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Breaking Barriers: Women at the Intersection of Tech and Crypto

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Breaking Barriers: Women at the Intersection of Tech and Crypto

In the male-dominated world of technology and cryptocurrency, women have been steadily breaking down barriers and making their mark in recent years. While there is still a long way to go in achieving gender equality in these industries, the accomplishments and contributions of women at the intersection of tech and crypto are not to be underestimated. In this article, we will explore the challenges they have faced, the progress they have made, and the potential they hold for shaping the future of these fields.

The Gender Gap in Tech and Crypto

The tech and cryptocurrency sectors have long been criticized for their lack of gender diversity. Women have historically been underrepresented in both the workforce and leadership roles. This gender gap can be attributed to various factors, including biases in recruitment and hiring practices, limited access to educational opportunities, and a lack of female role models in these fields.

Pioneering Women in Crypto

Despite these challenges, pioneering women have made significant strides in the cryptocurrency space. Women like Elizabeth Stark, the co-founder of Lightning Labs, and Amber Baldet, the co-founder of Clovyr, have been instrumental in developing blockchain technology and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the crypto world.

Stark’s work on the Lightning Network, a second-layer solution for Bitcoin, has been crucial in addressing scalability issues and making microtransactions feasible. Baldet’s company, Clovyr, focuses on simplifying blockchain development and adoption, making it more accessible to businesses and individuals alike.

Women in Leadership Roles

In addition to making important technical contributions, women have also started to occupy leadership roles in prominent crypto companies. Notable examples include Caitlin Long, the CEO and founder of Avanti Bank, and Kristin Smith, the executive director of the Blockchain Association.

Caitlin Long’s Avanti Bank is pioneering the development of a regulatory-compliant bridge between the traditional financial system and cryptocurrency. Kristin Smith’s work at the Blockchain Association involves advocating for sensible crypto regulations in the United States. These women are not only leading their companies but also shaping the future of cryptocurrency policy.

  

Empowering Women in Tech and Crypto

To address the gender gap in tech and crypto, various initiatives and organizations have emerged to empower and support women in these fields. Programs like Women Who Code and Girls Who Code are providing opportunities for girls and women to learn coding and gain hands-on experience in technology. Additionally, conferences like the Women in Crypto Conference are creating spaces for women to connect, share knowledge, and inspire one another.

Challenges and Opportunities

While progress is being made, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges that women still face in the tech and crypto sectors. Gender bias, workplace harassment, and unequal pay persist as significant issues. Overcoming these obstacles will require concerted efforts from both individuals and organizations.

However, the opportunities for women in tech and crypto are vast and growing. As these industries continue to evolve, there is a growing need for diverse perspectives and talents. Women bring unique insights and skills to the table, and their presence can lead to more inclusive and innovative solutions.

The Future of Tech and Crypto

As women continue to break barriers and make their presence felt in tech and crypto, the future of these industries looks promising. Increased diversity in the workforce and leadership positions will lead to more comprehensive and equitable solutions in blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and other cutting-edge fields.

Furthermore, women entrepreneurs and innovators are likely to play a significant role in shaping the next generation of cryptocurrency and blockchain applications. Their perspectives on financial inclusion, privacy, and security will drive the development of new projects and products that cater to a broader audience.

Voyager Crypto Withdrawal: A Key Consideration

When discussing the intersection of women in tech and crypto, it’s essential to highlight key aspects that affect both genders. One such aspect is the process of crypto withdrawal on platforms like Voyager. Here are some crucial points to consider:

  • Accessibility for All: Women in tech and crypto are advocates for making platforms like Voyager more user-friendly and accessible to everyone, regardless of gender.
  • Security and Confidence: Ensuring the security of cryptocurrency withdrawals is vital for everyone, but women often emphasize building confidence in the process to encourage broader adoption.
  • Educational Resources: Women are actively engaged in creating educational resources that demystify the process of crypto withdrawal on platforms like Voyager.
  • Supportive Communities: Women-led communities and initiatives are creating spaces where individuals, regardless of their gender, can seek guidance and share experiences related to crypto withdrawals and investments.
  • Advocacy for Equal Access: Women in tech and crypto are advocating for equal access to crypto withdrawal platforms and services, promoting inclusivity and diversity in the crypto space.

Considering these points, it becomes evident that women in the tech and crypto sectors are not only contributing to the development of these industries but also working towards making them more equitable and accessible for all, including issues related to Voyager crypto withdrawals.

Conclusion

The intersection of technology and cryptocurrency is witnessing a transformative shift, thanks to the contributions and determination of women in these fields. While the gender gap remains a significant challenge, progress is being made, and women are increasingly taking on leadership roles, innovating, and advocating for change.

As we look ahead, it’s crucial to continue supporting and empowering women in tech and crypto. By doing so, we can ensure that these industries become more inclusive, diverse, and capable of addressing the complex challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The future of tech and crypto is undoubtedly brighter with women breaking barriers and leading the way.

 

cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency vs. Traditional Banking: Understanding the Differences and Benefits

The way we do business is changing as technology develops. The realm of finance is one such sector where technology is having a huge impact. The rise of cryptocurrencies has put the conventional banking system under pressure and is presenting an alternate method of conducting financial transactions. In this article, we will examine the distinctions between regular banking and cryptocurrencies and emphasize the advantages of each.

The rise of cryptocurrency

In order to safeguard transactions and regulate the generation of new units, cryptocurrency employs encryption methods. With the development of Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, it was presented to the public in 2009. Other digital currencies have since emerged, including Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. Cryptocurrencies are not centralized, unlike traditional money, and are not managed by a bank or government. Transparency, security, and near-impossibility of manipulation are all a result of transactions being recorded on a blockchain, a public ledger.

The traditional banking structure

On the other hand, the conventional banking system has existed for many years and has served as the main method of managing financial transactions. In this centralized system, banks serve as a middleman between the parties to a transaction. You are effectively lending the bank your money when you deposit money in a bank, and in exchange, the bank pays you interest. Banks lend money to people and companies, charging interest in exchange, using the funds they receive from deposits.

Cryptocurrency and traditional banking: Differences

The key distinctions between cryptocurrencies and conventional banking come from the way they are built.

Centralization vs. Decentralization- Cryptocurrencies and

conventional banking vary most noticeably in their decentralized vs. centralized organizational structures. Decentralized means there is no single entity in charge of cryptocurrency. Traditional banking, in contrast, is centralized, with banks serving as go-betweens for the parties to a transaction.

Transparency- Transparency is another significant distinction. Transactions involving cryptocurrencies are transparent and nearly difficult to tamper with since they are kept on a public database known as a blockchain. While banks are not required to make their transactions publically available, traditional banking transactions are opaque.

Security- Another significant distinction is security. Cryptocurrencies are protected by encryption methods, making hacking them nearly hard. Contrarily, traditional banking institutions are open to fraud and online threats.

Advantages of cryptocurrencies

Let’s examine the advantages of each now that we have examined the distinctions between cryptocurrencies and conventional banking.

Transparency- Transparency is among the most important advantages of cryptocurrencies. Transparency and security are provided via the recording of transactions on a blockchain, a type of open ledger. This openness lowers the possibility of fraud and guarantees that business dealings are handled fairly.

Decentralization- Due to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, users can verify and record transactions, providing greater transparency, increased security, and lower transaction costs. You have complete control over your assets when you buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies since there is no need for a centralized organization or middleman.

Security- Additionally, cryptocurrency is incredibly secure. Transactions are protected using encryption methods, rendering them essentially unhackable. As a result, consumers may transact with assurance knowing that their valuables are secure.

Advantages of conventional banking

Several advantages are also provided by conventional banking systems.

Regulation- Regulation is a key advantage of conventional banking. Banks are subject to a lot of regulation and have to follow tight guidelines. This guarantees that business dealings are performed honestly and that client assets are safeguarded.

Familiarity- Additionally, most people are more accustomed to traditional banking systems. Banks have been processing financial transactions for many years and are a reliable option.

Customer service- Last but not least, conventional banking systems provide customer service. If you require assistance or have a problem with your account, you may contact customer support, who can assist you in resolving the situation.

Which is better, traditional banking or cryptocurrency

This question’s answer will depend on your unique needs and preferences. Both cryptocurrencies and conventional banking systems have advantages and disadvantages, so the choice ultimately depends on which is more appropriate for your requirements. Cryptocurrency could be a better option for you if you value transparency, security, and decentralization. However, traditional banking may be a better choice if you value regulation and customer service and prefer the familiarity of those systems.

It is also important to remember that while cryptocurrencies provide a number of advantages, there are also hazards involved. Because they are so volatile, cryptocurrencies’ values can change drastically very quickly. Additionally, there is a chance of fraud and computer attacks, and because cryptocurrencies are unregulated, investors have no protection. Traditional banking systems, on the other hand, provide consistency, security, and regulation. Your valuables are safeguarded, and if you want assistance, you may contact customer service. Traditional banking systems can be sluggish and expensive to use, and they can also be vulnerable to fraud and cyberattacks.

Final reflections

With an alternate method of handling financial transactions, cryptocurrencies have challenged the conventional banking system. Traditional banking institutions are controlled, regulated, and provide customer service; cryptocurrency is decentralized, transparent, and secure. A person’s preference ultimately determines whether to utilize cryptocurrencies or conventional banking systems. When choosing between the two systems, it’s crucial to take your needs and preferences into account even though each has advantages and disadvantages of its own. Understanding the dangers and advantages of the system you select as well as taking action to safeguard your assets are crucial.

maintenance decentralized

How is Decentralized Exchange App Development Revolutionizing the Supply Chain and Logistics Industry?

One of the least productive sectors of the global economy is logistics. In this industry, the total value of which is believed to be $2 trillion, there are numerous contractors, intricate and protracted supply chains, burdensome paperwork, and significant issues with human factors. 

DHL believes that the use of blockchain will streamline the entire logistics process, resulting in a 15% increase in international trade and a 5% increase in global GDP. The transportation sector is expanding rapidly in a globalized world. In reality, it is anticipated that by 2027, the market will be worth $12 billion. With decentralized exchange app development services, logistics companies are now streamlining their workflows and cutting off the challenges. 

How Does Blockchain Apply to Logistics?

A decentralized public system of record that records all changes in real time is how the blockchain in transportation is implemented. 

With the help of this information, businesses can develop a plan to adopt quicker routes, cut out pointless delivery steps, lower error rates, and save time.

In addition to resolving trust issues, accelerating workflows, lowering risks, and enhancing transparency, the use of this technology provides a clear impact on the profitability of businesses in this sector.

How is Blockchain Technology Transforming the Logistics Sector?

The corporate environment of today is being revolutionized by blockchain technology or a decentralized exchange system. In addition to cryptocurrencies, there are countless other uses for them in every industry, and transportation is no exception. Among the most significant advantages are:

Transparency and Traceability

Blockchain technology significantly reduces document fraud, enabling every link in the supply chain to accurately track the progress of transportation in real time.

Provenance Validation and Quality Control

Product damage or spoilage during transit is quite common, but with blockchain, the provenance of goods can be verified and linked to a particular manufacturer. Additionally, standards compliance is assured, or non-compliance with standards is discovered.

Enhanced Efficiency

Smart contracts can be implemented to prevent administrative mistakes, excessive time consumption, or fraud during document exchange and payments. This will streamline workflow and avoid these issues.

Hassle-Free Transactions

Payment processing is expedited by blockchain technology, which maintains a thorough record of all communications between parties and makes it possible to trace any action. Increased security and a low likelihood of fraud or error in money transactions are indicators of this.

Improved Shipping

Freight companies have already experienced how blockchain can monitor each item while streamlining the current logistics process, particularly in international delivery. One instance is the enormous Maersk, which uses it to regulate the movement of its cargo across international boundaries.

This new system will help reduce errors, speed up delivery times, and better fraud detection while saving billions of dollars for the businesses engaged in transporting these cargoes.

Verification of Authenticity

Not just for businesses but also for individuals, blockchain technology has benefits. Customers can safely check the authenticity of a product’s sources, for example, in the case of expensive goods like diamonds.

It increases credibility and confidence while preventing fake goods or illegal trafficking.

Challenges of Blockchain in the Logistics Industry

Here are some of the major challenges that the implementation of blockchain sees in the logistics industry:

Safety Concerns

One of the major problems confronting blockchain in logistics is privacy, both for individuals and organizations. Certain people and employees might lose their private data, depending on the information in the blockchain. Information about intellectual property, performance, and expenses can be found in organizational privacy data without any additional context. In a setting where information transparency is the objective, this confidential information should always be handled with great care.

Blockchain programming needs a variety of software skills, according to employee training. Understanding economies and businesses, particularly your own, is also beneficial. You might need to recruit new employees with these skills, educate your current staff, or even outsource your blockchain development to a third party.

Availability Issues

Smaller businesses that wish to benefit from blockchain technology may find that they are at a disadvantage, especially when dealing with organizations, carriers, and logistics providers in less developed regions of the globe. In sole proprietorships and micro businesses, where some blockchain-related activities can be used to replace lower-skilled jobs, this situation may also be pertinent. These aspects of the “digital gap” might widen as more automation and information technology are applied to streamline processes.

Payment and Billing

Blockchain technology enables producers and other businesses to automate the process of invoicing and payment by linking these calculations to a specific action, such as keeping track of when a ship, container, and/or cargo has crossed a country’s or port’s boundary. IoT sensors are in charge of monitoring the activity, and smart contracts are in charge of automating the process.

Adoption of Decentralized Exchange Technology in Logistics and Supply Chain

The logistics and supply chain sector must decide whether it is worthwhile to use blockchain technology in this market. Blockchain technology allows for the exploration of new services and solutions that may not have previously been considered, in addition to process efficiency and expense reduction. 

If you’re looking forward to implementing decentralized exchange technology in your logistics and supply chain business, then get started with the right logistics software development company today. 

 

cryptocurrency wallet

Not Your Keys Not Your Coins: How to Protect your Digital Assets

Over the years, the message of “Not your keys, not your coins” has been prevalent throughout the crypto community. However, in the wake of a multitude of recent high-profile centralized exchanges (CEX) and Crypto Banking collapses, insolvencies, and acquisitions, that phrase is emerging with a newfound vigor in the crypto community.

To understand the importance of this phrase, we first have to dissect what it means. Not your keys, not your coins refer to the importance of digital asset investors having control and sovereignty over the private keys to their crypto wallet(s). Your private key is essentially like your ‘seed phrase’; a random string of characters is the single point of access to your wallet. As a user, to send funds, sign messages, or recover access to your wallet, you must utilize your private key in one way or another. With non-custodial wallets like Metamask, Coinbase Wallet, and Trust Wallet, or hardware wallet providers such as Ledger, or Trezor, you are the only individual able to access your private keys upon the creation of your account.

These features are not the case with custodial wallets. Instead, custodial wallets are services where a centralized entity, such as an exchange, acts as the custodian for one or more sets of private keys on your behalf. Essentially, these entities operate similarly to banks, where they offer to manage your private keys securely. As a user, you make a deposit, and the exchange or entity keeps track of your balance(s) on an internal ledger. The risks in this are pretty obvious; unlike banks, crypto exchanges are often subject to far less regulation as it relates to the amount of collateral they need to keep, deposit minimums, audits, and what they do with the capital once it has been deposited.

Additionally, many of these exchanges/entities, such as Luna or Celsius, have used the practice of offering outlandish interest rates on the deposits they receive to entice deposits out of customers. As we have seen, this has not panned out very well for many of these major centralized providers, with an estimated over $40 billion in investor money lost between just those two examples. And there are many more similar stories.

On top of that, the major players that have managed to operate without having issues, such as Coinbase, Binance, and Crypto.com, carry similar risks. Although these entities are far more regulated than the two horror stories I’ve mentioned, they still operate under a custodial system. The glaring issue here is that these entities are not federally insured by the FDIC the way traditional banks are. This means that should any of these entities go insolvent, all of the uninsured creditors (meaning you) could potentially lose all of the money you have deposited.

Well, how does one protect themselves from these risks? The answer is to set up a secure, non-custodial wallet for your assets.

With a non-custodial wallet, you can securely manage the ownership of your private keys, reducing any potential counterparty risks. The single point of failure is you, the user. While this may be a bit scary and feel like a lot of pressure for many users, there are protections you can take to securely store and manage your private keys to mitigate risk as much as possible.

Recommendations we make for some products you can use to reduce risk include Ledger, Trezor, and Gnosis Safe. If you are interested in learning more about in-depth wallet security and best practices, feel free to check out one of our other articles on wallet security best practices and everything you need to know to keep your assets as safe as possible.

Alex McCurry is an American business executive, blockchain expertinvestor, and the founder and owner of Solidity.io

dual

The Emergence of a New Cryptocurrency Mining Technology from Dual Miners

The case that cryptocurrency mining is turning out to be more challenging to perform has been tested by another advancement from Dual Miners Inc., which is at present delivering overall the world’s most memorable dual mining hardware, which utilizes both SHA-256 and Scrypt to mine bitcoin and litecoin as well as other digital currencies. They have tested the past statement, and have simplified mining.

In part because of its cutting-edge hardware design, Dual Miners’ mining chip, the FM9800-XD112, is capable of achieving high hash rates while using the least amount of energy feasible. They are pre-configured with a built-in controller as well as software that is already in place. Following a lengthy period of testing that includes evaluating, prototyping, and extreme-condition pressure testing, the Dual Miner’s DualPro and DualPro Max hardware products, as well as the DualPremium hardware products, are now ready to be put into production on a large-scale basis.

For additional information, please see https://dualminers.com/products/. Dual Miners can also be set to handle transactions for other cryptocurrencies that use the hashing methods SHA-256 or Scrypt, if necessary.

The Advantages of Using Dual Miners

The Dual Miners Enhance Energy Saver system has several advantages over other systems. What are some of these advantages? It is claimed that each machine will be fitted with a cooling system, an advanced 7-nanometer chip, an advanced noise reduction mechanism, a power supply that regulates operational humidity, as well as a wireless network connection (Wi-Fi) or an Ethernet connection. Using a short time delay, users can mine a variety of Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), Ethereum (ETH), and a number of other cryptocurrencies, thanks to the algorithm attached to the system, which incorporates widely recognized software and hardware technologies.

Pricing and availability are crucial factors to consider when making a purchase.

As a result, Dual Miners will pay for both shipping and import duties, allowing customers to spend no more than what is required to purchase the unit and acquire everything they need to get started without incurring any further costs. Consumers are now aware that our competitors have been defeated in their respective markets. Their ability to access our electricity or take advantage of our extremely low electricity costs has been thwarted. However, in spite of our size, we have significant mining capacity; the DualPremium generates 60 TH/s for bitcoin, and 2.1 GH/s for Litecoin, on average. In the words of Michael Scott, Operational Director and Chief Operating Officer of Dual Miners, “It’s the best investment that’s currently available on the market.”

About Dual Miners

Dual Miners, which bills itself as the world’s first dual-mining firm, was founded in 2015 with the goal of developing and selling the world’s first leading dual Cryptocurrency miners that use either SHA-256 or Scrypt technology, respectively. With the DualPro, we set out to provide more power at a lower cost than had previously been available. Dual Miners is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and maintains offices in other locations throughout the globe. On the website www.dualminers.com, you may find out more about the company.

digital currencies

Central Banks to Adopt Their Own Digital Currencies to Eliminate Potential Risks

Digital currencies backed by central banks, or central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), are becoming a reality for residents in a few countries around the world. The evolution from checks, to debit cards, and now to digital payments give cause to wonder if we really need cash anymore. While economists agree that we still need cash for now, some governments are discussing the effects of implementing a CBDC nationally. 

However, not everyone is as interested in the prospect of implementing a nationwide digital currency. Commercial lending and banking would be affected, as the widespread use of CBDCs could take a bite out of commercial deposits and put the industry’s funding in jeopardy. But with China currently developing a digital Yuan, that leaves government and supply chain leaders wondering about the potential trade risks of not competing in the global economy with CBDCs. 

Luckily, lawmakers have come up with a slew of solutions that include strict regulations and controls, hard limits on transfers and holdings, and a long-term transition period before the new digital assets could be launched in full effect. In the meantime, central bankers in the US are contemplating adopting their own digital tokens for instant, low friction international transactions. 

What is Central Bank Digital Currency?

A CBDC is the virtual form of a certain fiat currency. You can think of it as an electronic record or a digital token of how currency is spent, held, and moved. CBDCs are issued and regulated by central banks and backed by the credit of their issuer. They aren’t really a new kind of money, it just changes the way we track transactions. 

While seemingly very similar at first glance, CBDCs are not cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are secured by cryptography and exist on decentralized blockchain networks. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not backed by any government or banking entity and are purely digital currencies. CBDCs, in contrast, are backed by legal tender and are only a digital representation of fiat money.

Part of the draw to create CBDCs is inspired by their crypto-cousins’ distributed ledger technology. DLT, or blockchain technology, refers to the digital infrastructure and protocols that allow access, validation, and continuity across a vast network. This means that, in contrast to fiat currency that exists today, digital currencies can be tracked and verified in real-time, limiting the risk of theft and fraud. 

Blockchain technology is usually associated with cryptocurrency, but it has the potential for numerous applications that could help governments organizations and banking entities run more smoothly with accountability and transparency. Another reason why countries are drawn to CBDCs is they have the ability to help increase banking access for otherwise underbanked populations. 

Currently, there are 81 countries exploring CBDCs. China is racing ahead of the pack with their development of the digital Yuan, putting pressure on countries that will want to remain competitive. It raises the question of whether China will at some point accept only digital currency, meaning other countries would need their own CBDCs to remain competitive on a global scale. 

China’s digital Yuan

China has long been known to resist cryptocurrencies and crypto trading, so when the news broke that their central bank has been developing a CBDC there was some confusion. However, it has now become clear that the Chinese government is creating an environment where citizens who want to use digital currencies like crypto will have to use the digital Yuan, removing any competition from DeFi banking initiatives. 

Before their crackdown on Bitcoin and crypto, local investors made up 80% of the crypto trading market. This shows promise when it comes to the adoption of the digital Yuan, with so many Chinese citizens open to adopting and spending digital currency. 

They have already started real-world trials in a number of cities and are expecting the digital Yuan to increase competition in China’s mobile payments market. It is still not entirely clear how users will hold and spend the new digital Yuan whenever it is available nationwide. Right now the most popular form of mobile payment in the country relies on QR codes scanned by merchants. 

Alipay and WeChat Pay could eventually integrate CBDC functionality, and smartphones could also potentially be used as a digital wallet for CBDCs. There is still a lot to be discussed, tested, and fixed before the digital Yuan can be distributed nationwide, but China is currently the country closest to rolling out its own CBDC. 

Where does the United States stand?

Crypto thefts, hacks, and frauds amounted to about $1.9 billion in 2020, so many leaders have reservations when it comes to enforcing and regulating CBDCs in the US. But there is evidence that CBDCs would have no issues being adopted by the American people. Crypto aside, the digital payments sector is booming with about 75% of Americans already using digital payments apps and services. 

But there is not yet a single widely accepted infrastructure available that could handle CBDCs, and lawmakers are lagging behind when it comes to regulations for fintechs as it is. The US could take a page from China’s book and explore adding CBDC functionality to existing banking fintechs like Chime, Paypal, and ApplePay. According to online trader Gary Stevens from Hosting Canada, it would also be wise to look at banks that offer trading services as well. 

In the US, banks offering online trading services (such as Merrill Edge through Bank of America) tend to provide a seamless client experience,” says Stevens. “They strive to provide a consistent login interface between the bank and its brokerage arm, making switching between these platforms easier. This also makes other tasks like moving money between these accounts more flexible. Therefore, US residents have come to expect a more integrated, holistic experience with similar core functionality.”

The Future of CBDCs

The onset of the pandemic has created the perfect storm for CBDCs to come to fruition. Telework, online education, and streaming services have experienced growth while brick-and-mortar establishments have suffered. The same is true for the financial services industry. Banks have struggled to compete with fintech solutions, and more people are utilizing digital payments than ever before. 

Since CBDCs are such a new technology, there is still much to learn when it comes to implementing CBDCs nationwide and around the globe. Offline accessibility and resilience are only a couple of concerns regarding digital currency adoption worldwide. Other issues include user privacy, using private and public blockchain networks, and how digital currencies will be exchanged on a global scale. Only time will tell how central banks choose to seriously pursue this route to make it more mainstream. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of details still up in the air regarding CBDCs, as well as a considerable amount of research, testing, and development left to unfold. But one thing is clear: central bank digital currencies are already under development. Whether you are getting into online trading or just like the convenience of e-payments, they might be coming to a digital wallet near you sooner than you think. 

ICO

Crucial Things You Need to Know About ICO in Crypto

ICO is an acronym that needs to be known by anyone who wants to venture into the crypto world. This stands for Initial Coin Offering, and it is the most common way in which cryptocurrencies are created. Most of the cryptocurrencies that are making rounds and being traded today started as ICOs. The inception of an ICO for any cryptocurrency begins with just an idea by an individual or group of people who intend to build a token or coin. A token or coin could represent a lot of things. This could range from an asset, unit of value, or even utility that goes onto a blockchain. The brains behind this token or coin can then proceed to create an ICO. It is important that every ICO owner properly outlines the coin’s purpose and offers precise information to convince their target market that it will succeed and has prospects of being very useful.


 

In a situation where this goes as planned and works out as it should, that is the point where the general public can decide if they think the project has potential and is worth investing in. In this case, anyone may purchase the project’s first utility token. By purchasing these tokens, they participate in the project at hand and acquire a piece of ownership. An ICO must have a fundraising target to begin the project, and once that target has been reached, the project may begin. People who purchase these tokens have hopes that the coin will experience growth and eventually be worth more in the future when the project actually begins.

What Do I Need To Know About ICOs?

Considering what is stated above, you can understand the meaning of ICOs and their vital role in cryptocurrencies. The information helps answer the very common question, what is an ICO in crypto? We could say beyond reasonable doubt that creating ICOs seems like a great system to raise capital for certain upcoming projects. However, many ICOs have grown to have a bad reputation due to previous scams and technical issues. Furthermore, it is undeniable that some ICOs have been enormously successful, but it is also important to recognize the signs of a risky project. A couple of things that should be considered and properly looked into include:

White Paper

This is the first step that anyone researching an ICO is to carry out. A vague or poorly written and improperly planned white paper may be the clearest sign that the project is not fully looked into, lacks proper planning, and has the potentials of crashing. Therefore, it is extremely important to investigate the team and any business partnerships.

An experienced team will have a stronger chance of navigating the challenges of a competitive business environment. It is essential to thoroughly read and analyze and assimilate the white paper of a prospective investment because this document outlines the aims and strategies of that project and all it entails in detail. Some projects might have stratospheric ideas but are void of a practical approach for achieving those goals. Others may lack crucial details that leave you wondering whether the project is truly feasible or it is the sham that it looks like.

Although a good white paper is not a guarantee that the ICO will be a success, an incomplete, hastily written, problematic, and improperly planned one can be a sign of trouble to come. Glaring issues with spelling, formatting, or grammar can also be considered red flags. Conversely, if you’re preparing a white paper for your own ICO, it is important to expect investors to pore over every detail.

Evaluate The Quality Of The Code

It is a major red flag if a project has no working code before an ICO, or even if they do, it isn’t open source. If you are privileged to have even a little bit of programming experience and have the ability to read a code, you should do so when evaluating an ICO. You can understand a lot about a project and its developers by properly studying and analyzing their code.

Learn From VC-investors

Many venture capital investors make their living on investments, which gives them the right to be the pickiest contributors. They are very careful about examining everything about the project with just one very particular thing in mind: how much profit will this investment result in? Aside from everything involved, there is behavioral science involved here: a consensus in the VC world is that it’s never good for a startup to receive too much money very quickly, as they will be compelled to spend the funds just because they’re available.

Everyone has the right to launch an ICO due to its ease and lack of regulation in most countries. This means that as long as you can get the tech set up, you are totally free to try and get your currency funded by people who are interested in your plan because they dim it feasible. Since there is no proper regulation, it simply means there is nothing stopping anyone from doing all the work to make you believe they have a great idea and then end up absconding with the money without actually implementing the plan.

Before investing your money, you should ensure that you do proper research and take your homework seriously because ICOs are barely regulated. Therefore, you need to be way more careful than you would be when investing in an IPO. Read the white paper properly,  research the team members, and make sure they have a history in cryptocurrency.

crypto

What Should Crypto Traders Be Ready for in 2021?

There is still much to explore in the staying power of cryptocurrency. While its previous peak in 2017 made waves, it slightly went off the radar for a few years since then; until 2020. The shift towards the further digital transformation of business processes due to the global pandemic has renewed interest in it, peeking up to 63% gains in November according to InvestorPlace.

Decreases and Increases in Bitcoin Price

Experts point out that the volatility of cryptocurrency is comparable to the gold rush back in the 1850s. There’s really no telling what’s going to happen next. The main difference, however, is there was a lack of data sharing and analysis back then. Today, we have various platforms and tools to monitor and examine the current activity in real-time.

For instance, we know through CNBC updates that Bitcoin hit a record high of above $23,000 this December and that most of the investors are not solely made up of retail investors anymore but billionaires and other investing experts and pioneers like Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones.

Viral Cryptocurrencies in 2020

Here is a quick look at the cryptos that ran viral this year:

Bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin remains to be at the top of the game and is still rising. Investing analysts expect that it will still continue to dominate the market in the years to come.

Ethereum blockchain network’s native cryptocurrency probably still has a long way to go before it reaches Bitcoin’s level of recognition and reputation. However, we certainly believe that this standing won’t be for long given its current high demand. Its secret lies behind its flexible and widely customizable applications.

Ripple (XRP). Finally, there’s XRP, another leading cryptocurrency tied in second place with ETH. Again, it is currently in high demand thanks to its popularity amongst leading financial institutions.

Why Some Cryptos Succeed and Others Don’t

There are undoubtedly other cryptocurrencies that are on the rise much like the ones aforementioned. However, there is still a considerable number that fails. In fact, there are currently almost 2000 entries listed as “dead coins” at Coinopsy.

They have also listed some of the possible reasons behind their demise. Among the leading reasons are:

The lack of reputation. While there are benefits to having the support of “big finance”, this transition also has a major downside.

They can potentially cripple cryptocurrencies from humble beginnings, especially those lacking renowned developers to back them up.

The lack of resources. We’re not entirely surprised why bigger financial institutions are thriving. Sometimes, they simply have the resources to invest in the needed infrastructure to make a cryptocurrency operational.

Even basic services or financial products like a cryptocurrency loan will already need a lot of financial capital to launch. This is also the reason why a lot of cryptos are simply left abandoned or neglected.

The abundance of schemes. Finally, the lack of resources probably won’t be an issue if there are more investors to start with.

Unfortunately, there is still a (rather well-founded) stigma against cryptocurrencies. In fact, just last year there were executives running a Nevada-based firm who was charged for running an $11 million Ponzi scheme.

What We Can Expect in 2021

We are expecting a very good outlook next year, though.

The added interest and the support of big finance can pave the way for stricter regulations that will benefit both investors and developers (regardless of the scale).

It will also encourage more clients that can hopefully sustain even smaller institutions.

Classic Cryptos vs Prospect Tokens

Another factor that we also expect to change next year is people’s lack of understanding of these new forms of currency. For instance, cryptos, altcoins, and tokens are often used interchangeably despite their differences (that further adds to the confusion between these terms).

In a nutshell, cryptocurrency is digital currency while altcoins are independent cryptocurrencies that are recognized as an alternative to the classic currency, Bitcoin (hence the name). Lastly, tokens are an entirely different form of currency altogether. Think of a token as a unit of value within a certain organization that is also supported by a blockchain.

Considering tokens as an investment is a good idea if you want to maximize your earning potential. Think of them as similar to reward points that have various functions. For instance, they can be made to offer security, a form of ownership, or provide extra services.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency is still in its infancy. Tokenization is even more so. We can still expect a lot of improvement in the system.

However, understanding how digital currencies work certainly holds a lot of insight into how the landscape of the global economy and investing will inevitably shift in the future. And who knows? Maybe this future might not be too far off. Maybe this significant shift happens in 2021.

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Lidia D. Staron is the Head of Content at OpenLoans.com. As a financial advisor and former financial planner at an insurance company, she knows that life is full of major events and challenges. She enjoys helping people navigate through important financial decisions while avoiding common mistakes.

stocks

What’s In Store For the 2021 Stock Market?

The past 12 months have been an exciting and interesting time for all the stock exchanges around the world. Amid a global pandemic and political changes in dozens of developed nations, nearly all the key indicators showed surprising strength and durability, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S & P 500. The Dow took a temporary hit at the beginning of 2020 when COVID struck, but since then has come roaring back.

It not only made up all those lost points but has tacked on about 4,000 more, currently hovering close to the 35,000 mark. The S&P 500 did almost the same thing, falling rapidly from mid-February to mid-March of last year, only to recoup all the loss and rise even higher, now sitting near the 4,300 mark. Here’s what the rest of 2021 could have in store for anyone interested in taking part in the global securities markets.

What’s the Purpose of the Stock Market?

Before examining what the rest of the year has in store for corporations and investors, it’s important to recall the two reasons the securities markets came into existence. Even after more than a century of daily buying, selling, and deal-making, those two purposes still underpin the existence of all the major global exchanges. The first purpose is to allow organizations, also known as listed firms, the chance to acquire capital so they can go about their daily operations, grow, and prosper. Second to that, but no less vital, is that the exchanges give ordinary investors the ability to benefit by owning a piece of any entity that is listed on the trading board.

Businesses Raise Money as Needed

For example, a new business might not have enough luck raising the funds it needs via private sources, loans, and angel investors. When that happens, it has the chance to apply to appear on the exchange’s board and accept direct capital inflow from the public, through a network of brokers.

Private Citizens Can Earn a Living

For individuals who want to own a portion of any listed entity, shares are available for sale. There’s no limit on investing timelines or amounts, as long as the purchase is legally made through a licensed agent. Many stock market enthusiasts who want to earn regular income learn how to day trade and take part in daily sessions. By definition, day traders close out all their positions each day, never holding equity shares overnight.

Corporate Earnings Estimates

After the COVID pandemic restrictions eased up and the global economy began getting back to normal in early 2021, many corporations unexpectedly exceeded earnings expectations. As is the case with share prices, earnings can sometimes travel for a while on built-up momentum. But even though most of the prognosticators and Sunday morning TV shows were expecting to see 2020’s momentum die down heading into the new year, it was not as significant as expected. Then, dozens of major companies began reporting record earnings early in the second quarter of 2021, which means there’s likely a new wave of enthusiasm and optimism coming out of the pandemic.

Overall Direction and New Leaders

Since March of 2020, the overall direction of the equity markets has been generally upward. Even in the doldrums of the later part of last year, the general trajectory of share prices was up, a megatrend that has continued to this day. What new leaders are emerging? Some of the biggest winners of the past six months have included companies in sectors like pharmaceuticals, healthcare, retail, and home improvement. Now that the economy is focused more on home delivery, online commerce, and working from home, merchants who have plugged into those major trends are enjoying broad-based success.

Low Risk, Not No Risk

Even the most diversified portfolio of blue-chip stocks still comes with risk. It’s essential for newcomers to the marketplace to understand that low risk is not the same thing as no risk. Anyone who puts their money on the line for the purposes of earning a profit from stocks, bonds, forex, options, commodities, or anything else, faces the ups and downs of the international economy. However, for prudent traders, there are multiple ways to minimize risk, keep an eye on account balances, and take part in one of the most exciting financial enterprises on earth: the international securities exchanges.

blockchain technology

Solving Supply Chain and Security Problems with Blockchain Technology

In the last few years, blockchain has become a buzzword in the tech industry. The concept entered the public consciousness through Bitcoin, which uses a specific blockchain as a core component of its consensus algorithm. Back in 2017-2018, many experts were proclaiming “blockchain, not Bitcoin,” while today, Bitcoin’s latest meteoric rise and ensuing crash has flipped that narrative on its head. But while blockchain technology is often associated with cryptocurrencies, its application is powering the fourth industrial revolution and mainstreaming applications. In cybersecurity, blockchain technology can help improve security and resiliency, at a cost.

To understand blockchain-based cybersecurity, one must first understand some basic principles of how a blockchain works. A blockchain is one form of distributed ledger technology (DLT), meaning that it is used in distributed systems. Distributed systems offer greater resiliency than centralized systems since a decentralized network has no single point of failure, but that resiliency comes at a cost. Without a single source of truth for the network, reaching consensus can be difficult. A blockchain typically serves as part of that consensus mechanism—establishing a reliable record for the system to use.

Implementations vary between different blockchains, but in general, a blockchain takes some chunk of data and connects it cryptographically to the previous chunk of data, forming a chain of data blocks—a blockchain. That data can itself be encrypted using public-private key pairs so that only authorized users (or owners) can access the records.

Typically, each block of data includes a header, which summarizes the contents of the block. That header includes a cryptographic hash of the previous block’s header, and that hash forms the link between each block. Because each block builds on and explicitly references the contents of the previous block, a properly implemented blockchain is extraordinarily difficult to alter. In order to change a block’s data, every block after that block must also be edited to build on the new hash of the altered block. Consequently, older blocks are much harder to change than newer blocks.

The immutability and decentralization of a blockchain make it well-suited to certain applications. For example, financial institutions can benefit from unambiguous, cryptographically provable ownership records. Bank of America recently announced that it joined the Paxos network to speed up settlement times for stock trades, while JPMorgan has settled billions of dollars of transactions on a private version of Ethereum. From healthcare records to private genetic data, blockchain technology is also revolutionizing the medical industry. Legally, blockchain implementations could help businesses by providing a reliable, auditable data record.

As we digest the takeaways from the late spring 2021 crypto-crash, gas fees required to process transactions over Ethereum blockchain networks and environmental costs associated with Bitcoin mining need to be reexamined. But what are gas or transaction fees? While “gas fees” refers to the computing power required to securely execute a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, they can be analogized to the transaction fees to process any crypto-currency transaction. On the Bitcoin blockchain, fees are required to pay the network’s miners to accept and verify a transaction.

While these gas fees and mining fees are an essential part of the security behind the scenes, they have become substantial deterrents to the growth of the digital asset marketplace. Startups that can create cost-savings in gas or mining fees to process transactions will be well-positioned to lead the next generation of blockchain security solutions.

If your company is considering implementing blockchain technology, consider carefully what information needs to be stored. My advice is to evaluate whether you need to use a blockchain. It is a powerful and useful technology, but it is not the right tool for every job, regardless of how popular it is. Unlike a traditional database, data stored on a blockchain effectively cannot be altered, so you need to make sure that whatever records you include compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. A mistake here could be extraordinarily difficult to fix. In some industries, the benefits will be well worth the risks. In other industries, the transaction costs need to first come down.

Some solutions to consider for industries where blockchain makes sense today:

-Bide your time. Wait it out. The market is evolving rapidly, decentralized and dynamic. With so many costs with no consolidation, new competitors are entering the market every day, and chances are that fees will reduce as a percentage of the transaction over time.

-You could also look for new blockchains or wrappers that “wrap around” existing blockchains to support more transactions, relieving congestion and offering lower fees.

-Partnering with value-priced wallets offering scaling technologies enabling lower fees is also an avenue to explore.

In the end, blockchain cybersecurity simply leverages the immutability and decentralization of a blockchain to make tampering with data more difficult while reducing centralized points of failure and giving users more control over their data. Ignore the hype, and evaluate whether this technology is right for your use case. Periodically reevaluate. This is a dynamic technology, and so is the market.

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Louis Lehot is an emerging growth company, venture capital, and M&A lawyer at Foley & Lardner in Silicon Valley.  Louis spends his time providing entrepreneurs, innovative companies, and investors with practical and commercial legal strategies and solutions at all stages of growth, from the garage to global.