes to an hour (depending on how fast the seller ships them).

Voila, you are now a bitcoin owner. Now you can send coins to pay for other goods and services or keep them for a rainy day.

Another thing to remember: bitcoin is still in its infancy. There are big price swings and currency can be risky. Never buy more bitcoins than you can afford to lose.

Getting Started with Cryptocurrencies

Investing in the cryptocurrency market space is often complex, especially for traditional investors. This is because direct investment in cryptocurrencies requires using new technologies, tools and adopting some new concepts.

If you decide to dip your toes into the world of cryptocurrencies, you’ll need to have a clear picture of what to do and what to expect.

Whether it’s Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or any of the 1,300 tokens, buying and selling cryptocurrencies requires you to choose an exchange that deals in the products you want.

Being the most famous decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin leads the crypto space so dominantly that the terms crypto and bitcoin are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the fact is that there are other cryptocurrencies that can be relied upon for crypto-investment.

Litecoin

Litecoin, also called the ‘silver to bitcoin’s gold’ is an open source decentralized payment network that works without the involvement of intermediaries.

How is Litecoin different from Bitcoin? Well, both are similar in many ways, however Litecoin block generation is much faster than Bitcoin. This makes investors around the world open to accept Litecoin.

Charlie Lee, a former engineer at Google, founded Litecoin in 2011. Although Litecoin does not have the anonymity technology of Bitcoin, recent reports have shown that Litecoin is preferred after Bitcoin due to its stability. Another factor favoring Litecoin is the Bitcoin SegWit technology which means secure peer-to-peer trading of currencies without involving participation in an exchange.

Ethereum

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that allows distributed applications and smart contracts to function without third-party interference. The currency is ether which is like an accelerator within the ethereum platform. In the leading cryptocurrency space, Ethereum. is the second most preferred choice after Bitcoin.

Zcash

Zcash gained attention in the second half of 2016 and focuses on solving the problem of anonymous transactions. To understand the currency, let’s take it as “if bitcoin is to HTTP to money, Zcash is to HTTPS”.

The currency offers a choice of protected transaction to maintain transparency, privacy and security of transactions. This means that investors can transmit data in the form of an encrypted code.

Dash

Originally known as darkcoin, Dash is a more selective version of bitcoin. It was launched in January 2014 by Evan Duffield under the name Xcoin. It is also known as a decentralized autonomous organization or simply DAO. The coin was supposed to eradicate all the prevailing limitations of Bitcoin. Currently, Bitcoin has earned a significant position in the cryptocurrency space.

An alternative to virtual currency that promises secure and anonymous transactions through a peer-to-peer network is cryptocurrency. The key to making a lot of money is to make the right investment at the right time. Compared to everyday money making, cryptocurrency models work without the involvement of intermediaries as a decentralized digital mechanism. In this distributed cryptocurrency mechanism, continuous activity is issued, managed and approved by a network of peers in the community. Cryptocurrency is known for its fast transactions over any other means like digital wallets and other media.

In addition to the above, other top cryptocurrencies include Monero (XMR), Bitcoin Cash (BCH). EOS and Ripple (XRP).

Although Bitcoin is the trendsetter and the leader in the race, other currencies have also taken their prominent position and are getting more and more preferred every day. Considering the trend, other cryptocurrencies will have a long way to go and soon it may be difficult for Bitcoin to maintain its position.

If you have decided to make a speculative investment in this disruptive technology, and want to have all current and future recommendations, connect with “The Top Coins”.

Getting started with Crypto

Investing in the cryptocurrency market space can be a bit intimidating for a traditional investor, as investing directly in cryptocurrency (CC) requires using new tools and adopting some new concepts. So if you do decide to dive into this market, you’ll want to have a very good idea of ​​what to do and what to expect.

Buying and Selling CC requires you to select an exchange that deals in the products you want to buy and sell, be it Bitcoin, Litecoin or any of the over 1300 other tokens in the game. In previous editions, we briefly described the products and services available on several exchanges, to give you an idea of ​​the different offers. There are many exchanges to choose from and they all do things in their own way. Look for things that matter to you, for example:

– Deposit policies, methods and costs of each method

– Withdrawal policies and costs

– Which fiat currencies do they use for deposits and withdrawals

– Products they deal in, such as crypto coins, gold, silver, etc

– Transaction costs

– where is this stock exchange located? (USA / UK / South Korea / Japan…)

Be prepared for the Exchange setup procedure to be detailed and time-consuming, as Exchanges generally want to know a lot about you. It’s similar to opening a new bank account, because stock exchanges are brokers of value and want to make sure that you are who you say you are and that you are a trustworthy person. “Trust” seems to be earned over time, as exchanges usually only allow small amounts of investment to begin with.

Your Exchange will keep your CCs in storage for you. Many offer “cold storage” which simply means that your coins are kept “offline” until you indicate that you want to do something with them. There is a lot of news about Exchange hacking, and many coins stolen. Think of your coins as being in something like a stock market bank account, but remember that your coins are digital only and all blockchain transactions are irreversible. Unlike your bank, these exchanges do not have deposit insurance, so be aware that hackers are always out there trying everything they can to get your hands on your crypto coins and steal them. Exchanges generally offer password-protected accounts, and many offer two-factor authentication schemes – something to seriously consider in order to protect your account from hackers.

Since hackers like to rob exchanges and your account, we always recommend using a digital wallet for your coins. It’s relatively easy to move coins between your Exchange account and wallet. Be sure to choose a wallet that holds all the coins you want to buy and sell. Your wallet is also the device you use to “spend” your coins at merchants that accept CC for payment. The two types of wallets are “hot” and “cold”. Hot wallets are very easy to use, but leave your coins exposed to the internet, but only on your computer, not on the Exchange server. Cold wallets use offline storage media, such as specialized hardware memory sticks and simple hard copies. Using a cold wallet makes transactions more complicated, but is the most secure.

Your wallet contains a “private” key that authorizes any transactions you wish to initiate. You also have a “public” key that is shared online so that all users can identify your account when they engage in a transaction with you. Once hackers get your private key, they can move your coins anywhere they want, and it’s irreversible.

Despite all the challenges and wild volatility, we are confident that the underlying blockchain technology is a game-changer and will revolutionize the way transactions are conducted in the future.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoins have become a very well-known and popular form of currency over time. However, what exactly is Bitcoin? The following article will go through the ins and outs of this currency that has come out of nowhere and spread like wildfire. How is it different from normal currencies?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, it is not printed and never will be. They are held electronically and no one has control over them. They were produced by people and companies, creating the first form of money known as cryptocurrency. While normal currencies are seen in the real world, Bitcoin passes through billions of computers around the world. From Bitcoin in the United States to Bitcoin in India, it has become a global currency. However, the biggest difference it has from other currencies is that it is decentralized. This means that no specific company or bank owns it.

Who created it?

Satoshi Nakamoto, a software developer, proposed and created Bitcoin. He saw it as a chance to have a new currency on the market without a central authority.

Who prints it?

As mentioned earlier, the simple answer is no one. Bitcoin is not a printed currency, but a digital one. You can even transact online using Bitcoin. So you can’t produce unlimited Bitcoins? Absolutely not, Bitcoin is designed to never “mine” more than 21 million Bitcoins in the world at once. Although they can be divided into smaller quantities. The hundred millionth part of a Bitcoin is called a “Satoshi”, after its creator.

What is Bitcoin based on?

For appearance and conventional use, Bitcoin is based on gold and silver. However, the truth is that Bitcoin is actually based on pure mathematics. It also has nothing to hide because it is open source. So anyone can look into it to see if it works as they claim.

What are the characteristics of Bitcoin?

1. As mentioned earlier, it is decentralized. It is not owned by any particular company or bank. Each bitcoin mining software forms a network and they work together. The theory was, and it worked, that if one network went down, the money kept flowing.

2. Easy to install. You can set up a Bitcoin account in seconds, unlike big banks.

3. It’s anonymous, at least in part your Bitcoin addresses are not linked to any kind of personal information.

4. It’s completely transparent, all transactions using bitcoins are shown on a big graph, known as the blockchain, but no one knows it’s you because no name is associated with it.

5. Transaction fees are small, and compared to bank fees, the rare and small fees that bitcoin charges are almost nothing. It’s fast, very fast. Wherever you send money, it will generally arrive within minutes of processing.g. It is irrefutable, meaning that once you send your Bitcoins, they are gone forever.

Bitcoin has greatly changed the world and the way we see money. Many people wonder if it is possible to make a living from Bitcoin. Some have even tried to do so. Despite this, Bitcoin is now part of our economy, a unique type of currency, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Is Valcambi 50 grams Gold CombiBar a wise investment?

The CombiBar Gold the bullion is a bullion produced by Valcambi Suisse, 50 grams in size, broken into fifty-one gram rectangles that can be easily broken off and used for an emergency payment system in difficult times.

Gold CombiBars are minted in a size similar to a credit card with the express purpose of fitting into your wallet and being easy to carry around while traveling or just going about your day.

First question that might make you think “is CombiBar a scam?”. I assure you it is not. This gold bullion product is offered by reputable bullion dealers, minted by a reputable firm and will pass the test as required. In fact, they come with an authentic analysis card.

Each 1 gram rectangle of gold in the Valcambi CombiBar is inscribed with its content and fineness, which is 0.9999 fine gold. To determine the current value of a 1 gram piece from a 50 gram Gold CombiBar, simply divide the price of one ounce of gold by 31.1035; no exactlybut close enough.

Next question which could logically follow, “do I really need the Valcambi CombiBar Gold payment system; will things ever get that bad?”. Well, the obvious answer to that is “I hope not”.

Two things, however, are (at least) against us.

One is history. Fiat currencies never last. The US dollar is a fiat currency, no longer backed by anything other than the “full faith and credit” of the US government. Since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the dollar has lost 92% of its purchasing power.

Second, current events. Since the current financial crisis began several years ago, US government debt has exploded into what is now unknown. Much of it appears to have simply been a bailout of powerful banking interests. And while the attribution of this quote seems difficult, it seems true that democracy can only exist until the majority discovers that it can vote itself out of the public purse.

Around the world we see economies collapsing, mass unrest and governments taking desperate steps to control their citizens with restrictions on cash transactions, the movement of funds across borders and gold itself.

Simply put, if you don’t have the gold before you need it, you may not be able to get it.

Do enough people understand real money like gold and silver?

This is a good question. A few years ago, Mark Dines couldn’t sell a $1,200 one-ounce Canadian gold maple leaf for $50, then $25, and finally couldn’t give it to passers-by on the street.

Still, as more patrons come to the news that they are offering 1964 menu prices for 1964 coins, and gas stations sell gas for ten cents a gallon if paid with a pre-1965 coin, people are getting the message.

And it may happen that even though the HEIGHT doesn’t get it, those who have the resources you need to get it will be the ones who GET it.

Even the Bitcoin phenomenon makes people aware of some problems. Note also how the government of Germany has now launched an attack on BitCoin with other governments soon to follow, including the United States.

Fiat currencies do not like competition at all, let alone from “real money” or something that illustrates the weakness of fiat currency.

The bottom line on Valcamba 50 grams Gold CombiBar.

Whether or not you ever have to separate the tiny 1 gram CombiBar Gold bars from the whole to make a payment, it’s still perfectly fine to own physical Gold. The premium is only one or two percent higher than a sovereign gold coin such as a bison or an eagle.

Think of your 50g CombiBar Gold Bars as fire insurance for your home: you hope you never need it, but if you do, once a fire breaks out, it’s too late to get it.

History of CRYPTOCURRENCY

The advent of cryptocurrency is already taking over our daily transactions. Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that exists in the crypto world and many call it “digital gold”. But what exactly is cryptocurrency? You must be wondering.

This is a digital asset intended to be used as a medium of exchange. Clearly, this is a close substitute for money. However, it uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, to verify asset transfers, and to control the creation of additional units. All cryptocurrencies are either virtual currency, digital currency or alternative currency. It is imperative to note that all cryptocurrencies use a decentralized control system unlike the centralized systems of banks and other financial institutions. These decentralized systems work through distributed ledger technology that serves a public finance database. Blockchain is commonly used.

What is blockchain?

This is a continuously growing list of records that are linked and secured using cryptography. This list is called blocks. A blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can be used to record transactions between two parties in a way that is verifiable and permanent. To allow a block to be used as a distributed ledger, it is governed by a peer-to-peer network that collectively adheres to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once data is recorded in any ledger, it cannot be changed without changing all the other blocks. Therefore, blockchains are secure by design and also act as an example of a distributed computing system.

History of cryptography

David Chaum, an American cryptographer discovered an anonymous cryptographic electronic money called ecash. That happened in 1983. In 1995, David implemented it through Digicash. Digicash was an early form of cryptographic electronic payment that required user software to withdraw bank notes. It also made it possible to tag specific encryption keys before sending to the recipient. This property made it impossible for the government, the issuing bank or any third party to trace the digital currency.

After increased efforts in the following years, Bitcoin was created in 2009. This was the first decentralized cryptocurrency and was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous developer. Bitcoin used SHA-256 as its cryptographic hash function (proof-of-work scheme). Since the release of bitcoin, the following cryptocurrencies have also been released.

1. Namecoin (April 2011)

2. Litecoin (October 2011)

3. Peercoin

These three coins and many others are named altcoins. The term is used to refer to alternative variants of bitcoin or simply other cryptocurrencies.

It is also necessary to note that cryptocurrencies are exchanged over the Internet. This means that their use is primarily outside of banking systems and other government institutions. Cryptocurrency exchanges involve the exchange of cryptocurrency with other assets or other digital currencies. Conventional fiat money is an example of an asset that can be traded in cryptocurrencies.

Atomic Swaps

They refer to a proposed mechanism where one cryptocurrency will be able to be exchanged directly from another cryptocurrency. This means that with atomic swaps there would be no need for a third party to participate in the exchange.

Which cryptocurrencies are good to invest in?

This year, the value of Bitcoin has increased, even exceeding one ounce of gold. There are also new cryptocurrencies on the market, which is even more surprising as it brings the value of cryptocurrencies up to more than a hundred billion. On the other hand, the long-term outlook for cryptocurrencies is somewhat clouded. There are arguments over the lack of progress among its core developers, which makes it less attractive as a long-term investment and as a payment system.

Bitcoin

Still the most popular, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that started it all. It is currently the largest market cap of around $41 billion and has been around for the past 8 years. Around the world, Bitcoin is widely used and until now it has not been easy to exploit weaknesses in the way it works. As both a payment system and a store of value, Bitcoin allows users to easily receive and send bitcoins. The blockchain concept is the foundation upon which Bitcoin is based. It is necessary to understand the concept of blockchain to gain insight into what cryptocurrencies are all about.

Put simply, blockchain is a distributed database that stores each network transaction as a piece of data called a “block”. Each user has a copy of the blockchain so that when Alice sends 1 bitcoin to Mark, every person on the network knows it.

Litecoin

One alternative to Bitcoin, Litecoin attempts to solve many of the problems that hold Bitcoin back. It’s not quite as resilient as Ethereum with its value coming mostly from solid user adoption. It’s worth noting that Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, runs Litecoin. He also practices transparency with what he does with Litecoin and is quite active on Twitter.

Litecoin has been Bitcoin’s second-string for quite some time, but things started to change in early 2017. First, Coinbase adopted Litecoin along with Ethereum and Bitcoin. Next, Litecoin solved Bitcoin’s problem by adopting Segregated Witness technology. This gave it the capacity to lower transaction fees and do more. The deciding factor, however, was when Charlie Lee decided to focus solely on Litecoin and even left Coinbase, where he was Director of Engineering, solely for Litecoin. Because of this, the price of Litecoin has increased in the last few months, and its strongest factor is the fact that it could be a real alternative to Bitcoin.

Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin, a superstar developer, designed Ethereum, which can do everything Bitcoin can do. However, its purpose is primarily to be a platform for building decentralized applications. Blockchains are where the differences between them lie. Basically, the Bitcoin blockchain records a type of contract, one that states whether funds have been moved from one digital address to another. However, there is significant expansion with Ethereum as it has a more advanced language script and a more complex, wider range of applications.

Projects began to spring up on top of Ethereum as developers began to notice its better qualities. Through token crowdsale, some have even raised millions of dollars and this is a trend that is still ongoing even today. The fact that you can do wonderful things on the Ethereum platform makes it almost like the Internet itself. This caused the price to skyrocket so that if you bought a hundred dollars worth of Ethereum at the beginning of this year, it would not be valued at nearly $3000.

Monero

Monero aims to solve the problem of anonymous transactions. Even if this currency is considered a method of money laundering, Monero aims to change that. Basically, the difference between Monero and Bitcoin is that Bitcoin has a transparent blockchain with every transaction public and recorded. With Bitcoin, anyone can see how and where money has been moved. However, there is some somewhat imperfect anonymity of Bitcoin. In contrast, Monero has an opaque rather than a transparent transaction method. No one is completely sold on this method, but since some people like privacy for any purpose, Monero is here to stay.

Zcash

Unlike Monero, Zcash also aims to solve the problems that Bitcoin has. The difference is that Monero, instead of being fully transparent, is only partially public in its blockchain style. Zcash also aims to solve the problem of anonymous transactions. After all, no one likes to show how much money they actually spent on Star Wars memorabilia. So the bottom line is that this type of cryptocurrency does have an audience and a demand, although it’s hard to say which privacy-focused cryptocurrency will ultimately rise to the top of the heap.

Bancor

Also known as a “smart token”, Bancor is a new generation cryptocurrency standard that can hold more than one token in reserve. Basically, Bancor tries to facilitate the trading, management and creation of tokens by increasing their level of liquidity and allowing them to have an automated market price. At this point, Bancor has a front-end product that includes a wallet and smart token creation. In the community there are also features such as statistics, profiles and discussions. In short, Bancor’s protocol enables the discovery of an embedded price as well as a liquidity mechanism for smart contract tokens through an innovative reserve mechanism. Through a smart contract, you can immediately liquidate or buy any of the tokens in Bancor’s reserve. With Bancor, you can easily create new cryptocoins. Now who wouldn’t want that?

EOS

Another Ethereum competitor, EOS promises to solve Ethereum’s scaling problem by providing a more robust set of tools for running and creating applications on the platform.

Thesis

An alternative to Ethereum, Tezos can be consensually upgraded without too much effort. This new blockchain is decentralized in the sense that it is self-governing through the establishment of a true digital commonwealth. It facilitates a mathematical technique called formal verification and has features that increase the security of the most financially sensitive smart contract. Definitely a great investment in the months to come.

Verdict

It is incredibly difficult to predict which Bitcoin on the list will become the next superstar. However, user adoption has always been one of the key success factors when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Both Ethereum and Bitcoin have it, and even if there is strong early adopter support for each cryptocurrency on the list, some have yet to prove their staying power. Still, these are the ones to invest in and watch out for in the coming months.

Thinking about investing? Think the Bitcoin way

What is Bitcoin?

If you’re here, you’ve heard of Bitcoin. It was one of the most common news headlines of the last year – as a get-rich-quick scheme, the end of finance, the birth of a truly international currency, as the end of the world or as technology that improved the world. But what is Bitcoin?

In short, it could be said that Bitcoin is the first decentralized money system used for online transactions, but it will probably be useful to dig a little deeper.

We all know, in general, what ‘money’ is and what it is for. The most significant problem that arose in the use of money before Bitcoin was that it was centralized and controlled by a single entity – the centralized banking system. Bitcoin was invented in 2008/2009 by an unknown creator who goes by the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ to bring decentralization of money on a global scale. The idea is that currency can be traded across international lines without any hassles or fees, checks and balances would be distributed throughout the world (not just on the books of private corporations or governments), and money would become more democratic and equally accessible to all.

How was Bitcoin created?

The concept of Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, was started in 2009 by Satoshi, an unknown researcher. The reason for his invention was to solve the issue of centralization in the use of money that relied on banks and computers, an issue that many computer scientists were not happy with. Achieving decentralization has been attempted since the late 90s without success, so when Satoshi published a paper offering a solution in 2008, it was extremely welcome. Today, Bitcoin has become a well-known currency for internet users and has given rise to thousands of ‘altcoins’ (non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies).

How is Bitcoin made?

Bitcoin is produced through a process called mining. Just as paper money is made by printing and gold is dug out of the ground, Bitcoin is created by ‘mining’. Mining involves solving complex mathematical problems related to blocks using a computer and adding them to a public ledger. When it started, a simple CPU (like the one in your home computer) was all that was needed to mine, however, the level of difficulty has increased significantly and now you will need specialized hardware, including a high-end graphics processing unit (GPU), to extract Bitcoin.

How should I invest?

First, you need to open an account on the trading platform and create a wallet; you can find some examples by searching Google for ‘Bitcoin trading platform’ – they generally have names that include ‘coin’, or ‘market’. After joining one of these platforms, click funds and then click crypto to select your desired currency. There are many indicators on each platform that are quite important and you should definitely observe them before investing.

Simply buy and hold

Although mining is the safest and, in some ways, the simplest way to earn Bitcoin, there is too much fuss involved, and the cost of electricity and specialized computer hardware makes it out of reach for most of us. To avoid all this, make it easy for yourself, directly enter the amount you want from your bank and click “buy”, then sit back and watch your investment increase in line with the price change. This is called an exchange and takes place on many exchange platforms available today, with the ability to trade between many different fiat currencies (USD, AUD, GBP, etc.) and different crypto coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.).

Trading Bitcoin

If you are familiar with stocks, bonds or forex, then you will easily understand crypto trading. There are Bitcoin brokers like e-social trading, FXTM markets.com and many others to choose from. The platforms provide you with Bitcoin-fiat or fiat-Bitcoin currency pairs, for example BTC-USD means trading bitcoins for US dollars. Watch for price changes to find the perfect match according to price changes; platforms provide price among other indicators to give you proper trading advice.

Bitcoin as a stock

There are also organizations that allow you to buy shares in companies that invest in Bitcoin – these companies trade back and forth, and you just invest in them and wait for your monthly benefits. These companies simply pool the digital money of different investors and invest on their behalf.

Why should you invest in Bitcoin?

As you can see, investing in Bitcoin requires you to have some basic knowledge of the currency, as explained above. As with all investments, it involves risk! The question of whether to invest or not depends solely on the individual. However, if I were to give advice, I would advise in favor of investing in Bitcoin on the grounds that Bitcoin continues to grow – although there has been one significant boom and bust period, it is very likely that cryptocurrencies as a whole will continue to increase in value over the next 10 years. Bitcoin is the biggest and most well-known of all the current cryptocurrencies, so it’s a good place to start and the safest bet right now. Although it is volatile in the short term, I suspect you will find that trading Bitcoin is more profitable than most other ventures.