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Bitcoin Alternatives, Investing In Digital, Crypto-Currencies

So if you are like me and missed out on the ground floor of Bitcoin, you might be thinking how do I get into this new world of crypto-currencies? Well, happily there are many Bitcoin alternatives in the ever expanding digital universe of crypto-currencies. You don′t even have to know what a blockchain is or mine for the darn things! Take BitTokens, for example. This currency is being paid out as dividends by the software company, Social Reality. They are selling an app for graphing out blockchains. The company has been around for a few years and their stock is probably a steal at just over $5 a share. There are about 15 or so crypto-currencies currently trading for a $1US or more, and hundreds more at less. One of those which looks interesting is Ripple.




Ripple is a rather different breed of crypto-currency. Most are an attempt to outflank conventional banking transactions. Ripple doesn′t, in fact, its purpose is to conduct international money transactions more efficiently. Currently trading at around $1 a token, Ripple can be had fairly easily. There are 100 Billion in supply, unlike Bitcoin which has only 21 million. Only a year or so ago, Ripple was worth about $0.08 each, so it has begun to move up in the world of digital currency with several trading platforms and markets handling them.


On the other end of the scale, we have Litecoin. With 84 Million in supply, Litecoin was created to correct some of Bitcoin′s short comings. For example, you don′t have the ′mine′ the darn things, saving bandwidth and electricity for us all. Litecoin is currently trading at about $274, so it is pricey. However, there are several advantages in Litecoin over Bitcoin, so its future is bright and shiny. This digital currency could easily soar in the coming months and years to rival Bitcoin. Another similar currency is Dash, trading at $340 a digital coin.


Then we have Ethereum, in two flavors, Regular and Classic. Ethereum Regular has no ′cap′ on its supply whereas Classic does. Both must be ′mined′ as per the concept of a blockchain. That means using a database, submitting tasks grouped in blocks which are linked to form digital chains. You must write a ′dapp′, a progarm using a ′smart contract programming language′. You then install the dapp on a blockchain and away you go! These programming languages are like Javascript. Ethereum uses several, like Solidity, Serpent and LLL, with more options coming. Tasks are competitive, so the ′miner′ who finishes first mines a token. Of course, there are trading exchanges where you can just buy the darn things. Ethereum Regular is trading at about $744 while Ethereum Classic is at $31 each. While Litecoin, Dash and the Ethereum tokens are already well beyond the ′penny stock′ phase, they are well established and have yet to explode, price-wise.


A good website to check out market prices for digital, crypto-currencies is You can monitor at least the top 100 currencies being traded. They offer a good deal of history and other data on each. There are well over a 1,000 such currencies with many more coming and going. This is the wild west in terms of investing, so be prepared for gambling. Don′t bet the farm but if you have a spare bushel or two of corn, then go right ahead and get your feet wet. You never know. The digital, crypto-currency market is the penny stock of the future. In 2009, you could have bought 1,000 Bitcoins for about $3. Today, you would be worth well over $10 Million. Happy speculating!


For more REAL NEWS and views, follow Andrew Zarowny on Facebook and on Twitter @mrcapitalist.


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All I can say Karin is, "WOW!!!"

I have read quite a number of articles by so-called 'experts' and your comments blow them all right out of the water in terms of concise, comprehension! You ought to start a blog of your own on the subject. Our a vlog on You-Tube. Either would be highly successful with millions of hits.

I don't know if you read my previous article on the subject, but I did get into the whole psychological aspect of currency. The value of any currency is by and large what we as a society place upon it. Digital money from centralized, government banks are already displacing physical cash. There was a guy on TV yesterday talking about getting rid of $50 and $100 notes as they cause criminal activity. A while back I interviewed a guy who had a website called NOPOM, No Physical Money. He was all about replacing the entire two-party, transaction system with a 3-party system that would be completely digital and the 3rd being an intermediary who determines price and or value.

Throw in all of the recent talk about guaranteed incomes for all and the future of economics will be one of substantial change. Keeping up with these trends will be a challenge. Most people are rather clueless about what is going on so I look forward to learning more and passing along what I can.


So as we look into the future and the reward of new Bitcoins is reduced from the current 12.5 to about 6.25 new Bitcoins every ten minutes which will occur in around July 2020.

Every four years that reward gets cut in half. Eventually you get to the point where the nominal number of new Bitcoins you earn for mining Bitcoin becomes quite small. Now if the price of Bitcoin continues to climb above 100,000 per Bitcoin, then mining a tiny fraction of Bitcoin still is quite lucrative.
But ultimately the number of new Bitcoins coming into existence through mining will be cut to zero. We’ll hit the 21 million limit and the only direct financial incentive left to mine Bitcoin will be transaction fees and there’s an open question as to whether or not the transaction fees will provide a sufficient financial incentive to maintain the kind of computing power that Bitcoin enjoys today which is essential to its security.
If the computational power applied to the Bitcoin network is reduced sufficiently it arguably makes it easier to mount a 51 per cent attack to disrupt the network and so there could be some issues down the road if the rewards are not sufficient.
However there could be a reason to subsidise the cost of mining if Bitcoin continues to be a valuable asset because, simply, they own a lot of Bitcoin and so they are willing to lose money on mining to maintain a secure network.


What is Bitcoin? By Markets Insider

Bitcoin keeps coming back in the headlines. With any Bitcoin price change making news and keeping investors guessing.

In countries that accept it, you can buy groceries and clothes just as you would with the local currency. Only bitcoin is entirely digital; no one is carrying actual bitcoins around in their pocket.

Bitcoin is divorced from governments and central banks. It's organized through a network known as a blockchain, which is basically an online ledger that keeps a secure record of each transaction and bitcoin price all in one place. Every time anyone buys or sells bitcoin, the swap gets logged. Several hundred of these back-and-forths make up a block.

No one controls these blocks, because blockchains are decentralized across every computer that has a bitcoin wallet, which you only get if you buy bitcoins.

Why bother using it?

True to its origins as an open, decentralized currency, bitcoin is meant to be a quicker, cheaper, and more reliable form of payment than money tied to individual countries. In addition, it's the only form of money users can theoretically "mine" themselves, if they (and their computers) have the ability.

But even for those who don't discover using their own high-powered computers, anyone can buy and sell bitcoins at the bitcoin price they want, typically through online exchanges like Coinbase or LocalBitcoins.

A 2015 survey showed bitcoin users tend to be overwhelmingly white and male, but of varying incomes. The people with the most bitcoins are more likely to be using it for illegal purposes, the survey suggested.

Each bitcoin has a complicated ID, known as a hexadecimal code, that is many times more difficult to steal than someone's credit-card information. And since there is a finite number to be accounted for, there is less of a chance bitcoin or fractions of a bitcoin will go missing.

But while fraudulent credit-card purchases are reversible, bitcoin transactions are not.

21 Million

Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million. Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin's enigmatic founder, arrived at that number by assuming people would discover, or "mine," a set number of blocks of transactions daily.

Every four years, the number of bitcoins released relative to the previous cycle gets cut in half, as does the reward to miners for discovering new blocks. (The reward right now is 12.5 bitcoins.) As a result, the number of bitcoins in circulation will approach 21 million, but never hit it.

This means bitcoin never experiences inflation. Unlike US dollars, whose buying power the Fed can dilute by printing more greenbacks, there simply won't be more bitcoin available in the future. That has worried some skeptics, as it means a hack could be catastrophic in wiping out people's bitcoin wallets, with less hope for reimbursement. Which could render bitcoin price irrelevant.

The future of bitcoin

Historically, the currency has been extremely volatile. But go by its recent boom — and a forecast by Snapchat's first investor, Jeremy Liew, that it will hit a bitcoin price of $500,000 by 2030 — and nabbing even a fraction of a bitcoin starts to look a lot more enticing.

Bitcoin users predict 94% of all bitcoins will have been released by 2024. As the total number creeps toward the 21 million mark, many suspect the profits miners once made creating new blocks will become so low they'll become negligible. With bitcoin’s price dropping significantly. But with more bitcoins in circulation, people also expect transaction fees to rise, possibly making up the difference.

The fork

One of the biggest moments for Bitcoin came in August 2017. When the digital currency officially forked and split in two: bitcoin cash and bitcoin.

Miners were able to seek out bitcoin cash beginning Tuesday August 1st 2017, and the cryptocurrency-focused news website CoinDesk said the first bitcoin cash was mined at about 2:20 p.m. ET.

Supporters of the newly formed bitcoin cash believe the currency will "breath new life into" the nearly 10-year-old bitcoin by addressing some of the issues facing bitcoin of late, such as slow transaction speeds.

Bitcoin power brokers have been squabbling over the rules that should guide the cryptocurrency's blockchain network.

On one side are the so-called core developers. They are in favor of smaller bitcoin blocks, which they say are less vulnerable to hacking. On the other side are the miners, who want to increase the size of blocks to make the network faster and more scalable.

Until just before the decision, the solution known as Segwit2x, which would double the size of bitcoin blocks to 2 megabytes, seemed to have universal support.

Then bitcoin cash came along. The solution is a fork of the bitcoin system. The new software has all the history of the old platform; however, bitcoin cash blocks have a capacity 8 megabytes.

Bitcoin cash came out of left field, according to Charles Morris, a chief investment officer of NextBlock Global, an investment firm with digital assets.

"A group of miners who didn't like SegWit2x are opting for this new software that will increase the size of blocks from the current 1 megabyte to 8," Morris told Business Insider.

To be sure, only a minority of bitcoin miners and bitcoin exchanges have said they will support the new currency.

Investors who have their bitcoin on exchanges or wallets that support the new currency will soon see their holdings double, with one unit in bitcoin cash added for every bitcoin. But that doesn't mean the value of investors' holdings will double.

Because bitcoin cash initially drew its value from bitcoin's market cap, it caused bitcoin's value to drop by an amount proportional to its adoption on launch.

The future of bitcoin and bitcoin’s price remains uncertain. It could go to a $1,000,000 or it could go to $0. No one truly knows.


5 Reasons CISOs (= Chief Information Security Officer, a function every enterprise should have; in case your organization did not fill this function yet, please contact me) Should Keep an Open Mind about Cryptocurrency

With untold new markets for Bitcoin and other 'alt-coins,' it's going to be an exciting future -- and security leaders need to get ready for it.
Still, the question about cryptocurrencies should be on every CISO’s brain. Even if CISOs don’t need to talk to a board or board members, they should be advising CFOs about cryptocurrency. More and more organizations, both in real life and online, are evolving and adapting to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Here are answers to five of the most common concerns.

1. Volatility — as Compared to What?
Yes, right now Bitcoin is five times more volatile than gold, but it is relatively new. The concept of Bitcoin was announced in October 2008, and its first open-source release followed in January 2009. The very volatility engendered by Bitcoin’s newness has the potential to produce substantial wealth. More importantly, as cryptocurrency spreads and becomes ingrained into how we do business, we can expect its volatility to damp down. One thing to remember ics that Bitcoin has a built-in transparent mathematical mechanism to limit its inflation, whereas other currencies are left to the mercy of governments and the commodities markets. Finally, as with any currency, the value of Bitcoin is largely dependent on what we humans ascribe to it. Cryptocurrency is now recognized as a major player across the globe, so don’t expect it go away anytime soon. Who knows? In a few years, government-backed currencies could become even more volatile than Bitcoin.

2. Maturity
Yes, cryptocurrencies are new, and legislatures are grappling to deal with them. Guess what? So is the Internet and our entire way of living, immersed in an online world. However, unlike most new technology, Bitcoin is secure by design because of math—and mathematics is thousands of years old. Because of its transparent design, researchers have been able to examine and track any potential vulnerabilities in bitcoin. There aren’t any esoteric control mechanisms being driven by politics like “Bretton Woods” or T-bills that we find in “mature” financial systems. Also, the cryptocurrency concept isn’t limited to blockchain. Monero (XMR), introduced in 2014 and based on the CryptoNote protocol, possesses significant algorithmic differences relating to blockchain obfuscation. There will be advances and new directions in this market as it really catches on.
3. The Nation-State
True, there is no nation-state that backs Bitcoin—and that’s a good thing. We have plenty of government-backed currencies, and some of them aren’t doing too well. That’s why crypto-currencies offer a stable alternative not tied to political machinations. Bitcoin is decentralized and considered largely unregulated in the United States, and so can be insulated from these kinds of shocks. Large markets like Coinbase (a digital asset exchange company) are responsible for disclosing coin purchases from users. Additionally, companies like Coinme, a licensed Bitcoin ATM operator, have been working with legislatures and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ensure current and future compliance.
Blockchain is open source, so anyone with a better idea can have a go at developing a more stable, more useful cryptocurrency. New features are being added to Bitcoin, which is why there are two forks. The community was divided, and ultimately the community decided which direction to go (Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash). Read that again. The community decided. Not some politician or bureaucratic wonk. The community. Then the community members chose which one of the two standards to use. That’s a nice alternative to where we are with the nation-state-based currencies that we are stuck with.

4. All Those Flipping Thefts
First off, you cannot “steal” bitcoins. What you can do is gain control of a wallet (a private key running in software) and counterfeit transactions of that identity. Granted, the Bitcoin value is stolen in such cases, but because transactions are recorded in a public blockchain ledger, you can easily see where those fraudulent transactions have gone—which is why criminals have created "tumblers” to launder their transactions. You want to talk about volatility? The biggest launderer of Bitcoins unexpectedly shut down of couple months ago, and now we have companies set up for the sole purpose of tracking Bitcoin transactions. So, yes, you can steal, but you can't easily hide.

5. Quantum Expiration
Someday, quantum technology will shatter the cryptography implemented in current blockchain algorithms. This is probably decades off, but once it starts to become a reality, how many Bitcoins do you want to bet that cryptocurrencies will evolve their execution methods to adapt to the threat? Did we mention that blockchain is open source? That means anyone can propose a solution to quantum attacks. Oh, wait—someone already did.
Cryptocurrency is more than Bitcoin.

Due to Bitcoin’s popularity, there are now more derived "alt-coins" (Coins that are meant to be alternatives to Bitcoin.) than anyone could have imagined. However, thanks to Bitcoin’s tremendous success, you can see how everyone wants to be a “whale” and get rich quick off of cryptocurrency. Of these alt-coins, there are a handful that have enough significant differences from Bitcoin to be considered viable by their respective communities: Litecoin (LTC), Etherium (ETH), Dash (originally Darkcoin), Zcash (ZEC), Monero (XMR), Doge, Ripple ... and the list goes on. The reality is, there are more than a handful of coins available for use, and CISOs are going to need to have knowledge (or at least people around them with knowledge) of what is happening in the crypto-coin space so that organizations can properly advise their financial teams.

Blockchain is More than Cryptocurrency
People are now adopting blockchain itself and the technology behind it, not just the currency. There are untold new markets like contract law, health care, and real estate for blockchain and cryptocurrency to disrupt. It’s going to be an exciting future, and CISOs need to be ready for it.



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