IBM Blockchain Trial Successfully Completed With Mandarins

IBM Blockchain TrialIBM Blockchain Trial

Computer giant IBM has successfully completed another blockchain trial with the help of 28 tons of mandarin oranges.

The tech behemoth tracked a shipment of mandarins from China to Singapore and used the innovative technology to do so.

IBM Blockchain Trial

The trial consisted of 28 tons of mandarin oranges (which equates to 3,000 cartons), delivered to China ahead of the Chinese New Year celebration, beginning on February 5th.

The main shipping document, otherwise known as the bill of lading (BL), was recorded on the blockchain.

A bill of lading effectively documents the entire legitimacy of the trade. It shows proof of ownership of the goods, receipt of the goods, shipping details, contractual obligations, etc. In normal practice, this document is mailed to all parties involved in the shipment inclusive of banks and those who provide trade financing. In regular practice, it can take anywhere between five and seven days to send the document around.

However, IBM’s blockchain trial showed that by creating an electronic bill of lading (e-BL) and automating it via the blockchain, the entire process was reduced “to just one second.”

As such, the procedure, when done in this manner, greatly reduces administrative time and costs.

Tay Khiam Back, CEO of fruit importer Hupco, said in a press release:

“By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings.”

>> Binance Accepts Credit Cards: Traders Can Buy Crypto With Credit Cards

Cutting Costs

The IBM blockchain trial showed that by using a blockchain-based electronic system, operating costs can be greatly reduced.

It’s the incremental differences that make all the difference. For example, IBM said electricity costs for refrigerated cargo would be reduced as the wait time and storage time would be reduced. Of course, costs relating to document processing would also be, effectively, nullified.

Further, using the blockchain means safer handling of information. The records are traceable and tamper-proof. This has huge benefits for the shipping industry in general, as the shipping industry is where, at present, 40% of all document fraud occurs.

IBM Blockchain Trial

IBM has been actively engaging in the blockchain space. It recently announced another IBM blockchain trial, this time tracking cobalt from a mine in the Congo to its destination of a Ford Motors factory in the US.

Featured Image: Pixabay

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ING Bank Teams Up with R3 in a Five-Year Blockchain Deal

ING BankING Bank

ING Bank, a major Dutch International bank, has just announced that it has signed a five-year deal with R3. R3 is an enterprise blockchain consortium that holds a commercial blockchain platform. R3 released the news in a press release yesterday.

ING Bank Takes on Blockchain

R3’s commercial blockchain platform is called Corda Enterprise. This new five-year deal allows ING Bank a number of licenses for Corda and can roll out access to the platform.

Corda will be rolled out through ING Bank globally and seek to deploy production-ready CorDapps across various business areas. CorDapps are decentralized applications run on R3’s blockchain network. The apps cover a wide range of financial services such as capital markets, trade finance, insurance, and identity.

Annerie Vreugdenhil, ING Head of Innovation for wholesale banking, commented:

“Our longstanding joint journey with R3 has proven that this is the most mature enterprise DLT solution to serve the needs of the financial service industry. Strengthening our partnership, by signing this licencing agreement, marks a huge milestone towards empowering clients to transition to a distributed economy. We are one step closer to deploying live DLT solutions for our clients with the supported infrastructure in place.”

>> NASDAQ CEO: Friedman Thinks Crypto Deserves Place in Our Economy

Last week, R3 announced the launch of its Corda Network with a new governing foundation. The company’s CEO, David E. Rutter, said that ING Bank had been an active adopter of blockchain in the global banking space. It seems the Dutch bank has been testing products with R3 for years and now it will bring blockchain full-scale within its bank.

It remains unknown at this time how quickly the Corda Network will be integrated into ING’s daily operations. In late 2018, ING Bank was a part of a group of banks that completed a live commercial paper transaction based on Corda.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © RonaldWilfred

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Dragonchain Partnership With Hurify: IoT and Blockchain Merger

Dragonchain PartnershipDragonchain Partnership

A Dragonchain partnership was announced earlier today. The blockchain leader is partnering with Hurify Digital Markets to revolutionize decentralized IoT and blockchain development.

Dragonchain Partnership

The US’s Dragonchain is a blockchain developer that works across four business areas: enterprise services, entertainment, education, and project incubation/acceleration. The company wants to empower businesses with an enterprise-grade blockchain solution.

Hurify, at its core, is a “global ecosystem for developer communities, entrepreneurs, and IoT solution vendors.” Its members span the globe.

Hurify Digital Markets, then, is an IoT project development platform that uses smart contracts to “support IoT project development and deployment supply chain.” The platform essentially brings together in one place the talent, hardware, and services necessary to enhance IoT development and adoption.

The Technicals

But how will the Dragonchain partnership help its case?

Hurify will use Dragonchain’s smart contracts to provide a safe, blockchain-enabled global database of IoT developers. These developers will have the ability to connect with each other through the blockchain. In this way, Hurify will be able to build and maintain its dynamic global ecosystem.

>> Ripple Update: XRP Private Keys at Risk but CEO Optimistic

Innovation

By paring blockchain with IoT, the businesses are merging two of today’s most forward-moving and innovative technologies. As Filip Hantson, VP of Business Development at Dragonchain, puts it:

“We’re looking forward to working with Hurify on our Dragonchain platform […] Like blockchain, IoT is a young technology that has a massive potential to take the market by storm.”

First of its Kind

The Hurify and Dragonchain partnership will mean a first-of-its-kind launch of the Hurify IoT Marketplace blockchain platform.

According to Mouli Srini, CEO and President of Hurify Digital Markets, the new service has the power to take down barriers that have blocked the development of IoT:

“Dragonchain will enable Hurify to take advanced, multi-level private and public blockchains to the IoT community […] We now have a versatile solution for a range of IoT operational challenges, such as access control, securing data, and scalability; which Dragonchain overcomes with remarkable ease of use for developers.”

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think a Hurify/Dragonchain partnership is a match made in heaven? Let us know!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © monsit

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Genesis Capital: Crypto Lending Weathers a Bearish Market

Genesis CapitalGenesis Capital

Crypto lending firm Genesis Capital processed $1.1 billion in loans last year. This is according to the company’s recently released ‘Lending Snapshot’ for Q4 2018.

Genesis Capital

The figure shows the massive growth in processed loans as Bitcoin price fell over 44% in 2018.

The first Digital Asset Lending Snapshot was released at the end of Q3 2018. This reported that Genesis processed $553 million in loans from the period starting March 2018.

Therefore the most up-to-date figures show that “Q4 loan originations increased more than 100% in the final three months of 2018 compared to the prior six-month period.”

The company effectively doubled its business in the final months of 2018.

Loan Increases

Genesis Capital showed that its loans increased to $153 million in active loans, an increase of $20 million from Q3. This was most likely led by Bitcoin price hitting new lows in this quarter.

In fact, the most active months were November and December, two incredibly volatile months for BTC where the coin dropped from $6,350 to below $3,500 USD in a two week period. These were the months where Genesis Capital reportedly “saw new hedge funds and trading firms utilizing ‘spot’ borrow.”

>> Crypto Hacks Take $1.7 Billion in 2018—Yikes!

Fiat Currency Lending with Crypto Collateral

At the end of 2018, Genesis launched fiat currency lending with crypto collateral. This is a new service that has been developed in response to demand from its institutional clients. The company stated:

“Long-term digital currency investors with appreciated assets can borrow cash against their crypto holdings without triggering a taxable event.”

Bitcoin lendings made up for a majority of the company’s business, but Genesis stated that “Ethereum (ETH) borrowing more than doubled since Q3 but still only accounts for less than 10% of our loan book, well below the highs seen in Q1 and Q2.”

Bear Market

The crypto bear market has taken hold for months now. BTC has steadily declined in value over the year and currently sells for $3,493 according to CoinMarketCap. This is a far cry from this time last year when BTC price was valued at over $10,000 per coin.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © cozyta

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Crypto Hacks Take $1.7 Billion in 2018—Yikes!

crypto hackscrypto hacks

Yesterday, a rather shocking cryptocurrency anti-money laundering report was released by the crypto analytics company CipherTrace. This report states that around $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency was obtained illegally in 2018. What’s more surprising is that crypto hacks happened three times more than in 2017. No wonder institutional investors don’t want to put big money into the crypto industry yet.

Crypto Hacks Worth $1.7 Billion

Of the total stolen in 2018, over $950 million was from cryptocurrency exchanges. This is 3.6 times more than what was stolen from exchanges in 2017. The rest of the funds ($725 million) from the crypto hacks happened from things such as Ponzi schemes, exit schemes, and fraudulent ICOs.

These schemes may only be higher in volume because of the overwhelming amount of money that flooded the cryptocurrency market in 2017. By December 2017, the total cryptocurrency market was worth well over $550 billion—hitting over $800 billion in the second week of January.

This amount of money flooding into the system likely intrigued hackers and saw cryptocurrency exchanges as easy targets. ICOs were also huge money makers in 2017, and start-up companies were receiving millions in funding for just an idea. On top of pump and dumps, hackers built their own fraudulent ICOs and once funding was completed, shut down the entire website and ran.

>> BitTorrent Token (BTT) Sale Sold Out in Under 15 Minutes; Binance Crashes as a Result

Now, it seems investors are treading lightly in the cryptocurrency space and rightfully so. According to CipherTrace’s report, most of the crypto hacks occurred in Q1 and Q2 of 2018. The market was worth significantly less in Q3 and Q4 of 2018—making it not as appealing for hackers. At the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market is worth just over $115 billion.

It remains unknown at this time what will need to be in place to make institutional investors comfortable investing in digital currencies. For now, they can invest in Bitcoin Futures and ETFs—if they ever become available.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © Chubakaster

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BitTorrent Token (BTT) Sale Sold Out in Under 15 Minutes; Binance Crashes as a Result

BitTorrent Token (BTT)BitTorrent Token (BTT)

The BitTorrent Token (BTT) sale on Binance took place yesterday. In under 15 minutes, $7.1 million was raised, selling 50 billion BTT token. Binance announced the conclusion of the sale via an official blog post on their website.

BitTorrent Token (BTT) Sale

The token sale ran in two different sessions: One for purchasing BTT with TRON (TRX) and the other purchasing BTT with Binance Coin (BNB). Both sale sessions ended quickly. This didn’t go without a hitch though.

It seems Binance wasn’t fully prepared for the amount of traffic it was going to receive and ran into major complications during the sale. During the BitTorrent Token sale, many were not able to complete transactions.

All order requests were preserved by Binance, and the transactions that were frozen should still receive their BTT in the end. After Binance had its issue, TRON came out that it would host an airdrop for BTT tokens to make up for the fluke.

It remains unknown at this time if there will be a BitTorrent Token Giveaway, as Binance’s CEO has yet to formally make a statement regarding Sun’s tweet. Last year, TRON purchased BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol.

In Binance’s blog post, the exchange explains BitTorrent as:

“BitTorrent is a TRON-affiliated blockchain project for peer-to-peer file sharing, empowering a new generation of content creators with the tools to distribute their content directly to others on the web. BitTorrent’s new BTT token will allow BitTorrent peers to incentivize activities that lead to better file sharing, like using faster networks and enabling longer seeding periods. BitTorrent currently has 100 million monthly active users (MAU) across 138 countries.”

>> Canadian-based Kik Said It will Take on SEC Over ICO

Coin Price Movements

At press time, the cryptocurrency market is rebounding after trading mostly red yesterday. Currently, Binance Coin (BNB) is still trading red at $6.25 a coin, down -4.71%. TRON (TRX) is trading at $0.0275 a coin, up 1.43% in 24 hours.

Featured Image: Twitter

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Bitcoin Revolution Scam: Malta Warns of “Get-Rich-Quick” Scam

Bitcoin RevolutionBitcoin Revolution

An alleged global scamming scheme called ‘Bitcoin Revolution’ is doing the rounds and traders are being warned not to fall for it.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a warning against it today via an official document.

Bitcoin Revolution

The alleged crypto scam likens to a typical get-rich-quick scheme and operates through several websites, though only one has been officially named: the-bitcoinrevolution.org.

The scheme has been advertised on social media platforms and has used the images of prominent local personalities claiming they have become rich from the crypto investments.

Unregistered

According to the MFSA, the Bitcoin Revolution is not registered or licensed in Malta and therefore has not been cleared to offer financial and investment services.

Malta passed its Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA) in July 2018. This act sets out to “regulate the field of Initial Virtual Financial Asset Offerings and Virtual Financial Assets.”

Effectively, a body must seek authorization from the MFSA, and no one has yet been given this authorization since the Act was passed.

Warning

The Bitcoin Revolution claims to make investors rich within a few minutes. It was first reported on January 10th of this year by a number of local personalities whose identities were being used without permission to peddle the scheme.

On a website called Major News, two hosts of a local show claimed that Maltese actor and TV star David Tucci turned his 250 euro deposit into 483 euro in eight minutes by using Bitcoin Revolution.

>> JPMorgan Claims Bitcoin Isn’t Worth Mining Anymore

Further, fake articles and advertisements on Facebook claimed he had gone bankrupt and used the Bitcoin Revolution platform to amass a €2.3 million fortune.

Tucci has since spoken out to deny his involvement with the platform saying he has never used it and confirmed it as a scam:

“Please note I have nothing whatsoever to do with this, I have never engaged in such tradings, never did I authorise or approve of such material being published or advertised. This is clearly a scam and click-bait, please don’t buy into this.”

Be wary of these fraudulent scams out there traders!

Featured Image: Depositphotos © eivanov

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John McAfee Will Run His Presidential Campaign Overseas

John McAfeeJohn McAfee

US entrepreneur and crypto enthusiast John McAfee has fled the United States to conduct his 2020 presidential campaign.

John McAfee Runs for President

John McAfee is the founder of the famous McAfee antivirus software. Back in June of 2018, the cryptocurrency enthusiast announced his plans to run for the US presidency in 2020.

In the video above, McAfee claims he has been indicted by the IRS in the state of Tennessee and has been charged with ‘unspecified’ IRS crimes. His wife and four other members of his campaign have also been indicted.

McAfee said:

“I have not paid taxes for eight years, I’ve made no secret of it. I have not filed returns. Every year, I tell the IRS, I’m not filing a return. I have no intention of doing so, come and find me.”

The controversial cryptocurrency community figure claims he will run his campaign from his boat on international waters. John McAfee claims he will use proxies on US territory, as well as representatives in major cities. Cryptocurrencies will be at the forefront of his campaign. McAfee’s political views align with more of a libertarian view, in which he believes the government should have little power or be completely non-existent. In his mind, cryptocurrencies have the power to do this.

Without using central currencies, he claims, the government will not be able to fund the ‘excess’ they are doing. John McAfee believes digital currencies give individuals ‘freedom’ for the first time in human history from government rule.

>> Ripple Backs Chinese Blockchain Research Scholarship

Currently, the tech founder has not been convicted of a felony, which means he’s still able to run for president. Except, he doesn’t want to actually be president—he claims he just wants to use the stage to voice his opinion.

So, crypto community. After reading all that information, if John McAfee is allowed to run for president in 2020, does he have your vote?

Featured Image: Depositphotos © creisinger

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NASDAQ CEO: Friedman Thinks Crypto Deserves Place in Our Economy

NASDAQ CEONASDAQ CEO

It bodes well for cryptocurrencies everywhere that the CEO of the world’s largest exchange, NASDAQ, has their back. Specifically, Adena Friedman thinks they “deserve an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.

The comments were made yesterday by Friedman in a posting on her LinkedIn profile. The president and CEO of the Nasdaq exchange was writing ahead of her scheduled appearance at the World Economic Forum at Davos.

NASDAQ CEO and Crypto

Friedman believes crypto will have an important part to play in the future, believing “the invention itself [is] a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity.”

Her posting painted a fair picture of crypto’s journey thus far. She touched on the technology’s innovation, and the hype and intrigue surrounding it. She also called its recent demise “a dose of reality.

Her opinion now is that cryptocurrency is currently at a crossroads whereby two outcomes are possible:

“1) Either the innovation finds practical utility followed by years of steady and sustainable commercial progress and integration into the economic fabric (e.g., the Internet); or 2) The invention fails to achieve broad adoption and its commercial applications as a medium of exchange is limited (e.g., the Segway).”

>> TRON (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) Up, Despite $5 Billion Loss this Weekend

Polar Opposites

The NASDAQ CEO touched on a contentious issue where crypto is concerned, and that is its current ironic position: for crypto to be useable in the everyday and to hold a tangible and stable value, it requires “governance and regulatory clarity.” However, these are “antithetical to the original intent [of] a decentralized, ungovernable global currency.” Herein lies cryptocurrency’s greatest irony.

NASDAQ and Crypto

NASDAQ has offered a helping hand to start-up exchanges in the past. It has offered its in-house technology to new exchanges to help create safe and fair trading environments. For example, earlier in January, DX.Exchange—a platform launching the trade of cryptocurrencies and tokenized traditional stocks—announced that it uses Nasdaq’s Financial Information Exchange (FIX) in its operations.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © artjazz

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Japan’s SBI Group Invests $15 Million in Tangem Crypto Wallet

TangemTangem

Announced today, Japanese banking giant SBI Group has invested in Swiss crypto startup Tangem.

The company is the creator of a slimline hardware cryptocurrency wallet.

SBI Group Invests in Tangem

SBI is offering its support to Tangem with a $15 million USD investment. It will use the capital to expand into areas such as stablecoins, ICOs, tokenized asset offerings, and digital identity.

Tangem Crypto Wallet

Described by the company as a “smart banknote for digital assets,” Tangem’s cryptocurrency wallet mimics a bank card in that it allows a user to make off-chain physical transactions. Effectively, a user can make in-store purchases, by loading the device with cryptos via an NFC-enabled smartphone.

SBI Group

SBI’s wholly-owned subsidiary SBI Crypto Investment provided Tangem with the funding.

The group has been busy partnering with a host of crypto startups. In October 2018, it invested in Denmark-based blockchain security startup Sepior and last March, it bought 40% of cold wallet maker CoolBitX.

SBI and Tangem

On the investment deal SBI Holdings President and CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, said the following:

“The Tangem hardware wallet, which is highly secure and affordable, is an important tool to promote mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain […] We believe utilizing Tangem will help stimulate the demand for other blockchain services provided by SBI.”

>> Stellar (XLM) the Latest Cryptocurrency Added to Grayscale

Hardware Wallets

A hardware wallet is a physical cryptocurrency storage device. It is similar to an external hard drive in that the data is stored offline and the device is only connected to the computer when necessary. As such, it provides increased security for cryptos than other alternatives.

Because they store cryptocurrencies offline, hardware wallets such as Tangem are becoming an increasingly popular means of storage for the assets.

Numerous online exchanges and wallets have experienced notable hacks, and traders are often told to never store crypto on an exchange for that reason. According to a report from Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA), the issue is significant; the country lost $540 million USD worth of crypto in the first six months of 2018 to hackings alone.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © iqoncept

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