Mass Adoption

Bitcoin Fees: How To Check When You’re Sending A Transaction (2020)

In this article, I’m going to address how to check what the bitcoin fees are for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Not many people think about the “fees” when sending their first bitcoin transaction, as it’s just so exhilarating that you can transact value without permission from a bank or other institution. 

This is really a minute detail, however the fees for sending a bitcoin transaction back in 2017 was upwards of 75$ when it was at it’s peak. This means you need to be able to determine if the fees are a “fair” price at a moments notice and if it will significantly cost you to move your bitcoin.

Luckily, there are a few different resources you can use to check not only what the current bitcoin fees are, but also check out the fees for other cryptocurrencies and Ethereum as well. Additionally, you need to be able to determine what the cost structure is and if you can pay more for a priority transaction. Well, I’m here to break it all down for you. Let’s get started with the #1 resource I use on a regular basis to check the current fees for sending bitcoin in a transaction!

Before I jump down there, I wanted to provide you with a free resource for protecting your cryptocurrency and it’s a free e-book I recently wrote and you can obtain it for free on my website here at the top right corner in an orange button. “5 Best Ways To Secure Your Cryptocurrency” is available to download now! Go grab it!

 

HOW TO CHECK BITCOIN FEES ON BITCOINFEES.INFO

 

Bitcoinfees.info is one of the best resources to check real-time bitcoin fees and what amount of time you would need to wait for your transaction to be confirmed for that fee. For example, it will let you know what the estimated fee is if you want it confirmed in the next block (10 mins), within the next 3 blocks (30 mins), or next 6 blocks (60 mins).

As you wait longer the fees will go down, but not drastically. To provide a frame of reference, the current fees at the time of this writing is $2.17 USD fee for having my transaction in the next block and $0.78 cents in the next 6 blocks.

This varies and fluctuates and is determined by the demand in volume and what specific mining pools are charging and maintaining a competitive marketplace. Why are there fees if they receive a block reward already? Well, to put it frankly, because they can.

Bitcoin miners are the groups of people that use their hash power to ensure the transaction is not only confirmed, but that it’s also safe and secure. It is a necessary component for the network and ecosystem to flourish and maintain economic incentive.

This site also shows your daily, monthly, and yearly averages in the form of charts and graphs to show you how this progresses overtime. They also consider that the average bitcoin transaction is 250 satoshis per byte large for measuring these averages. This also includes the basis of the 1 MB blocks that the current block size represents and would not relate to the fees for the lightning network.

 

HOW TO CHECK BITCOIN FEES ON COINBASE

The fees charged by Coinbase are pretty low. But they can add up, especially if you use the service often. You will see the buying and selling fees we described above.

There may also be fixed and variable fees depending on the amount of the transaction. And when your purchases are smaller, there is a flat fee charged.

 

Here are the flat fees for the smaller transactions:

  • If you are buying or selling in the amount of $10.99 or less, the fee is $0.99
  • If you are buying or selling between $11 and 26.49, the fee is $1.49
  • If you are buying or selling from $26.50 to $51.99, the fee is $1.99
  • If you are buying or selling from $52 to $78.05, the fee is $2.99

 

This is a fairly low and tiered system, but as you can see, this fee is for Coinbase and does not include any miner fees or network fees. So please keep in mind that that you will need to add the two totals together in order to find out what you will actually be paying.

 

HOW TO CHECK ETHEREUM FEES

For ETH, I typically go to ETH Gas Station for this information as it’s the most real-time and accurate in my experience. When sending Ether in a transaction, it uses a component of fees known as “Gas”. What is gas? It’s essentially a fraction of Ethereum that is required to pay for the transaction and is typically much cheaper than bitcoin transaction fees. This also applies to ERC-20 tokens and security tokens as well as they are built on top of the Ethereum network.

This has several other tools to estimate transactions for a specific block and also if you want it applied to s specific smart contract on the network. It includes anything else you may need to know including what mining pools are currently verifying on the network, what the estimated wait time is to have your transaction included in a specific block, and also how full or empty these blocks are.

All in all, this is the only resource I need when trying to estimate how much I will be paying in fees and the only other resource I might use is the specific block explorer I would use in order to verify the status of my transaction. For those of you who do not know what a block explorer is, it is basically a way for you to check the status of your transaction and how many confirmations it’s received before it’s delivered to the recipient.

CONCLUSION

 

Overall, these are the most common resources you will use to check the transaction fees for bitcoin and Ethereum as these are the largest networks by volume and therefore, the most likely to be used when sending crypto. You can also check each individual blockchain if you want to determine what the fees are for, say “Monero” for example.

In the event I want to know what the estimated fees for that example would be to attempt a transaction when sending from my hot wallet, or I would simply use google and include the “coins name + transaction fees” to get the most accurate result. These examples hopefully clarify some of the questions that surround how much you will pay in fees at an given time on these popular coins and networks. Until next time…

 

What are your favorite resources to check crypto transaction fees? Sound off in the comments below!

 

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.

Nordstrom And Whole Foods To Accept Cryptocurrency Payments Directly

Nordstrom

Nordstrom and Whole Foods to accept cryptocurrency payments directly. It has come.  The first big announcement coming from Consensus this week in New York, and it’s a big one. One of the newest payment processors called Flexa has launched and is partnered with Gemini, which is a large bitcoin exchange based out of New York and is underpinned by it’s own ERC-20 token called Flexacoin. 

How does it work? You pay for your items using Flexa’s app, Spedn, which generates a QR code that you scan at the checkout register. The merchant receives immediate payment in dollars, and the equivalent amount of cryptocurrency is debited from your cryptocurrency wallet in the Spedn app.

Whole Foods, which is owned by the e-commerce behemoth, is now accepting bitcoin as a payment method. The mind-blowing development was made possible thanks to a deal between payments startup Flexa and Gemini, the latter of which is the crypto exchange launched by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

Users only need to download an app dubbed Spedn and can make everyday purchases using cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Gemini Dollar (GUSD). Considering that GUSD is the stablecoin of the Winklevoss’ Gemini exchange, it’s not surprising that it’s being supported as well. GUSD should will introduce some stability into crypto payments given its peg to the U.S. dollar and the volatile nature of the bitcoin price. As crypto investors have come to expect, there are no hidden fees or markups, so consumers will be incentivized to use the app.

Everyone knows that Nordstrom and Whole Foods customers are already “being green” given that the grocery no longer uses plastic bags. Wait till shoppers outside of the crypto community learn about bitcoin.

 

AMAZON’S MARKETPLACE COULD BE NEXT

Earlier this week, it was rumored that Amazon’s competitor eBay would stop using paypal and start accepting crypto payment directly on the site, and will facilitate payouts to sellers via that method as well. This is a key move as this is a large eCommerce retailer that does millions of transactions each month have found a way to implement a safer, faster, and cheaper payment system.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have been mum about this secret but now that it’s out of the bag, there’s nothing stopping wide-scale adoption of bitcoin.

The Flexa/Gemini/retailer partnerships are really a reflection of the best of both worlds. The technology builds on existing payments infrastructure that’s used to accept digital payments such as Apple Pay, for instance. All the retailers must do is tweak their scanners to identify payments from the Spedn app. Customers are already familiar with tap-and-go with their mobile device, so there’s nothing new for them to do. There are no additional hoops for the cashier to jump through that might slow down the line. As for the merchant, they can either accept to take the payment in crypto or convert it into fiat money.

For the crypto ecosystem, the announcement is what everyone has been waiting for. It means that if Whole Foods can accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, theoretically Amazon’s entire marketplace can integrate the infrastructure to do the same, seemingly with Flexa. In the U.S., Amazon Prime customers reportedly dole out an average of $1,300 per year on the e-commerce marketplace vs. $700 for non-members.

In addition to Whole Foods, the initiative extends to other merchants including Crate and Barrel and high-end retailer Nordstrom. The Flexa network is comprised of more than 30,000 stores and finally thrusting crypto into the spotlight for micro-purchases such as a cup of coffee, pizza, or electronics.

WHY THIS IS GOOD AND BAD

 

This will require people becoming aware of this change. This is amazing news, but there is always a learning curve when people start to adopt a new method of payment. People have been using only cash and credit card essentially for the last 60 years and it will take a an older generation and a newer generation to find ways to change their spending habits. That is the Bad.

Here is the good. With new innovation, comes new possibilities. Why would merchants want to start accepting crypto? First off, there are no chargebacks. It was reported that merchants can be charged upwards of $300 per chargeback when accepting credit cards. With cryptocurrency, the charges are irreversible. That’s not to say that you will not be dealing with customer service and/or returns in your business, but this is a HUGE advantage for no longer having to deal with credit card disputes.

Additionally, the fees to accept credit cards are typically anywhere from 2-5% per transaction, plus a $0.39 cent fee each time you accept a credit card. That’s absurd. As more and more awareness of this alternative, mixed with consumer confidence and adoption of spending cryptocurrencies on a consistent basis, the credit card companies and banks will hopefully soon be a thing of the past. Soon, it will almost be as antiquated as paying with a check.

 

THERE IS STILL A BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO THIS!

 

What if you could EARN cryptocurrency by shopping at these stores already? You can. I recently wrote an article on the new Life Info App that allows you to connect your bank account or credit card and use a shopping app that essentially allows you to create an instant electronic gift card, and save anywhere from 2-10% off on any purchase you make at thousands of retailers (including Nordstrom and Whole Foods).

How does this work? When you download the free app, you can use online or in person purchases on thousands of stores and brands and save on each purchase. The money that you save on each transaction is accumulated in the wallet and can be converted directly into Bitcoin! You can also convert it into several other altcoins that are supported by Coinbase as that is how you convert your savings directly.

This is a GREAT way to dip your toe into the cryptocurrency world, WHILE saving money at these stores you are already spending money at anyways, you may as well get free Bitcoin to do so.

If you refer to my review link I mentioned above, there are some demo videos that explain the entire process and it’s super easy to use. To me, this is a great bridge to get people familiar with the process. Additionally, you can then send your newly acquired bitcoin to the Spedn app, if you so choose. Please use my link here to get your free download and check it out.

 

***GET YOUR FREE LIFE INFO APP DOWNLOAD HERE***

 

Conclusion

 

All in all, this is very positive news for the cryptocurrency world, and this is a large first step in bringing the utility of cryptocurrency into the real world and offering people a BETTER alternative to our failed legacy financial system. Any tool that helps people transition from the inflationary dollar to the sound hard money of bitcoin, is something I support. The easier it becomes and the lower the barrier to entry is, we will begin to see MASSIVE droves of people start to transition from fiat to crypto. 

 

What do you think? Is there a better way for us to start gaining mass adoption and utility for crypto payments? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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.

How To Invest In And Trade Cryptocurrencies (Beginner’s Guide)

In this article, I will go over how to invest in and trade cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency is a hot topic these days, especially with volume and steam picking on on price this week picking up over $7,000 per bitcoin. How many times have we heard stories of people becoming overnight millionaires and, at the same time, stories of people who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars hoping to make a quick buck?

So, if you are looking to invest in crypto in a safe manner, then this guide is for you. The purpose of this guide is to help educate individuals as much as possible and to reduce speculation in the market.

 

HOW TO INVEST IN CRYPTOCURRENCIES BASICS:

 

The very fact that you are reading this guide shows us that you are interested in investing in cryptocurrencies. These immutable and exchangeable cryptographic token promise to become a hard and non-manipulatable money for the whole world. Their advocates see a future in which Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies will substitute Euro, Dollar and so on and create the first free and hard world currency.

Besides what was already said, there are three major good reasons to invest in cryptocurrencies.

First, because you want to hedge your net-worth against the fall of the Dollar, which is assumed by many people to inevitably happen at some time. Second, because you support the social vision behind cryptocurrencies – that of a free and hard money for the whole world. Third, because you understand and like the technology behind it.

However, there are also very bad reasons to invest in cryptocurrencies. Many people fall victim to the hype surrounding every cryptocurrency-bubble. There is always somebody captured by FOMO (fear of missing out), buying massively in at the peak of a bubble, just in hope to make quick money, while not understanding cryptocurrencies at all. That’s a bad reason. Don’t do this. Learn before you invest. Early stage investors in Bitcoin and Ethereum made millions of dollars in pure profits.

In a one-year time span from December 2016 to December 2017, Bitcoin went from $750 to a staggering $20,000! This means that anybody who invested $10,000 in December 2016, would get back a mind-numbing $133,333 in exactly 365 days. In fact, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies went all the way u pto an astounding $500 billion (half a trillion) by end of 2017.

Stories like that flooded the internet and more and more people joined the crypto hype to get a slice of that crypto pie. However, as more and more speculators flooded the market, the inevitable happened.

The market took a huge dip.

With Bitcoin taking a dip, all the other currencies took a dip, and lots of people lost their entire life savings.

In this guide, we are going to show you how you can educate yourself to make an intelligent investment. Having said that, let’s start with our first lesson.

 

BE OK WITH TAKING RISKS

 

Because the volatility of cryptocurrencies  exceeds that of any other investment class, they are not a normal investment. Plus, there is always the risk that your country may outlaw cryptocurrency trading and exchange. If that’s the case, then you should make your peace with not liquidating your crypto assets, or hold them on a hardware wallet until you can use them for transactions.

So, the important takeaway here is to only risk as much money as you can afford. Like Wence Casares, CEO of Xapo, sums it up in an AMA on bitcoin.com:

“I always tell them [my family] that the second most stupid thing they could do right now is to own an amount of bitcoins they cannot afford to lose and the most stupid thing they could do would be to not own any. “

 

DON’T FORGET: THERE ARE OTHER COINS

 

Up until late 2016 Bitcoin was the cryptocurrency, and there was not much besides it. If you wanted to invest in the success of cryptocurrencies, you bought Bitcoin. Period. Other cryptocurrencies – called “Altcoins” – have just been penny stocks on shady online-markets, mostly used to keep miner’s GPUs working, pump the price and dump the coins.

However, this has changed. While Bitcoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency, in 2017 it’s share of the whole crypto-market rapidly fell from 90 to around 40 percent, and it sits around 50% as of September 2018.

There are several reasons for that. While Bitcoin remains the undisputed king of cryptocurrencies, many people have questioned its future utility. Firstly, there were new and exciting cryptocurrencies coming out secondly, Bitcoin was suffering from severe performance issues and it looked like the Bitcoin community were nowhere near to solving this problem. The block-size issue, in particular, was a huge bone of contention in the community, which ultimately led to the creation of bitcoin cash and the splitting up of the community.

So, the question is, what coins can you potentially invest in?

Well, for that you will go to coinmarketcap.com.

This website lists down cryptocurrencies in decreasing order of market cap. Market cap means the value of all token available. It is not a perfect metric, but likely the best we have to recognize the value of a cryptocurrency.

This is the reason why coinmarketcap is a useful tool to have in your hand.

 

WHAT IS THE UTILITY THAT THE COIN IS BRINGING INTO THE SYSTEM? DOES IT “NEED” TO EXIST?

 

So, you have gone through the market caps and decided on the bunch of coins that you wanted to invest in? Awesome job. However, this is where the real work begins.

The first thing that you need to do is to read their whitepapers. Now, we understand that reading PDFs may not be the most exciting of things, however, you absolutely have to put in the work beforehand before you reap any sort of benefits.

Reading the whitepaper itself will give you two tremendous benefits:

  • Firstly, you will be more knowledgeable about the coin itself and learn about the utility that it is bringing into the ecosystem.
  • Secondly, a poorly written whitepaper is often a good sign of knowing whether a project is worth investing or not. If the team itself can’t simply explain the true utility of their token, then it is probably not worth investing into.

A white paper is the bread and butter of any and all ICOs. According to Wikipedia. “A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.” how to invest in and trade cryptocurrencies

In simpler terms, a white paper can tell potential investors everything they need to know about the project. This is the reason why an ICO which doesn’t have a whitepaper should simply be looked over.

Another thing that most ICOs realize is that majority investors simply won’t bother to read through the whitepaper. This is the reason why they simply outsource their whitepapers to cheap freelance writers who end up creating proper works of art. “Art” is being used extremely liberally here of course. Checkout this gem of a whitepaper by “Arbitrage Crypto Trader”.

Here is an extract from the whitepaper:

“However, the arbitration did not die definitively. He again in favor, thanks to the appearance of cryptocurrency. All of us see that right now quotations bitkoyna on different stock exchanges differ from each other by 1-5%. And for some of the Altocums, the difference can sometimes be as high as 50%.”

It’s ok, don’t bother making sense of it.

A well-crafted whitepaper can define a generation. Just look at what Bitcoin’s whitepaper has done to this era. An ICO which doesn’t bother putting in any effort shouldn’t be given any attention.

Having said that, after you read a decently written whitepaper, there are some decisions that you will need to make.

 

1ST CHECK: THE VALUE THAT THE PROJECT IS BRINGING IN

 

Firstly, check the project to see whether the coin is bringing in any real utility into the ecosystem. The perfect example of this is Ethereum. There is a reason why it took of so fast, think of the sheer value that it was bringing in. For the first time, developers around the world had a platform which they could use to build their own dapps on a blockchain.

Along with that, keep in mind of the issues that cryptoworld is desperately looking to solve, mainly: privacy, scalability, and interoperability. A good way to go about your investing is to find the projects which are specifically working on solving the aforementioned problems. Here are some of the projects that are looking to solve each of the three aforementioned problems:

 

2ND CHECK: DOES THE PROJECT NEED TOKENS?

 

So, how do you make sure that you are getting good quality tokens?

You inspect the project and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this project need to be on the blockchain?
  • Does this project need to have tokens?

If the answer for any of those happens to be “No”, then those projects don’t need a token and those projects are doing an ICO simply to raise money. There is a way to find out the true utility of the token.

 

DEEP DIVE: WHAT ROLES THAT A TOKEN CAN TAKE UP:

 

Right

By taking possession of a particular token, the holder gets a certain amount of rights within the ecosystem. Eg. by having DAO coins in your possession, you could have had voting rights inside the DAO to decide which projects get funding and which don’t.

Value Exchange

The tokens create an internal economic system within the confines of the project itself. The tokens can help the buyers and sellers trade value within the ecosystem. This helps people gain rewards upon completion of particular tasks. This creation and maintenance of individual, internal economies are one of the most important tasks of Tokens.

Toll

It can also act as a toll gateway in order for you to use certain functionalities of a particular system. Eg. in Golem, you need to have GNT (golem tokens) to gain access to the benefits of the Golem supercomputer.

Function

The token can also enable the holders to enrich the user experience inside the confines of the particular environment. Eg. In Brave (a web browser), holders of BAT (tokens used in Brave) will get the rights to enrich customer experience by using their tokens to add advertisements or other attention based services on the Brave platform.

Currency

Can be used as a store of value which can be used to conduct transactions both inside and outside the given ecosystem.

Earnings

Helps in an equitable distribution of profits or other related financial benefits among investors in a particular project.

So, how does this all help in token utility?

If you want to maximize the amount of utility that your token can provide then you need to tick off more than one of these properties. The more properties you can tick off, the more utility and value your token brings into your ecosystem. If the role of your tokens cannot be clearly explained, or if it doesn’t really tick off more than one of the roles given above, then your token doesn’t have any utility and you can do without it.

Now, why shouldn’t you take useless tokens with little to no utility?

For that, we need to understand the concept of token velocity. Token velocity is an indication of how much people respect the value of that particular token. If people hold on to a token, then it has low velocity. However, if people quickly sell that token for BTC, ETH, or Fiat then that token has high velocity.

If you were to define Token Velocity in strictly mathematical terms, then it would look like this:

Token Velocity = Total Transactional Volume / Average Network Value.

If we were to flip the formula then:

Average Network Value = Total Transactional Volume / Token Velocity.

Now, that leads to two conclusions:

  • More the token velocity, less the average network value.
  • More the transactional volume, more the token velocity.

This is the reason why, you should work for a project whose tokens actually have some utility and gives their users a reason to hold on to them.

Alright, so now that you know what kinds of coins you should invest in, we will now teach you how to look for obvious signs of scams.

 

LOOK OUT FOR OBVIOUS SCAMS

Good coins have a transparent technical vision, an active development team, and a vivid, enthusiastic community. Bad coins are in transparent, promote fuzzy technical advantages without explaining how to reach them, and have a community which is mostly focused on getting rich quick. Maybe the worst kind of cryptocurrencies are the MLM coins, for example, Bitconnect. We will talk more about Bitconnect in a bit. However, what are some of the more obvious signs of scams?

 

#1 THE TEAM

 

It really goes without saying that the success of a project is directly related to the credibility of the team. Let’s put it like this, if you are investing your money into a company, wouldn’t you want to know that the company is in good hands and that your money is going to be appreciated considerably?

Let’s look at one of the most successful projects of all time, OmiseGO. Not only do they have an incredible team, they also count people like Vitalik Buterin and Lightning Network Creator Joseph Poon among their advisors as well. So it is no wonder that they had no trouble getting their funds and their investors are now enjoying a healthy return as well.

Obviously, most of the time it won’t be this obvious to know whether the team is actually garbage or not. In cases like that, you should adopt a more hands on approach.

First, search for the names of the team members on Google. Most of the time they should have a LinkedIn profile. Do a quick search and learn more about the team members. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have they been involved in any successful ICO venture before?
  • Have they been involved in a well-reputed company (Google, Deloitte, etc.)?
  • Have they been recommended or endorsed by well known people?

It doesn’t matter if you come across as stalkerish. You must put in this work so that you don’t end up wasting your time and resources later.

Secondly, you should search for the images of the team members on Google. The reasons for this, is again, twofold.

  • Firstly, you want to make sure that you are not getting “catfished”. Meaning, they are not putting up photos of random celebrities or stock photos on their team site.
  • Secondly, the person maybe using the same photo on different websites and projects. So it will give you a good idea about whether the person actually exists or not and, if they do, what the are involved with.

 

#2 PYRAMID SCHEME RESEMBLANCE

According to Wikipedia, “A pyramid scheme (commonly known as pyramid scams) is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.”

An ICO that promises “guaranteed returns” on their investment is a scam. Any crypto investor worth their salt will tell you that will tell you that there are no guarantees in the crypto world.

One of the most infamous examples of this is Bitconnect. Let’s take a look at their website and promises.

If you see anything like that in a website, then don’t bother taking any of their bounties. Simple as that.

You don’t want to end up with tokens like these:

 

#3 INACTIVE GITHUB REPOSITORY

 

An active GitHub repository is a good indicator to show how seriously development has been going on in the project.

 

BUYING BITCOIN…WITHOUT BUYING THEM

While some years ago it was a real Odyssey to buy cryptocurrencies, today you have a full scope of options.

Let’s begin with buying Bitcoin. That’s the easiest part. Some people want to invest in Bitcoin without having the trouble of storing them.

All these investment products have in common that they enable investors to bet on Bitcoin’s price without actually buying Bitcoin. While most cryptocurrency-fans think that this takes away the whole fun and sense of it, for many people it is the easiest way to invest in Bitcoin’s success. You can use the investment channels you already are used to, and if something goes wrong, you have your certificate and someone to take to the court.

Currently, no such investment product exists which covers more cryptocurrencies. But there are some in progress, both in the USA and in Europe.

 

BUYING CRYPTOCURRENCIES: THE TWO KINDS OF EXCHANGES

 

The exchange serves one of the most critical functions in the crypto ecosystem. It basically acts as a portal between the Fiat world and the crypto world. There are usually two types of exchanges:

  • Fiat to Crypto.
  • Crypto to Crypto.

 

FIAT TO CRYPTO

Fiat to Crypto exchanges helps you buy Cryptocurrencies in exchange for Fiat money. Coinbase is a perfect example of this kind of exchange. Coinbase helps you buy BTC, BCH, LTC, and ETH in exchange for Fiat currency.

 

CRYPTO TO CRYPTO

 

Then we have the Crypto to Crypto exchanges. These exchanges help you exchange certain cryptos like BTC, ETH, BCH etc. for other cryptocurrencies. Binance is a fine example of a crypto-to-crypto exchange.

While they do offer pretty valuable services, the problem is that they are all centralized, which makes them vulnerable. This is an extremely risky proposition when you consider the sheer amount of money that these exchanges deal with each and every single day.

When it comes to buying crypto from these exchange themselves, it is really not that complicated.

  • First, open up an account at the exchange
  • You then verify your identity – this is required due to Anti-Money-Laundering (AML”) rules in most jurisdictions
  • Fund your account with Dollar or Euro or whatever paper money you use. On some exchanges, like Bitcoin.de, you don’t need to fund your account, but trade directly with other users.

The question, what exchange to use depends mostly where you live. It’s alway better to use an exchange physically close to you. If it is located in the same jurisdiction like you, you have the best chances to get money legally back if some bad things happen. If no exchange is located in your jurisdiction, it is better to use exchanges based in stable countries with a good legal system.

Another factor to decide which exchange you use is some coins you want to buy and your patience. If you want to acquire large sums of Bitcoins quickly, you need to use one of the major exchanges which provide enough liquidity. If you only want to buy small amounts of coins and if you are not in a hurry, you can try to buy them on small exchanges. If your order gets filled, you most likely will get better prices than on big exchanges. Check out the best crypto exchange.

 

IS THERE A GOOD TIME TO BUY?

There is no general rule when to buy cryptocurrencies. Usually it is not a good idea to buy in at the peak of a bubble, and usually, it is also not a good idea to buy it when it is crashing. Never catch a falling knife, as the trader’s wisdom says. Best time might be when the price is stable at a relatively low level.

The art of trading is to decide when a crypto is in bubble mode and when it reached the bottom after falling. What is easy to say in retrospective is a hard question in the present, which can never be answered with absolute certainty. Sometimes a coin starts to raise, and after it passes a mark, where everybody thinks this must be the peak of a bubble, the real rally just begins.

For example, many people did not buy Bitcoin at $1,000 or Ether at $100, because it seemed to be crazily expensive. But some month later these prices appear to have been a good moment to start.

There is only two advice about timing we can give. First, don’t compare crypto bubbles with traditional financial bubbles. 10 percent up is not a bubble but can be daily volatility. 100 percent up can be a bubble, but often it is just the start of it. 1,000 percent might be a bubble usually, but there is no guarantee that it pops.

Second, take some time to watch. Don’t buy in, because there was a dip. There might be another. And don’t buy in, because you fear that it will explode tomorrow. Watch it, get yourself informed, buy it, when you think the timing is good. And, maybe most important: don’t be a weak hand. Don’t sell too early. Hold. The monetary revolution has just started.

 

HOW TO STORE CRYPTOCURRENCIES?

Alright, so you bought your cryptocurrencies, where exactly should you store them? Well first and foremost…

Keep them off the Exchange!

There is absolutely no way that you should keep your coins in an exchange. There is a long history of hacks and bankruptcies in cryptocurrency markets, most famous the hack of Mt. Gox, which sucked up hundreds of millions of customer’s Dollars.

You need a hardware wallet. You can get one buy going to the top of the page under “Crypto Hardware Wallets” and see what we recommend in the drop down menu.

 

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH TAXES?

 

Disclaimer: We are no tax bureau nor tax consultants. If you have issues with taxes, and if large sums are at stake, you better ask your local tax consultant.

Right now there are only a few tax consultants who know how to deal with cryptocurrencies. But it can be safely assumed that the number is growing quickly and that cryptocurrencies will soon be a standard issue for tax experts like securities, shares, ETFs and real estates are.

All we can provide here is an overview of the typical issues with cryptocurrencies and taxes..

 

No Free Lunch

 

Nothing is for sure, except death and taxes. The same goes on with cryptocurrencies. If you earn money by investing in cryptocurrencies, you likely have to pay taxes. Like it is with everything else.

How you need to tax cryptocurrency investment returns is up to your national tax jurisdiction.

 

The Good News …

 

There is some good news about the topic of cryptocurrencies and taxes. First, in nearly every country of the world cryptocurrencies are VAT exempt. Like with every financial product you don’t need to pay VAT when selling Bitcoin. There have been some ideas of tax authorities in Poland, Estonia, Germany, Australia and Sweden to demand VAT on crypto sales, but after the European Court smashed this down in an important decision, VAT for Bitcoins seems to have become a non-topic.

Another good news is that in some jurisdictions you have to pay nearly no taxes. Amazingly Germany, a country usually known for very high tax rates, has become a tax haven for cryptocurrencies. Like the USA and many other countries, Germany considers Bitcoin not a financial product, but a property. This means that if you earn money by trading it, you don’t pay a flat tax for financial income – which is 25 percent, for example for bank account interest – but you have to tax the profit of buying and selling cryptocurrencies like income.

It’s more as you sold your house than a security.

You bought 10 Bitcoins for 1,000 Euro and sold them for 2,000? Your taxable income increased by 10,000 Euro.

You bought one bitcoin for 100 Euro and ordered a 10-Euro-pizza when the price was 1,000 Euro? Your income increased by 9 Euro. In most cases, the tax rate for this is higher than for financial gains.

However, there is a loophole. If you hold your coins for more than 1 year, you don’t need to pay taxes at all when you sell it. This rule was added to dis-incentivize day trading of other properties and stabilize prices by incentivizing holders. For cryptocurrencies it made Germany, and also the Netherlands, which apply the same rules, to tax havens. Some countries might have similar rules. In doubt, your tax advisor can help you out.

One problem the one year rule poses is that you need to prove that you hold the crypto for this timeframe. Usually, exchanges can help you with prints of your trade history. Also, you can use the public blockchain as a proof of storage. In most cryptocurrencies, it is transparent when coins are received and spent by a particular address. But not in all. For example, Monero uses Ring Signatures and Confidential Transactions, which are great tools to maintain anonymity. But the downside is that they make it more or less impossible to prove that you hold coins more than one year. Maybe you take this into account when selecting coins for your portfolio.

 

The Bad News …

.

If you use a good exchange and keep track of your trades, taxing Bitcoin is possible, but also a pain in the ass. You need to calculate every single profit, not just from trading, but also from using Bitcoins to pay for things.

But that’s just the beginning. Things become really a complicated nightmare if it comes to Altcoins. For the tax authorities, an Altcoin counts like Bitcoin. In most countries, this means it is not a financial product, but a property. If you buy it with Bitcoin and sell it for Bitcoin, you have to tax the difference, but not in Bitcoin, but in Dollar or you national paper money. This means, you not only need to keep track of all your Altcoin trades, but you also need to take into account the price of Bitcoin when buying and selling.

Obviously, this makes things extremely complicated. You can have a bad trade, resulting in getting less Bitcoin back than you invested, but being still, in theory, accountable to taxes, when the price of Bitcoin did soar between your trades. So you lost money in trading but have to pay taxes for it.

At this moment you should accept the fact that cryptocurrencies are something new and that you are no expert in dealing with your financial authorities. Go for a tax consultant, educate him or her about cryptocurrencies and look forward to talking with confused financial authority officials.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

This is an introduction to investing and trading in cryptocurrencies. Even though this was a lot of information, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to follow what trade setup’s I use and what I follow, please follow my YouTube Channel for more insight into this. I am not a financial advisor and you should consult a professional when dealing with these matters, as a disclaimer, but this is valid and helpful information I followed when I got started and understanding this new industry. Good luck on your journey!

What do you think? Is there something you recommend for people getting started? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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.

Massive Bitcoin Stash of 40,000; Bitcoin Whale Moves $229 Million For Only 57 Cents

Massive Bitcoin Stash of 40,000; Bitcoin Whale Moves $229 Million For Only 57 Cents. As reported on May 1st, 2019, a bitcoin whale has moved over 40,000 BTC or over ($212 million) moved from one address (bc1q9sh6544xls87x7skjzyfhkty4wq7z76vn7qzq9) to another (bc1q5shngj24323nsrmxv99st02na6srekfctt30ch).

There are some theories floating around on Twitter as to who the whale is. Some people have speculated on Twitter that the whale is Bitcointalk user “Loaded” who is a well-known poster on the forum. Loaded is as well-known for his posts on the forum as he is for his stash of 40,000 BTC.

Further theories floated around on the forum itself that it was Loaded who made the transaction — although the user has not confirmed or denied that they made the transaction.

It should be noted that the Bitcoin in the address shows a pattern of moving from one address to the next for no apparent reason according to the transaction history on Blockchain.com.

Another thing to note is the first three characters of the address. ‘bc1’ means that the address is using the segregated witness (SegWit) protocol that currently accounts for 40% of all Bitcoin transactions according to transactionfee.info. bitcoin whale

Segwit is a protocol that was introduced on the 23rd of August to make Bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper.

The amount of money used to move the $229,000 million was only 57 cents according to the data. Bitcoinist reported earlier, Bitcoin fees are often mismatched with how much the user should actually be paying. This mistake, according to researchers, was due to the fact that consumer wallets appear to incorrectly estimate the required fee.

Although the 40,000 Bitcoin transaction is no small amount, it pales in comparison to the transaction that occurred on the 10th of January this year.

A total of 130,004 BTC  ($742,972,860.00) was sent to the following address. (385cR5DM96n1HvBDMzLHPYcw89fZAXULJP). To date, this remains as the second largest bitcoin transaction ever, with the largest being 500,000 BTC which occurred on November 16, 2011.

 

BITCOIN STASH: BITCOIN WHALES ACCUMULATE

 

The bitcoin whales in the market seem to be going through a period of accumulation. In fact, 100 of the largest bitcoin wallet addresses accumulated 150,000 extra bitcoin.

One news site Bitcoinist did the math on this accumulation and deduced that they came from wallets holding less than 1,000 and 10,000 BTC. So the ‘rich’ are getting richer — many of which belong to exchanges — while the less-informed crypto speculators continue dropping bags.

 

WHY THIS BITCOIN WHALE MATTERS

 

Consider this for a moment. If you were to go to a bank and you were a high profile client and wanted to make a large transfer such as this anonymous bitcoin holder made, firstly, you would need to make an appointment. Secondly, you would need to go in person during standard business hours and shake hands and meet with certain individuals and make pleasantries before you could actually conduct your business. In other words, it’s an ordeal before the transaction has even begun.

After the charade and process of meeting and greeting, you then need explain your situation. Why are you sending this amount of money? Where are you sending this money? Which bank is receiving this money? Can we record or report this transaction and your explanation to the IRS directly, or do you already have a notarized letter from a CPA? Can we see two forms or ID?

…This is just the beginning of a series of questions you might encounter when trying to move your money from location A to location B when dealing with a bank. This is all before you are actually “authorized” to move your own money.

When you’re dealing in bitcoin, you don’t need permission, you don’t need to submit ID, you don’t need to wait 7-10 business days. It happens virtually instantly with the click of a button. Understand how powerful this is. Not even the most powerful and connected of business men can bypass the security and tracking that goes on with a bank and dealing with “regulation” of the legacy financial system. Additionally, consider the banking “fees” they would impose (after they’ve approved you to move your money after vetting not only yourself, but the recipient) for moving that sum of money.

As an example, international wire transfers at Fidelity charge upwards of 3% of the total transaction amount to wire this amount. For those of you who do not want to do the math, that is $6,780,000.00 as a fee to move this money. With bitcoin, this person did it with 2 quarters and a few pennies worth of fees.

That is why this is the future. I see this technology as inevitable for the entire world to adopt, because the bankers are far too greedy. Additionally, they see no problem with what they charge and why they do it. They will continue to blow bitcoin off as a valuable means of exchanging value, but as you can see above, it’s happening and it’s very possible.

 

FIRST STEP TO BECOMING YOUR OWN BANK

 

Part of becoming your own bank is first understanding the risks and responsibilities that goes with self-sovereignty. This is an amazing gift, but should be take very seriously and with the utmost care and responsibility. There is no 1-800 number to complain to when you mistype an address or you make a mistake. There is no one that can reverse a charge, or give you a refund. This is an irreversable, yet incorruptable form of dealing with money.

I do not say this to scare you, yet rather to implore you to double check everything you do and engage in the proper research when learning about making cryptocurrency transactions. The website you are on offers a myriad of valuable information ranging from beginners to experts in the space and provides a wealth of information, as well as tools to assist you in your crypto journey.

If you are new (or advanced), I recommend obtaining a hardware wallet to store your private keys offline, safely and securely to ensure that you are not risking your life’s work. The best one with the easiest to use interface that I’ve been recently using a lot is called “KeepKey“. This device has been around for several years now and is considered a widely used and respected device. I use it personally almost every day. Additionally, I have been testing their brand new unified platform that is currently in beta and it is BY FAR the easiest to use hardware wallet experience I have used.

It is extremely impressive and I can’t wait for all of you to see it. In the meantime, their existing platform is still very intuitive and user friendly, but the upgrade that is coming definitely a game changer. For more information on this device and to purchase directly from the KeepKey’s Official Website.

 

What do you think? Is this the first evidence in a shift in global finance to bring cryptocurrency mainstream? Sound off below!

 

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.

Proof Of Work Vs. Proof Of Stake | How Does It Work? (Beginner’s Guide)

What is Proof Of Work Vs. Proof Of Stake | How Does It Work? If you spend enough time in the crypto-community and you’ll witness debates over Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).  Fans of PoW will argue that it’s the transaction system Satoshi Nakamoto had in mind for cryptocurrencies. Those in favor of PoS, on the other hand, will argue that mining is outdated, inefficient, and insecure compared to staking.

So you might be wondering, what’s the difference, is one actually better than the other, and why is it better?  Well like most things here at Bitcoin Lockup, I am not here to give you my unsolicited opinions, but we are here to give you some objective information that might help you determine for yourself which proof has best proven its worth.

 

Proof Of Work Vs. Proof Of Stake | How Does It Work?

 

PROOF OF WORK

 

When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin in 2008, he envisioned a currency that would rely on a trustless and distributed consensus system.  This would allow Bitcoin to be decentralized both in technological and financial terms. For instance, when you transact money through a trusted system, a third-party (think banks, credit/debit cards, PayPal) handles these transactions in terms of debit and credit.  If Mark sends Sally $100 dollars, the institution will debit Mark’s account $100 dollars and credit Sally with $100. All of the money is handled by and within the third party, so none of the transacted funds belong to either Mark nor Sally until they are withdrawn from the system.

 

Image result for proof of work

Bitcoin differs from traditional financial hubs by being trustless.  This is not to say you can’t trust Bitcoin and blockchain with your money.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Bitcoin’s trustless nature allows for a peer-to-peer exchange without the need for a third-party mediator.

The traditional mediators are replaced with miners, and these miners work on behalf of Bitcoin holders to see that transaction are successfully processed.  In order to see that these transactions are approved, miners commit their computer’s processing power to solve the encrypted algorithms within each transaction.  This is what we mean by Proof of Work.

Under a Proof of Work system, miners compete to verify that all the transactions within the candidate block (the block currently being built) are legitimate.  To do this, they must solve the encrypted puzzles that verify the integrity of the transacted coins. The first miner to solve these puzzles receives an amount of the transacted currency, also known as a block reward.  Once the problem is solved, the transactions create a block that is stored as a public ledger on the blockchain, and the miner announces the solution to the entire network.

As you can see, PoW is dictated by competition and computational output.  Imagine an international math competition wherein a previously unsolved proof (the block) is given to the competitors (the miners).  Whoever solves this proof first is awarded a prize (block reward), and the solved proof is then posted on the internet for all to see (the block being established in the blockchain).

 

PROOF OF STAKE

 

Proof of Stake differs entirely from Proof of Work.  Instead of building blocks through work output, the creator of a block is determined by their share, or stake, in a currency.

Under this system, forgers (the PoS equivalent of a miner) are chosen to build blocks based on their stake in a currency and the age of that stake within the blockchain’s network.  For instance, let’s say you hold 500,000 Cardano.  First of all, allow me to hypothetically congratulate you on your fat stacks. Getting back to the example, under the Proof of Stake system, you’d be more likely to create the candidate block than someone with 100,000 ADA. Image result for proof of stake

To go even further, if you had been holding your 500,000 ADA in the same address for a year, you’d be more likely to generate the next block than someone who also has 500,000 ADA but who has been holding it in a network address for half a year.

To give you another analogy, imagine if your odds to win the lottery increased based on a) how much money you put into it and b) how long you had been buying tickets.  Now, you won’t make millions of dollars by staking your favorite PoS currency, but you can make some nice passive income on top of your investment gains.

It’s important to note that, for a stake to be chosen, it must be held on an address within the coin’s network.  So if you were holding Cardano like in the above example, you would need to store it in Cardano’s core wallet. There are also no block rewards in the PoS system.  Seeing as there’s no work-centric incentive to outcompete other miners, forgers are only awarded transaction fees.

There’s also a marked difference between Delegated Proof of Stake and regular Proof of Stake, but that’s for another article at another date.

 

 

PoW Coins:

Bitcoin

Ethereum

Litecoin

Monero

 

PoW/PoS Hybrids:

Dash

Stratis

HShare

Pivx

 

PoS Coins:

Cardano

OmiseGo

QTUM

Tezos

 

KEY DIFFERENCES AND TAKEAWAYS

Proof Of Work Vs. Proof Of Stake

Proponents of PoW will tell you it allows crypto to more effectively function as a currency.  The PoS model, they argue, incentivizes users to stake their coins for extended periods of time, thereby making them inactive.

PoS fans, however, will defend their system’s overall superiority.  For starters, it solves the problem of energy consumption that Bitcoin has created.  As more transactions and users are added to Bitcoin’s network, more computing power will be needed to accommodate growth.   The more computing power that is added to the network, the more the hashrate increases in difficulty. With more difficulty comes an increase in the amount of work a computer must generate to generate blocks, and this increased output leads to greater energy consumption.

 Bitcoin’s growth and mining difficulty are exponentially tied to energy consumption, and critics see this as an unsolvable issue under the PoW model. It’s the reason that Bitcoin’s network alone consumes more energy than 159 countries.

Proof of Stake also defends against 51% attacks on the blockchain.  As we’ve seen with the recent Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin civil war, disproportionate mining power can lead to de facto centralization of a blockchain’s network.  In order to control a majority of a PoS blockchain, a validator would have to own 51% or more of that crypto’s overall supply. So in order for someone to attack Cardano’s blockchain, for instance, they would have to $609,286,157.643 worth of Cardano to do so.  I really don’t see that happening.

Both PoS and PoW have their ups and downs, and I’ll be excited to see how the market responds to coins that utilize either system or a hybrid of both.  One last thing to keep in mind for PoW, however, is that once all a currency’s coins are minted and circulated, block rewards will cease to exist. This may incentivize PoW coins to update to a PoS model, but only time will tell.

Still don’t have cold storage for your private keys? click HERE for the Ledger Nano S to hold all of the PoW and PoS coins discussed above!

 

What do you think? Do you think PoS will overtake PoW in popularity? Sound off below!

 

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.

Hot Wallets Vs. Cold Wallets – Which One Should I Use?

In this article, I am going to dive into hot wallets vs. cold wallets – which one should I use? This is an interesting topic, and in fact, it was one of the first topics I started researching when I first discovered cryptocurrency and ultimately inspired me to create this website. As you can see, I have a bias towards cold storage wallets, but what exactly is the difference? I am going to discuss below what the pros and cons of a hot wallets vs cold wallets are and in what scenario you would need to use both. As cryptocurrency payments become ubiquitous, it’s important for your own safety and best security practices in managing your wallets and private keys on an on-going basis. Let’s begin.

WHAT IS A HOT WALLET?

 

In short, a “hot wallet” is a digital wallet for your cryptocurrency that is connected or is easily connected to the internet. This provides a lot of convenience for making day to day purchases as most active hot wallets are either on your smart phone or also on a desktop wallet on your computer for easy access for making online purchases. I always use the comparison of using your hot wallet like you would for a wallet in your back pocket that holds your credit cards, ID, and fiat. By a general rule of thumb, you should never hold more money on your hot wallet than you would normally keep in your leather physical wallet on a regular basis. Most people never keep any more than a couple hundred dollars in there at any given time, which is smart. The same applies to a hot wallet.

These wallets are designed for your average day to day spending. This could be at your local merchant down the street, or even if you’re browsing online at and trying to purchase gift cards at a site like bitrefill.com. This is done typically by scanning the screen’s QR code with your smartphone via your own wallet to make a quick transaction and simple transaction or even buy something off Amazon (like millions do everyday), but by using Purse.io, which is a platform that is built on top of amazon but accepts multiple cryptocurrencies as payment, and at a steep discount. Click this link to get some free BTC if you want to get started. Most purchase discounts range anywhere from 15-33% off anything at Amazon through this site.

These are just a few examples of how/when you would use your hot wallet for a simple transaction. You can also pre-load Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on Bitpay’s visa debit card. I will link my video review of this from Youtube HERE.

WHAT IS A COLD WALLET?

A “cold wallet” is also a digital (or sometimes physical, in the form of a hardware wallet) wallet that is kept completely offline. Why? Because any funds that are kept offline cannot be hacked or tampered with. You can think of this as virtual bank vault, that is very secure, hard to access, and is designed to store your larger amounts of crypto and primarily your longer term holdings. There are many advantages to having these wallets, and even safer to implement Multi-Sig wallets. It is also recommended to diversify your holdings between multiple hardware wallets when you start to accumulate a vast sum of crypto.

I have a soft spot specifically for hardware wallets as I’ve actually designed and built one for a prominent cryptocurrency company (although due to  an NDA, I cannot discuss it yet). But the reason I think it’s important is because using and owning this kind of device is like putting up a nice big middle finger to the big banks and over-reaching governments that tend to control our money supply and bank accounts whenever they see fit. No “authority” should have that kind of power. Hardware wallets are symbolic of sovereignty and self-reliance. That is why literally “becoming your own bank” is so important. One of my favorite quotes in this space is “Whoever controls the people’s means of exchange, controls the people”. This is scary, but very true. When you use cryptocurrency, you are taking personal control and responsibility of your finances, and that is SO empowering. Just writing about it send chills down my spine, but I digress.

If you are new to hardware wallets, I recommend getting a Keepkey device for beginners. Why? I have been testing their closed beta of their new platform and it is by far the easiest and most user friendly hardware wallet platform I have used (and I’ve used almost every one of them). I think I could teach my grandma how to use it, and that’s saying something. The current platform works fine, but the future platform is very exciting and if you are brand new, you will be pleasantly surprised. I will be writing a review on this platform shortly and I will update this post with a link as soon as I do, so stay tuned.

 

WHY WOULD I NEED EITHER ONE?

 

As you can see from the examples of use cases listed above, it is important to protect your cryptocurrency and make it useful and convenient when you need it. But it’s even more important to  protect it and secure it when it’s required. As the user adoption begins to snow ball, it’s crucial for everyone to understand that they will need both a hot and cold wallet for their various uses. You can even make transactions online with your hardware wallet connected via USB for even more protection. Most hardware wallets never expose their private keys to the internet when making the transactions by design. This is super helpful because you want to ensure that from every point in a given transaction, you do not want your private keys to be exposed in transit and potentially have your keys copied by a 3rd party before it reaches the intended destination.

Having said that, most digital wallets on your smart phone are typically secure enough for day to day spending and you shouldn’t be too concerned, so long as you have a trusted wallet for your phone. The top 3 I use on a regular basis is Bitpay, Jaxx, and Blockchain. These are all non-custodial wallets and have security features built in and can have 2FA or (two-factor authentication) enabled to confirm each transaction and will include Touch ID and Face ID, if you enable it.

I already recommended my top hardware wallet for beginners in the previous section, but any of the wallets that I offer through this website, are all trusted and good to use, it just depends on your needs and wants out of a secure air-gapped device.

 

Please sound off below! What hot and cold wallets do you like? Do you have any other wallets 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.

How To Buy Bitcoins With Paypal Instantly (2020)

In this article, I will tell you how to buy bitcoins with Paypal instantly. Some of us on our journey for buying our first bitcoin, we look at the funding source from which we want to pay for it. In some cases it may be your bank account, in others it could be with a debit or credit card, but what if you have some funds sitting in Paypal and you would like to use that as a payment method directly?

hLuckily, this can be done and some methods are more legitimate than others. I am going to include the best ways (in order) to do complete this process, but keep in mind that Paypal will include additional fees to buy bitcoin that can range from 10-20% more than the actual price you agree to, as Paypal is factoring in the risk of a charge back into the purchase price. Let’s begin!

 

#1 BUY BITCOIN ON ETORO VIA PAYPAL

 

Step 1 – Open Your Account

how to buy bitcoins with paypal instantly

– Visit the eToro homepage- Click the ‘Join Now’ button- Fill out the sign-up page, accepting the terms and conditions and privacy policy before clicking ‘Create Account’

Step 2 – Deposit Funds with Paypal

etoro paypal 1

– Log in to your eToro account- Click on the ‘Deposit Funds’ button- Submit the amount you wish to deposit and select your currency- Select your deposit method – in this case, PayPal- You’ll then be redirected to the PayPal website- Log in to your PayPal account- Review your transaction details- Verify the details and complete the transaction by clicking ‘Pay’

Step 3 – Buy Bitcoin!

etoro paypal 2

  • Visit the BTC markets page on eToro
  • Click the blue ‘Trade’ button in the top right-hand corner
  • Alternatively, you can click ‘Buy’ next to Bitcoin if you have added it to your Watchlist
  • Enter the amount of Bitcoin you wish to buy in fiat currency
  • Set stop losses and ‘take profit’ parameters- Click ‘Open Trade’

 

#2 BUY BITCOIN ON COINBASE VIA PAYPAL

 

*Disclaimer: Using the e-wallet via Coinbase (web or iOS) requires you to be a U.S. investor. If you are not an American, you can still link your Paypal account to Coinbase, but you can’t physically buy Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum. In order to use PayPal for non-US customers is to swap your Bitcoin for a fiat currency and transfer this back to your Paypal account.*

coinbase paypal 1

  • Visit the Coinbase homepage
  • Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button in the top right-hand corner
  • Complete the sign-up form and hit the ‘Create Account’ button
  • Activate your Coinbase account by clicking on the confirmation link in your sign-up email

Step 2- Deposit Funds with Paypal

  • Log in to your Coinbase account
  • Click the ‘Settings’ tab on the left-hand side
  • Click ‘Add a Payment Method’
  • Click ‘PayPal Account’ and verify your PayPal account using the on-screen prompts

Step 3 – Buy Bitcoin!

coinbase paypal 2

  • Log in to your Coinbase account
  • On the Dashboard, click the ‘Buy/Sell’ button at the top of the page
  • On the Buy/Sell window, click the Bitcoin button
  • Choose your preferred payment method e.g. PayPal
  • Specify the amount of Bitcoin you want in your fiat currency
  • Hit ‘Buy Bitcoin Instantly’

 

#3 BUY BITCOIN IN PERSON VIA PAYPAL (LOCAL BITCOINS)

 

Step 1 – Sign Up (If you haven’t already)

buy bitcoin on localbitcoins using paypal

Click this link for a direct way to do this! – SIGN UP

 

Step 2 – Filter for Paypal

Image result for paypal filter local bitcoins

Paypal Tips:

  • High feedback scores are important. The closer to 100 percent, the better.
  • Look at the number of trades and trade volume. Again, the higher, the better.
  • Consider the trade limits to be sure the seller can fill your order.
  • Look at the payment window to see how long you have to complete the transaction.
  • Read any terms the seller might have. In some cases, the seller will also require a minimum reputation score for the buyer. If this is the case, you’ll have to make some small purchases to increase your reputation if you want to use that specific seller.

 

Step 3 – Confirm Transaction

Image result for paypal filter local bitcoins confirm

This is documented in case of a dispute, but as long as you follow the tips above, that is unlikely. You can also negotiate to meet in person to initiate this process, if needed.

 

CONCLUSION

 

There are still other options to buy bitcoin with Paypal online, but those other options I have not personally used or tested and therefore, I cannot speak to how legitimate the entire process is. For your reference if you want to see what some other options are, I will link them below for you to take a look. Well, there you have it. Three tried and true ways to buy bitcoin online with Paypal and usually goes pretty quickly. This is a good option if you have funds sitting in Paypal and want to convert it into the far more valuable currency of the future.

NOTE: The other sites I will list below will allow other options for credit cards and other payment methods as well.

 

Virwox

Paxful

xCoins

 

If you found this helpful or you have any other suggestions on other sources to obtain bitcoin securely and easily, please comment below!

 

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.

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.

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 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.

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