Let’s Talk About Bitcoin Gold

Bitcoin has seen a precedent this year, with not one, but three hard forks to be completed before the end of 2017. If someone told me this a year ago, I would laugh at their face. Not so funny now though, is it?

We first had a hard fork in August, when the somewhat aggressive UASF BIP 148 threw the community into a commotion of FUD-fuelled speculation. That was seemingly resolved with the NY agreement and followed by a surprise last-minute hard-fork known as Bitcoin Cash. Now we are facing some further complications with Segwit2x adoption and a possible hard fork in November related to this.

But this time, let’s talk about another surprise hard-fork that came to light very recently and is due just in 5 days (October 25 -2017)

BITCOIN GOLD

The Fork that no one is talking about.
And why?
From my conversation with Martin Kuvandzhiev (core developer at Bitcoin Gold), I think I found the answer to this question:
There is NO MARKETING.

None at all.
Easy to go unnoticed in the sea of heavily advertised ICOs and hyped up coins if there is zero capital and human workforce involved in marketing and publicity, don’t you agree.

They are still doing well, methinks, we are talking about Bitcoin fork after all, and there’s a million people out there anticipating the coming chain split and the potential of earning some extra “coins for free” which is what a hard fork is most known for these days…

I spent almost an hour chatting to Martin, trying to understand the potential of the Bitcoin Gold project and judge the possible future ahead.

And of course, as any investor or holder or Bitcoin, I am also excited at the opportunity to get some extra profit from something that doesn’t involve any specific effort on my part.

But as a Bitcoin supporter, I also feel that the more forks we see, the more diluted the main coin becomes and it reflects on its value. On the other hand, as we see now, the combined value of the main coin and the forks is often higher than the value of the coin prior to the fork, so it seems like a win-win scenario for many.

Overall, I found Martin to be very open and honest about the project with no attempt to hype anything, the key point that he managed to lay across is the fact that Bitcoin Gold is NOT trying to compete with Bitcoin, nor any other coin for that matter and that at the moment it is still a project mainly driven by ideology and passion. Quite the opposite of what many are speculating on Reddit. There were many claims of this project being a scam but Martin emphasized the decentralized nature of this project and the lack of controlling entity.

What is your take on Bitcoin Gold and are you excited to grab hold of those coins, would you BUY, HODL or SELL when you receive those tokens?

Here is my interview with Martin Kuvandzhiev where we addressed all concerns surrounding this fork. I specifically asked him about the rumors of pre-mined coins, replay protection, distribution and wallets, exchanges and much more.

Further reading:
Is Bitcoin Gold the people’s fork?
Bitcoin Gold Is About to Trial an ASIC-Resistant Bitcoin Fork
Bitcoin Gold: What you need to know – by Jimmy Song

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Who cares about Bitcoin Gold…

There is not a lot of talk about the October Bitcoin Gold fork yet but most of it already rather negative. It seems this fork might have already been done or at least some of the points I came across suggest so.

Here is my take on Bitcoin Gold and what we know so far about it…

 

Further reading:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d3ykaw/yet-another-bitcoin-fork-aims-to-take-power-away-from-big-miners

https://bravenewcoin.com/news/bitcoin-gold-a-friendly-dividend-fork-or-bitcoins-disaster-recovery-plan/
https://cointelegraph.com/news/will-bitcoin-gold-return-power-to-ordinary-users

https://bitcointechtalk.com/bitcoin-gold-what-you-need-to-know-8b3e645be409

Alt Coins – which ones to buy?

ALT COIN (2).pngIf you are a first-time buyer of crypto currencies you will probably ask this question. I get this in my inbox at least once a day lately, so I decided to write this blog and give you my piece of mind on this subject.

There is a big difference between choosing a crypto from an investor point of view to choosing it as a trader.

With trading you will be looking at charts and base your selection on trends, performance and price catalyst factors so that will be a topic of a whole other post. This time I will focus on the more passive investment approach, something that most people seem to be aiming for.

Trading is not an easy skill to master and it is extremely time-consuming, so I entered that marketplace as an investor first and later tapped into the trading world.

So, how do you pick the right crypto currencies to buy and hold?

The obvious start is with Bitcoin – the big daddy of the crypto world. The most valuable, most usable of all, most sought-after and so on.. you get the idea. As far as safety goes, the long term potential for growth is definitely high here.

So, what next?

  • Look for VOLUME

    Big volume means big capital is invested already, that also means popularity, usability, which basically tells us that the project is having a good potential for growth and longevity. Nothing is guaranteed and we are yet to find out how many of the current 1000+ crypto currencies are going to hang around for longer, but the ones that have a lot of volume are those with the highest chances at achieving that. The best place to find out how these compare by volume is to go to  https://coinmarketcap.com where you will see their quick stats and you can arrange them in order by a few indicators, volume being the default one.

  • Look for USP [unique selling point]

    Bitcoin is a crypto currency and so are most crypto coins. Some are application specific while some are purely crypto coins. Look out for those that are innovative. Those that offer something new, an improvement of sorts or something really different, are the ones with potential.

  • Look for popularity and media presence.

    If a crypto is talked about, if it has media coverage, a strong, identifiable brand, this would mean it is already quite popular and that also drives the price up. If a crypto makes it to the mainstream [or at least semi-mainstream] that brings a lot of new buyers, thus with a growing demand you can expect a jump in value.

  • Research thoroughly.

    There are so many sources these days, facebook groups, twitter, slackchats, telegram groups, forums [reddit, bitcointalk and more]… and of course each crypto currency is a project of a kind and as such they have their own website. Make sure you check out their website, read their white paper, check their development team and current+upcoming projects, what is the future plan for this project, is there a long-term vision and where does it lead to… these are just some of the criteria you should consider in your research.

  • Gather public opinion.

    Aside from the forums, where you will be getting a lot of public opinion from the users and fans or haters of the project, try to also find just general public opinion, through facebook and other social media that is not saturated with crypto fans, try to find what the average Joe knows and if they get excited about it, that would be another good indicator that the price will rise with time as the project/coin becomes more and more popular.

  • Did I mention RESEARCH?

    Yeah, I know. I just wanted to emphasize the importance of doing your own research and learning about the coins you are buying. After all, you wouldn’t  invest in stocks of a company without knowing enough about it, so same rule applies here. You must understand “why” and “if” your investment will bring you amazing return or not… You must also keep informed about any new development on the project that is supported by the coin, make sure that the development is not abandoned or any other internal or external factors that may change its course with time.

Where to start?

The most useful website for any crypto currency user is CoinMarketCap. This is where you can keep track on price, volume, ranking, popularity, performance and more. By default, the coins listed will be arranged by volume.

Another useful website that will facilitate your analysis is CryptoCompare which has a slightly more trading look and functionality.
To gather public opinion and feedback you can look into blogs, videos on youtube, twitter, telegram groups, facebook groups, steemIt network or slack chats which most crypto currencies have. Also check out these forums https://bitcointalk.org or reddit

Don’t forget to go to each project’s website. Many of the coins are only born out of a necessity to support the network and its developers so they will have a lot of information there to help you in your research.

For a start you should research each of the top 20 -30 coins. If you are going to be an investor, you might want to spread your capital and buy a few of these rather than go big on just one of them. Unless there is a strong reason for it, I would not advise to go big on any one coin because there might be a big potential in another coin that could surprise you. I bought Strat and Ripple very early on when I started and despite my passion for Dash or ETH, both Strat and Ripple gave me much more profit [at the time of writing this]. So even though I didn’t know much about Strat at first, the feedback I gathered about it pointed toward an uptrend [and that hasn’t stopped for the past 3 months now] and I’m looking at over 1000% profit from both XRP and STRAT. This is just an example. If I was a maximalist, I would have chosen Dash at the time, but today I am looking at 40% profit from it, which cannot compare to the performance of XRP and Strat.

This is why I would advise you to diversify and buy at least 10 of the top coins, the gain is always bigger than the losses [if any]. Doesn’t make sense? Let me elaborate.
Say you deposit 0.1 btc in Dash and 0.1btc in ETC [only hypothetical] and Dash plummets to -50% while ETC jumps by 100% [ which is very likely]. You will loose 0.05 but your gain would be 0.1 so you’re not loosing really. And what if you also had 0.1 in SC and that shoots up to 300% … you would have made 0.2 just from that so who cares about the 0.05 loss that Dash made… This is pretty much my strategy, except… I actually bought something like 30 coins in my first month and now my portfolio has grown to about 50. Only a quarter of them are long term for me, the rest are trading material.

 

 

What is an Alt Coin?

ALT COIN (1).pngAltcoin is a term given to all crypto currencies other than Bitcoin. It literally means alternate coin. Altcoins are alternative blockchains to Bitcoin, they use the same basic principals as Bitcoin but with some changes (e.g different mining algorithms or consensus rules etc…).

Most alt coins are forks on Bitcoin, some are built on the Bitcoin blockchain, others operate their own blockchains and offer diversity in functionality, innovation, niche-specific developments or just improvements on what is already there. For instance faster transacting, better privacy, easier coding or more popular and usable language (Bitcoin is built on C++ which is a computer language not very popular these days, while many of the new cryptos are written on Java or Microsoft’s .NET that attract vast communities of developers and freelances who work with these computer code languages).

Many alt coins are competing to be the next big success story but the market is already saturated and only a small percentage of the currently circulating cryptos are in fact worth looking into.

There are nearly 1000 crypto currencies currently in circulation and the ones that I am trading or investing in, are only the top 30 or so. The best way to find out how they perform is by going to https://coinmarketcap.com/ and see their current rating by volume.

But what really makes a cryto currency valuable and why some of these virtually unknown and brand new coins go up in price is determined by a series of factors outlined in my next post. But just before I leave you, please note that you should definitely avoid any crypto currency that involves heavy recruiting and is based on a deep multi level marketing system. The likes of Onecoin, Dascoin, Swisscoin, Scoin or The Billion Coin [TBC] are all in this category. These are not on the public exchanges and they only serve as community tokens system, therefore they are not easily spendable or tradable, if at all…

1 year anniversary in Video Marketing…

74b5530ce391564995cb338c55688334.jpgThis month [April] marks the first year anniversary since I started running my Youtube channel and I would like to take the time to reflect on my progress and share with you my journey.

I first tapped into network marketing some 10 years ago but at the time I was focused on my photography career and did not follow through with it. Fast forward to 2014, I had just found myself with a little bit of spare cash in my pocket and I decided to look for ways to invest my savings and grow my capital online. Somewhere late that year I found a website that offered pretty much what I was looking for: 120% return on investment (ROI) and a growing memberbase, I learned about Alexa rankings, compounding your earnings, becoming an affiliate, earning commissions, little by little I realised I have gotten myself into another network marketing business although I viewed it as an investment. For a long time I did not want to promote and refer people into it because my network was predominantly art creatives, fashion and design professionals who are in a completely different frequency to the world of network marketing. It took me about 9 months until I decided to take the first step and I started a blog. It was just a diary of my progress with that program, kind of a record of my progress and what I learned. Soon I was hooked into courses and webinars and live events, all the elements of the network marketing industry that set up the road which you’re taking. I tried a bit of affiliate marketing, quickly realised direct sales was not my thing, then I joined more revshares, some hyips, tried binary options, spread betting, looked into forex, didn’t think it’s for me tried product based MLMs, digital-based MLM, more revshares, then came the matrices, the cyclers, I even helped design a matrix-style peer-to-peer program back in October 2016 when my friends Lubos Hollan and Tousif Parvez reached out to me for advice while I was holidaying in the South Of France ( I was already making a very decent online passive income and I had my first major hack attack on my accounts during that trip so it will not be easily forgotten. I lost a few thousand dollars because of being naive and using the same password for everything. Big mistake). I was grateful that this happened when I was already making money online and not earlier when I was still loosing… I have to mention here that I started my online journey with an initial investment of $5000 and by the end of my first year I had lost all of it, so then I had to start afresh.

All in all, I went through a lot in just one year. I seemed to had it all figured out when the first business I was invested in came crumbling down, a month after that the second followed suit, another few weeks went by and the third also disappeared from the online space. I just kept looking for new opportunities. With each loss I learned a new lesson, I got better equipped for the next challenge and I started playing it safe, working with smaller amounts of seed money to minimise and spread out the risks. I also started being more selective and used my experience to warn others about the dangers and the obvious scams out there. At this point my marketing profile was growing and my audience too. I had achieved one of my goals. Having an audience and the real difference came just after that April when I started my videos. That happened last April, exactly a year ago when I joined a video challenge for a business that I had just added to my portfolio called Ford Ad Pays. We were a group of enthusiastic marketers learning to use the power of videos in online marketing. Each day we had a topic that we had to discuss in our videos and one day we had to talk about our goals and this is a video that I am referring to here in my post below. I was in London last week to meet with the directors of a company that I just added to my business portfolio and I took the time to visit my old street, where I was living at the time when I started this online journey and I am proud to say that the tasks I laid out in my video exactly 1 year ago have now been achieved and mainly my re-location plan. I had just decided to try and move to Spain when I recorded this video and at the time it seemed like a distant thought, nothing too serious, just something I would like to be able to do. Well, I am really happy to say, I am writing this post from my new home, in Barcelona, Spain, I moved here just three months ago and it’s the place I asked for exactly one year ago. Target achieved. I am living the laptop lifestyle, making 100% of my income online, no more physical work, I am my own boss. Dreams do come true. If you work hard and keep believing in yourself you can achieve your goals but you need to be consistent and have a plan. Establish some discipline and routine and stick to your targets. Here’s my video message, keep working hard and don’t give up, no matter how hard it gets. Persistence will prevail.

Bitcoin Forking Simplified

bitcoin.png

There has been a lot of noise lately in the media and on all social media about the possible Bitcoin hard fork, some say it will be a soft fork, others are calling for no fork whatsoever…but what the heck is this all about and why all the panic?

The problem Bitcoin faces right now is one of scale-ability. The current block size is limited to 1MB – a cautionary measure implemented early on in the Bitcoin development after the blockchain suffered numerous hacking attacks. This was supposed to be a temporary limit on the block size but it was never lifted and we now face a big backlog on transactions, some days amounting to 100 000+  pending transactions for hours on end. Which in effect brings the fees up with many companies allowing their customers to pay higher fees and speed up their transactions processing. Currently, the daily revenue of fees on Bitcoin transactions is $350 000. Each day….

At the same time there are new coins, most of which are soft forks on Bitcoin in a way and offer improvements like instant-pay [by DASH] or higher privacy [Zcash, PIVX] or superior blockchain [Ethereum].

Many argue that if Bitcoin is to stay the dominant crypto currency, it has to be able to evolve and rise to the challenges of the times. The debate about the possible forking is not new, but it was reignited in December last year [2016] when the news about Bitcoin Unlimited began circulating.

What exactly is a Fork?

Forking is used as a term to describe a split in the system.  In simple terms, we see a proposal of a diversion from the current software that will enable size blocks to . There are two ways to do this.

“Hard Fork”is a permanent change in the block chain, where only the new software is accepted in the network. It means that every node – miners, merchants and users – has to upgrade to be able to validate the new blocks. Old nodes will not be able to validate new blocks. This will cause a split in the blockchain [version A and version B].

“Soft fork” does not cause a split in two blockchains because it is backwards-compatible and self-correcting in that only a majority of miners need to update to the new consensus rules. Old nodes will then see the new blocks as valid.

SegWit [ Segregated Witness] is one solution proposed for upgrading the block size to 2MB without the need to split the blockchain and it’s effectively a soft fork. This is not met with agreement by all miners unfortunately as some are in support of a bigger scale-ability of the blocks.

In the occurrence of a “Hard Fork” the result will be two development groups which is a split into:

  • Bitcoin Core [the current network]
  • Bitcoin Unlimited [the new version of the network with up-scaled block size].

BTC Vs BTU

Bitcoin Core [BTC] is the current version of Bitcoin that we know and use. It supports 1MB blocks and has the ability to support SegWit but does not agree with proposed upgrades by BTU

Bitcoin Unlimited [BTU] is a group of miners who propose a change in the software that allows for greater size of the blocks to be determined by market demand [and accepted by consensus of the miners]. The change is, however, incompatible with the current Bitcoin software and would therefore create a “new coin,” while carrying over the entire transaction history of the currency. BTU was developed by software engineer Andrew Stone and is supported by a minority but headed strongly by one of the biggest Bitcoin PR faces – Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com

Under normal circumstances, a change of rules would only occur if the whole network would agree on the new rules. Only one coin would emerge, causing no problem. However, as this split is caused by the very disagreement on the rules, initiated by Bitcoin Unlimited, it is very unlikely that Bitcoin Core would give in and would move to Unlimited.

If more than 51% of the nodes agree on the changes proposed by BTU, a hard fork will be possible and there would be two coins, each adhering to their own rules and the public opinion is that BTU forming as an Alt Coin. Many Alt Coins are just different versions of Bitcoin. My research shows that BTU is not very well-received in the Bitcoin community and most people would prefer that a split did not happen.

How would this affect us?

At times of uncertainty we usually see a price-dip and this is already quite noticeable this week. Bitcoin is currently standing at $950-970 per coin, down from $1200 in February. In the short term this is expected and it could be a trend that will last for a few more weeks. As soon as we see the end of this debate or at least some stability in the market, we will expect a recovery and some readjustment back to the higher numbers. Many speculators will take advantage of this lower price and the media hype that surrounds this topic only feeds the panic that causes a big dump at the exchanges which will make those buyers very happy. Some are diversifying their holdings with Alt Coins, others prefer to convert to USD for a short time and buy Bitcoin at a lower rate.

If you are not an active trader but holding Bitcoin for longer term, I would advise to just do nothing. Hold it but make sure you are using a cold storage. [like Ledger or Trezor] so you are the owner of your private keys. This way you can benefit from the choice of what version you will use in the future while some vendors and wallet providers might only choose to work with one of the two versions. Trezor and Ledger both give this response to the question about the splitting of the blockchain:

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This might not be the case if you are holding your coins in an online wallet. Most cloud storage wallets might not offer a choice to customers, so we see warnings issued by Coinbase, Circle and other providers to their customers.


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Further reading:
http://www.coindesk.com/preparing-bitcoin-hard-fork/
http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/30817/what-is-a-soft-fork
https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-hard-fork-will-be-felt-deeper-than-ethereums-experts
https://blog.coinbase.com/update-for-customers-with-bitcoin-stored-on-coinbase-904dea08ac5f#.khru1mle3
https://arstechnica.com/business/2015/08/op-ed-why-is-bitcoin-forking/
https://blog.trezor.io/contingency-plan-bitcoin-hard-fork-b6ce85cde028#.s2g11vixi