Wikicoin Alex Morris

Best Blockchain Stocks to Buy and Watch This February

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U.Today has come up with a list of Blockchain-related stocks you should definitely keep tabs on this February
Best Blockchain Stocks to Buy and Watch This February
Contents

Despite the crypto rout, the hype around Blockchain — the technology that serves as underlying fabric  Bitcoin — never died down. More and more companies are dipping their toes into the technology. U.Today has decided to present you with the list of Blockchain-related stocks of the world’s biggest companies that could be on a roll this February.     

IBM [NASDAQ: IBM]

IBM, together with Microsoft, controls a whopping 51 percent of the Blockchain market. As U.Today reported earlier, the US tech giant is trying to capitalize on Blockchain technology in order to revive its brand. Hyperledger Fabric is an enterprise-friendly platform that allows other companies to build Blockchain-powered products. As of now, IBM manages more than 500 Blockchain projects around the world.

IBM

With that being said, IBM appears to be a top-of-mind option when it comes to Blockchain stocks considering the scope of its involvement in the nascent technology. Moreover, IBM stock was on a roll all of January, and its recent earnings report, which managed to beat experts’ predictions, made the stock soar even more.

Alibaba Group [NASDAQ: BABA]

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth that is responsible for filing almost 10 percent of all Blockchain-related patterns, is yet another trailblazer in the application of Blockchain technology. As of September, Alibaba and IBM were neck-to-neck in that department, with 90 and 89 patents respectively despite the fact that China has adopted a hawkish stance towards cryptocurrencies.

Like in the case with IBM, its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) product is an enterprise-level platform that allows its users to build their own Blockchain-based projects. After a successful rollout in China, Alibaba is opening its Blockchain doors to the US and Europe, which might make the stock more attractive.  

Alibaba Group

The ongoing trade war between the US and China might shoo away those who consider investing in the stock, but there is no need to fret about it — MKM Partners states that Alibaba's stock will be able to withstand the macroeconomic woes. The company’s stock went up on Jan. 25.

Overstock [NASDAQ: OSTK]  

Amazon’s rival Overstock.com also uses Blockchain technology. Because of its crypto-friendly stance, the stock of the American retail giant skyrocketed a mammoth-sized 400 percent in 2017-2018.

Medici Ventures, its Blockchain-oriented subsidiary, constantly makes investments in various Blockchain-oriented projects. For instance, it bought a stake in a Blockchain-based agricultural firm  GrainChain on Dec. 10.

Overstock

Back in November, the pioneer e-commerce player announced its plans to ditch its retail business in order to go all-in with Blockchain. Hence, it became clear that its interest in cryptocurrencies is more than simply an attention-seeking stunt. U.Today reminds readers that Overstock was the very first major retailer to embrace Bitcoin. Overstock didn’t enjoy great success, losing almost $40 mln in 2018, which would be a worrisome sign for those who planned to buy their stock. However, on the cusp of launching its tZERO trading platform, which went live on Jan. 24, Overstock decided to reassign Medici’s top executive in order to boost its revenue. Hence, our verdict is that the stock would be a good buy this February.

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Qualcomm [NASDAQ: QCOM]

Qualcomm, one of the world’s leaders in wireless telecommunications products, currently utilized Blockchain technology in order to solve the pain points of its client-server based information system. However, the company is hush-hush about Blockchain-oriented patents it has up its sleeve.

The company’s stocks plunged 10 percent since December 2018, but some pundits claim that the stock has already bottomed. Hence, one might consider buying the stock this February to simply profit off its volatility (the stock is currently 32 percent off its 2018 peak).

Qualcomm

However, the fuss around 5G may be a fair reason why the chipmaker’s stock might also be a good option in the long-term perspective. Qualcomm is expected to dominate the modem chips market niche in the age of 5G along with Intel [INTC].

Comcast Corporation [NASDAQ: CMCSA]

US telecommunication behemoth Comcast is also betting big on Blockchain. On Dec. 21, 2018, the US-based telecommunications conglomerate published a press release where it stated that its Blockgraph product will become available for enterprises early this year (Comcast is currently testing the product with NBCUniversal). The initiative is supposed to help them share data in a secure and transparent way. Eventually, Blockgraph could become an ‘identity layer’ for the whole cable news industry.

Comcast Corporation

This is not the first time when Comcast makes a foray into the nascent technology – back in March, Comcast spearheaded a VC seed round of Blockchain startup Blockdaemon.

Why could Comcast stock be a good option for February? Its stock has recently risen due to earnings  that surpassed analysts’ initial predictions. On top of that, the company lost fewer video customers subscribers than expected.

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Other public companies

Of course, there are plenty of other publicly traded companies that didn’t make the cut. Here are some of the examples:

  • MetLife, Inc. [NASDAQ: MET] – works on Blockchain-based solutions for the insurance industry;

  • Ford Motor Company [NASDAQ: F] – spearheads a research group that examines the application of Blockchain in the car industry;

  • Goldman Sachs [NASDAQ: GS] – a crypto-friendly bank that mulled over opening its Bitcoin trading desk (the plan has been shelved);

  • Amazon [NASDAQ: AMZN] – one of the leaders in Blockchain-related patents, which has recently partnered with ConsenSys, led by Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin;

  • Nestle [NASDAQ: NSRGF] – the Swiss-based food giant is utilizing Blockchain in order to increase its shipment efficiency.

Tokenization — a new trend?

The tokenization of stocks has become one of the biggest trends in the cryptocurrency space. Recently, U.Today reported about a new Estonia-based exchange, DX.Exchange, which sells stocks in the form of Ethereum-based tokens. The exchange, which is powered by NASDAQ, is expected to bridge the two markets. Zilliqa has also launched a similar exchange that tokenizes the stocks of decacorns (companies whose value exceeds $10 bln).

With tech giants exploring (or even jumping feet front into) Blockchain and shares of major companies being actually sold on Blockchain, it is clear that the technology isn’t going anywhere. According to WEF projections, 10 percent of global GDP is expected to be stored on Blockchain.

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10 Best Bitcoin Debit Cards in 2019

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This old-meets-new innovation is streamlining the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Learn what Bitcoin debit card you might want to pick in 2019
10 Best Bitcoin Debit Cards in 2019
Contents

There is a real cryptocurrency conundrum when it comes to Bitcoin adoption given that many people hold Bitcoin without actually spending it. However, Bitcoin debit cards are poised to be a game-changer that will bridge the two rivaling industries to alleviate the task of making crypto payments. Hence, U.Today presents our ten picks for the best Bitcoin debit cards.      

Wirex

Wirex is a London-based cryptocurrency-oriented company with offices around the globe. The startup, which appeared on the market back in 2014, has a cryptocurrency debit card among its most significant offers.   

The Visa-powered debit card supports multiple major altcoins apart from Bitcoin. On Jan. 10, Wirex also added WAVES to the list of digital assets that can be seamlessly converted to fiat money.

Wirex Visa Debit Card

The available fiat currencies include:

  • USD

  • EUR

  • GBP

Wirex is certainly a top-of-mind option for anyone who wants to spend their digital assets anywhere in the world where VISA cards are accepted. Those who complete their identity verification can spend up to $10,000 per day without any additional limits being imposed.

Wirex users have to shell out a 1 percent monthly maintenance fee. The startup is focused on the European market, but Wirex announced its plans about its expansion into the US and Asia in the future.

BitPay

US residents can opt for another established industry player — BitPay. BitPay is one of the most popular cryptocurrency payment providers in the world that now has more than 10,000 merchants onboard (the lion’s share of them come from North America). The company’s debit card is available nationwide, which also gives it an edge over competitors who struggle with regulations in separate states.

After initially starting with BTC, BitPay announced its support for BCH in March 2018. So far, BTC and BCH remain the only cryptocurrencies that can be used for topping up your bank account. Notably, cryptocurrency balances on the BitPay card remain in US dollars, which may serve as a hedging mechanism in the mercurial industry.   

BitPay Visa Debit Card

The card costs $9.95 (it takes about a week to be delivered), but keep in mind that there is no maintenance fee and no transaction fee. US residents have to pay a 2 percent commission for ATM withdrawals (3 percent for withdrawing funds outside of the US).

Cryptopay

Just like Wirex, Cryptopay is yet another London-based startup that is designed for European customers. As of now, Cryptopay is also in talks to bring its payment service to Singapore.   

The startup allows you to order a plastic card that will arrive in three to eight weeks or get a virtual card. The latter only costs $2.50 in stark contrast to the $15.00 you will have to fork out in order to buy the plastic card.

Cryptopay Debit Card in Euro

Cryptopay issues plastic prepaid cards in EUR, GBP, USD, and RUB. It supports four digital assets.

A wider range of available currencies comes at a price. Unlike Bitpay, Cryptopay has a $1 maintenance fee, and the ATM fee is also a tad costlier — $2.50 for domestic transactions and $3.50 for international ones.

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Shift

Shift is a debit card for US customers that was rolled out by San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase to give the exchange’s users the possibility to easily spend Bitcoin. After depositing your Bitcoin, the debit card will be linked to your Coinbase wallet. Hence, the card balance will be denominated in BTC. Shift will record the spot Bitcoin price on the exchange when you make a transaction).

Shift Visa Debit Card

With the Shift Bitcoin debit card, the hefty $20 insurance fee might be disappointing, but it’s only a one-time payment, and Shift eliminates exchange fees and transaction fees. Although, ATM withdrawals are pricey – it offers the same rates as Cryptopay (a flat $2.5 withdrawal fee for US customers and a $3.5 fee for those who want to cash out Bitcoin abroad).   

NB! Keep in mind that the card is not available in all US states (you can check the whole list here).

Revolut Metal (when money is not an issue)  

This is an exclusive offer from the European banking startup Revolut. The elegant metal cryptocurrency debit card with 1 percent cashback will set you back £12.99 per month or £120 per year, but it comes with numerous advantages. However, those who withdraw less than £600 in a month are not supposed to pay any fees.    

Revolut Mastercard Debit Card

The state-of-the-art card supports Bitcoin and other five major cryptocurrencies that can be converted into more than 150 fiat currencies. Moreover, as U.Today reported earlier, Revolut customers will get access to such services for free:  

  • Travel insurance

  • Concierge that will make a reservation for you

  • LoungeKey pass

Uquid

Uquid definitely stands out from the pack since it offers more than 75 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and major altcoins.  

It is a pre-loadable credit card that accepts such fiat currencies as EUR, GPD, and USD. Even those who don’t have a bank account can use the card nonetheless.

 Uquid Debit Card in Euro

The startup offers you two types of accounts: silver and gold. If you choose the first option, your daily spending limit will be set at $150 worth of cryptocurrencies. In order to increase this limit, you will have to upgrade your account to gold by verifying your identity. The verification procedure requires you to provide the scans of your ID, driving license, proof of residence, etc. With a gold account, you will be able to make unlimited purchases (the same applies to maximum ATM withdrawals).  

NB! Uquid also has its own cryptocurrency called Uquid Coin (UQC) that can be used for paying trading fees, bills, mobile top-ups, etc.     

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SpectroCoin

SpectroCoin is yet another popular debit card that can be denominated in USD and EUR. Just like Uquid, it offers a great variety of digital currencies, so that altcoin lovers do not have to limit themselves to Bitcoin and a few major coins.

The Lithuania-based startup can deliver its physical Bitcoin cards to practically any country, but the shipping will cost you $50.00. However, SpectroCoin offers a virtual card as well for €9.00 with instant delivery.

SpectroCoin Visa Debit Card

There is a 3 percent exchange fee that is coupled with a monthly $1.00 service fee. On top of that, there is a flat $2.5 fee if you would like to cash out your Bitcoin.          

It is mandatory for SpectroCoin debit card users to be KYC verified, but you still will not be allowed to deposit more than $250 per day. Only those who obtain the VIP status after submitting their ID and utility bill will increase their withdrawal limits to $5,000.

FuzeX

FuzeX is a cryptocurrency card that can store up to 40 digital assets and exchange with the help of any of 40 mln ATMs around the globe with a real-time exchange rate. It is worth noting that they snubbed Bitcoin and went Bitcoin Cash instead, but they later added Ethereum and their native token. The physical card will be suitable for conducting contactless payments (you simply have to hand your card to the merchant who will process your payment as an ordinary one).    

FuzeX Cryptocurrency Debit Card

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AdvCash

AdvCash offers payments in USD, GBP, EUR, and RUB, but it won’t ship its card to more than 50 countries (the Middle Eastern countries, Venezuela and even the US). You can use the AdvCash debit card anonymously, but the withdrawal limit for unverified users is set at 500 USD (those who opt for identity verification could go for $3,000).

You can get your card shipped for as little as $4.99 if the order is shipped right after the registration. There are no fees to top up your e-wallet, but transferring funds from the wallet incurs a flat fee ($0.99).

AdvCash Mastercard Debit Card

They also have competitive withdrawal fees — only $1.99 for withdrawing Bitcoin converted to the fiat currency of your choice. It doesn’t stop there — AdvCash won’t charge service fees, which means that you will save that dollar every month.

Bitwala

Bitwala is a relatively new debit card that also boasts support for multiple cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin + more than 40 other options). However, as expected, its flexibility comes with a hardly competitive fee schedule that is similar to that of SpectroCoin. You can order to the card on the official website, but resents beware: Bitwala doesn’t operate in the US. The card can be shipped in only five business days if you are ready to shell out a €69 fee.

Bitwala Mastercard Debit Card

 

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Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

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Where to store your Bitcoins? With the help of our BTC wallet reviews, you will make an informed decision and pick out the best solution
Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019
Contents

 

If you are going to join the rows of proud Bitcoin owners, the first thing you should take care of is a Bitcoin wallet. Where you keep your digital riches matters a lot, so trust your previous BTC tokens to the most reliable storage providers only. What are the worthiest BTC wallets in 2019? We have prepared reviews of popular solutions – it will guide you through the mire of Bitcoin wallets.

But before we start, let’s observe the rules of choosing a safe and reliable BTC wallet.

How to pick out the best Bitcoin wallet?

You should consider your own preferences and needs. Here are a few aspects to pay the utmost attention to:

  1. Need to work with your crypto portfolio on the go? Then opt for a mobile wallet, such as Mycelium, Jaxx, or Copay.

  2. How often will you need to make BTC transactions? For long-term holding and cold storage, consider hardware and paper solutions. Online and desktop versions are more flexible for trading and spending.

  3. What amount of BTC will you handle? For huge BTC amounts, use hardware wallets. For minor sums – web and desktop wallets.

  4. Is the wallet secure enough? Ensure that your private keys won’t go online. If they do, make sure you deal with a reliable website that won’t disclose your data to third parties.

  5. What’s the transaction fee? The commission for BTC transactions can range from 0% to 4% and higher. Some wallets don’t charge any commissions, but you will have to pay fees when connecting to trading platforms.

Ideally, you should use a combination of wallets – each for its purpose. That will ensure higher security and fast access to your digital funds.

Types of Bitcoin wallets

There are four main categories of Bitcoin wallets. They vary by the way you can access your assets.

Hardware wallets

Those are devices that look like typical USBs and are connected to the user's computer in a similar manner. A hardware BTC wallet keeps the private keys and can be accessed only when the owner enters a PIN. The user’s digital currency cannot be accessed via the Net – direct connection to the gadget is required. It’s called cold storage and is considered to be the safest way of storing assets. The main drawback is a relatively high cost of the solution.

Online wallets

These are online services that allow users to generate their client area with their own Bitcoin wallet. It means BTC is virtually stored on third-party servers. Because of the threat of hacking, this method is considered to be unsafe. However, it depends on the website you select.

Desktop wallet

In this case, users install software on their PC or a mobile app. Private keys are stored on the device and don't go online. This is a relatively safe method of crypto storage unless your PC is vulnerable to malware and viruses. Such software might require gigabytes of space and some basic technical skills, so it should rather be used by those who are IT-savvy.

Paper wallets

This is the rarest and the safest way of crypto storage. User’s private and public codes are stored on a piece of paper. It can be put in a bank safe deposit. Although it sounds outdated, this method is still relevant and reliable.

Now when you know the essentials, it’s time to observe the best Bitcoin wallets for 2019.

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1. Copay

This wallet was developed by BitPay five years ago to couple unbeatable security with intuitive navigation and rich features. This is why Copay is one of the best software solutions for BTC holders. It leverages multisig technology for fast verification of transactions and allows more than 1 signature, which guarantees better protection against hackers. Besides, this is an open source solution, meaning you can have better control over your funds. It will be equally efficient on your desktop, web, or mobile interface. Copay works on all major operating systems.

Copay renders the whole gamut of features to receive and send payments:

  • 2-step authentication

  • safe payment verification

  • Bitcoin Payment Protocol support

2. Coinbase

Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

Not that it’s the safest option for BTC storage – Coinbase has a few downsides when it comes to privacy and security. For example, it controls your private keys and tracks where and how you spend your Bitcoins (some users’ accounts are blocked for illegal purchases made with BTC in the darknet).

However, Coinbase ensures unbeatable convenience and is perfect for buying and selling crypto. With this website, you can establish a direct connection with a U.S. bank account and have dollars at your disposal to buy BTC instantly. Sold BTC will be automatically converted into USD and sent to your account, too. It’s a very flexible platform.

Another concern is Coinbase’s vulnerability to hacker attacks. The sad Mt. Gox example has proven that online storage can be a huge mistake – hackers invent new ways of stealing digital money, so IT teams should always be on guard.

3. BRD Wallet

BRD is a no-brainer even for beginners. It allows for managing major crypto assets and is available for both iPhone and Android. Using this Bitcoin wallet, users can buy BTC in different ways (via ATMs, in person, credit cards, wire transfers, etc). Cryptocurrency conversion is also possible. BRD wallet makes up for flawless user experience.

Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

What about security? BRD wallet is connected to the blockchain via a 12-word paper key. Thus, you don’t have to deal with accounts and numerous passwords. Simple as never before!

4. Coinomi

This is a multi-language application that was created for users from all over the world. The web-based wallet can be used on tablets and smartphones. It features 2-step authentication and a user-friendly interface for fast and easy BTC management. There’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.

5. Blockchain.info

This is one of the most commonly used BTC wallets because it enables Bitcoin transactions made via both browser and mobile phone. Interestingly, this hybrid wallet stores your private keys on the Internet but doesn’t have access to them. Storage and the marketplace are divided from each other. However, you should transfer money only to the receivers you trust – the wallet will be loaded from their servers.

Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

This Bitcoin wallet is suitable for starters who are only learning the nuts and bolts of cryptocurrency. The company is well-established and has gained trust among the crypto community. The only drawback is that anonymous transfers are unlikely to be made with Blockchain.info.

6. GreenAddress wallet

This cryptocurrency wallet provides users with total control over their personal assets, including BTC. Here, you can set up transaction limits, spending threshold, and so on. What makes it superb from a security standpoint? It enables 2-factor authentication for every transaction made. Thus, it guarantees the safety of your cryptocurrency, even though such an approach isn’t convenient. Transactions are made a bit slower.

Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

The vast majority of user reviews are pretty fair, and users agree that this wallet isn’t hard to navigate and comprehend. So if you don’t mind the trade-off between security and speed, GreenAddress would be a perfect choice.


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7. Robinhood

This platform was started as a trading website, but recently it extended the list of available features and included support of Bitcoin and a few other crypto assets. Like Coinbase, Robinhood serves as both an exchange and wallet. However, it puts heavy focus on mobile experience and doesn’t provide a web interface for traders.

Why try Robinhood? It’s totally free! There’s no fee for purchasing or selling BTC, like any other stock on the platform. However, some claim that this app isn’t secure enough. So far, no issues with hacking have popped up.

8. Trezor

Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

This hardware BTC wallet is one of the top picks for storing crypto. It works as a USB drive, the contents of which can be accessed by the owner only. You need to set up a PIN code to access the funds and manage them. If you lose it, there’s a recovery seed for restoring the account. One of the best things about Trezor is its multi-currency feature.

Aside from that, the wallet is very easy to use: its interface is understandable even for beginners. Just plug it in and enjoy simple the navigation coupled with unbeatable performance. The gadget is lightweight, so you can easily take it with you and have BTC at your fingertips. Additional security is ensured thanks to the 24-word seed combined with the passphrase, making accessing the wallet impossible for anyone but the owner! Warning: if you forget the passphrase, you won’t be able to recover it.

Are there any downsides? Well, if you don’t mind paying up to $100 and having to connect the device to your PC, this gadget is perfect. When Trezor isn’t connected to a computer, it’s simply turned off.

9. Exodus

This BTC wallet reminds one of Electrum but boasts a way more beautiful interface and more intuitive use. It has the same advantages as other wallets do, but looks much better. The user-friendly menu allows for managing BTC and tens of other cryptocurrencies. Users can also manage their portfolio and view statistics: the information about transactions is displayed in the form of charts and graphs. You can also swap BTC for another coin via the ShapeShift exchange – it’s built in.

Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

No account setup is required, so this wallet is perfect for beginners. From a security standpoint, it’s also superb: there is private key encryption and many other useful features. Due to its additional tools, Exodus is recommended for people involved in investing and trading. Fees and commissions are paid to the network processing transaction, not to Exodus.

10. Mycelium

Want to manage your crypto assets on the go? Try Mycelium – a mobile suite for iPhone and Android. The software is recommended for tech-savvy users as it’s a bit more complicated than other solutions around. But don’t be scared – it just takes a little bit more time to understand what is what. No desktop or web interface is provided; Mycelium is made purely for mobile users.

The application is secure enough: the private keys are to be kept on the device, and you may preserve the anonymity. Use your Bitcoins on the go and don’t be afraid of hacking – the app leverages all essential security practices. Thanks to BitID open protocol, it’s possible to create backups and enjoy the support of hardware BTC depositaries.

11. KeepKey

This is one of the safest multi-currency hardware wallets around. Creators of KeepKey claim that it’s bulletproof against hackers and malware. It’s protected against physical theft, as well. Aside from storage, it can serve for transactions and the tracking of your BTC history. The gadget integrates with a software wallet suite on your PC and is responsible for the creation and keeping of a private key, as well as transaction signing.

KeepKey’s price is similar to its counterparts, but its design and interface make it worth every dollar.

12. Ledger Nano S

Would you like to carry BTC in your pocket like regular money? It’s possible thanks to the Ledger Nano S gadget. This device was designed to store various cryptocurrencies on its physical chip. It looks like a regular USB drive and allows for storing an unlimited amount of cryptocurrency. For fund management, a user should simply attach the device to his PC, laptop or mobile using the cable. Once the gadget synchronizes with the system, the user’s balance will be renewed automatically.

Top 15 Bitcoin Wallets 2019

Ledger Nano S provides you with all necessary tools: you can send and obtain your digital money safely. The private keys are stored right on the device and are never disclosed in the Internet.

Now the bad news. Ledger Nano S is not free: it costs $99, though you can buy it for as low as $59 with the discount provided by some sellers. Is it too much for the bulletproof security of your Ripple tokens? We readily pay the banks that keep our deposits safe and secure, so one-time $99 doesn’t seem too much, especially if you handle large sums of crypto.

13. Jaxx

This Bitcoin wallet supports a few top tokens and is designed for maximum mobility. Initially, it was designed to serve as a mobile suite for Android and iOS, but the Jaxx team plans to release a desktop version, too.

So, why chose Jaxx? First, its creators did their best to make an intuitive, simple interface. It's a no-brainer, even for beginners. All you need is to download and install Jaxx on your mobile phone, log in, and make a wallet. Managing funds is as easy as 1-2-3. Secondly, Jaxx keeps users’ private codes on the device: keys never leak onto the Internet, and no third parties can access them.

Last but not least is 2-step authorization. Once you enable it, your account won't be accessed without confirmation from SMS.


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14. Guarda

This is a lightweight wallet that supports several crypto currencies and can be used on computers and smartphones, which makes it a great choice for traders who want to manage their Ripple funds on the go. Compatibility and reliability make it one of the best solutions so far.

Guarda puts clients’ privacy on a pedestal: it doesn’t keep the user’s data, private keys or transaction details. Keys are left on the user’s device and are deleted from the program once you log out. No KYC process is required, so you don’t have to waste your time on verification.

15. Electrum

Electrum was designed to be a BTC software wallet for the Bitcoin community only. This is a simple platform for the safe storage of BTC and transaction signing. Electrum leverages the Simple Payment Verification (SPV) method that serves for verifying an operation within 5 seconds. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to download the entire blockchain – that simplifies the task enormously.

To protect users, Electrum leverages 2-level encryption: your private keys are not likely to be hacked this way. Aside from it, the wallet boasts easy navigation and a user-friendly interface. This solution is available for all common OS, and you have the option of keeping your private keys on the device together with Electrum. This way, you’ll benefit from multisig technology and extended functionality – you can set permissions so that Bitcoins are spent and stored in different wallets.

Compare BTC wallets

Let’s check out how the most popular Bitcoin wallets differ:

Wallet

Type

Multisig

Are fees adjustable?

Ledger Nano S

Hardware

-

Yes + segwit

Trezor

Hardware

-

Yes + segwit

KeepKey

Hardware

-

Pre-set

Copay

Mobile, desktop

Yes

Pre-set

Mycelium

Mobile

No

Adjustable

Exodus

Desktop

No

Pre-set

Jaxx

Mobile, desktop

No

Pre-set

Practices for safe usage of a Bitcoin wallet

Put trust in your Bitcoin wallet, but keep doing the right thing to protect your finances from hacking and loss. There are several steps that should be taken for your financial privacy and security:

  1. Keep your private keys under your strict control. It’s better not to rely on third parties and keep the private keys only to yourself. Store the code on your devices or print it out and keep in a safe place. Note that services like Coinbase and Circle do store and control users’ keys, so choose an alternative wallet to preserve total privacy.

  2. Another step in the direction of privacy is the use of a safe connection when you handle your BTC. What do we mean? Every time you process blockchain data from your wallet, the server detects your IP address and connects it to a corresponding address. If you want to keep your privacy, use such wallets as Bitcoin Core or Armory – they download the whole blockchain and store it on your device. Such wallets hide your IP address and protect your identity. However, a desktop wallet like this requires at least 200 Gb of space on your PC, and the amount of required space constantly grows.

  3. For every transaction, Bitcoin wallets generate a new address. Since all BTC operations are public, the reuse of one and the same address makes your wallet more vulnerable since transactions are connected with one identity.

  4. Use Bitcoin wallets according to the sums handled. Ideally, you should have different BTC addresses for different sums of money. Say, a hardware or a paper wallet can keep your savings, while mobile and online wallets should rather be used for trading or spending.

  5. Don’t forget about backups. Create reserve copies of your wallet and keep them in several locations. This way, you’ll be able to restore your funds in any case. For better protection of paper wallets, you can laminate them.

Bottom Line

The market offers an enormous amount of Bitcoin wallets – online, desktop, and hardware ones. What to use? It all boils down to your requirements and needs. There’s no champion on this list because every solution has its pros and cons. However, you should always prefer tried and tested solutions. Don’t trust your precious Bitcoins to some unknown websites and applications, even if they try to lure you with zero or low transaction fees.

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Wikicoin Denys Serhiichuk

Blockchain Certification: How to Get Certified in Blockchain Technology

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Blockchain has already become a popular trend. In this regard, developers need to confirm their knowledge in this field through certificates
Blockchain Certification: How to Get Certified in Blockchain Technology
Contents

It is a vivid fact that blockchain and cryptocurrencies have penetrated into our lives. New technologies are already being used in logistics, financial institutions, medical services, etc. Over the past few years, developers of blockchain technology have evolved from representatives of narrowly focused specialization to professionals, whose shortages are seriously felt on the market.

Blockchain certification

New technologies have conquered the minds and hearts of millions of enthusiasts around the world. Many people have taken the path of self-learning in the field of blockchain, eagerly absorbing information, learning new skills on their own and gaining experience. The only problem is that it is rather difficult to study independently without the help of competent professionals who can share valuable knowledge rather than general information from Wikipedia.

A problem can arise if you are actively interested in blockchain technology and want to get more knowledge as a professional, but you don’t have the opportunity to spend a lot of time learning about blockchain. So, it becomes quite difficult to find options for a quick and effective education and training.

In this article, we have created a list of blockchain certifications to help developers master their skills.

Blockchain Council

 Blockchain Council logo

It is one of the well-known blockchain expert communities. It conducts trainings, certifies blockchain specialists and is open for membership.

Training is available for beginners and more or less experienced blockchain enthusiasts. At the same time, you can choose the direction of interest on your own or alternately take several trainings to strengthen existing knowledge or learn something new. The Blockchain Council expert community organizes trainings for a completely small fee of $45 in the format of online meetings. Topics of training are the following:

  • Introduction to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)

  • Working with hyperledger fabric blockchain on IBM Bluemix

  • How to build Decentralized Auto Democracy (DAO) in blockchain

  • Blockchain glossary – learn blockchain frequently used terms

  • Understand the largest blockchain attacks

  • Setting up Ethereum blockchain in 1 hour

  • Learn Solidity: programing language for Ethereum smart-contracts

  • Learn Ethereum blockchain & smart-contract within 1 hour

On the website for each training, you can see its program and evaluate the practical benefits for yourself. Blockchain Council has made certification available to everyone, in the target areas including:

  • Certified blockchain expert

  • Certified cryptocurrency trader

  • Certified cryptocurrency expert

  • Certified Solidity developer

  • Certified Ethereum expert

Course fees range from $9 to $149, while the annual payment for membership in the Blockchain Council is $199.

Obtaining the status of a certified blockchain expert using Blockchain Council is an excellent investment in yourself as a recognized professional.

In addition, in the labor market, specialists who are familiar with blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts can claim to be paid an average of 30% more than their competitors without similar skills.

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CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium

Consortium logo

This program helps students become certified Bitcoin experts. Consortium offers three types of courses, after which people can become a Certified Bitcoin Professional, a Certified Bitcoin Expert or a Certified Ethereum Developer. A Certified Bitcoin Specialist (CBP) understands Bitcoin’s protocol, its transactions, and its network operation.

CBP specialists can apply Bitcoin technology in their professional field, understanding the aspects of confidentiality, double spending and other issues related to cryptocurrency. Training lasts two years, and the cost is $95 for the course plus a fee of $30.

An expert in the field of Bitcoin obtains "expert level cryptocurrency knowledge.” Such a diploma makes it possible to develop applications on the blockchain. These specialists understand the principles of interaction between peers in the Bitcoin network, how to handle transactions at the byte level, and the writing of scripts that adapt transaction behavior.

The consortium's board of directors includes Andreas Antonopoulos, Vitalik Buterin and Michael Perklin.

RMIT University

RMIT University

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) created the Blockchain innovation center to conduct research on blockchain technologies.

This institution is declared the first research center in the world whose goal is to study the social sciences related to the blockchain.

The new center works as an international interdisciplinary research group studying the economic, cultural and social implications of blockchain technology. It also intends to cooperate with a variety of companies from different fields of activity in order to share developments and employ students after graduation.

This scientific cluster is about to develop and implement policies aimed at facilitating the transition to a future blockchain economy, as well as interact with politicians and governments to discuss the social and political impact of this technology.

Digital Currency Council

Digital Currency Council logo

This program was created in 2014 in New York by David Berger, who is the founder and leader of the courses. Currently, DCC educational services are used by more than 1,500 participants from 90 countries around the world. The organization calls itself "an association of experts in the field of digital currencies."

The DCC training program is much shorter than the courses offered by the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium and lasts only seven hours. However, the cost of this course is much higher, which is $299. The Digital Currency Council includes six main areas: technical fundamentals of cryptocurrency, financial relations, practical use, the Bitcoin ecosystem, accounting, and legal subjects. The DCC offers completing a self-test to determine your qualifications. The program is supported by Digital Currency Group and Silicon Valley accelerator 500 Startups.

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Blockchain Training Alliance

Blockchain Training Alliance logo

The company offers a comprehensive training program on blockchain technologies. The Alliance also promotes courses at the place of residence. The goal is simple: to provide students with the most up-to-date materials and instructions on blockchain and maintain their skills through new courses as the technology develops.

The main advantage of the alliance lies in its mobility – lectures and trainings are held around the world. This can be an excellent option for corporations wishing to familiarize employees with blockchain and cryptocurrency. Blockchain Training Alliance offers modern, flexible and interdisciplinary programs.

Choosing the right program

Undoubtedly, there are many other educational programs dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Graduation certificates can be very useful for building careers. You should not exclude the possibility of free online learning. In addition to free courses, one can find a wealth of information about Bitcoin and its technical aspects on the Internet.

Only accredited bodies that work by their own rules have the documentary right to confirm certification, often acting as monopolies. There are very few alternatives, though the industry remains commercial in many countries.

In any case, before making a final choice in favor of any course, it is recommended to carefully study the program and its methods.

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Wikicoin Denys Serhiichuk

10 Best Cloud Mining Sites in 2019

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Mining has become very popular now. However, if you do not have enough money to buy ASIC miners, cloud mining may be the best alternative.
10 Best Cloud Mining Sites in 2019
Contents

There are plenty of ways to earn cryptocurrency. Lots of them do not require investments and tons of money: it is enough to have a wallet and Internet access. But in order to get a stable income, you need to correctly approach the method of earnings and finding a suitable company. Investing in cloud mining is the most sensible step in multiplying your cryptocurrency assets in 2019.

Bitcoin cloud mining

Cloud mining is a modern solution for clients who are sure of the stability of the chosen payment method and are not going to assemble the mining farm and proceed through a noisy hardware installation.

To verify the relevance of such a source of income, it is necessary to explore all its advantages. Only after making sure that the positives prevail over the negative ones, one should get down to business.

Pros of cloud mining:

  • Easy to start. You just sign up on the service you like, pay money and start earning.

  • Accessibility. You can buy any “share” of equipment for any amount.

Cons of cloud mining:

  • Less profit. Of course, cloud mining services will not work at a loss.

  • Hardware does not belong to you.

  • Scams. The Internet is full of scammers and of course, there are people who create fake cloud mining websites.

When choosing a company to invest in cloud mining, first of all you need to pay attention to feedback, the service lifespan and the adequacy of the offer.

In this article, we will briefly analyze the 10 most reliable cloud mining websites that have proven themselves due to their stable payments and favorable tariff plans.

IQ Mining

IQ Mining landing page

IQ Mining is a profitable service for cloud mining, as it automatically switches between the most profitable currencies, which are then converted into Bitcoin. You can receive a payment once a day and choose up to 5 cryptocurrencies.

The platform differs from its competitors by the following features:

  • Automatically switches to the most profitable altcoin.

  • The company has contracts with international partners.

  • Clearly determined payback period and income.

  • No commissions for payment transactions.

Genesis Mining

Genesis mining hardware

Genesis Mining is another reliable resource for cloud mining. On its website, you can even monitor some mining farms. In such a convenient process of work lies the first advantage of the company – transparency, which significantly increases the level of customer confidence.

The company provides its clients with the following benefits:

  • Forget about having to spend a lot of time installing the hardware.

  • Mine any cryptocurrencies available on the website.

  • In case of possible system failures, all capacities will be redirected to other pools.

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Hashing24

Hashing24 landing page

Hashing24 is a popular service that provides the opportunity to conduct cloud mining. It has been operating since 2015 and has representative offices in Ireland and in Ukraine. The service is notable for the fact that the team focuses on creating reliable partnerships with market leaders.

Reasons to invest in Hashing24:

  • Mining uses the hardware of BitFury, which is currently the market leader.

  • Prompt replenishment of the account and the ability to withdraw coins on the same day.

  • The usage of high-quality equipment.

HashFlare

HashFlare website

Hashflare is a subsidiary of Hashcoins, another manufacturer of mining equipment. The platform offers the chance to buy hash power for various digital assets, such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, as well as Ethereum and Zcash.

The company's goal is to provide an opportunity for everyone to earn cryptocurrency, regardless of experience, size of investments and technical skills. Thus, the company develops its mining technology and supports digital currency and the economic network of Bitcoin and some other digital assets. The HashFlare team offers its customers to try out cloud mining and receive dividends from investments in hardware.

The platform provides the following benefits:

  • Connection in 0.001 sec

  • Withdrawal without delay

  • Detailed statistics on the status of equipment in your account

  • No hidden fees

Nuvoo Mining

 Nuvoo Mining website interface

In addition to cloud mining, Nuvoo offers several alternatives for cooperation, including the possibility of renting a mining farm developed by experienced experts. The system algorithm of the company's farms has been developed by experts in the cryptocurrency market and the main development bias is on energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of mining.

Main advantages:

  • No extra charges.

  • Low prices for electricity and cooling.

  • Multi-currency mining.

AlienCloud

 AlienCloud interface

Besides cloud mining, AlienCloud is also a cryptocurrency exchange and a wallet for storing monetary assets. The platform serves as a whole ecosystem for interacting with cryptocurrencies, which is especially convenient for beginners. The service is known in the crypto community and has a high level of user confidence. AlienCloud supports 3 languages: Russian, English, and Chinese.

The main advantages of the service:

  • The indefinite validity of contracts

  • The use of computing power is not limited in time

  • 100% equipment warranty

CCG Mining

CCG Mining website

CCG Mining is an international platform with branches in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Austria, Poland, Great Britain, and Russia. The platform mines Bitcoin, as well as Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Due to the fact that the offices of the company are located in different regions, the service is uninterrupted.

The main benefits:

  • International platform

  • Variety of contracts

  • Income Calculator

  • Mining starts immediately after registration

  • 24/7 technical support

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AGIO Crypto

AGIO Crypto logo

AGIO Crypto has entered into the mining business very quickly and successfully. It has become a reseller of such giant companies as Bitmain and Saint Bitts. In addition, its own data centers are located in Russia and Ukraine.

The service uses the latest equipment, which is followed 24/7 by technical specialists. The company publishes all the documentation on its website. Thus, there is a calculator for income forecasts.

Main advantages:

  • Perpetual contracts

  • Each contract can be sold or donated

  • Forecast calculator

World Mining

World Mining logo

World Mining is a young cloud mining service. It has powerful hardware, offers a handwritten script and regular training webinars.

The platform provides 5 contracts with different conditions and income and with the average daily profit of 0.9-1.5%.

Pros of the platform:

  • Dedicated server

  • Bonuses

  • DDoS protection

Cloudy Mining

Cloudy Mining logo

Cloudy Mining is one of the most used cloud mining platforms. The main capacities are concentrated in Lithuania, as the country has a special interest in technological progress and encourages innovation of any kind.

Main advantages:

  • First earnings after 24 hours

  • No hidden fees

  • Cost of the contract is fixed until its expiration

Overall, cloud mining in 2019 will continue to gain popularity among users. The number of platforms offering the professional services to miners will increase, as well as the demand for rental special hardware.

Companies do their best to attract as many clients as they can. In this regard, IQ Mining offers a special promotion. It gives 25% extra hashrate to all mining contract purchases. In addition, there is a chance to win valuable prizes.

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How to Buy Bitcoin with Bank Accounts Instantly

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Want to buy Bitcoin with a bank account? Read about the platforms where you can get BTC instantly, including requirements, fees, and rules
How to Buy Bitcoin with Bank Accounts Instantly
Contents

Want to join the crypto community? Then owning Bitcoin is a must – this is the a crypto essential. Wonder how to become a happy Bitcoin owner? The simplest way is to buy it directly with your credit card or check.

That may seem strange because BTC itself is opposed to the traditional banking sphere – it is designed to literally disrupt the existing financial world. But while fiat and crypto coexist, consider buying Bitcoins with bank account.

Let’s find out how to buy BTC with a bank account, and which services are recommended for that.

Why consider a direct purchase?

There are several reasons for you to buy Bitcoin with fiat:

1.    If you are a beginner in crypto, purchasing one token for another would be very challenging. Too many steps, too many places – each with their own prices and fees.

2.   It's more beneficial for a BTC seller to have money transferred to his account instantly rather than trading on an exchange platform. That takes more time, and additional transaction fees apply.

3.   In fact, purchasing BTC directly from a person using some specialized platform is less risky than having one more middleman in the form of an exchange platform.

4.   To top it off, a direct BTC purchase is simply quicker – the transaction takes a few minutes only.

Thus, purchasing crypto with your fiat riches is the simplest way to become a proud owner of digital currency. But where to obtain BTC online?

Top platforms where you can buy Bitcoin instantly with a bank account

With the help of these websites, you can use an inbuilt BTC wallet and get crypto coins in exchange for fiat.

Coinbase

It’s a common choice for both crypto token exchanges and storage of crypto coins. It was launched 7 years ago and now is available in over 30 countries. Coinbase supports a huge amount of crypto coins, including Bitcoin. Here, you can buy BTC worth up to $150 or €150 weekly with your plastic card. To enjoy Coinbase’s services, users have to go through the KYC/AML procedure, which means personal data is required. As for fees, users are charged a 3.99% fee for purchases with a debit/credit card – optimal for EU and US clients. In some cases, Coinbase users can get compensated.

Coinbase boasts a few undeniable benefits:

●   High purchase limits;

●   It’s simple to navigate and get acquainted with;

●   Instant BTC purchases can be made with plastic cards.

However, if you want to buy Bitcoin with a bank transfer, be ready to wait about 5 days. Besides, Coinbase tracks how users spend purchased crypto, and if you use it for shopping in the darknet or some other illegal purposes, your account might be blocked.

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Coinmama

This website also provides users with the opportunity to obtain BTC using a bank card. Surprisingly, it has a very high 6% fee because of the risks and operation commissions. However, Coinmama has more than agreeable limits: users can get about $5,000 worth of BTC daily, or $20,000 worth of BTC monthly.

Coinmama verification requirements

As soon as you register and verify your personality, you can transfer Bitcoin to your bank account in a jiffy. Coinmama works in the vast majority of countries and has proven to be a trustworthy platform.

Luno

Luno platform is designed for European users mostly: it allows you to buy Bitcoins with bank account and has a very low commission. Besides, loyal Luno users can get compensated. We recommend this platform because it’s a well-established service that’s been around for years, and deposits are free. However, the inbuilt Luno BTC wallet isn’t reliable, so find another place to store your currency.

Luno website interface

CEX.io

An old crypto exchange, CEX.io is designed mostly for EU and American users (it’s present in several states of the USA and some countries in South America). Now, it is available in many countries (UK users should note that GBP operations leave to desire more liquidity). Why try this service? First, CEX.io has a very low 0.2% fee. Some users can claim compensation. Secondly, this well-reputable website has gained the trust of thousands of users.

Buying BTC is made easy as never before

However, you should be ready for the security trade-off: the personality verification process is quite long (it may take up to 30 min), and users have to provide personal data, as well as their photo. Most likely, you’ll need to wait several days until administrators check the submitted data and confirm it.

Bitpanda

This is a broker that was established in Austria for European users only. Here, users buy Bitcoin online with bank accounts with a moderate 3-4% commission. The most inconvenient thing is that Bitpanda shows the exact amount of fee only when you buy. The main reason to try it is a relatively low commission, and reliability.

BTC is available in a couple of clicks

Bitfinex

This crypto exchange website was launched in Hong Kong, and it’s been around for 7 years already. Bitfinex is a tried and trusted platform with a large BTC/USD trading turnover, which guarantees liquidity. The service is available all around the world except a few countries, including the USA and North Korea. Aside from dollars and euro, Bitfinex supports JPY and GBP. Fees are minor and mostly depend on the sum involved. As a rule, it’s 0.1% for taker and 0.2% for maker, which is quite agreeable. More information about fees is here:

Bitfinex maker and taker fees

To buy Bitcoin with bank transfers or a bank account, you should go through KYC/AML procedures. It requires both time and personal data. Yet, it guarantees you’ll work with a trustworthy platform.

GDAX

This crypto marketplace works under Coinbase’s ownership. GDAX works in a few countries, and accepts three basic fiats. Why choose this platform? It has a low operation commission (0% for maker, and up to 0.3% for taker) which is defined by the amount of funds processed. The platform requires users to pass AML/KYC procedures and guarantees safety. It is quite easy to use, and the liquidity level is optimal.

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Bitstamp

This website was established in Luxembourg and has been around for 8 years. Use fiat to buy a lot of basic cryptocurrencies, including BTC and BCH. Bitstamp is available for users from all over the world, but it accepts payments in euro and dollars only. If you want to perform transactions via bank account, KYC and AML procedures are obligatory. Although it takes time, this is the warranty of safety. Bitstamp boasts very low commissions from 0.25% to 0.1% – it depends on the monthly volume of fiat. Therefore, if you want to play big, Bitstamp is the right place.

Bitstamp has ready offers for BTC buying

Kraken

Searching for a platform with high euro liquidity? Then opt for the US-based website called ‘Kraken’: it has been around since 2011, and is now in several countries. Today, it’s the best option for euro payments. To start trading on Kraken, you should go through the KYC and AML procedures. Luckily, it shouldn’t take much time there. What about Kraken’s fee policy? It features fixed deposit/withdrawal fees:

 Kraken transaction fees

That seems to be much, but only if you operate with small sums. If you plan to pull thousands of dollars in requisition, fixed commissions will be more agreeable.

LocalBitcoins

Plan to buy Bitcoin with a bank account without sharing the private data? On LocalBitcoins, the KYC procedure is not obligatory – money is sent directly to users. This project allows for BTC trading with its nominal fee. Besides, there’s an escrow service that ensures safety. LocalBitcoins is available for people from all over the globe, and it supports all fiat currencies. A pre-set 1% commission applies to all operation.

CoinSpot

The main Australian BTC exchange platform, which appeared in 2013. Registration on CoinSpot is quite simple and doesn’t take much time. Please, note that this platform supports only the Australian dollar. If you want to transfer some BTC to a bank account, be ready for a 1% commission (that’s quite agreeable), and crypto operations on BTC markets are charged 0.25% fee.

Choose a trading platform according to your needs

How to buy Bitcoin with a bank account

Okay, now that you’ve decided which platform complies with your demands, let’s figure out how to make your first purchase. Here are the steps to take:

1.    Create an account on a website and approve your email.

2.   Log in to your client area and specify personal details.

3.   Go through the KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure: upload your ID, or passport to verify your personality.

4.   Specify your Bitcoin wallet (it must be already existing).

5.   Choose the payment option – either credit/debit card or bank account.

6.   Select BTC amount you want to buy.

7.    Paste the BTC address.

8.   Specify credit/debit card information.

To boost security, some websites ask customers to provide their mobile phone – it is used to send SMS messages with confirmation codes.

Use trustworthy platforms to purchase BTC, and you will enjoy an exceptional trading experience!

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