Yuri Molchan

Accelerators from Ohio to Invest $100 Mln into DLT Firms

Two accelerator companies in Ohio, US, reportedly intend to allocate over $100 mln for funding blockchain startups
Accelerators from Ohio to Invest $100 Mln into DLT Firms
Contents

The Cleveland.com news website reports that JumpStart, a nonprofit organization that financially supports startups, plans to provide $100 mln to DLT companies working in their early stages and focusing on cases to do with government or business. Six other commercial accelerators are going to join it.

Inflow of cash for blockchain firms

Among those other six companies that intend to partake in this funding of DLT companies is FlashStarts, based in the city of Cleveland in Ohio. Reportedly, it is going to offer around $6 mln to support young DLT companies at the stage of pre-seed investment.

These intentions were announced at a blockchain-dedicated conference in Ohio in a speech by Ray Leach, Jumpstart’s CEO.

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He mentioned that other VC companies in Ohio are intending to provide a whole $200 mln for DLT startups within the coming few years. This news has not received official public confirmation, though.

Ohio on the blockchain adoption map

The aforementioned US state is turning into one of the biggest states supporting blockchain. Last week, Ohio became the first ever state that allows its citizens to pay taxes in Bitcoin. From now on, local companies and sellers can pay a number of taxes, starting with the tax on tobacco sales and finishing with the tax on public utilities, using virtual assets.

In the summer, local lawmakers decided to turn their state into a blockchain hub in the future.

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Wikicoin Vera Thornpike

5 Reasons to Invest in Ripple: How to Invest in XRP Most Profitable

📚 Wikicoin
Being one of the Top-10 world cryptocurrencies, Ripple attracts both individual and corporate investors. Here are five reasons for you to become the next XRP owner
5 Reasons to Invest in Ripple: How to Invest in XRP Most Profitable
Contents

Cryptocurrencies used to be one of the most promising investments last year, and both well-established and new assets are on demand now. Although you’re not likely to make 1000% profits like the first investors, you can still turn a dollar by making the right bet.

While Bitcoin, Ethereum and some other coins alike have become too expensive, Ripple is a smart investment under $1. Why do we recommend investing in XRP, and what makes this cryptocurrency special?

What is Ripple?

The answer “Oh, it’s just a Bitcoin analog” is absolutely wrong. Calling it an equivalent means underestimating its value. Ripple is a payment platform that was created primarily for banks and financial institutions. It uses the proprietary XRP cryptocurrency. The network was established by for-profit company Ripple Labs in 2012 and started growing actively when banks and other financial institutions have taken their interest in it at the beginning of 2017.

Despite the fact that Ripple’s Blockchain ledger reminds of Bitcoin’s, it has a few principal technical differences that make up for faster transaction processing. Some accuse Ripple of being highly centralized: while Bitcoin and altcoin transactions are made possible thanks to distributed computing nodes, Ripple transactions are partially managed by Ripple Labs.

What are the advantages of Ripple?

  1. Ripple processes a transaction within 4 seconds. That’s much faster compared to some other cryptocurrencies. Overall capacity is 1,500 TPS (transactions per second).

  2. Ripple-driven transactions have a low fee — such way of payments is more beneficial than ordinary transfers.

  3. Ripple enables international financial transactions and can be used to send and receive payments in both fiat and cryptocurrency.

  4. Payments are available worldwide, and financial transfers are instant. That’s why Ripple is a better option than Western Union or international bank transfers.

Thanks to abundant Ripple investment flowing from over 100 banks, this platform is evolving quickly, and it may soon revolutionize the way we process payments.

Ripple TPS rate is growing
The number of TPS processed by Ripple is growing constantly

5 reasons to invest in Ripple

Now, when you have a better understanding of how it works, it’s time to find out why to buy Ripple.

1. Advanced transaction protocol

We all can agree that the current financial system leaves a lot to be desired. Sending money to people who aren’t clients of your bank is a long, tiresome process. Sending money abroad is even a bigger pain in the neck.

This is where Ripple comes into play. Thanks to the Ripple Transaction Protocol, we can transfer digital currencies, fiat currencies, and even information in a jiffy. No third-party agents are required — Ripple makes the process incredibly simple by sending the money via a digital channel safely and quickly.

Yet, both participants of the exchange process have access to a secure channel, which eliminates possible risks and threats. Therefore, XRP is equally useful for banks and individuals. “Should I buy Ripple for making minor transactions and transfers?” — you can ask. The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’

Ripple is a great alternative to banking transfers
Ripple is superior for quick and safe transactions: it saves both money and time

2. Ripple will improve the banking system instead of erasing it

Of course, the vast majority of crypto enthusiasts share Peter Diamandis’ utopian opinion:

“At its core, Bitcoin is a smart currency, designed by very forward-thinking engineers. It eliminates the need for banks, gets rid of credit card fees, currency exchange fees, money transfer fees, and reduces the need for lawyers in transitions… all good things.”

But thinking that banking systems will fall into oblivion is naive. Digital currency will stay here, but we are more likely to witness its integration into everyday life with the help of giants of the financial world — large banks.

With this point in mind, we can assume that Ripple Labs took a smarter approach: instead of opposing itself to banks, Ripple offers a mutually beneficial partnership. At the moment, over 100 banks have become Ripple investors and initialized the process of XRP integration. Those include:

  • Cambridge Global Payments

  • Star One Credit Union

  • BBVA

  • SEB

  • SBI Remit

  • eZforex

It is said that Ripple can successfully replace SWIFT payments, though its TPS is still on the substandard level. So, is Ripple a good investment for banks? Like any other for-profit institute, banks want money and cost-efficient ways of performing operations. Using Ripple saves a bank $3.76 per payment, which sums up to saving $564,000 every year.

3. XRP is backed up by a brilliant team

Let’s not forget that the ICO success depends on who’s behind the project. Many digital currencies don’t even hit the market because their incompetent creators don’t know the right methods. In 2015, the Ripple team managed to gather venture capital worth $55 mln in one funding round — apparently, these guys knew how to cast their project in the best light. Money continues to flow as major banking sphere players take their interest in this cryptocurrency.

Major corporate Ripple investors
The impressing list of major Ripple investors

 

There’s one particular investor to support Ripple: Google. In fact, the corporation was among the first contributors because it saw the potential to facilitate and protect payment. Google can’t make mistakes, right? Aside from Google and Apple, Ripple invest is made by Airbnb, Asana, BuzzFeed, Coinbase, Facebook, Twitter, and Snap.

4. XRP price predictions are promising

Is Ripple worth buying? One of the main aspects to consider is XRP price prediction. Although we are witnessing a minor price fall, Ripple is expected to overcome $1 threshold by the end of 2018, or even go back to $3.5.

According to the current predictions, many Ripple experts agree that its price can increase to $200–300 in 10 years. If Ripple becomes a de facto payment asset for banks, it can reach the price of $20 very soon. Besides, since the company continues heating up investors’ interest, XRP can become less volatile.

Here are the forecasts present on WalletInvestor:

XRP forecasts differ
Ripple forecasts 2019–2025 from different sources

 

5. Ripple is cheap and available

Ripple is still one of the cryptocurrencies under $1, so investment won’t take a burden on your budget. The coins can be bought on any popular crypto exchange — finding a suitable sum isn’t a problem. The average daily Ripple turnover on major exchange website is about $1–6 mln, which proves the currency is highly desirable.

How to invest in Ripple?

Now, when the plethora of XRP advantages is described and you know why to invest in Ripple, let’s find out how it can be done.

  1. Create a Ripple account. There’s a myriad of reliable XRP exchanges that allow keeping Ripple right on your account. Bitsane, Bitfinex, Poloniex, and Kraken are among leaders. Alternatively, you can use a special Ripple wallet. No matter which exchange website you choose, the process of buying XRP is the same.

  2. Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum on Coinbase. As soon as you have Ripple account created, you need the currency to buy it. Buying crypto in Coinbase is very simple: create an account and proceed to the Buy/Sell page to submit your request.

  3. Transfer your ETH or BTC to your Bitsane account. Open your Bitsane account, proceed to Balances → Wallets, and check the coins you hold on your account. Click on Bitcoin (or Ethereum), and you will see a wallet address generated. Go back to Coinbase, select ‘Accounts’ and ‘Send.’ The window for sending Bitcoin will be opened: here you should paste the address generated in Bitsane.

  4. Now you can finally buy Ripple. For executing Bitcoin-Ripple transactions on a regular basis, you can save the pair as a pattern and keep it pinned to the top of Bitsane homepage.

If you want to reap maximum benefit from your investments, be patient: it may take Ripple a few years to maturate and start thriving. However, the profits are definitely worth waiting. By the way, if you prefer cold storage and want a reliable XRP storage solution, consider a hardware cryptocurrency wallet. It will keep your XRP safe and secure, and you won’t be tempted to panic sell the currency in case of serious fluctuations.

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Bottom Line

“Should I invest in Ripple?” — you wonder. More likely yes than no. Like any other cryptocurrency, Ripple is volatile, and investment isn’t devoid of risks. However, considering the low price and low entry barrier coupled with optimistic XRP predictions, buying some XRP is a smart decision. Your humble investment can come to quite a sum in a few years.

You never know when Ripple will skyrocket — the crypto market seems to be in a never-ending fever. But XRP is one of the most technically advanced digital currencies with a strong team and rich investors backing it up. The guys from Ripple Labs are tight-lipped about the project, and they will surely take new steps in the direction of ultimate superiority on the crypto market.

So, hurry up while Ripple is still cheaper than $1 — don’t let your golden opportunities slip by!

*** Please note that every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Wikicoin
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In Blockchain We Trust: The Simplest Ways to Invest in Crypto and Blockchain in 2019

📚 Wikicoin
Want to invest in blockchain in 2019? Here are the best cryptocurrencies and shares that every blockchain investor should buy in the upcoming year.
In Blockchain We Trust: The Simplest Ways to Invest in Crypto and Blockchain in 2019
Contents

The demand for cryptocurrencies is still on the rise: the crypto market cap is approximately $354 bln, and the number of people interested in crypto doesn’t seem to go down even in bearish market conditions.

Top-10 cryptocurrencies in December 2018
Top-10 cryptocurrencies as of 07 Dec. 2018

 

However, cryptocurrency is volatile and unpredictable – trading is the game that’s not always worth the candles burnt. The last two years have been a roller coaster for traders, and after the revealing of Ponzi schemes and the recent cryptocurrency nosedive, many of them started reconsidering their blind faith in get-rich-quick opportunities. Investors are seeking more reliable ways to gain profit from blockchain. Surprisingly, there are many simple alternatives. Let’s observe the most promising ways to grow your riches with the help of blockchain in 2019.

Why Blockchain Is a Gold Mine For Investors?

The blockchain is the underlying technology that drives Bitcoin and other coins alike. This is what powers the distributed ledger, digital transactions, and storage of data. That means blockchain will be around even if Bitcoin and all else fails. The technology is being adopted by leading companies, and the number of ICOs promoting it is enormous.

While cryptocurrency is an asset that changes in price unpredictably, ICOs on blockchain promise to increase the investment value by promoting products and services. Besides, blockchain can be adapted in the whole gamut of spheres, including:

  • data storage & cybersecurity;

  • insurance;

  • banking & finance;

  • IoT;

  • media & marketing;

  • healthcare;

  • voting & government;

  • education;

  • logistics & supply chains.

This list can be a mile long. Blockchain applications are endless:

Blockchain can be used anywhere
The most widespread blockchain applications

Since 2014, the interest in blockchain technology caused a meteoric rise of its capitalization: it has grown from $30 mln to $200 mln in 2017. According to estimates, the volume of investments will reach $400 mln in 2019.

Want to jump on the bandwagon? Here are the investment opportunities you shouldn’t miss.

7 Companies to Invest In

In order to invest in the blockchain, you don’t have to buy cryptocurrency and wait for the wonder. It’s better to take a closer look at the stocks and funds that stake on the blockchain and are implementing this technology.

1. Overstock.com

The company started as an online retailer but expanded the sphere of its expertise to merchandising. In recent years, overstock.com started paying particular attention to the blockchain, too. The team behind Overstock has created tZERO – a SEC-regulated trading system that was designed to be a blockchain-based global property registry and might become the means of supplying collateral to lenders.

While the wide audience doesn’t understand what the role of blockchain is in it, the developers are convinced that Overstock will outperform competitors having an outstanding portfolio of companies that implement and exploit blockchain technology.

According to Marc Cohodes, the execution of the above-mentioned plan will make Overstock’s shares cost $200-400 each. At the moment, you can find Overstock in NASDAQ and buy OSTK for $18.6.

Overstock introduced BTC payments
Overstock has enabled blockchain payments recently

2. MasterCard

It’s not surprising that MasterCard is striving to adopt cryptocurrency, too, and the blockchain is the easiest way of performing transactions without limits. In October 2018, it introduced payments driven by blockchain-based technologies, though Bitcoin wasn’t involved. Although the process of crypto introduction is slow, MasterCard is just being cautious: it is waiting to see what will happen next.

MasterCard also plans to obtain the patent allowing it to facilitate instant blockchain payments. Theoretically, it can allow it to emit blockchain-based credit and debit cards.

Meanwhile, you can invest and wait for a couple of years: and MA share is worth $168, but who know how much it will cost after the blockchain tech fully implemented?

3. IBM

If you’re sure that paper money will soon disappear and be replaced by digital analogs, consider investing in International Business Machines. In fact, the company mostly specializes in hardware and software business solutions, but also came up with a few unique products in the 21st century. According to Juniper Research, IBM has the potential to become one of the dominant names in the blockchain business.

Introduction of blockchain will reduce the resolution time from 50+ to 10 days and reduce administrative costs. Besides, IBM will develop blockchain solutions for the efficient tracking of shipments, improvement of food safety and much more.

At the moment, you can buy an IBM share for $150.58.

4. Kodak

The company that produced cameras is still alive – it operates in the sphere of printing and video films. The days of Kodak’s fame and glory are gone, but blockchain may breathe a second life into the company.

It plans to introduce KodakCoin: the cryptocurrency that facilitates payments for photographers’ shots and drives royalty revenue for users. Besides, Kodak’s blockchain will help users to control copyright: they will make sure that no one uses their content without the author’s permission.

Here’s what Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said:

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem. Kodak has always sought to democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”

By 2021, the digital photography market can reach the annual turnover of over $100 bln, so Kodak has all chances to restore positions. You can help it by buying KODK for $5.85.

5. Nvidia

What’s the role of Nvidia in blockchain? It is one of the major mining hardware providers. Bitcoin isn’t the only minable digital asset, so graphic cards, and computer chips will stay in demand in the following years. Nvidia will continue playing an important role in the mining industry, so we highly recommend buying NVDA shares ($228.03).

Nvidia GPU chip
Nvidia’s GPUs will be on demand in 2019

 

6. The Reality Shares

Although crypto has been around for a few years, the ETF industry didn’t relate to it anyhow. Finally, things have changed. The Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF holds the stocks of IBM, Overstock, as well as Cisco (CSCO) and Intel (INTC). Although they’re not cryptocurrency players, all of the companies will reap benefits from blockchain in some way.

The fund wanted to include the word ‘blockchain’ in its name, but the Securities and Exchange Commission asked Reality Shares to remove the word to minimize the craziness around it.

Eric Ervin, CEO of Reality Shares, claims that “blockchain ecosystem potentially presents one of the most profound, long-term investment opportunities many of us have or will ever see in our lifetime.”

BLCN is now worth $22.79. It charges 0.68% in expenses, or $68 annually on a $10,000 investment.

7. Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust

The aforementioned potential cryptocurrency stocks focus on blockchain rather the Bitcoin itself, but there’s one fund that works with BTC solely. The Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust makes the process close to traditional investing in Bitcoin, but in this case, you don’t buy it directly. Instead, you create a complicated account with a Bitcoin exchange. The trading goes ‘over-the-counter’. The platform mostly functions like an ETF.

Investors can get GBTC with a regular brokerage account. At the moment, it costs $14.87 and represents 0.0919 Bitcoin. Of course, GBTC is as volatile as Bitcoin itself.

Trading with GBTC is a risky venture, though. Although it relies on Bitcoin, it doesn’t track it well. For example, in December 2017, it traded at more than double the worth of the underlying Bitcoin. Such situations can lead to a cryptocurrency decline by a higher percentage than Bitcoin itself.

GBTC cannot be recommended for long-term investments: the fund charges 2% of annual fees. But if you’re a confident, agile trader – give it a try.

ETFs vs ICO: What is better?

Both variants can be highly profitable, and the main difference between them is WHAT you invest in. With ICOs, it’s clear: you buy tokens to add to the company’s market cap and fuel the development of their products and services. Startups sell their first tokens with a discount, so there’s a chance to make a profit from your investment when the company takes stable positions on the market. With startups, a thorough research is essential – you should know where your money goes, and how perspective the venture is.

ETFs, such as aforementioned Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF, are traded on conventional exchanges. This is a more traditional and less risky way to invest, but lower risk means lower profit opportunities and less emphasis on new business. Some companies add the word ‘blockchain’ to the title without actually explaining how it’s leveraged. So you can’t be sure whether you really invest in the blockchain.

ETF vs ICOs: pros and cons
ETFs and Funds – comparison

 

ICO: Spheres to Rely On

Despite the fact that 90% of ICOs don’t even make it to the market, investment in startups is still an option – you just should choose wisely. Blockchain has particularly great potential in the following spheres:

Sphere

Benefits of blockchain

Perspectives and forecasts

Projects to consider

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

- cuts costs;

- boosts speed

- improves security;

- reduces fraud and risks.

With the help of blockchain, AI will automate 25% of human tasks. By 2050, machines can reach the human level of intelligence

  • ROSS;

  • Capito;

  • wise.io

  • clarifai;

  • MetaMind.

Education

- optimizes processes;

- facilitates communication;

- enables e-learning and leverages new research opportunities.

Blockchain will be driving the rewards, record storage, communication processes.

  • Afterschool;

  • BitDegree;

  • Gilgamesh Platform.

Supply Chain/Logistics

- keeps records transparent and forge-proof;

- accelerates the process of data exchange.

Blockchain will optimize management, reduce risks and fraud, and increase trust between parties.

  • Blockerify;

  • Monax;

  • Everledger;

  • Ambrosus;

  • Modum.

Healthcare

- safe storage of records;

- simple access to information;

- private and safe processing of payments;

- more efficient analytics.

Blockchain will be used to keep data from IoT devices. It may serve to store patients’ medical data and research results. Genetic research may also rely on blockchain for secure data storage.

  • BCharity;

  • Medicalchain;

  • SENS;

  • Skychain;

  • Tag World Exchange;

  • TrustedHealth.

Financial technologies

- it provides a decentralized network for sharing data;

- smart contracts ensure compliance with obligations;

- higher cost-efficiency;

-cryptography keeps assets safe and sound.

77% of companies will adopt blockchain for efficient operations. It will be used by eCommerce, online exchanges, banking systems, and other fintech companies.

  • ATRIX;

  • BANKA;

  • Fidelium.

 

The number of companies introducing blockchain is enormous – you just need to find a truly reliable one that will be able to provide a decent project for a wide audience.

All in all, blockchain can be introduced to any sphere, but the statistics say it’s more applicable in fintech:

250 Financial ICOs to consider
250 Financial ICOs to invest in 2019

 

Should I Invest in Cryptocurrency?

If you still want to bet on crypto, there are a few worthy variants to consider. Spoiler: Bitcoin isn't the best coin to bet on.

Ripple

Ripple Labs is snapping on Bitcoin's heels with the ever-growing market cap. Although this currency isn't likely to cost $100, it will definitely grow in price after being introduced in the global banking system. Asian banks are already attempting to leverage Ripple blockchain and make crypto transactions, so this asset's forecast is highly positive. At the moment, you can buy Ripple for as low as $0.29 - so hurry up because another emitted portion of XRP might be available for banks only. If Ripple starts selling XRP to corporate partners only, coin deficiency will cause price explosion - traders will be ready to purchase it for any sum.

NANO 

The Nano blockchain boasts zero transaction fees, 2 second transaction type, and a unique Block Lattice network. It means that every user has their own transaction blockchain – instead of being performed on a single blockchain, transactions are processed in separate networks, which boosts speed. This approach solves the problem of scalability.

At the moment, you can buy XRB for $0.80.

Stellar Lumens

This is another blockchain with 2-second transactions, and the transaction cost is a fraction of a cent. To top it off, Stellar leverages a blockchain development platform that reminds one of Ethereum. However, it’s cheaper and faster than Ethereum which made some companies switch to the Stellar blockchain. For example, IBM and a few banks use XLM to transfer money.

XLM costs $0.12, so hurry up while it’s still cheap.

BAT

Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency developed by the father of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla Firefox, Brendan Eich. The coin is supposed to be used by content creators, advertisers and users in a new environment that will be used in the Brave Browser. This browser automatically blocks advertisements, and BAT can be exploited in the following ways:

  • to make donations for favorite content creators via subscription services;

  • to make in-app purchases;

  • to receive BATs after watching ads.

Besides, BAT might be implemented by Firefox and Chrome to compensate advertisers and creators who get affected by AdBlock software and demonetization in YouTube.

Bottom Line

Despite cryptocurrency volatility, there are still many ways to invest in blockchain and get profit. If you don’t want to deal with cryptocurrency, pay attention to futures and ICOs – those are perfect for long-term investments with minimal risks.

Wikicoin
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Wikicoin Alex Morris

Top 10 Blockchain Stocks to Invest in 2019

📚 Wikicoin
By investing in Blockchain stocks, you can sit pretty without directly buying cryptocurrencies. U.Today has picked the top 10 Blockchain stocks to buy in 2019
Top 10 Blockchain Stocks to Invest in 2019
Contents

While the future of Bitcoin remains debatable given the dramatic drop in price, many big-name companies are diving deep in the technology that underpins it – Blockchain. Juniper Research has concluded that six in ten large-market cap companies are mulling over using Blockchain. U.Today has come up with the list of top 10 Blockchain-related stocks you should keep an eye on in 2019.

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IBM Stock (NYSE: IBM)

IBM, the well-known old-timer, desperately needed a new technology in order to revive its ‘mojo’. As of now, the tech giant has more than 1,500 employees who are focused on the development of projects that are powered by the Blockchain technology. Hence, it makes IBM one of the most enticing Blockchain stocks to invest in out there.

fortune.com

Many accomplished companies started dipping their toes in Blockchain after the word ‘Bitcoin’ hit the mainstream, but Big Blue has an obvious advantage: they jumped on this bandwagon years ago with about 500 currently active projects in such industries as finance, healthcare, logistics, etc. After investing in this stock, you don’t have to worry about volatility – the tech giant is here to stay.    

IBM keeps bolstering its offerings for the disruptive technology with TradeLens, recently being utilized by the the Port of Montreal (Canada).

Mastercard Stock (NYSE: MA)

Ironically, Mastercard has been bullish on Blockchain for a long time (despite the fact that the much-hyped technology comes from a rivaling industry), and that’s why its stocks are always an option for investors. Back in October 2017, Mastercard threw a spanner in the works by offering banks a Blockchain-based alternative to making payments, ditching traditional credit cards. Remarkably, Mastercard became only the second company on the Fortune 500 list to work on decentralized payments only after (you guessed it) IBM. Obviously, Mastercard’s Blockchain only supports fiat money, so that’s by no means a Bitcoin-related stock.  

wsj.com

Recently, the payment giant has also filed a patent application that is supposed to make their transactions anonymous. Does it sound familiar?

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Hitachi Stock (NYSE: HIT)

Hitachi, the Japanese tech conglomerate with a market cap of around $38.5 billion, also has a few Blockchain-oriented projects up its sleeve. In December, Hitachi teamed up with Mizuho (NYSE: MFG ) in order to develop a decentralized platform for enhancing the efficiency of supply chain management. Later, Hitachi also came up with a project that allows verifying retail payments with fingerprints by recognizing the vein pattern.

ikaas.com

The ‘courting stage’ between the 108-year-old company and the most promising innovation since the Internet started in 2016 when the conglomerate invested top-dollar in a Financial Innovation Laboratory in California. Now, Hitachi is one of the hottest stocks out there.

Microsoft Stock (NYSE: MSFT)

Microsoft, along with IBM, is yet another old-school stock that needs no introduction, and there’s fierce competition between these two in the Blockchain field. Its Azure Blockchain is already being integrated by NASDAQ, AT&T (NYSE: T) and other major players.  

gettyimages.com

Both Microsoft and IBM are working on private applications, and there’s some confusion when it comes to investment choices. The latter places a bigger emphasis on independence with its Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain framework. The thing is, IBM was largely responsible for writing the framework’s codebase. Meanwhile, Microsoft Azure is Ethereum-based, which means that it is dependent on the decisions of the Ethereum Foundation when it comes to making code updates.

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Broadridge Stock (NYSE: BR)

For sure, Broadridge is a top-of-the-mind option since the company has already cooperated with major banking institutions (Northern Trust (NYSE: NTRS), JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM)) that are utilizing the DLT. Broadridge has developed a couple of DLT use cases like proxy voting, which makes it much easier for shareholders to reach a consensus on certain matters.  

gforcesigns.com

Broadridge’s Horacio Barakat claims that businesses are not denying the disruptive potential of Blockchain, but only few of them have the required resources for its implementation. Still, the fact that Broadridge has the biggest banks among its partners makes it a very reliable stock.  

HIVE Blockchain Technology Stock (CVE: HIVE)

That’s the only stock issuer on the list that is directly connected to cryptocurrencies (cryptocurrency mining, to be precise). The company owns multiple mining facilities that mine Ethereum around the clock (the first one was acquired in Iceland in 2017). After a whopping $100 mln funding round, the company made an announcement about opening more mining farms.

insiderfinancial.com

However, given the current state of cryptocurrency mining, investors should be extra cautious about purchasing their stocks. For instance, Genesis Mining, their largest shareholder, stirred a substantial amount of buzz in August after terminating a slew of unprofitable contracts.
NB! Here are some other stocks with a pure focus on Blockchain:

  • Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NYSE: RIOT);

  • Hashchain Technology Inc. (NYSE: V.KASH);

  • BLOK Technologies (CNSX: BLK).

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Daimler Stock (OTCMKTS: DDAIF)

This Germany-headquartered car manufacturer (mainly known for its Mercedes-Benz) became one of the first auto giants to make a rodeo into Blockchain. With sizeable investments in other state-of-the-art technologies in the likes of AI, Daimler is rightfully considered to be the digital champion of the global car industry.  

bloomberg.com)

In 2017, Daimler introduced its own Blockchain bond dubbed a Schuldschein (becoming one of the first companies to do so). Another reason why Daimler made it to our top 10 Blockchain stocks list is the MobiCoin cryptocurrency that was issued in March 2018.

Bank of America Stock (NYSE: BAC)

If you are a firm believer that Blockchain will eventually turn out to be bigger than the Internet in the nearest future, the stocks of Bank of America (BofA) are your safe bet. The second largest banking institution in the US only trails IBM by the number of Blockchain-related patents. Its patents pertain to storing private keys and data authentication. Notably, the first Blockchain-oriented patent was filed by BofA in 2014, which means that they were one of the early adopters of the emerging technology along with IBM.

reuters.com

However, the fact that BofA remains in first place in the ‘patent race’ doesn’t necessarily mean that all these patents will have real-life commercial application. On the flip side, there is a good possibility that BofA stock could potentially shoot up once decentralization becomes more widespread.   

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Overstock Stock (NASDAQ: OSTK)

Overstock.com became the first US retailer to accept Bitcoin, hoping to revitalize its business with the help of the nascent technology. One of the major US retailers turned crypto giant has a subsidiary, Medici Ventures, that specifically invests in promising Blockchain startups that cover such emerging areas as finance, digital identity, voting, etc.   

abcnews.com

Still, there are caveats. Since the former Amazon competitor is now heavily invested in cryptocurrencies, its stocks have been riding waves together with Bitcoin. The stocks soared by a staggering 130 percent in 2017 but then took a rapid 30 percent nosedive the following year.

Walmart Stock (NYSE: WMT)

We are wrapping up our top 10 with another retail behemoth – Walmart. Just like other companies on the list, Walmart was among the early adopters of DLT, filing numerous related patents for improving deliveries and buying smart appliance management systems. Walmart made plenty of headlines after announcing its cooperation with IBM for increasing food safety in the wake of the E.coli and salmonella outbreak. Notably, IBM’s Food Trust product was also integrated by Carrefour, the biggest French supermarket chain.

shorebeat.com

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Has your favorite Blockchain-related stock made our list? Subscribe to U.Today to learn more about the burgeoning industry in order to make the right investment choices.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Cryptocurrency

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5 reasons for jumping on the bandwagon
5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Cryptocurrency
Contents

Cryptocurrency continues conquering the world of finances, and the number of cryptocurrency enthusiasts is growing. Should you join them? Consider these 5 reasons for becoming the next cryptocurrency investor.

In 2017, Bitcoin propelled into the spotlight and started growing in price at a remarkable rate. Trading cryptocurrency has become a widespread trend, and the number of people who invest in crypto has exceeded 500 mln. Crypto enthusiasts claim that Blockchain and altcoins are here to shake the modern economy to its core. Are we witnessing a major shift in the global economic system? Definitely. But should you invest in cryptocurrency? Here are at least five reasons for considering it.

1. Your money always stays yours

The lynchpin of Bitcoin success is the technological supremacy of this Blockchain. Thanks to such innovation, electronic transactions can be made much faster and safer. Blockchain encrypts data preventing access to it from all internal sources at every stage of transaction processing. The blocks containing data are stored in a decentralized manner which means the information cannot be deleted or forged.

While banks where we store our funds can be robbed or simply closed after claiming bankruptcy, when you invest in cryptocurrency, your money stays yours forever. Make sure that you work with reliable exchange platforms only and use official crypto wallets with multi-layer protection. Ideally, you should use a hardware wallet to ensure 100% protection of your assets.

Crypto vs fiat: what’s the difference?
The differences between cryptocurrency and fiat currencies

 

2. No government involved

Bitcoin Blockchain offers a revolutionary approach to asset handling: from now on, no middlemen such as banks or governments are required for transactions and exchange. They simply have no control over the circulation of digital assets and cannot access the data related to financial operations done with Bitcoin. Therefore, it disrupts the system that's been around for centuries and brings the power back into the hands of ordinary people.

If you care about liberty, the nonaggression principle, or economic freedom in general, you should do everything you can to use Bitcoin as often as possible in your daily life.” – Roger Ver aka “Bitcoin Jesus”

Integrity and safety of virtual money are one of the main reasons to invest in cryptocurrency. No matter what’s the official fiat currency in your country, and which fluctuations it is experiencing – cryptocurrency does not depend on it. While some countries practice fine withdrawal from citizen’s bank accounts, it cannot happen in the virtual environment – no third party can access your crypto wallet.

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3. Blockchain plays a crucial role

Although it allows for anonymous transactions, Bitcoin is built on the principle of transparency. That means that the details of financial operations are stored in the Blockchain and can be viewed when necessary. This feature might be highly valuable for public transactions. The whole community can reap benefits from a crystal clear system of asset allocation. Here we tackle not the financial issue only — Blockchain allows us to handle all the other information as well.

Altcoins being widely adopted in a wide range of spheres: ICOs in different niches are being introduced every day, and usual businesses start implementing Bitcoin payments as well. This is a versatile currency that erases international borders. Thousands of Bitcoin ATMs are already installed in large cities around the world, and it's only the tip of the iceberg. BTC and altcoins provide us with umpteen possibilities replacing all existing fiat currencies both theoretically and practically. It becomes a more convenient, safer and faster way of payment and transfer.

Eric Schmidt’s quote about crypto
Eric Schmidt’s quote about the significance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

4. Investment is as simple as never before

Wonder “How do I invest in cryptocurrency?” Everything is easier than you think! Now, every person with access to the Internet and free funds can make an investment. Here’s a short scheme of how it works:

  1. You need to have a plastic card to purchase crypto online.

  2. Create a cryptocurrency wallet. It can be either the wallet for some certain coins or a multicurrency wallet.

  3. Find where to invest in cryptocurrency. As a rule, people make transactions in online exchange platforms.

  4. Create a purchase offer, or find ready requests to answer.

  5. As soon as you make a purchase and pay for the crypto, coins will be transferred to your wallet.

Now you only need to track cryptocurrency fluctuations and purchase and sell coins in a timely manner to make a profit. The golden rule of trading is NOT to invest what you can’t afford to lose. Invest the money that you can live without, and don’t panic after the first currency fall – it’s better to wait over.

“What cryptocurrency should I invest in?” Bitcoin is not the only option – if it was easy to mine a few years ago, now it’s impossible to obtain in any way except for buying. Don’t despair, there are hundreds of altcoins! They aren’t equally reliable, and you need to analyze them carefully. With boatloads of information online, you can make certain conclusions and make the right choice.

5. Forecasts are promising

As a potential or real investor, you focus on long-term viability and profitability. If you analyze every cryptocurrency shift, it can drive you crazy – you can be sure that you’ve made a wrong investment decision. Being in panic, you can sell the coin for a lower price than you purchased it for while holding would be a better idea.

Why invest in cryptocurrency for long terms? Cryptocurrency fluctuations are inevitable. They happen all the time, that’s why making short-term predictions is harder than long-term ones. Despite the major surge of cryptocurrencies which happened in January 2018, Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies are likely to grow within 2-5 years. Most forecasts are optimistic. Therefore, if you’re looking for a serious investment with serious profit, opt for longer terms, at least 1-2 years.

What the major cryptocurrencies will be worth in 5 years? Let’s check the numbers at WalletInvestor:

Cryptocurrency

Current price

5-year Prediction

Bitcoin

$6,503

$24,183

Ethereum

$223

$3,480

Litecoin

$57

$481

Ripple (XRP)

$0.46

$2,57

Monero

$110

$179

EOS

$5,8

$35,7

Zcash

$123

$1925

Bottom line

Cryptocurrency creates a new era for the modern economy, a utopian system where everyone can stay confident in the privacy of their assets by transferring them around the globe without limitations. It provides us with new possibilities, and getting profit is one of them. Being among the first to buy crypto, you create history and help the world economy to make a serious switch.

“Should I invest in cryptocurrency?” The answer is resounding “Yes!” Choosing cryptocurrency as an investment is a wise solution if you place a bid for the right horse. Don’t hesitate to invest in technologically advanced Blockchains and popular coins – most of them will sooner or later gain momentum to grow in price, which can bring you considerable profits.

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The 10 Best Places to Learn How to Invest in Cryptocurrency

U.Today has discovered the best ways to learn about cryptocurrency investment, and some of them might be surprising. From blogs to Wikipedia — we've covered it all!
The 10 Best Places to Learn How to Invest in Cryptocurrency
Contents

So, you’ve been hearing about Bitcoin the whole year but you were still reluctant to jump on board. Maybe you found out about the currency last week? In any case, it doesn’t matter. If you weren’t (at least) emotionally invested in this subject before, there is a good chance your knowledge is very superficial, and there are plenty of things that have to be cleared up while you are learning how to invest in cryptocurrency.

Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme? Why is Bitcoin so expensive, and does it have any value at all? How do you invest in cryptocurrency? If you ever asked one of these questions, you are already in the ‘intrigue’ phase of cryptocurrency investment, and in order to further success with cryptocurrency investment, you need entry-level guidance.     

By having access to the resources that are mentioned in this list, you will be able to significantly speed up your learning curve.  

Reddit

Reddit has always been a rallying force that unites crypto enthusiasts throughout the world. According to Alexa, it is supposed to be the third biggest website in the world, trumping many social media giants. In order to start investing in cryptocurrency, you might consider checking many crypto-related subreddits. In fact, even some minor coins have their own vibrant communities on Reddit. Case in point: r/dogecoin, which has almost more than 127,000 subscribers.

Reddit

(Source: coindiary.net)

Before divining into any specific coin, you may want to check some general subreddits, with r/CryptoCurrency being the most popular crypto-oriented sub (more than 755,000 subscribers). The community is huge, but it might be overwhelming for new users, and it has many trashy posts. If you couldn’t find your cryptocurrency investment advice here, check out r/CryptoMarkets — a smaller subreddit with a knack for in-depth market analysis.

In order to realize why would you want to invest in a certain coin, you have to do profound research on the technology that underpins a certain coin. /r/CryptoTechnology is a perfect option for those who want to stay away from stale memes, fully focusing on the technical details (this subreddit only allows text posts).

Twitter influencers

Twitter is yet another contender for the top place to learn about cryptocurrency investments. You can get a real sense of the nascent industry by following the accounts of many influential personalities in the crypto space. On top of that, Twitter is generally considered to be the best source of breaking news. Keeping your fingers on the pulse of the constantly developing industry is vital for becoming a successful investor.  

Some of the biggest names that definitely should appear on your Twitter feed include:

Twitter influencers

Of course, while stepping into the wilderness of crypto Twitter, you should keep in mind that there is a lot of FUD and disinformation.  

Telegram channels

Telegram, the ubiquitous encrypted messenger rolled out by Pavel Durov, turned out to a major hub for crypto enthusiasts. Those who want to start investing in cryptocurrencies have to choose their strategy (from long-term holding to day trading). Anyway, it is always worth knowing what is hot in the world of crypto with the help of crypto trading signal channels — they are able to predict the price movements of certain altcoins with different accuracy. Crypto Addict is known to be one the most salient examples of such channels (they offer fairly accurate altcoins signals and even ongoing coin reviews).

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Apart from that, there are communities for all types of holders, traders, investors (whatever your niche in the crypto space is). You can get the freshest news about the coin you are holding as well as engage in discussions with other like-minded individuals. Here are some of the most popular crypto-related Telegram channels:

Name of the channel

Number of subscribers

DeCenter

75,100

Cointelegraph

53,700

ForkLog

44,000

News.Bitcoin.com

33,100

Penthouse

26,900

Cryptocurrency news aggregators and tools for analysis

To keeps tabs on everything that is going on in the world of crypto, consider following some of the most popular crypto-oriented news aggregators (including cryptopanic.com, coinspectator.com, etc.).

There is also a Blockchain calendar for all upcoming events — coinmarketcal.com. All the upcoming initial coin offerings will remain under your radar with icotracker.net.     

CoinMarketCap and TradingView are among the must-have websites every crypto trader should know about. These are perfect places for performing an in-depth analysis of cryptocurrency assets before making an investment decision.

Top crypto channels on YouTube

The world’s leading streaming service offers a lot of content on how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies (these videos even cover such far-fetched topics as building your own Blockchain!). Simply search the respective keyword, and you will find a myriad of related videos — a boon for those who want to learn how to buy cryptocurrency.

At the same time, there are top-quality channels with an already established community of crypto evangelists. Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the most prominent Blockchain experts in the crypto space whose opinion definitely matters to anyone who is making their steps in the world of crypto. In 2014, he rose to prominence after publishing his groundbreaking book ‘Understanding Bitcoin’.

Decentralized TV is a channel where a seasoned crypto expert covers the latest cryptocurrency news. Peter Saddington is the name of its famed host who bought a Lamborghini with crypto and also made numerous appearances on CNBC.  

Lastly, David Hay is a good choice if you are looking for a detailed analysis of most popular cryptocurrencies on the market that might end up in your in your investment portfolio.

Top crypto channels on YouTube

Popular cryptocurrency exchanges  

Once you’ve learned the basics of cryptocurrency investment and picked up the coin you want to put your money into, it’s time for some action with actual cryptocurrency investment sites.

Coinbase, an $8 bln exchange, is leading the way as one of the most popular exchanges on the planet. In its FAQ section, you can find the answer to any question pertaining to cryptocurrency investment. It also has top-notch customer support.

Popular cryptocurrency exchanges  

The list of other popular beginner-level exchanges where you can invest in cryptocurrency includes Kraken, Binance, Coinmama and more.

Online courses

Both Udemy and Coursera already have excellent courses for different levels of crypto enthusiasts, but you will have to shell out a dollar or two in order to get access to them.

Those who are already familiar with Coursera (and many similar services) should definitely check out their courses that are specifically devoted to cryptocurrencies. It’s a very convenient and entertaining way to learn more about the nascent asset class. All courses are designed by lecturers from top universities. It's the perfect icebreaker for those who don't know how to invest in cryptocurrencies.

On Udemy, Suppoman teaches more than 29 crypto-related courses for more than 270k of participants (and the price is rather competitive — only $12 per course).     

Bitcoin Wiki

For any kind of crypto-related content, you can also consult Bitcoin Wiki, which contains more than 1,150 pages of crypto-related content that pertain to exchanges, mining, and other issues that might be interesting for a run-of-the-mill cryptocurrency investor. The actual Wikipedia can also be quite informative. Ironically, the creator of the Bitcoin Wikipedia page never himself invested in any cryptocurrencies, but he certainly knows a great deal about how to invest in digital assets.

If you are a complete newbie who feels overwhelmed by a plethora of technical terms, it would be a good option to visit the Simple Wikipedia page. Here, everything is explained in a very straightforward manner, and numerous crypto-related articles are available in several languages.

Crypto-related forums and the blogosphere

Medium and Steemit both have a large crypto community. One can find information on practically any interesting topic here. Medium is a platform that allows startups to engage with their community, making certain official announcements.

Crypto-related forums and the blogosphere

Meanwhile, every Bitcoin investor definitely knows about the existence of bitcointalk.org, the legendary forum that probably represents the biggest community in the world with many members who jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon early, but it constantly welcomes new investors. As of now, the ‘Bitcoin Discussion’ section alone features more than 2 mln posts, while the ‘Mining’ section also surpassed the 1 mln mark. With such a gargantuan amount of information, it won't be difficult to determine the best way to invest in cryptocurrency.

Mindset Training

While diving deep into the world of crypto, one should remember that the success of your investing (especially when it comes to day traders) largely depends on your ability to pull yourself together and control your emotions. Whether you are a beginner crypto investor or a full-time trader, it’s a good option to program your mind for success. "The Obstacle Is The Way" by Ryan Holiday is a good way to help you help you physiologically prepare for crypto trading. Part of this Udemy course also focuses on developing your trading mindset.

Conclusion  

Becoming a cryptocurrency investor from a scratch may not seem like an easy feat. However, our top 10 places to learn how to trade cryptocurrency, which includes the industry biggest influencers as well as the most vibrant cryptocurrency communities on the web, will certainly alleviate the task.

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