What is Bitcoin: How do cryptocurrencies work?

The world has come a long way when it comes to currency and how we use it. We started off with the trading of products and services when time first began, before moving to bronze and copper cowrie at the end of the Stone Age, and slowly transitioning to paper and metal money over a period of hundreds of years.

However, with advances in technology and the cut-throat approach to an imminent cashless society, it was only a matter of time before a currency you could not touch or see became commonplace.

Years ahead of its time, bitcoin – a cryptocurrency and digital payment system – firmly established itself in the market in 2009. Volatile in its value, it could, and still can rise several hundred percent in a matter of days, before crashing in the same timeframe. Therefore, it’s clear to see that, at least in the beginning, investors were taking a punt when they forecast bitcoin value. You could buy one bitcoin for as little as USD 0.30, whereas now, one bitcoin is worth USD 7,133.23. It’s worth more than gold, more than every global currency, and continues to grow in popularity and usage on a daily basis. In fact, over 100,000 merchants and vendors worldwide now accept it as a valid form of payment.

So, what is bitcoin, and how do cryptocurrencies in general work? We’ll run you through the basics below, including how to buy bitcoins in Canada, and what you can expect when you choose to swap your physical cash for something that you can’t keep in your physical wallet.

What is Bitcoin?

As mentioned above, bitcoin is cryptocurrency as well as a digital payment system that gained its title as the first decentralized digital currency. Being decentralized means that it exists and operates without a central repository, an administrator, or an intermediary such as a bank. All transactions take place in the public market between various cryptocurrency users and are then verified by network nodes in a blockchain, also known as a public ledger, that anyone can see and access.

Just like most currencies, the bitcoin represents the full portion of the currency (just like a dollar), with smaller amounts of the currency (like dimes, pennies, cents) being known as Millibitcoin (mBTC) and Satoshi. A mBTC is equal to 0.001 Bitcoin, a thousandth of a bitcoin, whereas a Satoshi, named after bitcoin’s creator, is equal to one hundred millionth of a bitcoin.

There is also other cryptocurrency that is less common, including Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Dash, Ripple, and Monero.

How can you buy cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency can be purchased with ease, but learning how to buy bitcoin in Canada and other countries can take a little bit of research. Firstly, it’s helpful if you have a smartphone. If you’re familiar with cryptocurrency, however, there’s every likelihood that you will own one.

The next step is to head to the app store on either your Android or Apple device to download the CoinBase app. This app is primarily going to be your “bank” for checking your balance, purchasing bitcoin, checking bitcoin to CAD and other currency exchange rates, and getting up-to-the-minute information. Please note that this app is not functional for buying and selling in all countries.

You then need to make an account by using your email address and creating a password. This will now be your login information to access your cryptocurrency information.

When you’re ready to buy cryptocurrency, you tap the buy button at the bottom of the screen. This enables you to add a payment account. If you’re using either a credit or debit card, you will only have the ability to purchase $150 in Bitcoin per week, but if you link a bank account, you have a far higher buying limit.

And now you wait. Your investment in cryptocurrency can prove lucrative in the very beginning, or it can plummet. The key is to play the long game when it comes to bitcoin value. Don’t see cryptocurrency as a get rich quick scheme. After all, it can take several years for stock and investments to ripen, and cryptocurrency can be no different.

Ownership and security

If you’ve ever been the victim of theft, you will know how easy it is to steal physical items. You merely need to take someone’s wallet, pull out the money, and discard the wallet. Keeping bitcoins safe, fortunately, is far easier. Every single bitcoin is registered to an address. This address equates to a completely random but valid private key. Only you hold that key, and you must keep this key safe.

Every time you wish to spend your bitcoins, you must enter that key and digitally sign for each transaction. This prevents anyone else from taking ownership of your bitcoins unlawfully. The secure network in which you transfer ownership of bitcoin recognizes and verifies the purchase.

If you happen to lose or misplace your private key, you will lose all your bitcoins. They are effectively unusable, and there are no other ways to confirm ownership of them. Therefore, it’s essential that you keep that sensitive information secure.

What is a wallet?

A digital wallet does precisely what a physical wallet you leave in your jeans pocket does: it holds money. But, the definition of money and how it’s stored in your wallet is where the difference between the two lies. While your real wallet houses real cash – cash that you can touch, remove and put back in, a bitcoin wallet (either Software, Full Client or Lightweight Client) merely stores the credentials to your bitcoin. It’s a form of proof that bitcoin is yours, but it never truly leaves the blockchain or transaction ledger. Essentially, you can use your wallet to house your bitcoin credentials, while being able to spend it from these wallets at the same time.

You can also choose to store your credentials in a bitcoin physical wallet, which is more of a novelty coin with credentials etched onto metal, or printed on paper. This allows you to spend your coins offline.

Are you ready to join the world of online currency? Bitcoin price will continue to fluctuate, but you can’t experience the many benefits of bitcoin and cryptocurrency if you don’t get involved now. The change is happening, and it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to be a part of it.

Is It Safe to Use BitMEX? How Reliable Is It?

BitMEX is widely found to be quite reliable, owing mostly to its high security levels. This trading platform and exchange uses multi-signature deposits and withdrawal plans that are accessible and available to its partners only. BitMEX also uses Amazon Web Services to protect its servers with two-step authentication and text messages. Hardware tokens are an additional security feature.

State-of-the-Art Risk Check System

BitMEX’s risk check system mandates that the amount of all account holdings on the site be zero. If this isn’t the case, all trading comes to a stop at once. Private keys are never stored in the cloud, and the exchange’s employees check all withdrawals individually by hand. Deposit addresses are verified externally to guarantee that the respective keys match. If they do not, the system shuts down immediately.

What is more, this trading platform is written in the database and tool set kdb+, which is the preferred choice of some major financial institutions regarding high frequency trading applications.

Compared to competitors like Bittrex and Poloniex, the BitMEX engine is also faster and more reliable. It features email notifications, and all communication is secured with PGP encryption.

BitMEX has not been hacked in its history. Still, that does not guarantee its future safety and stability. We recommend the following practices as you learn the ropes of BitMEX:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s6QNmlaIMI

Limited Deposit

Ideally, your first deposit should be small, perhaps 0.06 BTC. There is no minimum deposit requirement – why not avail yourself?

Focus on XBT-USD

Focus on this perpetual swap, because it is the market with the largest volume. At first, ignore other markets, including Altcoin and Bitcoin futures.

Low Leverage

Using the leverage slider bar, set the leverage at a maximum of 5x, ideally 3x. Do not select “Cross”, because thus you run the risk of exposing the entire equity balance.

Cost Field

When you launch your first trade, pay special attention to the Cost field. This indicates the maximum amount that you can lose. It goes without saying that your available balance must be higher than this.

Conclusion

BitMEX is rated as a safe platform, but it is clearly not one targeting amateur traders. The interface is complicated, which is why it can be very difficult for investors to get used to the exchange and even find their way around the website. On the plus side, it does provide a wide variety of instruments. Once an investor accumulates some experience with the platform, he or she will appreciate the wealth of information that it offers.

How to Start A Business In Canada

There is not a better time than now to start a business in Canada. Well, the timing is always perfect when it comes to businesses in Canada which is showcased in its flourishing economy. There are many reasons why an entrepreneur should not look elsewhere but build a business right at home in Canada.

First on the list is the low cost of living in Canada which makes it radically cost-effective to start a business venture. The government is also very supportive of entrepreneurs in Canada, that is regardless of whether you are a giant tycoon or a startup. Businesses have access to tax credits and government grants or financing especially for new businesses out there.

There are also tons of top-notch talents that are ripe for the picking especially if you are looking for technical talents. The University of Toronto and University of Waterloo are dubbed to be two of the best engineering schools in the country. In fact, tech giants like Facebook and Google recruit from there.

Here are the steps on how to start a business in Canada:

  • Weigh your business options. You have to determine whether you would want to start a business right from scratch or if you want to buy a franchise. This will really depend on your competency level as an entrepreneur. Most newbie entrepreneurs would find it more appealing and profitable to start out with a franchise and then scale their business by developing their own brand as the business progresses.
  • Register your business. This is required for Canadian businesses. You should decide on the form of business ownership, find a business name that embodies your brand, and then register your business name.
  • Get a business license. This is a must for businesses in Canada. You can check out BizPal to know the specific licenses and permits that is applicable to your business.
  • Register for GST/HST. If for incase your new business has a total gross income more than $30,000 then you will need to register for a Goods and Services Tax or Harmonized Sales Tax. There is however a Small Supplier exemption for the taxes. If for instance you are operating as a small supplier but would meet or exceed the $30,000 mark, then you would need to comply with the taxes. It is also advisable to register for the GST/HST right away because you will gain Input Tax Credits which will be another source of revenue to get back what your business has paid for.
  • Register for Provincial Sales Tax. Depending on where your business is located, then you would need to register for a provincial sales tax in that region. You can also sync this with your GST application for your convenience. If you will be starting a business in Quebec, then your need to register for a Quebec Sales Tax. If you operate in British Columbia, Manitoba, or Saskatchewan then you will need to register for the Provincial Sales Tax.
  • Get insurance. For any type of business, whether you operate from home or an office building, you would need insurance to protect you, your property, and employees from liabilities.

Opportunities abound in Canada especially for serial entrepreneurs looking to start something innovative. The low cost of living is also superb because you get to save up on costs because it is relatively cheaper to build and grow your company right in Canada than elsewhere in the world. Yes, all eyes are on Canada now as the best location for setting up your business venture.

Where To Invest Money Online

If you have that stash of cash in your hands and you are thinking of investing rather than spending, then you are well on your way to being financially free; so-to-speak.

There is however a price for freedom and it isn’t absolute either. Investing your money online is now a growing trend for many modern entrepreneurs or even homemakers who are looking to grow their money and let their money work for them.

This mantra or mindset of investing before spending will keep you ahead of the pack in terms of investments. This is however very challenging or even complicated for some people to start especially because there are many options on investment tools. Before you decide to commit on one investment vehicle, you need to determine your appetite for risk and your level of aggressiveness in approach when speaking of investments. You need to know the reality of making investments that you could potentially lose some or maybe all of your hard-earned cash. So, you need to know how much you can manage to lose while trying to build your wealth.

There are many ways to invest your money today. You can invest for as low as $50, $100, $1,000 or as much as $100,000.  Here are your options on where to invest money online:

  • Hire a Robo-Advisor. If you think that you would need expert help to handling your investments then this option would work well for you. For newbie investors with limited funds, this is a good choice because the fees are minimal and you can also adjust investments along the way. Robo-advisor pertains to investment companies that has automated software that can brilliantly manage your portfolios based on your criteria or requirements. The company will look into your investment goals as well as risk tolerance levels when managing your funds. This also allows you to get a view of the performance of your investments and holdings with its user-friendly interface.
  • Buy ETFs. If you heed Warren Buffet’s advice, then you must have this on your investment list. Exchange Traded Funds (EFTs) are low-cost funds that work like mutual funds. You can buy and sell this all throughout the day.
  • Hire an Investments Broker. These financial traders would charge you either a fee or commission for managing your money. If you are planning to invest large amounts of money then this might be a good route for you. Just be sure that your traders are looking into your best interests and not just for their companies so they get to earn commissions.
  • Trade Futures. You have to be an experienced trader or investor before you jump into futures. Your investments can grow in huge increments but you would need to have additional cash set aside for margin calls.
  • Trade Forex. Even if you have limited cash for trading, you can easily invest in Forex. This is what captivates a lot of people into Forex trading. You are given the liberty to invest within your budget range and with the propensity to grow your revenue. You can control your assets by leverage.

Any wise marketer would tell you that you need to know enough about investments online before actually investing in one. Nobody else would care most about your money than you – So you have to take control of your investments and trust only the experts to manage your cash.

Why Bitcoin Is Going Up In Value

There is no stopping bitcoin but the recent high that happened on November 3 (Friday) also prompted experts to issue a red flag on an impending financial crash.

According to CoinDesk, Bitcoin has reached an all-time high with a record of $7,454.04. This is indeed a sign that the financial industry is shifting towards the digital currency. This has indeed disrupted the way business is implemented and done on a day-to-day cycle. Traditional companies that still see bitcoin as an outsider or a nuisance are now challenged further by the disrupters of the economies – the blockchains.

The Uphill Climb of Bitcoin

The price of bitcoin actually went up to a whopping 210% last year which trades from about $450 and then broke records when it reached $1,400 in May 2017. After much skepticism and negative publicity plus rejection from traditional economists, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now slowly recognized by many countries, governments, and even the world’s biggest brands. This is said to be an emerging currency or asset which could potentially replace or enhance the financial sector that people are accustomed to.

Since the creation of bitcoin in 2008, the currency has struggled amidst regulators and detractors who are saying that it is illegal and should be banned. Despite the negative criticism and uncertainty, many investors and consumers saw the potential of bitcoin and supported the crypto industry.

What Causes Bitcoin’s Rise in Value?

Technology drives dynamism to business operations. Opening up to changes in the market to keep up with the needs and demands of your consumers is the predictable way to run a good business. This is precisely one of the reasons for the upward trajectory of bitcoin this year.

The lack of regulation in some countries with regards to bitcoin transactions also added up in increments to its value. More so the lack of control or intervention from middlemen or big banks could also have added up to its intrinsic value.

Its peer-to-peer or decentralized system also influenced its market value as no middlemen like the banks or even the government can take full control of the exchanges or trade happening in the community. This resonates very well especially with the people affected by the credit crisis in 2008.

Another selling point for bitcoin is that transactions are guaranteed to be seamless and secure with dual-sided cryptography in place which makes it very difficult to be deciphered by hackers. It is not a surprise then that bitcoin has emerged to be a tough competitor to fiat money with its rise to as much as 500% this year.

What further bolstered the success of bitcoin is that there are plethora of options that can be explored for speculation and trading online which provides its audience and followers more ways to generate profit and grow their revenue stream.

To people who says there is a market bubble, bitcoin’s consistent and steady rise actually pricked their bubble instead. CME is also going to launch bitcoin futures which is hurling in more investors for November. This is indeed a surefire sign that bitcoin is going mainstream anytime soon.