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A Simplified Guide To Forex Trading

A Simplified Guide To Forex Trading

Here at CryptoGator, we make an emphasis on Crypto Education and keeping our readers informed about the financial world. 

The foreign exchange market commonly known as Forex market is a place where currencies are traded (buying and selling). Usually, when people move around the world, there is a need to exchange currencies to be able to conduct business activities within their host country. This process of currency exchange is termed a foreign exchange transaction and is mainly conducted in the foreign exchange market. 

One factor that makes the forex market spectacular is that there is no central marketplace for trading currencies. They are rather traded electronically or carried out over-the-counter (OTC). Traders carry out all transactions through the computer network rather than a centralized exchange. 

The Forex market is open for trading 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday with currencies traded worldwide in the major financial centers of London, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Sydney, and across almost every time zone.

The implication is that the end of a trading day in the United States is the start of a trading day in Hong Kong and Tokyo. The forex market remains extremely active any time of the day with constantly changing price quotes.  

Factors That Move The Forex Market

In practice, many factors can contribute to causing a change in currency prices in the FX market. As long as these factors remain crucial to the movement of the market, traders are on the lookout for these factors when making trading decisions. 

These factors border around macroeconomic events such as the election of a new president, or some other economic factors such as the prevailing interest rate, unemployment, GDP, the debt to GDP ratio and inflation, etc. Most top traders adopt an economic calendar to stay at the top of things concerning important economic releases that can move the market.

Categories of People Trading The Forex Market

Anyone trading the FX market would basically fall into two categories: the Hedgers and the Speculators. While these two categories of traders remain essential to the market, their role, significance, and purpose of trading the market remain distinct from one another. 

The Hedgers are always looking to mitigate extreme movements in the exchange rate. This strategy is employed by large conglomerates like Total, Dangote, and Amazon who look to reduce their exposure to foreign currency movements.

On the flip side, Speculators are risk-seeking and always looking to take advantage of the volatility in exchange rates for some decent gains. These categories of traders include large trading desks at the big banks and retail traders.

Important Terms To Note When Dealing With The Forex Market

Base currency: When quoting a currency pair, this is the first currency that appears. Looking at EUR/USD, the base currency is the Euro.

Variable/quote currency: This is the second currency in the quoted currency pair. In the case of EUR/USD, it is the US Dollar.

Bid: The Bid price is the highest price a buyer (the bidder) can pay. This is the price you will see when you are trying to sell a forex pair, usually to the left of the quotation and most times in red. 

Ask: This is the reverse of the a Bid order and shows the lowest offer a vendor is prepared to pay. This is the price you can see when you are trying to buy a currency pair, and it is normally to the right and in blue.

Spread: This is the disparity between the bid and the offer price, which is the real spread in the underlying forex market, plus the broker’s additional spread.

Leverage: Leverage makes it easier for traders to trade positions by only offering up a percentage of the trade’s maximum value. This helps merchants, with a limited amount of money, to exploit bigger positions. Leverage amplifies profits and loss.

Pips/Percentage in Point: A Pip corresponds to a single-digit shift In the 4th decimal position in a quoted-pair. This is also how traders in a currency pair refer to movements. Example, today, the GBP/USD earned 100 points.

Liquidity: A currency pair is termed liquid only if it can be purchased and sold quickly since the currency pair is exchanged or traded by several participants.

Margin: This is the amount of money necessary to open a leveraged account and is the difference between your position’s maximum valuation and the broker’s funds lent to you.

Margin call: When the overall deposited money, plus or minus any gains or losses, falls below a defined amount (margin requirement), a margin call will be triggered prompting the trader to add more capital to support the open position.

Advantages Of The Forex Market Over Other Financial Markets

  1. Low transaction costs: In practice, forex brokers make their money from spread and funding fees charged overnight on a trade. When compared to other financial markets like the commodity market, the commission charge on FX trades is quite low due to the small spread in currency pairs. 
  2. Low Spreads: Due to high liquidity in major FX pairs like USD, EUR, JPY, the Bid/Ask spread is very low for these pairs. In practice, the spread is the initial hurdle that should be overcome when the market moves in a trader’s favor. After a move above the spread, any additional pips that moves in a trader’s favor is recorded as profit. 
  3. Leverage Trading: The forex market is a high leverage market, this implies that traders pay only a fraction of the whole cost required to settle a trade. This has the potential to amplify gains or losses. This is much advantageous to experienced traders who look to make the most out of the market. 

Final Thoughts

Forex Trading can be a very daunting and intimidating task to new traders who have never been exposed to such an intricate, vast, and liquid trading environment.

However with the extensive and comprehensive educational tools, guides, tutorials, videos, and other sources available on the internet, and provided by brokers, beginners can be well on their way to making great profits through Forex Trading.

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Web Hosting Review: InterServer

Before kicking off your journey in building a professional website, one of the toughest decisions you will have to make is the choice of a web hosting services partner. Oftentimes, many factors can influence such a decision, but sticking to a hosting service that best meets your underlined requirements is considered best. 

Settling for the right web host provider is no doubt a daunting task. Choosing the right web hosting services provider is a very important process to achieve the best responsive experience on your website. 

Your choice of a web host provider depends mainly on the website’s needs, your target audience, where they’re located and what kind of content you are planning on hosting to deliver to your target audience. For example, if one is aiming to publish a news blog or an online magazine they would require less complex services compared to someone who is planning to launch a website where you publish high quality videos to render on your website. The latter brings in added complexities such as utilization of Content Delivery Networks (CDN),  Availability Zones etc to meet your website requirements. 

Making a choice can be super confusing especially when presented with a myriad of options to choose from. In this review, we will be narrowing our focus to InterServer web hosting service with an extensive view of some of the various services offered by InterServer. Whether you’re looking at a standard C-panel hosting or rolling out an Ecommerce platform, we got you covered. 

The choice to review InterServer is based on the reputation score they have amassed for the past decades they have been in existence: their ease-of-access, security, and reliability of the network. Let’s jump in to find out more.

Web Hosting Review: InterServer

InterServer Web Hosting

InterServer is one of the earliest web hosting providers that has been around for a couple of decades now. Since 1999, InterServer has been providing services to an increasing global market making it 21 years of quality service delivery to-date. InterServer is uniquely identified among its competitors for offering an all-in-one service experience for its users. In addition to the shared hosting services offered by InterServer, they also provide cloud hosting and quick servers.

Additionally, they offer colocation services to customers who will rather prefer to take ownership of their physical infrastructure. InterServer provides a wide range of server plans which comes with an extensive suite of features intended to aid the creation and maintenance of a website swiftly. 

The notable hosting server is built for customer satisfaction. The company’s four data centers are all hosted in the United States, as such American users can experience greater speed and obvious service satisfaction. 

InterServer has amassed a solid reputation for themselves in the past years which has attracted high profile clients, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Today, Interserver is a household name that stands out whenever web hosting services are mentioned. 

Top Features Of InterServer

State-of-the-art Security Architecture

Security will be your top priority if you are keen on securing every piece of information that goes into your website. With the millions of malicious files on the internet, security is a very important feature. InterServer provides everything you need to build an ironclad secured website, from providing resources necessary to fully understand website security features, to giving you the right tools to get things going. 

The Server InterShield Security Firewall utilizes machine learning to provide top security for clients, consequently blocking and shielding against malicious attackers. This feature is available across all plans by default. 

To ensure a 2 layer security protocol, users are exposed to ModSecurity tools which provide another layer of firewall defenses together with InterSheild and constantly scan hosting drives for suspicious or malicious files. 

Unlimited Domains and Websites

One of the frequently encountered challenges is the limit to the number of domains and websites that can be created by a given hosting service. Being faced with this dilemma, you will likely be constrained if you were to create another small website in subdomains or a separate website.

In more difficult scenarios, you might not have full access to the databases required to install WordPress content. InterServer is uniquely positioned in its service delivery as they decouple this barrier, providing users with unlimited domains on websites. With these features, users can conveniently have all their websites and subdomains under one server, making it easy to build and more so for maintenance. 

Users can also own and operate a large number of databases as they want. The domain manager makes it possible to add, remove, and manage extra domains separately, making it possible to run independent websites. Additionally, InterServer is greatly designed for ease-of-access, making it easy for users to conveniently navigate through databases frictionlessly. There’s always the provision to get assistance via our administrators available 24×7 to pass off some of the routine tasks such as scheduling backups, OS installations, patch upgrades for network and security protocols.  

Top Speed of Up To 522 ms

Next to security, speed should rank the highest among the features to look out for when selecting a hosting service. You are more likely to record a high bounce rate if your website loads slowly as visitors will find it hard navigating further, consequently they will leave after visiting the first page. 

InterServer has got you covered, when it comes to network speed! With an average speed of 522 ms, InterServer provides the highest speeds for website owners, giving that ecstatic experience. 

InterServer understands the importance of high-speed internet, as such, they have been keen on improving the speed of their server each month. From data obtained, the website speed currently sits at 522 ms, against 494 ms recorded in November 2019 demonstrating proof of continuous growth and higher customer satisfaction. 

Free Email Services

Having a custom email account is as important a step in the branding process of your products and services or even when it comes to integrating with a proper CRM for lead generation. Getting a hosting service that provides an in-house email service is advantageous to rely on third-party email providers like Google Workspace (formerly GSuite) for email services. 

One of the additional features users of InterServer are ultimately enjoying is free email services. InterServer provides free accounts for all hosted accounts, enabling businesses to set up professional corporate email to help keep in touch with already existing and potential customers. 

Top Customer Service: 24/7 Live Chat Support

InterServer values its client, as such they boast of one of the best customer services. Communication is the lifeblood of any venture and an important one at that, it’s instrumental in achieving customer satisfaction. 

Customer reps at InterServer respond to users’ queries in less than 5 minutes, getting issues resolved in the fastest possible time. In addition to Live Chat, users can also receive help by visiting InterServers’ knowledge base or reaching out to the phone support, ticketing, and email option.

Unlimited Storage Space

With InterServer, you probably won’t have to bother about storage size as each plan comes with an unlimited SSD storage space to meet everyday online needs. You will be less concerned about limiting file size or the amount of information you will be taking online.  This is a big advantage for resourceful websites that collate and store large data or information on a daily basis.

Should You Consider InterServer?

Based on their reliable track record and user experience, Interserver is known to parade a robust security architecture which makes it a top destination for big business names across the globe. Their top of the line security standards,superior customer service, easy to use interface and high-speed website load-time makes it a preferred and suitable choice for all kinds of websites.

Ultimately, you will most likely want to stick with a web hosting company that offers unlimited storage space as well as flexibility when it comes to managing subdomains in your website. Especially if your business or corporation is looking out for some robust expansion in the near future. 

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A simple 3 minute guide to understanding blockchain and cryptocurrencies

Learn More About Cryptocurrencies

Learn More About Cryptocurrencies

Image source: SoFi.com

Cryptocurrencies are a digital form of money, implying that they are purely digital — no physical coin or bill is issued. They are a medium of exchange for goods and services. As a peer-to-peer money system, cryptocurrencies don’t need intermediaries before they can be transferred between persons. 

Bitcoin, the first and the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The noble crypto asset was created by an anonymous person or a group of persons under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. 

There are a handful of cryptocurrencies out there, with more being created every day, however Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether USD (USDT) are the top 3 largest cryptocurrencies in existence. Since coming to the limelight, crypto assets have been gaining a lot of interest  — attracting both retail and institutional players. 

Today, most merchants and payment gateways accept crypto payments — facilitating easy and convenient payments for goods and services. Although most countries don’t have a soft landing for crypto, blockchain, the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies has found increased adoption across nations.  

Cryptocurrencies are secured by a cryptographic ledger technology called blockchain which makes it tamper-proof and immutable. Bitcoin solves one of the biggest problems associated with digital money — the problem of double-spending. In contrast to the traditional monetary system, cryptocurrencies are not issued by any central body, thus it is free from central control and manipulation. 

Ultimately, they are resistant to censorship and cannot be shut down because they are mostly decentralized. 

The Cryptocurrency Market

Cryptocurrencies are traded either in centralized or decentralized exchanges. Crypto exchanges are currently the primary contributor for transacting cryptocurrencies while centralized exchanges account for a large percentage of the total volume of cryptocurrencies traded across exchanges. 

Centralized exchanges (CEX) operate just like the traditional stock market with a single point of control. As the most commonly available and easy to use exchange, centralized exchanges are somewhat controversial as cryptocurrencies are deemed decentralized by convention. 

The notion of centralization implies that a third-party or a middle-man is employed in the conduct of transacting cryptocurrencies. Traders or users entrust their funds in the care of the middle-man as they engage in day-to-day transactions. In centralized exchanges, orders are executed off-chain

Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) in contrast are a direct opposite of their centralized counterparts. Transactions in a DEX are executed on-chain (with smart contract), in other words users or traders do not trust their funds in the hands of a middle-man or third-party. Every order (transactions) is published on the blockchain — which is unarguably the most transparent approach to cryptocurrency trading. 

The only drawback to decentralized exchanges is that it could be a bit complex for newbies who might have a difficult time navigating through the exchange. However, new generation DEX like Uniswap, Sushiwap have further simplified this process. 

They deploy Automated Market Makers (AMM) to replace the concept of Order Books. In the AMM model concept, there are no makers or takers, only users who execute trades. As already stated, AMM-based DEXs are more user-friendly. They are used conveniently and are mostly integrated into wallets like Trust Wallet, MetaMask and ImToken

Mining Cryptocurrencies

Most cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are mined. Mining is a process by which new cryptocurrency transactions are completed and new blocks added to the blockchain. Miners receive incentives for verifying transactions or adding new blocks to the blockchain. This is a competitive process, the probability of mining a block is largely dependent on the hashing power of the miner’s computer. 

For the Bitcoin network, the block reward is currently 6.25 bitcoins. For each block mined, the miner who added the block will receive 6.25 bitcoins. The rewards continue to halve every four years in a major event called Bitcoin Halving. The last halving occurred in may 11, 2020, reducing the reward from 12.5 bitcoins to 6.25 bitcoins. 

In addition to the mining rewards received, miners also earn from the transaction fees paid by users when sending, trading cryptocurrencies. Such fees could range from a few cents to several dollars. 

The mining computers pick up transactions from a pool of pending transactions, then run a check to ensure the user has sufficient funds to complete the transaction and a second check to make sure the transaction was duly authorized. 

In the event that such a user doesn’t have enough funds to cover for transaction fees, the transaction will likely revert back to the users as a failed transaction. Miners are more likely to pick up transactions with larger transaction fees.  This is why it is commonly regarded that ‘the larger the fees, the faster is the transaction execution’. 

Cryptocurrency Wallets

Cryptocurrency users have the option of choosing between online, offline or hardware wallets. Depending on the choice you make settling for a wallet with the most secure features is optimal. Although offline and online wallets have proven to be secure, hardware wallets are known to provide the highest security for your digital assets.  

Online wallets are generally free, user-friendly and readily available and as such, they are the most commonly used wallets in the crypto industry. At the same time, they’re the most vulnerable among the different types of crypto wallets. Next to a hardware wallet, an offline wallet offers relatively better security for your crypto assets. 

If you are using a cryptocurrency wallet for the very first time, sticking to a secure yet user-friendly wallet should be your number one goal. For highest security, Hardware Wallets such as the Ledger Nano X is recommended by experts. 

Backing up crypto wallets is an important process in safe-guarding crypto assets. In the event of losing one’s wallets, funds can be easily recovered unto a new wallet using the private keys or passphrases obtained from the back up. 

How Profitable Is Crypto Investment?

Cryptocurrencies are considered highly volatile assets, and as such they are subject to large price fluctuations. In theory, High risk investments implies high rewards, this is true for cryptocurrencies as well. In the event of a potential downside, the loss incurred could be devastating. This is why investment advisors preach to ‘Never invest an amount you are not willing to lose at any given point in time.’ 

The upside potentials are virtually endless, Bitcoin was trading around $1000 in early September in 2020 and is today trading above $19k. With over 6000 cryptocurrencies out there, it requires a lot of analysis to pick a good coin or token with a higher upside potential. However, the odds of earning profits in a bull market is always high since, as the popular aphorism goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats”. 

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4 Best Practices To Follow In Securing Your Cryptocurrency Holdings

Secure Your Cryptocurrency Holdings

One of the most essential lessons recommended for a newbie in the cryptocurrency space is how to safely handle and store cryptocurrency assets. This is probably the most important lesson in crypto education especially when getting started. In this space, you are your own bank and as such you are solely responsible for any potential losses incurred. 

From buying cryptocurrency using a crypto exchange to finding a secure wallet for storage & safe transaction of cryptocurrencies on a daily basis, a lot could go wrong simply due to ignorance or for not possessing enough knowledge on cryptocurrencies. So let’s talk a little about blockchain technology and how cryptocurrencies tie into it. 

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: Let’s get to know the basics! 

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency founded by an anonymous person or group of persons under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Since their inception, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have continued to march towards mainstream adoption. 

A cryptocurrency is basically a virtual or digital currency secured by a cryptographic ledger which renders it almost impossible to produce counterfeits and make it immune to double-spend. Most cryptocurrencies are decentralized and built on top of blockchain technology

A common feature among most cryptocurrencies is that they are neither issued nor controlled by any central party. As such, they are resistant to censorship and government interference or manipulation. By design, they are decentralized. 

Cryptocurrencies can be transacted directly between parties seamlessly without the need for a third party; no banks, no escrow system. Usually, a mining fee is charged for sending cryptocurrencies, which is paid by the sender. Most blockchains support lower fees of less than a cent or few cents which competes favorably with the exorbitant fees charged by banks. 

Bitcoin runs on a trustless and transparent ledger technology (blockchain) which broadcasts a copy of all its transactions to all parties involved. Every transaction is therefore visible and verifiable by everyone in the network.  

In verifying transactions blockchain technology assumes a consensus algorithm. For any changes to be made on the network, a consensus must be reached by all the peers of the network (for. Eg all miners in the case of Bitcoin). Should a proposed change fail to gain the needed consensus, such a change will be dropped by the network automatically. 

1. Choosing a Bitcoin Wallet

Buying cryptocurrency for the first time would also imply finding a trusted cryptocurrency wallet to safely store your assets. Knowing the right features to look out for when choosing your crypto wallet is of utmost importance for a crypto enthusiast. Many have experienced tragedies and at times lost faith in cryptocurrencies altogether as a result of ignorantly choosing less safe options for crypto wallets. 

Cryptocurrency users have the option of choosing between online, offline or hardware wallets. Depending on the choice you make settling for a wallet with the most secure features is optimal. Although offline and online wallets have proven to be secure, however, hardware wallets are known to provide the highest security for your digital assets.  

Online wallets are generally free, user-friendly and readily available and as such, they are the most commonly used wallets in the crypto industry. At the same time, they’re the most vulnerable among the different types of crypto wallets. Next to a hardware wallet, an offline wallet offers relatively better security for your crypto assets. With the offline wallet, you stand the risk of losing your funds only if you lose the paper slip. 

2. Crypto Wallet Security

When considering a web wallet, make sure to choose from a list of wallets that are HTTP secured (HTTPS). You can narrow down your choices based on whether the wallet is 2FA/MFA enabled and has support for a stronger password. A web wallet that does not support these features could pose some dangers to users’ funds. Blockchain.com is a good example of such an online wallet, easy to use and suitable for secure storage. Online wallets are often referred to as cloud wallets. 

If security has the highest consideration above user friendliness, cost of service etc, a hardware wallet is always recommended. Ledger Nano X is widely recognized among hardware wallets out there and to its credit has historically recorded almost zero attacks in the past.  

Most Bitcoin wallets are Multisig; meaning they require more than one key to authorize a transaction (it takes multiple parties to sign a transaction before being executed). This is another great way to secure Bitcoin from potential theft. Some popular multi-currency wallets are Trust Wallets, Coinomi, Blockchain.com mobile wallet, etc. 

If you are using a cryptocurrency wallet for the very first time, sticking to a secure yet user-friendly wallet should be your goal. Most times, losses occur due to inadequate knowledge on how to transact cryptocurrency assets. These kinds of losses are amplified if the wallet is complex; making it hard to navigate through. 

Of course, there are cases where crypto assets are lost having sent them to the wrong recipient. For example, Bitcoin is sent to an ETH address; especially when you are using multi-currency wallets. Cases like these are quite common but are also categorized as a rookie’s mistake. Therefore, wallets that do not flag an invalid address should be completely avoided. 

3. Securely Backing Up Your Wallet

You will have little or no control over your wallet if it is not properly backed up. A typical wallet consists of a private and public key. As the name implies, public keys are not secret; they can be seen by anyone without any potential consequences. Public keys carry information about all your transaction history. Anyone who gets hold of your public keys can view all your transactions history but cannot make changes to your fund balance. 

Private keys on the other hand are secret keys and are very important; they should be kept as a secret from any third party. Private keys are the master keys to your funds, anyone with your private keys can spend your funds without authorization. That string of characters is all that you need to recover your funds in the event of losing access to your mobile device or PC which stored your wallet. 

Therefore, it must be correctly copied and kept somewhere private for maximum protection. It is a good practice to save these keys in multiple offline locations. Never store your private keys online especially in an email or a central database that can be exploited. 

When choosing a cryptocurrency wallet, make sure the wallet gives you an option to export your private keys in an encrypted file. Avoid taking screenshots of your private keys or passphrase, as some apps could have access to your screen and files. 

It is also considered best practice to try restoring your funds using those private keys or passphrases to ensure that your backup works. Although, they work without failure if copied correctly. 

4. Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins!

Chances are that you probably have heard about this statement a few times! The statement became a crypto-household amidst the rising popularity among centralized exchanges which store your keys but never give you access to them. 

If you don’t own your keys, you have limited control over your funds –  it’s as simple as that! Although centralized exchanges are easy to use and best for trading, they are always the prime targets for crypto hacks, as such users can easily lose their funds in the case of a large-scale attack. 

A centralized cryptocurrency exchange can deny you access to your funds at any time, act on government directives to seize your assets or simply turn out to be a fraudulent business and steal your funds.

Keeping this in mind, cryptocurrency exchanges aren’t a good place to store your crypto assets except temporarily for trading. If it becomes paramount to move your crypto funds to an exchange, then it’s best to stick to the reputable ones

A decentralized wallet which gives you access to your private keys should be the preferred choice for storing cryptocurrency assets. Crypto security is one of the most discussed topics in the industry, yet many people aren’t paying enough attention to it.  

Most crypto thefts, hacks, and scams occur due to mistakes, negligence by users which further emphasizes the importance of crypto education, especially as crypto security is its most valuable lesson. 

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