Even as crypto becomes mainstream, the illicit use of Bitcoin is growing

According to Telegraph an economist in the Kremlin explicitly stated that Russia will invest in Bitcoin in order to avoid US sanctions, and many have …

While cryptocurrency’s reputation as a conduit for buying drugs and laundering money are being steadily usurped by its role as a speculative asset (or inklings that it may end up actually being a useful payment platform), in actuality it is still being used prodigiously to avoid taxes, get around sanctions, and in 2018 the use of Bitcoin on darknet markets actually doubled. Crypto’s troubled past is by no means over, and is in fact growing along with its mainstream acceptance.

Forbes today published an article which noted that while speculation is currently the predominant use of cryptocurrency, it is not even the majority use. In fact, a plurality of crypto transactions are more in a gray area or are patently illegal.

Read more: McAfee: “Privacy coins will obsolete income taxes”

Tax evasion and the avoidance of international sanctions have turned out to be a popular use for crypto. According to Telegraph an economist in the Kremlin explicitly stated that Russia will invest in Bitcoin in order to avoid US sanctions, and many have predicted the same for Iran, which is creating its own centrally-backed cryptocoin. A recent report by Ciphertrace detailed that cryptocurrency, especially in countries with weak anti-money laundering regulation, has been an absolute boon for criminals or those who are attempting to avoid paying taxes.

According to Reuters, the use of Bitcoin to buy drugs, fake IDs, or pornography has in fact doubled throughout last year. Utilizing Bitcoin, about $2 Million flows into various darknet marketplaces each day.

The bottom line is that people are using Bitcoin where it is useful, and they aren’t using it where it is useless. Bitcoin’s volatility makes it an attractive investment for day traders or speculators, who attempt to buy it at a low point and sell it when it becomes more valuable. On the other hand, its ability to help make transactions anonymous make it useful to avoid government regulations and taxes. This leaves out what people claim makes crypto so valuable- a way to revolutionize the financial system and introduce a new way to exchange money, which is alienated by the intense volatility which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been contending with.

Chainanalysis makes a great point: bitcoin doesn’t care about legality or illegality of human action. It’s useful, and so its usage is growing.

“Transactions On Bitcoin Network Continues At Brisk Pace In Darknet”https://t.co/HfyWZ59cSIpic.twitter.com/irFvMBFioN

— Yuri de Gaia (@Y_deGaia) January 19, 2019

Bitcoin is solving its stability problem slowly but surely, with volatility at an all time low of late. Still, its worth noting that even if crypto can become a stable store of value, it still has a long way to go before it can become a competitor to centrally backed fiat currency. It has issues of scaling transactions and usability to contend with, along with security. Even if these issues can be tackled, its hard to imagine that darknet transactions, tax avoidance, and skirting regulation will suddenly go away. In fact, as crypto solves its basic problems and improves as a currency, its use as a vehicle for illegal activity will only rise.

Read more: ShapeShift cooperating with law enforcement not taken well by crypto community

While many crypto traders actually do not care about who uses crypto or what they use it for, the reality is that companies who want to make money off crypto are motivated to stay in the good graces of government. This means that even as Bitcoin becomes more stable, expect that exchanges, those who provide wallets, and other crypto companies will likely expand their cooperation with governments and introduce increased KYC and AML procedures.

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‘I lost about $3million last year’: How a Bitcoin investor who once sold tennis star Nick Kyrgios …

A leading Bitcoin investor who introduced cryptocurrency ATMs across Australia has admitted losing more than $3 million when the price plummeted …

A leading Bitcoin investor who introduced cryptocurrency ATMs across Australia has admitted losing more than $3 million when the price plummeted last year.

Sam Karagiozis left school at 15 to work full-time at McDonald’s, with a dream of one day running his own business empire.

By his early 20s he had amassed a multi-million dollar property portfolio, before the Canberra-based entrepreneur made the brave decision to invest in cryptocurrency.

When the price of a single Bitcoin peaked at more than AUD$25,000 in late-2017, Mr Karagiozis and many other early investors were all too happy to tell of their success.

But despite his initial profits Mr Karagiozis, 27, told Daily Mail Australia how he lost a fortune when the buzz around cryptocurrency dropped off and the price went into free fall.

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Sam Karagiozis (pictured), a leading Bitcoin investor, has admitted losing more than $3 million when the cryptocurrency's price plummeted last year

Sam Karagiozis (pictured), a leading Bitcoin investor, has admitted losing more than $3 million when the cryptocurrency's price plummeted last year

Sam Karagiozis (pictured), a leading Bitcoin investor, has admitted losing more than $3 million when the cryptocurrency’s price plummeted last year

Mr Karagiozis, who sold Bitcoin to tennis star Nick Kyrgios (left) and his brother Christos (right) had previously predicted the price of a single Bitcoin would hit $100,000 by the end of 2018

Mr Karagiozis, who sold Bitcoin to tennis star Nick Kyrgios (left) and his brother Christos (right) had previously predicted the price of a single Bitcoin would hit $100,000 by the end of 2018

Mr Karagiozis, who sold Bitcoin to tennis star Nick Kyrgios (left) and his brother Christos (right) had previously predicted the price of a single Bitcoin would hit $100,000 by the end of 2018

‘Financially, this year I’m probably starting off about $5 million worse,’ Karagiozis told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Cryptocurrency would have accounted for about $3 million of that loss and property the other $2 million.’

At the height of his success with cryptocurrency Mr Karagiozis was driving a Bentley with the numberplates ‘MRBTC’.

He also made friends with tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios and older brother Christos, and admitted selling them ‘quite a bit’ of Bitcoin, before sitting in Nick’s players box at the Australian Open.

In an interview in early 2018 Mr Karagiozis predicted the price of Bitcoin would reach $100,000 by year’s end.

On December 31, 2018, the price of the popular cryptocurrency sat at AUD$5223.28.

Looking back the self-made millionaire admits not only did he jump the gun, but says the buzz around Bitcoin may have also seen it jumped too high, too quickly.

‘I feel like Bitcoin may have risen a bit faster than it was meant to,’ Mr Karagiozis said.

‘But also last year we saw global share markets decline and even looking at property makerts in Australia, they dropped too.

Mr Karagiozis' success with cryptocurrency trading saw him invited into Kyrgios' players box at the 2018 Australian Open (He is pictured with Kyrgios' mum Norlaila)

Mr Karagiozis' success with cryptocurrency trading saw him invited into Kyrgios' players box at the 2018 Australian Open (He is pictured with Kyrgios' mum Norlaila)

Mr Karagiozis’ success with cryptocurrency trading saw him invited into Kyrgios’ players box at the 2018 Australian Open (He is pictured with Kyrgios’ mum Norlaila)

Last year Mr Karagiozis admitted to Daily Mail Australia that he had sold 'quite a bit' of Bitcoin to Nick Kyrgios (right) and his older brother (left)

Last year Mr Karagiozis admitted to Daily Mail Australia that he had sold 'quite a bit' of Bitcoin to Nick Kyrgios (right) and his older brother (left)

Last year Mr Karagiozis admitted to Daily Mail Australia that he had sold ‘quite a bit’ of Bitcoin to Nick Kyrgios (right) and his older brother (left)

The rise and fall of Bitcoin: In late-2017 the price of one Bitcoin was worth about AUD$25,000 but it has since dropped to AUD$5,000

The rise and fall of Bitcoin: In late-2017 the price of one Bitcoin was worth about AUD$25,000 but it has since dropped to AUD$5,000

The rise and fall of Bitcoin: In late-2017 the price of one Bitcoin was worth about AUD$25,000 but it has since dropped to AUD$5,000

‘In terms of Bitcoin, with all the media attention you saw the price skyrocket and then the early investors who had made all this profit took their money and cashed out.

‘As the early investors started cashing out, the people who got in later got frightened and you saw the price just plummet because there was a real lack of confidence.’

If the collapse of Bitcoin wasn’t bad enough for Mr Karagiozis, it was followed by big struggles with the launch of his own cryptocurrency – ‘Auscoin’.

Mr Karagiozis and the company’s other investors hoped to raise $30 million from the initial coin offering (ICO) of Auscoin, but fell a long way short.

‘We raised just shy of $2 million, so just over 5 per cent of our initial goal – the rollout didn’t work out as we hoped,’ he admitted.

‘But we currently have 31 Auscoin ATMs in Australia… and our turnover is $500,000 a week, which is just insane considering how much the price of Bitcoin has dropped.

‘It just shows there really is a market for it and cryptocurrency is seen as a way of the future for many.’

In addition to his cryptocurrency trading the entrepreneur has a multi-million dollar property portfolio and has also opened his own restaurant chain, Souvlaki GR (Mr Karagiozis is pictured in front of a restaurant)

In addition to his cryptocurrency trading the entrepreneur has a multi-million dollar property portfolio and has also opened his own restaurant chain, Souvlaki GR (Mr Karagiozis is pictured in front of a restaurant)

In addition to his cryptocurrency trading the entrepreneur has a multi-million dollar property portfolio and has also opened his own restaurant chain, Souvlaki GR (Mr Karagiozis is pictured in front of a restaurant)

Mr Karagiozis' initial success with Bitcoin led him to create his own crpytocurrency - Auscoin - and roll out Bitcoin ATMs (pictured) across Australia

Mr Karagiozis' initial success with Bitcoin led him to create his own crpytocurrency - Auscoin - and roll out Bitcoin ATMs (pictured) across Australia

Mr Karagiozis’ initial success with Bitcoin led him to create his own crpytocurrency – Auscoin – and roll out Bitcoin ATMs (pictured) across Australia

Having been left red faced with his prediction that Bitcoin would reach $100,000, Mr Karagiozis admits his estimates for cryptocurrency in 2019 are a bit more subdued.

He believes that while the days of becoming an overnight ‘Bitcoin millionaire’ are gone, there is still ways to make a handsome profit from cryptocurrency.

‘I think it will be more of a recovery phrase, sitting in between $5,000 and $8,000 for much of the year,’ Mr Karagiozis said.

‘I think we will see some gains but I think it will be a lot more consistent, so for those who have sat back and watched it drop from $20,000 it’s an awesome opportunity.

‘People now that are into crypto aren’t going in blindly and hoping to get rich, they’re learning about it, reading charts and trying to build their portfolio and develop skills.

‘It may have lost some of its buzz but I’m bullish long term in Bitcoin, I still believe in it like I did last year – I just don’t think there will be many more overnight millionaires.’

WHAT IS CRYPTOCURRENCY?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, known as cryptocurrency, which began in 2009 and which was initially worth just a few cents.

In late-2017 it peaked at more than AUD$25,000, before dropping steadily in 2018. Currently, the price of a single Bitcoin sits at just AUD$5,000.

Thousands of amateur traders are now betting huge amounts, while start-up companies use bitcoin to raise money and avoid the transparency needed in a stock market float.

But experts fear the currency has become a vast speculative bubble detached from reality.

Watchdogs across the world have warned there could be a sudden massive crash if the market turns, losing investors billions of dollars.

Economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the global financial crisis (GFC), is one who has called cryptocurrency a ‘giant speculative bubble’ bound to end in disaster.

Cryptocurrency investors claim the price will boom again, potentially as high as USD$50,000 or AUD$100,000.

Bitcoins are generated by using an open-source computer program to solve complex math problems. This process is known as ‘mining’.

Each Bitcoin has a unique fingerprint and is defined by a public address and a private key. Owners of bitcoin do not own a physical coin, but instead a string of numbers and letters that give it a specific identity.

Other types of coins are available online including Ethereum, LiteCoin, Neo and Monero — these non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are often called altcoins.

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Russia’s Not Buying Bitcoin, Dx.Exchange’s Shady Past, and Ethereum’s Hard Fork That Wasn’t …

CCN started the week off by debunking a mythical impending “$10 billion Bitcoin purchase” on the part of the Russian government. P. H. Madore …
bitcoin news this week in cryptobitcoin news this week in crypto
From fake news about Russia buying Bitcoin to Ethereum’s hard fork that wasn’t, CCN breaks down the last week in crypto news. | Source: Shutterstock

By CCN.com: This week in crypto saw several interesting developments as regard exchanges, exit scams, and at least one failed ICO-funded company in the form of Giga Watt.

Crypto Media Clings to Story of Russian Government Buying Bitcoin, CCN Asks for Proof

CCN started the week off by debunking a mythical impending “$10 billion Bitcoin purchase” on the part of the Russian government. P. H. Madore received backlash for the article, which listed some of the sites which sensationalized the dubious claims of a little-known Russian economist.

How interesting it would be if sanctions would result in this. However, its dubious that the size of the market could sustain anything like this level of trade without it going bonkers. What do you think? https://t.co/AhOKvu1Jyd#bitcoin#russia#sanctions

— Pat Rabbitte (@PatRabbitte1) January 8, 2019

A few days later, CCN doubled down on our positivity that Russia has made no official announcement as regards buying a large block of Bitcoin.

One thing remains clear: the Russian government has not officially announced plans to buy Bitcoin as a hedge against anything at all. As far as we know, Bitcoin is still going through the regulatory process in the former communist country. A Russian official did speak to the issue of Bitcoin over-regulation this week, however.

Ethereum Constantinople Fork Delayed at Last Minute

Due to a last-minute reporting of a security flaw with EIP-1283, Ethereum developers decided to postpone the Constantinople upgrade. By Friday, a 6-week roadmap was announced. It remains unclear why security firm Chainsecurity waited until this week to reveal its findings. The presumable explanation is that this was the earliest they were able to confirm the bug, which was not found to be live in any smart contracts but would have allowed for “reentrancy attacks.”

DX.Exchange Exposed As Pivot Effort of Binary Options Scammers

CCN’s P. H. Madore and Samantha Chang did some hard-nosed reporting on the sensationally-reported DX.exchange, which has had rumblings of withdrawal/deposit issues. CCN was able to confirm through government records something the company denied until the last minute: its relationship to SpotOption, a Binary Options scam software provider that went out of business when Israeli banned the financial product wholesale.

Runescape Player Gets Bitcoin Donation Worth $70,000

A Runescape player received over $70,000 in a single donation while streaming on Twitch. As CCN’s Vignesh Selvasundar writes:

Initially, Sick Nerd received a donation of 4 BTC. He received more BTC throughout his stream. While the gamer at first thought that someone was messing with him, he received more throughout the session. He received a total of 20.49 BTC (approx. $73,000 at the time) by the end of the day.

Thank you to my mysteriously benefactor whoever you are, genuinely a life changing amount of money that I or nobody deserves but look what happened.

Crazy

— Sick Nerd (@Sick_Nerd) January 11, 2019

Crypto Mining Company Finally Goes Out of Business

CCN reported on the final shuttering of Giga Watt’s hosting farms. The company had filed for bankruptcy last year but still had some operations going. Giga Watt funded with an ICO in 2017 to a high degree of interest. The WTT token will now actually have no value, although it still appears to be holding some on markets for inexplicable reasons.

BitMEX Ends Service to Customers in US and Quebec

BitMEX has decided to wind down its operations in the US and the Canadian province of Quebec. CCN’s Alan Wass writes:

BitMex is currently in the process of shutting down US trading accounts and also those in Quebec in the face of current crackdowns on unlicensed crypto exchanges. The popular trading platform is currently based out of Hong Kong and is known for inhabiting the most expensive office property in the heart of the Asian financial epicenter.

Cryptopia Gets Hacked

Cryptopia exchange suffered an exploit which cost it “significant losses.” As Habiba Tahir writes :

Finally, Cryptopia tweeted an official statement confirming the hack as a “security breach.” The crypto exchange claimed that it had suffered “significant losses” and had been trying to deal with the situation. In the course of a few hours, Cryptopia contacted New Zealand police and the High Tech Crime Consortium (HTCC) to investigate the incident.

Later in the week, Binance froze the Cryptopia hacker’s assets and NZ police gave some details on the investigation.

Exchange Giant OKCoin Lists Tron

Tron found itself on a new exchange, officially beginning on Thursday. CCN had the opportunity to speak to OKCoin CEO Tim Byun about the listing. Byun was quoted as saying:

We do not have an ATS or a broker-dealer license, so we cannot facilitate the trading of securities. We made sure that TRX is used today as a utility. That there is a use case, that it passes the Howey Test, kind of laid out by the prior rulings of an SEC case, that’s the best we have.

The Tron team also reportedly impressed OKCoin.

Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act

Friday saw good news for crypto, amidst a continuing downturn in the market values of all cryptocurrencies. The “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” was reintroduced into the US Congress. As CCN author David Hundeyin writes:

Tagged the ‘Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act’, it was initially introduced on the floor of the house in September 2018 alongside two other cryptocurrency-related legislative namely a House resolution to express support for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and the Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act of 2018, aims to address confusion surrounding how to report gains made as a result of cryptocurrency forks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Russia’s Not Buying Bitcoin, Dx.Exchange’s Shady Past, and Ethereum’s Hard Fork That Wasn’t …

By CCN.com: This week in crypto saw several interesting developments as regard exchanges, exit scams, and at least one failed ICO-funded …
bitcoin news this week in cryptobitcoin news this week in crypto
From fake news about Russia buying Bitcoin to Ethereum’s hard fork that wasn’t, CCN breaks down the last week in crypto news. | Source: Shutterstock

By CCN.com: This week in crypto saw several interesting developments as regard exchanges, exit scams, and at least one failed ICO-funded company in the form of Giga Watt.

Crypto Media Clings to Story of Russian Government Buying Bitcoin, CCN Asks for Proof

CCN started the week off by debunking a mythical impending “$10 billion Bitcoin purchase” on the part of the Russian government. P. H. Madore received backlash for the article, which listed some of the sites which sensationalized the dubious claims of a little-known Russian economist.

How interesting it would be if sanctions would result in this. However, its dubious that the size of the market could sustain anything like this level of trade without it going bonkers. What do you think? https://t.co/AhOKvu1Jyd#bitcoin#russia#sanctions

— Pat Rabbitte (@PatRabbitte1) January 8, 2019

A few days later, CCN doubled down on our positivity that Russia has made no official announcement as regards buying a large block of Bitcoin.

One thing remains clear: the Russian government has not officially announced plans to buy Bitcoin as a hedge against anything at all. As far as we know, Bitcoin is still going through the regulatory process in the former communist country. A Russian official did speak to the issue of Bitcoin over-regulation this week, however.

Ethereum Constantinople Fork Delayed at Last Minute

Due to a last-minute reporting of a security flaw with EIP-1283, Ethereum developers decided to postpone the Constantinople upgrade. By Friday, a 6-week roadmap was announced. It remains unclear why security firm Chainsecurity waited until this week to reveal its findings. The presumable explanation is that this was the earliest they were able to confirm the bug, which was not found to be live in any smart contracts but would have allowed for “reentrancy attacks.”

DX.Exchange Exposed As Pivot Effort of Binary Options Scammers

CCN’s P. H. Madore and Samantha Chang did some hard-nosed reporting on the sensationally-reported DX.exchange, which has had rumblings of withdrawal/deposit issues. CCN was able to confirm through government records something the company denied until the last minute: its relationship to SpotOption, a Binary Options scam software provider that went out of business when Israeli banned the financial product wholesale.

Runescape Player Gets Bitcoin Donation Worth $70,000

A Runescape player received over $70,000 in a single donation while streaming on Twitch. As CCN’s Vignesh Selvasundar writes:

Initially, Sick Nerd received a donation of 4 BTC. He received more BTC throughout his stream. While the gamer at first thought that someone was messing with him, he received more throughout the session. He received a total of 20.49 BTC (approx. $73,000 at the time) by the end of the day.

Thank you to my mysteriously benefactor whoever you are, genuinely a life changing amount of money that I or nobody deserves but look what happened.

Crazy

— Sick Nerd (@Sick_Nerd) January 11, 2019

Crypto Mining Company Finally Goes Out of Business

CCN reported on the final shuttering of Giga Watt’s hosting farms. The company had filed for bankruptcy last year but still had some operations going. Giga Watt funded with an ICO in 2017 to a high degree of interest. The WTT token will now actually have no value, although it still appears to be holding some on markets for inexplicable reasons.

BitMEX Ends Service to Customers in US and Quebec

BitMEX has decided to wind down its operations in the US and the Canadian province of Quebec. CCN’s Alan Wass writes:

BitMex is currently in the process of shutting down US trading accounts and also those in Quebec in the face of current crackdowns on unlicensed crypto exchanges. The popular trading platform is currently based out of Hong Kong and is known for inhabiting the most expensive office property in the heart of the Asian financial epicenter.

Cryptopia Gets Hacked

Cryptopia exchange suffered an exploit which cost it “significant losses.” As Habiba Tahir writes :

Finally, Cryptopia tweeted an official statement confirming the hack as a “security breach.” The crypto exchange claimed that it had suffered “significant losses” and had been trying to deal with the situation. In the course of a few hours, Cryptopia contacted New Zealand police and the High Tech Crime Consortium (HTCC) to investigate the incident.

Later in the week, Binance froze the Cryptopia hacker’s assets and NZ police gave some details on the investigation.

Exchange Giant OKCoin Lists Tron

Tron found itself on a new exchange, officially beginning on Thursday. CCN had the opportunity to speak to OKCoin CEO Tim Byun about the listing. Byun was quoted as saying:

We do not have an ATS or a broker-dealer license, so we cannot facilitate the trading of securities. We made sure that TRX is used today as a utility. That there is a use case, that it passes the Howey Test, kind of laid out by the prior rulings of an SEC case, that’s the best we have.

The Tron team also reportedly impressed OKCoin.

Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act

Friday saw good news for crypto, amidst a continuing downturn in the market values of all cryptocurrencies. The “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” was reintroduced into the US Congress. As CCN author David Hundeyin writes:

Tagged the ‘Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act’, it was initially introduced on the floor of the house in September 2018 alongside two other cryptocurrency-related legislative namely a House resolution to express support for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and the Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act of 2018, aims to address confusion surrounding how to report gains made as a result of cryptocurrency forks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Featured Image from Shutterstock

The top 10 cryptocurrencies list people invest in

Ripple is slightly different to Bitcoin and Ethereum, as its primary focus is on solving issues in relation to international payment transfers. Established in …
cryptocurrencies list people invest in
Photo: Chris Liverani, Unsplash

Cryptocurrencies have certainly made a splash in 2017, as well as 2018, and 2019 is expected to be no different. These types of currencies made headlines all around the world when prices for the Bitcoin (for example) increased exponentially and then fell dramatically in April 2018.

Crypto currencies can certainly be a good investment if you are smart with your money and know when to buy and when to sell. There are a lot of different moving parts when it comes to crypto currencies and it is important you conduct proper research before investing.

As you probably witnessed in 2017 and 2018, things can change very fast in the world of crypto currencies and you have the potential to either make or lose a sizable chunk of money. Your success in cryptocurrency investment all comes down to your level of research and knowledge about the history of the currency you will be investing in.

The fact of the matter is that there are a large number of different cryptocurrencies out in the world, but certainly not all of them are worth your resources. It is important that you start off with getting a basic understanding of the top 10 crypto currencies, the advantages and disadvantages of each, then choosing the few that you want to research further.

The top 10 cryptocurrencies available for you to invest in:

Crypto currency #1: Bitcoin

how cryptocurrency works
Photo: MichaelWuensch, Pixabay

Bitcoin is probably one of the most well known crypto currencies, and there is certainly a reason for that. Bitcoin was the first ever crypto currency, being created in 2008 and no one actually knows who created it! This crypto currency is based of ledger technology called “blockchain”.

According to Block8, bitcoin removes the need for institutions like credit card businesses and banks to become involved as intermediaries, when making payments over the internet. This means you can send a payment of a Bitcoin directly to someone. There was also a time where you could purchase a home with Bitcoins.

No one controls or even owns Bitcoin and no matter who you are you can take part in investing. Bitcoin boasts fast person to person transactions, low processing fees as well as worldwide payments. They take security very seriously and you should certainly read more about how you can secure your “digital wallet”.

One of the main disadvantages of Bitcoin, like almost all other crypto currencies, is that the price is quite volatile. If you choose to invest in Bitcoin, it should certainly be seen as a high risk asset and should be monitored very closely. If you are not one to take big risks when investing, then Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment in general is probably not for you.

Due to the young economy, the price of Bitcoin can change dramatically and quickly. Therefore is it not recommended that you keep your savings with this crypto currency. As well as this, a Bitcoin payment cannot be reversed. So make sure you double check when making a transaction.

Even though Bitcoin is not an official currency, you may still have to pay taxes on the money you earn while investing. Different countries and governments have varying rules and regulations when it comes to this, so you’ll need to be aware of the laws in your home country.

There have been lots of improvements in Bitcoin over the past few years, but the crypto currency as a while is still experimental. Bitcoin themselves admit to growing pains, so it is recommended that you consult a technical expert before making any large investments.

While Bitcoin (and a lot of other crypto currencies) is a high risk investment, is can also be high reward, if you do your research and invest the right amount at the right time. As explained in the introduction, things change quickly in crypto currency, so you will always have to be on your toes.

Crypto Currency #2: Ethereum

Ethereum currency
Photo: Elifxlite, Pixabay

After Bitcoin, Ethereum is the second most valued crypto currency and it was established in 2015. There is more to Ethereum then just cryptocurrency, it is also a platform to assist the creation of decentralised apps. Ether is the actual crypto currency that is used here.

The reason for Ethereum and the applications created is to ensure that there is no censorship, downtime or external intrusion. The apps created are run through “blockchain” (as is the case with Bitcoin), which allows the developer to move funds, create markets, etc. without the need for a middle man.

One of the unique things about Ethereum is that you can create your own digital token, which has the ability to be used as a currency. You can also choose the limit of tokens you want to be in circulation; it can be a fixed amount or even fluctuate.

This platform is popular for building small contacts without the need for a third party. As well as this, the transaction speed is a lot faster than that of Bitcoin, only taking a few seconds, which means less waiting around for you!

If you want to get involved in Ethereum, there is only one coding language supported, Solidity. So if you do not know this language then it represents a significant barrier. As well as this, Ethereum is facing some issues of scalability, but they are currently investigating ways in which they can resolve this issue.

Crypto Currency #3: Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin. Photo: David McBee, Pexels

As the name suggests, Bitcoin Cash originated from Bitcoin. Bitcoin forked into two, with the introduction of Bitcoin Cash in 2016. The reason that Bitcoin cash was created was to resolve some of the growing pain issues Bitcoin was facing, including transaction fees and scalability.

Bitcoin Cash works to fulfill the promise given by Bitcoin itself as a peer-to-peer electronic cash. They work to provide a reliable, fast service that offers low fees. To receive Bitcoin Cash, you will need to have a digital wallet. The good news is that most wallets are free to download and very easy to use.

The easiest way to obtain Bitcoin Cash is to work for or buy it. To purchase Bitcoin Cash you will need to sign up for the Bitcoin exchange and then deposit some funds. Bitcoin Cash is meant to be spent, so it should be nice to hear that transaction fees a low and the speed in which it take place is a lot faster than your standard Bitcoin.

Also, as a business you can accept Bitcoin Cash as payment. More and more business are using Bitcoin Cash because of those low transaction fees and fast payment. Businesses can also easily transfer the crypto currency into normal currency.

Crypto Currency #4: Ripple

Digital currency
Photo: garloon, Bigstock

Ripple is slightly different to Bitcoin and Ethereum, as its primary focus is on solving issues in relation to international payment transfers. Established in 2012, the aim of Ripple is to ensure international transactions are inexpensive and fast.

Half of the crypto currency is owned by Ripple, which is very different to the way almost all of the other crypto currencies operate. Usually, not one single party owns a bulk of a currency.

One of the great advantages of this crypto currency is the speed of international transfers. Where your typical international transfer of funds can take up to a week to be finalised, a transfer of Ripple currency takes just a few seconds.

As well as this, if you compare the transaction fees of Ripple to other well-known crypto currencies, they are the lowest. The Ripple transaction fee is just $0.0004, with the next lowest fee being Bitcoin Cash at $0.26.

Ripple is also being used in the real world with ties to companies such as Santander as well as American Express. As a whole, Ripple is clear and easy to understand and they deliver targeted solutions to the issue of international payments.

However, compared to other crypto currencies, Ripple is quite centralised, whereas the whole purpose of crypto currencies was to decentralise. Financial institutions and banks are Ripple’s largest users.

Crypto Currency #5: Litecoin

Litecoin crypto currency
Photo: EivindPedersen, Pixabay

Litecoin is known as the little brother of Bitcoin. Created in 2011 by an ex-Google employee, it was built on the same blockchain as Bitcoin. The purpose of Litecoin was to improve the blockchain.

Litecoin acts in a very similar way to that of Bitcoin, i.e. it is a digital currency. It is also completely decentralised and there is no involvement from an outside third party, like a bank.

Even though it is not as big at Bitcoin, is has still been around for a while (in crypto currency terms) and therefore is certainly a currency you should consider investing in. Litecoin transactions are faster than Bitcoin, taking about 2.5 minutes and the fees are lower as well.

Litecoin, however, is very similar to other crypto currency brands out there, with nothing really to differentiate themselves. So you could be better off investing in another crypto currency brand that meets more of your individual needs.

Crypto Currency #6: Stellar

Cryptocurrency rates
Photo: StockSnap, Pixabay

Stellar was established in 2014, by the founder of Ripple, like with Bitcoin where it forked and created Bitcoin Cash, Ripple has also forked and created Stellar. The focus of Stellar is to ensure that making international payments as secure and quick as possible.

Stellar has also created the Stellar Development Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation that wants to provide low cost financial services to help fight against poverty as well as ensure each individual maximises their own potential.

One of the great benefits of Stellar is that it is even more decentralised then Ripples, as well as the fact it is a non-profit instills more trust into the brand. They even have partnerships with a number of different banks as well as organisations like IBM.

However, the competition in this type of crypto currency is quite fierce and you need to understand the potential impacts this could have on your investments. The international payments space in getting very crowded, very quickly.

Crypto Currency #7: Cardano

Touching stock market graph on a touch screen device.
Photo: Bloomicon, BS

Cardano was created by the co-founder of Ethereum in 2017. This crypto currency was also developed to act as a platform for decentralised apps as well as smart contracts. The main difference between Cardano and Ethereum is the technological advancements made by the Cardano team.

The blockchain technology used within Cardano is the most advanced generation so far. They boast that they are the first blockchain platform to evolve from a primarily scientific and research driven approach. Their team is filled with expert researchers and engineers that ensure they are always at the top of their game.

Cardano is also more scalable than that of their crypto currency counterpart, Ethereum. They have the ability to allow for over 250 transactions per second.

As well as this, Cardano is looking for ways to allow for interaction between different crypto currencies more seamlessly. However, there is a lot of competition in this area and it is still too soon to tell where they can be successful long term.

Crypto Currency #8: NEO

Cryptocurrency exchange
Photo: BeneathBlue, Bigstock

NEO is a Chinese based crypto currency created in 2014, it was originally called AntShares until 2017 when it was rebranded. NEO is quite similar to Ethereum (therefore adding even more competition to the market), and many refer to NEO as the “Chinese Ethereum”.

This crypto currency is also a blockchain platform and helps with the development of launching ICOs as well as smart contracts. NEO is a non-profit organisation and works towards to digitisation of assets using smart contracts. By using a distributed network, NEO’s goal is to help create a Smart Economy.

Their developer community are all highly active and are all working with this ultimate goal in mind. As well as this, NEO has the ability to complete about 10,000 transactions per second, which is exponentially higher than that of Ethereum.

NEO also supports multiple programming languages, whereas Ethereum only supports the one. Probably most importantly, NEO seems to have the support of the Chinese government. We all know just how influential China is on the rest of the world, so when it’s own government supports this business, it can only mean good things!

Crypto Currency #9: EOS

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Photo: Tzido, Bgistock

Even though there is yet to be an official platform for EOS, it is still widely known to be one of the most popular crypto currencies in the world. The EOS token was established through an ICO in 2017 and the platform was scheduled to be live in 2018. EOS is expected to be a main competitor of both Ethereum and NEO.

EOS is currently producing a platform for developers right around the world to build decentralised smart contracts and applications. They are aiming to vastly improve the technology currently available in this area today.

This crypto currency is also expected to be a lot more scalable than Ethereum due to the new technology being used, and they also support more than one coding language. However, the biggest issue is that the platform is still yet to be launched, so there is no way of knowing how it will perform once live.

Crypto Currency #10: IOTA

Cryptocurrency market
Photo: Free-Photos, Pixabay

IOTA was established in 2015 and is probably one of the most unique crypto currencies on this list as it is the only one to use “tangle” instead of blockchain technology. IOTA has a focus on ensuring the Internet-of-Things technology is a more secure, scalable and seamless place.

There is currently a $0 transaction fee of this crypto currency, which is probably one of the biggest advantages and there is also little to no scalability issues. However, IOTA is reliant on the Internet-of-Things industry being successful, and there has been a recent security issue found with tangle. This gives you something to think about before investing in IOTA.

Rebecca is a writer and an editor at ‘Best in Australia’ who has written on a range of topics. She is enthusiastic and passionate with an interest in digital media, entertainment and politics.

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