Investing in 2020: what you need to know

2020 is here and for investors, knowing what to do is essential to keep the winning edge. Here are some pointers to a profitable future.

It is never too soon to jump into the investment market. While many people think you need lots of capital or a degree in economics to invest, that’s far from truth. What you do need is an understanding of the market. Knowledge beats everything, particularly when it comes to investing.

So let’s say you’re ready to take the step. You want to start doing more than just saving up some money here and there. There is every need to be able to take the right decisions and be set for the future. While 2020 is already here, the market is looking great – as long as you know what to invest in.

When investing in stocks…

Stay with the big tech

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s good to always mention it. While there’s a certain expectation that the market will enter a recession in the short-to-midterm, recessions won’t necessarily harm everyone. Historically speaking, in fact, it’s the riskier investments that turn out worse during recession.

So for 2020, your best bet will be to stay with big, established, tech companies. That means you should look at giants like Google, Amazon, Disney, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, and the like.

Even companies like Facebook could do well – they’re already established and stable and thus the risk is minimal with them even if a recession hit. Market dampeners will make stocks tumble no doubt, but it’s quite likely it will recover once the recession is over.

Locate penny stocks with potential

Now, if a recession doesn’t necessarily hit – which means there’s definitely room for growth in the market. A common investment pattern for newer, smaller investors is to look at penny stocks. These are stocks that are very cheap, usually under $1/each.

Now, penny stocks naturally won’t give you the investment returns that, say, having stake in Amazon will. But penny stocks require much less money to invest and they can surge quite quickly, at times doubling or tripling their value within months.

The plan here would be looking at a market you understand and then going for an emergent company within it. Who is innovating, and doing things that will sure become commonplace in the future? Those are your penny stock ideals.

Just as well, long-established companies that are underdogs but gearing up for major releases can be great investments. As an example, AMD’s stock quintupled its value between 2016 and 2017. A 400% ROI in a year is amazingly good, and many people obtained that (or even more – the stock sits at 1500% its 2016 value as of this writing) for a relatively low investment.

Go global and use online brokers

It used to be that investors were locked to only trading whatever stocks their regional markets had.

That’s not the case anymore.

While decades ago trading on foreign stocks meant lots of expensive, annoying long-distance phone calls, these days, there are online brokers, such as eToro, that can allow you to participate in foreign markets just as easily as you can in local ones.

As an investor, make use of it. Not all huge companies are American, and not all companies that are expected to surge in 2020 is in the US. In fact, by having stocks in different markets, you hedge your bets – after all, your Samsung stock isn’t likely to lose value if the NYC market crashes.

Diversify, not only in the companies you invest in, but also the countries and markets you use.

When investing in Cryptocurrencies…

Buy low and sell high is king

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, most people making money are doing so by buying when a token is cheap, then sitting on it as it appreciates. This is how many people made hundreds of thousands, some even millions, of dollars in Bitcoin: By buying when it was cheap (or when it released, when it was about $1/BTC) and then sitting on it until it was worth a lot – for example, when it surpassed the $10,000 mark in 2017.

While it’s unlikely anyone will ever see the massive ROI like people who bought BTC in 2009 and sold it in late 2017, that’s still the best approach towards crypto investments: Look for tokens that are likely to appreciate. Wait until they bottom out. Then buy, to sell later.

Go with margin trading

There are other methods of making money with cryptocurrencies. Short-term, or margin trading, is a common one – and the weapon of choice of many people playing the crypto market.

The trick with margin trading is learning the market and knowing what to expect in the very short term.

Some margin traders might keep a stock for a few days, but the most common type of margin trading – that is, day trading with leverage – this gets people buying and selling tokens within the same day. The profit is thin for each transaction, but the sheer amount of transactions and the volumes you’ll be buying and selling (plus the leverage money) will more than make up for it.

Locate new crypto goldmine

Lead tokens rise all the time, as older tokens fall. Not all tokens have the staying power of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and every year, we see that the tokens that once were thought to be safe bets all but disappear.

The crypto market is yet to settle. As is common with technology, every year, new implementations of blockchain (Cryptocurrency’s base technology) appear, often bringing improvements and new uses for the technology.

This makes new tokens with lots of potential appear all the time. Not all tokens with potential will make it, but some will – and a few years from now, we’ll sure have stories about a new token people bought during the IEO and sold years later at a huge profit just as we have them from BTC and ETH.

Look for what new tokens are out there, or which tokens that have been around are having their day in the sun. Then go for those. And as always, remember to buy low and sell high.

In the end…

The investment market shouldn’t scare you. Even when there’s talk of a recession, that talk has been there for year – and the recession is yet to come. It could come in 2020, but it could also come in 2022 instead.

When it comes to investing, time is money. The day to get started on investments isn’t when the economy is stable, and the future looks rosy and perfect – that just never happens.

An incoming recession means there might be an increased risk, yes, but bigger risk implies bigger rewards. Let’s not forget that, while many people lost everything during the last US recession and housing crisis, some people instead made fortunes as well.

Those people making fortunes. They were investors who knew what to look for and what to bet on.

How To Optimize Your Self-Directed IRA

IRAs are gaining attention around the globe. How best can you optimize them? That is the subject of this guide.

Best Hacks On Self-Directed IRAs

In order to understand the basic misconceptions about the IRA, we first need to have a full grasp of what an IRA is, and what is the major difference between traditional and self-directed IRA.

An IRA or Individual Retirement Account is a way to save money for post-retirement with tax-free benefits. It is an investment option designed for building saving funds for the time of your retirement.

The concept of self-directed IRA has been introduced for quite a long time now, but people are still not comfortable with the idea and have various concerns about it.

 There are multiple misconceptions about the use of funds in self-directed IRA that should be clarified for the better understanding and benefit of common folks

Self-directed IRA is a magnificent financial tool that can help you to generate a huge amount of wealth easily and legally. It opens a huge range of investment options for you that can have huge valuations for your portfolio.

Traditional VS Self Directed IRAs

There is a very small but major difference between the two types of IRA. The difference is about the authority of the custodian about the investment restrictions in either type of IRA.

The custodian has a much more active role in traditional IRA, and it decides the investment direction of your funds. It usually allows people to invest only in areas like bonds, stocks, annuities, and mutual funds, and no other form of investment is welcomed.

Whereas, in self-directed IRA, the custodian doesn’t have that much active role in investment options. The custodian’s responsibilities are limited to mainly tax management and allow you to manage your investments as you desire.

Hence, for self-directed IRA, one can have multiple investment options, in addition to the traditional options, like real estate investment, new start-ups, cryptocurrency, etc.

Self-Directed IRA Misconceptions

Many people have certain misconceptions about the mechanism and processing of the self-directed IRA.

These misconceptions misguide them badly and lead to bad investment decisions and negative financial consequences. So, here we have enlisted all these major concerns to clarify them once and for all.

1. The first misconception is about investment options. As discussed above, traditional IRAs have a limited room for investment options. The reason for the fixed policy is that conventional markets are relatively easier to engage with and monitor compared to alternative options.

For example,cryptocurrency is a very risky investment option that can be unacceptable for traditional IRAs. On the other hand, the self-directed IRA has no such issues and are open to every kind of investment option.

2. The next misconception about self-directed IRAs is that these firms have absolute authority over the money. Whether traditional or self-directed, no IRA firm has any such authority. Their mere responsibility and control are about keeping your money safe.

They can’t invest your money without your permission, and even after investing, you have the authority to cancel their access to your funds.

3. Another common misunderstanding of people is that real estate investments in self-directed IRAs could be used personally. It is not true at all. The only purpose of the IRA-based real estate investment is to make a profit. You can’t use the property or live in it.

4. The biggest misconception of self-directed IRAs is about their legality. The non-traditional investments are generally considered illegal.

Cryptocurrencies, tax liens, venture capitalism, etc. all these are legal forms of investment, where markets are regulated by safety measures and laws.

Uncertainty is at the core of investment. Just because alternative investment options are not widely discussed doesn’t elevate them as riskier than traditional methods.

Real estate is the safest investment option while cryptocurrency is volatile but not overly risky.

 Even in traditional investment options like bonds and stock, uncertainty is inevitable. The more you concentrate on one specific market the higher the risk will be. In any investment market, the simple and best way to avoid risk is diversification.

Conclusion

The self-directed IRA makes you more empowered concerning your fund investment.

You have more liberty to make more money compared to traditional methods by adopting alternative ways.

Take advantage of the greater options and the possible gains available for you and get benefited excessively in your future.

Separating Facts From Fiction: Is Facebook Libra in ranking as Number 2 crypto even before its launch?

Facebook is drawing some ruckus around the globe with its Libra project. Is Libra already second-placed in the crypto world? Find out.

While Facebook is criticized for its lax approach towards privacy and the often-toxic business practices, it’s still one of the most important companies on the web. Just by the amount of users it boosts – 2.38 billion as of January 2019 – anything championed by the giant will gain lots of attention and traction.

Knowing that, it’s not surprising Facebook’s attempts to create its own cryptocurrency have gathered lots of press. In fact, after Bitcoin, Facebook’s fabled Libra project might well be the second most talked about crypto project in the mainstream.

But, does that buzz around it translate to the cryptocurrency actually being successful even before any details about it are officially unveiled?

Very little is known

Here’s the first fact: We know nothing about the Libra project. Other than a few of those involved, but not necessarily behind it, there’s no official information whatsoever.

At this point, all we know for sure is that Facebook is pursuing its own cryptocurrency. Everything else are rumors or assumptions.

This is important because, while many of these rumors might be true, this means that it’s all speculation at this point.

That works for the crypto market, since it’s largely speculative, and it keeps the Libra project in the news, which we’re sure Facebook likes, but… it doesn’t do much more than that.

And even how much it helps the Libra project in the crypto market can be argued, since all the rumors in the world won’t matter once an official announcement is out there.

Since the cryptocurrency can’t go on sale without such an announcement, all pre-release rumors and hype won’t really affect Libra’s success in the end.

Then, there’s something else: One of the chief rumors says that Libra will be a stablecoin. Which in turn means the token won’t be able to gain or lose value, no matter how well designed it is.

In a world where cryptocurrencies are seen as investment options by the mainstream, that’s a problem.

Expectations aren’t based on the token itself

As mentioned, since the token is believed to be a stablecoin, nobody is waiting to spend a fortune buying Libra tokens. Instead, what the crypto community is buzzed about, is how such a stablecoin could help drive crypto adoption.

Facebook’s reach is unprecedented for the crypto market. If Facebook pushes libra and gains many adopters, that will mean the crypto adoption rate will shoot up – which should in turn drive many people towards trading other cryptocurrencies.

In other words, the buzz in the community is about Libra working as a gateway cryptocurrency, but not so much about Libra being a game changer.

What ranking might mean

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean Libra isn’t ranking highly. It just means whatever buzz it has now might well disappear before it officially releases.

But let’s assume it does have huge amount of buzz – then we should ask ourselves, what does “ranking” mean?

Regularly, ranking would be interpreted as market capitalization. However, since Libra isn’t out yet and it won’t be running an ICO, that would be impossible. Libra’s market capitalization is effectively zero.

There are other ways to assume ranking. Google search ranking is another one – one could reasonably believe that, due to the buzz around it, Libra is being constantly googled. This would be an interesting measure and give us insight into its expected success.

However, actual data quickly proves this to be wrong. Actual search stats put the Libra project behind both Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP, making it at the very least #4. To be fair, it does rank above Zcash.

Google Trends for Libra, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Crypto.

Another way to think about it is by how much it appears in the news – and it’s only here that Libra does rank well.

Bitcoin has been mentioned in 44,800,000 news items over the last month. Ethereum has been mentioned about 3,960,000 times. Facebook Libra? 8,860,000 times.

But while news coverage could be considered rating, that’s hardly a measure of success. It’s a measure of interest from news sites, which sure is important, but it doesn’t reflect market tendencies.

Does it even matter?

It’s impossible to gauge how successful Libra might or not be without knowing anything about it before. And even knowing, we won’t know about its success until it is out, and we start seeing real numbers.

This is important, because while Libra has potential right now the buzz is in part thanks to the air of secrecy around it.

That secrecy might work in its favor right now, but it’ll only help in the long term if the project delivers. And we won’t know that until later this year.

So while it’s hardly true that Libra is ranking as #2 crypto, that doesn’t matter right now.

What does matter is that it’s gaining some buzz – and that said buzz could well drive its adoption once it is launched.

The Emerging World Of Cryptocurrencies: Behaviors, Patterns, and Paradigms Every Investor Must Know

The cryptocurrency industry is still relatively new, and as such, concepts and patterns are still emerging. As an investor, here are some vital insights you need to know.

Presently, cryptoassets’ price co-movement is quite high, most probably due to the launch of the cryptoassets market and the participants’ weak pricing ability.

Almost 7% of these cryptoassets are held by the institutional investors, which makes an almost one-thirteenth portion of the U.S. stock market’s institutional holdings ratio.

The high turnover rates of cryptoassets as compared to the traditional markets indicate that the crypto asset industry participants are either more active or reactionary.

But the UTXO (unspent output from bitcoin transactions) metric indicates that due to HODLing, these members becoming active only when the prices recover.

Reasons for Correlation

Studies have found that the low internal correlation between some of the cryptoassets can be due to three major reasons:

  • Idiosyncratic factors: These are the project-specified catalysts and news that can affect the level of correlation between cryptoassets.
  • Binance Effect: Usually the digital assets that are listed on Binance have a high correlation between them, whereas, the assets that are not listed have low correlations compared to the former.
  • Consensus Mechanisms: The consensus mechanism of cryptoassets can have a high impact on its correlation with the other cryptoassets return.

The overall correlation in the cryptoassets market has observably increased. It can be due to the gradual decrease of the market’s Bitcoin dominated trading pairs reliance or the simultaneous rise of the volume of stablecoins across all cryptoassets markets.

The correlation cycle among cryptoassets and the effect that market structure can have on this cycle is discussed further in the following:

1.Cyclic Moments and Turning Points

One of the factors responsible for the continuous fluctuation of the correlation among the USD price of cryptoassets is market irrationality. The market rationality has a similar effect as the co-movement phenomenon or herding effect.

Studies show that when the correlation among altcoins reaches a specific point, the Bitcoin trend for USD either reverse or comes to a halt at the previous price. This indicates the emergent market’s inherent traits as well as the irrational behavior of the market participants.

However, it is very early to say that there is some causal relationship between market reversals and peaks in correlation.

2.Disproportional Percentage Of Retail Investors

The frequent extreme correlation periods of cryptomarket are related to the highly retail-driven participation of the market. According to the recent data, almost 700 crypto funds are operating in today ‘s cryptomarket, but the January 2019 asset was thought to be $10 billion only.

Assuming that all of them hold only Bitcoin, the total upper bound of the Bitcoin market value will be 14% only. But if Altcoins are also included, the overall institutional proportion for the cryptoassets market can become even less than 7%.

It can be said that non-professional investors can become overtly cynical or overconfident while reacting to market trends. And that can lead to a high potential transactional volume and more volatile prices.

Whereas, crypto investors are more attentive and active towards new developments in the market, they have a significant impact on the success of their participating crypto networks and promote their voice to get heard, even through simple price action.

3.HODLing by Crypto Investors

HODLing refers to the phenomenon of the crypto investors where they prefer to HODL their assets when there is a decline in price until the prices are recovered.

And they become active when the high prices are restored. Most crypto investors tend to HODL the currency in bear markets that lead to moderate changes in UTXO cap.

But the UTXO cap decline can go steeper if the individuals transact with Bitcoin at comparatively low USD value prices. Not to ignore the fact that after a certain bear period, the rate does not go up that quickly, until at least the underlying rates reach the previous heights.

Herding behavior effects are situation specified. The initial correct information will cause a herding effect to reflect the information more quickly in the price.

Comparing this to the traditional market, the cryptoasset market has faced several issues during tits small lifetime, like:

-There is a lack of popular trading instruments of the market, an absence of a compulsory mechanism of disclosure that should be followed by all the market participants, and inadequate protection measures. All these factors lead to a reduction in the enthusiasm of the investors.

-The highly complex blockchain industry has a high barrier for new entrants. Also, there is a lack of professional and reliable media sources that leads to slow transmission of information and even extensive fake news dispersal.

-The limited arbitrage channel is another problem. The inherent limitation of cost of the mainstream coins or speed of transfer, temporary paucity of appropriate derivatives and an in-depth, and regulatory restrictions imposed by many countries lead to asset prices stymieing for a long time period in an unreasonable state.

However, the cross-exchange arbitrage chances were seen to be decreased during 2018, resulting in a higher price efficiency.

Takeaways

Because of the above-mentioned aspects, the effect that quick reacting market participants have become more distinct, making it more difficult to price the individual cryptoasset accurately.

Therefore, the herding behavior or so-called irrational attitude must not be blamed only on the inexperienced participants, but the market immaturity and infrastructure should also be on the front burner.

Especially after 2018, many regulatory bodies, media outlets, and research institutes have started to pay more attention to the blockchain industry. Also, there is a wave of crypto-native research and coverage growing with every passing day.

This rapidly developing industry has been able to attract new support and funds from various traditional and governmental capital sources and seems to continue doing so with every new step of improved data, news reliability, regulatory clarity, and less usability friction, which leads to a market with more efficient price discovery as a whole.

Various ongoing and completed researches and studies provide enough data to analyze and assess the progress of the space during the last few quarters.

As many mature financial products get rolled out, which covers the industry, there is a clearer worldwide regulatory framework, which means a rapid maturing of the crypto market than ever.

Gb Adolph Obasogie is the CEO of Harrison Global Capital

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TD Ameritrade: What is it and how can it change the crypto landscape?

The news made ripples, as often happens in the crypto world whenever any mid to large-size established company jumps in.

TD Ameritrade started a formal crypto division. While the move was somewhat expected, since it had already invested in crypto exchanges, news still left many people wondering: what does this mean?

What is TD Ameritrade?

In order to know whether this move matters or not, we first need to know the company we’re talking about.

TD Ameritrade is a long-established American broker. With almost fifty years in the market, its mission is to help customers both buy and sell all kinds of stocks, funds, and futures.

In other words, Ameritrade is a very large stock trading house, one with established success in the business.

While this might look as just another financial company trying to break into crypto, the type of company matters a lot this time around.

As we have mentioned in many of our articles, the crypto world is a lot like the stock market. Crypto exchanges, and many crypto investors, work in more or less the same way stock traders do.

So when a company renowned for stock trading options joins in, it can’t but be important. The fact that such a company is jumping into cryptocurrencies means two things:

  1. Its managers see a future to cryptocurrencies, and
  2. They feel the market has settled and is stable enough that they can start offering their expertise without risking much.

Both of these things are huge, since many traditional economy-related businesses have shunned crypto, and at times even outright tried to sabotage it.

But TD Ameritrade trades in many things, doesn’t it?

Yes.

TD Ameritrade works both as an exchange of sorts and as an investments company. Its goals aren’t just to commercialize stocks and values, but to help those looking to invest find the right things to invest in.

To attain this, it offers customers several both premade and customized portfolios containing mixtures of stocks, funds, futures, and now crypto its team of experts consider good investments.

The advantage of these services are huge for clients who don’t know the stock market inside out. With Ameritrade’s guidance, they can choose where to put their money following the advice of leading experts in the market.

This helps minimize, although not eliminate, the risk involved in investments.

TD Ameritrade also offers many specialty plans dealing with managing both one’s own finances and one’s economic future. Customers get help not only investing, but also managing their properties and assets. TD Ameritrade thus seeks to help its customers optimize their own portfolios.

For more knowledgeable customers, it also offers personalized portfolios where they can choose exactly what to invest, although always while receiving advice from professionals in the area.

How important is this for crypto? Is it important at all?

In a way, it’s huge.

One of the main problems with cryptocurrencies is driving adoption. Many people who have thought of investing in crypto have found the whole blockchain-related environment much too confusing.

Even people who are used to trading in the stock market can feel taken aback when talking about private wallets, public wallets, wallet keys, nodes, mining, and so on.

With this move, TD Ameritrade is allowing its customers to invest in cryptocurrencies without needing to know all this.

It’s also offering professional guidance in the process, both to minimize the risk any newcomers face and to help them understand how the crypto world moves.

What this means for the crypto world is that as of now millions of accounts managed by Ameritrade can jump into cryptocurrency investments.

This doesn’t mean that many people will, or that they will even display any interest in it, but that they have the option to.

In other words, there’s now a simple way for people not in the know to invest in cryptocurrencies.

So is this a game changer? Is mass crypto adoption about to happen?

Let’s slow down.

TD Ameritrade entering the market is big, yes. But not necessarily as big as to drive mass adoption on its own. This is but another step towards that goal, but there’s still a long way to go.

First, because we don’t know how many of TD Ameritrade’s customers will actually invest in crypto. For all we know, Ameritrade might roll out this platform only to have it fail to attract any relevant interest and become just another offering with relatively low adoption rates.

Sure, the opposite might happen. It’s always possible Ameritrade’s customers will be thrilled to hear they can now invest in crypto and rush to their services, causing the beginning of a new crypto rush that drives all prices up and leads to a golden age of cryptocurrency.

But being honest, that’s very unlikely. However, TD Ameritrade’s VP has stated his company’s customer base is very interested in crypto investments.

Whether this is true or just a comment to hype up the crowd and help drive adoptions we can’t know, although it does mean the firm is expecting their new program to do well.

So, to be honest, we should keep our expectations tempered about this. It’s a big thing simply because it marks a new household-level investment company joining the crypto world.

This means trust in the market is growing, which at the same time means we’re one step closer to mass adoption. It also will help drive more crypto adoption, but you shouldn’t expect it to cause a rush.

Can I buy any crypto I want with TD Ameritrade?

No, you can’t.

TD Ameritrade, and most brokers, will only trade in select stocks considered by their experts to have relatively low risk.

While it does have high-risk offers, they’re usually offered only to clients who specifically look for them, and even then, they tend to come from already curated lists that ensure a certain degree of predictability.

This is because Ameritrade, as any brokers do, wants its customers to have some success in their investments.

It doesn’t look good for a broker to have many clients who end up losing their investments, particularly if they count the elderly among their main demographics.

So even when offering “risky” investments, TD Ameritrade will want to limit the risk.

The crypto market, as we know, isn’t particularly stable. Any crypto investments offered by Ameritrade will be considered high-risk right away, due to the unpredictability of the market. Allowing customers to invest in about any coins will only make it worse.

There’s another reason to limit their crypto offerings. As of November 2018, there were over 2,500 available cryptocurrencies.

That’s a ridiculous number, and making customers browse through such a list trying to understand what each of them is and get a grasp of the risk involved wouldn’t be an option for any brokers.

Also, the vast majority of those cryptocurrencies would make for really awful investments nobody would ever recommend even to their worst enemies.

In the spirit of making it easier for their users to understand what they’re getting and to avoid them going bankrupt, TD Ameritrade is for now only offering Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Is there any logic behind these choices?

Yes, although it might not be the kind of logic most crypto users would follow.

Bitcoin is there mostly because it’s easily recognizable. Also, because it’s been relatively stable over the past year, with a tendency to rise the last couple months. But most of all, people know about it.

General media often uses “bitcoin” to mean cryptocurrencies in general, and while most people might not know what Ethereum or Ripple are, they do have a grasp of what Bitcoin is. After all, it was all over the news just a year and a half ago.

Bitcoin is indeed unstable, outdated, slow, and it will never become the crypto for widespread use. We know that. But many of the people looking into crypto will go straight for Bitcoin, because that thing was once worth almost $20,000 each.

Also, Ameritrade is offering crypto as an investment solution, meaning users getting it through them will mostly be parking it.

They won’t buy and sell stuff with it, since that’s not the goal its customers are after. Since Bitcoin is well-known and has kept a stable price with a tendency to rise this past year, it’s an easy choice.

As for Litecoin, it has been on the market for long, has a decent price record, and once again has been rising this last year.

Being a fork of bitcoin, it also isn’t likely to ever attain mainstream use. But once again, this is investment. These people will see it as a value, not a proper currency.

The fact that Bitcoin’s value is mostly based in expectations and isn’t actually tied to anything other than public perception doesn’t matter either. As long as its value keeps going up, people will want to invest in it.

Will this affect the market?

It sure does.

Part of Bitcoin’s rise over the past two months can be attributed to this, among other things. BTC is currently experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to several projects being launched around it.

The fact that the crypto market is quickly growing into maturity and BTC’s price is basically an indicator for public trust in crypto also helps.

Should we expect this rise to continue?

We can’t tell. There are currently actors predicting another BTC rise, along with a rush to $50,000, but the last time such a thing was predicted it was quickly followed with a crash once the bubble burst.

Since bitcoin’s nature is that of a bubble, it’s better to remain wary of any extremely positive predictions.

It might even not be in the crypto world’s best interests to have Bitcoin grow too much, in fact. BTC is known for being outdated, and the sooner another, newer crypto takes over the market the better.

BTC reaching a ridiculously high price will make this very, very difficult – which would in turn make widespread use and adoption of crypto about as difficult.

On the other hand, BTC creating another bubble and bursting would be even worse. Crypto already had a terrible 2018, and it’s only now recovering and making it to the news again.

Another quick price drop would erode public trust in crypto in general, which would greatly slow down general adoption for crypto.

The best we can expect is for BTC to keep rising… a bit. And then stabilizing. A stable market is a requirement for widespread adoption and use.

People can’t trade using a coin that’s constantly changing its value, after all. BTC stabilizing would help bring stability to the market as a whole, which might lead a few high-profile companies to start accepting some cryptocurrencies for payments.

If enough of these companies do so, we’ll start seeing widespread use of crypto.

Adolph Obasogie is the CEO of Harrison Global Capital. Get firsthand info from help@harrisonglobalcapital.com

Hail A Ride, Rideshare, And the Fundamentals of Blockchain Intervention

Rideshare needs a redefinition, and blockchaincan make a difference.

The Need for a Blockchain-Driven Ride Share

Anybody with a smartphone and one of these company’s application can easily communicate with logged drivers to order for rides that correspond to the routes of operation of that particular driver. 

It is general knowledge that ridesharing has gradually crept into our lives and culture and become integrated into our daily movement and way of operation. 

The application network serves as a platform to develop a sense of responsibility and trust between the drivers and the passengers.

There are now companies that have risen above order and serve as the frontier for this industry.  Companies like Uber and Lyft have erupted in popularity and financial alike.

The Multi-billion Dollars Business

Typically, companies like Uber and Lyft has become household names and risen to the status of top brands and companies to be reckoned with around the world.  

They are the top players in the space of ridesharing, with Lyft being valued at $15.1 billion and Uber valued at about $72 billion.

Those are large chunks of market share and these platforms have weathered the storms of criticism until now.

Although opposition to ridesharing services has come under the light of skepticism in functionality and structure, more needs to be done.

Uber, for example, being banned in major cities around the world like Barcelona, Vancouver, Frankfurt, and some other cities. 

The major antagonists to ride share service companies have been Public transport services and Taxi companies, as ridesharing takes away a large chunk of their consumer market. 

Although right now, is not an only taxi and public transport companies that they have to be cautious about because they are on a route to being out of the market by new innovative companies using Blockchain technology to revolutionize the space. 

These big companies hence face a giant hurdle in terms of Blockchain technology and how it can seriously hurt their business model.

What Does Blockchain Do?

Blockchain has become quite popular in today’s world probably because of bitcoin and it’s outrageous pricing in 2017, but let’s talk about the blockchain framework itself.

 So, blockchain offers a decentralized, open, and distributed ledger that records transactions between two entities inaccessible, retrievable and permanent fashion.

 Each of this growing transaction is linked to one another using cryptography.  These transactions are extensively secure and usually do not require the third party and hence are more cost-effective.

They could be much cheaper than traditional ridesharing platforms and therein lies the punch that could potentially knock out the big players like Uber and Lyft.

How Blockchain can Influence Ride Share

Talk about a disruption much like the Internet did in the late 1990s or the airplane by the Wright brothers in 1903. 

Blockchain is here to stay and is currently reshaping and redefining the ways people view and understand companies & industries today. 

The ridesharing landscape is not left out on the list of industries being disrupted.  Of course, the only major hold back for now is worldwide adoption of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

These companies, Uber, Lyft, Wings & Sidecar operates a centralized system.  They are actually called Aggregators because what they do is, they serve as intermediaries between the drivers and potential customers.

The customers or passengers order for a ride on the company’s application on their smartphones with specific directions and the company supplies a list of drivers with different ratings for you to select from.  

Then you choose the driver and pay through the same application on your smartphone.

The company then receives the money, take a percentage and pay the driver. Hence these companies serve as a centralized site for the linking and completion of the transaction.  

They usually have the software, routers, and servers for reception and distribution of these orders.

What the blockchain framework can do in this space is to eliminate the middlemen or intermediaries, in this case, being Uber, Lyft, or Wingz. Blockchain creates a decentralized ledger that stores transactions securely in blocks.

And each block having a time stamp of the previous one so that they are linked, and one cannot be accessed without going through the other.  Hence, this provides a fortified and impenetrable network.

Due to the fact that the data is not stored in one place but dispersed through a network of computers, there is no aggregator or centralized unit needed.

Providers of driving services can simply provide a profile of the routes they cover ratings by previous customers, charge, and connect straight to passengers on the blockchain platform 

The passenger can request a service, then the Blockchain platform could filter according to the categories and produce a list from which he can choose from. 

Although there are still some touches to be added to this model before it becomes functional. But it’s a highly better alternative to the traditional. 

The transaction or payment end can be done through the peer-to-peer payment technology already built into the system.

Regulation of Ride Share Companies

These rides share service companies have come under heavy criticism to be regulated by a designated government body.

Reason being that there has been reports of cases where drivers have assaulted and been violent toward passengers, there has also been much talk over the inspection  of Uber vehicles to ensure the safety of users of the platform and insurance coverage of the vehicle.

Also, there is the fee that the companies deduct from the payment before paying the drivers.

All these can be highly minimalized with blockchain as there would be little or no charges as the transaction would occur directly between the drivers and passengers, and there would be more stringent measures to monitor insurance covers and the general safety of Users.

Conclusion

It is certain that the ridesharing space is going to disrupt as the full adoption of Blockchain services begin to play out in the coming decades and traditional rideshare service companies need to take note of this or else they would be out of business by this force.

Blockchain-driven rideshare service is going to be a plus to the services being offered and hopefully, will be the change that people want to see.

The World of IEOs: All You Need To Know

IEOs have emerged as the successor to ICOs in a number of ways. What are the areas of difference if any?

What Is an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)? Is It the New ICO?

The Initial Exchange Offering(IEO) has been making headlines while catching the attention of investors, traders, exchanges, and project teams following Bitcoin value decline and the ICO fad cool off in 2018.

In 2019, already 32 of the 47 IEOs listed on ICObench have launched while the completed IEOs having raised over $159 million.

Currently, some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges platforms such as Binance, OKEx, Bitmax, Huobi, KuCoin, and Bittrex have already conducted their own IEOs.

And after launching, the majority of these IEO’s have shown much promise after being listed on the exchanges.


What Is an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)

An initial Exchange Offering is an improvement of the ICO concept that is conducted on a cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Different from ICO, the cryptocurrency exchange administers the IEO on behalf of the token issuer looking to raise capital with its new tokens. These tokens are later listed on the cryptocurrency exchanges.

Unlike the ICO where the investor deals directly with the startups, in IEO, the risk of transactions are transferred from the investors to the exchanges.

This innovation helps to eradicate the chances of phishing, and DDoS among other malicious attacks.

The startup or the token issuer agrees with the cryptocurrency exchange on terms such as fees, and issuance volume and price among other factors.

Investors are then allowed to buy the tokens directly from the cryptocurrency exchanges after completing the KYC procedures.


What are the advantages of IEOs?


A successful IEO has the potential to raise millions for token issuers, investors, and trading platforms. Here a few advantages of IEOs.


● Trust

Trust is one of the major advantages of IEOs. Usually, the crowd sales are conducted on the crypto exchange platforms while the counterparty seeks to screens all the projects looking to be launched on its website.


According to cryptocurrency exchanges, these steps are essential in maintaining a good reputation. Therefore, IEOs can help to eradicate major threats such as scams and dubious projects from raising capital.


● Security

Security is of paramount importance, especially when dealing with money. With IEO, the safety of both the investors and the issuers is prioritized.

When it comes to crowdsale security, the exchange manages the IEO’s smart contracts as well as the KYC/AML processes. In most cases, services providers do KYC/AML on their clients after creating their accounts.

Token issuers do not have to worry about crowdsale security as the exchange is managing the IEO’s smart contract.

The KYC/AML process is also handled by the crypto exchange as most service providers do KYC/AML checks on their participants.

Besides that, investors’ security is not compromised since the exchanges get rid of all ineligible projects that potentially pose risks to investors.

Therefore, a secure investment ecosystem is guaranteed to large extent..


● Frictionless process

Regardless of your knowledge in the cryptocurrency industry, you can freely contribute and participate in the IEO platform.


● Guaranteed Exchange Listing

IEO tokens on the exchanges enjoy near-instant listing soon after the launch.

● Credibility

Cryptocurrency exchanges carefully get all their token issuers to guarantee the quality of their offerings. To maintain their reputation, exchanges can only list credible startups.

This means that these startups have to undergo intense diligence which highly reduces the chances of startups being unveiled as scams.

Upcoming and recent IEOs

A number of IEO tokens launch have already taken place, and still, there are other ongoing and upcoming IEOs in the market.

In fact, only time can tell how far the IEO fad will go. You will note that each of these projects focuses on unique offerings.

● Matic Network

Matic Network is designed to solve the problem of scalability on today’s Blockchain network applications. It launched on Binance exchange recently.

For instance, scalability is said to limit the ability of developers to optimize their dApps(decentralized applications) fully. This will help and encourage developers to earn cryptocurrency with dapps.

Besides improving the scalability of cryptocurrency platforms such as Ethereum, Matic network aims at improving the speed of block confirmations which will in return reduce gas fees.

The network is further designed to help simplify and make the user experience of the Blockchain network user-friendly.


Here are a few of the Upcoming IEOs in the market today.
● Traceto.io

According to the traceto.io developers, this project is aimed at building a solution on the KYC segment in the crypto market.


The traceto.io team plans to make use of a combination of smart contracts and artificial intelligence to come up with a solution that will streamline the KYC process.

● Evedo

Evedo project is aimed at leveraging the technology in event organizing. In other words, Evedo is designed to bring together all the users that make up the event organizing ecosystem.

How to participate in an IEO?

Currently, IEOs are relatively rare in the market unlike the number of cryptocurrencies on the economy.

However, it’s not difficult to find the right one. So, the first step at participating in an IEO is identifying the IEO of your choice.

Secondly, identify the cryptocurrency exchange platforms that are hosting the crowdsale. Note that, there can be more than one exchange, but you only have to choose the exchange that fits your needs.

After identifying the exchange of your choice, sign up for an account. You will go through their whitelisting and Know Your Customer-KYC procedures.

Additionally, since IEO uses cryptocurrencies to raise funds, check the cryptocurrencies that the exchange accepts and fund your account appropriately.

You can use trading bots to buy the allowed cryptocurrencies if you aren’t familiar with the crypto industry.

Lastly, wait for the IEO to launch for you to purchase your token. Most exchanges allow you to use various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash among others.

Below are some exchanges that have already launched their IEOs.

Final words

Initial Exchange Offerings might to the solution to many ICO failures, scams, and sub-optimal projects offerings.

Binance, together with other cryptocurrency exchanges are aiming at using the IEOs to guarantee a safer working environment for both issuers and investors.

IEOs will also increase the growth of cryptocurrencies for global financial market by expanding the market scope and the level of trust.

Indeed, IEOs have the capabilities of becoming a standard model for future startup fundraising while encouraging the development of quality projects.