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WealthSimple Announces Bitcoin and Ethereum Investing with the Help of Gemini Custody

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WealthSimple Announces Bitcoin and Ethereum Investing with the Help of Gemini Custody

Within mere weeks, nearly 200,000 clients of WealthSimple will experience new exposure to cryptocurrencies.

The popular Canadian company, known for its automated investing services, has announced the upcoming launch of a cryptocurrency trading service.

Supported Assets

Known simply as ‘WealthSimple Crypto’, access will be provided through a unique crypto account.  For those interested, these accounts are generated within the ‘WealthSimple Trade’ app.

Upon launch, support will be provided for only two assets.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as they are, without doubt, the two most popular and well-known assets of their kind.  It is unknown at this time if there are plans for expansion, and the eventual support of other assets.  Surely, if the trading app does well, this will be the case at some point in the future.  If this does occur, look to assets supported by Gemini Custody for an idea of what will come next.

Gemini Custody

A product of the Winklevoss twins, Gemini Custody is quickly becoming a favourite among start-ups in need of such services – and with good reason.  This custodial service is one of the most heavily regulated, has a great track record, and offers benefits such as $200M in insurance coverage.

Rather than developing their own solution, WealthSimple recognized the benefits Gemini Custody has to offer, and has turned to them.  This partnership provides a nice safety net for WealthySimple Crypto clients.

Notably, Gemini Custody is the custodian of platforms such as BlockFi and Samsung Blockchain.

Forward Thinking

WealthSimple has made a name for themselves based on their automated investing services.  These types of services, however, are typically geared towards long-term investing.  Having established this reputation, the company now appears to be branching out, providing their clients with a more progressive approach to finance.

This is evident, not only through the new support for cryptocurrencies, but through various features found on their platform.  For example, when utilizing their automated investing platform, clients have the option to structure their portfolios in unique manners, beyond simply risk-tolerance.  These include socially responsible investing and Halal investing (Islamic investing principles).

By offering the ability to invest based upon your belief systems, whether that be for the betterment of Earth, or in compliance with Islamic law, WealthSimple is clearly targeting a forward thinking audience – an audience which should be on board with the ideologies which underpin assets such as Bitcoin.

Industry Adoption

Beyond benefiting clients of WealthSimple, news of this service bodes well for the industry at large.  Much like robo-advisors, cryptocurrencies have gone from niche markets, to attaining increasing levels of adoption.

Since its launch, WealthSimple has managed to cultivate a reputation as one of the best financial service providers around.  Simply being affiliated with such a company brings validity and clout, to an asset class not necessarily understood by the average investor.

WealthSimple will instantly become one of the most credible sources for cryptocurrency trading in the countries they serve.

Growing Suite

As a whole, WealthSimple is much more than the soon-to-be cryptocurrency trading service.  To date, the team behind WealthSimple has developed and launched various services and capabilities.  It is this growing suite that has allowed them to become one of the most popular companies of their kind.

  • Invest
    • Automated investing services based on personalized goals
  • Cash
    • Zero-fee savings account with various spending features
  • Trade
    • Commission-free stock & ETF trading

WealthSimple

Founded in 2014, WealthSimple is a financial service provider, based in Toronto, Canada.  Since launch, WealthSimple has amassed a client-base totaling nearly 200,000, and manages $5 billion in assets.

CEO, Michael Katchen, currently oversees company operations.

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Joshua Stoner is a multi-faceted working professional. He has a great interest in the revolutionary 'blockchain' technology. In addition to this, he is a licenced Paramedic in Nova Scotia, Canada. As such, he can provide emergency care/medicine to any situation necessitating it.

Cryptocurrency

Ledger Nano X Review – A Secure Hardware Wallet for Advanced HODLs

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Ledger Nano X Review – A Secure Hardware Wallet for Advanced HODLs

Ledger has an impeccable reputation when it comes to bitcoin hardware wallets. They have two products and the Ledger Nano X is the more advanced of the two which is perfect for the advanced cryptocurrency investor who is looking at protecting their digital assets. When it comes to quality, functionality and security this is comparable to Trezor’s Model T but with a more slick design.

In this review we will analyze the design, functionality, and most importantly the security.

What is the Ledger Nano X?

The Ledger Nano X is a premium version of the Ledger Nano S. This device is extremely compact and it can easily fit in your pocket which makes it perfect for traveling.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the device has an inscription which reads ‘vires in numeris’, this is Latin for ‘strength in numbers’. This is in reference to the cryptographic security contained in the device.

It has multiple security features and it is intuitive to use.

This device is an advanced option to keep security accessible for anyone who has cryptocurrency.

The Ledger Nano X supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, this includes major tokens like BitcoinBitcoin Cash, Binance, Dash, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, and many more.

Ledger Nano X: First Impression

Nano X comes in a simple package and the box contains the device itself, 1 USB cable, one keychain and a key ring, and multiple recovery sheets for writing down the seed phrase.

ledger nano x box contents

The advantage of this device is how it does not stand out, from a distance most people would assume it is a simple USB stick.

Operating the Ledger Nano X

Whether you are an advanced digital assets holder, or a novice you do not need to be worried. The instructions that are provided in the package are simple and guide you on how you can set-up the Ledger Nano X.

What you should always remember is to write down the recovery seed on the provided recovery sheet and save it in a safe place. I would recommend that wherever you save it, that you choose to save two backups of the recovery seed. I personally choose to backup both in electronic and paper form. This means you will need to scan the recovery sheet and save it in a secret folder on your computer and make sure that you do not name it with anything that is associated with bitcoin, Ledger or cryptocurrency. For those who are unaware, the recovery seed is what you need to access your funds in the scenario where the device is either damaged or lost.

Again, the entire process is simple, you connect the Nano X to your computer, access the Ledger website, and then install Ledger Live. From there you click on ‘Initialize a new Ledger device’, and you are on your way.

Ledger Nano X: Security Features

Ledger takes security seriously. They offer the CC EAL5+ Security. What this means:

Ledger ensures that all of their hardware wallets including the Nano X are fully-certified on the market certified by ANSSI, the French cybersecurity agency.

Another security element is the device does not arrive with pre-installed software– that’s installed during the set-up process. It is PIN-protected and allows you to label your device and customize the home screen to make it unique to you. You will install Ledger Live software during the sign-up process.

Summary

The Ledger Nano X is a great way to protect your cryptocurrency and offers all of the advanced security solutions that you would find with its director competitor the Trezor Model T.  The safety of this device and the fact that it resembles a simple USB stick makes this this device a popular favorite for members of the cryptocurrency community.

Click Here to Order the Ledger Nano X

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Investing in Litecoin (LTC) – Everything You Need to Know

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Litecoin - Everything You Need to Know

It would be impossible to venture into the crypto space for long without eventually running across one of the oldest and most reputable coins in existence – Litecoin (LTC). Litecoin is an open-ѕоurсe рееr-tо-рееr digital cash system similar to Bitcoin. Importantly, Litecoin was developed to improve on some of the shortcomings of the world’s first succesful cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. To this extent, Litecoin has also been labeled the ‘silver’ to Bitcoin’s gold by many in the sector.

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin was one of the earliest cryptocurrencies to enter the market. Consequently, it remains one of the largest coins in the sector based on market capitalization. This hugely popular coin can be found on nearly every crypto exchange. Also, it’s one of the most widely accepted cryptocurrencies in the world. You can use Litecoin for purchasing goods, services, or even investing in other crypto projects as they emerge.

Like most cryptocurrencies, Litecoin utilizes blockchain technology to remain decentralized. Decentralized currencies differ from traditional fiat currencies in many ways. Primarily, they are not issued from a central authority such as a government. Instead, Litecoins are produced via a сrурtоgrарhіс рrоtосоl. Officially, Litecoin’s are released under MIT/X11 lісеnѕеѕ.

How Does Litecoin Work?

Litecoin functions in a manner very similar to Bitcoin. In fact, this online payment system was directly inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto and his release of the Bitcoin protocol. Many people are surprised to learn that Litecoin was one of the earliest Bitcoin forks in the market. As such, this cryptocurrency is technically almost іdеntісаl tо Bіtсоіn, albeit with some crucial differences.

Litecoin via Litecoin.org

Litecoin via Litecoin.org

LTC’s developer, Charlie Lee began his Litecoin project by borrowing the core code from Bitcoin. He then made several important modifications to the protocol. One of the main upgrades he introduced was the reduction of the block approval time from 10 minutes down to 2.5 minutes. Just like with Bitcoin, these blocks contain the next batch of transactions awaiting approval.

Reduced Block Time

The block time reduction gave Litecoin more scalability than its predecessors. Notably, LTC is now 4x faster than Bitcoin in terms of transactions per second (tps). Lee also adjusted the transaction fee model within LTC to make it more appealing to the masses. Specifically, Litecoin’s fee structure is 1/50th the size of Bitcoin.

This fee structure is one of the main draws to the platform. Amazingly, it only costs 1/1000 of a LTC to process a transaction. This miniscule fee doesn’t change depending on the size of your transaction either. You pay the same amount regardless of its size. This strategy provides a huge upgrade to the current market leaders. For example, PayPal charges a 3% fee for every transaction conducted within their network.

LTC Total Supply

One of the main draws to Litecoin, and cryptocurrencies, in general, is their finite supply. Unlike fiat currency, which governments can print at will, Litecoins are only produced at set intervals following the approval of a block of transactions to the network. In total, there will only ever be 84 million Litecoins produced. Interestingly, this amount was the result of simple calculations on the part of the developers.

Basically, developers decided that since Litecoin processes transactions at 4x the speed of Bitcoin, it would be wise to provide the network with 4x the tokens. Critically, this fixed amount of coins also means that inflation will not affect the overall value of the currency as time progresses. The more time that goes by, the more value that each Litecoin should hold. As of today, there are already over 65,177,458 Litecoins in the market.

Trading Litecoin

Many traders view Litecoin as a more sustainable option within the market. Their views are not without reason. For one, LTC often experiences less volatility than its big brother Bitcoin. Also, the development team behind this project is a bit more advantageous than Bitcoin’s development team. Specifically, LTC developers have proven their desire to remain technological ahead of the competition time and time again. The platform was the first to add the Segregated Witness update.

Additionally, Litecoin began processing Lightning Network transactions months before BTC. In May of 2017, LTC adopted the Segregated Witness protocol months before Bitcoin was able to do so. That same year, the development team behind the project also conducted its first Lightning Network transaction from Zürich, Germany to San Francisco.

History of Litecoin

Litecoin’s epic rise to fame begins in October 2011 with the publishing of the project’s whitepaper by long time Bitcoinist, Charlie Lee. Notably, Lee was a former employee of Google who had followed Bitcoin since its early days. At the time, Lee recognized the value of Bitcoin but noticed that there were some areas that if improved, could help propel large scale blockchain adoption amongst the masses. Lee’s improvements focused on reduced transaction times, fees, and the elimination of concentrated mining pools.

Litecoin Creator Charlie Lee - Twitter

Litecoin Creator Charlie Lee – Twitter

Impressively, it only took Litecoin 2 years to achieve a $1 billion market capitalization. The coin continues to dominate the market today. Notably, Litecoin reached its official all-time high of $360.93 on December 18th, 2017. Incredibly, this value represented an 8200% increase over the tokens value just a year prior. At that time, Litecoin had a market value of just around $4.40.

Lee Steps Out of The Pilot Seat

In an interesting turn of events, Lee decided to sell all of his Litecoin holdings in December of 2017. At the time, Lee explained via a Reddit post why he made the decision. He stated that he had concerns over his growing influence on the platform. In his now-famous posts, Lee is quoted stating “Whenever I tweet about Litecoin price or even just good or bad news, I get accused of doing it for personal benefit. Some people even think I short LTC! So in a sense, it is a conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence.” In the end, he decided it was best to avoid the conflict of interest that comes with his position as LTC’s founder.

How to Buy Litecoin

Luckily, buying LTC has never been easier. Due to its huge popularity, you can acquire LTC from every major exchange in operation today. The process for this approach changes slightly for each platform, but in general, it all works the same. The first step is to fill out the registration information if you are new to the platform. Once you complete your registration, you can begin purchasing LTC directly. There are two main ways to obtain this coin.

The first way is direct with fiat currency. Most exchanges offer LTC/Fiat pairing directly. When this is the case, you can simply load your fiat currency onto your exchange wallet. Then, select purchase Litecoin and just like that, you are good to go. You will see your LTC appear in your exchange wallet in seconds after making your purchase.

The second way to buy LTC is through the use of an intermediary. Keenly, if your exchange doesn’t offer LTC/Fiat pairings, you will need to purchase Bitcoin first. Then you can trade it for Litecoin. The great news is Litecoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. As such, you can trade nearly any token or coin for some Litecoin with ease.

How to Mine Litecoin

Mining Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin. The network utilizes a consensus mechanism to ensure the state of the network remains valid. However, unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin does away with the SHA-256 consensus mechanism in favor of a different protocol known as “scrypt mining.” Proponents of Litecoin like the mining distribution method for LTC’s scrypt mining which is believed to be a fairer model. Scrypt allows consumer-grade hardware such as GPU to mine Litecoin successfully.

Critically, you can still mine LTC on a Mac or Windows PC. Miners can choose to go about the task either solo or with the help of a mining pool, something no longer possible for Bitcoin mining. While mining Litecoin today can be done with a regular home PC, it would be very slow. It’s much wiser to purchase a mining rig that is specifically designed for the scrypt mining algorithms. This strategy will provide you with better results and increase your chances of becoming the next miner to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain.

There are 14,400 Litecoins mined every day. This mining schedule equates to every 2.5 minutes, a LTC block is mined. The node that adds the next block of transactions to the blockchain receives a reward of 25 newly generated Litecoins. Similar to Bitcoin’s strategy, mining rewards half over time.  In October 2015, Litecoin rewards were halved. Notably, the halving will continue at regular intervals until the 84,000,000th Litecoin is mined.

Where Can I Store Litecoin?

When it comes to storing your Litecoin, there is no shortage of options to consider. For small daily trading activities, you can leave your Litecoin in your exchange wallet. However, it’s worth mentioning that this is the least safe way to store cryptocurrency nowadays. The next options to consider are PC or mobile wallets. Today, there are a plethora of Litecoin capable wallets available to the public. In most instances, these wallets will allow you to store your Litecoin alongside some of your other favorite cryptocurrencies.

The safest way to store your Litecoin is via a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets are specially designed devices that enable you to store your cryptocurrency without keeping your wallet online. In this way, they provide you with more security since hackers have no way to access your holdings. The main drawback of hardware wallets is their costs. In most instances, a reliable wallet (Trezor or Ledger) can run you over $100. Compared to a free mobile app, this could be a stretch for those only handling small amounts of cryptocurrency at this time.

Trading Litecoin

Trading Litecoin is the same as trading any of the top cryptocurrencies. You will need to monitor the market to get a firm understanding of the current environment. Additionally, monitoring the news for Litecoin developments is another important step. For example, this week Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law officially recognizing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.

LTC via CoinMarketCap

LTC via CoinMarketCap

Positive news such as large scale adoption or regulatory approval usually translates directly into gains for the coin. Reversely, you can sense impending market losses when there is negative news coverage of the crypto market in general. Amazingly, analysts have reported that Litecoin has a habit of leading Bitcoin in terms of market movement. This first movement has led many analysts to monitor Litecoin in an attempt to better capture Bitcoin’s potential market movements.

LTC’s Continues to See Expansion in Different Ways

Every week, Litecoin experiences some form of expansion of its network or capabilities. Just this week, The Kyber Network, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, listed the Ethereum-compatible pLTC token. While this project is not directly Litecoin, it clearly utilizes the coin’s reputation and value as part of the strategy. The pLTC token is a Litecoin-pegged token that lives on the Ethereum blockchain. Keenly, pLTC is pegged 1:1 to Litecoin.

Officially, the token launched on July 29, 2020, intending to unlock liquidity within the sector by enabling more cross-chain asset transactions. The development team behind the pTokens project explained the concept as yet another way for users to explore the world of decentralized finance. Today, there are several pToken in existence. All exist on the Ethereum blockchain but are pegged to underlying digital assets.

Litecoin Today

Today, Litecoin remains one of the top ten cryptocurrencies in the world. The token currently lists a market value of $57.33 with a total value of $3,736,382,516 (335,419 BTC) via CoinMarketCap. It impressive that LTC managed to remain a dominant player throughout the last 5 years, even as the overall capabilities of the crypto space began to change. Hopefully, Litecoin will continue to fill the key niche of playing the silver to Bitcoin’s gold for years to come.

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Cryptocurrency

Digital Asset Wallet Ledger, Suffers Data Breach Affecting 1M Clients

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ledger

Ledger, makers of some of the most popular hardware wallets for digital assets, announced today that its platform has suffered a data breach.

The Details

As with any situation, there is both good and bad to be found.  Based on information released by Ledger, the following make up each category.

The Good
  • Despite the breach, Ledger indicates that no client financial information was accessed.
  • Client funds/holdings are unaffected
The Bad
  • Roughly 1 million accounts affected
  • Multiple data points accessed
    • Emails
    • Contact information (names, phone numbers, postal addresses)
    • Order details

This particular breach occurred when an unknown third party utilized an Application Programming Interface (API) key, to access Ledgers services.  This breach occurred on June 25th, 2020, and was discovered on July 14th, 2020.

Data Breaches and Bounty Programs

In an age where data has become one of our most valuable assets, it is not surprising that year after year companies find themselves on the wrong end of a breach.  Recognizing this, it has become a regular practice in the crypto community to offer incentives (bounty programs) for hackers and programmers to find weaknesses.

In the bounty programs, companies typically recruit researchers to intentionally ‘attack’ the company’s networks and services.  This is done with the purpose of discovering any weak-points and vulnerabilities before those with nefarious activity in mind can do so.

While the illegal breach took place in late-June, it wasn’t until mid-July that it was discovered by someone participating in a Ledger bounty program.  As a result, without this program, the breach could have continued unnoticed, with the potential for repeated attempts in the future.  In the instance discussed here today, involving Ledger, the merits of such bounty programs are proven.

As it stands, Ledger has deactivated the API key used to access information and implemented the necessary fixes to ensure that client information will not be exploited in this manner again.

Commentary

Any breach of any kind is cause for concern.  With this in mind, Ledger took the time to discuss this recent event, and put their clients’ minds at ease.

“Regarding your ecommerce data, no payment information, no credentials (passwords), were concerned by this data breach.  It solely affected our customers’ contact details. 

This data breach has no link and no impact whatsoever with our hardware wallets nor Ledger Live security and your crypto assets, which are safe and have never been in peril.  You are the only one in control and able to access this information.”

Looking Forward

Since they first launched, Ledger products have gone from supporting a select few assets to more than 1000 at the time of writing.  It is expected that as this trend continues, we will see Ledger bring support for digital securities as they grow in popularity.  Ledger was one of the first companies of its kind to provide wallet services for digital securities when they formed an alliance with now-defunct digital security company Neufund.

With the digital securities sector beginning to pick up, it is only a matter of time before token holders are looking for safe storage of their assets – hopefully, Ledger will be there.

Ledger

Founded in 2014, Ledger maintains operations in Paris, France.  Above all, the team at Ledger works to serve the blockchain industry through the development of various storage and security solutions.

CEO, Pascal Gauthier, currently oversees company operations.

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