ruletheworld

May 272020
 

This is a sponsored post by Sharleen Ross

https://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/cryptocurrency_trading.html?start=100&sti=o9y1mq1z576e4ivas8|&mediapopup=92125482
Gold BitCoin standing on a computer keyboard

If you weren’t a germaphobe before 2020, you probably are now. Being more aware of germs and how they spread is going to help future generations better handle virus outbreaks and disease pandemics, but when it comes to the world of finance and transactions, there are some helpful things you can do now to slow the spread of germs. 

Stop the Spread

Cryptocurrency is gaining more popularity every year and many predict it will be the way of the future. In times like these, going crypto can be especially helpful. Physical currency is ranked among some of the dirtiest objects around. It goes through thousands of hands and places before it reaches your wallet and gets passed on again. In trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, using virtual currency may be one of the most health-conscious choices you can make. 

In addition to slowing the spread of germs and the virus specifically, cryptocurrency can also help lower your taxes. Donating crypto is not taxable in the United States and many other countries. That’s good news for you and the millions in need at this time of trouble. There are many who are unemployed, sick or don’t have money to purchase food and other necessities. You can use cryptocurrency to make donations to your favorite charity, count it as a tax deduction and even prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s a win-win, win! 

Safe Transactions

https://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/cyber_security_business.html?&sti=lvllyhim7tdz2kk913|&mediapopup=101155207
Padlock wrapped around a laptop.

Cryptocurrency is also an extremely safe way to make transactions due to the numerous verifications each exchange must go through. Cryptocurrency is checked by people called “miners” and their job basically is to confirm that the transaction is legitimate and meets all necessary standards. As transactions accumulate, you build what is referred to as a blockchain. Blockchain is like layers of verification on where the currency has been; it is protected by virtually thousands of eyes and monitors, which is more security than banks and credit union s can offer. 

Hectic times like this can also be vulnerable times. Criminals trying to hack bank accounts is a legitimate concern and you should do all you can to stay protected. Cryptocurrency can keep funds safe and secure. 

Globalization

Another benefit, besides helping with taxes is the speed and fluidity of transactions across borders. The world is more globalized than ever and from the looks of things, it will continue to move in that direction. Transactions will not only influence the U.S., but also the global economy. The future holds a lot of new possibilities and crypto currencies are a great tool to keep up with changing times. 

Stay Safe

The ultimate goal of course right now is to keep yourself and your families safe. It is vital that we take every precaution necessary to beat the virus that has taken over. Cryptocurrency is another way we can help avoid the spread of germs and fight this thing together. Of course cryptocurrency will help you with your taxes (there are even helpful cryptocurrency tax guides out there), make for safer transactions and keep you moving in a fast-paced world, but the most important thing is you. You and your loved ones can’t be replaced, so be smart and stay safe. 

Apr 222020
 
Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash

Despite cryptocurrencies’ substantial rise in prominence in recent years, we are still a long way from being able to use Bitcoins to complete everyday purchases. For this process to become a reality, large industries need to commit to cryptocurrencies and get behind their potential. There are some that have already done just that, even if they’ve not heavily publicized it, playing an important part in there rise. Here are just a few doing interesting things. 

Online gambling

You would think the world of online gambling and cryptocurrencies sit at odds with one another. While they both come from somewhat mysterious and shrouded backgrounds, gambling has traditionally been quite rigid in its rules, playing by a specific set of rules that wouldn’t necessarily allow for new forms of currency. Despite this, unstable and untested currencies such as Bitcoin have found their place in the world of online betting and casinos. 

The advent of cryptocurrencies in online gambling actually owes a lot to online gaming, where ‘token’ payments have been completely normalized and integrated into most AAA releases in some fashion. While the dangers of this practice on players have been well-noted and discussed, it has opened the door to alternative ways of paying to play. This transfers over to online gambling, which has also seen a significant rise in the last decade thanks to the ease and availability of games and odds across major websites and apps. 

There have been two major avenues for cryptocurrencies venture into the world of online gambling. While many of the best betting sites used for sports gambling, such as the ones listed here, don’t allow players to use Bitcoin and other alternative currencies, many casino game websites have embraced it as an option.

Alternatively, Bitcoin only casinos have also sprung up, giving players additional benefits such as reducing waiting times for deposits and withdrawals. 

Sports

The world of sport is absolutely awash with money, particularly at the top of international games. This willingness to take money from any available avenue makes sport a perfect candidate for integrating cryptocurrencies.

Although, the fashion in which it has embraced these advancements has been quite unique in comparison to other industries. 

The soccer world has been willingly fertile ground for cryptocurrency experimentation. Numerous advertising deals have been established for leading English clubs with crypto-trading companies, including a high-profile deal in which sponsorship money has been paid from eToro in Bitcoin. 

Beyond sponsorships, some soccer teams have found more practical uses for cryptocurrencies within the game, such as Gibraltar United, who promised to start paying its players in cryptocurrencies.

Although this is yet to fully come into fruition, and complications within the game caused by the coronavirus may have put a stop to this venture, it is an ambitious project that teams are no doubt going to be influenced by.

Similarly, the Turkish side Harunastaspar made history in 2018 when they completed the first purchase of a player by paying the full transfer fee in Bitcoin. 

Expect a more common implementation of cryptocurrencies in sport to be payments within stadiums and the alternative currencies being used to stop ticket-touting, a problem plaguing major sports and events. 

Ecommerce

There’s no industry where the merits of cryptocurrencies are more transferable than ecommerce. Buying and selling goods using Bitcoin and its digital brothers and sisters just makes sense and feels like a natural evolution point for the world of digital retail. Despite a trepidatious start, the industry is beginning to catch up and see the benefits cryptocurrencies offer both retailers and customers. 

Although you may not know it, a significant portion of mainstream ecommerce CMS now either support the use of Bitcoin on stores made using their platform or can be adapted to do so through the use of community-made plugins.

This easy fix is particularly important for small scale ecommerce stores who usually get their start using these platforms, as it offers customers additional payment options that are not only safer but cost-effective and without chargebacks thanks to blockchain technology.

Cryptocurrencies will never truly find their place in the mainstream until they infiltrate existing markets. However, crypto-based stores offer a new way for enthusiasts to shop in a more transparent manner.

Cryptocurrency only marketplaces such as OpenBazaar and Forra offer an online retail experience free from constraints of third-party interference, showing potential to flip the industry and the way people look at online shopping on its head.

They have eliminated transaction fees, giving both retailers and customers better returns in more transparent circumstances. If these websites can be looked at by the general public as legitimate, regular stores will have to embrace new currencies to keep up. 

These industries and key companies within them may be leading the way, but there is significant work to be done to normalize the practice of paying with cryptocurrencies. A lot of these examples have seen alternative models pop up within existing industries. To break into the mainstream, in-roads need to made into the biggest players. 

Mar 012020
 

This is a guest post from We Accept Cryptocurrency

Most people see cryptocurrency as an investment; a hedge against the inflationary fiat monetary system. But that was not the original intention of the Bitcoin founders. They saw Bitcoin as “electronic cash,” a radical alternative to fiat money. They envisioned people spending Bitcoin on everyday items. They envisioned people sending Bitcoin to friends and family as a gift, and using it to pay contractors for their work. Anything money can do, cryptocurrency can do better.

We Accept Cryptocurrency is a newly launched website with a mission to increase real-world cryptocurrency use and adoption. The website is a resource of online merchants and services (as well as charities) that accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment. Bitcoin has the largest directory, but the site also lists the following cryptocurrencies: ETH, BCH, LTC, DASH, NANO, XMR, EOS, XRP.

There is a strong need for such a resource, because currently the information on real-world crypto adoption is scattered. There are many coin-specific resources (a website listing merchants accepting Litecoin for example), and several geography-specific resources (a website listing places to spend crypto in NYC for example), but a global Internet resource is needed. We Accept Cryptocurrency remains geography-agnostic by listing online merchants only. 

Many people today are privileged to be able to consider cryptocurrency exclusively in investment terms. In countries with stable monetary policy, that makes sense. However there are countries like Venezuela where cryptocurrency adoption is growing rapidly as a matter of necessity due to hyperinflation. 

For users in countries like Venezuela, the mission of We Accept Cryptocurrency is even more crucial, because finding merchants that accept cryptocurrency when fiat is no longer a viable option takes on another level of importance. If We Accept Cryptocurrency continues to expand its directory it may become an asset to those who really need cryptocurrency the most. 

The way We Accept Cryptocurrency vets a merchant before its inclusion into the website is as follows: the We Accept Cryptocurrency team first reaches out directly to the merchant asking them to confirm that they do currently accept cryptocurrency. They ask the merchant for the page on their website where their crypto policy (and discounts) is listed, and link to that page directly. This methodology leads to significantly fewer broken or outdated listings when compared with various coin-specific directories.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Oct 112019
 
IRS tax guidelines crypto bitcoin

This is a guest post from Andrea Pretorian

For the first time since 2014, the IRS released two new pieces of guidance—Revenue Ruling 2019-24 and frequently asked questions (FAQs)—on October 9, 2019, indicating how taxpayers should proceed when it comes to reporting and paying taxes on virtual currency.

Fundamentally decentralized, cryptocurrency has no single official body directly responsible for regulating it—and so frequently it ends up standing at the intersection between fiat money and assets. In the United States, the IRS is the single biggest establishment player that “touches” crypto with rules, since failure to comply can lead to penalties or even incarceration. 

Releases like this one from the IRS can have a significant impact on the decisions that cryptocurrency holders will make in handling their property. This week’s release has generated a lot of buzz.

What was new in this release?

The IRS primarily addressed the case of hard forks, where a new branch appears in the blockchain protocol and does not recognize old blocks and transactions. Hard forks most commonly arise when a new spin-off cryptocurrency comes about (e.g. Bitcoin Cash from Bitcoin), or when Ethereum created a hard fork to reverse the DAO hack. 

The release indicates that once the new fork appears, the taxpayer has a new tax obligation tied to the new fork. The taxpayer has to have “dominion and control” over the currency, meaning they have to be able to transact with it, which is technically true regardless of whether the taxpayer stores this cryptocurrency in an exchange or in a private wallet.

This release also addressed airdrops, and specifically noted that not all hard forks should be considered as airdrops. Essentially, it is only when a hard fork results in new currency that this should be reported as gross income; and per the IRS’ release, this can occur via airdrop and result in a new tax liability.

The new IRS release generates a new set of questions.

One-size-fits-all rules are a challenge within the widely varied world of crypto. This release by the IRS has generated even more questions about how to handle various situations that may arise, even within the context of a hard fork. The biggest questions center around how to treat the “old” currency:

  • How do you determine value of the old and new coins?
  • What if the coin is in a private wallet?

If the coin is in an exchange and not a wallet, the exchange will declare the new and old coins and note whether new assets—and therefore new tax obligations, as clarified under this release—were created. 

But if the coin is held in a private wallet, demonstrating this can get tricky. While Q27 of the release tries to answer the question of how individuals can determine a cryptocurrency’s fair market value if there is no published one, this can get tricky since cryptocurrency doesn’t carry intrinsic value.

People frequently turn to wallets with private keys for increased security, and so they will not welcome added layers of complication to wallet ownership.

While public buzz notes that the IRS recognizes actions taken in good-faith, this does not necessarily assuage the fears of a public seeking clarity and security that they will not be penalized, particularly if any further changes arise in the future.

How has the release been received?

The release’s reception could perhaps best be summarized by the CCN headline, “IRS Tries, Fails to Explain Your Crypto Tax Liabilities After a Hard Fork.”  Twitter was set ablaze with reactions to this ruling from everyone in the cryptocurrency and blockchain community, who were overall disappointed with the release.

One recurring sticking point has to do with the way the release handles airdrops, and how value is taxed even before the value is truly recognized—such as by a sale. ConsenSys’ legal expert Matt Corva likened it to oil: “If I discover oil is on my property, I don’t recognize income (thereby forcing me to set up a mining operation to extract it to offset my tax burden).” Instead, he recommends the same for both oil and crypto airdrops: “no tax until manipulated.”

Another contention with this release has to do with how this tax guidance could be used as a weapon by one exchange against another. If an exchange were to hard fork a cryptocurrency and then use a bit of capital to inflate the “fair market value,” this would create a new, unforeseen tax liability for those holding the original cryptocurrency—including other exchanges.

According to Cointelegraph and Blockonomi, this particular release came as a result of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus’ request for clarity on how to report cryptocurrencies for tax purposes. It will be interesting to see what further clarifications, if any, will be requested over time. 

The IRS is maintaining high visibility in their attempts to educate the public, having even sent out letters to taxpayers who may have filed incorrectly. As a result, the IRS might have a stronger case for the prosecution of noncompliant taxpayers.

Author Bio: Andrea Pretorian is Content Manager over at BitIRA, leaders in digital IRA set-up and management

May 182019
 

This is a guest post from Dimitris Tsapis. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect the opinions of the editors of other writers of BTC Geek. This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and could lose money. Never invest more than you can afford to lose

Editors Note: We do not agree with some of the picks, like XRP. However, we strongly believe in having diverse opinions on this blog, and include writers whose views we don’t fully agree with.

In the last few years, the cryptocurrency market has seen many new coins enter the space. With more than 1600 cryptocurrencies to invest in 2019, choosing the best coins becomes a complicated task.

Most of these new coins promise high returns for early investors and try to revolutionize the market, one way or another.

But do they have the potential? Will they perform as they claim?

Sure enough, many of these coins have made their investors very rich, since their price appreciated more than 100-fold over a relatively short timeframe.

But let’s not forget the older coins as well. Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin created many “overnight millionaires” back in the early days of crypto.

So how can we estimate which coins have the best opportunity to increase in value over the next bull-run?

How can we find true gems when practically everyone can create a new cryptocurrency? This question is especially relevant to invest in cryptocurrencies in 2019 as opposed to say 2017 when we had a massive bull run. In 2019, things have settled down and we’re more in the accumulation phase as opposed to a massive bull market.

In this article, we will analyze the factors that determine the best cryptocurrencies to invest in. We will also make a somewhat risky guess for our top contenders. Let’s get started.

A Closer Look at Cryptocurrency Investing

Investments of all kinds should be made after performing in-depth research and patient market observation. This is especially true with cryptocurrencies since they tend to follow historical patterns.

Therefore, before you invest in a cryptocurrency, make sure you train yourself to become emotionally detached from “trendy” coins and other external influences.

After all, the investment decision is yours only, as are the profits and losses that come with it.

Start by focusing your attention on what matters most. And by that, I don’t mean YouTube videos from self-proclaimed experts. Nor do I mean sponsored posts with heavy promotion.

Your goal should be to get information from reliable resources and form an opinion based on a coin’s future potential and technological development.

This step is very important. In-depth research will help you put emotions on the side and create a strategy to achieve your investment objectives.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is the amount I want to invest?
  • Am I in it for the long term potential or short term gains?
  • What is my goal profit? At which price am I going to sell?
  • How strong is my emotional intelligence and patience?
  • How easily am I influenced by others?

Cryptocurrency investing is pretty similar to other investment markets. Some people will buy and sell their assets often, while others implement a more “long-term” approach, hoping to make more profits.

While the first option is often preferred in bear markets, it is the latter option that has proven to give investors the most optimal returns over time.

Take a look at the top cryptocurrencies for instance. Bitcoin and Ethereum didn’t reach their peak price overnight. It took a lot of patience and belief from investors not to sell throughout all this time.

On the other hand, exponential profits can also occur in the short term. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a great example. Most of them saw immediate growth after their release into the market.

But, as with everything that seems too good to be true, so with ICOs, one needs to do his due diligence before buying unknown coins. Very often, coins like that have nothing to offer to the space and are simply created to generate profit for the founders.

When looking for a coin that has the potential of performing great, what we look for is:

  • Relative price stability during the latest bear market
  • Big upside potential in case of a new bull market

That being said, let’s look at the best cryptocurrencies to invest in for 2019.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC)

The term “Bitcoin is king” has not been given to the cryptocurrency without a reason.

Not only is it the first and only decentralized cryptocurrency, it is also the most popular one, having reached a peak price of $19750 during the latest bull run of 2017.

Here is why we think Bitcoin is one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in:

  • Rich historical data for its price fluctuations
  • It has the highest market cap of all coins
  • It is the most popular cryptocurrency and the only truly decentralized one
  • Most merchants that accept cryptocurrencies, opt for Bitcoin
  • Due to its market dominance, it determines the direction of the market

Bitcoin presents a really good investment opportunity, especially for those who are looking to make a long term investment.

The future of Blockchain technology has yet to come, and the price of Bitcoin will likely follow.

Ripple

Ripple (XRP)

XRP is currently the third large cryptocurrency by market cap. Created in 2012 by Ripple Labs, the token has seen some impressive gains starting from $0.006$ in March 2017 to its all-time high of $3.65 in January 2018.

Even though the recent market conditions were not favorable, XRP should not be overlooked. And here is why:

  • The team invests a lot of money and time in marketing and PR
  • Has a large fan base
  • Currently placed third by market cap
  • XRP is not only a store of value but also a reliable payment method

To add the last point, this means that transactions can be confirmed instantly when other coins are struggling with scalability issues.

As a result, many financial institutions have already started making transactions with XRP. Banks like JP Morgan, Saudi Arabia Central Bank, American Express, and China LianLian International are already using the system, increasing investors’ confidence and trust in the token’s future.

Ethereum

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is the first smart contract platform to have ever been created, enabling decentralized applications to become a reality. In its 2 years of existence, it managed to lead the ICO movement that saw many new coins enter the market.

Ethereum is one of the cryptocurrencies that has been around longer than its competitors.

The coin is currently sitting in the second position by market capitalization, with a total market cap of $17 Billion.

With generally good market sentiment and consistent transparency from its founder, Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum has managed to improve its community trust during the latest bear market.

So why is it a good cryptocurrency to invest it?

  • More than 2000 dApps are created on the Ethereum platform.
  • The coin is placed as the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap ($17B)
  • ETH has an advantage when it comes to user adoption due to its smart contract platform
  • 2% of ETH supply is “locked” due to open finance markets (crypto loans)

And these are just to name a few. If you dig deeper, you will come to realize that many financial institutions are starting to implement smart contracts, which in turn makes ETH a very useful token.

Adding to that, we believe that the best cryptocurrencies will be those who help improve the space. And Ethereum is doing just that. Its ecosystem helps anyone create decentralized apps and new cryptocurrencies, hoping to improve the blockchain industry as a whole.

Litecoin

Litecoin (LTC)

Using Bitcoin’s source-code, it is a fork of Bitcoin with some technical changes to the code, making it one of the fastest cryptocurrencies. Its mission is also to be a global, peer to peer currency.

Litecoin is known for its strong fan base and the numerous acronyms it has received as being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.

Created in 2011, Litecoin is one of the oldest and most popular cryptocurrencies in 2019. It’s creator, Charlie Lee, is a well-known computer scientist who also happens to work as the Director of Engineering in Coinbase.

And while he publicly stated that he sold all of Litecoin close to the peak of the latest bull market, Charlie is still heavily supporting and promoting Litecoin to the public.

So what makes it a great investment?

  • Litecoin is a top 5 coin by market capitalization, currently sitting at a $4.5 Billion market cap.
  • It has a high trading volume as it is listed on the world’s biggest exchanges.
  • It has high community trust and a rather high media interest.
  • It follows the same “halving” protocol as Bitcoin, currently rewarding miners 25 Litecoin per block.

Binance Coin

Binance Coin (BNB)

Unlike Bitcoin and Litecoin which aim to be used as currencies, the Binance coin is a utility token. Which means its value comes from how useful it is (and how much demand there is for its utility) within the Binance ecosystem.

Binance has proven to be very strong in the current market conditions. In fact, if you had invested in BNB at the beginning of the latest bear market, you would have made the biggest returns to date.

Let’s see why BNB is a great investment choice:

  • BNB is the token of the most popular cryptocurrency exchange worldwide, Binance.
  • The coin’s price has appreciated 3x (in BTC value) since the peak of the latest bull market.
  • Changpen Zhao (Binance CEO) has achieved positive publicity through Twitter.
  • Even with the 7000 BTC hack that Binance suffered, the coin’s price remained stable.
  • Binance is leading mainstream adoption by investing in numerous Blockchain projects.
  • Binance is launching a decentralized exchange, Binance DEX, which is estimated to increase the utility of BNB.

Apart from the above, the coin has large liquidity, due to its utility on Binance exchange.

Therefore, if you are looking to diversify your portfolio, we strongly suggest Binance coin as one of your top options.

A final word

Investing, in all its forms, always comes with a certain amount of risk. The options above are simply an educated guess based on our experience in the space and the information we have available.

To sum up, here are the cryptocurrencies we strongly believe in:

– Bitcoin (BTC)

– Ripple (XRP)

– Ethereum (ETH)

– Litecoin (LTC)

– Binance coin (BNB)

When looking for the best cryptocurrency to invest in, it is important to gain a lot of different perspectives and conduct thorough research on the fundamentals of your coins’ options.

The best way to get started is by checking your current portfolio and start reading upon the coins you are currently holding. How experienced is their team? What are the key characteristics that will help this coin grow?

Good luck with your future investments and remember to only invest what you can afford to lose. We are not financial advisors and can only give you our personal opinion when it comes to the cryptocurrency market.

Dimitris Tsapis is writing content for Paybis, one of Europe’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, where you can buy bitcoin and other digital currencies fast and easy.

May 112019
 

This is a guest post by Precious Onyegbu

Bitcoin and its processes are like a coin with two sides to it.  If you have some knowledge about bitcoin, you’ll agree that it is the best and excellent way to make anonymous transactions like donations, purchases, etc without incurring a loss of money or been affected by unstable prices, that’s one side of the coin. 

The other side, however, is the fact that any transaction made is not totally anonymous as any activity or activities carried out are recorded and made available to the public through Blockchain (a compendious database responsible for keeping all records of bitcoin transactions). In fact, this is more apparent when bitcoin is used to pay for goods and services because there is always a need to provide salient information like name, address, phone number and sometimes email, what this implies is that a third party has access to your ID and can trace or track you and your transaction as well. 

To this effect, bitcoin mixing (also known and referred to as tumbler or bitcoin laundering) has been offered as the best solution to the seeming challenge of privacy and anonymity in the bitcoin system. Bitcoin mixing offers an opportunity to ‘swap’ your bitcoins for different ones that can’t be traced to its original source. In essence, it mixes one’s bitcoin with other people’s bitcoin in order to make trailing to the original owner a herculean task. To better understand the concept, it operates the same concept with moving of funds around, through banks located in countries with strict bank secrecy laws such as the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, etc. Basically, one sends one’s bitcoin to a bitcoin’s mixing company and gets an equivalent amount of other people’s ‘tainted’ bitcoin sent to the new address. It’s like getting someone to pay for your goods and services, of course, this comes with a little mixing fee in order to avoid advanced analysis, also, such transaction will be delayed a while to prevent tracking.  

How Does a Bitcoin Mixer Work?

The easy steps of the process of mixing bitcoins are as follows;

  1. The individual sends their bitcoins to the chosen bitcoin tumbler;
  2. The coins along with other people’s bitcoins are deposited in a secure common pool and mixed;
  3. After mixing, the individual receives coins which are made up of other people’s coins or sometimes coins from the reserve system of the chosen bitcoin tumbler. 

After these steps have been carried out, the link between the old and new wallet addresses is broken thereby giving such an individual an anonymous, new start on the blockchain. 

Why is Bitcoin Mixing Necessary?

Many don’t see the need to remain totally anonymous, many don’t even care about their transaction information been displayed to anyone who cares to see it, against the mindset that those involved in shady dealings are those who need or make use of bitcoin mixing, it is a necessary tool for all bitcoin users especially for those who actively use bitcoins for transactions. As said earlier, cryptocurrencies operates using blockchains, therefore, every singular transaction is recorded and made public which in turn means that the third party has knowledge of an individual’s wallet address, also able to view all financial history of such user including the balance in the wallet, not only that, the third party will also be able to monitor future transactions and can share the individual’s wallet address with others especially with cybercriminals which the internet is full of. 

Therefore, in order to avoid sad stories and to keep one’s personal anonymity including all information concerning one’s cryptocurrency funds, it is best to make use of bitcoin mixing. 

How Safe is Bitcoin Mixing?

Many of the bitcoin mixer companies operated online use .IO and do not request for any form of user registration, e-mail or personal information at all. Also, most of them are legal as they have been reviewed on bitcoins platforms, e.g.  bitcointalk.org and are being recommended to other bitcoin users.

 However, one has to be very careful and make necessary research when choosing a bitcoin mixer company as there are so many cybercriminals on the net who are out to exploit people. One wants to be sure that one doesn’t become a victim of the very thing one is trying to avoid. 

One of the methods employed by a trusted mixer is the availability of a Letter of Guarantee where the obligations of such company are confirmed to the user by a cryptographic key, in most cases, the Letter of Guarantee can’t be falsified. If any of the obligations are not met, the user can file, submit and publish a complaint in the official thread of the company on the BitcoinTalk forum. 

How long does it take to mix Bitcoins?

This all depends on the company chosen and the terms and conditions that apply; some companies send new set of coins immediately originating from unrelated/unconnected wallets to the individual once the initial coins appear in their pool and the first miner confirmations are accepted, some delay delivery in order to completely throw ‘hounds’ off their track, others also come to terms of agreement with the individual on delivery time settings. 

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD BITCOIN MIXER

  • It must be able to guarantee 100 per cent anonymity such that it is untraceable and defiant to complex or advanced methods of blockchain analysis.
  • It must be safe, non-complex, dependable and service fees must be logical/rational and made visible to the user/customer.
  • It should provide detailed guidance on the use of the service, educational articles and useful materials in order to make the experience smooth.
  • It should be able to protect against the return of old coins in ensuing mixing.
  • It should be able to automatically and permanently destroy the history of successful transactions maximum after 24 hours.
  • It must not ask for any identifying and traceable information for any use.
  • Privacy and security policies must be created and enforced to preserve and uphold anonymity. 
  • Must be Tor-friendly and SSL secured
  • Must charge logical or rational fees.

Best Bitcoin Mixing Services

Mentioned earlier is the fact that not all bitcoin mixers online are dependable, however, some have been reviewed and recommended over the years, some of them are;

  1. BESTMIXER.IO: it has been rated especially on the BitcoinTalk forum as the leading bitcoin mixer on Clearnet. It separates new from old addresses by sending coins to other people and delivering theirs to the client ensuring anonymous transactions. BestMixer works with a range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin cash, its speed depends on the delivery time setting chosen by the user. It is Tor-friendly and secured with an SSL certificate, it boasts of servers protected from any form of influence from locations in numerous dependable data centres, it also follows strict security and privacy policies assuring clients of complete anonymity. To this effect, it operates a 24-hour stint for histories and then totally remove them. It also has a great interface which is device-friendly, making it easy to use for everyone, even with a mobile phone. It operates a minimum transfer of 0.005 BTC, BCH, or LTC. It offers automatic and free membership and generates a code unique to each user, the more the transactions, the more the discount it offers its users. 
  1. BITCOIN LAUNDRY: this mixer cuts ties off all old and new addresses, thereby ensuring that history of the chain of transactions fades and the identity of such user becomes imperceptible, it also promises a friendly user interface, low charges and advanced security in the mixing system. Bitcoin Laundry charges a fee of 1% plus 0.00008 BTC per payout address and backs up transactions from .0005 to 38 BTC. It also provides an opportunity for users to send their coins to about 5 payout addresses to guarantee extra anonymity. It also offers users the ability to choose a preset or random delay for their payout for each address which makes it a herculean task for third parties to trace the transactions. It keeps history logs for one week and automatically delete them once the week elapses, to this effect, users are also provided with the opportunity to delete their history logs at any point. The platform can be accessed via clearnet at bitcoin-laundry.com, or TOR at btcdryi67te57itq.onion.
  1. BIT BLENDER: launched in 2014 by an anonymous crypto-enthusiast and software developer, BitBlender is considered one of the oldest and easy-to-use bitcoin mixer, which is popular among the darkweb.net. it offers a randomized fee of 1 to 3% and operates as much as ten different addresses to ensure maximum privacy. It offers options of either opening/registering an account (in order to use the full range of tools) or to quickly mix their bitcoins without registering an account. It ensures that a user doesn’t get the same bitcoins sent in a previous transaction. It boasts of two additional tools scarce in other bitcoin mixers which are Auto-Withdrawal and Quick-Withdraw;
  • The Auto -Withdrawal tool affords the user the opportunity to set addresses to which the website will automatically mix the coins to once confirmations are received. This tool will make multiple and regular mixers’ users find it easy to mix.
  • The Quick Mix tool is enormously beneficial for those who desire to make it fast and simple. This feature also works for the frequent client that has no wish to create an account.

In conclusion, bitcoin mixing is a very essential tool for all bitcoin users and potential clients; it guarantees maximum anonymity and protects one from cyber-crime. 

Author’s Bio: Precious Onyegbu is the founder of NGexchanger, a bitcoin provider in Nigeria

Mar 202019
 
Neon District Founders Key

Neon District, one of the most hotly anticipated blockchain gaming platforms built on Ethereum and Loom network, has an ongoing registration for ‘Founder Key’. You can sign up for free here, only for the next 2 days. By signing up, you not only show an interest in Neon District, but will also get some really cool exclusive in-game assets. In addition, Founder Key holders will get exclusive early access and access to Founders Sale as well.

Neon District is created by the famous Marguerite deCourcelle, aka Coin Artist (coin_artist) who is well known in the broader blockchain and crypto community for her intriguing puzzles that can be solved to unlock Bitcoin or crypto.

Neon District is already valued at $13 million, with investments from the likes of investors like Ari Paul, who have raised hundreds of millions of dollars during the peak crypto boom of 2017.

Blockchain Gaming

Blockchain gaming is becoming increasingly complex and competitive, and serious game builders and developers are finding a home in this space. Blockchain native games with minimal gameplay like CryptoKitties have shown a proof of concept of what is possible. Games like Neon District are taking it to the next step.

There are of course several advantages of putting in-game assets on the blockchain. Interoperability with third-party applications, for example, is a huge one. Another is the aspect of ownership – even Neon District cannot arbitrarily stop you from trading your asset or selling it, so it represents property ownership rights as closely as possible, similar to the ‘real world’.

There are of course challenges like scalability. Neon District is using a Plasma Chain to build its app and make transactions, using the Loom Network. Loom has become the chain of choice for these types of games as it provides developer tools and onboarding for new games.

Get your Founder Key – for Free!

With this background in mind, all gamers and blockchain enthusiasts should sign up for Neon District’s Founder Key, over the next 2 days. It is free currently, and you’ll get some cool in-game assets to boast or sell. After all, it’s yours on the blockchain, and you can always sell it to buyers and game enthusiasts down the road!

Jan 232019
 
Axie Infinity Lunacia land sale LUNA

Axie Infinity one of the top blockchain-based games, launched the sale of parcels of land within its online virtual world, Lunacia. The total plots of land are limited, making them a highly sought after collectible and gaming item. The company opened the sale of 25% of the total land in Lunacia, with future sales planned for the rest of the year.

Utility and Rights

The land in Axie Infinity’s Lunacia is based on the ERC721 standard, which has become the default standard for issuing non-fungible tokens on Ethereum. However, unlike many other crypto-collectibles, the Land sold here has both immediate utility in the game and also a collectible value.

More interestingly, the land in Lunacia is like regular land in the ‘real world’ in that it also provides rights to assets tied to the land, and the use of that land by others. This means players could decide to passively hold land and still be rewarded by ‘loot’ collected by other players. For a more complete gameplay, check out this post by the team.

The additional utility and ability to own and collect assets passively has made Land in Axie Infinity much more appealing to both active crypto and non-crypto gamers, and also regular crypto investors who see the potential of the game and are generally bullish on blockchain gaming.

LUNA Token

The team also announced the launch of LUNA token, an ERC20 token on Ethereum with utility inside the Axie Infinity and Lunacia ecosystem.

By using a token for certain specific in-game assets and actions, the team is better able to control the economics of the game, and balance it with gameplay, while protecting existing players against unnecessary inflation. In addition, the team will give LUNA grants to third-party developers to help grow the ecosystem.

LUNA use cases Axie Infinity
LUNA Token Use Cases in the Axie Infinity/Lunacia Virtual World

Current Sale

The current sale already sold out around 20% of the total within a day. Parts of the land is expected to sell out in a few days, given its scarcity and general interest from the players.

If you buy Land in the pre-sale and use this link, you’ll get 10% of the ETH spent back as LUNA tokens, which you can use to buy land again, or hold on to the LUNA tokens for other uses shown above.

Jan 142019
 

CryptoKitties Third-Party Tools

Third party tools to play CryptoKitties are a must have whether you’re an experienced player, or new to the game. Being an Ethereum blockchain-based game, there are many tools for CryptoKitties that are independently developed by the players and the community.

There are several reasons to use these third-party tools instead of just using the main CryptoKitties website as a player. For one, the CryptoKitties website lacks a whole lot of information when it comes to what you need to know to play and breed well. Another advantage of using third-party tools is to bypass the main CryptoKittties website for breeding. This is essential for regular players since the main website is known to lag behind the blockchain, especially during peak play times (such as fancy chases), making competitive gameplay impossible. Luckily, many third-party tools have stepped in to fill the gap.

Here are some must-have tools for CryptoKitties players.

CKBox Extension

CK Box Data

This is probably the single most useful tool you need to really play CK. Believe it or not, it is actually not possible to see recessive genes for your cats on the main CryptoKitties website!

To solve for this, you need to install this extension. Once you’re inside a cat’s page on the main CryptoKitties website, you can click to reveal its full set of genes, including wild, environment, purrstige (which again you cannot see on the main CK website).

The developers also regularly add new features. For example, today it also shows a full history of the cat, such as previous sales, sires, marketplace listings, etc. In the cattributes page, you can see the full chart of all the mewtations possible with each category.

Overall, a must-have extension to play.

Heaven.Cat

This is quickly becoming a strong tool for searching and breeding, two very important functions that every CryptoKitties player needs, and also functions that are severely lacking in the main CK website.

For search, it has an easy to understand way to find recessive/hidden genes. Simply enter the cattribute you’re interested in, and check for hidden genes at various spots (you can select any of the hidden positions – H1, H2, or H3). You can also search for fancies.

Here’s an example showing how to search for all cats with Jaguar as the dominant trait, and otaku in the H1 hidden spot.

Heaven cat finder

The other tool that heaven.cat provides is a breeding tool. This lets you create and save breeding pairs, and tells you when the pairs are ready to breed again. This is especially useful during fancy chases. You can save all your pairs here, and with one click, breed a pair. An added advantage is the seems to perform well even when the main CryptoKitties website is down or lagging, so you can continue to breed.

Heaven cat breeder

Kittyexplorer

Kittyexplorer is a super useful website that shows the sales history of the various cats, and a bunch of statistics around the sales data. You can search by time period and by cattributes or fancies.

Kittyexplorer price history

Kittyhelper

Kittyhelper is a relatively new site that is integrating many of the tools that CK players need, from breeding calculators to price stats. It also has more advanced tools like family jewel search and offers history. Overall, seems like Kittyhelper is aiming to be the one-stop shop for all third-party CK needs.

Kittyhelper offers history

Kotobaza

Kotobaza is a Russian language CryptoKitty blog and resource, but also has lots of interesting information for the English speaking community. For example, it is one of the only sites where you can see the breakdown of the Boot fancy into the corresponding teams instead of being lumped together as one.

Kotobaza boot fancy

Cryptokitties.city

This is an interesting leaderboard that has moved the prices of fancies in the past, such as making the low # fancies much more valuable. It shows the different active players and how well they have created their fancy collections, such as completing the full fancy codex. An interesting tool to keep an eye out on the largest accounts as well. There are other leaderboards being added too.

Cryptokitties city fancy leaderboard

Gene Reader Spreadsheet

This is a spreadsheet that gives you the full details of a cat’s genes given the ID. It works when the CryptoKitties website is lagging, so it is a handy tool.

Gene Reader Spreadshee

Etherscan

Finally, let’s not forget Etherscan, the Ethereum community’s favorite tool! It has added support for ERC721s like CryptoKitties in addition to ERC20s. You can enter an address and see the list of all the cats owned by that address. If the CK website is lagging, you can use Etherscan to check for any new cats being born, and use that ID to look up the genes in the spreadsheet above.

Etherscan ERC721s CryptoKitties

These are just some of the third-party tools for CryptoKitties players, and there will be many more in the future we are sure. In the future, we hope there are more tools for collectors in addition to breeders.

Did we miss your favorite third-party tool? Let us know in the comments below.

Jan 112019
 

This is a guest post from TaxAct

Taxes are an inevitable fact of life for everyone no matter what one thinks about it. As Benjamin Franklin famously and aptly puts it, it is the only certain thing in the world aside from death. Cryptocurrency miners are not exempt from paying taxes. In fact, the IRS is quick to remind people and businesses who earn from virtual currency transactions to report their earnings in their income tax return yearly as seen in this year’s IR-2018-71. But what exactly do you need to remember when paying cryptocurrency taxes for your 2019 return? Here are some crucial things to keep in mind when dealing with the taxman about your virtual earnings.

What Virtual Currencies are Taxed?

According to IRS Notice 2014-21, cryptocurrencies that can be exchanged for real currency (such as Bitcoin) are the ones that are taxable. However, these virtual currencies are not treated as currency but as business, investment or personal property. This means that the same principles of issuing and declaring taxable properties apply to your virtual money, according to the government agency.

How Your Taxes are Classified

The IRS tax virtual currencies depending on what entity you are (individual or business) or how you acquired it. Payments for goods and services are considered as part of your business or individual gross income in your tax return. Meanwhile, withholding and payroll tax applies if you work as an employee and get wages in crypto money. If you are a cryptocurrency mining hobbyist, successful transactions or activities are covered under your gross income as well. Your earnings are subject to self-employment tax if you do mining as an independent contractor or business.

Track Your Virtual Earnings

Since cryptocurrencies are treated as property and not as money, filing it as part of next year’s income tax returns can be quite tricky or confusing especially for miners. The fair market value of your mining transactions can also change dramatically. Therefore, it is important to keep tracking all of your transactions within the year to avoid slip-ups in your tax return. Keep all the related information about these transactions as well, as you might need it for your return.

The Issue of Losses

Another somewhat complex factor to deal with when it comes to filing your cryptocurrency mining transactions in your return are losses. The IRS determines gains and losses from these transactions depending on whether it is considered a capital asset on your part. If you have losses on a cryptocurrency transaction that you own for personal or investment purposes, then you might be eligible for a tax deduction. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult an accountant or tax professional about it.

Summing It Up

Cryptocurrency taxes are fairly new and a bit tricky to handle as compared to other types of taxes. However, it can eventually be easier to understand and file on your tax return in time. As long as you stay updated and continue to keep a record of all your transactions using effective tools, filing next year’s return will be a cinch.

Myrtle is a freelance content writer who specializes in creating unique, high quality content. She usually write articles under taxes including filing tips, planning, and reform; financial health, investments, and healthcare, that aims to educate and provide useful information to her readers. Aside from writing, Myrtle is also fond of traveling and baking.