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Airbnb IPO – Things for investors to know

Airbnb IPO - Top things for investors to know​

An Airbnb IPO is in the works, here’s what to expect from the world’s biggest people-to-people accommodation marketplace going public.


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What is Airbnb?

Founded in 2008, Airbnb is the world’s most popular travel accommodation marketplace, empowering millions of people all over the world to monetise and unlock their homes, allowing them to become hospitality entrepreneurs in the process. The company’s people-to-people platform delivers benefits to all its members, including guests, hosts, communities and employees.

Why is Airbnb going public?

Good question! The majority of companies go public with the aim of raising capital. With Airbnb it seems that it needs neither the immediate funds nor the reputation boost, so why is it thinking about an IPO?

Airbnb profits are stable. Even though it is a private company, and we don’t have exact financial metrics, TechCrunch reports that the company earned more than $1 billion in revenue in Q3 2018. Furthermore, Wall Street analysts predict that Airbnb’s revenue will continue its steady growth from $3.8 billion in 2018 to $8.5 billion in 2022.

Commenting about the Airbnb’s IPO plans, Mr. Blecharczyk added: “We have not decided if we will go public in 2019, and our focus is on building a 21st-century company, and we’re all committed to that goal”.

Airbnb stats

  • 6 Million + Airbnb listings worldwide
  • 100,000 + cities with Airbnb listings
  • 191 + Countries with Airbnb listings
  • 500 Million + Airbnb guest arrivals
  • 2 Million + People staying on Airbnb per night

What is an IPO?

An initial public offering is a process by which a company lists its shares for public trading. The company decides how many shares it is going to offer, and an investment bank typically estimates the initial price of the stocks based on supply and demand. After the company’s shares are listed on the stock exchange under a particular ticker symbol, these shares can be publicly traded.

Want to Learn more about IPOs? Learn more about IPOs here

Airbnb IPO date – When will Airbnb go public?

Despite all the media hype about Airbnb going public this year, we still don’t have an exact IPO date. Recently the company has said that it might wait until 2020, although in April, Airbnb’s co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk confirmed that the company is taking steps to be ready to go public this year.

The market is already oversaturated with giant IPOs, and maybe it’s a smart decision that Airbnb has decided to wait until the end of the year. The ‘no rush’ approach might be also caused by the company’s strong financial position and the fact that it doesn’t need an immediate cash injection to stay afloat.


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What is Blockchain Technology?

What is blockchain? Everything you need to know about blockchain technology

When it comes to trading, it is essential that you understand as much about what you are trading as possible. If you want to trade Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) you need to understand what the Blockchain is first.


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Ever since the 2017 Bitcoin craze, a large amount of new buzzwords have become popularised to the mainstream with one of them being Blockchain. This term is often confused as a synonym to Bitcoin, but today I am going make it clear to you as a reader exactly what Blockchain, better known as Blockchain Technology, truly is.

This article will start off with a very brief history on blockchain technology and then discuss broadly what Blockchain is and the main, but vast, benefits to society.

Brief history of blockchain technology

In order to fully understand the history of Blockchain I need to discuss the history of Accounting, Cryptography as well as Bitcoin. This might sound strange, but it will all make sense soon.

Starting with cryptography combined with accounting, which branched into distributed systems, electronic cash or most widely known today as digital assets has come into existence.

Without Accounting there is no commerce, trade or business as we know it today, thus there would be no use for blockchain technologies. Without cryptography, the solutions to our accounting problems via blockchain would not be possible.


1976, a paper by Diffie Whitfield and Martin E. Hellman was written and released named “New Directions in Cryptography”. This paper discussed the concept of a distributed ledger, which is a database that is consensually shared and synchronised across multiple global sites and international systems. The paper also discussed the concepts of Public-key cryptography introducing the concept of public and private keys, which is found everywhere in the blockchain world today.

As cryptography enhanced over the years, another paper titled “How to Time-Stamp a Digital Document” by Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta was released in 1991. This paper laid out the concept to timestamp data and secure its authentic origin and history throughout time.

Scott and Stuart later established the Hash and Sign solution for verifying and authenticating the latter data and later based it on social consensus as it is today.

All of these methods are found in modern-day blockchains such as Bitcoin.


While cryptography was enhancing, the field of accounting also had major growth in its methods independently, until these two fields met and merged in 1989, where  Yuji Ijiri, the president of the American Accounting Association at that time, wrote a monograph called “Momentum accounting and triple-entry bookkeeping”. This monograph describes alternative accountancy where all accounting entries involving outside parties are cryptographically sealed by a third entry. This system would later be used on one of the first blockchains namely Bitcoin.


All the above-mentioned discoveries have led to the invention of a particular blockchain called Bitcoin. By knowing how Bitcoin works, you will clearly see how accounting and cryptography has combined and let to creation of the blockchain called Bitcoin. If you would like to know more, read our article on “How does Bitcoin work”.

Bitcoin is the reason for the popularization and adoption of Blockchain technology.

In 2008, an unidentified person or group which operates under the name “Satoshi Nakamoto”, published a paper on a new concept called Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency to be created. The paper is titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and described an electronic payment method based on the concept of cryptography. The paper describes how Bitcoin will be used for direct online payments from one source to another source without relying on a third-party source. It also included the concept of a digital ledger system, where all transaction which took place using Bitcoin can be traced and confirmed whether the coin has been spent before.

We can see how everything we spoke about earlier in this article, comes together here with the formation of Bitcoin and it’s Blockchain.

So, what is Blockchain Technology?

Following is broad overview of what Blockchain really is.

As the name indicates, a Blockchain is a chain of past information stored in a batch-like structure we call blocks. We thus see the Blockchain as a distributed ledger that is completely open to anyone. Once data is registered onto a blockchain it becomes almost impossible to change and its transparent nature declares the existence of this data on the blockchain forever. This idea originated directly from Haber and Stornetta’s paper discussed earlier.

How does the Blockchain work?

Each block of transactions discussed above contains the following:

  • A variety of transaction data
  • A Hash of the particular block
  • A Hash of the previous block

(Note: For those not familiar with the term hash, see it as a unique address allocated to the block with its specific transactions. If any data is changed inside a block, that block’s hash changes.)

Thus, imagine a chain of Blocks, with each block containing these three attributes above. Remember each block stores the hash of the previous block connected to it on the chain. Also remember that if any single change is made inside a block, that block’s hash changes. Thus, if any data is changed within a block, its hash will change and any block in the chain which follows that block will have an invalid hash due to the next block in the chain not storing a valid hash of the previous block which was tampered with. Changing a single block will make all the following blocks invalid.

So then, how is a blockchain kept valid?

The way that a Blockchain confirms that a transaction is valid is by using a peer to peer network, where multiple people around the world, called nodes, has a full copy of the blockchain and all of its blocks. When a new block is created, everyone on the blockchain network gets a copy of that block. Each node then verifies that block through concepts such as proof of work that is discussed in another article, and make sure it has not been tampered with. That block is then added to the blockchain which every peer also has a copy of. This results in complete consensus between all peers with everyone having the same blockchain. Thus, we can see if a single node manipulates a block, that node will have a different blockchain as the rest of the nodes, and any transactions following that node will be invalid and not verified by the other nodes and consequently not added to the blockchain.

Some advantages of the blockchain

  • Blockchain makes it possible to verify transactions without having to be dependent on third parties such as banks.
  • The data in a blockchain cannot be altered or deleted.
  • There is a consensus across the whole blockchain through the nodes.
  • Each transaction on the Blockchain is recorded in chronological order. Thus, all the blocks in the blockchain are time stamped and any transaction can be tracked back to its origin.
  • The Blockchain is completely decentralized, thus there is no possibility that the data if lost cannot be recovered. This also leads to transparent data and the individuals who are provided authority can view the transaction.
  • Various consensus protocols are used to validate the data entries, thus removing the risk of duplicate entry or fraud.

So, where do bitcoin and cryptocurrencies come into the picture?

When Satoshi Nakomoto had this idea of a Blockchain called Bitcoin, he needed a way to incentivise people to help with the consensus across the Blockchain. He then created a currency alongside this blockchain called Bitcoin. The currency was named Bitcoin due to it running on the Bitcoin Blockchain. Thus, nodes that confirms transactions and keeps consensus across the blockchain was incentivised with Bitcoin, these people are thus called miners, mining a digital gold by performing “digital labour”.

As we know today there is various blockchains in existence alongside their own incentives.


Hopefully, after this article, you as reader have a clear understanding on what Blockchain Technology actually is and its relationship with Bitcoin. The very brief history of Accounting and Cryptography has hopefully given you a broader understanding of where Blockchain came from and the different fields it encompasses.

Blockchain Technology is here to stay, and we are excited to be early adopters in this new era.


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How to start trading cryptocurrency news

How to start trading cryptocurrency news

Trading cryptocurrencies can be volatile at the best of times, but during high impacting events such as news, you can expect cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC)will move drastically. This guide will show you how and where to start trading cryptocurrency news.


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You need to be extremely careful whilst trading cryptocurrencies during events such as news, exchange downtime or other unnormal trading conditions. Throughout this article we will introduce you to the dangers, advantages and best practice when trading the news.

It is recommended not to trade within either side of 15 mins of a high impacting news announcement. This is not only because of the high volatility involved in the cryptocurrency markets but the uncertainty of how the market will react.

We have seen traders be humbled by the markets time and time again, entering highly leveraged trades expecting the market to react a certain way to news announcements and the market going the other way. After you have learnt all the tips laid out here, you will be much less likely to make the mistakes beginner traders are making on a daily basis.

There is a famous saying from a well-known economist:

The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

John Maynard Keynes

It is important to remember that the market is created by a large group of human beings constantly deciding the price of a currency, stock or cryptocurrency. Humans are naturally irrational, its only natural for the market to be irrational too. Take this into consideration when trading and refer to our 6 essential risk management tips to stay when trading.

Why trade the news at all?

The simple answer to that question is “To make more money!”

But in all seriousness, as we covered in our How to start trading cryptocurrencies using fundamental analysis article, the news is a very important part of the cryptocurrency market because it has the potential to move price drastically. Market manipulation is also common due to the unregulated trading environment that decentralised assets offer. Meaning, that there is little that can be down to someone manipulating cryptocurrency prices to line their own pockets.

When news comes out, especially important news that everyone is watching, you can almost certainly expect to see some major movement. Either positive moving price up or negative moving price down. Your goal as a cryptocurrency trader is to get on the right side of the move, in turn creating and securing a profit.

Best places to get cryptocurrency news

With so much going on in the world of crypto every day, it can be tough to stay on top of the latest news. Luckily, there are a few wonderful cryptocurrency news sites out there that’ll help you stay abreast of the latest goings-on.


CoinDesk reports on cryptocurrency related news from across the entire cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. The extensive site publishes several articles every day and covers more than just cryptocurrency news. You’ll also find thought-provoking feature-length articles, market analysis, and opinionated pieces.

There are news sections dedicated to the underlying technology, crypto investments, and real-world applications of blockchains.

Lastly, traders might find the Coindesk Data and Research section to be useful. This powerful tool monitors prices, tracks ICOs with the ICO calendar and includes a mountain of industry insight.

Note: Some ICOs are scams! Read our article on ICOs to avoid these scams and make sure you do plenty of due diligence before parting with your cash.


Cointelegraph is an independent news site that reports on cryptocurrency, the blockchain, and Decentralized Applications (DApps) that deploy blockchain technology.

Cointelegraph was launched in 2013, quickly growing to become the second most widely-read crypto news site on the web, #1 being CoinDesk mentioned above.

Cointelegraph has news sections dedicated to several of the major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Monero. There are also sections dedicated to uncovering scams, smaller altcoins, and industry regulation.

Away from the news, Cointelegraph also offers a handy ICO calendar so you never miss the launch of a next big coin, a selection of market and price analysis tools, and an impressive amount of feature-length content.

Bitcoin Magazine:

Bitcoin Magazine is a news site that reports on all things crypto, although the name suggests it is Bitcoin-focused it is much more than this. They have 14 distinct categories covering everything from real-world adoption, investing in crypto, mining, startups and much more. Other crypto assets also get plenty over coverage, especially Ethereum.

Similar to CoinDesk and Cointelegraph, the site also offers cryptocurrency learning resources, market information, and an extensive opinion section.


CryptoCoinsNews (or more commonly known as CCN) is a sister site of Hacked. However, while Hacked tends to focus on coin analysis and trading advice, CCN is purely news-based. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and the Top 10 Cryptocurrencies tend to receive the lion’s share of the attention, but some smaller altcoins also get coverage when big news is quiet.

The content is slightly more business-orientated than the other pages we’ve covered so far. If you want to learn about mergers, price changes, and new product offerings, this is the site for you.


Despite the Bitcoin-focused name, NewsBTC covers all the leading cryptocurrencies as well as Bitcoin. The news is divided into six primary categories: Bitcoin, Crypto, ICO, Blockchain Projects, Crypto Tech, and Industry News.

The great thing about NewsBTC is that they publish at least 10 new articles every day, making it unlikely that any of the biggest crypto headlines will slip through your net.

Like many of the others mentioned you will also find an ICO calendar, some learning resources, and a crypto business directory.

Be careful trading the news

As with any trading strategy, there are always possible dangers that you should be aware of.

High volatility

During high impacting cryptocurrency, news events price will likely become much more volatile. Seeing as cryptocurrency is already such a new and emerging market it is already extremely volatile. Often showing large fluctuations sometimes shifting from around 5-10% on a normal day! Compare this to the Forex market which tends to fluctuate between 0.5%-1% on any given day.

You may be asking yourself, “how will cryptocurrency volatility decrease?” The short answer to that question is, its not a matter of how but a matter of when. The market needs to mature, cryptocurrencies as a whole appears to be something that is going to be here for the long run.

Price slippage

A major danger to look out for is price slippage. Slippage occurs when you wish to enter the market at a certain price also known as an order, but due to the extreme volatility during these events, you actually get filled at a far different price. Big market moves made by news events often don’t move in one direction. Often times the market may start off flying in one direction, only to be moved back in the other direction.

Trying to predict the right direction can often be difficult. Profitable as it may be, trading the news isn’t as easy as reading an article. The markets are simply a connection of human beings all over the world stating the prices of an asset, it is almost impossible to predict what they will perceive the news as, either positive or negative.

We recommend waiting at minimum 15 minutes before entering a trade as this will give you much more clarity as to the impact and trend that the news event or announcement has had.


Trading the news CAN be profitable but carries high risk. Only professional level traders should trade the news.  News releases are used by Smart Money to make big fast moves to their targeted levels while at the same time reaping huge profits.  Liquidity is increased as huge numbers of traders line up to take a shot at fast profits. This added liquidity becomes easy pickings for Smart Money who have a high level of trading education.

We recommend you educate yourself on all aspects of trading, keep a high focus on Risk Management. It’s always good to have an experienced trading mentor to guide you in the right direction, after all, they are likely to have experienced all the rookie mistakes and can stop you making the same mistakes yourself.


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Is Bitcoin safe?

Is Bitcoin safe?

If you are reading this article you may have asked the question: “Is Bitcoin safe?” This article will try and give you a clear answer.


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Firstly, it is good to start with what Bitcoin (BTC) actually is, the topics covered in this guide will give you a very broad overview on what Bitcoin (BTC) is and why it is used.

What is Bitcoin?

Most people that have heard of Bitcoin, otherwise known as BTC, argue that it is very complicated and almost impossible for an average person to understand. We are here to tell you that it is a lot simpler than what most people think. As stated, this is only a broad overview of what Bitcoin is as in to give a bit of background before discussing its safety. If you would like to know more about Bitcoin, we have an in-depth article breaking down exactly what Bitcoin is and how to trade it.

Bitcoin is part of a whole new technology, known as the Blockchain, unlike anything popularized before. Thus, explaining it in terms of recent or past technologies often brings confusion. Rather than Bitcoin being like an already existing technology, see it rather as a combination of pre-existing technologies.

Bitcoin firstly represents a payment system, similar to bank transfers or more popular methods today such as Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT’s). Bitcoin can also be seen as a means of value, such as Gold. Think of using it as money, it has its own value and can be exchanged for goods. Lastly, Bitcoin runs on a technology called the Blockchain, making Bitcoin very transparent and at the same time, no single person controls it, similar to the internet.

These three characteristics all come together to create this new miraculous technology known as Bitcoin.

Is Bitcoin safe?

In this article, we will cover three aspects of safety appertaining to Bitcoin.

  • Firstly, the safety of the technology itself.
  • Secondly, the safety of the exchange’s Bitcoin is found on.
  • Thirdly, the safety of investing into Bitcoin.

Safety of Bitcoin and the Blockchain

As with all new technologies, there will be a lot of uncertainty regarding its safety and trustworthiness. Luckily, trust is not needed with Bitcoin.

As stated above, Bitcoin runs on a technology called the blockchain.

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” – Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016).

As we can see from the above statement by Don and Alex, the blockchain is incorruptible. We can see from the image provided above, all transactions that ever take place on this blockchain, in the case with Bitcoin, all Bitcoin ever sent or received, is broadcasted to every part of the network, transferred and captured forever onto the blockchain for everyone to see.

This is clear proof for everyone about how safe this technology is. In fact, it is much safer than technologies we find ourselves using in our daily lives today. Bitcoin solves issues ranging from Financial data manipulation to financial transparency.

Bitcoin exchanges

Bitcoin interest has expanded all over the world. Bitcoin trading became so popular, several exchanges has popped up worldwide, giving you a chance to buy Bitcoin with fiat currencies or other type of cryptocurrency. Cyber security is naturally a significant part of the Bitcoin exchange issue. We ask the question; can we be sure about the safety of Bitcoin exchange sites?

Major exchanges such as Binance, Bitfinex, BitMex has popped up and has trading volumes that soar up into the millions of dollars, however there are things to consider if you are planning to exchange Bitcoin on them. Before choosing a Bitcoin exchange, multiple vulnerabilities should be considered.

Personal Identity of their customers

One of the biggest security and safety issues appertaining Bitcoin exchanges is the leak of personal information of their customers. During registration on these sites, these sites ask for their customers identity, information, pictures etc. This information can be disclosed by exchanges being hacked. Some exchanges even ask their customers to register by sending a picture of their identity documents.

Some exchanges might even ask a customers banking details, but this is strongly advised against.

By registering on any exchange, we as users take the risk of giving all of our identity information to sites which may or may not be regulated. If these sites by any chance are hacked, it can lead to an unpleasant circumstance for the user due to schemes put in place today such as identity theft etc.

It is advised to research the exchange you buy Bitcoin on thoroughly before registering an account. Keep in mind that any exchange is unsafe, some are just safer than others.

Mismanagement of the exchange

The credibility and safety of any exchange also lies within how the exchange is managed, how customer support interacts with their customers and the transparency of the exchange in terms of fund management, storage and allocation. There have been multiple occasions where customers end up with their accounts being frozen, without any knowledge on why this has happened. These problems indicate weak customer/exchange relationships and zero transparency. It is best to use a Bitcoin exchange where you know precisely the above mentioned and is advised saving your personal Bitcoin funds offline.

How an exchange takes a variety of precautions in preventing any problems in the management of your Bitcoin is the underlying factor that determines the safety of your Bitcoin including the way you buy/ trade and store them.

Security and maintenance

One of the most common ways Bitcoin becomes unsafe on an exchange is activities such as hacking and phishing. A reminder that this is not Bitcoin itself, but the inability of the exchange to defend against these attacks that makes Bitcoin “unsafe”.

Bitcoin exchanges regularly have to undergo continuous vulnerability management and risk score tests to evaluate and enhance their safety and security. These processes can be tracked by using applications such as CyberRiskScore.

Safety of investing in Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency volatility has made many investors question the safety of investing in Bitcoin (BTC).

The price of Bitcoin can increase or decrease miraculously over a short period of time due to its young economy, novel nature, and sometimes illiquid markets. Thus, some may argue, keeping your savings with Bitcoin is not recommended at this point.

Bitcoin is classified as a high-risk asset, and most risk-averse investors do not invest in such assets. These investors usually trade Bitcoin and then convert them into their local currency. Any technology in its early stage has a high risk and would be considered by some as unsafe, but this counts for any type of sector you find yourself in and not only Bitcoin.

As discussed above, the lack of security has also raised concerns about the risk of owning these virtual currencies as hackers continue to breach the exchanges.

The uncertainty and volatility of the price of Bitcoin, emphasizes the hazards investors face daily in their attempt to profit from trading and investing in Bitcoin.

Other factors also influence the volatility such as the debate on whether Bitcoin is actually a currency or an investment continues as the Securities and Exchange Commission considers it security, the IRS treats it as property and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network says bitcoin is a currency. This obviously leads to a clash in interest and different sectors value this technology differently.

Due to the fact that Bitcoin has a capped supply, if demand increase then price will increase and vice versa. Due to not a lot of Bitcoin investors and the small market value compared to the stock and forex markets we have today, Bitcoin is indeed very volatile and can be manipulated by big investors. Thus, again, there is big risk and can be interpreted as Bitcoin being unsafe. For those who accept the risk and see Bitcoin rise, will receive their deserved reward.

Additional information to know about Bitcoin

Bitcoin wallet management

As in real life, with your fiat currencies, your Bitcoin wallet must also be secured. Bitcoin makes it possible to transfer value, in the form of Bitcoin, anywhere in a very easy way. It also allows you to be in control of your money without a third party. Such great features also come with great security concerns.

With Bitcoin, it is your responsibility to practice good behaviours in order to protect your money. If done correctly, Bitcoin can provide very high levels of security.

Bitcoin payments are irreversible

Unlike traditional payment methods, Bitcoin transaction cannot be reversed, it can only be refunded by the person receiving the funds. This means you should take care to do business with people and organizations you know and trust.

Additional services might exist in the future to provide more choice and protection for both businesses and consumers but for now be very cautious while making these payments.

Anonymity of Bitcoin

As stated earlier in this article, all Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network (Blockchain), which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. Not to worry, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances between the buyer and the seller, if decided upon.

Bitcoin is still in an experimental stage

Bitcoin is still in active development and this is definitely one fact many people choose to ignore or simply do not know about. Each improvement makes Bitcoin more appealing but also reveals new challenges as Bitcoin adoption grows. During some of these growing stages, one might encounter increased network fees, slower confirmations, or even more severe issues. Thus, it is advised to always be prepared for any possible problems and/or consult a technical expert before making any major investments.

Legalization of Bitcoin 

Bitcoin is not yet an official currency in most parts of the world. That being said, most jurisdictions still require you to pay income, sales, payroll, and capital gains taxes on anything that has value, including Bitcoin. Thus, it is your responsibility and duty to ensure that you adhere to the tax and other legal or regulatory mandates issued by your government and/or local municipalities.


The question, “Is Bitcoin safe?”, really depends on more factors than Bitcoin, the technology, itself. As we have seen through this article, a Bitcoin exchange has a massive impact as well as the Bitcoin market itself. The answer is basically, yes and no. Both arguments have valid points. 

Yes, the technology is one of the ‘safest’ we have seen in a long time, otherwise Bitcoin would not have risen as high as it has. On the other hand, no, due to the way people make use of it and/ or the platforms and their inability to safely exchange and provide their users with safety and security. It is all up to the individual, their risk tolerance and the effort of doing things right in regard to Bitcoin attainment and control.


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What is bitcoin and how does it work?

What is Bitcoin and how does it work?

This guide breaks down exactly what Bitcoin (BTC) is. If you are looking to start trading cryptocurrency this guide is your first step. 


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You are most probably here in reference to our understanding the blockchain article. If not, please have a look at that article first before continuing with this one, as key concepts discussed in that article will be used and assumed mastered here. This article will give you as reader a broad overview on what Bitcoin is and how it works.


Before we talk about Bitcoin, a basic understanding of blockchain, the underlying technology that makes Bitcoin work, is needed.

On its most basic level, the blockchain can be understood as an open database of any transaction involving value. What differs this database is the fact that it is decentralised and distributed. Creating a record whose authenticity can be verified by almost anyone.

Modern technology allows people to communicate directly. Voice, video calls, emails and pictures travel directly from A to B, maintaining trust between individuals wherever they are.

However, when it comes to money people need to trust a third party to be able to complete a transaction. Such as Banks and financial institutions.

Blockchain technology is challenging this status quo in a radical way, by using math and cryptography. The thing blockchain does that has never been done before is manufacturing truth and scarcity for virtual goods.

A Blockchain is a system in which a completely public record of transactions are registered and stored transparently across several computers internationally. The Bitcoin Blockchain is thus a public ledger that records and stores transactions that are in this case made in Bitcoins. In short, the Bitcoin blockchain is a chain of linked Bitcoin transactions between account holders which is maintained by multiple communicating nodes running Bitcoin software with the aim to maintain the Bitcoin Blockchain. For a more in-depth article on Blockchain visit starttrading.com.


Now that you understand the concept of a Blockchain you are ready to learn about Bitcoin and how it works.

Bitcoin is a protocol that runs on a network known as the Blockchain. Bitcoin is known as BTC is a virtual/ digital currency known as a cryptocurrency. Bitcoin can be seen as an online version of cash which can be used to buy products and services, if accepted by those sellers. What differs Bitcoin to other only payment systems is that fact that it is completely decentralised, global, little to no fees and transparent.


One of the major attributes of Bitcoin is that it has no central authority, meaning there is no one person or organisation which controls it.

Here are some key attributes of Bitcoin in accordance to its decentralized nature:

  • Bitcoin has no central server controlling or storing its data and information. The Bitcoin network is completely peer-to-peer and controlled by different nodes world-wide.
  • Anybody can store or view the Bitcoin ledger on their own machines, it is completely public and transparent.
  • Anybody which has the necessary resources can become a Bitcoin miner, which we will discuss shortly, keeping the consensus across the Bitcoin Blockchain.
  • It is not known which miner will create the new block to the Blockchain as this is up to chance and in some way processing power.
  • Bitcoin Miners are awarded with Bitcoin when verifying transactions, which is the incentive to distribute to this decentralized system.
  • Anybody can create a new bitcoin address, which is where you will send and receive Bitcoin from, without needing any approval from third parties such as governments.
  • Anybody can also send a transaction to the network without needing any approval.

Even though the blockchain is a central record, there is no official authority tasked with updating the ledger, to keep track of money like a bank or the federal reserve.

The blockchain is a distributed system, meaning that there is no centralised organisation to maintain and verify the entries on the database.

This database is instead maintained by a large number of computers that are incentivised to provide computing resources by earning some form of tokens in exchange, known as Mining.

This is why the blockchain is decentralised, as their is no central authority tasked with keeping things in order.


If you have ever looking into Bitcoin before, you have most probably heard about the term Mining.

Mining is a process where individuals earn Bitcoin by performing certain actions to help maintain the Bitcoin Blockchain. This mining principle is one of the key attributes that makes Bitcoin so unique and valuable. Miners can be thought of as the decentralised authority enforcing the credibility of the Bitcoin network.

This might all seem confusing, but don’t worry its not as difficult as it seems.

Miners are all tasked with keeping track of the same ledger, ensuring that all transactions are accurate. Miners simply confirm that all transactions on the Blockchain are accurate and genuine. They do this by using a free software called a Bitcoin miner. Each of these so-called miner computers gets a complete copy of the Blockchain, which gets downloaded automatically upon joining the network.

When new entries (new transactions) into the database are made these changes are automatically broadcast across the entire network.

Mining computers on the network validate these new transactions, add them to the block their building and then broadcast the completed block to other nodes on the network, ensuring all nodes on the network have the new updated version of the database.

In order to make an entry onto the blockchain database, all the computers have to agree to the state of the entire chain, so that no computer can make an alteration without the consensus of the others.

Once completed a block will be added to the blockchain as a permanent record, each time a block is completed a new one is generated. There is a countless number of blocks in the blockchain, all intra-connected via links in a chain, in a linear, chronological order. This is why is is called a Blockchain, an enormous chain of blocks of data.

Without miners, people could do a plethora of fraudulent activities such as duplicating transactions to trick the system for personal gain.

Currently there are an estimated 100,000+ miners being run concurrently around the globe.

For every transaction on the network the following information must be announced/ broadcasted to the blockchain:

  • Sending crypto address, similar to an Account Number at the bank
  • Receiving crypto address, similar to an Account Number at the bank
  • Amount of virtual assets or tokens sent
  • Signature, meaning the transaction is signed using private key. This is not shared to the Blockchain

Miners use top of the range hardware and software to solve cryptographic problems created by the Blockchain in accordance to each set of transactions made. The miners’ computer uses its high computing power to guess an answer to the problem and the first miner to get the correct answer, is rewarded with Bitcoin. The reason this is done, is to ensure that a transaction is indeed valid and no double spending can occur.

It is important to note that new bitcoin is being released to the miners at a fixed, but periodically declining rate, such that the total supply of bitcoins approaches and will never be more than 21 million. Bitcoin are also released into circulation in this way.

As continuously more bitcoins are created, the difficulty of the mining process, the amount of computing power involved, increases.


On the Bitcoin blockchain, bitcoins are registered to bitcoin addresses. Creating a bitcoin address can be done by anyone, only requiring a person to pick a random valid private key and computing the corresponding bitcoin address. Not to worry, this computation can be done very quickly and is usually done for the user.

Users share their public bitcoin addresses without compromising its corresponding private key. To be able to use/ spend their bitcoins, the owner must know the corresponding private key and digitally sign the transaction using the private key which is not revealed to others.

Note: If a user loses their private key, the bitcoin network will not recognize any other evidence of ownership, thus the coins belonging to that address are lost and cannot be ‘recovered’.

7 facts about Bitcoin

  1. No one single entity controls this currency: Bitcoin is controlled by everyone who uses the bitcoin blockchain by making transactions on it. Consensus across the blockchain is made possible through the Bitcoin miners.
  2. There is and will always just be 21 000 000 Bitcoin in existence: There will only be 21000000 Bitcoin in existence ever, leading to the value of Bitcoin as a currency rising as time continues.
  3. All Bitcoin Transactions is completely transparent and available for everyone to see: One thing that makes Bitcoin so unique is that it is completely transparent. By stating this, we do not mean personal data, but instead with transactions and amounts.
  4. Anyone can mine bitcoins: As discussed earlier, anyone with the adequate computer hardware and software can join in mining Bitcoin and get paid out in Bitcoin by the blockchain itself.
  5. Transactions cannot be reversed: If you send Bitcoin to someone, you cannot revoke that transaction, so be very cautious when making transactions/payments.
  6. Bitcoin transactions have fees, but it is very small: With bitcoin, there are little to no transaction fees even when sending Bitcoin internationally. This fee is usually to pay the exchanges where these transactions take place on.
  7. You can buy things with Bitcoin: Bitcoins may be very new and there is a lot of scepticism around it, but it’s actually a real currency used to buy real things. There is a variety of merchants who accept bitcoins as payment for items, both online stores and physical stores.


After reading this article, we hope you as a reader have a better understanding of what Bitcoin is and how it works. Bitcoin is incredibly valuable and will continue to grow in value in the long run. Right now in this moment are a good a time as ever to start trading BTC and many of the other cryptocurrencies available in the market.

If you want to get started trading cryptocurrency and not sure where to go, our FREE trading academy is here to help.


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How to Handle Cryptocurrency Tax. UK Cryptocurrency Tax Explained

Is cryptocurrency trading tax-free in the UK​? Cryptocurrency tax explained

When Bitcoin (BTC) gains in value just remember that the taxman will want his share. Stay safe and discover how taxation of cryptocurrencies work in the UK?


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HMRC must be rubbing its hands in glee. With the value of Bitcoin soaring to record levels, sooner or later the taxman will be collecting his share of gains made from this cryptocurrency, and the thousands of other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Monero (XMR).

Cryptocurrencies have been one of the top areas of discussion in the past few months, especially after the big rise in the price of Bitcoin around December 2017. Bitcoin surged from around £700 to a peak of over £14,000, this is over 2000% gains. Many people made a fortune with Bitcoin during this time! The questions the public and the government sits with is: “If Bitcoin is seen as a currency, maybe not for all people, but definitely for some, and if Bitcoin has given so many people an extra income and capital gains, how will it be regulated under law and should it be taxed?

Crypto Trading

Firstly, let’s discuss three of the many similarities cryptocurrencies have to other traditional fiat currencies:

  • In the crypto market, you also have fluctuating exchange rates which are driven by the market.
  • You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for other cryptocurrency or for ‘normal’ currencies, such as the Great British Pound (GBP).
  • Transactions via cryptocurrencies can be made online via the internet.

Cryptocurrency has become extremely popular as stated above. The popularity can be connected to the new technology which has almost infinite possibilities namely blockchain, it is also not managed by any banks

You can trade cryptocurrency via different platforms both on and off the normal web. If you are buying cryptocurrencies in the UK on the regular web via a standard browser such as Google, from what you perceive to be a reliable source, you will be subject to money laundering checks under UK rules. If you buy cryptocurrencies on the dark web, which is not advised, ID checks can be almost non-existent, however, depending on how you set up your transactions on of the risks of some dark web merchants is that you run the risk that you might lose your money.

Generating revenue by using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin through investing and trading in the crypto market and on multiple exchanges, has become a new technique of making a profit, some may even consider it as a new job.  Currently, in the UK, income derived from virtual currency such as profits from the transfer of assets, income from a job and business is taxed on a related principle as income derived from traditional money, this will be expanded on during this article.

We know that as regards to the taxation of digital profit, the investment or derived income from a cryptocurrency is usually uncensored and unanimous due to the nature of the cryptocurrency technology, but has to be transformed into fiat on the exchange at this moment in time to be of any use due to not a lot of places accepting crypto payments yet, this is usually done at the exchange rate of the virtual currency on that specific date. This is where the tax came in for a lot of people, although the assets held on digital platforms should also not be overlooked. The part of the profit or loss usually depends on whether the digital currency is an asset in the hands of the people. People commonly recognise profit or loss on a transaction or exchange of virtual currency that is a capital asset. For example, stocks, bonds, and other investment holding are usually capital assets, thus cryptocurrencies can be seen as similar.

So, who is regulating this?

It was reported that the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS) compelled cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, to send data on over 13,000 of its users as part of a tax evasion investigation.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes, the payment of some forms of state support and the administration of other regulatory regimes including the national minimum wage, has already published a guideline about UK crypto taxation. They also stated: “We will not hesitate to use the powers Parliament has made available to us to identify those who are intent on evading tax.” They referred here to the tax evasive behaviour connected to cryptocurrencies.

Coming back to the UK specifically regarding the HMRC. The HMRC sets the revenue and customs policies and is also responsible for the UK crypto taxation The HMRC does not currently recognise Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as a currency, however, crypto assets are intangible assets and appear to fall into s.21(1)(a) of TCGA 1992.

This means that disposal proceeds are taxed as capital gains unless there is evidence of trading. We will see now that traders will be taxed for income.

According to HMRC policy paper, any crypto profits made are subject to the same taxation as a normal salary such as income tax and national insurance augmentation. It has also recognized that cryptocurrencies may be kept as property or utilized to pay for goods or services at traders where they are received. In the UK, there are already a number of terminals, such as bars, eateries and internet retailers, that take payment by cryptocurrency.

…any crypto profits made through are subject to the same taxation as a normal salary…

The HMRC guideline is thus only applicable for people who are earning profits or contrarily earning income from cryptocurrencies, in whatever manner. The following list is examples of different ways people are earning profits from the leading cryptocurrency namely Bitcoin:

  • Bitcoin mining
  • Bitcoin trading
  • Bitcoin exchanges
  • Bitcoin payment processing
  • Other Bitcoin service providers

Broadly speaking, cryptocurrency traders will be held liable to income tax whereas non-traders, investors, miners, everyday people who buy and sell the coins, will be liable to capital gains tax. If you’re confused, or unsure under which class you are held liable, here are some key differences between trading and investing in the cryptocurrency space. Some of these activities may be very hard to place into one of the two categories such as mining but have been placed according to the nature of the activity itself.

Trading or investing in crypto assets?


Actively mining Bitcoin

Making multiple trades buying and selling cryptocurrencies


Buying cryptocurrencies and holding your investment for long periods of time and maybe later selling

Obviously, not all examples are covered above. It is clear that tax would depend on particular circumstances.

VAT treatment appertaining to Cryptocurrencies:

Although cryptocurrencies are not tax-exempt as we saw above, they are well vat exempt. Here is a short summary of tax vs VAT:


Value Added Tax is a form of indirect tax that is imposed at different stages of production on goods and services.


Tax, most commonly known as sales tax, is the percentage of revenue imposed on the retail sale of goods.

Unlike VAT, TAX is levied on the total value of goods and services purchased.

Due to the fact that there is an inadequate connection between any assistance furnished and any payment received with cryptocurrency mining, the revenue derived from cryptocurrency mining exercises are outside the scope of VAT. This is due to the activity not forming a commercial activity. Revenue earned by crypto miners for other ventures like for the affirmation of particular transactions is spared from VAT under Article 135(1)(d) of the EU VAT Directive.

When cryptocurrency is traded or exchanged for other fiat currencies such as GBP, no VAT is payable on the value of the cryptocurrency, but nevertheless, in all cases, VAT is payable for any goods or services traded in exchange for any cryptocurrency such as items at a store.


Hopefully, after reading this article, you will have a better understanding between TAX and VAT and also have clear knowledge on whether the activities you are performing regarding cryptocurrencies is TAX and VAT exempt also which type of tax they include.


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What is the Litecoin (LTC) Halving & How Will It Effect The LTC Price?

What is the Litecoin (LTC) halving & how will it affect the LTC price?​​

This cryptocurrency article covers the Litecoin halving and explains exactly how this big event is likely to effect the LTC price.


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It is almost time for the next Litecoin halving. This may have a major impact on the price of this cryptocurrency and those who plan on trading this coin, definitely needs to consider this into their plans.

This short article covers the Litecoin halving and gives you a reader a brief understanding thereof.

What do we mean when we refer to a coin undergoing halving

Halving is a pretty simple term used in the cryptocurrency space. It basically means that the mining reward that is paid out to miners after they had successfully mined a transaction block is halved. For example, currently, from the time of writing this article (2019/07/04), the block reward for Litecoin is 25 Litecoins. Thus, after halving occurs, the block reward will be reduced to 12.5 coins per block. For Litecoin specifically, this is said to happen every 4 years and the next halving of the Litecoin network is anticipated to take place on August 5th, 2019.

The reason for halving is to limit the total supply of coins ever to be in existence.

What is Litecoin halving?

Litecoin halving is the event where the number of generated Litecoin rewards per block will be halved (divided by 2).
The total number of Litecoin mined by miners per block will reduce from 25 to 12.5 LTC in the next Litecoin halving.
The number of Litecoin found per block will become more scarce and this halving reward ensures that Litecoin total supply will reach 84 million.

When is the next Litecoin Halving?

Block #1,680,000 (estimated around Aug 7th, 2019)

When was the last Litecoin Halving?

Block #840,000 (August 25th, 2015)
(Litecoin block reward went from 50 LTC to 25 LTC) 

What is the effect of halving on Litecoin

Halving in the crypto market can be seen as a very positive occurrence, as inflation slows down on the price of the coin, due to less coins being supplied to the market. This, in turn, leads to higher demands of the coin, making it more valuable.


The next Litecoin (LTC) will more than likely have a positive impact on the Litecoin (LTC) price. As not only will the scarcity and rareness of LTC increase but the hype and attention around the halving will likely draw new investors to buy LTC, in turn rising prices.

Halvings are an ingenious invention by no other than the infamous inventor of Bitcoin (BTC) Satoshi Nakamoto. It keeps the supply of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash fixed. Unlike Fiat currencies control by banks that can print an unlimited supply of currency at any time, creating inflation.

After reading this short article, you as reader hopefully have a better understanding of what the term halving means, know when the next Litecoin halving is and how it will affect most people in the Litecoin space and intern the price.

If you would like to know more about Fundamentals of cryptocurrencies and how to trade them, we would signing up to our FREE trading academy. 


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