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Is Bitcoin a Good Investment?

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As the well-known cryptocurrency is dominating the headlines in financial world in recent years, many people are interested to find out more about this anomaly in order to get the answer on the following question: “Should I invest in Bitcoin too?” Bitcoin (BTC) is beginning to seem like very effective and practical currency, especially since reaching the $2,000 mark in early 2017 (1BTC = $2000). Just to remind you, soon after its release, the price of Bitcoin in 2010 was $0.08, meaning that its value rose almost 2000x in 7 years. The current value of BTC is $2450.76 while I am writing this post.

In recent months, Bitcoin is performing better than ever. Since the beginning of 2017, Bitcoin price hit historic highs twice, surpassing even the value of gold. Since its release, there were numerous attempts of creating new, competitive copycat cryptocurrencies, but few of them succeeded. Only Ripple and Ethereum have proved to be good competitors in the cryptocurrency market so far.

There were also some major setbacks in BTC history, such as the loss of $480 mln due to Mt. Gox’s sudden bankrupcy, which caused some real problems for this cryptocurrency in the past. However, each time it was threatened, this first-ever Blockchain currency has climbed back pretty fast.

In order to get involved in Bitcoin industry, you should get to know this cryptocurrecy’s characteristics and its advantages on the modern market. It’s important to know something about BTC compared to fiat currencies, its massive growth and its capability of climbing back after each downfall.

Comparison to normal currencies

Bitcoins can be used to buy items electronically, meaning that it is just like dollars, euros and yen, which are traded digitally as well. However, the most important characteristic of this cryptocurrency, and the thing that makes it different to “normal” currencies, is that bitcoin is decentralized. There is no institution in the world that controls the bitcoin network. The number of bitcoin holders and the overall popularity is constantly increasing because there is not a single large bank that can control people’s money.

Today, there are more than 16 million Bitcoins in circulation worldwide, which is almost 40 billion USD.

Massive growth of Bitcoin

As the most popular digital currency that uses the Blockchain technology, Bitcoin owns the huge share of the emerging market. The trading volume of BTC is way larger than any other competing currency. Its value is many times bigger than the second cryptocurrency on the market, Ethereum (ETC). The recent global adoption and mainstream coverage have made Bitcoin a possible real-world asset, being officially accepted in countries such as Japan, United States, Canada, Sweden, Germany and many more. You would be also surprised to know that there are some areas in countries like Somalia and Afghanistan, where some poor families don’t have access to commercial banking. As Bitcoin is much safer for them, these people choose to receive remittances in BTC.

After some major cases of theft for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, trust in the digital currency seems to be rebounding very quickly. Some experts believe that the cryptocurrency is a bubble which is about to burst, while others claim that contentious political and economic conditions could push the price up even further in the upcoming years.

The fall and recovery of Bitcoin

On May 25 2017, Bitcoin hit a record high of $2700. Since that moment, this digital currency went into a sharp correction, losing almost 30% of its value in just 48 hours, according to the charts on CoinMarketCap. A large number of cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, and Monero declined at the same time as well.

On May 27, Cryptocurrency users witnessed the bitcoin price going from $2,500 to $2,700 and then suddenly falling to $1,900 in just several days. During these days, there were intense fears of investors toward a short-term bitcoin bubble. However, as many experts predicted, after that $800 fall in price, Bitcoin has recovered pretty fast, reaching the stability at $2,230.

During the last weekend in May, Bitcoin price has increased by around 10 percent in just 24 hours. It was mainly caused by the increase in the demand toward BTC from major exchange markets. Japan and South Korea have maintained their rates throughout bitcoin’s bizarre rally, and the trading volume of the Chinese bitcoin market has largely increased over the last two weeks in May. In just one week, bitcoin price went from $1,700 to $2,700. As it was the case many times before, these short-term bubbles burst after a huge market correction, but the price always stabilizes at a higher point than the price at the start of the rally.

Ways of trading Bitcoin

Bitcoin trading is very similar to traditional stock market trading. There are various exchanges where people can put both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies in order to exchange them. The most popular exchanges include names such as LocalBitcoins, Kraken, Bitstamp, Coinbase, OKcoin, BTC-e and many more. It is all about market moves, market predictions and price changes. It is very risky, so it can cost you a lot of money, but it can also get you huge amount of it. If you prefer to trade anonymously, it is good to choose exchanges that you find suitable. In the case of LocalBitcoins, it is slightly different. Here, individual Bitcoin buyers and sellers from all over the world can find each other and trade directly, person to person.

For all those who wish to avoid this traditional BTC trading, and try something different, there are several more ways to earn money on the cryptocurrency market. These include margin trading, lending and investing.

Margin Trading

There are numerous online platforms that offer trading participants to use third-party peer-to-peer financing from other participants on the platform to trade. This means that users can buy or sell in a digital token market, without owning the token itself. Margin Trading is actually borrowing from the broker (trading platform) in order to buy or sell a stock. Some of the most popular choices of BTC holders include platforms such as Bitfinex, Okcoin and Poloniex.

Peer-to-peer financing mechanism on Bitfinex was one of the first to make this type of trading possible. Bitfinex offers 3.3x leverage, which means that for every $1.00 you have in your account, you can margin trade up to a $3.30 across all available markets. When borrowing funds, interest charges are automatically factored in once your position closed.

Bitfinex

– No Margin for U.S. Traders

– Buy or Sell Bitcoin Against USD

– Trade Bitcoin and Altcoins

– Leverage Trade up to 3.3x

Okcoin.com

– Trade Bitcoin with 20x Leverage

– Bitcoin & Litecoin Futures

– Buy Bitcoin & Litecoin w/ CNY

Poloniex

– Up to 2.5 times leverage

– Majority of altcoins against Bitcoin

– Bitcoin & Litecoin futures

Lending (Margin Funding)

Peer-to-peer bitcoin lending enables all individual investors to access some profitable interest rates. All those who borrow money have a chance to get small business loans quickly, in a simple way. The most popular choices for users are to lend via Poloniex and Bitfinex. Bitfinex and Poloniex leverage Bitcoin as a technology and payment network in order to create the global market for business loans. That’s something that is not possible in the conventional banking system because payment transactions in that system still take too long and are quite expensive.

All these BTC lending platforms are places on which people can borrow from someone and lend to someone Bitcoins. Like in the normal banking, the borrower promises a specific interest rate to the lender for getting the BTC.

Investing

Investing can be a very profitable option for all BTC holders. There are some startups that you can invest in, some projects that you can support, or even some companies that are offering you a wide range of projects, according to your interest.

ICO investing

The ICO is an unregulated means by which new cryptocurrency projects can raise funds by selling some newly minted crypto coins on the market. This method is quite common among startups who wish to bypass the complicated and highly regulated capital-raising process. In an ICO campaign, there is a percentage of the cryptocurrency that is sold to the backers of the project. In exchange, they get a legal tender or some other cryptocurrencies. In the majority of cases, it is exchanged for Bitcoins (BTC) or ethers (ETH).

Before starting a campaign, startups generally create a plan which explains what the project is about and what needs the project will fulfill once it’s completed. During the campaign, all interested supporters can buy some amount of the distributed tokens. If the money that is raised doesn’t meet the minimum requirements by the startups, the money has to be returned to the backers. But, you should know that ICOs have offered some huge returns.

On the list below, you can see some of the most successful ICO campaigns that happened recently.

Waves

A decentralized platform called “Waves” uses custom crypto tokens in order to represent value. In July 2016, Waves raised 29,634 BTC (US$16 million) in its ICO for 85,000,000 coins.

Gnosis

Gnosis is a startup that builds a platform for prediction markets on Ethereum. In April 2017, Gnosis raised 250,000 ETH (worth US$12.5 million) in less than 15 minutes.

Golem

Golem is the decentralized global market for computing power. Near the end of 2016, Golem raised 820,000 ETH (more than US$8.6 million) in half of hour for its Golem Network Token.

Other investing methods

BNKToTheFuture is a good example of a company that helps investors in the digital currency world, connecting them to appealing projects that are in the first stage. The global online investment platform “Bnk To The Future” offers qualifying investors to invest in the project with a huge potential, including FinTech companies. This company intends to provide qualifying investors the opportunity to invest in the companies and products that will be the most important part of the future of finance.

So far, there has been invested more than $150 million on this online investment platform.

More than 35,000 professional investors took part in investing.

More than 20 million Bitcoins were invested.

– More than $3,500,000 has already been returned to investors.

Here are some of the most interesting, recent projects that had success in early stage:

Shape Shift “Series A” – Digital asset exchange

The amount raised in this project was €9,551,800 with 39 investors involved.

BitPesa “Series A” – Remittance platform that sends money to East Africa

The amount raised in this project was €2,296,106 with 24 investors involved.

Bitfinex – Trading platform for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether

The amount that was raised in this investment project is €50,067,650 with 97 investors involved.

Should you invest in Bitcoin?

It could be very profitable to invest in a currency that rose up from $0.08 in 2010 to $2400 in 2017. This powerful digital currency can change the world of finances as we know today. It is already enough if we mention that Bitcoin surpassed gold in 2017.

GBMiners Is Proud To Support ASSOCHAM’s National Summit on Bitcoin & Blockchain

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I am proud that GBMiners is sponsoring the National Summit on Bitcoin & Blockchain.

It is a great moment of proud to see such an effort to bring all stakeholders including government, authorities, and investors to bring under the same roof to discuss opportunities and challenges associated with Bitcoin and Blockchain.

I will speak there to share my thoughts on what lies ahead in a fast growing ecosystem of virtual currencies. If you are around, do say hi 🙂

In Conversation With Miners Working With GBMiners | Week 1 | GBMiners Success Stories

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Hello Community,

Ever since I set up GBMiners, I have wanted to talk about the miners who have been constantly working towards making our mining farms with an enormous success. The relationship we share has benefitted both GBMiners and the various members of our mining team.

I have decided that from now on, GBMiners will cover the success story of five of our miners every week. For the next three months — from April to May — we will talk about how GBMiners has changed the lives of the miners.

1. Name/Author: Mukul Gupta

My name is Mukul Gupta and I work as a Senior Economic Analyst with ICRA. Earlier, I had worked as a Currency Strategist at various organizations such as the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE), IDEA global and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). I have always been very optimistic about Bitcoins and a few other cryptocurrencies. When I came to know about GBMiners and the mining contracts the company offered in India, I was both delighted and a bit sceptical. Delighted because it was a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a revolutionary technology called Bitcoin and earn good returns on it. Sceptical because there are a lot of Ponzi schemes in the market and I did not want to end up being duped and lose my hard-earned money. Nonetheless, I decided to delve deeper and attended an event organized by GBMiners in New Delhi where I got to know more about Bitcoin technology and GBMiners. I also met Mr. Amit Bhardwaj during the event and most of my doubts and scepticism about the company vanished after speaking to him.

I started Bitcoin mining with GBMiners in August 2016 (deeply regret that I did not start early) and I have since then been regularly investing my Bitcoins with GBMiners. I am happy to say that my experience in GBMiners has been very enriching both personally and financially. GBMiners has honoured all the commitments of the mining contract and has also been taking steps to improve the returns for its investors. My interactions with other cloud miners at GBMiners have also convinced me that GBMiners is committed to working for the financial well-being of its investors.

I am very bullish about Bitcoins and the future of Bitcoins in India. The government of India has already set up a committee to look in to providing a legal status to Bitcoin in India and I am confident that Bitcoin will soon be accorded a legal status in India. My optimism stems from the recent progress made in some of the advanced countries including Japan in providing legal sanctity to bitcoins. I am also optimistic about a few other crypto currencies including Ethereum, Ripple, XEM. I think they hold great promise in terms of their usage in solving some of the real-world problems and I feel that the time is ripe to go long in some of these alt-coins.

2. Name/Author: Rahul Tungatkar

My name is Rahul Tungatkar and I have been working with GBMiners since July ’16. Prior to getting involved with GBMiners, I completed my MBA and had been working as a Chartered Accountant. I strongly believe that Bitcoin would be as popular as Paytm in the coming future. It is the most refined way of making digital payments and can also become the main currency for online shopping and savings. I believe that other cryptocurrencies can see considerable growth with their popularity but they will never be able to reach the success and level of Bitcoin.

3. Name/Author: Mayank Jain

My name is Mayank Jain and I have been associated with GBMiners for the past five months. Before taking up mining, I had been heading the sales division at the Audi dealership at Okhla, New Delhi. I have a strong feeling that in the coming years, cryptocurrencies will see a boom, which could be compared to the one witnessed by computers in India a few years ago. Talking about other cryptocurrencies, I personally believe that the cryptocurrency mined by GBMiners would start growing. I am strongly looking forward to hearing about the new token launch as I feel that it could act as a great investment opportunity of people who are just getting started with investments in cryptocurrencies.

4. Name/Author: Sukhbir Singh Suri

My name is Sukhbir Singh Suri and I’ve been working with GBMiners for four months. Before being associated with GBMiners, I was running a t-shirt business with the name ‘Joketees’ based out of Mumbai. I believe that Bitcoin has just started witnessing remarkable growth in India and has a long way to go. According to me, the ones who have missed the Bitcoin jump the last year have a chance to invest in other Altcoins now and earn like the people who had invested in Bitcoin last year. As vendors all over the world are starting to accept payments made in Bitcoin, now is probably the best time to start investing in them.

5. Name/Author: Dr. Sandeep. D. Borse

Hey, guys. My name is Dr. Sandeep D Borse and I am relatively new to the whole mining process. I started mining in December last year. My first contract with GBMiners was of 3 Bitcoins, immediately followed by another contract of 6 Bitcoins. These two contracts were followed by multiple top-ups in each pay-out, totalling to an impressive 13.5 Bitcoins till date. The future certainly seems bright for Bitcoin and if the government of India makes Bitcoin legal, it would only add to the achievements of Bitcoin and would attract more customers from the Indian subcontinent. Since I’m still an amateur, I haven’t had much time to read about other cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin. But I’m sure that they too might gain a lot of support and popularity, as the advent of cryptocurrencies has been taken well by the general public and people are finally starting to accept them.

Amit Bhardwaj, Gain Bitcoin CEO, Living His Dream Around Bitcoins

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For serial entrepreneur Amit Bhardwaj, bitcoins and blockchain held interest while he was still doing a nine-to-five job and he continued to explore these areas even after launching his first venture in 2009. Not many were familiar with bitcoins and blockchain as far back as 2013, when Amit started HighKart.com, an E-commerce platform for accepting payment in bitcoins for products.

A digital currency, bitcoin is not supported by any country’s government or central bank. Also known as cryptocurrency, this money is usually exchanged among users through a network which is called block and the bitcoin miners confirm these transactions.

But Amit shut down HighKart and founded GBMiners in August 2016 to foray into the mining space. He explains: “When I started HighKart in 2013, the bitcoin space was very small and nobody was ready to listen to the concept. That’s when I realised that people were using bitcoins as a commodity for investment and not as a transaction mechanism. We stopped HighKart and we ventured into the mining space.”

Amit by then had a decent exposure to the bitcoin mining mechanism and was fascinated with how transactions were verified. He recalls, “I was convinced enough to buy a miner for myself and set it up at home.”

Delhi-based GBMiners is a bitcoin mining pool where collectives of bitcoin miners pool in resources and share their hashing power to solve a math problem or a block, the reward for which is distributed among users based on the proportion of work done.

A serial entrepreneur

An alumnus of MGM’s College of Engineering in Maharashtra, Amit is building an ecosystem of products based on bitcoins and blockchain and other cryptocurrencies. Having worked with companies like Infosys and Reasoning Global as an IT specialist, he had a fair understanding of various aspects of business and product developmental cycle. The accumulative experience that he had gathered served him well and gave birth to his first venture NexGen Facility Management, which he ran for four years before starting HighKart.com. He exited HighKart.com after operating it for more than three years.

In 2016, he started Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research, CoinBank Wallet, and GBMiners. Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research is the parent company of GBMiners and Coinbank Wallet. Amit is currently operating three ventures, which is a testimony to his passion for the technology of bitcoin and blockchain.

Will bitcoin miner mine real cash flow?

GBMiners currently has 12 employees and more than 1,000 users.  It mines around 80-100 bitcoins everyday. Once the miners mine a block, the coins are distributed amongst them equally with a small fee going to GBMiners for hosting the pool. Amit says that today one bitcoin is worth nearly Rs 1 lakh, which was around Rs 45,000 three months back. They have also mined over 5,400 bitcoins since then.

Bitcoin mining pools are a way for bitcoin miners to pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward equally according to the amount of shares they contributed to solving a block. Bitcoin mining in pools began when the difficulty for mining increased to the point where it could take years for slower miners to generate a block.

Amit says that by pooling their resources miners could generate blocks quicker and thus receive a portion of the bitcoin block reward on a consistent basis, rather than randomly once every few years.

Bitcoin witnessed a slow beginning in India. However, banks are now acknowledging its advantages. According to an analyst, Bitcoin trade in the country has grown rapidly, at an estimated Rs 500 crore per year, with 50,000 bitcoin wallets and over 700-800 bitcoins being operated every day.

“India is still getting there, but before the full-fledged acceptance of bitcoins, we will need a policy-level framework to come into existence. People need to know that these transactions hold legal tender before they can start using bitcoins at scale. Once the government or RBI recognises it, then there will be no looking back as the talent pool in India is so huge that within weeks we will have multi-fold adoption of blockchain technology in various fields which will pave the way for cryptocurrency to be integrated seamlessly,” says Amit.

 

Scope of Bitcoin and Blockchain in India

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In the simplest terms, Bitcoin is a digital asset and a payment system which uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks. Geographical boundaries don’t limit it, and unlike paper currency, managing transactions and the issuing of Bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network, using complex and cryptographic code used in its design.

The most striking feature about Bitcoin is that it makes use of the Blockchain technology. A blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger that can be programmed to record details of financial and non-financial transactions. The data is stored in a distributed database and is immutable and permanent. The whole ledger is entirely transparent, and anyone connected to the network can view the transactions.

In the present digital age, India has the potential to become a huge market for Bitcoin and Blockchain. I say this with confidence, as I have been a witness to the latest trends in the gradual shift towards a digital and cashless economy. People are now starting to place their trust in a robust and dependable mechanism other than contemporary paper currencies. Adoption of Bitcoin has a thrilling potential to empower flawless transactions and deliver economic solutions for a transparent process.

Post demonetization, the financial institutions weren’t adequately equipped to handle the huge workload and this, in turn, brought out the problems of having a centralized authority for managing financial transactions. Following this, the RBI started encouraging banks to promote digitization and released a statement highlighting the potential of Blockchain to fight counterfeiting and the possibility of bringing about a significant transformation in the functioning of financial markets, collateral identification (land records for instance) and payments system.

The integration of Blockchain with financial transactions could save us substantial amounts of time and money, with a dramatic reduction in the time required for processing and authenticating transactions. The fact that it operates on a decentralized database has made operations seamless, ensured a tight security and made it safe from cyber-attacks. Multiple financial institutions have started investing heavily in research in the field of Blockchain after realizing the benefits offered.

Blockchain can also help us in curbing the circulation of “black money” and dealing with the widespread money laundering in the economy as every address used for transactions is permanently stored on the databases, making all transactions verifiable and accountable. The government is starting to see Blockchain as an avenue to explore a gamut of options that might help us enforce a tighter control on the economy of the nation.

Blockchain has also successfully dealt with the problems of unauthorized spending, double spending of the stored currency and race attacks, thereby increasing security. The increased security helps attract a wider audience, as there has been a significant increase in the number of cyberattacks in the recent years.

This concept could be extended to other fields too –

· Governance (by making the results fully transparent and publicly accessible, Blockchain technology could bring full transparency to elections or any other kind of poll taking. Issuing smart contracts helps to automate the process).

· Crowdsourced VC funds (where participants purchase tokens and vote on capital investments, thus initiating a paradigm shift in economic co-operation between businesses and the public)

· File storage (saving the data on distributed networks prevents it from getting hacked or corrupted)

· Protection of intellectual property rights (by enabling publishers and creators of content to track ownership by making the details of the origin of the data transparent and curbing the widespread piracy of content)

· Stock trading (increasing efficiency in share management, making trade confirmations quick and eliminating clearing houses, auditors, custodians), etc.

As a global IT competitor, it is the right time for India to start boosting its efforts to capitalize on this opportunity and become a key player at the global level in the field of Bitcoin and Blockchain. Venturing into open waters across these areas might lead to the creation of a stable and concrete structure across the digital world, thus enabling a holistic development of the entire IT sector.

Blockchain - Witnessing The Biggest Revolution By Mankind In My Lifetime

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Lot of talks and debates have happened in 2016 about various use cases of blockchain in different industries and sectors. Multiple high profile institutions across the globe have been doing R&D of what is possible with blockchain and where it can help industries to save cost, improve efficiency or make more robust systems. In September 2015, after a survey with more than 800 executives, World Economic Forum reported that 10% of world’s GDP will be overseen by blockchain by 2027. That would be trillions of dollars on the blockchain.

My personal belief is that blockchain is one of the biggest revolutions by mankind that I would see in my lifetime. I say that for a lot of reasons and among them, the biggest one is that the blockchain technology has given mankind a solution to a problem which was never solved before. The problem was that how do we make such systems where we do not need to trust the owner, creator or the operator of the system for the system to run (function) in a reliable manner. Now, in our pre-bitcoin world, we relied on banks to take care of our money and we trusted them with our money, and more often than not these institutions have withstood and have done justice to our trust in them. But essentially, whenever we are trusting a bank (whether retail or investment), we are fundamentally assuming: a) they have the capability to do justice to our money/trust and b) that they have the right intentions, to not betray our trust. Now, all of us are well aware of examples where banks either lacked the capability to do justice to our trust in them (Remember the cases of India’s biggest public sector banks lending 1000s or crore rupees to Vijay Mallya, without the appropriate documentation or collateral, and it was indeed a wonderful move by the Indian government to recapitalize the banks by demonetization and essentially improve their Cash Reserve Ratios, and we have no clue, if any of the Indian public sector banks might have collapsed owing to exceptionally high NPAs, and this would have happened not because of their mal-intentions but because of their inability to stand-up to the average man’s trust in their capability to keep his money safe). While on the absolutely other hand, we have seen enough examples of trust being betrayed by financial institutions in the western world owing to mal-intentions of the very men running the institutions.

Hence, for all those matters that really matter, we have learned that humans are inherently unreliable and untrustworthy. Hence any system whose unique selling proposition or critical point of failure is human trust is more than likely to fail today or tomorrow, either owing to lack of capability or due to mal-intention. While we also know that trust is a paramount necessary characteristic of any trade of exchange of value, and this conundrum had kept the most talented brains of humanity busy for years. And it is only recently, in 2008, that this fundamental problem was solved, of how we can remove reliance on human trust for exchange or store of any value and this solution was presented not just theoretically but also demonstrated with a real world application, which we now know as our beloved bitcoin.

This for me, is the most beautiful thing about blockchain technology, that it has been able to remove the need to trust humans, to store, record or even trade anything of value or importance, ranging from a school diploma to the huge amount of wealth. And when trust is placed in computer verifiable mathematical equations, few of very very wonderful things happen, two of them being;

  1. a) it becomes very easy to scale these systems
  2. b) the cost of establishing and proving trust goes down, i.e. creating trustworthy system becomes very affordable.

Now what the above two mean, is that any one, who understands the principals of blockchain is able to create institutions of trust at an exceptionally lower cost both in terms of time (also known as, experience, here) and money. This leads to the creation of, alternate banks or institutions with a bank like trust, in various sectors or industries of human storage/trade of value/importance, by young entrepreneurs, with very little capital or social reputation to show. Ex: anyone with a publicly mathematically verifiable decentralized ledger/database can create a bank for college degrees, land records, public distribution systems, public health records, intellectual property rights and so on and on, as long as it is of value to anyone, ranging from an individual to a private organization to a government.

These banks, devoid of human trust and hence devoid of possibilities of central failures, which are being created every moment by really really smart young entrepreneurs who understand Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention or rather a solution, have the potential to change the world completely the way we see it.

 

Banks that take care of money, wealth, as institutions have been responsible for tremendous growth of mankind in the past three hundred years, it is them because of which the present capital market system exists, it is because of them that we have this huge private equity market, and it is because of these private equity firms that we have absolutely wonderful companies like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and thousands of others are changing our lives absolutely majestically, and it is also because of them that we have this flourishing spirit of entrepreneurship across the globe, and now imagine if we had banks in all the various sectors/industries ranging from education to healthcare, to insurance to real estate to food to pharmaceuticals, to genomics to intellectual property whether it is of music or scientific innovation and so on and on, how fast would all these industries grow, what how steep would the rate of innovation be in all these industries if they had infallible banks, repositories of information which all individuals, organizations and governments and even judiciaries trusted and agreed on. Such an environment and infrastructure of innovation is being laid down by blockchain companies at this very moment across the globe. And mankind would enter an era of an imaginable rate of innovation when this infrastructure is laid.

And it is for the above reason that I am backing Satoshi Studios, to help young visionaries establish the infrastructure of innovation across various industries in South East Asia and also launching a venture capital fund to help these brave young men and women. If you’re interested in being a part of this journey with me, a post blockchain world, a world where we will take the blockchain infrastructure for granted will be so much more beautiful and efficient, just as the present post-internet world, where we take the internet for granted is so much more beautiful and infinite than the world without internet, please feel free to reach out.

Online shopping with Bitcoin – who accepts it?

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Bitcoins are apparently taking over the cryptocurrency market and they’re well-known as the largest and most popular digital currency. There are many large companies that now accept Bitcoin as a legitimate currency while offering their services. It means that they allow their products to be bought online with Bitcoins. With the obvious easiness of transferring and earning this cryptocurrency, many companies tend to accept these new online coins for cash. On the other hand, the volatility of this currency can either help or damage company’s financial status.

Many BTC holders often ask a question: “Which websites and companies accept Bitcoin as a mean of payment?” There are several major websites that have already begun to integrate Bitcoin in their payment options. If you are wondering where to spend your BTC, this list could you help you figure it out. These are some of the biggest places to spend Bitcoins for goods and services, followed by other commonly chosen websites that accept this digital currency as well.

Microsoft

It is known that Microsoft largely supports Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. Even if there was a huge misunderstanding in early 2016, Microsoft announced that BTC payments were still supported on their website. Users can buy content on X-Box and Windows store with Bitcoin.

Reddit

Reddit allows users to buy premium features with Bitcoin. They aimed to integrate cryptocurrency more into their marketing strategy after ensuring that the demand for new Bitcoin payment option was high.

WordPress.com

This is the company that enables users to create their own blogs for free. Several years ago, WordPress decided to allow users to spend Bitcoins. In the beginning, they opened up the blogging platform to payments from users in countries where Paypal or credit card companies weren’t supported.

Overstock.com

Overstock was the very first online retailer that started accepting Bitcoin in early 2014. By entering the partnership with Coinbase, which is one of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges, Overstock allowed its customers to pay for goods (laptops, television sets and much more.) with Bitcoins. When wishing to purchase something with Bitcoin, you can simply choose the “Pay with Bitcoin” option on their official page.

Expedia

Expedia is known for being one of the largest travel online booking agencies. In 2014, they enabled the option of paying for their hotel bookings with Bitcoins. Just like Overstock, Expedia established the partnership with Coinbase in order to implement this new payment option. Since 2014, their goal is to make Bitcoin an official mean of payment for hotel bookings, flights, and other activities.

eGifter

It is maybe impossible to spend Bitcoins at every website or offline store, but you have the option to use Bitcoins to purchase gift cards for places that actually don’t accept BTC as currency. eGifter is a gift card shop and mobile app that allows users to purchase gift cards for various places, such as Amazon, Home Depot, Sephora, JCPenny and much more.

TigerDirect

TigerDirect, which is a large electronics retailer, entered the collaboration with Coinbase, accepting Bitcoin purchases in early 2014. Customers can choose between 200,000 products and at TigerDirect and select Bitcoin as their payment method.

Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows merchants to set up their own online shops in order to sell their products similar to eBay. Since this all started in late 2013, more than 75,000 Shopify merchants were able to accept Bitcoin payments with a help of BitPay.

Pizza bought for 10,000 BTC – Bitcoin Pizza Day 

7 years ago, on May the 22nd 2010, an American and a Brit made history. The guy wanted to buy pizza, so he offered 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas. The Brit wanted to pay with new cryptocurrency with a very low market value, so he phoned Papa John’s and sent the American the pizza he wanted. The offer was accepted, so transaction was done. At that time, the value of the BTC was only $0.07, while it would be more than $20 million today!

That event represented the first real world transaction with decentralized free market money in history, so it later became the event which bitcoiners celebrate every year on May the 22nd, called “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. In 2010, the programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid a fellow Bitcoin Talk forum user 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas. Back then, this technology was just one year old. The overall price of this transaction was roughly $25. When we do some simple maths, we can conclude that it was the most expensive pizza in the history.

Other platforms that accept BTC

Here is the list of other major platforms that accept Bitcoin as a payment method:

Subway – Eat fresh

Virgin Galactic – Richard Branson company that includes Virgin Mobile and Virgin Airline

OkCupid – Online dating site

Namecheap – Domain name registrar

CheapAir.com – Travel booking site for airline tickets, car rentals, hotels

Gyft – Buy giftcards using Bitcoin

Newegg.com – Online electronics retailer now uses bitpay to accept bitcoin as payment

Dell – American privately owned multinational computer technology company

– Wikipedia –  The Free Encyclopedia with 4 570 000+ article

Steam – Desktop gaming platform

Alza – Largest Czech online retailer

The Internet Archive – web documatation company

Bitcoin.Travel – a travel site that provides accommodation, apartments, attractions, bars, and beauty salons around the world

The Pirate Bay – BitTorrent directories

Zynga – Mobile gaming

EZTV – Torrents TV shows provider

Mega.co.nz – The new venture started by the former owner of MegaUpload Kim Dotcom

Lumfile – Free cloud base file server – pay for premium services

Etsy Vendors – 93 of them

PizzaForCoins.com – Domino’s Pizza signed up – pay for their pizza with bitcons

Bitcoincoffee.com – Buy your favorite coffee online

Seoclerks.com – Get SEO work done on your site cheap

Mint.com – Mint pulls all your financial accounts into one place. Set a budget, track your goals and do more

Bloomberg.com – Online newspaper

Humblebundle.com – Indie game site

BigFishGames.com – Games for PC, Mac and Smartphones (iPhone, Android, Windows)

Square – Payment processor that help small businesses accept credit cards using iPhone, Android or iPad

Gap, GameStop and JC Penney – have to use eGifter.com

Dish Network – An American direct-broadcast satellite service provider

Euro Pacific – A major precious metal dealer

Grooveshark – Online music streaming service based in the United States

Future of Bitcoin online shopping

With having numerous companies that accept the change and others that are currently getting ready to do it, Bitcoins are becoming more and more spread each day. Small businesses are also among the users, not wishing to miss this unique chance. There’s a large number of small shops who switched to Bitcoin as well. This growing technology enables transferring digital funds to be easier on daily basis. Smartphones and tablets also play a significant role in this transition. There are also various retail store that carry gift cards which can be bought with paper money.

Best Bitcoin debit cards

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As Bitcoin users tend to possess a valid debit card more and more, many developers enabled them to have one. In the following section we’re going to go through some of the most popular debit card choices among the cryptocurrency users and some new cards that recently showed up on the market. Debit cards in this list are not sorted by popularity or date, but rather listed randomly, so you can choose the that suits you the best.

Wirex

Wirex debit card is a 2-way bitcoin card. It means that you can keep both bitcoins and fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP) in your account, and switch between them whenever you want. You can get a Plastic card for $ 17 and Virtual card for $3. Wirex offers both Visa and MasterCard.

This company offers unnamed cards where you don’t need any personal documents if you load it up to $2500.  However, verified users have no load limits at all. Both verified and unverified users don’t have any daily spend limits, regarding the number of purchases and their values.

This card has fairly below average fees, but not always the lowest ones. For example, the v2.1 version update of Wirex card has exchange rate which is very close to market price. It is 1% when converting BTC to fiat, and $2.50 when using the ATM. They ship this debit card to more than 130 countries. They’re one of the rarest support services that operate 24/7, and the business is usually done very fast.

Capitalist

The Capitalist Prepaid Visa Plastic card is a multi-purpose prepaid card which is reloadable. It is good for cash withdrawals and cashless payments for goods and services on the Internet. It can all go through POS-terminals that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There are several advantages when using this particular card. The standard shipping and card issuing are free. When issuing a card you need a minimum set of documents to provide. When using ATMs around the world, cash withdrawals in any currency are charged $1.99. Users can expect the express delivery within 4 business days.

Capitalist enables you to make free online and offline payments for goods and services. There is also the option of online access to personal finances and general card statement. You can load funds to your card for $0.99. The maximum deposit amount per day on Capitalist is $20 000.

Bitpay

In general, the BitPay Card is one of the fastest ways to turn bitcoins into dollars. You can apply for the card easily in less than two minutes. Bitcoin to dollar load fees are 0%.

It’s important to know that you can load your BitPay Card with dollars using any bitcoin wallet. There is also the possibility of topping it up from the phone or computer, regardless of your location. ATM withdrawals are instant, regardless of the location as well.

The card will cost you $9.95, and you need to pay for this product in BTC. Registration usually requires the social security number, email, and current mailing address. The delivery can be expected within 7 to 10 business days.

Users can load $10,000 per day and up to $25,000 can be held on the Bitpay Visa. When you use it on ATMs, you can expect to get local cash from any Visa-compatible ATM. ATM fees are $2, ACH transfers are $5, and there’s a charge of $5 if you don’t use the card for 90 days.

Payeer

Payeer MasterCard is a debit card, your personal ATM or Virtual Mastercard. It has 0% of the commission for transactions in more than 200 countries over the world. It has no monthly fees. If you prefer air delivery, it can be done in 189 countries worldwide. Air delivery costs $9.00, while express delivery costs $35.00. You would wait 10 to 25 days if it’s standard, or 3 to 7 days if it’s express.

Information about the Payeer Platinum Master Card

– 0.00$ Card Activation

– 0.00$ Monthly service

– 0% Cash withdrawal

– 0% Online Payment

– 0% Shopping in stores

You can get a card by Mail or DHL, regardless of your location in the world. The card will be sent to your home address, but when it comes to shipping, you can choose between standard or express shipping method.

With this card you can pay for goods and withdraw money at any ATM at 0%. You just need a PIN-code and then you simply activate the card by pressing the “Activate” button in your Payeer account.

When it comes to international instant transactions, the recipient gets the payment from the website projects, minus the 0.95% fee, unless the sender set it differently. You can exchange one currency for another in our system at a fairly low rate. It is 2% for USD and EUR.

When funding and depositing, you can fund your account at 0% with some funding options that are available on the official website, and withdraw money with the fees range from 0% to 5%, depending on the chosen system.

CoinsBank (Bit-X)

BIT-X has gone through a complete redesign and emerged again renamed as CoinsBank. The initial cost of this card is $ 19.90, while a monthly fee is $ 0.9500.

CoinsBank offers a debit card with the smallest fee, which is 0.5% BTC to fiat currencies (USD, EUR). The one rare thing is that they ship to the US. The plastic card costs 0.13BTC and there is no virtual card offered yet.

When using CoinsBank, you can top up your card with LTC (Litecoin). Accepted fiat is USD, EUR, and GBP. The account has to be verified and there are some limits as well. Your account can have $15,000 maximum, and the daily use limit is €2600. The ATM fees are quite high, around $4.95.

When it comes to conversion fee, CoinsBank has a low conversion fee and it could be the best occasional use, although there are some inactivity fees.

Criptopay

Cropopay offers a debit card that has a 1% BTC to fiat fee. They still do not offer a virtual card, while the plastic card costs €15. It supports only EUR and GBP.

When it comes to balance limits, it is €20,000. Withdraw limit varies from €200 to €1000, and it costs €2.75. Criptopay charges a monthly fee of GBP 1.00.

Xapo

Xapo is mostly known as a cryptocurrency wallet and vault with a very useful mobile app. They offer a plastic Visa card which costs $20. When it comes to fiat, it is available in USD, EUR and GBP.

Xapo has a low fee of 1% for BTC conversion and $2.50 for ATM withdrawal. The balance stays only in bitcoin, and it is converted in the moment you use the card. Verified users do not have any limits. Xapo has the annuity fee and inactivity charge as well.

AdvCash

Advcash has a debit card with just 0.5% fee, but the trick is that there’s another fee of 2% in all bitcoin deposits. Advcash offers both plastic and virtual cards, USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB. The plastic card costs $4,99.

When it comes to ATM withdrawal, the fee for use is $1,99. The daily use limit is $3000 and balance limit is $10.000.

Best Bitcoin mining companies

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Today, we’re gonna go through some of the most successful bitcoin mining pools, groups of cooperating miners who share block rewards in proportion to their contributed mining hashing power.

Genesis mining

Genesis mining is definitely one of the biggest cloudmining companies and a partner of many famous pools and developers such as MinerEU, Spondoolies Tech, Zeus and many others. They are a cloudmining service that shows their farms openly to the public

GainBitcoin

GainBitcoin is a bitcoin mining pool based in India, and also one of the fastest growing companies. They offer cloud mining options in order to get bitcoins instantly. Users can easily withdraw their funds directly to their wallets. On the official page of Gain Bitcoin, there a detailed mining related information in real-time.

AntPool

AntPool is a mining pool which is based in China. It is known for being maintained by Bitmain. With the current volume, AntPool mines 15% of all blocks. Despite recent controversy, this one stayed the largest bitcoin mining pool, when it comes to BTC network hash rate.

DiscusFish\F2Pool

DiscusFish, also known as F2Pool, is another mining pool which is based in China. In the first half of 2017, this pool mined about 12% of all blocks. According to this volume, it can be seen as one of the fastest developing mining pool.

BitFury

According to some charts, Bitfury is the third largest bitcoin mining pool today. It mines about 11% of all blocks. The main difference between this pool and others is that this one is private.

BTCC

BTCC is a huge Chinese exchange, well-known among BTC holders for its long existence. This company has a bitcoin exchange, wallet and prints physical bitcoins. BTCC mining pool currently mines about 7% of all blocks.

ViaBTC

ViaBTC is one of the newest mining pools on this list, existing for around one year. They offer a real-time and detailed data monitoring on hashrates, users and miners with clear graphical demonstration.

BW Pool

As this country has many mining pools, BW is also a mining company that was established in China, in 2014. It currently mines about 8% of all blocks.

BTC.Top

BTC.Top is one of those new mining pools whose website cannot be found. So, many believe that this is a private pool.

Slush

Slush was the first mining pool ever in BTC world, run by Satoshi Labs. It is quite advanced, but still good for bitcoin mining beginners. It currently mines about 6% of all blocks.

Bitclub.Network

Bitclub Network is a huge mining pool, but most BTC holders still lack proper information about this one. Due this lack of trust, using this pool is your own choice, your own risk.

GBMiners

GBMiners is one of the fastest growing pools today. It is an India-based mining pool which hit a lot of press headlines due to the bitcoin mining pool accounting for around 3% of the network hashrate and supporting Bitcoin Unlimited.

HaoBTC

HaoBTC is a Beijing-based, Chinese mining company that offers a wallet for storing Bitcoins. They also offer a traditional mining service with a mine in Kangding, China. This company pays interest to people who hold their wallets with the bitcoin it mines.

KnCMiner

KnCMiner is a Swedish bitcoin mining company. Many BTC miners have bought the mining hardware from KnCMiner in order to replace the standard consumer computer hardware. It has data centers in Sweden, with plans to expand to Finland and Iceland.

KanoCKPool

This pool was made by the Australian programmer and bitcoin holder “Kano”. It was launched in mid-2014, and for those who love risk, they also offer the solo pool. However, this is still a standard pool.

1hash

1hash is another Chinese bitcoin mining pool. It controls under 1% of total network, which is still a huge thing.

Telco 214

Telco 214 was launched in 1997 as an international voice communications provider in Florida, USA. It is a solo mining operation, rather than a mining pool.

GHash.io

GHash.io was launched in mid-2013, and gained the biggest success in the following year. In June 2014, it controlled around 51% of the entire network, which didn’t last long, but it’s still the biggest record ever.

Eligius

Eligius is a mining pool from North America, launched in mid-2011. In the beginning, its creator, Luke Dashjr, used to write religious messages onto blockchain.

BitMinter

BitMinter is an old pool, launched in 2011 by Geir Harald Hansen. It has servers in Europe and North America.

Eobot

Eobot is a cloud mining option that enables users to mine Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and many more. It was launched in Los Angeles, California, in 2013.

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