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Getting Started with Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin is a digital currency that has taken the market by storm over the past few years. However, there is still a long way to go before the banks, government and business corporations worldwide start accepting as an authentic form of payment.

But this has not stopped the individuals to try their luck with BTC as the number of people looking to take a dive into Bitcoin world is increasing significantly. But since the majority of the lot consists of beginners, they lack the proper knowledge as to how to earn/generate bitcoins.

A process called “Bitcoin Mining” is what bitcoin miners all around the world use to generate bitcoins. Bitcoin Mining can be little tricky if you are a beginner. However, by keeping some basic steps in mind, it can be as easy as ABC.

In this article, you will learn about:

How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

Bitcoin mining is used to generate bitcoins and is completely legal. The speed at which a user earns bitcoins is measured in hashes per second.

How to Start Bitcoins Mining?

The first step is to acquire a bitcoin mining hardware. In the early days of cryptocurrency, it was possible to mine coins using regular PC. But it longer works that way.

Over the years, several custom Bitcoin ASIC chips have been developed that provide 100x more computing power as compared to your traditional system.

Mining with anything less efficient will only result in lower bitcoin generation and higher electricity bills.

Best Bitcoin Mining Software?

There are several mining programs but CGminer and BFGminer lead the pack. CGminer is an open-source, cross-platform for OS X, Windows, and Linux and is developed in C.

BFGminer is also an open-source, cross-platform for Mac, Widows, Linux and includes support for OpenWrt-capable routers.

If you prefer user-friendly GUI, EasyMiner could be the most suitable option for you as it’s a simple, click and go Linux/Android/windows program.

Join Mining Pools:

After setting up everything, your next step should be to join a Bitcoin mining pool. These pools are groups of miners working together to solve a block. Once the block is solved, the pool will receive a reward which is then split equally among its members.

Getting a Bitcoin Wallet:

Bitcoin wallet works the same way as a traditional bank account does for paper money. They are used to send, receive and store bitcoins. A Bitcoin wallet address is protected by security key which is only known by the owner.

However, the fact that whole Bitcoin transaction process is based on services that work online makes bitcoin wallets vulnerable to security threats.

The best way to protect your wallet is by enabling two-factor authentication or keeping it on an offline computer so it’s immune to all kinds of attacks.

Conclusion:

These are some steps to go through while taking a dive into bitcoin mining. In a nutshell, all you need is mining software, join a mining pool and set up a bitcoin wallet to store coins.

Good luck with the venture.

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Buying bitcoins with bank transfer

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Bitcoin users that are looking to purchase large sums of bitcoin would probably opt for buying bitcoins with their bank account. Fortunately, it is also a less risky option and the fees for this process is much lower. Bank transfers are considered irreversible and unlike credit card payments, they reduce the risk of chargeback. Also, bank transfer offers much higher bitcoin buying limits than a credit card or debit card.

Depending on where you live in the world there are different exchanges that will be best suited for you. In this post, we will cover the main reputable exchanges that supply bank wire services.

Buying bitcoins with bank transfer

Coinbase

Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin vault. In the US, you can buy bitcoin with a connected bank account via ACH bank transfer and, in Europe you can, via SEPA transfer. Purchases with ACH takes around 5 days whereas, with SEPA it’s just two working days. A 1.49% fee is charged on all Coinbase transactions. For instant payments, Americans may add a Visa or MasterCard as a backup to carry out instant payments.

PROS

  • High liquidity and buying limits
  • User-friendly for newcomers wanting to buy bitcoin
  • “Instant Buy” option available with credit card or debit card

CONS

  • Purchases can take up to 5 days
  • Coinbase can track how and where you spend your bitcoins
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Average
Transaction Fees Average
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

BitPanda

BitPanda accepts bank transfer payments from Online Bank Transfer, SEPA, and SOFORT.

PROS

  • Very low fees for buying bitcoins with credit/debit card
  • Reliable & a trusted locker

CONS

  • Fees aren’t shown openly on the site but instead included in the buying site
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Fast
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

GDAX

US customers can fund their Coinbase Exchange trading accounts via ACH or bank wire. Europe and the UK Residents can desposit their accounts with SEPA transfer.

PROS

  • Very low fees for EU and US customers
  • Possible to buy bitcoins without any fees

CONS

  • User interface might seem confusing for first-time buyers
  • Sending bitcoins directly from GDAX to any legally-questionable site may result in closure of your account
User-friendly Hard
Privacy Low
Speed Average
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

CEX.io

CEX.io allows for purchases of bitcoins using ACH in the US or SEPA transfer for European countries.

PROS

  • Supported by many countries and regions
  • Very low transaction fees
  • Established and trusted exchange

CONS

  • Verification process is extensive, requiring much personal information (including a photo) and incurring a long delay
  • GBP market lacks liquidity
User-friendly Average
Privacy Low
Speed Average
Transaction Fees Average
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits Average

 

Gemini

US customers can purchase bitcoins on Gemini by funding their account with ACH transfer.

PROS

  • Trustworthy and regulated exchange
  • Instant deposit lets you buy coins quickly (but not withdraw them)
  • Some of the lowest fees in the US and Canada

CONS

  • Might confusing to use for new buyers
  • Not available in all of the US states
User-friendly Hard
Privacy Low
Speed Slow
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

Bittylicious

UK residents can purchase bitcoins in a matter of 15 minutes via online bank transfer.

PROS

  • One of the fastest ways to buy bitcoins in the UK
  • Refund guaranteed in the event of delayed payment

CONS

  • SEPA transfer not available as payment method
  • RBS/NatWest PYC payment method unavailable
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Fast
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

Coinfloor

UK residents can fund their Coinfloor exchange account with SEPA or online bank transfer, while EU residents can use SEPA. Note that there is a minimum deposit amount of 1,000 currency units (i.e. 1,000 euros or 1,000 pounds).

PROS

  • Trustworthy and regulated exchange
  • Offers a sophisticated bitcoin storage service, Coinfloor vaults

CONS

  • Coinfloor has a high minimum deposit amount, must deposit at least 1000 units of currency.
  • Coinfloor market only accepts GBP bank transfers
User-friendly Hard
Privacy Low
Speed Average
Transaction Fees High
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits Average

 

Confinity

Residents of Austria can purchase bitcoins online using SOFORT transfer.

PROS

  • Trusted and established exchange

CONS

  • ID verification is asked, so privacy is low
  • Limited payment methods available
User-friendly Average
Privacy Low
Speed Fast
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

Paymium

A bitcoin exchange based in France. It’s very user-friendly so anyone can get bitcoins with Paymium.

PROS

  • Mobile app available
  • Established and trustworthy exchange

CONS

  • ID verification required for any amount above €2,500
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Fast
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

Bity

It’s a Bitcoin broker that lets all Europeans purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer. It only requires verification using a mobile phone in the start.

PROS

  • Easy to buy bitcoins after mobile number verification
  • Payment limit is very high. Up to €100,000, after intensive verification

CONS

  • Not a private way to buy since ID verification is required.
  • Low annual limit of only €4,000, with no verification required.
User-friendly Average
Privacy Low
Speed Fast
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

Safello

PROS

  • Available in 32 countries
  • Offers a wide variety of payment methods
  • Deep liquidity ensures prices near the fair market rate
  • Customer service available on weekdays from 8 AM to 10 PM

CONS

  • Not a private way to buy since ID verification is required
  • Only Swish payments will confirm over weekends
  • Fees isn’t mentioned but included in your buying price
User-friendly Average
Privacy Low
Speed Fast
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

Bitstamp

It is one of the largest bitcoin exchanges. Europeans are able to easily purchase bitcoins using SEPA bank transfer. Bitstamp allows anyone in the world to use their bank account and send a wire transfer. However, there will be some fees charged.

PROS

  • One of the longest-running Bitcoin exchanges
  • Very low fees, ranging from 0.1% to 0.25%
  • Good range of deposit and withdrawal options
  • Deep liquidity promotes a price close to fair market rate
  • Offers a wide range of altcoins

CONS

  • Has been hacked before, users should not avoid storing their funds on the exchange at all times
  • High 8% fee on small credit card purchases, falling to 5% with sufficient trading volume
  • Aimed towards traders; slightly confusing for first-time buyers
User-friendly Hard
Privacy Low
Speed Slow
Transaction Fees Average
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

Kraken

Kraken is known the world’s largest euro-denominated Bitcoin exchange based on daily average trading rates. It supports bank transfer deposits from the US, European, Canadian, British, and Japanese customers. Deposits can even be made via international bank transfer, SEPA transfer, and Interac.

PROS

  • Well-financed and reliable exchange
  • Very low taker fee
  • Very low maker fee
  • Deep liquidity for large volume buyers in European markets ensures a price close to fair market fare
  • Highly secured
  • Publishes proof of reserve audits

CONS

  • Difficult for first-time buyers
  • Requires ID verification so, not private
User-friendly Hard
Privacy Low
Speed Average
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

 

CoinCorner

It’s a bitcoin exchange based in the Isle of Man. Buyers from UK and Europe can purchase bitcoins with credit/debit card, SEPA, and GBP bank transfer.

PROS

  • Trusted company
  • Variety of options for payment
  • Customer service is very helpful
  • Instant credit card purchases
  • Available in a wide range of countries
  • Offers video tutorials covering the basics of Bitcoin, buying and selling, MultiSig escrow features

CONS

  • There is a 5% fee on purchasing with credit card
  • Requires ID verification, so not private
  • Slightly confusing for first-time buyers
  • Doesn’t provide exchange prices to compare without signing up
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Average
Transaction Fees Average
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits Average

 

Cubits

Cubits accepts SWIFT transfers, as well as other local bank transfer methods like SOFORT and Online Bank Transfer.

PROS

  • Fair 0.9% trading fee
  • Wide range of payment methods offered
  • Supports 20 fiat currencies
  • Super clean design makes the buying process easy

CONS

  • Offers a wallet that should not be used to store bitcoins
  • Requires ID verification, so not private
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Fast
Transaction Fees Low
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits Low

 

Bitfinex

Customers can deposit large amounts into their accounts using SWIFT.

PROS

  • Low fees for buyers, market makers and takers
  • One of best ways to buy large sums of bitcoin
  • Allows lending of fiat or bitcoin to margin traders at interest
  • Deep liquidity promotes price close to the fair market rate
  • Supports various altcoins as well

CONS

  • Was hacked recently and has yet to compensate most users for their loss
  • Quite confusing for first-time buyers
  • Single payment option
User-friendly Hard
Privacy Low
Speed Varies
Transaction Fees Average
Reputation Low trust
Buying Limits High

 

Xapo

Xapo is known to accept account deposits via international wire transfer.

PROS

  • Originally started off as a vaulting service. Claimed security investment above $20 million
  • User-friendly for first-time buyers
  • Deep liquidity which promotes a price close to fair market rate

CONS

  • ID verification required
  • Trading fees not stated on website
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Varies
Transaction Fees Average
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits High

HappyCoins

HappyCoins offers bank-related instant payment methods such as iDEAL, GiroPay, myBank, Sofort, and SEPA.

PROS

  • Long term and trusted exchange
  • Wide range of payment methods available
  • Occasional “Happy Hour” with 0% fee on purchases
  • Privacy maintained, only email and bank account number required

CONS

  • Fees are only included during checkout.
User-friendly Easy
Privacy Low
Speed Average
Transaction Fees Average
Reputation Trusted
Buying Limits Average

 

To conclude, if you’re planning on buying large amounts of bitcoins and do not have any credit card on hand, the above-mentioned options are good enough. However, keep in mind that some of these banks might require additional information to confirm a transaction.

If you’re looking to sell your bitcoins, check out our how to sell Bitcoin article.

Good Luck!

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Japan and Russia Raise Bitcoin to new heights

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2017 has been a good year for Bitcoin so far, with its price stabilizing above the $1000 mark and reaching to its recent mark $1263.00. Russia and Japan are the ones behind the high rise of Bitcoin this year.

Since the beginning of April, the price of Bitcoin rallied from $1070 to peak at this month’s high of $1227.00 on April 11. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at around $1283.81 according to https://blockchain.info/markets. The market value of Bitcoin has increased from around $17.5 billion on April 1 to surpass $19.5 billion on April 20, according to https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/#charts

Japan and Russia Raise Bitcoin to new heights

Japan gives Bitcoin price boost

Bitcoin became officially recognized by Japan on April 1, which obviously gave Bitcoin an immediate boost. Citizens can now use the currency to make purchases. Also, it is exempted from sales tax.

Moreover, following the legalization of Bitcoin, retail giants Bic Camera and Recruit Lifestyle have both made an announcement stating that they will be holding trial payments in order to increase the usage of bitcoins for consumer purchases. Recruit Lifestyle uses the app AirREGI which enables merchants to carry out bitcoin payments. Also, there’s a possibility that over a million Japanese retailers may soon accept Bitcoin payments by the end of 2017.

Japan’s acceptance of Bitcoin has been very helpful since it gave a boost to both local and global demand.

Russia is Changing Its Stance Toward Bitcoin

The Bank of Russia banned the use of digital currencies in 2014 fearing that it would weaken the Russian ruble, which seemed to be struggling at that time.

This ban was the reason behind several bitcoin websites and businesses being shut down. It lead to many lawmakers speaking out against Bitcoin, suggesting that “they cannot be used by individuals or legal entities.”

However, at the end of 2016, The Russian Federal Tax service issued a letter in October stating that under Russian law digital currencies are not illegal and that there are no prohibitions for companies and citizens when it comes to dealing with them. But, this letter still gave no clear indication of how digital currencies will be under regulation in Russia.

Last week, however, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said in an interview that The Russian Central Bank and the government are working on an agreement that could see digital currencies such as bitcoin become recognized as a legal payment method as soon as 2018 arrives.

Russia’s change in attitude toward bitcoin has helped shoot up the currency’s price and will likely increase its demand. This could possibly push the price of bitcoin to new heights in the future.

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Pakistan Bans Crypto and ICO Transactions

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The central bank of Pakistan has told financial service providers and banks that it won’t be supporting virtual currency transactions. In a statement on its website, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) suggested the general public that it controls both international and domestic payment as well as money transfer services.

cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes

Prosecution Against Transferring Funds

According to this cryptocurrency ban news, the State Bank of Pakistan will take action against those who use virtual currencies for transferring funds outside Pakistan. If they found anyone using virtual currencies, tokens or coins for transferring money outside Pakistan, he/she will be subject to prosecution according to applicable laws. The State Bank of Pakistan also asked microfinance and commercial banks, as well as payment service providers/operators to restrict those account holders, who are looking forward to carry out transactions in the form cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens.

The State Bank of Pakistan also noted that it doesn’t recognize cryptocurrencies as legitimate tender and hasn’t sanctioned or licensed anyone for the sale-purchase, exchange-investment or even issuance of any tokens or currencies.

Risks

The State Bank of Pakistan took the action of the following risks:

  • The closure and fiasco of virtual currency exchanges as well as businesses for any purpose, like action by law enforcement agencies.
  • The number of security negotiations of virtual currency exchanges and wallets all-inclusive, in which huge amount of funds was lost.
  • Virtual currencies are extremely erratic, volatile and the prices are mostly based on assumptions.

Furthermore, fraudsters have started to offer “pyramid style investment schemes” as well and have promised high returns to the general public of Pakistan. The State Bank of Pakistan has also warned that such schemes similar to cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes, can cause some hefty losses to the general public.

RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated that all controlled entities that already offer virtual currency services are required to cut off all ties within three-months. These services include:

  • Maintaining accounts
  • Registering
  • Trading
  • Settling/Clearing
  • Giving loans against virtual tokens
  • Accepting the loans as collateral
  • Opening accounts of exchanges that manage them and transfer funds in accounts including the sale and purchase of virtual currencies.

The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) believed that blockchain technology has a lot of positive applications however, it contends that cryptocurrencies increase several concerns related to the:

  • Protection of customers
  • Market integrity

Preventing financial crimes

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Cryptocurrency hardware wallets – Ledger grab $7 million

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A huge number of things are going incredibly good for ledger these days. Bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies stirring the people’s attention again. Accordingly, French startup raised $7 million series around the world to make hardware security devices universal.

Devices:

MAIF Avenir, XAnge, Wicklow Capital, GDTRE, Libertus Capital, cryptocurrency Group. The Whittemore Collection, Kima Ventures, BHB Network and Nicolas Pinto contributed to today’s subsidy round.

Ledger:

Well, you have knowledge about cryptocurrencies, you definitely have the idea that digital currencies’ start-ups centralize everything. A large number of scams are there. In addition, no need to trust any startup’s security team, do it to your own.

You have the ability to run your own Bitcoin wallet on your computer. But, hackers are still there to snatch your money from the computer or from a wallet, so be aware of scams.

Ledger makes a number of hardware wallets for several currencies. Actually, these tiny devices are the secure element. Furthermore, you also have a smart phone as Apple Pay or Android Pay with the same performance.

Ledger runs few tasks in a straight line on the secure element. It makes it more secure and then runs an app on your devices entirely. In this way, you will have the power to protect your bitcoins. Nobody can reach to the private keys on devices. In addition, devices repetitively check the honor of the firmware.

The company makes it sure that nobody has the ability to compromise the devices during production procedure. Co-founder Eric Larchevêque said, “When we manufacture the devices, all chips receive a Ledger certificate.” And, “When the device boots up, the computer sends a security challenge and the device answers.”

Smart devices & cost:

Ledger Nano S with tiny display and size of USB key is a well-known device in the digital market. Before the transactions take place from your computer, you need to confirm that a transaction on the device by entering your PIN code first. In this way,  if your computer gets compromised, transaction order will not over on device and you will not able to confirm that transaction.

The Company also making the ledger-blue. The Ledger Nano S’s cost is about €70 although blue cost is €275.

Crypto-wallets still newbie in the digital market. Accordingly, ledger sells more than 50,000 wallets and meet the company’s expectation by an inclusive margin.

By running a protected operating system on the secure element, there are other possible applications. For example, ledger might sell chips so that companies working in complex industries by making sure that server wasn’t compromised. Companies rising there money by introducing new hardware devices.

 

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Samsung Electronics Considers Blockchain For Tracking Its Global Shipments

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Samsung, which is best known for manufacturing electronics is taking blockchain platform in its consideration to track the shipments of its immense global supply chain network. According to this Samsung global news, it is considering an extensive implementation of a blockchain ledger platform so that it can track its shipments, globally.

blockchain and supply chain

Song Kwang-woo, who is the blockchain chief at the IT subsidiary of the Samsung, Samsung SDS, unveiled it while speaking to Bloomberg that a blockchain system could cut the shipping costs by 20%. Conspicuously, Kwang-woo also ensured that SDS is currently working on the development of blockchain platform for Samsung Electronics.

Involvement in Blockchain Technology

SDS has demonstrated its involvement in the implementation of blockchain technology for the shipping industry, effectively finishing a 7-month trial-project to track and record shipping logistics of both imports and exports in the vast shipping industry of Korea by the end of the year, 2017.

Related to the blockchain and supply chain collaboration, Kwang-woo also added:

“It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries. The blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation.”

SDS introduced a blockchain pilot for a shipping industry of Korea, in May 2017, so that it could keep an eye on the imports and exports of cargo shipments in real-time by leading an association, which included:

  • Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries
  • Hyundai Merchant Marine
  • IBM, which is considered as a technology giant.
  • Korea Customs Service

 

Also known as a member of the EEA (Enterprise Ethereum Alliance), Samsung SDS successfully accomplished its first pilot-run of a shipment that perceived the whole procedure of a shipment, as well as delivery and booking, from Korea to China. As it’s also mentioned above, SDS settled its trial by the end of 2017 that eventually intended to handle all exports and imports in Korea via blockchain.

The metropolitan government of the capital city of South Korea, Seoul, chose Samsung SDS in November 2017, to develop a roadmap and organize blockchain technology to the whole administration of the city, as a method to advance transparency and boost citizen expediency. The government of Seoul has formally announced its purpose that by 2022, it would utilize blockchain technology across the whole municipal administration.

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