The Pros and Cons of Bitcoin: a Merchant’s View

In this article, We explained everything related to #Bitcoin #ATM - History, Regulations, Service providers, buying/selling bitcoins and pros/cons.

In this article, We explained everything related to #Bitcoin #ATM - History, Regulations, Service providers, buying/selling bitcoins and pros/cons. submitted by itsblockchain to btc [link] [comments]

The FCA bans on Bitcoin and other crypto assets are too harsh and hypocritical.

I as a British citizen and Im concerned about the recent Bitcoin ban.
Reasons why:
  1. You can be scammed out on Forex trading due to high leverage, online con artists and platforms shutting down forex trading altogether.
Plus 500 stopped trading the USA/CNH trading pair after the trade war was declared by trump.
  1. Gambling has no regulations, I can spend as much money as possible on any game or sport and no questions are asked.
A uni student committed suicide last year after being groomed by gambling companies to spend over 20k in one week. No action was taken.
  1. Platforms such as plus 500 offer options that have high spreads, hidden leverage, doesn't track the asset price and can be shut down and can be manupliated by the platform at will.
Plus 500 regulary increase the spread of options such as gold, oil, stocks during trading days and also shut down trading on a daily basis.
Plus 500 shut down Natural gas options for 12hrs due to a 6% slump.
  1. The UK is one of the biggest money laundering and predatory finance trading countries in the world.
The requirements to be a pro trader are insane: ( you need 2/3)
  1. you need experience working in finance.
  2. 500k trading captail
  3. Or make 12+ large trades in the past year.
Ironically using Binance and Coinbase for trading has been safer for me compared to uk stock/forex trading apps.
In summary the reasons above HAPPEN ALL THE TIME AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE TO STOP THESE THINGS FROM HAPPENING.
But Bitcoin and cryptocurrencey as a whole are seen as evil even though they have been profitable for the majority of their existence.
submitted by Vegas-Ranger to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Play Online Poker with Bitcoins

Play Online Poker with Bitcoins
Bitcoin (or BTC) is a decentralized virtual currency which is traded in the same way as currencies or bonds, except that for the storage of Bitcoins it is necessary to download an “electronic wallet”. According to Bitcoin there is no person, company or government that controls Bitcoin, so it requires users for its operation and the greater the demand, the greater its value. One of the main attractions of Bitcoin is its possible anonymity which allows the user to buy, pay and sell products and services without the intervention of any bank or financial institution.
Best Online Casinos to Play Bitcoin Poker of October 2020
In its beginnings, in 2008, Bitcoin did not obtain great popularity, but little by little it began to be adopted by more users and companies. It was in 2011 that the newspapers began to read about Bitcoin, since then companies of great international impact have begun to open their doors to transactions with Bitcoin, some of these companies are: Dell, Overstock and Microsoft.
The increasing adoption of Bitcoin by multinational companies spurred a reaction from government entities, with each country taking very different actions. In August 2013, the German Finance Minister declared Bitcoin as a "unit of account" which can be used for private transactions, which allowed Germany to control this virtual currency. In December 2013, the Chinese government prohibited banks and financial institutions from transacting with Bitcoins due to security and transparency issues. This government action caused a considerable drop in the value of Bitcoin since users in this country could not change their Bitcoins to the local currency. The United Kingdom and the European Union have also recognized Bitcoin as a type of currency and every day this cryptocurrency is accepted by more countries. However, each specific case must be analyzed, for example: in the case of the United States; Bitcoin is not considered a digital currency but rather a taxable product.
Buying Bitcoins for the first time can seem a lot more difficult than it actually is. There are many methods to acquire Bitcoins, the most practical is to acquire them directly from an exchange house or Bitcoins exchange houses. Their names denote their difference, in exchange houses you will go to a provider who will sell you Bitcoins for your local currency, while in exchange houses you interact with other users to exchange Bitcoins for real money. Bitcoins transactions can last from 10 minutes to several hours and are made through a Bitcoin address (similar to mail methods, only the address in this case is a series of numbers and characters), once you receive the transfer you must move your Bitcoins to your electronic wallet before you can use them.
In short, that's how easy it is to use Bitcoins:
· Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is stored in an electronic wallet.
· The value of Bitcoin is decentralized so it fluctuates depending on its demand.
· You can make a Bitcoins transfer in seconds and its verification takes about an hour.
· Once a Bitcoins transfer has been made, it cannot be reversed
· For the most part, Bitcoins transactions are not subject to fees or commissions.
For more detailed information, you can consult the Wikipedia site on Bitcoin here
Sites to play online poker with Bitcoins
Online poker sites have become more popular every day and since the use of Bitcoin is anonymous, decentralized and more or less instant transfers, online casinos have recognized in this cryptocurrency an excellent potential to attract new customers.
The way Bitcoins are used to gamble online divides casinos into two categories: exclusive Bitcoin poker sites and online casinos that accept Bitcoin. So, what is the distinguish between using an online casino that accepts Bitcoins and using a Bitcoin casino to play poker?

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Differences between Bitcoin poker and poker sites that accept Bitcoins
There are several differences between using an online casino that accepts Bitcoins and a Bitcoincasino, here are the most important ones:
The great differentiation between these types of online casinos will be the total offer of payment methods to enter or withdraw funds from your casino account, Bitcoin casinos do not accept other payment methods other than Bitcoin transfer, while traditional online casinos They will offer you other payment options such as a bank account or PayPal.
The expenses for using exclusive Bitcoins casinos are minimal and normally there are no fees for withdrawal of funds, contrary to the case of online casinos that accept Bitcoins as one of their payment methods since they most likely will charge you some commission.
Another great advantage of choosing Bitcoin casinos over online casinos is anonymity since you will not need to link your email or personal data to create an account. In addition to the convenience that this anonymity provides, it also streamlines the transfer process in relation to online casinos that require documentation. You should consider that this anonymity also makes Bitcoin casinos vulnerable to security problems with other users.
The game offer does not vary much between a Bitcoin casino and a traditional online casino, the most popular are: poker, roulette, slots and dice. Some small Bitcoin casinos do not turn to typical gaming providers like Playtech and Bets off as they tend to look for smaller providers that you may not have seen before.
Some of the most relevant Bitcoin casinos are: PokerStars, SWC Poker, Bitcoin Casino and Bit casino.
Pros of using Bitcoins when playing online poker
Transfer money to and from your online casino account
The requirements are basically the same as those of any traditional form of payment, of course you must have the electronic wallet software to use Bitcoins, but remember that withdrawals with this cryptocurrency they are usually much faster.
User anonymity
This advantage applies or not depending on the online casino you use, if when you sign up they only ask for information about your Bitcoin account then you will enjoy complete anonymity, however if you need to fill in personal or banking information to register at the casino then this benefit will not apply on that platform.
American users can use Bitcoin
Since Bitcoin is not recognized in the United States as a currency, it can be used as a means to enter and withdraw funds from an online casino account, remember that in the United States the laws vary a lot from one state to another so if you are an American user make sure you know the laws of your state in relation to online gambling before registering on a platform.
The double bet with Bitcoin
Many players opt for Bitcoin to place their bets since there is the possibility of winning some money depending on the exchange rate of Bitcoin when it comes to changing it to their local currency. This is why when used as a payment method for an online casino account, it is considered a double bet.
Best Rake backs
It is normal for Bitcoin casinos to offer better rake backs to their users since their expenses when using Bitcoin as the only payment method are lower, however this applies only to exclusive Bitcoin online casinos.
Cons of using Bitcoins when playing online poker
Where there are advantages, there are also disadvantages, here are the main cons you should consider when betting with Bitcoins.
Bitcoin-exclusive online casinos are sites without regulation or oversight
In the absence of a regulatory entity, it is hard to believe the promise of these casinos to use random platforms and take care of your funds. You must be much more careful when choosing an exclusive Bitcoins casino than a traditional online casino, the reputation and opinion of other players will be very important when choosing a Bitcoin Casino.
Another factor that you should take into account is that the lack of regulation of gambling with Bitcoin does not mean that you are exempt from following the gambling regulations of the place where you live, especially in the case of the United States, where the government has previously intervened in activities of bets regardless of the means of deposit or withdrawal of funds from the companies.
The fluctuating value of Bitcoin
The value of Bitcoin can vary both upward and downward. Its value can change in a matter of hours, and the behavior of its value is not so similar to that of currencies such as euros, dollars, pounds or pesos, but is more similar to the behavior of products such as oil, gold or wheat,
Relative anonymity of Bitcoin
While it is possible to register to exclusive Bitcoin poker sites without giving personal information, the use of Bitcoins can be traced through the blockchains to a personal account.
Lack of support from financial institutions
Being a decentralized currency, Bitcoin is not backed by financial institutions or government, which gives you less support as a user. If there were to be a problem with the Bitcoins system, there would be no government intervention as would happen in the case of a bank. Of course, you should consider that it is thanks to this lack of intervention that transfers with Bitcoins do not charge fees or commissions.
Being a virtual currency it is susceptible to cyberattacks.
While the programming behind the Bitcoins System is sophisticated, so are the hackers' systems. In 2013, the UK Crime Agency reported that several users of this cryptocurrency had been victims of cyber extortion, after receiving an email their computer was infected with a virus and later they were sued for some bitcoins to repair the virus on their computers. Unfortunately there are more cases like this, in Europe a payment provider lost more than a million dollars after a cyberattack.
All transactions are final
Remembering that there is no intervention by financial institutions, it becomes evident that it will be difficult to file a dispute in the event of a transfer error, so you will have to be much more careful.
conclusion
Playing poker online is a game of both chance and strategy. For some bettors it is exceptionally alluring to utilize Bitcoins since they have the chance of expanding their benefits as indicated by the Bitcoin swapping scale.
For many, traditional online casinos play poker with bitcoin will continue to be the best option due to the reliability and regulation of their transactions.
What cannot be denied is that the use of Bitcoins grows day by day and in the world of online poker as in any cyber activity you must consider the most innovative and practical solutions that there is for you.
submitted by emani19 to u/emani19 [link] [comments]

HOW INDIVIDUALS INVEST IN BITCOIN

HOW INDIVIDUALS INVEST IN BITCOIN

Why Individuals Face Investment Risks When Investing in the Bitcoin Market


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There are several options available to individual investors who are seeking exposure to Bitcoin. Individuals usually buy Bitcoin with a credit or debit card, using online fiat to crypto services and cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance. Based on our observations, individuals invest in Bitcoin mostly because of speculative expectations and cannot always properly manage the inherent investment risk.
Retail investors who are seeking to buy Bitcoin face challenges such as undeveloped crypto market infrastructure and complexity of the blockchain technology. They typically are not able to define a proper investment strategy and the optimal portfolio allocation to the new asset class. Therefore, they need professional assistance in making informed investment decisions.

Financial Professionals in the Bitcoin Market


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Financial advisors are still hesitant to enter the crypto market because of the lack of clear regulations and reliable valuation models. In addition, financial advisors still do not have sufficient knowledge of the crypto market infrastructure and basic blockchain expertise to explain their clients how digital assets such as Bitcoin work and the pros and cons of purchasing them.
Ironically, current securities laws and SEC regulations do not allow individuals to invest in Bitcoin through professional investment managers such as crypto hedge funds. This happens because only “accredited investors” are allowed to invest in private investment funds and they have to meet relatively high minimum networth or income requirements. For example, individual investors need to have net worth of at least $1,000,000 and permanent income at least $200,000 or $300,000 combined income if married, to qualify as “accredited investors”.
You can learn more about Bitcoin investment products and strategies here.
Legal Disclosure: The information contained in this article is the property of Digital Finance LLC and cannot be republished without our prior permission.
Digital Finance is a Washington, DC, financial company that specializes exclusively in the Bitcoin market. We provide easy and compliant exposure to digital assets and help our customers from all over the world to instantly buy Bitcoin and earn up to 6% annually on their Bitcoin holdings.
submitted by MaximNurov to u/MaximNurov [link] [comments]

INVESTMENT ADVISORS AND BITCOIN MARKET

INVESTMENT ADVISORS AND BITCOIN MARKET

Why Investment Advisors in the Bitcoin Market are Needed


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Retail investors who are seeking to buy Bitcoin face challenges such as undeveloped crypto market infrastructure and complexity of the blockchain technology. They typically are not able to define a proper investment strategy and the optimal portfolio allocation to the new asset class. Therefore, they need professional assistance in making informed investment decisions.
Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are professional investment consultants who advise individuals and institutions about investment decisions and manage their investment portfolios. Investment advisors typically charge a management fee of ~1% of Assets Under Management (AUM). Online robo advisors provide their services online and charge a management fee of ~0.25% of AUM.

Investment Advisors in a Waiting Mode When It Comes to Investing in Crypto


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Registered investment advisors (RIAs) are still hesitant to enter the crypto market because of the lack of clear regulations and reliable valuation models. In addition, investment advisors still do not have sufficient knowledge of the crypto market infrastructure and basic blockchain expertise to explain their clients how digital assets such as Bitcoin work and the pros and cons of purchasing them.
The majority of investment advisors in the United States, including online robo advisors, such as Betterment and Wealthfront, still do not provide investment recommendations in the digital assets space. Besides regulatory uncertainty, registered investment advisors currently do not provide investment advice in the digital assets space because the crypto market is highly volatile, inefficient, and exposed to market manipulation.
These issues are common for new asset classes and we believe that crypto market will become more efficient, transparent, and regulated, in the next few years. Finally, registered investment advisors are waiting for regulated and liquid investment products in the digital assets space, such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). These financial instruments are still not available and waiting for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval.

Future of Investment Advisory Services in the Digital Assets Space


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We assume that in the next couple of years financial advisors will be forced to understand Bitcoin and other digital assets. This will happen because investors are always looking for uncorrelated asset classes to diversify their investment portfolios. At the same time, new financial instruments linked to Bitcoin and other crypto assets’ performance already move further into the mainstream.
We believe that there will be a significant demand for financial advisors who are well versed in the digital assets space and who can help clients to safely navigate the complexities of investing in this exponentially growing market.

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Besides traditional investment advisors (RIAs), online robo advisors will be forced to enter this rapidly growing market as the demand for investments in the digital assets space is growing exponentially. Institutional and individual investors are willing to invest in Bitcoin and other crypto assets because of the portfolio diversification benefits and high potential investment return.
Alternative asset classes have been always an important component of the balanced investment portfolio. Importantly, digital assets such as Bitcoin can serve not only as an alternative investment but also as a digital store of value, which adds additional value to investing in this new asset class.
You can learn more about Bitcoin investment products and strategies here.
Legal Disclosure: The information contained in this article is the property of Digital Finance LLC and cannot be republished without our prior permission.
Digital Finance is a Washington, DC, financial company that specializes exclusively in the Bitcoin market. We provide easy and compliant exposure to digital assets and help our customers from all over the world to instantly buy Bitcoin and earn up to 6% annually on their Bitcoin holdings.
submitted by MaximNurov to u/MaximNurov [link] [comments]

Coins.ph: Pros and Cons

Coins.ph is a Philippine-made virtual wallet founded in 2014 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Ron Hose and Runar Petursson. It is the first virtual currency provider in the country to be licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with a Virtual Currency Exchange license.
This platform allows its users to top up prepaid load; send and receive money; pay bills; avail game credits; store and convert cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Etherium (ETH), and Ripple (XRP).
Almost 5 Million customers have been using the platform in various transactions since 2014.
Since it is regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the Philippines, safe and secure ways to make digital payments, as well as cryptocurrency buy and sell services is guaranteed to its users.
We are subject to the rules and regulations set forth by the BSP and the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).
Under strict regulatory requirements, we operate with a very high level of security, with industry-standard measures such as SSL connections to AES-225 Encryption.
- Coins.ph Support Team
https://support.coins.ph/hc/en-us/articles/360000274842-Is-Coins-ph-safe
This can be simply accessed by downloading the App directly from App Store or visiting the link: https://coins.ph
Now, let's talk about the Pros and Cons of this platform.
PROs :
• Cash in and cash out are almost available with over 33,000 partner location throughout the country.
Cash In options includes E-wallet (Coins.ph, GCash, Globe GCASH via Dragonpay, PayMaya Philippines, Inc.); Online Bank Transfer; Over-the-Counter Banking (BPI, Chinabank, UnionBank Cash Deposit); Remittance Center (Bayad center, Cebuana Lhuillier, LBC Bills Xpress, M Lhuillier ePay, Palawan Pawnshop, PeraHub, Tambunting Pawnshop); Department Stores (Robinsons Business Center, SM Bills Payment Center); International Options (Remitly, Ria Money Transfer, WorldRemit); and Kiosk Payment (Posible, TouchPay Kiosk, eTap Deposit)
For Cash Out, options includes Remittance Center (LBC Instant Peso Padala, Palawan Express Pera Padala, M Lhuillier Cash Pickup); Banks; E-wallets (GCash, GrabPay PH, PayMaya); Cash Cards (Coins.ph, BDO, RCBC, Smart Money Card); Door-to-door delivery (LBC Pesopak); Tollway Credits (Autosweep RFID, Easytrip NLEX Toll); and Cardless ATM Instant Payout available 24/7.
• No banks needed to make e-payments
• Account Verification through App or website
• Easy buying, selling, sending and receiving cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, Ripple)
• User-friendly interface
• Lots of Promotion like instant 10% cashback on prepaid load (rebate); P5 cashback for each unique bill payment and P100 cashback for 5 unique bills; 1:1 pricing for all game credits; sending funds to any bank account via instaPay free of charge; and many more.
• Can be linked to Facebook account
CONs:
• It’s compliance with Know-Your-Costumer regulation requires the users to verify private information in order to maximize spending limits. A selfie while holding government-issued ID card is a must to clear verification stage;
• Minimal range of accepted IDs for verification
• Users can’t shop around for best price on cryptocurrencies
• Higher fees applied for cryptocurrency conversion to fiat money
• Higher fees for sending and receiving cryptocurrencies
Based on the above-mentioned advantages and disadvantages in using Coins.ph, it is therefore concluded that this e-wallet is best for any transactions in PHP like buying prepaid load, paying bills or remittance purposes however, doesn’t work well for crypto-enthusiast dealing with trading cryptos due to the rates and fees.
Speaking from my own experience, coins.ph helped me a lot in saving time, energy and money since I don’t need to come visit the outlets or payment centers to complete my transactions.
Feel free to comment down your experience with Coins.ph!
submitted by jBaij to btc [link] [comments]

Are smart contracts really that smart?

One of the most important elements of any transaction is trust. Each of the two parties involved in the conclusion of the agreement must be sure that the other party will fulfill its part of the contract. However, legal documents that ensure the security of transactions require examination and supervision of their compliance. The use of smart contracts will help to cope without intermediaries and facilitate the exchange of assets.

Smart Contract History

The principle of smart contracts was described by American cryptographer and programmer Nick Szabo in 1996 long before the development of blockchain technology. According to the concept of Szabo, smart contracts are digital protocols for transmitting information that use mathematical algorithms to automatically complete a transaction after meeting specified conditions and complete process control. This definition, which was way ahead of its time by more than ten years, remains accurate up to this day. However, in 1996 this concept could not be realized: at that time the necessary technologies did not exist, in particular, a distributed database.
In 2008, the first cryptocurrency – Bitcoin – appeared, it’s creation was based on revolutionary blockchain technology, which previously lacked a decentralized database. Bitcoin's blockchain does not allow setting conditions for a transaction in a new block since it contains only information about the transaction itself. Nevertheless, the development of technology served as an impetus for the development of smart contracts. Five years later, the Ethereum blockchain platform allowed the usage of smart contracts in practice. Today, plenty of platforms allow using smart contracts, but Ethereum remains one of the most popular.

How do smart contracts work?

Smart contracts are computer protocols or, more simply, a computer code that is accepted by all the parties.
Obligations of the parties are provided in a smart contract in the form of “if-then” (for example: “if Party A transfers money, then Party B transfers the rights to the apartment”). There can be two or more participants, and they can be individuals or businesses. Once these conditions are met, the smart contract independently performs the transaction and ensures that the agreement is followed.
Smart contracts allow exchanging money, goods, real estate, securities, and other assets. The contract is stored and repeated in a decentralized database, in which information cannot be falsified or deleted. At the same time, data encryption ensures the anonymity of the parties to the contract. A crucial feature of smart contracts is that they can only work with assets located in their digital ecosystem. The combination of the virtual and real worlds is considered one of the main difficulties in working with smart contracts. This is the reason why "oracles" exist – special programs that help computer protocols to obtain the necessary information from the real world.

Benefits of Smart Contracts

Disadvantages of Smart Contracts

Despite their huge potential, smart contracts also have their drawbacks:

Where can smart contracts be used?

Smart contracts can change different areas worldwide. We can distinguish several industries in which smart contracts will be used most effectively:
Individual contracts, of course, will not disappear, and legal guidance will always be required to prepare them, but it will now be coupled with the development of smart contracts that save time, open up new areas for clients, and create positive shifts in the market.
submitted by CoinjoyAssistant to ethtrader [link] [comments]

06-14 13:24 - 'What is an ICO?' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/hectorhan removed from /r/Bitcoin within 6-16min

'''
ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering, Which is a important concept for any Bitcoin futures traders. It’s much like an IPO (Initial Public Offering), this is an opportunity to invest in a new company in the hopes of generating some future profit. However, unlike an IPO, you are not actually receiving any shares of a company when you participate in an ICO.

Pros and Cons

To better understand the concept of an ICO, let’s consider the following example. You are a new entrepreneur that comes up with an improvement that no other cryptocurrency currently has. You want to implement your idea, but require the funds to do so. Rather than looking for venture capitalists or borrowing funds from a bank, you can ask enthusiastic people such as [Bitcoin futures]1 traders or other crypto fans to give you money. In exchange, you give them some tokens or coins of your new cryptocurrency. If the project becomes popular, you still own 100% of it, but the people that received those coins will also benefit from the rising value.
The best aspect of this approach is that it is easy to start, anyone can participate, and there are hardly any restrictive regulations. However, this last point is also perhaps the biggest drawback. The history of ICOs is unfortunately plagued by multiple scams. Once a company receives your money, there is no guarantee that they will actually follow through with their promises. In fact, they may simply disappear the very next day. This is why it is very important to dedicate the right amount of research and due diligence before participating in such projects.

Process

Absolutely anyone in the world can launch an ICO. Generally, the only requirements are creating a whitepaper describing your idea or project and developing a website to showcase the content. The next step is to simply convince potential investors. Because of all the fraud that has occurred in the past, new projects often attempt to get popular influencers and independent reviewers to speak positively about the project. In addition, programmers and representatives are constantly available on social sites to answer any doubts or questions. Finally, you must determine and execute a pricing and distribution plan and you’re ready to go. Once again, the major point to understand is that just as all other cryptos, ICOs are high risk high reward projects that must be approached with caution.
'''
What is an ICO?
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: hectorhan
1: *he*ex.co*/*e*iste*?ref*r*alC*de=BJWY*
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]

Crypto-Currency: A Guide to Common Tax Situations

STATUS: Majority of questions have been answered. If yours got missed, please feel free to post it again.
Introduction
All,
Based on the rapid increase in popularity and price of bitcoin and other crypto currencies (particularly over the past year), I expect that lots of people have questions about how crypto currency will impact their taxes. This thread attempts to address several common issues. I'm posting similar versions of it here, in several major crypto subs, and eventually in the weekly "tax help" threads personalfinance runs.
I'd like to thank the /personalfinance mod team and the /tax community for their help with this thread and especially for reading earlier versions and offering several valuable suggestions/corrections.
This thread is NOT an endorsement of crypto currency as an investing strategy. There is a time and a place to debate the appropriateness of crypto as part of a diversified portfolio - but that time is not now and that place is not here. If you are interested in the general consensus of this sub on investing, I would urge you to consult the wiki while keeping in mind the general flowchart outlining basic steps to get your finances in order.
Finally, please note that this thread attempts to provide information about your tax obligations as defined by United States law (and interpreted by the IRS under the direction of the Treasury Department). I understand that a certain portion of the crypto community tends to view crypto as "tax free" due to the (actual and perceived) difficulty for the IRS to "know" about the transactions involved. I will not discuss unlawfully concealing crypto gains here nor will I suggest illegal tax avoidance activities.
The Basics
This section is best for people that don't understand much about taxes. It covers some very basic tax principles. It also assumes that all you did during the year was buy/sell a single crypto currency.
Fundamentally, the IRS treats crypto not as money, but as an asset (investment). While there are a few specific "twists" when it comes to crypto, when in doubt replace the word "crypto" with the word "stock" and you will get a pretty good idea how you should report and pay tax on crypto.
The first thing you should know is that the majority of this discussion applies to the taxes you are currently working on (2017 taxes). The tax bill that just passed applies to 2018 taxes (with a few very tiny exceptions), which most people will file in early 2019.
In general, you don't have to report or pay taxes on crypto currency holdings until you "cash out" all or part of your holdings. For now, I'm going to assume that you cash out by selling them for USD; however, other forms of cashing out will be covered later.
When you sell crypto, you report the difference between your basis (purchase price) and proceeds (sale price) on Schedule D. Your purchase price is commonly referred to as your basis; while the two terms don't mean exactly the same thing, they are pretty close to one another (in particular, there are three two ways to calculate your basis - your average cost, a first-in, first-out method, and a "specific identification" method. See more about these here and here). EDIT - you may not use average cost method with crypto - see here. If you sell at a gain, this gain increases your tax liability; if you sell at a loss, this loss decreases your tax liability (in most cases). If you sell multiple times during the year, you report each transaction separately (bad news if you trade often) but get to lump all your gains/losses together when determining how the trades impact your income.
One important thing to remember is that there are two different types of gains/losses from investments - short term gains (if you held an asset for one year or less) and long term gains (over one year; i.e. one year and one day). Short term gains are taxed at your marginal income rate (basically, just like if you had earned that money at a job) while long term gains are taxed at lower rates.
For most people, long term capital gains are taxed at 15%. However, if you are in the 10% or 15% tax bracket, congrats - your gains (up to the maximum amount of "unused space" in your bracket) are tax free! If you are in the 25%, 28%, 33%, or 35% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 15%. If you are in the 39.6% bracket, long term gains are taxed at 20%. Additionally, there is an "extra" 3.8% tax that applies to gains for those above $200,000/$250,000 (single/married). The exact computation of this tax is a little complicated, but if you are close to the $200,000 level, just know that it exists.
Finally, you should know that I'm assuming that you should treat your crypto gains/losses as investment gains/losses. I'm sure some people will try and argue that they are really "day traders" of crypto and trade as a full time job. While this is possible, the vast majority of people don't qualify for this status and you should really think several times before deciding you want to try that approach on the IRS.
"Cashing Out" - Trading Crypto for Goods/Services
I realize that not everyone that "cashes out" of crypto does so by selling it for USD. In fact, I understand that some in the crypto community view the necessity of cashing out itself as a type of myth. In this section, I discuss what happens if you trade your crypto for basically anything that isn't cash (minor sidenote - see next section for a special discussion on trading crypto for crypto; i.e. buying altcoins with crypto).
The IRS views trading crypto for something of value as a type of bartering that must be included in income. From the IRS's perspective, it doesn't matter if you sold crypto for cash and bought a car with that cash or if you just traded crypto directly for the car - in both cases, the IRS views you as having sold your crypto. This approach isn't unique to crypto - it works the same way if you trade stock for something.
This means that if you do trade your crypto for "stuff", you have to report every exchange as a sale of your crypto and calculate the gain/loss on that sale, just as if you had sold the crypto for cash.
Finally, there is one important exception to this rule. If you give your crypto away to charity (one recognized by the IRS; like a 501(c)(3) organization), the IRS doesn't make you report/pay any capital gains on the transaction. Additionally, you still get to deduct the value of your donation on the date it was made. Now, from a "selfish" point of view, you will always end up with more money if you sell the crypto, pay the tax, and keep the rest. But, if you are going to make a donation anyway, especially a large one, giving crypto where you have a big unrealized/untaxed gain is a very efficient way of doing so.
"Alt Coins" - Buying Crypto with Crypto
The previous section discusses what happens when you trade crypto for stuff. However, one thing that surprises many people is that trading crypto for crypto is also a taxable event, just like trading crypto for a car. Whether you agree with this position or not, it makes a lot of sense once you realize that the IRS doesn't view crypto as money, but instead as an asset. So to the IRS, trading bitcoin for ripple isn't like trading dollars for euros, but it is instead like trading shares of Apple stock for shares of Tesla stock.
Practically, what this means is that if you trade one crypto for another crypto (say BTC for XRP just to illustrate the point), the IRS views you as doing the following:
  • Selling for cash the amount of BTC you actually traded for XRP.
  • Owing capital gains/losses on the BTC based on its selling price (the fair market value at the moment of the exchange) and your purchase price (basis).
  • Buying a new investment (XRP) with a cost basis equal to the amount the BTC was worth when you exchanged them.
This means that if you "time" your trade wrong and the value of XRP goes down after you make the exchange, you still owe tax on your BTC gain even though you subsequently lost money. The one good piece of news in this is that when/if you sell your XRP (or change it back to BTC), you will get a capital loss for the value that XRP dropped.
There is one final point worth discussing in this section - the so called "like kind exchange" rules (aka section 1031 exchange). At a high level, these rules say that you can "swap" property with someone else without having to pay taxes on the exchange as long as you get property in return that is "like kind". Typically, these rules are used in real estate transactions. However, they can also apply to other types of transactions as well.
While the idea is simple (and makes it sound like crypto for crypto should qualify), the exact rules/details of this exception are very fact specific. Most experts (including myself, but certainly not calling myself an expert) believe that a crypto for crypto swap is not a like kind exchange. The recently passed tax bill also explicitly clarifies this issue - starting in 2018, only real estate qualifies for like kind exchange treatment. So, basically, the vast majority of evidence suggests that you can't use this "loophole" for 2017; however, there is a small minority view/some small amount of belief that this treatment would work for 2017 taxes and it is worth noting that I'm unaware of any court cases directly testing this approach.
Dealing with "Forks"
Perhaps another unpleasant surprise for crypto holders is that "forks" to create a new crypto also very likely generate a taxable event. The IRS has long (since at least the 1960s) held that "found" money is a taxable event. This approach has been litigated in court and courts have consistently upheld this position; it even has its own cool nerdy tax name - the "treasure trove" doctrine.
Practically, what this means is that if you owned BTC and it "forked" to create BCH, then the fair market value of the BCH you received is considered a "treasure trove" that must be reported as income (ordinary income - no capital gain rates). This is true whether or not you sold your BCH; if you got BCH from a fork, that is a taxable event (note - I'll continue using BTC forking to BCH in this section as an example, but the logic applies to all forks).
While everything I've discussed up to this point is pretty clearly established tax law, forks are really where things get messy with taxes. Thus, the remainder of this section contains more speculation than elsewhere in this post - the truth is that while the idea is simple (fork = free money = taxable), the details are messy and other kinds of tax treatment might apply to forks.
One basic practical problem with forks is that the new currency doesn't necessarily start trading immediately. Thus, you may have received BCH before there was a clear price or market for it. Basically, you owe tax on the value of BCH when you received it, but it isn't completely clear what that value was. There are several ways you can handle this; I'll list them in order from most accurate to least accurate (but note that this is just my personal view and there is ongoing disagreement on this issue with little/no authoritative guidance).
  • Use a futures market to determine the value of the BCH - if reliable sources published realistic estimates of what BCH will trade for in the future once trading begins, use this estimate as the value of your BCH. Pros/cons - futures markets are, in theory, pretty accurate. However, if they are volatile/subject to manipulation, they may provide an incorrect estimate of the true value of BCH. It would suck to use the first futures value published only to have that value plummet shortly thereafter, leaving you to pay ordinary income tax but only have an unrealized capital loss.
  • Wait until an exchange starts trading BCH; use the actual ("spot" price) as the value. Pros/cons - spot prices certainly reflect what you could have sold BCH for; however, it is possible that the true value of the coin was highelower when you received it as compared to when it started trading on the exchange. Thus this method seems less accurate to me than a futures based approach, but it is still certainly fairly reasonable.
  • Assume that the value is $0. This is my least preferred option, but there is still a case to be made for it. If you receive something that you didn't want, can't access, can't sell, and might fail, does it have any value? I believe the answer is yes (maybe not value it perfectly, but value it somewhat accurately), but if you honestly think the answer is no, then the correct tax answer would be to report $0 in income from the fork. The IRS would be most likely to disagree with this approach, especially since it results in the least amount of income reported for the current year (and the most favorable rates going forward). Accordingly, if you go this route, make extra sure you understand what it entails.
Note, once you've decided what to report as taxable income, this amount also becomes your cost basis in the new crypto (BCH). Thus, when you ultimately sell your BCH (or trade it for something else as described above), you calculate your gain/loss based on what you included in taxable income from the fork.
Finally, there is one more approach to dealing with forks worth mentioning. A fork "feels" a lot like a dividend - because you held BTC, you get BCH. In a stock world, if I get a cash dividend because I own the stock, that money is not treated as a "treasure trove" and subject to ordinary income rates - in most cases, it is a qualified dividend and subject to capital gain rates; in some cases, some types of stock dividends are completely non taxable. This article discusses this idea in slightly more detail and generally concludes that forks should not be treated as a dividend. Still, I would note that I'm unaware of any court cases directly testing this theory.
Ultimately, this post is supposed to be practical, so let me make sure to leave you with two key thoughts about the taxation of forks. First, I believe that the majority of evidence suggests that forks should be treated as a "treasure trove" and reported as ordinary income based on their value at creation and that this is certainly the "safest" option. Second, out of everything discussed in this post, I also believe that the correct taxation of forks is the murkiest and most "up for debate" area. If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of forks, see this thread for a previous version of this post discussing it at even more length and the comments for a discussion of this with the tax community.
Mining Crypto
Successfully mining crypto coins is a taxable event. Depending on the amount of effort you put into mining, it is either considered a hobby or a self-employment (business) activity. The IRS provides the following list of questions to help decide the correct classification:
  • The manner in which the taxpayer carries on the activity.
  • The expertise of the taxpayer or his advisors.
  • The time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity.
  • Expectation that assets used in activity may appreciate in value.
  • The success of the taxpayer in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities.
  • The taxpayer’s history of income or losses with respect to the activity.
  • The amount of occasional profits, if any, which are earned.
If this still sounds complicated, that's because the distinction is subject to some amount of interpretation. As a rule of thumb, randomly mining crypto on an old computer is probably a hobby; mining full time on a custom rig is probably a business.
In either event, you must include in income the fair market value of any coins you successfully mine. These are ordinary income and your basis in these coins is their fair market value on the date they were mined. If your mining is a hobby, they go on line 21 (other income) and any expenses directly associated with mining go on schedule A (miscellaneous subject to 2% of AGI limitation). If your mining is a business, income and expenses go on schedule C.
Both approaches have pros and cons - hobby income isn't subject to the 15.3% self-employment tax, only normal income tax, but you get fewer deductions against your income and the deductions you get are less valuable. Business income has more deductions available, but you have to pay payroll (self-employment) tax of about 15.3% in addition to normal income tax.
What if I didn't keep good records? Do I really have to report every transaction?
One nice thing about the IRS treating crypto as an asset is that we can look at how the IRS treats people that "day trade" stock and often don't keep great records/have lots of transactions. While you need to be as accurate as possible, it is ok to estimate a little bit if you don't have exact records (especially concerning your cost basis). You need to put in some effort (research historical prices, etc...) and be reasonable, but the IRS would much rather you do a little bit of reasonable estimation as opposed to just not reporting anything. Sure, they might decide to audit you/disagree with some specifics, but you earn yourself a lot of credit if you can show that you honestly did the best you reasonably could and are making efforts to improve going forward.
However, concerning reporting every transaction - yes, sorry, it is clear that you have to do this, even if you made hundreds or thousands of them. Stock traders have had to go through this for many decades, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the IRS would accept anything less from the crypto community. If you have the records or have any reasonable way of obtaining records/estimating them, you must report every transaction.
What if I don't trust you?
Well, first let me say that I can't believe you made it all the way down here to this section. Thanks for giving me an honest hearing. I would strongly encourage you to go read other well-written, honest guides. I'll link to some I like (both more technical IRS type guides and more crypto community driven guides). While a certain portion of the crypto community seems to view one of the benefits of crypto as avoiding all government regulation (including taxes), I've been pleasantly surprised to find that many crypto forums contain well reasoned, accurate tax guides. While I may not agree with 100% of their conclusions, that likely reflects true uncertainty around tax law that is fundamentally complex rather than an attempt on either end to help individuals unlawfully avoid taxes.
IRS guides
Non-IRS guides
submitted by Mrme487 to personalfinance [link] [comments]

Thoughts on Facebook's new cryptocurrency and possible regulatory upheaval in the near future?

Facebook is launching a cryptocurrency. This article makes some predictions, the headlines are:
  1. Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be a powerful force for good in developing countries, which is where Facebook intends to market the product.
  2. Facebook will pay interest to holders of its cryptocurrency, and this will eventually lead to populist calls to repeal corporate subsidies to banks at the heart of the US banking system.
  3. Facebook’s foundation will grow to garner big power in global capital markets.
  4. Facebook will face regulatory uncertainty—which will shed light on many outdated financial regulations in the process.
  5. Facebook’s regulatory reporting program will open all kinds of interesting discussions.
  6. Facebook’s cryptocurrency will turn out, in the end, to be a Trojan horse that benefits bitcoin.
The details involve monetary policy discipline, changing the balance of power in international capital markets, identity and privacy management, and other things.
There's a lot to unpack, so I'll just ask fairly broadly:
Are you interested in this topic?
Do you think this will actually have much of an impact?
What are the pros and cons? What do you hope will come out of this, as banking subsidies and regulations come into debate?
Your own predictions?
submitted by greyzcale to AskTrumpSupporters [link] [comments]

How the Latest German Regulations Target Bitcoin Exchanges and Custodians

A new German law requires every entity that holds private keys for others (e.g.,비트코인 거래소 and/or bitcoin custodians) and that actively addresses the German market must become licensed as early as January 1, 2020. And to address the most common misconception right at the beginning: No, it absolutely not matter where your company is based. What matters is if you are addressing the German market with your services.
“The law implementing the amendment to the fourth EU money laundering directive (Federal Law Gazette I of December 19, 2019, p. 2602) included the crypto deposit business as a new financial service in the KWG . Companies that want to provide these services require BaFin’s permission when the law comes into effect on January 1, 2020. However, the law provides for transitional provisions for companies that have already performed the transactions that are now subject to authorization before they came into force.”
[Citation: Kryptoverwahrgeschäft (BaFin), translated from German]
Despite the many open questions that are still unresolved, let me start this piece by stating that I am a general supporter of regulation if executed right. And I believe this new law could pave the way for Germany to become the “Crypto Heaven” of Europe, as especially large financial institutions and investors are in favor of regulated entities. But to also be honest right from the start, this will heavily depend on how regulators finally deal with questions as they arise. Even the best of intentions can still backfire on the German ecosystem if executed poorly. But, I am full of hope that this will not be the case, as the regulators and the industry appear to be working together more and more. And by working with, instead of against, each other, good regulatory decisions seem possible.
Taking everything into account, here are the four things I believe to be the main challenges regarding the new regulations:
  1. Lack of Clear Definition
There is no clear definition of what “actively addressing” the German market means; this will be decided on a case-by-case basis. By one possible interpretation, anyone operating a designated German website or offering German marketing material is likely to be actively addressing the German market. But if someone — for whatever reason — has a growing number of German customers without any “official” marketing, it could also be concluded you somehow MUST be actively addressing the German market (as otherwise you simply wouldn’t be able to gain this many new customers from Germany).
  1. Lack of “Passporting”
As the French are currently sorting out their regulations as well, it would have been great if both countries would have agreed on potentially “passporting” their respective licenses, meaning that if you are licensed in Germany, you could also operate in France without applying for a new license (or registering, to be exact). Although we strongly believe that this will come soon, it would have been great to have this agreement right from the start.
  1. Lack of Clarity
For an outsider not familiar with German regulations and law, the means of implementation and the timelines might seem strange (although they are very clever in fact). In short, you are deemed to be a licensed provider as of January 1, 2020, provisionally and retroactively, if you state to the officials that you plan to apply for a license before March 31, 2020, and then hand in your application before November 30, 2020 (yes, it appears to ask you to go back in time). This also means that if you say you are going to apply for a license before March 31, 2020, and then don’t hand in your application before November 30, 2020, you are deemed to have been illegal since January 1, 2020.
Furthermore, it also means that if you are conducting your business as you always have, you will most likely be deemed illegal since January 1, 2020. And that is a felony and not a misdemeanor. Although this is the case, some market players really seem to rely on a tactic called “reverse solicitation” (which means that basically a customer is free to choose whatever supplier he or she wants) and not apply for such a license.
I strongly believe that this is not the best idea, given the massive political implications of this new rule. As we’ve seen in the past, I would assume that Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) will regulate pretty strictly in this case, as otherwise the new law would simply make no sense and would harm the German economy, which would make little sense from a German point of view.
  1. Lack of Communication for International Stakeholders
Big improvements are needed on the communication side, especially regarding the international community as this is an international topic. Up until now, I have seen neither a direct translation of the law nor any advice in English from the regulators. Although this is advantageous for those of us who work in consultancy and advise exchanges and custodians in exactly these matters, this lack of clear communication from regulators is problematic in general.
A Strangely “Un-German” Lack of Structure
I sometimes laugh at a very funny “cultural” thing. Germans are known to have a form and a rule for pretty much everything. And it is true, that is how we are (with all the pros and cons that come with it). So it feels bizarre that, in this instance, it is not the case; hence the need for us to work together with regulators in order to establish proper rules and regulations on the fly.
For example, MPC (multi-party computation) is not addressed in the new law yet; the question of multisignature issues is also still open – among a myriad of different other, sometimes very specific issues. This lack of clarity makes a typical German feel pretty uncomfortable, as we are simply not used to that. What we have, at best, is a step-by-step approach with educated guesses and a lot of communication still to come.
The Role of Custodial Service Entities
Another interesting fact is the way custodians (tech providers) are dealing with these issues. According to a study carried out by Digital Assets Custody (to my knowledge the largest digital assets custodian comparison website on the internet), it seems as if most specialized infrastructure providers for digital assets custody seem to be avoiding regulation like the plague by stating that they would only serve as a tech provider and not as a custodian that needs to be regulated.
While I understand this avoidance approach, as regulation comes with its very own challenges, it seems shortsighted. On the one hand, I believe that regulation will ultimately evolve, concentrating on exchanges as a first step, but then they will come to focus on custodial services.
Depending on each entity’s respective tech stack and business model, it seems possible to me that not only the exchange but also the custodian will ultimately be deemed regulated entities. So it is basically just a matter of time before the regulators come knocking. And as seen in the past, it’s usually a good idea to be ahead of the game.
Solutions for Custodial Dilemmas
It is interesting to see that the new law around custodianship functions as kind of a wake-up call for the industry, although the respective players should have been alert in regards to Germany beforehand. This goes back to the view of the BaFin that judged Bitcoin as a so-called “Unit of Account,” making it a financial instrument; therefore, everybody dealing with these financial instruments should already have the proper licenses. This means that if you were to operate a bitcoin exchange you would — depending on the business model — need a license as a multilateral trading facility, for example. The Berlin Court of Appeal expressed a different view of this in a court case, resulting in some confusion here.
With the introduction of the newly created term “Krytowerte” (direct translation would be “crypto values”), it is now clear that bitcoin is indeed considered to be a financial instrument and that every entity dealing with it will have to be regulated in the same manner as firms dealing with any other financial instruments.
As the respective licenses are subject to the specifics of the business model, it is hard to give some “general information” about what is needed. The custodian licensing will most likely require two “fit and proper” managing directors, €125,000 (≈$136,000) in starting capital plus setup costs of around €250,000–€350,000 (≈$272,000–$380,000) and recurring yearly costs of €350,000 (≈$380,000). (These are rough estimations and can vary widely depending on your business model and various costs.)
All in all, the new law makes operating a digital assets business harder. But on the flipside, it also brings some degree of clarity and security to the people who interact with providers in the digital asset space.
Will everybody be happy with this new direction? No. But it’s a start.
This is an op ed by Dr. Sven Hildebrandt. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.
submitted by ashraf102 to u/ashraf102 [link] [comments]

A Lost Gem In A Sea Of Shitcoins

What’s up everyone!
 
Yeah, it’s another one of “those”. But honestly, after being in the game for long enough, you end up developing an eye for the good coins. Not the “good” ones, the GOOD ones. Believe it or not, research and common sense is the name of the game!
 
A little bit more about me: I come from a business & logistics management background. I started investing in cryptocurrencies and trading a little more than six months ago. As a person, I am very detail oriented and I’ve been researching all kinds of cryptos, for hours a day, for the past six months. The more I researched, the more I learned, the more I became hungry for knowledge, and therefore the more i researched. From trading to cryptocurrency basics, their economics, their political implications, the technology revolution they represent, the human psychology aspect as well as emotional trading behaviours (FOMO, FODO, etc.), all of it!
 
I’ve purchased Ethereum at 150$ (when I first started in crypto). Then NEO back when it was still AntShares and trading under 3$. Gas (Antcoin back then) at 30c, OMG when it was sub-1$, and ETP at exactly a dollar (selling it later at 5$). This was all before I even knew how to do a basic margin trade & was still in the process of learning about crypto (and while tether still had a “reasonable” market cap! LOL)
 
My approach is pretty simple when it comes to crypto. I split coins into seven main categories:
 
-Store of Value (BTC)
-Payment (DASH, BCH, LTC)
-Pure Anonymity and/or Evil Stuff (XMR)
-Platform/platform’ish (ETH, NEO, LISK, CARDANO, ETP, Iota, Factom and the likes)
-Shitcoins (99% of ERC20 tokens)
-Absolute Shitcoins (Boolberry, Embercoin et al.)
-Fee Split / Dividend Coins
 
That last category is my favorite. While I do strongly believe in diversification (10% store of value, 10% payment, 5% anonymity, 25% platform in my case), I always have a “lean” towards coins that make business sense. Coins that derive their value directly from the amount of usage the platform gets (Factom, for example). Coins such as NEO, BNB, Kucoin, Coss, ICN, TenX and the likes, basically coins that either have a direct “dividend-paying” property (NEO generating gas, Kucoin/Coss awarding holders with a % of the exchange’s trading fees) or an indirect “dividend paying” property such as BNB, ICN, TenX using quarterly profits to buy back their own coins and burn them, thus raising the value of the rest of the coins in circulation over time.
 
Now let’s look at market caps of these direct and indirect “dividend” coins.
 
Neo: 2.3B
TenX: 246M
Binance: 200M
Iconomi: 155M
Kucoin: 44M (68M at ath, not too long ago)
Coss: 5M
 
You see that odd one there with only 5M market cap? Yeah. That’s the great buy right now. That’s the x10, x20 or even x30 that most people haven’t realized yet. That’s also the “dividend coin” you can scoop a ton of while it’s on the cheap, and make massive recurring revenue from as the exchange solidifies and evolves.
 
What is COSS? COSS stands for Crypto One Stop Solution. They’re a Singapore based cryptocurrency exchange with an amazing team that’s currently expanding. They aim at becoming the “One Stop” solution for crypto, meaning A) an exchange, B) a payment gateway for merchants to accept crypto payments, and probably sometime in the future C) crypto debit/credit cards. They offer their own coin (COSS coin), and holders of this coin receive 50% of the trading fees generated by the exchange (more on this later).
 
Now, what a lot of people still don’t realize in crypto, you don’t invest in the bigger market cap coins expecting to make a killing (“the moonshot”). Sure, they’ll bring you nice long term growth as the whole market matures, and that’s where you want to diversify and solidify your portfolio, solid coins with a purpose. But what if you want more thrill? An actual opportunity to “moon”? You find a project that makes business sense, that has at least a working product, and a good team. Buying NEO at 2.5B market cap? You missed the boat, it was a dollar a few months ago and already went x60 (“mooned”), and now stabilized at roughly x38. OMG had it’s x10-15 already. BNB as well. Their market caps are big, and a lot of buying needs to happen to even double in price.
 
Antshares (NEO) back then was a steal at 1, 2 and 3$. It was a huge risk, with huge rewards. They didn’t even have a product other than their blockchain. No dApp running or even being built on it, no english resources to even figure out how to code on it and deploy a smart contract, no marketing, hell we didn’t even know if Da Hongfei was still alive. All it was is a Chinese based smart contract platform, with an innovative dBFT concensus algorithm. It was a 100M market cap coin that early adopters believed in, and essentially invested in when it was not much more than a website and a blockchain. Look where it’s at now, with more than a dozen dApps being built on it, a solid team of roughly 10 devs, with the NEO council also funding City of Zion (team of 20+ NEO devs). NEO has grown into an incredible community, and is now launching coding dApp contests left and right, with the latest one in partnership with Microsoft china & offering half a million dollar’s worth in prizes.
 
NEO holders get rewarded with GAS on a daily basis. When NEO gets further adoption, all fees such as registering an asset, deploying a contract, changing an asset, etc. will be redistributed to NEO holders as well on a pro rated basis. Only transaction fees are not, as those will go out to MasterNodes. If you got yourself a thousand NEO’s back when they were a dollar or two a piece, you’re now generating 7 gas per month. That’s roughly 161$ USD per month, on a recurring basis, at current gas prices, out of a 1000$ investment. That’s a whopping 16.1% PER MONTH on original investment, and not even counting the fact that you pretty much made 37000$ profit on the NEO’s themselves. Today? Well, you gotta dish out 38000$ to buy a thousand neos and make 161$ per month, basically bringing you 0.4% per month on original investment.
 
Same with bitcoin. Early adopters that got it at pennies. It just hit $10K USD a piece. For every 30 cent spent purchasing bitcoin in 2009, you’d have $10K USD in the bank account. Invested 3$? 100K. Invested 30$? 1M.
 
Ethereum? From a dollar to half a grand now.
 
Moral of the story? Early adoption pays off. History repeats itself, and it will continue to do so. Bitcoin was digital money for nerds, ethereum was a cool project that nobody really gave a crap about until they got EEA which showed credibility (early adopters of eth had a great vision, I’ll give them that!). Neo was chinese vaporware. What do they all have in common? Their.Early. Adopters. Made. A. Killing.
 
Look where they stand now. Look where a lot of coins stand now. Even a lot of ERC20 tokens that don’t even really have a reason to exist have market caps over 100M. And for what? They don’t reward you with anything other than price increasing because more people buy (greater fool theory)? They don’t reward you with dividends from the project/platform itself? Their value isn’t derived directly from the amount of usage it gets (a la Factom, PaulSnow you genius.)? They still don’t even have a minimum viable product to show? When you ask yourself why does it need a coin, and the answer is either “uhh…” or “oh it grants you voting rights” (that nobody gives a crap about, let’s be honest), you should reconsider your investment strategy. Cause I can tell you a lot of people don’t know what the hell they’re doing, and they’d be better off diversifying in the top 5 or 10 coins and holding than investing in the shitcoinfest that crypto has become.
 
And that’s why COSS is a pretty buy right now. You’re investing in a platform that’s already up and running, not a whitepaper or vaporware. Hell even Eth and Neo were riskier investments for early adopters. Let’s go over the cons first:
 
It’s ugly. The UI sucks.
It doesn’t have API’s yet, meaning there’s no bots to create liquidity, and therefore low volume.
It’s been fudded to death by KuCoin shills (and their referral links you’ve seen everywhere a month ago).
Charts are horrible
 
That’s about it. Whenever you read up about coss, those are the cons you’ll find. But what about the pros? Well, all of this is in the process of being fixed, as we speak.
 
Singapore has lax laws about cryptocurrencies and issued a statement it does not feel the need to regulate them.
It’s securing exclusive ICO’s already despite being a tiny exchange, and has mentioned being able to secure from 4 to 6 per month.
The team listens to the community’s feedback and takes it seriously. This is Gold. One of the first things they were criticized about was trying to do too many things at once (an exchange, a payment gateway, a full one-stop solution for crypto, etc.) and they’ve taken the community’s advice and decided to focus solely on the exchange for now and build it properly, before branching out to the rest. “Better excel at one thing and build from there, than be mediocre at multiple things at once”
Also following community feedback, they are implementing trading promotions “a la Binance”.
Part of the total supply of COSS tokens will be donated to charities (the community votes to who they go). First of all, that’s just plain nice. Secondly, I find it pretty damn cool that we donate this for good causes, and they basically keep “generating” income from it. It’s basically like a “perpetual donation” on behalf of COSS and all of its users, and definitely will make a lot of people feel good about using the exchange. Thirdly, this pretty much guarantees millions of COSS tokens are going to be in perpetual “HODL” mode, essentially taking them off the market.
They will be implementing a FIAT gateway sooner than later. We all know FIAT gateways are game changers.
They are constantly hiring. The team growing is definitely a good sign.
They are revamping the overall UI and charts, once again following the community’s advice, and the proposed new look is fantastic! Check it out here, as well as other great announcements: https://medium.com/@runeevensen/coss-io-7379b7628d93 EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that there is a UI upgrade scheduled for tomorrow (Dec. 3rd), although it isn't clear if it's a minor one or the actual major overhaul, might wanna keep an eye out on that!
They are upgrading the matching engine and releasing API’s soon to allow bots to create liquidity and significantly raise the trading volume.
Unlike KuCoin, the revenue split (COSS token holders) will always receive 50% of the fees, whereas kucoin will start decreasing it in 4-6months and it will bottom out at 10-15%
The revenue split from trading fees is controlled by a DAO, meaning the COSS team cannot arbitrarily decide to change it later down the line, unlike KuCoin where the control over the fee split is centralized and they decrease it as they please.
The DAO model also avoids it being labeled a security. First of all, those aren’t really “dividends” as dividends would require them to calculate income minus expenses to determine profit, and then distribute this profit to shareholders, and obviously that’s a legal nightmare. With the DAO model, you don’t get a percentage of the “profits”, you get a revenue split from the exchange fees, and it’s done by clicking a “distribute” button which makes a call to the smart contract and distributes your coins. COSS itself is not giving you anything
COSS is still in Beta. It has a tiny market cap. Now’s the time to pick it up, not when it’s out of beta and has become successful, or you’ll be in another Antshares/NEO situation. A ridiculously small move from 5M to 50M in Mcap and that’s x10, a move from 5M to 150M (still under binance levels) and that’s x30.
In the long run, COSS aims to be more than just an exchange. Holders of the token, who currently get 50% of the exchange’s trading fees, will also get 50% of other fees charged from coss. This includes their eventual payment gateway. Merchants around the world wishing to accept crypto payments will be able to use COSS’s gateway and COSS will charge a 0.75% fee per transaction. We, as COSS holders, also get 50% of that. You believe crypto is the future and going mainstream? Well your COSS will entitle you to the revenue generated by tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of businesses accepting crypto payments via COSS Point-Of-Sale.
COSS also mentioned that all other COSS “fee generating” products to come will all be subject to the same DAO/50% split. Logically, If they have 1) The trading platform, and 2) the payment gateway, then the third step is solving the problem of spending the crypto in places that don’t accept direct crypto payment, AKA a crypto credit/debit card. Well, guess what? Users of such cards will be charged a small fee as well when their crypto is being converted to fiat in real time for payment at a gas station. We as COSS holders are, again, getting 50% of that fee. As you can see, this is a coin that makes business sense to invest in. Unless you really, reaaaaaally care about a coin being the “Future of decentralized prediction markets” or “the future of decentralized dating” or the “decentralized gambling coin” and whatnot.
Smart money is smart. It's only a matter of time before savvy investors discover this coin.
 
What do the dividends look like (credits to lickmypussy28):
 
Here’s an excel showing the Yearly %ROI based on the COSS exchange volume and your COSS token buy-in price: https://i.imgur.com/XKjjCbZ.png
 
Here’s another one showing how much you’d make in USD per year based on how many COSS tokens you own, again all relative to the volume on the left: https://i.imgur.com/p15DKAr.png
 
Lastly, here’s another showing the exact same as above but on a weekly basis: https://i.imgur.com/ezp5FCV.png
 
ALTHOUGH, keep in mind, the calculations above take into consideration an average trading fee of 0.2% and while this fee is accurate right now, it will most likely average 0.1% once API’s are released and liquidity/market maker bots start operating on the platform. Also, the calculations above do NOT take into consideration that in 4 years from now, there will be 200M (hard cap) COSS tokens on the market. HOWEVER, these calculations also do not take into consideration that by then, COSS will have a fully up and running payment gateway, crypto credit cards, and other revenue-generating products such as a crowdfunding platform, smart contract deployment platform, etc. that are also generating revenue for COSS holders.
 
All in all, if all goes as planned, the payment gateway/cards/other products will negate the additional COSS tokens released in the market as well as the average trading fee of 0.1%, and therefore the numbers presented in the excel docs will remain sensibly the same. Also, if crypto really takes off in the mainstream, then the revenue split to coss holders from the payment gateway & credit card spending could very well double, triple or quadruple all the numbers you’re seeing in these excel sheets, and that’s on the low end. Remember, the exchange only charges 0.2% (0.1% average once we have bots) out of which we get half, but the payment gateway on the other hand charges a flat 0.75% (7.5x the what the exchange’s fee), out of which COSS holders get half. This could be a massive revenue driver, easily surpassing the exchange itself, and honestly if at that point in time this coin is NOT valued at 3B+ (I mean, even ethereum classic is over that right now..), then I’ll just give up on the whole notion of logical thinking.
 
Quick example, assuming in 4 years 50M in gateway processing daily (18B yearly), 0.375% of that would be 187.5K USD daily for COSS holders. With 200M Coss tokens total supply, if you hold 10K coss you’d generate 9.375$ per day (65$ per week, 282$/mo.), and that’s purely from the gateway (totally excluding the exchange revenue, crowdfunding revenue, credit card revenue, etc.).
 
If you have 100K coss you’d generate 93.7$/day, 650$/week, 2820$/mo, again purely from the gateway.
 
If you’d rather assume more conservative figures (let’s say 25M in daily gateway processing on COSS, all around the globe, or 9B yearly), then simply divide these figures by half. If you wanna go balls to the walls, double them (100M daily, 36B yearly). Play around, have fun with the numbers! To keep things in perspective, square has processed 50B’s worth of transactions in 2016. Therefore I believe using 9B, 18B and 36B for our calculations isn’t too far fetched, and actually pretty reasonable.
 
Anyway, to sum this up, no matter how you look at it, COSS is an extremely promising project with huge potential, and actually has working math (and a working beta!) behind it. It’s only a matter of a month or two before they’re out of their Beta, have upgrades to their UI and engine, and start really growing from there. The team listens to the community, which is super important, and they’re working on a multitude of revenue streams, out of which not only them, but all coss holders will benefit from, fifty fifty.
 
Their crowdfunding platform will be a competitor to indiegogo, gofundme, kickstarter, and they’ll have a small percentage fee (50% of which goes to COSS holders). The crypto Point-Of-Sale will be a competitor to Square and the likes (50% revenue to COSS holders). The crypto credit card (also 50% revenue to COSS holders). It is truely an admirable project. Shovel manufacturers made a killing during the gold rush, and COSS is positioning itself as the shovel manufacturer in the crypto adoption gold rush. This is a coin that makes sense to invest in, it is ultra tangible, and will give greater returns than any type of “decentralized [insert function here]” type coins.
 
On a personal note: Honestly, I believe this is the proper way to ICO, by NOT giving people worthless tokens that only go up in value due to speculation (looking at you, 99% of ERC20 tokens). Let investors guide you, let them reap 50% of the rewards as THEY are the ones funding you. This’ll keep the investors interested in the project, and every single one of them will have a direct incentive to vouch for your product. It’s only right for the investors to get rewarded with something tangible, I’d take that any day over a speculative shitcoin who’s only purpose was to put money in the project’s founders pockets
 
Oh, and cherry on the sundae: they are planning on launching massive marketing campaigns as soon as UI and trading engine are ready, Q1 2018, as you can see in Rune’s Nov 27th update. I suggest you read it, it puts us up to date on a lot of exciting new things: https://medium.com/@runeevensen/coss-io-update-november-27th-fa74f1237062
 
Quoted directly from said link: “For those that are most interested in discussions regarding the trading price of COSS. Please have in mind that when we entered our token sale, our clear sales message was a 3–5 year road-map, and not a 3–5 months pump and dump. We are a small team, doing our utmost to deliver and all we ask is for you to continue to give us feedback and also for you to give us some time to deliver. *That being said. We still aim to be out of BETA as soon as possible with a new engine for the exchange in Q1 2018. New UI should be in place well before that.** Once we feel we have this in place we will roll out massive marketing campaigns to attract users and increased volume. So although we have a 3–5 year road-map ahead, you should expect to see 2018 being “our year”. The 3–5 year plan is more on the complete roadmap when we proudly can call ourselves a one-stop solution. For now it is all about the exchange, and there we will see rapid changes over the coming weeks/months.”*
 
All in all, i’d like to thank the COSS team for actually caring about their investors, keeping them in the loop, listening to their feedback and giving them a unique and tangible opportunity. I’d also like to thank all the other COSS investors, who see a huge potential in this project and support the team, and lastly, all of you crypto-heads for reading through!
 
Happy hodling, and hopefully see you all at 500M+ market cap by late 2018 :)
 
-Some random guy on Reddit.
 
PS: Not investment advice. Always do your due diligence. Also, if you’d like, you can join the discussion at /cossIO
 
Friendly reminder: ETH is the quickest way to get your funds on the COSS exchange, and COSS/ETH pair has 4x the volume of the COSS/BTC pair.
submitted by globetrotter_s14 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Express VPN Review - Why I use it daily

ExpressVPN: Ranked #1 out of 100 VPNs that we tested ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services on the market, but is it really the “#1 trusted leader in VPN” as it claims to be?
We put ExpressVPN through rigorous testing and in this review we’ll tell you if it’s honestly the top VPN of 2019, and we’ll answer common questions like:
Is ExpressVPN really that fast? Is it legit and safe to use? Does ExpressVPN unblock Netflix? Does ExpressVPN allow torrenting? How much does ExpressVPN cost? But before we jump in, here’s a quick overview of ExpressVPN’s pros and cons:
Pros Cons Exceptionally fast same-country speeds Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more Safe, fast & unrestricted torrenting/P2P Strong logging policy & no IP, DNS, WebRTC leaks User-friendly apps for PC, Mac, iOS, & Android Great server network across 94 countries More expensive than some rivals Fire Stick TV app needs updating Works with
Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi
Available on
Windows Mac Ios Android Linux Price from
$6.67/mo
That’s just a few highlights of what’s to come.
Keep reading to see if ExpressVPN is the right VPN for you, starting with how fast it is.
Speed & Reliability One of the fastest VPNs we've tested
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN services we’ve tested – it’s extremely quick and responsive.
ExpressVPN is also remarkably reliable and consistent, whether you’re connecting to a local server, or one on the other side of the world. It’s speed is also very impressive in high censorship countries like China, where most other VPN services struggle to even connect.
Use the table below to see how ExpressVPN speeds fare against its top-scoring rivals in 11 locations around the world.
Select server location ExpressVPN NordVPN IPVanish DOWNLOAD AVERAGE 52.10 Mbps 69.67 Mbps 44.83 Mbps UPLOAD AVERAGE 23.84 Mbps 27.86 Mbps 27.70 Mbps PING AVERAGE 141 ms 135 ms 131 ms Here are the average speeds you can expect from ExpressVPN from a handful popular regions.
Europe Asia USA Australia DOWNLOAD AVERAGE 125 Mbps 47 Mbps 151 Mbps 129 Mbps UPLOAD AVERAGE 101 Mbps 34 Mbps 135 Mbps 113 Mbps PING AVERAGE 73 ms 3 ms 4 ms 2 ms Averages are calculated from our test results over the last 4 weeks. To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Test VPN Speed.
Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server.
Before using ExpressVPN:
DOWNLOAD Mbps 95.71
UPLOAD Mbps 98.71
PING ms 3
When connected to ExpressVPN:
DOWNLOAD Mbps 85
UPLOAD Mbps 91.22
PING ms 8
Download speed without ExpressVPN: 95.71Mbps
Download speed with ExpressVPN: 85.00Mbps
Our download speed loss when ExpressVPN is running: 11%
On top of fast download and upload speeds, ExpressVPN’s low latency and low ping times make it a good VPN for gaming, not as good as other VPN services but a strong gaming contender nonetheless.
From our location in the UK, we tested average speeds connecting out to various locations worldwide while connected to ExpressVPN:
USA: 77Mbps (download) & 40Mbps (upload) Germany: 79Mbps (download) & 66Mbps (upload) Singapore: 73Mbps (download) & 22Mbps (upload) Australia: 59Mbps (download) & 1Mbps (upload) Server Locations 3,000+ servers across 160 locations
Globe with a blue flag 94 Countries Image of a city landscape 160 Cities Image of a pink marker 3,000+ IP Addresses See all Server Locations ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 VPN servers across the world, spread evenly over every continent (excluding Antarctica).
No matter where you’re located you should have no trouble finding an ExpressVPN server near you.
3,000 servers is one of the widest ranges of servers we’ve seen from any VPN service, and the ExpressVPN website even lists which VPN security protocols are available in each location (either country or city).
ExpressVPN provides city-level servers in a number of locations, too:
US UK Australia Brazil India Singapore Netherlands Germany France Italy Spain ExpressVPN’s 27 different city-level locations in the US and in four in Australia are some of the highest totals we’ve seen.
Streaming & Torrenting Instantly unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and torrenting
ExpressVPN easily unlocks Netflix through almost all of its US-based VPN servers (apart from New York), even if it doesn’t offer servers dedicated to streaming like some of the other top-tier VPN services like CyberGhost.
ExpressVPN’s Isle of Man and Jersey servers work well with UK Netflix, while most UK servers will unlock BBC iPlayer (although customer support informed us it will only work if you’re located outside of the UK).
ExpressVPN is also a popular choice with viewers of a whole range of other big streaming services. Plenty of subscribers enjoy using ExpressVPN with:
Amazon Prime Video Hulu HBO Sling TV Sky Now TV PlayStation Vue The following ExpressVPN servers worked for unlocking Netflix:
USA (New Jersey, Washington DC, San Francisco) Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver) UK (Isle of Man, Jersey) Torrenting Torrenting and any type of P2P traffic is allowed on all ExpressVPN servers, resulting in less congestion and faster speeds as a bonus.
ExpressVPN registered fast speeds both downloading and uploading, which is fundamental for a good torrenting and P2P experience. ExpressVPN also works for those looking to stream via Kodi or similar media player apps.
Privacy and security-wise, ExpressVPN’s kill switch works extremely well (should your VPN connection drop at any point) and when we tested ExpressVPN for IP or DNS leaks, we found zero. What’s more, ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any activity logs. You can read more about all of this below.
Bypassing Censorship Works in China, UAE and more
ExpressVPN works in China, bypassing Chinese censorship with ease, largely thanks to the company devoting significant resources into outsmarting the censors. That is why ExpressVPN is our best VPN for China.
If you have protocol selection switched to Automatic, ExpressVPN’s proprietary obfuscation security protocols are activated, which are very effective in beating aggressive state-level censors.
These obfuscation protocols ensure that its VPN apps easily beat even the most aggressive of blocks in countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Platforms & Devices Works with all popular devices
Apps Windows Logo Windows Mac Logo Mac iOS Logo iOS Android Logo Android Linux Logo Linux Router Logo Router ExpressVPN supports just about any operating system or device out there – Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android – with installation instructions given for each one.
Where ExpressVPN doesn’t have a native dedicated VPN app, you have access to a walkthrough on the ExpressVPN website to show you how to set up a workaround.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices AppleTV Logo AppleTV Amazon Fire TV Logo Amazon Fire TV Chromecast Logo Chromecast Nintendo Logo Nintendo PlayStation Logo PlayStation Roku Logo Roku Xbox Logo Xbox ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, although it is not our number one choice.
Why is not our top pick?
Well, ExpressVPN may have been one of the first VPN providers to roll out a Fire TV Stick app, and it works fine, but it’s grown to look out-dated and lacks some of the features that we’ve enjoyed in more recent Fire TV Stick VPN apps.
If you own a Fire TV Stick and want to use a VPN app with it, take a look at our top VPN picks for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.
If you want to run ExpressVPN on other streaming devices or games consoles, you’ll need to install ExpressVPN at router level, or you can piggyback off of the VPN connection from another device, like your PC or Mac.
Browser Extensions Chrome Logo Chrome Firefox Logo Firefox Safari Logo Safari ExpressVPN provides full VPN browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.
Most of the VPN browser add-ons we see from other VPN providers are proxies pretending to be full VPNs, but ExpressVPN’s extensions are the real deal.
You can choose your server location from within the browser extension, which is a really neat solution.
Thanks to a recent update you can now use ExpressVPN on five different devices at once, too.
Encryption & Security Leader in security, with strong extras like a VPN kill switch & obfuscation protocols
Protocol IKEv2/IPSec
L2TP/IPSec
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
PPTP
SSTP
Encryption AES-256
Security DNS Leak Blocking
First-party DNS
IPV6 Leak Blocking
VPN Kill Switch
WebRTC Leak Blocking
Advanced features Split Tunneling
Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.
ExpressVPN is a legitimate and extremely secure VPN service, with a multitude of standards and VPN protocols in place to keep your browsing data private and secure.
If you leave the VPN protocol setting on Automatic then the ExpressVPN app will determine what is the best security protocol to use – a handy feature that’s not all that common.
AES-256 encryption is widely regarded as near-unbreakable; OpenVPN, our favorite VPN protocol, is one of many available; and ExpressVPN also has the always-essential VPN kill switch, ensuring you stay protected in the event of your connection dropping.
Split tunneling is yet another powerful feature that’s not all that common among VPN services. It allows you to protect your web traffic while keeping access to connected devices on your network, like your printer or Smart TV.
We found ExpressVPN to be fully protected from any IP or DNS leaks, too. You can count on ExpressVPN to successfully hide your real IP address.
ExpressVPN recently launched its TrustedServer feature, a proprietary technology that removes the need for local storage such as hard disks or solid state drives. Once again, ExpressVPN is leading the pack when it comes to security and privacy.
Logging Policy Close to truly no-logs and away from 14-Eyes
ExpressVPN doesn’t collect any personally identifiable activity logs. Here’s all the information collected by ExpressVPN’s VPN servers:
Dates when connected to the VPN service Choice of VPN server location Total amount of data transferred per day That’s it. ExpressVPN maintains that this is the minimum amount of information required to be collected in order to keep the performance of its servers as strong as possible.
The most important thing of all is that this data cannot be used to identify you, or what you do. All that’s possible to reveal is that you have used ExpressVPN’s service at some point. This is totally anonymous, and about as close to zero-logs as you can get.
A recent report by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) questioned ExpressVPN in greater detail and concluded that its servers were both “extremely difficult to compromise” and “limited in the amount of data that could be revealed” in the event that they were.
ExpressVPN’s logging policy was put to the test in December 2017 when one of ExpressVPN’s Turkish VPN servers was seized and inspected by Turkish authorities investigating the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov. The investigators could not find any customer connection logs.
Jurisdiction ExpressVPN was founded in 2009 and is operated by Express VPN International Ltd., which is based in the British Virgin Islands and far outside of the intrusive 14-eyes surveillance alliance.
That’s an excellent choice of location for a privacy-minded VPN company, as the British Virgin Islands has full sovereignty over its own data regulations.
Foreign governments can still make demands for information, but ExpressVPN makes it clear that it will never share data with them and, crucially, that it doesn’t have any personally identifiable information to share in the first place.
In case you’re still wondering, you’re safe with ExpressVPN.
Ease of Use Hassle-free setup and easy to get started
How to Install & Set Up ExpressVPN Screenshot of the ExpressVPN installation wizard This is the screen you'll see after you've downloaded your chosen software from the ExpressVPN website.
Screenshot of the ExpressVPN download success screen When the installation is complete, you'll receive a prompt to start the ExpressVPN app.
Screenshot of the activation code box in the ExpressVPN app Before you can start using the app, you'll need to enter the activation code provided in your welcome email.
Screenshot of the main screen of ExpressVPN's desktop app The main view of the ExpressVPN screen - just click connect to fire up your new VPN.
Screenshot of ExpressVPN while connected The on/off button turns green when you're connected, and clearly displays your chosen server location.
Screenshot of ExpressVPN's list of server locations Your favorite server locations display here in a separate window.
Screenshot of ExpressVPN's protocol choices in the desktop app Choose your protocol here - we really like the helpful contextual information provided
ExpressVPN is so easy to use that it’s hard to go wrong – not just with the main desktop client, but also with its many device-specific apps and browser extensions.
The ExpressVPN home screen is simply a big on/off button and a list of VPN servers, but if you want to customize things you can also find advanced settings behind a separate menu.
Even ExpressVPN’s advanced options are explained in plain and easily-understood language, so you’ll never be making changes without knowing exactly what you’re doing.
Browser Extensions
ExpressVPN’s browser extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. They give you full protection that fully masks your web activity without you having to leave your browser window.
Customer Support Responsive and friendly live chat
24/7 Live chat support Email Online Resources ExpressVPN’s helpful 24/7 live chat means if you ever have a problem, you’ll be back up and running as quickly as possible.
ExpressVPN really is one of the most customer-focused VPN services we’ve reviewed, and the ExpressVPN support team makes sure to keep you happy before and well after you’ve become their customer.
You can also reach out to ExpressVPN’s customer support via email, with equally responsive, helpful and enthusiastic responses.
Pricing & Deals A little expensive, but well worth it
ExpressVPN Coupon ExpressVPN logo ExpressVPN
Get 3 months free with ExpressVPN's 12-month plan
TestedEnds in 2 days Get CodeED Terms ExpressVPN Pricing Plan ExpressVPN provides the same features on all its price plans, so the only decision to make is how much you want to pay upfront and how much your subscription costs you per month.
The longer you subscribe to ExpressVPN for, the cheaper the monthly cost: a single month of ExpressVPN costs $12.95 (which is more costly than other 1-month plans offered by its rivals), but there’s a 49% reduction to $6.67 for a 15-month plan, which is great value for the best VPN service around.
Monthly
US$12.95/mo
Billed $12.95 every month 6 Months
US$9.99/mo
Billed $59.95 every 6 months Save 23% 15 Months
US$6.67/mo
Billed $99.95 first 15 months and 12 months thereafter Save 49% All plans have 30-day money-back guarantee
Payment & Refund Options Credit Card PayPal Bitcoin AliPay UnionPay You’re entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee when you first sign up to ExpressVPN. We found that they grant refunds quickly and with no questions asked, after we made a simple request to customer service.
ExpressVPN doesn’t have a true free trial in place, but take a look at our guide on how you can make the most of the 30-day refund guarantee.
There’s also a ‘Refer a Friend’ program which earns you a 30-day free ExpressVPN subscription for both you and the friend you convince to sign up – plus there’s no limit to the number of friends you can refer.
submitted by Zinkzd to VPNsReddit [link] [comments]

What Are Security Tokens?

Everyone has been buzzing about Security Tokens for some time now, but those talks are all over the map. What do you say if we put it all under a microscope and get to know what exactly is a security token, where did it come from and what is its future?
What Is A Token?
First of all, let us remind you of the meaning of a token. Token — a representation of something virtual or physical (concept, value, right, access key, debt, etc.) in its ecosystem. It is not really a currency, but more like a tool with a specific function in its environment. You are usually able to get these tokens during the fundraising period of the project. We have talked about these different funding types in one of our previous articles — What Is The Difference Between IPO, ICO, IEO, And STO?
Token Value
The project itself sets the value and limits of the token. William Mougayar did a great job defining these principles in his The Security Token Thesis. It helped us separate several possible roles that can be set for the token. Each of them has specific features and purpose, which defines its value.
Governance
Some tokens give you a certain amount of rights within the ecosystem. It can be a right to vote where the project is going and somewhat of control of its development.
Toll or Function
The token can be used as a gateway to access the product. It works as a toll that allows you to enter the ecosystem. Also, some projects might have some parts of it, such as tools or features, that are accessible only when you have their token. It is more like paying for a premium user experience.
Reward/Pay
A token can be set to be a reward for some kind of tasks. It works as a value exchange and builds a native economic system between buyers and sellers on the platform at the same time helping the project to develop.
Profit
These tokens represent the distribution of the project earnings or other related financial benefits among investors in that environment.
Of course, the token can represent a currency too, which could be exchanged in the native and foreign exchange. The token can have either a single or multiple roles. The value is fully controlled by the project.
Security Tokens Vs. Utility Tokens
There are two main legally recognized types of tokens — utility and security. Tokens qualify as securities, only if they can pass tests such as Howey Test.
Howey Test is an analysis of the investment, where the project is required to follow these criteria:
It has to be a financial investment. There is an expectation of a profit. It is an investment in a common enterprise. The definition of common enterprise is open for interpretation, but it is usually defined as one that is horizontal meaning that investors join their money or assets together. The profit comes from the efforts of a promoter or a third party, and not the investor’s own actions.
To put it simply, Utility Tokens allow you to benefit from using the product(s) and building the internal economy system of the ecosystem. While Security Tokens allow you to profit from the project. The value of the security token is directly tied to the value of the project.
Here’s how Anthony Pompliano defined Security Tokens in his Official Guide To Tokenized Securities: ‘If cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are considered “programmable money” then you can consider Security Tokens a version of “programmable ownership.”’
Also, it’s important to note that Utility Tokens are more prone to scams. Security Tokens are a safe option due to them being more of an investment contract that must comply with numerous regulations. You can look at a Security Token as a representation of the company’s debt to you.
Pros & Cons
Great minds of the blockchain were looking for a solution after so many of ICOs ended up being scams or failures. There was a need for a change. So what exactly has been changed by bringing in Security Tokens?
Regulations (such as 2017/1129 Prospectus Regulation and 2004/39/EC MiFID II in Europe and Reg D in the USA) and legal agreement of accountability brought back the credibility. Getting rid of the middleman (such as financial institutions and lawyers) reduced the process complexity, length, and costs of transactions. Also, it drastically decreased the levels of corruption and manipulation. The token being a legally binding contract between the project and the investor gave an option for a smart and safe investing, that attracts more people. If the team fails to deliver what was promised, the investor has a legal right to go to court and demand what is contractually his/hers. Opening up the free market resulted in a higher volume of investors from all around the world.
Of course, Kate Mosse could come in and quote herself once again as “there’s no black and no white.” There is so much good about Security Tokens, but everything has its price.
The main and perhaps the only issue that people can see in Security Tokens is that when you remove the middleman, you shift their responsibilities to the creators of that ecosystem. This means that the team of the project has to work on solicitation of interest, investors’ security, and compliance regulation by themselves. The project needs to have a strong legal team, that will be able to take proper care of these tasks.
Yes, Security Tokens are still a pretty new thing. However, as S. Khatwaniwrote — the crypto community is bullish because of the unlimited possibilities that these tokens bring, so big bankers and institutional investors are betting high on their future.
https://medium.com/altcoin-magazine/what-are-security-tokens-1f148c867ef3
submitted by Ingerair to SecurityTokens [link] [comments]

CRYPTOCURRENCY BITCOIN

CRYPTOCURRENCY BITCOIN
Bitcoin Table of contents expand: 1. What is Bitcoin? 2. Understanding Bitcoin 3. How Bitcoin Works 4. What's a Bitcoin Worth? 5. How Bitcoin Began 6. Who Invented Bitcoin? 7. Before Satoshi 8. Why Is Satoshi Anonymous? 9. The Suspects 10. Can Satoshi's Identity Be Proven? 11. Receiving Bitcoins As Payment 12. Working For Bitcoins 13. Bitcoin From Interest Payments 14. Bitcoins From Gambling 15. Investing in Bitcoins 16. Risks of Bitcoin Investing 17. Bitcoin Regulatory Risk 18. Security Risk of Bitcoins 19. Insurance Risk 20. Risk of Bitcoin Fraud 21. Market Risk 22. Bitcoin's Tax Risk What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in January 2009. It follows the ideas set out in a white paper by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity is yet to be verified. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.
There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. Despite it not being legal tender, Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins.
Understanding Bitcoin Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency: Balances are kept using public and private "keys," which are long strings of numbers and letters linked through the mathematical encryption algorithm that was used to create them. The public key (comparable to a bank account number) serves as the address which is published to the world and to which others may send bitcoins. The private key (comparable to an ATM PIN) is meant to be a guarded secret and only used to authorize Bitcoin transmissions. Style notes: According to the official Bitcoin Foundation, the word "Bitcoin" is capitalized in the context of referring to the entity or concept, whereas "bitcoin" is written in the lower case when referring to a quantity of the currency (e.g. "I traded 20 bitcoin") or the units themselves. The plural form can be either "bitcoin" or "bitcoins."
How Bitcoin Works Bitcoin is one of the first digital currencies to use peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments. The independent individuals and companies who own the governing computing power and participate in the Bitcoin network, also known as "miners," are motivated by rewards (the release of new bitcoin) and transaction fees paid in bitcoin. These miners can be thought of as the decentralized authority enforcing the credibility of the Bitcoin network. New bitcoin is being released to the miners at a fixed, but periodically declining rate, such that the total supply of bitcoins approaches 21 million. One bitcoin is divisible to eight decimal places (100 millionths of one bitcoin), and this smallest unit is referred to as a Satoshi. If necessary, and if the participating miners accept the change, Bitcoin could eventually be made divisible to even more decimal places. Bitcoin mining is the process through which bitcoins are released to come into circulation. Basically, it involves solving a computationally difficult puzzle to discover a new block, which is added to the blockchain and receiving a reward in the form of a few bitcoins. The block reward was 50 new bitcoins in 2009; it decreases every four years. As more and more bitcoins are created, the difficulty of the mining process – that is, the amount of computing power involved – increases. The mining difficulty began at 1.0 with Bitcoin's debut back in 2009; at the end of the year, it was only 1.18. As of February 2019, the mining difficulty is over 6.06 billion. Once, an ordinary desktop computer sufficed for the mining process; now, to combat the difficulty level, miners must use faster hardware like Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC), more advanced processing units like Graphic Processing Units (GPUs), etc.
What's a Bitcoin Worth? In 2017 alone, the price of Bitcoin rose from a little under $1,000 at the beginning of the year to close to $19,000, ending the year more than 1,400% higher. Bitcoin's price is also quite dependent on the size of its mining network since the larger the network is, the more difficult – and thus more costly – it is to produce new bitcoins. As a result, the price of bitcoin has to increase as its cost of production also rises. The Bitcoin mining network's aggregate power has more than tripled over the past twelve months.
How Bitcoin Began
Aug. 18, 2008: The domain name bitcoin.org is registered. Today, at least, this domain is "WhoisGuard Protected," meaning the identity of the person who registered it is not public information.
Oct. 31, 2008: Someone using the name Satoshi Nakamoto makes an announcement on The Cryptography Mailing list at metzdowd.com: "I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party. The paper is available at http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf." This link leads to the now-famous white paper published on bitcoin.org entitled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." This paper would become the Magna Carta for how Bitcoin operates today.
Jan. 3, 2009: The first Bitcoin block is mined, Block 0. This is also known as the "genesis block" and contains the text: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks," perhaps as proof that the block was mined on or after that date, and perhaps also as relevant political commentary.
Jan. 8, 2009: The first version of the Bitcoin software is announced on The Cryptography Mailing list.
Jan. 9, 2009: Block 1 is mined, and Bitcoin mining commences in earnest.
Who Invented Bitcoin?
No one knows. Not conclusively, at any rate. Satoshi Nakamoto is the name associated with the person or group of people who released the original Bitcoin white paper in 2008 and worked on the original Bitcoin software that was released in 2009. The Bitcoin protocol requires users to enter a birthday upon signup, and we know that an individual named Satoshi Nakamoto registered and put down April 5 as a birth date. And that's about it.
Before Satoshi
Though it is tempting to believe the media's spin that Satoshi Nakamoto is a solitary, quixotic genius who created Bitcoin out of thin air, such innovations do not happen in a vacuum. All major scientific discoveries, no matter how original-seeming, were built on previously existing research. There are precursors to Bitcoin: Adam Back’s Hashcash, invented in 1997, and subsequently Wei Dai’s b-money, Nick Szabo’s bit gold and Hal Finney’s Reusable Proof of Work. The Bitcoin white paper itself cites Hashcash and b-money, as well as various other works spanning several research fields.
Why Is Satoshi Anonymous?
There are two primary motivations for keeping Bitcoin's inventor keeping his or her or their identity secret. One is privacy. As Bitcoin has gained in popularity – becoming something of a worldwide phenomenon – Satoshi Nakamoto would likely garner a lot of attention from the media and from governments.
The other reason is safety. Looking at 2009 alone, 32,489 blocks were mined; at the then-reward rate of 50 BTC per block, the total payout in 2009 was 1,624,500 BTC, which at today’s prices is over $900 million. One may conclude that only Satoshi and perhaps a few other people were mining through 2009 and that they possess a majority of that $900 million worth of BTC. Someone in possession of that much BTC could become a target of criminals, especially since bitcoins are less like stocks and more like cash, where the private keys needed to authorize spending could be printed out and literally kept under a mattress. While it's likely the inventor of Bitcoin would take precautions to make any extortion-induced transfers traceable, remaining anonymous is a good way for Satoshi to limit exposure.
The Suspects
Numerous people have been suggested as possible Satoshi Nakamoto by major media outlets. Oct. 10, 2011, The New Yorker published an article speculating that Nakamoto might be Irish cryptography student Michael Clear or economic sociologist Vili Lehdonvirta. A day later, Fast Company suggested that Nakamoto could be a group of three people – Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry – who together appear on a patent related to secure communications that were filed two months before bitcoin.org was registered. A Vice article published in May 2013 added more suspects to the list, including Gavin Andresen, the Bitcoin project’s lead developer; Jed McCaleb, co-founder of now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox; and famed Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki.
In December 2013, Techcrunch published an interview with researcher Skye Grey who claimed textual analysis of published writings shows a link between Satoshi and bit-gold creator Nick Szabo. And perhaps most famously, in March 2014, Newsweek ran a cover article claiming that Satoshi is actually an individual named Satoshi Nakamoto – a 64-year-old Japanese-American engineer living in California. The list of suspects is long, and all the individuals deny being Satoshi.
Can Satoshi's Identity Be Proven?
It would seem even early collaborators on the project don’t have verifiable proof of Satoshi’s identity. To reveal conclusively who Satoshi Nakamoto is, a definitive link would need to be made between his/her activity with Bitcoin and his/her identity. That could come in the form of linking the party behind the domain registration of bitcoin.org, email and forum accounts used by Satoshi Nakamoto, or ownership of some portion of the earliest mined bitcoins. Even though the bitcoins Satoshi likely possesses are traceable on the blockchain, it seems he/she has yet to cash them out in a way that reveals his/her identity. If Satoshi were to move his/her bitcoins to an exchange today, this might attract attention, but it seems unlikely that a well-funded and successful exchange would betray a customer's privacy.
Receiving Bitcoins As Payment
Bitcoins can be accepted as a means of payment for products sold or services provided. If you have a brick and mortar store, just display a sign saying “Bitcoin Accepted Here” and many of your customers may well take you up on it; the transactions can be handled with the requisite hardware terminal or wallet address through QR codes and touch screen apps. An online business can easily accept bitcoins by just adding this payment option to the others it offers, like credit cards, PayPal, etc. Online payments will require a Bitcoin merchant tool (an external processor like Coinbase or BitPay).
Working For Bitcoins
Those who are self-employed can get paid for a job in bitcoins. There are several websites/job boards which are dedicated to the digital currency:
Work For Bitcoin brings together work seekers and prospective employers through its websiteCoinality features jobs – freelance, part-time and full-time – that offer payment in bitcoins, as well as Dogecoin and LitecoinJobs4Bitcoins, part of reddit.comBitGigs
Bitcoin From Interest Payments
Another interesting way (literally) to earn bitcoins is by lending them out and being repaid in the currency. Lending can take three forms – direct lending to someone you know; through a website which facilitates peer-to-peer transactions, pairing borrowers and lenders; or depositing bitcoins in a virtual bank that offers a certain interest rate for Bitcoin accounts. Some such sites are Bitbond, BitLendingClub, and BTCjam. Obviously, you should do due diligence on any third-party site.
Bitcoins From Gambling
It’s possible to play at casinos that cater to Bitcoin aficionados, with options like online lotteries, jackpots, spread betting, and other games. Of course, the pros and cons and risks that apply to any sort of gambling and betting endeavors are in force here too.
Investing in Bitcoins
There are many Bitcoin supporters who believe that digital currency is the future. Those who endorse it are of the view that it facilitates a much faster, no-fee payment system for transactions across the globe. Although it is not itself any backed by any government or central bank, bitcoin can be exchanged for traditional currencies; in fact, its exchange rate against the dollar attracts potential investors and traders interested in currency plays. Indeed, one of the primary reasons for the growth of digital currencies like Bitcoin is that they can act as an alternative to national fiat money and traditional commodities like gold.
In March 2014, the IRS stated that all virtual currencies, including bitcoins, would be taxed as property rather than currency. Gains or losses from bitcoins held as capital will be realized as capital gains or losses, while bitcoins held as inventory will incur ordinary gains or losses.
Like any other asset, the principle of buying low and selling high applies to bitcoins. The most popular way of amassing the currency is through buying on a Bitcoin exchange, but there are many other ways to earn and own bitcoins. Here are a few options which Bitcoin enthusiasts can explore.
Risks of Bitcoin Investing
Though Bitcoin was not designed as a normal equity investment (no shares have been issued), some speculative investors were drawn to the digital money after it appreciated rapidly in May 2011 and again in November 2013. Thus, many people purchase bitcoin for its investment value rather than as a medium of exchange.
However, their lack of guaranteed value and digital nature means the purchase and use of bitcoins carries several inherent risks. Many investor alerts have been issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and other agencies.
The concept of a virtual currency is still novel and, compared to traditional investments, Bitcoin doesn't have much of a long-term track record or history of credibility to back it. With their increasing use, bitcoins are becoming less experimental every day, of course; still, after eight years, they (like all digital currencies) remain in a development phase, still evolving. "It is pretty much the highest-risk, highest-return investment that you can possibly make,” says Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group, which builds and invests in Bitcoin and blockchain companies.
Bitcoin Regulatory Risk
Investing money into Bitcoin in any of its many guises is not for the risk-averse. Bitcoins are a rival to government currency and may be used for black market transactions, money laundering, illegal activities or tax evasion. As a result, governments may seek to regulate, restrict or ban the use and sale of bitcoins, and some already have. Others are coming up with various rules. For example, in 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services finalized regulations that would require companies dealing with the buy, sell, transfer or storage of bitcoins to record the identity of customers, have a compliance officer and maintain capital reserves. The transactions worth $10,000 or more will have to be recorded and reported.
Although more agencies will follow suit, issuing rules and guidelines, the lack of uniform regulations about bitcoins (and other virtual currency) raises questions over their longevity, liquidity, and universality.
Security Risk of Bitcoins
Bitcoin exchanges are entirely digital and, as with any virtual system, are at risk from hackers, malware and operational glitches. If a thief gains access to a Bitcoin owner's computer hard drive and steals his private encryption key, he could transfer the stolen Bitcoins to another account. (Users can prevent this only if bitcoins are stored on a computer which is not connected to the internet, or else by choosing to use a paper wallet – printing out the Bitcoin private keys and addresses, and not keeping them on a computer at all.) Hackers can also target Bitcoin exchanges, gaining access to thousands of accounts and digital wallets where bitcoins are stored. One especially notorious hacking incident took place in 2014, when Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange in Japan, was forced to close down after millions of dollars worth of bitcoins were stolen.
This is particularly problematic once you remember that all Bitcoin transactions are permanent and irreversible. It's like dealing with cash: Any transaction carried out with bitcoins can only be reversed if the person who has received them refunds them. There is no third party or a payment processor, as in the case of a debit or credit card – hence, no source of protection or appeal if there is a problem.
Insurance Risk
Some investments are insured through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Normal bank accounts are insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to a certain amount depending on the jurisdiction. Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin accounts are not insured by any type of federal or government program.
Risk of Bitcoin Fraud
While Bitcoin uses private key encryption to verify owners and register transactions, fraudsters and scammers may attempt to sell false bitcoins. For instance, in July 2013, the SEC brought legal action against an operator of a Bitcoin-related Ponzi scheme.
Market Risk
Like with any investment, Bitcoin values can fluctuate. Indeed, the value of the currency has seen wild swings in price over its short existence. Subject to high volume buying and selling on exchanges, it has a high sensitivity to “news." According to the CFPB, the price of bitcoins fell by 61% in a single day in 2013, while the one-day price drop in 2014 has been as big as 80%.
If fewer people begin to accept Bitcoin as a currency, these digital units may lose value and could become worthless. There is already plenty of competition, and though Bitcoin has a huge lead over the other 100-odd digital currencies that have sprung up, thanks to its brand recognition and venture capital money, a technological break-through in the form of a better virtual coin is always a threat.
Bitcoin's Tax Risk
As bitcoin is ineligible to be included in any tax-advantaged retirement accounts, there are no good, legal options to shield investments from taxation.
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Related Terms
Satoshi
The satoshi is the smallest unit of the bitcoin cryptocurrency. It is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the protocol used in block chains and the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Chartalism Chartalism is a non-mainstream theory of money that emphasizes the impact of government policies and activities on the value of money.
Satoshi Nakamoto The name used by the unknown creator of the protocol used in the bitcoin cryptocurrency. Satoshi Nakamoto is closely-associated with blockchain technology.
Bitcoin Mining, Explained Breaking down everything you need to know about Bitcoin Mining, from Blockchain and Block Rewards to Proof-of-Work and Mining Pools.
Understanding Bitcoin Unlimited Bitcoin Unlimited is a proposed upgrade to Bitcoin Core that allows larger block sizes. The upgrade is designed to improve transaction speed through scale.
Blockchain Explained
A guide to help you understand what blockchain is and how it can be used by industries. You've probably encountered a definition like this: “blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, public ledger." But blockchain is easier to understand than it sounds.
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By Satoshi Nakamoto
Read it once, go read other crypto stuff, read it again… keep doing this until the whole document makes sense. It’ll take a while, but you’ll get there. This is the original whitepaper introducing and explaining Bitcoin, and there’s really nothing better out there to understand on the subject.
“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party

submitted by adrian_morrison to BlockchainNews [link] [comments]

My view and opinion about this year

First of all the year has not ended yet. We still have like 6 weeks till the end of this year.
Probably many people here know me from the beginning. I know pros and cons and every detail of Icx from the very start.
Almost exactly a year ago I found Icx as very promising and almost finished product which operated in a legit way. They didn't shill and had a big company behind them. I said to myself wow thats rare in this space. This could be something for the long term. Not just a short term thing. Because I knew from the start this space is so volatile and full of empty promises and lies.
CEO looked like a nice guy but something bothered me about him. Probably his voice and non verbal communication.
Fundamentals are strong and had a lot of connections to other companies. They did a public sale and held 50% of money to themselves. I said OK thats a lot but things I've written before prevailed.
We were told a completely different roadmap and not just that. We were told things like DEX and token swap would be avaliable right away.
Ok...around December 18th Icx got listed on Binance at high valuation and immediately dumped which triggered big recovery. I can remember Bitcoin shitting in its pants while Icx stood firm and held at 1.8$. Icx was gaining value while Bitcoin was falling.
I said wow. That counts for something. They really have to be special. Ok shortly afterwards mainnet got delayed and we saw quite a big decline in price. I said ok thats nothing. 1 month delay in this industry is nothing. I can remember some delusional people but I was not one of them saying they delayed the mainnet because of Korean regulations. There were a LOT of hype because of that summit. Everyone had high hopes and the likes of Balina did their job too.
Around 24th of January we saw mainnet launch which was done in an odd way. I had a bad feeling. There was a lot of misinformation and it was launched in last second. It had a bad taste somehow and I got that gut feeling saying to me that this thing will get late on just anything.
We all saw that summit and for me things went as planned. I knew there would be no revolution and that I know everything. The only thing I didn't know is that they changed their roadmap. After that summit Bitcoin plunged and we saw total collapse of Icx.
I said to myself fuck thats not good. But I didnt want to sell because I was a believer in them and that they are somehow different from the rest and that this will be the one and only cryptocurrencys besides Bitcoin I will hold.
After that there were few partnerships signed with the likes of Kyber Network and so on. List of partnerships is still quite impressive.
After that March came and big price dump before Bithumb listing. I said great! New exchanges but I already knew this thing won't go up because of koreans solely. Icx is popular in the west. At least for time being. After that peope realized koreans are not pumping korean ethereum and price dumped to 2$ again.
April was shitty but Bitcoin recovered and sentiment changed and Consensus happened. Icx received a lot of recognition on Bloomberg with that bastard shilling Icx. We all knew what happened afterwards. Icx dumped to oblivion and those bastards dumped on sheeps.
People got outraged with almost 3 month delay of token swap which lasted for fuckin 4 months.
No DEX, no IISS, that ERC bug ok fuck it they handled it but there was some censorship and shady communication. But they fixed it so no bad blood for me.
When team saw big price decline they announced rebranding, repurchase, AMA and better communication, transparency and open sourcing their code.
I said wow. Thats not something I knew back in December. I knew they operated differently because of private entities.
But all those things were bullcrap. At least it looks like that. Only rebranding occured and 2 parts of meaningless yellow paper. The only thing which matters is STAKING. I didn't sell because of that. Otherwise holding NEO or Tezos is much better option.
So they gave us paper partnerships which I personally don't know the in depth details and how could that impact on Icon.
We have a Chrome extension wallet, ledger integration, mobile wallet, ICONest which I dont know who is using, Icx station which currently I don't know they are doing, token swap and lots of missed deadlines, ICONist which adds nothing in extra added value to my knowledge and is directed towards noobs, hx57 community which is fine, some use cases for government but no actual use on the network.
IMO whole year has had few glitches of great moments but generally this has been of of the worst investments ever among top 100.
I can see some delusional people saying 3rd part isn't released beacuse of shitty market conditions. No shit? Icx have always thrown news into worst time. We can all remember that. So they could wait for a year or two? Thats retarded :)
It was the best ICO yes, cashgrab for those who believed only in price. But for fools like me holding it a total disaster. I thought this could be the next big thing. It looked like that in the beginning but after that a complete total fuckin disaster. Does anyone remember that video in May with Balina in it? They were popping champagne and eating grilled meat. It looks like a big fucking CASHGRAB for guys which knew this thing is a steaming pile of shit. I could have cashed out at 120× too lol. At least majority. But no as beliver no way. :)
Look at Satoshi chart and how we lost rankings on CMC.
That isn't just bear market. Thats stupid assumption. We got deceived.
I didn't capitulate but I got to this point I simply lost trust to this team. More than 124 people are working behind Icx and they can't do their fuckin job done with DEX? Sounds legit? For almost one year. And that bitch ass lame excuse saying they reorganised because of new partnerships?
They raised money from the public and gave a moral oath to it. Sure legally they don't owe us nothing but from a moral standpoint they need to keep their good reputation and furfill their promises.
Otherwise they are just some other pathetic crypto shit in crypto universe.
And again its just money...I can live with failure but I cannot stand lies and "AMA" which is a direct insult for average people with an IQ around 100.
submitted by Tadejus89 to helloicon [link] [comments]

Whats going on at LBC (Speculation)

As some who has "been around" the platform and community since the early days I thought I would just jot a few thoughts on what I see going on.
  1. LBC is probably not responding because they can't. This happens for a number of reasons. My best guess is on going legal stuff. Investigations, cases etc. Very likely the USA. Also lots going down in Europe with regulation these days.
  2. They removed the forums, changed up verification, changed the policy's, all very recently as well. Nearly no explanation as to why. This last move feels like another move to mitigate risk. See point 1 for why.
  3. There is a decent chance that the local cash trades will come back. But its anybody guess at this point. (hopefully in that time another platform will gain some users. Its super bad for everyone that they have such a huge dominance in the market. Personally I would like to see a big 3 like we have with many industries.)
  4. There is no evidence to suggest people are flooding away from LBC yet. They probably are, but just because ads are disappearing does not mean they have left yet. Those that say they otherwise are either actually secretly working at LBC or literally just stating opinion as fact. Lots of people have spent long time building a REP and the only way they jump ship easy is in the case of options like with paxful who offer a transfer of REP. (Have not tried it yet so dont ask me about it)
  5. LBC has always dealt with the brunt of the legal troubles that go along with this kind of trade. They have always been the biggest and far as I can tell they still have the most listings and big users online. If there is one thing I have learned about lawsuits and investigations in crypto for every 1 we hear about there are at-least 1-2 we did not hear about. I bet they deal with way more issues then coinbase and the like (by % of legal issues to trades not by number of cases)
  6. Its not their job to protect their users from the government. Its their job to keep the site working best they can. Have they always done a great job. HELL NO. We all agree they don't spend nearly enough on support, the chat is constantly bugging out etc etc. If their lawyers tell them they have to require verification for all users to stay open then its their duty to do that. They are not a non profit built to protect users that may or may not be doing good/bad/sideways things. Its a business. Stop whining, and try out a different platform.
Let the hate and comments begin. There has been almost no conversation on this yet (hate the forums are gone) and I for one would love to hear what others think about all this. Please keep the blame "they don't have to bow down to the government, its bitcoin" BS to yourselfs.
Yes Gov can't control bitcoin. But they sure as hell can control all the bits around that. They have made it super clear they are not going to give up any time soon. For all those that have said "things will be better when bitcoin gets mainstream" Well this is what happens, centralized systems that are convenient to use will have the most issues.

Would love to see a list of other options and pros and cons for those looking to make the switch.
My favorite so far have been paxful as a multi currency option. LocalEthereum for a less centralized clone (only in ETH though) and Local. bitcoin .com sounds super cool but remains to be seen. Not a fan of all the hate from that community though.
submitted by BTCMONSTER to localbitcoins [link] [comments]

Perspectives on each of the TOP 10 cryptos -- your thoughts?

DISCLAIMER: These are obviously just my personal thoughts, and everyone is free to have differing views. I've held eight out of ten of these over the past years, but at the moment hold just four. Hopefully this post could serve as a discussion starter, with different people sharing their analytically/rationally justified arguments for being bullish/bearish on different cryptos.
BITCOIN. The coin that started it all and got most of us interested in cryptocurrencies to begin with. The hands-down leader in adoption, and very robust in doing what it's doing. I'm not bearish on Bitcoin, as such, and I think as a distributed/democratic store of value it certainly has its place for the long term. What I don't like are the political battles between Bitcoin Core/Blockstream and the miners, neither of which really is objectively looking after just the interests of the common people. One can also criticize Bitcoin for the high fees and scalability challenges, but over long enough a period, the challenges are fundamentally the same for any other blockchain-based currency. In summary, I'm not loving the governance setup and thereby the slowish technological progress, but nevertheless think Bitcoin is here to stay.
ETHEREUM. A highly disruptive force across industries, unlocking massive potential in enterprises around industrial-scale automation, trust, robustness etc. The EEA is fantastic, and the investment into Ethereum-based development across large enterprises is just unparalleled. And I like the stronger leadership, which enables the technology to move ahead faster than Bitcoin. Yes, I love Ethereum, and really my only bigger question regarding the long-term value of Ethereum tokens is how much of the large-scale development will use ETH as is vs. having a solution based on the technology that is Ethereum, but not using the standard token (which is my main criticism towards Ripple).
RIPPLE. Highly targeted to unlock significant efficiency gains from using blockchain in banks, and would certainly expect it to get traction, as such. My main reservation -- and it's a big one -- is how much of the adoption will actually use the XRP token vs. just use the technology as a protocol, but not the token. In the latter scenario, the protocol itself could become as widely adopted as let's say TCP/IP (as maybe an absurdly extreme example), but the inventors of the protocol would really not get much benefit -- apart from maybe consulting and system integration business with the banks, I suppose similarly what IBM's business model is with HyperLedger -- while investors in the token would get pretty much nothing.
BITCOIN CASH. OK, how to put this... I suppose most of us liked getting some extra cash for our Bitcoins, but seriously, what is the long-term sustainability of BCH? Virtually all the developers went with Bitcoin, and the only real backers are a few (if not just one?) big miners. This is not a sustainable model for the long term. Sorry to be blunt, and happy to be proven otherwise with sound well-thought arguments.
LITECOIN. The silver to Bitcoin's gold, as they say. Yeah, I think that's true in many ways. And I like Charlie Lee and that due the stronger leadership Litecoin is able to move faster technologically than Bitcoin, but... on balance, being the 'little brother' of Bitcoin doesn't seem like a long-term viable value proposition. Let's say Bitcoin implements all the stuff they've planned on implementing, the Lightning Network and all that -- why would someone use Litecoin? There are network effects, and in large-scale deployment where your parents and cousins are using cryptocurrencies every day, the economies of scale (incl. stability) would favor the leader. So, I think Litecoin is a nice project, but don't see what its unique long-term value proposition is.
DASH: I apologize up front, I haven't really studied Dash in any great detail, but my impression is that what they're good at is marketing (incl. the somewhat catchy name) and driving adoption. Technologically, I don't see anything here that would make Dash competitive long-term -- not in terms of the technological vision nor a highly competent team (similar to Bitcoin Core, the Ethereum team and EEA, or on a smaller scale the IOTA team and the caliber of people they are bringing in). Again, I'm sorry if this was blunt, and happy to be proven wrong -- with facts and well-founded analytical/rational arguments.
NEM: I don't know too much about NEM, but what I have seen looks kind of good, to be honest. What I think the team is lacking the most is what Dash has in abundance: marketing savvy. The team is making good progress in adoption and the tech seems sound. On the other hand, "New Economy Movement" is not really the sexiest of names, and in general people don't quite seem to even know about the project, and the trading volumes of NEM have typically been the lowest of the TOP 10 cryptos. I would love to know more about NEM, and would be great to see the team get the project more into limelight and really onto the arena so that it's pros and cons vs. the other cryptos would be debated more.
MONERO: I've liked Monero for some time. However, as far as I know, it's main value proposition has been anonymity, and as other cryptos also implement similar mechanisms, I wonder what Monero's long-term value proposition and raison d'etre is. Keen to hear other people's thoughts on this. As a side note, which is not a criticism towards Monero itself, but more the community, is that as the value of Monero has been pushed up over the past few months largely driven by listing on the (highly gambling-oriented) Korean exchanges, there is a fair amount of "Monero is great because the value went up and therefore I bought into it also" kind of thinking. Again, not a criticism towards Monero itself, but when commenting why you think Monero is a great technology and has unique value-add for the long-term, please let's stick to real solid arguments.
IOTA. The project that seems to be sparking a lot of debate recently, incl. somewhat dirty tactics from people affiliated in competing projects masquerading as neutral/independent researchers. Anyway. What is unique about IOTA is that it's zero fee. That is highly, highly disruptive. Also, the tech has no limitation in tx/sec -- apart from speed of networks and economical cost of storage, the physical realities any technology has to deal with, of course, but no limitation similar to the block size with Bitcoin etc. The technology has also been designed to have quantum-resistant security, but as far as I know also other initiatives like Ethereum will implement similar mechanisms over time. But nothing else is really zero fee, not even any of the other DAG-based projects. This is massive. Now, let's be clear: IOTA is still in early development, and the team is aiming for production grade in 2018. They still have the Coordinator as 'training wheels' for the system, they had the somewhat funky/ballsy copy-protection mechanism in place, etc. And some of the key guys can be a bit edgy or borderline arrogant if challenged with incomplete facts/context/logic. That's all fair. But the bottom line for me is that the technology holds massive potential, and hence the key question is whether they have and are building the team to deliver on this vision. I have high confidence in the edgy-yet-capable core team, and the people they are bringing in are very impressive from top-notch researchers to folks like the former CIO of SAP and UBS.
NEO. I used to be more sceptical and critical about NEO, or Antshares, as it used to be called. It's been dubbed the 'Ethereum killer from China'. Well, based on what I know, it's certainly no Ethereum today -- nor do I see it as more of a threat to Ethereum than let's say Baidu has been a 'Google killer'. Having said that, the comparison also surfaces why I'm increasingly liking NEO. China is a special market. Which explains also the recent 'bans' on ICOs, exchanges, etc. -- and why Westerners often interpret these moves wrong and then over-react. But that's another story. Anyway, as China puts some regulation in place to protect its people from outright scams, local front-runners like NEO will certainly benefit, I would expect. And China will want to have its iconic leaders also in this tech, similarly as they've wanted to have in the Internet wave in the form of the Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, etc. So, while NEO isn't technologically really in a place to compete head-to-head with Ethereum today, I think it has potential to become something significant over time. Because China.
Thanks for reading! Look forward to any comments -- but let's keep things civil. And don't be offended if I don't respond to comments; time is limited, and would really hope the discussion to take off between different contributors rather than a one-to-many debate.
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