How to “do” crypto – brotherly advice

My sister and nephew asked me about how to get hold of Bitcoin the other day, and this was followed by a few of my friends asking the same question so I thought I’d just publish the email I sent her here (spellings and grammar corrected) as others might find it useful. It’s surprising how hard it is to stop writing once you start!

If you want to buy some of this stuff you will need to open an account – but remember this is a really risky investment, it could go to the Moon or crash to the floor ( I obviously think the Moon ☺ ) so do NOT invest more than you are prepared to lose. It’s all highly exciting when it is climbing by 500% in a few months and as scary as hell when it falls 30% over a few days. You need a calm hand and probably best not look at the daily charts.

Now to get started. You will need to have something called a wallet. This doesn’t actually hold your Bitcoin, it’s more like a keyring that lets you prove the bitcoin are yours.

The easiest way is to open a CoinBase* account1. If you use this link then when you buy your first $100 (about £75) we both get a free $10 (about £7) worth of the currency. You can buy 3 types of coin here ( the main ones ) either by Credit Card or by Bank transfer (but that’s in € or $ not £ so it depends on how much your bank charges for that. Anyway, before you can buy you need to be approved and that can take a while. There are charges for by credit card so you have to weigh up that against the cost the bank will charge for transferring from £ to €. 

Once you have opened an account you have a wallet and you can start receiving Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and LiteCoin (LTC).

You can start getting some free! Well you have to put up with adverts, but can be a bit of fun. This is not going to make your rich as we are talking pennies, if that, but you will start to gather some – mind you it won’t take long to realise it isn’t worth the time. Look at it this way, the two below pay out when you get to 30,000 satoshi (that’s  0.0003 BTC) about $1.16 (£0.87)1 – and it is a lot of work to build up to that!

Roll the dice at FreeBitcoin* : this is a bit of fun where you click a button and a number is generated which determines how much you win. You can play once an hour. Top prize is $200 worth of BTC, but the odds on that are miniscule.

Or claim some BTC at MoonBitcoin*. Lots and lots of adverts here – don’t click on any of them as most are scams (even Moon used to warn about them) or ICOs (I’ll tell you about them later). It often opens secondary browser window (what, is this the 1990s?).

Actually, bookmark this site BadBitcoin and if you are ever tempted by a site promising the Earth, then that’s a good place to start a sanity check.

Also, you can use some of your computer power to mine some coins. MinerGate* is not the most efficient but is probably the easiest to set up. Alternatively you could pay someone else to mine for you such as Genesis Mining* – enter in the code fl4R29 to get a 3% discount. I’ll send you another email on mining later, it is not the route to untold riches it sounds like and sometimes it is cheaper just to buy!  

Anyway, have a play with these will get you some experience with working with your wallet as you will need to enter a wallet address to get started. This is getting a bit long now, so I’ll drop you another email with how to do that once you have set up.

* This is an affiliate link.
1 Conversion rate as at September 21 2017

The articles on this site are opinions and for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

© copyright 2017 Russell Weetch

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Cove Identity ICO

Update: Cove Identity have delayed their ICO, see: https://medium.com/coveidentity/we-are-delaying-our-ico-e85120997cdf

Cove Identity published it’s white paper this week and their token pre-sale kicks off on September 21st.

Cove Identity looks after your identity by providing a secure store for your digitised documents and a scheme to provide verification both of their integrity and validity.

What seems unusual about this project, in theses heady days of ICO pick and pack, is that the app, at least the MVP (minimum viable product), is already available for both Apple iOS and Android. You can install and start using it right now – it’s straightforward, I’ve tried it. At the moment it is just a store for you to store scans of your documents securely.

The team (founders and advisors) look strong with lots of tech startup experience on both the technical and business side (often missing).

The tokens utility is in their use for the verification processes of which there are several: Offline/Traditional; Peer-To-Peer; Digital; Video; Automated; agents and Business Partners and Document Issuers (the highest level of verification). The process allows for cross verification too.

The system offers a granular sharing system so you choose how much you share and allows tracked sharing and the ability to retract a shared document after it has be validated. Also the ability to sign up to services without sharing your data.

The Token Sale

Interesting that the split between development and marketing in use of funds is about the same (39%/33%) which shows a realistic outlook.

There will be 1 billion tokens (Shells). Up to 100m (soft cap 5m) will be available in the pre-sale with discounts of up to 40% and 410m available in the Crowdsale – no details yet, but terms won’t be as good as the pre-sale – and this may be limited and some held for a further crowd sale in 2018. Team and advisors get 200m (20%) with a 2 year lock in and phased release after that. There is 1% set aside for bounties.

The remaining 280m are set aside for the Eco Fund: “This fund can be used by Cove team for incentivising new participants and token holders, early participants, running developers hackathons, and other contests required for marketing purposes”.

The target they are looking at raising is $10-$15m in this sale, although the crowdsale hardcap is $41m, which maybe a little ambitious in the current climate. However, holding some back (or not selling all of them) and going for a further round in 2018 with a market related price, after the product has had more proving and some of the verification deals are in place, maybe a successful approach.

https://coveidentity.com/

The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

Coins for good causes

The Blockchain is in the process of transforming how a lot of business and interaction is done and the advent of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have fundamentally changed the way that new tech can raise money to fund development as sell as democratise (or is that personalise) early phase investment.

These two changes also provide a way for social and ecological enterprises to pursue their goals. So while you are making your ticket to the Moon, there is also a way to maybe put a little into some of these to help out.

Here are a few coins that look to do some good.

 Carbon Coin2 website link Twitter link Exchange
 Now this is an interesting one. It’s been around for a while now (Feb 2014) and aimed to fund the planting of millions of trees. But all is about to change! (another article on this coming soon). Traded on YoBit1
The Root Project2 website link Twitter link start time image
The Root Project aims to “Restructure Capitalism End Extreme Poverty”. It claims to be the World’s first effectively tax-subsidised cryptocurrency. It’s not traded yet, but the ICO starts September 5th 2017 ICO.
Humaniq website link Twitter link Exchange
Empowering 3.5 Billion People in the world economy. A simple and secure mobile app, delivering financial inclusion solutions to the 2.5 billion unbanked / 1 billion underbanked globally. Traded on YoBit1, Bittrex 
 Climate Coin website link Twitter link start time image
 With its ICO launching on October 23rd the aim is to provide a blockchain green eco system and used to invest in companies and projects that create real solutions to mitigate Climate change

1 links which contain affiliate codes    2 I hold coins in these

Crypto Coin Analysis Reports

Two questions seem to go together: where do I find out about Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and how do I know which ones to invest in?

I cover the first one in Finding ICOs.

Which ones to invest in is a harder one to answer. You should of course do a lot of your own research to establish whether you like what the project does and offers to the extent that you are happy to invest some real money into it.

However, there are just so many ICOs kicking off these days that there probably really isn’t time to investigate them all – you probably have a day job to hold down until those coins take you to the moon, right?

So it is good to have some filtering in place. If you want to do all your own research then you can limit it to projects that cover areas you have some knowledge in. Alternatively you can use review sites to narrow your search. Here are the ones I use, make sure you read their process of evaluation so you understand what you are looking at.

 Crush Crypto website link Twitter link
Analysis by Victor Lai of selected ICOs. Provides a simple rating simple for both flipping and long term potential. You can download a do it yourself ICO analysis sheet.
 ICO Bench website link Twitter link  
Well categorised list let’s you select the type of projects you’re interested in. Provides a top line score for each reviewed ICO scaled 1 – 5.
 ICO Rating website link Twitter link
A very straightforward list with links to an ICOs twitter, facebook, website et al. Shows all the top line info you need as well as a simple rating system (high/medium/low) for risk, hype and investment potential. There is an overall rating for ICOs that have been assessed more deeply.
Smith + Crown website link Twitter link
Simple list but contains a quick look at the attributes of the ICO such as whether the raise amount is auditable, it has detailed founder identities, whether it is closed to US citizens and others.
 Unbiased ICO Ratings website link Twitter link
 Provides a score out of 10. Unbiased ICO Reviews is operated by Zirra.

 

Finding ICOs – a list

One question I keep getting asked is where do I find out about ICOs. Some I hear about them in Telegram and WhatsApp channels I’m subscribed to and from a few Facebook groups I am a member of. These are usually good sources as the person highlighting them is likely to have done some research first.

There are however some lists on line that provide a really good starting point. These are my go to ones to see if anything interesting is coming up.

ICO Alert website link Twitter link
Clean layout in date order – great to see what is coming up
Top ICO List website link Twitter link
this is split between active ICOs, those coming up and the ones that have finished.
Tokenmarket ICO Calendar website link Twitter link
 a simple and easy to scroll listing
ICO Checker website link Twitter link
a good listing but large icons and fancy countdowns make it not so easy for a quick trawl
Smith & Crown website link Twitter link
Simple, easy to use list with a straightforward description, start and end dates, and a key to the attributes of the ICO ( Auditable Raise Amount  Detailed Founder Identities  New Blockchain  Project Code Available  Sale Barred to U.S. Participants)
CoinGecko (beta) website link Twitter link
A straigtforward listing with links straight to supporting info for each ICO such as web, whitepaper, twitter, Slack, Telegram etc.
ICO Index website link Twitter link
This isn’t the largest list, but it has two sections that are both worth checking out suspicious and scam ICOs. Click on ‘Details’ to see the reasoning.

 

 

 

Over the parapet

This site is/will be a mixture of comment, a set of book marks so I can find what I am looking for and massive brain dump – a lot will be stripped straight out of my Evernote.

Some will be answers to questions raised by people I know; some where my interest takes me; sometimes just so I can find things later.

As a result it’s likely to be a bit random and chaotic, maybe I’ll put some structure to it later, probably not.

Pages and posts will be updated as I find out more, better understand the topic or, more likely, am corrected by those who know better.Maybe because I think of something else to say – the number of times I have updated this first post beggars belief.

This will be slow burn as I’ll make some attempt to rewrite my scribbled notes.

While blockchain is my main theme here at the moment there will probably be spin outs to AI and other topics that take my fancy. The target is somewhere between a basic introduction and technical detail – but as a developer as well as a business owner, I might slip into the technical area more often than I should.

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