How To Use Bitcoin Anonymously

How To Use Bitcoin Anonymously

Bitcoin has a reputation in the public imagination for being an anonymous digital currency,

like an internet equivalent of physical cash, but that is not entirely correct. When used normally, Bitcoin is more of a pseudonymous currency and not an anonymous one. Anybody can download a simple piece of software and install it on their computer to use Bitcoin. Because it is a decentralized, peer-to-peer system, you do not need to register an account with any particular company or hand over any of your personal details (unless you choose to do so, for example with a web wallet provider). Once you have a wallet you can create addresses which effectively  become your identity within the network. This already gives an enhanced level of privacy compared to other digital payment systems, because you can begin using the network anonymously.

There is also another side to Bitcoin, however. Because transactions must be confirmed by the network, and transaction history shared between all participants, there is a public record of all transactions which anybody can access. In fact, this is really what the ‘blockchain’ is – a shared public record of everything which happens on the Bitcoin network. So, even though your personal identity as the owner of a wallet may not be public knowledge, all of the transactions you are involved in are public knowledge. This can be a problem for the privacy conscious user, not least because there may be other ways that an observer can link the wallets you use to your personal identity.

For example, most exchanges for buying and selling digital currency are centralized service providers who require at least some identity information from their customers before they can use the service. This is just one example of a service which uses Bitcoin but also requires identity information; there are many others, from casinos to online shopping sites. By analyzing the activity which is visible to anybody on the public blockchain an observer may well be able to link your personal identity with all of the wallets you use and therefore your entire transaction history. In a way, this makes Bitcoin even less private than a bank account. Fortunately there are things you can do to improve this situation.

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Bitcoin Anonymously

Basic Protection: Disposable Addresses

Many beginner’s will download their wallet software, create one or two address, and then keep using those addresses for an extended period of time. If you want privacy, then that is not the best way to use your wallet. The more you use an address the easier it is for an observer to build up a profile of your activity, whether for advertising or more sinister purposes, and even to link that activity to your personal identity.

Bitcoin addresses are not meant to be permanent locations for everything you do. Instead, it will enhance your financial privacy if you view addresses as disposable invoices – each time you are going to receive a payment you should create a new address specifically for that purpose, and then never use that address again afterwards. If you have a desktop wallet on your computer then you should be able to create any number of addresses with no problem, and no matter how many you create all of your old addresses will still be able to receive payment in case somebody sends you money using an old address they have on file for you. Most wallets today will take care of this for you, automatically creating a new address each time you want to receive a payment, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of this issue. For additional considerations in choosing which wallet software to use please read: Anonymous Bitcoin Wallets Explained.

Bitcoin Mixing

(For a more detailed look at mixing, along with a complete step-by-step guide, please take a look at another of our articles:

How to use a Bitcoin mixer / tumbler)

You can further enhance your privacy by using a mixing service. You can use this when you send a payment to somebody, when you are sending coins to your wallet from the site you bought them on, or you can even send money to another address you own through a mixing service in order to ‘launder’ it. This works by simply mixing up your coins with a large number of other coins from other sources before sending them out the other side. By doing this, it becomes difficult or impossible for an observer to link specific payments into the mixing service with specific payments coming out of the mixing service.

One popular and reasonably priced mixing service is offered by Best Mixer, who also have a dedicated TOR based service, but there are also many others about so if you like to shop around then a bit of Googling may be in order – just be careful to check for review though, because there are a couple of scam sites out there which claim to be mixers but actually steal your coins.

Buying and Selling Bitcoins Anonymously

If you want to make sure that your financial activities with Bitcoin cannot be connected back to your ‘real world’ identity, then you may well be wondering how to buy and sell Bitcoin anonymously. It is when buying your coins that you are most at risk of your digital activities being associated with your personal identity, as many sites require you to verify your identity and provide ID documents in order to make a purchase. This is to help them to avoid prosecution under money laundering laws. So if you want to stay anonymous when using bitcoin this is an important part of the process. If you cannot arrange a private deal using the methods below then you can buy using any other method and use a mixing service to transfer coins to your wallet. This will usually be enough to protect your privacy, although it isn’t quite as good as not revealing your identity anywhere in the first place and has a small cost.

Here are some instructions on how to go about arranging private deal to buy and sell coins:

#1 Using a peer-to-peer exchange where you can buy and sell with other individual users rather than a company will provide you with a better level of privacy than using a central service. Here are some example of exchanges where you can buy and sell without providing personal details or without verifying those details (meaning you can use a false name) to the website:

Bitsquare: This is an entirely decentralized exchange, in which you trade directly with another individual without needing to go through a central service provider. You download a piece of P2P software rather than going to a website. When you open Bitsquare it creates your own ‘hidden service’ on TOR with your own .onion address, routing everything through this well established privacy service to hide your IP address – which can be used to identify you. There is no registration and no need to provide even a username. You do, however, need to provide a small security deposit of 0.01 bitcoin which you get back when you have made a trade or if you cancel your offer, so if you want to buy your first bitcoin then you will probably need to get some through one of the other options first. I personally rate this as the best method to buy and sell bitcoin anonymously, but the fixed fees mean that it is expensive for small amounts.

LocalBitcoins is one very popular peer-to-peer service for buying and sell coins, which operates in many different countries around the world. When using this site you have the option of providing identity information or not. Other users will also have the option of dealing with anonymous users or requiring identity information. Many users will require some kind of identity information, either through the site’s own ID verification system or privately over chat in order to protect themselves against both fraud and government investigation. But it is still possible to arrange anonymous trades through this method.

MultiSigna As the name implies, this exchange uses multi-sig technology for all exchanges, meaning that you do not need to trust your coins to the exchange for safe keeping, or rely on the exchange to keep their own internal books accurate – everything is on the blockchain. As the users of defunct exchanges like Mt Gox will attest, this is a big bonus in terms of security, and also makes them more decentralized and directly peer-to-peer than other options. The fees start out at the standard 0.5%, but if you are a regular trader and progress through the ‘user levels’ you can take advantage of reduced fees. Coinffeine is not only peer-to-peer, but is also a decentralized exchange. Currently the only fiat payment method is OKPay, which has its own identification requirements, but you do not need to share personal information via Coinffeine itself and additional payment methods will be added in the future.

#2 When making a purchase on LocalBitcoins, users who are particularly concerned about their privacy should consider making payment in cash. This is particularly important if you are making a high volume of purchases because the volume alone may trigger a deeper investigation by your bank – for smaller amounts its less important but may possibly be preferable to some users. There are two ways to do this: an in-person trade where you meet up with somebody (often requires a larger purchase to make it worth their while coming to meet you), or ‘cash deposit’ where you go a branch of the sellers bank and deposit money directly into their account. Once you have signed up just click ‘buy bitcoins’, then underneath the list of the top offers you will see a link which says ‘Show More’ – this will show you a list of payment methods to choose from so that if you then click ‘cash deposit’, for example, you will see only offers from users wanting to sell you coins through this method.

#3 There is an ID verification system on the LocalBitcoins site, but its use is optional. Some sellers will require this, others will not. Some sellers may also ask you to send them a copy of your ID through a private message (although if you can make a cash trade either kind of ID requirement is less likely). Generally, providing your ID to an individual is better than uploading it to the main site, but some people may still be uncomfortable with this. Each seller should list their particular requirements within the advert, and you can also send them a message before opening a trade to get more information about their policies, so it is not difficult to ‘shop around’ for the right seller. Remember, however, that the offers listed here are constantly changing as different users go on and offline, so if none of the listings for your chosen payment method suit your needs it may be worth having a little patience and checking back later.

Stealth Addresses

Stealth addresses are a reasonably new feature which allows users to generate a new public address to represent any regular Bitcoin address. This means that you can then send money to this new stealth address without anybody knowing the true destination of the funds. You do need a wallet which supports this feature in order to use it, and at the time of writing it has not been widely adopted. If you want to give it a try then Dark wallet is a great place to start – its a browser wallet which works as an extension for Google chrome and includes stealth addresses as well as other privacy features.

Taint Analysis

If you have used a coin mixer then you can check how well its privacy services are performing with a taint analysis. This shows which addresses have sent coins to your address and is a good way to see whether mixing services are performing to your expectations. There are plenty of different service out there, so if one is working well you can always choose another. You can perform a taint analysis using the Blockchain website.  Here is an example link, just replace the BTC address with your address in the url to perform your own taint analysis: https://blockchain.info/taint/1dice6GV5Rz2iaifPvX7RMjfhaNPC8SXH

This will perform a kind of forensic test to see which addresses it thinks probably did send coins to the address you are checking. You can, for example, enter the address given to you for a marketplace site to check whether any observer would be able to tell whether your personal wallet sent coins to this address. Ideally you would want your personal address not to show up in the list at all when you do this kind of search, or at the very least you would want it to come up with a low taint % – meaning an observer could not say with any high degree of confidence that there was a link between the two addresses.

Article Produced By
Dean

Owner, Editor, and lead writer for Cryptorials. Cryptocurrency writer and trader since 2014.

https://cryptorials.io/how-to-use-bitcoin-anonymously/

Chris Corey

Everything you need to be a Bitcoiner in Australia

Everything you need to be a Bitcoiner in Australia

Getting into Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can be a complicated and time-consuming task for beginners.

Personally, I think that this is one of the big reasons that we haven’t seen higher levels of adoption, as the commitment of time and effort to go from casually interested to actively involved puts off a lot of people. So I am always interested in initiatives which have a chance of reducing this barrier and introducing more people to crypto. The Bitcoin Australia website seems to be one such initiative. It is essentially a kind of ‘one stop shop’ with a variety of services under one roof. The three main elements of this are:

A simple but flexible Bitcoin exchange

An education centre to teach people about Bitcoin and blockchain technology

A news desk for keeping up with the latest developments for BTC and also other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum

In reviewing the site and its services I came to the conclusion that this is an excellent place for beginner’s and casual users. More experienced and committed users may still find some useful information in the education section, which includes intermediate and advanced topics as well as the basic beginner guides, but aside from that may be happier using a range of other more specialized services. But if I had a friend in Australia who was interested in learning more about Bitcoin this is definitely where I would tell them to go to get started.

Having good quality information about topics like choosing and using a wallet in the same place that you can buy your first Bitcoin and also read the latest news to decide if now is the right time to jump on board seems great to me. I was especially impressed by the range of different options for buying Bitcoin, which include not only various forms of electronic fund transfer but also two different options for paying cash: either at a newsagent or over the counter at a bank. It is also very simple to use, which is a massive bonus for beginners.

In addition to this there are also different options for people looking to make an investment in cryptocurrency rather than buy it to use, such as a licensed crypto fund. An over the counter trading desk and ‘crypto superannuation’ round out the investment offerings. The quality of the information provided by the site is good, and the news stories are interesting, informative and relevant. You can also subscribe to an email newsletter for the latest stories, and get access to special offers as a reward. Overall I was impressed by the site and its services and would recommend it, especially for beginners but also for some more experienced users.

Article Produced By
Dean

Owner, Editor, and lead writer for Cryptorials. Cryptocurrency writer and trader since 2014.

https://cryptorials.io/everything-you-need-to-be-a-bitcoiner-in-australia/

Chris Corey

BLOCKCHAIN – Knowledge Is Power Wisdom Is Power With A Purpose

BLOCKCHAIN – Knowledge Is Power. Wisdom Is Power With A Purpose


“Quote” accredited to Solitaire Parke

Blockchain is defined as one of the most significant technological advances in modern history, potentially on a par with the internet, which has led to it being dubbed “The Internet 3.0”. Despite the incredible potential of blockchain to reshape the world as we know it, there is still little understanding of what it is, what it does and why it is so revolutionary. 

The Real Origin Of Blockchain

Blockchain was first conceptualized by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta back in 1991, although they didn’t call it blockchain. They wrote a series of papers and patents. One, in particular, was How To Timestamp a Digital Document, published in 1991, which involved a cryptographically secured chain of blocks. This is what many consider to be the first incarnation of blockchain technology. Basically, they set out to create an immutable ledger. 


Stuart Haber and W.Scott Stornetta

As Stornetta stated in an interview,
“It’s unfortunate that so few people actually read all the papers and patents, because there are a few ideas that can be mined from there that some have since reinvented because they never read the papers.” 

Nevertheless, Stornetta is humbled by the fact that his 1991 paper about Timestamping ended up inspiring the whole blockchain movement. Interestingly, even after the “blockchain” work they did, the connection between it and money was overlooked. It was not until Satoshi released the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008 that the connection became a reality and a peer to peer monetary system was created. 

There were references made to Haber and Stornetta in Satoshi’s whitepaper, 3 in fact…

Blockchain 101

Blockchain technology is not a company or an app, but an entirely new way of documenting data on the internet. The technology can be used for social networks, messengers, games, exchanges, storage platforms, voting systems, prediction markets, online shops and much more. This can be seen as a new internet, which is why some have labeled it “The Internet 3.0”

The information recorded on a blockchain can assume any form, whether it be signifying a transfer of money, ownership, a transaction, someone’s identity, an agreement between two parties, even how much electricity a lightbulb has used. However, to do so would require a confirmation from several devices namely computers on the network. 

Once an agreement also acknowledged as a consensus is reached between these devices to store any data on a blockchain, it is unquestionably there. It cannot be disputed, removed or altered without the knowledge and permission of those that made that record as well as the wider community. 

Why Is It Called A Blockchain?

Blockchain owes its name to how it works and the manner in which it stores data, namely that the information is packaged into blocks, which link to form a chain with other blocks of similar information.

It is this act of linking blocks into a chain that makes the information stored on a blockchain so trustworthy. Once the data is recorded in a block it cannot be altered without having to change every block that came after it, making it impossible to do so without it being seen by the other participants on the network.

Distributed ledgers have 4 key attributes:

  1. Recorded: stored information is timestamped.
  2. Immutable: Nothing that is recorded can be changed.
  3. Transparent: anyone can see the ledger of transactions
  4. Decentralized: the ledger exists on multiple computers, often referred to as nodes.

Essentially, each block contains the data it is recording. For example, a transaction like 1 MHV coin being sent from Tom to Jerry, as well as timestamps of when that information was recorded. It will also include a digital signature linked to the account that made the recording and a unique identifying link, in the form of a hash (think of it as a digital fingerprint), to the previous block in the chain. It is this link that makes it impossible for any of the information to be altered or for a block to be inserted between two existing blocks. In order to do so, all the following blocks would need to be edited too.

As a result, each block strengthens the previous block and the security of the entire blockchain because it means more blocks would need to be changed to tamper with any information. When combined, all of these create unquestionable storage of information, one that cannot be disputed or declared to be untrue.  It is important to note to be absolutely sure where you are sending money. On a blockchain, once a transaction is sent it is sealed and cannot be reversed.

 

 

The Three Pillars Of Blockchain Technology

Let’s go into more depth about the three main properties of blockchain technology which are;

  • Decentralization
  • Transparency
  • Immutability

Pillar #1: Decentralization

For decades now we have been subject to and use a centralized entity that stored all our data and we would have to interact solely with this entity to transact or acquire whatever information we required. 

A perfect example of a centralized system is the banks. They store all your money, and the only way that you can pay someone is by going through the bank.

When you google search for something, you send a query to the server who then gets back at you with the relevant information. That is called a simple client-server.

We have used centralized systems for many years, thinking all is well, however, they have several vulnerabilities.

  • Firstly, because they are centralized, all the data is stored in one spot. This makes them easy target spots for potential hackers.
  • If the centralized system were to go through a software upgrade, it would halt the entire system.
  • What if the centralized entity somehow shuts down for whatever reason? That way nobody will be able to access the information that it possesses.
  • Worst case scenario, what if this entity gets corrupted and malicious? If that happens then all the data that is there will be compromised.

So, what happens if we just take this centralized entity away?

In a decentralized system, the information is not stored by one single entity. In fact, everyone in the network owns the information.

In a decentralized network, if you wanted to interact or send money to someone, then you can do so directly without going through a third party. That was the main ideology behind Bitcoin and also the ideology of Markethive Coin. You and only you alone are in charge of your money. You can send your money to anyone you want without having to go through a bank.

 

Pillar # 2: Transparency

One of the most interesting and misunderstood concepts in blockchain technology is “transparency.” Some people say that blockchain gives you privacy while some say that it is transparent. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it?

The simple fact is a person’s identity is hidden via complex cryptography and represented only by their public address. So, if you were to look up a person’s transaction history, you will not see “Tom sent 1 MHV” instead you will see “1MF1bhsFLkBzzz9vpFYEmvwT2TbyCt7NZJ sent 1 MHV”. This makes the person’s real identity secure and private while still being able to see all transactions that were done via their public address – transparency. 

This image shows what the blocks and transaction details of each public address on Blockchain Explorer

 

 

This level of transparency has never existed before within a financial system. It adds that extra, and much needed, level of accountability which is required by some of these biggest institutions.

Speaking purely from the cryptocurrency perspective, if you know the public address of one of these big companies, you can simply pop it in a blockchain explorer and look at all the transactions that they have engaged in. This forces them to be honest, something that they have never had to deal with before.

That’s of course if these companies integrate the blockchain. You can see why something like this can be very helpful for the finance industry right?

Pillar # 3: Immutability

Immutability, in the context of the blockchain, means that once something has been entered into the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with. Imagine how valuable this will be for financial institutes!
Imagine how many embezzlement cases can be nipped in the bud if people know that they can’t “work the books” and fiddle around with company accounts.

The reason why the blockchain gets this property is that of the cryptographic hash function. In simple terms, hashing means taking an input string of any length and giving out an output of a fixed length. In the context of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the transactions are taken as input and run through a hashing algorithm (Bitcoin uses SHA-256) which gives an output of a fixed length.

Let’s see how the hashing process works. We are going to put in certain inputs. For this exercise, we are going to use the SHA-256 (Secure Hashing Algorithm 256).

As you can see in the above image, in the case of SHA-256, no matter how big or small your input is, the output will always have a fixed 256-bits length. This becomes critical when you are dealing with a huge amount of data and transactions. So basically, instead of remembering the input data which could be huge, you can just remember the hash and keep track.

These hash functions make it ideal for cryptography. There are certain properties that a cryptographic hash function needs to have in order to be considered secure, however, there is just one property that we’ll focus on today. It is called the “Avalanche Effect.”

What this means is even if you make a small change in your input, the changes that will be reflected in the hash will be huge. Notice the change in the hash in the image below? Just because one letter was changed from a capital letter in the input hash, to lower case, it drastically affected the output hash. 

The blockchain is a linked list that contains data and a hash pointer that points to its previous block, hence creating the chain. What is a hash pointer? A hash pointer is similar to a pointer, but instead of just containing the address of the previous block it also contains the hash of the data inside the previous block.

This one small tweak is what makes blockchains so amazingly reliable and trailblazing.

Imagine this for a second, a hacker attacks block 3 and tries to change the data. Because of the properties of hash functions, a slight change in data will change the hash drastically. This means that any slight changes made in block 3, will change the hash which is stored in block 2, now that in turn will change the data and the hash of block 2 which will result in changes in block 1 and so on and so forth. This will completely change the chain, which is impossible. This is exactly how blockchains attain immutability.

 

Conclusion

With any disruptive idea, like the Internet was back in the day, not every company will benefit or embrace this new technology immediately. Banks are clearly in the path of the disruption of the blockchain, the Big Data social network systems, the online auction, and shopping centers are as well. And companies that resist blockchain will be left behind in the Internet 3.0.
 
Forward-looking companies that convert to the blockchain to improve the privacy and security of their data and create an environment that is unfettered from political and nefarious agendas, will be the winners on top. 

Just about every company that migrates to the blockchain and new companies launch built upon the blockchain, will prosper, as long as they deliver and make their prime agenda to benefit their customers.

In the next article, we’ll see what companies have already adopted blockchain technology including Social Media and Market Networks and how it proves to benefit the user. 
 

References: Lisk, Blockgeeks

 

ecosystem for entrepreneurs

 

 

Deb Williams 

A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals. 

Chris Corey

Shorting Bitcoin 5 ways you can short bitcoin

                                

Shorting bitcoin is an investment strategy that allows traders to gain from price drops.

This concept works well for investors who are skeptical about Bitcoin’s future. When shorting, an investor borrows Bitcoin and sells it at the current market price. Later, you buy it back. This is done with the hope that by the time you are repurchasing the Bitcoin, the value will have plunged. And this means that if the value decreases it, you could purchase it back at a lower value and now have more of it. One factor you have to take into consideration is leverage. Leverage refers to the amount that you will borrow in order to execute your trading position. Leverage is calculated as a proportion of your total trade.

However, it is essential to note that shorting is a risky and challenging strategy. The trader needs to have experience of the market, be a skeptic, and have the skills to utilize some of the complicated procedures. Shorting needs knowledge and patience. Considering that the crypto market is volatile, traders need to understand all the available options for shorting BTC. In this guide, we look at different ways you can short Bitcoin.

Margin Trading

This is the ideal way of shorting BTC or other crypto assets. Margin trading entails borrowing funds from a cryptocurrency exchange to purchase a digital asset. To short Bitcoin, you will need to use FIAT currency and buy the asset. You will the short sell it, and purchase back after the market crashes. Typically there’s some interest or leverage attached to the loan. As the cryptocurrency market grows, more exchanges are enabling margin trading. You can enjoy this feature on platforms like BitMex, Ava Trade, Bitfinex, among others. Margin trading is also risky. In the event your plan is shuttled, the trading platform will close your trade sooner than you expected simply because margin trading magnifies both gains and loses.

Futures Market

It works when a buyer and a seller come to an agreement to trade their Bitcoin or other assets at a specific set price in the future. The two are bound by a contract that spells out the terms of the trade. Typically, when you get a Bitcoin futures contracts, there is a likelihood that the price of the asset will rise. At least that’s what the crypto community see it. In reality, nothing’s for sure. On the other side, when you sell a Bitcoin Futures contract, it translates to a bearish mindest, and the asset might drop in value.  In this type of trading, you’re predicting with the hope that the price of Bitcoin will go up. That way, when your contract expires you can buy Bitcoin below the market price.  However, Bitcoin futures markets are a bit difficult to find. Note that margin trading patterns exist in the professional trading world. However, platforms like OrderBook.net and Exante offer these services.

CFDs Bitcoin Shorting

Using online CFD brokers enables you to short Bitcoin. This works for retail investors who do not have an account with a broker that supports CME/CBOE bitcoin futures contracts. Platforms like eToro, AvaTrade or Plus500 offers Bitcoin shorting on CFDs on retail brokerages. CFDs (contracts for difference) work in a similar manner like futures contracts but are tailored towards retail investors. In this case, traders can bet on a price increase or decrease of Bitcoin without having to own it physically. Note that CFDs are leveraged products and they allow traders to go long or short Bitcoin using margin. Therefore, traders only have to put down a percentage of the total amount of the trade-in order to open a position. In the end, traders are able to magnify their returns if their bet pays off but also carries increased risk as losses are also magnified if the price plunges.

Bitcoin Shorting via Binary Options

Traders can also short Bitcoin through the options trading. This model involves put and call options.  Here, traders with a put option contract, have the right to sell a specified amount of Bitcoin, which you set, at a certain price at a certain period. This approach is known as the strike price. With time, the put option gains value as Bitcoin loses value compared to the strike price. Note that you are not obligated to sell the option if you don’t want to. On the other hand, a call option contract offers you the right to buy shares in the same way. This contract gives you an option to buy a certain amount of Bitcoin at a specific price until the expiration date.

Prediction Markets

You can short Bitcoin through prediction markets that work in a similar manner like gambling. In this case, you predict its price, and when you are correct, you earn a certain profit. Prediction markets are exchange-traded markets created to trade the outcome of future events. This new market feature allows traders to predict that bitcoin would decline by a certain margin, and if anyone takes you up on the bet, you will stand to profit if it comes to pass. Augur is the pioneer prediction markets on the blockchain. Other platforms to use prediction markets include Gnosis and Stox.

Risks Associated with Bitcoin Shorting

As seen above, shorting Bitcoin can be risky. The entire cryptocurrency market is extremely volatile. Based on this volatility, when you short Bitcoin, you can make profit or losses. Based on its value when short selling, your losses can extend far beyond your initial investment. Shorting Bitcoin should be done when you are confident that the prices will drop. Always monitor cryptocurrency prices and lower your losses if it starts to rise quickly. With the volatility of the cryptocurrency markets, it’s essential to understand all your options, especially if one involves hedging your future if the markets crash. Another risk of shorting is that your losses are unlimited. If you dont have a strong strategy – you might end up with your entire balance liquidated. Therefore, we recommend you to try with a few testing funds.

Conclusion

We hope that this article helped you understand a bit about shorting. Through the act of borrowing Bitcoins, selling them when the price is high and then repurchasing them when the price is low, you can earn money even when markets are on the decline. Usually shorting is not recommended for traders who are just starting because of the high risk it involves. If you decide to do it, make sure you only invest money you can afford to lose. Also, make sure to stay up to date with current related events so you can anticipate any change in the price direction. We hope this review helped you understand more about shorting bitcoin and made things a little bit more clear.

Article Produced By
Amisi Paul

https://zerocrypted.com/shorting-bitcoin-5-ways-you-can-short-bitcoin/

Chris Corey

Could Bitcoin Hit the Six-Figure Mark in Two Years?

Could Bitcoin Hit the Six-Figure Mark in Two Years?
                                  

Will bitcoin hit its biggest marks in 2021?

Bitcoin Is Set to Explode in the Next Two Years

That’s what some analysts are saying. According to bitcoin experts like “Plan B,” bitcoin could strike the $100,000 mark by the end of 2021… Around Christmas of that year to be exact. Bitcoin has been undergoing some very strange behavior, lately. The currency fell to the low $8,000 range from $9,500 in late September after Bakkt debuted to rather disappointing reception. While things picked up from there, bitcoin’s fall wasn’t quite over. Mark Zuckerberg’s upcoming testimony before Congress did a lot of damage to the currency’s reputation as well, bringing it down to the mid-$7,400 range – a position it hadn’t seen since the summer. However, it has since managed to recuperate somewhat and add about $2,000 to its overall price. At press time, it is trading for just under $9,450. Not bad considering it’s only been a few days…

Alex Mashinsky – CEO of the Celsius Network – states:

I do think Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony got a lot of people worried of a bigger retaliation from regulators, but after most of the questioning had nothing to do with cryptocurrency or Libra and with reports of China premier Xi describing blockchain as a ‘rule of law network,’ spirits have risen and the bull is back.

Bitcoin has proven itself to be quite resilient over the years, and analysts believe this strength is about to take it to its greatest position yet. Within two years, some claim, BTC will strike the $100,000 mark and become a “six-figure currency.”

Plan B comments:

Somewhere between a year and a year-and-a-half after the [May 2020] halving, so say before Christmas 2021, bitcoin should be, or should have been about $100,000. If that’s not the case, then all bets are off and [the model] probably breaks down. I don’t expect that to happen.

The holiday season is always a magical time… Especially for bitcoin. Remember in December of 2017 when the currency spiked to roughly $20,000? Christmas two years ago marked bitcoin’s highest position up to this point, though to be fair, the holiday season of 2018 brought record-breaking crashes to the currency.

After an Election Year, Lots of Action Takes Place

At the same time, 2021 makes sense when looking for years that would be “solid” for bitcoin. 2017 followed a U.S. presidential election. 2021 will be the same. The next election is set to take place in 2020, so as Plan B suggests, we may start to see bitcoin begin to expand during this time. The following year, when things calm down a bit politically, we’ll likely see bitcoin rise as it did in 2017. It’s the exact same pattern. Other persons to predict BTC’s rise to $100,000 in 2021 include Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital.

Article Produced By
Nick Marinoff

https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/56366-2/

Chris Corey

Ted Leonsis: the Economy is Shadowy Thanks to BTC

Ted Leonsis: the Economy is “Shadowy” Thanks to BTC

Billionaire Ted Leonsis has made a real name for himself when it comes to sports and gambling.

Recently, the mogul took a case to the Supreme Court that resulted in the U.S. relaxing some of its gambling laws. This led to less money flowing into illegal operations and more into legitimate gambling platforms.

Leonsis: Confused About Crypto?

No doubt Leonsis has done wonders for the gambling sector, but he seems to suffer from a viewpoint that many in his position are unable to shake. As we all know, bitcoin and cryptocurrency has opened up several doors to new kinds of online gambling, and while this been very good for the industry in a lot of ways, Leonsis is choosing primarily to associate crypto with the dark web, and unfortunately, he’s not the only one. The dark web paves the way for criminal activity in the crypto community. Those looking to buy drugs, guns and other illegal paraphernalia typically seek to use crypto make such purchases given that they are allegedly more anonymous than fiat or plastic credit cards. In a recent interview,

Leonsis explains:

Let’s take this shadowy economy which is going to explode even more with bitcoin and the dark web and bring it into the light, and if we can do that it will generate more jobs and it will generate tax revenues.

In this sense, Leonsis is potentially missing out on an entirely new side of crypto. For one thing, many people in his position – the Winklevoss Twins, for example – have learned to embrace the technology behind cryptocurrency as a means of steadying whatever infrastructure it’s looking to support, whether it be finance or warehouse supply chains.

Both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were potentially among the world’s first bitcoin billionaires in early 2018 following the currency’s explosion to nearly $20,000 in December of 2017. As some of the first investors in the currency, the sudden surge brought their net worth up and placed them on par with people like Leonsis, thereby allowing them to enjoy similar wealth but through digital means. In addition, the Winklevoss Twins have consistently showed a willingness to remain compliant with present rules and regulations. Their company the Gemini Exchange was among the first to obtain a BitLicense so that it could operate legally in New York.

Blockchain Can Help the Gambling World

Thus, blockchain and bitcoin don’t necessarily have to serve as the underlying supporters of dark web activity. It’s simply a matter of utilizing them properly. Perhaps if Leonsis were more open to the notion of blockchain appropriately serving the gambling industry, he might realize just how legitimate blockchain-based betting could be. Imagine ensuring all bets are valid by having them recorded permanently on a digital ledger. Now that’s legitimacy for you.

Article Produced By
Nick Marinoff

https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/56396-2/

Chris Corey

BLOCKCHAIN EVOLUTION – A Global Revolution

BLOCKCHAIN EVOLUTION – 
A Global Revolution

It should be clear by now that the blockchain and distributed ledger technology will play a very important role in our future, but it’s not. Blockchain adoption statistics show that half a percent (0.05%)  of the human population is currently using blockchain technology, or somewhere around 40 million people. According to an HSBC survey, 59% of consumers have never heard of blockchain and 80% of those that have heard of blockchain don’t understand it. 

According to even the most conservative estimates, this number is expected to quadruple in 5 years, and in 10 years, 80% of the population will be involved with the blockchain technology in some form. It’s just a matter of education on a simple level where the mainstream community can grasp the concept and understand that this technology stands for freedom, privacy and equality on every level in every country worldwide.

 

WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN? How Would It Serve Us?? 

courtesy of Blockgeeks

Firstly, let’s take a historical look at how this all came about. Was it just a coincidence? Society has been indoctrinated for so long and tends to stay within the status quo or have become complacent putting up with the way things are. It’s time to educate ourselves and be ready for a major shift from the world as we know it. This will benefit our quality of life and the lives of every living soul on the planet. 

Do you know what fiat currency is? Many people do not or at least don’t understand what it means. Here is a short explanation of how it has become detrimental to the economic system we all rely on today;

 

What Is Fiat Money?

 Fiat money or paper money has been defined as any money declared by a government to be legal tender. State-issued money which is neither convertible by law to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard. Intrinsically, it’s valueless money used as money because of government decree.

Throughout history, fiat currencies have had the order of rising and eventually collapsing, often due to devaluation. Initially, paper money gets introduced into an economy whereby it creates an economic boom. Over time, however, it gets overprinted, slowly building inflation and losing value.

Fiat money is a government-issued currency that isn't backed by a commodity such as gold. Essentially it gives governments' central banks greater control over the economy because they control how much currency is printed.

We all know that money is an entity that can be used in exchange for goods and services and then, of course, there is another system to keep track of its ownership and transactions?—?who owns what, who has what, and who owes how much to whom. 

Historically, it has been widely accepted we need a third-party trusted entity to keep track of money, to keep those transactions and deal with the conflicts, if applicable. But that trusted party being central banks and the Government comes with a cost in terms of efficiencies, the potential for corruption, extra fees and so forth.

The GFC Of 2008 – A Prime Example

In simple terms, let’s go back and see the money flow in a specific scenario in the USA during 2008 where the trust model did not work that well – 

People were earning more money and stored it with a central authority (i.e. banks).
The central authorities/banks started to facilitate risky loans to attract new customers and faced significant defaults on such loans. Due to the inability of the people to pay back the money, many banks collapsed and filed for bankruptcy.

Banks were also using people’s money to invest and lost all the money that the customers had trusted them with. In a nutshell, the banks lost the money that the customers deposited with them, leaving the customers no way of recovering their money.

With the banking system on the brink of collapse, the Government tried to save or bailout some institutions by offering the people’s money (i.e. tax revenue). That created extra expense and of course exceeded the Government’s budget or income, so to alleviate this, the Federal Reserve chose to print more money. There seems to be this trend of printing money to “fix” problems. Theoretically, there is no fixed limit to the amount of money a government can print. A couple billion here, a few hundred billion there, and pretty soon you have a real liquidity crisis; the kind where you are drowning in money, none of which is worth much of anything.

The Gold Standard Kept “Them” Honest

In the past, in the USA and many other countries, Gold was used as the standard where the authorities could not print more money than the gold reserves and it seemed to be a good way to ensure that we use our economy like debit cards so as to keep inflation in check. Basically, you can’t spend what you don’t have.  But now we have credit cards and can spend what we don’t have. Whatever the perceived intentions Roosevelt and Nixon had to cut ties with Gold initially, there have since been ramifications. So effectively, now the Government can print as much money as they want which brings a multitude of issues.

Primarily, with more money being printed, the value of money is reduced and the economy is impacted. As an example, if you have $100 and the country has a total of $ 1000, you own 10% of the money. If the Government prints an additional $1000, you only own 5% of the money and that decreases the value of your money. 

This is what happened in the crisis of 2008. Banks giving bad loans were the cause. Printing the money was a mitigation that helped in this specific case.

Central banking is immoral. Fiat money and its inevitable inflation are theft; the banking monopoly robs people of opportunity and prosperity; the punishment of financial dissenters, such as black marketeers, negates freedom by denying individuals the use of their own property. Central banking’s structure has become so transparently unstable and fraudulent that people have lost their confidence and sense of security in it.

Technology Rises To The Fore

Only six weeks after the crisis, on Nov 01, 2008, a new concept and technology came to light that will positively impact society, business and reshape the financial world. ?A person (or persons) by the name of  Satoshi Nakamoto created a decentralized cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin and pioneered Blockchain technology.  The idea was to create a world where no central authority can control all the money. 

“I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully
peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”?—?Satoshi Nakamoto

So, What Is A Blockchain? 

Blockchain has been defined as a digital ledger in which transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. Interestingly, Satoshi Nakamoto, who developed and released the first blockchain never actually used the word “blockchain”. Only the words block and chain. 

A blockchain consists of a number of blocks, hence the term. Each block is a record of transactions of specific data, which can contain anything from Cryptos to voting records to medical data. When one block is completed and can no longer be updated with new data, it is added to the chain and another, new block, is formed.

All the information on the blockchain is publicly available, as it’s a decentralized system. Decentralized literally means that the information is stored on many computers distributed around the globe, and there’s no specific party or authority to control it.

Visualizing Blockchain Technology

You could think of blockchain as the Google Docs service – this is a very clever metaphor from William Mougayar.

Do you still remember the good-old-times when people used to create separate Word documents, save them, and then forward them to others for editing? You might, and some of you may still be doing it.

These days, it’s much easier to use a Google Doc, which allows us to create, view, comment, and edit the information in a live document online, given that we have the link and know where it’s located.

In a similar way, blockchain allows for the distribution of information. So, there we have a Google Doc – a block – that is duplicated thousands of times across a large network of computers around the world – a chain of blocks. The network is set to update every single document or block as and when it changed.

Blockchain – More Than Crypto

The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention and has since evolved into something greater. Blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the tech community has now found other potential uses for the technology.  

Image Courtesy of Blockgeeks

 

The Problem with Centralized Infrastructure

Today on the Internet, we must constantly trust one another with sensitive data, transactions, and records. Most of our interactions on the Internet run on centralized web servers, and massive amounts of user data often exist in a single database. Current databases are designed to be controlled by “trusted” admins who can read, alter, block, and even delete data. The centralized architecture of the Internet today is not only inefficient but vulnerable to censorship and targeted attacks by both hackers and internal bad actors.

 

The Value of Decentralization

The decentralized architecture of a blockchain is a global network of computers simultaneously running the software and validating the chain of transactions is what ensures that the transaction record is never compromised. Decentralization is critical as an architectural principle. It makes a blockchain network less likely to fail, harder to attack, and harder for bad actors to game the system.

Conclusion

There are so many benefits to being on the blockchain and as more companies and industries adopt this technology the fairer, more honest and prosperous the world will become. The users of Social Media at this stage are particularly vulnerable to the issues that come with centralization being lack of privacy, data harvesting, fraud, and corruption to name a few. In the next article, we will go deeper into how the blockchain works, what industries are utilizing it and how it can positively impact social media and market networks

 

References: Blockgeeks Hackernoon

 

ecosystem for entrepreneurs

 

 

Deb Williams 

A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals. 

 

 

Chris Corey

Xi’s Accelerated Blockchain Adoption Pumps Chinese Shares

Xi’s Accelerated Blockchain Adoption Pumps Chinese Shares

China president Xi Jinping’s announcement of blockchain development

has caused a huge stir in the blockchain industry. All the blockchain-related share prices have increased and have received a huge boost as per Monday, October 28, 2019 analysis. On the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, over 60 tech stocks surged by 10%. Shares of Pantronics Holding rose by 67% on Monday in HongKong. The Shenzhen Information Technology Index also closed with a 5.3% surge. This surge is the highest recorded in 2019. Meitu shares surged as much as 30%. Other companies such as Hundsun Technologies, Easysight Supply Chain Management Co, YGSOFT Inc, rose by 10% limit. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index finished 0.8 % higher on Monday.  Chinese blockchain platform NEO also experienced quite a rise in the share price following China president’s statement. the platform’s NEO cryptocurrency pumped 40% to a high of $13.75.

The speech that created the stir:

“Xi Jinping: Blockchain is vital for China’s future”

President Xi Jinping gave a speech on Thursday, October 24th. He emphasized that blockchain will elevate China’s growth and add substantial volume to the Chinese industry. He urged the blockchain adoption in the country to happen soon as the world is going digital. “It is essential for blockchain technology to play a bigger role in building China’s strength in cyberspace, developing the digital economy and advancing economic and social development,” Mr. Xi added. 

Other Developments following the speech:

The Thursday speech of Xi Jinping was just a statement until it affected Bitcoin and other altcoin prices. Friday, October 25th saw a sudden price hike in Bitcoin as well as XRP price. Bitcoin price had crossed the $10k mark for a few minutes. The Bitcoin market is still in uptrend and analysts claim that the price will reach above $12k if the same growth remains constant. China is all set to release its own national digital currency proposed in August 2019. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) hs termed its currency as DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment System ). The currency is in the final testing stage and will be released in November.

Article Produced By
Qadir AK

Qadir Ak – Co-founder of Coinpedia Blog – His interest as crypto Author, Editor, Speaker at cryptocurrency conference has made him known as passionate blogger and startup in Asia

https://coinpedia.org/news/xis-accelerated-blockchain-adoption-pumps-chinese-shares/

Chris Corey

Is South Korea Following China on Blockchain Adoption?

Is South Korea Following China on Blockchain Adoption?

China recently announced its endorsement of Blockchain Adoption in the country.

Following this, the crypto industry got very excited and as a result, Chinese Stock prices increased. Following the lead, the South Korean Government has pledged its own Blockchain adoption. On October 28, 2019; The government announced it’s interested in Blockchain. The South Korean Government will carry out support projects to develop the blockchain industry. The Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) will invest 10 billion won ($9.0 million) funds in blockchain-related projects in 2020. Moreover, KISA will focus on promoting the blockchain project to generate institutional interests in space-related education. Some USD 3.4 million in funding will be given by the government-run National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA). NIPA will further introduce blockchain-related courses to cater to the country’s young developers, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts.

KISA “We will find more blockchain businesses this year”

Min Kyung-Sik, head of KISA said “We are going to discover a lot of ‘blockchain things’ when we say that it is a characteristic of the next year’s blockchain business. We continue to communicate with the public demand agencies to find a lot of projects to discover these projects. ” KISA till now do not have plans to invest in crypto-related projects.

NIPA “Support technology verification to discover blockchain company”

NIPA wants to focus more on technology verification business, regulatory improvement research group operation, consulting support business, and human resource development business. Yong-Joo Bang, head of the team, said, “This year, it will be conducted in the form of identifying and supporting the areas that companies need. The budget will be about 400 million won per project. I look forward to taking the lead. ” About 10 projects will be chosen for next year while one or two of them will receive funding over a number of years. Both public sector and private sector projects will be eligible to apply and application will be taken through Nov. 11

How the ICON will be affected?

ICON (ICX) is the biggest South Korea based coin. It allows information to easily be exchanged between government, banks, financial firms, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and private companies. Earlier, a crypto trader had predicted ICON prices will increase if South Korea is to accept blockchain. However, the technical indicators as of now do not show potential growth for ICON. This Blockchain Adoption news from South Korea could cause cryptocurrencies based on the country to increase, the current price position and its technical indicators provide a bearish outlook.

Article Produced By
Qadir AK

Qadir Ak – Co-founder of Coinpedia Blog – His interest as crypto Author, Editor, Speaker at cryptocurrency conference has made him known as passionate blogger and startup in Asia.

https://coinpedia.org/news/south-korea-to-adopt-blockchain-in-2020/

 

Chris Corey

HOLD is Launching a Zero-Fee Crypto Exchange with Debit Card

HOLD is Launching a Zero-Fee Crypto Exchange with Debit Card

                                  

HOLD.io has announced that its forthcoming crypto and cash exchange app with free Visa Debit card are set for release on 30th September 2019.

Bitcoin Press Release: This follows the conclusion of its successful beta program with a number of early supporters last month. 30th September 2019, London, United Kingdom: The HOLD mobile app for iOS and Android will be available in 36 countries across Europe upon launch. The Euro cash accounts can simply be topped up with a customer’s bank account located in the SEPA-region.

The app will initially support Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin; and all of these currencies can be accessed from this all-in-one mobile app. Using the HOLD app, customers are able to instantly buy, sell, and exchange crypto and cash anywhere at great rates and with zero fees. Providing a user-friendly and secure experience, the HOLD mobile app offers the perfect experience for anyone from cryptocurrency newcomers to seasoned enthusiasts. The HOLD Visa Debit Card has been made possible through a partnership with Contis, meaning users can sell crypto, and use the Visa network to spend cash at over 46 million merchants around the globe.

Crypto funds can be exchanged into cash immediately with zero fees and without the need for any bank transfers because they can spend the cash using their HOLD Visa Debit card. Users also have complete control overwhen they exchange their crypto for cash instead of this occurring automatically at the point of purchase. The card will be available to order throughout the European Economic Area, with just three exceptions: Austria, Ireland and Spain. Ordering a HOLD card in these countries will be added as soon as possible.

Guilherme Almeida, CTO at HOLD said the following about the release:

“HOLD is backed by an incredibly strong team and after months of hard work, we are very excited about our public launch. We are aiming high to provide our customers with the best app experience in the market allowing them to buy, sell and exchange crypto and spend cash using their HOLD Visa Debit card whenever and wherever they want. We like to call it their ‘all-in-one exchange in their pocket!’ ”

Security is of the utmost importance to HOLD, and as such: the HOLD mobile app has been built from the ground up to be a secure way for storing your cryptocurrency. BitGo, the world’s leading cryptocurrency custodian, is used to store your crypto and keep it safe. HOLD is authorised to conduct its services in accordance with Article 62 of the Virtual Financial Assets Act (Chapter 590 of the Laws of Malta) (the “Act”) and shall be applying for its VFA Class 3 Licence from the Malta Financial Services Authority in November 2019 in accordance with the law. HOLD remains bound to provide its services in accordance with the terms and principles established in the Act and applicable law.

Whilst also being PCI DSS compliant which means keeping card details secure at all times, HOLD also employs identity verification technology from Onfido, along with state-of-the-art fraud and money laundering prevention systems including Chainalysis for blockchain AML checks. The HOLD app received a significant overhaul with regards to functional and aesthetic design earlier this month. These significant improvements, along with revealing the much-coveted design of the HOLD Visa Debit card, represents the first in a long series of scheduled preparatory activities in the run-up to launching a full marketing campaign.

Availability

HOLD mobile app will be available in the following countries upon launch:

  • Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

HOLD Visa Debit Card can be ordered to the following countries upon launch:

  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

About HOLD

HOLD is a cryptocurrency FinTech startup that makes crypto accessible by enabling users to seamlessly sell, buy and exchange crypto and cash. The company’s vision is driven by #ZeroFeeCrypto, an initiative to remove unnecessary fees from crypto. The company also offers a HOLD Visa Debit card. Having started in early 2018, HOLD has a team of approximately 20 people based in London, Porto, Barcelona and Malta. The target market for HOLD includes experienced, novice and new cryptocurrency users.

Our Culture

Being a startup, especially in the crypto space, means HOLD is working in a very exciting area of FinTech. We work hard, play hard and are flexible with how each team member contributes. “Get things done” accurately describes our work culture and attitude to accountability, but naturally within a supportive, super-collaborative environment.

Article Produced By
Chara Oikonomidou

https://bitcoinprbuzz.com/hold-is-launching-a-zero-fee-crypto-exchange-with-visa-debit-card/

Chris Corey