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      Test Announcement   06/28/2017

      Enjoy finance writing ? (forex, stocks trading, cryptocurrencies, investments). Great. We are looking for contributors that want to write for us.


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About Daniel#MD

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    Invest Open Administration Team
  • Birthday 06/28/1982

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  1. What is the blockchain? If you don't know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society.
  2. Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. Join the Ethereum discussion:
  3. Bitcoin vs banks...A great documentary by Discovery Channel that explain step by step what is bitcoin and how it works as a financial asset.
  4. In this article, we will summarize the 8 most common beginner mistakes in the forex market and how you can avoid them. Most traders learn from their own mistakes over many years in the markets. However, many of them will admit that had they known about these before they started trading, it would have saved them a lot of money. Still, some rules are so difficult to follow that it seems the only way to learn the lesson is to make the mistakes yourself first. Whether this is the case for you or not, here are 8 typical beginner forex mistakes that hopefully can make your trading journey less painful. 1. Let a short-term trade become a long-term investment. This is something we often hear about, maybe more so from stock traders than forex traders, but it is nonetheless important to take note of. The trade you took didn't turn out exactly as planned, and to make yourself feel better you instead changed your perspective rather than admitting the loss. Admitting that you were wrong sometimes hurts your self-esteem, and it therefore feels better to hold on to your position while telling yourself that it will probably come right back next week…or even next month. Is this a good idea? NO! If the conditions for taking the trade in the first place are no longer present, you should get rid of your position as soon as possible and move on. There is no guarantee that your trade will come back in the future. 2. Use automatic stop-loss. Forex educators and experienced traders always talk about using stop-loss in your trading. An automatic stop-loss order simply sends your order to the market if the price of whatever asset you are trading hits a predefined level. This sounds like a good idea in theory, because it is supposed to keep you safe and lower your risk in trading. However, it’s not always as good of an idea as you might think. There can be sharp fluctuations in a currency pair within a single day, and what you will often see is the price dropping down to your stop-loss level before it shoots right back up. Instead, check the price at the close of each candle. In other words, if you trade on the 1-hour chart, you check the price after each 1-hour candlestick has closed. If you trade on the daily chart, you check the price at the end of each day. If the price then has crossed your predefined mental stop-loss level, get out of the position. This way, you remain consistent about when and how your trading decisions are made. 3. Watch the news. Well, watching some news is fine, but you should be very aware of how it impacts your decision-making. Unexpected news like Trump’s victory and Brexit tends to shake the forex markets, but it is almost impossible to trade these events for retail traders. When something unexpected happens, robots are the first to take action. Next, the professionals who may get the news faster than you place their trades, before the news finally reaches the millions of retail forex traders around the world. Therefore, instead of following the news, follow how the market is reacting to the news. 4. Get too greedy. If you have set a target price for your trade, let's say a typical resistance level where you were planning to take your profit, make sure you do just that instead of holding on to your position in the hopes that it will continue with the strong momentum. Stick to your plan! The same applies if you are tempted to take profit because you see that you are up a few grand, but still below your predefined target. Do not focus on the money; focus on executing your plan. 5. Get too scared. Lots of traders like to check news sites constantly in addition to reading discussions on various forums. It’s easy for these traders to get scared when they read negative news or opinions about the positions they are holding. Again, follow what the market is doing – the market is always right. 6. Focusing too much on not losing money. Yes, it happens. You can actually lose money on a trade. In fact, your position may take a dip before it goes back up. Visualize how much you would allow your position to move into the red before selling it. If the currency you are trading goes down to test the support once again, by how much will you be in the red then before you sell? Always keep an idea of this in your mind to avoid selling at the bottom. 7. Buying and selling without a plan. Buying and selling without any forex trading strategies, plan, or any system is the same as trading with your gut feel. It may score you a win when you are lucky, but over the long term it will lead to guaranteed failure in the forex market. Learn what works. Trade for a while just to learn how the markets work. Also, make sure to keep a detailed trading journal of everything you do so you can learn what works and what doesn't over time with real-world experience. 8. Not investing enough time. The more time you spend on studies, jobs, research, or whatever it may be, the better you get at it. The same applies to trading. The market pays you for the time you spend on trying to understand it and educate yourself. There are no shortcuts to easy money in forex trading – hard work is the only way. About the author: Fredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He mainly follows the stock and forex markets, and is currently supporting Learn to Trade forex training services
  5. Have you ever left picking up your student account, to the last minute? Panic not, here is your ultimate guide to getting the best deal. Yes, banks have been downgrading all the freebies you receive on student accounts, but what matters to you is the cost and size of your overdraft. But avoid borrowing too much, here we’ll explain why. If you’re one of the many who are going to start university soon, you may expect to see some of the banks crowding up those “fresher fairs”, simply jostling around for attention. Hold on! But, why do the banks try to court broke students? Well, they’ve specialised accounts specifically intended to appeal to youngsters and draw their attention at the earliest opportunity. Even after they get older and start making money, many banks will bother them to switch accounts. Put simply, they are money-spinning customers for life. It may not make any sense, bearing in mind how much easier it’s now to compare accounts and switch if required. But, most of them would be too busy or lethargic to do so, great news for banks, who desperately try to get new norms and keep it. So in the recent past, many banks have been keen on offering trendy things to kids to help entice them, like cinema tickets, free travel insurance (for when you wish to widen your horizons), etc. But, are we seeing the last of these freebies? Most of the banks are seriously downgrading the additionals offered with student accounts. For instance, some banks now only offer discounts on car breakdown, some no longer offer commission free travellers’ currency and check. On the other, some of them have pulled out the best and actually valuable freebies, a railcard that lasts for 5 years, etc. Without any doubt, there’s a stricter mood amongst banks these days, suffering as they’re from wobbly share prices and declining profits. Another possible reason for a cutback in the freebies is the massive number of students applying to university. Put simply, banks have more captive audiences and do not need to work hard to attract customers. But, maybe this development isn’t a bad thing, as it’ll majorly focus students' minds on what actually matters, that is securing an interest free overdraft and sticking to it, from day one. An interest free overdraft would permit you to borrow without paying anything extra. Banks could appear to be offering enormous overdrafts, maybe up to £3000, but students would be credit scored by banks, only when they first open their account and might be offered a lower amount in the first place. Several researches discovered that banks simply say that they offer overdrafts “up to £3000”, but most of the customers find themselves being offered less in the first year instead. Certain banks would then operate on a tiered basis, thereby increasing the limit every year, should you request it and prove that you can borrow sensibly, isn’t that fair enough? After all, majority of students would need to borrow to get by, as going to the university is becoming an even more expensive affair. So, it’s imperative to understand what the overdraft limits are, and accordingly negotiate a higher threshold if required. If you foresee going over the interest free overdraft, you might be approved a further “planned” or “authorised” overdraft, based on your bank. This will be approved well in advance with the bank, and you’ll be subject to interest and perhaps a fee. But, do remember that certain banks won’t offer this further sanctioned overdraft. For students who cannot have an “authorised” overdraft or who even surpass it, “unauthorised” overdrafts would kick in, with enormous monthly fees and interest rates. But, should you really have to take this last step, at least one or two banks might not charge as much on the “unauthorised” borrowing as others. However, your overdraft would be there only as a last resort, and not at all as an excuse to spend. Apart from the risk of incurring those additional expenses, overdrafts for grownups are seldom as generous as they are for students and graduates. So, you ought to master the art of budgeting in the first year and make sure you can keep a clean credit score; this way you will not go wrong and it’ll make the shift to adult banking easier. Do not wait until the fresher’s fair gets the current account sorted. You will only receive information from those banks that have bargained for a spot at the fair. Also, you cannot possibly come up with the best decision that way. So, get your current account in order before the campus life takes over. Here are some of the best student accounts that you can choose from: Long Distance Study/Best All Rounder If you’re able to make a deposit of around £500 per term, then you can opt for 1|2|3 Santander Student Account. This comes with a Young Person’s 16-25 Railcard for 4 years, which offers you 1/3 off rail travel, and also pays 3% on balance from £300, up to a maximum of £2,000. This type of student account also offers you an interest-free and fee-free “arranged” overdraft, up to £1,500 in years 1 to 3, and up to £2,000 if you’d stay for 4-5 years. But, unauthorised fees would be set at £5 per day, and up to £50 per month. Overdraft Habit? The HSBC Student Account offers an interest-free overdraft of £500 to £1,000, when you open your account. If you request, the amount can be raised up to £2,000 in the second year, and up to £3,000 in the third year. This overdraft comes with no fees; however, your account will be locked until your balance returns to an agreed limit. If you opt for this account, you’ll also receive a £60 Amazon Gift Card plus a year of free Amazon Prime Student membership. Likewise, even Nationwide FlexStudent offers the same policy, but they don’t offer freebies and simply provide interest-free overdraft, going from £1,000 up to £3,000, over a period of 3 years. The Ethical Choice The Co-operative Student Account is considered as the most ethical option. This is merely because it offers a free overdraft limit of £1,400 in the first year, which can go up to £1,700 in the second year, and up to £2,000 in the third. In order to arrange your overdraft you will have to pay £300 or even more, to activate the account. But, once you finish your degree, for the first year, your overdraft will be interest free and you won’t have to pay monthly account fees. Tips to Pick Up One of the Best Bank Accounts Do read on for some useful tips, which could turn out to be helpful whilst you pick your bank account. The Issue with Interest If you end up being one of those excellent students who can manage their finances, then you’ll be a bit dissatisfied by the interest rate offered on most of the student loans. If your bank is paying you a small amount of interest when you are in credit, there is nothing that could stop you from transferring your balance to an instantaneous access savings account, either with the bank or another one, whichever is the best for you. Try to Avoid Student Credit Cards A bank will always put in its best efforts to persuade you to get a credit card from them, but it’d be better that you stay away. Generally, the interest rate is between 15% and 40%, with a minimum monthly repayment that ranges between1% to 5% of the card balance, even before you’ll be charged. All these additional charges and interest won’t be worth it. However, if you’ve already taken a credit card from your bank, then it’s imperative to check for PPI. Also, if you find out that you’ve been mis-sold one, then it’s time to Reclaim PPI to get your money back. Hold onto any Approval Letter or Proof that You’ve got into the University There have been many students who have faced many hassles whilst trying to open a student account, as they threw away or lost important pieces of information. Every bank will ask for that important conditional or confirmation letter from your university. So, it is of utmost importance that you keep all the essential documents safe with you, to avoid such issues. Don’t be Afraid to Move to another Account When the Graduate Overdraft is Up If you ever find you ever find yourself borrowing less money or earning more income, there might be several accounts out there with better deals for you. On the other hand, if you still find yourself borrowing money, then your bank might become extremely draconian with those interest charges on your overdraft, and those peaceful days of interest-free borrowing will come to an end soon.
  6. Almost half of startups and small businesses fail because they failed to meet a market need. Indeed, running a startup is a difficult job because there are too many responsibilities on your plate as your business is still in its infancy. You need to buy equipment, arrange an office, and hire, train, and organize your staff. Also, you need to make a good logistics foundation, establish a network of contacts, and make sure that cash keeps coming your way. These tasks can be overwhelming and even tedious, which is why business owners focus on providing their staff with everything they need first, so they can perform at maximum capacity. Technology can help startup owners leverage their limited funds in effective and smart ways, helping you to become more versatile and efficient, and do more with less. 1. HR software One of the biggest dilemmas for most startups is whether to outsource an HR or to hire an in-house one. Many startups can’t afford to hire an entire team, but on the other hand, this function is vital and is best done by someone close by. The solution to this problem is the right HR software that allows you to hire one HR representative whom you can trust to do an entire department’s work. The aim is to be as cost-efficient as possible: you won’t have to keep more than one HR member on staff, and the money saved will be invested in premium HR software. One thing to remember is that not all HR software is built the same way and the developers often focus on a certain industry or type of company. Before you commit your money to any solution, make sure that the HR software you are purchasing makes sense in your situation. 2. Business Intelligence platform Another problem that startups often face is the lack of experience in the industry. When making decisions, the most experienced businessmen often conduct a subconscious analysis of their previous experiences – what they call “gut feeling”. Business intelligence (BI) software is there to mend the experience discrepancy between industry veterans and newcomers. What does BI software do? It uses huge amounts of unrefined data, and then retrieves, analyzes, transforms, and reports to the user, interpreting data in a way that enables us to use it in real situations. by doing so, BI software enables business owners to better survey their situation and to make decisions that are based on actual data and not someone’s hunch or feeling. Business intelligence was once reserved only for the largest companies with enormous budgets. Today, with modern BI software solutions, it is something that smaller companies have access to as well. In other words, modern Bi software enables smaller companies to compete with much bigger players, at least when it comes to data analysis and data-driven decision making. 3. The right hardware equipment The essential element of every business is the right equipment. However, “right” doesn’t have to mean “expensive”, and there’s no need to splurge on unnecessary items, such as $500 Bluetooth speakers or $3,000 computers. On the other hand, neither you nor your staff members can work on PCs bought in 2008 and even older ink printers. The whole staff must have access to tools that will allow them to get their work done properly. You can get affordable Lenovo laptops that are optimized for business use, and offer a great balance between performance, portability, and usability. Also, invest in fast Internet connection, external hard drives, laser jet printers, network equipment, and a wireless router. 4. Hire remote workers This is a great idea that brings along many benefits. For example, you can consider having a smaller office and get access to a much larger talent pool. Remote workers are usually paid based on their performance, so they can be a very cost-efficient workforce. You won’t need to invest much in their training, as they often know everything about the job they apply for, and you’ll have a (multinational) team with different perspectives. This can be a major advantage if you’re trying to penetrate a foreign market, which your workers from abroad know more about. With a good cloud service, video conferencing software, and project management tool, you can have a great team of reliable employees. 5. AR and VR marketing Lately, everyone’s going crazy about augmented and virtual reality. With this technology, you can create more effective marketing campaigns, as VR marketing is being included in every aspect of the digital world. For example, it’s a vital feature for every game developing and video processing platform. To reap the benefits of VR, you need some hardware – the latest generation of i7 Intel processors and powerful NVIDIA graphic cards. As for augmented reality, AR apps are becoming increasingly popular (you must’ve heard about the Pokémon Go app, launched in 2016, which had thrown the whole world in a frenzy). Including AR into your marketing strategy might be a great idea. Snapchat brought a revolution into the social media world with their filters. The last, but nevertheless important advice we can give you is – always backup. All relevant data can be lost in an instant, which can cost you weeks of work and have detrimental effects on your company. You can prevent this from happening by backing everything up on an external HDD, or choose to store your data on the cloud. Conclusion These tips can help you run your startup business and lift it off the ground much easier by saving you money, time, and effort. The competition on the market is fierce, so use these solutions to gain a competitive edge and stay relevant. Author: David Webb is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in online business strategies, he is driven to help people to better understand this new digital age. In his free time, David enjoys writing, travelling and an occasional night out with his friends.
  7. Your surviving spouse’s life will never be the same if you die, that cannot be changed -but don’t leave her holding the financial bag forever. Life insurance has evolved dramatically in the last fifty or sixty years, and so has our society. The days of June Cleaver staying home with the children while she cooks and cleans the house are evaporating. Multiple trends are affecting our lifestyle and these include more Moms joining the workforce and more Dads staying home with the kids. Spending time home to raise a family can be a very joyous experience, but there are numerous financial pitfalls that these families face when making this change. Obviously decreased income is on most parents’ minds, but the group term life coverage that they may have enjoyed at their previous job will now be gone. Many families wade into the problem without carefully considering all of the angles, which is understandable given the complexities of raising a modern family. The two parents may come to some agreement whereby the Dad temporarily quits his job to provide love and support to their young children, with the agreement that he will go back to work when the children are enrolled full time in first or second grade. But during that four year period that Stay at Home Dad’s family is extremely exposed. This short term plan has huge long term ramifications and presents a massive coverage gap for either a mother or a father that choose to stay home with the kids. The Obvious Person to be covered Although most consumers now seem aware of the need to provide temporary insurance for the working spouse via a term policy, few seem to see the need for the non-working spouse to also seek insurance. The basic idea for the working mom is to provide replacement income in the case of an untimely death. The Less Obvious Person that needs to be covered Having spoken to numerous families over the years, I have become accustomed to having to convince stay at home moms about the need for life insurance, but I still have not perfected the skill on the stay at home dads. For some reason, they are more cavalier, perhaps riskier. But a Stay at Home Dad need’s life insurance every bit as much as a Stay at Home Moms does. Calculating Stay at Home Dads and their Coverage Needs Discovering how much life insurance to procure for the stay at home parent can be rather difficult, especially when compared with a similar computation for the working spouse. However just because it’s not easy, does not mean that your stay at home dad does not need life insurance. There are various methods to calculating insurance needs for stay at home dads. Below are two methods. The Simple Way If there is an easy way, this may be it. It is often recommended that the working spouse buy about ten times income in life insurance. Therefore the non-working spouse could shoot for about 60% of this. This method is far from perfect though. The More Complex Way One could make this about as complex as they like, however, a smart way of doing this would be to add up all of the anticipated new and increased costs for your surviving spouse to raise your children alone. These would include: Nanny / Babysitting Costs Increased Transportation Costs Meal Delivery and Laundry Services Increased Transportation costs to see extended family Family Therapy Sessions All of these yearly costs would then be multiplied by the number of years left until your oldest child will be self-sufficient and on their own. Admittedly there are issues with the method of calculation, especially when you consider that the types of costs will change from year to year. Your youngest child is not likely going to need to have a nanny when they are fifteen. However this method does expose the cold brutal reality of financially planning on raising children as a single parent. Other Potential Coverage Amounts to Consider There are a few more dollar figures to consider when deciding how much life insurance for your stay at home dad to consider. Do you want the life insurance to fund college? Do you want the insurance to pay off the mortgage? Does the surviving spouse want to continue to work? These three cost considerations have the ability to blow out your budget, but that does not mean they should be ignored. The reality is that when we have our first child we take on a large series of costs that could last a lifetime. These need to be planned for. How to Simply Buy Term Life Insurance Now that you are armed with how much life insurance you need, you should be able to go and hunt for a simple level term life insurance policy. The first rule of buying life insurance is, unless you have a special situation, stick with term life insurance. Although many pushy agents will suggest you mix your investments with your insurance via a needlessly complex whole or universal life policy, you will be just fine with term life. The second best practice is to shop around and speak with multiple life agents, including at least one that is an independent. Many insurance agents are legally bound to provide insurance from only one group of companies. Sometimes these “captive” agents may be able to solve your life needs, but other times their prices will not be as competitive as the independents. A third best practice to consider is go ahead and get something sooner, rather than later. In other words – Don’t Wait. In general a less than perfect term life policy now can usually be replaced at a later time. Term life insurance is generally pennies on the dollar in comparison to their expensive cousin whole life insurance and can typically be cancelled at each payment installment if you so choose. The last best practice involves checking the financial strength rating of whichever life insurance company that you choose, before you buy it. In short a financial strength rating is financial assessment of an insurance companies’ ability to pay back claims. Shoot for A- rated companies and better. If you follow these simple best practices you will certainly be in a better place than if choose to ignore your short term coverage gap. A Special Consideration When you go to purchase your life insurance you will probably want to shoot for an amount that is less than the total amount that the working spouse has. This somewhat antiquated rule is in place for a number of reasons. Families can occasionally work around this by purchasing one life insurance policy for each spouse, at the same time and thereby increasing both the working and non-working spouse’s coverage together. The Best Long Term Plan Sometimes the best way to cover a short term coverage gap is to have a long term plan. A 20 year level term life insurance policy, although it may not be your entire life may be just long enough to allow you some breathing room. The best way to provide for your family as a Stay at Home Dad is to think and plan long term and those plans can’t ignore short term life insurance coverage gaps that may arise. Speak with an independent life insurance agent and ask them- How am I protected?
  8. Two of the most popular online money making discussions forums have been recently closed. In a guest post for Monetize.info I've identified the reason behind this decision. Find out why MoneyMakerGroup and TalkGold Forums have been closed As always, your feedback is always appreciated. What's your opinion on this matter?
  9. Newbie here

    Hello Ed - @HMASERV. Welcome on InvestOpen. How are you?
  10. The Hidden Dangers of Bitcoin

    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…
  11. 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: Research 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. Stay updated 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.
  12. What is FinTech and Why Does it Matter?

    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.
  13. How to maximize your chances for investing success when stocks take an extended turn for the worse Unless a lot of other breaking news occurs on a particular day, sharp drops in the stock market make headlines — stock market gyrations are great media fodder. Every day the market environment is different, and new stocks are always plunging and rising. And now, with more individuals holding stocks (including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds) through company and personal retirement plans, most folks watch financial market movements. 1 Don’t Panic No one enjoys turning on his car radio, clicking on his television set, or logging on to the Internet and getting this news: “Stocks plunge. The Dow Jones Industrial plummeted 400 points today.” When you hear this news, don’t panic — it’s just one day’s events. (In 2008, the market seemingly had day after day of such drops, and the events could accurately be described as a financial panic, the likes of which the nation hadn’t experienced in generations. Just because a home burned to the ground recently in your town and the news is being broadcast all over the local media, you probably wouldn’t start living on the street out of fear of being at home during a fire. But you may take some sensible precautions, such as installing smoke alarms and repairing any malfunctioning appliances that may cause a fire, to ensure that your home isn’t likely to become the next fire department statistic. Likewise, don’t shun stocks, which produce terrific long-term returns, just because of the down periods. Risk and return go hand in hand. If you want wealth-building investments that provide superior long-term returns, you must be willing to accept risk (that is, volatility and down periods). You should take sensible precautions — with diversification being the star of the show — to reduce your risk. Although other wealth-building investments, such as real estate and small business, go through significant declines, you generally see few headlines on their daily price movements. A good reason for this lack of headlines is that no one reports on the pricing of real estate and small businesses minute by minute every business day, as is done with stock prices. 2 Keep Your Portfolio’s Perspective in Mind If you follow my advice, your portfolio will consist of diversified stock holdings, including some international stocks and some bonds. Having a diversified portfolio can help in a down market because some investments will increase as others decrease, thus balancing the losses. Make sure you build a diversified fund portfolio. 3. View Major Declines as Sales Unlike retail stores, which experience larger crowds when prices are cut, fewer investors, especially individual investors, want to buy stocks after they’ve suffered a sharp decline. However, when stock prices decline, don’t get swept up in the pessimism. View declines as the financial markets having a sale on stocks. Stocks usually bottom when pessimism reaches a peak. Why? Those who were motivated to sell have done so, and the major selling has exhausted itself. During the recession and stock market decline that reached a crescendo in 2008, negativity and pessimism were rampant. Global stock prices dropped by half in about one year’s time. The banking and financial system was in crisis and governments were intervening. Talk of a depression became common as U.S. unemployment surged past 10 percent. After bottoming in early 2009, stocks went on an upward rampage that resulted in a doubling in value in just two years — a rare historic event. Now, I’m not saying you should randomly buy just any stock after a decline. When technology stocks started declining in 2000, some investors made the mistake of buying more of them after prices dropped 10 or 20 percent. What such “buy on the dip” investors didn’t realize was that the technology stocks they were buying were still grossly overpriced when measured by price-earnings ratios and other valuation measures. You’re best off buying stocks gradually over time through well-managed, diversified mutual funds . When the broad stock market suffers a substantial decline and stocks are at reduced prices — on sale — you can step up your buying. 4. Identify Your Portfolio’s Problems Stock market declines can be effective at quickly exposing problems with your portfolio, such as having too many investments from the same industry. For example, when technology stocks tumbled in the early 2000s, I started getting lots of e-mails and letters from investors who had loaded up on these stocks and wanted my advice on what they should do with their holdings. Many of these investors kept thinking about how much more their technology stocks were worth at their peak before the decline set in. I urged such investors to acknowledge the huge risk they were taking by putting so many eggs in one basket. I also highlighted the dangers of chasing after a hot sector, and I pointed out that today’s hot sector often becomes tomorrow’s laggard. In addition to poorly diversified portfolios, a declining stock market can also expose the high fees you may be paying on your investments. Fewer investors care about getting whacked with fees amounting to, say, 2 percent annually when they’re making 20 percent yearly. But after a few years of low or negative returns, such high fees become quite painful and more obvious. 5. Avoid Growth Stocks If You Get Queasy Easily In a sustained stock market slide (bear market), the stocks that get clobbered the most tend to be the ones that were most overpriced from the period of the previous market rise (bull market). Like fads such as hula hoops, pet rocks, and Cabbage Patch dolls, in each bull market, particular types of growth stocks, such as Internet companies or biotechnology companies, can be especially hot. Predicting the duration and magnitude of a bear market is nearly impossible. Consequently, it makes sense to focus your stock investing on those stocks that produce solid long-term returns and that tend to decline less in major market declines. For instance, so-called value stocks tend to be among the safer types of stocks to hold during a bear market. Value stocks generally have less downside risk because they have relatively greater underlying asset values in comparison to their stock valuations. (Value stocks also typically pay higher dividends.) As has happened in some other past bear markets, numerous value-oriented stocks actually appreciated during the bear market in the early 2000s. 6. Tune Out Negative, Hyped Media When the stock market is crumbling, subjecting yourself to a daily diet of bad news and conflicting opinions about what to do next makes most investors do the wrong things. Just like a steady diet of junk food is bad for your physical health, a continuous stream of negative, hyped news is bad for your financial health. Dwelling on bad news doesn’t do such great things for people’s emotional health either. The economy goes through periods of expansion and occasional periods of decline (with the former generally being longer and stronger than the latter). Conflict is always occurring somewhere in the world. The business world will always have some unethical and corrupt company executives. Holding stocks always carries risk. So those who see the glass as half full and who see the positive and not just the negative build wealth by holding stocks, real estate, and small business over the long term. 7. Ignore Large Point Declines, but Consider the Percentages It drives me crazy when the news media show a one-day chart of a major stock market index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, on a day when the index drops a large number of points. In recent years, 200- and 300-point drops in the Dow happened fairly frequently. Look at an index’s percentage decline rather than at its point decline. Although 200 to 300 points sounds like a horrendous drop, such a drop amounts to a move of about 2 percent for an index trading around 12,500. No one likes losing that portion of their wealth invested in stocks in one day, but the percentage of change sounds less horrifying than the point change. 8. Don’t Believe You Need a Rich Dad to Be a Successful Investor A young man wrote to me about an interview that he had read about the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, by author Robert Kiyosaki. In the interview, Kiyosaki said that the rich are different from the rest of the population because “They teach their children how to be rich. . . . These get-rich techniques include investing with leverage . . . and staying away from mutual funds and 401(k)s, which are way too risky.” The young man came from a humble background and had been salting money away in mutual funds through his company’s retirement plan. But he thought that he may be doomed to a lifetime of poverty after reading what the Rich Dad guru had to say. Luckily, I was able to set the young man straight. I’ve known plenty of people over the years who have come from nonwealthy families and have built substantial wealth by living within their means and investing in the three wealth-building assets that I focus on in this book: stocks, real estate, and small business. In addition to Kiyosaki saying that mutual funds and 401(k)s are way too risky, he also says, “Those vehicles are only good for about 20 percent of the population, people making $100,000 or more.” I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, my experience is that mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are tailor-made for nonwealthy people who don’t have the assets to properly create a diversified portfolio themselves. Kiyosaki also says that he doesn’t like mutual funds because “Mutual funds have got no insurance from a stock market crash. The best way to reduce the risk of investing in stocks is to diversify your holdings not only in a variety of stocks, which is precisely what good stock mutual funds do, but also in other investments that don’t move in tandem with the stock market (such as bond funds). Kiyosaki claims that he invests with the benefit of insurance when investing in real estate. He says, “My banker requires me to have insurance from catastrophic losses.” This is a nonsensical comparison because such an insurance policy would cover losses from say, a fire, but not from a decline in market value of the real estate due to overall market conditions. Interestingly, Kiyosaki followers got clobbered by piling into real estate, which dropped sharply in most areas in the mid- to late-2000s. 9. Understand the Financial Markets When the going gets tough in the stock market, you can easily lose perspective and start making rash decisions. Instead, you must have the long-term perspective you need to succeed with stock investing, and you really need to understand how the financial markets work. 10. Talk to People Who Care about You Life’s challenging events can be humbling and sometimes depressing. Holding an investment that’s dropped a lot in value — whether it’s a stock, a mutual fund, real estate, or a small business — is one such event. But you don’t have to carry the burden yourself. Talk about your feelings with someone who understands and cares about you. Be clear about and communicate what you’re seeking — empathy, good listening, a sounding board, or advice. This article was written using the information from the book Investing for dummies, 7th edition by Eric Tyson. If you want to learn everything about investing I really recommend reading it.
  14. What affects the Bitcoin market growth?

    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 drivers 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 retainers 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.
  15. If you want to know what is Ethereum and how it works and what it can be used for, without going deep into the technical abyss, this guide is perfect for you. At its simplest, Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications. One key difference in open blockchains (such as bitcoin and ethereum) is that users can generate an identification number for their funds at any time. They don’t need to wait for a bank to approve a bank account application and present the credit card. What is Ethereum? Before it is possible to understand ethereum, it helps to first understand the world wide web. Now, our private information, passwords and financial details are all mainly stored on other people's computers - from servers and clouds owned by companies such as Amazon, Facebook or even Google. This setup has numerous conveniences, since these businesses deploy teams of experts to help secure and store this information, and eliminate the prices that have bandwidth and hosting. But with this advantage, there's also vulnerability. As we have learned, either a hacker or even a government may gain unwelcome access to your documents without your knowing, by changing or assaulting a third-party support, meaning that they could steal, flow or change significant info. Brian Behlendorf, founder of the Apache Web Server, which has gone so far as to label this centralized design the "original sin" of the net. Some like Behlendorf claim the Net was always intended to be decentralized, and also a splintered movement has sprung up about using new resources, like blockchain technology, to help accomplish this objective. Ethereum is among the most recent FinTech technologies to join this motion. Even though bitcoin intends to disrupt PayPal and internet banking, ethereum gets the objective of utilizing a blockchain to replace web third parties -- those who store information, transfer mortgages and also keep an eye on complicated financial instruments. Ethereum - The 'World Computer' In short, ethereum wishes to become a 'World Computer' that could decentralize -- and some might argue, democratize -- the present client-server model. With ethereum, clouds and servers are replaced by tens of thousands of so-called "nodes" run by volunteers from throughout the planet (hence forming a "world"). The vision is that ethereum will allow the exact same performance to individuals everywhere around the world, letting them compete to supply services in addition to this infrastructure. Scrolling through a normal app shop, by way of instance, you will see a number of vibrant squares representing everything from banks to fitness center to messaging programs. These programs trust the business (or another third party support) to keep your credit card info, buying history and other personal information -- someplace, typically in servers controlled by third-parties. Your selection of programs is obviously also regulated by third parties, as Apple and Google claim and curate (or in some instances, censor) the particular programs you are in a position to download. Ethereum, if all goes according to plan, would yield control of the information in these kinds of providers to its owner as well as also the creative rights to its writer. Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs on a custom-built blockchain. Ethereum is used in payment systems, crowdfunding, gold investing, and many other cloud computing functions. Industry users include Accenture, Microsoft, Intel, a number of banks, and several blockchain startup innovators. Considering the scope of usage around the world, users have come together to form the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). In a nutshell: Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. Who Created Ethereum? In 2008, an unknown developer that goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, invented Bitcoin as a new way to send value over the net. Four year later, a new platform based off of this invention in a bid to transform the world wide web was dreamed up by a 19-year-old. A developer from Toronto, Vitalik Buterin, first grew interested in bitcoin.He co-founded the online news website Bitcoin Magazine in the same year, writing hundreds of articles on the cryptocurrency world. He went on to code for the Dark Wallet and the marketplace Egora. Along the way, he created the notion of a platform that would go beyond the use cases. He released a white paper in 2013 describing an alternate platform designed for almost any kind of program developers would want to build. The system was known as ethereum. Ethereum makes it easy to create wise contracts code that developers can tap for a selection of applications. Ethereum makes it easy to create smart contracts, self-enforcing code that developers can tap for a range of applications. For his work, Buterin was named a 2014 Thiel fellow, a contest that awards winners $100,000. Later Buterin unveiled the ethereum white paper, other programmers joined ranks. Co-founder Dr Gavin Wood composed the ethereum yellow paper, the "technical bible" which outlines the specification to its ethereum virtual machine (EVM) which manages the condition of this ledger and runs intelligent contracts, such as (notice: The Way Ethereum Works). Co-founder Joseph Lubin went on to launch the Brooklyn-based ConsenSys, a startup which specializes in construction decentralized apps. For the project off the ground, Buterin along with the other creators started a crowdfunding effort in July 2014 where participants bought ether, or the ethereum tokens that serve as stocks in the undertaking. The wise contract platform took away, swelling into the ecosystem of tens of thousands of developers as well as drawing the attention of technology giants like IBM and Microsoft. The capital from Ethereum's first $18m crowdsale and job improvement are now handled from the Ethereum Foundation, a nonprofit item based in Switzerland. What is Ether? But while nobody owns ethereum, the system which supports this operation is not free. Instead, the network requires 'ether', a exceptional part of code which may be used to cover the computational resources necessary to conduct an application or application. Such as bitcoin, ether is an electronic bearer asset (like a safety, like a bond, issued in physical form). Exactly like money, it does not take a third party to process or approve a trade. But rather than working as a digital money or repayment, ether seeks to provide "fuel" for your own decentralized programs on the network. While this may seem complex, you can think about a more tangible illustration of how tokens may power a consumer encounter. In this way, 'ether' has occasionally been known as 'digital petroleum', and carrying this analogy farther, ethereum trade fees are computed based on how far 'gasoline' the activity requires. Each activity costs an quantity of gas that is predicated on the computational power needed and how much time it takes to operate. A trade costs 500 Gasoline, as an instance, which can be compensated in ether. As an economic strategy, the rules for ether's market are somewhat open-ended. Even though bitcoin includes a hard cap of 21 thousand bitcoins, ether doesn't have a similar limitation. Eighteen million ether, at all, are mined annually. Five ether are made about every 12 seconds, each time a miner finds a block, or even a package of trades. So, nobody knows the entire amount of ether however, and the speed of ether production will not be as apparent after 2017 when ethereum intends to transfer to some other proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. This will result in an alteration in the rules of ether production, and so the mining subsidy may diminish. How to Use Ethereum Ethereum may not be as intuitive as the internet as we understand it now, but nevertheless, anyone using a pc or a smartphone may try out the platform out provided that they possess 'ether' - exceptional parts of code that enable upgrades to the blockchain's ledger. Ethereum wallets First, you will need a place to securely store your ether (or at the very least a place to store your keys). This brings us to ethereum wallets. 1 caveat is that dropping your personal key is a far bigger deal than misplacing a password: it means dropping your ether, eternally. Removing reputable parties is just a two-edged sword. Even though intermediaries are no more required to verify trades, there is no help desk to turn to for help recovering your key key. With that in mind, there are lots of alternatives for wallets to shop cryptocurrency: desktop pockets, internet wallets, hardware wallets and newspaper wallets. Selecting one depends upon your own preferences for convenience and safety. Usually both of these notions are at odds with one another: the more convenient, the more difficult the safety (and vice versa). Desktop wallets Desktop wallets run in your own PC or notebook. One choice is to download an ethereum customer (a replica of the whole ethereum blockchain). There are a couple of ethereum customers written in various programming languages and also with different performance tradeoffs. This procedure can take as much as a few days, and may only rise as ethereum rises. The wallet subsequently needs to remain in sync with the most recent trades on the blockchain. Mobile wallets Mobile customers, or 'light' customers, require less information to be downloaded to link to this network and create trades, so they're more acceptable for downloading to your intelligent phone. The lighting client alternative is much more suitable, but not as secure. Complete ethereum clients offer you a more secure means of receiving transactions since they don't have to trust miners or nodes to ship them true information -- they affirm transactions themselves. Storing personal keys on a system that's detached from the web (a method called 'cold storage') is far more difficult to hack and can be best utilized for storing big ether holdings. On the other hand, the procedure isn't quite as simple to use as if ether is saved on a smartphone or even internet-connected computerkeyboard. Hardware wallets If you’re serious about securing your altcoins I suggest storing your Ethereum on a hardware wallet. However these hardware wallets aren’t free and cost anywhere between $50-$100 (shipping not included). Today’s leading hardware wallets TREZOR, Ledger and KeepKey all supply you with the option to store Ethereum on them. These protected devices which could frequently be detached on the world wide web, and can signal transactions without being online. But this deposit-box-like system isn't a fantastic alternative if you would like to use ether often or on the transfer. Paper wallets Another cold storage choice is to publish or attentively handwrite a personal key on a slip of paper, a 'paper pocket', and lock it someplace secure as a deposit box. Online tools can create keywords straight on your own pc -- maybe not on a site's servers, which might leave keys vulnerable in the event the website is hacked. Additionally, it is likely to make keys with the command line, as long as you possess the required cryptographic packages set up to your favorite language. All that said, again, in case you lose your private key, it is gone permanently. Thus, best practice would be to devote a little additional time creating several copies of this private key and stashing them in various places that are secure, if one is lost or destroyed. How to purchase Ether Obtaining ether changes by state, or at the least by money. You want to locate someone online or in-person who's ether and wishes to trade. There is always the choice of meeting in-person to purchase or sell ether, particularly if residing in a town with regular ethereum meetups, like New York or Toronto. That is not always a choice in less populated regions. Exchanges enable users to purchase ether straight with bucks or bitcoin. Typically there's a sign-up procedure. Purchasing ether with a different currency may take an additional step. Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency, and folks around the world are more inclined to wish to trade to it in their money. Therefore, if you would like to purchase ether to get dollars, for example, the simplest way may be to buy bitcoin with an exchange and then trade that for ether. Best Ether Exchanger The best Ether exchange is Kraken because it has the best reputation and volume in the Bitcoin/Ether, USD/Ether and EUR/Ether pairs. Ether wallet options are somewhat limited, although its passionate user base has already created a few decent wallet options. Conclusion Ethereum applications are quite different than Bitcoin ones. Users with ether can join or create smart contracts (code that automatically executes the terms of an agreement so that you don’t have to rely on a third party). Bundles of smart contracts can be used to create decentralized applications ('dapps'), which you can use or join. Using Ethereum, you can create a contract that will hold a contributor’s money until any given date or goal is reached. Depending on the outcome, the funds will either be released to the project owners or safely returned back to the contributors. All of this is possible without requiring a centralized arbitrator, clearing house or having to trust anyone. While there are many competing blockchain programs out there, with the backing of the EEA by so many high profile companies, it stands to reason that Ethereum could become the go-to as more businesses seek to incorporate the technology. Now that you know what is Ethereum, what is ether and how to use it, do you want to step in and make money trading cryptocurrencies?