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The Evolution of Cryptocurrency And How To Tap Into It

The Evolution of Cryptocurrency And How To Tap Into It

Cryptocurrency has actually been in existence for over 10 years. Granted, the term ‘cryptocurrency’ was as good as obscure before Bitcoin emerged, it still existed.

The first pretty known try at cryptocurrencies was in Holland in the early 90s. Back then, gas stations were being raided regularly and this problem caused headaches for the whole community, particularly the gas station owners who didn’t feel good with putting guards’ lives at risk for the protection of their own businesses and establishments. Regardless of this, they also had to make continuous profits, meaning they had to stay open night after night, further exposing themselves to criminals and thugs.

The idea came to put cash into smartcards and like that, e-cash was invented. This invention not only reduced the risk of robbery for the gas stations, it also made truck and car drivers feel safer on the road and travel light. This led to Albert Heijn, the main gas retailer, pressing banks to come up with a means of allowing shoppers and consumers to pay exactly from their bank accounts. This move led to the creation of the Point Of Sales (POS) machine which has become ubiquitous today.

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Jump to about 25 years later. Cash technologies began being initiated by internet pioneers David Chaum and Stefan Bands. Handcash, a control scheme for spams, was created by Andy Back. However, digital cryptocurrencies were first proposed by Wei Dai and Nick Szabo, who developed b-money and bit gold respectively. Both made use of handcash as their work proof algorithm.

These innovations led to the creation of cryptocurrencies which are used for transactions today, especially Bitcoin (created by Satoshi Nakamoto). When first created, Bitcoin was worth about $0.00001. However, since its creation, Bitcoin (and frankly, other cryptocurrencies) has increased in value immensely. Cryptocurrencies are of different types, each patronized based on the preferences and transactions intended by the user.

Making Money With Cryptocurrencies

Making money follows pretty much the same principles when it comes to cryptocurrencies. For the sake of streamlining, I’ll talk about using Bitcoin, the most popular and widely used.

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Now, before we discuss any money-making tactics, it is worth remembering that as of this publication, the value of 1 Bitcoin (1BTC) is $900. Hopefully, this will help you to realize the implication of the techniques we’ll discuss and just how rich they could make you.

Direct Investment

The most widely used method of making money through Bitcoin is through direct investment. The process is quite direct, actually. You create a wallet and begin buying Bitcoins (exchanging Bitcoins for money). As you get more Bitcoins, you could wait till the currency gains a higher cash exchange rate, use your Bitcoins in making other transactions or simply do both.

A Website About Bitcoin

An alternative is to set up a website that’s basically about Bitcoin. The site gives an in-depth explanation on the ins and outs of effectively using and managing a Bitcoin account. While you make money from ads and other promotions on your site, you also generate income by opening accounts while collecting a commission, offering account management services (for a fee, of course) and basically becoming a financial advisor to your clients.

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To do this effectively however, you have to have a wide and broad knowledge about Bitcoin yourself. The last thing you’ll want in this career line is to be sub-par and offer your clients inadequate services.

Mining

The third way to generate income from Bitcoin is to simply mine it (that’s right, you can make Bitcoin!). This method is the money-generating method that’s been affiliated with Bitcoin for the longest time. Bitcoins are mined through solving mind-numbing algorithms and codes that create blocks, which are in turn compiled to the open ledger. This ledger comprises every trade, purchase and transaction ever made using Bitcoin.

Without those who mine, Bitcoin would go extinct sooner or later. The system needs miners to keep expanding and functioning efficiently. As a new block is created, the miner responsible is gifted with Bitcoins for his troubles. This reward system serves as an incentive for new miners to spring up, thereby keeping the entire system alive and propelling the operation further.

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The mining of Bitcoin has become a more stressful process over time, due to its increased worth, patronage and the complexity of its algorithms. From easily mining on your home PC, it has evolved to a process where you’ll either have to buy your own mining hardware, get a laptop with insane specs or merge with other miners in a mining pool that uses the collective power of you all.

Mining a Bitcoin is an extremely intensive process and it requires a massive amount of processing power on your computer. This is to verify transactions on ledgers and ensure the smooth running of the system, which is daily getting increasingly crowded.

The same principles hold for most transaction-based and investment-centred cryptocurrencies. Even apart from Bitcoin, other cryptos have large values. Tapping in and making money through them is very easy.

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Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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