Yuri Molchan

SpotOn Payment Platform Teams up with VaultBank to Let Online Shops Take Crypto

SpotOn has entered into a partnership with VaultBank to enable merchants to accept virtual coins, including the first four from the top-10 list
SpotOn Payment Platform Teams up with VaultBank to Let Online Shops Take Crypto
Contents

On Monday, the platform dealing with the processing of online payments publicized information of its new partnership with VaultBank, a blockchain startup which creates and trades financial tools. The new business union will allow merchants to accept crypto for their goods, including the first top four coins: BTC, XRP, ETH and XLM.

World of commerce in need of crypto

The president of SpotOn, RJ Horsley, believes that these days the digital market requires that a payment operator can take a wide range of payment means, including crypto. He intends to let merchants and customers use crypto without changing the SpotOn platform for a different payment processing system.

Besides, the new technology that comes from VaultBank will allow converting digital coins into fiat currencies — which will be convenient for merchants.

Paying in crypto is expected to make buyers happy.

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The new payment option

The new tool will enable clients to buy goods and services with digital coins of their preference, and merchants will be able to change these assets to fiat money or take the crypto on their balance.

In the future, SpotOn intends to add a feature of letting customers buy/sell or trading crypto on the platform.

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🎓 Trading Guide Vera Thornpike

Best Coinbase Alternative For Cryptocurrency Trading

Trading Guide
Want to trade crypto somewhere else aside Coinbase? Meet the best alternative websites and applications
Best Coinbase Alternative For Cryptocurrency Trading
Contents

If you want to engage into crypto trading, you need a cryptocurrency exchange website. Although the vast majority of traders rave about Coinbase, alternative solutions are also available. The Internet is full of websites like Coinbase, and today we will review the worthiest ones.

How to select a decent exchange platform like Coinbase?

Before we start observing Coinbase competitors, let’s figure out the criteria that will help you to make an informed decision and pick up the best CoinBase alternative tailored to your needs.

  1. Check out the list of cryptocurrencies supported. If you prefer altcoins to Bitcoin, make sure that the exchange platform works with your coins.

  2. What is the commission fee? Normally, for sites like CoinBase, it may reach three percent, though some websites charge even more– it depends on the currency, amount of payment, and user’s location. Read the fine print in the SLA to understand the exact fee amount beforehand.

  3. How much time does it take to withdraw the funds? As a rule, you can get the money instantly or within a few hours. Also, it’s important to find out the minimum and maximum deposit/withdrawal sum.

  4. Are there any extra perks? Many Coinbase alternatives offer Bitcoin graphs, personalized notifications, and other useful features. These may prove helpful to make instant decisions.

Now it’s time to overview the websites like Coinbase.

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Kraken

Being increasingly popular, Kraken is considered to be one of the best Coinbase alternatives in 2017. Thanks to the fact that it’s never been breached, it is considered to be the safest exchange platform. Kraken supports over 20 altcoins and four fiat currencies, and its salient feature is margin trading. It means that a trader can get a position with leverage. Besides, a new user can create different types of accounts (it depends on the amount of traded money and the extent of identification he wants to go through).

Users can also reap benefits from a thought through loaning system. The maker (a person selling some coin on the platform) the transaction fee is around 0.0-0.16 percent, the taker (a person who bids on some certain asset) - 0.10-0.26 percent.

image

Desc: Kraken website interface– trading made intuitive and fast

Alt: Kraken website interface

CEX

This UK-based site like Coinbase is well-established and trusted by Internet users. At CEX, users can purchase Bitcoin by Mastercard or Visa, as well as bank transfer. The platform supports  eight cryptocurrencies:

  • BTC,

  • ETH,

  • BCH,

  • Bitcoin Gold,

  • DASH,

  • Ripple,

  • Stellar Lumens,

  • ZCash.

As for fiat currencies supported, these include RUB, USD, EUR and GBP.

Unlike other sites like Coinbase, CEX covers 99 percent of the world’s crypto-supporting countries– its audience is spread all over the globe. Besides, their transaction fee is agreeable. While bank transfers and crypto deposits are not charged at all, the average fee for card deposit is 3.5 percent, 0. 3 percent is charged for crypto withdrawal. The exchange is charged in the range of zero percent and 0.25 percent depending on the amount involved.

CEX also has a feature similar to Coinbase instant buy– a user can quickly figure out what is what and make a purchase within seconds. More tech-savvy traders can use a full order book and charts to place orders for crypto.

image

Desc: CEX displays cryptocurrency graphs to make a better decision

Alt: CEX cryptocurrency graphs

Gemini

This Bitcoin exchange was founded in 2014, and quickly made waves due to the fact it doesn’t charge users from transactions– this is a great competitive advantage. Besides, Gemini clients aren’t afraid of storing their assets on the platform due to cold storage (offline). Newcomers can create either a business account or an individual account. There’s only one disadvantage: Gemini supports Bitcoin and Ethereum only.

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As many other alternatives to Coinbase, Gemini leverages a security feature called 2FA. It prevents malicious access to assets stored offline, so hackers won’t be able to get into the system, even if they know the password to an account.

image

Desc: How an account on Gemini website looks

Alt: Gemini website account

Changelly

Among Coinbase alternatives, US-based website Changelly stays on the forefront of the industry thanks to the whole gamut of currencies supported (about 100 coins) and the automatic monitoring of the biggest exchanges. The last feature means that the platform tracks which cryptocurrencies have the best exchange rate at the moment, and notifies users about it.

Changelly’s transaction fee is 0.5 percent, and only the instant conversion rate can be used for exchange. Its user interface is intuitive and simple, and it’s suitable for both professionals and beginners.

Are there any downsides? First, Changelly does not have an order book. Secondly, it has very high fees for credit card deposits (well, most exchange platforms do). While Changelly takes a five percent fee, Simplex service can add another five percent.

image

Desc: Simplex service for instant buy-in Changelly

Alt: Simplex instant buy

LocalBitcoins

If you’re into Bitcoin solely, this is the best alternative to Coinbase. Finland-based project LocalBitcoins has been around since 2012 and works as a P2P exchange embracing over 15,000 cities around the world. Using this website, both sellers and buyers can meet and trade offline. You can either pay in cash or send money via PayPal or wire transfer. Direct bank deposits and other payments ways are available, as well.

When it comes to registration in LocalBitcoins, you only need your email ID, however, if you want a higher level of trust among traders, you can verify your identity. Please, note that the fees are defined by buyers and sellers, and LocalBitcoins plays the role of an escrow manager.

image

Desc: LocalBitcoins instant buy section

Alt: LocalBitcoins interface

Coinmama

This is an Israel-based website that’s supported by an experienced and credible team. Coinmama allows trading in ETH and BTC only, but they say that other altcoins will be added soon. The only payment method supported is credit/debit cards, and USD/EUR payments are accepted only.

Besides, Coinmama doesn’t feature a wallet service, so you need to provide your wallet address to have the funds sent. The price on the conversion rate will include the fee of 5.5 percent, but the payment gateway that handles transaction can add five percent more.

Why then using Coinmama? This is a perfect choice for beginners being very easy in use. There’s no extended trading platform with order books– you just check spot rates and make transactions.

image

Desc: The offer page on Coinmama

Alt: Coinmama offers

CoinCorner

This website is originally from the UK. Similar to CoinBase, it allows users to purchase Bitcoin with band transfers or a credit/debit card. CoinCorner supports only Bitcoin and offers iOS and Android apps. Its fees range from one percent to 2.5 percent for a transaction. Like Coinmama, it has a simple buy interface to earn instant rates on Bitcoin– there is no order book for advanced trading.

image

Desc: User area in CoinCorner website

Alt: User area in CoinCorner

BitStamp

This is a relatively new exchange that focuses on selling Ethereum and Bitcoin by making payments via a credit/debit card (most users prefer Visa or MasterCard payments) to almost anyone in the world. Using fiat currency, users can also buy Litecoin and Ripple. BitStamp also supports SEPA and Astropay methods, as well as direct bank-to-bank transfer.

2FA is the security feature introduced recently. As we’ve mentioned, it prevents unauthorized access and thefts. BitStamp also offers iOS and Android apps like CoinBase, which helps users to trade on the move. It is licensed to operate in Europe and charges 0.10-0.25 percent per transaction.

image

Desc: BitStamp website shows diagrams of BTC fluctuations

Alt: Graphs on BitStamp website

Verdict

How to define which website is better than Coinbase? There’s no versatile answer, no one-fits-all solution. The platform should comply with your demands and requirements, support the altcoins you work with, and be licensed in your country.

Exchange platforms differ, just like their transaction fees. Let’s compare how much is charged for internal transactions:

Kraken

0.0-0.16% - taker, 0.10-0.26% - maker

CEX

0% to 0.25% depending on exchange sum

Gemini

0%

Changelly

0.5%

Local Bitcoins

0%

Coinmama

About 5% for instant buy

CoinCorner

1% to 2.5%

BitStamp

0.10% to 0.25%

Please, note that the transaction fee varies according to the sum of the exchange, user’s location, currencies involved, etc. Don’t forget that deposit and withdrawal fees also apply, and they can be around five percent for every operation.

With a reliable and well-established exchange platform, cryptocurrency trading becomes simpler and more efficient. Some platforms provide more than just sell/buy function– they feature useful notifications and personalized alerts, let users store their assets right on the platform and create wallets, and enable P2P exchange. So if you approach crypto trading seriously, you should take security and functionality into consideration.

Although Coinbase is considered to be at the forefront of the crypto exchange niche, it’s not the only variant available. The above-mentioned alternative exchange platforms can offer a wide range of currencies supported, easy and intuitive interface, and convenient smartphone applications. With this review, you’ll be able to analyze the market of exchange platforms and make an informed decision.

Need more info? Check out this video reviewing exchange platforms with the lowest fees:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LkfOJ-zTsg

🎓 Trading Guide
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Guest Author

Lost Money on Crypto? Here's How to Recoup at Tax Time

You can recover a substantial amount of money lost during this year’s crypto rout by dropping down federal income tax brackets. Here’s a detailed guide on how it works.
Lost Money on Crypto? Here's How to Recoup at Tax Time
Contents

Last Thanksgiving, Bitcoin was in the middle of a bull run that would result in a record high of $19,511 just before Christmas. Now, Bitcoin is worth just $3,752.

If you bought Bitcoin and other cryptos when their prices were high, there’s a silver lining around the gray state of crypto markets now: any losses you take this year could place you in a lower tax bracket. What’s more, claiming those losses is easier than you might assume.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to file your crypto losses.

Filing Your Crypto Taxes 101: How Does it Work?

For the purposes of taxation, the US and most other governments consider cryptocurrencies to be assets. This means that whenever you trade cryptocurrency, the transaction falls into one of two categories: a capital gain or a capital loss.

  • Capital gain. A capital gain occurs when you sell cryptocurrency for more than the amount that you paid to purchase it.

  • Capital loss. If you sell cryptocurrency for less than the amount that you paid for it, this is considered to be a capital loss.

You have to sell or buy an asset to trigger a taxable gain or loss. Once you decide to make a move, tax authorities consider the loss to be “realized.” If your loss is great enough, you may be able to use it to enter a lower tax bracket.

Deducting Your Crypto Losses

One of the biggest benefits of claiming a loss is that you can offset income gained from other sources.

In the US, the IRS lets you deduct up to $3,000 worth of net capital losses each year from the amount of money you’ve earned at your day job. If the amount you lost was greater than $3,000, you can get another deduction of up to $3,000 when you file your taxes next year.  

If you currently make just over $50,000 per year at your job, that $3,000 cryptocurrency loss could place you in a lower tax bracket. This could result in thousands of dollars of tax savings.

What’s more, if you’ve earned some income through stocks or through the sale of property, there’s no limit to the amount you can deduct from those revenues.

Examples

Here’s a look at the 2018 tax brackets for single individuals.

If your crypto tax loss puts you below the $38,700 mark, you’d only have to pay $952.50 plus 12% of any amount over $9,525. But if you made $38,701 or more, you’d have to pay over four times as much in taxes, plus 22% of any amount over $38,700.

In other words, if you fail to deduct your crypto losses and you fall into the third bracket as a result, you’d have to pay at least $4,453.50 to the IRS. But if you do file your losses and make it into bracket two, you’d pay just $952.50.

Total tax savings: $3,501.50.

Tax Single

If you’re married and filing jointly or widowed, moving into a lower tax bracket can result in even more tax savings. If you made $77,402 in 2018, you’d have to pay the IRS $8,907 and change.

Dropping down to the $19,051-$77,400 tax bracket by filing a crypto loss would save you $7,002.

Tax

How Does Crypto Mining Income Affect Taxes?

In addition to cryptocurrency traders, cryptocurrency miners can use deductions to reach lower tax brackets.

A notice that the IRS published in March of 2014 provides some relevant details:

“...when a taxpayer successfully “mines” virtual currency, the fair market value of the virtual currency as of the date of receipt is includible in gross income.”

If the value of the cryptocurrency you mined decreased and you decide to sell it, then that would mean that you have triggered a capital loss. You can report this loss in the same way that you would if you bought and then sold your coins through an exchange.

IRS analysts told CNBC that electricity costs and other expenses may be written off as well.

Here’s Where It Gets Complicated...

Figuring out how much you’ve made or lost can be a headache, particularly if you haven’t been keeping track of your purchases or if you placed a huge amount of trade orders last year.  

Sorting out how much you lost or earned requires access to historical pricing data. Without that historical data, you won’t be able to determine what the price of your crypto asset was when you bought and sold it.

Cryptocurrency Tax Tools

Fortunately, there is software available that can crunch all your crypto tax data for you.

The tool depicted below, called CoinTracking.info, can import your transactions from all your cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. The interface walks you through how to do the imports.

At the end of the import process, you can download IRS form 8949. This is the form you need to submit to report your loss.

Other download options include CSV, TaxACT and TurboTax.

Tax-Report

Watch Out for Self-proclaimed “Crypto Accountants”

If you use a crypto tax calculator to do your own taxes, filing your taxes is a straightforward process. All you have to do is take the total from IRS form 8949 and transfer that to IRS form 1040 Schedule D.

In fact, most CPAs that work with crypto traders use CoinTracking and other publicly available software to determine what their clients owe. These tools are not difficult to use. Many have free trials, which let you see how they work for yourself before you commit.

Conclusion

If you lost money in crypto markets last year, you may be able to offset some-- or perhaps even all-- of those losses at tax time. Reporting your capital losses might help you move to a lower tax bracket. If your deductions qualify you for a lower bracket, filing them could save you thousands of dollars when you submit your taxes this year.

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Cryptotips Darryn Pollock

5 CryptoComes’ CryptoTips on What to do When Market Plummets

💡 Cryptotips
When the market looks ugly, it’s hard to keep your head. Here are some tips from veterans who’ve seen it all.
5 CryptoComes’ CryptoTips on What to do When Market Plummets
Contents

Cryptocurrencies are so damn appealing because of those monumental gains, but one needs to prepare themselves for when the rollercoaster ride really starts. A sudden dip in the market is terrifying for the new investor. Here are some tips to handle the gut-wrenching lows.

Cryptotip #1

Hodl! - This is the most basic piece of advice cryptocurrency enthusiasts will tell you. Remember, you have lost nothing until your hands shake enough for you to click that sell button. If you can hold your coins, you take a big step to become a grizzled and jaded trading veteran- congrats.

Cryptotip #2

But, how do you convince yourself to hodl? Do your research. Almost any cryptocurrency that has been around long enough has suffered dips, probably bigger dips that you are experiencing at one moment. Go back and look at the graphs, see how big the other dips have been and reassure yourself.

Cryptotip #3

Zoom out. If you are watching the charts like a hawk, you have probably zoomed into some stupid level of candle graphs, like two-minute increments. Drops and dips are highly exaggerated when you look at them over short spaces of time. Rather zoom out and compare the dips to ones that have happened over six months to a year.

Cryptotip #4

Prove you are a true crypto believer and instead of selling, buy the dip. That is what everyone else is doing while you fret about your tiny investment. The bigwigs who have seen it all before are buying crypto at discount prices and so should you.

Cryptotip #5

It is also important to look at the deeper issues. Cryptocurrencies will plummet for external reasons. Usually get to the root of the matter and decide if the news is as major as everyone is making it out to be or if it is merely FUD.

Cryptotips
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Wikicoin Alex Morris

Top 7 Best Bitcoin Trading Bots in 2018

📚 Wikicoin
Picking the right bot for automated trading may be difficult, but this comprehensive review of the top 7 best Bitcoin trading bots will surely alleviate the task
Top 7 Best Bitcoin Trading Bots in 2018
Contents

Trading bots are computer programs that automate the execution of trades on the market. They are extremely useful for beginner-level traders who aren’t capable of making an in-depth analysis of the charts. You cannot solely rely on Bitcoin trading bots, since they may go haywire and bring you substantial loses, but it still an effective tool for backtesting that provides you an ability to thoroughly test out a trading strategy without actually risking your own money.

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It is worth mentioning that trading bots get rather good reception from major cryptocurrency exchanges because they help them reach higher trading volumes and increase liquidity. There are trading bots for both inexperienced and advanced traders. Beginner trading bots are more suitable for individuals without programming skills. The article will focus on different types of bots. 

Top 7 Best Bitcoin Trading Bots in 2018,

CryptoHopper 

CryptoHopper is a Bitcoin trading bot that allows you to engage in automated trading 24/7. It can boast many useful features such as external buy signals from professional analysts who can determine a potentially lucrative investment. 

image


In order to use CryptoHopper, you simply have to link it to an already existing account on any exchange of your choice. Once you’ve done that, you can adjust your trading instruments by accessing your Hooper dashboard. The CryptoHopper bot offers you a big amount of trading approaches that are fully customizable. If you’ve never had any experience of dealing with trading bots, it is advisable to go the CryptoHopper educational sector where you can see all the relevant information about using the bot for employing different trading strategies. 

There is a free trial, and once it expires, you have to pay for one of three premium packages. The priciest solution (‘Master Hopper’) will set you back $99 per month.

ProfitTrailer

ProfitTrailer is one of the most popular bots out there with more than tens of thousands active users around the globe. As of now, the trading bot works with three exchanges– Binance, Bittrex and Poloniex. All you have to do is to buy a license for a program that can be run either on your PC or on a remote VPS server. The former is the most reliable way to use the ProfitTrailer bot, since it eliminates any connectivity issues. However, setting up a VPS server may be a bit challenging for non tech-savvy users.   
image
ProfitTrailer has rather beginner-friendly user interface. The homepage displays all the important information that is required for monitoring your trading activity. In order to see all your holdings, you have to go to the ‘Pairs Log’ tab while ‘Sales Log’ displays everything you’ve sold while using the bot. 

When it comes to pricing, just like with the previous case, there are three packages with prices varying from 0.03 BTC to 0.09 BTC. Hence, the most expensive offer will currently cost you about $590 for three licenses, which is very reasonable compared to other bots.

GunBot

GunBot is yet another advanced crypto trading bot for algorithmic trading that works with numerous exchanges, including Binance and Kraken. The bot allows its users to pick various trading strategies that can be customized according to your personal trading style. These strategies include:

  • TSSL (trailing stop/stop limit),
  • Bollinger Bands,
  • Stepgain,
  • Ping Pong.

Once you’ve picked your trading strategy and a cryptocurrency pair, you can configure the bot using your exchange API for third-party programs. Now you can take advantage of any precoded trading strategy. As mentioned above, it is recommended to run any bot (GunBot is not an exception) on a VPS, since it gives you more stability and flexibility.  
image
Such an extensive set of trading features obviously comes with a price. There are three premium solutions with the price of the cheapest one (‘Gunbot Standard’) being set at 0.065 BTC. ‘Gunbot Unlimited,’ which comes with unlimited access to all exchanges and the TradingView add-on for more strategies, will set you back 0.159 BTC. 

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3Commas

Now, we are going to focus on a relatively young Bitcoin bot that has already won over the crypto community. As of May 2018, it had more than 20,000 active users and its average trading volume exceeded $6 mln. It was launched in September 2017 as a pre-funded project. 

The system features three different kinds of bots:

  • simple,
  • short,
  • composite.

Simple and short bots allow you to do only one trading pair at a time (for going long and going short respectively). Composite bots, as their name suggest, supports numerous crypto pairs simultaneously. 

The peculiar thing about 3Commas is that they do not use popular trading strategies like Stepgain and Ping Pong. Instead, it relies on robust TradingViews analysis, but it still may seem underwhelming for ordinary traders. 

The prices are more than reasonable– you get a starter pack only for $25 while unlimited access to all available exchanges will set you back around $84. 3Commas is constantly expanding the list of available exchanges adding integration with Kucoin, CEX and other platforms. 

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AutoView 

The majority of the abovementioned trade bots are rather expensive, so if you are on a tighter budget and still look for an automated trading solution, then you should probably pay attention to AutoView. This cryptocurrency trading bot is super cheap, but it doesn’t mean that it is inherently bad. 

The AutoView bot comes in a form of a simple Google Chrome extension that gives you an ability to automate TradingView. Gunbot extension, for instance, has more advanced trading features, but they come with a significantly higher price. AutoView is not a beginner-level extension, since it requires users to manually program stop and losses into the script on TradingView. Those who are not good at programming can take advantage of numerous AutoView scripts that are available for free. For example, you can use the MACD indicator that gives you signals for both bullish and bearish MACD crossovers. 

There is a free version of this program with three available exchanges (1Broker, Bitmex Testnet, GDAX Sandbox). ‘Bronze Autoview’, which features Kraken, Binance, Bitfinex along with ten other 
cryptocurrency exchanges  costs only $5 per month. 
 

Haasbot 


Haasbot is the most sophisticated trading bot for true trading gurus. The project was launched in 2015 by Stephan de Haas. Despite the fact that this software has been around for a long time, many Bitcoin owners still haven’t heard about it due to its professional-oriented tools and rather a high price, which makes the product not affordable for run-of-the-mill traders.    
image
Unlike Gunbot or any other aforementioned Bitcoin trading bots, Haasbot puts emphasis on customization (you can create your own dashboard, focus on different indicators and so on). One can choose between trade bots, arbitrage bots and order bots– all of them are extremely easy to set up. Just like in case with AutoView, there are script bots as well, but they require profound C# coding skills.  
     
Haasbot offers three-month, six-month and 12-month licenses for different groups of users. The most advanced plan costs 0.208 BTC. This is definitely one of the most expensive offers on the market, but for slightly more than $1,200 per year, one can get an unlimited access to all HaasBots along with insurances, safeties and a myriad of trading indicators. 
 

Cryptotrader 

Cryptotrader is considered to be the most popular bot for automated trading. This Bitcoin day trading bot is compatible with basically all major exchanges, so you will have a seamless experience of running a GDAX bot or a Poloniex bot.  

On top of that, Cryptotrader has such a major advantage like cloud-based bots, which essentially means that there is no need to install software on your computer in order to run them. 
image
With Cryptotrader, plenty of trading strategies are available for free, but you can still purchase new ones in the market section. Both amateur and professional developers are able to sell the source code for a new trading bot here. There is also a backtesting option for those who want to try out a certain strategy on batches of historical data without actually engaging in trading. While some critics argue that the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile for backtesting giving any relevant predictions, it may still show whether you are on the right path or not.  

The price of any Cryptotrader plan fully correlates with the BTC value. That simply means that you will have to pay more if another Bitcoin bullish trend persists. A total amount of five subscription plans gives you a diversity of choice – from Basic+ to Premium. Those who go for the most expensive offer will be able to run up to 25 crypto trading bots simultaneously, but they have to pay from $200 per month. 

The bottom line 

As you can see, we’ve just reviewed drastically different bots for automated cryptocurrency trading, but all of them can be considered a viable option depending on what kind of trader you are. Hence, it is hard to determine the best Bitcoin autotrader, since the decision solely depends on your personal trading needs. 

There are obscenely cheap offers in the likes of AutoView that require good programming skills. Beginner-level users may play safe and go for 3Commas or CryptoHopper. At the same time, high rollers may consider shelling out $1,200 to pay for the annual Haasbot license. 

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🎤 Interviews Cyril Gilson

Linda Zeilina of Re-Define on Who is Blockchain’s Worst Enemy

🎤 Interviews
In an exclusive interview, UK-based think tank Re-Define’s Linda Zeilina talks about the prevalence of groupthink, the lack of diversity and limitations of Blockchain
Linda Zeilina of Re-Define on Who is Blockchain’s Worst Enemy
Contents

As governments and financial institutions grapple with the task of regulating digital currencies, they seem to be embracing Blockchain, the underlying digital ledger technology which powers the world’s most profitable cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

UK-based think tank Re-Define’s Linda Zeilina special advisor on sustainability strategies talks about the prevalence of groupthink, the lack of diversity and limitations of Blockchain in an interview with Cyril Gilson, Editor-in-Chief of CryptoComes.

Cyril Gilson: Could you tell me about your think tank and your audience?

Linda Zeilina: I work with Re-Define, an international think tank that helps corporations and governments implement sustainability strategies to become more environmentally friendly. I work with asset managers and government officials to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into their institutions.

Re-Define operates as an academic and consulting body.  We have visiting fellows and a large team of people who work internationally. Our visiting fellow’s program brings together tech pioneers from France, Silicon Valley and other parts of our world to serve as a brain trust. We challenge people to think outside of the box and invite a diversity of opinion.

In the tech industry, there is a strong tendency to have “groupthink.” Tech entrepreneurs passionately believe in their product this mindset sometimes results in overlooking issues and blind spots.

CG: So would you agree that the biggest enemy of the crypto community is the community itself?

LZ: We are all our own worst enemies to an extent. But I think diversity can bring new perspectives to the industry. Corporations are increasing diversity because they have woken up to the fact that women, minorities, people from different regions have a different way of looking at things. Alternative perspectives can be useful to identify opportunities and risks that one may have missed because of a sharp focus in one’s particular area.

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What is essential

CG: How do we change the dialogue? We hear many negative things about cryptocurrencies and comments that Bitcoin is a bubble. It makes people in the industry very defensive.

LZ: Educating the public is essential. The crypto community has been using a top-heavy approach which may not work as well as bottom-up approaches. When you get people involved, you put pressure on governments. It’s been pressure from bottom up that has influenced governments to address climate change. People suffering from direct implications of climate change are going out there, talking about it and bringing attention to the issue. Similarly, you have to think about digital currency as an advocacy and information campaign.

The issues that fire up

CG: But addressing climate change is a matter of life and death while adopting digital currencies is a question of paying a seven or three percent fee. Do you think it’s an issue that will fire people up?

LZ: People can be mobilized;  it’s how you communicate to the public. If you explain to them that healthcare will be cheaper, taxes won’t be as complicated, and they can be more secure from identity theft; then you can fire people up.  People like convenience, the rise of Amazon has been about making things quick and easy. Who doesn’t like quick and easy?

CG: Debates in cryptocurrency community get quite heated. Do you think the community could improve the way in which they communicate?

LZ: Definitely.  Communication is everything.  In a way, this is how technological advancement has always worked. Something gets invented, and then others improve it, and everyone has an opinion. I think that the community needs to solve its own issues because they are the best equipped to address them.  People remain protective because everyone wants to maintain their competitive edge.

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Role of governance

CG: What about the role of governance in Blockchain technology?

LZ: Everybody hopes that governance will change the status quo, but there are inherent limitations. We have examples of failed projects due to lack of underlying infrastructure, like Honduras.  Without decent governance, accurate record keeping, Blockchain may not work.  In some cases, governments can corrupt the system. The whole 51 percent aspect of the nodes is something no one seems to be talking about, and we have heard very little about the weaknesses of Blockchain.

Weaknesses of Blockchain

CG: So what are the weaknesses of Blockchain?

LZ: Well there are several. It is the 51 percent that can change the Blockchain outcome. If you do have a government that creates a land registry, but it’s an unequal society where not everybody will have the computing power or the ability to participate, Blockchain may not work. Moreover, stakeholders can use the technology to protect their interests.

Another major challenge is the amount of energy consumed by Blockchain. If Bitcoin used nearly 160 countries worth of power last year, that is hardly sustainable under the Paris Agreement, and people are not going to be happy.

CG: That’s their algorithm, and it cannot be changed.

LZ: Exactly! We need to invest more in green energy. The majority of Blockchain businesses will probably fail. But I have a firm belief these limitations can be solved through technological advancements in all areas.

Women’s role

CG: Do you think women are under-represented in this community?

LZ: Absolutely.  I also find it kind of funny because women are associated with the softer issues. Every time you go into a crypto conference people always start talking about the technical aspects.  Everybody knows how the technical aspects work; it’s far more interesting to see how the technology will interact with society and what the potential backlash might be.

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CG: Have gender differences played a role in the advancement of agendas because men are about achievement, advancing their agenda and women care more about society?

LZ: I don’t think that’s the division. The community needs an excellent communicator who can translate the message well to the public. Both men and women can be excellent communicators; it is a matter of who has the charisma to get them thinking.

Learn from the East

CG: Do you expect a greater advancement in the use of Blockchain technologies in developed countries or emerging economies?

LZ:  While much of the brain trust exists in the US and Switzerland, it’s important for institutional investors to know that there are real opportunities in the East.  Cities like Vizag, India, can leapfrog more easily because they don’t have massive institutional entrenchment which makes them more open to technology and the benefits it can bring.


Blockchain if appropriately used can reduce the know your customer issue of investing in startups in the East. A lot of sustainable energy startups are emerging in the East that solve everyday problems using a bottom-up approach. There is a lot to learn from that area and I hope Western startups and tech communities wouldn’t be too arrogant to learn from the East.

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