How Blockchain Is Transforming The Online Gaming World

Blockchain and the Impact on Transforming The Online Gaming World

Blockchain technology has certainly taken over every domain of digital transactions. It has revolutionised the world of cryptocurrencies and has given everyone around the world a new platform to do online transactions. The Blockchain technology has definitely exceeded expectations and has reached new heights year in and year out; the tech has even lengthened its reach and can even be found in the online gaming world. In fact, it has made quite an impact in gaming and it should be very interesting to see how Blockchain will revolutionise the gaming space.

Private, Legal, Low Cost and fairly accessible Option

Cryptocurrencies have managed to find their way into the casino industry and in doing so its expanded its status. An increasing number of online casinos have introduced cryptocurrencies as a main payment or as a substitute payment method. The great thing is that these forms of payment are safe, accessible and well documented which further strengthens the reputation of cryptocurrencies. With the use of cryptocurrencies these gaming companies allow their members to remain anonymous and give them a piece of mind knowing that it is extremely safe. Cryptocurrencies also make it easier because gamers and gamblers don’t run into any difficulties with regards to financial documents or setting up an account.

Reduces Fraud and Loss of Revenue

Fraud and a loss of revenue is relatively widespread on the internet and this is really unfortunate. Studies have confirmed there were approximately two million online fraud incidents reported in 2017, with the general belief being this number is only the tip of the iceberg. Blockchain technology has ensured the extermination of fraud and revenue loss which will save the online casino industry billions every year.

Developers are creating Blockchain driven games

Blockchain has created many games but it has taken their technology to a new extreme. Developers have created Decentraland which is a virtual reality platform which is powered by Ethereum Blockchain. Decentraland allows people to own different pieces of land which you are free to do whatever you want to with. With this so called ‘digital real estate” players are able to access an entire new platform that has businesses, services and social activities.

Ensures more equality in the online gaming industry

Most players have the idea that the house always wins but that is no longer the case thanks to Blockchain. The majority of gamblers have accepted the fact that they would most likely lose more often than not, but Blockchain has created equality in games. Smart contracts, cryptography and Blockchain technology have all worked together to develop a system which has ensure that there is equality in any games that contain their technology.

Therefore, it is clear that the Blockchain technology has had a significant effect on the online gaming industry. Blockchain technology has given this industry room to flourish and has also made the online gaming industry a much safer environment to get involved in. This technology has also improved payments, betting and encouraged the creation of new types of games.

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Six Amazing Financing Options for Start-up Businesses

Options for a Start up Business

Business depends upon the idea and vision of an individual or a group of people, and one cannot start it until and unless is confident about the idea. The biggest advantage of having your own business is that you have your own choices and you get to make your own independent decisions. But certain requirements of the business must be fulfilled. You should make sure that you have the abilities to start up a new business and along with that you are ready to give your time and strength to it as the establishment of a new business requires them all.

After this, the primary thing that comes in the way to start your own business is the lack of capital. One of the most basic things that every businessperson needs at some point either to continue, to establish or to start a new business is the loan. When any business entity has less capital, then it not only affect the progress rate of the entity but also decreases the employment rate which ultimately affects the lives of many people. There are many ways by which you can get loan and the biggest mean is the bank. It is also very important that you prepare a solid business plan. You should gather all the information regarding your business niches such as the information of the ownership and the management, the objective of the business, marketing plans and financial projections. You should also present your idea to the lenders. It will help them to develop confidence in your vision.

Along with that, a written business plan is always preferable as it contains all the information that the lender would need to check whether the firm is in a position to return the loan taken or not. It contains all the profit and loss statements, bank statements, business credit reports, personal credit reports, tax return documentation and copies of all the relevant legal documents. Do you want to start a business of your own? Are you passionate about business and related stuff?! Well, the two basic things that you need in order to start a new business are capital and your devotion, of course. So here I have six amazing financing options for startup businesses. Have a look at them:

If you want maximum profit out of your business, then you will have to finance it personally. How do you expect any banks or lenders to take a risk in you when you are not willing to take a risk in yourself? There are numerous ways to finance your business personally. You can save up from your personal income, or you can also liquidate some assets to get the startup money. You can gain the finances for your business is through your property.

It can create a big role for the investment towards your business. You can pledge your property to gain enough amount of money for starting your business as personal assets play an important role in helping the lender decide to lend you the amount. They act as a guarantee to the lender that in case you fail to pay back the amount on given time then the amount can be recovered from the assets. But do all the necessary calculations and make a solid and effective business plan so that you don’t end up wasting your hard earned money. And your business can be more profitable if self-financed due to the ever-increasing interest rates of banks and private lenders.

If you don’t have enough resources to finance your business personally then acquiring a loan is another option you can avail. Keep in mind that loans don’t get approved so easily. You will have to ensure the lenders that you are worth taking the risk. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while applying for a loan.

  • Start the application process before you need the money
  • Create a detailed business plan
  • Show how the business will be profitable
  • Try to improve your personal and business credit score
  • Consult professionals to look over the loan agreement before you sign it
  • Partnerships

Partnerships are a great way to finance a startup personally without any involvement of banks. Gather some friends and family members that you can trust and form a partnership to finance the business. But involving business with relationships can sometimes cause problems and can lead to damaging the relationships with your loved ones. So to avoid this problem, you should form a legally binding contract that specifies the roles of all the people involved in the business.

  • Incubators and accelerators

Incubators and accelerators are companies that finance your business in return for some equity. They also provide you access to experienced professionals and business contacts to improve your odds of success. But like a loan you need to show these companies that you are worth the investment and your business plan will be profitable.

Crowdfunding is the process of raising money to fund what is typically a project or business venture through many donors using an online platform, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdfunder. Crowdfunding is typically done through an online platform that allows the fundraiser to set up a public campaign for accepting donations. The campaign will advertise details such as the nature of the project or venture, the amount of money the company is hoping to raise and the campaign’s fundraising deadline.

People can donate a specified amount through the fundraising campaign’s website and often receive some sort of acknowledgement or reward in return for their donation. These websites are a centralized way for startups to reach out to a large community. Many YouTube channels got their startup funding from crowdfunding websites.

If any of the previous options are not available, you always have family and friends to look back to. You can ask your friends and family members to loan you the startup, or you can ask them to invest in your business. It is the most common way through which you can take the loan for a start-up business. You can always convince them to lend you the loan. Where you will need to return the loan you take, you won’t have to pay any interest on them and you won’t be under any extreme pressure by your friends and family. Just make sure that you don’t let the money ruin your relationships.

 

Author Bio:

Emily Stark is a financial analyst and accounting expert. She has in-depth knowledge about setting up small businesses as well as creating profitable investments. She regularly contributes articles related to business and loans at https://www.ebroker.com.au/.

 

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MoneyGram is on the Decline

MoneyGram International, Inc goes by the ticker MGI on the NASDAQ GS. At the time of writing (November 2018), MoneyGram stock was priced at approximately $4.40 per share. For the year-to-date, MoneyGram stock has declined from $12.28 per share, shedding almost $8 in 2018. The company’s market capitalisation is currently $245.46 million with no price/earnings ratio and a -0.56 earnings per share. The 1-year target estimate price for MoneyGram is $6.25. It is noteworthy that MoneyGram traded as high as $15.54 over the past 52 weeks, indicating that there has been a significant downgrading of investor confidence and performance in this stock.

 

MoneyGram International Inc is a money transfer service with HQ in Dallas, Texas. It offers international money transfer services with locations all over the world. According to Zacks Investment Research, MoneyGram stock is no longer the darling of investors in the money transfer services industry. There were several reasons why the stock capitulated, notably fundamental weaknesses in its money transfer business which comprises a substantial source of the company’s overall revenues. More importantly, MoneyGram faces a slew of challenges from up-and-coming start-ups, online money transfer services and other FinTech operations. At a time where the industry was growing at a rate of 6%, MoneyGram was plunging in double digits.

 

2018 has seen many online money transfer companies come into their own. The volatility of the FX market is but one of several reasons why MoneyGram transfers are losing market share. Governments around the world are placing increasingly stringent regulations on money transfer services, and pricing pressures have come home to bite. Besides for increasing costs of compliance vis-a-vis governance structures and regulations, MoneyGram is having to shelve out millions of dollars which is eating into its bottom line with sharply decreasing growth prospects. Overall, lower remittance rates have resulted in weakness in many Middle Eastern markets for MoneyGram, notably Saudi Arabia. In Africa, MoneyGram has suffered from decreased market share when Nigeria reduced the permitted allotment to just 50% of what it previously was. As a result, stock prices are generally weak and market share is slacking.

 

How Are Competitors Eating into MoneyGram’s Market Share?

International money transfer companies like World First and HiFX are starting to dominate the online money transfer industry in a big way. They are but two of many FinTech operations now coming into their own. When it comes to money transfer companies, a growing number of people are choosing these money transfer companies over established banks and financial institutions.

 

Analysts are of the opinion that MoneyGram is losing market share to these up-and-coming online money transfer service companies. According to International Money Transfers – a leading reviewer of money transfer services – HiFX/WorldFirst comparison charts present many interesting facts and figures, notably:

 

  • World First is a privately-owned enterprise (operating since 2004) with offices across 5 continents. It features 75,000 active clients, and growing. This online money transfer service currently offers 121 currencies, with no fees on transfers, except for small transfers which cost $10.
  • HiFX is owned by Euronet, and is headquartered in London, UK. While this money transfer services company does not offer as many currencies – 5 dozen pairs offered, it accepts clients from across Australia and Europe. The fee is £9 per transfer, and it’s fully regulated by the FOC, FMA, and FCA.

 

There are pros and cons to each of these services, notably that WorldFirst does not offer FX options and is markedly smaller than HiFX. From the other side, HiFX lacks transparency on rates, and is a little clunky in terms of registration. There are mixed reviews on the services offered by HiFX and WorldFirst, but the majority of customer feedback has been positive.

These companies are proving to be a thorn in the side of market giant MoneyGram. As more clients shift to WorldFirst and HiFX, the drip, drip from MoneyGram becomes a slow and steady trickle to alternative online money transfer services.

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3 Best Performing Solar Stocks

Top Solar Stocks for Investing

The solar stocks had a bad time during the second half of 2015 until 2016, although they recovered in 2017. As a matter of fact, the ETF, which was tracking the Guggenheim Solar ETF, has seen an impressive return of more than 54% in the previous year. The federal tax credits on home solar installation, as well as other incentives that stimulate the industry, are among the reasons why the solar stocks have risen in the past. Yet the sector was being resilient in 2017 even in a time where the presidential administration doesn’t prioritize renewable energy in the same way as the previous administration did.

Depending on how you look at it, the solar industry’s sunny outlook could mean that now is the perfect time to invest in solar stocks. If you’re thinking of including solar stocks in your portfolio, then you should check out these top 3 solar stocks:
  1. First Solar, Inc. (FSLR)

After a somewhat disappointing performance in 2016, when their revenue went down to almost 20%, First Solar had a remarkable year in 2017. After the company beat consensus estimates during the first quarters of 2017, results in the 3rd quarter were far more impressive – with revenue of $1.09 billion. This figure represents a 60% growth which crushed the estimate of $824.2 million. Although the company didn’t meet expectations during the 4th quarter, an adjusted loss of 25 cents for share came in better than the expected loss of 33 cents. First Solar can benefit from the tariff decision of Trump since the company uses thin solar panels, a technology that’s different from what’s used by Chinese companies that Trump’s tariffs are trying to protect the US from.

  1. SunPower Corporation (SPWR)

SunPower went down by more than 70% of its overall value during the entire course of 2016, a figure that triggered fear among its investors. Bankruptcy is the number one concern among solar stocks, however, SunPower is mainly owned by Total S.A, a petroleum giant, which props the solar company up with credit and even bought solar panels to be used by its 5,000 gas stations. The company is spending money on its new technology in order to boost the efficiency of solar panels and move to utility-scale projects that could become a game changer in the company’s balance sheet.

  1. Vivint Solar, Inc. (VSLR)

Vivint Solar is a company aimed at the residential market, providing both storage and rooftop solar solutions. Their stock showed a good performance in June of 2017, rallying at more than 80% after analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded the shares to purchase and almost doubled their target price to $6 from $3.50. However, the shares of Vivint gave up most of these gains. Nevertheless, the stock ended in 2017 up by almost 56% for the entire year and after suffering from volatility in the first half of the year 2018, the company has now recovered and has enjoyed a 52-week high of more than $6 in the summer and is currently trading at $5.20 per share, which is up by 30%.

 

 

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Things You Should Know About Buying a Franchise

5 Things That You Should Not Ignore When Selecting the Right Franchise

 

There are thousands of franchise systems today to a point that business owners are confused on which one to buy. The basic factors to consider should include; cost, lifestyle, and skill set although you may consider other things. Despite all these, there are things that you should never ignore no matter the industry.

  1. Consider What Motivates You

We all have different things that motivate us, and you may want to buy a franchise in order to have a more comfortable life. There are franchises that will fit an eight-to-five job, there are those that will fit round the clock and there are those that will fit working at some specific times. Consider what motivates you before getting a franchise.

 

  1. The Size of the Territory the Franchise Covers

As a business or a startup owner, you need your business to grow over time. You do not expect to be stagnant, and that is why you should never ignore, the size of your territory. Some franchises are limited to regions, others to square mile while others are limited to single towns. Be well informed about the territory the franchise you are planning to buy is limited to.

  1. The Opportunities in a Specific Location

Never ignore what is in a name and do not be carried away by the highly rated opportunities. Remember you need to consider what is of great importance to you as a business owner then focus on it. Popular brands come with a cost which maybe too much for you for a start. Check out the franchises that are not in that specific area instead of focusing on big brands. You could find one of the best business opportunities in this.

 

  1. Your Comfort with the Franchise

This is a business that you will be engaging in most of the times and in every job, you need to be happy. Never ignore the comfort you get when you are choosing a franchise. You do not want to be unhappy every time you are working or you think about it. The Franchisor’s culture is wide and thus you should find one that you are comfortable with.

 

  1. The Final Cost of Making the Franchise Profitable

Cost is always a factor in most investments. There is what it costs to buy a franchise, and there is what you invest to make profit. Never ignore the final cost of making your franchise profitable as this was your initial mission. Get all the costs involved from the franchisor and work on your budget. When you decide to run your own business, you need the best franchise for that. No matter the industry you are venturing into, cost, your comfort, your motivation and the opportunities at hand should not be ignored.

 

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How Financial Technology is Creating Growth Opportunities for Small Businesses

Changing the Way Small Business Are Financed

One of the major problems many economies have had to deal with is that which concerns catering to the needs of small businesses in a changing business environment. The traditional model of new companies turning to banks for finance was limiting for most entrepreneurs.

Small business owners found it unbelievably hard to secure funding through a bank, with loan requests being declined for reasons ranging from insufficient collateral to economic concerns, and everything in-between. This made survival difficult, never mind expansion.

Thanks to new fintech firms, small and medium businesses can now access cheaper alternative financing and grow. The innovative ideas and new developments brought by fintech companies have changed the business sector and made it easier for startups to navigate the financial services landscape through the following ways:

Advances

Fintech enables small businesses to get the funding they need to expand. Peer-to-peer lending sites such as Funding Circle, LendGenius, and Kabbage provide microloans for business owners that often have difficulty finding lending support. This helps make it possible for small businesses to carry on their operations unhindered.

The requirements for getting approved by these companies are less restrictive than commercial banks. Fintech advances also attract lower interest rates, involve little to no paperwork, and do not require collateral. Add the convenience that they offer on top of that, and you will see just how far financial technology has brought us.

Expense Tracking and Electronic Invoicing

Another way that fintech removes the barriers that small businesses encounter when they try to expand is that it provides them with reliable expense monitoring solutions that are flexible enough to allow them to meet their business needs.

Fintech firms like Sage offer tools with which small-sized businesses can monitor all the money coming in and going out of the company’s accounts. This helps business owners to understand how much money is in the business at any point in time, as well as how that money is being spent. When a business can have a clear picture of its finances in this manner, it will find it easier to make informed financial decisions.

Further, fintech enables small businesses to automate invoicing, simplifying the accounting process as a result. This helps entrepreneurs to not only deal with cashflow challenges but also to maximize efficiency.

Provision of Digital Payment Options

Before now, one of the major problems for businesses that operate on a small scale is how to send money across international borders. The procedures for sending funds across borders was long and tedious. As a result, it discouraged clients from buying from overseas businesses. Fortunately, payment solutions like PayPal, Stripe, Venmo, Skrill, etc., now make it easier for small business owners to accept payments globally. This enables businesses to achieve international growth, as any customer can pay for items regardless of their location.

Last Word

Fintech has contributed in no small measure to helping small-sized businesses to drive revenue and grow market share in a tough business environment by addressing the market failures that they encounter.

The ease with which organizations can access funding, track expenses and conduct business have significantly enhanced their ability to keep their finances in check, achieve growth, and measure results effectively.

 

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Record Rise in Online Gambling in China

 

For Mr. Li, the penalty kick taken by Cristiano Ronaldo in the Euro 2016 groups match between Austria and Portugal was a huge moment. He could barely watch is since he has placed a bet on Portugal to win. Ronaldo hit the post and the game ended in a draw, leaving Li frustrated for losing his money. He had placed his bet using the WeChat app by Tencent Holdings Ltd.

This is a good example of the rising interest in the world soccer, and this has also increased the cases of illegal online gambling. This has seen the police crack the whip on betting rings and other gambling companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent. Most of the internet gambling in China is illegal.

 

Chinese Tycoon Acquires English Soccer Club

Li placed his bet through the WeChat app, where most of the gamblers are friends. When you win, the prize money is shared through various channels like Alipay, WeChat, bank transfer or the red packets, which are envelopes that are loaded with cash.

The police record shows that there has been an upwelling in online gambling activity, which is illegal, especially due to the upcoming UEFA Football Championship in Paris. The Public Security Ministry has confirmed that across the four provinces, it has apprehended 236 people for illegal online gambling on UEFA games. To this effect, Tencent and Alibaba have set up anti-gambling systems.

According to Miranda Shek, a spokeswoman of Ant Financial said that they have been conducting serious checks and if any suspicious account is discovered, it will be frozen right away. Tencent has also confirmed that it is keeping a keen eye on any illegal gambling activities.

One of the reasons that have triggered the surge in soccer gambling is the soccer investment by the Chinese companies in overseas clubs. There has been an increase in the number of soccer stars who are moving to China. An assistant professor, Hu Naijun, from the University of Science and technology in Beijing, said that besides the European Cup, the soccer market in China has developed significantly. This has increased the interests in betting.

 

 

Reaching for the Gold

Mr. Bao is an organizer of a gambling group, and he confirmed that there is a jackpot of 5 million Yuan. This is causing millions of people to bet, hoping to win the cash prize. He said that this has become a lucrative business and for the final, they may even spend a week in the presidential suite in Hong King or Macau.

As for Li, he says that his money is, still, on Portugal, who has qualified for the Euro 2016 semifinals. He says he watches the game being nervous at every chance. When Cristiano missed the penalty, he almost fainted.

 

 

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Who is Salesforce.com and What is CRM

 

3 Things you haven’t heard from Salesforce.com

If you are in the CRM business, you’ve probably heard tons of clients and non-clients complaining about their CRM – those that are not user friendly, those that are just too complicated, and those that are, for lack of a better word, altogether unhelpful. Businesses are always looking out for a Customer Relationship Management system.

For sure, there are genuine complaints among them, but the truth is that CRMs today have matured so far beyond what you could access a few years ago. Most CRMs in the market now offer excellent service, whether you choose the high end ones like SAP, Oracle or Salesforce.com and its Salesforce ANT migration tool, or the middle range Sage CRM, MS Dynamics CRM and GoldMine, or even lower end types like Highrise, Nimble, Insight.ly or Zoho.

There are hundreds more out there, and most have a robust framework that is easy to use and well designed. Some are on-premise while others are in-cloud, with features for marketing, sales, email, opportunity management and calendaring. You can integrate with other systems, access social media directly, merge with and access from phones and other portable devices and a lot more.

The problem isn’t with the CRM system; it’s with the management of the CRM system. If you’ve been facing CRM challenges, it’s time to stop complaining and take action. Here are three things to get you going:

  1. Concentrate on the reports

The most important aspect of any CRM is that it’s a database, no matter where it’s placed. And databases generate reports, without which any CRM system has no value. You must make sure your system is set to generate the key reports you need to track your sales and marketing endeavors; any other aspect in the CRM is a plus.

These reports should be configured to be delivered to your inbox on a fixed schedule – daily, weekly monthly etc., since they are what managers will use to manage their teams. Your teams should feed in necessary data on schedule to make sure that the reports are generated on schedule. If you’re not doing this, you know half the reason your CRM is giving you hell.

  1. Get a CRM administrator

Every company needs one of these. Someone who owns the system and knows it from end to end. Someone who is responsible for all data help in the system and who knows the answer to every past, present and future question about it. And this is the best part – it’s doesn’t need to be and actually shouldn’t be an IT guy either.

CRMs today are pretty easy to learn, so all you need is a smart employee in administration who can be trained in the nooks and crannies of CRM, and then authorized to manage the system and all staff remotely involved in it. A strong administrator is an investment no organization can do without if the CRM will succeed in its role.

  1. Embrace your CRM or go

As a manager, you’ve got to get your team on the love-the-CRM-or-go bandwagon. Most employees are resistant to change, but it you’re firm as a manager, eventually they will understand that they have no choice but to work with it. If you let employees get away with sabotaging the CRM by doing things ‘like they’ve always been done’ you’re setting the organization up for failure.

Pay attention to what every employee is doing, and make sure it’s being done correctly, no matter what CRM it is. Ensure your staff have been adequately trained and prepared, and then require them to apply themselves to make the system succeed, in every part of the organization.

What is CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers

Author Bio

Sujain Thomas is a competent CRM expert and Salesforce products distributor. For more information on Salesforce ANT migration tool and to get assistance using other Salesforce products, visit her website.

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Payday Loan Improvement: Has Regulation Truly Made A Difference

Payday Short Term Loans That Make Sense

Payday Loans were created to ease the financial pressure that workers face before they receive their pay cheques at the end of the month. The short term loan would be paid directly into the worker’s bank account before they were expected to repay in full, with interest, when they eventually received their pay. The type of loan came under much scrutiny, with critics citing that it made it too easy for a vulnerable person to ‘over borrow’ and therefore, face long term financial hardship. It was as a result of this condemnation, that a series of laws were introduced in an attempt to regulate payday loans.

We’re going to explore those very laws and examine whether the regulation made a difference.

Which Regulation Was Introduced?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was the organisation responsible for the regulation introduced into the payday loan market.

The first action the FCA took was to introduce a cap on interest rates charged on loans, which were frozen at 0.8% per day the amount borrowed. There was also another condition added, that no borrower should have to pay back more than twice the amount of their original loan.

They also regulated and reduced the fees that payday lenders could charge for arranging a loan, as well as introducing a cap on the borrower default fee, meaning that if a borrower failed to meet the conditions of their loan, they could only be charged a maximum of £15.

The FCA’s final ruling was that each payday lender had to list their loan rates on at least one price comparison site to prove their legitimacy, as well as improving competition and price transparency within the market.

Did The Regulation Make A Difference?

These interventions went a long way to making the payday lender industry far more legitimate; however there is still room for improvement which was detailed in a report published by Citizens Advice.

They found that after the caps and regulation were introduced, that borrowers were far less likely to find themselves in extreme financial difficulty, provided that they communicate to their borrowers that they were having trouble repaying their payday loan.

The 44% of borrowers who were experiencing difficulty in paying back their loans, but actually spoke to their lender, managed to agree a more affordable alternative repayment plan.

This statistic illustrates two points; the first is that lenders are more than happy to provide alternative options for borrowers provided that they tell them they are experiencing problems. The second, however, is that more than half of borrowers are unwilling to voice their concerns regarding repayments, due to the fact they perhaps feel embarrassed or ashamed at their inability to repay their loan.

Therefore, while payday lenders have clearly improved their methods for making loans easier to repay, work can still to be done in regards to the line of communication between lender and borrower.

Ultimately, it’s clear that the payday loan industry has evidently improved after regulation, however it’s still not perfect, and things can still be done to better the industry for both lenders and borrowers.

 

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How to Buy Bitcoin – Wall Street

Smartphone with Bitcoin chart on-screen among piles of Bitcoins. Bitcoin trading concept.

Virtual Currency

We were already impressed about a decade ago, but today we can see that cryptocurrency has come a long way since then. Digital currencies are becoming much more widely adopted, and it is never more apparent than when you look at bitcoin, the first, most well-known, most accepted, and most commonly adopted cryptocurrency out there.

The virtual currency, which was created in 2009 by an individual (or group) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, has seen a repeated rise, fall, and resurgence yet its influence remains. Given its importance and popularity, it makes sense that it is the go-to digital currency for people joining the crypto-craze.

If you are looking to get into the cryptocurrency game, this comprehensive guide provides the necessary guidance on how to buy bitcoin.

Before You Buy Bitcoins

To buy bitcoins, you first need to get yourself a bitcoin wallet to store the tokens you will be purchasing. Bitcoin wallets are applications that have been specially designed to store bitcoins in much the same way your bank account stores your traditional currency.

Besides holding bitcoins, a crypto wallet is used to send or receive bitcoins from other users. The most popular wallets you can use to store, send, or receive bitcoins include the Ledger Nano S, Trezor Wallet, Electrum Wallet, Coinbase, MyCelium, Xapo, Blockchain.info, among others. These wallets provide you with different levels of security, storage, and access options.

How to Buy Bitcoin

That said, some of the best exchange platforms to buy bitcoin from include:

Purchase Bitcoins on Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms

One of the ways to purchase bitcoins is to use a cryptocurrency exchange. A cryptocurrency exchange platform is an online portal that lets you buy, sell, or exchange cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for other digital currencies or central bank issued currencies like the US dollar or Euro.

These platforms automatically merge a buy and sell order without market participants knowing each other. Exchange transactions are completed instantly. One of the main factors to consider before choosing an exchange platform is your location. This is because some exchanges are not available in all countries.

There are many ways you can buy bitcoins. You can choose from the following:
  • Coinbase: Coinbase is one of the world’s most popular digital currency exchanges with over 20 million accounts in its care. The platform lets users buy, sell, store, and trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Bitcoin can be purchased using debit or credit cards at a fee of 3.99%.
  • Coinmama: Coinmama is a worldwide exchange that lets you buy bitcoins with debit or credit cards. The platform charges 6% for every purchase made.
  • io: This platform allows you to buy bitcoins through a variety of payment channels including credit card, SEPA transfer, ACH bank transfer, AstroPay, and even cash. CEX.io charges a low transaction fee of 0.2%.

Other platforms you can use include Gemini, Kraken, Bitstamp, Changelly, etc.

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs offer a fast, secure, and convenient way to purchase bitcoins. To buy bitcoins via an ATM, all you need to do is insert cash into the machine. After that, you will receive a paper receipt containing the codes and instructions on how to send the funds to your bitcoin to your wallet.

Alternatively, you can scan your mobile wallet QR code to have the funds transferred directly to your wallet. Purchasing bitcoin on these machines attract between 3-8% commission on top of the standard exchange price.

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer service which matches bitcoin buyers and sellers. The platform, which also provides an escrow service, enables buyers to transact face-to-face with a local seller. To enhance privacy, LocalBitcoins allows you to purchase bitcoin in person without linking identity to an exchange.

Trades can also be carried out over the internet, provided you and the seller agree. Transaction fee varies between 5-10% depending on the seller you’re dealing with. This amount is paid in addition to the original exchange price.

Gift Cards

Another way to buy bitcoins is to trade gift cards for bitcoins. To do this, buy a gift card from any retailer, then log into a bitcoin exchange platform where gift cards are accepted (such as LocalBitcoins, Paxful, etc.) to complete the transaction.

Conclusion

Buying bitcoins is fast and easy, which doesn’t come as a surprise given the popularity of the token. However, we advise that you do your research thoroughly before you proceed to buy bitcoins, especially if you are using gift cards. This will help you avoid fraudsters looking to cheat and con you out of your money.

 

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