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Posts published in August 2020

Open the floodgates: US customers to see more crypto accessibility

In the world of technology, the terms blockchain and cryptocurrency are two latest sensations that are ready to change the world of data storage and the world of finance. The cryptocurrency markets are growing at a rapid pace across the world. Many digital payment platforms are now interested in adopting cryptocurrencies. Customers in the United States are benefitting a lot with such developments. Noted analysts think that governments now realize the importance of programmable money, making it easy for consumers to access such cryptocurrency markets. Hence they are preparing for the platform for these two technologies coming ahead. It involves many governments also to facilitate the platform.

Uphold adds support for cryptocurrencies in the US

Uphold has recently added support for LINK, EOS, ATOM, ADA, and ZIL. Even though they were launched in 2019 elsewhere, it was only recently made available for US consumers. Similarly, Revolut also launched recently in the US by offering crypto support. The consumers can now buy and sell Ether and Bitcoin through the app. Revolut officials said that they are planning to add support for many other cryptocurrencies in the near future.

The advantage with Uphold is that it allows consumers to withdraw money easily, and this is something that is not found with others like Revolut. This platform offers full support for onboarding and offboarding for all of its blockchain networks. However, more and more consumers are involved in trading such cryptocurrencies at this moment.

Digital payment platforms are new banks

This will become the new norm of the cryptocurrency world in the future as digital payment platforms are organizing themselves in the lines of conventional banks. Recently Abra, which hosts a cryptocurrency investment app, launched its savings account option for customers. In this way, customers will get to earn an interest of up to 9% per year on their digital assets. Such moves by these digital platforms give confidence to consumers in the long run.

Considering all these developments, even conventional banks are showing interest in adopting cryptocurrencies. Even though they may not open up completely towards such digital assets, they may tie-up with digital payment platforms to offer more convenience for investors. Many analysts believe that Abra can eventually become a nationally chartered bank, which will put it directly in competition with many other traditional banks. In this way, the national banks may also show some interest towards adopting cryptocurrencies in the future.

How to select the best Cryptocurrency Exchange

Trading of any product in the market can help one earn a few more amount. Though an ample amount of things are there on various exchanges, one more item is added, which is trading of virtual currency, also known as cryptocurrency. However, selection of a trading exchange for this currency is a big question for the traders.

If you are planning to start trading in the cryptocurrency market, you need to deal with reputed exchanges that provide good service at affordable rates. The region in which the exchange is based is also important as this will provide them with a proper legal framework for conducting operations. Some countries are very lenient, and they may not take adequate precautions while giving permissions to crypto exchanges. In that situation, fraudulent practices may become common as there are not proper regulatory mechanisms to control such exchanges.

Keep these factors in mind while going for any cryptocurrency exchange

Make sure to check the reviews of those exchanges before you begin to trade in them. Remember that you can trade your favorite cryptocurrencies in multiple exchanges, and you should always give preference to those that have a large number of options and proper security.

Security is yet another factor that should be carefully considered as there are a lot of instances of hacking and other problems while trading in cryptocurrencies. Make sure that your exchange provides two-factor authentication and end to end encryption for all your trades.

Payment related issues

You have to understand that there is no standard payment mechanism for crypto exchanges across the world, and each one may have its own payment gateway systems. In this regard, you can give preference to exchanges that allow multiple gateway options, including credit card, Paypal, and bank transfer.

The exchanges charge fees for various services, and you should be careful about this factor. Check all the different transactions for which fees are collected and compare it with other service providers. In this way, you will get some idea about which exchange offers the best rates for trading cryptocurrencies in the market.

Finally, you should always choose exchanges that offer good quality customer support in the long run. This will help you trade without any hassles, and you can seek their support whenever you have an issue with your trades. Make sure that customer support is available in your native language as cryptocurrency exchanges may offer support in multiple languages as they deal with international customers.

How Does Blockchain Technology Work?

In the year 2017, returns on Bitcoin investments were 200% making millionaires of many investors. Investing in Bitcoins became very popular as it was rewarding, and the path-breaking technology behind Bitcoins was blockchain. So before investing in Bitcoins and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, you must have a clear idea about it. 

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is a chain of electronic blocks that store relevant data of the customers. Unique digital signatures ensure the security of the stored data. You cannot change the original data of a single block without disturbing the other blocks of the blockchain. Anyone who wishes to access the data needs to have the signature.

Understanding the Concept of Blockchain

Transaction Record

Now, to understand how your data gets stored in a blockchain, take the example of Bitcoins. Every Bitcoin block stores 1 MB of data. When a user records a transaction in Bitcoins, it gets stored in the electronic block. Another user can access this transaction record but cannot edit it. The data of different users get stored in separate blocks that join together to form a chain. At this moment, there are 525,000 blocks in the Bitcoin blockchain, storing 525,000 MB of data.

Unique Digital Signature

Every block in a blockchain has a unique digital signature called a hash. It matches the exact string of data stored in that block. If you change any of that data, you have to change the digital signature also. With this block, you need to change the digital signatures corresponding to each block that forms the blockchain, which is close to impossible.

Creation of Hash

In blockchain technology, a hash secures the transaction data. In other words, the digital signature that protects the data in a block is created by a cryptographic hash function. The data you enter passes through this cryptographic formula, and a 64-character output gets generated. This cryptographic hash consists of numbers and alphabets. Changing a single character of the string will change the output. Also, the hashes need to meet some specific conditions. 

How to get a Signature that Qualifies?

A block needs to have a signature that starts with ten consecutive zeros to qualify for a blockchain. As every signature is unique, there will be only one signature corresponding to a block. So you may not get the qualifying hash many times. The cryptographic hash function may generate an output that does not start with ten zeros. In such a case, you have to keep on changing the data until you get an eligible signature. 

The transaction information, date stamp, and block number can’t be changed. So, users add a string of numbers called nonce to their data. The nonce is continuously changed to get a qualifying signature. This process is called mining, and the people doing it are miners. Miners change the nonce very quickly by using computational power that works on electricity. It is a trial and error method.  

You can also become a miner by using mining software. It uses computational power and tries to solve the nonce for a particular block. But finding a nonce is very difficult, it needs a lot of computational power and also luck. 

How is the Blockchain Secure?

Your data stored on the blockchain is immutable. A corrupt miner can never get to your data as he has to change the digital signature of all the blocks in the chain. Also, new blocks get added every second, as many users are working at the same time on the network. So, the corrupt miner will need computational power more than that of the whole network, which is not achievable. 

Who Regulates the Blockchain?

Blockchain technology follows a democratic model. No government or centralized agency controls it. Users update the transaction records of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies on the blockchain. Here, a change in data gets rejected by the network as it is not connected to the chain. Although anyone can access the transactions and wallet balance, the names of the owner remain hidden.

Future of Blockchain-based Cryptocurrencies

Different cryptocurrencies have different blockchain protocols. This means Bitcoin has a distinct set of rules and regulations for its blockchain that is not the same as other cryptocurrencies. 

If you take the Bitcoin, it is like a currency that you can use as global money. On the other hand, Monero is a more private cryptocurrency. Its transactions and wallet balances are non-traceable.

In the future, cryptocurrencies can act as a token for making digital payments. It can have a value and be used to buy gaming access or pay utility bills like water and electricity. All the different cryptocurrencies can be traded on global exchanges like Binance. It can become the next internet money. 

Blockchain technology can safely store data for identities, tax records, history records, and medical records. Even property rights and shares of a company may get registered using blockchain.

Is Bitcoin Price Really Influenced by the Grayscale GBTC Premium?

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust empowers investors to rejoice exposure to the price crusade of bitcoin via a classic investment tool, without the hassle of purchasing, storage, and protecting bitcoins. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust does not presently work on a redemption drive and may stop creations for some time and commence again. 

The Current Scenario

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust shares (GBTC) are at present trading at $7.49 per share, a 15.81% premium of Bitcoin. GBTC is the first-ever publicly cited security exclusively capitalized in and extracting price from Bitcoin, and since its listing it has been seen to trade at a rocket-high premium, having massive triumph at 2020 high, with 41.42% being the highest value that touched in February. Lately, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Fund (GBTC) premium to net asset value touched its lowermost level since November 2018. This premium depicts that dealers are paying more for GBTC shares than the original Bitcoin amount reserved by the fund.

Presently, GBTC is the principal cryptocurrency registered investment fund with assets worth $3.5 billion, under the management, summing over 386,000 BTC under the safekeeping. Therefore, it is designated as a pertinent gauge of investors’ craving. The trust started trading openly in 2015 under the figure GBTC and is presently known as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. The trust’s primary aim is to trace the fundamental value of bitcoin, similar to how other trust checks on the original value of gold or other assets. 

How is the Bitcoin price influenced by GBTC Premium value?

Over the last couple of years, there have been a few instances where the GBTC premium touched the bottommost point and rebounded back up. The major exception was the tarnished November 2018 bang that happened after Bitcoin lost its long-time $6,000 backup. Given the diminishing premium value, stockholders have the full right to enquire if the indication could be envisaging an identical movement. Volume is indisputably the most pertinent metric stockholders track. Although there can be a countless number of reasons for augmented investor interest, there’s nothing optimistic to be collected from diminishing trading movement. This year mid-July marked the lowest levels in twenty months, and now the premium value has boomeranged back to 9%.

The 3-month straightforward GBTC premium value displays three radically diverse scenarios, designated by extreme hope in January 2020 at 2%, and massive pessimism in April 2020 at -1%. BTC futures trading price is a distinctive indication of distress from professional stockholders.

Crypto Scammer on the Prowl as YouTube and Twitter Become Central to Bitcoin Scams

Conventional hacking has become useless, with a high level of security that comes with crypto-currency. But cons and scams are like insects that survive the harshest of conditions and cryptocurrencies see their fair share of similar swindles. Many conmen have begun to become more creative to dupe crypto-investors through scams perpetrated over social media such as YouTube and Twitter. Schemes have begun to exploit innocent crypto enthusiasts through fake reward-events and giveaways

The YouTube Tactic

Crypto-currency swindlers nowadays have begun to conduct fake giveaways in the name of reputed crypto companies. A move like this had made them 110,000 dollars richer in a recent scandal leading to the company to have to issue a formal notice for its users advising them not to believe such ads. But it was too late since the perpetrators had already amassed millions of cryptocurrencies and the unsuspecting customers had their share severely reduced.

The Twitter Way

Another technique used by these crypto thieves is by way of twitter. Scammers have begun to hack well-known, heavily followed and verified twitter accounts. After being hacked, these accounts encourage their thousands of customers to invest a 1000 dollars in bitcoin to get a 2000 dollar giveaway prize. As the trusting followers follow suit, the hackers gather all these submitted altcoins, and the follower keeps waiting for the non-existent prize money to show up.

Developing their methods

These crypto-conmen are steadily making their attack even more developed and head-on. They’re making dozens of fake accounts for a made-up crypto-company to advertise heavily across all major social media platforms about their money-duping giveaways. They’ve formed dedicated groups to disguise their empty promises in an intricately-laid curtain with sophisticated tactics. They are even getting big-name brands to collaborate with their fake brands to trap more and more users that may believe them to be real by seeing a popular name attached to their (fake) company. 

Various governments around the world are endeavouring to tighten their cyber-security laws since a lot of a nation’s economy regulated online. Such attacks will soon be awarded severe penalties to discourage the increasing number of scams. For now, a big part of the onus lies with the major social media companies on whose platforms these scammers operate. They must develop accurate software to find out these no-gooders and stop them before they get away with even more money than before.