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Investing in Crypto: Things to Do in a Crypto Winter

Investing in Crypto: Things to Do in a Crypto Winter

June Katz 13 min read
The first crypto winter was registered in 2014-2015 and lasted 427 days. At that time, the bitcoin exchange rate decreased by 87%, which negatively affected altcoin quotes. The situation was repeated in 2017-2018, when the growth of the bitcoin exchange rate, which began in the fall, was replaced by a sharp decline — from 20 thousand dollars per coin to 8 thousand, or even less. For several months now, experts have been speculating about the possible onset of crypto winter. New assumptions appeared almost every week, and the deadlines were constantly pushed back. It looks like it happened after all. However, the market is cyclical — a period of growth is always followed by a fall and vice versa. Any downturn creates enrichment opportunities, so in this article, we will look at the topic of investing in cryptocurrency. I will point out that we are not giving financial advice — we’re just collecting information about the main investment strategies, the main market participants, and patterns that may be useful. Crypto Investment Strategies There are different approaches to making money on investments in digital assets. We offer you to get acquainted with the three most popular strategies. Hodl Hodl is a popular term in the crypto community, which network users employ to denote the purchase of cryptocurrency for its long–term retention. Working under this scheme implies earning on the growth of the asset rate for a long time. For example, investors who purchased 1 bitcoin 6 years ago, as of the time of writing, were able to increase their investments by 17547%. Scalping The term scalping usually means income from short-term changes in the exchange rate of an asset. Most often, the influence of news on the digital asset market is used to make money using the scheme. Here's how it can work: An investor saw that a couple of minutes ago, Tesla published a report stating that the organization invested a large amount in bitcoin. It can be assumed that the news will positively affect the behavior of the cryptocurrency exchange rate. To make money on the market reaction, the investor buys bitcoin. At the moment when the cryptocurrency exchange rate starts to rise, the investor gets the opportunity to sell the asset at a higher price. The difference in the cost of buying and selling will become his profit. Also, for scalping, you can use technical analysis of the behavior of the asset rate according to the schedule. Averaging The essence of the strategy is to purchase an asset for an extended time on a certain day of the week/month (or with other frequency), regardless of the current position of the cryptocurrency. Market participants who choose this strategy believe that this approach allows them to earn money by averaging risks. Staking This term refers to the intentional retention of assets in the account, to organize a source of passive income. In the staking market, you can find offers with high profitability. One of them is available on the ROY Club platform. Within the walls of the site, up to 40% of new coins can be generated monthly on the UMI cryptocurrency staking. At the same time, you can start earning in a few minutes after registering in the system. All the steps that you need to go through to start earning are accompanied by detailed instructions. If necessary, the user will be able to get advice on working in a dialog box on the site. How to Increase the Efficiency of Investments in Cryptocurrency Many investors have their secrets to improving the efficiency of investments in cryptocurrency. Among them, there are several universal tips. Here are some of them: Investments should be diversified. A distributed portfolio of assets reduces the likelihood of losing all investments due to a sudden drop in the exchange rate of one cryptocurrency. There is no need to buy digital assets with the last money. The market can be unpredictable. It is worth investing only what you can afford to lose. Investments need to be planned. It is worth determining in advance how much you are willing to invest in cryptocurrency. Also, experienced market participants are advised to keep records and record all their operations in the market, so that, if necessary, they have information at hand to analyze the effectiveness of solutions. There are different investment strategies for users who want to make money on the movement of the cryptocurrency exchange rate. For those who are not in a hurry, the hodl scheme is suitable. Users who are ready for increased risk for the sake of instant earnings should pay attention to scalping. Those who want to combine the high profitability of different strategies with the security of investments may be interested in staking. Ways to Analyze Digital Assets Technical Analysis Technical analysis is based on historical market data because history develops in a circle and repeats itself. It includes an overview of past pricing trends. Technical analysis aims to identify recurring patterns and make calculated forecasts for the growth or decline of trends. The main assumption here is that prices are not random and they can be foreseen if you look into the past. Although technical analysis performed correctly can be quite useful and effective, it does not always work. In most cases, the success of technical analytics depends on the person conducting the research. That's why some people prefer fundamental analysis of crypto. Fundamental Analysis Fundamental analysis aims to cover a somewhat broader picture compared to technical analysis. It takes into account both qualitative and quantitative factors that can affect the value to understand whether an asset is overvalued or undervalued compared to its current market price. Since there are no public financial statements that can be verified on the cryptocurrency market, it is more difficult to do this type of analysis, especially for beginners. It is necessary to take into account the volume of transactions, user activity, the unique functions of the cryptocurrency, and even some global economic events that can significantly affect the cryptocurrency market. It is better for a beginner to learn how to use both methods. Understanding cryptocurrency fundamentals will help you make smarter decisions, plan your strategy both in the short and long term, and ultimately become a better investor. Choosing the Best Crypto to Invest In Polygon ( MATIC ) This is a level 2 cryptocurrency for Ethereum decentralized application platforms. Polygon is a promising blockchain ecosystem designed to develop infrastructure and help scale the Ethereum network. The Matic Network and the Polygon token also offered a second-level solution — transferring transactions directly on the Ethereum network to another coin platform. This allowed the Matic network to reach a speed of 7,200 transactions per second (TPS). For comparison, the throughput of Ethereum does not exceed 15 transactions per second. In 2021, the network was rebranded — it became known as Polygon. But in addition to the new name, it also has new functions. Now it is a platform for creating interconnected blockchain networks. In other words, with the help of Polygon, everyone can write their blockchain for any purpose. In the future, Polygon will become the basis of web3 networks. Loopring (LRC) A promising cryptocurrency of the decentralized exchange of the same name. To make DEX more scalable and reduce the commission, ZK accumulative packages are used. Loopring gives DEX the ability to choose between storing transactions on-chain or off-chain at any given time. This on-chain data availability (OCDA) combined with ring miners and order rings provides greater scalability of DEX. Loopring offline storage provides 16,400 transactions per second (TPS). Chainlink (LINK) It is the digital currency of the decentralized Oracle programming network. The goal of Chainlink is to solve the problem of securely connecting smart contracts to real events. Smart contracts are code fragments that embody a given business logic (for example, when to pay interest on loans). Ripple ( XRP ) This promising cryptocurrency project from San Francisco has become a truly global crypto intermediary (bridge currency) used in cross-border settlements. We are talking about multibillion-dollar transactions mainly between financial institutions, corporations, banks, and payment systems of all countries of the world ("payment corridors"). The second advantage of XRP is the phenomenal speed of financial transactions conducted in the Ripple ecosystem. It is more than 10 thousand operations per second (in particular, in Ripple Net the hash rate is at least 50,000 TPS). Cardano (ADA) It is a fully decentralized platform operating on the principle of open source. The distinctive features of Cardano are complete anonymity, the absence of restrictions, and other complicating circumstances such as KYC . It was created in 2017 and became one of the first ecosystems operating on the PoS (Proof-of-stake - "proof of ownership") network protocol. It is actively used in the architectonics of smart contracts and Dapps. The recommended investment horizon is from one year. Stellar (XLM) This is a promising cryptocurrency that is used in various systems — from gaming platforms to online stores. It was created in 2014. The main feature is the unification of various ecosystems and blockchains. Stellar is a universal medium of exchange with minimal fees for financial transactions. The cooperation of the platform with IBM and MoneyGram International. Criteria for Selecting Promising Blockchain Projects In 2009, Bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency on the market. Today, the number of digital tokens has exceeded 1000. In such an assortment, it is easy to get lost even for experienced investors, not to mention beginners. When choosing the optimal cryptocurrency for long-term investment or earning on exchange rate fluctuations, we were guided by the following criteria: The fame of the project and its reputation; Capitalization size; The number of exchanges on which the selected cryptocurrency is traded; The number of coins in circulation; The volatility of the exchange rate and the dynamics of quotations; Technical data of the network; Social activity. Cryptocurrencies that are actively discussed on forums and in chat rooms have more prospects for growth. Conclusions It is quite possible to be friends with the risks that the volatility of digital assets carries. By carefully monitoring and analyzing all small price movements, experienced traders have learned to extract income from them by buying and selling coins at the right moment. Such a flair comes with practice, but at the same time, it is backed up by knowledge — studying trading tools, helps not only not to go into negative territory, but also to make a profit. Is crypto a good investment? The cryptocurrency market is volatile and unpredictable, and many experts do not recommend it for long-term investment. But bitcoin has been around for more than 10 years — and this is much longer than the same experts predicted. And although we are seeing periodic ups and downs, in the long term, the crypto market is still expected to grow consistently.
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What’s Up with the Ethereum Upgrade? The State of the Network in 2022

What’s Up with the Ethereum Upgrade? The State of the Network in 2022

June Katz 4 min read
The entire crypto community is waiting for the release of the second version of Vitalik Buterin's cryptocurrency network. It will allow you to receive passive income for altcoin storage, increase the transaction speed by almost 70 times and forget about mining . It has long been known that Ethereum developers are planning to switch to Proof-of-Stake. This will mean the termination of the use of the Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm, - ETH mining by solving complex mathematical problems (mining). Now the key value will be played by the number of tokens that are stored on the user's account. The transition to Ethereum 2.0 is announced for 2022, the release date has been pushed back.  In a conversation with a blogger Compass Mining, key developers of Ethereum 2.0 Ben Edgington, and Tim Beiko said that everything is almost ready, but the 1st quarter of the year is already over, and the transition is not completed yet. Despite all its achievements, the low scalability and high cost of financial transactions remain the "Achilles heel" of the Ethereum network. There is a real danger of "competition for transactional space and the use of blockchain has already become expensive, but soon the cost of services may increase by another five times.  At the moment, the altcoin blockchain is capable of conducting up to 15 transactions per second. This indicator is more than two times higher than that of bitcoin . However, for a large number of users, this speed is not enough. For example, the Visa payment system can carry out up to 24 thousand transactions per second. The development of Optimistic Rollup will help solve the scalability problem. According to Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, its implementation will occur after the altcoin network is updated. This will increase its throughput to 1000 transactions per second. As a solution, Buterin sees a departure from the verification model of each device in the network of each transaction and switches to a random verification model. Yes, this will slightly reduce security, but it will significantly reduce costs (up to 100 times from each transaction). Another solution to the scalability problem will be the introduction of sharding. Now the Ethereum network is a common database. After the update, the blockchain will be divided into autonomous, interacting shard chains, each of which will process its transactions and smart contracts . Vitalik Buterin in an interview with The Toronto Star stated that what he cares about is taking blockchain technology behind bitcoin that makes decentralized cryptocurrency possible and making it more general-purpose so that other things can be decentralized in the same way. Several big steps have already been taken to solve the problems facing the ecosystem. In the spring of 2021, The Berlin hard fork was launched. It was a network upgrade that changes the underlying Ethereum protocol, created new rules to improve the system, regulates gas fees, and adds new transaction types. Now it's the turn to launch the London hard fork which will go live on block 12 965 000 (On 15 April it’s 12,624,311).  London hard fork should solve the problem of mining centralization. The mining process in the Ethereum blockchain is gradually ceasing to be fair. Miners with a reserve of funds buy special integrated circuits designed for ETH mining. This gives them the ability to mine blocks faster than users with GPUs. As a result, ordinary miners with GPU began to underwork, and some of them switched to mining other assets. Ether developers are aware of the fact of the problem with the complexity of mining and plan to replace the consensus mechanism. Approximately in the 3rd quarter of 2022, the Ethereum blockchain will switch to the Proof-of-Stake system. When switching to the Proof-of-Work algorithm, the network operation will be provided by remote servers running the master node software. It can be a home computer or a laptop with a certain amount of funds. To participate in Ethereum stacking, you need to keep at least 32 ETH in your wallet. In June 2020, the number of addresses with more than 32 ETH was close to 120,000. In the first 5 months of this year, this value increased by 13%. According to the roadmap of the project, the annual return on stacking will vary from 1.81% to 18.1%. At the moment, the exact values are unknown. The profitability will depend on the number of participants. The more of them there are, the lower the amount of remuneration will be.  Together, the growing shortage of coins, increased demand, as well as the influx of capital from large investors can have a serious impact on the price and its growth, respectively. At the moment, the value of ETH has already exceeded $ 3,000. Sometime after the activation of the hard fork in London, the price may rise even more. The potential goal of ETH is to update the historical maximum, which is at around $ 4380. Thus, only if the record value is updated, investors can potentially make a profit of almost 50%. Unlike investors in the United States, who are still waiting for certainty in the regulation of the crypto market, investors in the CIS can already legally and safely invest in cryptocurrencies. You can exchange and buy cryptocurrencies on the SwapSpace crypto exchange .
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How to Avoid Losing Your Crypto in Cross-Chain Swaps: a Detailed Guide

How to Avoid Losing Your Crypto in Cross-Chain Swaps: a Detailed Guide

June Katz 13 min read
As you must know, there are many types of cryptocurrency operating on different networks and using different protocols. Although bitcoin still dominates the cryptocurrency market, this dominance has been declining in the past few years amid growing interest in DeFi cryptocurrencies and as this happens, the demand for Bitcoin's interaction with DeFi is also growing. The growth of numerous independent blockchain ecosystems with different specifics and geographical niches has led to the fact that the world is becoming more and more multi-blockchain. The ability to freely use the advantages of each of these blockchains and their unique assets within a single application would cause a powerful wave of development of new cross-chain smart contracts - as with the spread of DeFi, NFT , and on-chain gaming economies, when decentralized oracle services for obtaining real data and secure computing outside the blockchain appeared. We could compare the exchange of DeFi and Bitcoin with the exchange of one fiat currency for another, but an analogy would be more accurate, in which one group of people uses Coca-Cola caps for calculations, and the other uses shells, - that's how much the principles of their work differ. What Do Different Blockchain Networks Mean? To understand this difference, we need to touch on the question of how does blockchain work. Blockchain is a continuous chain of blocks that contains all records of transactions.  The chain of blocks is unbreakable since each block contains a link to the previous one. As a result, it is impossible to forge a registry with data on the owners of assets in the blockchain. The addition of new blocks is artificially restricted. If this is not done, the blocks will be added randomly and a reliable sequential chain will not work. For the appearance of a new block to become possible, it must be checked - this is what the miners are doing. First, there was the bitcoin network, with which the cryptocurrency revolution began. ERC-20 ( Ethereum ) network was the next truly big development in this sphere, from which DeFi technology and the use of smart contracts originate. Then other networks using different algorithms appeared. Ethereum uses one blockchain, and Bitcoin uses another, and they are not interconnected. You can't just send tokens between networks. Therefore, to exchange within this exchange pair, you will need other tools and methods Today, there are already dozens or even hundreds of first- and second-level blockchains. Each blockchain is unique in its way and has its advantages and disadvantages. If the world of cryptocurrencies, in which there was only Bitcoin, can be compared with the city where the railway was built, then today there are many types of transport in this city: from bicycles and helicopters to personal cars, trams, and boats.  Each of them has its advantages for the user. At the same time, the user is not obliged to use only a bicycle or a car during the day and has the opportunity to "transfer" between them when he wants. But how? ERC-20 Standard Tokens Before the advent of Ethereum, each token had a separate intelligent contract and, as a result, there were many compliance problems. As a solution for it, a standard protocol ERC-20 (or Ethereum Request For Comments) was created.  The peculiarity of the ERC-20 standard is in several requirements that need to be met to accept a token and its network interaction with other tokens. Assets in the blockchain can be valuable, they can be received and sent, like all cryptocurrencies. The ERC-20 standard is technically easy to apply. This allows specialists to easily develop new tokens. There are a large number of ERC-20 compatible tokens. For example, Maker (MKR), Tether (USB), Fantom (FTM), Dai (DAI), and others. Since any ERC-20 token can be stored in any ETH-compatible wallet, we can switch from one ERC-20 token to another without much risk and difficulties. When transferring Ethereum's assets to an EVM-incompatible chain such as Solana , the bridge connecting the two networks uses two different wallet addresses and token standards. This means that users need to connect a wallet compatible with Ethereum and Solana, such as Meta Mask and Phantom. Other Token Standards There are other technical standards of tokens that serve different purposes: the best-known ones among them are BEP-20, OMNI, and TRC-20, which you will find in the I/O section on a variety of cryptocurrency exchanges. If you transfer an ERC-20 token to the wallet of one of these networks, you will lose it, because when you send it, you will specify a similar address, existing on another network, - as if you came to visit your friend on a street with the same name, but in a different city. Luckily, there are crypto sites that support multiple blockchains, such as Binance or Coinbase. When you deposit or withdraw any of the different blockchain coins, you will be asked to choose the type of network. After entering the wallet address or the recipient's address for withdrawal, Binance will automatically select the network based on the entered address. How to Cross-Chain There are 2 ways to cross-chain exchange: On a Centralized Exchange, like Binance which we've already mentioned , where you can simply exchange bitcoin for ether, Solana for Near, etc. Here large internal pools and algorithms of centralized exchanges are responsible for exchanges. The exchange's developers control these processes, and all this happens nominally on the exchange's wallets, and not in the blockchain itself.  Platforms that provide cross-chain services do not work for free. It is necessary to pay the cost of the operation for the deposit and withdrawal of funds, which is sometimes quite high. In addition, most centralized exchanges (CEX) require KYC procedures (providing copies of documents, photos/videos of the user), which does not always satisfy users.  Decentralized Trading Platforms, such as UniSwap , do not collect personal data about their users, nor do they require complex registration/login procedures. On decentralized platforms, special smart contracts are used to achieve a high level of trust. They allow interaction between different networks and, in case of compliance with the terms of the contract specified by users, to perform automatic exchange (conversion) of assets. However, you need to be prepared for the fact that the exchange pair you need may not be on DEX. When choosing an exchange, it is important to take into account the number of trading pairs. The more of them, the higher the opportunities for trading and investing. To begin with, you need to decide on the choice of an exchange. Then carefully approach the study of trading pairs. It is necessary to work on large platforms with liquid pairs in order to reduce risks. There are also aggregators like SwapSpace , which is designed to make choosing a bit easier by gathering offers from different exchanges in one place. There’s also using blockchain bridges. If we go beyond centralized exchanges into the world of decentralized finance , then, in fact, we go into the blockchain itself. And only bridges will allow you to make a cross whose new exchange is in the blockchain itself. Cross-Chain Bridges Cross-chain solutions, cross-chain bridges, compatibility, or interoperability solutions are a technology that allows you to transfer tokens from one blockchain to another. Blockchains, like islands or individual states, exist in their ecosystems according to their own rules, and initially, the developers did not bother with the standardization and compatibility of networks. With the growing number of projects in the decentralized space, this issue has become acute. The bridge most often refers to the use of managing smart contracts and an oracle service that monitors transactions and listens for events in the managing smart contract. The bridge can be one-way, receiving information via other communication channels . The most important thing is that the bridge is a cryptographic verification of the authenticity of the information. Cross-chain solutions can transfer assets within the same network — from L1 to L2, for example. But bridges do not transfer tokens in the classical sense, - bridges have certain pools of liquidity for pairs of assets. Tokens are blocked in one network and minted again in another For example, to transfer tokens from blockchain A to blockchain B, the bridge temporarily freezes assets in blockchain A (the sender's funds). Then the required tokens are unblocked (minting) in blockchain B (the recipient has access to funds in the addressee blockchain). If the user decides to get his funds back, the reverse process is performed: blockchain B tokens are burned and access to blockchain A tokens is unlocked. You can use various cross-chain bridges. they are built based on burning algorithms (mint-and-burn) or using the process of freezing and reissuing synthetic tokens. It is implied that when a token leaves its blockchain, it is frozen, and at the same time, a synthetic version of this token is released on another platform. Often (but not always) the process is based on the presence of intermediaries (oracles) in the systems to transfer information from one blockchain to another. The burning protocol, as the name suggests, does not freeze, but burns tokens. Cross-chain solutions can be centralized (requiring full trust), federated (federated), and trustless. These characteristics can vary to varying degrees - it all depends on the level of decentralization. Centralized bridges imply full control by any institution/team/company/project. Users transfer their information/funds to the management of the central authority that controls the operation of the blockchain. There is no decentralization, but such solutions are easily and quickly implemented. At the same time, no one guarantees the safety of funds, therefore, this technology does not differ in security. The federated bridge works by analogy with a private blockchain. Nodes must comply with a number of strict rules to become part of the management network and gain control over the movement of tokens. Specialized nodes are called keepers. There are such, for example, in a cross-chain solution between Ethereum and Wanchain . Custodians block tokens in Ethereum and issue tokens in Wanchain. If the user needs to transfer tokens back, he submits a request to the keepers, who send part of the secret key. When a full key is generated, it removes the lock from the tokens. There may be various options for voting mechanisms with partial control. Trustless-bridge is a full-fledged decentralized system that any network participant can join to perform the functions of an agent or validator. He verifies the validity of transactions and receives a commission for it. The Syscoin bridge works according to this algorithm. Nodes here can challenge the work of other agents and report a violation. If the check is successful, then 3 ETH is withdrawn from the violator, but in the opposite case, 3 ETH is lost by the person who reported the violation. Another vivid example of such a bridge is Wormhole, connecting the Solana network and Ethereum. It allows you to convert ERC-20 tokens into native SPL tokens of the Solana blockchain. Examples of cross-chain bridges can be projects such as the AnySwap , BTC Relay, POLKADOT , BLOCKNET, AION , WANCHAIN, etc Advantages of Cross-Chain Bridges Bridges can accelerate the transfer of digital assets in a trustless environment. Interoperability can also contribute to high confidentiality, for example, data is recorded in sidechains accessible only to the parties involved in each specific transaction. Bridges can also provide greater speed and scalability using sharding (segmentation). Individual operations can be recorded in a network segment, while the result of processing a group of operations is recorded in the main registry. Bridges reduce network traffic by distributing between less loaded blockchains, which also contributes to greater scalability. Disadvantages of Cross-Chain Bridges This is still an experimental technology that needs to be honed for mass use. Cross-chain solutions have not yet become sufficiently universal and so far act as a kind of crutches, another add-on, or a level above blockchains, which makes the entire system more cumbersome. Errors and obstacles between the work of various networks are not excluded, because these are complex distributed registries, and not every computer can process such an amount of information. That is, cross-chain bridges are quite resource-intensive, in the sense that they require a lot of human resources and time. There are also questions about security. The more bridges an asset passes, the riskier it becomes, moving further away from the original asset. Since new tokens with new tickers are minted every time they pass through the bridge, this creates inconvenience for users. Now it is necessary to look for a unique approach to each case and each pair of blockchains, and this requires time, money, and serious efforts of developers.
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What Are Stablecoins - And How You Could Use Them

What Are Stablecoins - And How You Could Use Them

June Katz 5 min read
The cryptocurrency market is growing rapidly. The turnover on the exchanges is trillions of dollars. The value of individual digital assets exceeds the value of large companies. Investor interest is increasing. However, the risks remain. One tool for reducing risks is the so-called stablecoins. Their main strength is the same as that of recognized fiat currencies, - relative stability. It is possible to make predictable calculations using them. The most popular stablecoins are: USD Tether (USDT) Binance BUSD (BUSD) True USD (TUSD) Paxos Standard (PAX) USD Coin (USDC) Now there are several types of stablecoins, the most common of which group them by the type of the underlying asset, i.e. the asset to which the cryptocurrency is linked: to fiat money, for example, USDT (Tether, pegged to the dollar) and bitCNY (to the yuan); to goods traded on the stock exchange, for example, precious metals and gas or it could be even crypto-backed stablecoins. What are stablecoins used for? Stablecoins are most often used to fix profits, and to preserve the balance from drawdowns during jumps in the value of the main trading cryptocurrency. Large investors sometimes transfer their profits "overnight" to a stablecoin to continue trading without losses in the morning. In addition to the protective function, this type of digital currency is used for: Everyday transactions Optimized recurrent payments and transfers from card to card Cheap international transfers, for example, for foreign workers Guarding against hyperinflation of the local currency Increasing the speed and quality of cryptocurrency exchanges to reduce dependence on bitcoin . On some exchanges, it is already faster and cheaper to trade through a stablecoin. And it takes time and additional checks to enter fiat money into the system. Also, this type of digital asset allows you to diversify risks: while the price of bitcoin is changing a lot, you can store funds practically in euros or dollars. The presence of stablecoins ensures the trust and acceptance of cryptocurrencies in general. Institutional investors use stablecoins, increasing the turnover of the industry as a whole, and increasing profitability for smaller investors. Plus, the more trust in cryptocurrencies, the easier it is to use them in the real world when buying goods /services. So, which stablecoin will suit you the most depends primarily on your goals. Often people who need to transfer money from one state to another in a quick transit (in a day or two), use Tether (USDT) because it has the best liquidity. The main thing here is not to keep large amounts of money in it for a longer time. For the longer-term storage of a backup crypto cushion for a rainy day, it might be a good choice to collect a diversified portfolio from USDC, BUSD, and DAI . Terra USD (UST) is not a reliable stablecoin for storage. It makes sense to go to it only if you are going to make money on staking. Challenges and risks of stablecoins Despite all the advantages, stablecoins have several risks to be reckoned with. Firstly, not all of them are stable enough, despite the name – new projects appear, but do not always survive. It is reasonable to use well-established stablecoins and gradually diversify into others. Secondly, by linking to other assets, they receive the following risks - the collapse of guaranteeing currency (if linked to it) and legal restrictions: linking to fiat currencies increases not only trust but also the number of requirements for mandatory execution. For example, Facebook decided to launch its cryptocurrency, which is based on different fiat currencies – and got mired in bureaucratic problems. Thirdly, the owner of the stablecoin in most cases is one company with centralized management. In such cases maintaining trust and stability requires constant monitoring, audits, and inspections , as concentrating power in the hands of just a few people makes it easy to abuse . Even the popular Tether at some point (according to rumors) began to offer a larger volume of cryptocurrency than there were real assets. An investigation by the US Department of Justice has begun. To sum up , stablecoins allow payments to be made quickly and at a low cost, which requires effective financial, organizational, and technical conditions. However, in the absence of a proper regulatory system, various risks may appear, which may cause undesirable consequences.
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The State of Play-to-Earn Crypto Games in 2022: Metaverse NFT’s

The State of Play-to-Earn Crypto Games in 2022: Metaverse NFT’s

Ruth Kise 5 min read
The concept of the virtual world is hardly new. Online and offline games with their infinite worlds are its dramatic confirmation. However, the metaverse is bursting in popularity today. Why? Blockchain mainstreaming and... cryptocurrency! The idea of ​a virtual world existence cannot be without the presence of virtual currency in it. Because, as in reality, any participant wants to have value, identity, and so on. This means, there is the popularity of the NFTs. NFT – non-fungible tokens, they can represent ownership of practically anything, video, art, sports, virtual real estate, and even gaming. They cannot be exchanged from one to the other. Hence, each is unique and accrues value independently. By the way, Mark Zuckerberg took up metaverse realization and renamed Facebook to Meta . The company is working on merging digital and physical worlds within a single platform, an ecosystem of blockchain, and has already created VR glasses, for example, for a virtual meeting with friends or colleagues. Your avatar, which will be present there, can be created and owned as NFT. While we are at an early stage in the generalized metaverse development, local virtual worlds are gaining traction — crypto games. They are a blockchain, decentralized, open-source platform with smart contract functionality, whose task is to transform the gaming experience of users by giving players true ownership of their in-game items through the use of NFT. Their gamers can claim, buy, sell, and trade all assets as NFTs and, thereby – earn.  There are different options on which blockchain crypto game is the best, but judging by their rates in 2021 and 2022, there are 3 at the moment. Let's overview these top ones: All are based on the Ethereum blockchain and are partnering with Polygon (fitting Ethereum second-level blockchain) to solve issues around scalability, speed, and transaction costs. All have similar opportunities and exciting worlds that you can create. And if you're going to dive in, you should get any Ethereum compatible wallet to store all your crypto. Still, there are some gaps between these three. Decentraland   • Runs on PC and Mac. There is no mobile version yet, but it’s in progress. • Crypto: MANA ($2.15), LAND. • You can convert your MANA assets from the Ethereum blockchain to Polygon’s Matic Network. • Plenty of games to enjoy. Some need you to pay according to the creator’s design, but lots are free of charge. • The navigation is as usable as it could be. Just move your avatar around a terrain of adjoining games to see your experiences. Sandbox • Runs on PC and Mac, Android and iOS. OS support coming soon. • Crypto: SAND ($2.81). • SAND can be staked on Polygon. • All games are user-created, and anyone can make them for free. Also, you can create assets as NFTs and sell them to other users. If you want to build metaverse experiences, you need to buy the limited LAND resource.   • Both free and paid games where you can earn SAND and use it to enter paid experiences. GALA Games • Runs on PC and Mac. The mobile version isn’t even planned. • Crypto: GALA ($0.2021). • Main position — "Fun first". There are 5 simple to play games in various stages of development, and no need for Blockchain pro to enjoy them. • Free-to-play games with play-to-earn mechanics allow you to unlock real rewards and start making money. Looking at the market cap growth of cryptocurrency of these play-to-earn games is hard to imagine something that could bring down an investment interest in the crypto-economic sector.  Taking on the psychological human desire to escape from external reality, to have fun, and find a better world, where you are a creator, not a ponce, it is difficult to refuse the opportunity to be in a metaverse. And if in addition to creating and entertaining, you can earn money – it is a win-win long-lasting ecosystem.
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Wrapped Tokens Explained: What Are Wrapped Tokens and How They Work

Wrapped Tokens Explained: What Are Wrapped Tokens and How They Work

June Katz 4 min read
Ever wondered whether you can perform operations with cryptocurrency outside of its native blockchain? Unfortunately, you can't, at least not directly. This inability to migrate crypto assets from one blockchain to another can be considered by some among the most frustrating problems facing the crypto community. And while there currently is no direct way that would allow using Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain, a wrapped crypto token is the next best thing to a completely seamless transition between blockchains. Wrapped tokens explained Wrapped tokens are designed to allow the use of cryptocurrencies across blockchains, without forcing users to resort to selling crypto assets when they wish to trade on a platform utilizing a different blockchain. Essentially, a wrapped crypto token is a special cryptocurrency the value of which is tied to the value of another currency (similarly to stablecoins , the value of which is tied to fiat money like USD). The token is best imagined as a stand-in for a currency that is non-native to some blockchain. Using wrapped tokens allows the holder to preserve their original assets by securing them in a special digital vault. The original asset, however, remains inaccessible to the original owner while the token is in circulation. Though one can still retrieve their original assets, this will require a special notification to be given, which would pull the token out of circulation and destroy it. After this is done, the original crypto asset is released from the vault and given back to the holder.To explain in more detail, let’s look at the process of how wrapped tokens operate. In order for a wrapped token to be created, it requires a custodian – someone or something holding a certain amount of crypto assets. The value of the created wrapped tokens needs to be equivalent to the value of these assets. A custodian is usually a merchant, a multisig wallet (a type of wallet that requires several signatures for access), a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization – an automated and crowd-sourced investment organization, which operates similarly to a venture fund), or a smart contract . A custodian receives a certain amount of crypto, let's say 1 BTC, from someone who wants to trade on an Ethereum-based platform. The transferred BTC is then placed to a digital vault, “wrapped”, while an equal amount – 1 WBTC – is minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The value of the WBTC is tied to the value of BTC and changes in real time accordingly thanks to a smart contract algorithm. In case the client wants to exchange WBTC back to BTC, or “unwrap” it, he or she issues a request to the custodian, who burns the WBTC and releases the BTC back from the vault. Proof of the transactions is stored on the blockchain. It is important to note that there is a fee ( gas ) involved in wrapping and unwrapping the cryptocurrency. Wrapped tokens on Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) You can use wrapped tokens on both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. In the case of Ethereum, such tokens can be utilized instead of non-native Ethereum assets – tokens that originate on other platforms – in order for them to be compatible with ERC-20 (the standard that is used on Ethereum to issue tokens). Similarly, on Binance Smart Chain various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), USDT, and others can be wrapped with the help of Binance Bridge into BEP-20 tokens. They can then be bought or sold, or used for different purposes, such as yield farming (lending your funds in exchange or fees in crypto).Interestingly enough, ETH (or Ether), which is needed to pay for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, predates the ERC-20 standard. This means that Ether needs to be converted into the ERC-20 token , despite being native to the blockchain. To do so, you need to wrap Ether (ETH) into wETH, thus creating a tokenized version of Ether. Pros and cons of using wrapped tokens The most obvious advantage of wrapped tokens is based on the fact that various standards differ across various blockchains, and these standards aren’t compatible with one another. Wrapped tokens help overcome this problem, allowing you to use tokens on a blockchain without them being originally non-native to it. Secondly, wrapped tokens help build connections and contribute to increasing liquidity. Capital efficiency is increased by the proliferation of wrapped tokens as idle and disconnected assets are “put to work”: tokens allow for more assets to potentially become traded and utilized in transactions, while also building bridges between different platforms. Finally, wrapped tokens can help avoid extra fees and increase transaction speed.However, as with everything else, wrapped tokens are not without disadvantages. Tokens do not allow genuine blockchain-to-blockchain migration, and therefore require the presence of a trustworthy third party. This, of course, means extra fees to pay for the user. Conclusively, while wrapped tokens are not ideal and do not allow for true blockchain-to-blockchain transactions, they nevertheless help connect different blockchains to one another bridging the gaps in decentralized finance and making crypto-capital more efficient.
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What Is Telcoin and How to Buy It?

What Is Telcoin and How to Buy It?

June Katz 6 min read
What Is Telcoin?  Telcoin (TEL) is an ERC-20 token developed by Telcoin Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based telecom-focused team of developers. The project aims to integrate blockchain technology with worldwide mobile networks: Telcoin has a goal of bringing instant international money transfers to all mobile phone users. The company initially released the TEL token itself and the Telcoin Wallet app. Nowadays, the Telcoin platform includes TEL token, Telcoin app, TELx Network which provides liquidity for the Telcoin users, and a settlement layer — an Ethereum sidechain called Rivendell.  The Telcoin app can be downloaded off of the App Store or through Google Play. The app allows users to transfer TEL to third parties without paying the commission fees normally associated with global money transfers. The Telcoin app allows the user to secure, store, and trade digital assets and send and receive fiat remittances in 16 countries. How Does Telcoin Work? Since Telcoin’s launch in 2017, the project has garnered a lot of attention for its ambitious plan to merge the telecom industry with blockchain technology. Telcoin is all about making money transfers easier and smarter — both in peer-to-peer transactions to individuals’ phone numbers and while interacting with e-commerce stores.Telcoin is working closely with major mobile networks in areas of the world where getting access to traditional financial institutions is a hassle. This partnership benefits disadvantaged populations by providing access to previously unavailable financial services with the only requirement for participation being a working smartphone with a phone plan.The project utilizes an API that helps promote network interaction and cooperation. Operators and networks can integrate with Telcoin via this API; this, in turn, qualifies them to receive constant TEL issuance. Networks that receive more traffic and have a higher integration maturity will earn more TEL as a reward.In addition to the company’s official wallet, Telcoin can be integrated with existing mobile wallets. Payments transferred through partnered mobile wallets are free with the only fees being the ones from converting TEL into other cryptocurrencies and converting those cryptos into fiat. Free in-app operations with conversion supported by local telecom companies will undoubtedly help both consumers and business owners looking for ways to cut down on extra costs.The project’s end goal is to facilitate the overall unbanking of the world by providing an alternative to traditional money transfer platforms via cheap remittance, payments, credit, and other perks that can be achieved through blockchain technology. Telcoin Benefits and Drawbacks Pros:  strong >Worldwide accessibility. Telcoin partners with many mobile operators and all the major electronic wallets as an ERC20 token, which allows the project to reach an unprecedentedly large community of users. Cost-effectiveness. As per the most recent research, global remittance fees average at around 7%, while Telcoin is targeting an average cost of less than 2% of every transaction, and only 0.5% commissions for a remittance. Experienced team of developers. The staff behind Telcoin boasts an experience of over 10 years in both blockchain and telecommunication. Cons: Might be unprofitable as an investment. As of June 2022, TEL ranks 181 in the list of cryptocurrencies. Its price has usually been lingering below $0.035, except for a brief spike during the insanely bullish crypto market in mid-2021. Not backed. Telcoin is not backed by any physical commodity or fiat currency. Telcoin Future During a crypto winter, such as the one that’s going on now, in mid-2022, the future can seem kind of bleak across the market. TEL is not the exception, with the Telcoin price falling to ~$0.0014 in June. However, its rate of loss of value has stabilized in 2022: on average, 30-day price change doesn’t exceed this of such giants as Bitcoin and Ethereum . Besides, the platform is being actively developed, which promises great future: for example, one of the latest Telcoin news is a new TELx liquidity mining policy, which attracts users to the platform.  How and Where to Buy Telcoin? As of today, TEL tokens can only be bought in exchange for other cryptos. If you want to buy it for cash, you’ll need to buy BTC or ETH first.  Coinbase – the most prominent place to buy Telcoin Latoken – a reliable exchange to get some TEL tokens KuCoin – one more well-established crypto exchange to buy Telcoin Uniswap – DEX providing Telcoin buying options Balancer – buy Telcoin on DEX If you prefer to buy Telcoin for crypto, we would recommend going for instant exchanges. Here’s how you can get your hands on some TEL tokens: Go online to find an exchange or a crypto exchange aggregator – these allow users to analyze the real-time costs of crypto on multiple exchanges at the same time in order to find the best bargain possible. SwapSpace works best: these list TEL against most other crypto coins. Compare exchange rates and swap any crypto in your inventory for TEL. The Telcoin whitepaper also proposes that soon consumers will also have the option of buying TEL directly from their mobile operators by using their account credit or wallet holding. How to Store Telcoin? TEL is an ERC-20 token and can be stored on any wallet that supports the protocol. The best Telcoin wallets include: The official Telcoin App . MyEtherWallet , available as a browser extension or as a downloadable app. MetaMask , an in-browser wallet. Ledger , a highly-trusted hardware wallet. Trezor , another secure physical wallet perfect for storing ERC-20 tokens . Conclusion The international remittance market dominated by large players like Western Union has been long due for a revolution. The integration of mobile technologies and blockchain could very well provide a solution to the drawbacks these big players experience, including slow transaction rates and uncomfortably-high fees. The need for cheap and fast global transactions will only increase over time. Telcoin’s attempt at pioneering an untapped market has the potential to yield outstanding results. On the other hand, the project’s entire business model is highly dependent on the cooperation of major phone operators’ willingness to integrate Telcoin’s technology into their own. Most analysts view TEL as a high-risk high-reward investment with the potential to either blow up in the market or entirely fizzle out over time.
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What Is the Gemini Dollar and How to Buy It?

What Is the Gemini Dollar and How to Buy It?

June Katz 4 min read
What is Gemini Dollar? GUSD is an ERC-20 token developed by the Gemini Trust Company — a New York-based trust overseen by the Department of Financial Services. GUSD is a USD-pegged stablecoin : a single Gemini Dollar is equivalent to the USD at a 1:1 ratio and offers little to no fluctuation in price. Gemini holds the funds that back their crypto in a State Street bank and have had their product insured by FDIC. With the project compliant with the stringent demands of the NYDFS, the trust has to be audited by an unaffiliated third party. The initial audit was concluded by Trail of Bits, a company that does security research and penetration testing, with the report publicly listed on Gemini's official site. The report shows that neither the coin nor the system itself has any weaknesses that could potentially expose users’ assets to attacks. Since that, Gemini token has been undergoing independent monthly audits from an accounting firm BPM LLP. strong >Pros: GUSD's reliability and undisputed security is what sets it apart from other similar tokens – like Tether or Pax; Gemini is an ERC-20 token which allows it to benefit from the many advantages of the Ethereum blockchain, including full smart contract functionality and programmability; The project integrates the perks of blockchain with the security of the U.S. Dollar and the supervision of official regulators; The coin boasts high rates of turnover and retrieval in comparison with many other stablecoins; Users with a BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) can earn compound interest on their GUSD. Cons: Interacting with GUSD requires proving your identity and passing certain KYC procedures; GUSD is a regulated stablecoin, which has certain advantages in safety and stability, but for some, regulation defeats the purpose of crypto. Regulated tokens can be censored or confiscated if an activity or transaction associated with them is deemed illegal by authorities. How does the Gemini Dollar work? Users looking to buy GUSD need to open up an account on the Gemini website. During registration, users can enable two-factor identification, which adds security to the account. After that, users will be asked to specify a bank account that they will transfer USD to and from. The platform requires all users to verify their identity by uploading a photo of any government-issued form of identification. GUSD tokens are issued when purchased off of the Gemini platform. A minimum of $100 can be swapped for GUSD at a 1:1 exchange rate at any time. The user withdraws GUSD from their Gemini account to any ERC-20 wallet they specify. At the time of withdrawal, an equal amount of USD is subtracted from the bank account that the user had specified during registration. The issued GUSD are redeemed when they are put back into the account by the user. After this, the system deposits an equivalent amount of USD back into the user's bank account. Where to buy GUSD crypto? GUSD is commonly swapped for USDT, BTC, and ETH. The coin can currently be found on most major exchanges, including these: OKEx Bibox HitBTC You can also get Gemini Dollar on the SwapSpace cryptocurrency exchange aggregator, which is a quick and easy way to obtain the required amount of GUSD. How to exchange GUSD on SwapSpace? On the SwapSpace homepage , select GUSD in the “You send” section and the cryptocurrency you would like to receive in the “You get” section. Enter the amount of GUSD you want to exchange. Choose the instant exchange service that suits you most. Specify the recipient address and check if all the data is correct. Send your GUSD coins to the address you will see on the screen. Wait until the exchange is complete. How to store GUSD The Gemini Dollar can be stored on any wallet that supports ERC-20 tokens . The best GUSD wallets are Ledger , Trust Wallet , MyEtherWallet , and MyCrypto . You can learn more about the pros and cons of each wallet in this article .  Conclusion Being a government-regulated stablecoin, the Gemini Dollar offers a secure and simple on-ramp for budding crypto enthusiasts. The token is well suited for a beginner investor, while seasoned traders may find the limited selection of trading tools to be restricting. GUSD's strict modulation may also deter crypto-users that are looking to steer clear of censorship and over-regulation. The GUSD coin still has plenty of room to grow and the team can make significant improvements to the current functionality of both the platform and their exchange. What makes GUSD stand out, however, is its spotless security record, which may be just what the token needs to continue accumulating interest from the community.
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