Is GDAX Safe? – What to Know Before Signing Up

is GDAX safe

If you are looking to use GDAX to buy and/or sell cryptocurrency its important to know what you are dealing with first. Is GDAX safe? Can you trust this exchange? Do they protect their users? Are there safeguards in place?

What it all comes down to is whether or not you are going to risk losing your funds if you use this exchange. In this review I’ll be going over my experience with GDAX, having used them for a while now, why I use this exchange, how it is relatively safe, and more. So if you are worried about the safety you are going to want to read this.

But First… What is GDAX?

I know you probably already know the answer to this but for those who don’t it will help.

GDAX (stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange) is a cryptocurrency exchange that gives people the ability to buy different cryptocurrencies with fiat money as well as exchange between the offered cryptocurrencies. Most people use the platform as an “onboarding platform”, or as a way to first get started in crypto by buying with fiat money. Alternatively, GDAX also provides a great way to sell cryptocurrency back into fiat money.

Whats also important to mention is that GDAX is actually owned by Coinbase, which is another exchange. I wrote an article on GDAX vs Coinbase that you can read but basically the difference is that GDAX is designed for professional investors/traders. They charge much less fees, provide better tools for market analysis, have fully functional API, but are slightly more complicated to use.

Unless you are complete newbie and are looking for something super easy, GDAX is the way to go. Its still easy and all to use its just not quite as user friendly as Coinbase.

The Safety That GDAX Offers

I’m going to be breaking down this section into 2 parts: the safety of your digital holding and your fiat holdings. Why? Well because there are different safety measures in place for both.

Fiat Holdings

If you live in the US I’m talking about US dollars. You see on GDAX there is no way to just pay for cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card like you can with Coinbase. What you have to first do is transfer money to your USD wallet on GDAX. Then once it is in your account you can use it to buy cryptocurrency.

Since there is no way around this it is important to make sure that GDAX is a safe place to store your USD. And luckily it is. They are pretty much like a bank when you look at them from the aspect of safety. If you are a US customer your USD holdings are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 which is the standard.

Now I’m not sure what type of insurance policies they have for users from other parts of the world but if you live in the US then you should feel safe. What they tell you on their site is that “all USD balances are FDIC insured up to $250,000”. There might be a way to deposit USD if you are outside of the US even but this is outside of the scope of this article.

Crytpocurrency Holdings

The FDIC does absolutely nothing to secure or insure your crypto holdings. There are no government bodies that do so. This is entirely in the hands of GDAX. Luckily, they do a very good job.

GDAX stores 98% of customer cryptocurrency holdings in cold storage. What this means is that 98% of it is stored in secure crypto wallets offline. Why is this important? Well because when you store your crypto offline like this it is impossible for hackers to get a hold of. So even if GDAX was hacked and the hackers got away with funds… they would only be able to get about 2% maximum.

*Note: GDAX has a very competent team behind the scenes and they have never been hacked by the way.

Storing your crypto offline in cold storage is crypto 101. You never want to store crypto’s online or keep them in an exchange if you don’t have to. The reason GDAX keeps some online in their exchange accounts is because they have to. They need to have liquidity so that the exchange can operate properly.

Account Security

When you create an account (which I’ll go over how to do this at the bottom) you will be able to create a password as well as set up 2 factor authentication (2FA) to secure your account more. What 2FA does is adds an extra layer of security so that no unauthorized person can access your account.

So when you go to sign in you will first enter your email & password, then you will be sent a verification code to your phone in order to get access. 2FA is pretty much a standard when it comes to crypto exchanges and very important.

Behind GDAX

As I said, GDAX is owned and operated by the Coinbase company. Coinbase has been around for quite a while and is one of the most reputable exchanges that is out there. I have been using Coinbase since I started in cryptocurrency but have switched to GDAX after I found they have much lower fees. On a side note: I do still use Coinbase from time to time if I am able to get a chance to buy crypto’s on a steep price drop with my debit card if I don’t have USD in my GDAX account.

Anyway… Coinbase was founded in 2011 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. The Coinbase team has many trustworthy and know names behind it, including Litecoin‘s founder Charlie Lee, and the investments they have received over the years show the trust that is there.

They have received notable investments backing their operations from  Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and even the New York Stock Exchange just to name a few.

Its always important to take a look into the team behind exchanges like this so that one day they don’t just run off with your funds. In this case the team is about as good as it can get.

Whats The Support Like?

I’ll be honest, they are lacking a bit when it comes to the support that they provide. But they do offer support. When I say they are lacking I’m saying so because you can’t expect an answer back from them right away if you are having problems with your account. It might take a while but at least they do get back to you.

I’ve contacted only a couple of times that I can think of and every time things worked out. So I can’t complain here really. However, you will find a fair number of complaints online about this. Compared to other exchanges I would say they do well though.

Conclusion on GDAX

In the world of cryptocurrency GDAX is about as good as it gets. They provide an easy way for on-boarding with negligible fees and security. Both crypto holdings and fiat holdings have insurance in one way or another and your account with GDAX itself is also safe with 2FA.

I’m definitely not saying that GDAX is perfect. They could no doubt improve their support, but overall they do a very good job and I will continue to use their platform. I’ve been using them for a while and the most I can complain about is that I wish depositing money would work faster… but of course this is the problem with fiat money.

If you are interested in getting started with GDAX, which by the way would be my number 1 recommendation for getting started in crypto, then I’ll go over how to below.

Getting Started

1) Create Your Account

Since GDAX is owned by Coinbase you will have to first create a Coinbase account. You can go to Coinbase.com/join to do this (if you use my referral link here you will be able to get free $10 worth of bitcoin in your account).

Even if you go to the gdax.com website and go to create an account you will be directed to Coinbase to continue the process. After clicking the link above just follow along with the process which shouldn’t take long.

2) Deposit Funds

The next step, whether you are looking to buy cryptocurrency or sell cryptocurreny is to deposit funds.

Fiat

If you are looking to buy with fiat money then you will first have to add payment methods inside of your Coinbase account. Again, even if you go inside of GDAX and click to add a bank account you will be directed over to your Coinbase account.

Inside Coinbase you will have to go to Settings > Linked Accounts > Link a New Account..

And then you are going to either want to link a bank account or you can do a wire transfer. You can link a credit/debit card but you will not be able to buy with this on GDAX, only on Coinbase you can.

There will be a verification process to add a payment method that you will have to go through.

After that is all said and done you can then deposit fiat funds into your GDAX account.

Crypto Deposits

If you are looking to deposit crypto to sell it on GDAX then its much simpler. All you have to do is send bitcoin to the address they give you inside your account. And they only allow for the depositing of bitcoin by the way.

3) Buy or Sell Crypto

After your account is funded you can use the exchange as you wish. You can buy different cryptocurrencies with fiat money, you can trade in between the different cryptocurrencies that they have listed, or you can sell cryptocurrencies back into fiat money which you can then transfer back to your bank account.

If you have any comments or questions about any of this please leave them below in the comment section and I’ll get back to you 🙂

Is COSS.io a Scam? – My Personal Review

coss.io

coss.ioIs COSS.io a scam? Is it safe? Can it be trusted? These are some of the many questions I’ve seen out there on the internet so in this short post I’m going to address them and do a little review on COSS.

In this review I’ll be going over what exactly COSS.io is, what services the provide, complaints and more. In particular I’ll be focusing mostly on the exchange side of COSS since that seems to be what most people are interested in and what I have most experience in dealing with.

COSS.io Review

COSS (found at coss.io) stands for “Cryto One Stop Solution”. So as you can imagine based on their name they provide more than just one or two services. The COSS platform was made to tack all aspects of the digital cryptocurrency economical system.

So what is COSSio? It is a platform that provides a cryptocurrency exchange, a payment gateway, market stats and more. They are set out to tackle a heck of a lot but have a lot of potential to become one of the greats. We have seen some major exchanges like Coinbase come out with plugins to allow for merchant payment gateways in addition to their exchanges as well but COSS is on an entire other level with what they are doing and/or set out to do.

I’ll go into more detail below…

What COSS Brings to The Table

Exchange

On the COSS platform you can trade between various different cryptocurrencies, just as you can on Binance, Bittrex, etc. Don’t compare an exchange like this to Coinbase or GDAX though. They are very different because they do not give you the ability to buy cryptocurrency through them with fiat money and they also offer a heck of a lot more trading pairs than either of them.

In addition to the exchange they also have wallets for each cryptocurrency that is available to be traded so that you can store your crypto within your COSS account. Their wallets operate fine and seem to be about as safe as web wallet can get from what I see. However its always a much safer idea to store your crypto in hardware wallet if you are going to be holding for long period of time.

One downside to the exchange that I think is worth mentioning is that it isn’t quite as fast as some of the more popular exchanges out there. I’ll go more over this in the complaints section… nothing major though.

Trading Fees

Coss is on the better side of things when it comes to the fees. The fees are determined based on the value of trading you do on a monthly basis. The more value you are trading the less fees you pay. They are as follows…

  • 0 USD – 5,000 USD is 0.2%
  • 5,001 USD – 10,000 USD is 0.18%.
  • 10,001 USD – 25,000 USD is 0.16%.
  • 25,001 USD – 50,000 USD is 0.14%.
  • 50,001 USD – 100,000 USD is 0.12%.
  • 100,001 USD – 250,000 USD is 0.1%.
  • 250,001 USD – 500,000 USD is 0.08%.
  • 500,001 USD – 1,000,000 USD is 0.06%.
  • 1,000,001 USD – onward is 0.04%.

Merchant Payments

This is something we are seeing more and more of lately in the crypto world. Exchanges, like Coinbase (which also owns GDAX), are coming out with plugins that ecommerce store owners can integrate into their sites to allow for easy cryptocurrency payments. While there are a lot of crypto’s out there that are absolutely horrible for normal online payments due to transaction fees and speed, this is nonetheless a big step in the right direction and will hopefully lead to more widespread adoption of cryptocurrency.

Their merchant payment gateway is “plug and play” as they say it. They have scripts available that can easily be place on ecommerce sites.

On the platform they also have a merchant list. This is to help crypto users find merchants that they can use cryptocurrency with to ultimately increase user adoption. So if you are a user you can look at the list to find places you can use your crypto at and if you are a business owner you can get your business listed here to get more customers. This in a way works as a way to promote the business as well.

Market Cap Listings

At COSS you can also find market caps for different coins along with more information like the price, volume, links to their whitepapers and more. This is a nice little touch so that if you do use COSS as an exchange you don’t have to go over to coinmarketcap.com or other sites like that to find out these details.

The COSS Token = Free Money

COSS has its own exchange token called the COSS token of course. With this token you can earn free money in a way. However of course it does cost money to buy these tokens to begin with.

I heard someone explain the COSS coin comparing it to stocks and this was a great example so I’ll share it with you.

With stocks you earn dividends based on how much money the company you invested in did right? Well by owning the COSS coin you are basically doing the same thing. You can think of them like stocks because with the COSS coin you will earn money based on the amount of money coss earns from transaction fees on their exchange and from their merchant services. The amount you will earn is directly related to the amount of COSS coins that you have so. So the more you have the more you earn.

All you have to do is buy and hold COSS tokens in your COSS account wallet to get rewarded. You can also hold them in other wallets but this is more complicated and I’m not going to get into that.

One thing that I like about this is that you will end up getting tons of factions of coins that you wouldn’t normally buy. You will get a fraction of everything traded pretty much so you will earn a bunch of different coins that you can either keep, convert easily to ethereum (since its a ERC20 token) or trade for a different cryptocurrency that you like.

This whole “dividend” thing is somewhat similar to what Binance’s BNB token does. However, they don’t buy back their coins like Binance.

Referral Program

Like just about every other exchange out there, COSS has a referral program where you can earn for referring others to join the platform. However its not your typical referral program and isn’t quite as exciting.

When you refer other people to COSS you don’t actually earn anything. Instead… you save money on your own transactions. 10% of the exchange volume that your referrals make will count as your own. This will increase your trade volume on a monthly basis which means you will have less fees, as shown above in the fee list I wrote out in the Exchange section.

Is COSS.io Safe?

Asking is COSS safe is something everyone should do. There are lots of places that you should avoid and its important to know if this is one.

As far as anyone can tell they are as safe as it gets. There haven’t been any breaches of security or anything yet (at least that we know of). They seem to have a really good and competent team behind the scenes and I trust the operations so far.

If anyone is aware of any security failures, hacks, flaws, or anything like this let me know so I can update this review.

Complaints

Server Speed

One of the big complaints that I have after using their exchange for a while is its overall speed. It is lacking in this area and this is definitely a complaint if you are a serious trader, in particular a day trader.

The site is just slow and that is all there is too it. They need to upgrade their servers if they want people to use them instead of Binance and other, much faster exchanges. If you are just buying and holding onto cyrpto’s this isn’t a big deal but for the daytraders out there that need to get in and out of trades at lightning speed this isn’t going to be a good choice at this time.

I will say that It has gotten better since I first joined though.

Other Complaints

Other than that there isn’t much to say. You could also complain about the relatively low number of trading pairs available compared to bigger exchanges but I think this will get a lot better as they become more popular.

If you have any complaints of your own I would love to hear them so I can add to the list. You can leave them in the comment section below.

Final Thoughts on COSS.io – Should You Sign Up?

COSS.io is a nice cryptocurrency platform that provides a lot compared to others in the business. Their focus is on much more than just another exchange and I think this is a good thing as long as they can keep up with the workload that comes with taking on all the more tasks.

When it comes to my use of COSS I use their exchange and that’s pretty much it for the most part. They definitely have room for improvement in the future but so far so good….not a bad place.

One of the reasons I use this exchange is because I like the whole COSS token thing. I have my wallet loaded up with COSS tokens and am collecting fees day and night. Its not much but it adds up and its a nice surprise when I login.

But anyways… that all for the review. I hope you enjoyed and be sure to leave any comments or questions below. I’ll get back to you soon 🙂

Is Ripple a Scam? – No, But Here Are a Few Things You Should Know

Is Ripple a Scam

Is Ripple a ScamRipple is one of the most controversial cryptocurrencies in the industry. You will hear a lot of people claiming that it is a scam and others claiming that it is not. Most crypto-purists out there are not fans of Ripple for good reasons.  Since you are reading my post here I’m guessing you heard some of the negative talk surrounding this crypto and are wondering yourself is Ripple a scam or not.

In this short post I’ll be going over what Ripple is, why people are calling it a scam, some very “scammy” activity that is in Ripple’s past and more.

What is Ripple?

Ripple is actually the company behind the technology and the cryptocurrency that they have called XRP, which is what people are talking about when they invest in Ripple.

Unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and many of the other cryptocurrencies out there, Ripple was created by a centralized authority, as I just said they are a company. However, the Ripple protocol is open-source and run by the people, which make it decentralized.

The purpose of Ripple is to be able to exchange anything of value simply and easily, such as exchanging Bitcoin for Japanese yen, etc. This technology was created mainly for banks as a way to move massive amounts of money around internationally, which traditionally takes days to happen. The XRP, which is the cryptocurrency that Ripple came out with is what is used to pay transaction fees on the network. So this is where it gets its value and this is its use.

Is Ripple a Scam?

The answer is no Ripple is not a scam at all. This technology solves a very big problem and makes it much easier for banks to move money around. And as I said, the protocol itself is open source which means that anyone can go take a look at how it all works.

However, the technology behind Ripple isn’t what people are calling a scam. Usually when you hear people calling Ripple a scam it is coming from the hardcore crypto idealists.

Why People Call Ripple a Scam

The crypto idealists out there believe that cryptocurrencies should basically follow along the lines that Bitcoin set forth. They want them to disrupt the financial industry by taking power away from the banks and putting it in the hands of the people. However, Ripple is not doing this. In fact it is doing the opposite. It is just making it easier for banks to stay operating nowadays and will ultimately give them more power than they would have without it.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am all for the crypto’s that give power to the people. However, just because Ripple is basically working for the banks (for the most part) doesn’t mean that they are a scam.

What About It Being “Pre-mined”?

Another problem that many people have with Ripple is that was “pre-mined”. What this means is that all Ripple, or XRP, that exists today is all that will ever exist. And much of what is out there is owned by people in the Ripple company.

The fact that much of the XRP out there is owned by employees of the company brings about a major concern of conflict of interest. However, you would also argue that because they own much of it that they will continue to work hard on the Ripple project and look out for its future.

I do not like the fact that it was pre-mined but its something that you have to deal with if you are looking to get involved. On way that Ripple has tried to put people’s minds at ease is by locking up 50 billion dollars worth of XRP into a smart contract that ensures it will be released once every month for 5 years. This makes it so that you don’t have to worry so much about the Ripple company dumping all their XRP and crashing the market and also means there will be a steady flow of XRP introduced into the ecosystem for the next 5 years.

Is Ripple a Good Investment?

It depends on your stance and ideological approach. If you don’t care much about the whole “take power away from the banks” thing then Ripple is definitely worth something looking into more. They have managed to get a handful of banks on-board already and as this number grows the used of XRP will grow and the price will continue to go up, thus making you money if you are invested in XRP.

Ripple is a technology that was created with a purpose and it works as intended.  Much of the banking industry is still using technology to move money around that has been used since the 70’s. It is very outdated and ineffective. Ripple solves problems with the old tech so the way I see it we should continue to see increased adoption, use, and price of XRP.

Personally I’m not a big fan of Ripple. I mean I like that it works and does solve a major problem. But I don’t particularly care for the traditional banking system and would like to see people more in control of their money. Ripple just gives more power to the banks.

If you have any questions about Ripple or have a comment about it please leave them in the comment section below…

Is Ethereum a Scam? – My Take On It

is ethereum a scam

is ethereum a scamI have found that many people that are skeptical of ethereum and cryptocurrencies in general, wondering if they are scams or something worth investing in. Since you are reading this post then I’m guessing you are one of these skeptics, and I don’t blame you. I didn’t start to research and invest into cryptocurrencies until several years after I first heard of them because I too though that they were just scams.

So anyways… is Ethereum a scam? Simply put, no, is not a scam. However, I will address some of the “scammy” characteristics that I hear many talk about and try to explain them the best I can. The most notable argument that ethereum is a scam is probably that of it being a ponzi scheme that is designed to make early investors rich.

But before I get into all of this its best for me to first go over how Ethereum works and what it brings to the table.

An Overview of Ethereum

Ethereum works very similarly to bitcoin but features a few key differences. Just as bitcoin, Ethereum is based on a decentralized public blockchain, which is basically a ledger where everything is written down. There is no central authority that controls this blockchain. It is decentralized and is kept running by computer nodes all over the world, which makes it nearly impossible for the network to be hacked or compromised due to all the many computers that keep a file of this blockchain.

The main difference between ethereum and bitcoin is that ethereum gives developers the ability to run programs over the ethereum network. It has what are called “smart contracts” which basically gives the ability to create specific for how transactions work.

A good and simple example of how smart contracts work is this: Lets say someone is going to pay you to perform a task (ex: clean their house) but they don’t want to pay until they ensure the job was done. Smart contracts will allow them to put Ether, which is ethereums form of currency, in escrow on the blockchain and this payment will not be released until the final conditions are met. These final conditions can be anything. In this case they are that the house was actually cleaned.

So in a way these smart contracts can take place of a middleman to ensure safe and automatic transactions. The concept of these smart contracts has been compared to that of a vending machine, which is easier to understand. With a vending machine someone puts in money, presses a code for what snack they want, and the machine automatically spits out the desired snack. The money put in is held in escrow until you press the buttons and get your snack.

There is a lot more to smart contracts than what I’m mentioning here but these are the basics of it and this is what really seperates ethereum from bitcoin, which has the single purpose of being a currency.

If you are looking for a simple description of what Ethereum actually is then the creator of the whole thing puts it very simply as a “decentralised mining network and software development platform rolled into one”.

The Man Behind It All

Its always important to look a bit into the background of the person, or people behind technologies like this. In this case we actually know the creator, unlike Bitcoin who’s creator is completely unknown.

Vitalik Buterin is the co-creator along with the inventor of the Ethereum network and released Ethereum’s white paper to the world back in 2013. When Ethereum was initially released Vitalik was only 21 years of age. He has a history of being incredibly smart having been in gifted classes throughout his childhood education and actually dropped out of college at the University of Waterloo in order to focus on creating Ethereum.

Vitalik is very vocal and involved in the community. His transparency and willingness to acknowledge Ethereum’s problems and concerns show how trustworthy the man really is.

Addressing The Ponzi Scheme Conspiracy

There is a small group of disbelievers that claim Ethereum is nothing more than an elaborate ponzi scheme.

Why are people saying this? Well the reason is because of how the value of Ethereum grows as more people buy into it, similar to how you make money with ponzi schemes by getting new investors to buy in.

However, ponzi schemes provide no real value and are basically nothing more than a big transfer of money. Investors buy in and then get other investors to buy in. The newer members’ investments are then used to pay off the older members.

Only those with no real knowledge as to what Ethereum is and the technology it provides are making claims such as this. Sure there are many people that have made a ton of money from buying Ether early on but this doesn’t make it a ponzi in any way.

If there is any better arguments for it being a ponzi scheme I would love to hear them but as far as I know this is the basis of it.

Problems Ethereum Faces

Whether or not Ethereum will still be very valuable in the future is a question that is still very much up in the air. The major problem that we are seeing with both bitcoin, ethereum, and many other cryptocurrencies is the issue of scale-ablity. Ethereum is still such a new technology with really not all that many users. There really aren’t all that many transactions going on through the network when you think about its potential, yet the network is already bogging down and very slow.

Pretty much there is no way that Ethereum will last in the condition it is today. However, cryptocurrencies like this are continually developed and evolve over time. We have already seen big improvements and there is definitely a chance that the great team of developers behind this technology will be able to overcome this problem.

Should You Invest?

I’m really not going to give you a yes or no answer to this because there are many different opinions on the future of Ethereum. However, I will say that I am invested and plan on keeping some Ether for the foreseeable future.

There are problems that the development team will have to overcome but I have faith in them. Ethereum has turned out to be an amazing investment thus far and the road to this point hasn’t been easy.

How to Buy Ethereum

If you are looking to buy Ethereum there really aren’t any better places to buy it than GDAX and Coinbase. These two exchanges are based in the US which give some added security and they allow you to buy Ether with your bank account which makes things simple(Coinbase also allows you to buy with credit/debit card).

Both exchanges are owned by the parent company, Coinbase. So you will have to create an account with Coinbase to be able to use either. And if you are going to do this I would appreciate you using my referral link here: www.coinbase.com/join. You will get $10 worth of free bitcoin in your account and I will also for referring you.

If you have any questions or comments on anything that I just went over be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible 🙂

GDAX vs Coinbase – Which Is Better?

GDAX vs Coinbase

GDAX vs CoinbaseGDAX and Coinbase are two of the most popular and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the US. They are particularly popular because they both make it very easy and safe to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, & Litecoin with your bank account, through a wire transfer, and/or with your credit/debit card.

But which should you choose? They are both good but who wins the battle of GDAX vs Coinbase? Well the answer to this depends on your particular situation. They are both good but different and in this short post I’ll be comparing and contrasting the two so that you can see which you should use…. because it does make a big difference.

A Little Background on The Two

GDAX and Coinbase are both actually owned and operated by the same company, which is Coinbase. So when it comes to trustworthiness the same goes for both of them. And trustworthiness is one of the main reasons I recommend both exchanges.

Coinbase is based in San Francisco, USA. This is something I am mentioning because this means that they are subject to rules and regulations of the US, which are much more strict than some other countries where exchanges are operated out of. This gives customers some protection against fraud and misconduct.

In addition to being subject to regulation by the US government, Coinbase also has an insurance policy that protects customer funds up to $250,000 by the FDIC (if you live in the US). Now this only protects deposited USD funds, not cryptocurrencies that are held on the exchange, but its better than nothing. Something else that is nice is that they claim to only hold about 2% of all customer funds online, which means that if they were hacked there wouldn’t be much cryptocurrency lost.

But anyways… I wouldn’t worry about them being hacked. They were founded in 2011 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam and have been operating nicely since. Something else worth mentioning is that Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, was actually the chief engineer there for a couple of years.

What GDAX & Coinbase Offer

Neither GDAX nor Coinbase have much to offer in the way of coins. As of right now they only give you the ability to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. I’m sure they will add more as time goes on but as of now this is all they have.

So whats the point of using either of these places? Well, like I mentioned earlier, you can easily buy through either of these places with regular old money. If you live in the US you can pay in USD, in Europe you can pay in Euro’s and I believe you can even pay in Pounds if you live in GB.

On the other side of things you can also use GDAX and Coinbase to cash out your cryptocurrencies back into fiat money in your bank account.

These are 2 of the very few services that will transact between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies and that is what makes them so special, along with being some of the more trusted exchanges in the industry.

Whats The Difference Between The Two?

Coinbase is a more user friendly exchange and is made more for newbies that are looking to get started in the crypto space. They make things extremely simple and straightforward so that anyone can hop on there and buy crypto pretty easily. You pretty much just click on the Buy/Sell menu button and put in how much you want to buy. GDAX on the other hand is more for professional traders or people exchanging large amounts of money. This exchange provides a better look at what is going on in the market as far as price goes, but isn’t quite as user friendly. Here you can set limit orders rather than just buy at the current market price.

The charts that are provided between the two are also very different. GDAX offers a more in-depth and informative chart while Coinbase’s is very basic and doesn’t show much. GDAX also gives you the ability to look at the order book so that you can see buys and sells that are coming through the exchange in real time, which can help you predict the price short-term.

One of the major differences between the two are the fees that they charge. Coinbase charges much higher fees than GDAX. This comes with the territory. Users pay the price for everything being so simple.

Coinbase charges a 1.49% fee for cryptocurrency bought with a linked bank account and 2.99% for crypto bought with a credit/debit card. GDAX only charges a maximum of 0.3% and 0% on many transactions. However, GDAX does not give users the ability to purchase with a credit/debit card as Coinbase does, which many users seem to like.

Another big difference is the transactions speed. You can go onto Coinbase and literally buy Bitcoin instantly with your credit/debit card or with a linked bank account. With GDAX you cannot do this. You will first have to deposit funds in your account which takes several days. Then after your account is funded you can make instant transactions.

Which Exchange Should You Use?

It really just depends on your situation. If you are new to cryptocurrency and not too computer savvy then you might want to use Coinbase and just deal with the higher fees. But of course GDAX would be the better option for most people simply due to the lesser fees.

Both exchanges are run by the same company, both exchanges offer the ability to buy/sell the same cryptocurrencies, both exchanges have the same insurance policy, and so on. They are extremely similar. The only upside to using Coinbase is that it is more user friendly for the most part. If you can deal with the slightly more complex nature of GDAX then its definitely the way to go.

How To Sign Up for GDAX & Coinbase

Since they are both owned by Coinbase the signup process is the same. What you are going to have to do is create a Coinbase account. Even if you go to the “Create an Account” link on GDAX you will get redirected to Coinbase to create your account.

If you want to get $10 free worth of Bitcoin in your account you can join with my referral link here: www.coinbase.com/join. I will also get $10 of Bitcoin in my account for referring you as a bonus.

Buying Cryptocurrency

Before you can buy any crypo you are first going to have to hook up your payment method, no matter if you use Coinbase or GDAX.

So if you are using Coinbase you will go to Settings, then click on Linked Accounts, then click Link a New Account.

Then there will be a verification process that you have to go through to verify that you do own the bank account or the credit/debit card that you are connecting to it. After that is said and done you will be able to buy the different cryptocurrencies instantly.

For GDAX you will first have to deposit funds into your account before buying anything, as I’ve mentioned. To do this you can use a bank account, wire transfer, money in your Coinbase account if you have any, or you can send bitcoins from another account if able to.

If you have a bank account connected to a Coinbase account already then it will automatically be connected to your GDAX account. All you will have to do is deposit funds. And if you want to add a new bank account you will be redirected to Coinbase to add a new account.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about anything here please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you soon 🙂

Is Litecoin a Scam? – A Few Things to Know

is litecoin a scam

is litecoin a scamBefore investing in any cryptocurrency it is always important to ask yourself whether or not its a scam, to read over the white paper and see if it makes sense to you. But I understand that many people out there simply do not have the time to be doing extensive research on every crypto out there that they think might be a good investment. Because of this I’ll sharing with you some of my knowledge on the coin and my opinions.

Litecoin is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies to date and will more than likely stay in the top 20 rankings for the forseeable future. But much of the market evaluation are based on hype and speculation rather than performance. So even though it is a large and widely adopted cryptocurrency its still important to do some research before getting involved.

In this short post I’ll be giving an overview of what exactly Litecoin is, how it differs from Bitcoin, the creator behind it, and some problems that it has or is going to have in the future. And of course I’ll be answering the question that many of you are asking yourselves…. Is Litecoin a scam?

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that is based off of the bitcoin blockchain technology. It was first released in 2011 by its creator, Charlie Lee (who I will talk about later). The coin runs on an open source cyrptographic protocol which means that it will be able to evolve over time. In addition, because it is open source, anyone can go into its code and see how it is operating. Its not like some secretive cryptographic coin that no one know how it works.

The purpose of Litecoin was to be the silver to bitcoin’s gold. So if bitcoin were gold, Litecoin would be silver. Charlee Lee’s vision of Litecoin was that it would be able to be used for everyday purchases, such as grocery shopping, buying clothing, etc.

Differences From Bitcoin

The two coins are extremely similar. Most of Litcoin is based on what Bitcoin brought to the table. However there are differences, some of the most notable difference between the two crypo’s being:

Transaction Speed

Litcoin is supposed to a “ligher”, faster cryptocurrency that is more suitable for small everyday purchases…. and it is. While each block of the blockchain is processed about every 10 minutes, Litecoin’s blocks are processed around every 2.5 minutes, making it 4x faster.

You don’t need to know about block processing and all of that. The takeaway here is that Litecoin is about 4x faster.

Price

Silver is cheaper than gold right? So this all makes sense. The price of Litecoin is significantly lower than Bitcoin and should always stay this way unless unforeseen complications come to Bitcoin in the future.

The main reason it is cheaper and should stay this way is due to its total supply. Bitcoin will only ever release a total of 21 million coins into the market. This “total supply” is a way to combat inflation. Litecoin on the other hand has a total supply of 84 million. Because of this increased supply the price of a single Litecoin will remain less.

Mining Difficulty

Bitcoins and Litecoins are produced and transactions are processed through a process called mining. This mining process is performed all across the globe which is what makes these 2 cryptocurrencies decentralized. Miners are nothing more than people that have computers that run software which connects to the blockchain performing and perform the tasks.

I’m not going to get too into this here but what you should know here is that bitcoin and litecoin are run on different algorithms. Bitcoin is run on SHA-256 and Litecoin on Scrypt. Originally Litcoin was much easier to mine than bitcoin, which allowed for many people to be able to join the process of mining and help secure the network, process transactions, and earn Litcoin. However this is becoming less and less true due to increasing difficulty and new mining hardware that makes it hard for people to compete.

Problems Facing Litecoin

Does It Have Practical Applications? 

The truth is that it doesn’t really have practical applications. What we are seeing happening with Litecoin (and bitcoin) is that they cannot even come close to competing with other forms of digital payment like Mastercard or Vista that can process thousands of transactions per second.

If Litecoin is going to become a widely used crypto then there needs to be a fix to this. There is room for Litecoin to evolve over time…. but this is definitely something worth considering.

What About Power Consumption?

Litecoin’s mining process consumes and insane amount of electricity. It is based on a Proof of Work (POW) protocol, which basically makes miners’ computers do a ridiculous amount of work to keep the network up and running.

Mining is essential to keeping the Litcoin network running and I don’t see how this can grow too big with the amount of power it consumers… same goes for bitcoin.

There are other cryptos that use a Proof of Stake (POS) protocol which is much less costly and ultimately does the same thing, which is keeps the network safe & working.

Scale-ability Is The Real Problem

The overall problem here is the ability for Litecoin to scale. Both the power consumption that is required to keep the nework running and the fact that it is nowhere near as fast as Mastercard or Visa, make this unlikely to scale to the masses. Its just not practical at this point to actually use Litcoin as a way to pay for ordinary things.

And as of now most people that are buying Litcoin and other crypo’s are just holding them as an investment. They aren’t buying them to actually use. If Litecoin were to be used for everyday transactions the network would have some serious problems.

A Look Behind Litecoin

So as I mentioned, Charlie Lee is the creator of Litecoin and he is who I want to talk about here.

Pretty much all I have to say about Mr. Lee is good. He is a very intelligent man that has a background in software engineering, having worked at Google for almost 6 years. Since then he was also the director of engineering at the popular US based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Mr Lee is very transparent with his work and the Litecoin project. He knows that Litecoin is far from perfect and doesn’t avoid talking about its shortcomings. He has even come out publicly before when he felt that Litecoin was overvalued.

Personally I trust him and believe he is a good guy.

Conclusion on Litecoin – Good Opportunity?

I hope you see that Litecoin is no scam. Sure it has its share of problems but these problems where unforeseen when it was created and it does posses the potential to overcome these (hopefully it will).

Due to Litecoin’s open source code and the transparency of its creator, I don’t really see how anyone can call it a scam. I know there people comparing it to somewhat of a ponzi scheme because of how the price increases with increased adoption, but this is just due to the necessary total supply that is meant to protect against inflation.

Something else worth pointing out is that Litecoin was not pre-mined by developers, meaning that its creators did not stock up on a bunch of Litecoin before it was released to the public, which is a major concern with coins like Ripple.

Where to Buy Litecoin?

If you are going to buy Litecoin I would suggest either Coinbase or GDAX. Coinbase, as I mentioned, is based in the US and is probably the most trustworthy exchange out there. Because it is in the US it is subject to regulation to protect customers which is nice. It also has an insurance policy as a plus side.

GDAX is actually owned by Coinbase. They are both owned by the same company but GDAX is more for professional traders and people looking to dump tons of money into cryptocurrency. GDAX has much lower fees but is a bit less user friendly and more confusing.

Anyways… you are going to have to open a Coinbase account first even if you use GDAX. If you want to get a $10 bonus in Bitcoin when joining you can use my referral link here www.coinbase.com/join. This will give you $10 to join and me as well for referring you.

Be sure to leave any comments or questions below and I’ll get back to you soon 🙂

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