Category Archives: Cryptocurrency
What is blockchain technology?
You’ve likely heard some of the following terms if you’ve paid attention to the world of finance: Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. But what do they mean? And why is cryptocurrency suddenly so hot?
First, we’ll explain the blockchain basics.
As society become increasingly digital, financial services providers are looking to offer customers the same services to which they’re accustomed, but in a more efficient, secure, and cost effective way.
Enter blockchain technology.
The origins of blockchain are a bit nebulous. A person or group of people known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto invented and released the tech in 2009 as a way to digitally and anonymously send payments between two parties without needing a third party to verify the transaction. It was initially designed to facilitate, authorize, and log the transfer of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain tech is actually rather easy to understand at its core. Essentially, it’s a shared database populated with entries that must be confirmed and encrypted. Think of it as a kind of highly encrypted and verified shared Google Document, in which each entry in the sheet depends on a logical relationship to all its predecessors. Blockchain tech offers a way to securely and efficiently create a tamper-proof log of sensitive activity (anything from international money transfers to shareholder records).
Blockchain’s conceptual framework and underlying code is useful for a variety of financial processes because of the potential it has to give companies a secure, digital alternative to banking processes that are typically bureaucratic, time-consuming, paper-heavy, and expensive.
Cryptocurrencies are essentially just digital money, digital tools of exchange that use cryptography and the aforementioned blockchain technology to facilitate secure and anonymous transactions. There had been several iterations of cryptocurrency over the years, but Bitcoin truly thrust cryptocurrencies forward in the late 2000s. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies floating out on the market now, but Bitcoin is far and away the most popular.
Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies don’t just fall out of the sky. Like any other form of money, it takes work to produce them. And that work comes in the form of mining.
But let’s take a step back. Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin, ensured that there would ever only be 21 million Bitcoins in existence. He (or they) reached that figure by calculating that people would discover, or “mine,” a certain number of blocks of transactions each day.
Every four years, the number of Bitcoins released in relation to the previous cycle gets reduced by 50%, along with the reward to miners for discovering new blocks. At the moment, that reward is 12.5 Bitcoins. Therefore, the total number of Bitcoins in circulation will approach 21 million but never actually reach that figure. This means Bitcoin will never experience inflation. The downside here is that a hack or cyberattack could be a disaster because it could erase Bitcoin wallets with little hope of getting the value back.
As for mining Bitcoins, the process requires electrical energy. Miners solve complex mathematical problems, and the reward is more Bitcoins generated and awarded to them. Miners also verify transactions and prevent fraud, so more miners equals faster, more reliable, and more secure transactions.
Thanks to Satoshi Nakamoto’s designs, Bitcoin mining becomes more difficult as more miners join the fray. In 2009, a miner could mine 200 Bitcoin in a matter of days. In 2014, it would take approximately 98 years to mine just one, according to 99Bitcoins.
Super powerful computers called Application Specific Integrated Circuit, or ASIC, were developed specifically to mine Bitcoins. But because so many miners have joined in the last few years, it remains difficult to mine loads. The solution is mining pools, groups of miners who band together and are paid relative to their share of the work.
Since its inception, Bitcoin has been rather volatile. But based on its recent boom and a forecast by Snapchat’s first investor, Jeremy Liew, that it would hit $500,000 by 2030 and the prospect of grabbing a slice of the Bitcoin pie becomes far more attractive.
Bitcoin users expect 94% of all bitcoins to be released by 2024. As the number moves toward the ceiling of 21 million, many expect the profits miners once made from the creation of new blocks to become so low that they will become negligible. But as more bitcoins enter circulation, transaction fees could rise and offset this.
As for blockchain technology itself, it has numerous applications, from banking to the Internet of Things. It is expected that companies will flesh out their blockchain IoT solutions. Blockchain is a promising tool that will transform parts of the IoT and enable solutions that provide greater insight into assets, operations, and supply chains. It will also transform how health records and connected medical devices store and transmit data.
Blockchain wont be usable everywhere, but in many cases, it will be a part of the solution that makes the best use of the tools in the IoT arsenal. Blockchain can help to address particular problems, improve workflows, and reduce costs, which are the ultimate goals of any IoT project.
It depends but if you are filing a Schedule C and claiming this cryptocurrency mining as self-employment income, then you will be able to claim any “necessary” and “ordinary” expense as business expense include equipment used in your business.
If this is just considered investing activities, then you would not be able to claim any deduction for the cost of equipment.
Also, please be aware that you are claiming this equipment as a business expense, you would not be able to directly expense your business equipment unless under $2,500 and you are claiming theSafeHarbor Election. For equipment over this threshold, you will be able to claim it was a business assetand take deprecation (and could possibly be eligiblefor bonus depreciation or an IRC Section 179 deduction).
Just enter the asset under your business summary page.
Please refer to thisIRS link for more information about BusinessExpenses
To enter Businessincome and expense information in TurboTax, log into your tax return (forTurboTax Online sign-in, click Hereand click on “Take me to my return”) type “Schedule c” inthe search bar then select “jump to Schedule c”. TurboTax will guideyou in entering this information
The blockchain market, cryptocurrency and ICO is growing at a tremendous rate. Every day in this area lots of information guides, new articles and analytics are published. To keep track of everything and find really important and useful materials, you need to spend a lot of time.
We are ready to do this for you! Our telegram channel ICOtoday is the source of the most necessary and up-to-date information about ICO and cryptocurrencies.
Looking at the ICO and want to figure out what’s what for? On our channel you will find educational materials for those who make the first steps in crypto investment.
Want to invest in start-ups? We publish practical recommendations for investors, as well as an ICO calendar.
Are you interested in the current agenda? With a daily digest of news and analytics, you will always be aware.
Looking for authoring content? We are preparing our own materials, reviews and analytics.
ICOtoday channel is the most important in one place.
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Cryptocurrency News – Bitcoin, Ethereum, NEO, ICO startups
Slowly and steadily, Bitcoin and altcoins are getting attention from more investors all around the world.
And why not? These cryptocurrencies are time and again proving themselves to be a safe haven against governments inflationary policies.
Thats why some people are even securing cryptocurrencies astheir retirementfunds, while some are doing pure speculation with short-term trading (i.e. buy low, sell high).
And lets not forget about those who are just starting off by looking around to find the answer to questions like:
But before we talk about the best exchanges out there, I need to tell you that its not too late to get invested in cryptocurrencies. At the time of this writing, the Bitcoin and altcoin market is at anall-time high, with a market cap of $166 billion. I believe we will cross the $250 billion mark later this year.
So now that you know youshouldinvest, heres where you need to go to do that.
Update: Due to high users demand and to focus on current user base, many exchanges have shut down new registrations. I will update this note when they start accepting new registrations. For now here are some of the top exchanges accepting new registrations:
Here is a consolidated list of best cryptocurrency exchanges with my comments:
For Acquiting Cryptocurrencies:
If you live in a country where its not easy to get Bitcoin, you can use any of these three websites. All three of them offersto buy Bitcoin using credit/debit card.
Note: This list is starting from easy to use exchanges and moving towards some of the advanced exchanges.
Binance is a rapidly growing exchange that concluded its ICO a few months back.
Though it is based out of China, it doesnt serve its native country but is open to almost all countries around the world.
Since its ICO to till date, it has grown tremendously and is now placed in top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.It now has more than 140 altcoins listed on it which are only increasing as the days are passing.
Binance being a centralized exchange has taken a unique take to expand its business and also provides a decent discount for day traders if they use BNB coins.BNB is Binance Coin which is the native currency of this platform.
Read:Binance Cryptocurrency: A Unique And Rapidly Growing Crypto Exchange
Binances fee structure is also unique. To start with they have 0.1% standard trading fee which is already quite less than other peers. You can even reduce your fee furtherif you pay your trading fee in BNB according to the below-shown structure.
To get started with Binance you need to register using your email ID and the process is quite simple & fast. Moreover, you get 1 QTUM coin as a kind gesture for registration which is limited to 10,000 QTUM coins on first come first basis. Binance is one of the few exchanges that offers mobile app for iOS and Android. Being using it for a while, I find it too easy to trade cryptocurrency while on the move. You can watch this video to learn how to use their mobile app.
They also have aggressive plans like multi-lingual support, mobile apps for both iOS and Android users,Binance Angel Program, and theCommunity Coin Per Month etc for more adoption of their platform.
Register free account on Binance
Gate is a promising cryptocurrency exchange that offers all major coins. They also have a mobile app which is functional and let you trade cryptocurrencies on the move. Also, they are running a promo where they are offering 10% discount on trading fees.
Gate.io offers multiple trading pair such as BTC Market, ETH Market, USDT Market, QTUM market. The mobile app is decent for trading on the move. You can also deposit or withdraw funds using mobile app.
Create free account on Gate.io
KuCoin is another easy and hassle-free cryptocurrency exchange. KuCoin offers many popular and unique coin such as DragonChain, $KCS and many others. Just like Binance, they offer a fully functional mobile app for Android and iOS.
To get started with KuCoin, you can deposit any crypto of your choice ex: BTC and start trading. Personally, I have been using KuCoin since last quarter of 2017 and they are getting popular day by day.
Get started with KuCoin
Changelly is one of the easiest ways to get ahold of various cryptocurrencies.
Changelly is a product of the mining pool,MinerGate, which has a proven track record of consistently good products being put out into the crypto-space.
One of the best things about Changelly is that you dont need to go through any lengthy verification or registration process. You just log in with your email ID (or any email ID) and start exchanging!
Currently, it supports more than 35 cryptocurrencies along with fiat pairs such as USD/EUR. It is one of the best and easiest to use exchanges out there.If you want to know more, check out Harshsreview on Changelly.
When you use Changelly to exchange cryptocurrency, Changelly bots connect in real time to some of the best and busiest cryptocurrency exchanges in the market to get you the best price.
Usually, when using Changelly, a crypto-to-crypto exchange takes 5 to 30 minutes.
They charge a commission fee of 0.5% on each trade, which I think is minimal in exchange for the volatility and risk that they bear on behalf of their users. In addition to the commission, a miners fee is also paid by the user and is deducted directly from their crypto balance.
But all you need in order to buy from Changelly is aVISA/MasterCard (credit/debit card) or any Changelly-supported cryptocurrency and a wallet where you want to receive your new coins.
The procedure is very simple.
Head towardCoinSutras Cryptocurrency Exchange Changelly, and follow the steps given in thisguide.
Note:Though this guide shows how to buy Ripple in exchange for BTC, the process is exactly the same to buy any other Changelly-supported cryptocurrency.
And if you want to buy cryptos using a VISA/MasterCard, then here is their officialstep-by-step guide on doing that.(Even though this guide is for buying BTC using a VISA/MasterCard, the process is the same for buying any other Changelly-supported cryptocurrency.)
Check out Changelly
Bittrex is aUS-based cryptocurrency exchange that provides you the option to trade more than 190 cryptocurrencies at a time. They are well-regulated and compliant with all of the current US rules, so crypto users need not worry about the safety of their funds.
Bittrex handles one of the largest BTC trading volumes out of all the exchanges in the world.
Here, the users (buyers/sellers) decide the rates in which they want to trade, and Bittrex charges them a small service fee for providing this platform (0.25%).
To get started with Bittrex, you need to register and log in through your email ID, but to withdraw funds, you need to do a KYC by submitting your ID documents and phone number, as well as enabling two-factor authentication for higher limits.
But one good thing about Bittrex is the account verification happens quite fast.
Bittrex supports two types of accounts:
Bittrex is a crypto-only exchange, meaning it doesnt allow you to deposit fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP, etc.
They provide access to advanced trading tools like candlestick charts and crosshairs, but the user interface is quite clean and intuitive, so newbies should have no problems.
You can visit Bittrex and open a Bittrex accountby following this official step by step guide here.
Check out Bittrex
Founded by Tristan DAgosta, Poloniex has been operational since January 2014 and is undoubtedly one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
It is based out of the United States and offers +100 cryptocurrencies to its users to trade.
When you talk about trade volumes, nothing beats Poloniex. In 2017, Poloniex had the highest volume for ETH because it supports an independent Ethereum market as well as a BTC market.
It is a crypto-only exchange, but you can start trading easily by depositing USDT (Tether dollars).
Poloniex also has zoomable candlestick charts for 5-minutes, 15-minutes, 30-minutes, 2-hours, 4-hours, and 1-day, along with a stop-limit feature for advanced cryptocurrency traders.
Poloniex charges a fee of0.15% to 0.25% on all trades depending upon whether you are a maker or a taker.
So if you are looking to trade a variety of altcoins, then you should give Poloniex a shot.
To get started with Poloniex, follow this official guide.
Remember: As soon as you sign up for Poloniex using your email,do make sure to enable two-factor authentication!
Check out Poloniex
Bitfinex is another one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges out there.
Based out of Hong Kong and operational since 2014, it gives its users the option to trade the following 13 cryptocurrencies in exchange of USD or BTC:
Unlike Bittrex and Poloniex, you can trade using USD (with a wire fee of at least $20). Also, users will need to pay a trade fee which varies from 0.1% to 0.8% (details here).
Also, whenever you withdrawal or deposit anything, you are charged a certain fee:
On Bitfinex, if you are a pro-trader, you will find advanced trading tools such as limit orders, stop orders, trailing stop, fill or kill, TWAP, and others, along with different market charts.
To get started on Bitfinex, you need toregister,verify your ID, andauthenticateyourself. It typically takes 15-20 business days aftersubmitting valid ID proof before youre accepted into the platform.
Update: on 12th January 2018 Bitfinex opened the registration but put a limit of 10000 USD or equivalent cryptos to be deposited for the account to be fully functional.
And whenever you get bored with the web version or want to trade on-the-go, you can use Bitfinexs Android and iOS mobile apps.
Check out Bitfinex
Cryptopia is another popular cryptocurrency exchange that supports buying/selling more than 400 altcoins.
They have aggressively grown to this stature and have the record of listing many cheap coins.
By cheap I dont mean that those coins are fake or scam but yeah they do list those coins that you will not find on other popular exchange.
Thier this approach makes it possible for so many cryptocurrencies to acquire good liquidity for themselves.
It is a centralized exchange based out of NewZealand that allows you to buy/sell cryptos in almost any part of the world.
Getting started here is quite easy & simple. You just need to register yourself using your email ID with a strong password. Always two-factor authentication is recommended when you are using centralized exchanges.
Here is the original post:
7 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges to Buy/Sell Any …
Step 1: Finding the users
Electroneum aims for 10s or even 100s of millions of users and has a clearly defined route to market.
We have signed agreements in place giving access to over 100m smartphone users via mobile operators (the companies that provide airtime and data to your smartphone).
Electroneum is also the first cryptocurrency to secure membership of the GSMA as part of our strategy to expand via this sector.
The viral appeal of Electroneum is immense. When a user downloads the Electroneum app they can experience mining their first Electroneum coins straight into their wallet in minutes. By allowing users to earn a handful of ETN coins per month for just being part of the Electroneum community, we can quickly grow Electroneum to be the largest used cryptocurrency in the world.
The key to mass adoption is to not just ensure people can access your currency. You must ensure the currency has utility.
Once users have Electroneum in their wallets they will start to want to experience spending cryptocurrency for the first time. Thats where the second benefit of our partnerships with mobile operators makes all the difference.
Our partners have agreed to begin the process of accepting Electroneum as payment from their customers. We are currently in negotiation with some enormous global brands who have expressed strong interest in adding Electroneum digital payments to the list of ways to pay.
We already have signed agreements in place to develop Electroneum payment integration for over 1.2 million agents, dealers and distributors in over 9 countries and have many more in negotiation.
As with all disruptive technology, the markets entrepreneurial spirit will find ways to accept and use Electroneum as our numbers of users grow into the 10s of millions.
By making our currency available to millions of people, and allowing those people to spend our currency, were poised to take cryptocurrency further than it has ever been.
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Electroneum. The Mobile Cryptocurrency.
CryptoCurrencies TradingCryptocurrencies is the Big thing at the moment.
It will be hard to not have heard about Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. The markets of these cryptocoins have gone through the roof and those that were early to get in are reaping now the fruits.But in order for you to do the same you need a little bit more information
Cryptography has everything to do with coding to keep data secure. This term is not something new. The cryptocurrency is a virtual or better said digital asset that utilizes cryptography as its security measure. That makes it thus saver and makes it very hard to impossible counterfeit unlike regular bills and coins.
and the most known of the first cryptocurrencies that were launched and opened the way for Crypto Currencies Trading on other cryptocoins. It was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym that could be a person or a group , there has been some debate about this and every now and then this story pops back up.
The system was open source and peer to peer. The most important aspect of this is that theres no central agency (like the government) that regulates or issues these cryptocurrencies or CryptoCurrencies Trading in general
The same fact made it also somewhat perfect for the business that were trying to keep their delaing off the books and unknown to the goverments and banks.
The difference being that cryptocurrencies have ICOs, initial coin offerings, and any entity or group is able to launch it as an investment, while regular companies have IPOs, or initial public offerings.
The Atlantic lays bare the actual problem with not having a central authority regulating these currencies. Because there are no checks and balances the way there are with IPOs, there are many scammers out there looking for fast cash. So, This brings me to the points that if you plan to invest in a cryptocoin and want to do some cryptocurrency Trading you better make sure that it is a save and sound currency with a good reputation.
What about for example CryptoCurrencies Trading in Bitcoin or Ethereum? . Are they smart investments? Since both are very popular, and areactually used as currency.
Some are, some might be and some are not.
Not the answer you were looking for ? look at it from this way
While there are people that state that investing in general is just gambling this is not really the case. Investment that are long-term. And broad investments are very different from active trading and more speculative investment, in the short term format it can go either way , like forex or retail commodity trading and cryptocurrencies trading falls into that category.
With active short term trading, you are predicting in a short term what the coin will do. This has been for many an amazing income when it comes to bitcoin , but keep in mind where there are winners there losers.
Since the prices go up and down so fast as in forex , you are able to buy bitcoin and lose money , there is no sure thing .
the price of these cryptocurrencies often swings from one extreme to another. For example inone day in June, the price of Ethereum plummeted from $US319 to $US0.1o.
This does not mean that you have to run now as the price recovered and then some. It just means that you have to be aware of the market like any day trading requires. This is not like buying Bitcoin forgetting about it and then just cash in and buy a car. You have to educate yourself, find the right broker and watch the markets and news for developments.
But as a price goes down it also can go up tremendously. This creates thou the fear of a bubble which will make the price eventually crash. People that cashed out before a crash are the lucky or well, educated ones and make enormous amounts of money.
So be aware of the risks but if you were not interested you would not be reading this. There sis money to be made in cryptocurrency trading.
That was my little moment of doom , now lets looks how it actually works
All cryptocurrencies follow the same general system.
It starts by a cryptocurrency choosing a base unit and how much that particular unit is worth when compared to other currencies (often, the U.S. dollar is used as a baseline).this would be the ICOs.
Here everyone goes about it a bit different and this often will already indicate what kind and how success full the crypto coin will be.
Keep in mind that there are sometimes very smart people behind it that try to push the envelope of what is done till that moment but in the end, the unitin one way or another relates to the value of other established currency, which is the format all currencies are following
Units of the new cryptocurrency are then created. When a transaction is made the units are carefully formed and preserved through algorithmic encryption, then linked together in enormous chains of data (term is blockchains) , where the currency can be tracked and exchanged.
This is not enough thou, as this is not secure enough it needs more information to keep it save. The currency units need to be timestamped and properly processed to make them more stable and harder to copy.
This can be done by a third party developer, but today most of the cryptocurrencies rather crowdsource the process to those with the correct hardware and software to mine the cryptocurrency.
This in essentially verifies the transaction and build its position online. This entire process is most of the times called the consensus protocols, there are some variations of this due to other currencies.
This it will make the currency very hard to duplicate and this forger it. Some say that it can be done but in general a good crypto currency has this part covered as it would be in most cases be simpler to just print fake bills.
Since the coins are only digital ( regardless of the nice bitcoin pictures ) there are some serious implications.
When last checked there are more than a thousand different cryptocurrencies and more are popping up every month.
Some of these are to be taken very serious and those in general are the ones we are looking at when talking about cryptocurrencies trading in general.
Others are more for fun experiments or for other reasons (that you have to ask those developers).
Besides Bitcoin (who remains the big leader of the pack) there are a few crypto currencies out there that you should take notice of if you are interested in cryptocurrencies trading online. I can mention them all but that would not really help you.
The main ones that I expect to become larger stronger and more mainstream or already are those things are, the litecoin, Dash, Ripple and last but not least Ethereum.
Since many of the uses are still in the shadow it is perceived as a way to stay under the radar for less kosher deals, it needs to become a legit means of payment for everyday life and business to succeed.
Japan makes waves in this direction allowing micropayments in supermarkets with some crypto currencies.
2.The pass-through problem.
Investors, that can be even you and me, need to hold onto and invest these currencies long-term if they are going to become a real force.
As long as they are used by companies as well as regular people to switch between other currencies but for the reason to only avoid paying the exchange rates it will not achieve the right reputation, this also reflects back on point one.
3. Continues Stability.
They need to be more save then regular currencies and remain this for a longer period of time. When Ethereum,was hacked which made a damage of around 50 million dollars. It hurt then entire Cryptocurrency world.
The cryptocurrency will have to be fully trusted to see real mainstream use which is currently still not the case. On the other hand, as long as governments keep on printing money whenever they need some regular currencies are not a better option just less volatile in most cases.
The thing is thou that crypto currencies will never go away, it simple cannot be erased or ignored anymore, the banks start to fear as they are losing business and some smart countries like some Scandinavian ones are integrating some cryptocurrencies in their society making it more mainstream and accepted.
In some years to come I expect that we would know any better and the trading would be like trading EUR US is now. That said Cryptocurrencies trading is exciting and with the right education, the right broker and exchange can be very profitable.
Enjoy but be smart careful and educated. Dont trade with funds you cannot spare and follow the markets.
Originally posted here:
Cryptocurrencies trading | your guide in the world of trading …
by Anna Bahney @annabahney January 25, 2018: 1:17 PM ET
Crypto trading will initially include only bitcoin and ethereum, with more coins offered later. Beginning in February, residents in five states will be the first to be able buy and sell — California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire — with other states following in waves until trading is available nationwide.
Starting Thursday, all users can track market data for 16 coins (including litecoin and ripple), read crypto news, and create price alerts on Robinhood.
“It is fairly obvious that people care about [cryptocurrency],” says Baiju Bhatt, co-founder and co-CEO of Robinhood. “We want to be there and help shape the way the industry goes with a better platform at a better price.”
Related: Tell me again why I shouldn’t buy bitcoin?
Cryptos can be even riskier than other investments because of extreme volatility and security risks associated with an asset in its relative infancy. But that hasn’t stopped a wave of investors looking to jump in.
Bitcoin has been the word on everyone’s lips for the past few months, as the cryptocurrency has hit record highs. It has more than doubled since October and is now trading around $11,000, though down from its high just shy of $20,000 in December.
Bitcoin is not new to Bhatt and Robinhood co-founder and co-CEO Vlad Tenev, though. They have been looking at bitcoin and cryptos for a long time, even as far back as 2010 when they were doing their own crypto mining on personal computers.
“The thing we’re seeing now, over the past year is that crypto and bitcoin are showing resiliency,” says Bhatt. “So many times people have been quick to count it out. It has gone up and gone down. Now that resiliency is something that has some real staying power.”
There’s growing demand — particularly among young people — to get in on the action.
A recent study showed that if given $5,000, 12% of Millennials would put the money into cryptocurrency over any other type of investment, according to Swell Investing. That’s compared with just 3% of those aged 45-54 and 55-64. Men were more interested than women in putting their money in crypto, with 14% of Millennial men saying they would opt for that over any other investment, compared with 9% of women.
Related: Bitcoin mania: What the big names of finance are saying
For a company that has pegged itself as democratizing capitalism and making high-end financial products available to everyone, offering crypto is a natural fit with Robinhood’s mission, Bhatt says.
“Crypto-currencies have the potential to change how money around the world works from the ground up,” he says. “It is a shift from institutions back to the people and we want to be central in creating that change.”
And Robinhood is betting their entrance into the space will make investors more comfortable at the table.
Currently, most people buy cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum at digital exchanges like Coinbase.
Robinhood will offer easy access to funds, says Bhatt. It will make bank transfers up to $1,000 instantly available to trade crypto-currencies. Any additional funds transferred will land in your account via the normal ACH transfer system.
“The products out there now for trading crypto feel a lot more like Friendster,” says Bhatt, referencing an early social network before Facebook. “It isn’t clear which are going to emerge as the best and the way people invest in crypto today will not be the way they do in the future, but we aim to be a part of the future.”
CNNMoney (New York) First published January 25, 2018: 11:22 AM ET
Originally posted here:
Robinhood trading app introduces cryptocurrency – money.cnn.com
No-commission stock trading app Robinhood will let you buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum without any added transaction fees starting in February, compared to Coinbases 1.5 to 4 percent fees in the US. And as of today Robinhood will let all users track the price, news, and set up alerts on those and 14 other top crypto coins, including Litecoin and Ripple.
Were planning to operate this business on a break-even basis and we dont plan to profit from it for the foreseeable future says Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev. The value of Robinhood Crypto is in growing our customer base and better servingour existing customers.
By essentially using crypto trading as a loss leader instead of its primary business like Coinbase and other apps, Robinhood could substantially expand beyond the 3 million users it already has. Simplifying trading and tracking could bolster Bitcoin and Ethereum. And by combining it with traditional stock, ETF, and option trading in a single app, Robinhood could further legitimize the cryptocurrency craze. The two trading worlds could cross-pollinate, dragging even more people into the crypto scene.
Robinhood founders Baiju Bhatt (left) and Vladamir Tenev (right)
Many of the startups dealing in crypto are upstarts with questionable track records. But five-year-old Robinhood has raised $176 million from top investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Index, and NEA that now value the company at $1.3 billion. Theres clear long-term benefit to rolling up crypto traders and using the feature as a wedge to get them to hold money with Robinhood where it earns interest, and pay for the Robinhood Gold premium tier for $6 to $200 a month that lets them borrow between $1,000 and $50,000.
Heres how Robinhood Crypto works. You can instantly transfer up to $1000 from your connected bank account (more if you have a Gold membership), with additional funds coming over slower ACH transfer. For smaller traders, that could eliminate the annoying delays on other platforms that can make you miss a low price you want to buy up. The whole Crypto section of Robinhood is styled with an 80s Tron design to denote the 24-hour trading window, compared to its day and night themes for when traditional stock markets are open or closed.
When you place a buy or sell order, Robinhood gives you an estimated price, connects to a slew of trading venues, exchanges, and market centers to find the lowest price, and uses its economies of scale to improve to score better prices over time. To counter market volatility, Robinhood puts a collar around your trade so if it cant execute it at close to the estimated price, it waits for the price to return or lets you know.
And in case the price of a coin skyrockets or plummets, you can place limit orders to set a price where you automatically buy or sell. The full list of coins you can track is Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Monero, Dash, Stellar, Qtum, Bitcoin Gold, OmiseGo, NEO, Lisk, and Dogecoin.
Only BTC and ETH will be available for trading when that rolls out to waves of users starting in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire in February, though more will be added. Were extremely selective about the cryptos were making available on the platform says Tenev. Were introducing those first because these are the most mature coins that people are trading these days. Multiple times people have declared them dead and theyve come back stronger than ever.
To back-up the new Robinhood Crypto feature, the company is adding new two-factor authentication options including integrations with authenticator apps to ensure people dont get their wallets stolen and dumped. There are several senior world-class people that weve hired recently that are building the system in-house says Tenev. Still, the move paints a giant target on Robinhoods back. If the company gets hacked, or individual users get robbed, it could tarnish the fintech startups reputation.
Demand for the product was clear, though. 100,000 of Robinhoods users were regularly seaching for crypto pricing and trading in its app, and 95% of those surveyed said theyd invest in cryptos if the product supported it. Robinhood even had to send a cease-and-desist to Cobinhood, a competing crypto trading app that cribbed its name and raised $10 million in an ICO.
Judging by the choices of two top startups, you could see this week as a sign of cryptocurrencys shifting purpose. Yesterday Stripe removed Bitcoin as a payment option on its platform, and now Robinhood is adopting trading. People are thinking about cryptos less from a payments standpoint and more from an assets investment standpoint Tenev explains.
Robinhood Crypto features a Tron-style 80s design motif
As for whether hes personally invested in the crypto scene, Tenev admits Im a dabbler, definitely, but I wouldnt say that its all that significant. But its a good fit for his business, which used a lean engineering team to drop stock trading fees to zero while competitors like Scottrade and E*trade can charge over $6 per trade to cover their marketing and expansive retail footprint with huge overhead. Now Robinhood has handled $100 billion in transactions, saving its users over $1 billion in fees.
[Cryptocurrency] puts power thats historically been held by financial institutions in the hands of the people. I think that lines up directly with Robinhoods mission to democratize the financial system Tenev tells me, concluding Were an established company and we can handle it. The confidence to burst into the wild west of crypto could either tank his startup with a massive security fail or greatly boost its traction by alligning with whats become a cultural phenomenon.
Disclosures: The author of this article owns small positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum, and knows Robinhoods founders from college.
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The South Korean government is preparing a bill to ban trading in all cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said Thursday.
“There are great concerns regarding virtual money,” Park told reporters in Seoul. “The government has repeatedly warned about the fact that it is a very dangerous transaction but the message has not properly been delivered,” he said.
Park didn’t give details on when the bill would be introduced in parliament. But his comments prompted bitcoin to fall sharply. The digital currency, which is known for its volatility, dropped around 14% before recovering slightly in early afternoon trading in Asia.
Related: South Korea is going bitcoin crazy
Ethereum, another cryptocurrency hugely popular in South Korea, also fell 14%.
A frenzy of cryptocurrency trading swept South Korea last year, helping propel huge gains in bitcoin and other virtual coins. The country has accounted for as much as a fifth of global bitcoin trade on some days in recent months.
But the country’s government has been moving toward greater regulation of digital currencies in recent weeks, introducing a new law in late December that gives authorities the power to shut down bitcoin exchanges.
Such moves remain a possibility, Park said, before likening cryptocurrency trading to speculation and gambling.
“The government’s basic position is that virtual currency trading is extremely dangerous and the bubble may burst anytime,” he said.
Related: Jamie Dimon regrets calling bitcoin a ‘fraud’
The exchanges where people trade digital currencies have also come under scrutiny from South Korean authorities. Bithumb, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, said it was visited by tax officials this week.
Another exchange, Coinone, is being investigated on suspicion of facilitating illegal gambling through cryptocurrencies, South Korean police told CNNMoney.
Coinone couldn’t be reached for comment.
Related: Kodak to launch cryptocurrency, stock pops 125%
South Korea’s plans to rein in digital currency trading come after China cracked down on the practice last year.
Beijing announced new regulations on bitcoin in September, prompting many of the country’s top exchanges to stop trading it and causing its price to crash.
— Taehoon Lee contributed to this report
CNNMoney (New Delhi) First published January 11, 2018: 1:23 AM ET
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Bitcoin-crazy South Korea may face a ban on cryptocurrency …