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February 2019

BlockFi Includes Litecoin and USDC in Lending Portfolio

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BlockFi

BlockFi

Cryptocurrency has gone through a lot of new developments over the past few months and today, cryptocurrency lending company BlockFi made a major new announcement. The company, which operates its own platform, announced today that it has added support for two more digital assets.

Major Expansion

The company announced that from now on, loans can be disbursed in the form of Litecoin as well as in the stablecoin USDC. USDC is backed by the United States Dollar. This is a significant development for Litecoin and USDC, as both those cryptocurrencies will now be made available to a wider pool of customers.

In addition to the digital assets added today, the other cryptocurrencies in which loans are made from the BlockFi platform include Gemini Dollar, Ethereum, and Bitcoin. However, it is important to note that the platform is not only meant for lending purposes. Customers will also be able to trade in these cryptocurrencies and earn interest on what they store in their wallets. In order to earn interest, a customer would have to create a BlockFi Interest Account and get to earn monthly compound interest on their holdings.

The annual percentage rate for Litecoin holdings has been pegged at 3.8%, while the same for USDC has been set at 8.6%. This marks another major development for not only these two digital assets but also for the entire crypto sector. Litecoin is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the world, and the fact that the availability of the coin is expanding is a major development for the token’s fans.

>> Libra Exec Boasts Project’s Benefits Over Bitcoin at CES 2020

While the crypto industry has had its ups and downs, the crypto lending industry has grown at a fair clip. In fact, it has been one of the best performers in the entire industry. Much of that is due to the bearish patterns in the market in 2018 and the latter half of 2019. BlockFi has been one of the beneficiaries of the market as well.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © aa-w

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Apple’s Steve Wozniak Says Bitcoin has “Massive Value Creation”

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Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has spoken out about Bitcoin in a revelation that many would consider bullish in sentiment. Wozniak, in an interview with Bloomberg, has said of the coin that “we’ve seen massive value creation.”

He also puts most of the market volatility down to fear-mongering and psychology.

Apple’s Steve Wozniak

The co-founder of Apple has always spoken highly of the coin and once said it would become the world’s single currency.

The interviewer challenged him on this view asking him if he still had the same opinion considering “we’ve seen massive value destruction in Bitcoin.”

But to that question, Steve Wozniak remained as bullish as ever about Bitcoin by saying:

“I’m not sure I can buy that we’ve seen massive value destruction, I think we’ve seen massive value creation.”

Steve Wozniak and Bitcoin

The tech icon has owned Bitcoin in the past. In the interview, he elaborates on this saying that he only kept it to experiment with and to experience the coins development, not for profit or typical investment reasons. He explains how he sold it when the price got really high:

“I don’t want to be one of those people watching the price of Bitcoin, so I sold out.”


Blockchain

Although bullish on Bitcoin, Wozniak has been apprehensive about blockchain—the technology that underpins the digital asset—in the past. He has compared this industry as the next potential dot com bubble believing that many blockchain startups will inevitably over-promise and under-deliver as much as the computer industry did in the ’90s. At an event in New York in June last year, he said the following:

“A lot of the blockchain ideas that are really good by coming out early they can burn themselves out by not being prepared to be stable in the long run.”

On the ’90s hype over the growing computer industry, Steve Wozniak commented: “It was a bubble, and I feel that way about blockchain.”

>> Could Consumers Use the JPM Coin One Day? Maybe

Ripple to the Rescue

And while there is some potential truth in Wozniak’s concern, blockchain companies such as Ripple have been laying the groundwork in recent months to make sure that exact problem doesn’t happen.

Ripple has invested millions of its own hard-cash into a program called the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). The UBRI is focused on developing the upcoming generation of blockchain developers, ensuring the talent is there to keep this industry alive and growing.

At present, it has 28 universities attached to its self-funded $50 million USD initiative.

Do you agree with Wozniak about Bitcoin? Is he right to be bullish on the coin? Should we be more wary of blockchain hype?

Let us know!

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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Payments with Bitcoin

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are now a given. Whether you want them to or not, they will be gaining popularity every year. Obviously, it’s best to start learning about Bitcoin now. Here’s your ultimate guide to getting payments with Bitcoin.

Understand How Bitcoin Works

The first thing you must do is understand what Bitcoin is and how it works. As defined by BBC, “Bitcoin, often described as a cryptocurrency, a virtual currency or a digital currency – is a type of money that is completely virtual.”

You could say that it is an online version of cash that can be acquired in three ways:

  • Creating with a computer.
  • Buying with “real” money.
  • Selling things and getting paid with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is not as popular as the usual money you are used to, but it is quickly being adopted by many big and small companies. However, you should still keep in mind that BTC is banned in some countries.

To put it simply, every Bitcoin is a computer file that is stored in a digital wallet app on a mobile or desktop device such as a computer or smartphone. You can send and receive Bitcoins or parts of Bitcoins to your digital wallet.

Every transaction is recorded in the blockchain, which is a public list. This makes this technology extremely secure as nobody can spend coins that aren’t theirs, copy coins, undo transactions, or perform other malicious actions.

Determine Your Storage Method

The next step is determining your storage method. This is very important as it will help you keep yourself protected from hackers. Moreover, this will also protect everyone else you communicate with while performing BTC transactions.

Of course, Bitcoin is already a very secure currency, but there have still been instances of theft when users stored their Bitcoins on unreliable websites. To avoid such situations, you must choose a platform that has a good reputation.

>> Ethereum (ETH) Slumps 50% From Highs in 2019: What to Do Now?

Open Your Bitcoin Wallet

You will have to open a mobile wallet that is an app supported both by Android and iOS. Some notable apps of such kind include Airbitz and Copay. Some mobile wallets can even provide you with discounts and special offers if you use them for making purchases on a daily basis.

Alternatively, you can set up a web wallet, also known as an online wallet. This option is better for those who are planning to convert their Bitcoin to a fiat (national) currency or trade it for other cryptocurrencies. BitGo and BTC.com are both examples of these.

It is important to keep in mind that there are other types of Bitcoin wallets and just like mobile and web wallets, they also have their own flaws. It is impossible to have an entirely secure wallet, but you can still choose something more or less reliable.

Promote On Your Website

After you’ve done all the technical parts, it’s time for you to get the word out about your Bitcoin acceptance. If you own a business, it would be a great idea to start accepting payments in Bitcoin, so make sure to promote this feature on your official website.

If you have already created your ICO paper, then it would be a great idea to get it in other languages. In fact, translating your ICO can give you extra exposure along with the one you already get from promoting your new Bitcoin acceptance feature on your website.

In case you don’t have an ICO paper and aren’t planning to get one, you can still promote your Bitcoin compatibility on your website. Here are a few ways you can do it:

  • Add a logo somewhere on your website that says that your website is crypto compatible.
  • For online stores, you could add a button for accepting Bitcoin payments.
  • Lastly, you can promote this new feature on your business’s social media profiles.

Get Help from Specialists

One of the ways to get Bitcoin is to mine it. However, this is a very difficult and complicated process that must not be carried out by a beginner. But even if you are not planning to mine Bitcoin, it is highly recommended that you seek advice from specialists concerning how you must manage your Bitcoin transactions.

Once you get advice from the experts in this industry, you will be able to conduct safer operations with a smaller risk of being hacked. Besides, you can get invaluable tips that you might not find as easily by simply searching online.

Alternatively, consider finding relevant courses online or offline that you can attend and learn how to manage Bitcoin step-by-step. It’s a great option for those who don’t want to keep surfing the Internet for the information they need on this topic.

>> Ripple Escrow Wallet Transfers Another 500 Million XRP to Company

Follow Best Practices

Lastly, there is no need for you to invent something new, as the best practices are the methods that have proven to be effective. Here are some techniques you should adopt to make your experience with Bitcoin a positive one:

  • Don’t store your Bitcoins in the same place you keep them in during the day while making transactions. Just like you would take out real money from the cash register at the end of the day, withdraw your Bitcoins and store them elsewhere when you are not using them.
  • Consider exchanging your Bitcoins for a national currency immediately after receiving them. It’s not a difficult process and can be carried out by anyone through a virtual exchange house.
  • Alternatively, get a hardware wallet for fully controlling your private keys and storing your currency offline. This will make it harder for hackers to get through to your money. Nevertheless, make sure you keep this hardware wallet in a safe place.
  • Take into account many factors when choosing your storage wallets. Consider such factors as the platform’s regulatory frameworks, interaction with fiduciary currencies, the fees charged by the platform, and the availability of customer support.
  • Back up your wallet once in a while to be ready in situations when both humans and computers fail. Prioritize this feature when choosing your platform. Use strong passwords and make sure that all your linked accounts are strongly protected as well.
  • Avoid scammers at all costs. Bitcoin is an attractive currency as it is fairly new and already very popular, so there are many inexperienced people trying to get started with it. Don’t fall for scammers who claim they have a magic tool to double your Bitcoins. It’s not true, and you will simply lose everything you have at the moment.
  • Remember about HODL, which means “hold your Bitcoins.” Many beginners don’t have the necessary skills to earn a lot with trades, so don’t buy into all the success stories. It takes time, effort, practice, and patience before you figure everything out.

Final Thoughts

All in all, even though Bitcoin is not a stable currency yet, it already costs a lot and has a fair share of the market. By investing in Bitcoin now, your future will be more determined, bright, and hopeful.

This article was curated through CryptoCurrencyNews’ Contributor Program. If you would like to write for us, send us your submission!

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Facebook Officially Launches Libra Despite High-Profile Departures

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Libra

Libra

Libra, the highly-scrutinized planned cryptocurrency led by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), officially launched in Geneva yesterday despite several high-profile defections from the project last week.

Libra Launches With 21 Chartered Members

The Libra Association, the non-profit governing body of the digital currency, officially signed on 21 charter members at a meeting at its Swiss headquarters. The association was originally made up of 27 members; however, the high level of regulatory scrutiny leveled at the project led to several prominent defections in recent weeks. These include Visa (NYSE:V), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), and Mastercard (NYSE:MA), which all jumped ship last week as it emerged that Mark Zuckerberg would defend his plans to launch Libra before a Congressional committee.

Libra also named its board of directors and formalized the association’s executive team in Geneva. David Marcus, Calibra CEO and former head of Facebook’s blockchain activities, will take a seat on the five-person board. Joining him will be Katie Haun, a general partner with Andreessen Horowitz; Wences Cesares, CEO of Xapo; Patrick Ellis, general counsel at PayU; and Matthew Davie, chief strategy officer of Kiva. Notable companies making up the 21 chartered members include Spotify, Uber, Vodafone, and several prominent investment firms.

High-Profile Defections

Despite the high-profile defections and intense regulatory resistance to the project, The Libra Association has said that more than 1,500 entities have expressed an interest in signing up, with 180 of them meeting the requirements to do so. In order for new members to join the association, a two-thirds vote is required by the current group of 21. The Libra Association was initially meant to consist of 100 companies; however, no further update on that figure has been provided, nor has an official launch date.

>> NASDAQ Launches AI-Powered CIX100 Crypto Index

Regulatory Resistance

Should Libra ever come to fruition, it will be a stablecoin backed by a basket of fiat currencies including the US dollar (50%), the euro (18%), the yen (14%), the British pound (11%), and the Singapore dollar (7%). However, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have been highly opposed to the plans, with France’s finance minister saying he will block any attempts to develop the coin in Europe, while members of the Federal Advisory Council in the US described the project as a “monetary threat.”

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