Skip to content
Picture2
Forex Trading News 0

The best ZuluTrade forex signal following platform review

Financial & asset trading is an age-long engagement, it’s basically the buying and selling of financial assets in various shades using automated tools and technology. ZuluTrade is one of the multi-task trading platforms offering a plethora of copy trading options in forex, indices, cryptocurrencies stocks & cryptocurrencies market. 

Copy trading is basically a process in which traders copy trades of experienced professional traders within the financial markets so as to achieve the same results in trading. ZuluTrade provides a complete automation of these processes accompanied by modalities for feedback and knowledge sharing. As of today,  ZuluTrade has garnered over a million traders with a trading volume of over $800 billion.

Zulutrade Review

ZuluTrade Background History

Zulutrade Review

This history is coming on the heels of overwhelming requests by Zulu enthusiasts within the financial space. Zulu Trade was founded sometime in 2007 by Leon Yohai and Kosta Eleftheriou. The sole aim was to build a trading platform that seamlessly allows copy trading, in 2009 the company already had over 4,500 expert traders providing signals and copy trading portfolios. Zulu trade in 2014 added features like Zulu Guard and customer support with, it then proceeded to secure a partnership with SpotOption to create binary trading options. Zulu trade made very remarkable achievements in 2015 that eventually earned it an award (EU portfolio management license) from the European Union, this brought Zulu trade to the global scene, everyone saw its legitimacy and opportunities. 

Meet the Zulu Trading Platform

When it comes to trading on the Zulu trade platform the success of a trader hinges on his ability to spot & copy trades of expert traders in the platform. Zulu trade platform is not a ponzi scheming platform for people with an imaginary ’get rich quick’ mentality, it’s possible to see an expert trader trading & making million this week and then start losing next week but it doesn’t in any way demean the lucrativeness of Zulu trade platform, all you need to do as a trader is to do your research and find at least two  or three really good expert traders with requisite years of experience (4 or 5 years). 

Zulutrade Review

      The trading platform comprises options for trading binary options, forex, stocks and  cherished commodities like oil & indices like NASDAQ. You get the opportunity to trade these options using trading strategies of expert traders. 

The platform is stratified into two parts: 

(Part A) Signal providers: They are expert traders sharing their strategies with followers and then compensations that are dependent on the success of their strategies.  

(Part B) Followers: they may not necessarily be expert traders but they can copy strategies of expert traders and portfolio (strategies) of other followers who may have attained some levels of breakthrough while trading. 

Due to the long-standing commitment and unfretted customer support service Zulu trade has got BrokerNotes triple AAA support rating.

Features of Zulu Trading Platform: 

(1) Spreads & Commissions

Traders are mostly on the look out for this aspect because it determines their takeaway-profits while trading. The broker charges commission for every trade in addition to already existing normal spread but traders’ accounts linked to Zulu trade platform will be charged zero commission by Zulu indigenous broker’s (AAAFx). 

Spread percentage or rates (difference between buy & sell price) are given by different brokers; however the type of currency pair and time of trades too can influence the spread i.e spreads increase when there is a high market volatility and reduces when there is low market volatility. 

(2) Leverage: 

Zulutrade Review

As an experienced futures traders in centralized crypto exchanges I really find it very amusing that Zulu trade offers unique modalities in it’s leverage trading. The truth is that leverage has the potential to increase earnings as well as reduce earnings; however, it’s always important to know that using higher leverages (1:1000) implies lower margin, which will increase the margin level and the free margin, although this can lead to overtrading, account drawdown & eventual stop out. So you manage this risk better when you trade using 1:100 leverage.

(3) Trading Fees: 

Every trading platform has its trading fees and Zulu trading platform is not an exception, there is need for you to be aware of the additional cost that comes with trading on Zulu platform, fees charged  are dependent on the traded  currency pair, although this fees are not stagnant they cut into profit from time to time and intraday traders do not pay  these fees.There aren’t any other additional cost aside the above mentioned, even the expert traders you copy get paid directly by Zulu trade from the trade commission. There is a need for you to also know that Zulu trade offers a lot in terms of deposit bonus and promotions and so visiting Zulu trade websites from time to time will give you advantage and access to such mouth-watering opportunities.

(4) Minimum & Initial Deposits:

Zulu Trade understands the current global crash crunch and so it has a relatively low minimum deposit requirement. The minimum deposit required by brokers within the Zulu trade platform ranges from $1, £210, $300, 300 AUD, €250 to 25,000 JPY respectively.

(5) Countries that can use Zulu trade: 

Zulutrade Review

Zulu Trade platform is not just growing in it’s value propositions but it’s also growing in geographical coverage. Zulu accepts traders from the United kingdom, United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, Norway, Italy, Qatar, Sweden, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Kuwait and so many other countries. 

Zulu Trade platform managers understand the competitors and copycats within the trading space and so it’s necessary that you know some of the pros of Zulu trade. 

Pros of Using the Zulu Trade Platform

Zulutrade Review

(1) User-friendly trading interface that can be set-up within a very short time. 

(2) Ability to choose internal or external broker: Zulu trade has it’s own indigenous broker (AAAFX) that charges very minimal commission fees  but you can also choose another external broker to trade with. 

(3) Wide variety of traders: because it’s all about copy trading, you need alot of expert traders to follow and make the best of choice, so you can follow 5-10 traders or even more but it’s always advisable to follow numbers that you’re fully comfortable with because following 20 to 40 traders can make you become susceptible to low quality traders. 

(4) Trade with different assets: Zulu trade is multi-tasking  because you can trade on different currencies including cryptocurrencies and even commodities. 

(5) ZuluRank is one unique feature that ranks expert traders so that followers can easily spot ideal traders & make their choices. 

(6) Signal providers have different ways of earning. 

(7) The social trading features provide an opportunity to engage other traders, it makes knowledge sharing easy. 

(8) Dedicated crypto copy trading service provides an excellent opportunity for crypto enthusiasts to rake in profits. 

Cons of Zulu Trade

Following are some of the cons of Zulu Trade Platform.

(1) Has few means of payments.

(2) Becoming a signal provider can be very difficult. 

(3) Zulu rank algorithm is still not very accurate with ranking expert traders. 

(4) The social trading features are still very basic. 

(5) The use, availability  & choice of crypto-assets is determined by the brokers choice not by Zulu trade platform.

Conclusion

Having said all these, I can confidently say that Zulutrade.com offers mind boggling trading options for all shades of traders (experienced and inexperienced). It’s user base is growing at the speed of light, even though it has a user-friendly trading platform, it’s better, cheaper and more beneficial to trade with it’s indigenous broker (AAAFx). Profit trading is easy when you have the skills and the right platform to hone your skills, Zulu trade platform ensures that profitability is certain and transparent.

Forex Trading
Forex Trading News 0

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.

web hosting
Resources and Guides 0

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. 

Coins
Resources and Guides 0

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”. 

ch pic 2 1
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency News 0

Crypto and Blockchain News Highlights: Week of December 10th 2020

Crypto Highlights: MicroStrategy buys more bitcoin, India to tax crypto gains, Dow Jones to launch crypto indexes, ETH Fund to debut on Toronto stock exchange, Genesis Block acquires OMG: there is more in this week’s Crypto Highlights. 

Here at Crypto Gator; Crypto Education and top events around the industry remain part of our top priorities to keep our readers informed and entertained. A lot of fascinating stories in this week’s Crypto Highlights. 

Top Crypto Headlines By Crypto Gator

  • As Bitcoin continues to hover around the 19k mark, there are three key metrics to keep an eye on for a potential surge or breakdown. 
  • Three democratic reps have proposed a bill that would require stablecoin issuers to register with the Federal Reserve and also obtain a banking license. 
  • Canadian digital asset investment manager will launch an IPO this week to issue Ether Fund, an Ethereum exchange-traded trust on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). 

Top Stories of the Week

Crypto and Blockchain News Highlights: Week of December 10th 2020

Image Source: AXX Academy

3 key metrics to watch as Bitcoin price tries to top $20,000

As Bitcoin rallies close to the $20k mark, traders are keeping an eye for a potential break above the $19k neighborhood or a fall. The 20k region which served as the top for the previous 2017 bull-run is now serving as a key psychological resistant area with a lot of sell orders clustering around the region. 

Traders will have to watch out for key factors to determine the next possible trend. Top of the factors to keep an eye on will ultimately revolve around: trading volume, long to short ratio, and rise in funding rate. When sellers (shorts) are demanding high leverage, the funding rate tends negative. As a result, those traders will be paying up the fees. It’s good practice to assume that an extremely high funding rate could mean that traders are betting on the market downtrend. 

Most traders track volume across spot exchanges, low volume will typically indicate a lack of interest or confidence in the market. It’s necessary to be wary of Bitcoin breaking important resistance on low volume. Healthy interest should be accompanied by a decent volume. 

Traders also lookout for a “long-to-short” ratio in leading exchanges. This ratio could go a long way to determine the direction of the market in which traders are betting on. 

India Plans to Tax Income From Bitcoin Investments: Report

With recent development, Indian crypto investors or traders would have to start paying taxes on the profit released from their crypto holdings. According to The Economic Times (ET), India is reportedly monitoring and tracking crypto investors who have realized gains from the recent bitcoin rally, a move which is targeted at realizing taxes from such returns. 

The report is alleging that before the ban on crypto by the Reserve Bank in April 2018, the India tax department retrieved information about bitcoin trades carried out through banking channels at that time. Although this ban was lifted sometime in April 2018. 

The report further alleges that authorities are also monitoring gains realized by crypto investors using KYC/AML compliant exchanges like CoinDCX and also using PAN card, a national identity document. 

Although, the percentage taxable hasn’t been revealed yet most experts are projecting a possible 30% tax on crypto gains. Most investors are being advised to file their crypto gains as capital gains associated with stocks. In a newspaper report,  Amit Maheshwari commented that Bitcoin active trading will likely be treated as a speculative business and as such will be subject to normal tax rates. 

MicroStrategy Buys Additional $50M in Bitcoin

Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy remains tasty for Bitcoin as the United States business intelligence firm pulls another $50 million into the digital asset. As confirmed in a tweet made by the CEO, the firm purchased approximately 2,574 bitcoins for $50.0 million in cash in accordance with its Treasury Reserve Policy, at an average price of approximately $19,427 per bitcoin.

Following this recent move, the firm now boasts of 40,824 bitcoins in total. MicroStrategy first purchased $250 million worth of Bitcoin on August 11, followed by an additional purchase of $175 million a month later. This purchase was executed by the leading U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. 

Since announcing the decision to purchase some bitcoins in late July this year, the firm stock (NASDAQ: MSTR) has surged more than 170%. Most people now prefer to call the firm a de-facto bitcoin exchange-traded fund. 

New Draft U.S. Law Will Make It Illegal to Issue Stablecoins Without Federal Reserve Approval

A newly proposed bill introduced by three U.S lawmakers is targeting stablecoin issuers, the bill is positioned to subject private stablecoin issuers to obtaining a banking charter or license and also gaining approval from the Federal Reserve before they can be able to issue stablecoins. 

The bill was introduced by three Democratic reps: Rashida Tlaib, with support from Reps. Jesús García and Stephen Lynch. The development will require that any stablecoin issuers must be granted FDIC insurance or “otherwise maintain reserves at the Federal Reserve to ensure that all stablecoins can be readily converted into United States dollars, on demand.”

A stamp of this bill into law will require that private stablecoins issuers come under the direct supervision of the Federal Reserve. That’s in part because it “unequivocally defines stablecoins as deposits under federal law,” Rohan Grey tweeted

Stablecoins are crypto-assets backed by a fiat currency or a basket of other currencies. Such assets could be backed by the United States dollars, the Euro, or any other popular currency. Stablecoins are an essential part of the crypto industry as they are less prone to volatility associated with other crypto assets. 

This Week’s Market Sentiment

S&P Dow Jones Indices to Launch Crypto Indexes in 2021

Crypto financial products have continued to make waves this year with top traditional trading desks and firms launching crypto-based services. In the recent development, major financial data firm S&P Dow Jones Indices is on track to launch crypto indexes in 2021. According to an announcement made by the firm, they are on track to launch a customizable cryptocurrency indexing service in partnership with crypto data provider Lukka in 2021.

“We’ve been watching the digital asset space and we feel it’s at a point of institutional interest in maturity, where companies such as ours want to get in and contribute to the transparency of the marketplace,” commented Peter Roffman, global head of innovation and strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

The Crypto indices aren’t entirely new. Since 2018, Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index has been known for providing quotes on highly liquid crypto assets. The Nasdaq stock exchange has also listed a couple of crypto indices in the past. 

This move signifies S&P’s grand entrance into crypto indexing. Considering the steps the firm has taken in the past in hiring blockchain engineers, they could be in itself to capitalize more on the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. This space could be poised for intense competition which is ultimately great for the industry. 

Ethereum fund to debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Adoption for Ethereum-issued products continues to blow hot. In the most recent development, the Canadian digital asset investment manager will launch an IPO this week to issue Ether Fund, an Ethereum exchange-traded trust on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). The ETH Fund will be listed under the ticker QETH.U. This development was first conceived by Vitalik Buterin in Ontario.

The debut will feature a maximum offering of $100 million which will be open till December 12, 2020. The issuing firm 3iQ boasts of more than $400 million CAD in assets management, the company’s focus is on issuing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin related products. 

There is no doubt that this investment method is one of the most preferred investment routes for traders and investors who might not want to give up their security options and cryptocurrency custody.

The previous months have witnessed a line up of new fund offerings across and outside of the industry. Sometime in November, Gold giant VanEck reportedly debuted a Bitcoin exchange-traded note product in Germany. This is certainly setting the tone for more players to join the scene. 

Hong Kong OTC trading firm acquires OMG Network

OMG is on track for a lot of changes as Hong Kong-based OTC trading firm Genesis Block acquires the famous project. OMG is a non-custodial, layer-2 scaling solution built for the Ethereum blockchain. This acquisition was made known on December 3. Genesis Block Ventures noted that they were willing to work with OMG to build “lending and trading platforms” for the DeFi space.

This acquisition will ultimately allow the firm to leverage its connection in Asia’s blockchain industry to speed up development within the OMG Network, reaching viable partnerships that will benefit the ecosystem. According to Genesis Block, they have been deeply involved in the DeFi space this year, building important relationships with FTX and Binance. 

In case you aren’t aware, Genesis Block debuted in 2017 as a Hong Kong-based trading platform, launching cryptocurrency ATMs and mining hardware. On the flip, OMG was originally known as Omisego but later rebranded in June 2020. The project is a popular cryptocurrency project which launched in 2017. 

As a second layer platform, OMG executes up to 4,000 Ethereum token transfers per second, an incredibly fast network compared to the ETH network. This acquisition could be setting the tone for some massive moves within the OMG ecosystem. 

ch pic 1
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency News 0

Crypto and Blockchain News Highlights: Week of December 3rd 2020

Crypto and Blockchain Highlights: Bitcoin market cap bridges ATH, ETH 2.0 launch date confirmed, XRP surges to 2-year highs, PayPal going big on Bitcoin, S. Korea moves to ban privacy coins;  There is more in this week’s Crypto Highlights. 

Here at Crypto Gator; Crypto Education and top events around the industry remain part of our top priorities to keep our readers informed and entertained. A lot of fascinating stories in this week’s Crypto Highlights. 

Top Crypto Headlines By Crypto Gator

  • Following the bullish trend and the proposed Spark airdrop for XRP holders, XRP has rallied to hit $0.79, setting a new 2-year high.
  • Despite a slow start of users’ deposit to the ETH 2.0 contract address, the deadline was met just in time, confirming the possibility of the genesis block by December 1. 
  • PayPal and Square’s CashApp are purportedly buying more than 100% of newly minted Bitcoin. 

Top Stories Across The Industry

Crypto News Highlights: Week of December 3rd 2020

Source: EWN

Ethereum 2.0 confirmed for Dec. 1 launch just hours before deadline

The wait is finally over! After 5 years of intense work on ETH 2.0, the proof of stake (POS) network has been confirmed to launch on December 1. The Ethereum deposit contract met its deposit criteria just nine hours to the deadline, with about 524,288 Ether deposited by 16,384 validators into the contract, raising the hope that the Ethereum’s genesis block will happen on Dec. 1. 

Despite the low interest that initially accompanied the staking participation, transfer to the deposit contract rallied just a few hours to the deadline. This brings the ecosystem to a whole brand new start of another era, moving the ETH network from proof of work (PoW) to a proof of stake (PoS).

As already known, the genesis participants won’t be able to withdraw their ETH deposited until the ETH 2.0 launches into Phase 1.5; an upgrade meant to merge the Ethereum mainnet with ETH2’s Beacon Chain and the sharded environment.  

Also, many ETH holders are anticipating for third-parties to launch withdrawal-enabled staking services, not minding the possibility of an exit scam. 

Singapore is exploring wholesale CBDC, local exec says

After Bitcoin and Ethereum 2.0, the most talked-about project is the CBDC project that has been proposed by the Central Bank of many countries. With China already testing the digital Yuan, Singapore is now exploring the possibilities of a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). 

Financial regulator and chief Fintech officer at Singapore’s central bank Sopnendu Mohanty reportedly told Cointelegraph that Singapore is exploring wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency or CBDC. Mohanty confirmed that there is minimal demand for a retail CBDC, the payment system infrastructure in Singapore is already built to foster fast and cheap payment services among nationals. 

As such, Singapore is very much focused on developing a wholesale CBDC rather than a retail CBDC, which would be instrumental in facilitating the settlement of securities and payments among financial institutions. 

“I don’t think we need to do any more experiments on wholesale CBDCs,” pointed out Mohanty. “Now, we should start thinking about going into production.”

Commenting on the existing regulatory framework in Singapore, Mohanty reiterated that the country has a clear regulatory framework already in place which makes it the best destination for anyone intending to launch a legal cryptocurrency business. 

Privacy Coins To Be Banned In South Korea Crypto Exchanges Next Year

The eyes of regulators have been fixed on privacy coins as they are largely untraceable and as such have been the preferred option for alleged illegals dealings. Relying on the initial announcement in early November, The Financial Service Commission in South Korea has made it clear that they won’t tolerate any dealings involving any digital assets that aid money laundry. 

This update was issued as a crucial part of the existing procedures governing the special payment act in South Korea. This regulation is intended to pin down the activities of privacy coins in the region. “Dark coin” as it was purportedly called was specifically highlighted in the regulatory documents issued. 

The group pointed out that transactions from such digital assets were largely untraceable and as such it’s extremely difficult to track illegal activities perpetrated using such assets. The aftermath of this regulation could have some negative effects on the usage of privacy coins like Monero, Dash, Zcash, etc. 

This law is expected to be enforced in March 2021. However, sometime in September, leading derivative exchange OKEx discontinued its support for Zcash and Dash trading assets on its platform in order to comply with the already proposed guidelines set by the task force.

Interoperability In DeFi Is Gaining Rapid Traction

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has gained a lot of traction and interest in the past days as total value locked (TVL) across major protocols recently hit an all-time high of $14.4 billion. While Ethereum holds the largest value, other blockchains are rising to the occasion with interoperability at the center of this paradigm shift.

Interoperability is an important aspect of the ecosystem, considering how big the DeFi landscape could become, there is every doubt that Ethereum won’t be able to capture such an enormous value.  First, we had Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), now other blockchains are already launching a wrapped token to capture value from the growing sector.

Blockchains like Wave, NEM have taken this route to establish an interoperability ecosystem within the Ethereum network while Equilibrium is building on atop Polkadot. This will ultimately enable users to stake their native token for a wrapped version of the native asset. 

This Week’s Market Wrap

Bitcoin market cap hits new all-time high and surpasses JPMorgan at $352B

Following the current Bitcoin rally, the digital asset has outperformed JPMorgan in terms of market capitalization as it hit a new all-time high. Recent weeks have been eventful for Bitcoin as it continues its parabolic run breaking major resistance with ease as it rallies near a new price all-time high.

Although Bitcoin is yet to hit a new price all-time, the noble asset has already broken its previous all-time high market capitalization, breaking through the $352 billion mark now trading above $19k per bitcoin as at November 25.

Relying on data obtained from Macro Trends, The market cap of the U.S biggest bank JPMorgan closed at $349 billion on Nov. 23 while Bitcoin market cap rallied to the $352 billion range. 

Recall that Jamie Dimon CEO of JPMorgan has been a major critic of Bitcoin, calling the digital asset a ‘fraud’ back in 2017, which resulted in Bitcoin plunging hard, recording a massive double-digit loss. Although his public sentiment about Bitcoin hasn’t changed much, there are reports that JPMorgan owns a large stack of Bitcoin after they reportedly launched JPMcoin. 

Despite this criticism, JPMorgan allegedly told his investors that “the potential long-term upside for Bitcoin is considerable,” suggesting that the digital asset could be poised for more upsides. 

Paypal Bought 70% of All Newly Mined Bitcoin Last Month as Demand Rockets

PayPal’s entry into cryptocurrency which was welcomed by a massive rally has been legendary, to say the least. The recent story has it that PayPal is reportedly buying almost 70% of all newly mined Bitcoin since the payment giant launched a cryptocurrency service. In a broader perspective, Square’s CashApp and PayPal bought more than 100% of all newly minted Bitcoin. 

Since announcing in October that the 300 million PayPal users will be able to buy cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin price has rallied, breaking through $12k at that time. Data reveals that the recent Bitcoin rally is being driven by institutional buyers. About 21 firms including Galaxy Digital Holdings and Microstrategy Inc, have stacked up a combined $14.42 billion of BTC in their reserve. This accounts for over 4% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

A big percentage of the big buy orders took place in the past few weeks, propelling the price of the digital asset higher. The limited supply of Bitcoin, coupled with the recent halving which reduced the emission rate of Bitcoin has contributed largely to the price rally amidst increased demand from both institutional and retail investors. 

XRP Price Surges to 2-Year High as Airdrop Frenzy Builds

As XRP rallies to a new 2 year high, the Spark airdrop could be part of the catalyst driving this insane move. XRP is currently trading around $0.54 after reaching a high of $0.79 from a low of $0.3 seen the previous week. Interestingly, XRP rallied to reclaim its place as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin. 

These recent highs haven’t been seen since May 10, 2018. Following this rally, on-chain data shows that the number of XRP accounts have also skyrocketed. XRP Ledger shows a 200% increase, to reach a record 5,562 in the past five days. 

Most analysts are now linking this rally to the proposed airdrop of ‘Spark’ token, a native token for a smart contract platform Flare Network. The 45 billion Spark tokens will be airdropped to XRP holders on the 12th of December and is supported by Ripple’s investment arm RippleX (formerly Xpring).

The Flare Network is a decentralized protocol already integrated with Ethereum’s Virtual Machine enabling Ethereum decentralized applications (DApps) to be deployed to Flare to support the XRP ecosystem. 

Accompanying the price surge, there has been a large exchange inflow to the tune of over 2.3 billion XRP being sent to exchanges. This data shows that most holders are already booking profit from the recent rally. 

pic2 1
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency News 0

Crypto Highlights: Week of November 20th 2020

Crypto Highlights: PayPal BTC record trading volume at Binance.US, Bitcoin ATMs up by 85% this year, $7.6B stolen in crypto since 2011, Value DeFi protocol hacked, Yet another BCH fork: There is more in this week’s crypto highlights. 

Top Crypto Headlines By Crypto Gator

Top Stories Across The Industry

Ethereum Crypto Network Apps and DeFi

Crypto Exchange Service Launched by Belarus’ Largest Bank 

The other day it was a bank in Singapore, now Belarus is in the news; has the institutional ‘FOMO’ already begun?

The largest bank in Belarus, BelarusBank has just announced launching cryptocurrency exchange services. The services adopted aim at facilitating access to the use of cryptocurrencies. It allows one to easily buy BTC (Bitcoin) in exchange for Fiat currencies such as the US dollar (USD), Russian Ruble (RUB) and Belarusian Ruble(BYN). 

Belarusbank transacts based on the optimum market price at the time of transaction. Details of service as reported on Whitebird’s website states that the service will be conducted online. Purchases and sales procedures will be carried out using Visa payment cards.

“Trading Bitcoin using Euros will soon be added to the list” says BelarusBank. 

A local media source reveals that services were initially targeting citizens of Russia and Belarus. However, plans are on-going to expand its customer base in the future. BelarusBank further plans to engage Whitebird to support the bank in providing other cryptocurrencies related services to its customers. 

Value DeFi Protocol Suffers Six Million Dollar Flash-loan Exploit.

DeFi hacks have been on the rise in 2020, from bZx protocol hack to Akropolis. Now Value DeFi is in the headlines for the wrong reasons. 

Value DeFi lost $6 million dollars to flash loan exploiter. On Friday, a thread on Twitter showed a complicated manipulation of flash loans by an attacker who made away with an estimated six million dollars.

Emilio Frangella called attention to a huge loan request of 80,000ETH from Aave amounting to about $36 Million on November 14th, 2020.  “This is the most complex exploit I’ve ever seen”, says self-described whitehat hacker and co-founder of DeFi Italy.

Value DeFi token plunged 25% from 2.73 to 2.01 at press time due to exploitation. In this incident Multi Stable vault pricing loopholes were exploited to the tune of $6million. Community discord acknowledged the exploit and had asked for some time to work on the MultiStable vault fixes.

Attackers spent $0.31ETH from profits made,  to send a message to the protocol deployer’s address, saying: “Do you really know flash loans?” As attacks on DeFi increases, Stani Kulechov of Aave commented on Twitter that  “building resilient DeFi is becoming difficult”. 

The DeFi Market to Connect with Real-world Assets for Economic Gains 

Within the last year, the financial world has experienced a boom in decentralized finance or  DeFi with over $13 billion in TVL(Total value locked).  As a technology framework, DeFi has demonstrated to the world its staggering potential to revolutionize access to business loans.

DeFi protocol offers a win-win solution for both crypto holders through incentivization mechanisms, yield farming and for borrowers through access to loans with friendly terms.

First, high volatility and over-collateralization posed significant challenges to DeFi loaning. Collateral volatility led to a loss of $6.5million DAI for MAKER alone and there may be similar occurrences in the future. Secondly, the inability of traditional businesses to borrow from DeFi as well as the real cash flow behind protocol tokens poses a major setback. 

Going forward, speculators believe that the DeFi market is in desperate need of rebuilding infrastructures and systems that can bridge the gap with traditional businesses. There needs to be a seamless interconnection between DeFi and CeFi for the decentralized products to strive better in the financial market. 

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Goes Live, will BCH Owners receive new coins? 

Since Bitcoin Cash forked out of Bitcoin, the crypto asset has been caught in a web of multiple forks arising due to one controversy or the other. After the BSV split, BCH has opened up for yet another fork. 

The highly controversial hard folk of the (BCH) Bitcoin cash blockchain has now finally been executed. A report on this says, “currently there is a clear winner in the dispute between the developer teams of Bitcoin Cash (BTC ABC) and Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN). 

A peep into the hash rate of both parties BCH, ABC and BCHN shows that BCHN  is the winner with all 73 blocks mined through the use of a BCHN software mining pool. 

Bitcoin Cash Node’s victory was expected even prior to the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, 88% of miners already declared support to  Roger Ver, Chief developer of the BCHN. More so, major exchanges like Coinbase also declared their support for BCHN. 

Dispute Behind the Hard Fork

The dispute resulted in a fork centered on the “Coinbase Rule”, which states that 8% of Mined BCH be directed to Bitcoin ABC to finance the development of the protocol. Roger Ver regards the Coinbase rule visual as a soviet-style central planner’s dream come true and as such he was against it. 

Hackers and Scammers Have Stolen $7.6 Billion in Crypto Since 201

Over $7.6 billion worth of cryptocurrencies have allegedly been stolen since 2011 by two predictable bucket names; Hacks and Scams. According to a report, $2.8 billion has been stolen via Hacks totaling about 113 attacks, with the largest being the Coincheck hack in 2018 with about $535 million worth of NEM Coin.

The United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan, and South Korea have experienced the highest number of exchange security breaches, where the United States is leading with about 13 targeted attacks. Crystal blockchain has identified 23 prominent fraudulent schemes with $4.8 billion stolen via scams. 

$7.6 billion is the total rough estimate of crypto assets stolen in the past 10 years, where China is leading the pack in terms of its major counterparts. Sadly, the number of sophisticated hacks and scams only stand to increase as the years go by. 

Coronavirus lockdown drives adoption of Bitcoin ATMs up by 85% 

Across the globe, Bitcoin automated teller machine installations surged this year due to the coronavirus-induced need for contactless transactions. The number of BTC ATMs  increased by 85% bringing the total to 11798, as reported by Coin ATM Radar

In another report by Global Trade Magazine, reveals an expanding adoption of Bitcoin as the fear of coronavirus infection accelerates market growth. Bitcoin ATMs allow for transactions using credit or debit cards, through both mobile or computer devices. 

Well over 800 BTC ATMs have been installed in October in the US only and more countries are likely to follow suit. This drives increased participation and use in cryptocurrencies the world over as Bitcoin marches stronger than ever towards mainstream adoption. With giant companies like PayPal now lending their support, cryptocurrencies are well set to step into the next wave of mass adoption. 

DeFi the odds: Total User Number up 55% in just six weeks

You cannot keep the world of Decentralized Finance out of the spotlight. DeFi has managed to record a thumping 55% growth in the total no. of users within the past six weeks in spite of the huge losses experienced in the last month. Largely due to the negativity around DeFi, many critics hastily wrote off the “DeFi bubble”. Measuring metrics however proves that the industry sustained a sector-wide growth. 

Crypto markets data aggregator Dune analytics noted that the total number of unique DeFi users increased roughly ten times over compared to statistics from last year. To give some perspective, 85,000 new users were found added to the existing number of DeFi users within the first two weeks of November 2020. 

Compound and Dydx are among DeFi’s strongest gainers in recent times. Uniswap has also expanded rapidly as the number of pairing rose by 34%. Uniswap, Curve, Sushiswap and Ox makeup for more than 91% of total Decentralised Exchanges.  

PayPal Reaches 85% of Binance.US Volume in First Month

American users are closing in on a record $25 million trading volume in Binance.US exchange, within just one month of PayPal’s crypto service launch. On 13th November,  PayPal lifted the waitlist period for its US-based customers.

PayPal began crypto offerings in collaboration with Paxos in October. Daily trade volume on Paxos trading service, ItBit exchange rose about four times within November. Following PayPal’s crypto launch, $30 million USD in day trades were recorded bringing PayPal to the front pages of major media and news platforms. 

However, PayPal still needs to cover significant ground, before it can comfortably pick up competition with exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase Pro where the daily trading volume exceeds $500 million. PayPal may however unlock the next phase of cryptocurrency mainstream adoption through its pool of 364 million retail users as operational services kick off in the US.

At this moment, PayPal supports only four cryptocurrencies: Litecoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. There are plans to expand across Europe than to go global by making its service available to all PayPal users.

What has to be mentioned is that PayPal does not allow users to withdraw their cryptocurrency from their platform, effectively defeating the whole purpose of purchasing cryptocurrencies through PayPal. Furthermore, PayPal has a track record of freezing accounts with no warning, leaving some clients with no recourse to dispute PayPal’s decision and potentially leaving some clients with major losses.

As stated previously in our post titled “4 Best Practices To Follow In Securing Your Cryptocurrency Holdings”, if you do not own the keys to your cryptocurrency wallet(s), you might as well consider the cryptocurrency as not yours. Therefore it is wisest to purchase cryptocurrencies through an exchange like Binance which lets you withdraw your crypto to your own personal wallet address.

Picture1
Resources and Guides 0

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. 

image
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency News 0

Crypto & Blockchain News – Week of November 11th 2020

Crypto Highlights: Lebanon to launch digital assets, DeFi hacks are on the rise, New Jersey introduces Crypto License, Cred files for bankruptcy, KuCoin recovered 84% of stolen crypto: more interesting details below!

This week’s crypto highlights by Crypto Gator focus on the following top stories and many others from around the world. 

Top Crypto Headlines 

  • Following Kucoin’s major hack, CEO Johnny Lyu announced on November 11 that the company has so far recovered up to 84% of total assets stolen in the recent legendary hack. 
  • Major crypto lender Cred has reportedly filed for bankruptcy following reports that its balance sheet had been “negatively impacted” by a “perpetrator of fraudulent activity”
  • The current DeFi boom has attracted a lot of bad eggs resulting in the rise in DeFi hacks despite the major decline in crypto scams in 2020. 

Top Crypto Stories

Crypto and Blockchain News

Image source: Forbes

Lebanon to launch digital currency in face of economic and financial turmoil

As the digital currency continues to gain massive adoption, most countries are now looking at launching a digital version of their native currency to curb harsh economic realities. In this light, Lebanon is now taking a similar route. As announced by the country’s central bank, Lebanon is preparing the launch of its digital currency in 2021.

“We must prepare a Lebanese digital currency project,” commented Central bank governor Riad Salameh. Salameh mentioned that they estimated that there are $10 billion stored inside homes according to the state-owned National News Agency. The digital currency is positioned to restore confidence once again in the banking system. 

The central bank has noted that the digital currency project scheduled to launch in 2021 will be instrumental in the implementation of a cashless financial system to enhance both local and international cash flow. 

According to the World Bank, the country’s personal remittance ranks almost 14% of its GDP.  This will unarguably foster a frictionless remittance system from a vast global diaspora.

Report: Crypto crimes declined in 2020, but DeFi hacks are on the rise

No doubt, 2020 has been phenomenal for Decentralized finance (DeFi), with a surge in massive interest. The adoption that accompanied the industry sector was equally matched by rising protocol hacks that have left most DeFi projects bleeding to death. 

Although, data from crypto analytics firm CipherTrace shows that the total number of crypto losses as a result of crypto theft, fraud, and hacks has plummeted from $4.4 billion in 2019 to $1.8 billion over the first 10 months of 2020, signaling a major drop in the crypto crimes. CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans further emphasized that the major drop in crypto crimes is a testament to recent breakthroughs in security measures deployed across the industry. 

Despite the decline in crypto crimes in 2020, CypherTrace further recounted that there has been a major arsenal being targeted at DeFi projects which has resulted in rising DeFi hacks which now accounts for 20% of all crypto losses due to theft. “The surge in DeFi was what ultimately attracted criminal hackers, resulting in the most hacks for the sector this year,” the report further clarifies.

West African Program Will Store Weather Data on Telos Blockchain

The march to mainstream adoption continues as more Nations look to tap into blockchain’s capabilities. This time, popular blockchain platform Telos has reached a partnership with open-source weather technology company Telokanda Weather Group. The partnership is aimed at launching a program that collates and shares weather reports in the West African region on the Telos public blockchain. 

According to information, the West African company will leverage the Telos blockchain to aid students of tertiary institutions and the farming community to record and share weather reports with the aim of improving climate research, local weather forecasting, and hurricane tracking. 

As at the time of compiling this information, Telokanda has already reached a partnership with the University of Uyo and Rivers State University in Nigeria, and also Academic City through which students will be able to launch weather tracking balloons for data tracking. 

Starting out, Telokanda plans to have each university launch one balloon per week, scaling up to daily launches by 2021, the spokesperson commented.

New Jersey Moves Closer to Crypto License With Introduction of Senate Bill

Crypto regulation has been a hot topic in the industry this year and as expected, most crypto firms are more likely to tilt towards regions that promote fair crypto regulations. Although the reason for regulations might differ with jurisdiction and as such most countries are already drafting laws to regulate crypto activities. New Jersey is the latest on this list. 

The New Jersey crypto bill “Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act” was sponsored by  Sen. Nellie Pou on Thursday, the 3rd of October. Senate bill 3132 is positioned to regulate cryptocurrency service providers under the watch of the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance.

This new bill implies that businesses and individuals will be restricted from conducting any crypto business activities unless they have appropriately obtained a license in New Jersey or have a reciprocal license in another state.

As a result, any unlicensed entities operating a crypto business in New Jersey will be charged a $500 fee a day until an application for an approved license is filed.

Digital currency lender Cred files for bankruptcy

Crypto hacks and frauds have been a bane in the industry and have contributed chiefly to the non-existence of some crypto firms that started off on a glorious note. In a recent development, Cred a digital currency service provider that gave interest on digital currency deposits has reportedly filed for bankruptcy as the company declares a negative balance sheet. 

On October 28, Cred revealed that its balance sheet had been “negatively impacted” by a “perpetrator of fraudulent activity.” Following this development, Cred had reportedly suspended customer’s withdrawals deposits to CredEarn, the company’s interest-bearing service.

In the 11 chapter bankruptcy document filed by Cred on November 7th, the company reportedly has between $50-$100 million in assets but a whopping $100-$500 million in liabilities. This shows Cred has been financially distressed for a while prior to filing for bankruptcy. 

As a result, digital currency trading platform Uphold has decoupled its relationship with Cred as announced in a blog post, Uphold went on to say that they are suing Cred LLC and its affiliates, together with Cred’s founders for alleged fraud, breach of contract, and reputational damage.

To advance from this stage, Cred has allegedly hired MACCO Restructuring Group to lead its financial advisory services towards assessing available merger and acquisition opportunities. 

KuCoin recovered 84% of stolen crypto after $280M hack, says co-founder

KuCoin hack ranks among the biggest crypto thefts in 2020. Despite the breakthrough in security enforcement, crypto exchanges are still a prime target for hackers and nefarious actors. On September 25, a popular crypto exchange was reportedly hacked for an estimated $280 million, resulting in multiple ERC20 assets and Bitcoin being whisked away from the exchange. 

In the most recent development, KuCoin announced that it has recovered the majority of funds lost in a $280 million hacking incident in September. CEO of Kucoin, Johnny Lyu announced on November 11 that the company has so far recovered up to 84% of total assets stolen in the major hack. 

According to Lyu, the recovery process involved “on-chain tracking, contract upgrade, and judicial recovery.” He further reiterated that the exchange will in the coming days publish more details on reimbursement once every detail of the hack has been ascertained. 

Kucoin is finally resuming full services gradually, so far, the exchange has resumed full trading services for 176 out of the total 230 tradable assets to date. The CEO has noted that full services for the remaining assets will open before Nov. 22. 

Every Major Bank Will Have Exposure to Bitcoin, Says Renowned Fund Manager Bill Miller

As Bitcoin continues to march to institutional adoption, there is a popular assertion that sooner than later banks will have to offer crypto financial services to be considered a full-fledged bank. Renowned Fund Manager Bill Miller has recently aligned his thoughts in this light. 

According to legendary investor Bill Miller, major banks, high net worth companies, investment houses will be left with no option than to have major exposure to Bitcoin, and consequently embrace the digital asset. 

Miller’s assertions anchor on the growing numbers of corporate entities currently gaining widespread exposures to Bitcoin, and as such he is making predictions on when other corporate entities will follow suit. High profile firms that have embraced Bitcoin in 2020 include Microstrategy’s $425 million investment, Paypal launching a cryptocurrency service, and Square’s Bitcoin investment. 

Institutional exposure is crucial for Bitcoin to gain mainstream adoption, and according to Miller, the recent moves by firms that have already embraced Bitcoin could spur other giant companies into action. 

Commenting on the attractiveness of Bitcoin investment, Miller has reiterated the limited supply of Bitcoin as a major reason why demand will always remain on the high side. Bitcoin is a decentralized ledger protocol, with a limited supply and increasing demand. Bitcoin’s supply is steadily growing at around 2.5% a year and is capped at 21 Million total supply of Bitcoin by year 2140.

%d bloggers like this: