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Bitcoin is a revolutionary decentralized architecture which can be used for an untold number of incredibly valuable services – including the transfer of financial value. As Bitcoin adoption continues to expand, significant interests are threatened and early users could face an incredibly dangerous backlash. Please protect yourself, a fight is coming…
People have made huge sums of money trading crypto-currencies and continue to do so. This doesn’t mean crypto trading is easy and effortless. There is a chance you will lose money, you might end up losing all of it, but with the right strategies you can certainly minimize risk and loses.
If you have some money lying around, you too can get started in no time with as little as you like. It’s never too late to start trading. You need to be strategic, patient, able to research and analyze market trends. As a rule of thumb - never invest what you cannot afford to lose.
#1 - Acquire Bitcoin
In order to start trading cryptocurrencies, you will first need to buy some bitcoins. The best way to do it is through a bitcoin local exchanger in your country. In the US, exchanges like Coinbase, Bitstamp and Kraken are go-to for most people. You can check exchanges in your country here.
If there is no bitcoin exchange in your country, you could always use localbitcoins.com and buy bitcoin from other people. Localbitcoins is an escrow service which helps to match buyers and sellers. You can either pay the seller by cash or bank transfer. Most of the sellers advertise whichever payment method they prefer.
Remember: you don’t have to buy a whole bitcoin ($2560 as of writing); you can purchase bitcoin in fractions known as Satoshis. For instance, 100k Satoshis is equal to 0.001 bitcoin. Now that you have some bitcoin, it’s time to transfer them to a trading exchange. There are many exchanges, but the most popular and reliable ones are Bittrex and Poloniex.
#2 - Prerequisites for Trading
Before you start investing your hard earned money in other cryptocurrencies, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Before placing a trade you must do an in-depth research on the coin you want to invest in. The best starting point is the announcement page of the coin. It shows all the important information you need to know: total coin supply, technical details, development plans, mission statement, community speculation, and a lot more.
Just google “coin-name ann” and go to bitcointalk.org forum announcement thread. Other threads you can find information about crypto-currencies are: Top Gold Forum and InvestOpen.com It is highly recommended to read the whitepaper (usually available on the coin’s official website). Join their team on slack and ask them questions in case you have any. You’ll be surprised to see how engaging these communities are.
News in the crypto world spreads like fire. Thanks to Twitter, Reddit, Telegram and crypto-specific news website, you can stay up to date with what’s going on.
Pay close attention to the news on Twitter in particular and make sure they are from reputed sources. Learn to ignore biased sources and rumours. This are where pump and dump schemes take place; people post misinformation on websites and hope for people to fall for it.
Recently, hoax of Vitalik Buterin’s (founder of Ethereum) death started spreading from 4chan, which in turn crashed Ethereum price and wiped out $4 billion in Ethereum’s market value. Don’t let these people get you; seek advice through trusted and unbiased sources, and make your investing decisions accordingly.
Set achievable goals
Cryptocurrency trading is not one of those get-rich-quick schemes. Set a realistic plan of return on your investment, it could be 5%, 10% or 20%. This market is very volatile. If you don’t stick to your expected returns, you’re bound to panic and make mistakes. As the crypto veterans will tell you, setting up realistic long term goals (2-5 years) will take you a long way in cryptocurrency trading.
#3 - Begin trading
You’re all set to trade. By doing your research, gain the right information at the right time and understand how it will interact with the market. This will help you predict trends - whether or not the coin will rise. Also, look out for any technical analysis on the coin - study charts and find patterns.
In a nutshell, this is exactly what you need to do - buy low, sell high. If the price of a coin you’ve bought goes up quickly, cash out into bitcoin and buy back again once the price goes down. If it’s a coin that you really believe in - you’re confident of the idea, tech and team - you’d want to hold on to that coin long-term because a good coin will always rise back up again.
There are a lot of apps that can help you track all your crypto investments. My personal favorite is Blockfolio, available for both android and iOS. It has major exchanges integrated to it and almost all the coins. Lastly, greed can be extremely dangerous in trading.
The more patient you are, the better you will do. Period. No one knows what will happen to the markets tomorrow. Doesn’t matter how experienced of a trader you are, you will make some mistakes and lose money. Learn from those mistakes, get back up and make sure not to repeat them.
#4 - Takeaways
Investing in cryptocurrencies is a fun ride. There are a lot of ups and downs. The community is super active and always willing to help you out. Like I said in the beginning, always invest within your means. No need to sink your life savings in crypto trading. We are most likely living in a bubble which could burst at any time. Don’t overreact when the market is doing good and panic when it is down. Learn what affects the bitcoin market growth. Take it slow. Do your research before investing and most importantly, have fun trading.
FinTech as a financial term has got into the mainstream news and vocabulary in 2017, and it should come as no surprise.
Short for ‘financial technology’, the way we as individuals and large multinational corporations manage our finances is set to change for the better due to the natural evolution of technology in the digital age.
Whether you’re acquainted with FinTech right now or not, everyone should be making an effort to at least understand what it is and why it’s really going to matter over the next decade and beyond.
It will change the way we interact with our banks and the companies we seek services from for the better. FinTech is a big deal which is why we’re going to cover what it is and why you should make some time for it in 2017.
So, What Exactly is FinTech?
FinTech does not have a set in stone definition that everyone uses but in layman’s terms, it’s the utilisation of new and existing technology to optimise how cash is used and managed at both a business and individual level.
This isn’t something which has just recently crept up from the corporate giants in Silicon Valley, this is something we’re already taking part in via things like Bitcoin and Contactless Credit Cards.
The reason FinTech is only recently beginning to stir up conversation in normal everyday discussion is because we’re currently riding the early wave towards the boom of financial technology.
Economists and software gurus alike have been speculating on the almost limitless applications of this postmodern technology. One day, according to some of these speculations, we could see ourselves borrowing money for a mortgage from multiple different everyday individuals through Blockchain technology, something that will, and is already, making global banks more and more obsolete.
Why is it that banks, and by extension you, should be wary of Blockchain financial technology? Because, at its extreme, Blockchain could remove the need for banks and regulation altogether.
Blockchain Technology: The End for Banks?
Traditionally, the adding and subtracting of finances between individuals and businesses had to go through an intermediary who would ensure that ledgers are updated quickly, accurately, and safely.
This is the main function of the banks we all tend to use, however, Blockchain FinTech has constructed a way in which these ledgers are public (but not publically readable), updated instantly across all participating individuals, and are highly secure.
This is exactly the technology that underpins Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency and already demonstrates an early success of a digital currency which has no governmental or financial body’s rules imposed upon it.
If you want to make money trading cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin check our guide: How to make money trading cryptocurrencies
Due to the numerous advantages this brings over traditional financial management, it is almost a certainty that more cryptocurrencies of this nature will become more mainstream and perhaps eventually replace the classic roles of banks, credit card operators, insurance brokers, and more. Also you should know what affects the bitcoin market growth.
The Obstacles FinTech Must Overcome
For as many possibilities and efficiencies FinTech purports to bring to the average Joe as well as big business, there are concerns as to how this new technology is used and how it will be implemented.
#1 - Security
The #1 issue most people sympathise with is how secure is the technology managing our finances. Hackers and blackhat software developers are known for taking the time to break down the digital walls and exploit weaknesses to make a quick buck.
While we are assured that systems like Blockchain are fully encrypted and safe from tampering, how sure can we really be with how shielded out hard-earned money is?
#2 - Legal Challenges
As new technology evolves, the law has to play catch-up to make sure that individuals and businesses are not unfairly treated or exploited by systems they may not understand. It’s only now that we’re seeing the emergence of FinTech law firms which should help in driving home the message that the FinTech industry is not to be ignored.
#3 - Public Perception
One major problem with the FinTech industry right now is that not enough people know about or understand it yet! If you were to ask people what it is and how it might affect us in the future, we bet most people would not be able to provide you with an informed answer.
Another problem is that even those who have heard of FinTech are generally pretty sceptical – arguably with good reason.
As long as this level of scepticism is quelled by informative and well-presented information aimed at the average member of the public, hopefully this will not be a lasting obstacle to further FinTech progress in the future.
What’s next for the Fintech Industry?
It is difficult to say where we’ll be with all the advances in financial technology over the next 10 or 20 years; all it takes is one corporate giant to form who can pave the way for us to take this tech to its full potential. However, for now, we can appreciate early adopters like Monzo and Bitcoin.
Why is everyone so excited about Bitcoin? Its exchange rate increased from $0.06 up to $4,253 (as of August, 14th). What affects the growth of Bitcoin market is the main topic of the article.
Still the retainers such as hacker thefts and scalability problems of the first ever cryptocurrency will also be discussed here. Don't know what Bitcoin is? We got you covered.
A short introduction to Bitcoin
Bitcoin first appeared in 2009. Back then, only a couple of individuals tried using it. And after years of proving itself, Bitcoin earned the confidence of a vast audience. Now it is a new and highly invested industry. Bitcoin is decentralized. Think of it as a network where transactions are conducted. The main idea is the absence of a central server.
The network is spread among all users’ devices. Constant fluctuations in the exchange rate is a normal thing for Bitcoin. The reason for this is the young age of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a volatile currency. Although its price can go up and down from time to time, it only aims to rise in a long term.
Wait a minute, if there is no central server or authority, who then determines the price of Bitcoin?
Bitcoins are mined. No, people do not use shovels for mining. Since we live in the Internet age, miners mine Bitcoins using powerful computers that solve certain algorithms. The cost of mining mostly affects the price of Bitcoin.
What affects the Bitcoin market growth?
At a rough guess, everything related to Bitcoin can affect the market, not only the already mentioned reasons — the young age and a completely different nature of this currency (as compared to fiat ones).
The main driving force behind Bitcoin is the community. The more people accept Bitcoin, the more it powers the whole market. That’s exactly what is happening right now. Little by little, governments of different countries not only start to accept Bitcoin as a payment, but also establish laws that cover the sphere of cryptocurrency.
It is very important for the market because earlier even the countries that were supportive of Bitcoin, couldn’t adopt it by all rights, because they simply had no laws concerning cryptocurrency. After Japan recognized Bitcoin as a legal means of payment, Bitcoin exchange rate has surged upward. As a result, the Bitcoin market in Japan is now one of the major ones.
If you’re in Japan, you can even use certain airline services that accept Bitcoin. The fact that the number of Bitcoin-related startups entering the market is growing day by day also contributes to a faster development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. As for now, you can find a vast variety of services related to Bitcoin. For this reason, the market is currently at the stage of regulation. Such regulation will help to get rid of unreliable services, that simply won’t be able to withstand the competition.
As an example, let’s take Bitcoin exchanges. Now there is a big variety of reliable ones, but still there are exchanges that are either unable to provide a strong security due to financial reasons, or merely swindlers. That’s why be sure to use the top exchanges, which you can rely on.
There are local exchanges, like Canadian Bitcoins, which serve the clients within a particular geographic area, and international exchanges, like CEX.io, that earned trust among the users worldwide. So, the stated above UK-based CEX.io provides seamless service to 95% of countries and supports Bitcoin and Ether trading with relatively low commission fees.
Due to the solid approach to customer privacy and security CEX.io has been one of the most reliable Bitcoin exchanges, serving over a million satisfied users.
The decentralized nature of Bitcoin makes it absolutely impossible to steal coins from within the blockchain. In other words, you cannot cheat the system, it is made perfectly without any chance for hackers to steal Bitcoins. Although, periodically, they carry out attacks on the exchanges or wallets in order to steal Bitcoins that are stored on the servers of the websites.
2014 was the year of the greatest Bitcoin theft. The victim exchange was MtGox, one of the largest and the most popular at that time. MtGox held up on the withdrawals, so, basically people couldn't’ get their money out. Bitcoins worth of $460 million were stolen. Hackers seem to find their place in the sun since that time. But you know how they say: “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”.
Of course as soon as it happened the exchange rate of Bitcoin decreased dramatically. But this incident served as a lesson to other exchanges. It set a bad example of how everything can go wrong because of poor security. As a result, today's security of exchanges and wallets is much stronger than it was at the MtGox times.
The extraordinary growth in newcomers is a very good news for Bitcoin. Although it has also posed a problem. Since the birth of Bitcoin the source code has had only a couple of minor upgrades. After 2015 the total number of transactions has tripled. As a result, Bitcoin faced a scalability issue.
In other words, the network found it hard to process a great amount of transactions, running into a problem that sometimes you could wait up to an hour before your transaction was confirmed. The solution was to increase the capacity of the block in the blockchain. In other words one block should be able to hold more transactions than was.
NOTE: Blockchain consists of blocks in which transactions are written. Approximately every ten minutes one block closes and the other one appears. When the block is closed it means that all the transactions in it are verified.
The Bitcoin peer-to-peer system makes it difficult to define who specifically should take the responsibility to make an upgrade. In other words, the issue was not that Bitcoin network needed an upgrade. Rather, it was challenging to decide who should do that and in what way. An August 1st was believed to be a decisive day for Bitcoin community. There were two possible outcomes on that day:
A SegWit upgrade takes place fluently. Miners support a new Bitcoin network. In this way, the chain split occurs and price collapses. August 1st and what are the outcomes?
The August 1st is left behind. Eventually, the Segwit upgrade was activated so the Bitcoin network is now able to hold more transactions. Although, a chain split (or a hardfork) had occurred as well. The Bitcoin‘s price didn’t collapse. It passed through some fluctuations, but they were not really substantial. As a result there are now “two Bitcoins”:
BTC (The original Bitcoin blockchain where Segwit has occurred). BCC (Bitcoin Cash - an alternative Bitcoin with its own upgrades. It shares the Bitcoin’s blockchain before the hardfork, although continues along its own way after it). Some consider Bitcoin Cash as an Altcoin, some ignore it and continue using the original Bitcoin. While others switch to a new network and do not use the original one. Still, the majority of people accept both currencies. The new Bitcoin (BCC) has shown good results considering the market capitalization over the last three days.
Standing right behind Ethereum, the market cap of Bitcoin Cash have already reached $7 billion. While the price is at the point of $400. Although the hardfork has virtually happened, it is too early to claim on what is actually going to happen.
For now, the price of Bitcoin Cash increases and will possibly continue to, because the new trading pairs are about to be launched on the major exchanges such as CEX.IO. Still, the original Bitcoin doesn’t seem to hold still neither.
So, there is no doubt as for traders who will pick up on this situation and propel the Bitcoin market.
The future of Bitcoin market
No one would believe you in 2015 that in two years Bitcoin would be worth more than 2 thousand dollars. No one would neither expect so many innovations and startups within the industry.
Without any doubt, whether it’s original Bitcoin or an alternative one, the Bitcoin market will only expand and become more favourable for new users. There is also a strong possibility of a market purification. That is to say, we’ll see a strive to quality rather than quantity. In order to get to this point, Bitcoin SHOULD stumble (like it was during MtGox hack).
All the upgrades take place only when mistakes are revealed. So, in reality the cognition comes through trial and error. In this regard, not only the drivers help Bitcoin develop, but also the retainers that make it misstep at first, but then provide a boost in a long term.