Want to Become an Expert? Check Out These Cryptocurrency Resources 3 902

With so many developments in the world of cryptocurrency, happening almost by the hour, it’s certainly never dull. Unless you’re a financial expert with your finger on the pulse, how do you know when it’s safe to invest? Add to that the volatility of digital currencies, and even Wall Street vets are reluctant to navigate a seemingly endless slew of token opportunities.

When Bitcoin and Ethereum rise and fall like a Disneyland roller coaster, and market speculation sends prices spinning out of control, how do you get on board? It’s actually not as hard as you might think to become seasoned in cryptocurrencies, with the amount of resources available to you.

From online classes and training academies, to podcasts and news sources, you can become an informed spectator in a fairly short time. It’s worth noting, of course, that there’s substantial risk in any token purchase and the inherent volatility in the market makes many folks uncomfortable. The quickly changing landscape and abrupt regulatory decisions foreshadow more subtle or stagnant appreciation of tokens, at least in comparison to last year’s outstanding growth. Headlines of hacking attacks, price surges, and ICO funding theft tend to hog the limelight, and we’re seeing less coverage of everyday people reporting massive returns. 

Still, the revolutionary nature of Blockchain technology has attracted many an investor, and will continue to do so. If you’re ready to join the list of token holders, here are some resources to consider.

Cryptocurrency Resources to Make Informed Decisions

Cryptocurrencies are like nothing we’ve seen before. They democratize the world of investing. Anyone with an internet connection and a bank account (and sometimes, not even the latter) can get on board.

But, with so much FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) running through the market, what may seem like a wise investment one day, can go belly up the next.

They say that innovation breeds innovation, and cryptocurrency resources are starting to pop up everywhere. Trading Mama is one such resource that I learned about at the CryptoFriends’ “New Girls on the Block” event during SXSW. It’s an online crypto trading school to educate those who want to dabble in the world of digital coins – and its actively inviting women into a male-dominated space.

If you’re new to the crypto world (and let’s face it, most of us are), devoting time to understanding the ins and outs is a good start. 

After two years in the crypto space, I’ve fallen more and more in love with it,” says Mariana Carrillo, Founder of Trading Mama. “There is groundbreaking innovation touching nearly every sector of society.” While most people know about Bitcoin, they’re unaware of many projects being carried out on the Blockchain. Change is already happening in energy, global development, and finance, to name a few sectors.

Trading Mama’s Crypto Trading School is a six-month online course in cryptocurrency that allows you to trade with relative confidence in a safe and supportive environment. Even if you currently have no knowledge of the industry, you can gain all the info you need throughout the course.

With tips on how to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and LiteCoin, and advice on investing and trading, this is meant to be a comprehensive program to jump-start your digital currency involvement.

Keeping Up to Date

In the fast-paced crypto world, keeping up to date with developments is key. So, following the right people and using the right cryptocurrency resources can help you stay on track.

Many factors can have dramatic effects on the market, from the threat of regulation to news about mining Bitcoin. One excellent podcast for learning the basics is The Bitcoin Podcast.

As one of the first podcasts to come out in this area, it’s a trustworthy and respected source for listening to expert opinions. There are interviews with business consultants, PhDs, mathematicians, banking professionals, and other thought leaders in the Bitcoin space.

There are currently more than 140 episode available, so you can listen at your leisure. Gain a better understanding of the technical side of the technology at a time convenient to you. Podcast guests come from all corners of the industry, so you’ll get well-rounded views.

Another important podcast for cryptocurrency resources is Coin Mastery. Rather than focusing on the background of Bitcoin and its technicalities, Coin Mastery serves the most up-to-date information on the cryptocurrency world.

You no longer need to trawl the web to find out the latest news, when you can get it here. Along with analysts’ opinions and trader discussions. This is the one to listen to once you’ve handled the basics and have a decent working knowledge of crypto and the blockchain.

There’s no need to have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), but you’ll want to be informed before entering such a tumultuous landscape. Understanding, for example, what to look for when vetting ICOs is an essential component in making smart purchasing decisions. With so many cryptocurrency resources at your fingertips that make dense content digestible, it’s becoming easier to navigate this brave new world.

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.

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Bitcoin Uses As Much Energy As Austria, Could Add 2°C to Earth’s Atmosphere 2,187 14279

Bitcoin mining, it turns out, damages the earth more than more traditional environmental assaults like actual mineral mining.

According to a paper published Monday in Nature Sustainability, the power-hungry Bitcoin mining process consumes more than triple the amount of energy needed to mine the equivalent amount of gold, more than quadruple what’s needed for copper, and more than double what it takes to mine platinum.

Other coins didn’t fare much better. By their measurements, Ethereum and Litecoin consume 7 megajoules of electricity to produce the equivalent of $1, the same energy expenditure as copper mining but more than that of platinum or gold. Monero eats up 14 megajoules to produce $1.

Naturally, these measurements refer to the notoriously variable dollar valuations of such tokens. “While the market prices of the coins are quite volatile,” write researchers Max J. Krause and Thabet Tolaymat, “the network hashrates for three of the four cryptocurrencies have trended consistently upward, suggesting that energy requirements will continue to increase.”

Bitcoin’s Growing Electricity Bill is Bigger Than Some Countries

We’ve long known that Bitcoin is unsustainable. In a 2015 article for Motherboard, Christopher Malmo pointed out that a single Bitcoin transaction used 5,033 times as much energy as a Visa swipe, and could power 1.5 American homes for a day.

The electricity used to crunch Bitcoin code—and its environmental cost—has been growing with its increasing popularity. Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index shows Bitcoin currently consuming 73.12 terawatt hours (or 263.232 billion megajoules) of electricity annually. To put that in context, it’s comparable to the amount of energy it takes to power Austria for a year.

That means there are 175ish countries on earth using less energy than Bitcoin (to say nothing of crypto on the whole), while 66 countries consume less energy per capita than one Bitcoin transaction (it takes 94 thousand kilowatt hours of electricity to mine a single Bitcoin).

Iceland, a major hub of Bitcoin mining farms, spends nearly as much energy on Bitcoin as it does powering its residential homes. In this case, the damage is mitigated because most of Iceland’s power comes from renewable energy.

Canada’s Bitcoin emissions are also on the lower end due to renewable energy sources. They’re using this to court mining companies from China, where mining emissions are about four times that of Canada’s. Montreal International attracts foreign investment by calling Quebec the land of “green bitcoin”. This has caught the eye of some Chinese mining companies looking to go overseas as the Chinese government has discouraged expansion and shut down some mining operations altogether.

Depending on Bitcoin’s growth, some have projected that it could use as much energy as the entire world by 2020.

Digital Currency Has a Real Carbon Footprint

Krause’s and Tolaymat’s research reminds us of the sobering reality that all this invisible wealth has real world costs.

For the 30 months they measured between January 2016 and June 2018, they estimate their four featured tokens collectively belched out at least 3 million tons of CO2 emissions, possibly as much as 15 million tons.

These findings follow another study, published last month, which determined Bitcoin alone could add two degrees Celcius to global warming within the next three decades. That’s enough to raise ocean acidity by 29 percent.

Solving Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption Crisis

So what is the solution? If the world were to switch to 100 percent renewable energy overnight, the problem would be moot. But we can’t hold our breath for that. There could be ways of incentivizing clean energy so greener mines reap more coins, or of implementing clean energy in other ways.

It’s also possible to adopt less computationally intensive mining algorithms so the mining computers don’t guzzle as much juice. This would disappoint a lot of old school Bitcoiners who have invested in hardware, but their feelings don’t really outweigh that 2 degrees celcius that everyone will have to live with (or die by).

Whatever the best solution turns out to be, something needs to change soon. Bitcoin is growing up, and it’s time for it to mature into something more sustainable.

Kenya Looks to Blockchain for Affordable Housing Project 9 11440

The “Silicon Savannah” is moving deeper in direction of tech. The Kenyan government has announced a plan to manage the property allocation and funding of 500,000 affordable housing units with blockchain technology.

The units, which the government aims to build by 2022, will be set aside for households with an annual income below 100,000 Kenyan Shillings, about $990 USD. The World Bank estimates Kenya’s gross national income per capita at $1,290, according to Business Daily.

Blockchain will help ensure that the affordable housing is in fact going to those who fall below the average income bracket. Land title fraud has caused problems for Kenyans, as land grabbers target homes and even schools for illegal sales and development. Blockchain’s ability to store verifiable proof of title could help safeguard against fraudsters.

“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government funded housing projects,” said Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga, speaking with the World Bank on Monday.

Hinga said the plan will be financed by the National Housing Fund, which will raise over $59.5 million per month to get the project underway. But Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia said it will take $31.7 billion to build a million homes, each of which will cost between $3,000 and $30,000. Macharia called for support from private sector financing.

Under the financing plan, working Kenyans will contribute 1.5 percent of their salary, which will be matched by their employers. “On affordable housing one should not spend more than 30% of their disposable income for housing,” Hinga tweeted yesterday. “Anything above 30% is not affordable.”

A Trustless Relationship Between People and Government

The initiative represents a considerable push to solve housing and title problems for the nation’s lower income families. But how will the government decide to whom the housing units will go? With so much talk about financing underway, people are already calling on the government to outline a plan for how they’ll distribute the affordable housing units.

The government will need to deliver the housing projects in a time when, Hinga acknowledges, the public is skeptical. Earlier this year $78 million went missing in a corruption scandal involving the National Youth Services. Where there is little trust between the people and their government, Kenya hopes to establish transparency through the blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Kenya’s Move Toward Tech

In March, Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology appointed a blockchain taskforce to explore the ways the nation could use blockchain technology in the public and private sectors. They called it the Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence taskforce, and by September its chairman, Bitange Ndemo, was calling on the government to tokenize the economy.

Ndemo also proposed government implementation of blockchain to certify the authenticity of retail goods, so consumers can be sure of where their food is coming from, for example.

Governor of Kenya’s central bank Patrick Njoroge has also voiced support for the use of blockchain technology to strengthen service delivery, although he’s opposed the use of tokens and digital currencies.

But the affordable housing initiative could be the Kenyan government’s first real world implementation of the blockchain.

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