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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!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © makidotvn

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Back to the Basics | Can Stablecoins Save Crypto’s Soul?

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stablecoins

stablecoins

When the perpetually mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, founder of Bitcoin, set out to build his own cryptocurrency, it’s fair to assume that he didn’t foresee where his creation would be just 10 years down the line.

This isn’t to say that the enigmatic developer didn’t have big plans for Bitcoin. After all, the aim of the digital currency was to ultimately overthrow the financial sector of the time. Instead, it became a capitalist dream—hurtling towards market values of almost $20,000 at its peak, before caving in on itself over the twelve months that followed.

Astoundingly, considering the unprecedented connectivity that we enjoy today, Satoshi Nakamoto has never been officially identified following the rise of his creation. Considering that he is rumored to own around 1 million Bitcoins that haven’t been touched—even during the cryptocurrency’s highest peaks—this has led to some investors to claim that Nakamoto died after founding his digital currency.

It would be quite something to hear Nakamoto’s thoughts on the ecosystem that he created. In the early days of Bitcoin, some adopters were keen to get the cryptocurrency up and running as a viable payment alternative—with some hip fast food places accepting the coin and a few businesses offering to pay salaries in Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency startups established themselves in a bid to support transactions through Bitcoin. BitPay could’ve paved the way for the currency to be used to buy groceries or cinema tickets, but adoption wasn’t widespread enough to bring viability and Bitcoin began to mutate.

Last year, The Next Web found that 44% of all Bitcoin transactions are for illegal activities. Users found that Bitcoin was an ideal and untraceable currency for use on the dark web.

Writing for The Outline, Adrianne Jeffries said, “Nakamoto was a libertarian who wanted to create a system for payments that would circumvent governments, bankers, and corporations.”

He continued, “Instead, Bitcoin is now a get-rich-quick scheme that retains none of the exciting, anarchist features it proposed and has created a secondary economy with financial shenanigans that mirror the ones that led to the global financial crisis.”

It would be hard to classify Bitcoin as a failure, but it’s fair to say that the cryptocurrency has lost the soul it had as an emerging financial alternative off the back of 2008’s devastating financial crash.

There is, however, hope for the soul of the crypto-ecosystem as a whole.

2020 promises to be one of the biggest years for the world of cryptocurrencies. Stablecoins aren’t exactly new, but with the anticipated arrival of Facebook’s Libra and Wells Fargo Digital Cash, the volatility-free industry of stablecoins looks set to take centre stage.

Stability in the Face of Volatility

In December 2017, Bitcoin reached a value of almost $20,000; one year on it had dwindled to nearly $3,000.

As a digital currency that was designed to operate as a reliable alternate payment system, the success of the Bitcoin bull run in 2017 rendered the cryptocurrency unfit for its intended purpose.

>> Ripple Transfers XRP to New Trading Address: Bad News for Crypto?

Stablecoins, however, are pegged to real-world assets like the US Dollar or gold. Because of this, there aren’t any meteoric rises in value, but no crippling drops either.

Ethically speaking, stablecoins will be free from the clutches of speculators and profit-turning investors, leaving the digital coins to operate as they should—as a universal currency that can be used seamlessly beyond borders.

Practical Application

Stablecoins like Wells Fargo Digital CashTimvi (TMV), and Tether have been designed with convenience in mind.

When Wells Fargo announced its own digital stablecoin, the banking giants did so with an eye firmly fixed on enabling easy transactions. Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo, boldly predicted that Digital Cash will be “faster than SWIFT, cheaper and definitely more efficient.”

Wells Fargo Digital Cash uses R3’s Corda Enterprise software to leverage swift book transfers internally—enabling funds to move seamlessly from a payer’s account to a payee’s account within the bank.

The true pace of Digital Cash remains to be seen, but if it is indeed faster than SWIFT, then it represents a step in the right direction towards utilizing crypto payments for everyday activities—like buying a coffee on the way to work.

Reaching the Unbanked

When Facebook announced Libra, its stablecoin that’s due to be released in 2020, it was done so from a humanitarian perspective.

Libra has been developed with the aim of reaching out to the unbanked citizens of the world. “For many people around the world, even basic financial services are still out of reach: almost half of the adults in the world don’t have an active bank account, and those numbers are worse in developing countries and even worse for women,” wrote Facebook subsidiary Calibra in a recent company statement.

Facebook, along with 28 other founding members of The Libra Association, including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Lyft, and Coinbase, among others, will focus on developing a stable universal currency that’s designed to accommodate low-cost transactions across borders.

“The goal of this new project is to build a financial ecosystem that can plug in and empower billions of people,” explained Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association.

It’s early days yet, but 2020 may well be a watershed moment for driving the world of cryptocurrencies away from the soulless Wild West period of late-2017 and 2018 and into a new era of inclusivity and innovation. Hope springs eternal.

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

Featured image: DepositPhotos © monsit

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Bakkt is All Set to Introduce Bitcoin Futures in September

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Bakkt

Bakkt

Bakkt is all set to launch its much-awaited platform for Bitcoin futures.

When cryptocurrency first grabbed the attention of the global public, it was still looked upon as a novelty and something far too chaotic to be regulated by the relevant authorities. However, much has changed over the past couple of years as a range of fresh products have been launched, and perhaps the most important one is Bitcoin futures.

Everything is on Schedule

Earlier on this year, cryptocurrency firm Bakkt announced that it was all set to launch a fully regulated Bitcoin exchange in September. Moreover, the company also stated at the time that Bitcoin futures were going to be offered in the said exchange. It goes without saying that there is a lot of excitement around this platform, and recently, the company confirmed that it is on track for the launch.

The new platform that is going to be launched by Bakkt is aiming to make an investment in Bitcoin easier for most customers. However, it should be pointed out that the primary focus for Bakkt is to attract institutional investors to the platform and if it can do that, then that could prove to be a major breakthrough for the entire crypto space.

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In addition to that, the Bitcoin futures contracts that are going to be traded on the platform are going to be settled in Bitcoin. This particular feature makes it especially advantageous for institutions that might want to avoid any kind of volatility. Over the years it has been noticed that advanced platforms often failed to meet their deadlines when it came to launches.

However, Bakkt has managed to buck the trend and announced that it is going to launch its new platform on September 23 as planned. It is a platform that could have far-reaching consequence for the entire crypto space if it does manage to attract a considerable chunk of institutional investors.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © grejak

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Which Cryptocurrencies Will Survive the Next Decade?

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cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency

In the last ten years, we have seen the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry thrive and adapt to our economic and technological landscape. During that period, the global market cap rose from near zero to its all-time-high of $800 billion in early 2018. While the current market cap is nowhere near that number right now, this does not take away from the milestone. During that period, we have also seen the rise of the altcoin market, with one coin even reaching a high enough status as to rival Bitcoin; namely Ethereum. And this is not to even mention the developments that have taken place to the blockchain.

Cryptocurrency has managed to reach a state where it is regularly discussed within financial circles, and constantly featured on economics-based news sites. It is fair to say that cryptocurrency is here to stay, but which coins will make the cut? The last ten years have seen multiple coins and tokens come and go, with many falling into obscurity. This begs the question: which coins will survive the next decade?

Environmentally-Friendly Coins

A 2018 study found that Bitcoin consumes, at a minimum, 2.55 gigawatts, which is near-equivalent to the electricity consumption of Ireland. It is fair to say that this is a large quantity of energy, and this is only for one coin. There are no clear and wide-scale statistics on how all cryptocurrencies have collectively impacted the environment, but considering how Bitcoin is consuming so much, it is likely that the whole industry is harming the environment much further.

In large part, this is due to the way Proof-of-Work blockchains operate, as they rely on excessive processing power. At the start of the industry, there was no way of avoiding this; however, nowadays, there are numerous other consensus algorithms that require less energy. Proof-of-Stake coins, such as DASH, and DAGs, such as IOTA, use considerably less power than the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum. As society becomes more environmentally conscious, these types of coins will continue to thrive.

AI-Focused Coins

Artificial Intelligence has been steadily improving as a field, and in recent years it has been recognized by the blockchain industry. Cryptocurrencies such as DeepBrainChain and Velas place a high focus on AI, using it to maintain their blockchains and set the agenda for their milestones. AI is an extremely useful asset in this area, as cryptography focuses on large quantities of data, and nothing handles the processing of data like AI. The next ten years will see AI expanding its reach further, and coins that utilize it will go far.

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Coins Designed for Global Expansion

For a coin to be futureproof, it needs to be ready for global adoption. This means that it needs to have protocols in place to prevent it from slowing down during periods of high traffic, and a mechanism for controlling transaction fees. Without these, coins are set to fail before they even become popular. Even though Bitcoin struggles with both of these features, many of its contemporaries such as Ethereum don’t. Bitcoin is only allowed to survive through these issues because of its name recognition, and the fact that it was the first within the industry. No other coins or tokens are afforded the same privilege.

Cryptocurrencies that adhere to these factors have a high chance of sustained success within the next decade. This type of finance will not be going anywhere, but it is sure to undergo several changes in the time to come. It’s hard to guess which coins will stand the test of time, but a fair assumption would be that the ones that are ready for the future will survive into it.

Disclaimer: I currently hold a small amount of Bitcoin and XRP. I am associated with none of the companies mentioned.

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

Featured image: DepositPhotos © kentoh

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Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings Places XRP, EOS, BTC, and BNB on Top

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Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings

Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings

Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings released its March 2019 “Weiss Cryptocurrency Outlook” report, with Ripple (XRP), EOS, Bitcoin (BTC), and Binance Coin (BNB) receiving the top four spots on the list of 122 cryptocurrencies. Weiss Ratings is the world’s only financial rating agency that provides grades on cryptocurrencies.

The report, which is called “Dark Shadows with a Bright Future,” examines the cryptocurrencies available on the market using two factors—the tech/adoption grade for long-term investors and the risk/reward grade based on short-term factors.

Of the 122 cryptocurrencies examined in the report, XRP, EOS, Bitcoin, and Binance Coin were given an overall B- rating, while none received an A rating, which is considered excellent.

Remarkable Growth in the Cryptocurrency Space

Authors Martin Weiss and chief cryptocurrency analyst, Juan Villaverde, start the report by noting that despite a sharp decline in the price of cryptocurrencies, “the industry’s network capacity and security have improved dramatically and underlying technology has evolved with new, more efficient ways to create digital assets.”

What’s more, leading cryptocurrencies are seeing three times more volume in user (on-chain) transactions than they did in early 2018. These improved fundamentals and lower prices offer new opportunities for investors, although this is dependent on whether or not they can “afford the risk, avoid the worst and invest in the best.”

Cryptocurrency Market Still Risky

Despite improvements to cryptocurrency fundamentals, the Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings report authors still advise investors who cannot afford to lose money to be wary in the near term.

“Investors who cannot afford to lose money, the recent market declines and doldrums imply high risk and uncertain rewards. Crypto market liquidity is very thin. Trading comes in spurts. Relatively small infusions of new buying cause sudden price rallies. Equally small bouts of selling cause unexpected market crashes,” said the report.

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Cryptocurrency Trends to Watch

In the report, Weiss and Villaverde identified trends in the cryptocurrency space that investors should keep in mind. These trends include changes to the way cryptocurrencies are secured and some cryptocurrencies moving away from blockchain entirely, as well as killer dApps like decentralized, crypto-based social media, peer-to-peer lending, and fair and secure elections playing the biggest role in determining the future winners.

What do you think will happen in the cryptocurrency space moving forward? Which cryptocurrency do you have your eye on?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © spaxiax

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