Bitcoin – Yes or No? Should You Invest in Bitcoin?

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Wondering if you should invest in Bitcoin? If you've been around any kid of financial news lately, you've no doubt heard about the meteoric rise in the world's most well-known cryptocurrency.

And if you're like a lot of people right about now, you're probably wondering, "Bitcoin – yes or no?"

Should you invest? Is it a good option? And what the heck is Bitcoin anyway?

Well here's a few things you should know about Bitcoin before you invest. Also note that this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as any kind of financial advice.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is known as a cryptocurrency or a digital currency. It's basically online money. Like any currency you can exchange it for other currencies (like say, buy bitcoins with US dollars or vice versa) and it fluctuates in relation to other currencies as well.

Unlike other treaties however it is decentralized, meaning there is not any one central bank, country or government in charge of it. And that means it's not as susceptible to government or central bank mismanagement.

Pros of Bitcoin

# 1 Easy To Send Money

Because it's decentralized, this also means that you can send a friend Bitcoin (money) on the other side of the world in seconds without having to go through a bank intermediary (and pay the banking fees).

This fact alone makes Bitcoin very popular. Instead of waiting for a wire transfer which can take days, you can send your payment in seconds or minutes.

# 2 Limited Supply

There are only 21 million Bitcoins that will ever be mined. This limits the amount of Bitcoin that can ever be produced. This is like saying a government can not print money because there is a limited supply of bills – and they will not print anymore.

When there is a set supply your purchasing power is preserved and the currency is immune to runaway inflation.

This limited supply has also helped to contribute to the rise in the price of Bitcoin. People do not want a currency that can be printed – or inflated – into infinity at the whim of a greedy government.

# 3 Private

Most people think that Bitcoin is completely anonymous. But actually it's not anonymous – it's more private. All Bitcoin transactions ever made can be seen on the Blockchain – the public Bitcoin ledger.

But your name and identifying details behind the transaction are not seen. Each transaction is linked to an address – a string of text and characters. So while people might see your address – there is no way to link that address to you.

A lot of people who do not like their banks spying on them (or telling them how much of their own money that they can or can not move), really like this privacy feature.

# 4 Cheaper to Transact

Many businesses have to take Visa or MasterCard these days to stay competitive. However these cards take some rather substantial fees out of each sales transaction.

But a merchant who accepts Bitcoin does not pay these hefty fees – so it puts more money in their pockets.

So those are some of the main pros of Bitcoins. What about the cons?

Cons of Bitcoin

# 1 Risky – Price Fluctuations

Bitcoin is famous for rising slowly over months – and then falling 20 – 50% over a couple of days.

Because it's being traded 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the price is always fluctuating. And all it takes it some bad news – like the news of the Mt Gox hack a few years ago – to send the price tumbling down.

So basically it's not stable – and there are a lot of unknowns out there that can affect the price. The rule here is this: do not put any money into Bitcoin that you can not afford to lose.

# 2 Slowing Transaction Sycles

Bitcoin is starting to run into problems with slower transaction speeds and higher transaction fees. Other cryptocurrencies have come along that are faster and cheaper.

The Bitcoin miners are working on the problem. However until these issues are resolved, you can expect the price to be extremely volatile.

# 3 Bitcoin Transactions Not Reversible

Unlike a credit card charge, Bitcoin transactions are not reversible. So if you send Bitcoin to the wrong address – you can not get it back.

Also, there are a lot of tales from people who have lost their Bitcoin wallet address (through hacking, phones being stolen, virus-infected computers, etc.) and they've completely lost their coins. There's no way to get them back.

For this reason, you really need to know what you're doing and take the time to research how to buy and store your coins properly if you want to invest in Bitcoins – or any other cryptocurrency.

So those are some of the things to consider before investing in Bitcoin. Basically while Bitcoin has a lot of great things going for it – and while it has the potential to change financial transactions as we know it – there is still a lot of risk. There are a lot of unknowns out there still.

If you do decide to buy, take your time and research your options. Do not buy from just any seller. Some of them are trustworthy and run a great business. But there are others that will overcharge you and may not even deliver your coins.

Be safe and do your research first. Find a trusted seller with a stellar reputation – there are quite a few of them out there. And remember the golden rule here – never invest more than you can afford to lose.

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Source by Eric Summers

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction

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Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies provides a comprehensive introduction to the revolutionary yet often misunderstood new technologies of digital currency. Whether you are a student, software developer, tech entrepreneur, or researcher in computer science, this authoritative and self-contained book tells you everything you need to know about the new global money for the Internet age.

How do Bitcoin and its block chain actually work? How secure are your bitcoins? How anonymous are their users? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? These are some of the many questions this book answers. It begins by tracing the history and development of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and then gives the conceptual and practical foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network as well as to integrate ideas from Bitcoin into your own projects. Topics include decentralization, mining, the politics of Bitcoin, altcoins and the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the future of Bitcoin, and more.

  • An essential introduction to the new technologies of digital currency
  • Covers the history and mechanics of Bitcoin and the block chain, security, decentralization, anonymity, politics and regulation, altcoins, and much more
  • Features an accompanying website that includes instructional videos for each chapter, homework problems, programming assignments, and lecture slides
  • Also suitable for use with the authors‘ Coursera online course
  • Electronic solutions manual (available only to professors)

Princeton Univ Pr



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What Is Bitcoin and Is It a Good Investment?

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Bitcoin (BTC) is a new kind of digital currency-with cryptographic keys-that is decentralized to a network of computers used by users and miners around the world and is not controlled by a single organization or government. It is the first digital cryptocurrency that has gained the public’s attention and is accepted by a growing number of merchants. Like other currencies, users can use the digital currency to buy goods and services online as well as in some physical stores that accept it as a form of payment. Currency traders can also trade Bitcoins in Bitcoin exchanges.

There are several major differences between Bitcoin and traditional currencies (e.g. U.S. dollar):

  1. Bitcoin does not have a centralized authority or clearing house (e.g. government, central bank, MasterCard or Visa network). The peer-to-peer payment network is managed by users and miners around the world. The currency is anonymously transferred directly between users through the internet without going through a clearing house. This means that transaction fees are much lower.
  2. Bitcoin is created through a process called „Bitcoin mining“. Miners around the world use mining software and computers to solve complex bitcoin algorithms and to approve Bitcoin transactions. They are awarded with transaction fees and new Bitcoins generated from solving Bitcoin algorithms.
  3. There is a limited amount of Bitcoins in circulation. According to Blockchain, there were about 12.1 million in circulation as of Dec. 20, 2013. The difficulty to mine Bitcoins (solve algorithms) becomes harder as more Bitcoins are generated, and the maximum amount in circulation is capped at 21 million. The limit will not be reached until approximately the year 2140. This makes Bitcoins more valuable as more people use them.
  4. A public ledger called ‚Blockchain‘ records all Bitcoin transactions and shows each Bitcoin owner’s respective holdings. Anyone can access the public ledger to verify transactions. This makes the digital currency more transparent and predictable. More importantly, the transparency prevents fraud and double spending of the same Bitcoins.
  5. The digital currency can be acquired through Bitcoin mining or Bitcoin exchanges.
  6. The digital currency is accepted by a limited number of merchants on the web and in some brick-and-mortar retailers.
  7. Bitcoin wallets (similar to PayPal accounts) are used for storing Bitcoins, private keys and public addresses as well as for anonymously transferring Bitcoins between users.
  8. Bitcoins are not insured and are not protected by government agencies. Hence, they cannot be recovered if the secret keys are stolen by a hacker or lost to a failed hard drive, or due to the closure of a Bitcoin exchange. If the secret keys are lost, the associated Bitcoins cannot be recovered and would be out of circulation. Visit this link for an FAQ on Bitcoins.

I believe that Bitcoin will gain more acceptance from the public because users can remain anonymous while buying goods and services online, transactions fees are much lower than credit card payment networks; the public ledger is accessible by anyone, which can be used to prevent fraud; the currency supply is capped at 21 million, and the payment network is operated by users and miners instead of a central authority.

However, I do not think that it is a great investment vehicle because it is extremely volatile and is not very stable. For example, the bitcoin price grew from around $14 to a peak of $1,200 USD this year before dropping to $632 per BTC at the time of writing.

Bitcoin surged this year because investors speculated that the currency would gain wider acceptance and that it would increase in price. The currency plunged 50% in December because BTC China (China’s largest Bitcoin operator) announced that it could no longer accept new deposits due to government regulations. And according to Bloomberg, the Chinese central bank barred financial institutions and payment companies from handling bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin will likely gain more public acceptance over time, but its price is extremely volatile and very sensitive to news-such as government regulations and restrictions-that could negatively impact the currency.

Therefore, I do not suggest investors to invest in Bitcoins unless they were purchased at a less than $10 USD per BTC because this would allow for a much larger margin of safety.

Otherwise, I believe that it is much better to invest in stocks that have strong fundamentals, as well as great business prospects and management teams because the underlying companies have intrinsic values and are more predictable.

Disclosure: Victor Liang has has no positions in Bitcoins and has no plans to change his position in the next 72 hours.

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Source by Victor Liang

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers

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What is money, where does it come from, and who controls it?

In this accessible, brilliantly argued book, leading political economist Ann Pettifor explains in straightforward terms history’s most misunderstood invention: the money system. Pettifor argues that democracies can, and indeed must, reclaim control over money production and restrain the out-of-control finance sector so that it serves the interests of society, as well as the needs of the ecosystem.

The Production of Money examines and assesses popular alternative debates on, and innovations in, money, such as “green QE” and “helicopter money.” She sets out the possibility of linking the money in our pockets (or on our smartphones) to the improvements we want to see in the world around us.VERSO



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Weight Loss – Kick All Weight Loss Programs Out of the Window and Still Lose 25 Lbs in 2 Weeks Flat

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Okay, Get Ready To Lose Weight Now

The basics of shedding weight is best explained in three progressive steps as

  1. High Fat consumption + No fat burning = Weight gain
  2. Fat consumption + Fat burning = Weight Control
  3. Low Fat consumption + Fat burning = Weight loss

So, going by the apparent definition above, with a specific focus on the third one, you must have both the parameters going in your favor to be actually able to lose weight. It also candidly says why most other weight reduction quests fail.

Low Fat Consumption May Still Add To Your Woes On Two Occasions

You might be consuming low fat but still other high calorie foods, whose portions get eventually converted into fat, undesirably compensate for that forced deficiency. So you must watch out what you are eating. Secondly, the other point I want to clarify here itself is that there is no such magic diet that burns fat or calorie, they are just the marketing terms for the all too common low calorie, low fat foods we all know commonly.

The crux of the matter is, cutting down on your daily intake of fat must complement your overall efforts to lose weight. If you have achieved consistency with your fat and calorie consumption, this alone should get you going on your weight loss journey even before you begin exercising. You’ve got to thoughtfully undernourish yourself without actually depriving your brain of its energy quota. Hard to believe? I am sorry to take this example but I bet you haven’t seen those famine-affected kids on TVs.

Weight Loss Exercises Place Fat Burning On Overdrive

Yes, exercises speed up fat burning by manifolds. If your minds are tuned into believing that weight reducing exercises take hellish lots of time to work upon the fat tissues, my advice is to just ignore it. Remember, there are hard muscle tissues under every soft, fat muscle and exercising these hard tissues will have their ripple effect on soft fat tissues also. While you are at it, your fat stock gets consumed faster than you imagined it would.

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Source by Alevoor Rajagopal