Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Post offices in Austria are offering bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash in exchange for cash through “bitpanda to go,” a startup that focuses on making the purchase of cryptocurrencies easy. Users can purchase 50 €, 100 € or 500€ worth of cryptocurrency from the Osterreichische Post branches.

Post offices in Austria are offering bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash in exchange for cash through “bitpanda to go,” a startup that focuses on making the purchase of cryptocurrencies easy. Users can purchase 50 €, 100 € or 500€ worth of cryptocurrency from the Osterreichische Post branches.

The 1,800 post branches provide cryptocurrency purchasers a receipt that can be entered on bitpanda.com/togo. The website also posts the current exchange rate for the respective currency. There are no additional fees.

Users need a valid email address to set up an account. They select which cryptocurrency they want to purchase and enter a code. The selected amount is then transferred to the user’s wallet.

 

Fair Prices For Offline Purchases

Bitpanda, formerly known as Coinimal, seeks to provide fair prices for offline purchases of cryptocurrencies. The Österreichische Post AG allows bitpanda to offer the digital assets at cost. Hence, the fee structure by offline purchases via cash matches “online” options. This provides cryptocurrencies a more acceptable image in the minds of those who view Internet commerce less favorably.

Bitpanda was founded as Coinimal in October 2014 by bitcoin enthusiasts who had experienced how hard it was to acquire bitcoin in the European Union. This deficiency in the market led to the idea of Coinimal.

 

A Versatile Platform

Last year, Coinimal introduced a “sell” feature to enable users to convert ETH back to fiat as an easy way to buy and sell Ethereum using a bank account. The process of buying and selling ETH can otherwise be time-consuming since most exchanges are either U.S.-based or primarily offer ETH-to-BTC trading. There are nine funding options and withdrawals using PayPal, NETELLER, Skrill or SEPA transfer.

Coinimal rebranded as bitpanda in 2016 and introduced its own bitcoin wallet. Last month, bitpanda built an Ethereum wallet into its platform. It has also added Litecoin and Dash.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Lester Coleman

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

 

No one can say there is such a thing as a boring day in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. After the onslaught of price declines throughout the weekend, we kick off this Monday on a positive note. All currencies are seemingly recovering their losses. The Bitcoin price surpassed US$2,000 again, but it looks like Ethereum is the winner of the day so far. Other currencies all doing quite well too, for now.

 

 

CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKET SEES A DEAD CAT BOUNCE

Even though we are not a big fan of the term “dead cat bounce“, it accurately describes what is going on in the cryptocurrency world right now, by the look of things. The markets are showing signs of positive momentum, but there is no reason to get overly excited just yet. After all, the gains made today can easily be wiped out in an hour or two of bearish trading. This is especially true for the currencies showing large gains compared to yesterday.

Taking a closer look at the charts, we can see there is only one coin in the top 50 without a green number next to it right now. Overall, that is a positive sign for cryptocurrency as a whole. At the same time, people have to keep in mind these positive changes are a direct result of the Bitcoin price going up slowly. Should Bitcoin drop in value again, these short-term gains for all altcoins will be wiped out pretty quickly.

While it is good to see the Bitcoin price bounce back to above US$2,000, maintaining that position will be quite challenging. There is a lot of negative pressure on the market, which may push the price back to to the US$1,900 range in the coming hours. Such a retrace will effectively prove to be a tough time for any altcoin struggling as of late, including the likes of Ethereum and Dash.

Speaking of those two particular altcoins, Dash has seen its value climb by 13.52% over the past 24 hours. This is despite a trading volume of under US$50m, mind you. Ethereum, on the other hand, notes an 18.02% gain over the past 24 hours, thanks to a trading volume which even surpasses Bitcoin’s. Many people still hope to see ETH return to US$400, but for now, it is a struggle to remain above US$160.

Seeing the Ethereum trading volume surpass Bitcoin’s is not entirely surprising. Korea and China are trying to push the ETH price back up, yet their efforts are not wildly successful so far. In fact, the price on Bithumb – denominated in US Dollars- is below the ETH/BTC price on Poloniex when converting it to USD. That is somewhat surprising, considering Korean exchanges often depict higher values for cryptocurrencies compared to Western markets.

It is still too early to tell if the cryptocurrency markets are effectively recovering. For all we know, this is just a temporary blip on the radar, which will be nullified before the day is over. It seems plausible to assume Bitcoin will have a tough time remaining above US$2,000 for an extended period of time. The markets remain volatile for quite some time to come, but there is always sunshine beyond the dip. No one needs to panic right now, as things will be alright in the end.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: JP Buntinx

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Cryptocurrency fall continues ahead of Bitcoin’s ‘civil war’ conclusion on Aug 1- Ether below $200

Cryptocurrency fall continues ahead of Bitcoin's 'civil war' conclusion on Aug 1- Ether below $200

Cryptocurrency fall continues ahead of Bitcoin's 'civil war' conclusion on Aug 1- Ether below $200

Bitcoin prices fell below USD 2,100 today and are inching towards breaking the USD 2,000 level, as bears continue their rampage on cryptostreet.

Cryptocurrencies continue to bleed as speculators remain jittery ahead of bitcoin’s scaling debate conclusion on August 1. The total market cap has dropped by USD 9 billion, a 11 percent fall, in the past 24 hours, according to coinmarketcap.com.

Bitcoin prices fell below USD 2,100 today and could soon break the USD 2,000 level, as bears continue their rampage on cryptostreet.

The price slipped to USD 2,057, at time of reporting, according to CryptoCompare.com, a drop of around 32 percent from its all time high of USD 3,000.

Ethereum, bitcoin’s closest rival in terms of market cap, again dropped sub-USD 200 to the levels of USD 186, as per CryptoCompare. After falling 50 percent from its all-time high in June, ether has now hit a 45-day low.

Other major cryptocurrencies like litecoin, ripple, zcash have witnessed a drop of 10-20 percent over the past 24 hours.

The crypto-asset space reached a peak market cap of USD 116 billion in June and since then has lost USD 42 billion, a 36 percent correction over the past one month, entering a bear market, going by conventional definition.

Since the start of 2017, cryptocurrency prices have had a phenomenal rally. Experts believe this was due to speculative buying as prices were being driven by the mania for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

 

What the ‘fork’

Just when everyone thought it was over, the bitcoin ‘civil war’ resurfaced in June when major mining firm Bitmain announced the launch of a user- activated hard fork (UASF).

In May, a majority of blockchain industry bigwigs reached a consensus regarding the bitcoin scaling solution and agreed to enable the Segregated Witness (SegWit).

The SegWit was supposed to be a soft fork, a temporary solution to make bitcoin's software protocol handle the growing transactions burden.

"The prospect of a bitcoin fork isn't enticing for bitcoiners as it highlights the inability for the project to move forward and the divisiveness in opinions on how to do so," Charles Hayter, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency data platform CryptoCompare, had earlier told Moneycontrol.

"The scaling debate has been around for two years now and the ramifications of the present state of play lead to a number of price-sensitive scenarios that are not positive."

n case of a hard fork, if the bitcoin blockchain splits, users are at risk of losing their bitcoin. Bitcoin experts have suggested to not make transactions during the uncertain time period around August 1.

If the Bitmain hard fork happens then there would be two legitimate Bitcoin ledgers on August 3rd. The soft forked version of Bitcoin and the newly forked Bitmain Bitcoin.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur
David Ogden Entrepreneur

 

Author: Sidhartha Shukla

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Cryptocurrency Investors Must ‘Be Prepared to Lose Everything’

Cryptocurrency Investors Must 'Be Prepared to Lose Everything'

Cryptocurrency Investors Must 'Be Prepared to Lose Everything'
 

Potential investors in cryptocurrencies should focus on finding a great new concept rather than rushing to buy volatile Bitcoins, Dr. Campbell Harvey told Radio Sputnik.
 

The market in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been subject to remarkable growth but also volatility in recent months.

On June 11, the price of Bitcoin peaked at $3,019, an increase of more than 300 percent since the beginning of the year. However, the price has dropped since then and the cryptocurrency was trading at $2,207 on Friday.

 

The value of the Ethereum cryptocurrency has also decreased by almost half in recent weeks from a high of $392 on June 13 to $211 on Friday, according to Coindesk.com.

According to BlackRock's global chief investment strategist, cryptocurrency volatility may be a sign of a bubble in the market.

"I look at the charts, and to me that looks pretty scary," Richard Turnill told a media briefing in New York on Tuesday.

Dr. Campbell Harvey, Professor of Finance at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, told Radio Sputnik that the sharp rises in the value of cryptocurrencies this year is a cause for caution.

"Any time you see something go up in value by a factor of 20 over a few months, you need to be very cautious," Harvey said.

"I think part of it is just the nature of the actual game, that this is a new technology, it is extremely volatile. For instance, if you look at Bitcoin it is six times the volatility of the S&P 500. It is very volatile and it's very difficult to figure out what the actual value is. If you are speculating in cryptocurrency, you need to be prepared to lose everything," Harvey said.
 

"In the 'dotcom bubble,' people were basically buying lottery tickets. They saw firms go from one cent a share to $100 a share, it was like a lottery and you didn't want to be left behind. You wanted to have some kind of investment and that drove up the prices very dramatically and I think it's the same thing today with the cryptocurrencies."
 

'Digital Gold': Cryptocurrencies Soar as Investors Swap Dollars for Bitcoins

Harvey recommended that potential investors do their research before taking the plunge and focus on finding an attractive concept.

"You really need a good story behind a new crypto that you're offering. There will be a lot of people coming in with bad ideas that will get funding. The best way to do it is to invest directly in some of the start-ups in this space rather than just going out and buying some coins."
 

"When the prices go up so dramatically, a smart investor will basically take some profit and indeed this is what I recommend to your listeners. If you've doubled your money, sell half. What that means is that you've recovered your initial investment and everything that's left is just pure profit and if you lose it, you lose it.
 

"Given there's uncertainty in the US right now, people are looking elsewhere. Gold is an alternative but gold is real pain because you have to vault it, basically protect the gold. But cryptocurrency is basically extra-national, you need a wallet and backup. You don't need a vault or security guards."

 

In the future, cryptocurrencies will develop in several different ways. These include collateralized cryptocurrencies and the expansion of the blockchain technology behind them.
 

"One of the things we'll see is collateralized cryptocurrencies. There's an initiative with the Chicago mercantile exchange and the royal mint group in which they'll put some gold in a vault and issue a crypto based upon that gold.

"As soon as you do that, then the crypto is linked to the price of gold and its volatility is linked to the price of gold. You can do this with anything – with equity, bonds, commodities in general, that you can issue cryptos based on a vault or a storage facility with the actual collateral. I think we are just beginning to see the collateralized versions."

 

"In a broader context, most of the action in terms of blockchain is not with cryptocurrencies, it's with businesses using blockchain technology to solve things like supply chain problems and other property transfer problems where you don't even need a cryptocurrency. So, as I see it from a business point of view, most of the action won't come from the initial coin offerings, but the application usually of Ethereum-based blockchain technology in business."
 

"It's not as sexy as looking at the price of Ethereum or Bitcoin doubling or tripling or going up by a factor of 20. In the media, people focus on the cryptocurrencies but in the practice of business the action is blockchain applications to solve business problems, not as much the currency aspect."

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Crypto Calamity: Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Sink as Market Plunges Below $80 Billion

Crypto Calamity: Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Sink as Market Plunges Below $80 Billion

Crypto Calamity: Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Sink as Market Plunges Below $80 Billion

 

Litecoin fared better than most cryptocurrencies during today’s market plunge, only losing 3.8 percentage points where most cryptos suffered bigger hits, according to coinmarketcap.com. Among the cryptos with more than a billion in market capitalization, only bitcoin outperformed Litecoin in the most recent 24-hour period, losing only 2.82 points.

Litecoin, the fourth largest crypto with $2.377 billion in market capitalization, traded at $45.77 today. Second place Ethereum, by contrast, lost 10.2 points and continues its downward trend. Ripple, the number three cryptocurrency, lost 14.3 points.

 

Only 10th ranked BitConnect, with $387.854 in market capitalization, fared better than bitcoin and Litecoin in the 24-hour period, only dropping 0.57 points.

 

Market Suffers A Big Fallout

On Monday, the total cryptocurrency market cap fell below $90 billion for the first time in July. This market cap evaporation continued on Tuesday, as the total value of all cryptocurrencies plunged as low as $77 billion, a number not seen since late May. At present, the market cap is $84 billion.

Litecoin as been surging since March, when it began climbing from $4.04 to $53.60 July 4. Litecoin crossed the $1 billion mark in market capitalization for the first time ever earlier this month.

Longer term, Litecoin has rode bitcoin and Ethereum’s post-March surge, jumping from $3.85 on March 13 to $53.60 on July 4, at which point it well outdistanced its prior record of $33.72 on Dec. 1, 2013.

The price had fallen as low as $1.33 in January of 2015 before climbing to $7.76 in July of that year before tumbling steadily until June 26, 2016, when it reached $4.00.

 

Litecoin’s Long-Term Surge

Litecoin received a boost last month when BitGo, the leading multi-signature technology-based service provider that works with some of the largest bitcoin exchanges and trading platforms, began to support Litecoin and provide security services for the Litecoin platforms.

The BitGo boost came on the heels of Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, announcing his plans to resign from his role as Coinbase director of engineering to solely focus on the development and innovation of Litecoin. Lee noted that the decision of the BitGo development team to implement Litecoin and provide multi-signature security services for Litecoin-based platforms and service providers is a major step for the Litecoin community and industry.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Entrepreneur

 

Author: Lester Coleman

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Cryptocurrencies Continue Recovery, Resume 2017’s Growth Trend

Cryptocurrencies Continue Recovery, Resume 2017's Growth Trend

Cryptocurrencies Continue Recovery, Resume 2017’s Growth Trend

Cryptocurrencies continued their recovery from last week’s massive price fallout, resuming the upward trend that has characterized 2017. All but 12 of the top 100 cryptocurrenices posted gains in the last 24-hour period.

 

Market leaders bitcoin and Ethereum had the smallest gains the last 24-hour period, with the former adding 0.88 points and the latter 1.15 points and market caps of $45 billion and 31.7 billion, respectively.

Bitcoin’s price reached $2,760.61, attempting to reclaim the record $2,864.85 it set on June 9. The price has hovered in the high 2,700 range after falling to a monthly low near $2,100 last week.
 

Ethereum Recovers From Bottleneck

Ethereum, at $342.27, continued the recovery it began two days ago following two days of losses. Ethereum has been fighting a correction that came from a sudden increase in demand which caused a bottleneck that delayed its transactions.

Despite showing a correction since it peaked at $402 two weeks ago, Ethereum is still showing impressive overall gains this month.

Ethereum has suffered from scaling problems as more new digital currencies opt for the Ethereum platform when holding their initial coin offering (ICO). Status ICO, which raised more than $100 million in Ethereum, caused a demand spike that some exchanges couldn’t handle, causing Ether prices to drop 15% momentarily. This sudden drop also affected other currencies, as nine out of the top 10 registered losses.

 

Third place Ripple rose 9.19 points to $0.294288 in the last 24-hour period, reaching a $12.7 billion market cap, but still below the $0.348079 it hit on May 16.

 

Litecoin Hits A Road Bump

Litecoin, the fourth highest market cap at $2.408 billion, was the only currency with more than $1 billion in market capitalization to show a loss in the recent 24-hour period, losing 2.36 points. Litecoin nevertheless has managed to hold the number four spot, following the activation of the Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability fix Segregated Witness (SegWit), which led to an increase in the demand for Litecoin and a significant surge in development. Within months after the activation of SegWit, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee announced his resignation and his intent to focus on the development of Litecoin full time, which further increased the expectation of the cryptocurrency community and market toward Litecoin.

Within three months, Litecoin’s market cap increased from $200 million to a staggering $2.5 billion, recording a 1,150 three-month increase. In that short period of time, Litecoin surpassed Ethereum Classic, Dash and NEM in market capitalization.

More importantly, the mid-term increase in the market cap of Litecoin, the activation of SegWit, successful testing of Lightning Network on Litecoin, issuance of services by companies such as BitGo and the shift in focus from Litecoin creator Charlie Lee further triggered the currency’s development community.

On June 19, Bitstamp, the eighth largest Litecoin trading platform within the U.S. Litecoin exchange market, announced the integration of BitGo’s Litecoin multi-signature security service. Although the majority of Litecoin trades are processed within the Chinese Litecoin exchange market and Bitstamp only accounts for a fraction of global Litecoin trading, it marked the first case in which a major international digital currency trading platform has integrated BitGo’s security services to secure Litecoin transactions.

 

IOTA Gained The Most

Among those with more than $1 billion in market capitalization, IOTA, number 7, posted the biggest gain as the price hit $0.525929 for a $1.461 billion market cap, a 26.48 point gain. IOTA has continued recovering since suffering one of the largest losses last week, when it dropped 36.5 points in a 24-hour period.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Lester Coleman

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Will Investing in Cryptocurrency Make You Rich

Will Investing in Cryptocurrency Make You Rich

Will Investing in Cryptocurrency Make You Rich

 

Have you heard? Cyptocurrency is so hot right now. Bitcoin's price has been climbing for the better part of a year, topping $2,000 per coin for the first time in May, and rising to a record high above $2,500 — before dropping down just above $2,400 a coin as of Friday afternoon, per CoinDesk.

Those numbers mean nothing to you? This one might: If you had made a small investment in bitcoin back in 2010 — buying just $100 worth, when each unit was worth a fraction of a cent — your stash would be valued today at more than $70 million. Talk about an early retirement!

Even if you had been late to the party and bought bitcoin last year, you would be feeling pretty good. At one point, bitcoin prices were up roughly 180% for the year, as CNBC reported. Compare that with the broad stock market, which returned between 7.9% and 15%, depending on which index you look at.

Other cryptocurrencies have been on a tear as well. Ethereum, launched in 2015, is a software platform that has a cryptocurrency of its own, called "ether." Ether, or "ether tokens," hit a new all-time high Wednesday after climbing more than 35% in 24 hours, per CoinDesk. (There's also litecoin, which is similar to bitcoin but easier to obtain, more transactional, and seen as less valuable.)

So does that mean you should buy cryptocurrency today? Some say yes: One bitcoin proponent told CNBC he expects its value to keep rising and hit $100,000 within the decade. While digital currencies may seem alien now, it serves to remember that when Apple and other tech brands began gaining steam in the 1980s, people were skeptical anyone would have use for a personal computer. That story had a happy ending for early Apple investors.

Then again, hindsight can be 20/20, and just because an asset's price is going up doesn't mean it's actually getting more valuable. Just ask someone who bought U.S. real estate in 2007, or a tulip bulb during the infamous Dutch tulip bubble. If all that is driving prices to rise is hype, it's a good time to remember that what goes up must come down.

 

What are bitcoin and ether, exactly?

For the uninitiated, cryptocurrencies like ether and bitcoin are digital forms of money that live online, embedded in algorithms that record their movements. Bitcoin was the first major cryptocurrency, invented by an anonymous hacker known as Satoshi Nakamoto, in 2008. In a paper about the technology, Nakamoto envisioned a "peer-to-peer electronic cash system" that would let people conduct business directly, without the need of any outside institution.

The idea can be an exciting one: No more bank fees, for one, and you wouldn't need credit cards or debit cards, either. You also wouldn't need central banks or treasuries, since the price of currency would be set on the global stage by computers. Proponents of bitcoin, and its underlying technology, blockchain, hope that it could make most middlemen irrelevant by making all transactions instantly trustworthy and automated by Bluetooth.

If you needed a ride somewhere? You'd just summon your self-driving car, it would automatically read your digital wallet and take its fee, and you'd get out. It's a future that could save billions in transaction fees, protect identities and be a whole lot more sanitary. But we're not there yet, not by a long shot.

Currently, the system of using bitcoin relies on programmers to record transactions and build out what's known as a blockchain in exchange for a small bitcoin bounty. That process is called "bitcoin mining," and anyone can participate, although the reward will diminish over time

 

The case for investing in cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has come a long way from bitcoin's roots as the shadow currency favored by criminals on the Silk Road. Skepticism over bitcoin reached a boiling point in 2014, when Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, abruptly declared bankruptcy after than $460 million in bitcoin essentially disappeared.

Despite a rocky start, bitcoin has arguably entered the mainstream. For one, you can actually use it to buy stuff now. Many retailers, like Microsoft and Overstock, have started accepting bitcoin directly, and for the retailers that don't — notably Amazon — proponents have found a workaround by buying gift cards with their bitcoin and making purchases that way.

"The vast majority of bitcoin proponents are now either in finance or government," said Ian Bogost, an author, professor and game designer who has written about bitcoin for the Atlantic. "And for them, the speculative aspect is like a repurposing. The speculatists couldn’t give a shit what they’re speculating on, what the object is. Just that there is the possibility of substantial gain."

Ironically, given its roots, many of bitcoin's recent wins have been thanks to governments. Most recently, Japan voted to make bitcoin an officially sanctioned currency, and other countries like Barbados are looking into whether they should start purchasing bitcoin of their own.

Interestingly, many fans of cryptocurrency argue that the real value might not be in the currency itself, but in the technology that enables it — ways to safely and securely move value, for example, or trustworthy ways to validate identity.

"Bitcoin basically operated in obscurity until 2012, when media began reporting on its pseudonymous payments on Silk Road and it hit $1,000 before crashing," said Amanda Gutterman, chief marketing officer of ConsenSys, a blockchain studio which builds products on Ethereum. "As interest picked up, there was a desire to create more sophisticated financial products."

Bitcoin started as an experiment in monetary theory, Gutterman said, but it has already started to inspire real technology. ConsenSys, for example, is working with the city of Dubai to leverage blockchain and make the city government paperless by 2020. Because it's easier to build products around, many experts believe Ethereum could soon supplant Bitcoin.

 

The case against buying cryptocurrency

While the price of cryptocurrencies might be going up, there are still a lot of reasons to be wary, not least because it's virtually impossible to determine what a fair price for bitcoin or ether might be.

Part of what makes currencies and other assets valuable is that they have a history of appreciation, which cryptocurrencies do not share. Then there's the fact that people don't exactly agree on what the rules for bitcoin should be. It's not really a currency, since currencies are backed by a government, which issues them. It's also not really like a stock, either — cryptocurrencies don't report earnings or generate profits, and earnings and profits are how people try to determine what a "fair price" for a given stock might actually be.

Now, a few people have developed formulas to figure out the fair price for bitcoin: The Financial Times spoke to one anonymous London financial analyst who developed a model for pricing bitcoin based on the assumption that its "core utility value" is as the currency for shadow markets. By comparing the total amount of money that's laundered around the world with the overall GDP, he estimates that bitcoin's current price is about 238% higher than it should be. Other skeptics say that bitcoin has no real underlying value at all.

Despite being embraced by corporations and governments, bitcoin is still associated with criminal activity: When the WannaCry ransomware attack hit computers all over the world in May, the hackers involved requested their bounties in bitcoin. That means that even as some governments embrace bitcoin, others are cracking down: In Florida, for example, the state legislature recently passed a law that would make it easier to prosecute criminals who use bitcoin for money laundering.

Somewhat paradoxically, these types of criminal activity might actually be part of what's making bitcoin more valuable at the moment. Confronted with a rise in bitcoin ransoms from hackers, Bogost noted that a very natural response for a company is to buy a little bitcoin in case it happens again.

Bogost said she fears that bitcoin is particularly susceptible to monopoly — as hackers have very successfully cornered the market in the past. "We’ve seen with these sort of ups and downs, these small groups of mostly Chinese pools end up with more than 50% of the capacity. And we don’t know anything about these organizations. Are they state controlled?" Bogost said. "The moment [there is too much consolidation in the mining pools] then effectively the platform is dead, at least as a currency."

Finally, there's the possibility people are unwisely romanticizing a future without middlemen. The people who lost their bitcoin in the 2014 Mt. Gox hack are still trying to get their money back, and are unlikely to. After all, when the value of your cash is held in anonymous, poorly-understood algorithms, it's hard to hold somebody accountable if you lose it.

If you still feel like investing a small amount of money in cryptocurrency, be sure not to dip into your emergency savings. It's rarely a good idea to buy something when its price is at its all-time high. And remember that there are a lot of horses in this race: In addition to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin there's also ripple, namecoin and peercoin.

 

How to buy and store cryptocurrency

If you have some "play" money and want to make a bet on cryptocurrency, you should absolutely feel 100% comfortable with the idea of losing all that money. Cryptocurrencies have crashed before, often, and probably will again in the future. They're also historically expensive — if you must buy some, you might be served by waiting a bit for prices to drop, so you're more likely to get a deal.

There are lots of ways to buy cryptocurrencies, and some countries have even set up ways to purchase them via an ATM.

Coinbase is one of the more well-known bitcoin brokers, and often recommended for beginners. Coinbase allows you buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by linking to your debit or credit card account. Business Insider reports that the mobile app is buggy, and banks will sometimes lock a card after making these transactions. To that end, BI recommends letting your financial institution know before trying to make a purchase.

There are a few other options, though they have less of a track record: Kraken is one reputable alternative; it has been around since 2011 and works with a wide range of traders and governments. There's also Gemini, but it is not yet available in every state.

Finally, because exchanges, even the largest ones, have crashed abruptly, it's also important to get yourself a safe place to store your bitcoin, in case your provider goes out of business or suffers a hack. These devices are often referred to as bitcoin "wallets." Ledger is a popular option.

by James Dennin

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Top 10 Alternatives to Bitcoin

top 10 alteratives to Bitcoin

Top 10 Altenatives to Bitcoin

Blockchain currency is revolutionizing money. Since Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled his cryptocurrency in 2008, we’ve witnessed a proliferation of digital cash companies and codebases. Utilizing his public, distributed ledger, dozens of promising currencies have emerged. Only a select few have proven themselves as true contenders to Bitcoin, however.

Here are the top 10 altcoins on CoinMarketCap (note that the list is changing constantly, especially in the tail part, with other altcoins like MaidSafeCoin, Golem and Augur playing musical chairs with others):

ETHEREUM

J.P Morgan Chase, Microsoft and Intel allied in order to create the fiercest rival to Bitcoin in circulation today: Ethereum. The main purpose of the endeavor was to program binding agreements into the Blockchain itself. This incarnated into the now-popular smart contract feature.

Interestingly, Ethereum is not just a currency. It’s a Blockchain platform powered by the Ether cryptocurrency. The New York Times describes the technology as “a single shared computer that is run by the network of users and on which resources are parceled out and paid for by Ether.”

RIPPLE

Ripple attracted a great deal of venture capital during its inception. The Google-backed altcoin startup managed to pull in upwards of $50 mln from banking institutions, gathering an impressive $90 mln in total funding. Ripple is unique in that it allows for transacting with any unit of value, from fiat currency to frequent flier miles.

“Ripple provides global financial settlement solutions to enable the world to exchange value like it already exchanges information giving rise to an Internet of Value (IoV). Ripple solutions lower the total cost of settlement by enabling banks to transact directly, instantly and with certainty of settlement,” reads the company’s copy on their official website.

Initially a middling contender, Ripple has gained momentum in the cryptocurrency market, seeing a marked surge earlier this year. In fact, Ripple experienced a 100 percent increase in value within a 24-hour period in late March.

LITECOIN

Former Google engineer Charles Lee created this altcoin in an effort to improve upon Bitcoin. Namely, the speed to generate a new block is improved dramatically. Transactions are much faster. By the same token, however, this speed makes Litecoin’s Blockchain larger and more prone to producing orphaned blocks.

DASH

Dash, a combination of the words “digital” and “cash,” is the Internet’s cash-in-hand. Dash is quick. Its transactions are instant. “Your time is valuable. InstantSend payments confirm in less than a second,” Dash claims. By comparison, Bitcoin’s transactions can take up to an hour to process.

GPU/CPU mining is no longer cost effective. In order to mine, you’ll need specific hardware, computers known as ASICs to complete Dash’s proof-of-work puzzles.

NEM

NEM is written in Java; built on an entirely new codebase separate and apart from Bitcoin’s open-source code. There are a few other intriguing differences from Bitcoin as well. In NEM, you harvest rather than mine. It’s essentially the same as mining in Bitcoin, only that multiple people profit – albeit in much smaller quantities – from a generated block.

NEM introduced the proof-of-importance algorithm to the digital ledger. A user’s wealth and number of transactions are used to timestamp transactions.

NEM has seen rapid growth in its valuation since the beginning of 2017 as the altcoin is currently being embraced in Japan.

ETHEREUM CLASSIC

A parallel Ethereum platform exists and sustains a sizeable usership with a market cap hovering just below $430 mln.

Why do two versions of the same platform exist?

The Ethereum community fractured when a disagreement over how a technically legal theft of funds should be handled. The majority of users wished to change Ethereum’s code in order to get the lost funds back. A minority believed that Ethereum should not be tampered with or altered by third parties. Even in cases of users exploiting the smart contract feature to trick others, the Blockchain must remain “immutable.” Thus, the minority created the Classic version of Ethereum, which still survives and thrives.

MONERO

Monero is geared toward those who desire greater anonymity. The cryptocurrency allows you to “send and receive funds without your transactions being publically visible on the Blockchain.” Transactions are completely untraceable due to Monero’s leveraging of ring signatures. Unfortunately, because of Monero’s emphasis on privacy, it has seen adoption by the darknet and other criminal organizations.

ZCASH

Zcash, like Monero, offers greater privacy to users. Unlike Monero, transactions are shielded rather than made completely private. Meaning, the details of the transaction itself, such as the users involved and the amount traded, are hidden. Zcash does this by using a “zero-knowledge” proof that allows for parties to exchange funds without revealing each other’s identity.

DECRED

Decred’s primary aim is to focus on “community input, open governance and sustainable funding and development.” The currency melds proof-of-work and proof-of-stake mining algorithms to ensure a minority of users do not own the majority of the funds and that decisions are led by the community rather than a handful of developers or early investors.

PIVX

PIVX stands for Private Instant Verified Transactions. Another open-source decentralized Blockchain currency, it is built upon Bitcoin Core. Like Zcash and Monero, PIVX boasts its heightened privacy and security.

“We believe that you have the right to exchange privately and securely, without interference from corporatocracy pressures, governmental influences, prying eyes, and nefarious individuals and movements,” PIVX contends.

PIVX is highly volatile, experiencing massive spikes in trading volume and valuation as of March of this year. Again, because of the currency’s emphasis on privacy, PIVX is susceptible to criminal activities.

Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and the altcoins it has spawned, may bring about a new global economy. They allow us to transact in a peer-to-peer fashion, without third-party bodies governing us. Bitcoin introduced the Blockchain, but other developers are quickly improving upon Nakamoto’s idea. Some currencies have focused on speed, as is the case with both Ripple and Litecoin. Others have honed in on privacy, currencies like Zcash going so far as making all transactions private and untraceable. Each altcoin comes with its own strengths and weakness. Surely, we’ll discover more as time goes on. For now, these 10 currencies are at the top. Their fate could turn, however, at a flip of a coin.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Source: cointelegraph.com

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden