Stablecoins: The Ultimate Guide to Financialization & Crypto Regulatory Compliance 2511

stablecoins

Since the first cryptocurrency appeared a decade ago, cryptocurrencies have existed in their own space, kept separate from the traditional financial markets by a lack of regulatory approval. However, it isn’t for lack of trying. There have been numerous attempts at securing the kind of oversight and approval necessary to hit the mainstream. Stablecoins are an important step towards this kind of legitimacy.

What are Stablecoins?

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose value is tied directly to external assets, usually fiat currencies or precious metals. Their supply and value can also be determined by algorithms or pegged to the value of other crypto assets.

What are the Benefits of Stablecoins?

Stablecoins aim to reduce the volatility that most investors associate with cryptocurrencies. By pegging the coin’s values to assets such as USD and gold, whose values are much less prone to wild fluctuations, stablecoins are safer for investors, and more attractive to a cautious marketplace who has seen numerous fortunes evaporate in the crypto space.

Transferring value between cryptocurrencies is generally much easier than moving between fiat and crypto markets. This is because there is only a relatively small number of crypto coins that can be directly exchanged for fiat currency. The problem facing cryptocurrency investors is that the market moves quickly, meaning that investment funds need to be kept readily accessible. But the volatility of cryptocurrency values, and the vulnerability of exchanges, makes storing funds in this form risky.

Stablecoins are beneficial to investors, the main users of cryptocurrencies, because they offer a degree of security that other cryptocurrencies don’t.

Will They Satisfy the Regulators?

At the present time, stablecoins haven’t proven to be the revolutionary force that some have hoped for. However, they undoubtedly offer a much more palatable vision for the future than traditional cryptocurrencies have. As always, there are trade-offs; backing up stablecoins with fiat currency means that banks and traditional financial institutions are part of the equation. There is some debate as to whether a crypto asset whose value is underwritten by fiat currency can ever be truly decentralized (see the examples below for more).

Stablecoins are not immune to risk. If their supply and value are determined by that of a fiat currency, they can be affected by the same market forces that cause fluctuations in Forex values. But the chances of the value of USD undergoing dramatic short-term swings is much less than it is with cryptocurrencies. Consequently, a stablecoin whose value is pegged to USD is much less volatile than a regular cryptocurrency.

Examples of Stablecoins

There are more than 50 active stablecoin projects currently in existence, with many more on the horizon. Just as with the traditional cryptocurrency market, there is a considerable amount of variety in the design of stablecoin networks. However, they all share one key feature; that the value of the coin is determined by the value of an external asset, or by an algorithm.

Tether (USDT)

Tether is probably the best-known stablecoin out there right now, and by most counts is the most successful. Tether’s token (USDT) is backed up by regular USD, with Tether holding 1 USD in their bank account for every USDT in existence. This idea of not only linking the value of a stablecoin to a fiat currency but requiring physical assets be held to back it up has been adopted by a number of other stablecoins.

Tether has encountered some teething problems, throughout its life-cycle. A hack attack recently took out $30 million of their assets and also left them embarrassed regarding their claims of decentralization. There are also concerns about transparency, and whether USDT is adequately backed up by their USD holdings. However, Tether has achieved a greater market capitalization than any other stablecoin.

USDX

Like Tether, the value of USDX is tied to the USD and is determined algorithmically according to the latest market rates. Current market rates for USD are reported to USDX via their proprietary Oracle network, with the authenticity of values being verified by users on the network. Because USDX is not dependent upon a centralized authority to ensure the accuracy of reported market values, it is able to achieve greater decentralization than Tether.

Other stablecoins utilize the idea of an elastic supply, which can increase or decrease, but few have achieved the success of USDX. It has also achieved a greater level of decentralization than many other stablecoins.

Havven

One of the greatest challenges facing stablecoins is achieving an appreciable amount of decentralization. Requiring that networks hold external assets to guarantee the value of their tokens, and linking both their values, reduces their volatility, but also nudges them towards centralization. For example, a coin like Tether is dependent upon a bank to hold their fiat USD. Havven utilizes a novel approach to ensure decentralization.

There are two components to Havven, the decentralized payment network, and accompanying token. In fact, there are two tokens on the Havven network, Havven, and Nomin, with every Nomin being backed by a Havven. Token holders are compensated whenever a user transacts on the network, with users’ Havven serving as collateral in transactions.

Havven is not yet decentralized but is one of the few stablecoins that offers a clear roadmap for achieving a high degree of decentralization.

TrueCoin (TrueUSD)

Truecoin’s TrueUSD (TUSD) is somewhat similar to Tether in that it is also backed by USD. However, the TrueCoin team have taken additional steps, including regular auditing, to improve transparency and encourage trust in the network. In addition to TrueUSD, the group behind TrueCoin also plan to release tokens in the future who are backed up by other fiat currencies and assets.

TrueCoin has also worked alongside banks to ensure they are able to maintain a transparent pool of USD to back their currency. TrueCoin themselves cannot access these holdings, instead utilizing smart contracts to manage the transfer of assets.

Stablecoins are a new development in the world of crypto, but one of the most exciting in some time. If cryptocurrencies are ever going to go mainstream, stablecoins will no doubt have a vital role to play.

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Ledger Nano X Review – Don’t Buy Until You Read THIS! 3611

ledger nano x

The Ledger Nano X Crypto Wallet is officially out and just like previous Ledger products its main goal is to protect your BTC, ETH, XRP as well as a growing number of other cryptocurrencies from hacks, theft, and shady exchanges. Gone are the days of awkward paper wallets. You can now store and interact with your crypto coins and look cool while doing it! (The Ledger Nano was featured on the hit TV Series “Billions”).

ledger nano billions

Now, is the Ledger Nano X worth it? I mean you can buy the Nano S for half the price of the “X”, but before you do that there are some key differences that you need to consider. With that being said, here’s everything you need to know before you buy the Ledger Nano X.

The Ledger Nano X Buyers Guide

When you hold the Ledger Nano X in your hand the first thing that immediately jumps out is the newer, larger display within the brushed stainless steel finish. The improved screen size and navigation improvements are palpable. Going through the settings and navigating makes managing your wallet a breeze.

So far this feels like one of the most intuitive user experiences to date with the Ledger Nano S, coming in at a close second. You get two buttons, one screen and that is all you really need to control your device. The Ledger Nano X was stripped down to the bare essentials and it definitely works nicely.

nano x ledger

Say “Goodbye” to Cables With the Nano X

Ledger has been using the slogan “Protect your crypto assets anywhere go”. There’s a good reason for that! The Ledger Nano X is now bluetooth enabled. This means that you can connect it to your smartphone with Ledger Live Mobile app and safely transact anywhere. All Bluetooth communications are encrypted end-to-end to protect against any security threat. This is in a lot of ways is a real game changer and one of the strongest reasons to get the Nano X – mobility.

Save 50% on Ledger Nano S – Take advantage and order now – Official Ledger Store.

nano x mobile

More Cryptocurrencies

The Ledger Nano X can store up to 100 applications at the same time, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and many more. Manage all your assets on the same device, at the same time.

Improved Security

Your crypto assets stay safe even if you lose your device. Simply use the 24-word recovery phrase provided during the initialization of your device to restore your accounts on any Ledger device. The Ledger Nano X offers state-of-the-art security: your private keys are safely isolated inside the device’s certified secure element (CC EAL5+), the same chip used in highly secure applications such as credit cards and passports.

Is the Ledger Nano X Worth It?

ledger nano x worth it

With the Nano X, Ledger has managed to prove once again that hardware wallets can be pushed farther, made more accessible as well as user-friendly. While functionally similar to the Nano S, the Nano X stands out with its innovative new features, improved security, and slick stealth design. If you haven’t yet invested into a crypto hardware wallet or are just looking for a backup, the Ledger Nano X will serve all your crypto safety and storing needs – in style! Take advantage and order now – Official Ledger Store.

‘Mt. Gox Survivor’ on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, and Why You Should Consider Investing in Them Too 2267

btc

Let’s take a trip back down our collective memory hole to a time when personal computers were making their way into the homes, schools, and businesses around the world. Many people can’t even remember the pre-personal computer age because that era seems like ancient history to us, and undoubtedly, it happened before many of us were born.

As one of the many investors who lost their initial investment in Bitcoin as a result of the now infamous Mt. Gox heist of 2013, I can attest to the fact that there are certain risks in taking money out of the bank and investing it in any type of cryptocurrency.

However, many people can remember the introduction of computers into our daily lives and, if we’re being honest, we can also remember the resistance many people felt towards this new technology invading all aspects of our daily life. In fact, we may still know a few technological Luddites that have continued their defiant refusal to adopt computerized technologies even at the time of this writing in 2019!

Commodore Vic 20

It wasn’t until 1997 when I was introduced to audio recording and editing software that I gave computer technology my full embrace and that was ages after my mom brought home the neighborhood’s first Commodore Vic 20. I was a technological Luddite for nearly 20 years!  Well, to be fair, most of those years were spent running around outside as a young kid where I should have been anyway.

Envisioning Financial Futures

How about if we scroll back into our shared memories to the first years after the introduction of the internet, the proverbial worldwide web, I’ll bet we’ll encounter recollections of resistance to that technology, as well. I certainly continued writing letters by hand to friends and family, and I specifically remember writing about the cultural ramifications due to the loss of handwritten letters. Boy, did I ever get it wrong! Not only was I wrong but, looking back, maybe even a tad pretentious and arrogant to think I could know what’s better for our “culture”. Ah, but with age comes maturity and, perhaps, we are meant to be slightly melodramatic in our youth.  In any case, the point of visualizing our past mistakes is to learn from them so we don’t rinse and repeat indefinitely, right?

Dial-up Internet

Having looked back at some of our collective resistance to new technologies in the recent past, let’s apply these lessons to what is going to be perhaps the most revolutionary and transformative new technology of our lifetimes—cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology.  Yes, it may sound farfetched to say that cryptocurrencies have the potential to be more transformational to society than computers and the internet, however, as we look into the consequences and ramifications of converting our financial institutions worldwide from the age-old fiat currency systems of today, into the new digital freeways of finance of the future, we’re sure to realize that we’re going to want to be on board with the early adopters of cryptocurrencies, not the Luddites of the vanishing fiat world of yore.

The Great Motivator

If we think, in general, about money and finance for a brief moment we’ll quickly ascertain that everything begins and ends in monetary transactions. If it were not for money, most people would not get up out of their beds in the morning. Money is the great motivator that underlies everything, everywhere. Even the air we breathe, the last freely available resource, is now subject to carbon taxes!  It doesn’t take a crystal ball to realize that transforming the world’s financial systems from their current fiat, paper currencies into digital cryptocurrencies will have far-reaching and irreversible effects. Computers and the internet have certainly changed our world, but that transition has been gradual enough that most people hardly noticed the change as it occurred. This is partly due to the fact that computer and internet technologies have allowed the Luddites amongst us to basically opt-out. If you don’t like computers, don’t buy one and don’t go to school. If you don’t like the internet, don’t log-in. Simple. However, what is going to happen when the world converts to digital currencies? There won’t be any opting-out of buying food or paying the rent with paper money once the fiat-to-crypto transition takes place and this is why we all need to consider investing in cryptocurrencies now, rather than later. We’ll examine this in more detail later in this article.

The World is Going Crypto

History of money

What we all need to look at now is the blockchain/crypto world that is being built up around us at astonishing speeds. Every day the accumulative advances in the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain infrastructure projects are thoroughly astounding. We are advancing towards a worldwide digital financial system at an exciting, albeit alarming, rate of speed. Huge banks like JP Morgan Chase and Mizuho Bank of Japan are creating their own cryptocurrencies and this is a trend that will certainly be followed by all banks as the idea becomes normalized. The IMF’s chief Christine Lagarde has said that central banks should consider issuing digital currencyVISA has put out job postings for their VISA crypto team, Mastercard has filed over 30 blockchain and cryptocurrency patents, IBM World Wire is using cryptocurrencies for international transactions in more than 50 countries, Facebook has a secret crypto development team, Huawei and Samsung are shipping cryptocurrency hardware wallets in their newest phones, the Yahoo finance app is adding cryptocurrency trading to their platform, Fidelity Investments is adding a cryptocurrency trading and storage platform, and these are just a few of the myriad projects announced in recent months. The world is going crypto. The cryptocurrency and blockchain technology fields are literally exploding around us as we sit here contemplating the implications of what all of this means for our financial future.

Digital Money

So where does all of this information lead us, we ask? We know governments, banks, financial institutions, corporations, and organizations across the board are laying down the foundations for a digital cryptocurrency future, yet, all we hear from the mainstream media is that cryptocurrency is risky, susceptible to hacks, volatile, and the domain of tech nerds, speculators, day-traders, and terrorists. While some of this cryptocurrency mythology is true, we have to remember that 6 corporations control 90% of the American media according to Business Insider, and these same corporations have a very keen interest in rolling out their digital currency platforms according to their own timelines. When the time comes, they’ll roll out the welcome mats for those who are ready to join their crypto parties, however, it’s going to take more than convincing people to get off the fence. It’s going to necessitate a financial crisis to give many people the impetus to jump off the fence and trade-in their fiat paper dollars for what they view as ephemeral, intangible, digital 1’s and 0’s. After all, the media has been training the vast majority of people into thinking that cryptocurrency is dangerous and risky for many years now.  It’s going to take some time to reverse people’s opinions about the crypto space.

Surviving Mt. Gox

The Big 6 Media Corporations that Control 90% of Media

As one of the many investors who lost their initial investment in Bitcoin as a result of the now infamous Mt. Gox heist of 2013, I can attest to the fact that there are certain risks in taking money out of the bank and investing it in any type of cryptocurrency. We shouldn’t sugar coat the risks involved because, as someone who lost an entire initial investment, I know how painful such a loss can be.  A lot has changed in the crypto space since 2013, however, and many of the new technologies that have arisen since 2013 have been the direct result of the lessons learned from the entire Mt. Gox fiasco. One favorite development is the advent of the hardware wallet which is essentially a passcode locked USB device that allows the owner to store their cryptocurrencies “offline” in a secret hiding place at home, or the office. Hardware wallets also allow the users to reclaim their funds if the USB device is somehow lost, stolen, or damaged by using a series of secret words, or seeds, revealed during the initial set-up of the device and these secret words are also stored offline, away from prying eyes.

So, yes, there are inherent risks involved with investing in cryptocurrencies but by spending our time researching and doing our due diligence, we can put small investments aside that could have the possibility of reaping financial rewards, as well as, preparing ourselves for the new world of financial opportunities. Not only does cryptocurrency open new doors to financial opportunities that would be impossible in our current fiat currency system, but it also liberates the crypto investor from the banking institutions of old, and allows them to become their own personal bank. Imagine hopping on a plane with all of your personal finances right there in your back pocket knowing that nobody would be able to access your funds without your computer, permissions, and codes. People have now been able to take their chains off and move literally, and financially, throughout the world over. This is one of the many exciting aspects of the new crypto/blockchain space that is very inspiring.

Bitcoin vs Altcoins

Now, as far as the volatility fear goes there are two main things to remember 1) yes, cryptocurrency markets are going to be volatile until we see mass adoption, and 2) not all cryptocurrencies are created equal. Nothing we do can replace good old research. You always need to do a good deal of research before jumping into a cryptocurrency investment. Most investors have their favorite coins, and every coin has different merits and weaknesses but these are lessons for more advanced articles. What clearly needs to be understood by new investors is that cryptocurrency is divided into two major camps, which are: 1) Bitcoin, and 2) Alt-coins. Bitcoin is the big brother to alt-coins because it came first, and because it was designed to be the digital gold of cryptocurrencies and that is exactly what it has become. Therefore, Bitcoin is more of a digital asset that is meant to be a store of value while Alt-coins (Alternatives to Bitcoin) are vying to become actual currencies, or contractual platforms, amongst many other things. For the new investor, Bitcoin is the best place to hold and grow an investment. To understand this in the simplest way possible, we need only to look at the Bitcoin market price chart and follow it from its 2009 inception.

What we see when we look at the Bitcoin market price chart is that there are certainly a few rallies and declines in price, but if you follow the bottom dips from 2009 to 2019 we see it is one steady upwards curve. What that means is that as long as a Bitcoin investor didn’t make the mistake of buying late in the rally of 2017/2018, or while it was correcting back down to $3,180.00, their initial investment has seen gains.  As long as the Bitcoin investor follows the age-old adage of selling high and buying low, they have made money on their investment.  Sure we see volatility every day in the Bitcoin market price but the 10-year chart shows us the long steady climb upward. This is what you’ll never hear on mainstream financial news shows. However, everyone should research this information independently before investing a single dime. Spending a few weeks listening to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency podcasts, YouTube channels, and reading all the amazing information being put out is the best thing to do before making a cryptocurrency investment. This is definitely not financial advice, and we never suggest investing more than you’re willing to lose, but a well-researched cryptocurrency investment can bear fruit and prepare investors for the digital future of finance.

Conclusion

As we stand here on the brink of a new world dominated by cryptographic currencies brought to us by way of the blockchain, we should ask ourselves if we’re ready for what is obviously being prepared for us by every government, bank, financial institution, corporation, social media platform, school, business, and across all national borders. Are we equipped to greet this coming reality with optimism and confidence so that this new order will provide us with new opportunities? As the bond yield curve inverts signaling a coming recession, how will fiat currencies fare in the coming tide of debt with which fiat currencies are straddled? Could it be mere coincidence that the rise of cryptocurrencies and the fall of fiat currencies seem to be happening simultaneously? Would it be better to study the different crypto ecosystems now, and learn how to grow a small investment while the doors are wide open and the opportunities for entry are so vast? Which side of the Bitcoin will you be on? These are a few of the questions we need to begin asking ourselves as we envision the future of finance.

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