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The Much-Hated Bitcoin is Becoming the Saving Grace for Banks

It is no longer news that traditional financial institutions hate Bitcoin and they’ll do anything to stifle its growth. Bitcoin seeks to decentralize the money supply in the economic landscape and a decentralization of money could make banks obsolete or mostly unnecessary. More so, Bitcoin offers incredibly low transaction costs and the low fees associated with Bitcoin payments makes Bitcoin a better payment alternative to many of the payment solutions that banks offer.

From the foregoing, banks have an ax to grind with Bitcoin and they are fueling the war of fear in order to slow down its adoption. More so, the banks are leveraging their economic and political affiliations to lobby against regulation that would empower Bitcoin as a global currency. Nonetheless, The Guardian reports that banks are now hoarding Bitcoin in order to protect themselves against cyber attacks in the future.

Cyber attacks take a deadly form

On October 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began investigations into a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on some popular websites. The DDoS attack was targeted at websites in both the U.S. and Europe and it is one of the strongest DDoS attack in record. The DDoS attack took out popular sites such as Twitter, CNN, Reddit, PayPal, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, and Netflix among others.

The attacks were designed to target Dyn, a firm that provides DNS services to many of the aforementioned websites. Dyn notes that “We began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS [distributed denial-of-service] attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure shortly after 7:00am ET of Friday”.

Last Friday attacks highlight a worrisome trend in the cybersecurity industry as hackers harvest IoT (Internet of Things) devices to wreak havoc with DDoS attacks.  There are about 7 billion to 19 billion IoT devices; hence, DDoS attacks will only become severe going forward.

The more worrisome trend is that the hackers often request for ransom in order to call of the attacks. Interestingly, the hackers prefer getting paid in Bitcoin because of the anonymity that it provides them.

Banks are now hoarding Bitcoin to mitigate cyber attacks

The Guardian reports that banks have started buying up hoards of Bitcoin, which they plan to use to for ransom payments if they happen to become a victim of DDoS attacks. In reality, paying off the hackers in Bitcoin (or any other currency) makes economic sense for banks because law enforcement agencies are currently incapable of preventing or stopping those kinds of attacks.

Dr Simon Moores, a former technology ambassador for the UK government and chair of the annual international e-Crime Congress observes that, “The police will concede that they don’t have the resources available to deal with this because of the significant growth in the number of attacks.”

Moores also notes that it makes sense for banks to pay off hackers than to risk a DDoS attack. In his words, “Big companies are now starting to worry that an attack is no longer an information security issue, it’s a board and shareholder and customer confidence issue.”

Strangely enough, the same Bitcoin than banks have vilified so much is now turning out to be their saving grace in the face of security challenges. Moore notes that, “From a purely pragmatic perspective, financial institutions are now exploring the need to maintain stocks of bitcoin in the unfortunate event that they themselves become the target of a high-intensity attack, when law enforcement perhaps might not be able to assist them at the speed with which they need to put themselves back in business.”

4 Weird But Real Ways To Earn Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is currently more valuable than the U.S. Dollar and the value of the Bitcoin has more upside potential ahead. 1BTC currently costs about $649; hence, you’ll have to do some serious work before you can earn 1BTC. Nonetheless, you don’t have to go through the hard way of mining Bitcoin because mining requires a high upfront cost in terms of equipment. You can however earn little bits here and there and those bits could amount into a decent amount of Bitcoin over time. This article provides insight into 4 weird but real ways through which you can earn Bitcoin.

1. Watch short videos to earn Bitcoin

You can earn a decent (compounded over time) amount of Bitcoin if you don’t mind watching a couple of videos online. It sounds too good to be true because you probably watch a number of cute cat videos on Facebook and Youtube everyday without earning a dime. However, Vidybit is one of the top platforms where you can earn Bitcoin for watching videos. Vidybit says it has an unlimited video selection on multiple channels where you can watch videos to earn Bitcoin all day long.

However, watching videos to earn Bitcoin is serious work and you should be ready to put in long hours. Vidybit currently pays 39 Satoshi for every video you watch. If you have a Xapo account, you can withdraw your earnings without having to meet any minimum payout requirements. However, there’s a minimum payout requirement of 5430 Satoshi if you plan to withdraw your earned Bitcoin into your BTC wallet.

2. Read books to earn Bitcoin

If watching video all day long sounds boring or uninspiring to you, you should consider reading books to earn Bitcoin. If you’ll love the opportunity to read some classics as well as modern books for free, the gig might be a perfect fit for you. Of course, you’ll also get paid in Bitcoin for expanding your mind. Paid Books is one of the top platforms where you can read books online to earn Bitcoin. Paid Books is part of the Bitcoin Aliens family, which commits itself to giving out free Bitcoin.

Paid Books has a wide selection of books raging from classics such as Pride and Prejudice to Children books such as Peter Pan. Paid Books currently pay 400 Satoshi for every 10 minutes you spend reading and you could also win an 800 Satoshi jackpot. You should however note that Paid Books has a 20,000 Satoshi minimum payout; hence, you won’t get paid until you’ve acquired 20,000 Satoshi from reading.

3. Play mobile games to earn Bitcoin

If watching videos or reading books doesn’t sound very exciting, you might find it more enjoyable to play mobile games to earn Bitcoin. A quick online search will yield information about hundreds of mobile games that you can play to earn Bitcoin. If you like Plants VS Zombies, you’ll most likely derive pleasure from playing Oh Crop! To earn Bitcoin. Of course, you should be ready to endure some minutes of seeing video ads interrupt your gaming experience – those video ads are the main reason you’ll get paid.

Other mobile games you can play to earn Bitcoin include Coin Flapper for people who enjoyed playing Flappy Birds. You can also try out BattleCoin if you prefer multiplayer PvP games where you can earn extra Bitcoin by referring new gamers.

4. Solve Captcha to earn Bitcoin

You can also earn Bitcoin by taking the time to solve online Captcha tasks. Solving online captcha to earn Bitcoin is one of the many different Bitcoin faucets available. However, solving captchas have the added benefit of requiring some mindfulness; hence, you can easily earn a decent amount of Bitcoin without getting bored.

When you solve an online captcha, you’ll be rewarded with Satoshis. It should be noted that many of these platforms earn money from the ads placed on their websites. Hence, they’ll pay you fraction of their earnings when you solve captchas or answer some short questions. Some of the notable Bitcoin platforms where you can earn Bitcoin by solving capthcas include Moon Bitcoin, Free Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Zebra.


4 Straightforward Ways to Earn Bitcoin

Bitcoin currently trades for about $649 for 1BTC and for most people; it might be somewhat pricey to buy Bitcoin with USD. Yet, it is important to own Bitcoin because of the impressive upside potential that it offers. However, if you want to own Bitcoin without having to clear out all the funds in your bank account, you can go through the slightly long process of earning Bitcoin.

Nonetheless, you should note that it might take some time before you have a sizeable amount of Bitcoin. If you don’t mind the long process, here are four straightforward ways through which you can earn Bitcoin.

1. Mining Bitcoin

The most traditional way to earn Bitcoin is to become a miner. Miners are saddled with the task of providing computational power needed for the verification process of Bitcoin transactions. Miners are then rewarded with some Bitcoin for their efforts. Mining is the “original” way of getting Bitcoin with an allegory similar to how the miners of old got gold by mining it.

Of course, mining Bitcoin is different from mining gold because you’ll need a powerful computer, superfast Internet connection and a dedicated mining program. It should be noted that it is becoming increasingly harder to mine Bitcoin because of the inbuilt strategies for keeping the supply of Bitcoin in check. More so, miners now earn lesser Bitcoin for their troubles because the Bitcoin reward block has been halved. Yet, mining is a great way to earn Bitcoin and immerse yourself in learning how Bitcoin works.

2. Join a Bitcoin Mining Pool

As mentioned above, mining Bitcoin is becoming increasingly less profitable for the individual miner. However, you can join a mining pool in order to leverage the strength of numbers to your earn more Bitcoin from mining. A mining pool is a mining community in which miners combine their computing power to solve a mining block. The miners in the pool the share the Bitcoin reward equally based on amount of hashing power contributed.

Joining a mining pool is a better way to get involved in mining activities on a small scale without incurring exorbitant upfront costs. Antpoll is currently the biggest mining pool in the world and it controls about 30% of the blockchain hash rate. You might also want to consider Slush Pool, which is the first mining pool in the market. Slush Pool controls a 7% hash rate.

3. Trade Bitcoin for a multiplier effect

If you understand how the financial markets work, you might want to consider earning more Bitcoin by trading. Trading Bitcoin is probably the smartest and fastest way to increase the number of Bitcoin that you own exponentially. Bitcoin currently trades at 1BTC to $649 yet it has traded as low as 1BTC to $11 in 2012. In the last one year, Bitcoin has gained an incredible 109%. In contrast, the S&P 500 has only gained 3.18% within the same period and gold has gained 7.79% in the last one year.

Hence, you’ll be better off trading Bitcoin than trading stocks or gold if you are interested in profiting from upside potential. Nonetheless, you should note that Bitcoin prices are still subject to wild swings and high volatility. You should be ready for a high-risk high-reward scenario if you want to earn more Bitcoin by trading.

4. Accept Bitcoin tips

Another smart way to earn Bitcoin is to collect your tips as Bitcoin. If you work in the service sector where the culture of tipping is acceptable, you can elect to have patrons reward you for your service by getting tipped in Bitcoin. You’ll find it much more easier to get your tips in Bitcoin if you employer already accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment. However, you can still request patrons to tip you in Bitcoin if making such a request doesn’t flout your terms of service.

However, being tipped by Bitcoin is not restricted to people who work in bars, restaurants, and hotels alone. You can also get tipped in Bitcoin if you offer valuable advice on a blog or in an online forum. You can request other users to tip you for your expertise/time in Bitcoin. BCTip is smart way to get tipped in Bitcoin. You may also want to consider Changetip if you’d like to get tipped in Bitcoin for your social media acitivities.

The Bitcoin Startup Sector is Coming Alive, Here’s How to Come on Board

Coins is a fledging Bitcoin startup with big dreams to power financial inclusion in Southeast Asia with Bitcoin. If you are deeply involved in the Bitcoin startup ecosystem, you might have heard about Coins – a Philippines-based Bitcoin startup that prides itself as “the easiest way to pay and get paid” in Bitcoin of course.

If you are not deeply involved in the Bitcoin startup scene you might never have heard about Coins unless you happen to be an avid Bitcoin user in southeast Asia. Now, Coin is moving out of the shadows to come into the limelight as it starts taking proactive measures to develop its Bitcoin mobile wallet. The more interesting fact is breaking news showing that Coins has raised $5 million in funding from a number of high-profile investors.

$5 million funding to reach the under-served with Bitcoin

Coins is on a mission – a commendable mission to provide the underserved people of Southeast Asian countries with financial solutions. Coins already boasts 500,000 app user signups since launching in 2014 and it has been working behind the scenes to promote financial inclusion. Coins’ CEO, Ron Hose says, “we’ve been quiet for a long time, but it’s not because we’re not running.”


Now, some global venture capitals have bought into Coin’s lofty ambitions and the startup raised $5 million in its Series A round. Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund led the Series A round – Accion is a fund with a targeted interest in supporting startups working on financial inclusion for underserved communities. Other funds that bought into Coins’ Series A round include Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, and BeeNext.

Coins is also getting technical support from two major incubation labs as part of efforts to ensure that its product doesn’t die on the altar of execution. IdeaSpace Foundation and Kickstart Ventures have both committed to providing Coins with technical support.

The best part is that incubation labs are backed by major telecom services providers in the Philippines; hence, Coins can easily leverage the relationship to create Bitcoin mobile wallets domiciled on the phones of subscribers on their networks.

The Bitcoin startup scene is heating up

In all honesty, entrepreneurs who are setting up shop in the Bitcoin startup sector deserve medals for courage because they are swimming against the tide. To start with, most people do not yet understand Bitcoin and traditional financial institutions are pushing the propaganda of fear in order to stifle the growth of Bitcoin. Secondly, the regulatory environment for Bitcoin is still somewhat grey and no one can tell if regulatory policies will favor or hurt Bitcoin.

Nonetheless, the Bitcoin startup scene is heating up, not just in Southeast Asia but globally all the way from Silicon Valley to Sydney. A simple search for Bitcoin startups on reveals that there are 897 Bitcoin startups, 1,707 investors, and 126 jobs on the platform alone. You can then begin to imagine the number of players with a stake in the Bitcoin startup ecosystem globally.

If you want to get on board the Bitcoin startup train, you might want to consider setting up shop in remittance payments with Bitcoin. The remittance market is a $500B annual market and the fact that Bitcoin could emerge as a global currency makes it a strategic option for remittances. You might also want to consider setting up shop in the micro-transactions market. The fact that Bitcoin transactions attract almost zero-transaction costs makes Bitcoin a strategic alternative for Micro-transactions.

Bitcoin Finds Strength for Bullish Rally as Chinese Yuan Becomes Weaker

China is fueling an impressive uptrend in the price of Bitcoin as Chinese investors find more reasons to store their wealth in alternative currencies. The Chinese Yuan has been falling lower in the last couple of weeks in response to the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise interest rates by the end of this year.

However, Chinese folks are flocking to alternative currencies such as Bitcoin to hedge against currency devaluation and volatility in the Chinese economic landscape. This piece seeks to explore the relationship between Chinese economic woes, currency devaluation and its effect on the gains in the price of Bitcoin.

CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index for China


Bitcoin soars to four-month high in response to weak Yuan

The Chinese Yuan is becoming weaker in the wake of tougher capital controls designed to limit the amount of money that Chinese people are permitted to move abroad. The weakness in the Yuan has started fuelling an increased demand for Bitcoin and the upside potential for the alternative currency is looking strong.

On October 21, Bitcoin soared by 4% to near a three-month high of $655.50 to mark the highest trading price since July 29. Trading data available in the markets also show that trading volume soared to 5.5 million Bitcoin to mark the highest point in trading volume in the last 7 months.

You’ll remember that China devalued its currency in August 2015 as a means to halt the outflow of money out of the country and in order to help its local manufacturing industry. The move to devalue the currency didn’t sit well with China’s money families and they protected their wealth by diversifying into Bitcoin and other alternative investments. Of course, the price of Bitcoin has gained about 80% from August 2015 to date in response to that devaluation among other things.

The value of Bitcoin will continue to increase going forward as the realities of a weak Yuan sinks deeper. Zhu Jiawei, COO of Beijing-based Huobi, one of the largest Chinese Bitcoin exchanges observes that “as the Yuan enters a path of depreciation, investors will consider investing in assets that can preserve value and hedge risks.” This morning, Bitcoin is already up 0.78% to $653.47 to suggest that it has found support around $640. Bitcoin is up 0.47% on the Chinese market as it trades against 4,505.87 Yuan.

Can Bitcoin cross the $1000 milestone again?

Arthur Hayes, founder of Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange BitMEX observes that that value of Bitcoin will continue to increase if Beijing doesn’t deviate from its plan for constant devaluation of the Yuan. It should be noted that Bitcoin currently trades at a 2% premium against to the Chinese Yuan at 4,488.6 in contrast to the price of Bitcoin against the USD.

The Yuan is currently in a free fall against the dollar dropping 0.1% to 6.77723. Hayes observed that the Yuan could fall as much as 7% against the USD by January and that such a massive decline could cause Bitcoin to rise to cross the $1000 milestone again. In the words of Hayes, “The continued devaluation of the Chinese yuan is what’s driving traders at the margin to buy Bitcoin.”

South Korea planning to launch its own digital currency over blockchain?

South Korea is one of the fore runners when it comes to technology and its applications. The country enjoys a rich technological heritage with well-regulated and generous venture capital backing. Owing to this favorable set-up, South Korea has become the home for diverse tech startups that have gone on to become market giants across the globe. Even in the case of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, all these observations are consistent. After achieving superior levels of expertise in digital assets and blockchain, the authorities are now planning to launch a national digital currency. While this move certainly is gutsy, let’s look into whether South Korea is actually prepared enough to handle it:

History of Cryptocurrencies:

When it came to cryptocurrencies, South Korea has always kept an open mind and has been liberal about the proceedings. Right from 2010, there has been liberal regulation of Bitcoin and startups based on the cryptocurrency evolved effortlessly. The transition from traditional finance to evolved Fintech happened with little friction. Even Public fund managers were able to incorporate Bitcoin indicating the kind of regard Bitcoin has been enjoying.


Out of one such instance, came the first ever Exchange traded fund (ETF) of Bitcoin across the world. While in USA, Winklevoss brothers are finding it difficult to get their ETF approved, Korea was able to launch it. The Korea Exchange, official exchange of South Korea would be hosting this ETF along with other products it offers.

Merchant Adoption:

The merchant adoption in the country is rising and is evident in the way the exchanges have launched adoption schemes. Since 2014, Coinplug has been building Bitcoin infrastructure in Korea with over 7,000 ATM machines. They have introduced okBitcard, which allows buying Bitcoins instantly over the counter. This facility is available at over 24,000 convenience stores.

korbit-logo-blue-background-02  coinplug

Apart from Coinplug, Korbit has a very strong presence in Korea with over 10,000 ATM machines and 50 banking institutions. These banking institutions can receive remittances from bitcoin senders. The service provided by Korbit for these payments, ‘BitWire’,  received good response.

Setting up the currency:

At 12th annual FinTech Demo Day in Seoul, the chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), Yim Jong-yong, announced his department’s plans to lay groundwork for spread of digital currency.  The FSC did not reveal any details as to what form or technology the digital currency will use. The government and the local financial industry players will launch pilot projects this year with Blockchain. The work would involve setting up new National cryptocurrency on the framework of Blockchain.

The department is offering three trillion won ($2.65 Billion) in funding over the next three years, to financially support the development of the fintech sector in South Korea.