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Investing in Ethereum (ETH) – Everything You Need to Know

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Ethereum -What you need to know

Ethereum is an open-source distributed blockchain network that simplifies smart contract scripting. Importantly, the platform allows developers to streamline build decentralized applications that function on blockchains. Consequently, the platform has introduced the world to host of new functionalities and applications.

ETH Popularity

It’s nearly impossible to venture into the crypto market without hearing about Ethereum. This unique token helped revolutionize the cryptospace. As such, ETH consistently ranks as the second most popular cryptocurrency based on market cap. Notably, a combination of factors has led to the popularity of ETH in the crypto space

Top Cryptocurrencies - CoinMarketCap

Top Cryptocurrencies – CoinMarketCap

Dapps

Dapps are next-generation programs designed specifically to function within decentralized networks. These networks can include Tor, Distributed Ledgers, and blockchain. Dapps provide the world with a host of new opportunities. Consequently, Dapps continue to be one of the fastest-growing areas within the blockchain sector.

How Does Ethereum Work?

Ethereum borrows some key features from Bitcoin, albeit with slight changes such as the PoW consensus mechanism. Also, Ethereum utilizes some of the strategies employed by BitTorrent to create a truly decentralized operating system for Dapp programmers to build upon.

Ethereum is Not a Cryptocurrency

Ethereum is often referred to as a cryptocurrency. This reference is incorrect. Ethereum is the platform that the cryptocurrency Ether functions within. Within this ecosystem, Ether’s primary role is to compensate miners for performing EVM computations.

EVM – the Ethereum Virtual Machine

EVMs are virtual stacks embedded within each full Ethereum node. EVMs simplify the process of building decentralized applications. Consequently, these protocols are critical to Ethereum’s performance because they execute contract bytecode.

Crucially, every node in the Ethereum network runs an EVM instance. This strategy allows them to agree on executing the same instructions without human intervention. Additionally, it provides a means as to where anyone can execute code in a trustless ecosystem.

Importantly, EVM bytecode is a touring complete system. Touring refers to the capabilities of the protocols. Touring complete protocols such as JavaScript can perform a huge variety of critical computational functions.

Multiple Languages

One of the most unique and powerful aspects of EVM is its ability to utilize multiple coding languages. To date, EVMs have been successfully deployed using C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and more. Interestingly, Ethereum even introduced its own object-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts called Solidity. Developers can program using any of the higher-level languages listed above and the code is then converted down into EVM Bytecode.

GAS

You may have heard the term Gas thrown around when people discuss Ethereum. Gas is an internal pricing fee mechanism that allows Ethereum to ensure the quality of their network’s coding. Every Ethereum network transaction can be measured in terms of its Gas usage. Therefore,  each EVM has a particular Gas Limit and Gas Price associated with its execution.

Keenly, the introduction of Gas into the network ensures the quality of code on the network remains high. This strategy helps to protect the nodes from the introduction of nefarious coding. It also prevents the network from getting overrun with subpar coding.

Setting Gas Prices

The gas limit is the amount of total computational power the Ethereum network will use. The longer and more intricate your smart contracts are, the higher your total gas limit will become. The Gas price is the amount a user is willing to pay to execute the function in full. If you set your gas price too low, miners will just ignore your request. Also, in the event that your gas price doesn’t fully cover your EVM, miners will keep the difference.

The combination of both these factors gives you the cost of your Ethereum transaction. Importantly, the functionality and processing fees get measured in gas, but the fee is paid in Ether. This strategy is very interesting because it allows the network to determine the costs itself. In this way, Ethereum functions in a decentralized manner across its internal business processes.

History of Ethereum

Ethereum’s history begins in the early days of the crypto market. In 2013, an intuitive programmer and long time Bitcoiner, Vitalik Buterin published a whitepaper that describes the technical design and capabilities of the Ethereum concept. In the paper, Buterin describes a decentralized, global computer that could run on a blockchain similar to Bitcoin.

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin

By 2014, Buterin had completed the very first version of Ethereum. Importantly, he had some help from the Swiss development firm GmbH. This early version of the software helped promote an ICO for the project. The ETH ICO was a huge success. The project raised $18 million from a variety of investors. Paramountly, it created the first network of ETH miners and shareholders.

Ethereum Launches Beta

In 2015, Buterin released the first beta version of Ethereum. The protocol received the name Frontier. The release helped push the value of Ethereum up to $0.420897 by Oct 21, 2015. In 2016, the protocol received another major upgrade dubbed – Homestead. It was at this time that the concept of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) first became public knowledge as well.

DAOs Enter the Market

DAOs take the functionalities of corporations and convert all aspects into smart contracts. You can think of a DAO as an organization created by developers to automate decisions and facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. The goal of these next-generation protocols was to codify the rules and decision-making processes of an organization. In this way, you could eliminate the need for documents and people in governing.

Ethereum’s first DAO launched officially on April 30, 2016. The launch of the DAO helped Ethereum secure $150 million via a public ICO. At the time, the DAO was the largest blockchain-based crowdfunding event in history. Specifically, the event secured over $150 million. Perhaps even more impressive, the event saw participation from over 11,000 investors located all over the globe.

DOA Hack

Unfortunately, the hype was short-lived. Hackers quickly located and exploited a major programming error and attack vectors with the DAO. Sadly, developers were already working to fix the bugs but didn’t complete their work prior to the attack. Worst of all, 15% of all ETH was held in the DOA at that time.

The hackers utilized a duplicated DOA system to drain the funds. It only took hackers until June 18th to siphon out 3.6 million ETH from the ICO. News of the attack dropped the value of ETH from $20 to just under $13.

Developers noticed the funds draining, but lacked the time to obtain enough votes to revoke the heist. Additionally, since the DOA raised far more funds than ETH expected, they had mismanaged the level of security required. It was later revealed that the developers kept all the funding in a single wallet address.

Regaining Control

Eventually, ETH developers realized exactly what was happening and they began to work feverishly to stop the attack. As the ETH continued to drain, developers began to consider a more outlandish approach to stopping the hacker.

How the Hack Went Down

Importantly, the hacker utilized a duplicate DOA to fool the system. Since it was a duplicate, it included the main protocols initially programmed into the original. One of these protocols was a 28-day withdrawal stipulation. Basically, the hacker couldn’t gain access to their funds for almost a month. This window gave Ethereum some time to try and save the funds.

During the brainstorming sessions, many proposals were brought to the table. Eventually, developers decided that they needed to somehow nullify the Ether in the hacker’s DOA.  At first, a soft fork was suggested as a means to accomplish this task.

Soft Fork vs. Hard Fork

In the cryptocurrency realm, there are two types of major software updates blockchains can receive. A soft fork is a major upgrade that allows miners to continue mining the same blockchain. Reversely, a hard fork enforces new protocols that require miners to upgrade their software before they are able to mine a new chain of transactions. Critically, a hard fork creates a new cryptocurrency.

Ethereum’s First Approach

Buterin’s team wanted to propose new software protocols that would make it impossible for the hacker to remove the stolen ETH from their DOA. In a public statement, Buterin stated that he wasn’t proposing to rewrite any blocks.

Instead, he said he wanted to introduce a feature in the basic coding of Ethereum to prevent the hacker from withdrawing the ETH. The switch would be a soft fork that could allow ETH developers to introduce a blacklist for certain addresses.

Hacker Responds

Here is where the incident gets even crazier. After seeing Buterin’s post, the hacker responded with a post to the company. He explained that he had done nothing wrong and that in a DOA, it’s up to the smart contract to validate transactions. He argued that nothing outside of the protocols should be able to alter their decision.

In one aspect, the hacker had a valid point. The entire premise of the DOA was that it needed no human intervention. Additionally, one of the core features of any blockchain is its supposed immutability and inalterability. The hacker even went on to offer miners who didn’t upgrade protocols huge rewards. Specifically, the attacker offered 1 Million ETH and 100 BTC to each node that refused the update.

Hard Fork Proposal

Foreseeing that the hacker had the upper hand in the scenario, ETH developers began to explore more aggressive options. Eventually, a group within the ETH community recommended a hard fork. The hard fork would roll back all ETH transactions to seconds before the attack occurred.

The ETH Community Splits

This proposal was met with staunch opposition. The entire point of a blockchain is to facilitate unalterable and immutable transactions. The fact that Ethereum’s developers wanted to roll back the blockchain transactions in order to avoid losses went directly in the face of the anti-censorship traits of a blockchain.

ETH Price Actions During DAO Hack

ETH Price Actions During DAO Hack

It was argued that ETH worked exactly as it was intended and that the update was not needed. Rather the DOA was programmed incorrectly and the losses were the result of that. The hard fork would introduce edits made by a centralized governing authority within the ETH ecosystem.

Decision is Made

In the end, a new version of the Ethereum mainnet entered the market on July 20, 2016. Ultimately, the hard fork instituted an irregular state change that erased the DAO theft. The hard fork split the Ethereum blockchain. The original chain of transactions would now go by the name Ethereum classic, whereas the new crypto would adopt the Ethereum title.

Long Term Effects

The decision to go through with the hard fork would have reverberations throughout the crypto market. Eventually, it would lead to ETH-based platforms being shunned within the security token space. The reason for these actions is simple, major financial institutions can’t risk having securities transactions reversed. Regardless, ETH still remains the top platform for Dapp development today.

Despite the drawbacks, ETH managed to regain market confidence following the attack. By 2017, the value of Ether grew over 15,000% to reach an all-time high of $1,432.8 in January 2018. Today, it’s still the second cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, even with more competition than ever.

ERC Protocols

Ethereum’s introduction to the cryptospace was pivotal. It introduced the world to a more simplified process for the creation of smart contracts. Now anyone could create a functioning and safe cryptocurrency on the ETH network using ERC protocols.

ERC protocols are token standards that adhere to Ethereum’s blockchain requirements. Originally, Ethereum planned to utilize the ERC-20 protocol to simplify internal token creation. However, it wasn’t long before they realized that there was a huge demand for a simplistic token creation method.

This strategy helped push the crypto sector to new heights. Specifically, the 2017 ICO breakout can be largely attributed to the growth of the Ethereum blockchain and ERC tokens. Today, ERC tokens are by far the most used in the space. One study found that as of April 16, 2019, there were more than 181,000 ERC-20-compatible tokens that lived on the Ethereum main network.

How to Invest in Ethereum

Investing in Ethereum is easy nowadays. Every major exchange trades ETH as one of its main coins. In fact, you can now find a huge variety of ETH trading pairs on most exchanges. To start your investment in Ethereum, you want to head over to a secure and reputable exchange such as Binance, KuCoin, Poloniex, or Bittrex.

Once you arrive at the exchange of your choice, fill out all of the necessary registration steps. Now that you have access to your account there are multiple ways to purchase ETH.

Multiple Options

Firstly, you can buy ETH directly using fiat currency such as USD or EUR. This strategy can take longer and cost more than exchanging cryptocurrency for Ethereum. However, it is one of the best ways to enter the crypto market.

The second way to acquire ETH is by trading some other cryptocurrency for it. It would be difficult today to find an exchange that wouldn’t happily trade ETH for nearly any token on the market. This market penetration allows investors to freely choose between platforms based on their merits rather than if they offer the token you desire.

Mining Ethereum

The Ethereum blockchain utilizes a PoW system to ensure the state of the network. Network participants, known as nodes or miners, continuously validate the network. Accordingly, every node attempts to solve a complex mathematical equation to prove they worked to secure the network.

Just like Bitcoin, the more miners on the network, the more difficult it becomes to participate. The node that adds the next block to the network receives a reward proportionate to the amount of computational power they contributed to the network.

Unlike Bitcoin, which validates new blocks of transactions every 10 minutes, Ethereum validates blocks every 15 seconds. Also, the miner who creates the latest block receives 3 ETH as a reward for their efforts. This is the only time that new Ethereum enters the crypto market.

Proof-of-Stake Ethereum

Interestingly, Ethereum plans to convert its network from a PoW consensus mechanism over to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism before the end of 2020. Proof-of-Stake networks utilize much less electricity than PoW networks. These electrical savings is accomplished through the elimination of the PoW mathematical equation.

Instead, PoS systems rely on a staking strategy. When you “stake” your coins you are holding them in a network wallet. The more tokens you stake, the more likely it is that you will be the next node to approve the block of transactions. In a PoS system, a hacker would need to purchase a huge amount of tokens to gain control over the network.

Ultimately, the hacker would lose the most. In this way, PoS systems are able to keep their networks valid without requiring the additional computing power of a PoW system. Many analysts consider PoS systems as the natural evolution of the space.

Ethereum – A Pillar in the Market

As Ethereum decides what upgrades to make in the future, it’s important to recognize the concrete positioning of this platform within the sector. It’s hard to imagine a crypto market without Ethereum. Every month, Ethereum fulfills its goals as a safe Dapp launching platform. Nobody can say for sure which cryptocurrencies will stand the test of time, but, if you had to choose two, Bitcoin and Ethereum would surely win the prize.

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David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including Bitcoinlightning.com

Regulation

Traditional Banks Ramp Up Custodial Services for Digital Assets

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In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in the adoption of blockchain services, among traditional banks.  First, U.S. based banks were given the green light to custody cryptocurrencies by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).  Now, we learn that one of the largest banks in South Korea, KB Kookmin Bank, is already working to develop similar services.

Who’s Involved?

With regard to South Korea, the plan is for KB Kookmin Bank to begin offering custodial services for digital assets.  This is a group effort involving the following companies,

This collaboration is particularly noteworthy, as KB Kookmin Bank is not just any old bank.  They are currently the largest bank in South Korea.  Moves made by a bank of this stature are followed closely by many.  Although KB Kookmin Bank and its partners may be first to the table, expect to see others take a seat in the near future.

Future Asset Expansion

While initial services will centre on the custody of cryptocurrencies, it is believed that this support will eventually grow, encompassing various types of digital assets.  More specifically, it is expected that in time, these custodial services will support digital securities.

In commentary released by Hashed, this expansion of supported assets was touched upon.  Hashed states that through this collaboration, participants anticipate, “…that the digital asset industry will not only involve cryptocurrencies, but also other traditional assets such as real estate, artwork, and other reified rights that will be issued and traded on blockchain platforms.”

Although cryptocurrencies stand to benefit first, the development of such custodial services has the potential to transform and usher forth new growth among the digital securities sector.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

In the weeks preceding the news surrounding KB Kookmin Bank and its forthcoming custodial service, we saw the OCC release of an interpretive letter on the subject.

In this letter, the OCC breaks down, not only what digital assets are, but how banks can support the growing use.  The OCC summarized its stance, stating,

“The OCC recognizes that, as the financial markets become increasingly technological, there will likely be increasing need for banks and other service providers to leverage new technology and innovative ways to provide traditional services on behalf of customers. By providing such services, banks can continue to fulfill the financial intermediation function they have historically played in providing payment, loan and deposit services.”

It continued,

“…we conclude a national bank may provide these cryptocurrency custody services on behalf of customers, including by holding the unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrency.  This letter also reaffirms the OCC’s position that national banks may provide permissible banking services to any lawful business they choose, including cryptocurrency businesses, so long as they effectively manage the risks and comply with applicable law.”

Bank Adoption

Which came first, the chicken? Or the egg?  This old saying could easily be applied to the current world of blockchain.  Are these traditional banks jumping on board the train due to the recent resurgence being seen in the sector?  Or is the sector surging due to banks jumping on board.  Regardless of the answer, signs of blockchain adoption within traditional industries is a definite positive.

Hopefully, this swing in sentiment among banks continues to gain momentum, as banks have not always viewed digital assets in a positive light.  Only months ago, we were reporting on difficulties being faced by German companies, as they were refused services by traditional banks.

KB Kookmin Bank

Founded in 2000, KB Kookmin Bank maintains operations in Seoul, South Korea.  Since launch, KB Kookmin Bank has grown to employ over 25,000, while providing customers on a global scale with access to commercial banking services.

CEO, Hur Yin, currently oversees company operations.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

The OCC is a U.S. based regulatory body, tasked with supervising national banks.  This supervision is undertaken with the goal of ensuring fair and transparent financial services to all customers.

Acting Comptroller, Brian P. Brooks, currently oversees operations at the OCC.

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What is Cryptocurrency Trading?

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What is Cryptocurrency Trading?

Ever since 2017, cryptocurrency trading has been an area of interest for new and old investors alike. Notably, cryptocurrency trading involves speculating on future price movements within the market. In its simplest form, trading requires the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies in a manner that produces profit. In order to accomplish this task, you need to have a firm grasp on what cryptocurrencies are and what affects their market movements.

Cryptocurrencies are decentralized digital assets that rely on a network of computers to validate their authenticity and the overall state of the network. Unlike fiat currencies such as the dollar, there is no government or central authority backing these coins. Instead, cryptocurrencies rely on mathematical protocols to reduce human intervention and provide the world with a truly unique financial instrument.

Importantly, cryptocurrencies exist only as a shared digital record of ownership. This means you can’t handle or even touch a cryptocurrency. Instead, these assets exist only in the digital realm. Consequently, no crypto transaction is complete until it is verified by the network nodes (miners) and added to the blockchain.

Different Blockchain Assets Require Different Approaches

Interestingly, there are multiple different types of blockchain assets one can trade today. Each asset has its own regulatory and trading requirements that you must adhere to. The three main types of blockchain assets in the market today are cryptocurrencies, utility, and security tokens.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Luckily, buying and selling cryptocurrencies has never been easier. Today, there is a multitude of exchanges in the market at your disposal. Each of these exchanges provides a different UX and features. As such, it’s recommended that you take a look at a few exchanges before you make your final decision. Also, savvy investors will also trade between exchanges when there is an opportunity to earn revenue on the spread of a certain asset.

Candlestick Chart - Binance Cryptocurrency Trading Window

Candlestick Chart – Binance Cryptocurrency Trading Window

It’s recommended that you stick with reputable exchanges. The reasons for this are simple, every couple of months some exchange experiences a hack that drains the platform of its holdings. When this occurs, you can lose your cryptocurrency if the exchange doesn’t have the ability to refund your losses. A perfect example of this scenario playing out occurred during the now infamous Mt.Gox hack where investors lost millions. Here are some of the most recognizable exchanges to consider:

Binance

The Binance exchange entered the market in 2017 with the goal to simplify the trading process for normal investors. The firm’s founder, Changpeng Zhao was already well known in the FinTech sector as the premier developer of high-frequency trading software. This technological know-how helped Binance create a unique UX and cement its position as an industry leader.

This simplicity helped the exchange grow. By 2018, Binance was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of trading volume. Today, the exchange still dominates the sector. Binance has since opened multiple platforms including Binance US, Binance DEX, Binance KR, and Binance Australia, to name a few.

KuCoin

The Singapore-based crypto exchange KuCoin was one of the first platforms to enter the market. Reports confirmed that developers began market research for this exchange as early as 2011. In 2013 KuCoin entered the crypto market as a dominant player.

Today the platform is known for its state of the art technology. The exchange features a combination of reliable and extended technical architecture. In this way, developers have been able to streamline the standard trading operations encountered by users.

Poloniex

The Poloniex exchange entered the market in 2014 with the aim to provide US clientele safe access to digital assets. Currently, the firm has a headquarters located in the Greater Philadelphia Area of the Southern US. The founder of the exchange, Tristan D’Agosta, is known for living a private lifestyle, despite making Fortune magazine’s 40 under 40 list.

Poloniex is known for its accessibility and overall market positioning. Today the platform offers over 100 BTC trading pairs. Additionally, traders are privy to advanced charts and data analysis tools to help further their investment strategies. Notably, the exchange charges a 0.2% transaction fee on all trades.

Bittrex

Bittrex is another market leader to consider. This firm has been in operation since 2016. The developers behind this platform wanted to create an institutional brokerage firm that could help bridge the gap between the traditional financial sector and the crypto markets.

Bittrex is well known for its industry-best security practices. Currently, the platform is one of America’s leading blockchain technology providers. As such, it enjoys a reputation as one of the most reliable exchanges in the world.

Let the Cryptocurrency Trading Begin

Once you have chosen an exchange that is known for its quality and security, you are ready to begin trading. Keenly, the setup process is simple. You just need to register with your new platform and fund your online wallet. Funding your wallet can vary in the processes required and depending on if you want to fund it with fiat currency or using other cryptocurrencies.

Notably, there is a tiny learning curve that you must overcome when switching between platforms. Each exchange utilizes a slightly different approach and interface. Additionally, there are variances in transaction times, costs, and daily limits to consider.

You will also need to take into account your location. Certain exchanges do not permit users from specific countries to participate in their platform. For example, you can only trade on exchanges that require KYC and AML regulations if you live in the US.

Binance KYC Requirements

Binance KYC Requirements – cryptocurrency trading

Direct Holdings

Whenever you are investing directly in cryptocurrencies, you purchase the coins themselves. This strategy means that you will hold the cryptocurrency you own and not just some form of ownership rights. It also means that you must pay the full value of the asset to open a position. Additionally, you will be responsible for finding a reliable wallet to store your holdings.

What Moves Cryptomarkets

Cryptocurrency trading requires you to make educated guesses as to market movements in the future. While no one can predict these movements with 100% accuracy, there are still some techniques used by professionals to mitigate risks while trading.

The first thing you need to understand is what actually effects market movements in the sector. Unlike stocks, cryptocurrencies are uncoupled from many of the economic and political concerns that affect traditional markets. In most instances, the cryptocurrency market moves according to supply and demand. Here are some important factors to consider:

Supply

The supply of a particular cryptocurrency refers to the total number of coins the firm will issue over the entire lifespan of the project. It also references the time frame and structure that these coins will be introduced to the market. Importantly, you also need to take into consideration the number of coins destroyed or lost as well.

Market Capitalization

 The next factor you need to examine is the total market capitalization of the project you are interested in. The market cap is the total value of all the coins in existence for a certain project. Understanding the growth and retractions of a tokens market cap is critical to making informed price speculations.

News

Importantly, not all factors that affect the market’s movements are technical in nature. One of the most influential market movers in the sector is the media. You must pay close attention to how the media portrays cryptocurrencies. You will want to be aware of any potential developments that could boost or hinder large scale adoption in the sector.

Specifically, regulatory news can play a huge role in the market capitalization of a cryptocurrency. For example, the market took a big hit when China began a large scale cryptocurrency crackdown at the end of 2017. Considering the sheer size of the Chinese market, investors could easily tell that this decision would negatively affect the market in some way.

Integration

The next point to consider in your investment strategy is how well the coin in question is able to integrate into the current financial system. Tokens that feature easier integration are more likely to experience rapid growth in the market. This growth can be substantial when a coin is introduced to an already existing network.

A perfect example of integration providing a huge potential for upside growth can be found in Facebook’s Libra token. While this token is still under development and undergoing regulatory approval, it has more upside potential than most new projects in the sector. The reason for this inherent value stems from the fact that the Facebook network encompasses billions of international users.

Major Events

Major events within the sector can provide a boost to the value of your investment in different ways. One such event, known as the halving recently took place within the Bitcoin ecosystem. This event occurs roughly every four years when mining rewards are halved. Historically, these events are followed by rising market values.

Cryptocurrency Trading Terminology

Like any profession, trading cryptocurrencies requires you to learn some new terminology. Luckily, this terminology is standard across the trading industry. Consequently, you will also gain valuable insight into trading other assets such as stocks and commodities.

Spread

The spread is the price difference at which you buy or sell your cryptocurrency. As such, spreads are variable depending on the assets, time of the trade, and the time it takes to complete your transaction.

Lots

When discussing trading assets, you may encounter the term lots. In this instance, lots is simply the term used to describe batches of cryptocurrencies used to standardize the size of trades. In most scenarios, a lot can consist of a single coin. These small lots are popular in the crypto space because they help to mitigate risk to volatility.

Futures

Cryptocurrency futures are agreements to purchase or sell crypto at a set price. Notably, these financial instruments allow investors to earn profits from cryptocurrencies without the need to actually own the assets directly. Nowadays, futures are used by investors to maximize profits. Miners also use futures to lock in profits against drops in value.

Leverage

One of the advantages of trading futures is the ability to utilize leverage. Leveraged trading is an advanced investment strategy. It requires an investor to take a short term loan to fulfill their investment. In this way, investors can gain access to larger investment opportunities without the need to fully pay for the assets upfront. Leveraged traders only need to pay a small deposit when they open their position. This deposit is also called the margin.

Margin

The margin is the initial deposit you put up to open and maintain a leveraged position. Keenly, you need to be aware that margin requirements will change from broker to broker. Also, the size of your trade will play a part in how large of a margin is required.

Pip

Pips are units used to measure movement in the price of a cryptocurrency. The Pip can change depending on the platform and the pairing used. For example, in the US you can say that a coin raised one Pip in value if its market value went up one dollar. The key point here is that pips refer to a one-digit movement in the price at a specific level.

KYC/AML

Another common phrase that you will encounter if you trade cryptocurrencies in the US is KYC/AML. Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering Laws (AML) refers to a legal framework that requires exchanges to verify the identity of users. All regulated exchanges in the US and EU require AML and KYC.

Cryptocurrency Trading

Trading cryptocurrencies can be a great way for you to earn some extra Satoshis and improve your understanding of the market. Remember, the difference between a successful investor and one that fails usually comes down to the level of research and their ability to stick to their investment strategy.  Savvy investors know that the secret is to stay vigilant in your market assessments and you are sure to see some gains.

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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.

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