4 Steps to Take to Invest in Dividend Stocks

If you’re interested in investing in stocks, consider dividend stocks for a long-term way to benefit from regular profit earnings. You can easily invest in dividend stocks and still diversify the rest of your investment portfolio. Here are four steps to take to invest in dividend stocks.

What Are Dividend Stocks?

Dividend stocks are stocks that represent company shares on the market. When you invest in dividend stocks, you’re guaranteed regular payments as the company’s stock gains earnings. Typically, well-established companies that have a proven track record of paying out regular dividends are the stocks you’ll want to look into to collect regular earnings with this long-term investment strategy.

Adding Dividend Stocks to Your Portfolio

Adding dividends to your investment portfolio is highly advantageous, especially if you’ve already diversified many of your investments into other stocks and options. For one, the majority of companies who sell dividend stocks typically don’t see a reduction in earnings over time, making this a highly lucrative way to collect regular quarterly earnings.

Another of the advantages of investing in dividends is that they can offer a higher percentage of earnings on shares than even a bank-issued certificate of deposit. These are just a few of the benefits of investing in dividend stocks, so if you’re ready to get started researching these options, follow the steps below for purchasing and benefiting from this smart investment choice.

  1. Research the Stock

The first step in any trading scenario is to thoroughly evaluate the stocks you’re interested in using for your investments. This is true of dividend stocks, too. Start your research through a reputable trading platform that can give you the tools you’ll need to measure the success of the dividend stocks you choose. Even though dividend stocks don’t come with as many risks as other stocks, you’ll need to analyze the risk of these stocks next.

  1. Assess the Risk

Dividend stocks come with fewer risks than other, more volatile stock choices. However, it’s still important to evaluate any risk to dividends being affected by the long-term movements of the stock market. For instance, “beta risk” refers to a stock’s sensitivity to swings in the market’s direction, which can adversely affect your dividends. So it’s important to assess these kinds of risks of the dividend stocks prior to investing.

  1. Purchase the Stock

Once you’ve assessed the risk and have a deeper understanding of the stocks you want, you can go ahead and make your purchases through any online brokerage account or full-service stockbroker. Once you make your purchase, though, you’ll need to monitor the stock’s performance and track your earnings.

  1. Track Your Performance

Keep tracking dividends regularly so you can keep an eye on the market’s and stock’s performance. Staying on top of the health of your investment portfolio will help you know when you might need to back out of stocks you’re holding or even if there are additional investment moves you can make.

Dividend stocks offer a great way to diversify the investments you’ve made. You can also use market tools and resources to help you make future decisions on your dividends strategies so you’ll have even more success when you start trading in the stock market.

An Analysis of Bitcoin: How Bright is the Future for Bitcoins?

Cryptocurrency is a technology that was developed more than a decade ago. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency amongst all cryptocurrencies. The destructive system of the technology associated with Bitcoin has changed the unchanged financial system all over the world.

As per many experts, research, and surveys, cryptocurrencies like bitcoins are going to revolutionize the digital trade market. You can know more about bitcoin trading from websites like bitcoinrush. The best part about cryptocurrencies like bitcoins is that they are expected to create a free-flowing system of financial trade without any extra charges and fees.

One of the biggest advantages of bitcoins is that it can freely move across the borders, it can help in the promotion of global trade, mutual prosperity amongst nations and also the creation of a peaceful environment around the world.

Strengths of bitcoins

Bitcoins get its strengths from the way it has been designed by using the most innovative technology and the use of blockchain technology. One of the biggest strengths of bitcoins is that it will be mined with diminishing returns every four years and until the day maximum bitcoins are reached. Thus, this feature of bitcoin separates it from traditional currencies and assets.

Only 21 million bitcoins will be mined. Since a limited number of bitcoins will be mined, it will never become inflated due to a large value and large supply. Thus, bitcoin always remains free from inflation originating due to political changes or any other reasons. Since bitcoin is not affected due to inflation, it becomes a safe haven for investors to invest in bitcoins.

With the growing popularity of bitcoins, it is showing its strengths against the high inflating national currencies. The only factor that can change the value of bitcoin is demand and supply.

Another major strength of bitcoin lies in the safety and security feature. Since bitcoin is not a physical asset, it is kept safely in a bitcoin wallet, and thus, it is free from all kinds of theft.

All these strengths of bitcoin are making it one of the most preferred digital currencies all over the world.

Weaknesses

Bitcoin has few weaknesses when it comes to its design. Bitcoin works on a technology known as the blockchain technology. Blockchain technology means that every user works on the same technology, and they can see every transaction of bitcoin. The technology behind the bitcoin is semi-anonymous as the owner of the bitcoin can’t be identified outrightly. Thus, it can be slightly nerve-wracking for some bitcoin investors.

Another major weakness of bitcoin is that it has faced some serious hacking and spamming issues in the past. Thus, new investors often feel sceptical when they want to invest their time and money in bitcoin trading.

Bitcoin has also faced some security-related issues, and it has been said that bitcoins have a reputation of questionable security. Thus, the security flaw of bitcoins is one of the biggest weaknesses associated with bitcoins.

The ability of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin that can be traded like commodities can also be a big weakness. This is because commodity markets mostly undergo fluctuations. In addition to this, price volatility also generates risk also prevents merchants and investors from holding cryptocurrencies.

Opportunities

Cryptocurrencies offer a pretty unique position that will transform the technology of a long-standing financial system. Bitcoin has the capability to disrupt and totally renew the current financial system. The best part about cryptocurrencies like bitcoins is that it will help in remediation of problems related to the unbanked population.

Many international businesses realize the potential of bitcoins and the technology behind bitcoins.

As the world is becoming a global village, the discovery of bitcoins can be seen as one of the biggest inventions. The use of bitcoin doesn’t need any border permission and currency exchange fee. Thus, users can make payment in Bitcoin to any part of the world without paying any extra charges.

The use of bitcoin is also said to influence the way people look at the traditional financial system.

Bitcoin is able to have a special place in the niche market. With the governments all around the world promoting the use of bitcoins, the future of bitcoins seems to be bright.

Things That Stop People From Buying Bitcoins

Although the entire world is moving towards Bitcoins, there are a few people who get a word that just by the name of cryptocurrency or digital currency. There are a lot of reasons to support their belief and majority of the times it is because of the myths that revolve around the cryptocurrency or the Bitcoins which are debunked in this article.

Once you have read through all the points that we have written this article, we are certain that you will also start investing in Bitcoin trading and start making more profits to have a secure future.

  1. Cryptocurrency is not taxed

This is one of the major things that a lot of people fail to understand about the digital currency of Bitcoin Technology. As there is no government body or financial institution that controls the cryptocurrency or the blockchain technology, there are certain countries where the tax amount has to be paid over the transaction on the limit specified.

This is one of the main reasons as to why people avoid investing in cryptocurrency with some platforms, but you must know that the Tax amount that you pay on the Bitcoin is way too less than the conventional currency that you require. Click the image given below for starting trading in bitcoins

  1. They do not hold any real money value

Cryptocurrency also holds material asset or value to them. Digital currencies are nothing but conventional currencies in the form of Bitcoins or cryptocurrency. You have to make an investment even before you purchase the Bitcoins, and that amount would be converted into the digital currencies. You need to understand that there is real money value to the Bitcoins that you purchase as well and that should not hold you back from purchasing it.

  1. Used for illegal purchase

Some people are under the notion that Bitcoins are always used to purchase goods that are totally illegal, and that is totally false. Every transaction that you make using Bitcoin will be recorded on the blockchain ledger, and it is available to the public through the blockchain technology. This is probably one of the safest ways of transactions that can be carried out on the online front!

  1. Criminal and illicit purposes

Majority of the people also feel that Bitcoins are used when it comes to dealing with crimes and any other illicit things like abduction, extortions, kidnapping, human trafficking, and drug trafficking. Although there are some cases related to cryptocurrency being used in a crime, it does not mean that the entire technology is made for crime analysis purposes, isn’t it? There are several traders that have made a fortune through these Bitcoins, and they are certainly in a legal manner.

Cryptocurrency is easy to hack

One must understand that cryptocurrency cannot be hacked unless and until the user gives a password which is completely weak or shares the wallet details with someone else. Like any other trading systems, cryptocurrency is also vulnerable to hacking, but, they cannot be hacked as easily as the other forms of trading.

  1. Only one huge blockchain

This is yet another thing that stops people from investing in Bitcoins. Most of the people are acquainted with banks and as there are several banks to handle the accounts. Likewise, there are many blockchains which are private and public. Each and every blockchain supports another cryptocurrency, and that is how the entire concept of blockchain technology is made.

  1. It is a cloud-like database

If you take a look at the cloud base technology, you can store anything that you want to; starting from the documents till the files to the entire document everything can be stored using the cloud storage.

The same is not applicable when it comes to the blockchain technology because it is totally a different system and it works on a ledger like a method where only the transactions carried out using the Bitcoins by the traders are recorded. In the blockchain technology files cannot be saved, and the transactions are totally safe and completely transparent.

These are the main reasons as to why a lot of people avoid investing in Bitcoins. Instead of being ignorant about the digital currency, it is always good to understand the concept in-depth and make use of it for your advantage.

Time to Invest! 9 of the Very Best Gold Coins to Buy

If you’re looking to start investing in something, gold is a great choice. Gold coins can be valuable, especially when kept over time. They’re also great keepsakes to have around.

There are a lot of gold coins to choose from though, so how can you decide which is the best for you?

Here are nine of the best gold coins to buy this year.

The Best Gold Coins To Buy

When buying gold, you have plenty of purchasing options. You can’t really go wrong with any of these gold coins.

  1. One Oz Gold American Eagle

This is somewhat of an iconic coin, and you might recognize some of its imagery. On one size, Lady Liberty beckons. On the other, an American bald eagle swoops down to its nest. It follows gold indexes and it’s very easy to sell if that’s what you intend to do.

  1. British Gold Britannia

This British coin has a face value of £100. The makeup of the coins varies based on year, either 24k gold, or gold alloyed with silver and copper. Modern coins (minted after 2014) are printed with an added security measure: horses galloping across the edge.

  1. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

This coin is emblematic of Canada, with the iconic leaf on the face. If you’re not ready to invest heavily, this coin is available in fractional sizes. It also has added security measures against fraud and fakes.

  1. American Gold Buffalo

Another American classic, this is not dissimilar to the Canadian Maple leaf in its quality or purity. They are 24k gold, and have rustic and irregular edges, making them a super unique find and some of the best gold coins to buy.

  1. Austrian Gold Philharmonic

These are the largest of the one oz gold coins. They can be easily purchased, so might be a good choice for first-time investors looking to break into gold. Their value may not be as high as some others, but they track with gold prices.

  1. Australian Gold Kangaroo

This is one of the more “fun” looking coins. These are very collectible and generally quite liquid. The artwork on them varies, making them a hot item for coin collectors.

  1. Chinese Gold Panda

The image on this coin changes yearly, making it another good collector’s item. It’s 30 grams, and only a certain amount are made yearly. This can be a great coin for investors and collectors alike.

  1. Somalia Gold Elephant

This 1oz coin also changes yearly, though on the rear-facing side. It’s available in fractional sizes, making it yet another great choice for investors just getting started. Finding the right buyer looking for the perfect year’s coin can be very profitable.

  1. Mexican Gold Libertad

This coin is made in one of the oldest North American mints, and it resembles the Mexican peso. It has a limited mintage and a beautiful design on the front.

Is A Gold Investment In Your Future?

Gold might be the best hedge against a stock market crash, so now might be the time to invest. It’s a great asset to have, and the coins themselves make wonderful heirlooms and keepsakes.

Investing in gold is an investment in your future, and these are some of the best gold coins to buy.

For more information and articles on investing, check out the rest of our blog. If you’re not investing yet, you should be.

How to Successfully Start Investing in Your 20s

If you think investing in your 20s is too young—think again.

The longer you invest, the more money you’ll be able to earn through compound interest.

There are multiple reasons to invest young, but if you don’t know how to get started, you’ll get stuck in analysis paralysis. We’re here to help you create a plan to get started successfully.

Continue reading as we show you the best ways to invest money in your 20s!

Budget to Spend Less Than You Make

Before you can start investing, you have to learn how to spend less than you make, so you have money left over.

Many people don’t even have a budget—they just look at their bank account to see if there is money or not.

Create a budget that gives you a certain percentage of money to invest each month. Having money to invest each month consistently will give you the best results. Even if you don’t invest a lot of money, it will add up over the years.

Create an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is essential to avoid falling behind on bills, being stuck without transportation, and other problems.

Even having an emergency fund that is $1,000 is better than not having anything to fall back on.

If you have credit cards, it can be tempting to use them as an emergency fund, but that is almost certain to end in disaster.

Put Money Into a Retirement Account

While retirement might seem like a long time away, it’s important to start saving for your retirement now.

That way, you’ll be able to enjoy more compound interest—plus, you can enjoy tax deferment until you start withdrawing from your retirement account.

Look Into Real Estate Investment Trusts

What’s the most popular investment for millennials?

The answer could be REITs, or real estate investment trusts, since they are an easy way to break into real estate investments without breaking the bank or having to build up your credit.

Real estate is a great growth investment, but sometimes it is difficult to get started when you’re young. REITs could be the answer you’re looking for as you work to add real estate to your list of investments.

REITs make it possible for you to hold a portfolio of commercial properties with minimal risk since the real estate is usually different types of real estate in different geographic locations.

Become a Pro at Investing in Your 20s

Now that you know more about the best investments when investing in your 20s, you can start to build your wealth.

Building wealth at a young age will help you secure your financial freedom and retirement.

Do you feel like you need more help? Our site is full of articles that can help you with your finances and more.

Browse our site, find your favorite finance-related articles, drop a bookmark, and come back soon for more great articles.

Factors to Consider Before Investing Your Money

Earning money is not an easy task it requires a lot of effort, patience, and hard work. You sacrifice your sleep, comfort and work day and night to earn money to reach your desired lifestyle.

To increase our wealth, we invest in different kinds of businesses, such as through buying a property or in a wholesale business. But investing money in a business is not as easy as it may seem; several risks need to be considered. Sometimes, all your money can go in vain. So, before investing your money anywhere, you need to keep a few things in your mind and work accordingly. You should never invest your savings and income all at once because your business can be severely damaged due to a single mistake. Another important key feature for investment is its timing; never invest your money in a business when its position in the market is low or its shares are of low value. See the market value first and then go for the investment as this is the best strategy to invest your money.

You can also go for the ETF as this is an investment fund that provides many benefits to the investors. If you are planning to invest your money in any business, but are a little bit confused regarding the risks and benefits, then give this article a read as we are going to share all the key factors for you to ponder upon.

BEFORE YOU INVEST

Several important factors need to be considered before investing, such as the objective, range and the right time and last but not the least, the risks involved. Once you get these points figured, then it would be much easier for you to invest your income in any company or business.

THE PURPOSE OF INVESTMENT

Before investing your money in any company or business, you must know the purpose behind the investment. If you have a lot of money and you want to add more to your bank, then you can take somewhat of a risk and invest a substantial amount. But if you are about to take a break and you need a source of income, then you should be very careful while investing your life savings. If you can afford a mild risk, then go and buy shares of some respectable companies to ensure a better investment. In short, the amount you are going to invest depends on your objective of the investment.

THE AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT

This cannot be ignored or taken for granted because what matters in any investment is the amount you are going to invest as your profit or loss also depends on it. Again, we need to have the patience to decide to invest the right money, based on the expected profit. This is a safer and more reliable way to invest your money gradually and cautiously instead of investing it all at once.

TIMING OF THE INVESTMENT

The correct timing has its importance whether you are investing in any business or about to start your own, or launching any product. Your efforts and hard work can go in vain if you do not consider the timing, Whenever you are investing, make sure to check the stock market and the prices of the respective company’s shares. If their numbers are on the rise, then go for the investments without any delay, but if they are not, then do not invest your money. Wait for the correct time and then invest your income.

ASSOCIATED RISKS

Either you own a business or investing in another person’s business, you need to be mentally prepared for all kinds of risks and potential financial crises. In the market, loss, and profit go together. According to experts, the higher the risk the greater the chances are of profit and returns. If you are a person who can take a big step and risk a few things, then go and invest your money for a higher return. But if you cannot afford the risk, then it is better to invest a small amount and then proceed further because you will not be able to cope up with the drastic ups and downs in the stock market. Always calculate your risk threshold before investing your money.

ANALYZE THE SPECIFIC BUSINESS

Not many people manage to go in one straight direction when they first invest their money and seldom engage their wealth in other businesses. But other people do not follow the same old path and are brave enough to take the risk and invest their money in certain businesses to gain a substantial profit. But this can only be possible if you properly analyze the market and the business in which you want to invest, the one that can give you maximum profit in minimum time.

CONCLUSION

People all around the world go beyond the limits to make their life better and financially stable; some go for jobs while others start their business. But few people prefer to invest their money in new business as it carries its risks. Even if the business is large, it cannot completely guarantee that it will always give you a high profit. This is due to potential financial losses, which are sometimes hard to recover from. So, always invest your money at the right time with minimum risk. Also, calculate your risk to benefit ratio along with the amount of money you are going to invest to avoid any major collapse or loss. Once you have these things figured out, it is then time to invest in the right opportunity and reap the benefits. As you progress, keep the possible risks in your mind and never let them go out of your sight so that you can keep your growth maintained. Knowing the pulse of the market and take the right measures whenever required is bound to always give positive and promising results. So, remember to invest with intelligence!

How Facebook’s Libra could affect the Cryptocurrency market

Over the last ten or so years, cryptocurrencies have become an alternative to traditional modes of money, its success has been very profitable for early investors and since, cryptocurrencies have come and gone. Now Facebook is taking its own turn with Libra. A new cryptocurrency that will allow users to send money and make purchases with almost zero fees. The currency is still in progress but almost ready for consumers and will officially launch in 2020. But what does Libra do and what effect will it have on the cryptocurrency market? Read on to find out. 

Want to know more about cryptocurrency? Head to Crypto Head to learn more about cryptocurrencies. 

What is Libra?  

Libra is a new cryptocurrency that will be launched by Facebook and fellow investors. With Libra, users will be able to make anonymous purchases and to send money to other users with next to no fees and buy or cash out their Libra balances online or at exchange points such as grocery stores/supermarkets. Users will also be able to spend their Libra on interconnected third party wallet apps, such as Facebook’s Calibra wallet which will be installed into the Facebook app, Messenger and WhatsApp. 

Since Facebook is not the only investor of Libra, they will not have full control of the currency, instead, they will gain the power to vote on its governance along with the other libra Association founding members: Visa, Uber, and Andreessen Horowitz. The job of the association is to promote the newly open-sourced Libra Blockchain and developer platform. They are also tasked with encouraging businesses to accept Libra as a payment method and reward customers with discounts. This has also come with the launch of Calibra, a wallet company that will handle the protection of user privacy, meaning that your Libra information will be kept separate to your Facebook data. In order to stabilise the value of Libra, Facebook/Calibra and remaining members of the Libra Association will earn interest on the money users cash in, which will be kept in a reserve. 

If you’re interested in signing up for Libra, you can get in with the early access scheme, however, you will not be able to make or receives payments until the launch in 2020. 

How does it work? 

Simply cash in, cash out or send money to other users. The benefits are that you can cash out whenever you need to, you won’t be charged huge transaction fees, and what’s more, you have complete anonymity of your purchases and transactions. 

Just like any other Blockchain currency, you have a wallet, which is the method of making exchanges and transactions. This is the same in Libra’s case, although users will no doubt be encouraged to use Facebook’s own wallet, Calibra or Paypal. As we’ve mentioned before, Calibra will launch beside Libra and both will be available via the Facebook app, Messenger and WhatsApp via iOS and Android devices. 

Upon signing up, users will be guided through the “Know Your Customer” anti-fraud process in which, users will be asked to provide a government-issued photo ID to verify their identity. Like other money services, Libra will have to conduct due diligence on consumers and if they suspect any illicit activity, they must report it as such to the authorities. Once you’re all set-up and ready to go, you can deposit money into Libra, pick a friend or merchant then set the amount you wish to send to them, add an optional description and send them Libra. Like PayPal, you can also request amounts. Eventually, users will be able to make in-store payments with POS systems like iZettle. 

What does it mean for Cryptocurrency? 

The release of Libra could impact cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum which have to be mined, they could potentially become seconded as favourites. However, the ease of Libra means that for those who have wanted to get into cryptocurrency but have previously been daunted by the concept, the buzz words and the process can buy into a simpler and commercialised version. The fact that it is realised by Facebook and is supported by PayPal makes the deal all the more sweeter because they are two brand names people are already using and trust. With that said, Libra may encourage users to learn more about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and perhaps join the market. 

There is no sure way to tell how Libra will affect the current crypto market, but it will be an exciting development to watch unfold. 

The History of Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency eliminating the need for financial institutions due to a decentralized authority. The currency offer anonymity, high security and low transaction fees. Bitcoin is not a physical commodity. A public ledger called blockchain is used to store balances on the cloud. A tremendous amount of computing power is necessary for the confirmation of balances and transactions. Bitcoin represents the beginning of hundreds of subsequent cryptocurrency launches. These are referred to as altcoins.

We have watched the turbulence of bitcoin escalate. In 2017, one bitcoin was valued at $20,000. By 2019, the trading value decreased by half. Bitcoin tokens are stored in a cryptocurrency wallet using a private key. This is a lengthy string of letters and numbers. The public key is similar to a bank account number. This secret code is used for the authorization of cryptocurrency transmissions. This address is used to send bitcoin. Bitcoin is often abbreviated as BTC.

Bitcoin Mining

A miner is a company or individual responsible for the computing power necessary to make bitcoin. They receive rewards for their participation. Transaction fees and rewards are both paid using bitcoin. A miner is like an enforcer for the decentralized authority to ensure the network remains credible. Since its inception, approximately 21 million bitcoins have been mined. There is approximately three million bitcoin waiting to be mined. To maintain the stability of the pricing, the release rate matches the growth.

An algorithm is used to determine the release rate for bitcoin mining. Mining enables this release. Miners must have the ability to solve difficult puzzles to be able to discover a new bitcoin block. Upon discovery, new blocks are added to the decentralized ledger or blockchain. Transaction records for the entire network are verified through mining. The mining reward is cut by fifty percent after the discovery of every 210,000 blocks. In 2009, the miner received 50 bitcoins. By 2009, this had decreased to 12.5.

The amount of computing power required is referred to as the difficulty. In 2009, the mining difficulty was 1.0. By October of 2019, this had increased to more than 12 trillion. The standard desktop computer was originally sufficient. Mining now requires complicated and expensive hardware and advanced processing units. These are referred to as mining rigs. The smallest bitcoin unit is a Satoshi. This is 100 millionths of a single bitcoin.

Bitcoin Historical Prices

Bitcoin took off in 2013. The value was approximately $13.50 per bitcoin when 2013 began. In April, the price reached $220 prior to decreasing to $70 later in the month. The value at the beginning of October was $100. By the end, the value increased to $195. The price fluctuated wildly in November, from $200 to more than $1,120. This resulted from the entrance of China miners into the bitcoin exchange. This was when the bitcoin historical prices volatility really began. On December 4th of 2013, the value was $1,230. By December 7th, this decreased to $750.

Bitcoin stabilized in January 2014 at roughly $920. In February, another substantial crash occurred. By February 16th, the price crashed to $260. The price recovered to approximately $620 in March. This was the beginning of a gradual drop in value. Between July of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, the price decreased to $315. Bitcoin spiked again in November. The value on October 23rd was $275. By November 4th, this increased to $460. By November of 2015, the value was $360. We tracked the value for 2017 because this was the first time bitcoin exceeded $1,000.

Bitcoin prices spiked during the autumn of 2017. By October, the value exceeded $5,000. This doubled to $10,000 in November. By December the world saw bitcoin value reach $20,000. This was referred to by critics and commentators as the price bubble. The resulting crash took place in April of 2018. The value fell to less than $7,000. By November, bitcoin was at a low of $3,500. The price made a comeback in 2019 with an overall value of $10,000. This remains the average current price today.

The price is linked to the mining network. The difficulty is greater for larger networks with a higher cost. The pricing has increased the production cost. The aggregate processing power of the mining network is referred to as the hash rate. This is how many times each second attempts can be made to complete a puzzle. Once complete, the new block is added to the blockchain. The ultimate high was reached on October 23rd of 2019 at 114 quintillion hashes for each second.

The Origin of Bitcoin

The creation of bitcoin technically began in August of 2008. This was when the bitcoin.org domain name was registered. The first cryptocurrency mailing list was sent two months later. This was the first time we heard the name Satoshi Nakamoto linked to bitcoin. We saw the future start to change due to 30,000 lines of code on January 3rd of 2009. Bitcoin had officially arrived. Bitcoin is a lottery-based system run by an autonomous software program. The first bitcoin miner we heard about was Hal Finney. He heard about bitcoin from the cryptocurrency mailing list and became fascinated.

Satoshi Nakamoto sent Hal Finney ten bitcoins as a test from block 70. When Finney passed away from ALS in 2014, the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto was still a mystery. His family inherited his bitcoin in an offline wallet. The current value of a single bitcoin is over $10,000. We watched history being made when the first physical cryptocurrency purchase occurred. The bitcoin paid for a pizza at this time is now worth $100 million. What we found interesting is bitcoin was legitimized due to illegal trade.

The anonymity of cryptocurrency was used for drug trafficking, which proved bitcoin was an effective type of commerce. Bitcoin is a self-governed form of digital cash. In 2012, $10 million in bitcoin was purchased by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. According to bitcoin Reddit, the twins now own approximately one percent of all bitcoin. On April 23rd of 2011, Mike Hearn received an email from Satoshi Nakamoto stating he was no longer interested in the bitcoin project. Although the true creator was believed to be Dorian Nakamoto, this was disputed by Satoshi Nakamoto in an online forum.

The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is still a mystery although Nick Szabo, Dorian Nakamoto, Craigh Wright and others were all believed to be the creator. We believe the only way for the true creator to make themselves known is to release the PGP key (encryption program) associated with the name Satoshi Nakamoto. For now, this is one mystery that has not been solved.

The Rise and Destruction of Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox was launched in 2006. In 2010, the site started receiving attention. This was when the programmer decided an online exchange was required to buy bitcoin and sell the cryptocurrency. In 2011, the site was purchased by Mark Karpeles. This was the start of negligence, security breaches and operating deficiencies. Bitcoin prices decreased for purchases made on-site in June of 2011 due to a security breach. In excess of 2,500 bitcoins were permanently lost in October because the email addresses they were sent to were invalid.

Trade was suspended by Mt. Gox in April of 2013 due to the quickly increasing prices. During this time, the value of bitcoin decreased to under $55. In May of 2013, Coinlab sued Mt. Gox for breach of contract. Withdrawals in United States dollars were suspended by Mt. Gox in June. Although the suspension was lifted in July, months or weeks were necessary for the clearance of withdrawals for many users. By the end of the month, bankruptcy was filed by Mt. Gox. The company said its account holders lost over &50,000 bitcoins in addition to the 100,000 lost by Mt. Gox.

During this period, the bitcoin value decreased by 36 percent. During the peak of the company, Mt. Gox was responsible for 70 percent of all bitcoin traded across the globe. Mt. Gox lost seven percent of all bitcoin being circulated during this time.

The Many Uses of Bitcoin

Self-employed individuals can receive their pay in bitcoin. This is possible through numerous job boards and websites. This includes, full-time, part-time and freelance work. Certain casinos are now accepting bitcoin for numerous games including spread betting, jackpots and online lotteries. Bitcoin has become a viable alternative for traditional commodities such as silver or gold and fiat currency. The IRS made a statement in March of 2014. All virtual currency would be taxed as property as opposed to currency. Using bitcoin to purchase or sell services or goods became taxable transactions.

Businesses can accept bitcoin as payment using touch screen apps, QR codes, wallet addresses and hardware terminals. Online businesses simply add bitcoin to their acceptable forms of payment. This requires an external processor and bitcoin merchant tool. To buy bitcoin, the individual either earns bitcoin or visits a bitcoin exchange.

The Risks of Investing in Bitcoin

Once bitcoin began increasing in price in 2011 and 2013, numerous individuals purchased the currency as an investment as opposed to an exchange medium. Due to the digital nature and no guarantee regarding value, this presented a risk. Agencies including the SEC, FINRA and CFPB have issued warnings regarding bitcoin. Virtual currency is still relatively new, without the long history or credibility of traditional investments. Many experts classify bitcoin as an investment with both the highest potential for return and the biggest risk.

Bitcoin is an alternative to government currency, has been used legitimately and for tax evasion and illegal activities. This has resulted in bans, restrictions and regulations placed on bitcoin by many governments. The rules regarding bitcoin are dependent on each country. At this time, there are no uniform regulations. Most people using or in possession of bitcoin received their tokens through mining. Bitcoin exchanges are the markets used for purchasing and selling the digital currency. A bitcoin exchange is completely digital.

This means the exchanges are at risk for operational glitches, malware and hackers. Private encryption keys must be guarded to eliminate the possibility of being stolen. This would enable the thief to transfer the bitcoin into a different account. The best way to protect a private encryption key is by storing it on a computer unable to access the internet or printing out the private keys for storage in a safe or highly secure location. Bitcoin exchanges can also be the target of hackers. Successful hackers can steal thousands of digital wallets and accounts.

This is a major issue considering transactions using bitcoin are irreversible and permanent. The only way to reverse a transaction is if the individual receiving the bitcoin authorizes a refund. As opposed to credit and debit cards, bitcoin does not use a payment processor or third party. If an issue occurs, there is no appeal or protection available. Government and federal programs are used to insure a wide range of investments. There are no programs currently in place to insure bitcoin exchanges. There are steps being taken by some of the trading platforms to enable insurance for cash transactions.

Bitcoin transactions are registered and owners verified through the use of private keys. This has not prevented scammers from trying to sell fake bitcoins. Legal action has already occurred regarding a Ponzi scheme related to bitcoin. Bitcoin fraud has been documented for cases of price manipulation. Part of the issue is price fluctuations. In 2014 alone, the price of bitcoin crashed by 80 percent. Bitcoin may lose value if the rate of acceptance decreases too much. Hundreds of new digital currencies are competing against bitcoin. Bitcoin also presents a tax risk because investments are unable to legally be hidden from taxation.

Bitcoin Forks

When there is a disagreement between bitcoin developers and miners, a split can result in the bitcoin community. When the miners and users change the network protocols, it is referred to as a bitcoin fork. In some instances, this led to the creation of a new token such as the Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Gold created during 2017. This is referred to as a hard fork. A soft fork is when the protocol changes remain compatible with the previously established rules of the system. Block size has been increased due to a soft fork.

The Pros and Cons of Bitcoin

The most popular and widely used cryptocurrency is currently bitcoin. Bitcoin is responsible for the potential of anonymous transactions. The pros of bitcoin include:

• Bitcoin offers anonymity. Users are able to send money all over the world for a minimum cost.

• Bitcoin offers more speed than fiat currencies.

• Even with the bitcoin crash, the value offers more stability than the hyperinflation resulting from the currency used in certain countries.

• Impressive skill is required to steal bitcoin due to the complex technology backing the cryptocurrency.

• Bitcoin is one of the most secure forms of digital currency currently available. Thousands of individuals are consistently working to ensure bitcoin remains safe from hackers and scammers.

The cons of bitcoin include:

• The options for anonymous transactions have expanded. This has provided cryptocurrency investors with numerous options with the potential to decrease the popularity of bitcoin.

• There are currently more than 10 altcoins available offering almost immediate transactions. The fact this has not been achieved by bitcoins may be what significantly damages the popularity.

• The complexity and algorithm of bitcoin are currently nearly impossible to hack or decipher. This may become obsolete due to new technology. To remain at the top, innovation will be necessary.

• Although bitcoin offers more stability than some of the fiat currencies, cryptocurrency is not currently able to effectively compete with fiat currency. Popularity will be lost if bitcoin does not become the preferred investment option.

• Bitcoin is secure, but not free of risks. Numerous individuals have lost money due to exchanges being hacked and bitcoin scams such as trading robots based on bitcoin. Solutions for these issues must be found.

The Most Surprising Bitcoin Facts

The Honey Badger: The unofficial mascot of bitcoin is the honey badger due to the renown toughness and resilience of the animal.

Etherium Smart Contracts: The security and design of bitcoin contracts deliberately prevent, customized and complex smart contracts. Despite this, smart contracts compatible with Etherium can be executed for bitcoin payments. This is the result of a bitcoin sidechain.

The First Bitcoin Faucet: The first bitcoin faucet was created by Gavin Andresen in June of 2010. Due to the low value of bitcoin at this time, anyone interested could receive five bitcoins free every day. The faucet contained more than 1,000 bitcoin.

The Accidental Bug: In August of 2010, 184 bitcoin were accidentally created due to a bug. Five hours were required to fix the error through a patch created to ignore the extra coins. The error was eventually eliminated from the blockchain by being forked out.

The Mystery of Satoshi Nakomoto: The disappearance of the creator occurred after the CIA was visited by Satoshi Nakamoto. The purpose of the visit was to reveal information regarding bitcoin. According to bitcoin Reddit, the disappearance of Nakomoto may have been linked to this meeting.

Bitcoin Core Developers: The main bitcoin reference client is Bitcoin Core. Despite the many cryptocurrency wallets available, this company maintains the compatibility. In excess of 366 coders have made free contributions to developing Bitcoin Core.

The Ban on WikiLeaks: The banking block on Wikileaks was circumvented in 2011 by the Obama administration. This was when key American payment services and banks imposed this ban. Bitcoin became a currency resistant to censorship due to the ability to circumvent the ban.

Bitcoin Politics: A study conducted in 2018 revealed most of the 1,200 bitcoin users lean towards the right as liberals. Despite this, the attitude of every community is different. Of the participants included, 55 percent stated they were to the political right. We believe this is because the earliest adopters of bitcoin were crypto-anarchists and libertarians. The bitcoin trends are also against big and centralized governments. The statistics for Etherium are the exact opposite, with 55 percent leaning towards the left.

The Maximum Bitcoin Number: The number of bitcoins will not reach 21 million. The expected number is 20,999,987.4769. This should occur between 2128 and 2140. The number is less than the block reward mechanism devised by Satoshi. Creating new bitcoin has also been affected by mining errors. The total number may be even less due to the potential for future errors.

The Satoshi Unit: Due to the potential value of bitcoin, one satoshi may cease to become the smallest transaction possible in the future. We expect the decimal to be altered to enable even smaller units. This does not mean any additional bitcoins will be created. The only concept affected will be the size of the transactions.

Annual Bitcoin Transactions: The transaction rate for bitcoin is now higher annually than PayPal or Discover. Approximately $1 trillion bitcoin transactions were processed during 2017. This number is expected to continue increasing. The transactions currently processed by major credit cards are in the multi-trillion dollar range.

The Satoshi Candidates: Hal Finney was one of the first cypherpunks and one of the first to mine and receive bitcoins through the network and use a bitcoin wallet. Until he passed away in 2014, he was dedicated to improving the code used for bitcoin. Due to his cryptographic and coding skills and his early involvement with bitcoin, many individuals believe he was Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wei Dai was also a cypherpunk. He was responsible for the creation of b-money, an alternative monetary system. The concept of b-money was similar to bitcoin. He is a computer engineer, has made numerous advancements in the industry and worked for Microsoft conducting cryptographic research. Due to his private lifestyle, cryptographic skills and the creation of b-money, a lot of people believe he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Nick Szabo is yet another early cypherpunk. In 1998, he created Bit Gold. This is a decentralized monetary system. His system has been classified as the precursor leading to bitcoin. He also developed the smart contracts concept, used for numerous cryptocurrencies including bitcoin. His knowledge encompasses many fields such as law, cryptography and computer science. He is also believed to be a candidate for Satoshi Nakamoto due to his development of smart contracts and the Bit Gold project.

Adam Beck is both a cypherpunk and a cryptographer believed to be Satoshi Nakomoto. He runs a software company based on bitcoin called Blockstream. He was cited in the white paper as inventing the Hashcash system. This is the basis for the Bitcoin’s Proof of Work regarding mining. His invention of HashCash and his important role in Blockstream have led to questions regarding his identity. The numerous other potential candidates include Tim May and Ian Grigg.

One of the most amazing possibilities is Satoshi Nakomoto was not an individual. Some believe this was the name of a group. This group may have included many of the potential candidates collaborating using a pseudonym for the creation of bitcoin. Analysis has been conducted regarding the writing styles of all the potential candidates in comparison to the Satoshi writings. This includes forum posts, emails and the bitcoin white paper. The similarities found were very interesting.

The Crime Rate of Bitcoin: According to the DEA, only 10 percent of all bitcoin transactions were related to illegal activities. The concept that the main purpose of bitcoin is conducting illicit transactions through the darknet is nothing more than supposition and myth. The collaboration of the ATF, FBI and DEA determined a minimum of 90 percent of all bitcoin transactions have no connection to purchasing drugs. The myth linking the darknet to bitcoin originated between 2011 and 2012.

The Ratio Between Millionaires and Bitcoins: As of 2017, only 36 multi-millionaires were in existence anywhere in the world. At this time, there were only 17 million bitcoins. This means every millionaire does not own bitcoin. Individuals in possession of one bitcoin are considered members of the 21 million club. Those who own 21 bitcoin are members of the one in a million club.

Venezuelans and Bitcoin: When private property was seized by Venezuela, the result was monetary hyperinflation, scarcity of resources and economic collapse. Some Venezuelans survived the collapse by using subsidized and cheap power to mine bitcoin. Electricity in Venezuela is cheaper than almost anywhere else on the globe. Individuals able to access mining equipment made enough to survive. Mining is frowned upon by the Venezuelan government. Despite the attempts of the government to stop mining, credible reports show bitcoin mining is being used by the government for enrichment.

Milton Friedman: Milton Friedman is the Nobel Laureate and economist who predicted bitcoin. In 1999 he made a prediction the future would offer a monetary internet system not controlled by the state.

The Four Nines Range: The uptime for bitcoin has reached the four nines range. This means since the creation of the network, it has been functional for 99.99 percent of this period. The creation of bitcoin in 2009 compares exceptionally well to traditional centralized services. These services perform well when four nines are reached within the same month. The downtime in 2013 was caused by the LevelDB bug resulting in a hard fork. To ensure efficiency throughout the network, the bitcoind client version 0.8 was upgraded.

The problem was there were compatibility issues relating to the BerkeleyDB. This led to the split among users between the old and new versions. The pool operators and developers started notifying major miners which version they wanted them to run. More blocks were than accumulated by the miners using the old version. The split was resolved in approximately six hours.

Energy Usage for Mining: The amount of energy required for mining bitcoin is the equivalent of a mid-sized country. Mining requires approximately 73 TWh (Terawatt-hours). This is greater than the consumption of the 18 million people in Chili. The only way to ensure mining is economical is to use extremely cheap power. This is generally geothermal, hydro or renewable power. The scaling of bitcoin is accomplished through the use of different layers. Despite the potential energy costs, bitcoin may become a more efficient way to use the resources of the future than the standard monetary system.

The Silk Road Investigation: The FBI Agents conducting the investigation into the darknet were criminals. The darknet drug market enabling people to obtain bitcoin by trading narcotics became famous. Two formers agents of the Secret Service were supposed to shut Silk Road down. Although the site was dismantled in October of 2013, both of the agents were sent to prison due to their misconduct regarding the investigation. The charges included obstruction of justice, money laundering and extortion.

The 70 Bitcoin Forks: A minimum of 70 altcoins have resulted from the launch of bitcoin. The most commonly known include BTG (Bitcoin Gold) and BCH (Bitcoin Cash). This trend has died down due to the diminishing returns for new forks. Forkgen was even established as a fork coin generator for bitcoin. This enabled an automated creation of a bitcoin fork. The fee for the generation of a new fork is 0.017.

The Second Bitcoin Pizza: In February of 2018, Laszlo purchased a second pizza using bitcoin through the LN (Lightning Network). Due to the newness of this technology, all of the edges had not yet been smoothed out. Using this network with bitcoin was considered reckless. This does not change the fact that Laslo made bitcoin history twice.

The Average Bitcoiner: According to survey statistics from 2013 until 2015, the average Bitcoiner is American or European between the ages of 25 and 34. Despite the time these statistics were taken, they appear to remain consistent. These are the same types of individuals most often encountered at bitcoin events all over the world or on bitcoin social media.

The Core Developer: Mike Hearn is the former developer of Bitcoin Core. In 2016, he stated bitcoin was nothing more than a failed experiment. He strongly disagreed with the other developers regarding the scaling path proposed for bitcoin. He wrote a long pessimistic article in January of 2014. His decision to quit was called a whiny ragequit by the creator of BitTorrent.

The First Bitcoin Transaction: The first transaction took place in 2010 when two pizzas from Papa Johns were purchased by Laszlo Hanyecz for 100,000 bitcoins. The value of the bitcoins at this time was roughly $25. The transaction took place in America through a transatlantic payment from the British user prior to the delivery of the pizzas. On May 22nd of every year, this transaction is commemorated by Bitcoiners across the globe.

The Sync Time of the Blockchain: The original sync time of the blockchain has been improved due to optimizations and consistent growth. The IBD (initial blockchain download) is the time required for a new cryptocurrency wallet to be downloaded and complete the entire blockchain process. Due to new software versions, the IBD for Bitcoin Core has substantially increased in speed. This is amazing due to the growth of the blockchain of hundreds of megabytes every single day. The increase in speed resulted due to the years of optimizations made by the developers.

Satellites and the Bitcoin Blockchain: Satellites are used to beam the bitcoin blockchain all over the world. The most feared bitcoin attacks are shutting down the internet or taking action negatively impacting the bitcoin data transmission. The Blockstream Satellite project has neutralized the possibility of an attack by directly beaming down the blockchain data. There are four regions covered by the satellites. These are Europe, Africa, South America and North America. Once Phase 2 is completed, the entire planet will be covered. The satellite dish enables the transmission to be received. The transactions are broadcast using other methods to the network.

The Growing Acceptance of Bitcoin

The acceptance of bitcoin as an alternate currency is growing despite the link to illegal activities and issues experienced in the past. The rise of bitcoin all over the world is unparalleled to anything occurring in the history of the planet. Bitcoin is not issued by any country. There is also no intrinsic or tangible value. Despite this, the price of bitcoin continues to increase. Merchants and individuals across the globe are using bitcoin as a medium of exchange.

Bitcoin is currently being accepted for an extremely wide range of services and goods. This includes guns, real estate and gold from some of the biggest corporations in the world. Some of the experts believe bitcoin is once again approaching a cryptocurrency bubble. Very few of the venture capitalists, investors and cryptography experts ever believed bitcoin would reach the height of acceptability and success currently being seen. We plan on sitting back and watching what happens next.

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