A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin and Blockchain

You have probably heard the terms Bitcoin and Blockchain but maybe you don’t understand what they mean. The post below and accompanying infographic provides a beginners guide to Bitcoin and Blockchain.

Bitcoin is the first ever decentralized cryptocurrency which can be even termed as the digital or virtual currency, says cryptosuper.market. Bitcoin is fungible, portable, divisible and irreversible.

The Bitcoin was invented by the name SATOSHI NAKAMOTO in the year 2008 and it was later published as open source in the year 2009. But the person or group behind the invention have no traces of identity as the bitcoin was published by an unknown person or group using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.

After the invention of Bitcoins many cryptocurrencies emerged, where some used the same system and structure of bitcoin and others implemented the structure and made better digital form of currency. Though there are many forms, bitcoin stands first-1st among them. As the rest of the forms are derived from the bitcoins they are often termed as ALTCOINS which means Alternate coins of bitcoin.

At first Litecoin was taken as an altcoin which later lead to various Altcoins as Dogecoin, Ethereum, Monero and etc. Each and every altcoin has its own specifications where some of them even beat the functioning of bitcoin in some aspects as some of the Altcoins stand as the best by offering greater anonymity than bitcoin.

A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin and Blockchain – What is Blockchain?

To record all the transactions of the bitcoins a public ledger called BLOCKCHAIN has been invented where the blockchain stood as undeniably an ingenious or a creative invention. The blockchain plays an important role, the whole bitcoin network completely relies on the blockchain.

Blockchain is further classified as three types namely public, private and consortium blockchain. Generally blockchain follows a state of consensus where the transactions takes place between the users and are usually confirmed within 10 minutes of Block Time by the network, through a process called Mining.

Block time is often defined as the time taken by the network to generate an extra block in the blockchain. The Block Time differs for each and every Cryptocurrency form, the Block time for Ethereum is 20 seconds.

A chronological order is enforced in the blockchain system by mining. Mining allows different computers to agree on the state of system and it protects the neutrality of the network.

The first ever international blockchain transaction was completed on October 24, 2016. Brokered by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC).

Now there comes the question of storage of bitcoins, bitcoins are generally stored in the bitcoin wallet or crypto wallet. Cryptocurrency is not actually or directly stored in a crypto wallet.

Instead, a private key is stored that generally shows ownership of a public key. So in general a crypto wallet stores both private and public keys and allows to receive and send coins.

If a person loses his / her wallet due to the corruption of the wallet file or hard disk or the data disruption the lost bitcoins that are present in the wallet can’t be retrieved back and they are to be considered that they are lost forever. There are many offline and hardware wallets available.

The Bitcoins use peer to peer (P2P) networking system which doesn’t involve any third party interference in the transaction process. The success rate of the trade increases with the P2P networking system.

P2P networking system became first popular in 1999 with the introduction of Napster application, it is a file system which generally has a set of central servers that’s used to link people who had files with those requested files.

Since the transactions directly take place between the users without the interference of any third party, the transactions are irreversible.  But at one point it is possible to refund if and only if the receiver agrees to cancel the transaction.

Generally people often get confused about owning a cryptocurrency, the major point that concerns them which coin to select. Though bitcoin stands first it even has some drawbacks which are recovered in its altcoins. People now-a-days are interested in bitcoins because of its speed of transaction and very low transaction fee offered.

Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used cryptocurrency and thus bitcoin is increasingly viewed as a morganatic or legitimate means of exchange. But there is even a point to be concerned as the price of bitcoin is volatile, price of bitcoin can unpredictably decrease or increase over a short period of time due to its novel nature, young economy and illiquid markets.

It isn’t a tough task to own a bitcoin as there are 4 basic ways through which a person can own a bitcoin, a person can buy them form bitcoin exchange sources or can buy bitcoins from any of their friends or relatives or near by trader or by Accepting Bitcoins as payment for goods and services they provide or by mining the bitcoins.

All the three ways are simple and easy but care must be taken while dealing with unknown people or traders whereas mining isn’t that easy as it seems to be as it’s a process which involves in usage of special software to solve mathematical algorithms in exchange of bitcoins and it isn’t possible as it once was.

If a person wants to begin a transaction and he knows nothing regarding the process then that’s totally futile. We can conclude the information regarding beginning transaction process or steps of the transaction process in few steps as : a transaction can be termed a general transfer of value between the Bitcoin wallets that are involved in the blockchain.

Bitcoin wallets have private key which is generally used to sign transactions by providing a proof (mathematical proof) that the request have come from the owner of the wallet. The signature also prevents transaction being altered by others once it has been issued or started.

All transactions are between the users and are usually confirmed within 10 minutes of block time by the network through mining.

Nowadays for the convenience of the bitcoin users many Bitcoin ATMs have been installed and there are about 3164 ATM machines through out the world. Bitcoin kiosks (Look like traditional ATMs) are generally the machines which are connected to internet and allow the insertion of cash in exchange for bitcoins. As per the study, bitcoin ATM charges about 7% on transaction and 50$ as exchange rate.

Is Bitcoin legal?

There are many countries which legalized the usage of bitcoins and whereas there are many countries which have banned the usage of bitcoins and declared bitcoins illegal. In short we can say that the bitcoin isn’t legalized all over the world.

Countries or Nations like Ecuador, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia banned the usage of bitcoins and declared bitcoins illegal whereas, countries like United States, Canada, Australia and European Union accept the usage of bitcoin declaring it legal.

In cryptocurrency we usually have a fork which is given as change in protocol, the forks are classified into hard forks and soft forks. The first Bitcoin fork was NAMECOIN published or generated in the year 2010 and a hard fork published in the year 2017 was Bitcoin Gold.

The most common fork used is the SegWit which is a soft fork, SegWit (Short for Segregated Witness) and SegWit is a protocol upgrade that changes the way data is stored.

The total dollar market value is generally determined by Market Cap value or Market Capitalization value. The market cap value is mathematically calculated using MC=N x P, where MC is the market capitalization, P is closing price per share and N is number of shares outstanding.

Bitcoins are even helpful in the payment sector. For the first time University Of Nicosia, Cyprus accepted fees in the form of bitcoins. Bitcoins are even used in shopping, online transactions and payment.

There are many payment service providers (PSP) offering online services dealing with cryptocurrencies. There are many payment service providers where Bitpay and Coinbase are internationally top ranking exchange providers for bitcoins. The basic work of the payment service provider is to accept bitcoin on behalf of the merchant and convert it to the local or Fiat currency.

Lightning network effectively creates a layer on top of bitcoin and it helps in fast and cheap transactions which can net settle to the blockchain. Lightning Network is pretty complicated and is an extremely promising as a cryptocurrency game-changer.

DAO tokens came into existence in the year 2016, the main usage of the DAO tokens was that the were to receive DAO tokens and then vote for a project to fund. But the concept didn’t work successfully as many people didn’t want the system to be present.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) refers to the creation and sale of digital tokens. The first sale was held in the year 2014, it’s a project that came into existence to create some certain amount of a digital tokens and sell it to the people usually in exchange of their cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.

We hope you have enjoyed this beginners guide to Bitcoin and the Blockchain, if you did please comment and share.

The infographic below helps explain further – courtesy of Bitcoinfy.net

A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin and Blockchain - bitcoin infographic

Welcome to the Future: 7 Aspects of How Bitcoin Has Impacted the Global Economy

Bitcoin is one of the most popular type of cryptocurrencies to date, allowing two parties to share currency transactions digitally outside of the central banking system. Already, you may start to think of how and why Bitcoin can be beneficial on a general level; however, do you know just how influential it has been on the global economy? You can be the judge and decide for yourself if the following points are generally positive or negative.

Welcome to the Future: 7 Aspects of How Bitcoin Has Impacted the Global Economy - bitcoin coin photo image

Photo by David McBee from Pexels

Potential for a stock market crash

Bitcoin’s worth is currently over $100 billion. For now, investors are interested in the idea of investing in Bitcoin. However, word is going around that all things – even Bitcoin – must come down with time. If and when something happens to Bitcoin, some believe it could impact the stock market so severely enough to cause a major crash.

The latter point seems like a complete exaggeration, but the thing is, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been gaining popularity at a rapid rate – especially within this past year. That said, the larger it grows, the greater it can fall, making more significant of an effect on the market.

Replacement of fiat currency

Bitcoin is still in the growing process and is nowhere near as powerful and popular as fiat currency. Still, with Bitcoin being seen an alternative to fiat currency, it has, many times, replaced such. But to say that Bitcoin is or will completely replace traditional currency is an overstatement at this rate.

For some, the idea of replacing fiat currency is viewed as a benefit as cryptocurrencies aren’t federally-operated. As a result, some believe Bitcoin has the power to essentially overtake central banking facilities’ control over the economy and ability to issue money – which may be a pro or a con depending on where you stand.

Bitcoin could also be a considered a benefit in that Bitcoins can be viewed as a national currency as different forms of cash can be exchanged.

An entry to the Dark Web

Because Bitcoin transactions are virtually anonymous and ambiguous, money can be transferred secretly. In turn, there can be a plethora of illegal transactions and trading of different currencies from country to country quickly and effortlessly.

But using the Dark Web for monetary exchange can also be a great in the sense that many countries around the world have distrustful central banking systems, leaving Bitcoin the more trustworthy and safer option in some cases, especially when it comes to corruption.

Easier avoidance of income tax

Because Bitcoin does not display the names of parties making transactions via its system, this means Bitcoin will surely attract dishonest individuals who refuse to file annual income taxes on money obtained through the platform. Plenty of financial secrets can be kept due to the anonymous structure of Bitcoin.

Making it even easier to avoid the responsibility of filing income tax, Bitcoin holders can receive their money online and quickly buy other things online (which is common as Bitcoin valuation rates fluctuate drastically), making it seem as if there is no need to report such income as it can be easy come, easy go.

Additionally, the confusion with how to report Bitcoins as income tax alone is stopping many from paying their taxes, even though there are many resources online instructing one how to file Bitcoin taxes or even accounting services for such.

Sales of illegal items

Here we are again with the ambiguity of Bitcoin. Not only are names kept private as we discussed, but what people sell or trade with others in exchange for Bitcoins can also be secretive. This means items can be illegally bartered from firearms to underaged or illegal sales of drugs.

For illegal products or services sold with Bitcoins, people can get away easier than if they paid with fiat currency due to the secrecy tied to Bitcoin.

Increase in scams, payment fraud, and identity theft

Also due to the subtle transactions able to be made with Bitcoin, it’s also clear to see that there would be an increase in scams from this source. Individuals can be harder to track down, making them believe they can get away with taking people’s money and running.

Even though individuals’ addresses are posted publicly when a Bitcoin transaction is made, there’s still significant privacy involved that make it significantly easier to scam and get away with it.

Considering that Bitcoin is apart of the Dark Web, a dangerous place, there is also potential for a greater risk of theft and fraud and no guarantee for protection.

New ways of purchasing products and services

With Bitcoins in the picture, some businesses have begun to accept them from customers as a form of payment, allowing for greater versatility in the market.

If those businesses report Bitcoin transactions as personal income tax, there would be a positive effect on the economy considering that with more types of currency accepted, the more consumers that can take part in putting more money back into the economy.

However, for the businesses that don’t report their Bitcoin earnings, this would clearly have a negative impact on the economy.

But considering that even larger retailers such as Overstock.com have jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon, it’s believed that the opportunity to shop online more frequently with Bitcoin can do good things for the global economy.

Being a newer form of currency, Stanford does make a good point that one disadvantage to Bitcoin is that it is seldomly accepted among online merchants at this time – but it is making progress. As it gains further stability, security, and buyer protection, Bitcoin will even have greater potential.

Conclusion

Bitcoin has had an impact on the economy world-wide. It has benefits for many, but nevertheless, it isn’t without its cons. Bitcoin may not be replacing central banks anytime soon, but it has had considerable power in our world today despite only being around for since 2008. As it grows larger, we expect it to make an even larger impact on our world’s economy.

Is Bitcoin Actually Useful?

It’s hard to look at trending investments in 2018 without seeing news about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Increasingly viewed as commodities, these digital currencies made serious waves in 2017. Bitcoin nearly hit $20,000 in value, undoubtedly allowing a lot of early investors to cash out with serious gains. And though it has since declined fairly significantly, the 2017 surge is still on people’s minds. Everyone from amateur investors to serious hedge fund managers is at least keeping an eye on the crypto markets.

Is Bitcoin Actually Useful? - Bitcoin image

The question we have at this point, and the one anyone dabbling in cryptocurrency ought to think about, is whether it’s actually useful. Bitcoin was originally designed as an alternative currency, meant to take over as a secure, anonymous means of conducting basic transactions. This hasn’t happened yet, and in fact we’re nowhere near that point. But there are some ways in which bitcoin can be useful.

Online Retail Shopping

The slowest area for bitcoin adoption has been in-person retail. While there are certainly brick-and-mortar restaurants, coffee shops, and stores that will accept bitcoin payments in person, they tend to be few and far between, and you almost have to go out of your way to make use of them. Online, however, some of the biggest retailers in operation have begun to accept crypto payments. Overstock, eGifter, Shopify, and numerous travel-related platforms (like Expedia and CheapAir) are among those usually included on the list.

Bitcoin Debit Cards

This can almost seem a little bit unnecessary, but if you’re someone who’s determined to make practical use of bitcoin and you don’t have enough opportunities to do so, you can actually load up a debit card with cryptocurrency. It then functions just like any other debit card (meaning you can use it just about anywhere), but instead of being backed by a checking account, it’s simply loaded up with a dollar value backed by your bitcoin.

Gaming & Betting

There’s actually a lot of competition between online gaming and betting platforms as they attempt to find different ways to appeal to players. There are several factors that must be considered when choosing a platform to engage in real money gaming activity with, and increasingly one such factor is payment methods. Many people prefer more secure and anonymous means of making deposits, and for this reason more and more of these sites are accepting bitcoin payments. In fact, some online casino platforms now exclusively take bitcoin.

Short Term Potential

This won’t help you today or tomorrow, but it’s also worth noting that bitcoin advocates haven’t given up on its potential to replace ordinary currency. Only a few months ago a man who’s already made millions in bitcoin predicted that it will replace fiat currency in five years’ time. That may be a little bit optimistic, but there’s an argument to be made for exploring cryptocurrency now because it’s probably going to get at least somewhat more useful in day-to-day transactions.

6 Foolproof Tips for Safely Trading Cryptocurrency

Exchange services, cryptocurrency processing systems, and web wallets are each susceptible to online theft. Despite this fact, cryptocurrency continues to be one of the safest ways to move money online. Here are some tips to boost your cryptocurrency security.

6 Foolproof Tips for Safely Trading Cryptocurrency - bitcoin image

Photo by Andre Francois on Unsplash

Watch out for High-Volume Altcoin Trading

Treat any cryptocurrency exchange that engages in high-volume trade campaigns involving altcoins with caution. Altcoins are an alternative to Bitcoins. And, if the particular altcoin the exchange is pushing has a fishy reputation, steer clear. Another sign of a shady exchange is participation in “initial coin offerings.” You put yourself at risk when trading in new coins.

Trust Your Intuition

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. In other words, if an exchange seems shady, they probably are. You can learn a lot about the future prospects of a cryptocurrency exchange if some of their big names quit the company. For example, the director of MyCoin exchange resigned right before it became clear they were running a Ponzi scheme.

Diversify

If you put all of your eggs in one basket, you’re in big trouble when that basket falls. You don’t want your trading posture to have any one point of failure. To avoid this, diversify your risks. You can do this by investing in many different cryptocurrencies, storing your coins offline, and using more than one exchange service.

Be Careful Using Your Smartphone

You might want to purchase a separate smartphone specifically for cryptocurrency trading. And, if your smartphone has a ton of apps, do not conduct transactions on it. Cyber thieves can gain sufficient privileges to get your private information and blackmail you just by hacking one of the apps. If there are apps on your phone that you never or rarely use, uninstall them.

Protect Your Email Account

Use a strong password containing special characters and lowercase and uppercase letters to safeguard your email account. Add an extra layer of security to your account with multi-factor authentication. The vast majority of cryptocurrency-related hacks happen when a user’s email is compromised.

Keep Your Personal Email a Secret

Your personal email address should not be public knowledge. When you sell or buy cryptocurrency, exchange services typically submit notifications to your registered email ID. Attackers can track your transactions by compromising your email account. They can then potentially gain unauthorized access to your crypto wallets.

With these tips, you can have peace of mind as you enter the booming cryptocurrency industry.

Will Cryptocurrency Save Our Financial Woes?

Will Cryptocurrency Save Our Financial Woes? - hacker image

Pixabay

A lot has been said about cryptocurrency recently. And it’s becoming a very solid option. But for those people who have some savings with real money, is it a worthwhile option? Here’s why cryptocurrency is very hot right now, and why it’s something you should consider as part of your savings.

Saving On Bank Charges

When it comes to looking after your savings, you need it stored in a bank account so it can accrue interest. But for those who struggle financially and are constantly living in their overdraft, the bank charges alone can cause more than its fair share problems at the end of the month. Thinking about something like Bitcoin, which is a decentralized currency, this needs a lot more clarity and transparency to how it’s monitored. It has lower transaction fees than banks, meaning that if you can buy Bitcoin, you don’t have to pay as many charges as you would with a standard bank account. Buying Bitcoin is relatively straightforward now, you can buy Bitcoin in the UK easily, but you can buy Bitcoin anywhere now. And when you enter into a Bitcoin transaction, you can see that there is very low, or in fact, zero fees!

It’s Widely Accessible

You can buy Bitcoin anywhere in the world, but it’s also very easy to use. Cryptocurrency has a process to make you able to invest in different coins. Assessing the system is straightforward, and has little hassle, as opposed to trying to access money from a bank. You can also transport money easily. Instead of the typical concerns you have with moving a large amount of physical money, you can store virtual currencies like Bitcoin on a memory card, so nobody feels like they’ve got a hefty wad of cash stuffed in their pocket!

You Can Use It (Almost) Anywhere

Cryptocurrencies are fast becoming accepted everywhere, and the great thing about cryptocurrencies that there’s no exchange rates, transaction charges, or interest rates exclusive to a certain country. As a result, you are getting more bang for your buck, and it’s an easier process when it comes to transactions. Lots of online retailers accept cryptocurrency now, so if you are savvy enough, you could buy everything through cryptocurrency. Retailers like Amazon accept Bitcoin, and as time goes on, we will see more retailers accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. You might even see your local high street retailer accept it!

Of course, with cryptocurrency, it’s something that isn’t tangible. So to an extent, it’s not that easily monitored. This can bring up worries as far as the security of your online currency is concerned. Although there is a process called cryptography which helps add a layer of security to any transaction. The other problem with cryptocurrency being so hot right now is that everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon. As a result, using cryptocurrency as a way to save your finances might not be completely foolproof, as people are jumping on it like the gold rush back in the 1800s, but on the other hand, being savvy and knowing exactly what you are dealing with will put you ahead of the curve. So it’s not just the only way to make a saving, but it’s something you can do in addition to saving physical money. The more currencies you have, the more you can play the market!