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How to Buy Bitcoin

Buying Bitcoin is simple and painless. All you need is a digital wallet as, without it, it’s impossible to buy and store Bitcoin.

A Bitcoin wallet is used for the same purpose as a traditional bank account for storing fiat currency.

Once you have the wallet, you will need to follow a simple process in order to buy the coins. Here, we have discussed how to buy bitcoins. So read carefully.

Buying Bitcoin – Getting Started:

There is a large number of brokers, exchanges, sellers and wallet providers, etc. selling Bitcoin. However, not all of them are reliable. Some are just there to steal your money.

To avoid theft, you should always look for well reputed and renowned names to make the purchase.

The Bitcoin exchanges require the users to provide their personal information – which may also include your photo and a copy of ID – to prevent theft.

Once your account is functional, you are ready to buy bitcoins instantly.

Buying Bitcoin with Debit/Card Instantly:

Buying bitcoins via debit/credit card is one of the easiest approaches out there. However, due to the complex transaction process, the fees can be high.

As a bitcoin buyer, you will come across numerous companies offering their services, but only a few of them are trustworthy.

Down below is a list of most trusted names that accept credit/debit cards and sell instant bitcoins.

Coinbase:

With the presence in over 30 countries, Coinbase is the largest bitcoin broker in the world.

Coinbase offers instant buy option, but to buy the coins instantly, you will need to provide your identity proof and bank card.

Coinbase users are normally categorized into two levels: level 1 users and level 2 users.

Level 1 users are the fully verified users and can buy up to $1k worth of bitcoin per week.

While level 2 users can only buy up to $100 worth of bitcoin per week.

Moreover, Coinbase only charges 3.99% in transaction fees which are pretty low compared to other exchanges.

Find out more about how to buy bitcoins via Coinbase safely right here.

CoinMama:

  • Offers instant bitcoins to debit/credit card users
  • Charges 5% in transaction fees and particularly good for those who buy in bulk.
  • Offers special packages to verified users as they can buy up to $5k worth of bitcoins per day and up to $20k per month.

BitPanda:

BitPanda is an Austrian exchange and is one of the most renowned across Europe.

The features of BitPanda include:

  • Instant bitcoin purchase through credit/debit card
  • Low fees. Just around 3-4%.
  • The buyers are required to go through a strict verification process.

A downside of BitPanda is that the fees are not mentioned on their site. If a user wants to know the fees, he must register an order first.

Some Other Ways to Buy Bitcoin:

Buyers who don’t have credit/debit card can also buy bitcoins through LocalBitcoins.com. All you have to do is enter your nearest area and arrange to meet up with a seller. However, make sure your meetup is in a public place to avoid any potential harm that the seller may possess for you.

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Initial Coin Offering – How to Avoid ICO Scams?

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You can find lots of advertisements and links related to ICO startup companies, but do you know what ICO really is? If you don’t, we’re here to help you out. In this blog, we are going to enlighten you about what ICO means, what it involves, and how you can avoid Initial Coin Offering scams.

initial coin offering

What is ICO?

ICO stands for “Initial Coin Offering.” ICO wasn’t known to many people until cryptocurrencies we created and became a trend. The word “ICO” is borrowed from IPO (Initial Public Offering). Now, you must be wondering, what’s IPO? IPO is the event in which a company goes public in the finance world. But, what happens when a company goes public? Well, it means that the company is going to launch stock options publicly, for each and every one out there to purchase its share, with this hope that these purchased-shares would have more worth one day. You can also say that an IPO is one of the possible exoduses of a venture-capital-investment.

 

What Makes It Different?

An ICO is usually used as a crowdfunding project by cryptocurrency startup ventures to fund a startup company. Funds are provided through well-recognized cryptocurrencies like; Bitcoin or Ethereum or in the form of traditional currency and in exchange, they are given a quantity of the cryptocurrency, which they’re funding with, which means, in the form of “tokens!” After the ICO project gets successfully completed, tokens are exchanged into the functional units of a cryptocurrency that is newly created.

 

No Regulations

Many companies find ICOs attractive since they are not under any regulations, and the startup ventures can collect funding without any exertion and cost for the regulatory acquiescence. On the other side, risks for investors also get increased as countries like South Korea and China have banned the ICOs.

 

For ICO crowdfunding ventures, the marketing heavily depends on social media platforms which also include paid-ads. Similarly, there are many ICO ads now, which are being shown on different websites. The social media giant, Facebook has already banned ICO-related advertisements; however, from June 2018, Google is also going to put a ban on advertisements related to ICO.

 

Is ICO a Scam?

No, ICOs are not always a scam. However, the way they work is the main thing that allows scammers to gain a lot of money from those investors who believed in the startup. Just because of this, few top-investors recommend “real businesses” to avoid these ICOs and continue their business in the same way they were doing before. The year, 2017 has shown that almost 46% of all-known ICO ventures have been proven to be unsuccessful and after the payments were made, the websites, as well as social media profiles were left abandoned or were quickly vanished.

Well, all of this data shows that all ICOs aren’t always a scam, however, like other crowdfunding ventures, especially investing in general, you have to very careful where you invest. While assessing Initial Coin Offering scams, make sure to do your research about the individuals behind it. A robust ICO will offer potential investors every single detail about the developers, security experts, advisors, and others linked with the project. A legitimate ICO will offer a variety of places and social media links where investors can communicate with developers. They’ll also provide their Facebook page of the project so that you could assess its engagement levels.

How to Avoid ICO Scams

If we look at the recent lists of Initial Coin Offering campaigns, it’s quite hard to come up with a reasonable filter, and there’s no doubt that experienced investors wouldn’t consider how sceptical it is, but as with any investment, nothing can be predicted related to ICO or about its certainty. Even in some cases, basic managerial accounting data isn’t available; however, many ICO trackers still try to combine lists of seemingly pertinent parameters.

Initial Coin Offering scams show that fraudsters are going to extraordinary-extents to scam gullible investors. Also, when it comes to taking decisions related to investment, it focuses on the needs of investors. According to the founder of Skill Incubator, Chris Dunn, the cryptocurrency community must have to become extra incisive towards new ICOs; otherwise, governments around the world are expected to take stricter stances into cryptocurrencies at a whole new level.

Also, an ICO whitepaper is the initial document for the project, which describes the aim, background, strategy, and concerns for the implementation of all blockchain-related projects. Whitepapers can be extremely skimpy like; companies that have an ostentatious website may unveil that they lack a basic-sound concept. Then again, a company with a website that contains spelling errors might have a whitepaper that shows a rigid concept and a prudently created implementation strategy.

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SEC Uncovers A Case Of Fraudulent ICO

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No doubt cryptocurrencies have become notoriously volatile as various governments and financial organisations are imposing restrictions regarding the sale and purchase of fraudulent ico. On the other hand it is also a fact that continuous boom in the cryptocurrency market is the main reason behind the birth of some alarming situations regarding its investment and fundraising options. With an increase in the popularity of Initial coin offering and cryptocurrencies, many top social networking websites have recently banned advertisements related to all sorts of activities related to this specific market. Recently Facebook, Google and Twitter are on the top of the list among the sites which have prohibited ads related to cryptocurrencies. Not only that but the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued a strict warning according to which celebrities can no more endorse ICOs without proper announcement. Even a country like India has officially announced that Bitcoin is no more than an illegal tender within its borders.

ico fraud

some massive frauds and illegal activities related to the digital tokens have also become a reason for such restrictions. One of such recent fraudulent activities was reported by the US security exchange commission against two co-founders of a supposed financial services start-up for organizing a deceptive initial coin offering.

Who Was Behind That ICO Fraud?

The names of the two founders are Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas who are behind that ICO fraud. They were running of a cryptocurrency firm by the name of Centra Tech which was also authenticated by champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged the founders of Centra Tech for organizing a fraudulent initial coin offering. All that information was made public in a press release dated April 2.

 

Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas, were arrested and charged for raising 32 million dollars in an unregistered investment with the help of so called “CTR Token”. Farkas was fully prepared to leave the country, but was arrested moments before he could board his flight.

How Was This ICO Fraud Discovered?

According to the statement issued by US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas offered a number of financial products on behalf of their company Centra Tech which also included a debit card backed by Visa and MasterCard. It was being claimed by Centra Tech that with the help of this debit card users could instantly convert cryptocurrencies into US dollars and other legal tokens. In fact it was all based on a fraud as no such agreement existed between Centra Tech and Visa or Mastercard.

 

Centra Tech was also alleged for creating fictional resumes and biographies in order to promote its fraudulent company. The company also hired celebrities like champion boxer Floyd Mayweather to promote their initial coin offering.

 

According to a warning issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in November last year, the ICOs which involved celebrities could be illegal.

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Don’t be fooled by a Bitcoin Scam

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Don’t be fooled by a Bitcoin Scam

With the rise in the value of Bitcoin, there has been an increase in the number of scams involving the digital currency on social media and websites.

These scams are becoming more prominent since they’re being shared very frequently over the internet. So much so, the ZeroFOX found that the number of Bitcoin scam URLs was shared over 126 million times on social media. It adds, though, that two specific URLs were shared more than 40 million times and two others, which were shared over 10 million times.

To prevent you from suffering a loss or becoming a victim to one of these sites, here are some ways to spot Bitcoin scams:

  • Malware Downloads:

Some websites often promise to give “free coins” to the user if they download a malware app. This app then completely messes up the user’s computer. Several websites even ask the user to fill out fake bitcoin surveys and are used to distribute malware.We advise you to stay cautious when encountering any such URL that is either shortened or not secured with HTTPS connection.

  • Bitcoin phishing impersonators:

Phishing is basically getting a user to enter all their personal information on a malicious site.

A phishing website will have the user enter their private key to see if it exists in their database. Once the private key is phished, the scammer spends from the user’s bitcoin wallet address.

  • Bitcoin-flipping scams:

These scams usually ask users to pay a start-up fee in exchange for money or promise to double their legitimate bitcoin investment overnight. However, their end of the bargain is never held up and the bitcoins are lost immediately.

  • Bitcoin pyramid schemes:

These scams are low initial investments that are multiplied by signing up additional members. Soon enough, when a large group has joined the scheme, the scammer walks away with the investment and the pyramid collapses.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Just because it’s a digital currency does not mean you can acquire wealth overnight. Even though many of these scams promise to make you rich by just downloading an app or answering a survey.

  • Do not trust anyone that claims to provide you with bitcoins overnight. These sort of bitcoin scams run rampant on social media sites and digital channels.
  • Avoid URLs that advertise bitcoin offers on social media.
  • Be overcautious when dealing with social media accounts of legitimate bitcoin brokers or trading platforms as they are usually impersonators.
  • Do not engage in financial transactions, via direct message on social websites.
  • Be smart when you trust anyone with your personal details. Do not leak out anything that could cause you a loss later on.

If you have already been fooled, then don’t expect to see your bitcoins again. All you can do is learn from your mistakes and make others aware of such situations as well.

Tags: legit bitcoin investment sites

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