Cryptocurrency has gained both attention and popularity in recent times. It has proved itself as a lucrative market with people reporting stories of turning hundreds into millions through investment alone. Users now may even make simple online purchases for cryptocurrencies. For example, with the simple use of a credit card, you can purchase Bitcoin now on using cryptocurrency exchange.
However, not all transactions are as secure as they should be. There are a number of scams out there trying to make bank on the same trends that are benefiting those who are investing in cryptocurrency. In this article, we will take a look at 10 ways to avoid cryptocurrency scams as you start your own investment.
1. Listen to Your Instincts
First and foremost, follow your gut when you are looking at buying cryptocurrencies. Just like traditional investments and financing, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For example, if you are promised strong returns or the cryptocurrency seems to rise without any sort of drop, your suspicion is probably valid.
Even in traditional financing and stocks, you are advised to be wary of anything that offers a high reward and low risk. You aren’t going to earn something out of anything so, look for something that offers a more reasonable situation but don’t give up your chance for reward altogether.
Before we tell you how to avoid ICOs, let’s briefly go over what they are. ICO stands for “Initial Coin Offering”. It is when you sell a cryptocurrency – such as BitCoin or Ethereum – for a new, startup cryptocurrency. They are basically the cryptocurrency equivalent of an IPO. But, why should you be wary of this?
Well, an ICO isn’t inherently bad. However, there are many out there that are scams that you should be wary of. If you see the following traits, you might want to turn the other way when offered an ICO.
- If there is little to no information about the company, you should probably avoid the company.
- Look around for news stories and media coverage that might question the accuracy of the information that the company has released.
- If questionable trading practices are taking place within the company such as insider trading or market manipulation.
3. Nonexistent Coin
In August of 2017, there was a case in London in which a man was running a false cryptocurrency business. He was cold-calling victims of the scam and convincing them to buy cryptocurrency. However, these cryptocurrencies were fake and eventually, nine victims came forward to U.K.’s Action Fraud. The combined losses equaled out to over £150,000 at the end of the affair.
This can be avoided, though. Remember, legitimate investors won’t cold call you like that – that goes for cryptocurrencies and traditional investments. When you receive one of these calls, pay attention to the name of the caller and what they say – such as the company name and other business information – and report them to the SEC as a fraud.
4. Ponzi Schemes
Another common problem in the cryptocurrency world is Ponzi schemes. One of the initial signs of a Ponzi scheme is – again – a promise of high profits with a very low risk to you. There usually isn’t such a thing as a “risk-free” product and if you are offered one you should probably be wary.
You should also be wary of any system in which you have a problem withdrawing currency that you have earned. You should have your money readily available to you when you try to withdraw it. If you can’t then there’s probably something questionable going on.
5. Don’t Mistake Popularity For Trustworthiness
Usually, scams and schemes fall apart rather early on in a company’s career. They don’t reach popularity before they are found out. However, this isn’t always the case. Don’t trust a company just based on its popularity. No matter what company you use, don’t skip researching it. You shouldn’t entrust your time and resources into a company that you know nothing about no matter how many other people have invested in them.
6. Don’t Keep Your Assets Online
You have a lot of different options to store your cryptocurrency. However, the safest way is to use cold storage. This means keeping your portfolio offline. Storing your cryptocurrency wallet in offline storage helps to prevent leaks and helps to protect from hackers.
Examples of cold storage include Paper Wallet, Sound Wallets, Hardware wallets, and USB devices. Pulling coins out of cold storage can be a pain, so most people tend to keep some coins outside of cold storage to use and spend regularly.
7. Malware Downloads
No matter what you do on the Internet, you have to worry about malware and viruses. When it comes to cryptocurrency, there’s a certain level of anonymity that aids scammers as well as the digital nature of cryptocurrency.
To avoid malware, you should follow many of the same steps as you do on a daily basis. For example, don’t click on suspicious links you get emailed. Another example that is common is social media bait that promises you plenty of cryptocurrency for downloading an app or piece of software. Be wary of these promises as they are often trapped.
8. Fake Wallets
There are plenty of safe ways to store your cryptocurrencies. However, as with anything, there are false alarms out there. There are certain things that you should do to avoid fake and imitation wallets and keep yourself safe.
- Don’t take a risk on new technology. Wait until it’s tried and true before you jump on the bandwagon.
- Use the technology that is familiar and has a lot of available information about it.
- Research what you should expect from a wallet so you can see if something is fishy.
- Double check the URL before you use a site – beware of fake and imitation sites.
- Two-factor authentication is your friend – you will never run into the problem of being too secure.
9. Verification Sites
Check this site when you are looking to verify a new cryptocurrency site that you haven’t used yet. This site is used to keep track of sites that are fraudulent or outright scams. It keeps track of these by using information from other users. Another similar service is @thatsascam on Twitter.
10. Know the Technology
This point cannot be stressed enough: don’t invest in what you don’t know. Make sure to research not only cryptocurrency itself but the technology you will be using to make transactions and store cryptocurrency. You need to be aware of what you are doing at all times – just like with traditional investing. It’s your job to keep up with new technologies as they come out and stay on top of news and new opportunities.
How to Write a Good White Paper for an ICO?
It can be difficult for people to stay up with the constant increase of new cryptocurrencies within the market. Initial Coin Offerings, tend to occur every day and it can be hard to differentiate the quality between them all. With cryptocurrencies receiving a boom in media attention and practicality, it’s no wonder why we see so many companies rushing to develop a new ICO as soon as possible.
One way to gauge if your ICO is worth any value is by checking out its white paper. If it’s filled with gaps in information or a multitude of grammatical mistakes, chances are your readers won’t be interested. So, it’s up to you to make sure that your ICO is written with them in mind and that it fulfills a need that they are seeking.
If it’s done correctly, an ICO can be a lengthy and complicated process. Aside from developing the coin (including the wallets, exchanges, and other features), there is a large number of business and commercial factors you have to consider when you create own white paper for ICO. And in this guide, we’ll teach you some insider tricks and techniques that will help differentiate your ICO from the competition.
What is a White Paper?
White papers are informational documents that are issued by a nonprofit organization or a company, to highlight the features of a solution. They are marketing and sales documents, used to persuade potential customers about how their ICO works and what it plans to do within the upcoming months or years. White papers are made to act as a marketing tool before a sale and are not a technical document or a user manual that’s used to support the customer after they’ve made a purchase.
Put simply; an ICO addresses everything your readers need to know about your cryptocurrency before they start to buy, invest, or use it. Despite what an ICO is supposed to be, there is a multitude of ICOs that don’t take it seriously. They create a low-quality document that gives the reader vague information about the offering. In fact, they’ll attempt to say how their altcoin is the greatest and how it will defeat its competitors. This doesn’t help your audience, and you run the risk of ruining the credibility of your whitepaper.
- Create a topic that people want to read – Sure, you can just make any ICO, but forgetting your audience will reduce its chance of success. The best ico whitepapers are well written and engaging to their target audience. When speaking on cryptocurrency, you need to make your information clear and concise so that any average person can understand your objective. Whatever topic you have, make it interesting so that people can support it.
- Be Professional and Descriptive – Writing a white paper is different than writing a blog. You need to have a descriptive and business tone when creating one. As a rule of thumb, your white paper should be 15-30 pages long so that you address exactly what your altcoin is attempting to do. State your short and long-term goals and explain how you and your team plan on fulfilling them.
- Roadmap – Your roadmap is a timeline that details what your team plans to accomplish. We suggest that you create realistic dates for your overall project and make sure that your team reaches each date on time. Doing so increases the credibility of your project and helps your audience get more involved with your idea.
- Create an Eye-Catching Intro – Once you start to write a white paper for ICO, you’ll have to take time making your intro appealing to your reader. Start by developing an intro that piques their interest. After that, you want to describe to them what problem your ICO is addressing and how it attempts to solve it. This means that you’ll have to create an organized list of topics you want to discuss and a summary of the entire whitepaper.
- Organize your First Draft – You should make a clear outline before writing an ICO white paper. As we’ve stated earlier, make sure that your white paper and goals are inline. Get their attention, deliver the value they are seeking and bring them to further action.
- Write the Paper First, Edit Second – Once you’ve created a structured outline, get all of your thoughts on paper before attempting to edit it. Until your first draft is complete, don’t even think about editing it. You won’t have an issue going back and making your paper flow better afterward.
- Proofread – After the first draft, go back over it and see what other things you can do to make it better. If possible, ask your editor or someone else for their opinions. They’ll catch the issues or mistakes that you might have overlooked. Also, read your white paper out loud to ensure that there are no run-on sentences or awkward phases.
- Tell Them How You’ll Help – Whether if you’re selling a utility token or a service, make sure to mention it throughout the paper and in the end.
Show Don’t Tell
Use infographics, use graphs, use anything that makes your white paper appealing! They break down the monotony of constant words that are displayed on the paper. Also, it prevents your reader from getting bored. When creating graphics for your whitepaper make sure that it’s concise and to the point.
On the other hand, don’t include images just to be placing them on the paper. Only use relevant information about the topic so that you can increase the knowledge your reader gains when using them. You should use:
- Statistic Tables
Some people can use visual documents and gain the full idea of your ICO without having to spend minutes searching through the entire document. Include infographics inside your white paper so that it intrigues the reader and increases the credibility of the information you’re trying to give them. Especially if you’re trying to compare your value to your competitors.
Remember the Finance
You have to understand that cryptocurrency technology is a hybrid of financial and technological. But, there are some white papers that don’t explain the financial facts. You have to think about the fundamentals of your cryptocurrency before publishing a white paper. This means that you have to include the maximum token supply, is there any fiat elements you’re including, market cap share information that you wanted.
Most importantly, you have to explain why, if your white papers are unable to place financial information within them is higher than usual. Explain to your readers why you’re broadcasting the numbers. You have to explain to them how much value they get from using your network and your cryptocurrency. Without any explanation or tangible backing, your ICO white paper will sound like you’re only trying to get rich. So keep your financial information on the page! It will increase conversions and investors wanting to buy into your project!
Create Your Own Confidence
If you’re making an ICO, you want to be confident in front of your audience. Talk to them, Introduce yourself and your company, why you’ve decided to place your coin on the market, and concrete examples of benefits that your token offers. You’re going to need more than a “we’ve discovered a serious market need.” The market doesn’t need your altcoin, but you have to explain why your reader would.
Also, invite people to communicate with you about what you and your ICO are offering. Make it clear that you can communicate with potential investors. Both investor and the ICO creator are on the same side. Remember, cryptocurrencies are gaining the attention of multiple investors, who control a serious amount of money. You should build the confidence in both higher and lower ends of the investment so that you gain the most capital to complete your project.
Make it Simple
Some people tend to go overboard with anything they write. Some low-quality white papers fallen victim of bombarding the reader with excessive information that they don’t need. The main goal is to provide information to the reader without boring them. Keep the information easy to read, blocked, and simple.
Start it off with simple, nontechnical information. After that, you should go to your technical stuff so that they get a deeper understanding of what your project is about. Your reader might not have the same technical knowledge as the writer, so make sure your white paper is applicable to all reading levels. Don’t assume that they want the complex information in the beginning.
Bitcoin’s Price Value and How it Helps
[Figure 1: Bitcoin Price Surge]
Statistically speaking, we can draw some inferences about cryptocurrency based on this graph. On this graph, we see that Bitcoin has reached about $2,000 in value.
[Figure 2: Bitcoin’s Current Value]
Based on CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin is now at a value of $9,501.60 USD. What does this mean for people trying to create white papers? It means that you have the ability to make the same amount of gains in value if you create a good white paper. This means that once you get a white paper completed, investors, a strong community, and an exchange where people are trading your currency, your project could gain a lot of market share in the cryptomarket like Bitcoin! So you should make a paper for you and your company’s long-term benefit.
ICO White Paper Template
Here is a quick list of topics your ICO should discuss upon. You can also change them to your liking, but make sure all of the information there is solid.
- Problem: State the issue that your ICO project is trying to fix. For example, are you making a decentralized version of products made in the technology, medical, creative, or financial field?
- Product Description and a Solution: What is your product trying to do? You need to explain the exact reason why your ICO can correct a problem with the field you’re partaking in. And describe your product! When you do, you’ll increase your audience’s trust and make your ICO more transparent and legitimate.
- Token Commercialization: In this section, make your white paper speak on how your token is useful for a wide audience. Describe how your product works when users interact, buy, sell, and trade it within your platform. You have to clearly state how the token matches with the goal of your project and how the technical provisions of the commercialization.
- Team Members: You should also talk about who is participating in your project, advisors, developers, senior executives, and anyone who will be directly bringing value to the project’s goals. Each of them should also have a verified professional account so that each of your team members is held accountable and make your company realistic to the public.
- Token Perspectives and Issues: The tokens should be thoroughly discussed by means on when you’re planning to sell them, how much is your project keeping in reserve, and how they will be distributed. If possible, you should create a bonus for people who participate in the earlier token sales. These customers are your regulars and will continue to invest in you if you give them a reason to.
It’s crucial that your team has some success and a strong team behind it. Even though the team section is usually at the bottom of the page, you have to let your audience have a clear view of your brand. If anything, your team needs to have some knowledge about blockchain.
[Figure 3: Copy track ICO White Paper Example]
In this image, we can see a prime example of a good ICO white paper example. Not only does it introduce its goals, but it also gives the reader the information they need so that they can understand what the project is about. When looking at white papers, make sure that everything written on it helps your reader and get them interested in your token and the overall scope of the project.
Making your first ICO white paper will take some time. But, stay diligent and continue working on it. If there are any errors, remove them. If there is anything you’ve left out, add them. Maintaining the quality of your whitepaper is the best way to make your audience gravitate towards your token and invest in your vision. Ultimately, keep your paper well detailed and easy for your audience to get, and you’ll see more success and user support for your ICO!
How Blockchain Can Influence Healthcare Industry
The internet consent baby photos and cat videos across the globe instantly, but many important things still move slowly, It can take days to send money across borders, for example, banks must rely on mediators to check transactions a valid. Blockchain might get important moving stuff faster by helping organizations work together more efficiently.
A blockchain is a digital record or ledger like a database, it can securely store and verify data about the world, like who owns money or property. Built-in cryptography ensures that only people who are authorized to do so can make changes to the data. Blockchains can be operated by many people or organizations working together.
A shared secured system makes more comfortable for the companies to collaborate when data is stuck inside walled-off private databases. Digital currency bitcoin is built on the blockchain powered by thousands of computers around the world, and anyone can use bitcoin software to send or receive payments, no bank required.
Transferring the real money around the world has become faster and secure nowadays, this is the reason many companies are adopting systems similar to the blockchain. Blockchains can help move more than just money; they might make electronic health records more portable.
For example, if some health providers could join the operator the blockchain, it could be more comfortable for the patients to transfer the records from place to place. The security features of blockchains could aid in the detection of errors and the patient’s files. Government and organizations like the UN are also investigating how blockchains can have humanitarian applications, like providing financial infrastructure by people not served by banks.
Applying Blockchain to Healthcare
Data exchange is the first use cases that come to mind when we start discussing Blockchain and Healthcare. Taking an example of prescribing medicines, medications are frequently filled and prescribed by different parties for a patient i.e: pharmacies, offices, provider, hospitals.
Each and every one has to maintain its own “source of truth” of patient medications, simply wrong information or frequently with outdated. Taking this into consideration providers in different EHRs or in various networks, may not be able to see each other’s prescriptions. Reliably, electronic prescriptions must be forwarded to certain pharmacies, and manual prescriptions can be lost or duplicated.
To overcome these struggles, a medication prescription which is nothing but blockchain is considered a shared source of truth. Each and every event would be shared and known by those who are authorized to see it. This would allow prescriptions to be scripted digitally without specifying prescriptions or a pharmacy to be partly filled ( and completely filled later on by a different pharmacy). As the blockchain is considered as the source of truth, every pharmacy sees all the events encompassing that prescription, and act accordingly.
Certain healthcare providers will have an immediate view of the patient’s current medications, ensuring fidelity and accuracy.
Below are some of the different ways in which healthcare make use of Blockchain:
Clinical data sharing
Pathology reports, advance directives, allergies, problem lists and imaging studies are just a few of the data elements which can be distributed. Rather than saving the actual data of the patient, even if the EHR stores the clinical data itself, blockchain could be used to store access controls.
A distributed, Immutable flow of un-identified patient data could immediately identify pandemics, self-reliant governmental bodies currently accumulating this data. Eg: Influenza reporting system.
Clinical trials and research
Sharing patient consent or trial event could foster audit trials, data sharing, and clinical safety analyses.
Patient and provider identity
Identities of national or international providers could be kept safe in the blockchain, providing the support for health data security and portability.
Administrative and financial information
Claims processing workflows and Insurance eligibility could benefit from blockchain and have minimized transactional costs.
IOT devices, personal health devices, “wearables,” and patient-reported outcomes are just a few examples of Patient-generated data that could take advantage of blockchain for sharing and security.
The majority of these utilization cases are top-down: information utilized and created for the benefit of patients. But perhaps the capability of blockchain innovation is to enable patients to claim and accumulate their own information. From numerous points of view, the guarantee of blockchain lies outside the present health information innovation framework, directly imposing the isolated, saving centralized information that dominates the healthcare industry.
Top Cryptocurrencies in 2018
Bitcoin is the world’s first and top cryptocurrency that had gained popularity and a huge increase in value. It was created in 2009 by a person under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Its main feature is that transactions can be made without the middleman – meaning that no banks are involved!
You can use Bitcoin to book hotels, pay for Xbox games, and buy furniture. But most of its hype has recently come from people trading it. As of now, its price is $8207.77 whose price used to be past the $10,000 mark in 2017.
Another reason why Bitcoin is amazing is that it can be mined. A person (company or group) can mine Bitcoin through record-keeping and advanced math. This is how it works, when someone sends Bitcoin to someone else, the network records it and then records the other transactions and places them on a “block“.
Miners use powerful hardware and specialized software to convert the blocks into code sequences known as “hash“. Once a new has is made, the miners who found it are awarded in Bitcoin. As of now, miners can obtain 12.5 Bitcoins which worth around $225,000 at this time.
Bitcoin is ranked first because it started new concepts such as “decentralization” and “peer to peer trading.” We would see other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum use this concept to help users make apps and trade their currencies at a rate that’s faster than Bitcoin.
Speaking of Ethereum…
Ranked second on our list is Ethereum. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is running on a public blockchain network. While Bitcoin and Ethereum are completely different in technology, their largest distinction is their difference in capability and purpose.
Ethereum’s blockchain is used to run program code for any decentralized application. Instead of miners obtaining Bitcoin, they receive Ether, the main currency that fuels the network.
Ethereum also has smart contracts, which acts like a self-ran computer program that automatically execute once specific guidelines are met. Since they are running on the blockchain, the code can run without downtime, third party interference, and without censorship.
What makes Ethereum a top cryptocurrency is its ability to let startups create decentralized apps. They can receive funding from other Ether owners to help power their app without the long process of seeking a venture capitalist to invest in them. Ethereum is now priced at $857.70, which we can only expect it to grow due to the development apps on its platform.
Ripple is the third top cryptocurrency on our list. Like other cryptos, Ripple has a distributed ledger network that allows users to help each other validate transactions. This makes it more efficient and faster than traditional centralized authorities.
What stands Ripple apart is its transaction speed. On average, Bitcoin takes about 10 minutes to complete a transaction. Ripple can accomplish this task in under 60 seconds. This makes Ripple more appealing to a mass market, who needs a faster network to help them pay for goods.
Ripple is currently developed by Ripple Labs. As of now, they have of 100 billion XRP available, as its unable to be mined. Ripple’s current price is now $.73, making it the cheapest option on this list.
While other cryptos are used for separating financial transactions from centralized banking, Ripple seems to do the opposite.
To conclude, we believe that each of these cryptocurrencies provides a lot of value into today’s current market. Not only are they bringing in new financial options for users, but their combined technology helps make transactions safer and faster. Ultimately, it will be interesting to see how these cryptocurrencies will act as blockchain technology continues to evolve.
Disclaimer: This post was made to educate users on cryptocurrency. Don’t take it as investment advice.