Zach

How To Convert Bitcoin Into Cash (USD, GBP, EUR) – 3 Best Ways

In this article, I am going to cover how to convert bitcoin into cash. Bitcoin has become a worldwide phenomenon due to it’s revolutionary technology and unbeatable economic model. If you are serious about getting into cryptocurrency, I would strongly recommend focusing on how you can slowly (but surely) start stacking and earning Satoshis on a consistent basis. It’s not just the die hard believers, bitcoin has grown year over every January since it’s inception.

I believe it is going to be the reserve currency of the future and it’s only a matter of time before the masses will realize this. However, some people may need to go the other way and convert their bitcoin into fiat cash for various reasons. Although I recommend avoiding this at all costs, here are some ways you can do this fairly easily.

 

1.) FIAT ACCEPTING EXCHANGES

There are a handful of fiat accepting exchanges that I will link below. I will list the top 3 that I recommend first, since I’ve personally used them and can vouch for their integrity and I have personal experience with them. For others, you may not have access in your country or otherwise unable to use the exchanges I’ve used myself.

I will link reviews to them as well so you can do your due diligence. You can utilize these exchanges as a way to get cash directly in the form of a paper check, or a direct deposit.

Coinbase – This is a U.S. based exchange and the onboarding is fairly simple. You can add your bank account or even use Paypal to sell your bitcoin on the spot (for a fee) to convert it into your local currency. It then is setup in a direct deposit and usually takes about 1-3 business days before you see it in your bank account.

Kucoin – This is a Hong Kong Based exchange, but I’ve used it on several occasions and it works just fine. It is roughly the same process as Coinbase, but there is no Paypal option and it can take anywhere from 3-7 business days from start to finish.

Binance – This is the largest exchange by volume and has a sterling reputation. It is currently based out of Taiwan, but originated in China. You can also sell your bitcoin for fiat in a very seamless and easy manner. I was able to receive my deposit to my bank in about 2 business days.

Kraken – This is another U.S. based exchange that has been pretty consistent in terms of delivering what they advertise. If you are based in the U.S. (or you bank account rather), it’s possible to get your money in as little as one business day.

Other options – I cannot comment on them, however, I will link them to a trusted review source so you can do further research and see if it will work for your situation.

Bitmex

Bitfinex

Bitflyer

Bitstamp

Note: All of the above options will require KYC in order to complete your transaction.    

 

2.) LOCAL BITCOINS

 

Local Bitcoins is a good way for people to cash out their bitcoin and do not want to the route of an exchange. It’s usually conducted in person and in an agreed upon location. This is a good option if you want to maintain your privacy and do not want your information on an exchange, or if you simply cannot gain access to an exchange for any reason. This also applies to folks who do not have have access to other financial services.

Local Bitcoins is a Bitcoin start-up based out of Helsinki, Finland, which has been operating since 2012. It is a P2P Bitcoin exchange. It has on-ground buyers and sellers in more than 15,000 cities across 248 countries. Chances are, you will find a buyer in your country via Local Bitcoins.

The beauty of Local Bitcoins is that you dealing with the buyer directly and you can receive money in any of the supported formats (bank deposit, PayPal, Payoneer, cash). When it comes to converting Bitcoin into fiat, Local Bitcoins is one of the most preferred choices of those who don’t want to use an exchange.

I have used this personally before, and the only caution I can express is first, make sure you are not meeting in a private location or at someone’s residence for your own safety. Meet in a well-lit public area and ensure you have good cell reception and internet access.

My experience (for buying) was setting up a free wallet on my phone and then having the seller scan my QR code to make a deposit. Once I had at least 3 block confirmations, I released the cash and we went our separate ways. This is usually a seamless and safe method, just make sure to use common sense when meeting a stranger.

 

3.) USING A USD-BACKED FIAT COIN (USDT, USDC, ETC…)  

 

how to convert bitcoin into cash

Now this is a good option if you are trading and want to convert your profits into a stable coin until you are ready to make another trade, or you simply do not want to incur a taxable event when depositing into your bank account. You can also hold USDT (Tether) on a hardware wallet like the Trezor One, for even safer long term storage.

This is also an advantage because it is pegged to the U.S. dollar so you don’t need to worry about any volatility or price swings when dealing with a stable coin. Coinbase also supports USDC (USD Coin), which is essentially the same as Tether. You can hold it on a mobile wallet or on a Ledger Nano S, if you plan to hold it for more than a few days.

 

CONCLUSION  

 

Ultimately, it depends on your goals and what method works best for you. This also would be a good opportunity to talk to your friends and family about bitcoin and making a transaction with someone you trust, while at the same time teaching them about this valuable tool and spreading the good word. Talk to your co-workers and even your boss. Ask if they use bitcoin or if they’ve even heard of it and strike up a friendly conversation about it.

It’s instances like these where we start to see awareness and mass adoption start to take place and every time you do this, you’re directly helping the overall cause and also doing them a favor. Trust me, they will thank you later.

 

Please sound off below! What exchanges have you guys used? Do you have any other fiat-based exchanges you can recommend not listed above? Let me know in the comments.

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

Why Credit Card Companies Should Allow Customers To Make Payments With Cryptocurrency

In this article, I will dive into why credit card companies should allow customers to make payments with cryptocurrency! As someone who gets paid primarily in cryptocurrency, I have looked around for a solution or a service that allows me to payoff or pay down any debts (mainly credit cards) directly with cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, after months or research, there does not appear to be a way to do this directly in the United States. Interestingly enough in my journey for looking for a solution, I was able to come across an article that an Australian start up company called Living Room Of Satoshi was doing this (successfully, I might add) in providing a way for users to pay for every day bills using bitcoin. This includes: Car Registration, Electricity Bills, Cell Phone Bills, Bank Fees, and even (yes, you guessed it) Credit Cards. It’s been reported that the number one bill paid by consumers is credit card debt, according to CreditCards.com.

THE 3 CREDIT CARD BEHEMOTHS credit card companies should allow customers to make payments with crypto

However, there is no direct solution in today’s world to make payments directly with Visa, Mastercard, or American Express with our crypto assets to help pay down our debt. Any one of these companies would have a MASSIVE edge over any other bank or credit card company that implements this feature first, because there are millions of active cryptocurrency users who would use this feature in a heartbeat. We need to take a page out of Australia’s book and create solutions that will allow us to either have these corporate giants begin accepting this directly, or create a bridge to do so. There are a few work-around options you can use to leverage your crypto holdings and use the collateral to get a crypto-backed loan with very low and reasonable interest rates to help you pay down debt. The beauty in doing this, is you don’t have to spend your crypto to use this option, you just send it to a protected account with them until your loan is paid back. It is  also backed by the FDIC (if that gives you any confidence). For some people, that last tidbit gives them peace of mind knowing that this company is not going to disappear and simply lose all your crypto funds if they go under. I have done business with them recently in earning interest for some of my holdings and I can attest to their integrity and have had nothing but a positive experience using Blockfi.

 

CRYPTO-BACKED LOAN SOLUTION

Let’s get back to the 3 credit giants for a minute. The average interest rate the average U.S. consumer is paying with “good” credit is still over 20%. That is highway robbery, but what other options do consumers have when the inflation and cost of living is outpacing the paying wage in America? It almost seems like a perfectly formulated trap by these big banks to rob the american people of their freedom and to impose financial slavery for the rest of their working lives. It’s madness, however, it’s even harder for people who get paid in cryptocurrency to pay these bills, because we have to use a 3rd party service (like Coinbase) in order to pay a fee to convert our crypto into fiat, and then pay additional fees to pay our credit card on top of our interest rates. This seems like a good plan when looking from the vantage point of these credit card companies, because that means we will be paying interest even longer. Wrong! The default rates on credit cards are on the rise, because it’s becoming too cumbersome and people are drowning in debt. A growing number of folks figure it’s worth it to take a hit to their credit score or even delay paying this by having it go to collections, just so they can keep up on their required living expenses like food and shelter.

There is another option that was found for use in Canada to pay your credit card bills, but still, you have to pay extra fees to do this. For some, it may be worth it and it can help you reduce the amount of interest to pay to the banks. I still think the credit card companies need to accept this directly as there is a need in the marketplace and it will ultimately help them receive more revenue in the long term as bitcoin is a deflationary currency. The banks have never needed to make any innovation into their services or processes because they have a monopoly, and therefore have no need to compete. This is just another reason why bitcoin is going to be the currency of the future and will soon become adopted mainstream as it’s very own existence and foundation was built on innovation and fungibility.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The bottomline: It’s in the bank’s best interest and the consumer’s best interest to have this ability in place. People will have more options to pay down any debt, especially if they do not have access to a bank account or have otherwise been cutoff from legacy financial services. Consumers will also be more likely to pay their balances down faster, because bitcoin year over year has only increased in value since it’s inception.

 

Please sound off below! What do you think? Would you start paying your credit cards with crypto if given the option? Please me know in the comments.

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

Why Bitcoin Is The Ultimate Expression Of Freedom

In this article, I will prove why bitcoin is the ultimate expression of freedom. Most of us remember the financial crisis of 2008 pretty vividly. We saw the forefront of corruption come home and face reality when they couldn’t hide the truth anymore, and the banks weren’t the ones that paid the price. We did.

And to add insult to injury, once the government made the decision to bail out the banks, they took that freshly printed money and paid themselves all bonuses. Also, no one went to jail for these egregious crimes. There were virtually no consequences to their actions, so what’s to stop them from doing it all over again in a sneakier way or by way of a new mechanism? why bitcoin is the ultimate expression of freedom

 

ENTER BITCOIN’S CREATOR…

 

Whoever Satoshi Nakatmoto is saw this happening before we all did, and as a result, invented one of the most powerful tools the world has ever seen.

It was during this time that I believe Satoshi Nakamoto saw the writing on the wall and knew that what was happening on wall street and the large banks was unsustainable. We needed a solution that could not be corrupted, interfered with, or otherwise controlled by the “Authorities” in power.

On October 31st 2008, The Satoshi White Paper; A Peer-To-Peer Electronic Cash System was released to an small inner circle of cryptographers on a mailing list that Satoshi had kept note of. The initial reactions were mixed, but mainly filled with excitement, and some naysayers that said it could never work. They cited numerous examples of previous ventures that came close and failed, such as BitGold and eCash.

But bitcoin was different because it solved the “double spend” problem and created an elegant solution for verifying transactions in a decentralized way; he called this the “Blockchain“. In case you are unfamiliar, the blockchain is a public ledger that includes a batch of transactions that are all batched together in a “block” to be verified with hashing power of several computers to solve a mathematical problem.

This offered a financial incentive in the form of a “block reward” where the first computer (or group of computers) solved the puzzle to receive a payout of bitcoin for each block. At the start when the first blocked was mined in 2009, the reward was 50 bitcoins and was scheduled to be cut in half every four years until the 21 million supply cap runs out in the year 2140.

The overall concept presented a solution that no one had been able to crack before, successfully. It came very close in some other instances but Satoshi was able to create a fair, completely decentralized way that incentivized people to be honest, fair, and created a new economic model that was built on a deflationary mechanism. This is brilliant, because it’s the way Austrian economic legends like Von Mises and Murray Rothbard saw the ideal way for the economy to be a free and fair model. Free markets let the people decide where and how money was used, instead of the government.

 

WHY BITCOIN IS DIFFERENT?

 

Bitcoin is the ultimate expression of freedom. It is built on the principle that no governing body or power can dictate (through politics) when money should be printed and what it can be used for, but rather what the people vote on with their hashing power. This was laid out with an agreed set of very general rules and procedures that Satoshi created as a foundation. Now, people any where in the world at any moment can transact freely with bitcoin.

One of the world’s current problems is that there are approximately 1.7 billion people that are currently “unbanked”. That means they do not have access to any financial services because it is either not profitable for banks to be in their area, or they live in an authoritarian country where all finances are regulated and reported on how/when they use it. This is especially prevalent in countries like Venezuela where the bolivar went into hyperinflation and people had to stand in line, for sometimes days, to receive rations for food and medicine.

Think about how powerful it is that when it comes to bitcoin, you do NOT need to provide your name, your phone number, your social security number, your ID, or any other identifying information to transact with someone. You do not need permission from a government or a bank. You do not need anything except for an internet connection. That is extremely powerful and there is nothing else like it.

Venmo, for instance, has at least 3 to 4 intermediaries that is getting tracked before you can transfer from person A to person B, even if they are standing right in front of you. Additionally, if they decide to decline the transaction for any reason they see fit, you’re out of luck. You’d need to hop on the phone with a bank or another 3rd party to send YOUR money. They can censor any transaction at any time for any reason. Bitcoin is permission-less finance. You have the power to not only create your own bank account, but become your very own bank. This is why bitcoin is the ultimate expression of freedom.

 

CONCLUSION

 

In conclusion, since the beginning of civilization money has always been an expression of what you wanted or how you were feeling. What you wanted and needed, and how you communicated and expressed your needs and desires. Back then, it could’ve been anything from seashells and beads all the way to rare metals or statues. The type of medium didn’t really matter, it was something everyone in the ecosystem all agreed had value and thus, it was considered money. Bitcoin is an innovation that has limitless potential and it doesn’t start and end it peer-to-peer digital cash.

This is programmable unit of account and value. You can create automated smart contracts, you can encrypt private messages, you can even review and look at every transaction on the pseudonymous ledger of the blockchain for eternity. The applications are limitless, but most importantly, it is unequivocally, incorruptable. Once a transaction is completed, it cannot be erased or undone.

This is extremely powerful and takes away the human element of temptation or control. It’s a consensus-based algorithm and the truest form of democracy the world has ever seen. I am so grateful that this technology has come into existence in my lifetime and can pave a way for a new future for generations to come. The only limit of what this technology can do is only limited by our imaginations.

 

If you have any questions or comments on this post, please sound off below! I’d love to hear from you! Until next time…

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

Is There A Hardware Wallet That Can Store The Top 30 Cryptocurrencies?

Is There A Hardware Wallet That Can Store All The Top Cryptocurrencies? I get this question a lot, and to be honest, there is no clear way to answer it. It ultimately depends on what you believe is the “Top Cryptocurrency”. As a newcomer into the cryptocurrency market, you start to learn the best practices for managing and storing cryptocurrencies and you will inevitably find that yes, a hardware wallet is your safest and best choice. The second question that usually follows that is, “What is the best one? Which one should I buy?

The answer is not so simple, but I will lay out some of the pros and cons of each of the featured cryptocurrency hardware wallets being promoted and offered through this website, because they have been personally vetted by myself and my team. Each wallet will support different variations of altcoins, but all of them support 3rd party wallet integration such as MyEtherWallet and Mycelium. These are commonly used for ERC-20 token support and most upcoming STO’s will be supported as well as a lot of them are supported by the same protocol. Is There A Hardware Wallet That Can Store All The Top Cryptocurrencies?

There is currently no hardware wallet that supports every single “Top Cryptocurrency By Market Cap”. Why? Well for one, the market cap rankings tend to shift almost everyday based on trading volume and various product releases, news events, protocol, and network upgrades. However, there have been some pretty consistent coins that, until recently, haven’t had hardware wallet support such as Monero or Ripple.

I am going to list the 3 major hardware wallets below: Trezor, Ledger, and Keepkey. With them, I will have some recent support added to each wallet and a link to each wallet’s fully supported coin list.

This should answer the general questions you have about coin support and you will be able to identify if there is a particular coin you are searching for and whether or not it’s supported. Please note that each wallet is constantly updating support for new (and old) altcoins to be supported, so this list may be outdated as soon as a few months.

 

#1 TREZOR

 

There are two versions of Trezor: Trezor One and Trezor Model T. The former is the entry level device that came out 2013 and has since received regular firmware upgrades enhancing it’s security and adding new software support for native and 3rd party applications for new coins. In 2018, they released their 2nd-gen product called the “Model T“. The latter is a larger device with touch screen and is operated by a “Beta” wallet that supports over 1,000 coins between it’s native applications and 3rd party integration.

Most recently, they added NATIVE support (which is a huge upgrade in my opinion) for Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). This means it is connected to its unique application that was custom designed by Trezor to manage your ETH accounts directly in the app. Previously, any ETH or ERC-20 based token required to use a 3rd party wallet, which was annoying and cumbersome.

I understand there is a lot of development work that goes into creating and managing any native app, but Ledger and Trezor already had native support for this, (as they should) considering it’s been in the top 3 coins by market cap consistently for years.

Bottomline: They have upgraded some basic functionality, which is good, and to their credit they have added support for some coins that really need it, such as Monero and Tether. This is of course when their team collaborates and helps build a supported wallet to tie into their code base. They have been building a foundation for the future and that is going to work in their favor as soon as each coin’s respective dev team decides to catch up.

Newest Notable Coins Added:

-Binance Coin (BNB)    

-Monero (XMR)

-Cardano (ADA)

-Ravencoin (RVN)

-Tether (USDT) *Stable coin*

 

#2 KEEPKEY

 

Keepkey has always been a favorite of mine, as it’s a solid design and very sleek and stable frame that just feels good when you hold it in your hands. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. For years, Keepkey only supported: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Namecoin, Dogecoin, and Dash.

For a hardware wallet that needs to compete in this market place, that needed a serious upgrade. Luckily, they have been making some AMAZING changes and not only added a ton of ERC-20 Support, but more importantly, they are revamping their entire platform to have one fluid, seamless application that integrates all of their core services (See my previous post for details on this).

This is extremely powerful, and a decision that I believe will catapult them ahead of the competition. They are currently in a closed beta, and it is expected that they will be releasing this later in 2019. Stay tuned for news on this.

Bottomline: Keep an eye out for the newest upgrades and the new platform that is coming soon. I hope to gain access to the private beta soon, and if given access, I will ask permission to write a review for your guys.

Newest Notable Coins Added:

-Basic Attention Token (BAT)  

-DigixDAO (DGD)

-Augur (REP)

-Polymath (POLY)

-TrueUSD (TUSD) *Stable coin*

 

#3 LEDGER

 

Ledger is considered “The most recommended hardware wallet” on the market. The simple reason for this is because it’s cheap (low barrier to entry) and they have been working on upgrading their infrastructure and recently released Ledger Live, which is their new desktop (and iOS) application for managing all of your coins. This is much better than their previous solution of using a chrome extension to access the UI, but Ledger Live is not without it’s quirks.

Overall, the UI is pretty clean and is pretty straight forward in terms of first time setup and detects your device when it’s plugged into the USB port and asks you to authenticate to view the app. The one thing most people don’t understand is the Ledger Nano S has very little RAM, so even though they advertise that it supports over 1,100 coins, you can only have approximately 8 or 9 coin apps installed at once on your device. You will want to make sure you choose your coins wisely and perhaps get multiple devices if you want to diversify and/or use a 3rd party wallet as mentioned above to manage more coins on the same device.

Bottomline: It’s not perfect, but it has made some good improvements over the last year and is continually updating it’s coin support. I will list below some of the coins that are supported on Ledger currently that are not yet available on other platforms, which brings it’s edge. ledger nano

Newest Notable Coins Added:

-Ripple (XRP)

-EOS (EOS)    

-Tezos (XTZ)

-QTUM (QTUM)

-USD Coin (USDC) *Stable coin*

 

CONCLUSION

 

I realize that may not answer all of your questions or solve all of your problems, but it really just comes down to preference. If you already know what coins you plan to accumulate, then I would click the links under each section that has the “Newest Notable Coins Added” to a link to each coin supported by each wallet, currently. I use every single one of these and have different coins on each depending on what my needs are and what exchange I accumulate them from.

It might be a good idea to place your wallets in terms of “buckets”. What I mean by that is if you plan to trade and hold long term, perhaps it’s best to have one wallet for each purpose. This not only allows you to diversify, but it keeps things organized based on what your short term and long term goals are for accumulating and for accessing exchanges.

 

If you have any questions or comments on this post, please sound off below! I’d love to hear from you! Until next time…

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

3 Best Cryptocurrency Cold Storage Solutions — Non Custodial

In this article, I am going to give you the 3 best cryptocurrency cold storage solutions. You’ve probably heard this before by your friend or colleague that introduced you to the wonderful world of cryptocurrency: “You need to store your bitcoin offline using cold storage”. So what does that mean exactly? There are many forms of cold storage, but there is considerably more forms of “Hot Wallets” or storage that is convenient and directly tied to an internet connection.

I don’t need to tell that this form of storage is convenient, but is riddled with considerable risk. With a normal bank account, if there is fraud or if someone hacks your account, you have recourse, and in most cases your will not be liable and be fully reimbursed. No harm no foul, right?

That is not the case when it comes to cryptocurrency. It’s about self-sovereignty and full ownership and responsibility of your own finances. With that in mind comes a great deal of responsibility and in this case, responsibility over your own finances and your own bank is a blessing. So what do you need to know? You absolutely, 100% need a cold storage solution for storing your cryptocurrency offline to keep your private keys and recovery seed safe.

I am going to share with you below the 3 best cryptocurrency and bitcoin cold storage solutions, starting with what I consider to be the most secure, all the way down to what is not so secure. However, everything that is offline (generally speaking) is still more secure than keeping your long term holdings on a phone or any other internet connected device.

 

HERE ARE THE TOP 3 COLD-STORAGE SOLUTIONS FOR STORING YOUR CRYPTOCURRENCY OFFLINE

 

Be advised that these are considered to be the best practices currently in the industry and most commonly used tried and true methods. There are other ways to go about this, but as they are not properly vetted and not as commonly used, we will not be listing them here.

 

#1 HARDWARE WALLETS (MOST SECURE) 3 best cryptocurrency cold storage solutions

 

You can probably tell by now that I am a strong advocate of hardware wallets. I even developed and built one working for a very prominent cryptocurrency company and I have the latest prototype not 2 feet from where I sit now.

I have a lot of first-hand experience in understanding why it is vitally important to own one and use one for any amount of cryptocurrency you don’t plan to spend in the next 24 hours. It has some keen advantages on top of being an “offline” device, which means it cannot be hacked.

  • Private keys are generated on and never leave the device, even when it’s connected to the computer. This is crucial because if your private keys are stored in a secure environment and they are never removed from the device, there is no risk of them being exposed to the internet.

 

  • Custom PIN Encryption – This is an extra layer of security that requires the user to set a 4-8 digit custom pin once it’s connected to USB port that is connected to the internet, like a desktop or laptop (or even a mobile phone). Without this PIN, you cannot even gain access to the application to make changes or sign transactions.

 

  • Additional Device Verification – This means that any action you take on the web or desktop application with your mouse or a keystroke, requires authentication on the device itself to ensure there is no key-logging or unauthorized changes. For example, If I want to spend 0.25 BTC on a new snowboard on Amazon (Yes, you can do this with Purse.io), and you initiate that within the web app, it will prompt your to confirm the transaction on the hardware device via physically pressing a mechanical button. This is to ensure no mistakes and no unauthorized transactions occur.

 

#2 USB DRIVE (NOT AS SECURE)

This option is better than leaving all of your holdings on a hot wallet, but is still not recommended. Why? Because unlike a trusted hardware wallet, it has no security measures. If someone gains access to the unsuspecting USB drive, they will have unfettered access to your precious private keys.

It is not encrypted, it is not protected, and anyone with access to google can crack this if they have physical possession of it. Additionally, I cannot tell you how often these little devices have hardware failures. If you do not have a backup of these keys, your coins will be gone forever if something goes wrong.

 

#3 PAPER WALLET (EVEN LESS SECURE)

 

This one is a “Catch 22”. What do I mean by that? Well, I see the value of what it is and I understand why this invention was created. For instance, when I wanted to give my loved ones some bitcoin in their stocking at Christmas, it was (and still is) a great way to introduce bitcoin to the uninitiated and get them excited about this new technology.

A paper wallet is exactly what it sounds like, it’s your bitcoin in paper form. It usually includes a QR code to scan with your phone and import into a hot wallet and contains a written public and private key. This is not secure, but if you are gifting it to someone, or making a trade or transaction offline, it’s a decently good medium, especially if you don’t know or necessarily trust the recipient.

As I mentioned above, if you are unfamiliar with this amazing piece of paper, it exposes everything you need to take control of this bitcoin. It has written out the public bitcoin address and the corresponding private key. If someone dropped this in the wind and I picked it up down the road, it would be like getting a winning lottery ticket (literally). As you can see there are very few recommended uses for this, and even when using this, you need to be very, very careful.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

So, 3 best cryptocurrency cold storage solutions? When choosing the best cold storage solution for you, you need to understand what your end game is. What is your purpose and intent when deciding to pull your crypto offline? Most people who learn about the many advantages about cryptocurrency, typically plan to hold it for an extend period of time, whether it be for a long term investment or even everyday spending (like me).

The Bottomline: Unless you are planning to give some bitcoin away as a gift or you are making a one time transaction with a stranger in a dark alley, I STRONGLY recommend you purchase a hardware wallet. One of the most popular ones right now and is widely supported by a wide range of different cryptocurrencies is only $59 at the time of this writing.

Believe me, it won’t be that price for long. Once the next market cycle starts to ramp up, these prices are going to be increasing, and it is a steal considering you are protecting potentially millions or billions of dollars worth of lifetime crypto-assets. The hardware wallet in question here is the Ledger Nano S, and I use this as one of my everyday wallets as well for spending. If you click the “HOME” button at the top, you can see all the different wallets we offer and endorse right now, depending on what features you need and  what works best for you.

 

If you have any questions or comments on this post, please sound off below! I’d love to hear from you! Until next time…

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

Why I’m Excited For Shapeshift’s New Unified Platform — KeepKey Hardware Wallet Integration

shapeshift

In this article, I am going to tell you in detail why I’m excited for Shapeshift’s new unified platform. I remember when I decided to start this site back in 2016 and was fairly new to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Once I spent over 100 hours researching all facets of this new technology, I knew that cryptocurrency was the future. However, I had read so many scary articles about how people were losing their Bitcoin from so many exchanges, including the infamous Mt. Gox that notoriously lost over 800,00 Bitcoin (valued at around $473 Million at the time).

As I dove down the rabbit hole even further, I came across “Cold Storage” and how it was vitally important for any person who takes their cryptocurrency holdings seriously. It made perfect sense, you need to keep your private keys in your possession at all times and have it stored offline, so it cannot be subject to an online hack or be exposed to nefarious individuals.

It was at this time that I had the bright idea that I wanted to find a way to become a reseller for these wallets, as it seemed to me that this market was going to be huge. Logically, cryptocurrency adoption was inevitable and EVERY single person who owned cryptocurrency will need one of these cold storage wallets. The mere idea of someone being able to “Become your own bank” and the concept of permissionless finance was fascinating to me. And so it was, BitcoinLockup.com was born.

As I started researching and buying these wallets to use for myself, I found the market trusted and used (at the time) only 3 hardware wallets: Trezor One, Ledger Nano S, and Keepkey. They all have their pros and cons, but there was definitely one that stood out above the rest, and it was Keepkey. Why? Well, the devices that Ledger and Trezor had available at the time were cheap, flimsy pieces of plastic that were difficult to use and had a horrible UX.

Keepkey felt like the top of the line, premium version that was being under served in the marketplace. In fairness, the altcoin support was far behind the other two when I was comparing them in October 2016. However, over time you start to realize that even with your trades and gains, that coins that have a higher market cap and network stability tend to be what you want to store longer term anyways.

That’s not to say that altcoin support is not important, (because it is) but I know first-hand that it takes incredible resources and operating capital to run nodes and support these new coins and tokens that come out seemingly everyday. Not to mention the developer resources necessary to build and maintain a quality user experience, so I completely understand Shapeshift’s strategy.

keepkey

Now, onto the new Shapeshift platform! First off, I will say that they are currently in a closed beta, so I have not used it personally yet, but I’ve been researching it like crazy. If you want to gain early access to the beta before the masses, use this link to sign up.

As an avid Shapeshift user myself, I have always enjoyed the simplicity and ease of use that using an instant coin exchange offered. I am now even MORE excited that it is going to integrate with my Keepkey and make managing my cold storage assets even easier. (Watch out Ledger and Trezor)

ShapeShift’s New Platform

When your private keys are stored offline and never leaves your device, it is inherently safer. However, with security you often sacrifice convenience. This has been a trade-off that today’s society has a hard time understanding and accepting. We’ve been conditioned with really, any product or service, that we want it now!

Having said that, I am excited to gain access to the closed beta as soon as possible as I anticipate this will solve a myriad of problems that people have had so far using the device. I am very optimistic about this massive update and I will list the key advertised features below:

1.) Shapeshift Trading – You can seamlessly buy, sell, or trade dozens or crypto assets directly in the platform. Trading is non-custodial, so there is no need to trust a third party. This is a MASSIVE plus and a differentiator from any other exchange out there.

2.) Hardware Security – Utilize the best practice of offline security. Retain control of your private keys while enjoying an intuitive web interface. This is the best of both worlds and I will add that this is not currently possible on any other hardware wallet platform currently.

3.) Real Time Market Data – Get real-time market prices and historical data without ever having to leave the interface. This means no extra tabs or historical charts from any other 3rd-party site that you have to toggle between to get the data you need. This allows you to enjoy a beautiful ad-free experience.

4.) Portfolio Performance – Visualize your portfolio performance through graphs, sparklines, and real-time value movement. View your dashboard balances at anytime, anywhere. Your hardware wallet only needs to be connected for signing transactions.

I’ve always been a firm believer that the quickest way to crypto mass adoption is to have a fluid, seamless, and extremely easy user experience. I have used virtually every hardware wallet currently on the market and there are always trade-offs and things you wish they had, but I personally believe that Shapeshift has cracked the code to exchanging, managing, and securing your private keys better than every other solution on the market.

If you need any personal advice on the Keepkey device, please feel free to comment below or email me at the “Contact Us” page at the top and I’d be more than happy to help!

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

What Is The Best Cryptocurrency To Invest In Right Now? (2020)

What is the best cryptocurrency to invest in right now? Yes, this may seem like a loaded question, but it ultimately comes down to preference. I have long been a believer that there will at some point come a cryptocurrency that provides more value that the current king itself (Bitcoin), but I still feel as though that day is still far off in the distance. Bitcoin has been the staple and foundation that started this revolution over a decade ago with the one crazy idea that the world could have a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that was governed by the people, and not an “authority”.

So far, the network effect is the strongest factor that keeps bitcoin in the minds of most people that are aware of it, because it’s not just a coin, its also a technology; a protocol. Decentralization and a VERY large distributed network gives bitcoin a superior power than all other altcoins listed on CoinMarketCap.com. However, that is not to say that other altcoins offer no value, in fact, a good few of them are innovating a way to new technologies and governance standards that let it stand apart from the rest. I will name a two of them that I have invested in below that are not Bitcoin, because they offer a unique selling proposition (USP).

 

ZCASH what is the best cryptocurrency to invest in right now?

 

Zcash has a proprietary privacy protocol attached to it. This is extremely attractive, as one of the key selling points of cryptocurrency to begin with was anonymous, uncensorable transactions. This is money as it was intended to be. I should be able to transact with anyone in the world, and not only NOT have it tracked, but keep it between me and the other consenting party. They use a method called zk-SNARKs.

This is an acronym for “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument Of Knowledge”. What does this actually mean? It essentially means that “Zero-Knowledge” proofs allow one party (prover) to prove to another (verifier) that a statement is true. It allows you to verify a transaction is relevant and true without knowing its origin.

Some people view this as potentially scary, because it allows money launderers or criminals to transact in a more private way. Well, my theory is this, criminals will always find a way to do what they want and transact privately. Valuable tools should not be banned or discredited because there is a potentially negative outcome.

There is an equally positive outcome. Privacy is an unalienable right to all humans and we should all expect it and understand our rights to it. To me, that makes this coin very very powerful and very much worth exploring, especially as it is considered an “Original”. Some similar example coins that came after are Monero and Zcoin.

 

TEZOS

 

In my opinion, Tezos is the new and improved evolution of Ethereum. It is a new platform for decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts. Here are a few key points that make it different:

1.) On-Chain Governance – The Tezos protocol offers a formal process through which stakeholders can efficiently govern the protocol and implement future innovations. This is democracy at it’s finest. It also helps avoid controversial “Hard Forks” as we’ve seen in the past with Bitcoin (BTC) to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and then Bitcoin Cash (BCH) into Bitcoin SV (BSV). This has a detrimental effect on the network and causes a lot of confusion, contention, and tribalism.

2.) Security – This blockchain was designed to facilitate formal verification, which helps secure smart contracts and avoid buggy code. This has been a HUGE problem with Ethereum over the years as noted in the infamous “DAO Hack“, which again proved that their protocol was not immutable and caused yet another hard fork that brought forth Ethereum Classic into existence.

3.) Liquid Proof of Stake – This is a unique consensus proof-of-stake algorithm which gives every stakeholder the opportunity to participate in the validation of transactions on the network and be rewarded for doing so. Whether you are big or small, you have a vote. This is unlike the current mining pools that we have in place where the person with the most hashing power and hardware wins the block reward, and essentially dictate the rules of the network.

I tend to think that the tech behind each blockchain is what brings it’s value. Whether or not the price is currently up or down on these coins, I believe as the masses start to see the value these innovators bring to the table, the money will follow.

If you don’t recall, it took over a year of price discovery before Ethereum finally found it’s place in the market. All this to summarize that I am very interested to see where these both end up in terms of price and user adoption over the course of this year.

 

CONCLUSION

 

So what is the best cryptocurrency to invest in right now? My final thought comes down to diversification. No matter what cryptocurrency you own or believe in, it is always a good idea to NOT put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversification allows you to spread out your wealth and provide you a bit more piece of mind and stability as we all partake in our own personal crypto journey.

If you are new to this space and are unsure what to invest in, there is an up-and-coming site that allows you to follow a strong community of cryptocurrency investors and see what allocations are in their portfolio to give you a baseline. This is a desktop and mobile app known as “eToro“. It also provides you some guides and information on each coin so you can learn what the differences of each coin are and what the full scope of their previous price, current price, and the expected future price over time. I will leave the link here for anyone that’s interested.

 

Please sound off below! What do you think the best cryptocurrency to invest in at this point in the game? Do you think my top two altcoin picks are unfounded? Let me know in the comments.

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

How To Make Money With Bitcoin -|- 3 Passive Income Ideas

In this article, I am going to tell you exactly how to make money with bitcoin. Almost everyone that’s heard about bitcoin has been asked or have asked themselves: is this a good investment? When taking this question seriously, they start googling this phrase and see several articles about the price tanking and losing over 80% of it’s value in the past 18 months and so on. One of the things they probably don’t realize is what the year-over-year gains are, when looking at where it was vs. where it’s going. Yes, at it’s all-time-high it reached upwards of $20,000 in December of 2017 and have been wildly volatile ever since.

What most people don’t realize is that after that so-called “crash” is that the price of bitcoin in the first week of January of 2018 was $16,477.59, according to CoinMarketCap.com. That is still significantly higher than the price of Bitcoin in January of 2017, which was under $1,000. I can provide numerous examples of what the price was in January of every year since the inception of this wondrous invention.

However, I understand that the average person who does not understand the technological advantages of this coin over the current legacy financial system, can remain skeptical in terms of it being a safe investment.

Although, I very strongly believe in the fundamentals of this project, I want to provide some uses that will help you generate more money from your existing bitcoin and accrue a calculated percentage increase month of over month, as well as acquire bitcoin without directly buying it from a company, like Coinbase. Here are the top 3 ways I’ve personally found success, and with a little research and understanding of this market, you can easily find a way to generate passive income (or actively) if you’re so inclined. Below are my 3 favorite methods.

How To Make Money With Bitcoin

 

METHOD #1 FOR GENERATING PASSIVE INCOME – DAY TRADING ALTCOINS

 

If you are new to the scene or making money with bitcoin, you may not be aware that there are hundreds, if not thousands, cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. Some are very sketchy and some have been around and been trusted, and even regulated and insured, to give you a little extra piece of mind. I have used some that have locked up and stolen my coins, and I’ve used several that I know and trust (to a degree) for several years with no problems.

 

***SIDE NOTE: Exchanges are a crucial component for new people onboarding into the cryptocurrency ecosystem and I understand why they are needed. However, under no circumstances do I recommend you store you private keys on exchanges for long periods of time. The best general rule of thumb is once a trade is completed, pull your private keys onto your own hardware wallet (which can be recommended and purchased through this site) and keep them there until you decide to exit a trade or re-enter into a new one.***

 

The above disclaimer is not meant to scare you, but more as a reminder to be vigilant of your private keys, as there have been several exchange hacks in the past 10 years. There are some “best practices” I’ve covered in a previous post, and I will be posting an updated version very soon.

Having said that, the exchange that I use very often and that I trust is called Binance. This exchange is currently the largest exchange by volume and has been trusted for several years and I feel safe using them with my trades.

I will include a link that will make it easy for you to sign up and receive some discounts on trading fees at no cost to you. Although this is my number one used exchange, there are other trusted exchanges I use such as Kucoin, Bittrex, and even Kraken (since they worked out a lot of their kinks over the past year).

The basic strategy here is to transfer your bitcoin to the exchange wallet, select an altcoin that you’ve researched, and enter a trade with an amount that you’re comfortable with. From there, set a target to you want to hit and then exit the trade back into Bitcoin. Hopefully, you will have a much larger amount than you started with. Rinse and repeat as necessary. Of course, once you complete this process, I strongly recommend you transfer your newly found Bitcoin profits onto your personal hardware wallet for safe keeping.

 

METHOD #2 FOR GENERATING PASSIVE INCOME – CLOUD MINING

 

This one is pretty straightforward. If you are unfamiliar with what bitcoin mining is, I will leave a link right here to a post that will explain this in depth. The concept of cloud mining is that instead of buying your own hardware, graphics cards, and various components needed to assemble a rig, (not to mention the “know how” of how to properly set this up correctly) you can rent or lease a company’s hardware that will mine for you..

By doing this, you can avoid all the hassle of setup, additional costs, noise, and excessive electricity. I am currently doing this myself and have done it for several years. There is one company in particular that I use and trust and they are called Hashflare.

This company has been very responsive, trustworthy, and an otherwise pleasure to work. This has been very profitable endeavor for me over the years.

There are several other cloud mining services out there. I will not mention or suggest them in this post, because I have not personally used them. However, if you google it, you will find several references for this kind of service.

This will allow you to be apart of the “Bitcoin Minting” process, which allows you to not only contribute to securing the already unbreakable network, (which is a very noble cause) but also continues to strengthen bitcoin’s position in the marketplace with your help.

 

METHOD #3 FOR GENERATING PASSIVE INCOME – BITCOIN LENDING & INTEREST PROGRAMS

 

Bitcoin Loan | Blockchain Lending | BTC Loans

This feature is fairly new and I will be posting a review on the featured program here shortly, but this is a new niche that I think is going to be huge in 2019. The company in question here is known as Blockfi. You may have heard of some companies that allow you to invest your own money into crowd-funded loans with the promise of large interest payments month over month in return, such as Lending Club or Prosper.

Blockfi is one of the first (if not the first) commercially viable ways to get a cryptocurrency backed loan (using your cryptocurrency as collateral) to help you pay off credit card debt, get a new car, fix up your house, etc… This is significant, for 2 reasons: 1. Most people who invest in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency typically want to “HODL” (or hold) onto it for dear life. This gives people a way to leverage their assets while being able to get fiat money for other purposes.

They receive a fair interest rate to pay it back over a pre-specified period of time, and it typically isn’t subject to a comprehensive background check. 2. In most cases, if you have enough collateral, the approval process can be approved and issued in as little as 2 days, which for some people is a HUGE selling feature.

The second, and most interesting feature in my opinion, is the ability to earn compound interest on your cryptocurrency over a specific period of time, compounded monthly. This is very intriguing for a number of reasons, but I will leave a link to all the benefits and features right here, as this post has gone on pretty long so far.

The bottom line is, if you are holding bitcoin or ether for a longer period of time, this allows you to earn up to a 6.2% annual yield, just by allowing them to hold it for you and put it into an interesting bearing account. It is always a good idea to diversify your cryptocurrency and NEVER put all of your eggs in one basket. However, this is a calculated risk I have personally entered into for a portion of my holdings because I plan to hold it for a very long time anyways.

 

Well there you have it! These are 3 ways to make money with bitcoin and earn passive income. Please let me know what you think and if you have found any other methods that work well by commenting below!

 

***Disclaimer: None of the information above is intended as financial advice. I am not a financial advisor. These are just my personal opinions and experiences during my own crypto journey and recommend you consult a professional before considering taking any of these actions***

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

QuadrigaCX Fails to Find $195 Million in Missing Bitcoin & Other Altcoins, Canadian Court Approves Bankruptcy

QuadrigaCX fails, the troubled Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, has failed to locate millions in customers’ missing cryptocurrency assets since the company’s owner died suddenly in December of 2018. On Monday, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Michael Wood ruled that Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp, the holding company, can begin bankruptcy proceedings.

Approximately 115,000 customers are owed $195 million USD in cash and cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, following the death of Quadriga’s founder Gerald Cotten. The exchange says Cotton did not reveal to anyone in his organization the private keys that access the cryptocurrencies on his private wallet. To those who did not know the details of the founders death, he died in India following complications from Crohn’s disease.

quadrigacx fails

Quadriga’s court-appointed auditor Ernst & Young issued an April 1 report, asserting that creditors may benefit from the bankruptcy proceedings with the potential sale of the company’s assets, including but not limited to Quadriga’s operating platform.

In March, Michael Wood granted the Canadian crypto exchange a 45-day extension to find more than $100 million in lost Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Gold.

The court also approved a freeze on accounts held by Cotten’s widow, Jennifer Robertson, and the Cotten estate, including Robertson’s trusts and businesses.

Robertson says that her husband’s death was “sudden and unexpected”, refuting conspiracy theories that Cotten is still alive and that his death was a ruse to escape financial troubles.

QuadrigaCX was believed to be Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, but following the death of Cotten, Ernst & Young says the company’s cold storage wallets are empty.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 18 to address issues involving credit protection and third-party payments processors.

This just goes to show that leaving your private keys on an exchange is very risky business. Do yourself a favor and store them on a trusted hardware wallet that is under YOUR control. Click here to see the latest offers directly from Ledger for an entry level hardware wallet.

How Do We Gain Mass Adoption For Cryptocurrency? Let’s Start With Merchants, First.

How Do We Gain Mass Adoption For Cryptocurrency? Let’s Start With Merchants, First.

Cryptocurrencies have a high barrier to entry.

The underlying technology is complicated, and some claim Bitcoin was initially designed to be inefficient for the sake of providing a trust anchor – creating challenges for smart contracts platforms looking to expand the capacity of blockchains to the world of applications.

how do we gain cryptocurrency mass adoption

As a result, Dapp user numbers continue to remain endemically low. Despite trending narratives like decentralized finance garnering more attention than blockchain-based games and other apps, the road to mainstream adoption remains an arduous task.

Cryptocurrencies, specifically Bitcoin, remain an invention of money more than anything else.

Mainstream app users are not familiar with the advantages that ‘unstoppable applications’ that run on Ethereum offer, nor do they care.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not explicitly payment technologies, but fostering more widespread adoption of them by merchants and e-commerce stores might serve to supplement their growth well.

E-commerce is enormous and only snowballing. Retail e-commerce sales are projected to reach nearly $5 trillion globally by 2021, and the advent of better technology, more mobile phone commerce, and dominance of international providers like Amazon will only accelerate that trend.

Fiat payment rails are more than sufficient for the current iteration of e-commerce as payment processors like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal are integrated with virtually every major e-commerce platform.

If the opportunity for a turning point in the adoption of cryptocurrencies presents itself, it will be because of some monetary advantages they have over conventional payment methods.

For example, according to Shopify, PayPal-enabled merchants accept 79.1 percent of their payments via PayPal.

For domestic payments, PayPal charges a 2.9 percent fee based on the transaction amount plus a fixed fee based on the currency used. For international business, the fee raises to 4.4 percent of the transaction. Fees are not surprising, and consumers and merchants have become accustomed to them with nearly every purchase.

Kroger – the popular supermarket chain – recently announced that they would no longer be using Visa in select stores due to transaction fees. Moreover, Bloomberg reported that retailers pay approximately $90 billion in payment processing fees per year.

Some crypto fans say that cryptocurrencies can provide potential advantages in both fees and censorship, even though they also come with limitations.

First, they have minimal fees as no third-party payment processor is taking a percentage – fees only consist of on-chain transaction fees which are usually a few cents.

Second, since Bitcoin is decentralized and there is no third-party controlling the legacy cryptocurrency, there is no censorship. As the saying goes ‘not your keys, not your Bitcoin.’ If you own your private keys, you don’t have to worry about your transaction not going through, being delayed, or reversed.

So, what’s holding back Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from being widely accepted among merchants?

Well, we can basically break that down into three primary categories: not enough awareness/users, high barrier to entry, and inconvenience in converting between fiat and crypto.

Reducing the barrier to entry by building better payment solutions with crypto will eventually lead to more awareness and users. Web extensions for using Bitcoin’s LN like Lightning Joule and Casa are already available for easy and instant payments over the web, and BTCPay Server is compatible with leading e-commerce platforms as a plugin – such as WooCommerce, Magneto, and Drupal.

“Accepting cryptocurrency payments leaves more money in the pockets of artists and fans, who’ve been unjustly extorted for too long”, says EventChain CEO, Ashton Addison. “When other retailers realize they don’t need to pay outrageous processing fees. by tapping into a global decentralized payment network, they will adopt crypto payments as well.”

That leaves the biggest problem: the inconvenience of converting between fiat and crypto.

Most merchants do not wish to ‘hodl’ long-term digital assets, and would instead prefer quickly turning received crypto payments back to fiat. Merchants typically have to go through cryptocurrency exchanges, which charge fees themselves, do not have good security track records, and are another third-party in an ecosystem predicated on reducing the roles of third-parties.

Self-hosted payment processor BTCPay Server has a fiat-conversion functionality on their roadmap, but for now, the problem is a marked impediment to further merchant adoption of cryptocurrencies. However, Bitpay has been pioneering an easy way for merchants to easily gain access to accept cryptocurrency payments and instantly convert to fiat for only a 1% fee.

Cryptocurrencies cover a lucrative opportunity of potential technical solutions in everything from advanced privacy to decentralized finance. However, at the industry’s core, Bitcoin remains the flagship cryptocurrency that is empirically an invention of money.

Payments may not be its most attractive property, but more merchant adoption in an increasingly connected globe of e-commerce is sure to be a critical gauge of furthering its mainstream adoption.

One of the most notable realities is that regulation is needed before any sides of the marketplace can switch their payment system completely.

Please sound off below! What do you think the best way to gain merchant adoption’? Do you think we need to focus on something else first? Let me know in the comments.

French cryptocurrency wallet maker Ledger raises $75 million in Series B Funding Round

French cryptocurrency wallet maker Ledger raises $75 million in Series B Funding Round

The cryptocurrency industry continues to increase the size, scale and features of its infrastructure, which includes wallets. Recently, French cryptocurrency wallet maker, Ledger raised $75 million in a Series B Funding Round. Learn what this may mean for the burgeoning digital coin industry.

Ledger Wallet Expansion

The Ledger Wallet – Nano S – is becoming one of the cryptocurrency industry market leaders. This Ledger Hardware Wallet allows users to store their digital coin wealth offline. In January 2018, CNBC reported Ledger Series B Funding raised $75 million.

European venture capital firm, Draper Esprit was one of the primary money sources. Ledger CEO Eric Larcheveque said, “We initially designed our Ledger hardware wallet as an enabler for the blockchain revolution.” Now, this funding could help Ledger take the next step to becoming a “technological giant in the promising space of cryptocurrencies.”

What Happened During Ledger Series A Funding?

Tech Crunch reported Ledger’s earlier Series A Round of Funding, circa March 2017 for $7 million. It received funding from MAIF Avenir, XAnge, the Digital Currency Group, Kima Ventures and Nicolas Pinto. At this time, Ledger had sold more than 50,000 wallets.

Why can’t people simply use a smart phone for cryptocurrencies?

Money security is a key requirement in the cryptocurrency industry. While smart phones can be used for buying and selling, they might lack the same security features as the Ledger Hardware Wallet.

This wallet permits “cold storage.” It not only protects your coins against electrical disruptions, but also against cyber hackers. Most smart phones do not have these added security features.

What Does Ledger Series B Funding Mean?

Investopedia Series A, B and C Funding is defined as money provided to startups before their initial public offering (IPO). Each series has a very specific goal. Generally, these entail the following: Optimize, Build and Scale.

The first goal after Series A is to optimize the business model. The startup must manufacture a real product and sell it to real customers. Companies must create a real market share with revenue.

Ledger has accomplished this already. In some circles, its Ledger Nano S is the industry standard; now, it seeks to build its market share after Series B Funding. This might include adding more sales, marketing and research personnel.

Series C involves increasing the scale of the business model to compete with the “Big Boys”.

Ledger Products

Ledger offers a variety of products to help with secure offline storage of cryptocurrencies. Its products can be used with a variety of digital currencies. Ledger products include the Ledger Nano S, Ledger Blue, Ledger Cryptosteel and Ledger OTG Kit.

The Ledger Nano S is the entry level hardware product, comprising a simple flash drive.

The Ledger Blue is a high-end mobile device with a built-in touch screen. This Ledger Wallet is Bluetooth-enabled with dimensions of 97 x 68 x 10 millimeters. It uses the Blockchain Open Ledger (BOLOS) system.

Security is tantamount. Users need a 4 to 8 digit PIN code to unlock their Blue. The Blue Secure Element never allows their private key to be transmitted to third parties or even Ledger. Users can add new cryptocurrencies without corrupting the Master Seed.

Ledger products have internal certificates that are checked when users boot it up. They will not operate until the security question is answered correctly.

The Ledger Cryptosteel is an indestructible backup system. Wise computer users always have a backup and recovery plan.

The Ledger OTG stands for On-the-Go. This is a mobile cable kit, allowing people to use their cryptocurrencies anywhere. This kit includes dual USB, cables and a Type-C Micro USB.

Ledger Development Plans

Only the Ledger CEO Eric Larcheveque knows what the money will be used for. Industry experts suggest that Ledger could manufacture microchips or even computers embedded with its blockchain security verification system. All financial transactions require high security and mainstream banks are starting to investigate the viability of cryptocurrency blockchain security features.

Right now, the Ledger company offers a flash drive or mobile device, but wouldn’t a secure cryptocurrency laptop be popular? Investors could have news feeds, real-time pricing updates and connectivity to their favorite exchanges.

Perhaps, Ledger could compete with Apple, Samsung or Google with a device based on the ground-breaking digital coin blockchain security system. Ledger continues to build a trustworthy reputation for secure blockchain transactions. This cryptocurrency industry leader could have a bright future.

Hardware Bitcoin Wallets Not Vulnerable to Spectre Attacks, Funds Are Safe

Hardware Bitcoin Wallets Not Vulnerable to Spectre Attack, Funds Safe

Two of the most popular hardware wallets for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Ledger and Trezor, were found to still be secure against newly-discovered vulnerabilities on CPUs. In addition, the hardware cryptocurrency wallets are safe against Spectre attacks as well. This is a promising finding that shows, now more than ever, the importance of having hardware Bitcoin wallets to keep your funds safe while using cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets Safe Against Spectre and Meltdown

According to Chief Technical Officer Pavol Rusnak of Satoshi Labs, the reason that Trezor, in particular, is not vulnerable to the Spectre and Meltdown hardware attacks s because its processor isn’t affected by them. Rusnak also stated that the firmware is always signed, which means the wallet can never run code that is untrusted.

Additionally, Rusnak stressed that users should only have their hardware Bitcoin wallets for a limited amount of time because of the way Spectre attacks have affected cloud services that house a variety of cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. Recently, a few cryptocurrency exchanges were taken offline after it was found that there are numerous vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs. In particular, Microsoft’s Azure cloud service was affected.

Nicole Perlroth, a cybersecurity journalist with the New York Times, reported that Spectre and Meltdown proved that it was possible for thieves to take advantage of flaws within the design of the entire memory of a computer and steal data.

Why are Hardware Wallets Recommended?

Bitcoin experts and hardware cryptocurrency wallet developers are recommending that users rely on hardware wallets instead of online platforms. Bitcoin Core developer Jonas Schnelli stated that users should not put all of their trust in their PC and that they cannot control private keys as well when relying on online platforms. He instead suggests that people switch to hardware wallets.

This is because hardware wallets allow users to fully control private keys. When a user initializes their wallet, they compose 12 to 24 words that make up a backup. Should there be an incident of hacking on the hardware wallet platform, the user can still access their funds and move them to a different wallet or a paper wallet. Online platforms, on the other hand, store the private keys on the user’s behalf and result in their centralization, which can result in a significant security threat.

Avoid Using Wi-Fi

It’s important to use your wits when trying to keep your funds safe when using Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency. The development team for Ledger, a popular cryptocurrency, recently posted a blog explaining why hardware wallets are not vulnerable to the issues found in Intel, AMD and ARM CPUs. The company stated that the cryptocurrency’s devices are unaffected by the attacks and that in order for the flaws to be exploited, an attacker would have to run an arbitrary code. The team further said that if only its embedded apps are used, the hardware wallets are not subject to the attacks. Users who are looking into getting a great quality hardware wallet may want to consider purchasing one from BitcoinLockup.com to keep their cryptocurrency fully secured.

It is also important to avoid using Wi-Fi while sending or receiving any cryptocurrency. This is because all modern devices in existence are impacted by the Spectre vulnerabilities.

Bitcoin Exchange Goes Down for 40 Hours, Another Mt. Gox?

Kraken Bitcoin Exchange Goes Down for 40 Hours–Another Mt. Gox?

Cryptocurrency investing continues to make major headlines as digital tokens like Bitcoin and Ripple surge in price. Some investors are proceeding with caution, however, in the wake of problems for one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. The Kraken exchange platform recently went down for almost 40 hours, reminding investors of the vulnerability of untrusted exchanges.

The Pitfalls of Bitcoin Security

One of the strong selling points of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is security. The truth is that Bitcoin has faced numerous security threats since it was introduced in 2009. One of the most famous occurred in 2014 at an exchange known as Mt. Gox.

The Bitcoin security breach at Mt. Gox resulted in hackers stealing 850,000 Bitcoin. The digital coins had a value of more than $11 billion.

Prior to the collapse of Mt. Gox, the downfall of the infamous Silk Road also saw millions in cryptocurrency confiscated by authorities. The takeaway from these incidents is that the cryptocurrency market presents an inherent risk of loss due to security breaches.

The Kraken Incident

Kraken announced in January 2018 that its platform would undergo routine system maintenance that was expected to take a few hours. The maintenance began on a Thursday and as Friday came and went the site remained down. Investors immediately began to panic as comparisons with Mt. Gox were hard to avoid. It took Mt. Gox many days to acknowledge the crippling theft of 2014.

More than 40 hours later the Kraken website was up and running. Even so, the faith of many investors was shaken. It also doesn’t help that many untrusted exchanges have opened in the wake of growth for some so-called altcoins like Ripple. The Kraken downtime only served to fan the fires of doubt among those who maintain large accounts on exchanges for trading.

A Hole in Cryptocurrency Exchange Security

One of the core concerns with security at cryptocurrency exchanges seems to revolve around how deposit accounts are managed. For starters, an account holder is required to maintain their cryptocurrency or cash with the exchange. This seems contrary to the foremost hallmark of digital coins–the cryptocurrency wallet.

A Bitcoin wallet or a similar wallet for another cryptocurrency is basically an address where funds can be sent and received. There are many types of wallets available. Some of them are maintained on the servers of a wallet provider while others are kept locally on the computer of the owner. There are also paper wallets which consist of a QR code that can be scanned.

When someone opens an account with a cryptocurrency exchange a wallet is usually provided as a part of the service. This wallet is stored and maintained by the exchange, making it vulnerable to any attacks on the exchange itself. Cryptocurrency exchange accounts also differ from traditional investment accounts in that they are not insured by institutions like the FDIC.

Can A Hardware Wallet Offer a Solution?

Hardware wallets like the ones offered by Bitcoin Lockup are getting the attention of savvy investors who want greater security for their digital holdings. A hardware wallet is a standalone device that keeps the private keys of wallets secure. It can be stored offline and even kept on one’s person.

Hardware wallets have built-in measures that make them less susceptible to attacks by hackers, viruses, and malware. The owner of a hardware wallet does not have to surrender the control of their private keys to a cryptocurrency exchange.

Cryptocurrency investing is still in its infancy. It is certain that there will be many bumps in the road for investors. In the meantime, those who want to take advantage of the growth afforded by digital coins can mitigate the risk of loss by using a hardware wallet.

The Bitcoin Frenzy Has Finally Had A Shake Out

It seems as though the euphoric state of everyone rushing in to get some bitcoin has come to a screeching halt. The price recently dropped from 20k all the way down to 11k on some exchanges. As a result, there were multiple high volume exchanges that were shut down or unable to perform basic functions like buy and sell due to the high volume of traffic of people trying to panic sell.

This type of event is the EXACT reason why being your own bank is so important. When you leave money on an exchange, they write the rules on when/how you can access it. If everyone is rushing to sell due to a massive dump in price, what is the likelihood that they wont just pull the plug on the site to ensure all that money isn’t running out the door? I’d say pretty high.

Using a Ledger Nano S, Trezor, or Keepkey, to keep your crypto safe isn’t just smart for that reason alone, it allows you to go to any exchange you want, at any time you want to sell (or buy) because you hold the private keys, literally. You can then choose the best option for you and the right time to make some exchanges or trades without being at the whim of a large corporation.

Most people in the United States don’t realize that there are multiple “trusted” exchanges, backed with regulatory assets and other VC money that you can cash out at anytime. 24/7. Knowing your options and the pros and cons of each is half the battle. The other half is keeping possession of your coins on a physical, secure hardware wallet to gain access at a moments notice.

If you are new, please refer to the FAQ page or simply send us a message at [email protected] to discuss your crypto security needs, or simply submit an inquiry through our contact form. We try to answer all messages in 6 hours or less, or in some cases, 24 hours or less depending on volume.

Each situation and specific needs of individuals are different and we offer everything you need to be able to meet those demands at the best price on the internet. Guaranteed or we’ll beat the best price by 10%, that’s our promise.

Why Your Cryptocurrency Assets Are Not In Your Control

I have been spending a great deal of time helping people understand how the bitcoin protocol and blockchain protocol work and why it was brought into existence. There is a lot of FOMO (fear of missing out) going around and the first thing people do is panic when they see $2,000-$3,000 price swings in bitcoin as of late and their emotions get the best of them. It happens to everyone.

It helped me realize that most people unfortunately have no idea what they have bought and how normal market cycles work. It is no different from the traditional Wall Street markets. At any rate, we have been seeing an exceeding number of cases in the news indicating several growing pains for Coinbase, and other U.S. exchanges. People’s money is held in limbo for several days at a time and they are treating it like a bank account. Let me be perfectly clear. Cryptocurrency is NOT like the traditional banking system.

With a bank such as Wells Fargo or Chase, you are protected with the money you deposit under FDIC insurance. If there is fraud, or any error with your accounts, you can go to a local branch or call the 800 number on the back of your card to get it sorted out. You (in most cases) will be made whole again because it is regulated by the government.

Cryptocurrency is the exact opposite. If you lose your money, it gets stolen, or you lose your private keys, that’s it! It’s gone, and there is no getting it back. There is no central authority you can call or a branch you can go to and get your money back in your control. That’s why it is CRUCIAL to take responsibility of your bitcoin and other crypto assets and maintain control. So how do I do that?

In the event that bitcoin crashes or there is a record number of people that try and “Panic Sell”, say for instance, on Coinbase. The likelihood of a company of that size seeing all that money run out the door is unlikely. It’s their website, they can shut it down whenever they want and THEY are in control of your crypto, not you.

One of my friends has been having several issues with gaining access, getting help, and trying to understand how to manage his assets using Coinbase. That’s terrifying for me. There currently is no panic or negative market sentiment for Bitcoin as of this writing. If Coinbase is having issues now….I don’t want to be one of the people who get stuck in the herd trying to withdraw their money.

You need to take control of your own money, your own Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, etc… With a trusted hardware wallet (such as the ones we offer through this website), you take your funds and store it on a piece of secure hardware that is offline and physically in your possession. Because it is offline, it has ZERO chance of getting hacked, stolen, or shut down from a central authority.

People always ask me, “When should I get a hardware wallet?” The moment you spend any amount of money on crypto that you cannot afford to lose, you need a hardware wallet. That can mean different things to different people, depending on your risk threshold, but understanding that leaving your funds anywhere online is not in your control, is the point I am trying to get across. Most people do not understand that until it is explained to them.

I encourage any crypto investors, traders, or speculators to take control of your cryptocurrency and get a hardware wallet to make sure you are protected and secured. With so much in this life that is outside of our control, it’s good to know that you have the ability to make sure your financials are secured in your own tiny bank.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, you can fill out the contact form linked above, or send an email directly to our team at [email protected] I would love to hear any feedback you may have.

Cheers,

Zach.

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