Cryptocurrency Markets in 2018: A Roundup

Cryptocurrency Markets in 2018: A Roundup

The post Cryptocurrency Markets in 2018: A Roundup appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Wasnt 2018 supposed to be the highly anticipated new year we were all waiting for? What happened? 2018 started off with a bang that shook nations around the world. Since the BTC price shot up in 2017, it was almost as if everyone and their mother heard about cryptocurrency markets. Be that as it may, this hype didn’t last until the end of the year. In fact, the entire cryptocurrency market lost 84%, and around $700 Billion left the crypto space.
A Look Back at 2018
Moons and Lambos galore. At least that’s what everyone was chanting during the beginning of January as many crypto assets were hitting their all-time highs. However, all things must come to an end eventually. As a result, January 7th was the turning point for the cryptocurrency market. Following this date, the total market capitalization peaked at $830 billion. From then up until now, we have been experiencing a bear market. The bears pretty much pushed cryptocurrency assets to the lowest level they’ve been in 16 months.
Following this, waves of both new and experienced traders dropped their crypto assets and left the crypto space with burnt fingers. The only people who came out unscathed at the end of 2018 is the people who invested in early 2017 (or before then). Oh, and don’t forget the HODLers. They’ve been clutching onto the hope of better times in the future since the beginning.
While there are many possibilities for the crypto price crash, one-factor people believe was a catalyst was the Coincheck cryptocurrency exchange hack. Coincheck lost over $500 Million worth of cryptocurrency and the community spotlight turned to exchange security. Thus, this also triggered the urgency for mass regulation of these exchanges. In February, Bitcoin had already shed over 60% of the value it once had during its peak of ~$20,000. By March, it became clear that a large number of the ICO’s that started in late 2017 would never reach their goals. As well as this, the G20 Financial Stability Board decided that cryptocurrency is NOT a threat to the global banking system. While many thought this would have given a boost to the cryptocurrency industry at the time, it became apparent that nothing could change the trend.
The Cryptocurrency Markets Grow…
In April, rumors about big institutional players Nasdaq and Goldman Sachs were reported to be stepping into the crypto space. This actually caused a jump in market capitalization despite no confirmation from wall street at the time. Social Media has a huge roll in the crypto space. Because of this, Facebook and Google’s decision to ban all cryptocurrency related advertising in June was extremely strange. Especially when both of them were still allowing criminals to deploy their cryptocurrency scams on their platforms. Despite this, both of these social media giants have since lifted their bans on cryptocurrency advertisements.

Blockchain and crypto companies raised over $4B from traditional VCs in 2018 (not counting $7.5B raised in ICOs). This includes the most successful & experienced tech VCs of all time. Smart money doesn’t plan to lose. Are you taking advantage of this opportunity? #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/PbIu9QqIzG
— Bitfi (@Bitfi6) February 1, 2019

In August, the US SEC gave their heavy-handed approach to cryptocurrency regulations. Following this, 9 separate crypto ETF applications were rejected. One of these applications were even from the Winklevoss twins, managers of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange.
By September – October, the cryptocurrency market began to level out, consolidating in a range around $220 Billion. In October, the legendary Bitcoin whitepaper by ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ turned 10 years old. Many people rejoiced and celebrated how far Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, in general, has come, despite all the FUD spread about it regarding Bitcoin’s valuation and scams etc. But of course, good things never last long. Following the 10 year anniversary, we walked into what many now call ‘the crypto winter’.
Apparently, ‘this winter was so cold’, that even when institutional big leagues Bakkt and Fidelity entered the fray; neither of them could make a dent in the downward trend the cryptocurrency markets were experiencing. As a result, November was the worst month for cryptocurrencies in 2018. In just this month alone, 50% of the market was shed in just a matter of weeks.
The Rise of Adoption?
By the time we got to December, the cryptocurrency markets were at their lowest level of the whole year. Consequently, the crypto markets shed $100 billion on the 15th of December. Crypto angst spread through the community due to FUD fueled headlines that mainstream media pushed. Large cryptocurrency firms such as Bitmain and ConsenSys began firing their employees due to financial pressure and the industry began to feel the cold of the crypto winter.
But that was mainly in the west. During 2018, a large number of nations all over the world began to welcome the crypto industry despite others continuing to disregard or even ban it. Some of the countries that were most accommodating for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects were: Malta, Dubai, Africa, Singapore, Estonia, and Hong Kong.
Despite this, many U.S. regulators still stood indifferent on their crypto stance during this period. Meanwhile, in China, all efforts were made to eradicate anything crypto/blockchain related. Following them not far behind, India’s Central Bank began preparations for a full ban on cryptocurrency.
South Korea and Japan thought differently. They decided to stay open-minded about blockchain technology and continued to develop their regulatory frameworks. This was mainly to protect investor interests and ensure the security of crypto assets. Large crypto industry players such as Binance, Coinbase and more have also grown despite the current market environment.
The investment money is returning back to the norm of difficult to obtain. I think the ‘winter’ is greatly exaggerated. We are just back to normal behaviors. – Brayton Williams, Co-Founder of Boost VC.
Conclusion
Despite the FUD being spread, the main events we’ve seen during 2018 are the weak hands letting go. Many people joined the crypto bandwagon during its 2017 bubble and lost out because they didn’t look into anything more than the price charts. Crypto is new, and we’ve been here before. Just because the cryptocurrency market isn’t constantly going up making everyone rich, doesn’t mean it will never happen. People are constantly developing cryptocurrency projects all over the world to make it more accessible for people to use.
If you’re in a country with a stable fiat currency, the volatility of cryptocurrency would be too much for you to use as a store of value. But if you’re from a developing country with an unstable fiat currency, (Zimbabwe, Venezuela etc.) then cryptocurrency gives you the ability to be your own bank and operate within your own means. The main thing we’ve seen in 2018 when we look past the price, is the development of accessibility to cryptocurrency in countries all over the world.
What do you think about how 2018 went? Do you think it was a good year or a bad year for crypto? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Ledger Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet GIVEAWAY | FEB 2019 | iCE3X

Ledger Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet GIVEAWAY | FEB 2019 | iCE3X

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February is the year of love, and this month we are showing love for you with another Ledger giveaway!  The iCE3X Crypto Wallet Giveaway allow participants the chance to get their hands on a brand new LEDGER Nano S cryptocurrency hardware wallet. We are offering the Ledger Nano S as the first prize for the lucky draw in our giveaway (which has an approximate value of R2000.00). The competition is running from 1 February 2018 and will finish on 28 February 2019 at 12 am GMT+2. The Ledger Giveaway for February 2019 is running now!!!
Your Online Security
Online security is very important and most noteworthy when it comes to your cryptocurrency.
As everyone knows you should never store your cryptocurrency on an exchange or custodial wallet, but rather in a wallet that you control the private keys for.
The Ledger Nano S is one of the latest “next generation” hardware wallets on offer by the French company, Ledger. It is also the best combination of security and ease of use for storing your cryptocurrency securely.
7 Ways to enter the Ledger Nano S Competition
LEDGER Crypto Wallet Giveaway | February 2019

How To Enter the Ledger Giveaway for February 2019
There are 7 different ways to enter the crypto wallet giveaway. Firstly you can simply enter using the entry widget in this post and get as many extra entries as you like. Remember to share your affiliate link and tag us on social media, or else you can not be eligible!
You MUST share your affiliate link and tag us in the post for your entry to be considered.

Especially relevant is to find your affiliate code here: https://ice3x.com/account/affiliates
Tag us on social media when you share your affiliate link using: @ICE3X
Like the iCE3X Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ICE3X

Example of a post:
Trade cryptocurrency in #SouthAfrica with me on @ICE3X exchange here https://ice3x.com?ref=14335229 Cryptocurrency: #ADA #BTC #BCH #ETH #LTC #DASH #ZEC  #DOGE #XMR
If you use the above example, please also remember to change the affiliate link, to your link on the exchange which you can also find here https://ice3x.com/account/affiliates. Learn more about the affiliate program and the commission structure on the exchange here: https://ice3x.co.za/affiliate/
Congratulations to the Winners of the January 2018 Competition:
Our lucky 1st prize winner for the January 2018 giveaway is Neil Jeffrey Love. You can also see the list of TFDP winners below:

Rules for the Crypto Wallet GIVEAWAY

You can enter our Crypto Wallet GIVEAWAY as many times as you like. In fact, you should set a daily reminder 
Please share your affiliate link as a status update/comment. Furthermore, you have to tag us (@ICE3X) for your entry to be considered for the Ledger Giveaway February 2019.

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$6,000 Was the Beginning, Where Will the Road of Crypto in 2019 Lead to and What Can the Market Environment Bring?

$6,000 Was the Beginning, Where Will the Road of Crypto in 2019 Lead to and What Can the Market Environment Bring?

The post $6,000 Was the Beginning, Where Will the Road of Crypto in 2019 Lead to and What Can the Market Environment Bring? appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Bitcoin’s valuation being $6,000 was an important level to many people in the crypto space. Miners, ICOs and crypto hedge funds alike all relied on the price to stabilize at that level. When that resistance level broke, many things changed for the market environment.
What happened at $6,000?
Bitcoin (BTC) traded sideways at around $6,000 for a very long time. This was mainly due to the fact that so many different people and organizations relied on the price to stay at that level in order to stay in good profit. As a result, the general consensus of the market environment when the price fell pretty much became “Well I guess it’s time to leave, guess I’ll get out as fast as possible!”
At the end of the day, if you need to call it quits, you really have no say. Just sell. If you have bills due and you’re in debt, sell your trading assets and pay your bills. Imagine how this would feel as a company that needed to ‘call it quits’.
A fund usually comes with a 12 month holding period. As a result, any crypto hedge funds that started between October 2017 and February 2017 are pretty much in the dirt now. Many of these funds were holding Bitcoin and high supply cap altcoins, as well as ICO. Remember, at the time, ICOs were what everyone was promoting.
Since then, a lot of those ICOs have produced no gains, and some haven’t even released their coins yet.
The Opportunists Are Going Extinct
With the sentiment of panic and depression consuming the market environment, imagine a fund that was forced to liquidate $50 Million in Bitcoin.
Oh and don’t forget the ICOs that will need to liquidate their Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) in order to fund the development of their project or face collapse.
Oh and also the large mining pools all over the world (Mainly Europe and the USA) that are beginning to mine at a loss.
For short term players, this is a nuclear bomb, and everyone witnessed it go off. Any opportunists that joined the crypto space for profit alone. The biggest losers are the ones that joined with borrowed money. All of these people have been metaphorically flushed out by the current market environment.
The sad part about this, however, is the number of long term investors and traders alike that bet big, overextending themselves and putting their necks on the line. Many of these players would have been amazing additions to the crypto space, but as stated above; when you need to call it quits, you have no say, get out.
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely thinking of becoming a long term trader (otherwise you’d have called it quits also). If you’re planning on making a long term investment, you have to think about the future. In this market environment, I feel as though there are 2 separate main groups of participants. These are Investors and traders (small time), and Large scale institutions and miners.
2 Differing Forces
I believe these two different groups while they are in some ways fighting for the same cause, they are completely different. They have different expectations, different experiences, and different pain thresholds. Currently, the emotional market cycle is somewhat out of sync between the two groups. Thus, many of the ‘weak hands’ in the crypto space have been shaken. I think most of them capitulated during the drop down to $6,000, and anyone remaining is most likely in the anger stage.
All of the larger fish (Mining Pools, ICOs, institutional investors etc) have been capitulating for the past month or so. Eventually, they too will fall into the anger stage. In the meantime, the small scale traders and investors will enter the depression stage.

Something that may be important to note is the fact that the majority of price movement is seen during the capitulation and anger stages of the market environment. None of this happens during the ‘depression stage’. After all, the depression stage is determined by the depression felt by those who have already lost, not those that are currently losing.
As a result, this gives power to anyone that had the wherewithal to act proactively instead of re-actively, and to anyone with the emotional fortitude to act in confidence while the majority of the market is emotionally distraught.
The Current Market Environment
There are 2 different states of the market. For the Bulls:

The weekly Relative Strength Index (RSI) is currently at the exact same level it has previously been on during late 2014 at the end of the Bear market.
The price bounced off of the moving average of 200.
Both the RSI and Stochastic on the monthly chart are at the same level as they were previously during the bottom of the last bear market environment.
Currently, everyone is crying for a $1000 Bitcoin. However, these cries have been getting increasingly quieter over the last few weeks.
Total retrace = 83%. This is very similar to 2014, where to total retrace was 85%.

For the bears:

This bear market is very different from the previous ones. As a result, it will most likely last a lot longer, and be a lot more brutal.
Think of the entire history of Bitcoin as one huge bull market, rather than two bull markets and 2 bear markets.
This factor alone is what justifies the case for a larger retrace, as well as a more prolonged retrace as the bottom was not at ~$1,000 but actually at $0.

What Are You Going To Do in 2019?
If 2018 taught you anything, it’s that it’s crucial to only risk the money you’re willing to use. From there, only invest your money in a way that still has you feeling comfortable. There is a level of stress and mental strain that comes with investing money outside of your comfort zone. This often ends badly.
Personally, I believe that Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency, in general, are long term assets. I believe in the future of bitcoin. If you’ve been following cryptocurrency for more than just the price, we have all seen this before. Though, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the cycle is inevitable and will repeat. For all anyone knows, Bitcoin could hit 0 this time.
Regardless, I see Bitcoin hitting $3,000 or even $1,600 as clear long term buys, but that doesn’t mean Bitcoin can’t go to $0. All it means is it’s another risk/reward asset that I will be investing in.
At times like this when the market is hurting and everyone is in disarray, that’s when I invest. Big difference to trading. I buy cheap and only begin trading when the market environment becomes inflated and volatile.
A trading mistake I made last year was to mismatch my investing principles. For some wild reason, I decided to create a ‘core portfolio’ made up of altcoins. This would’ve been a fine decision had I not made it after my initial investments.
These initial early purchases were investments, great investments in fact. My following round of ‘investments’ were in fact speculations. This secondary collection of altcoins was the main reason for many of the losses I faced during 2018, despite cutting the losses somewhat early compared to where the market is now. If you buy an asset at $5 then ‘invest’ at $50 you’re speculating. Simple.
Going Forwards
Right now, there are two competing risks;

The further risk of a loss
The risk of missing out on a great opportunity

In order to develop your own personal plan, you will need to balance these two competing risks. This personal plan will be something you feel comfortable with and are able to stick to. Many traders have their own, finding yours is key.

#BTCUSDThere is no bottom until Bitcoin finds real life adoption with real use cases, the hype with cheap rallies is over, 2018 was Bitcoin’s winter and 2019 could be a nuclear disaster for all cryptos, no doubt.Watching the level $3000#cryptocurrencies $BTC pic.twitter.com/YH3Me4Z0NN
— Roberts-Algos (@roberts_algo) January 30, 2019

The Trade
Load up between where we are now, and $3,000 but still use a stop loss. This stop loss would need to be larger than you would usually make it, and use a wider stop. If you’re only setting low buys and the prices fall all the way down, congratulations you got a tight stop. However, you risk BTC not hitting your low buys. Thus, a total account risk larger than 2% would be a great implementation for this method otherwise you risk missing out. Usually, this leads to FOMO and causes people to buy in at bitcoin while the price is high. Bad idea.
One of the main issues with this method is that you’ll still need to decide upon your re-entry strategy. This can be extremely difficult. On the way up to 20k, Bitcoin spent a lot of time between $2k – $3k meaning BTC potentially has multiple support zones. In that light, yes, technically you could wait until bitcoin goes below $2k.
But if it doesn’t go down that far, what do you do? The current market environment is grey, and its hard to tell where exactly we could go from here. For all we know, this could be a period used to rope traders into losing more than 10% of their portfolio.
A High Reward Investment
This option involves thinking on a long term basis. You will determine this plan based on your confidence in Bitcoin while the price is between $2k and $3k. This option often involves committing to re-invest if you’re wrong. When buying all the way from here all the way to $2,900 then scaling that into 1x leveraged positions, you are ensuring that you will receive good profit if your trade was correct. The tradeoff, however, is that you could see large losses if your trade was incorrect.
In essence, this method means that in time, it will be possible for; Liquidation to occur, causing you to lose everything. Or you’ll need to add additional fiat currency if Bitcoin the liquidation price (of around $1,600).
Depending on the size of your position, this could be a large investment. Spend the time to think before you invest.
“Does buying back every Bitcoin lost at $1,600 with cash sound like a good investment to you?”
While we can’t answer that question for you, I know many of you have bought Bitcoin at that price before. Would you do it again? For someone holding 10 BTC, that would be equal to a $16,000 investment so long as liquidation is hit in order to re-buy any losses.
A Low Risk, Low Reward Investment
This time, load up between now and $3,00 without a stop loss. Instead, commit to re-adding your position with fiat currency for a long term or even permanent investment if the price ever goes between $1,000 – $2,000. While you won’t have the same reward, you will recover many of your losses as the price goes back up instead of making any extra profits.
In addition to this, you don’t have near enough risk as you would with the second option. That risk could be devastating in the event your liquidation price is reached.
The Bears
Bears will be attempting to short the $4.2k resistance, adding to it if $3k crumbles with whichever targets you aim to purchase your long-term bitcoin investment assets. Depending on your own personal trading method, this could be 2.3k, 2k, 1.6k or 1.1k.
Conclusion
I’d advise all readers to take this post as a warning to stop everything they’re doing and spend some time thinking. The market environment is harsh right now. The will power in the community is low and people are losing hope. I wrote this post in hopes that you’ll maybe stop and recognize this.
Chances are, you’re probably feeling the anger and depression a lot of the crypto space is currently feeling.
Bottoming is a process, not a launchpad.
Anyone playing this game without a plan during this period loses. Regardless. There’s no need to perpetuate the feeling that “this is the bottom” every time the price drops. Instead, devise a trading plan for the next 3 months. One unswayed by the direction in which the market moves.
What’s your plan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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What Can We Expect from Fintech in South Africa This Year?

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The financial technology (Fintech) industry has been booming in South Africa and many breakthroughs and developments have surfaced. Thus, I’ve put together this blog post summarising a few things you should look forward to in the near future. How does the future of crypto assets in SA look?
Digital Banking Institutions
With the introduction of BankZero, TymeBank, and Discovery Bank, there is no doubt the financial industry will be shaken up, giving customers better choice options. In addition to this, any incumbent banks will be forced to respond by refining their user experiences as well as their customer value propositions.
In light of this, we could expect to see newcomers to the crypto space from other industries. For example, recently, mobile network operators have been reviewing payment-oriented mobile money products. Other non-bank players such as retailers and insurers will also advance into the banking space as a result.
Crypto Assets in South Africa
Due to cryptocurrency’s unrelenting rise in price in 2017 which was quickly followed by a collapse in price; lots of attention has come to the crypto space. Despite some industry speculators calling this the ‘death of cryptocurrency’ I beg to differ. While it’s true the price crash was huge, cryptocurrency’s market cap is still floating around $150 billion. While in terms of a general global asset class this is relatively small, it’s definitely not insignificant.
Whether people like it or not, cryptocurrency is here to stay. It’s unclear when or if cryptocurrencies will rocket in value again, but investing in cryptocurrency is a long term investment. Anyone looking at the valuation of crypto assets on a short term basis isn’t looking at the full picture.
One of the most reputable venture capitalists, Tim Draper, still remains bullish for crypto regardless of the market environment and he plans to keep it that way for a long time. Maybe smart money is still investing in the crypto asset class despite its current volatility.
While this crypto price collapse may have come with an abundance of drawbacks, there was at least 1 positive outcome. The death of ICOs. In just the first half of 2018, ICOs managed to raise almost $10 billion. The bad thing about this is in a study by ICO advisory firm Statis Group; it was found that more than 80% of these ICOs were in fact scams, losing investors significant amounts of money. ICOs are much less attractive to the general public now that crypto prices are low.
Nowadays, to invest in the crypto asset class without losing money you’ll need to do extensive research. Many people who lost money last year through a fraudulent ICO will tell you the same.
What’s Next?
I believe there will be a huge reduction in the number of pyramid schemes and investment scams over time. Many people have started being far more vigilant after falling victim to ICO scams.

Have you submitted your comment yet? Remember: you have until 15 February to comment on SARB's #crypto regulatory recommendations: https://t.co/BJiC9oUbPh
— SA Crypto (@SACrypto_) January 28, 2019

At the end of the day, cryptocurrency is already a highly volatile asset class that people deem risky and highly speculative. Though, this doesn’t mean you’re going to lose no matter what. It means that the cryptocurrency industry isn’t one you can just stumble onto and make money. You need to stay for a while, do some research, then make a play when the time is right.
Don’t invest in anything unless you understand the technology and the goals behind the project and can explain it to a 5 year old. Even then, don’t over invest, anything can happen. Expecially as cryptocurrency’s regulatory status is uncertain in manny parts of the world. If you do make the decision to invest in some crypto assets, then be sure to use a trusted cryptocurrency exchange such as iCE3X.
Will you be investing in any crypto assets this year? If so, which cryptocurrency has peaked your interest? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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The Reality of Crypto Mining in 2019!

The post The Reality of Crypto Mining in 2019! appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Many cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin) have an automatic, decentralized mechanism that generates crypto tokens out of thin air. This is crypto mining. These tokens act as rewards to miners for mining blocks of transactions and adding them to the blockchain. Inevitably, this resulted in mining becoming a booming business venture. All it takes to start is a few high-speed computers/ASIC miners, and access to electricity. With that, anyone anywhere in the world is able to essentially print money.
Standard Competitive Mining
During the first few years of Cryptocurrency’s existence, mining was a godsend for any small time entrepreneurs. However, competition increased, and the mining business changes. Miners began purchasing insanely powerful computers all while upscaling their mining operation in order to stay in profit. At the time, risks seemed low. The original Bitcoin core software would account for any drops in Bitcoins valuation making it easier to mine. This ensures that there will always be enough miners to process all Bitcoin transactions; even if the number of remaining miners on the network drops.

A simple guide to #Bitcoin mining #Crypto pic.twitter.com/b6DFX2JXXg
— Altsignals (@Altsignals_io) January 21, 2019

However, once the Bitcoin price crash came, everything changed. The ability for miners to generate crypto and stay in profit was severely limited. It became apparent that there were a couple problems with the Bitcoin network. For example, people began noticing inefficiencies in bitcoin’s PoW algorithm. As well as this, the market pressure on Bitcoin transaction fees increased. These fees were to partially compensate miners for their work. This led to a bottleneck for people trying to mine profitably. Nowadays, legal crypto mining at the current market rates is becoming increasingly more feasible if you’re paying for electricity. For example, even in countries like Iceland with incredibly low electricity rates and the right temperatures for data centres filled with hot computer systems, turning a profit isn’t easy.
So what other options are there?
Crypto Mining With Subsidized Electricity
In Washington State, USA, hydroelectric power generates far more electricity than the state is able to consume. Because of this, the crypto mining industry is booming there.
The region’s five huge hydroelectric dams, all owned by public utility districts, generate nearly six times as much power as the region’s residents and businesses can use. Most of the surplus is exported at high prices, to markets like Seattle or Los Angeles. This allows the utilities to sell power locally at well below its cost of production. – Politico journalist Paul Roberts
However, by 2015, the Bitcoin mining craze in Washington began to wear off. Roberts adds:
Margins grew so thin—and, in fact, occasionally went negative—that miners had to spend their coins as soon as they mined them to pay their power bills
In Iran, very interesting cases pop up. For example, Mohsen Rajabi, Iranian blockchain expert states:
I recently set up a rig for a middle-aged customer who was not tech-savvy at all and had simply heard of mining and its potential profits. He wanted to start with ten devices installed at his factory because it can legally use extremely cheap industrial electricity.
Stealing Electricity
Obviously, cutting the cost of electricity out of the picture completely is a great way to improve your mining profits. While it’s not always possible, and often highly illegal, electricity costs play a large role in cryptocurrency mining. In Bitcoins early years, college students were known to plug their mining rigs into dorm room sockets in an attempt to steal free electricity from their fraternity friends. Nowadays, stealing electricity for crypto mining is big business. So much so in fact, many people have gone to jail for it.
An example of this is Xu Xinghua, a man from China.
A Shanxi Datong [China] man named Xu Xinghua stole power from the poles near the West Second Plant of the Kouquan Railway, which was borrowed from November to December 2017, The coin ‘mining machine’ and three electric fans were operated for 24 hours. Xu Xinghua mined a total of 3.2 bitcoins, earning 120,000 yuan [$17,700], and the electricity generated by the stolen electricity was 104,000 [$15,340] yuan
Xu Xinghua was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for committing theft. He also got a fine of 100,000 yuan [$14,750]
In addition to this, he also had to reimburse the electric company for the power he stole, as well as turn in all of his mining equipment. While this story does sound rather crazy, it’s one of many.  This is a common occurrence, and thousands of instances of this are out there, unreported.
Gone With the Wind
Another popular method of stealing electricity (Even if it was potentially unintentional); Set up your own mining operation, take the profits, then claim bankruptcy and go out of business. While this may not exactly be popular, it is the story of one of the Washington State mining companies, GigaWatt.
U.S.-based bitcoin mining firm Giga Watt has declared bankruptcy with millions still owed to creditors. Creditors include the utilities provider in its Douglas County [Washington] base, having a claim of over $310,000, and electricity provider Neppel Electric, which is owed almost half a million dollars.
While these fiascos are always usually bad news, there is a silver lining; there’s a possibility that all of the utilities that fell victim to this could potentially get some money back. GigaWatt raised over $22 Million during its ICO period, and there’s no way these scammers were able to either clean or spend all of their proceeds before bankruptcy shut them down.
Cryptojacking
Cryptojacking is the most popular cybercrime targeting enterprise since 2018, overtaking ransomware. The essence of ‘cryptojacking’ is to get mining software on to the target victim’s computer system in order to use their processing power and electricity to mine crypto for the hacker. All without the victim even knowing (unless he notices his computer running slower than usual whilst doing regular tasks).
Despite the volatility in the value of various cryptocurrencies, the trend of illicit cryptocurrency mining activity among cybercriminals shows no signs of abating,
One of the reasons cryptojacking is steadily getting worse is because the malware that executes these attacks is getting better. For example, Rocke.
Talos assesses with high confidence that Rocke will continue to leverage Git repositories to download and execute illicit mining onto victim machines,
If you didn’t know already, Git repositories are home to many of today’s software developers. It’s where they store and manage their source code for websites, apps and many more. As a result, attacking user’s computers through Github could patch the hacker through to a work computer on a lucky day. Be that as it may, Github isn’t the creators of Rocke’s only target.
It is interesting to note that they are expanding their toolset to include browser-based miners, difficult-to-detect trojans, and the Cobalt Strike malware [malware that leverages Cobalt Strike penetration testing software].
Evading Sanctions
An unspoken primary business model for crypto mining, evading sanctions is highly popular in developing countries around the world. To better understand this model, let’s look at the case of 2 Iranian Bitcoin miners.
At the time we bought the mining device, the rate of the US dollar in Iran was still quite high, so we figured we would make about $90 to $100 a month. The cost of electricity is relatively low in Iran, so the math seemed viable. – Ali Hosseini
Hosseini’s cousin, Pedram Ghasemi also gave some input:
Foreign exchange rates and Bitcoin prices have fallen and our profits have been cut, but we’re not seeing losses yet. According to my calculations, the US dollar must drop below 110,000 Rials [about $2.60] and Bitcoin must be down to $2,000 for us to really lose.
But I couldn’t mention Iran without bringing North Korea into the conversation. Former top National Security Agency (NSA) official, current Director of Strategic Threat Development at Recorded Future, Priscilla Moriuchi, estimates that North Korea potentially earned around $200 million in 2017 by mining cryptocurrencies. Now, you’re probably thinking; “How could North Korea turn all of that crypto into fiat currency?”.
North Korea has such extensive criminal networks. They have been well-established for decades to facilitate illegal activities. If Pyongyang were able to cash out into physical currency, it would be relatively easy for them to move that currency back into North Korea and to buy things with the physical currency. I would bet that these coins are being turned into something — currency or physical goods — that are supporting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program. – Priscilla Moriuchi
Mining at a Loss
Many miners are mining at a loss just to build up their crypto portfolio, going contrary to common sense. While this is the furthest thing from a rational business model at face value, many miners that support their favourite cryptocurrency just want to help verify transactions on the network. Regardless, cryptocurrency is essential for dark web operations. Many organized crime syndicates depend on cryptocurrency as their means of exchange for contraband.
In the event that cryptocurrencies shed enough value that no one will be able to mine at a profit, there’s a possibility that crime syndicates will take over with mining operations. They will always need cryptocurrency, and mining is the best way to get brand new coins with no prior transaction history.
Conclusion
At this point, it’s very hard to turn a profit with crypto mining unless you’re either in a developing country, or you’re not paying for electricity and got a great deal on your mining hardware. While crypto mining may not be as lucrative as it once was, trading is always a great option. With the volatility of cryptocurrencies on the market, day trading and arbitrage trading are completely viable if you want to make a profit.
Are you currently mining? If so, what cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below!
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Digital Cash to Replace Fiat? Here’s How

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While it’s true the cryptocurrency space has gone through drastic changes throughout its 10-year lifespan; the narratives that surround Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies along with their value proposition have been more or less steady. Over the years, the proponents of Bitcoin have fluctuated between the asset being a Medium of Exchange and a Store of Value. Both of these arguments have their pros and cons. As a result, a somewhat volatile dichotomy formed between researchers, analysts, commentators, and investors. Will digital cash replace fiat?
Bitcoin: Digital Gold
Dan Held, a former blockchain executive, and leading industry participant recently took to Twitter claiming that Satoshi Vision is a “silly endeavor”.

1/ Satoshi’s Vision™ is a silly endeavor, as it doesn’t matter what it was, we are where we are now. However, those pushing the “Bitcoin was first made for payments” narrative insist on cherry-picking sentences from the white paper and forum posts to champion their perspective.
— Dan Hedl (@danheld) January 14, 2019

Dan Held continues this rant for a while longer, making this a 47-part thread. Held, who goes by Hedl as a nod to HODL, one of crypto’s long-standing jokes. He says the MoE (Medium of Exchange) argument are mainly cherry-pickers. People who hand pick quotes from the BTC primer written by Satoshi as well as various nebulous form posts, all to tout a misdirected narrative.
Held simply claims that Bitcoin was purpose-built to be a Store of Value. Following his earnest start, the co-founder of the crypto asset manager interchange broke down what he believes to be Satoshi’s ‘intentions’.  He states the timing of Satoshi’s actions – launching Bitcoin during the 2008 financial crisis – was no coincidence. Held claims there is a line between the pertinent events in Bitcoin’s history and key happenings in the brief global financial collapse. The former Blockchain product manager even brought to life the birth date of Satoshi, April 1975. This is noteworthy as this is when the U.S. gave it’s citizens permission to own gold again.
A New Backbone for the Financial System
Bitcoin was made as an alternative to the banking system. This is most likely the reason for the iconic hidden message in the Bitcoin genesis block coinbase.  To support his own claims, he draws attention to the cardinal rules of the network: 21 Million BTC supply cap, block size caps and ten-minute blocks. Held claims that there’s a possibility of Satoshi altering these values in order to push the ‘Digital Cash’ narrative.
However, he didn’t. During Satoshi’s active years as a developer, he was mostly against increasing the block capacities, being adamant that the BTC issuance should remain as it is. To this, held says:
What he was trying to accomplish was clear; he wanted to build a new backbone for the financial system. Bitcoin isn’t merely digital cash, but an alternative to banks… People pushing the MoE narrative at this moment in time are counterproductive to adoption. By creating these expectations, which are unattainable at the moment, many people will get burned or disillusioned.
The idea that Bitcoin is better off as gold 2.0 rather than the future of money isn’t just Held’s sentiment. In fact, the Winklevoss Twins, co-founders of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange say Bitcoin does a better job at being gold than gold itself. Tyler (one of the twins) noted that while his industry develops, BTC will continue to take a chunk out of the market capitalization for gold. Until of course, the cryptocurrency overtakes its physical counterpart.
Digital Cash to Replace Fiat, But Not Now
Be that as it may, it’s still uncertain that Bitcoin (BTC) will ever become a viable option for digital cash. Arthur Hayes, Chief Exec. at BitMEX stated that with digital cash becoming more common, Bitcoin could make a huge move; with platforms such as WeChat Pay and more quickly surmounting traditional fiat currency. Hayes claims that payment ecosystems (such as WeChat Pay) are highly centralized. Because of this, Bitcoin has the potential to establish itself as a private alternative. Plus, with the Lightning Network scaling for mainstream use, it’s only a matter of time before it reaches bonafide mainstream adoption.

Now Since you know the worth of cryptocurrencies, get into iCE3X register page and create your cryptocurrency trading account!

Some people believe that once bitcoin reaches a level of ‘maturity’, the payment use case will be applicable. However, as it stands, the crypto market is simply too nascent and volatile for the Medium of Exchange narrative to get any support. Regardless, the cryptocurrency industry will continue to develop and mature at a rapid pace, despite the current bear market environment. What do you think of the current state of cryptocurrency? Do you think digital cash will take over fiat currency? If so, how long do you think it will take? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Game Of Bitcoins: To Invest or Not to Invest? | iCE3X

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Could making a Bitcoin investment be described as a game of “monetary musical chairs”? Many people believe so, and they have done for a very long time. After all, the 21 million supply cap of game technically means there are 21 million seats available. The standoff is between those that do and don’t buy BTC. This blog will describe how this game works, illustrating how game-theory makes the rational person choose Bitcoin every time.
Bitcoin: The Game
This game has only 21 million seats. All players are allowed to sit in as many chairs as their capital allows them to. As the supply cap of Bitcoin is permanent, any person that decides to buy Bitcoin without any intention of selling, they have permanently filled that seat. However, everything can be bought. Technically, we can only assume that everyone could be convinced to give up their seat, but only for the right price.
Currently, the number of open seats on the bitcoin network is reminiscent of the number of unmined Bitcoins (currently about 3.5 Million), and the number of Bitcoins on the market — which of course, varies based on the price. The higher Bitcoin’s valuation increases, the more willing people will be to offer their chair to the highest bidder.

Let's imagine that Jack is right for a moment. He is right by the way. Between now and "The Transformation", everyone on earth is in a game of musical chairs when it comes to fiat and Bitcoin. A tipping point will come where no one wants fiat any more and everyone wants Bitcoin. pic.twitter.com/5ZmKaDBaSo
— Beautyon (@Beautyon_) March 21, 2018

As time passes, the amount of seats left on the Bitcoin network has steadily decreased.

2011: June – November: 5 Months
2014: January – May: 5 Months
2018: January – Present: 12 Months
Bitcoin’s entire lifespan: 120 Months

Since Bitcoin first came into existence, there have only been 22 months out of 120 where Bitcoin went through a period of having more chairs available. Other than that, the number of available seats has either decreased or stayed the same.
Everyone is Playing the Game.
At the end of the day, your decision to not buy any bitcoin is just as important as deciding to buy bitcoin and secure yourself a seat. In other words; the 21 million supply cap ensures there is a supply limit to push up against in order for demand to increase. This will rattle demand for fiat countries and they will need to print more of their currency in order to keep it stable. Bitcoin has a regular issuance rate, as well as a finite supply. Because of this, increased demand could only cause prices to go up.
Because of this:

Purchasing bitcoin when there is less demand always makes sense (Increasing your bitcoin holdings while the price is low).
The act of not buying any bitcoin is a claim that you don’t believe there will be much demand for Bitcoin in the future. (Or you don’t care for investing or cryptocurrency etc)

The above 2 points are exactly why the term “no-coiner” exists. No-coiner is used to describe the people that have chosen to side with traditional finance, effectively defecting from Bitcoin’s incentive to secure a seat. Thus, if you understand what cryptocurrency is, choosing not to purchase any is believing that no one else will either. Maybe it’s because they don’t believe in the potential for the cryptocurrency, or maybe they don’t care. But choosing not to buy any Bitcoin is all part of the game. There is no option to be agnostic to its existence.
The Prisoner’s Dilemma
To cooperate, or to defect? Commonly used as a basic example in game theory; the Prisoners Dilemma illustrates why two completely rational people may not cooperate, even if it would work in their favour to do so. In this dilemma, two prisoners must make a choice. Will they either cooperate with their friend in hopes that their friend did the same for them? Or do they defect, and save themselves, leaving their friend to more time in prison. (Full story here)

If both A and B cooperate with traditional fiat currency: Bitcoin won’t get enough of a demand for the price to appreciate. As a result, we won’t see it become the world’s global reserve currency.
If both A and B defect: Bitcoin will see a significant increase in demand, seeing great appreciation in price. This would see it become the global reserve currency.
If A defects and B cooperates: Party A will be able to make a Bitcoin investment at a much cheaper price than party B as they were able to buy in sooner. As a result, party B is at risk of being forced to buy in late when many of the 21 million seats are no longer available

If the last point made you scratch you’re head, you’re probably thinking “Well technically, party B never has to buy BTC, so they don’t lose out as Bitcoin didn’t get a sufficient demand. Demand from only 1 / 2 players can’t be enough” Wrong.
The Global Market
This is why the global cryptocurrency market has so much power. This prisoners dilemma refers to the entire global population, thus, we have:
If 30 Million people all defect, while the remaining population all cooperate, then the first 30 Million will be able to purchase cheaper Bitcoin than the remainder of all people, as they got to purchase first
(Apparently, the Bitcoin network has seen 31 million unique addresses either send or receive bitcoin. An inaccurate stat, but something is better than nothing.)
While it’s true, 30 million is only a fraction of the total global population, is 1/2,500th of the world enough to bootstrap the Bitcoin network?
Consider this:

Some people are able to sit in multiple chairs: Hedge funds, investment firms, governments, central banks and any other entity that preserves capital are able to own far more than their share of Bitcoin (BTC). Everything about Bitcoin attracts tech-savvy developers with vast investment funds that understand the Monetary Musical Chair value proposition that illustrates Bitcoin. As a result, these people move quickly in an act to ensure they have a seat of their own.
Cryptocurrency is a global market: At this point, you can pretty much find exchanges in every single market. With over 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs all over the globe requiring nothing more than some cash for some Bitcoin, people have 4,000 opportunities to grab themselves a seat. iCE3X and other cryptocurrency exchanges alike give people the opportunity to secure themselves a seat from their computer at home, or from their mobile with our iCE3X Android app.
The entry requirement to secure a seat isn’t much: For an investment firm, $1,00,000 is pocket change. If someone were to make a bitcoin investment of $1,000,000, they’d secure themselves 286 seats.

The 3 Types of Bitcoin Investment
When looking at it from the same Prisoners dilemma standpoint, there are 3 types of people that invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies:
The Enthusiasts
The enthusiasts are all in. They believe whole-heartedly in decentralization, Peer-to-Peer exchange, and the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Many of these people bought bitcoin early on and have seen large gains, becoming it’s biggest supporters.
The People Influenced by FOMO
These people may understand the true value behind Bitcoin and why it’s so important, but many simply came around after the 2017 bubble and don’t want to be left out when it happens again. Regardless, more importantly, they have a somewhat fiduciary duty to their partners, clients or even themselves in order to ensure they have exposure to a new asset class. Technically, this group is any type of entity that is interested in the preservation of capital. Many of these people may only invest 0.5-4% of their trading portfolio to Bitcoin. It’s important to note that with big investors in the game, that percentage could represent millions of dollars.
NoCoiners
These people fit in the Party that cooperates in the prisoner’s dilemma.  They have either decided that all the news and innovations surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency weren’t enough to motivate them to make a bitcoin investment, or that the whole cryptocurrency world is off their radar and they’ve never heard of it. Either way, traditional finance is where they are most comfortable. These people will stick with stock markets, bond markets, cash savings, and real estate.

"It will be like playing musical chairs, when the first central bank, let's say Switzerland, longs Bitcoin, the music stops and every bank tries to grab one of the few million chairs, Don't be caught without Bitcoin when the music stops." Travis Kling
— Bill Burdin (@btcseminar) October 2, 2018

(Bonus) Forced Bitcoin Purchasers
This is the ‘make it or break it’ point for bitcoin. This is adoption. The people that fall into this category aren’t making a bitcoin investment. Instead, they’re using it in order to complete a specific task. Be that paying a friend, buying an item anonymously or even sending money to family overseas. This represents the utility value of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is highly versatile, so people are able to leverage its P2P transactional capabilities in order to get the same kinds of tasks done they would normally do with fiat currency. This is Bitcoins end-game.
With successful social scaling by forcing people to use Bitcoin, you implement the easiest method of completing someone’s value-transaction task. If we get to this stage, all those who chose to ‘cooperate’ with traditional finance will fall victim to their defecting friends. Eventually, they will become the last purchasers of Bitcoin, in a stage where Bitcoin is far less of an investment and closer to Digital Cash.
As a result, these folk are somewhat forced to join the last group of adopters as they need now bitcoin to pay for a service or product they require. If they were to have bought Bitcoin 10 years prior, they would have got it at a drastically reduced price.
Conclusion
All in all, you’re playing this game whether you like it or not. The decision to invest or not to invest is your play. Cryptocurrency stands to question the whole traditional finance system all while posing a better alternative to it. While there’s a lot of speculation going on right now, the best anyone can do to create a clear picture on whether or not to make a bitcoin investment is to do their homework. There is tons of information on blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and the effect it could have in the long term. Create your own opinion and make your play.
What will be your play? Will you be making a bitcoin investment? Or will you decide to cooperate with the traditional banking system? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Best Tips on How to Choose Secure Password!

Best Tips on How to Choose Secure Password!

The post Best Tips on How to Choose Secure Password! appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Keeping your account secure with a strong password is highly important, but many people don’t know how best to do it. As a result, we have put this guide together showing some of the best security practices that will help keep your iCE3X account safe. Plus, these tips don’t just apply to your iCE3X account, they apply to all of your online accounts. Thus, this guide will help you stay safer while browsing the web and creating any online accounts that require a password.
Choosing a Strong Password
Hackers have 2 default ways to get into your online account. They will either: attempt to guess your password (these are usually personal attacks), or they will ‘brute force’ attack your password (trying all password possibilities). This is why using a strong password will make it extremely difficult for someone to guess. If your password is configured correctly, you could even make it brute force proof, taking decades for it to be broken.
A strong password is long, complicated, and unpredictable.
There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to choosing a secure password for your online account. Some of these are:
DO

Use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols and upper case and lowercase characters.
Make sure you use a different password for each online account you create.
Use unpredictable passwords
Make your password longer than 12 characters
Change your password regularly
Look into using a password generator (some password manager apps/programs offer this feature)
Make sure the strength of your password is deemed GOOD by the website you’re using.

DON’T

Repeat 1 password for all your online accounts
Use predictable or common words for a password
Settle with the default password
Use a password with less than 12 characters
Keep your passwords for over a year
Enter your password in a public space
Share your password with anyone else
Use the same words twice within a password

What should a strong password look like?
Nowadays, ‘good passwords’ are hard for people to remember but easy for computers to crack. This is most likely why most people use the same password for all of their accounts. A simple yet innovative way to create a strong password is to follow this image:

This image demonstrates how easy it is to create a very strong password. After all this time, most of our passwords are simple 1-word strings of text and numbers. For a hacker using a brute force attack, cracking passwords like this is easy. This method of creating a strong password plays to the computer’s weakness, as well as any personal attacks. In the first tile, you can see a 1-word password, the most common type used today. The problem with this, however, is that it’s highly predictable.
Most people will capitalize the first letter of their passwords, they often swap out letters like the ‘o’ for the ‘0’ and other common substitutions, then end the password with a number and a symbol in any order. If you’re feeling nervous about your password choices, you should be. But it’s normal. Humans choose passwords that are easy to remember for convenience, then try to spruce it up with some numbers to make it ‘more secure’.
Man Vs. Machine
The problem with using passwords like in the first tile of the image is that it has around 28 bits of entropy. This means that a machine would take about 3 days to crack this password if it was doing 1000 guesses/second. This is an easy crack for a hacker using a brute force attack. However, once using four random words, you bring 44 bits of entropy to the table. For a computer to crack this at 1000 guesses/second it would take 550 years. While passwords like this can be somewhat hard to remember, you can combine this method with the passphrase method and you’re good to go.
Now, if you wanted to make it even more secure, you could add a few more things such as; A combination of both uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers and symbols. If you’ve ever used a password that was weak (something everyone has done), it was more likely for convenience rather than not wanting your account to be secure. It can be tricky to remember passwords after all. Luckily, there are several ways you can keep all of your passwords without needing to memorize them:

Write your passwords down (and make sure you keep them hidden, far away from your computer)
Use passphrases (instead of using words, use a long phrase as your password)
Use a password manager (program or app used to securely store all of your passwords)

Keep your passwords secure by using a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. Try to use phrases for your protected passwords. An example of a safe password is AdvancingT3chnologyAcros5Oklahoma! pic.twitter.com/JoC9AlDGxA
— OneNet (@OneNetOK) January 15, 2019

The Most Secure Password Option
Of all the three options for remembering your passwords, we believe a Password Manager is your best option. While writing down your passwords can be somewhat secure if you don’t leave them in an easily accessible location, but it’s still a risk. If someone were to break into your house and find all your passwords on a piece of paper next to your laptop, they would have hit the jackpot. In addition to this, when you’re out and about, you won’t be able to look at your passwords.
Passphrases are long, memorable phrases using dictionary words. However, it is much harder to guess than a short password. An example of this would be if your cat’s name is Sensi, a variation of this (Sensi123) is both weak and predictable. On the other hand, turning this into a passphrase (Sensi2c00l4sch0ol) is significantly more secure. The only downside is that passphrases are often harder to remember, but it’s well worth it.
Password managers are the best option of the three. They allow you to use complicated passwords without having to remember them. These managers are usually a program or a browser app that records and auto-fills all of your password information for you.
Some people worry about using a manager because the company might get hacked and lose all their passwords. This is a valid concern, but a password manager is still more secure than trying to remember all your individual passwords. They use strong encryption methods.
It is important to note that you need to keep your password manager account as secure as possible. Be sure to make that one the strongest password you can think of, and turn on two-factor authentication as well.
Protecting Your Passwords From Phishing
Phishing is the term for when online criminals attempt to get their hands on personal information. This usually consists of bank details and passwords. Most phishing attempts are seen on fake websites, direct messages, emails, and even social profiles. Most financial services and cryptocurrency exchanges find this to be a large problem as hackers phish for wallets. Regardless of if your passcode is secure or not, you’re still at risk of a phishing attack.
We have talked about how best to avoid a phishing attack previously, but here is a summary:
Always remember to:

Make sure the web address in your browser is correct. To be extra sure you’re not on a fake website, type the web URL (e.g. iCE3X.com) directly into your browser instead of searching for the name. Sometimes if you’re on a fake website the link will look similar (e.g. lCE3X.com) so you should stay vigilant.
NEVER send your password to anyone at any time. Be that by email, an instant message, text or over the phone. Most companies you have an account with would never ask for your password. Instead, they would tell you to reset it by sending a reset link to your email.
If you’re not sure about an email you’ve received, don’t click any links on it. Some of these links can link you to malware, fake sites, and many more possibilities. It’s best to stay away from these emails. Type these links directly into your browser instead, or if you’re tech-savvy, use a virtual machine.
If you think you’re on a fake log-in screen, enter an incorrect password. If it logs you in, you were on a fake site.

2-Factor Authentication
2 Factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to the login process. After you enter your username and password, before you can log in fully, you must complete 2-factor authentication. This will usually require you entering a passkey sent to you via SMS or an app like Google Authenticator.
Turning on two-factor authentication (2FA) is crucial when it comes to securing your accounts.
While it’s true that 2FA makes the log in process more time consuming, it’s essential for securing any of your important accounts. If you use email, online banking or even your iCE3X account, enabling 2FA is important. If someone gets access to your computer from a remote location, they probably won’t have access to your phone. With 2FA enabled, getting hacked is like getting a text to change your passwords.
Do you have 2FA enabled? And how secure have your passwords been? Let us know in the comments below!
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Cryptopia hit by $2.4 million iCEberg. Is the ship sinking?

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Authorities have been working hard at investigating this week’s hack. Cryptopia, a cryptocurrency exchange in New Zealand were struck by an attack costing them around R33 Million. Despite the exchange cooperating with the authorities, all possibilities including Cryptopia’s role in this situation are under consideration.
The Police are Hot on the Trail
On January 16th, an official release was made confirming that there are ongoing investigations at Cryptopia’s main office in Christchurch. The authorities have acknowledged the company’s full cooperation in the situation. For now, this has laid to rest any rumours of an internal hack or the apparent “exit scam”.
New Zealand deployed a working group in order to investigate Cryptopia’s exchange offices. Some of the members of this team include members from the Canterbury CIB, and New Zealand’s cybercrime task force the High Tech Crime Unit.
Cryptopia was a somewhat small-scale cryptocurrency exchange. They were dealing with around $2 Million in daily transactional volume prior to this attack. Since this incident, it is said that Cryptopia lost between $2.5 – $3.5 Million worth of Ethereum (ETH) and Centrality (CENNZ) tokens.

New Zealand Crypto Exchange @Cryptopia_NZ has been hacked. We came to this conclusion after observing an ETH transaction (https://t.co/NqBirTc0jS), of 19,390 ETH being moved out of Cryptopia’s tagged wallet to an unknown address.Hacken and @CER_Hacken are looking into this case. https://t.co/KGf7g4egrM
— Hacken (@Hacken_io) January 15, 2019

At the time of writing, a finite amount of information has been released regarding the measures used in order to trace the hacker. Police mention that their inquiry is still in its early stages. There is still a focus on investigating Cryptopia’s digital and physical security mechanisms.
The Hunt is On
In addition, authorities have noted that “online speculation” in cryptocurrency is a result of the attack. Presumably, this statement refers to community outrage about the poor security practices implemented by Cryptopia. On a side note, despite the exchange fully cooperating with the authorities, the police have not ruled out the possibility of an inside job. As a result, they are keeping an “open mind” during this investigation.
The press release states:
A priority for police is to identify and, if possible, recover missing funds for Cryptopia customers; however there are likely to be many challenges to achieving this.
Conclusion about Cryptopia
In conclusion to this brief update, the authorities debunked all claims stating the police “stormed Cryptopia’s offices”. Following this, they ask anyone with information on this event to contact crypto@police.gvt.nz.
It seems as though Cryptopia, a little-known cryptocurrency exchange now holds the distinction of the first hacked crypto exchange in 2019. Hackers are constantly trying to get their hands on ‘free’ cryptocurrency.
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Project Khokha a Success: Is SA Ready for a Crypto-Style Payment System?

Project Khokha a Success: Is SA Ready for a Crypto-Style Payment System?

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Project Khokha was a large test by the South African Reserve Bank for distributed ledger technology, involving 7 banks. In light of this, SARB states the results were good, and Project Khokha was a great success. But is it time for banking institutions to use blockchain technology?
A Great Result
In June, the South African Reserve Bank stated that for an extensive test of distributed ledger technology, Project Khokha was a great success. However, they do not believe it’s time to migrate interbank transactions onto blockchain technology as of yet.
There are a number of considerations that require further exploration before determining whether DLT systems are suitable for use in wholesale interbank settlements…This is only the starting point
SARB
This test included seven banks: Absa, Standard Bank, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FirstRand, Investec and Nedbank. All 7 banks used Quorum, an “enterprise-oriented” version of the Ethereum blockchain.

Project Khokha: A Proof of Concept
The South African Reserve Bank deems the project “a proof of concept, designed to stimulate a ‘Real-World’ trial of distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based wholesale payment system”
All 7 banks built their own nodes used to operate on the network. To do this, they used a mix of both cloud-based virtual machines as well as physical ones.
The results show that the typical daily volume of the South African payments system could be processed in less than two hours with full confidentiality of transactions and settlement finality
Claim SARB in their report.
Transactions were processed within two seconds, across a network of geographically distributed nodes, with distributed consensus providing the requisite resilience. The SARB was able to view the detail of all the transactions to allow for regulatory oversight.
All things considered, things are looking good for cryptocurrency in Africa. While these periods of regulation can come with a level of uncertainty, it’s far better than an outright ban on cryptocurrency. What do you think of these new regulations? Let us know in the comments below!
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