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Crypto TREND – Second Edition

In the first edition of CRYPTO TREND, we introduced Crypto Currency (CC) and answered several questions about this new market space. There is a lot of NEWS in this market every day. Here are some highlights that give us an idea of ​​how new and exciting this market space is:
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The world’s largest futures exchange to create a futures contract for Bitcoin

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) President Terry Duffy said: “I think in the second week of December you will see ours [bitcoin futures] contract for listing. You can’t short Bitcoin today, so it can only go one way. You either buy it or sell it to someone else. So you create a two-way market, I think it’s always much more efficient.”
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CME plans to launch bitcoin futures by the end of the year pending regulatory review. If successful, this will allow investors to go “long” or “short” Bitcoin. Some sellers of exchange-traded funds have also applied for bitcoin ETFs that track bitcoin futures.
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These developments enable people to invest in the cryptocurrency space without directly owning CC or using CC exchange services. Bitcoin futures can make the digital asset more useful by allowing users and brokers to hedge their foreign exchange exposure. That could increase adoption of the cryptocurrency by merchants who want to accept bitcoin payments but are wary of its volatile value. Institutional investors are also used to trading regulated futures, which do not suffer from money laundering concerns.
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CME’s move also suggests that bitcoin has become too big to ignore, as the exchange appeared to be excluding crypto futures not too long ago. Bitcoin is all the talk at brokerages and trading firms that have been hurt by bullish but unusually calm markets. If the futures on the exchange go up, it will be almost impossible for any other exchange like CME to catch up because scale and liquidity are important in derivatives markets.
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“You can’t ignore the fact that this is increasingly becoming a story that’s not going to go away,” Duffy told CNBC. There are “major companies” that want to use bitcoin, and there is “huge pent-up demand” from customers, he said. Duffy also believes that bringing institutional traders into the market could make Bitcoin less volatile.
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A Japanese village will use cryptocurrency to raise capital for urban revitalization
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The Japanese village of Nishiwakura is exploring the idea of ​​holding an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to raise capital to revitalize the municipality. This is a very new approach and they can ask for national government support or seek private investment. Several ICOs have had serious problems, and many investors are skeptical that any new token will have value, especially if the ICO turns out to be another joke or scam. Bitcoin was certainly no joke.
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INITIAL COIN OFFERING – (ICO)

We didn’t mention ICO in the first edition of Crypto Trend, so let’s mention it now. Unlike an initial public offering (IPO), where a company has an actual product or service to sell and wants you to buy shares in their company, an ICO can be held by anyone who wants to initiate a new Blockchain project with the intention of creating. a new mark on their chain. ICOs are not regulated and some are complete scams. A legitimate ICO can, however, raise a lot of cash to fund a new Blockchain project and network. It’s typical for an ICO to create a high token price near the beginning and then soon come back down. Since an ICO is relatively easy to hold if you know the technology and have a few dollars, there have been a lot of them and today we have about 800 tokens. All these tokens have a name, they are all crypto currency and except for very popular tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, they are called alt-coins. At this time, Crypto Trend does not recommend participating in the ICO because the risks are too high.
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As we said in issue 1, this market is the “wild west” right now, and we advise caution. Some investors and early adopters have made big profits in this market space; however, there are many who have lost much, or all. Governments discuss regulations because they want to know about every transaction in order to tax everyone. They are all in huge debt and strapped for cash.
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Until now, the cryptocurrency market has avoided the financial problems and pitfalls of many state-owned and traditional banks, and Blockchain technology has the potential to solve many other problems.
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A great feature of Bitcoin is that the originators have chosen a limited number of coins that can ever be created, 21 million, thus ensuring that this crypto coin can never be blown. Governments can print as much money (fiat currency) as they want and inflate their currency to death.
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Future articles will delve into specific recommendations, however, make no mistake, early investments in this area will only be for your most speculative capital, money you can afford to lose.
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CRYPTO TREND will be your guide if and when you are ready to invest in this market space.

Stay with us!

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How cryptocurrency trading software helps grow your crypto platform

Cryptocurrency trading software package is an integrated system to manage all aspects of cryptocurrency trading platform such as buying, selling, exchanging, lending, MLM and affiliate management, conversion, live market comparison and analysis etc. of all types of cryptocurrencies.
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Important features you should consider:

Buy, sell and exchange. Nishue is an impressive trade management system that offers a smooth and secure methodology for your users to effortlessly buy, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies.
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Credit system management. This system is fully brokered, has a system to manage the Crypto lending service, such as offer management, storage and monitoring, etc.

Unique admin module. Nishue features a secure and advanced admin module so you can control your cryptocurrency exchange end-to-end.
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Individual customer profile. A separate customer profile module that helps your users easily track and check all open deposit or withdrawal orders, entries, transactions, etc. with just one click.
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MLM and Affiliate Management. These marketing-ready automation tools make it easy to manage your level affiliate commission, investment history, and documentation.

Market comparison and converter. two additional systems have been integrated for direct Crypto comparison, conversion and depth analysis.

How does cryptocurrency trading software help grow your crypto platform?

Deposit and withdrawal of coins. A crypto trader has to maintain a huge deposit and withdrawal request every day. Commercial software support to manage your activity with its auto tuning algorithm.

Coin pack and lending offer. Keep your different coin pack and credit offer with your customer. You can create, manage and promote your offer using a well-designed package.

Level wise committee. If you are following an MLM strategy to reward your affiliates and are worried about setting their commission. Ok, it is ready to automatically calculate their level wise commission.

Notification and risk management. Every crypto trading platform should set up a push notification system to keep itself and its client up to date on the most alarming issues, thus helping to eliminate risk. In this case, the system design is completely perfect.

Multiple payment gateway. You can integrate your cryptocurrency wallet, local currency, Payeer Even Mobile Banking system as a payment method within this software to make your transaction hassle-free.

Daily, weekly and monthly ROI. Worried about maintaining your stated ROI? This cryptocurrency trading management software can automatically calculate ROI, commission and others as per the instruction you give.

Free responsive website. it should be integrated with our system for a fully responsive, SEO-optimized dynamic website, and it’s completely free. It will help you manage your business smoothly.

Crypto comparison, conversion and in-depth analysis. Crypto live market cap & coin converter two plugin system integrated for live Crypto comparison, conversion and in-depth analysis.

100% secure system. Commercial software is designed with high security in mind. This cryptocurrency trading program uses a secure integer framework, two-factor authentication and many other security systems.

The ultimate suite exclusively for on-site cryptocurrency trading, allowing users to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin with Coinbase. Built on the same technology that powers Nishue software, it includes proven market-leading tools developed over 25 years to provide both professional and active cryptocurrency traders with a better experience than what is currently offered in crypto-only – by commercial solutions.

Silicone release liners. Back to basics

If you don’t even know the basics of silicone release liners, then you’re on the right page. Typically, these coatings can be applied to a range of different lightweight materials using a variety of techniques. Read on to learn more.

Basically, the role of these coatings is to create a cross-linked non-stick surface, which is useful when it comes to protecting pressure-sensitive adhesives. In addition to this, there is a long list of adhesives it can be used on. Some common examples of these materials include food, composite precursors, and bituminous compounds, just to name a few.

The good news is that they can be found in a wide variety of delivery systems and use many treatment chemicals, such as rhodium-catalyzed or platinum-catalyzed treatments, to name a few. So you can choose from many materials to get the most out of these products.

Advantages of silicone release coatings

Silicone release coatings offer a wide range of benefits. They can be used for labels, graphic art, as well as health and food. So the benefits of the product are almost endless. This is an ideal solution for many applications. Apart from competitive prices and uninterrupted supply, they offer the following benefits:

ReliabilityThey offer fast curing under 35PPM platinum

High flexibilityYou enjoy great flexibility when it comes to coverage, attachment or release

High line speedsLine speeds are high, so records can be broken without fog. This is one of the biggest advantages of these coatings. The idea is to ensure that nothing bad happens during the process and at the same time achieve high line speeds.

Better coverage. you enjoy the long bath, high release capability and anchorage that today’s manufacturers demand. So better coverage is another big advantage of this system.

Conversion speedsYou can enjoy the ease of deployment and high conversion speeds

Typically, silicone release agents can be used as additives in applications that involve mold release. They allow quick release of products that come out of molds. Some good examples of these products include food containers and tires.

In addition to this, they provide lubrication and lubrication in many applications such as conveyor belts and newspaper presses.

If you purchase silicone release agents from a good supplier, you can enjoy many benefits in paper/file coating applications, food contact manufacturing and many other areas. The non-stick properties of the agent may allow the following advantages:

  • Longer machine and mold life

  • Reduced material waste

  • Clear finishing product

  • Faster bandwidth

In short, if you want to enjoy the maximum potential of silicone release agents, we recommend buying these products from a good supplier. Hopefully these tips will help you choose the best products to meet your needs.

A brief introduction to blockchain – for normal people

Crypto – what?

If you’ve tried diving into this mysterious thing called blockchain, you’d be forgiven for recoiling in horror at the sheer opacity of the technical jargon that’s often used to frame it. So, before we understand what cryptocurrency is and how blockchain technology can change the world, let’s discuss what blockchain actually is.

In the simplest terms, blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions, not unlike the ledgers we’ve been using for hundreds of years to record sales and purchases. The function of this digital ledger is essentially almost identical to a traditional ledger as it records debits and credits between people. That’s the basic concept behind blockchain. the difference is who keeps the ledger and who verifies the transactions.

In traditional transactions, a payment from one person to another involves some intermediary to facilitate the transaction. Suppose Rob wants to transfer £20 to Melanie. He can either give her cash in the form of a £20 note, or he can transfer the money directly to her bank account through a banking app. In both cases, the bank is the intermediary that verifies the transaction. Rob’s funds are verified when he withdraws money from the cash register, or they are verified by the app when he makes a digital transfer. The bank decides whether the transaction should be carried out. The bank also maintains a record of all transactions made by Rob and is solely responsible for updating it whenever Rob pays someone or receives money into his account. In other words, the bank keeps and controls the ledger, and everything flows through the bank.

It’s a big responsibility, so it’s important that Rob feels he can trust his bank, or he wouldn’t be risking his money with them. He must feel confident that the bank will not cheat him, lose his money, be robbed and disappear overnight. This need for trust has underpinned almost every major behavior and aspect of the monolithic financial industry, to the point that even when the banks were found to be irresponsible with our money during the 2008 financial crisis, the government (another intermediary) chose to: save them rather than risk the last shreds of trust by letting them crumble.

Blockchains work differently in one key way. they are completely decentralized. There is no central ledger like a bank, and no central ledger maintained by a single entity. Instead, the ledger is distributed across a vast network of computers called nodes, each of which stores a copy of the entire ledger on their respective hard drives. These nodes are connected to each other through a piece of software called a peer-to-peer (P2P) client, which synchronizes data across the network of nodes and makes sure everyone has the same version of the ledger at any point in time. .

When a new transaction is entered into the blockchain, it is first encrypted using the latest cryptographic technology. Once encrypted, a transaction is turned into something called a block, which is basically used for an encrypted group of new transactions. That block is then sent (or broadcast) to a network of computer nodes, where it is verified by the nodes and, once verified, transmitted through the network so that the block can be added to the end of everyone’s computer ledgers. below the list of all previous blocks. This is called a chain, hence the technology is called blockchain.

Once approved and registered in the registry, the transaction can be completed. This is how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work.

Liability and Revocation of Trust

What are the advantages of this system over a banking or central clearing system? Why would Rob use Bitcoin instead of regular currency?

The answer is trust. As mentioned before, in banking it is very important that Rob trusts his bank to protect his money and manage it properly. For this to happen, there are massive regulatory systems in place to scrutinize the actions of banks and ensure they are fit for purpose. Governments then regulate regulators, creating a sort of tiered system of checks whose sole purpose is to help prevent mistakes and misconduct. In other words, organizations like the Financial Services Authority exist precisely because banks cannot be trusted on their own. And banks often make mistakes and behave badly, which we have seen many times. When you have one source of power, power tends to be misused or abused. The relationship of trust between people and banks is awkward and unstable. we don’t really trust them, but we don’t feel like there’s much of an alternative.

Blockchain systems, on the other hand, absolutely do not need you to trust them. All transactions (or blocks) on the blockchain are verified by nodes in the network before being added to the ledger, meaning there is no single point of failure and no single channel of confirmation. If a hacker wanted to successfully breach the blockchain registry, he would have to hack millions of computers simultaneously, which is nearly impossible. A hacker would also be nearly impossible to take down a blockchain network because, again, they would need to be able to disable every computer in a network of computers distributed around the world.

The encryption process itself is also a key factor. Blockchains like Bitcoin use intentionally difficult processes for their verification procedure. In the case of Bitcoin, blocks are verified by nodes that perform a series of deliberate CPU- and time-consuming calculations, often in the form of puzzles or complex mathematical problems, meaning that verification is neither instantaneous nor accessible. Nodes that commit a resource to block verification are rewarded with a transaction fee and an abundance of newly produced Bitcoins. This has the function of both encouraging people to become nodes (since such processing units require quite powerful computers and a lot of electricity), while also managing the process of creating or minting currency units. This is called mining because it involves considerable effort (in this case by a computer) to produce a new commodity. It also means that transactions are scrutinized in the most independent way possible, more independent than a government-regulated organization like the FSA.

This decentralized, democratic and highly secure nature of blockchains means that they can operate without the need for regulation (they are self-regulating), government or other opaque intermediary. They work because people don’t trust each other, not in spite of it.

Let that significance stick around for a while and the excitement around blockchain starts to make sense.

Smart contracts

Where things get really interesting are blockchain applications beyond cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Given that one of the underlying principles of a blockchain system is secure, independent transaction verification, it’s easy to imagine other ways in which these types of processes could be valuable. Not surprisingly, many such applications are already in use or in development. Some of the best are:

  • Smart contracts (Ethereum). perhaps the most exciting blockchain development since Bitcoin, smart contracts are blocks that contain code that must be executed in order for a contract to be executed. The code can be anything as long as a computer can execute it, but in simple terms it means that you can use blockchain technology (with its independent verification, trustless architecture and security) to create a kind of backup system for any kind of transaction. . As an example, if you’re a web designer, you can set up a contract that will confirm whether a new client’s website has been launched or not, and then automatically release the funds to you when it’s launched. No more chasing or invoices. Smart contracts are also used to prove ownership of an asset such as real estate or art. The potential to reduce fraud with this approach is enormous.
  • Cloud storage (Storj). cloud computing revolutionized the Internet and ushered in the emergence of Big Data, which in turn ushered in a new AI revolution. But most cloud-based systems run on servers housed in single-location server farms owned by one person (Amazon, Rackspace, Google, etc.). This presents the same problems as the banking system, as your data is controlled by a single, opaque entity, which presents a single point of failure. Distributing data on the blockchain completely eliminates the trust issue and also promises to increase reliability as it is much more difficult to destroy the blockchain network.
  • Digital identification (ShoCard). two of the biggest issues of our time are theft and data protection. With huge centralized services like Facebook storing so much data about us, and efforts by governments in various developed countries to store digital information about their citizens in a central database, the potential for our personal data to be misused is terrifying. Blockchain technology offers a potential solution to this by wrapping your key data in an encrypted block that can be verified by the blockchain network when you need to prove your identity. These applications range from the obvious replacement of passports and ID cards to other areas such as replacing passwords. It can be huge.
  • Digital voting. highly relevant to the investigation into Russia’s influence on the recent US election, digital voting has long been suspected of being both unreliable and highly vulnerable to tampering. Blockchain technology offers a way to verify that a voter’s vote has been successfully cast while preserving their anonymity. It promises not only to reduce electoral fraud, but also to increase overall voter turnout as people will be able to vote on their mobile phones.

Blockchain technology is still very much in its infancy, and most applications are too far away for general use. Even Bitcoin, the most established blockchain platform, is subject to massive volatility, a testament to its relative newcomer status. However, blockchain’s potential to solve some of the major problems we face today makes it an extraordinarily exciting and enticing technology to follow. I will certainly be watching.

Fear and greed in the market

Greed and fear.

Two Emotions that play a bigger factor in people’s success or failure than any other emotion we experience. Both fear and greed refer to an inner emotional state. Tens of millions of dollars have been made and lost based on these 2 emotions alone. In trade, business and relationships. So why do so many educational courses, stock trading books, and online courses avoid this topic all together?

Perhaps they don’t shy away from the subject of emotions, perhaps by teaching their readers certain techniques and skills, they actually deal with the emotional side of trading.

Emotions are known to cause some pleasure or displeasure. Emotions are also known to be networked with mood, mind structure, desires and passions. The list goes on… So how do we as individuals develop the skills to navigate these emotions in business, trading and life?

Charles Darwin argued that emotions actually serve a purpose in humans, and rightly so if our emotions have been evolving for over 2 million years. Shouldn’t we be using these amazing skills to our advantage instead of blaming them for making bad decisions? I believe that making bad decisions has nothing to do with emotion and everything to do with laziness and lack of planning.

A lesson from one of the greats.

I would be doing my readers a disservice if I didn’t mention Warren Buffett’s strategy. One of the most successful investors of our time. Warren Buffett stuck to his strategy and profited greatly. Warren Buffett showed us how important and profitable it is to stick to a plan. When deciding whether to invest in a company, Buffett and his colleagues follow a few simple guidelines, one of which includes determining the longevity of the company.

As the market fills with greed, the same can happen with fear. When a stock suffers large losses for an extended period of time, the overall market may become more fearful of even further losses. But being too afraid can be a serious mistake. This is when successful investors and traders make their move. This is where the real money is made.

Just as greed dominated the recent Cryptocurrency boom or fear dominated the headlines of a potential trade war outcome, investors are quickly jumping from one “safe” investment to another. It becomes a constant game of cat and mouse.

This flood of money into the stock market shows a complete disregard for the many technical indicators that continue to scream that a correction is imminent. Retail investors seem overjoyed by the flood of headlines that read ALL TIME HIGH. Should retail investors be cowed by fear of a major correction? It’s true that losing a large portion of the value of your retirement portfolio is a tough pill to swallow, but it’s even harder to digest the huge gains the market is currently offering investors of all experience levels.

Having a clear understanding of my personal goals, understanding my success, and making a list of my OWN wants and needs, rather than seeing other people’s dreams and trying to achieve them, has been a huge factor in quenching the flames of my own greed. trading and day-to-day decision making.

I’ve also added a link to “Must Read” books that have been helpful in my decision-making journey of mastering my emotions. I will update this as I see fit..

One method I have found to be helpful is to be mindful of how I measure success, wealth, goals, and most importantly, happiness. It’s so easy these days to let outside influences affect our happiness and success. Social media bombards us daily with the success of others.

Current trends in web application development

The web is constantly changing and evolving. And as new technologies arrive, old ones are either retired or improved. It is very important to stay aware of the latest developments and apply them to your projects. Here is a summary of the current state-of-the-art technology in this field.

A progressive web application

These are basically web apps or websites that look like mobile apps, especially when it comes to functionality and design. It is the combination of native features of a web browser and a mobile app to give the user an app-like experience, which explains its growing popularity. PWA was introduced by Google a few years ago and has several advantages. Some of these include instant loading, push notification and conversion enhancement, and the ability to add a PWA app to the user’s home screen.

The rise of chatbots

The customer is king, the customer is always right. There are enough aphorisms that prove how valuable and important the customer is. Companies are always striving to improve customer service and satisfy customers. With chatbots, they can do this 24/7, 365 days a year. These chatbots can answer common queries, direct users to the right information, and even schedule appointments, among other tasks. Making it a very useful and effective feature.

Motion UI is important

A website should be simple, easy to navigate and most importantly intuitive. This is where the motion UI, originally popular for mobile apps, comes into play. Using this, you can create a functional and well-designed website. This is achieved by using animations, hovers, headers and transitions among others to set your website apart from your competitors.

Blockchain technology

The buzzword these days is blockchain. You can associate it with cryptocurrency. But, basically, it allows for collective data storage and information that is shared across thousands of computers around the world. This means that it will be almost impossible to destroy or hack the blockchain, and the data is public and available to anyone who needs it. It can be used for decentralized file storage, supply chain auditing, among others. This technology is growing and finding many uses in web development.

Single page sites

Our attention spans are low. There is too much, too many things that are grabbing our attention. It’s no surprise under the circumstances that the new trend in websites calls for them to be one page. This means you’ll find everything you need on one page, which is of course easily navigable. You can reach different parts of the page by scrolling or clicking links. These types of websites work well on mobile phones. Also, the cost of development, design and hosting is kept low due to the simplicity of the design.

Change is constant, and this is especially true in the world of web development. It becomes imperative for business people to be proactive and stay current.

Social media effects

Social media

Social media is a combination of online communication channels aimed at group input, communication, information sharing and relationships. Different types of applications and websites dedicated to social networks, blogs, forums, wikis and social bookmarks form different types of social media. The most popular types are: Facebook, YouTube, Google+, WhatsApp, Twitter, QQ, WeChat, Qzone, OLX, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Skype, Viber, Snapchat, Pinterest, MySpace, Meetme, Meetup, Mixi, Tout, Douban, Flickr. , Buzznet, Wehearit and Friendster These social networking sites have approximately 100,000,000 registered users. Although there are different types of social media, they share many common features, such as Consumers create service-based profiles for websites and applications designed and maintained by the association. User-generated material such as digital images, posts, videos, comments and data shared through online interfaces. All types of social media are interactive Internet applications that enable the growth of online social networks by linking a user’s profile to other individuals or groups.

Users typically connect to social media objects through PC-based web tools or download services from Internet applications to their mobile phones, with these services users can create highly collaborative platforms through which people, groups and institutions can share, co-create, debate and review user-generated data or pre-made content displayed online. They represent significant and widespread changes in communication between trades, institutions, societies, and individuals. It has changed the communication between people and large enterprises. Researchers study these changes, and new technologies are introduced as a result of these changes. It differs from traditional print and electronic media in various aspects such as comprehension, customer, value, access, emergence, interaction, usage, proximity and durability. Its channels operate in a dialog transmission mode, while old-style media used a monologue transmission mode.

Facebook is widely used in all countries, 84 percent of young Americans are its users. Almost 60 percent of teenagers have social media profiles, most people spend at least two hours a day on social networks, and the time spent on these sites is greater than the time spent on other types of sites. The total time spent on social networking sites in the US was 66 billion minutes in 2012, now it has reached 121 billion minutes. It has become a source of professional prospects and financial gain.

Social media has many good and bad effects. It enables you to connect with real or virtual groups and is a real promotional tool for businesses, financiers, charities as well as support groups, politicians and administrations. Its significant use has also been proven as a cause of sadness, cyberbullying online stalking and wandering.

We cannot define social media by its ability to bring people together, according to this description, the telegraph and the telephone could be its types. In fact, social media is commonly used to pronounce social networking sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram. and Wechat allows their use to create their personal profiles to share ideas, images, videos, chat with each other and update about new things, events and happenings while doing their daily tasks and routines.

Social media feature: content spreads like a virus

Sometimes content posted on social media sites probably spreads like a virus on social media. Users will review content that has been posted by another user on their social network, resulting in further sharing. News like North Korea’s nuclear bomb explosion, fast-breaking news like the news of Michael Jackson’s death crashed internet servers because these news were quickly shared and re-shared by people using social media. This is the concept of the spread of a viral disease from one infected person to others. Some individuals, groups and organizations use this viral spread of news as an effective means of publicity.

Use of mobile applications

Using a mobile phone to access websites is a big factor in the popularity of these websites. Now that using social media is easier, more private and cheaper than before, the smartphone has made the internet a very “convenient” thing to use. by the younger generation. Young people now spend more time socializing on social media sites than watching TV. With the help of a smartphone, all kinds of websites can be easily accessed, content can be added, shared, sent, received, status updated, voice and video calls can be made more easily without using desktops or laptops. The use of Wi-Fi technology has made it possible for all members of the family to use the Internet connection. All members of the family can use the websites according to their likes and dislikes, time flexibility and privacy. Mobile applications like WhatsApp, Skype are widely used to make video calls, YouTube to watch videos, Facebook to share videos, images, texts and status updates of mobile users. Mobile social media refers to media consumption on mobile phone devices such as smartphones. Mobile apps allow you to create, share, and distribute user-generated content. Location and time sensitivity are important factors in accessing social media via mobile devices.

Business perspective

Location and time sensitivity has given mobile devices an advantage over desktop computers, offering companies the opportunity to expand their business through marketing and advertising through it. Mobile accessories can be used for inquiry, communique, sales promotion or concessions and membership growth programs.

E-commerce

Social sites use interactive plans to create stages that are equally useful for users, industries and networks with the help of e-commerce or online consumption. Users post comments about a company’s product or service with their online friends and colleagues. A company earns profits because it gains awareness of how its product or service is viewed by customers. Apps like Amazon.com and Pinterest are tapping into the growing adoption and accessibility of e-commerce or online consumption.

The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Staff and Business Survival

Being involved with technology solutions professionals see things that could be a real threat to you, your staff or even your business; while the internet can be seen as a wonderful tool (cloud based communications and solutions for example) and all of the other great achievements that the internet has created there is a far darker side to it all; of that there is no doubt and it can be a real threat.

And factually you have in your business nowhere to run or nowhere to hide; sooner or later it becomes a high odd’s bet that employee, you or your company will suffer and in severe cases the effects could even close your company overnight.

Don’t believe this? Read on where examples of actual major threats are shown below. Not worried? You should be!

It’s so dangerous that Deloitte opened a cyber threat hunting service!

But on an everyday level to ordinary SME’s just like your business there really is no amount of anti virus this or anti malware that available that is really going to help; the examples below show you exactly why; things these days have moved on exponentially to levels that you may not believe, but some are revealed that are actual examples highlighting just how bad these threats have become. There will be casualties no doubt but you don’t want to be one of them!

Email has been a driving force that has moved forward communications between every aspect of business that anyone could imagine, from sales, customers, support, management, publicity and many more important areas; but it’s obvious that the underlying technology of email servers are flawed and because it’s now a worldwide transport for communications that’s hard to fix; these communications channels have to be compatible with every other email server in the world and that creates massive inherent vulnerabilities.

In almost every town, city or country, government bodies are working towards combating fraud and other nasty things from many areas, but email is one of the most widely abused platforms there is because of the ease of abuse by non-experts. And if you’re not an expert it does not take long to learn how to be one!

One organisation in the UK is Action Fraud operated by the police and while they handle other areas of fraud, email scams are very high on their list.

But here’s where things start to get nasty. Since the advent of cryptocurrency worldwide fraud has increased exponentially. And in the USA SEC Rejects Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund because they are very concerned about investor losses in Bitcoin.

However, this article is specific; Bitcoin is being used fraudulently and in both of the cases shown below Bitcoin is clearly involved in the transportation of monies to the perpetrators of these illegal demands on you, your staff or even your business. It’s no joke and anyone ignoring these really bad potential harms to their organisation will sooner or later come unstuck in maybe a really big way. The results could be catostrophic.

The first example shown below included personal details of the recipient that have been removed for security reasons. But this email (that passed every check through a company’s infrastructure) is threatening the life of an employee and should never be ignored.

Note that bitcoin and email addresses are edited for security purposes throughout this article.

HERE IS EXAMPLE ONE VERBATIM:

“From: kristin*********

Sent: ******

To: *********

Subject: How to save themself

Read this warn carefully, since it can be the last in your life.

People are by nature envious. Given the fact of successful development of your business, people (your contestant ) paid me 30,000 Pound Sterling for your head on a stick.

It’s not the first time I’ve done this kind of work, but I’m already tired of these envious bastards and your life will be the last one I’ll take or will not do, it’s up to you.

Under normal circumstances, I would just do the work for which I was paid without going into the details, but I’m going to get away from it and go on a long-awaited vacation.

You have 2 versions for deciding this problem.

Adopt my proposal or refuse.

You pay me 5 thousand GBP for safe your life and you receive all the information about the customer with whom you apply to the police and thus you save your life and the lives of your relatives.

The second option is you ignore my proposal and turn to the police, but by the same token you will only postpone your judgment day, even if I can not do the work, then somebody else will do it, not within a week and say in a month or half a year, but order for your head will be fulfilled sooner or later.

Thus, you will be afraid of every rustle, walk around looking and thinking that you are being persecuted.

If you want such a life, your choice, but if I were you, I would think very well.

Tickets to England have been taken for July **, and you have exactly 3 days to transfer money to an anonymous account bitcoin 1QJNjRmon3iD3RwdjaGomFLHs25B******.

I can check the last time receipt of money before the flight to you, on the **th

In the event of receiving a reward, I will not come to take your life, but will also pass all the information about your customer (Let the bastards get what they deserve) and you can protect yourself, otherwise you know the consequences.

The well-being of the future life depends on your choice.

Think about your life, you family.

on all will of Allah”

END OF EMAIL MESSAGE ONE

The above email is unedited except for recipients details and Bitcoin account numbers. It can be clearly seen in this email that there is a threat on the life of the recipient. While some recipients would simply brush this type of email off, others become extremely concerned; it’s easy to see exactly why. Indeed some recipients will go and pay the demanded money and not think twice. Imagine that a key employee received this email and they completely believed its contents? The resultant downfall of the employee could be extreme. This email threatens the recipients life and mentions their family etc.

Notice that the spelling is incorrect for English on this example (undisclosed but its in the content) and somehow the writer suggests that the email is the ‘will of Allah’. Probably not. But the user identified the recipient was in ‘England’ likely from the email address so the recipient could believe some of the contents.

The above email passed numerous checks throughout the receiving companies infrastructure. Now it’s easy to see if you are tech savvy, but most email users are not. And if you’re a small SME then things could happen that could literally create very serious effects on your business even though the email targeted an employee. But if you’re not tech savvy and a company owner, would you believe the above? and send money? Many will have and that ‘feeds’ the criminals for millions of pounds or in this case $US.

Bitcoin in the above example is used because Bitcoin CANNOT be traced to the ultimate recipient of the payment. This is a major flaw in crypto currency and one reason (irrespective of some suggesting it’s an easy way to make money) you really should have nothing to do with it. Criminals use Bitcoin all the time.

As suggested, you just might not believe the above email if you received it, but there is no doubt that you might well believe the next example because it has information in it that is only known by you!

HERE IS EXAMPLE TWO VERBATIM:

From: “Gloriana Feany”

To: *********************

Date: *********

Subject: (HERE WAS THE USERS NAME AND THEIR PASSWORD)

I know ****** is your password. Lets get right to the purpose. You may not know me and you are most likely thinking why you are getting this email? Nobody has paid me to check you.

actually, I actually setup a malware on the X videos (porn material) web site and you know what, you visited this site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were viewing videos, your web browser initiated operating as a RDP that has a key logger which gave me access to your display and webcam. Immediately after that, my software program gathered every one of your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, and emailaccount. And then I created a video. First part displays the video you were watching (you’ve got a fine taste hehe), and 2nd part displays the recording of your web camera, yea it is u.

There are two different possibilities. Let us take a look at each one of these options in details:

1st alternative is to skip this message. In this case, I most certainly will send your very own video clip to all your your contacts and visualize concerning the humiliation you will see. Moreover if you happen to be in a committed relationship, how it will affect?

Next choice should be to give me $3000. We are going to call it a donation. In this scenario, I most certainly will quickly remove your videotape. You will continue your way of life like this never took place and you will never hear back again from me.

You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search for “how to buy bitcoin” in Google search engine).

BTC Address: 18PvdmxemjDkNxHF3p3Fu9wkaAZ********

[CASE sensitive, copy & paste it]

In case you are thinking about going to the law enforcement officials, very well, this e-mail can not be traced back to me. I have covered my actions. I am also not trying to charge you a lot, I simply want to be rewarded. I’ve a unique pixel in this e-mail, and at this moment I know that you have read through this email message. You have one day in order to pay. If I don’t get the BitCoins, I will certainly send your video to all of your contacts including family members, colleagues, etc. Having said that, if I receive the payment, I’ll erase the recording right away. If you really want evidence, reply Yup! then I will send out your video to your 7 friends. This is the non-negotiable offer, and thus please do not waste my personal time & yours by responding to this e mail.

END OF EXAMPLE TWO EMAIL:

This is an entirely different threat. The recipient picked this email up because of a multitude of reasons that were simply incorrect and not representative of their actions on the internet; however, the stated password was about 80% shown (and it would be reasonable to assume the perpetrator knew the rest of the password). This could be seen by many as a factual document and it’s credibility is created in the recipients mind by the inclusion of the password in to the threat.

Imagine owning a SME business that might indeed be a larger business, the threat demanded much more money and the recipient had viewed what was suggested in the email? People do. It could be seen as likely or at;east a possibility that the recipient might well pay the money to the perpetrator through Bitcoin. And again Bitcoin rears its ugly head.

Again in this second email instance shown the email passed all checks and tests in the company where the email was received. So these are real threats to individuals or business.

But consider this; how did the perpetrator get the recipients password? (it was an old password but nevertheless was mostly valid). The perpetrator suggested key logging on a site known for pornographic video and images. But that is most likely not where the perp got the details from.

When reading about companies like Facebook, TalkTalk, Dixons Carphone Warehouse, Equifax, Adobe, AOL, Apple, AT&T, British Airways, Mastercard and Visa, Compass Bank, Dominos Pizza, DVLA UK, Dropbox, Kmart, Hewlett Packard, eBay, Experian, Trump Hotels, Gmail, Vodaphone, Walmart, Morgan Stanley, NHS, Ofcom, SnapChat, Adidas, Macys, Sony Pictures (and the list goes on) is it really no wonder that most personal details of importance (even financially) of individuals and businesses are all over the internet. There is a Wikipedia about these breaches of data that is extremely concerning reading as these breaches involve all kinds of information that will no doubt be available to buy on the internet. With the incredible reductions in share prices at Facebook maybe that might be the start of a mass exodus from those sort of ‘social media’ sites; but of course Facebook is merely one of the very long list of companies that have let you down through not protecting your data properly as the list above clearly demonstrates.

Its easy to see why GDPR has become law and countries will continue to pass GDPR legislation accordingly. Thank all of the companies mentioned above and many more for allowing this ridiculous situation that could be the start of the downfall of the internet as it is known today.

But is it time to go back and retrospectively fine each and every company involved in the dispersal of personal details? Are those companies any less ‘guilty’ now? It seems for many companies that the only thing they understand is when they are faced with very large fines; and even the fines might be irrelevant to organisations like Facebook and Google because large fines seem to be ‘petty cash’ to some of those companies. But shere price reduction wakes them up.

If anyone is concerned about a ‘key logger’ from the above email example getting your information Kaspersky latest offering of internet security includes software that stops key loggers from logging your information as you type.

A third example of fraud covered in this article relates to a company that received an email pro-forma invoice to pay from one of its regular suppliers. One day the finance department received a pro-forma invoice that needed to be paid immediately. The email address and the invoice itself looked entirely unremarkable. The sending company advised the finance department that they had recently changed banks and that the new details were on the invoice attached. Finance paid the £60,000+ ( $US 80,000) invoice.

The only problem was, that the invoice was completely fraudulent, the email address did read correctly unless you looked close (instead of wonderful.com it was wonderfull.com (just made up example to illustrate the methodology used) and the recipient in the finance department saw and read what they were used to seeing. The real question is, how did the perpetrators get all that information about what an invoice should be like, the real suppliers details, etc., their website and email addresses and more; it’s food for thought and make no mistake it can be so easy to allow one of these scams through your business; the chances are pretty high and the consequences could be dire and even bankrupt your business if taken to the extreme.

There is no doubt that the underlying email systems are no longer fit for purpose in general and have not been for some time. Notice that in the first example the scammer sent mail from ‘mail.bg’ and the second one (even more concerning) was from ‘outlook.com’. While the sending email addresses can be ‘replaced’ with any email address upon examination those two shown emails seemed to be real; indeed one of the perps even used Google to advise how to use Bitcoin for payment. But there are multiples of very large companies that every day offer a service but allow their email servers and systems to send out such threatening emails to users. Maybe it’s time to pressure these organisations (outlook.com, gmail.com and there are multiples of others) to actually filter their emails properly as well as the sendersbefore these sort of threats go out and create serious harm that these sort of messages could easily do.

Of course there are millions of other examples of fraud through an outdated abused email system (and other related internet technologies) that could be shown here, but the aim of this article is to educate readers so that they don’t fall foul to these sort of appalling scams.

One company, Network Systems has seen many of these sort of internet related issues and offers a cybercrime service to SME’s to help to create a safe environment for empolyees and business as they work on the internet today.

Hopefully this article will at least make the reader think very hard about how they are going to ensure protection of employees and their company and if nothing else that is a wothwhile objective. Using specialist companies will always help more than by just trying to put solutions in place created by someone without experience in this area and could actually save your company.

How to Buy Bitcoin – Step One

The best way to learn about bitcoin, is to jump in and get a few in your “pocket” to get a feel for how they work.

Despite the hype about how difficult and dangerous it can be, getting bitcoins is a lot easier and safer than you might think. In a lot of ways, it is probably easier than opening an account at a traditional bank. And, given what has been happening in the banking system, it is probably safer too.

There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning how to send and receive money, learning how to buy bitcoin from a person or an exchange.

Preparation

Before getting started, you will need to get yourself a wallet. You can do this easily enough by registering with one of the exchanges which will host wallet for you. And, although I think you are going to want to have one or more exchange wallets eventually, you should start with one on your own computer both to get a better feel for bitcoin and because the exchanges are still experimental themselves. When we get to that stage of the discussion, I will be advising that you get in the habit of moving your money and coins off the exchanges or diversifying across exchanges to keep your money safe.

What is a wallet?

It is a way to store your bitcoins. Specifically, it is software that has been designed to store bitcoin. It can be run on your desktop computer, laptop, mobile device (except, as yet, Apple) and can also be made to store bitcoins on things like thumb drives. If you are concerned about being hacked, then that is a good option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who have millions invested in bitcoin, put their investment on hard drives which they then put into a safety deposit box.

*The Winklevoss twins are the ones who originally had the idea for a social networking site that became Facebook. They hired Mark Zuckerberg who took their idea as his own and became immensely rich.

What do you need to know about having a bitcoin wallet on your computer?

Below you can download the original bitcoin wallet, or client, in Windows or Mac format. These are not just wallets, but are in fact part of the bitcoin network. They will receive, store, and send your bitcoins. You can create one or more addresses with a click (an address is a number that looks like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will see a field where you can copy and paste a number like this from a person you want to send money to and off it will go directly into that person’s wallet. You can even create a QR code which will let someone take a picture with an app on their phone and send you some bitcoin. It is perfectly safe to give these out – the address and QR code are both for my donations page. Feel free to donate!

NOTE: This type of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and as part of the bitcoin system. The reason bitcoin works is that every transaction is broadcast and recorded as a number across the entire system (meaning that every transaction is confirmed and made irreversible by the network itself). Any computer with the right software can be part of that system, checking and supporting the network. This wallet serves as your personal wallet and also as a support for that system. Therefore, be aware that it will take up 8-9 gigabytes of your computer’s memory. After you install the wallet, it will take as much as a day for the wallet to sync with the network. This is normal, does not harm your computer, and makes the system as a whole more secure, so it’s a good idea.

Bitcoin Qt

  • The original wallet.
  • This is a full-featured wallet: create multiple addresses to receive bitcoins, send bitcoins easily, track transactions, and back up your wallet.
  • Outside of the time it takes to sync, this is a very easy to use option.
  • Search for Bitcoin Qt wallet download to find their site.

Armory

  • Runs on top of Bitcoi Qt, so it has all of the same syncing requirements.
  • Armory allows you to back up, encrypt, and the ability to store your bitcoins off line.
  • Search for Bitcoin Armory Wallet to find their site.

If you don’t want to have that much memory used or don’t want to wait for your wallet to sync, there are good wallets that do not make you sync the entire history of bitcocin:

Multibit

  • A lightweight wallet that syncs quickly. This is very good for new users.
  • Search for Bitcoin Multibit Wallet to find their site.

Electum

  • In addition to being quick and light, this wallet allows you to recover lost data using a passcode.
  • Search for Bitcoin Electum Wallet to find their site.

After you get the wallet set up, take a few minutes clicking around. Things to look for:

o There will be a page that shows you how many bitcoins are currently in your wallet. Keep in mind that bitcoins can be broken up into smaller pieces, so you may see a decimal with a lot of zeros after it. (Interesting note, 0.00000001 is one Satoshi, named after the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin).

o There will be an area showing what your recent transactions are.

o There will be an area where you can create an address and a QR code (like the one I have above). You don’t need the QR code if you don’t want it, but if you run a business and you want to accept bitcoin, then all you’ll need to do to accept payment is to show someone the QR code, let them take a picture of it, and they will be able to send you some money. You will also be able to create as many addresses as you like, so if you want to track where the money is coming from, you could have a separately labeled address from each one of your payees.

o There will be an area with a box for you to paste a code when you want to send money to someone or to yourself on an exchange or different wallet.

There will be other options and features, but to start out with, these are the items that you should know about.

Getting Your First Bitcoins

Now that you have a wallet, you will, of course, want to test them out.

The very first place to go is http://faucet.bitcoin.st/.

This is a website that gives out small amounts of bitcoin for the purpose of getting people used to using them. The original version of this was run by the lead developer of bitcoin, Gavin Andreson. That site has since closed and this site operates by sending out one or two advertisements a month. You agree to receive those messages by requesting the bitcoins. Copy and paste your new bitcoin address and enter a phone number to which you can receive an SMS. They send out an SMS to be sure that people are not continuously coming back for more since it costs nothing to create a bitcoin address. They will also send out once or twice a month advertisement to support their operation. The amount they send it trivial: 0.0015 BTC (or 1.5 mBTC). However, they process almost immediately and you can check to see that your address and wallet are working. It is also quite a feeling to get that portion of a bitcoin. (Non-disclaimer: I have no connection with this site and receive nothing if you use them. I simply think they are a good way to get your feet wet).

Congratulations! You have just entered the bitcoin economy.

To get your feet a little wetter, you can go panning for gold. There are a number of services and websites out there that will pay you in bitcoin to do things like go to certain websites, fill out online surveys, or watch sponsored videos. These are harmless, and you can earn a few extra bitcoins this way, but it is important to remember that these are businesses that get paid when people click on the links on their sites. They are essentially kicking back a portion of what they get paid to you. There is nothing illegal, or even immoral about this (you might like what you see and make a purchase!), but they are frequently flashy and may not be completely straightforward. All the ones that I have tried (particularly bitvisitor.com) have paid out as advertised. It is interesting to experiment with these, but even with the likely rise in the value of bitcoin, you won’t become a millionaire doing this. So, unless you are an advertisement junkie, I would recommend you move on. If you would like to try, simply Google “free bitcoins” or something along those lines and you will find numerous sites.

Buying Bitcoin Hand-to-Hand

Finally, this is going to be the real test of bitcoin. Can people easily trade them back and forth? If this can’t happen, then there can’t really be a bitcoin economy because retailers won’t be able to use it. If retailers can’t use it, what earthly good is it? Fortunately, this is not really a problem. iPhone is a bit of a hold out, but many smartphones have apps (mobile wallets) that will read QR codes and allow you to send bitcoin to whomever you want. You can also display a QR code of your address, or even carry a card in your wallet with your QR code to let people send bitcoin to you. Depending on what kind of wallet you have, you can then check to see if the bitcoins have been received.

A couple of things to note:

  • When you set up your wallet, if you click around a bit, you will see an option to pay a fee to speed transactions. This money becomes available to a bitcoin miner as he/she/they process bitcoin information. The miners doing the work of creating blocks of information keeps the system up to date and secure. The fee is an incentive to the miner to be sure to include your information in the next information block and therefore “verify” it. In the short term, miners are making most of their money by mining new coins (check the section on What Are Bitcoins for more information about this). In the long term, as it gets harder to find new coins, and as the economy increases, the fees will be an incentive for miners to keep creating more blocks and keep the economy going. Your wallet should be set to pay 0 fees as a default, but if you want, you can add a fee to prioritize your transactions. You are under no obligation to pay a fee, and many organizations that process many small transactions (like the ones that pan for gold described above) produce enough fees to keep the miners happy.
  • In clicking around your wallet, on the transactions page or linked to specific transactions, you will see a note about confirmations. When you make a transaction, that information is sent out into the network and the network will send back a confirmation that there is no double entry for that bitcoin. It is smart to wait until you get several confirmations before walking away from someone who has paid you. It is actually not very easy to scam someone hand-to-hand like this, and it is not very cost-effective for the criminal, but it can be done.

Where can you buy bitcoin like this?

  • You may have a bitcoin Meetup in your area.
  • You can check out localbitcoins.com to find people near you who are interested in buying or selling.
  • Some are trying to start up local street exchanges across the world. These are called Buttonwoods after the first street exchange established on Wall Street in 1792 under a buttonwood tree. See if there is one, or start one, in your area.
  • See if you have any friends who would like to try bitcoins out. Actually, the more people who start using bitcoin, the larger and more successful it will be come. So please tell two friends!

Some people ask if it is possible to buy physical bitcoins. The answer to this is both a yes and a no. Bitcoin, by its very nature, is a digital currency and has no physical form. However, there are a couple of ways that you can practically hold a bitcoin in your hands:

  • Cascascius Coins: These are the brainchild of Mike Caldwell. He mints physical coins and then embeds the private keys for the bitcoins inside them. You can get the private key by peeling a hologram from the coin which will then clearly show that the coin has been tampered with. Mike has gone out of his way to ensure that he can be trusted. These are a good investment strategy as in the years to come it may be that these coins are huge collector’s items.
  • Paper Wallets: A paper wallet just means that rather than keeping the information for your bitcoin stored in a digital wallet, you print the key information off along with a private key and keep it safe in a safe, in a drawer, or in your mattress (if you like). This is highly recommended and cost effective system for keeping your bitcoin safe. Keep in mind, though, that someone could steal them or if your house burns, they will go with the house and there will be no way to get them back. Really, no different than cash. Also, as with Casascius Coins, they will not really be good for spending until you put them back into the computer.

* There is software to make printing your paper wallets easier. bitcoinpaperwallet.com is one of the best and includes a good tutorial about how to use them.

* The bitcoins are not actually in the wallet, they are still on the web. In fact, the outside of the wallet will have a QR code that will allow you ship coins to the wallet any time you like.

* The sealed part of the wallet will have the private key without which you cannot access the coins. Therefore, only put as many coins on the wallet as you want to be inaccessible. You will not be able to whip this thing out and take out a few coins to buy a cup of coffee. Rather, think of it as a piggy bank. To get the money, you have to smash it. It is possible to take out smaller amounts, but at this point the security of the wallet is compromised and it would be easier for someone to steal the coins. Better to have them all in or out.

* People who use paper wallets are usually security conscious, and there are a number of ways for the nefarious in the world to hack your computer. Bitcoinpaperwallet.com gives a lot of good advice about how to print your wallets securely.

Some people have also asked about buying bitcoins on eBay. Yes, it is possible, but they will be far overpriced. So, selling on eBay might seem to be a better option given the extreme markup over market value you might see. But, as with anything that is too good to be true, this is too good to be true. As I will explain in the next section, selling bitcoin this way is just way too risky.

How Not to Buy Bitcoin

In the next section, I am going to explain a couple of key points about buying from Bitcoin Exchanges. Before I do, let me give you a warning.

A short history lesson: When people first started setting up actual business based on bitcoin, they used all of the tools available to any merchant. They sold by credit card and PayPal. The problem with this business model was quickly spotted: bitcoin transactions are not reversible by anyone except the recipient of the money. Credit cards and PayPal have strong buyer protection policies that make it relatively easy for people to request a chargeback. So, nefarious individuals realized this and began making purchases of bitcoin and then sooner or later requesting a chargeback. And, since bitcoin is a non-physical product, sent by new and poorly understood technological means, the sellers were not able to contest this. Because of this, sellers stopped accepting credit cards and PayPal.

This was a big problem for the currency: How to move money between buyers and seller? Some business emerged that would credit you with bitcoin if you wired them money. Very often these businesses would give addresses in Albania, Poland, or Russia. The fact is that many of these did work and there are a lot of stories on the forums of people who bought bitcoins this way. But it took a lot of time and in the meantime the buyer just had to bite his or her fingernails wondering if they would get their bitcoins or kiss their investment goodbye.

I expect that as bitcoin becomes more acceptable and valuable, we are going to see a version of the Nigerian Prince scam. So the warning is this: we now have exchanges and other businesses that allow for moving money easily onto and off of exchanges. Never wire money for bitcoin. It was a short-lived, and well-forgotten, moment in the history of bitcoin.

Next, I will be talking about how to buy from a bitcoin exchange and give a review of the some of the best known exchanges.

The ghostly growth of China’s ghost towns

Bloomberg has released a new video series called “Ghost Cities of China.”

Journalist Adam Johnson describes how the Chinese government is building huge cities where no one lives yet. Expectations are that China is going to “grow” among these cities.

A remarkable thought, indeed. Authoritarian planners in Beijing or wherever decide it would be fine if, say, a million or more people moved into a pre-planned area.

Then they build the infrastructure, or rather the entire metropolis, skyscrapers, traffic lights and all, and wait.

Stop for a moment and consider how absurd this is. Last time your editor checked, central planning wasn’t a big success. Historically, bureaucrats who administer directives over long distances tend to allocate resources poorly.

But are ghost towns a recipe for bust? Some say no. A Bloomberg reporter, for example, assures us that China’s economy is different, that is, “this time is different.” (Where have we heard that before…)

It’s supposed to be a good thing that only tens of thousands of people live in these ghost towns built for millions of residents, because all that wasteland square footage will eventually be put to good use.

As a bonus, building ghost towns is great for economic growth.

China is creating new jobs in construction, civil engineering, urban planning and the like through superhighways, building steel and glass towers on dams. This whole build looks fabulous on paper. Ghost infrastructure counts as an efficient output, and the ultra-aggressive GDP target is maintained.

But what is wrong with that picture?

In one, there is a problem of central planning. Growth and development are free market forces marked by trial and error. Successful cities are built from the ground up, not by bureaucrats rubber-stamping a decree. So how does the government know where the new metropolis should go, or what its optimal size should be?

Then you have accounting problems. Should the promise of tomorrow be so easily reflected on the balance sheet today?

Imagine if a public corporation said: “We’re going to grow at 20% a year, building idle factories in the middle of nowhere that nobody will use for a long time. Don’t worry though, there is a demand for these plants. will appear. After all, we will profit from them. Just don’t ask when.”

Such a plan would be hit hard by the market, as public companies are held accountable for profits and return on investment (ROI). (At least most of the time, investors in bubble times will gladly suspend their rational faculties.)

Of course, the Chinese government does not have to seek profit in its actions. Or it can measure results in entirely unconventional ways: “how many jobs have we created” or “what do the GDP numbers look like?”

After all, the “ghost town” mandate is a direct nod to John Maynard Keynes, who once suggested digging holes and then filling them in again as a way to put men to work.

China is more complicated. Instead of digging holes, it places buildings. However, the effect is the same. “One day” empty skyscrapers will have value if they are not first condemned as decrepit structures, but until then they are just pits.

Chinese bulls are not bothered by ghost towns for at least three reasons.

First, they convinced themselves (with more than a little faith) that the empty metropolis would one day (sooner rather than later) be filled.

Second, they figure China has plenty of money to burn even if the ghost towns don’t work.

And thirdly, as the old saying goes, “a mobile loan doesn’t hurt”. As long as the speculative music plays, property developers can keep dancing.

The trouble, as always, comes when the music stops. If China turns out to have built, say, 20 years of excess capacity before that happens, then hundreds of billions in stagnant projects will have to be written off.

Harder still is the idea that China’s “economic miracle” is in fact a hugely effective bet on mercantilism…underpinned by uninterrupted construction…the end of the boom has been unwisely extrapolated from sky-high projections for the future. growth.

This is another favorite tactic of investment fanatics. forever in the embrace of skyward growth curves, mortgaging (and borrowing against) tomorrow for the sake of today.

Even if China can write checks to cover the costs of writing off all those cities, there’s a big multiple built into the global economy right now on the assumption that China’s growth is the real deal. When it sinks into most of that growth is actually “ghost” or “ghost” growth, nowhere in line with these empty monuments, that multiple collapse can hurt.

Bitcoin. What is it and is it right for your business?

OK, so what is Bitcoin?

It is not an actual coin, it is a “cryptocurrency”, a digital form of payment that is produced (“mined”) by many people around the world. It allows you to transact with partners instantly, worldwide, for free or at very low cost.

Bitcoin was invented after decades of cryptographic research by software developer Satoshi Nakamoto (believed to be a pseudonym), who designed the algorithm and introduced it in 2009. His true identity remains a mystery.

This currency is not backed by tangible goods (such as gold or silver); Bitcoins are traded online, which makes them a commodity.

Bitcoin is an open source product that is available to every user. All you need to get started is an email address, internet access and money.

where does it come from?

Bitcoin is mined on a distributed computer network of users running specialized software. the network solves certain mathematical proofs and searches for a certain sequence of data (“block”) that creates a certain pattern when the BTC algorithm is applied to it. Lutsky produces Bitcoin. It’s complicated and takes time and energy.

Only 21 million bitcoins will ever be mined (about 11 million are currently in circulation). The mathematical problems that grid computers solve are increasingly difficult to keep mining operations and supply under control.

This network also validates all transactions through encryption.

How does Bitcoin work?

Internet users transfer digital assets (bits) to each other over the network. No online banking; rather, Bitcoin has been described as a distributed ledger for the entire Internet. Users buy Bitcoin with cash or by selling a product or service for Bitcoin. Bitcoin wallets store and use this digital currency. Users can sell from this virtual ledger, exchanging their Bitcoin with anyone else who wants in. Anyone can do it anywhere in the world.

There are smartphone apps for mobile bitcoin transactions, and bitcoin exchanges populate the internet.

How is bitcoin valued?

Bitcoin is not held or controlled by a financial institution; it is completely decentralized. Unlike real money, it cannot be devalued by governments or banks.

Instead, Bitcoin’s value simply lies in its acceptance among users as a form of payment and because its supply is limited. Its global currency values ​​fluctuate according to supply and demand and market speculation; as more people create wallets and hold and spend bitcoins, and more businesses accept it, the value of bitcoin will rise. Banks are now trying to capitalize on Bitcoin, and some investment websites are predicting that the price of Bitcoin will reach several thousand dollars in 2014.

What are its advantages?

There are advantages for consumers and merchants who want to use this payment option.

1. Fast Transactions – Bitcoin is instantly transferred over the internet.

2. No Fees/Low Fees – Unlike credit cards, Bitcoin can be used for free or very low fees. Without a centralized institution as an intermediary, no proxies (and fees) are required. This improves the profit margin sales.

3. Eliminates the risk of fraud – Only the owner of the Bitcoin can send a payment to the intended recipient, who is the only one who can receive it. The network knows that the transfer has taken place and the transactions are validated; they cannot be challenged or withdrawn. This is great for online merchants, who are often subject to credit card processors’ assessments of whether or not a transaction is fraudulent, or for businesses that pay the high price of credit card chargebacks.

4. Data is safe. As we saw with the recent hacks of national retailers’ payment processing systems, the Internet isn’t always a safe place for private data. With Bitcoin, users don’t give up personal information.

a. They have two keys: a public key that serves as the bitcoin address and a private key with personal data.

b. Transactions are digitally “signed” by combining public and private keys; a mathematical function is applied and a certificate is generated that proves the user initiated the transaction. Digital signatures are unique for each transaction and cannot be reused.

c. The merchant/recipient never sees your private information (name, number, physical address), so they are somewhat anonymous, but they are traceable (to a public key bitcoin address).

5. Convenient payment system. Merchants can fully use Bitcoin as a payment system; they don’t have to hold any Bitcoin currency because Bitcoin can be converted to dollars. Consumers or traders can trade Bitcoin and other currencies at any time.

6. International Payments – Bitcoin is used worldwide; E-commerce merchants and service providers can easily accept international payments, which opens up new potential markets for them.

7. Easy to Track – The network tracks and permanently records every transaction in the Bitcoin block chain (database). In case of possible illegalities, it is easier for law enforcement agencies to investigate these transactions.

8. Are micropayments possible? Bitcoins are divisible down to one hundred millionths, so making payments of one dollar or less becomes a free or nearly free transaction. This can be a real boon for convenience stores, coffee shops, and subscription-based websites (videos, publications).

Still a bit confused. Here are some examples of transactions.

Bitcoin in the retail environment

At checkout, the payer uses a smartphone app to scan a QR code that contains all the transaction information needed to transfer the bitcoin to the retailer. By clicking the “Confirm” button, the transaction is completed. If the user does not have any bitcoins, the network converts the dollars from his account into the digital currency.

The retailer could convert that bitcoin into dollars if they wanted, there were no or very low processing fees (instead of 2 to 3 percent), no hacker could steal the consumer’s personal information, and there was no risk of fraud. Very subtle.

Bitcoins in hospitality

Hotels can accept bitcoin payments for room and board for guests who want to pay with bitcoin using their mobile wallets, or from a computer to a website to pay for an online reservation. A third-party BTC merchant processor can help manage the transactions it clears through the Bitcoin network. These processing clients are placed on tablets at the front desk of establishments or restaurants for users with BTC smartphone apps. (These payment processors are also available for desktops, retail POS systems, and integrated food service POS systems.) No need to exchange credit cards or money.

These cashless transactions are fast and the processor can convert the bitcoins into currency and make a daily direct deposit into the institution’s bank account. In January 2014, it was announced that two Las Vegas hotel-casinos would accept Bitcoin payments at the front desk, in their restaurants, and in their gift shop.

Sounds good, so what’s the catch?

Business owners must consider participation, security and cost issues.

• A relatively small proportion of ordinary consumers and merchants currently use or understand Bitcoin. However, adoption is growing globally and tools and technologies are being developed to facilitate participation.

• It’s the Internet, so hackers are a threat to exchanges. The Economist reported that in September 2013, a bitcoin exchange was hacked and $250,000 worth of bitcoins were stolen from users’ online vaults. Bitcoins can be stolen just like other currencies, so vigilant network, server and database security is paramount.

• Users should carefully protect their Bitcoin wallets, which contain their private keys. Secure backups or prints are very important.

• Bitcoin is not regulated or insured by the US government, so there is no insurance for your account if the exchange goes out of business or is hacked.

• Bitcoins are relatively expensive. Current prices and sale prices are available on online exchanges.

Virtual currency is not yet universal, but it is gaining market awareness and acceptance. A business may decide to try Bitcoin to save on credit card and bank fees, as a customer convenience, or to see if it helps or hinders sales and profitability.

Thinking of accepting Bitcoin? Are you already using it? Share your thoughts and experiences with us.

Thinking about investing? Think the Bitcoin way

What is Bitcoin?

If you’re here, you’ve heard of Bitcoin. It has been one of the most frequent news headlines in the last year or so, as a get-rich-quick scheme, the end of finance, the birth of a truly international currency, the end of the world, or an improved technology. the world But what is Bitcoin?

In short, Bitcoin is the first decentralized money system used for online transactions, but it might be helpful to dig a little deeper.

All of us, in general, know what “money” is and what it is used for. The most important problem witnessed in the use of money prior to Bitcoin is that it was centralized and controlled by a single entity, the centralized banking system. Bitcoin was invented in 2008/2009 by an unknown creator who goes by the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” to bring decentralization of money on a global scale. The idea is that currency can be traded across international lines without hassle or fee, checks and balances will be distributed around the world (not just on the ledgers of private corporations or governments), and money will become more and more democratic. equally accessible to all.

How did Bitcoin start?

The concept of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general was started in 2009 by an unknown researcher, Satoshi. The reason for his invention was to solve the centralization of the use of money based on banks and computers, a problem that many computer scientists were not happy with. Achieving decentralization has been attempted since the late 90s without success, so when Satoshi published a paper in 2008 that offered a solution, it was overwhelmingly welcomed. Today, Bitcoin has become a familiar currency for Internet users and has spawned thousands of “altcoins” (non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies).

How is bitcoin made?

Bitcoin is produced through a process called mining. Just as paper money is produced by printing and gold is mined from the ground, Bitcoin is created by “mining”. Mining involves solving complex mathematical problems involving blocks using computers and adding them to a public ledger. When it started, a simple processor (like in your home computer) was only needed for mining, but the level of difficulty has increased significantly and now you will need specialized equipment, including a high-end graphics processing unit (GPU) to mine Bitcoin.

How can I invest?

First, you need to open an account with the trading platform and create a wallet; you can find some examples by searching Google for “Bitcoin trading platform” – they usually have names like “coin” or “market”. After joining one of these platforms, you click on assets and then click on crypto to select your desired currencies. Each platform has many indicators that are quite important and you should definitely consider them before investing.

Just buy and hold

Although mining is the most reliable and, in some ways, the simplest way to earn Bitcoin, there is too much hustle and bustle involved, and the cost of electricity and specialized computer equipment puts it out of reach for most of us. To avoid all this, make it easy on yourself, enter the amount you want directly from your bank and click buy, then sit back and watch your investment grow as the price changes. This is called exchange and happens on many. exchange platforms available today with the ability to trade between many different fiat currencies (USD, AUD, GBP, etc.) and various crypto coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.).

Bitcoin trading

If you are familiar with stocks, bonds or Forex exchanges, you will easily understand crypto-trading. There are Bitcoin brokers like e-social trading, FXTM markets.com and many others to choose from. Platforms provide you with Bitcoin-fiat or fiat-Bitcoin currency pairs, for example BTC-USD means trading Bitcoins for USD. Keep an eye on price changes to find the perfect pair according to price changes; platforms provide price among other indicators to give you proper trading advice.

Bitcoin as shares

There are also organizations that have been created to allow you to buy shares in companies that invest in Bitcoin. these companies do trading and you just invest in them and wait for your monthly benefits. These companies simply pool digital money from different investors and invest on their behalf.

Why should you invest in Bitcoin?

As you can see, investing in Bitcoin requires you to have some basic knowledge of the currency as explained above. As with all investments, it involves risk. Whether or not to invest is entirely up to the individual. However, if I were to give advice, I would recommend investing in Bitcoin because Bitcoin continues to rise, although there has been one significant boom and bust, there is a good chance that cryptocurrencies as a whole will continue to rise. : increase in value over the next 10 years. Bitcoin is the biggest and most popular of the current cryptocurrencies, so it’s a good place to start and the safest bet right now. Although volatile in the short term, I doubt you will find Bitcoin trading more profitable than most other ventures.