Bitcoin has lead the crypto world for so long, and so dominantly that the terms crypto and Bitcoin are often used interchangeably. However, the truth is, the digital currency does not only comprise of Bitcoin. There are numerous other crypto currencies that are part of the crypto world. The purpose of this post is to educate our readers on cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin to provide them with a wide range of options to choose from – if they intend on making crypto-investments.So let’s get started with the first name on our list, that is:Litecoin:Launched in 2011, Litecoin is often referred to as ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold.’ Charlie Lee – MIT graduate and former engineer at Google – is the founder of Litecoin.Similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin is a decentralized, open source payment network which functions without a central authority.Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in many ways and often leads people to think: “Why not go with Bitcoin? Both are similar!”. Here’s a catch: the block generation of Litecoin is much faster than that of Bitcoin! and this is the main reason why merchants around the world are becoming more open to accepting Litecoin.Ethereum:Another open source, decentralized software platform. The currency was launched in 2015 and enables Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications to be built and run without any downtime.The applications on Ethereum platform require a specific cryptographic token – Ether. According to the core developers of Ethereum, the token can be used to trade, secure, and decentralize just about anything.Ethereum experienced an attack in 2016 which saw the currency split into two parts: Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.In the race of leading cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is second most popular and is right behind Bitcoin.Zcash:Zcash came out in the later part of 2016. The currency defines itself as: “if Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https”.Zcash promises to provide transparency, security, and privacy of transactions. The currency also offers the option of ‘shielded’ transaction so the users can transfer data in the form of encrypted code.Dash:Dash is originally a secretive version of Bitcoin. It is also known as ‘Darkcoin’ due to its secretive nature.Dash is popular for offering an expanded anonymity which allows its users to make transactions impossible to trace.The currency first appeared on the canvas of digital market in the year 2014. Since then, it has experienced a large fan following over a very short span of time.Ripple:With a market capitalization of over $1bn, Ripple is the last name on our list. The currency was launched in 2012 and offers instant, secure, and low-cost payments.The consensus ledger of Ripple doesn’t require mining, a feature which makes it different from Bitcoin and other mainstream crypto currencies.The lack of mining reduces the computing power which ultimately minimizes the latency and makes transactions faster.Wrap Up:Although Bitcoin continues to lead the pack of crypto, the rivals are picking up the pace. Currencies like Ethereum and Ripple have surpassed Bitcoin in enterprise solutions and are growing in popularity each day. Going by the trend, the other cryptos are here to stay and will soon be giving Bitcoin a real tough time to maintain its stature.
Whether it’s the idea of cryptocurrencies itself or diversification of their portfolio, people from all walks of life are investing in digital currencies. If you’re new to the concept and wondering what’s going on, here are some basic concepts and considerations for investment in cryptocurrencies.What cryptocurrencies are available and how do I buy them?With a market cap of about $278 billion, Bitcoin is the most established cryptocurrency. Ethereum is second with a market cap of over $74 billion. Besides these two currencies, there are a number of other options as well, including Ripple ($28B), Litecoin ($17B) and MIOTA ($13B).Being first to market, there are a lot of exchanges for Bitcoin trade all over the world. BitStamp and Coinbase are two well-known US-based exchanges. Bitcoin.de is an established European exchange. If you are interested in trading other digital currencies along with Bitcoin, then a crypto marketplace is where you will find all the digital currencies in one place. Here is a list of exchanges according to their 24-hour trade volume.What options do I have to store my money?Another important consideration is storage of the coins. One option, of course, is to store it on the exchange where you buy them. However, you will have to be careful in selecting the exchange. The popularity of digital currencies has resulted in many new, unknown exchanges popping up everywhere. Take the time to do your due diligence so you can avoid the scammers.Another option you have with cryptocurrencies is that you can store them yourself. One of the safest options for storing your investment is hardware wallets. Companies like Ledger allow you store Bitcoins and several other digital currencies as well.What’s the market like and how can I learn more about it?The cryptocurrency market fluctuates a lot. The volatile nature of the market makes it more suited for a long-term play.There are many established news sites that report on digital currencies, including Coindesk, Business Insider, Coin Telegraph, and Cryptocoin News. Besides these sites, there are also many Twitter accounts that tweet about digital currencies, including @BitcoinRTs and @AltCoinCalendar.Digital currencies aim to disrupt the traditional currency and commodity market. While these currencies still have a long way to go, the success of Bitcoins and Ethereum have proven that there is genuine interest in the concept. Understanding the basics of cryptocurrency investment will help you go in the right direction.
Over the past year, the cryptocurrency market took a series of heavy punches from the Chinese government. The market took the hits like a warrior, but the combos have taken its toll in many cryptocurrency investors. The market lackluster performance in 2018 pales in comparison to its stellar thousand-percent gains in 2017.What has happened?Since 2013, the Chinese government have taken measures to regulate cryptocurrency, but nothing compared to what was enforced in 2017. (Check out this article for a detailed analysis of the official notice issued by the Chinese government)2017 was a banner year for the cryptocurrency market with all the attention and growth it has achieved. The extreme price volatility forced the Central bank to adopt more extreme measures, including the ban of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and clampdowns on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. Soon after, mining factories in China were forced to close down, citing excessive electricity consumption. Many exchanges and factories have relocated overseas to avoid regulations but remained accessible to Chinese investors. Nonetheless, they still fail to escape the claws of the Chinese Dragon.In the latest series of government-led efforts to monitor and ban cryptocurrency trading among Chinese investors, China extended its “Eagle Eye” to monitor foreign cryptocurrency exchanges. Companies and bank accounts suspected of carrying out transactions with foreign crypto-exchanges and related activities are subjected to measures from limiting withdrawal limits to freezing of accounts. There have even been ongoing rumors among the Chinese community of more extreme measures to be enforced on foreign platforms that allow trading among Chinese investors.”As for whether there will be further regulatory measures, we will have to wait for orders from the higher authorities.” Excerpts from an interview with team leader of the China’s Public Information Network Security Supervision agency under the Ministry of Public Security, 28th FebruaryWHY WHY WHY!?Imagine your child investing his or her savings to invest in a digital product (in this case, cryptocurrency) that he or she has no way of verifying its authenticity and value. He or she could get lucky and strike it rich, or lose it all when the crypto-bubble burst. Now scale that to millions of Chinese citizens and we are talking about billions of Chinese Yuan.The market is full of scams and pointless ICOs. (I’m sure you have heard news of people sending coins to random addresses with the promise of doubling their investments and ICOs that simply don’t make sense). Many unsavvy investors are in it for the money and would care less about the technology and innovation behind it. The value of many cryptocurrencies is derived from market speculation. During the crypto-boom in 2017, participate in any ICO with either a famous advisor onboard, a promising team or a decent hype and you are guaranteed at least 3X your investments.A lack of understanding of the firm and the technology behind it, combined with the proliferation of ICOs, is a recipe for disaster. Members of the Central bank reports that almost 90% of the ICOs are fraudulent or involves illegal fundraising. In my opinion, the Chinese government wants to ensure that cryptocurrency remains ‘controllable’ and not too big to fail within the Chinese community. China is taking the right steps towards a safer, more regulated cryptocurrency world, albeit aggressive and controversial. In fact, it might be the best move the country has taken in decades.Will China issue an ultimatum and make cryptocurrency illegal? I highly doubt so since it is pretty pointless to do so. Currently, financial institutions are banned from holding any crypto assets while individuals are allowed to but are barred from carrying out any forms of trading.A State-run Cryptocurrency Exchange?At the annual “Two Sessions” (Named because two major parties- National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPCC) both take part in the forumï¼held on the first week of March, leaders congregate to discuss about the latest issues and make necessary law amendments.Wang Pengjie, a member of the NPCC dabbled into the prospects of a state-run digital asset trading platform as well as initiate educational projects on blockchain and cryptocurrency in China. However, the proposed platform would require a authenticated account to allow trading.”With the establishment of related regulations and the co-operation of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and China Securities Regulatory Commission(CSRC), a regulated and efficient cryptocurrency exchange platform would serve as a formal way for companies to raise funds (through ICOs) and investors to hold their digital assets and achieve capital appreciation” Excerpts of Wang Pengjie presentation at the Two Sessions.The March towards a Blockchain NationGovernments and central banks worldwide have struggled to grapple with the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies; but one thing is sure, all have embraced blockchain.Despite the cryptocurrency crackdown, blockchain has been gaining popularity and adoption in various levels. The Chinese government have been supporting blockchain initiatives and embracing the technology. In fact, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) have been working on a digital currency and have conducted mock transactions with some of the country’s commercial banks. It is still unconfirmed if the digital currency will be decentralized and offer features of cryptocurrency like anonymity and immutability. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if it turns out to be just a digital Chinese Yuan given that anonymity is the last thing that China wants in their country. However, created as a close substitute of the Chinese Yuan, the digital currency will be subjected to existing monetary policies and laws.People’s Bank of China Governor, Zhou Xiaochuan. Source: CNBC”Lots of cryptocurrencies have seen explosive growth which can bring significant negative impact on consumers and retail investors. We don’t like (cryptocurrency) products that make use of the huge opportunity for speculation that gives people the illusion of getting rich overnight” Excerpts from Zhou Xiaochuan interview on Friday, 9th March.On a media appearance on Friday, 9th March, Governor of People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan criticized cryptocurrency projects that leveraged on the crypto-boom to cash in and fuel market speculation. He also noted that development of the digital currency is ‘technologically inevitable’On a regional level, many Chinese cities have are driving blockchain initiatives to promote growth in their region. Hangzhou, renown for being the headquarters of Alibaba, have stated blockchain technology to be one of the city’s top priorities in 2018. The local government in Chengdu city have also been proposed the building of an incubation center to foster the adoption of blockchain technology in the city’s financial services.Local conglomerates such Tencent and Alibaba have also formed partnership with blockchain firms or initiated projects on their own. Blockchain firms such as VeChain have also secured multiple partnerships with Chinese firms to improve supply chain transparency in China.All clues point to the fact that China is working towards a blockchain nation. China has always had a open mentality to emergent technologies such as mobile payment and Artificial Intelligence. Henceforth, it is without a doubt that China will be the first blockchain-enabled country. Will we see the Chinese government backing down and let its citizens trade again? Probably, when the market has matured and is less volatile but definitely not in 2018.
What do you do if you want to learn driving a car? You will try to find an expert teacher, isn’t it? You do not want to avail the services of a novice individual to help you out, but a professional person can provide you the vital tips and most importantly guide you efficiently. Similarly, when it comes to investing in the stock market for the first time, you require a knowledgeable advice to attain your financial goals and get profitable returns.
If you are a beginner, then it is quite obvious that you may be having no information about the process of buying the right shares in the market. In such a situation, getting the right tips from an experienced financial advisor or a registered advisory company will truly prove to be a great blessing in disguise. However, there are some of the important things that have to be kept in mind while choosing the top stock market advisory company, which are as follows:
How much assistance do you actually require?
Before you make up your mind to hire an advisor, it is imperative that you must first decide about the kind of service you require from them. You may need their help at the beginning or during the time of any issues. This is because an advisor has to formulate a map according to your requirements. Hence, it is suggested to ascertain your needs first and then take further action.
Choose a top ranked advisory company
It is a very important point that has to be taken into the consideration. Availing services of the well known advisory company or a financial advisor is an absolute necessity. Make it a point to carry out a proper background or research work about the company. Check out their credentials, reputation, experience, etc before hiring them.
Asking for a sample financial plan initially makes sense
When hiring a financial advisor, then do not forget to ask for sample plan first. It is imperative to note that there is no such thing called the perfect plan. A sample plan will help you to determine whether an advisory company is actually making sense according your requirements or not.
The financial planners or advisory companies can really turn out to be the greatest asset for you if you choose the best one. They are just like the professional sailors who can help you out to sail through stock investment related problems quite efficiently.
Deepak is a financial advisor who likes to provide quality tips to the people facing any issues with regard to investing in the stock market. He likes to keep himself updated about the stock market by reading articles, news and blogs, etc.