My Crypto Bookmarks (Roundup)

These are some of my personal picks for recommended crypto resources, some of which I regularly use or refer to on a daily basis. Idea is to keep the list concise, limiting it to high quality resources as much as possible, and not to make it an exhaustive list about all crypto projects. The list is skewed towards Bitcoin, Ethereum and new projects (ICOs).

I think it will be beneficial to newcomers to crypto in particular. I hope it will serve as a ‘launching pad’ to your crypto journey if you are one of the new ones.

Last updated: 2 March 2018.

Price/Charts/Stats

Price/Conversion Tools/Calculator

Wallets

Please be extra cautious when dealing with crypto wallets. Please make sure that you take necessary measures to backup and keep your ‘recovery seed’ and ‘private keys’ safe. It’s a good rule of thumb not to leave your coins at the exchanges.

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Potentially Promising Crypto-Startups to Watch (part-2)

You can read the part-1 here.

So much development has been happening in the crypto-technology lately. Below are some of the startups which I recommend to keep an eye on:

Waves Platform

Waves Platform is one of the most funded projects of all time, it raised ~30,000 bitcoins during its ICO (Initial Coin Offering), which was equal to ~$16mil US dollars at the time (now ~$19mil). It’s founded by a Russian entrepreneur Sasha Ivanov, who has previously founded Coinomat and was also an NXT developer.

waves

Waves promises to offer multiple services on its platform, one of the significant ones are being the following:

1) Token Issuance – any business or individual can create their own tokens on Waves Platform. And it can be traded against other tokens in the Waves DEx (Decentralized Exchange). This has a huge potential to digitize and make the traditional rewards points systems blockchain-enabled. Incent is the first startup in this area which will be using Waves Platform.

2) Decentralized Exchange (DEx) – Waves will also have DEx for users to trade crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, and other major altcoins. The tokens that are issued on Waves Platform can also be bought and sold against any other cryptocurrencies on the DEx.

3) Decentralized Crowd-Funding – This is similar to Kickstarter platform, but it has one significant difference. Normally on Kickstarter, you will get a product for supporting the startup. Whereas on Waves Platform, when you support a Startup, you invest your money in a startup and in return you will get their tokens. These tokens will act as a company share and naturally based on the performance of the startup can increase or decrease in value. Number of tokens will depend on how much money you invest in a startup. After the crowdfunding is over, tokens can be acquired or sold on the DEx.

4) Payment Gateways – Payment Gateways are the bridge between internet and banks (eg; PayPal). Unlike other blockchain based platforms, Sasha promises Waves to be a real-world friendly platform for both businesses and individuals. Anyone with an internet browser and a bank account will be able to have access to a blockchain technology and start using it for the above mentioned purposes (eg; trading digital currencies and tokens, starting a crowdfunding..etc). Various Payment gateways are being promised to be integrated to Waves Platform. Continue reading

Future of Bitcoin or How to buy Bitcoins locally

Future of Bitcoin

The future of Bitcoin or crypto-currencies in general are now largely left to Governments and Central Banks to decide and steer. Otherwise technologically it has proven to be an effective medium of exchange that has certain advantages over the current fiat money and services built around them.

Bitcoin’s Advantage

Bitcoin has particularly major advantage over the current international money remittance services, such as Western Union, MoneyGram or traditional Bank Wire Transfers, which normally charge up to 15% service fee. As for Bitcoin, sending and receiving bitcoins is free and almost instant.

Another area where Bitcoin has clear advantage is, over online payment gateways. Usually eCommerce sites use 3rd party payment processing systems like PayPal, WorldPay, 2Checkout and other Credit Card processing systems. These services normally take a cut from each transaction that happen on eCommerce sites. With the implementation of Bitcoin as the payment option, eCommerce sites could reduce their reliance on 3rd party payment processing systems and increase their revenue margin. Since, using Bitcoin would mean “no more incurring transaction fees” for each transaction.

Bitcoin Regulation

On the other hand, since Bitcoin is not governed by any Government or Central Bank, Governments have been quite worried on the possible misuse of Bitcoins; particularly in the areas of money laundering, buying and selling of illegal things etc.

So far, governments are struggling to set a direction for Bitcoin. Singapore government has stated that it’s not going to interfere with Bitcoin usage for the time being. On the other hand, China has taken a stricter approach by restricting the definition of Bitcoin as “commodity” rather than “currency”, and banning the usage of Bitcoins as payment options online. As for Swiss parliament, they are going to vote on treating Bitcoin as a foreign currency sometime next year. Other governments have taken the “wait and see” approach for the time being.

So, yes, a lot of uncertainty out there for Bitcoin. And each of these news from Governments and Central Banks have been adding more volatility to the already volatile Bitcoin prices.

How to buy Bitcoins in your Country

Startups in some countries have been more active than others when it comes to building Bitcoin related businesses, particularly exchange platforms for buying and selling Bitcoins. Following is a list of such platforms that allow you to buy and sell Bitcoins with your local bank accounts. Continue reading