Home Blog Page 5

The Financial Landscape for Digital Assets

How are investors in the DACH region accessing cryptocurrencies? What digital asset investment vehicles are particularly popular among professional investors? Which difference is there between the financial landscape in individual states within the DACH region? Questions like these play a particularly important role in a global context, for instance, when it comes to economic analyses for the various German-speaking jurisdictions.

The European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) reported that investment in alternative investments across Europe was €4.9 trillion in 2019. According to Preqin’s 2019 study on alternative investments in Europe, Germany has €58 billion invested in alternative assets. The largest sector of Germany’s alternative investments is private equity and venture capital, accounting for 23.4%. This is followed by real estate (13.5%), hedge funds (12.2%), infrastructure (5.1%), and private debt (2.9%). Per adult capita, Germany’s investment in alternative assets is approximately €1,248. In comparison, Switzerland has approximately €60 billion in assets under management dedicated to alternative investments. Hedge funds are the most attractive investment vehicle for Swiss investors representing 24.9%. This is followed by private equity and venture capital (14.4%), infrastructure (12.3%), private debt (5.0%), and real estate (2.1%). Per adult capita, Switzerland’s investment in alternative assets is approximately €12,212. Despite Switzerland’s smaller number of potential cryptocurrency investors, the investment amount per adult capita in alternative assets is 10x higher in Switzerland than in Germany. This provides evidence that Swiss investors may have more of an appetite for digital assets.

In the USA, some institutional investors have already invested in financial products that give them exposure to digital assets. Two pension funds in Virginia including the Fairfax Police Officer’s Retirement System and Employees’ Retirement System invested $55 million (€46.2 million) in Morgan Creek’s cryptocurrency fund in October of 2019. Yale University invested in two cryptocurrency funds during 2018 including Paradigm’s $400 million (€336 million) fund and Andreessen Horowitz. The University of Michigan’s endowment also invested $3 million (€2.5 million) in the Andreessen Horowitz cryptocurrency fund. Other university endowments including Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of North Carolina have all invested into digital assets via various financial products.

This section discusses how investors in the DACH region actually gain access to cryptocurrencies and highlights the most popular crypto asset investment vehicles for professional investors in each region.

Financial Landscape in Germany

The recent developments in Germany show that financial intermediaries are heavily investing in blockchain infrastructure. In early 2020, over 40 German financial intermediaries applied for a license from BaFin to be allowed to take custody of digital assets. This represents over 2% of Germany’s 1,800 banks. The license costs approximately €175,000 which indicates that many banks are banking on blockchain-based systems becoming the infrastructure technology of future financial markets. For this reason, the legislator is creating the necessary regulatory requirements and engaging in discussions that will decisively shape the financial market of tomorrow. Regarding the development of the necessary regulatory framework for digital assets, two aspects stand out. First, in December 2019, crypto asset custody was incorporated as a financial service in the German Banking Act (KWG) and, therefore, requires authorization from the financial market authority, BaFin, since January 1, 2020. Second, the German legislator published a draft bill in August 2020, which intends to abolish the mandatory paper-based certificate for securities. This development can be regarded as revolutionary — as it signifies a break with a system that is over a hundred years old.

However, besides the regulatory development, companies that actively offer products and services are the foundation for driving the adoption of blockchain technology. For this reason, we provide an overview of the companies in Germany that enable institutional investors to access crypto assets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The analysis shows that the current market is already more fragmented than one may think.

The German legislator has created a regulatory framework that enables financial institutions to invest in crypto assets. At the same time, several companies and banks have also set up the appropriate technical infrastructure for the professional trading of Bitcoin & Co. In sum, this leads to an increased and more differentiated offering around crypto assets. Financial services in the crypto segment have, for some time, included instruments which, for example, reflect the price of Bitcoin or market places for retail investors. Now, however, fully regulated trading venues for professional investors like BSDEX are emerging. Also, some banks are establishing themselves as a BaaS platform. Solarisbank AG and Bankhaus von der Heydt, for instance, provide other financial institutions with the regulatory and technological infrastructure to enable access to crypto assets for their customers. It will be exciting to see how the market develops, given the fact that BaFin will issue first licenses for crypto custody later this year.

How interesting, then, is the German target market for professional investors and what is the difference between it and the Austrian or Swiss markets? We will explore this question in the next part of this series, with the Swiss market in particular being an interesting object of observation.

This article is an extract from the 70+ page Discovering Institutional Demand for Digital Assets research report co-published by the Crypto Research Report and Cointelegraph Consulting, written by eight authors and supported by SIX Digital Exchange, BlockFi, BitmainBlocksize Capital, and Nexo.

Pension Funds and Investments in Digital Assets

In the previous article of this series, we spoke with Stefan Andjelic from Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) about Digital Assets. In this week’s installment, however, we wanted to look at this topic from a different angle, which is why we talked to Professor Dr. Michael Hanke from the Stiftung Personalvorsorge Liechtenstein.

Bringing a different perspective to the discussion, Professor Dr. Michael Hanke from the Liechtenstein-based pension fund explained that although regulations are not holding them back from investing in digital assets, there are other problems. Hanke points out that pension funds invest on the behalf of pensioners, but they have no way of gauging what the pensioners want them to invest in unless the pensioners actually call up on the phone or send an email requesting their pension to invest in crypto assets.

“Pension fund management is different from other asset management, like fund management, because with funds, you manage the money of clients that have voluntarily selected to invest in your strategy, so you know that they are okay with your asset allocation and strategy.”

— Dr. Michael Hanke, Stiftung Personalvorsorge Liechtenstein

The general public is still very skeptical about digital assets. If pension funds were to invest in assets that are still viewed critically in the eyes of the general population, they risk damaging their reputation, especially if something goes wrong. After all, pensioners cannot choose their pension fund themselves — the choice is made by the employer — which is why this duty of care is required. Hanke also discussed how pension funds in Liechtenstein are not held back from investing in digital assets by regulators. As a second tier pension fund in Liechtenstein, the laws that impact them are set at the federal level in Liechtenstein.

Pension funds, in particular, have another argument against digital assets: Apart from the liquidity that an asset class has to provide to a pension fund, they invest with a very long time horizon. However, the crypto world still seems to be characterized by short-term hypes, rapid incidences of success but also sudden loss stories. In this sense, according to the perception on the part of
pension funds, the world of digital assets does contradict the long-term view of pension funds.

Stiftung Personalvorsorge Liechtenstein is managing CHF 1.2 billion, and Hanke says it would take between 18 months to 24 months before they could actually invest, if they decided to invest, due to the administrative processes that exist when adding a new investment.

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Not being held back by regulations was also echoed by the survey respondents. Rather, asset allocators felt more
constrained by their own employer than by government policies.

How do these figures from the pension fund segment fit into the overall financial landscape? The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) reports that the number of investments in alternative assets across Europe was EUR 4.9 trillion in 2019. We will take a closer look at this figure and its distribution in our next article.

This article is an extract from the 70+ page Discovering Institutional Demand for Digital Assets research report co-published by the Crypto Research Report and Cointelegraph Consulting, written by eight authors and supported by SIX Digital Exchange, BlockFi, BitmainBlocksize Capital, and Nexo.

RBI Sees Potential in Digital Assets

We spoke to Stefan Andjelic from Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) about his views on digital assets for our report. This interview was one of eleven case studies with investors at pension funds, banks, insurance companies and family offices that were conducted via phone call and in addition to the survey that was sent to all professional investors registered in German-speaking countries. While most of our interviewees wished to remain anonymous, Stefan Andjelic and others allowed us to release statements from the interview.

RBI has over 16.7 million customers, more than 46,000 employees, and €152 billion in total assets. Mr. Stefan Andjelic from RBI’s Blockchain Hub accepted to be interviewed by Professor Dr. Alfred Taudes from the Vienna University of Economics and Business for this report. He discussed with us how the digital asset market no longer refers only to Bitcoin, but rather has expanded into a broad array of assets. He also mentioned that as investors are becoming more informed about the potential of this emerging asset class, they are not being as easily persuaded by the negative connotation that traditional media usually attaches to cryptocurrencies.

“As investors are becoming more informed about the potential of this emerging asset class, they are not being as easily persuaded by the negative connotation that traditional media usually attaches to cryptocurrencies. Contrastingly, they also assess the potential that digital assets and blockchain technology in general can bring to society in the long term.”

— Stefan Andjelic, Raiffeisen Bank International

Although RBI is not currently invested, Andjelic feels positively about digital assets. As someone working in the field, Mr. Andjelic sees the potential for digital assets to be offered by incumbent financial players as an alternative investment vehicle that would allow them to create new streams of revenue. From a purely technological point of view, he also believes that digital assets can be a trigger for many traditional fields of finance to improve in the future.

When asked why RBI has not invested in digital assets yet, Andjelic said that the lack of regulatory clarity around what services financial institutions are allowed to offer in this field is still a major barrier. That said, there are still a lot of compliance topics to be clarified in these regards.

Once the regulatory framework related to digital assets is established, either by local jurisdictions or on an EU-level, financial institutions will be able to accurately assess the opportunities in this field and potentially invest in digital assets. On that note, the European Parliament is currently working on a digital assets framework. According to their timeline, in Q4 of this year, a framework should be in place.

Regarding timeline and which types of digital assets RBI would be interested in, Andjelic says, “I believe there is a much higher likelihood that we as a financial institution, once there is a full regulatory clarity, would initially focus on tokenized traditional assets, such as tokenized commodities, stocks, funds, etc. Potentially, we might also decide to offer some of these products ourselves based on both internal business decisions and a market demand.” RBI currently has 1% of their assets under management in alternative assets, which in absolute terms, equals to approximately €1.5 billion.

If RBI were to invest in crypto assets, several key decisions would need to be made. For instance, RBI would need to decide on whether the entity would aim to invest directly and store the digital assets itself, or would do so by teaming up with third-party service providers. In addition, if RBI decides to start offering crypto assets to its clients, then the decision would have to be made whether the bank wants to build the entire infrastructure on its own or to team up with an already existing crypto assets provider
in the market.

One option on how such constellation would work is that the third-party service provider would be connected through APIs to RBI’s infrastructure, while RBI’s banking platform would be the face to its clients. In such a scenario, the digital assets would be stored by the service provider instead of RBI. This would allow RBI to ensure that clients can only buy and sell their digital assets through Raiffeisen banking platform without being able to transfer them outside of the ecosystem. This would help Raiffeisen keep control on whether these digital assets are being used for any kind of illicit activities. RBI did make a successful venture capital investment into Bitpanda GmbH, via the SpeedInvest venture capital fund. Bitpanda is a licensed digital asset exchange operating in multiple countries across Europe.

In addition to Stefan Andjelic, we also interviewed Professor Dr. Michael Hanke from the Stiftung Personalvorsorge Liechtenstein, who allowed us to publish his statements. He brought in a different perspective, as other challenges are relevant for pension funds. This will therefore be the topic of our article in the next week.

This article is an extract from the 70+ page Discovering Institutional Demand for Digital Assets research report co-published by the Crypto Research Report and Cointelegraph Consulting, written by eight authors and supported by SIX Digital Exchange, BlockFi, BitmainBlocksize Capital, and Nexo.

Why do some investors shy away from “risky” Digital Assets?

The number of potential risks surrounding Digital Assets is relatively high, but risk in and of itself is not an absolute criterion for exclusion for financial institutions. We asked institutional investors about their opinion on risky Digital Assets and about how they evaluate the associated risk. Here are their answers:

Several of the asset managers in the survey mentioned that digital assets are too risky for them. However, financial institutions already invest in risky investments in the traditional financial markets, such as insurance-linked securities, sub-prime mortgages, emerging market treasury bonds, junk bonds, and much more.

Cyber-Crime and Fraud

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Operational Risks (e.g. Technological risks)

Source: Cointelegraph Research

So why are digital assets different? According to some respondents, in the traditional world, there are indeed investments that are risky. However, they are part of the traditional system and, therefore, cannot fall to zero without causing fundamental problems for the financial system as a whole. Digital assets, on the other hand, deliberately exist outside the traditional world, which is their purpose. Consequently, they are even riskier. Essentially, the asset managers are saying that traditional assets are too big to fail, the central bank and government gives them an implicit safety net in the lower-bound of the price of the asset. However, if a large financial intermediary supports digital assets and digital assets fail spectacularly, the government might actually let that business fail just to show what happens when you invest in a technology that challenges the government’s monopoly on money production and monetary policy.

“Investors are well served when innovation flourishes. I recognize that innovation involves risks, but it is investors who should get to choose the winners and the losers of the market. Regulators should not impede investor choice; rather, they should ensure that investors have access to accurate disclosures about the range of available products, including their risks.”

— Peirce, Securities Exchange Commissioner

Market risks (e.g. Volatility)

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Asset managers were asked to rate the importance of perceived risks when investing in crypto assets; the possible risks were the following: market risks (e.g. volatility), liquidity risks, operational risks (e.g. technological risks), cyber crime and fraud, and regulatory risks. All of the risks mentioned are in the “important spectrum” of the charts. However, the most important risk for those surveyed was regulatory risk, as almost 80% of the sample fell in the “important region” of the graph. With approximately 71% and 70% of responses in the “important region”, market risk and liquidity were ranked as the second and third most important risks, respectively. Operational and cyber crime risks have the same number of responses in the “important region” (~ 68%).

Liquidity risks

Source: Cointelegraph Research

A specific risk was mentioned that is not related to digital assets, but rather to the bank’s entire business model. Some banks fear that if they offer bank accounts to blockchain-based companies and offer clients the ability to invest in digital assets, they would lose their US dollar correspondent banks. This is a relevant concern as some banks have already lost their US dollar correspondent bank because they moved into the digital asset space. One respondent mentioned that their correspondent bank softly warned them that if they were to invest in digital assets, their banking relationship with the correspondent bank would be damaged or even terminated. It’s probably not a coincidence that these correspondent banks have the most to lose if digital assets eclipse the dollar.

Layering in money laundering is the process of making the source of illegal money as difficult to detect as possible by progressively adding legitimacy to it.

Regulatory Risks

Source: Cointelegraph Research

“If cryptocurrencies fail to provide easy liquidity, then they fail as mediums of exchange, one of the principal roles of money.”

— Michael Parsons, Former Cardano Foundation Chairman

For many institutions these risks are already outweight by the benefit of accessing a new revenue stream and they are therefore already invested into this asset class or they are at least planing to do so. We spoke with Stefan Andjelic from Raiffeisen Bank International and will present his insight into this topic in next weeks article.

This article is an extract from the 70+ page Discovering Institutional Demand for Digital Assets research report co-published by the Crypto Research Report and Cointelegraph Consulting, written by eight authors and supported by SIX Digital Exchange, BlockFi, BitmainBlocksize Capital, and Nexo.

Institutional Investors and Blockchain Education

Most professional investors can point to a formal education when it comes to their expertise in finance. This formal education, however, does not cover information about the Blockchain technology and Digital Assets. It is therefore of importance for institutions venturing into this new industry sector, to educate their employees first. For our report we asked them about their approach to Blockchain education and want to present this information here.

When asking about how financial intermediaries learn about blockchain, the highest ranked sources included encouraging employees to research the topic during working hours and an individual within the firm is spearheading the internal dialogue. Participation in conferences and webinars on crypto also promotes interest in the subject.

There is also a general openness to educational training concerning digital assets, but the survey participants generally do not rely on hiring external consultants or attending university courses in order to learn more.

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Digital Assets for me, but not for thee

Several of the case study respondents stated that they had privately invested in Bitcoin and other digital assets, while their institution had not yet made any direct investments. However, the majority of the respondents had a high level of decision-making ability within their firm.

A possible explanation for this can be that asset allocators are investing with more risk aversion when investing on the behalf of others than when investing their own wealth.

Source: Cointelegraph Research

The majority of the respondents had a master’s degree or above in formal education.

QUESTION: What level of education have you completed?

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Education about the Blockchain technology behind Digital Assets is not only important when it comes to choosing an asset to invest in, but also when it comes to safely handling this asset. These technological risks around purchasing and storing an asset can prevent an institution from investing into this new asset class. In the next article we will take a look at these risks to understand what companies fear the most.

This article is an extract from the 70+ page Discovering Institutional Demand for Digital Assets research report co-published by the Crypto Research Report and Cointelegraph Consulting, written by eight authors and supported by SIX Digital Exchange, BlockFi, BitmainBlocksize Capital, and Nexo.

Who invests in Cryptocurrencies?

It will surprise no one to hear that a growing number of institutional investors have already invested in cryptocurrencies with increased global awareness and crypto marketing. But which institutions are we talking about here? This is a crucial question when it comes to accurately classifying the scope of this statement, since the term “institutional investors” covers a very wide range of institutions.

Multiple types of professional investors responded to this survey including trusts/foundations, small asset managers (less than €100 million), medium asset managers (between €100 million and €1 billion), large asset manager (above €1 billion), insurance companies, pension funds, high-net-worth individuals, family offices, and banks. The majority of respondents are small asset managers and high-net-worth individuals, both of whom account for about 32% of the total respondents.

Smaller asset allocators, such as family offices and boutique wealth management companies, are more likely to invest in digital assets than larger financial service providers, such as banks and pension funds, according to the survey results. All 14 of the small asset allocators and family offices responded that they already own or plan to own digital assets in the future. This is compared to zero out of the two pension funds, one out of the three insurance firms, and two out of the six banks that were surveyed.

Many banks stated that they would like to offer their clients the ability to buy and sell digital assets; however, the decision that needs to be made by the C-Suite executives is whether to build up their internal infrastructure or outsource the trading and custody to a third-party broker or exchange.

Question: What type of investor is your company?

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Percentage of Each Investor Group that Owns or Plans to Own Digital Assets

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Using Existing Infrastructure or working with a Broker to Invest in Cryptocurrencies?

Source: Cointelegraph Research

For example, the Swiss giant in core banking systems, Avaloq, was mentioned multiple times by respondents. Avaloq is offering trading and custody solutions for investing in digital assets. If a bank buys the Avaloq digital asset module, the ability to invest in digital assets could be expanded to the bank’s entire customer base, and retail clients would even be able to buy and sell via their e-banking and mobile-banking applications.

However, the banks said they are hesitant to purchase software solutions to bring digital asset investing to their clients. The infrastructure and services are considered to be too expensive still. Custody solutions in particular are comparatively expensive. The main reason for this is believed to be a lack of competition. The banks would need to have significant demand for digital assets from their clients in order to justify the expense. As more traditional players enter the digital asset industry, prices should fall in this regard.

Information is of very great importance for investors in cryptocurrencies. Because of the highly speculative nature of this sector, weighing the risk is only sufficiently possible when a given project has been examined from all sides. This expertise is something that many institutions have yet to acquire. We will take a closer look at this process in the next article of this series.

This article is an extract from the 70+ page Discovering Institutional Demand for Digital Assets research report co-published by the Crypto Research Report and Cointelegraph Consulting, written by eight authors and supported by SIX Digital Exchange, BlockFi, BitmainBlocksize Capital, and Nexo.

Why and how are companies investing in Digital Assets?

Why and how are companies investing in Digital Assets

Digital Assets are a new and very specific group of assets that is increasingly interesting to investors for many different reasons. What are these reasons and is there one specific reason that dominates our survey? This is a question, that we will look at in this article. Another question that may be interesting to other potential investors is the question of ‘How?’ the surveyed companies have decided to invest in digital assets. Because this class of assets is new, the ways of investing also differ from more traditional assets.

According to the survey results, the most important consideration for investing in digital assets is their risk-return ratio, as 53% of respondents rated this characteristic as “highly important”. Most of the responses to “diversification” and “my company is convinced that the technology will be important in the future” are clustered in the middle and slightly skewed to the right of the importance spectrum, meaning that these factors are moderately important. Notably, the survey shows that clients requesting digital assets is not very relevant to the asset managers’ decision to invest in these assets. As one respondent pointed out, clients requesting digital assets would be their number one reason for investing, but so far, none of their clients had requested digital asset exposure.

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Professional Investors prefer Direct Investment

The target group for blockchain-inspired financial products include pension funds, insurance companies, university endowments, high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), family offices, asset managers, banks, and fund of funds from around the world. Usually, these investors are asking for a regulated and easy-access approach to crypto exposure. Some of them want to invest in a new asset class with a great risk-return profile, others want diversification. There are many regulated investment products that give investors exposure to digital assets including long-only single asset or index products, derivative products, bank accounts for prop desk trading, and much more. This report found that professional investors prefer to invest directly in digital assets by buying them on an exchange. Interestingly, professional investors prefer to buy a regulated alternative investment fund before using a broker.

Question: What is your company’s ideal way to gain exposure to crypto assets?

Source: Cointelegraph Research

Digital Asset Service Providers

When asked about their use of specialized services for digital assets, respondents were most interested in data. 62% of respondents are interested in using data on digital assets at their company. Leading data providers in the digital asset industry include Coinmetrics (also sold by Messari), Coinmarketcap.com, and Cryptocompare. However, closer to home in Europe, Santiment and IntotheBlock also provide data on a monthly subscription basis. The next most sought after service is trading of digital assets on a digital asset exchange. In the German-speaking region, the only digital asset exchange owned locally is Bitpanda, which is headquartered in Austria. In Germany, Bitcoin.de is a peer-to-peer exchange, which is mostly used by retail investors.

However, there are several exchanges that serve Europe including Kraken, Binance, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, and Crypto.com. Over half of the respondents (54%) are interested in using an over-the-counter desk for the digital asset transactions. The largest OTC-desk operating in Europe is B2C2, based in London. Many brokers in the German-speaking countries offer over-the-counter services but use B2C2 or Cumberland for final execution. Notably, 48% are interested in using smart order routing software. Smart order routing software includes companies such as Blocksize Capital, based in Frankfurt, and CoinRoutes, based in the US.

Source: Cointelegraph Research

In this graphics we are looking at all investors that participated in our survey indiscriminately but this does not paint the whole picture. Behind every number there is a company of different size and investment volume. Next week we want to go deeper in the individual numbers and look at how much the size matters.

This article is an extract from the 70+ page Discovering Institutional Demand for Digital Assets research report co-published by the Crypto Research Report and Cointelegraph Consulting, written by eight authors and supported by SIX Digital Exchange, BlockFi, BitmainBlocksize Capital, and Nexo.

TOP 10 BLOCKCHAIN JOBS

TOP 10 BLOCKCHAIN JOBS

The Blockchain technology is fast gaining momentum in the digital world and so is the attractive job opportunities that comes with it. This technology is a decentralized digital network that makes it highly difficult for information or data to be altered or hacked on the system. Most cryptocurrencies use Blockchain technology to record transactions because of its transparency.

Crypto jobs are currently gaining popular demand in the digital world because of its peculiar skills set and also the lucrative salaries. Below are the Top 10 Blockchain Jobs in the World:

BLOCKCHAIN DEVELOPER

Currently one of the most popular Blockchain jobs, Blockchain developers basically develop applications using the Blockchain technology. To excel in this field as a developer, extensive knowledge of Python, C++, .NET, XML, etc. are important. Blockchain Developers earn an average of $91,000 per year because of its common demand. 

BLOCKCHAIN ANALYST

A Blockchain Analyst is responsible for analysing the Blockchain app, as well as ensuring that all potential risks are detected concerning the application. A Blockchain Analyst is also responsible for the growth and marketing strategy of the app and must have high knowledge of the Blockchain technology. The basic salary is around $93,480/year. 

BLOCKCHAIN ENGINEER

Blockchain Engineers specialize in creating and implementing digital solutions for organizations and companies using blockchain technology. For this career path, good experience in programming languages like Python and Java, with knowledge of cryptocurrencies are important. A Blockchain Engineer takes home roughly $70,000 per year. 

BLOCKCHAIN UI/UX DESIGNER

This blockchain job demands creativity and a good eye for user friendly designs. A UI/UX Designer is responsible for creating an interface for the Blockchain app that is user friendly and easy to navigate. This job opportunity requires technicality and considerable knowledge of the Blockchain technology and pays an average of $107,000/year. 

BLOCKCHAIN SOLUTION ARCHITECT

A Blockchain Architect helps to infuse blockchain in building and designing solutions by designing and connecting the various blockchain parts. This blockchain job opportunity requires cooperation with other team members and knowledge in React, CSS, HTML, React Python, Generic SQL, Node and also experience in DevOps, data science, and cryptography are highly important. Basic salary caps at $114,000/year. 

BLOCKCHAIN ADMINISTRATOR

This career path is one of the most sought after in the Blockchain industry. A potential blockchain administrator should be fluent in the workings of Bitcoin protocol, including knowledge of programming languages and good usage of Linux/Unix. A blockchain administrator is in charge of coordinating the components of a blockchain infrastructure and takes homes around $67,000/year. 

BLOCKCHAIN QUALITY ENGINEER

Ranking high amongst the blockchain jobs, a blockchain quality engineer ensures that all components of the blockchain application are of top quality by testing for bugs and glitches. Knowledge of the blockchain platform is essential with crypto exchange being a bonus. Average salary for this career opportunity hangs around $107,000-$120,000/year. 


Other Blockchain jobs available in the Blockchain industry include PROJECT MANAGER (in charge of connecting the blockchain experts with the needs or goals of the company), LEGAL CONSULTANT (for the legal aspects of the Blockchain infrastructure) and BLOCKCHAIN CONSULTANT (for provision of technical knowledge and expertise as regards the blockchain platform)

These are the Top 10 Blockchain jobs currently and it is advisable to go with one that matches your skills and qualifications because the Blockchain industry is rapidly expanding. 

Avoid These Common Scams To Keep Your Bitcoin Safe

Avoid These Common Scams To Keep Your Bitcoin Safe

Many people are buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency these days to protect their money from the ravages of an economy on its knees. Bitcoin is looking good as a safe harbor to wait out the volatility of the recession the world is undergoing right now. 

And with the value of it rising to record heights, it seems like a good time to be buying in and making a profit in addition to keeping the money you have worked hard for from evaporating. With inflation poised to rear its ugly head, it is a very attractive proposition.

However, there is an issue of having your Bitcoin stolen from you if you aren’t careful. There are a lot of shady characters preying on people that don’t understand how cryptocurrency works. In this article, I will go over some common scams so you don’t fall for them yourself. 

Fake exchanges

There are a lot of exchanges that are perfectly safe and are the easiest way to buy Bitcoin so you can trade with peace of mind. However, there are a number of shady exchanges that are not exchanges at all. 

There are websites made to look as though they are an authentic exchange only to take your Bitcoin and disappear into the night. Once your Bitcojn are gone there is no getting them back. 

Make sure to only use trusted exchanges to avoid this. Even aside from the scam ones, you should be looking into ones that have good encryption to keep your transactions safe from hackers. 

Pump and dump

This scam is very widespread but may not exactly come under the exact definition of a scam since nobody is actually stealing your Bitcoin.

The process of doing a dump and pump is when a group of people buy up a coin when it is very cheap. Then they promote it as the next big thing all over social media and hope that it gets picked up by mainstream channels. The hype surrounding it will make people want to buy in before it hits its highest value. Then, once it has doubled, tripled or even more in value, they sell their coins off and then create a negative hype in which they crash the value of the coin. 

Don’t trade using your emotions and always avoid FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Read as much as you can if something looks too good to be true. 

Fake cryptocurrency

There are always new coins coming into existence that get investors eager to buy while the value is low. The problem here is that some new coins exist only on paper or they are actually on the blockchain but there is nothing supporting them.

Fake startups ask people to buy in the ICO and then instead of investing the money into building out the platform, they pocket the money and disappear. Be very diligent with new coins and always read the white paper carefully. 

*This article has been contributed on behalf of Paxful. However, the information provided herein is not and is not intended to be, investment, financial, or other advice.

What do you need to mine a Bitcoin?

what do you need to mine a bitcoin

Bitcoin mining is the process of creating new bitcoins by solving a computational puzzle with computational power. Solving the mathematical algorithm is necessary to confirm a block (of transactions) which is how you are then rewarded with newly created bitcoin.

It is just like solving complex puzzles. Constant mining of Bitcoin is essential to maintain the blockchain ledger which records transactions of blockchain. It basically acts as a wallet to the Bitcoin or any cryptocurrencies you collect. With the increasing demand for Bitcoins in the modern era, the demand for higher efficient mining computer operations has also increased.

Mining Bitcoin is the process that produces a Bitcoin or token. It processes functions with computer software along with an enhanced configuration of the computer.

Mining cryptocurrencies is basically a race of people competing non-stop. Trading crypto comes with factors like buying the best, latest, and one of the most powerful hardware. This is just to maximize the return and increase the feasibility. Whether it is Bitcoin or any other crypto coin, the better the hardware. the higher the overall computational efficiency.

Pool mining forms when many miners come together. If you are not operating a mining farm with dozens if not hundreds of computing machines, but only have one or two, you would be better off joining a mining pool so that you can earn a more predictable return (your earnings are in proportion to the percentage of computing power your equipment is adding to the overall pool.)

Because bitcoin has so much overall computing (hashing) power, you are literally trying to earn money competing against millionaires who are spending as much to mine bitcoin. Also, the equipment you would need to earn a decent return on your costs would be upwards of USD $1000+ each.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

Whenever you create a block, you get a block reward of 12.5 Bitcoins. The bitcoin is also mined through solving mathematical problems. These problems are called hash puzzles. To mine a bitcoin, either you need a GPU (graphics processing units) or an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) to process the mining process. And in case, any bitcoin user uses the same bitcoin twice, its called “Double Spending” which is ethically wrong to do. 

Storing the mined Bitcoins

The tradition of storing Bitcoins has evolved largely since the time it first came into existence. There are two ways to store bitcoins.

Cold storage is a system where you store the bitcoin address offline or without the need of the internet.

This method is referred to be the safest among all as it is virtually impossible to hack and can be stolen only physically.

Example: Paper wallet, hardware wallet.

Hot storage is a system where the wallets will require access to the internet to run.

Hot storage is used widely all over the globe as it’s proven to be the slickest method. But it has got its loopholes too like security vulnerability, network issues, viruses.

Cloud mining

Humanity always finds a way to upgrade the way things perform. Similarly, Cloud mining is a similar example of that upgrade. In cloud mining, the need to install hardware or any mining-related software is directly eliminated. The cloud is rented by the miner which uses computing power and cuts down hassle through the entire traditional process.

Cloud mining is extensively suggested by many in the industry. There are companies with huge mining farms and you can rent computing power from them. This is wise as like others said mining on your own equipment is not profitable anymore compared to cloud mining.

Cloud miners typically use the computer of a company that owns a bitcoin mining hardware and runs it on a large scale. You pay the company rent for some part of the hardware. Based on the amount of hash power you pay for, you will earn a share of payments from the cloud mining company for any revenue generated by the hash power you purchased. Most cloud mining companies make more profits from renting out hardware or mining on behalf of an individual.

For avid traders, mining is the best and easiest way to earn bitcoins. It is easy and interesting because anyone can do it at home or anywhere you like.

However, Bitcoin mining is not free. You have to be sophisticated well enough to reap more than you sow. For hasty miners, crypto-mining is increasingly less profitable and brings more expenses and inconvenience than digital money because of its excessive electricity consumption and excessive cost to mine.

The risk involved in Cloud Mining

Many do not find risking money and energy on mining as a friendly scenario. They save up their money and buy Bitcoin when they hit their lowest.

Almost all cloud mining operations use investor’s money to pay previous investors. If you want to mine bitcoin, buy your own equipment and run it yourself or send it to a hosting company. A key indicator to tell if a cloud mining operation is legitimate: Can you direct your mining power to a pool of your choice, where you can see the mining happen and receive bitcoins directly? If you only receive bitcoins from the cloud mining operation, chances are there is no actual mining going on.

It’s very difficult to know which websites for cloud mining are legit or not and who knows they could shut down their website. We would suggest you buy bitcoin, or any other crypto you are interested in, through an exchange or bitcoin selling websites like Coinbase, Paxful or Localbitcoins, and keep them safe in your wallet till their prices go up. And if you really want to mine, you can find a miner to do it for you after extensive research.

What about mined Bitcoins?

Growth of Bitcoins cannot be stopped. As long as people have transactions, Bitcoin will continue to grow. When a large number of bitcoins will be mined, it will impact the market by cutting bitcoin’s value to halve every four years. However, it will take a century or more for such a day to occur. So you can now mine bitcoin without worrying about its future value. 

202FansLike
446FollowersFollow
3,645FollowersFollow