ruletheworld

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.
Jan 112019
 

This is a guest post from Mike Dalton, a regular contributor to Unhashed

Obelisk—the sister company of Sia that is responsible for producing the coin’s mining hardware—is currently facing a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Obelisk failed to deliver on its promises concerning two ASIC devices. In essence, Obelisk’s mining devices seem to not meet the company’s projected performance specifications.

According to the lawsuit, two of Obelisk’s ASIC devices are not as profitable or as efficient as the company originally claimed. Those ASIC devices, the SC1 and the DCR1, apparently have not achieved their projected hash rates—800 GH/s and 1500 GH/s respectively. Furthermore, the devices were not delivered by Obelisk’s stated deadline, which was June 30, 2018.

A refund is also at stake: David Vorick, who serves as the CEO of both Sia and Obelisk, originally claimed that a full refund would be given to customers if Obelisk did not fulfill its guarantees. However, Vorick later indicated that the company did not have the money to refund every customer. Obelisk temporarily opened a refund process, but refunds have apparently not been issued to members of the class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit tackles a very important issue: profitability is a delicate promise in the face of a volatile crypto market and a highly competitive mining landscape. The issue is even more critical due to the fact that Sia had been planning to block competing mining devices—and not simply manufacturer its own—meaning that Sia miners had little choice but to buy their hardware from Obelisk.

The Sia community has been calling for a lawsuit for some time, but whether this particular lawsuit has teeth is another matter. Although it seems to get the facts right, the lawsuit has been filed by a very minor blockchain company called UnitedCorp. This company has also filed a lawsuit concerning the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, and it has attempted to sue Facebook over certain patent violations. These two lawsuits seem to be opportunistic, to say the least.

It should be noted that this is not the only mining-related lawsuit in recent months. Nvidia recently faced a lawsuit claiming that mining drop-offs damaged the company’s revenue, hurting stock market investors. Bitmain, meanwhile, has been accused of configuring user-owned devices to mine for its own benefit. As it becomes harder to profit from crypto mining in general, it is possible that these sorts of accusations will become much more common.

Photo Credit: Tensafefrogs

Jan 102019
 

This is a guest post from ICOHolder

I’m interested in knowing…. where do you go to learn about cryptocurrency? What’s your go-to website? (I know you’re saying, “btcgeek.com”, right!?)

The internet is full of biased opinion on pretty much every single industry, including cryptocurrency. So, guess what? Here’s some more biased opinion on where you should go to learn about cryptocurrency, haha!

I say biased, it’s not really since the team over at ICOholder.com have covered a fair few different resources in the infographic below, which hopefully will give you a level playing field of resources to learn from.

21 Places to Learn How Cryptocurrency Works Infographic from ICOHolder.com

how to invest in cryptocurrencies

We don’t all learn in the same way. I remember a million years ago, when I was back in school, if I was expected to learn just via a teacher talking to me, the information used to go in one wax-filled teenager’s ear and straight out the other. I had to be doing some form of writing, whether that was on the back of reading a book, watching a video or just taking class notes.

So, if you’re similar to me, perhaps taking one of these cryptocurrency courses will work out for you: The Complete Cryptocurrency Course, Cryptocurrency Trading Course 2018: Make Profits Daily, and Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Technologies.

If only this information was available back in 2013 when Bitcoin went bananas… actually, wait, it was the world that went bananas, over Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto has a lot to answer for; imagine how loaded he, or they, she, it, whatever, would be if they created an initial monopoly on the “how to learn about cryptocurrency” market. Instead, they launched Bitcoin, sat back, laughed at the confusion, and reaped the rewards… how cleverly selfish!

I would say that one of the most popular mediums of learning about all-things-crypto-and-blockchain is probably a combination of podcasts and YouTube. Learning by listening is coming back into the fold in a big way; so many people are listening to audiobooks and podcasts while they’re driving to work or dropping the kids off at school, or even while they’re working (I’m hugely guilty of this… who said men can’t multitask?)

Going back to the whole biased opinion side of things, just be careful, especially if someone is offering you investment advice on one of the coins. It could be they’re trying to alter price action in the market, or it could be that they’re trying to promote their own coin.

For example, the Bad Crypto Podcast have actually launched their own coin, which is an amazing idea and, while they put out some really useful information, they’ve obviously jumped on the back of this to create their own product i.e. the Badcoin.

Either way, Joel Comm and Travis Wright are quite fun to listen to and, if you are attracted to a laid-back style of learning, this can be a great resource.

Who knows what the future of cryptocurrency holds, especially with another recent crash in the price of Bitcoin. I don’t actually know why everyone seems so surprised about this, because, quite honestly, it’s not surprising considering the popularity of the niche in general. Surely there’s a level of realization that the more coins that exist, the more competitive the market is and, therefore, prices of coins will drop and stabilize over time?

Whatever your take on the market, or how in-depth your knowledge of crypto is, these cryptocurrency resources are an excellent way to expand your interaction with, and knowledge of, the crypto world.

Nov 182018
 

This is a guest post from Chris McDonald of ICO Watchlist

2017 had been a great year for ICOs, in spite of the broader crypto bear market. Figures captured by ICOWatchList show that the 11 biggest ICOs achieved a return on investment (ROI) between 253% and 23,000%. The question many potential investors should be asking is: was this a one-off? To help answer this, some key indicators need to be factored in. Here are some indicators to help investors out –

Volume trend

The volume of ICOs held steady throughout 2016, rising and falling marginally. However, this was just a warm-up year to the explosion of new ICOs during 2017 Q2. Since then, the volume of ICOs has been accelerating exponentially on a month-to-month basis.

Capital flows trend

Capital flows mimic past ROI trends. If investors consider past ROI trends to have been positive, they are more likely to inject funds into ICOs. On the other hand, if they consider past trends to have been negative, they will either withdraw or shy away from funding new ICOs. According to CoinDesk, capital injection in ICOs in the first quarter of 2018 was 118% higher than during all of 2017.

Equity vs ICO (initial coin offering) trend

Initially, most funding for blockchain ventures was in the form of equity funding (venture capital). For example, according to Business Insider, in 2016 Q1, equity funding accounted for $17 million compared to ICO funding of only $12 million. In 2017 Q1, equity funding settled at $139 million after a consistent drop, while ICO funding settled at $38 million after a steady rise.

In 2017 Q2, ICO funding surpassed equity funding for the first time at $757 million against an equity funding value of $258 million. Whilst equity funding stagnated at $259 million in 2017 Q3, ICO funding shot up to $1.3 billion.

Clearly, ICOs have become the preferred investment vehicle for blockchain projects as compared to equity funding.

ICO vs VC (venture capital) Return trend

Research, based on historical data provided by CoinMarketCap, shows that ICO funding has overtaken VC funding. This is due to the 16% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) that ICOs offer investors compared to the CAGR from VC of only 10%.

Institutional vs Retail trend

At the beginning of the ICO phenomenon, most investors were small-scale retailers. This trend continued into early 2017; however, towards the end of 2017 to early 2018, there was an upturn in the value of institutional investment. As of mid-2018, institutional investors are leading retail investors—not in volume but in value. This is a positive indicator of investor confidence in ICOs.

Conclusion

The above indicators point to one conclusion: ICO success is going to continue for the foreseeable future. The ROI picture reflected by the infographic below should be enough to convince any doubting investor that ICOs are worth their consideration.

Infographic source: https://icowatchlist.com

11 Biggest ICO ROIs Of 2018

Photo Credit: Flickr

Nov 032018
 

Axie Infinity Crypto Game

This is an interview with Jeffrey Zirlin on the current state of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), crypto-gaming, and crypto-collectibles. Jeffrey aka Jihoz is an early CryptoKitties and crypto-gaming player. He’s currently part of the Axie Infinity team as their growth lead. As someone involved with multiple games/collectibles in the space as both a player and now working for a startup in the space, Jeffrey has some good insights to share, especially for those who may be new and are looking to understand the current NFT landscape on Ethereum.

You can read our interview with the Axie team in the past that is more specifically about Axie Infinity.

In the crypto gaming sphere so far, we see an interesting interplay between gamers that want active play and collectors that can be more passive. What’s your take on the right balance here?

Gaming ecosystems have had a mix of players and collectors for decades now. In my view, robust collectors markets emerge when you have the right mix of scarcity, utility, and aesthetics around your game assets. We’ve been quite focused on baking as much fun into Axies as possible(utility), while keeping the art quality high(aesthetics) and carefully managing the in-game economy of the universe(scarcity).

You’ve been a CryptoKitties player in the past and still own some valuable kitties. What do you think the CryptoKitties team has done right?

I think the CryptoKitties team did a good job with the artwork and having the inspiration/conviction to build a product around blockchain game assets without much of a previous demand signal for such a platform.

What are the driving factors for CryptoKitties in your view, and are they sustainable long-term?

I see CryptoKitties as a probability-driven artistic creation platform on the blockchain. Collectors drive the CryptoKitty market, just as collectors drive conventional art markets forward. The sustainability long term will depend on whether the game can continue to attract collectors with deep pockets– this most likely depends on how this whole experiment in decentralization and cryptocurrencies works out.

What types of games do you think would succeed in this space in the future and benefit the most from putting their in-game assets on the blockchain?

I believe games in the spirit of  Neopets or Pokemon will do best at first. These games will focus on the art style, collectible game-assets, building a strong grass-roots community, and basic but addicting game-play. MMO’s, in my opinion need to scale quite massively in order to be fun, so I think the talent and funding needed to pull one off are still years away.

When building Axies, how important is it for your team to have third-party developers build tools and additional uses for Axies?

Right now we have some amazing third party developers building analytics tools for Axie and they’ve helped so much with lightening the load on the dev team to help us focus on core gameplay. Freak, Onedayplay, and  Uselessz have built two great sites that I use on a daily basis.

https://freakitties.github.io/axie/

https://axie-infinity.coinmm.co/

https://axie-sales.kikoweb.ch

In addition, we are starting to see mini-games pop up that are serving as interesting content marketing tools for our game. For example, https://flappy-axie.herokuapp.com/ has been a fun way for our community to stay immersed in the Axie universe while they wait for their battle cooldowns to refresh and introduce new players to our artwork since the game does not require an Axie to try out.

What are the most interesting trends in your opinion with respect to the collectability of these NFTs, as the space has evolved?

I think it’s amazing that sale prices in some of the popular games are starting to rival the prices we see in Mainstream games like Magic the Gathering. For example, an Axie recently sold for 50 ETH, over $10,000, so prices are well on their way to eclipsing what we’ve seen with collectors items like the Alpha Black lotus from Magic the Gathering.

What advice would you give someone looking to enter the crypto-collectible/crypto-gaming space today in terms of how best to spend their money?

I think players/collectors should focus on analyzing the quality of artwork, the “fun” that the platforms for the specific NFTs provide, and making sure you are investing in a project that has a strong grassroots community of evangelists, hobbyists, and content creators..

Are there other games or use cases of NFTs that interest you today besides Axie/CK?

I’m interested in seeing how Loom Netowork’s Zombie Battleground app does as that will be a major testing point for the space and also provide some clarity around regulation around apps involving NFTs.

We’re already seeing an explosion of new games modeled after CK/Axies, and some are already shutting down or not performing well in regards to player activity. What does it take to survive and succeed in the long term in the space?

I think most of the games that have tried to replicate our success have made half-hearted attempts and lack the development speed, art quality, and strong community we’ve been able to cultivate. There are no shortcuts to success in this space and I think now that some of the early games have proven there’s a market out there for these types of games, some less talented actors are trying to enter the space. The big game studios are still sleeping at the wheel, content with their current business models.

You were an early pioneer with CryptoKitties gameplay. What’s your quick pitch to a CK player to give Axie Infinity a spin?

Axies are the first fully animated NFT’s with an engaging, animated battle system on the Blockchain. Also it only costs .002 to breed your Axies, so your creative juices can flow freely! In addition, battles are completely free.

The joy of breeding that perfect battler for your team is something I believe has eclipsed the thrills I used to experience in the Kittie universe.