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Iran, North Korea and Venezuela turning to cryptocurrency to …

Countries including Iran (leader Hassan Rouhani left), North Korea (Kim Jong-un center) and Venezuela (Nicolas Maduro) are turning to cryptocurrencies to circumvent U.S. sanctions

America’s rivals are increasingly turning to bitcoin-style cryptocurrencies after their economies were brought to their knees thanks to crippling U.S. sanctions, experts have warned.

Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela are all investing in the technology in an attempt to counter American economic might and an expert says these nations are forming alliances through the technology.

A form of digital money, cryptocurrency uses encryption to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. It uses cryptography, a form of secret coding originating from the Second World War, to process transactions securely. Its major appeal is it is untraceable.

U.S. sanctions work by placing bans on dealings and transactions with persons, nations and companies.

These prohibitions are often enforced with the help of mainstream financial institutions.

But cryptocurrencies do not operate within this established system. In fact, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were invented in part to sidestep the existing regulated financial system.

This means nations like Iran using or controlling such a currency would allow it to bypass certain measures, such as a ban on buying U.S. dollars or even facilitate arms deals.

In May, the United States pulled out of a deal to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program a plan President Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted.

HACKER STEALS CRYPTOCURRENCY FROM MYETHERWALLET USERS

Soon after, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, the head of the Iranian Parliamentary Commission for Economic Affairs, spoke about cryptocurrencies as a way for countries to avoid U.S. dollar transactions – as well as a possible replacement of the SWIFT international payment system.

And Alireza Daliri, a senior science and technology official of Iran’s Presidential Office, said: We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country.

This currency would facilitate the transfer of money (to and from) anywhere in the world.

It can help us at the time of sanctions.

Darren Parkin, editorial director of cryptocurrency news website Coin Rivet, described how the adoption of cryptocurrencies is helping to push economic alliances between these states.

He pointed to the example of Iran and Russia working together to overcome the sanctions that affect them both.

He told Fox News: The problem the U.S. has is if they are dealing with fiat currency (currency that a government has declared to be legal tender) they can monitor the effect of the sanctions.

BITCOIN IS LEADING TO A HUGE UPSWING IN MONEY LAUNDERING, NEW RESEARCH SAYS

But if countries use cryptocurrency they have fallen below the radar of what the U.S. can see.

They’re being pushed underground.

Venezuela also reportedly received help from Moscow when it was hit with sanctions, leading to food shortages, soaring prices, a healthcare collapse and a crime spree.

In February the South American nation launched a new cryptocurrency called petro that Nicolas Maduro, the socialist leader of Venezuela, described as ‘kryptonite’ against the power of the U.S. government.

An anonymous executive at a Russian state bank claims the Kremlin oversaw the creation of the petro after President Vladimir Putin signed off on it last year.

In February Venezuela launched a new cryptocurrency called petro; an anonymous executive at a Russian state bank claims the Kremlin oversaw the creation of the petro after Putin (pictured) signed off on it last year(AP)

The source told Time: People close to Putin, they told him this is how to avoid the sanctions.

This is how the whole thing started.

Last month Vladimir Gutenev, the first deputy head of the economic policy committee of the State Duma, said Russia should conduct transactions in cryptocurrencies linked to the value of gold to frustrate U.S. attempts to thwart deals on Russian weaponry and civilian goods.

“And Im sure that this will be a very interesting option for China, India, and other states as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Priscilla Moriuchi, a former NSA cybersecurity official, told The Hill North Korea earns an estimated $15 million to $200 million by mining and selling cryptocurrencies.

Pyongyang’s army of hackers is also believed to have stolen cryptocurrency from organizations and individuals throughout the world.

As if states opposed to the U.S. exploiting cryptocurrency was not concerning enough, analysts have warned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are already being used to secretly move cash between sympathizers and terror cells throughout the world.

Nikita Malik, the author of a recent report by the UK-based Henry Jackson Society about online extremism called Terror In The Dark, said: The authorities must move urgently to increase their knowledge of terrorists activities in cyberspace and their use of technologies such as bitcoin.

By fundraising and making financial transactions online, terrorists and other criminals can avoid interference from financial regulators or other third parties who might otherwise take steps to prevent their operations.

Regulation in this area has to move carefully if we are to balance liberties with guarding against threats to our security but the time has come to deny extremists the space they need online to plan fresh atrocities.

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Iran, North Korea and Venezuela turning to cryptocurrency to …

Get ready for Big Bitcoin: Cryptocurrency industry opens a D …

Brian Fung

Policy reporter focusing on telecommunications, media, cryptocurrencies and competition

The price of bitcoin may be down, compared with last year’s meteoric heights. But industry officials aren’t waiting for the next spike in investor demand to launch a charm offensive targeting federal lawmakers and regulators who’ve taken an interest in cryptocurrencies.

Tech veterans and a number of high-profile cryptocurrency companies on Tuesday said they are forming the Blockchain Association, the first fully fledged lobbying group in Washington representing entrepreneurs and investors who are building off the technology behind bitcoin.

Joining the initial push are companies such as Coinbase and Circle, which operate some of the world’s most popular virtual currency exchanges, as well as the technology start-up Protocol Labs. Investors, such as Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital, are also among the founding members.

The group has already made its first hire: Kristin Smith, who was an aide to then-Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and went on to lobby on blockchain issues for Overstock.com, the online retailer that in 2014 began accepting payments in bitcoin.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time doing a lot of the basic education work in this space, said Smith, who is expected to guide the trade group through its early steps. I’m excited to focus exclusively on these issues.”

Policymakers have been confronted in recent months with an array of cryptocurrency issues as investors have flocked to bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The technology on which they’re based raises novel questions about financial regulation in a digital age and in some cases, consumers have become the victims of scams that have attracted attention from state and federal regulators. Congressional hearings on cryptocurrency and recent decisions by the Securities and Exchange Commission have also highlighted bitcoin’s and other cryptocurrencies’ growing profile.

The Blockchain Association aims to become the cryptocurrency industry’s top lobbying organization in Washington on policy issues, portraying itself as a voice for mainstream companies that want to work within the political system rather than circumventing it as companies such as Uber and Airbnb have done in the past.

Among its first priorities will be addressing how cryptocurrencies are treated under U.S. tax law, and explaining to policymakers how anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer regulations apply to the industry.

“The Blockchain Association is an effort to get the preeminent companies in the space together so [policymakers] know they’re hearing from companies that welcome regulation when its appropriate, said Mike Lempres, Coinbase’s chief legal and risk officer. Were not companies looking to game the system, but trying to develop a legal and regulatory system thatll stand the test of time.”

This isn’t the only time blockchain advocates have sought to play the Washington influence game. Half a decade ago, organizations such as the Bitcoin Foundation played a similar role. But it was a catchall organization representing industry as well as individual consumers; acting as a think tank, lobbying group and standard-setting body, all in one.

Now, the cryptocurrency field is far more developed, with distinct sectors and interest groups, said Jerry Brito, executive director of the Coin Center, a Washington-based cryptocurrency think tank. To see the rise of a purpose-specific trade group is a sign of the industry’s growing maturity, he added.

“Were happy to see this organization stand up, Brito said. Its good to have more voices advocating for things we agree about. But probably more importantly for us, a lot of folks project ‘trade association’ onto Coin Center, and we’re decidedly not that. When we get questions about the industry, we can send them to these folks.”

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Get ready for Big Bitcoin: Cryptocurrency industry opens a D …

Investing in Cryptocurrencies – Cryptocurrency Market News

Fund calling itself ‘first regulated crypto asset fund’ was unregistered, SEC finds

The Securities and Exchange Commission said a fund that billed itself as the “first regulated crypto asset fund in the United States” was unregistered. The SEC action said Crypto Asset Management raised more than $3.6 million while making that false assertion. After being contacted by the SEC staff, Crypto Asset Management ceased its public offering and offered buybacks to affected investors, the agency said. The fund and sole principal Timothy Enneking agreed to the SEC’s cease-and-desist order and censure without admitting or denying the findings against them, and agreed to pay a penalty of $200,000.

Read more here:

Investing in Cryptocurrencies – Cryptocurrency Market News

Cryptocurrency Prices Live, Cryptocurrency Index, Charts …

The cryptocurrenies shown here are just the most popular ones, and this means not all of them can be found on this table. Full list, more then 1300 cryptos can be found, by clicking LOAD MORE button at the bottom of the chart, or just type any cryptocurrency symbol or name in the search box at the top of the chart.

To make things easier, this page displays the logos and the symbols beside the name of the cryptocurrency it is therefore impossible to make a mistake when looking at the numbers. The logos, names, and symbols appear in the first, second and third column, respectively. The names and symbols of the listed cryptocurrencies are actually links. Clicking on these links a new page with individual data about the chosen coin will be displayed, though it might take some time for the data to load.

Continued here:

Cryptocurrency Prices Live, Cryptocurrency Index, Charts …

Cryptocurrency news and discussions. r/CryptoCurrency

So. I had the most amazing thought on how our daily lives could be changing in the near future while trying to describe cryptocurreny and distributed ledger to a friend last night. The subject started at the basics of blockchain and ended talking about the power of micropayments and smart contracts.

What got me so excited and blew my mind was the revelation on the possibilities of monetizing microtransactions in driverless cars. See i am of the belief that in the not too distant future autonimous driving will be pushed on us by car manufactures, insurance agencies and the government (much deeper than the conversation here, but sets the stage for the next thought). When we are all being shuttled around by our cars traffic and speed limits will be less of a concern. My thought ght is that cars communicating with one another on a ledger network will operate like packets of information, just speeding along like cars of a train. Ok. Heres the mind blowing idea:

If i decide i need to get to my destination faster i have to incentivize you to cut in front of you. My car pays you a fraction of an iota (for instance) and i jump in front of you. Taken further, when i get in my car i set my priority for getting from point a to b if i need to get there double quick i essentially pay everyone along the drive for the bemefit of passing them.

I pay you to pass you, you get to where your going and look for abplace to park, your car parks by a neighbors house (cuz all other spots are taken) so your car pays them to park there…its this entire economy of micro transactions i hadnt even considered.

Anyway. Maybe you all have already thought of this but i hadnt. I font know if the prospect makes me excited or fearful. But i do see how it could work and how ingrained crypto will become as a part of our daily lives.

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Cryptocurrency news and discussions. r/CryptoCurrency

Cryptocurrency: Virtual money, real power, and the fight for …

Driving into the small town of Wenatchee, Washington, about three hours east of Seattle, a sign welcomes you to the “Apple Capital of the World.” But not far from the abundant orchards, a very different industry is taking root. As unlikely as it may seem, this rural community has become a hub for cryptocurrency mining.

“Cryptocurrency justified the expense to build something that no one would otherwise build,” said entrepreneur David Carlson, as rows upon rows of computer servers whirred away at the facility he set up here. “These things can run 24/7 making cryptocurrency.”

He has big plans for his business, even if some Wenatchee residents don’t like it.

“We want to grow ten times larger than we are now, and we can do it here, or we can do it somewhere, but we’re going to do it,” Carlson said.

Bitcoin is the best known, but it’s just one of many digital forms of currency. These cryptocurrencies are decentralized; rather than being processed through banks, transactions are verified and recorded by individual users. Encrypted technology called blockchain keeps the transactions secure.

Bitcoin hit a highof over $19,700 in December 2017, though it’s worth much less, about $6,300, today. Despite the volatility, rising values have fueled a whole new industry and legions of enthusiasts. At a recent cryptocurrency conference in Atlantic City, thousands gathered to explore new ideas and opportunities in the field.

“So I live off of bitcoin,” said Kenn Bosak, who hosts “Pure Blockchain Wealth” on YouTube. “It pays my rent. I book my flights with cheapair.com. They accept bitcoin, Dash, all kinds of cryptocurrencies. I book my rooms with BitPay with my Visa card. My Lyft drivers accepts BitPay, that’s bitcoin. So I’m all in. I use bitcoin in every aspect of my life.”

Unlike dollars or other conventional currencies, cryptocurrency like bitcoin isn’t issued by a government. It’s created through a process called mining, which is leading to a virtual gold rush around the world.

Every time someone uses cryptocurrency to pay for something, it sets off a flurry of invisible activity. Computer servers, which can be located anywhere in the world, work to verify and process the transaction, racing to authenticate the exchange of digital money through complex transactions.

For doing this work, the machines (and their owners) are rewarded with new cryptocurrency. With a sufficient number of powerful computers, it can be a lucrative business.

That’s what David Carlson’s company, Giga Watt, is busy doing at his facility in Wenatchee. He started with just a few small machines, but with the help of investors, he’s scaled up significantly. Now his rooms full of computer servers work feverishly to mine cryptocurrency around the clock.

David Carlson shows CBS News’ Errol Barnett his cryptocurrency mining operation in Wenatchee, Washington.

CBS News

Each of the small machines makes roughly $1,500 worth of bitcoin every year, though the amount of profit fluctuates every day. As Carlson showed CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett around, the site hummed with the sound of giant industrial cooling fans.

“Every one of these things is like a thousand-watt hair dryer. So there will be a thousand of those hairdryers in this spot. So that’s quite a lot of heat. Don’t try it at home,” Carlson said.

“This entire wall is the future, according to you,” Barnett said.

“Yeah. The future of money right here,” Carlson replied.

He plans to have 22 of his pods completed by the end of the year and all that computer power sucks up a huge amount of electricity.

“Our pods use one and a half megawatts, which is typically associated with, like, 600 homes,” he said.

Powering his operation would cost a fortune most places, but Wenatchee has a competitive advantage: the Columbia River. Dams on the river generate cheap hydroelectric power, which has drawn crypto mining enthusiasts to this corner of the country.

Steve Wright, the general manager of the Chelan County public utility, says it has long been an economic engine for the region. “What we have seen more recently are industries like cryptocurrency that have come to the region for the same reasons that aluminum came here. Low-cost, reliable electricity,” he said.

Dams on the Columbia River provide cheap power to the Pacific Northwest.

CBS News

But even here, there are limits.

“We have requests for service that would double the usage here in the county, and we’re trying to figure out, you know, how are we going to deal with that, and what the implications would be for the people who live here,” Wright said.

Because access to cheap power is key, crypto miners are racing to set up shop anywhere in the world they can find low rates. Cold climates are also preferred, to help reduce cooling costs.

But this tech boom is not without problems. Among the issues: the droning noise of all that equipment. The hum reverberates far beyond the walls. And some of the operations have sprung up in a decidedly makeshift fashion.

“Would you want to live next to one of these?” said Andrew Wendell, customer service director for the utility. “Not just the aesthetics, but also the noise. There’s a lot of noise. They really do belong in an industrial setting.”

He continues, “And it gives us a bit of a concern, because, quite literally, you could have a tractor trailer come in and load this thing up and move it out, literally overnight. And so it just begs the question, from a utility who is providing and building the infrastructure to support these, how long is our investment? When we build those, we are building for 40, 50, 60 years. This doesn’t look like that long term.”

Not only is he worried about miners abandoning Wenatchee and leaving behind expensive new power connections there are also safety concerns. Some mining setups push the infrastructure to the breaking point.

Industrial fans are needed to cool the rows of supercomputers that mine for cryptocurrency.

CBS News

Wendell shows us an example. “What we have here is a standard residential home, but this shed, about 10 by 10 here, off to the side with the fence, that’s full of cryptocurrency mining operations.”

He holds up the remnants of a frayed and melted underground electrical cable.

“This plastic insulation breaks down because there’s so much heat?” Barnett asks.

“There’s so much heat. It can’t dissipate the heat. So the insulation breaks down, and then the cables go phase to phase. And when they go phase to phase, they combust. They arc and they can start a fire. And that’s what happened [here], is a fire started,” Wendell said. “The bottom line is, is that when you mix the cryptocurrency mining with traditional residential load, if you don’t have things built and designed appropriately, you’re going to have some problems.”

He adds, “In this part of the country, a wildfire can spread and burn literally hundreds of homes. So we take that very seriously.”

While some in Wenatchee are excited about the economic potential of cryptocurrency mining, many others are concerned about its massive power consumption and other risks.

“Nobody wants a fire, you know, like their apartment complex burning down, because someone is mining bitcoin,” one resident said.

Some admit they don’t fully understand it. “It’s just going to drain our power, and that’s really all I know,” a local woman told us.

Facing overwhelming demand for power from cryptocurrency miners and increasing concern from the community, the utility placed a moratorium on new mining requests until they could agree on a solution. Local miners were not happy.

“They went overboard with their moratorium. It was kinda crazy for ’em to say, ‘No, you can’t do that. We’re we’re shutting everything down in the in the entire county,'” said Matt McColm. He was planning to set up a mining operation in his insurance office to generate some extra money for his 12-year-old son’s college fund. He’d already ordered the equipment on Amazon. But now he’ll have to move it all to a site a few hours away in Oregon instead.

“What you’ve got is is you’ve got is several large players that kind of salted the earth for everyone else. They’re literally consuming large sections of our town and edging out the small ones,” McColm said. “It’s kinda rough, because I’d rather develop here locally… and put the money here in Wenatchee.”

Earlier this month, the utility held a public hearing for input on the moratorium and the future of cryptocurrency mining in Wenatchee.

Some locals stood up to voice complaints about what the industry is doing to their town. “I read a lot about what bitcoin operators want, and what bitcoin is doing for them. I’m not hearing that it’s doing anything much for us. This is a take, take, take, not a give,” one woman said.

Others made the case to encourage business development, like the man who said, “I’d ask you guys to consider the very small operations that are existing right here in town. A large rate increase would drastically affect our business, putting some of us out.”

Much of the concern about cryptocurrency mining is its volatility. With prices soaring one day and crashing the next, many worry the entire market could collapse. But advocates say they are missing the big picture a growing industry that’s about more than just mining.

Malachi Salcido, another large-scale miner, says the rise of supercomputing, using specialized hardware and cheap power, can also enable things like artificial intelligence.

“And so it helps you to understand why in the world would you build a 30, 40-year asset for something that’s only nine years old? I didn’t. I built it for a new technology that will have many current and future iterations that we don’t yet fully understand,” he said.

He believes his investment will pay off, even if cryptocurrency fizzles.

“The demand internationally for power and networking for computing space is rising so rapidly that I’m very comfortable there will be demand for our location, even if crypto doesn’t become the market it could.”

Salcido, a Wenatchee native, wants to see his hometown benefit from the new industry. But for now, he must expand elsewhere.

“Our strategic goal is 500 megawatts within the next 5 years, and 5 to 10 percent of the global network. We are currently negotiating developments in northern Idaho, northern Oregon, and northern central California. Our choice is whether or not they happen here,” he said.

A moratorium may stem the flood of miners arriving in Wenatchee, but it won’t stop them from seeking out cheap power wherever they can find it.

In June, a cryptocurrency mining company called Coinmint took over a massive former Alcoa aluminum plant near the small town of Massena, in upstate New York. Coinmint is investing $700 million to turn it into a bitcoin mining behemoth. Once complete, it could be the largest in the world.

Aerial view of a former Alcoa aluminum plant near Massena, in update New York, which is being turned into a massive bitcoin mining facility.

CBS News

Back in Wenatchee, the only question for Dave Carlson is not whether to grow, but where.

“Cryptocurrency justified the expense to build something that no one would otherwise build,” he said. “Supercomputing, A.I. can be the new export.”

“So you’re confident that you will grow, you’re just concerned that it will be elsewhere because Wenatchee blinked at a critical moment?” Barnett asked.

Carlson agreed. “That’s exactly right.”

Originally posted here:

Cryptocurrency: Virtual money, real power, and the fight for …

Cryptocurrency "miners," utilities look for ways to get along …

Electric producers aren’t sure whether cryptocurrency “miners” are friend or foe.

The miners, who use powerful computers to generate bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies by solving complex computational problems, are power hogs that can bring new sources of revenue for energy producers. But that revenue generally comes at a price: millions of dollars of investment in new power stations and lines.

For their part, utilities hesitate to commit those funds for fear the bottom will fall out of the cryptocurrency market, leaving them stuck with the bill for facilities no longer in use.

“Getting power companies to take cryptocurrency mining seriously has been a struggle,” said JohnPaul Baric, chief executive of the MiningStore, which makes cryptocurrency mining technology. “Mining is still in its early days, and power companies say they aren’t sure of its longevity.”

It’s not as if the power companies don’t want the additional revenue. But in the case of Grant County in Washington State, more than 100 cryptocurrency miners are requesting power. Combined, they are asking for 1,700 megawatts of new power — that’s the equivalent of two nuclear power plants, or 1.5 times the power needs of the city of Seattle. Grant PUD’s average electric load is about 600 megawatts.

“We, like any other utility, aren’t set up to handle that kind of new demand,” said Kevin Nordt, general manager for the Grant County Public Utility District, known as Grant PUD. “Trying to get that kind of infrastructure built would take many, many years and require millions if not billions of dollars in investment. There’s a lot of risk involved because it’s an nascent industry with a lot of unknown variables.”

Cryptocurrency miners use large numbers of computer servers which use massive amounts of electricity — to solve complex mathematical puzzles needed to create virtual currencies like bitcoin and ethereum. Bitcoin miners alone use more power than the entire country of Ireland. There are more than 2,000 different types of cryptocurrencies.

Grant PUD’s popularity with cryptocurrency miners stems in part from its low price for electricity generated from power plants on the Columbia River, Baric said. Electrical expenses are often the highest costs for cryptocurrency miners.

“We are the most power-intensive business ever we use crazy amounts of power,” Baric said. “Electricity costs matter.”

The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. But Grant PUD sells its electricity for only 1 to 2 cents a kilowatt-hour, Baric said. Grant PUD is a nonprofit, community-owned hydropower utility based in Moses Lake, Washington, about three hours southwest of Seattle. Its power generation facilities cover 2,800 square miles.

Because of the intense demand, Grant PUD temporarily stopped accepting cryptocurrency mining customers so that it could develop new policies around the industry. The PUD decided to create a new customer class called the “evolving industry” class. The class wasn’t meant only for cryptocurrency, but for any other radical, disruptive type technology that may take shape in the future, Nordt said.

The evolving industry class would price in the risk associated with creating new infrastructure for an industry without a long track record, he said.

“We needed to look at this differently,” he said. “We don’t know how regulatory and other issues are going to break for mining.”

Miners, in the meantime, are also suggesting ways they can be of benefit to utilities. One example is for miners to use a utility’s “peak load” capabilities that often sit idle. Most utilities build their facilities so they have capacity even for those very hot days in July and August, when everyone is running their air conditioners.

The miners could use that unused peak load capabilities throughout the year and stop mining when the utility needed the extra electricity on those hot summer days. Baric sells products that would automatically shut down the mining operations when the peak load was used.

“The actual physical mining units would just sit there idle and the staff would have the day off,” Baric said. “The miners would know for those four or five hours on that hot July day, they will be disconnected.”

Miners are also happy to take extra, unused electricity off the hands of producers, Baric said. Utilities inevitably create more energy than they use and generally allow that power to be burned off. Miners are instead willing to buy that access energy which is a benefit to producers, he said.

“Years ago people wondered if the internet would stay around, but suggesting that today would seems silly,” Baric said. “That’s the way it is with cryptocurrency; it’s brand knew and people don’t yet understand it yet. But it’s here to stay.”

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Cryptocurrency "miners," utilities look for ways to get along …

Cryptocurrency: The unlucky investors who got in at the wrong …

“What the average Joe hears is how friends lost fortunes,” said Alex Kruger, a former banker who has been trading in the cryptocurrency markets for some time. “Irrational exuberance leads to financial overhang and slows progress.”

It is hard to know how many cryptocurrency investors are now in the red, with holdings worth less than the money they put in. Many who have lost money in recent months had gotten into the markets before the big run-up last year and their holdings are still worth more than their initial investments.

But by many metrics, more people put money into virtual currencies last fall and winter than in all of the preceding nine or so years. Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency brokerage in the United States, doubled its number of customers between October and March. The startup Square began allowing the users of its mobile app, Square Cash, to buy bitcoin last November.

Almost all of the new customers on Coinbase and Square would be in the red if they bought cryptocurrencies at almost any point over the last nine months and held on to them.

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The damage is likely to be particularly bad in places like South Korea and Japan, where there was minimal cryptocurrency activity before last year, and where ordinary investors with little expertise jumped in with abandon.

In South Korea, the biggest exchanges opened storefronts to make investment easier for people who did not feel comfortable doing it online. The offices of one big exchange, Coinone, had just one customer walk in during a two-hour period in the middle of the day last week. An employee, Yu Ji-Hoon, said, “The prices of the digital tokens have fallen so much that people seem to feel upset.”

Kim Hyon-jeong, a 45-year-old teacher and mother of one who lives on the outskirts of Seoul, said she put about 100 million won, or $US90,000, into cryptocurrencies last fall. She drew on savings, an insurance policy and a $US25,000 loan. Her investments are now down about 90 per cent.

“I thought that cryptocurrencies would be the one and only breakthrough for ordinary hardworking people like us,” she said. “I thought my family and I could escape hardship and live more comfortably but it turned out to be the other way around.”

Bitcoin has dropped more than 50 per cent since the start of 2018.

In the United States, Charles Herman, a 29-year-old small business owner in Charleston, South Carolina, became obsessed with virtual currencies in September. He said he now felt that he had wasted 10 months of his life trying to play the markets.

While he is essentially back to the $US4000 he put in, he has soured on the revolutionary promises that virtual currency fanatics made for the technology last year and has resumed investing his money in real estate.

“I guess I thought we were ‘sticking it to the man’ when I got on board,” Herman said. “But I think ‘the man’ had already caught on and had an exit strategy.”

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Much of the anger that investors feel is toward the smaller virtual currencies, or alt coins, that entrepreneurs sold in so-called initial coin offerings. These coins were supposed to serve as payment mechanisms for new software the entrepreneurs were building.

But almost none of these companies have delivered the software they promised, leaving the tokens useless, except as speculative assets. Several coins have been exposed as outright scams.

“I think I’d like to see most alts go to zero before I feel like the whole space isn’t overpriced,” Herman said.

Bitcoin has generally held on better with investors. It is down about 70 per cent from all-time highs, rather than the 90 per cent losses that lesser-known digital tokens have suffered. But it, too, has struggled to win much use beyond speculative investments.

“We also saw that bitcoin isn’t ready for mass adoption and day-to-day use,” Herman said.

Despite this pessimism, the social networks where cryptocurrency fanatics gather to trade information are full of people talking about their intention to hold on to their coins in the hope that they will recover once the technology has time to catch up with the hype.

Tony Yoo, 26, a financial analyst in Los Angeles, invested more than $US100,000 of his savings last fall. At their lowest point, his holdings dropped almost 70 per cent in value.

But Yoo is still a big believer in the idea that these tokens can provide a new way to transact online, without the big corporate middlemen we rely on today. Many of the groups that raised money last year are still working on the products they promised, with lots of serious engineers drawn to the projects.

“There’s just so much more behind this new wave of technology and innovation that I’m sure will take over our society in due time,” Yoo said.

With prices down so much, he said he was actually looking to put more money into the markets.

That thinking has been encouraged by the people who invested in bitcoin in 2013, when it first topped $US1,000. That bull market was followed by a crash in which the price of bitcoin dropped more than 80 per cent. But after a long fallow period, the price recovered. Even with recent losses, the value of one bitcoin is hovering around $US6500 up more than 500 per cent from the peak of 2013.

“Five years ago, I was broke, unemployed, and ashamed to use my real name,” Ryan Selkis, a popular virtual currency personality, wrote on Twitter last week.

“For the new fanatics, stick around for your own 14 month, 85% downdraft and you’ll not regret it.”

Twitter is also filled with complaints, like the one from a user named @Notsofrugaljoey, who wrote: “It’s really hard to stomach losing all my hard earned money. Just broke down and cried.”

On Reddit, a user in the United Arab Emirates posted a picture of the $US100,000 loan he had taken out in December to buy cryptocurrencies and that he will now be paying back out of his salary for the next three years.

Roberts, the British investor who has seen most of his $US23,000 vanish, is holding onto his coins in case they turn around. But for now he has stopped trading and is looking for another job.

“I’m living off the little savings I have left still in my bank account,” Roberts said. “I’ve made a mistake and now I’m going to have to unfortunately pay the cost for the next few years.”

The New York Times

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Cryptocurrency: The unlucky investors who got in at the wrong …

After the Bitcoin Boom: Hard Lessons for Cryptocurrency …

SAN FRANCISCO Pete Roberts of Nottingham, England, was one of the many risk-takers who threw their savings into cryptocurrencies when prices were going through the roof last winter.

Now, eight months later, the $23,000 he invested in several digital tokens is worth about $4,000, and he is clearheaded about what happened.

I got too caught up in the fear of missing out and trying to make a quick buck, he said last week. The losses have pretty much left me financially ruined.

Mr. Roberts, 28, has a lot of company. After the latest round of big price drops, many cryptocurrencies have given back all of the enormous gains they experienced last winter. The value of all outstanding digital tokens has fallen by about $600 billion, or 75 percent, since the peak in January, according to data from the website coinmarketcap.com.

The virtual currency markets have been through booms and busts before and recovered to boom again. But this bust could have a more lasting impact on the technologys adoption because of the sheer number of ordinary people who invested in digital tokens over the last year, and who are likely to associate cryptocurrencies with financial ruin for a very long time.

What the average Joe hears is how friends lost fortunes, said Alex Kruger, a former banker who has been trading in the cryptocurrency markets for some time. Irrational exuberance leads to financial overhang and slows progress.

It is hard to know how many cryptocurrency investors are now in the red, with holdings worth less than the money they put in. Many who have lost money in recent months had gotten into the markets before the big run-up last year, and their holdings are still worth more than their initial investments.

But by many metrics, more people put money into virtual currencies last fall and winter than in all of the preceding nine or so years. Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency brokerage in the United States, doubled its number of customers between October and March. The start-up Square began allowing the users of its mobile app, Square Cash, to buy Bitcoin last November.

Almost all of the new customers on Coinbase and Square would be in the red if they bought cryptocurrencies at almost any point over the last nine months and held on to them.

The damage is likely to be particularly bad in places like South Korea and Japan, where there was minimal cryptocurrency activity before last year, and where ordinary investors with little expertise jumped in with abandon.

In South Korea, the biggest exchanges opened storefronts to make investment easier for people who didnt feel comfortable doing it online. The offices of one big exchange, Coinone, had just one customer walk in during a two-hour period in the middle of the day last week. An employee, Yu Ji-Hoon, said, The prices of the digital tokens have fallen so much that people seem to feel upset.

Kim Hyon-jeong, a 45-year-old teacher and mother of one who lives on the outskirts of Seoul, said she put about 100 million won, or $90,000, into cryptocurrencies last fall. She drew on savings, an insurance policy and a $25,000 loan. Her investments are now down about 90 percent.

I thought that cryptocurrencies would be the one and only breakthrough for ordinary hardworking people like us, she said. I thought my family and I could escape hardship and live more comfortably, but it turned out to be the other way around.

In the United States, Charles Herman, a 29-year-old small-business owner in Charleston, S.C., became obsessed with virtual currencies in September. He said he now felt that he had wasted 10 months of his life trying to play the markets.

While he is essentially back to the $4,000 he put in, he has soured on the revolutionary promises that virtual currency fanatics made for the technology last year and has resumed investing his money in real estate.

I guess I thought we were sticking it to the man when I got on board, Mr. Herman said. But I think the man had already caught on, and had an exit strategy.

Much of the anger that investors feel is toward the smaller virtual currencies, or alt coins, that entrepreneurs sold in so-called initial coin offerings. These coins were supposed to serve as payment mechanisms for new software the entrepreneurs were building.

But almost none of these companies have delivered the software they promised, leaving the tokens useless, except as speculative assets. Several coins have been exposed as outright scams.

I think Id like to see most alts go to zero before I feel like the whole space isnt overpriced, Mr. Herman said.

Bitcoin has generally held on better with investors. It is down about 70 percent from all-time highs, rather than the 90-percent losses that lesser-known digital tokens have suffered. But it, too, has struggled to win much use beyond speculative investments.

We also saw that Bitcoin isnt ready for mass adoption and day-to-day use, Mr. Herman said.

Despite this pessimism, the social networks where cryptocurrency fanatics gather to trade information are full of people talking about their intention to hold on to their coins, in the hope that they will recover once the technology has time to catch up with the hype.

Tony Yoo, 26, a financial analyst in Los Angeles, invested more than $100,000 of his savings last fall. At their lowest point, his holdings dropped almost 70 percent in value.

But Mr. Yoo is still a big believer in the idea that these tokens can provide a new way to transact online, without the big corporate middlemen we rely on today. Many of the groups that raised money last year are still working on the products they promised, with lots of serious engineers drawn to the projects.

Theres just so much more behind this new wave of technology and innovation that Im sure will take over our society in due time, Mr. Yoo said.

With prices down so much, he said he was actually looking to put more money into the markets.

That thinking has been encouraged by the people who invested in Bitcoin in 2013, when it first topped $1,000. That bull market was followed by a crash in which the price of Bitcoin dropped more than 80 percent. But after a long fallow period, the price recovered. Even with recent losses, the value of one Bitcoin was hovering around $6,300 on Monday up more than 500 percent from the peak of 2013.

Five years ago, I was broke, unemployed, and ashamed to use my real name, Ryan Selkis, a popular virtual currency personality, wrote on Twitter last week. For the new fanatics, stick around for your own 14 month, 85% downdraft and youll not regret it.

Twitter is also filled with complaints, like the one from a user named @Notsofrugaljoey, who wrote: Its really hard to stomach losing all my hard earned money. Just broke down and cried.

On Reddit, a user in the United Arab Emirates posted a picture of the $100,000 loan that he had taken out in December to buy cryptocurrencies and that he will now be paying back out of his salary for the next three years.

Mr. Roberts, the British investor who has seen most of his $23,000 vanish, is holding on to his coins in case they turn around. But for now he has stopped trading and is looking for another job.

Im living off the little savings I have left still in my bank account, Mr. Roberts said. Ive made a mistake, and now Im going to have to unfortunately pay the cost for the next few years.

Follow Nathaniel Popper and Su-Hyun Lee on Twitter: @nathanielpopper and @esuhyuni.

Nathaniel Popper reported from San Francisco, and Su-Hyun Lee reported from Seoul, South Korea.

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After the Bitcoin Boom: Hard Lessons for Cryptocurrency …

Cryptocurrency investment in SMSF – hallandwilcox.com.au

The emergence of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream discussion of financial investment has seen an increasing number of our clients considering whether cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, may be acquired by their self-managed super fund (SMSF).

Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology. Blockchain, in simple terms, is technology that allows records of truth without the need for a trusted intermediary, such as a bank. This allows information to be recorded on ledgersand verified through different users on the blockchain. This technology can be used to support cryptocurrencies, which function through blockchain systems and are similar to a digital currency.

The appeal of cryptocurrencies has a nexus with blockchain technology, as they theoretically have the potential to provide a decentralised currency that can be used as a replacement for or addition to current global currencies. This has driven interest in cryptocurrency investment and has created the need for new regulation of cryptocurrencies in Australia.

You can read more here.

The increasing number of investors into the cryptocurrency market in Australia is problematic for superannuation fund regulators, who now must determine how to monitor and regulate Australians who are keen to diversify their SMSF through cryptocurrencies.

The rules applied to traditional SMSF investment also apply to cryptocurrencies, with regulators focusing on whether SMSFs are providing a genuine retirement-directed investment. In determining whether SMSFs may be able to invest in cryptocurrencies, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will focus on two limbs:

The sole purpose test requires that a SMSF is maintained for the purpose of providing a retirement benefit for members. This limb can be satisfied where it can be shown that the individuals associated with the SMSF are not receiving any present day benefits, such as rebates or commissions, in relation to the investment.

Further, it is critical that the SMSFs cryptocurrency is held securely in a public IP address, and that evidence is maintained to show that the cryptocurrency belongs to the fund (and not to the individual who may be the registered owner).

This limits which cryptocurrencies can attract SMSF investment, with Australians opting to use more transparent currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to avoid any issues of establishing currency ownership for audit purposes.

A significant issue facing crypto-investors is the high risk nature of cryptocurrencies, as SMSF trustees are required to exercise due diligence in relation to all investments made under the SMSF. Further, investment in crypto-currencies must be contemplated under the investment strategy of the fund, and perhaps under the trust deed (where that is prescriptive as to investments open to the fund).

It seems likely that SMSF investors incorporating cryptocurrencies into their investments have used cryptocurrencies to diversify their investments, rather than solely invest in cryptocurrency. It is difficult to see that a strategy allowing the whole or a substantial part of a funds assets to be invested in cryptocurrencies would be available to a prudent superannuation fund trustee.

Conclusion

The emergence of cryptocurrencies as a genuine financial investment has created new obstacles for SMSF regulators and investors alike, who now must navigate a volatile frontier of high risk investment and limited regulation.

The Government will inevitably provide further guidance regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies, but until then, investors are faced with the challenge of investing in a financial asset that is not comprehensively regulated under the current legislation.

As it stands, Australians eager to diversify their SMSF with cryptocurrencies are able to do so, provided certain conditions are met. With the Government yet to provide any substantial guidance through regulation, this will be a space to watch.

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Cryptocurrency investment in SMSF – hallandwilcox.com.au

cryptocurrency Archives – Page 6 of 6 – The Industry Spread

One of the biggest debates in trading is whether or not cryptocurrencies are in a bubble.

A look at history provides guidance in the current debate.

In the late 1990s, when a similar debate was raging over the potential bubble of internet stocks, a business article quoted an elderly couple whod quit their jobs to day trade.

P/Es [price to earnings ratios] dont matter, the wife was quoted as saying. And she was not alone in her view of the market.

During the late 1990s, EBAY traded at P/E ratios of several thousand; AOL traded at the relatively modest P/Es of a few hundred.

Those were the exceptions since most internet stocks were losing money and had no P/E.

P/E ratios measure currentshareprice relative to per-share earnings.

The current P/E ratio of the S&P 500 is approximately 25.

Back in the 90s, when Warren Buffett refused to invest in internet stocks because of the difficulty in valuing them, he was accused of being a dinosaur.

During the dotcom bubble, even the now venerable Amazon was mocked by traders saying, They lose $5 per book but theyll make it up in volume.

While Amazon turned the corner and then some thousands of companies used the same model to extinction.

Bill Gates started Microsoft in 1973; the company went public in 1986, and this was after nearly a decade of increasing profits. At the time, such a trajectory was required before approval to go public was granted.

In the late 1990s, all you needed to go public was a dot com at the end of your name. Barely established companies many less than three years old with little or no revenue, routinely went public.

In 20/20 hindsight its blindingly obvious, but at the time, when traders believe P/Es no longer matter, when companies go public on the strength of their dot coms, and when the advice of a legendary investor is ignored because it challenged the status quo, youre in a bubble.

All of this, mind you, was a matter of public record: P/Es are found right next to the stock price; all public companies provide extensive financial records; and Buffets comments were broadcast widely (but simply ignored by most traders).

The internet was in a bubble; all it took was for someone to be honest with themselves to recognize it.

Starting in 2003, and continuing for the next half decade, property values in most major American urban areas routinely increased 10-20% every six months. This often happened without any new construction in the area. The same property with the same properties around it would increase in value fueled by nothing more than perception.

The more real estate prices increased; the more desperate people became to buy real estate new buyers and those who already owned property.

The whole thing was fueled by irresponsible loans. Business reporters were well aware of liar loans.

Liar loans is a slang term for stated income loans. These were loans granted on the strength of a borrowers stated income without the necessary documents to prove it.

Theres only one reason why someone would state an income without verifying it: it is not their real income.

If nothing more than perception is increasing real estate values by unsustainable amounts, and this is all fueled by fraudulent loans, youre in a bubble.

In the late 1990s, you could hardly go to a party without someone regaling you with tales of the killings theyd made on the latest hot internet stock. In 2003 and beyond, the same could be said of the latest real estate deal. Though I wasnt around at the time, society parties in the roaring 1920s were likely filled with stories of the latest score on the stock market.

In all three cases, internet stocks, real estate, and stocks became a fad or an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the objects qualities.

The best example of this comes from the so-called tulip mania, one of the first recorded speculative bubbles in history. Tulip mania was repeatedly referred to by Gordon Gekko in the 2010 movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Suddenly, and without any good reason, in 1636 tulip prices in Europe increased exponentially before crashing spectacularly in 1637.

In the late 1990s, the answer to most concerns about internet stocks was that the internet was so powerful it would change the paradigm. Companies could justify exorbitant P/Es because the internet was going to allow them to grow at multiples wed never seen before; at least thats what the bubble participants kept repeating.

At one time, approximately one hundred automobile makers manufactured cars, most setting up shop in Detroit.

Today, three Chrysler, General Motors and Ford have survived. A few of the others were swallowed up by one of these three, but most faded into the dustbin of history as failed enterprises.

No one would disagree that automobiles and the internet have changed the world in profound ways, but this does not mean that each industry was not susceptible to a bubble.

While the jury is still out on cryptocurrency, it too may very well change the course of human history, but its still susceptible to a bubble.

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cryptocurrency Archives – Page 6 of 6 – The Industry Spread

cryptocurrency coins Archives – The Industry Spread

Vela, the global leader in providing trading technology and market access technology software has partnered with worlds leading and trusted brand in the cryptocurrency space, CoinMarketCap. The partnership agreement with CoinMarketCap will allow Vela to add coverage of cryptocurrencies for its Market Data Feed service, SuperFeed.

The partnership will provide Velas institutional client base with a more widespread coverage of more than 1800 cryptocurrency coins and tokens that are supported by coinmarketcap. The CoinMarketcaps professional API will be integrated into Velas streaming market data feed, SupeFeed. It will enable broker-dealers, banks and other retail firms access to real-time and accurate cryptocurrency data alongside more traditional market data sources.

CoinMarketCap offers a wide range of specialised data on their website, delivering real-time and accurate coverage for both individuals and retailers. Now with this partnership, it can tap more individual data sources for most accurate data that are essential for backtesting cryptocurrency portfolio strategies.

Velas SuperFeed offers unmatched performances and users can rely on this board for all its trading purposes. It offers users with low-latency, normalized data without the need for any client infrastructure, optimized performances, and reliable market data feed. In addition to cryptocurrencies, it also covers more than 100 market data sources already available on SuperFeed including all major US and European markets and a growing range of Asian markets.

Jennifer Nayar, Chief Executive Officer at Vela

Jen Nayar, CEO at Vela commented:

We are very excited to be partnering with CoinMarketCap to provide our institutional clients with enterprise-grade access to the leading, independent source of cryptocurrency data. With crypto being one of the biggest disruptors in our space today, this agreement fortifies Velas entry into this innovative digital currency sector. We look forward to working with CoinMarketCap to deliver their world-leading cryptocurrency data to our institutional audience.

Brandon Chez, founder of CoinMarketCap said:

With our goal to remain the most trusted and accurate source of data for the cryptocurrency community, we are pleased to be partnering with Vela, a well-respected and independent technology leader in trading and market access. Adding, Together, we are able to extend our reach to major banks, broker-dealers, and institutional firms so that they can access our information directly.

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cryptocurrency coins Archives – The Industry Spread

Cloudbreak Asset Management | Cryptocurrency Investments

Cloudbreak Asset Management Pty Ltd brings to market one of Australias first cryptocurrency managed funds. We simplify the process of investing in high-growth cryptocurrency assets, leveraging our specialist knowledge to carefully diversify your investment for optimal returns. The fund presents investors with a unique opportunity to easily invest in this exciting new market.

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Cloudbreak Asset Management | Cryptocurrency Investments

What Every Investor Should Know Before Buying Cryptocurrency …

by Mary Ann Callahan

If you are here, then you have probably grown curious enough to find out more about the next big investment opportunity everyone has been screaming about. Techies call cryptocurrency the money of the future or digital gold, and skeptics refer to it as a bubble that will burst anytime soon or the biggest digital scam ever.

Needless to say, beyond the initial noise that surrounded the global rise of cryptocurrencies, there seems to be a growing interest and increasing curiosity about the potentials of these digital coins. New investors are attracted by the fact that cryptocurrency has managed to turn many who have been bold enough to put in their money into billionaires. This has raised a nagging question of what cryptocurrency is and what exactly you need to know before investing.

In clear and simple terms, cryptocurrency refers to digital money. Now, there are a lot of technical jargon and complex explanations that will be thrown at you if you seek a deeper knowledge into the origin and how crypto coins came to be.

So, well skip the part about the technology behind it and simply state that the first cryptocurrency which is Bitcoin was the product of Satoshi Nakamotos attempt to create a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. A genius creation, all the same, functions on blockchain technology and is completely decentralized, which means it is independent of banks, governments, and other institutions. Cryptocurrencies are also independent of any form of physical asset backing.

To buy or sell Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, you need to sign up for an exchange platform and begin trading. There are a number of options available to you if you decide to get in on the trade with cryptocurrency, be the market leader Bitcoin or any prominent altcoin. Still, each coin has its own specific value and dynamics, which you must understand before investing.

Asides the obvious fact that Bitcoin and other digital coins are hugely profitable, there are a lot of advantages that you stand to benefit from in buying cryptocurrencies over holding traditional assets and physical cash.

Stability: many people have probably told you about the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, how they can be sky-high today and plummet to a disappointing low tomorrow. To be fair, they are right in their assessment, and its a known fact that digital coins are quite volatile. But, in the long run, having cryptocurrencies as a global store of value offers an advantage to people who live in regions with less monetary and political stability. The fact that cryptocurrencies are decentralized means the value of your investment is independent of the political and economic situation of any country. It is a world currency of some sort, and its value is universal, making it an excellent choice for investors whose traditional currency is quite unstable.

Anonymity: cryptocurrency offers a way to carry out transactions without leaving any digital or physical footprint. Transactions with digital coins are encrypted, which is the direct opposite of what operates with normal cash or credit card transactions. This eliminates the risk of frauds in form of counterfeit cheques and other illegalities that commonly plague regular transactions, as well as security challenges such as hacks, which can lead to huge losses.

Universally acceptable: as mentioned earlier, a decentralized system independent of political control means cryptocurrencies can be used globally without restrictions. Thus you can buy cryptocurrencies and hold them no matter where you are as long as you have access to the internet. With a global increase in the general acceptability of Bitcoin, some even foresee its potential to replace regular money in the near future and become a much more global form of exchange. However, this also leads to governments paying more attention to cryptocurrency regulation.

The answer to that question depends pretty much on your own view. Undeniable is the fact that cryptocurrencies are great investment options with huge potential for returns on investment. But whether you gain or lose when buying and selling digital coins depends on various factors, just like every other profitable business out there. The volatility of the coin makes it a lot easier to make huge profits but equally makes losing all your investment quite possible.

Trading cryptocurrencies and making profit from it isnt an automatic get-rich-quick scheme. There is a need to take your time to learn the process and understand how it works. Whether you decide to put your money in it at the end or not, should depend on your confidence in your ability to make it work more than anything else.

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What Every Investor Should Know Before Buying Cryptocurrency …

Cryptocurrency | Business Insider

Cryptocurrency | Business Insider Tagged With Cryptocurrency Oscar Williams-Grut

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Cryptocurrency | Business Insider

Courses | Cryptocurrency Australia

Learn the fundamentals of investing in crypto

If you have toyed with the idea of utilising blockchain technology to dabble in cryptocurrencies, whats holding you back? If its lack of knowledge, there are plenty of resources out there that will purport to help. But theres only one that will give you the edge Cryptocurrency Investment Fundamentals.

Written by Australian innovator and cryptocurrency entrepeneur Beau Stoner, it is the go-to online course for anyone serious about exploring crypto investment opportunities. You dont have to be a tech genius to navigate this easy-to-follow tutorial. It will talk you through Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple as well as the Blockchain revolution behind them. A global YouTube sensation in cryptocurrency, Beau Stoner is an experienced Bitcoin investor.

He developed one of the worlds highest-rated cryptocurrency courses after attracting a global online following. Hosted by Udemy.com, Cryptocurrency Investment Fundamentals is rated 4.9 stars out of 5 making it the market-leading course for anyone interested in cryptocurrencies and crypto assets. With 471 ratings, this rich vein of information is the perfect starting block for anyone keen to learn more.

There are lots of reasons why people invest in cryptocurrencies without first assessing the risks. Some are attracted to Bitcoin because it restores anonymity lost through increased use of debit and credit cards. Its also a great alternative to traditional currencies because transactions are instant. Others see it as a get-rich-quick scheme. But to truly benefit from crypto, you have to understand how it works.

As Beau, founder of Cryptocurrency Australia, is keen to point out:

To avoid the most common pitfalls, you need to know the fundamentals first. I developed my course to teach potential investors about the risks as well as the benefits.

Cryptocurrency Investment Fundamentals explains in plain language how cryptocurrency exchanges work, how to set up an account and, importantly, how to negotiate Australian regulations. Many people go into cryptocurrency blind. They dont understand anti money laundering laws or know their obligations and rights as a consumer.

Cryptocurrency Investment Fundamentals will teach you how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It will show you how to store alternative currencies and use digital wallets. That is not all. This vital resource will also help you look after your online investments.

Beau says;

The internet is a virtual shark tank. There are any number of scams targeting cryptocurrency investors. Add to that the ever-present threats of hacks, phishing and pump and dumps, and you will understand the need to fully understand the crypto landscape before you invest.

Getting in quick is key to making a killing in cryptocurrencies. That is why Cryptocurrency Investment Fundamentals shows you how to identify a savvy investment. It will also teach you how to use key investment strategies to see the best returns. The motivational course is also designed to help you understand Australian-specific cryptocurrency tax and superannuation regulations.

The nine-segment training package, delivered in a chapter-style format, also offers information on how to find resources that will further increase your knowledge on investment fundamentals. It will even point you in the direction of thriving cryptocurrency communities.

If you are interested in cryptocurrencies, learn the basics before you invest. Beau says: I specifically developed this course to help students learn all about the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies, which is absolutely essential. Hundreds of hours of research have gone into the course to give students the absolute best introduction to cryptocurrencies and foundational blockchain technology.

Almost one thousand people have already studied Beau Stoners ground-breaking crypto course. Discover what it can do for your crypto investment opportunities today.

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Courses | Cryptocurrency Australia

How To Choose The Best Cryptocurrency Wallet – Crypto News AU

Cryptocurrency is a common phrase in the tech world. Even though it has attracted thousands of subscribers, some arent aware of what a cryptocurrency wallet is.

Cryptocurrency wallet is software where you store your digital currency. The difference between losing your currency and safeguarding it depends upon the type of wallet you use. There are several types of cryptocurrency wallets. There are web-based services, offline services, and app-based services.

What is a Cryptocurrency Wallet and what are the Best Wallets?

A cryptocurrency wallet is a software you use to send and receive cryptocurrency tokens. These wallets let you check your balance of different coins.

Blockchain works uniquely. When the ledger gets updated, it goes across all nodes on blockchain structure. Besides, the wallets hold a record of transactions.

In the crypto ecosystem, the phrase ledger means database. But, a node is what crypto geeks refer to individual computers that operate and maintain blockchain.

Cryptocurrency wallets do not cut money like PayPal accounts or your average wallet. This is the difference between other online accounts and cryptocurrency wallets.

Importance of Protecting Crypto

Investing in cryptocurrencies isnt a bed of roses. You need to get a safe crypto wallet and deposit cash in it. This is the amount you will use in exchange to buy other coins. There are different entities involved in the crypto investment. They are all supposed to be working for the process to be natural. If any stops, the entire process is paralyzed.

Your hard drive, a removable disk, or your mobile phone is your bank vault in cryptocurrency industry. This has been brought by decentralization. Well, decentralization has eliminated middle-men in which investors have faith. But this comes with misfortunes. Still, having faith means you are responsible for ensuring your cryptocurrency is secure.

Cryptocurrency WalletsMyceliumMycelium wallet

This bitcoin wallet is convenient and easy to use. It was launched in 2008. It has had a strong history within the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem. This app has an appealing interface which is easy to use. The taps provide options between different tasks.

It protects the Bitcoin address and the Private Keys by providing an all-in-one Bitcoin wallet security system using HD. HD, in other words, is Hierarchical Deterministic wallet security.

Be it as it may, this app uses the Microsoft Reference Source License. The MRSL helps to keep technology safe by providing unlimited for the underlying tech code.

The downside with the wallet is volatile transaction fees and unreliable customer service.

CryptonatorCryptonator Wallet

Tags: Wallet, Cryptocurrency wallet, Cryptocurrency, Even Though

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How To Choose The Best Cryptocurrency Wallet – Crypto News AU

cryptocurrency Archives – Page 50 of 50 – Australian FinTech

This article makes a great argument for Bitcoin and explains why we should use it instead of the current process. In the 14th century, the Medici family used the power of its newly invented, double-entry accounting system to build a cross-border banking empire that banks still use today. Now more than 600 years later, cross-border []

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cryptocurrency Archives – Page 50 of 50 – Australian FinTech

The biggest cryptocurrency hack in the history of blockchain

Cryptocurrency, what do you imagine? Pile of paper currency? You imagined right and wrong. While there are individuals whove made millions and companies whove made billions. Also, there are people who lost millions and companies gone bankrupt.

Reason?

A couple of reasons. The price fluctuations, poor infrastructures and investing skills, and hack attacks. That being said, in this post, you will learn everything if you dont want to lose your money to some cyber criminal.

They say more than success stories, it is the failure stories that teach a lot. If you are aiming to become an investor or have your own company you should know about these hacks. As part of this guide, we will share the biggest hack attacks that changed the course of this industry and the problem that caused it. You can mitigate the problems and avoid the loss.

Lets get started.

The year 2013, Mt. Gox is the biggest bitcoin exchange platform in the world with a 70% market share. Max Karpeles, the founder of Mt Gox was on top of the world back then.

Fast forward to 2018.

The rate at which Mt Gox was growing, Mt Gox has captured more than 95% of the bitcoin exchange market by now. Max is sitting on a pile of 100-dollar bills, just like Joker did in the Dark Knight Rises.

Amazing isnt it?

Nope. Mt. Gox is nowhere in the market. Its disappeared in thin air. No ones talking about it. No newcomers know that it even existed.

The castle Max built was so mightly that he didnt notice small cracks in the foundation of the castle. Just a year later when Mt. Gox was at top of the world, in 2014, it got hacked. 70% of the bitcoin exchange market share, and the funds, all gone in a snap.

What went wrong? Lets peep into it.

Mt. Gox was a clear winner before it went extinct. But there were some foundational problems in Mt. Gox since the beginning.

Mt Gox has been busy developing a lot of features and that led to a lot of versions of the core platform. Keeping a record of the changes made became a tedious task. Therefore, tracing back at the time of bug fixes was a next-to-impossible task.

This exactly led to affect Mt.Goxs core software to exist with bugs and not perform as expected. This problem couldve been solved with the help of VCS (version control software), but there wasnt any back in those days. Heres why a VCSs are important for any product-based company:

With a lot of code changes in the core, software led to disfunctioning of the software. Mt.Gox did not have a testing policy that could do the needful. A leader in Bitcoin exchange simply throws away code that hasnt been tested, sounds pathetic? Yes, it does.

A lot of changes in code, without testing, comes to the CEO for approval. Only Max had the right to approve any code change. This did not go well with the number of changes that were made in the codebase. Max is a great programmer, but approving these many changes that too without testing was not good. Soon, he choked up and ended up being over-occupied. Considering his designation, it was not good for the company and himself.

A lot of code changes, lack of testing, code change approvals, led to a poor management. How do you expect a human being to outperform so much work without mistake? Max is a great programmer, no second thoughts about that. But when it comes to the role of a businessperson or decision maker, Max was not up to the mark. Max as a CEO went full-length busy and failed to foresee a disaster nearing.

It was 19th June when Bitcoin price fell down to one cent, and it was a sign to incoming disaster.

Source: Wikipedia

This was not a complete system failure. Instead, there was an attack that led to a price crash. The hackers got access to auditors computer and transferred a huge number of Bitcoins to their addresses. Furthermore, they used the same exchange platform to sell all the Bitcoins, so that they can disappear with the fiat money.

This led to the price drop, only within the system. But till then, it was too late for the company to withstand the blow. By this time, the companys spine was severely damaged to survive. Way over $8.7 million was stolen and by the time the company could adjust the propellers, the ship was already directing towards another disaster.

Fast forward 2014

In 2014, Mt. Gox system went slow and so slow that US banking authorities froze Mt Gox for violating the norms. On 7th Feb 2014, the company halted all the Bitcoin transactions to crawl back to the problem.

Upon a deep investigation, MtGox team found out that the core software was under a transaction malleability attack.

What is this now, youd ask.

As you must already know that blockchain has a tremendous ability to encrypt the data that cannot tamper by anyone, not even the owner of the blockchain. The blockchain encrypts the data using the cryptographic hash function.

But theres a loophole here.

If someone hacks into the blockchains core software and tamper the transaction just before it enters the blockchain, it can create a disaster. The hacker can alter the transaction and let it enter the blockchain. Once it enters the blockchain, it has no threat of being caught. Anyway, theres no way to trace back to the source of the transaction.

The hackers can flea with the money they stole from the transaction and no one will be able to anything for this. The send wouldnt even know that their money was stolen unless the company declares it upfront.

If you look at the code of a particular transaction, youd see signature data of a transaction that goes along with the input data in the blockchain. Guess what?

This signature data can be manipulated, which further can change the transaction ID. Furthermore, changing the transaction ID will technically eliminate the original transaction from existence and make it look as if it didnt even happen.

Picture this:

Tony owes 5BTC to Mark and Mark requests 5BTC from Tony. Tony initiates the transaction by sending 5BTC to him and the transaction waits in the queue for approval. Amidst this waiting period, Mark can alter the signature and hence the transaction ID and steal 5BTC from that transaction.

After this, Mark would tell Tony that he has not received the payment. Tony would confirm it by looking at the transaction. From his end, the transaction would be shown as pending. To this, Tony would reinitiate the transaction and this time Mark wouldnt do any tampering. This way, Mark would get 10 instead of 5 BTC.

Theres another catch here. Since Mark is aware of Tonys sending address, he could easily figure out the transaction and tamper data of only that. This was not the case with data tampering happened in MtGox. Hackers tampered data of all the transactions they can roll their eyes on.

This is exactly what happened behind the scenes in the MtGox hack attack in 2014. Hackers took advantage of the mismanagement and were able to bag $473 million worth BTC for free. Furthermore, this was almost 7% of the worlds supply of Bitcoin at that time, that was stolen from MtGox.

After the attack, the graph showing the price crash is terrible to look at. By the time Bitcoin started becoming a mainstream, Mt Gox underwent this attack. Everyone thought after this attack, Bitcoin would not survive for long. Sure, immediate effects werent good enough and the price went down like a steep valley.

Mt Gox declared bankruptcy after this attack and price crash. However, later it was discovered that the Bitcoin that were stolen were being laundered through another exchange, BTC-e. Alexander Vinnik, the owner of BTC-e has been accused of laundering the stolen Bitcoins. The Greek court has moved this case from their national jurisdiction to the US regulatories. If the accusation is right, he will be sentenced to 55 years of prison.

Bitcoin, as a network of the blockchain, was powerful enough to withstand the attack.

Another hack attack that happened recently ripped the industry one more time. This time it was $80 million or 4700 BTC. On Dec 6th, 2017, around 00:18 GMT, Solvenian exchange platform was hacked.

Announcing about the attack, CEO of NiceHash, Marko Kobal appeared on Facebook live. He addressed the followers and announced about the attack. As you would expect, he refrained from revealing much about the attack. The only thing he said was that an employees computer was compromised that led to the heist.

NiceHash suspended all the transactions for next 24 hours to reverse analyze what went wrong and know what exactly couldve saved the platform from attack. In a press release, this is what Marko said,

Importantly, our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen. We are working to verify the precise number of BTC taken. Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency.

Sure, there have been many cryptocurrency hacks. But in our opinion, there hasnt been any attack as Mt Gox. It tore apart the industry and faith of investors that their money is safe in this decentralized platform.

The key thing here to note is that all these attacks were on exchange platforms. It is nearly impossible to attack a blockchain and steal funds from there. Like Mt Gox, if someone tries to alter transaction ID and steal money from the transaction before it gets confirmed. Its impossible without an exchange platform. Because thats the only medium where hackers can get hold of a transaction. If there werent exchange platforms, there would be a 100 percent safe fund transfer experience. There is no room for a hacker to phish and steal anything from the network.

Furthermore, there have been attacks like the DAO on Ethereum (detailed analysis-based guide coming up), that led to the birth of whole new blockchain, Ethereum, and Ethereum classic. The original blockchain had to fork out (hard fork) and form a whole new blockchain platform.

That being said, you are now well-informed to take an educated decision and invest in cryptocurrency or create a cryptocurrency exchange platform or create a cryptocurrency. There has been enough attack on this amazing new space where everything is possible.

That being said, we made it to the end of this guide. We are sure that we helped you understand the reasons why a platform gets attacked and how you can avoid it. Share this post on your social media platforms to help more people understand about this.

See the original post:

The biggest cryptocurrency hack in the history of blockchain


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