The Four Week Rule – A Simple One That Gives You Huge Profits Potential

Here is a simple forex trading system that is easy to understand and apply and has influenced some of the top traders of all time. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity it works. Let’s look at it.

The 4 week rule is one of the simplest technical analysis systems of all time and it may not be trendy or flavor of the month, with a lot of forex traders who think complicated is better – but don’t think that because its simple it doesn’t work – it does.

Richard Donchian was a true legend and one of the most influential trend followers of all time he spoke and wrote profusely on the subject of trading and has influenced some of the greatest names in trading including trading legend Richard Dennis.

The four week rule has proved to be an effective building block on which many successful trading systems are based.

It’s based on the following assumptions about market behavior:

1. The strongest trending moves start from new market highs NOT market lows.

Those people who think buy low sell high is a great way to make money are wrong. If you don’t buy breakouts from new highs, you will miss some of the best trends – period.

2. A trend in motion is more likely to continue than reverse.

We all know this is a basic building block of technical analysis and there is no better trend than one that is making new highs

3. A four week cycle is the dominant cycle in trading.

This can vary at times of course but the four week cycle is highly effective.

The original rules were used for trading commodities and can be summarized by:

Cover short positions and buy long whenever the price exceeds the highs of the previous 4 calendar weeks.

Liquidate long positions and sell short whenever the price falls below the lows of the previous 4 calendar weeks.

The original system being devised for commodities was designed to use a stop and reverse so the trader was always in the market with a position.

In a non trading market it can get whipsawed a solution to this problem is to enter on the 4 week rule (the breakout), and to exit on a shorter time period such as 1 or 2 weeks. With this system, a four week “breakout” would be needed to initiate a new position, but a one or two week signal in the opposite direction would mean liquidation of the position.

The trader then remains out of the market until the next new four week breakout is registered.

Why It Works

This system is based on sound technical principles with signals that are mechanical and clear-cut. It is trend-following so a trader is virtually guaranteed to be on the right side of every trend.

It also follows the often quoted trading wisdom – “let profits run, while cutting losses short”. Another advantage is fewer trades, which means less time being spent looking at the market and finally you don’t even need a computer!

People often say technology helps – but for many traders its a hindrance they think being clever will make them money, well consider this 95% of traders lost 100 years ago and the its the same ratio before yet computers today are more powerful than the one mission control used to land man on the moon!

Don’t be fooled by simplicity it can be very profitable.

Being a trend-following system, it is not going to catch market tops and bottoms ( but how many systems do that though?) however, the 4 week rule works as well as any other trend-following system but with the benefit of incredible simplicity.

The Proof

You might be saying that won’t work – well go and try it on a strong trending currency market like the euro, Canadian dollar or Australian dollar and back test it and in a number of strong trending markets and you will see it does.

Don’t be led to believe that if its simple it won’t work – all the best forex trading systems are simple.

You don’t get paid for being clever you get paid for being right – Period.

Today, traders always like to trade something different or obscure but if you want a simple system, by a trading legend, that’s hard to beat – try Richard Donchian 4 week rule It’s been part of some of the true great traders box of tools and should be in yours to.

Bitcoin Basics

For someone not familiar with Bitcoin, the first question that comes to mind is, “What is Bitcoin?” And another common question that is often asked relates to the Bitcoin price. It started out a under 10 cents per Bitcoin upon its introduction in early 2009. It has risen steadily since and has hovered around $4000 per Bitcoin recently. So regarding Bitcoin value or the Bitcoin rate this is a most remarkable appreciation of value and has created many, many millionaires over the last eight years.

The Bitcoin market is worldwide and the citizens of China and Japan have been particularly active in its purchase along with other Asian countries. However, recently in Bitcoin news the Chinese government has tried to suppress its activity in that country. That action drove the value of Bitcoin down for a short time but it soon surged back and is now close to its previous value.

The Bitcoin history chart is very interesting. Its creator was an anonymous group of brilliant mathematicians (using the pseudonym Satoski Nakamoto) who designed it in 2008 to be “virtual gold” and released the first Bitcoin software in early 2009 during the height of the USA economic crisis. They knew that to have lasting value, it like gold had to have a finite supply. So in creating it they capped the supply at 21 million Bitcoin.

Bitcoin mining refers to the process by which new Bitcoin is created. With conventional currency, government decides when and where to print and distribute it. With Bitcoin, “miners” use special software to solve complex mathematical problems and are issued a certain number of Bitcoin in return.

A question that then arises is, is Bitcoin mining worth it. The answer is NO for the average person. It takes very sophisticated knowledge and a powerful computer system and this combination of factors makes it unattainable for the masses. This applies even more to bitcoin mining 2017 than in past years.

Many wonder, who accepts Bitcoin? This question gets asked in various ways, what are stores that accept bitcoin, what are websites that accept bitcoins, what are some retailers that accept bitcoin, what are some places that accept bitcoin and where can I spend bitcoin.

More and more companies are beginning to see the value of accepting cryptocurrencies as a valid payment option. Some major companies that do are DISH network, Microsoft, Expedia, Shopify stores, Newegg, Payza, 2Pay4You, and others.Two major holdouts at this time are Walmart and Amazon.

Ethereum is the strongest rival to Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency market and many wonder at the question of Bitcoin vs Ethereum. Ethereum was created in mid-2015 and has gained some popularity but still ranks far behind Bitcoin in usage, acceptance and value.

A question that often comes up often relates to Bitcoin scam. This author has a friend who made a purchase from a company that promised 1-2% growth per day. The company website listed no contact information and after a couple months the website simply vanished one day and my friend lost all the money he had invested which was several thousand dollars.

One has to know how to buy Bitcoins, how to purchase Bitcoin or how to buy Bitcoin with credit card in order to get started. Coinbase is a very popular site to do this. Their fee is 3.75% and the buying limit is $10,000 per day. This would probably be the easiest way to buy bitcoins.

Others would like to buy Bitcoin with debit card. Coinbase also provides this service and has clear step by step instructions on how to proceed with either your debit or credit card.

There are those who would like to buy Bitcoin instantly. This can be done at Paxful, Inc. and can be done through W. Union or any credit/debit card.

Other common questions that come up are what is the best way to buy Bitcoins, the best way to get bitcoins or where to buy bitcoins online. The easiest way is probably to purchase it through a digital asset exchange like the previously mentioned Coinbase. Opening an account with them is painless and once you link your bank account with them you can buy and sell Bitcoin quite easily. This is quite likely also the best place to buy Bitcoins.

One must know what a Bitcoin wallet is and how to use it. It is simply the Bitcoin equivalent of a bank account. It allows you to receive Bitcoins, store them and send them to others. What it does is store a collection of Bitcoin privacy keys. Typically it is encrypted with a password or otherwise protected from unauthorized access.

There are several types of digital wallets to choose from. A web wallet allows you to send, receive and store Bitcoin though your web browser. Another type is a desktop wallet and here the wallet software is stored directly on your computer. There are also mobile wallets which are designed for use by a mobile device.

A question that occasionally comes up is that of Bitcoin stock or how to buy Bitcoin stock. By far the most common way to proceed in this area is to buy Bitcoin directly and not its stock.

There is one entity called Bitcoin Investment trust which is an investment fund that is designed to track the market flow of Bitcoin. Some analysts however are calling this a risky way to become involved in this marketplace.

The Bitcoin exchange rate USD is a closely watched benchmark both on a daily basis and long term over the last 8 years since its introduction to the world’s financial marketplace. A popular company to receive the most current rate in Bitcoin valuation is XE. They show Bitcoin to USD valuation and also the complete Bitcoin price chart, the Bitcoin value chart and the Bitcoin to USD chart. If you ask, “How much is one Bitcoin?” you will always know from their continuously updated charts.

Similar questions that come up in this area relate to the bitcoin rate history, the bitcoin price chart live, the bitcoin to dollar exchange rate, the bitcoin dollar chart and the bitcoin 5 year chart. The previously mentioned website, xe, is also a good source for answers to these questions.

Regarding Bitcoin cash, ie. to get USD from selling Bitcoin, Bitwol is one company that enables you to do this. WikiHow is another company that will take you through this process.

Bitcoin projected value is a subject often discussed. In January of 2015 the price of one bitcoin was $215. Currently it is around $5000. This is a phenomenal increase and one far beyond what most experts would have projected at that time. Currently in reviewing forecasts from experts around the world a common answer seems to be that the top value will settle in at around $10,000 and one expert even projected a value reaching $100,000.

Forex Trading In A Nutshell – Basics of Forex

Forex is also known as currency trading and many people trade it every day. Money from different countries is exchanged and people make profits from it. The business involves speculating whether a country’s currency will appreciate or depreciate versus the currency of another country. It is a perfectly legal business and many people across the world are making a livelihood from it. Before you get into it, it is best that you understand what exactly you will be dealing with to avoid any unexpected surprises in the process.

Forex trading offers high liquidity, a competitive as well as a 24 hour market. When it was first created, it was mainly meant to cater for the supply and demand of currencies for both banks and financial institutions. It has not changed that much as of now but it has experienced tremendous growth in size as well as accessibility.

Just like cars, computers, stocks and bonds as well as many other goods and services that are traded on the market, currencies are also traded in an open market. The value of the currency fluctuates based on the variation in the demand and supply. If there is an increase in the supply or a decrease in the demand of a certain currency in the market, the value of that currency will fall. A decrease in the supply or an increase in the demand of the currency is going to cause the value of the currency to rise. Back in the days up to about the late 1970s, retail investors used to trade forex through banks.

A rapid increase in the trading volume started seeing a shift on how currency is traded. The investors gained exposure to new and more sophisticated trading platforms that were readily available. Forex trading has since been a booming business to many. Nowadays, people can use online forex trading software, book forex as well as account managed forex. The best thing you can do if you want to be successful in this business is to take advantage of the free forex trading tools that are available on the internet.

The main objective of forex trading is simple. It is usually buying one currency at a cheaper price and selling it at a much higher price in order to make profit. At times, you may only get a marginal amount for every forex trade, but the currency may also rise depending on the status of the forex market. It might be able to rise up to a point where you may be able to make six figures or more every year.

Once you learn and master what you are doing, foreign exchange can be a great way to make money. It is a market that is open 25 hours a day and 6 days a week and you can get a huge leverage from it. There are so many sources of information and education on this business, so you can spend quality time to understand it before getting into it. Using a demo account for practice is a perfect way of getting started. You can also learn from other professionals who have already gained massive success in forex trading.

List of All Forex Currency Pairs According to Major, Exotic and Precious Metals

This article presents a list of all the Forex currency pairs. The currency pairs are grouped according to major, exotic, precious, and correlated pairs.

Forex currency pairs are the integral instruments being traded in Forex. They are also called securities. In Forex unlike stocks and commodities, the security or trading instruments are paired in a BUY/SELL or SELL/BUY pattern. For example the Forex currency pair EURUSD technically would mean buy the Euro and sell the Dollar or sell the EUR and buy the Dollar. Profits are made when the EUR for example is bought at 1.4500 dollars and later sold at 2.4950 dollars (i.e. buy EURUSD at $1.4500 and later sell when EUR is $2.4950) This is where the slogan “Buy LOW and Sell HIGH” comes in.

A lot of traders often do not know the Forex currency pairs available in Forex. Most traders would have been more successful only if they diversify their strategies to include other currency pairs.

Other details such as swaps, spreads, or currency pip range are not included in the list as they are broker specifics, and they are dynamic in nature.

FOREX CURRENCY PAIRS

1. All Forex Currency Pairs (ordered alphabetically)

S/N FX PAIR

1. AUDCAD – Australian Dollar/Canadian Dollar

2. AUDCHF – Australian Dollar/Swiss Franc

3. AUDJPY – Australian Dollar/Japanese Yen

4. AUDNZD – Australian Dollar/New Zealand Dollar

5. AUDUSD – Australian Dollar/US Dollar

6. CADCHF – Canadian Dollar/Swiss Franc

7. CADJPY – Canadian Dollar/Japanese Yen

8. CHFJPY – Swiss Franc/Japanese Yen

9. EURAUD – Euro/Australian Dollar

10. EURCAD – Euro/Canadian Dollar

11. EURCHF – Euro/Swiss Franc

12. EURDKK – Euro/Danish Krone

13. EURGBP – Euro/Great Britain Pound

14. EURHUF – Euro/Hungarian Forint

15. EURJPY – Euro/Japanese Yen

16. EURNZD – Euro/New Zealand Dollar

17. EURPLN – Euro/Polish Zloty

18. EURUSD – Euro/US Dollar

19. GBPAUD – Great Britain Pound/Australian Dollar

20. GBPCAD – Great Britain Pound/Canadian Dollar

21. GBPCHF – Great Britain Pound/Swiss Franc

22. GBPJPY – Great Britain Pound/Japanese Yen

23. GBPNZD – Great Britain Pound/Australian Dollar

24. GBPUSD – Great Britain Pound/US Dollar

25. NZDCAD – New Zealand Dollar/Canadian Dollar

26. NZDCHF – New Zealand Dollar/Swiss Franc

27. NZDJPY – New Zealand Dollar/Japanese Yen

28. NZDUSD – New Zealand Dollar/US Dollar

29. USDCAD – US Dollar/Canadian Dollar

30. USDCHF – US Dollar/Swiss Franc

31. USDDKK – US Dollar/Danish Kronor

32. USDHKD – US Dollar/Hong Kong Dollar

33. USDHUF – US Dollar/Hungarian Forint

34. USDJPY – US Dollar/Japanese Yen

35. USDNOK – US Dollar/Norwegian Kronor

36. USDPLN – US Dollar/Polish Zloty

37. USDRON – US Dollar/Romanian Lei

38. USDSEK – US Dollar/Swedish Kronor

39. USDSGD – US Dollar/Singapore Dollar

40. USDTRY – US Dollar/Turkish Lira

41. USDZAR – US Dollar/South Africa Rand

42. ZARJPY – South African Rand/Japanese Yen

2. Forex Currency – Major Pairs

These are the major pairs predominantly traded in Forex. In an economic view, these pairs dominate the financial world due to their political, and financial might. An undesirable economic shock on either of these pairs can send ripple effects that would affect the world economy. These pairs are also known for their high volatility.

S/N FX PAIR

1. EURUSD – Euro/US Dollar

2. USDJPY – US Dollar/Japanese Yen

3. GBPUSD – Great Britain Pound/US Dollar

4. GBPJPY – Great Britain Pound/Japanese Yen

5. EURGBP – Euro/Great Britain Pound

6. EURJPY – Euro/Japanese Yen

7. USDCHF – US Dollar/Swiss France

3. Forex Currency Exotic Pairs

These are rarely traded pairs with low volumes, market depth, and very high bid/ask spread rate. They are expensive pairs to trade with due to their high spread rates.

S/N FX PAIR

1. USDDKK – US Dollar/Danish Kronor

2. USDHKD – US Dollar/Hong Kong Dollar

3. USDHUF – US Dollar/Hungarian Forint

4. USDJPY – US Dollar/Japanese Yen

5. USDNOK – US Dollar/Norwegian Kronor

6. USDPLN – US Dollar/Polish Zloty

7. USDRON – US Dollar/Romanian Lei

8. USDSEK – US Dollar/Swedish Kronor

9. USDSGD – US Dollar/Singapore Dollar

10. USDTRY – US Dollar/Turkish Lira

11. USDZAR – US Dollar/South Africa Rand

12. EURDKK – Euro/Danish Krone

13. EURHUF – Euro/Hungarian Forint

14. EURPLN – Euro/Polish Zloty

15. EURNZD – Euro/New Zealand Dollar

16. ZARJPY – South African Rand/Japanese Yen

4. Forex Currency – Correlated Pairs

Correlated pairs are currency pairs that have similar price patterns, movement, reactions, and price action. Therefore it is not wise to trade some of these pairs at the same time because it would multiply the risk in your account when the market goes against you. Also it would be disastrous to trade some of these pairs at the same time because they move against themselves. For example if there is a sell signal on the EURUSD, then it is 95% likely that the same signal would appear on the GBPUSD but not likely with the same intensity.

S/N FX PAIR

1. EURUSD – Euro/US Dollar

2. EURGBP – Euro/Great Britain Pound

3. USDCHF – US Dollar/Swiss Franc

4. USDJPY – US Dollar/Japanese Yen

5. AUDNZD – Australian Dollar/New Zealand Dollar

6. AUDUSD – Australian Dollar/US Dollar

7. GBPJPY – Great Britain Pound/Japanese Yen

8. GBPUSD – Great Britain Pound/US Dollar

9. EURJPY – Euro/Japanese Yen

10. AUDJPY – Australian Dollar/Japanese Yen

11. NZDJPY – New Zealand Dollar/Japanese Yen

5. Forex Metals

These are assets in form of gold and silver. Their unique nature makes them an appetite for investment through stocks or commodity market. These precious metals are also used as currency tender and materials for producing high quality jewelries. Some country’s monetary power is backed up by the amount of gold in their reserve.

S/N FX PAIR

1. XAUEUR – Gold/Euro Spot

2. XAUUSD – Gold Spot

3. XAGEUR – Silver/Euro Spot

4. XAGUSD – Silver Spot

Technical Analysis Strengths and Weaknesses

Technical analysis has many strengths and weaknesses. Each strength gives it a sense of reliability, while each weakness puts you one step closer to making a fatal mistake. By becoming adept at knowing the weaknesses, you are able to shore them up with the proper money management and risk management techniques.

Strengths

Minimal Reliance on Fundamental Info

Practically every day there is some report coming out in the United States or overseas, whether it’s regarding job numbers, import numbers, or interest rate increases or decreases. Each bit of news has already been factored into the market’s activity in some form or fashion.

At one time, the concept of seasonal trading was “hot.” Every TV and radio guru talked about gasoline prices increasing in the summer, heating oil going through the roof in the winter, or oranges being wiped out by hurricanes. While these seasonal opportunities may have been tradable in the past, because they are so well known now, the level of impact that the seasons have on the markets has changed. Often times the actual movement in the market occurs far in advance of the actual seasonal problems themselves.

So instead of waiting for these seasonal trades to occur, it is far simpler to watch these markets and see the technical analysis movement now. If it’s heating up, get into the market; if it’s cooling down, get into the market; if nothing is happening, keep waiting and watching-don’t just follow fundamental analysis blindly.

Quick Snapshot of Data

Price, volume, and open interest all on one chart. With the right set of technical analysis tools and asking the right questions, you are capable of looking at a chart and within a few minutes being able to determine if a trade is worthwhile or not. You should also be able to determine your profit targets, loss risk, and risk management parameters as well. There is no comparable way to glean this much information from one piece of fundamental news.

A Sense of Immediate Control and Understanding

“What we don’t understand, we fear.”

As traders, we strive to be in control of the situation. The market itself is a beast. It moves up and down, left and right, for however long it wants and however violently it wants. There is little we can do with our finite amount of capital to truly move it. Therefore, the goal is to put the market in a context you can understand.

Since the mind enjoys creating patterns, we give ourselves the opportunity to look at daily, monthly, and weekly charts. We analyze minute-to-minute charts and focus on giving ourselves the best opportunity possible. Technical analysis does just that for us. It gives us the window to take a mass of information and to place it on the screen and feel like we can ride the wave as opposed to being crushed by it.

Weaknesses

Lagging Indicators Aren’t Always Appropriate

Don’t misplace your faith. Technical analysis is a wonderful tool to be used; at the same time, you have to be careful when attempting to use it for predictive features. Elliot Wave, Gann, and Fibonacci can tell you only what happened and what is happening, but they cannot reliably tell the future.

Once you begin to rely on the predictions to the point of where you believe they are absolute and you fail to prepare for contingencies, you give yourself few outs. This goes back to the difference between gambling and speculating. Predictions cause us to make assumptions about what will happen that leaves little room for what is happening.

Since the information for technical indicators revolves around price and time movements that have already occurred, it is best to temper your reliance with common sense, which means that you will use technical analysis, not let it use you.

Tools Are Available to Everyone

Bollinger bands, candlesticks, and William’s %R, are on all charting software. From the newbie just opening an account to the professional trader working for a hedge fund, the information is readily available. The calculations are known, the setups are known, as well as common market wisdom, and gaps are filled.

Using off-the-shelf information gives you little to no competitive advantage over fellow traders. In fact, how you operate plays into the hands of self-fulfilling prophecies, which leads to predictable stop placements and whipsawing in the market.

Putting your own custom spin on the tools will be to your advantage as well as immunizing your predictability in following conventional forms of money management and risk management. At every turn, customize either your reactions or your interpretation of the information in order to refine your opportunities for a competitive advantage.

Interpretation Is More Art than Science

No one can guarantee that every time you see a “cup and saucer” the market will behave with 100% predictability. No one will claim that every time the price of a market hits the upper Bollinger, it will collapse in price. Technical analysis is an art masquerading as science.

While the numbers themselves may accurately calculate deviation, accumulation, and distribution, as well as relative strength, the interpretation of this data is the key. What does it mean this time, and how will I react to it? Everyone has their own spin on the function of their technical analysis tools. There is no wrong way.

This is the reason why many commodity trading advisers (CTAs) may have a mechanical trading program, but they still leave the final decisions up to discretion. They know full well that there are patterns and various activities that cannot be left to chance and solely for a robot to determine. This is the tailspin that too many traders take when they believe that technical tools are the gospel.

6 Incredible Benefits Of the Cryptocurrency

Over the past few years, people have been talking a lot about cryptocurrency. At first, this business sounded scary but people started developing trust in it. You may have heard of Ether and Bitcoin. They both are crypto currencies and use the Blockchain Technology for highest security possible. Nowadays, these currencies are available in several types. Let’s know more about it.

How Can cryptocurrency help you?

As far as fraud is concerned, this type of currency can’t be faked as it’s in digital form and can’t be reversed or counterfeited unlike the credit cards.

Immediate settlement

Buying real property involves third parties, such as lawyers and notary. So, delays can occur and extra costs may incur. On the other hand, Bitcoin contracts are designed and enforced in order to include or exclude third parties. The transactions are quick and settlements can be made instantly.

Lower fees

Typically, there is no transaction fee if you want to exchange Bitcoin or any other currency. For verifying a transaction, there are minors who get paid by the network. Although there is zero transaction fee, most buyers or sellers hire the services of a third-party, such as Coinbase for the creation and maintenance of their wallets. If you don’t know, these services function just like Paypal that offers a web-based exchange system.

Identification of theft

Your merchant gets your full credit line when you provide them with your credit card. This is true even if the transaction amount is very small. Actually, what happens is that credit cards work based on a “pull” system where the online store pulls the required amount from the account associated with the card. On the other hand, the digital currencies feature a “push” mechanism where the account holder sends only the amount required without any additional information. So, there is no chance of theft.

Open access

According to statistics, there are around 2.2 billion people who use the Internet but not all of them have access to the conventional exchange. So, they can use the new form of payment method.

Decentralization

As far as decentralization is concerned, an international computer network called Blockchain technology manages the database of Bitcoin. In other words, Bitcoin is under the administration of the network, and there is no central authority. In other words, the network works on a peer-to-peer based approach.

Recognition

Since cryptocurrency is not based on the exchange rates, transaction charges or interest rates, you can use it internationally without suffering from any problems. So, you can save a lot of time and money. In other words, Bitcoin and other currencies like this are recognized all over the world. You can count on them.

So, if you have been looking for a way to invest your extra money, you can consider investing in Bitcoin. You can either become a miner or investor. However, make sure you know what you are doing. Safety is not an issue but other things are important to be kept in mind. Hopefully, you will find this article helpful.

The Basics of Cryptocurrency and the Way It Works

In the times that we’re living in, technology has made unbelievable advancement as compared to any time in the past. This evolution has redefined the life of man on almost every aspect. In fact, this evolution is an ongoing process and thus, human life on earth is improving constantly day in and day out. One of the latest inclusions in this aspect is cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency is nothing but digital currency, which has been designed to impose security and anonymity in online monetary transactions. It uses cryptographic encryption to both generate currency and verify transactions. The new coins are created by a process called mining, whereas the transactions are recorded in a public ledger, which is called the Transaction Block Chain.

Little backtrack

Evolution of cryptocurrency is mainly attributed to the virtual world of the web and involves the procedure of transforming legible information into a code, which is almost uncrackable. Thus, it becomes easier to track purchases and transfers involving the currency. Cryptography, since its introduction in the WWII to secure communication, has evolved in this digital age, blending with mathematical theories and computer science. Thus, it is now used to secure not only communication and information but also money transfers across the virtual web.

How to use cryptocurrency

It is very easy for the ordinary people to make use of this digital currency. Just follow the steps given below:

  • You need a digital wallet (obviously, to store the currency)
  • Make use of the wallet to create unique public addresses (this enables you to receive the currency)
  • Use the public addresses to transfer funds in or out of the wallet

Cryptocurrency wallets

A cryptocurrency wallet is nothing else than a software program, which is capable to store both private and public keys. In addition to that, it can also interact with different blockchains, so that the users can send and receive digital currency and also keep a track on their balance.

The way the digital wallets work

In contrast to the conventional wallets that we carry in our pockets, digital wallets do not store currency. In fact, the concept of blockchain has been so smartly blended with cryptocurrency that the currencies never get stored at a particular location. Nor do they exist anywhere in hard cash or physical form. Only the records of your transactions are stored in the blockchain and nothing else.

A real-life example

Suppose, a friend sends you some digital currency, say in form of bitcoin. What this friend does is he transfers the ownership of the coins to the address of your wallet. Now, when you want to use that money, you’ve unlock the fund.

In order to unlock the fund, you need to match the private key in your wallet with the public address that the coins are assigned to. Only when both these private and public addresses match, your account will be credited and the balance in your wallet will swell. Simultaneously, the balance of the sender of the digital currency will decrease. In transactions related to digital currency, the actual exchange of physical coins never take place at any instance.

Understanding the cryptocurrency address

By nature, it is a public address with a unique string of characters. This enables a user or owner of a digital wallet to receive cryptocurrency from others. Each public address, that is generated, has a matching private address. This automatic match proves or establishes the ownership of a public address. As a more practical analogy, you may consider a public cryptocurrency address as your eMail address to which others can send emails. The emails are the currency that people send you.

Understanding the latest version of technology, in form of cryptocurrency is not tough. One needs a little interest and spend time on the net to get the basics clear.

What Cryptocurrencies Are Good to Invest in?

This year the value of Bitcoin has soared, even past one gold-ounce. There are also new cryptocurrencies on the market, which is even more surprising which brings cryptocoins’ worth up to more than one hundred billion. On the other hand, the longer term cryptocurrency-outlook is somewhat of a blur. There are squabbles of lack of progress among its core developers which make it less alluring as a long term investment and as a system of payment.

Bitcoin

Still the most popular, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that started all of it. It is currently the biggest market cap at around $41 billion and has been around for the past 8 years. Around the world, Bitcoin has been widely used and so far there is no easy to exploit weakness in the method it works. Both as a payment system and as a stored value, Bitcoin enables users to easily receive and send bitcoins. The concept of the blockchain is the basis in which Bitcoin is based. It is necessary to understand the blockchain concept to get a sense of what the cryptocurrencies are all about.

To put it simply, blockchain is a database distribution that stores every network transaction as a data-chunk called a “block.” Each user has blockchain copies so when Alice sends 1 bitcoin to Mark, every person on the network knows it.

Litecoin

One alternative to Bitcoin, Litecoin attempts to resolve many of the issues that hold Bitcoin down. It is not quite as resilient as Ethereum with its value derived mostly from adoption of solid users. It pays to note that Charlie Lee, ex-Googler leads Litecoin. He is also practicing transparency with what he is doing with Litecoin and is quite active on Twitter.

Litecoin was Bitcoin’s second fiddle for quite some time but things started changing early in the year of 2017. First, Litecoin was adopted by Coinbase along with Ethereum and Bitcoin. Next, Litecoin fixed the Bitcoin issue by adopting the technology of Segregated Witness. This gave it the capacity to lower transaction fees and do more. The deciding factor, however, was when Charlie Lee decided to put his sole focus on Litecoin and even left Coinbase, where’re he was the Engineering Director, just for Litecoin. Due to this, the price of Litecoin rose in the last couple of months with its strongest factor being the fact that it could be a true alternative to Bitcoin.

Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin, superstar programmer thought up Ethereum, which can do everything Bitcoin is able to do. However its purpose, primarily, is to be a platform to build decentralized applications. The blockchains are where the differences between the two lie. Basically, the blockchain of Bitcoin records a contract-type, one that states whether funds have been moved from one digital address to another address. However, there is significant expansion with Ethereum as it has a more advanced language script and has a more complex, broader scope of applications.

Projects began to sprout on top of Ethereum when developers began noticing its better qualities. Through token crowd sales, some have even raised dollars by the millions and this is still an ongoing trend even to this day. The fact that you can build wonderful things on the Ethereum platform makes it almost like the internet itself. This caused a skyrocketing in the price so if you purchased a hundred dollars’ worth of Ethereum early this year, it would not be valued at almost $3000.

Monero

Monero aims to solve the issue of anonymous transactions. Even if this currency was perceived to be a method of laundering money, Monero aims to change this. Basically, the difference between Monero and Bitcoin is that Bitcoin features a transparent blockchain with every transaction public and recorded. With Bitcoin, anyone can see how and where the money was moved. There is some somewhat imperfect anonymity on Bitcoin, however. In contrast, Monero has an opaque rather than transparent transaction method. No one is quite sold on this method but since some folks love privacy for whatever purpose, Monero is here to stay.

Zcash

Not unlike Monero, Zcash also aims to solve the issues that Bitcoin has. The difference is that rather than being completely transparent, Monero is only partially public in its blockchain style. Zcash also aims to solve the problem of anonymous transactions. After all, no every person loves showing how much money they actually spent on memorabilia by Star Wars. Thus, the conclusion is that this type of cryptocoin really does have an audience and a demand, although it’s hard to point out which cryptocurrency that focuses on privacy will eventually come out on top of the pile.

Bancor

Also known as a “smart token,” Bancor is the new generation standard of cryptocurrencies which can hold more than one token on reserve. Basically, Bancor attempts to make it easy to trade, manage and create tokens by increasing their level of liquidity and letting them have a market price that is automated. At the moment, Bancor has a product on the front-end that includes a wallet and the creation of a smart token. There are also features in the community such as stats, profiles and discussions. In a nutshell, the protocol of Bancor enables the discovery of a price built-in as well as a mechanism for liquidity for smart contractual tokens through a mechanism of innovative reserve. Through smart contract, you can instantly liquidate or purchase any of the tokens within the reserve of Bancor. With Bancor, you can create new cryptocoins with ease. Now who wouldn’t want that?

EOS

Another competitor of Ethereum, EOS promises to solve the scaling issue of Ethereum through the provision of a set of tools that are more robust to run and create apps on the platform.

Tezos

An alternative to Ethereum, Tezos can be consensually upgraded without too much effort. This new blockchain is decentralized in the sense that it is self-governing through the establishment of a digital true commonwealth. It facilitates the mathematical technique called formal verification and has security-boosting features of the most financially weighed, sensitive smart contract. Definitely a great investment in the months to come.

Verdict

It is incredibly hard to predict which Bitcoin in the list will become the next superstar. However, user adoption has always be one key success factor when it came to cryptocurrencies. Both Ethereum and Bitcoin have this and even if there is a lot of support from early adopters of every cryptocurrency in the list, some have yet to prove their staying power. Nonetheless, these are the ones to invest in and watch out for in the coming months.

How to Buy Bitcoin – Step One

The best way to learn about bitcoin, is to jump in and get a few in your “pocket” to get a feel for how they work.

Despite the hype about how difficult and dangerous it can be, getting bitcoins is a lot easier and safer than you might think. In a lot of ways, it is probably easier than opening an account at a traditional bank. And, given what has been happening in the banking system, it is probably safer too.

There are a few things to learn: getting and using a software wallet, learning how to send and receive money, learning how to buy bitcoin from a person or an exchange.

Preparation

Before getting started, you will need to get yourself a wallet. You can do this easily enough by registering with one of the exchanges which will host wallet for you. And, although I think you are going to want to have one or more exchange wallets eventually, you should start with one on your own computer both to get a better feel for bitcoin and because the exchanges are still experimental themselves. When we get to that stage of the discussion, I will be advising that you get in the habit of moving your money and coins off the exchanges or diversifying across exchanges to keep your money safe.

What is a wallet?

It is a way to store your bitcoins. Specifically, it is software that has been designed to store bitcoin. It can be run on your desktop computer, laptop, mobile device (except, as yet, Apple) and can also be made to store bitcoins on things like thumb drives. If you are concerned about being hacked, then that is a good option. Even the Winklevoss* twins, who have millions invested in bitcoin, put their investment on hard drives which they then put into a safety deposit box.

*The Winklevoss twins are the ones who originally had the idea for a social networking site that became Facebook. They hired Mark Zuckerberg who took their idea as his own and became immensely rich.

What do you need to know about having a bitcoin wallet on your computer?

Below you can download the original bitcoin wallet, or client, in Windows or Mac format. These are not just wallets, but are in fact part of the bitcoin network. They will receive, store, and send your bitcoins. You can create one or more addresses with a click (an address is a number that looks like this: 1LyFcQatbg4BvT9gGTz6VdqqHKpPn5QBuk). You will see a field where you can copy and paste a number like this from a person you want to send money to and off it will go directly into that person’s wallet. You can even create a QR code which will let someone take a picture with an app on their phone and send you some bitcoin. It is perfectly safe to give these out – the address and QR code are both for my donations page. Feel free to donate!

NOTE: This type of wallet acts both as a wallet for you and as part of the bitcoin system. The reason bitcoin works is that every transaction is broadcast and recorded as a number across the entire system (meaning that every transaction is confirmed and made irreversible by the network itself). Any computer with the right software can be part of that system, checking and supporting the network. This wallet serves as your personal wallet and also as a support for that system. Therefore, be aware that it will take up 8-9 gigabytes of your computer’s memory. After you install the wallet, it will take as much as a day for the wallet to sync with the network. This is normal, does not harm your computer, and makes the system as a whole more secure, so it’s a good idea.

Bitcoin Qt

  • The original wallet.
  • This is a full-featured wallet: create multiple addresses to receive bitcoins, send bitcoins easily, track transactions, and back up your wallet.
  • Outside of the time it takes to sync, this is a very easy to use option.
  • Search for Bitcoin Qt wallet download to find their site.

Armory

  • Runs on top of Bitcoi Qt, so it has all of the same syncing requirements.
  • Armory allows you to back up, encrypt, and the ability to store your bitcoins off line.
  • Search for Bitcoin Armory Wallet to find their site.

If you don’t want to have that much memory used or don’t want to wait for your wallet to sync, there are good wallets that do not make you sync the entire history of bitcocin:

Multibit

  • A lightweight wallet that syncs quickly. This is very good for new users.
  • Search for Bitcoin Multibit Wallet to find their site.

Electum

  • In addition to being quick and light, this wallet allows you to recover lost data using a passcode.
  • Search for Bitcoin Electum Wallet to find their site.

After you get the wallet set up, take a few minutes clicking around. Things to look for:

o There will be a page that shows you how many bitcoins are currently in your wallet. Keep in mind that bitcoins can be broken up into smaller pieces, so you may see a decimal with a lot of zeros after it. (Interesting note, 0.00000001 is one Satoshi, named after the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin).

o There will be an area showing what your recent transactions are.

o There will be an area where you can create an address and a QR code (like the one I have above). You don’t need the QR code if you don’t want it, but if you run a business and you want to accept bitcoin, then all you’ll need to do to accept payment is to show someone the QR code, let them take a picture of it, and they will be able to send you some money. You will also be able to create as many addresses as you like, so if you want to track where the money is coming from, you could have a separately labeled address from each one of your payees.

o There will be an area with a box for you to paste a code when you want to send money to someone or to yourself on an exchange or different wallet.

There will be other options and features, but to start out with, these are the items that you should know about.

Getting Your First Bitcoins

Now that you have a wallet, you will, of course, want to test them out.

The very first place to go is http://faucet.bitcoin.st/.

This is a website that gives out small amounts of bitcoin for the purpose of getting people used to using them. The original version of this was run by the lead developer of bitcoin, Gavin Andreson. That site has since closed and this site operates by sending out one or two advertisements a month. You agree to receive those messages by requesting the bitcoins. Copy and paste your new bitcoin address and enter a phone number to which you can receive an SMS. They send out an SMS to be sure that people are not continuously coming back for more since it costs nothing to create a bitcoin address. They will also send out once or twice a month advertisement to support their operation. The amount they send it trivial: 0.0015 BTC (or 1.5 mBTC). However, they process almost immediately and you can check to see that your address and wallet are working. It is also quite a feeling to get that portion of a bitcoin. (Non-disclaimer: I have no connection with this site and receive nothing if you use them. I simply think they are a good way to get your feet wet).

Congratulations! You have just entered the bitcoin economy.

To get your feet a little wetter, you can go panning for gold. There are a number of services and websites out there that will pay you in bitcoin to do things like go to certain websites, fill out online surveys, or watch sponsored videos. These are harmless, and you can earn a few extra bitcoins this way, but it is important to remember that these are businesses that get paid when people click on the links on their sites. They are essentially kicking back a portion of what they get paid to you. There is nothing illegal, or even immoral about this (you might like what you see and make a purchase!), but they are frequently flashy and may not be completely straightforward. All the ones that I have tried (particularly bitvisitor.com) have paid out as advertised. It is interesting to experiment with these, but even with the likely rise in the value of bitcoin, you won’t become a millionaire doing this. So, unless you are an advertisement junkie, I would recommend you move on. If you would like to try, simply Google “free bitcoins” or something along those lines and you will find numerous sites.

Buying Bitcoin Hand-to-Hand

Finally, this is going to be the real test of bitcoin. Can people easily trade them back and forth? If this can’t happen, then there can’t really be a bitcoin economy because retailers won’t be able to use it. If retailers can’t use it, what earthly good is it? Fortunately, this is not really a problem. iPhone is a bit of a hold out, but many smartphones have apps (mobile wallets) that will read QR codes and allow you to send bitcoin to whomever you want. You can also display a QR code of your address, or even carry a card in your wallet with your QR code to let people send bitcoin to you. Depending on what kind of wallet you have, you can then check to see if the bitcoins have been received.

A couple of things to note:

  • When you set up your wallet, if you click around a bit, you will see an option to pay a fee to speed transactions. This money becomes available to a bitcoin miner as he/she/they process bitcoin information. The miners doing the work of creating blocks of information keeps the system up to date and secure. The fee is an incentive to the miner to be sure to include your information in the next information block and therefore “verify” it. In the short term, miners are making most of their money by mining new coins (check the section on What Are Bitcoins for more information about this). In the long term, as it gets harder to find new coins, and as the economy increases, the fees will be an incentive for miners to keep creating more blocks and keep the economy going. Your wallet should be set to pay 0 fees as a default, but if you want, you can add a fee to prioritize your transactions. You are under no obligation to pay a fee, and many organizations that process many small transactions (like the ones that pan for gold described above) produce enough fees to keep the miners happy.
  • In clicking around your wallet, on the transactions page or linked to specific transactions, you will see a note about confirmations. When you make a transaction, that information is sent out into the network and the network will send back a confirmation that there is no double entry for that bitcoin. It is smart to wait until you get several confirmations before walking away from someone who has paid you. It is actually not very easy to scam someone hand-to-hand like this, and it is not very cost-effective for the criminal, but it can be done.

Where can you buy bitcoin like this?

  • You may have a bitcoin Meetup in your area.
  • You can check out localbitcoins.com to find people near you who are interested in buying or selling.
  • Some are trying to start up local street exchanges across the world. These are called Buttonwoods after the first street exchange established on Wall Street in 1792 under a buttonwood tree. See if there is one, or start one, in your area.
  • See if you have any friends who would like to try bitcoins out. Actually, the more people who start using bitcoin, the larger and more successful it will be come. So please tell two friends!

Some people ask if it is possible to buy physical bitcoins. The answer to this is both a yes and a no. Bitcoin, by its very nature, is a digital currency and has no physical form. However, there are a couple of ways that you can practically hold a bitcoin in your hands:

  • Cascascius Coins: These are the brainchild of Mike Caldwell. He mints physical coins and then embeds the private keys for the bitcoins inside them. You can get the private key by peeling a hologram from the coin which will then clearly show that the coin has been tampered with. Mike has gone out of his way to ensure that he can be trusted. These are a good investment strategy as in the years to come it may be that these coins are huge collector’s items.
  • Paper Wallets: A paper wallet just means that rather than keeping the information for your bitcoin stored in a digital wallet, you print the key information off along with a private key and keep it safe in a safe, in a drawer, or in your mattress (if you like). This is highly recommended and cost effective system for keeping your bitcoin safe. Keep in mind, though, that someone could steal them or if your house burns, they will go with the house and there will be no way to get them back. Really, no different than cash. Also, as with Casascius Coins, they will not really be good for spending until you put them back into the computer.

* There is software to make printing your paper wallets easier. bitcoinpaperwallet.com is one of the best and includes a good tutorial about how to use them.

* The bitcoins are not actually in the wallet, they are still on the web. In fact, the outside of the wallet will have a QR code that will allow you ship coins to the wallet any time you like.

* The sealed part of the wallet will have the private key without which you cannot access the coins. Therefore, only put as many coins on the wallet as you want to be inaccessible. You will not be able to whip this thing out and take out a few coins to buy a cup of coffee. Rather, think of it as a piggy bank. To get the money, you have to smash it. It is possible to take out smaller amounts, but at this point the security of the wallet is compromised and it would be easier for someone to steal the coins. Better to have them all in or out.

* People who use paper wallets are usually security conscious, and there are a number of ways for the nefarious in the world to hack your computer. Bitcoinpaperwallet.com gives a lot of good advice about how to print your wallets securely.

Some people have also asked about buying bitcoins on eBay. Yes, it is possible, but they will be far overpriced. So, selling on eBay might seem to be a better option given the extreme markup over market value you might see. But, as with anything that is too good to be true, this is too good to be true. As I will explain in the next section, selling bitcoin this way is just way too risky.

How Not to Buy Bitcoin

In the next section, I am going to explain a couple of key points about buying from Bitcoin Exchanges. Before I do, let me give you a warning.

A short history lesson: When people first started setting up actual business based on bitcoin, they used all of the tools available to any merchant. They sold by credit card and PayPal. The problem with this business model was quickly spotted: bitcoin transactions are not reversible by anyone except the recipient of the money. Credit cards and PayPal have strong buyer protection policies that make it relatively easy for people to request a chargeback. So, nefarious individuals realized this and began making purchases of bitcoin and then sooner or later requesting a chargeback. And, since bitcoin is a non-physical product, sent by new and poorly understood technological means, the sellers were not able to contest this. Because of this, sellers stopped accepting credit cards and PayPal.

This was a big problem for the currency: How to move money between buyers and seller? Some business emerged that would credit you with bitcoin if you wired them money. Very often these businesses would give addresses in Albania, Poland, or Russia. The fact is that many of these did work and there are a lot of stories on the forums of people who bought bitcoins this way. But it took a lot of time and in the meantime the buyer just had to bite his or her fingernails wondering if they would get their bitcoins or kiss their investment goodbye.

I expect that as bitcoin becomes more acceptable and valuable, we are going to see a version of the Nigerian Prince scam. So the warning is this: we now have exchanges and other businesses that allow for moving money easily onto and off of exchanges. Never wire money for bitcoin. It was a short-lived, and well-forgotten, moment in the history of bitcoin.

Next, I will be talking about how to buy from a bitcoin exchange and give a review of the some of the best known exchanges.

Ten Tips for Investing in Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is the newest trend in the money market that contains the elements of computer science and mathematical theory. Its primary function is to secure communication as it converts legible information into an unbreakable code. You can track your purchases and transfers with cryptocurrency. Following are the top ten tips for investors to invest in cryptocurrency.

  1. It’s Just Like Investing in Commodities:

Investing in cryptocurrency is just like investing in any other commodity. It has two faces – it can be used as an asset or as an investment, which you can sell and exchange.

  1. Buy Bitcoin Directly:

Buy Bitcoins directly if you do not want to pay the fee for investing or if you are interested in possessing real Bitcoins. There are a lot of options all over the world including Bitcoin.de, BitFinex, and BitFlyer from where you can buy Bitcoins directly.

  1. Only an Absolute Minority Uses Cryptocurrency:

Today, Bitcoin is the most common cryptocurrency in the world of investment. In the United States, only 24% of the adults know about it, and surprisingly only 2% Americans use it. It is good news for the financial investors as the low usage represents a fruitful investment for the future.

  1. Usage is Growing:

The combined market cap of the cryptocurrencies is more than 60 billion American dollars. It includes all cryptocurrencies in existence including hundreds of smaller and unknown ones. The real-time usage of the cryptocurrencies has gone up, showing a rise in trend.

  1. Usage is the Key Criteria:

As an investor, the usage must be the key for you. The demand and supply data of cryptocurrencies exhibits a decent investment opportunity right now. There exists a strong usage of the currencies for facilitating payments between financial institutions and thus, pushing transaction costs down meaningfully.

  1. The Market Cycle:

Currently, the cryptocurrency market is in euphoria. It is the point where the investment may not appear as a golden opportunity to you but the values will go higher from here. Businesses, governments, and society across the globe will soon be considering cryptocurrencies.

  1. It will Solve Problems for You:

Money is to solve problems, and so is the cryptocurrency. The bigger problem it solves, the higher potential value it gets. The sweet spot for possessing cryptocurrency is that it provides access to money and basic bank functions including paying and wiring.

  1. Crypto to Money:

Today, cryptocurrencies can be exchanged to conventional paper money. Therefore, the lock-in risk that existed a while ago is gone now.

  1. Create Your Portfolio:

Since cryptocurrencies are exchangeable, they have become another way to build your portfolio. You can now store cash in the form of crypto and exchange it for cash anytime you need the traditional money.

  1. Read the Right Resources:

‘Everyone and his uncle’ becomes a guru during any hype. Be very skeptical while selecting reading sources and people who do cryptocurrency investment.