The inside story behind the famous 2010 bitcoin pizza ...

Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet

Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots.
A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC).
Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea.
When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust.
However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:

Is Bitcoin money?

No.
Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves:
1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own.
As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get.
You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there?
2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile.
If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point:
3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away.
For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast.
On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC
While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad.
One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy.
If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due.
Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.

BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in

Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense.
Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run.
See here
Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well.
Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money.
Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph
The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand.
Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price
Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control.
It's also a national security risk...
The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa
In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca.
He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade.
This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.

Currencies are based on trust

Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged?
The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president.
People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all.
It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board.
For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency
This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government."
The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.

BTC is not gold

Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value.
How do we know that?
Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan.
Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well.
Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties:
First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment.
Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials.
Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans.
It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods.
To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that.
On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.

BTC is really risky

One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds.
But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:

Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient

Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science.
That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale.
The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
submitted by VodkaHaze to badeconomics [link] [comments]

Round up of Cryptocurrency News #5 Week 03/08 - 09/08

Welcome again to another recap and the first full week of the new month after breaking the downward trend on the monthly!
 
Firstly, from last weeks uptrend we have seen the market consolidate at this level throughout the week with a steady upward climb at the start of the week to a balance out above $11.5k for Bitcoin towards the end. For the market we have a total increase of $17.5B over the week but a 1% decrease of btc dominance moving mainly toward Chainlink and other altcoins.
 
Closing the week we have had some altcoin action, Ethereum breaking $400 midweek but now staying back in a nice channel between $350-$410 since the start of August. But, Chainlink killing it after breaking $10 and currently sitting comfortably above $13!! Other altcoins that have reaped rewards and I'm keeping an eye on are:
I have picked these as i have noticed they are usually the first movers or the biggest gainers after the market goes red. Chasing those quick gains!
 
What about the news for this week?
 
DISCORD LINK: https://discord.gg/zxXXyuJ 🍕 Bring some virtual pizza to share 🍕
Come have a chat, stimulate a discussion, ask a question or share some knowledge. We are all friendly crypto enthusiasts up for a chat, supportive and want to help each other with knowledge and investments!
Big thanks to our Telegram and My Crypto HQ for the constant news updates! The Gravychain Collective: https://t.me/gravychain My Crypto HQ: https://t.me/My_Crypto_HQ
Links
Important/Notable/Highlights:
Special Mentions:
Other:
submitted by IOTAbesomewhere to Gravychain [link] [comments]

15 Apps That Will Earn You Passive Cash Back (Best Passive Saving Apps 2019)

This is the updated 2019 Q1/Q2 version of this post. If you remember reading the previous iteration of this post, there are several changes to the list this time around. Some new additions, and some removals.
I'm not necessarily listing these apps/sites off from best to worst, but the higher names on the list came to my mind faster, which basically just means that I prefer them.
Note: Most of these apps will be US only. A couple on this list are for Canada as well, and I've tried to make notes about apps that work outside of the US.
Having said that, let's get right into it.

15 Passive Cash Back Apps 2019

Pei

Ref = fish

Pei is an automatic cash back app, very similar to Drop (listed below). When you sign up, you'll link a debit/credit card and you'll then automatically start earning cash back as you shop at certain Pei merchants (listed just below). There are so many merchants with Pei that you'll likely find yourself accidentally earning cash back on the app, without even knowing it. Pei is an app that you can really just link a card and then check back weeks later and surprise yourself with the money you've earned. The app has improved so much since the first time I posted about it, that it deserves the top spot in this post. You can cash out instantly as soon as you reach $15 in your account, and they're currently offering a cool $5 bonus when you sign up with a referral. My referral is "5LTZ1S". Big appreciate if you use my referral to sign up.

Pros of Pei:

So with all of that being said, let's talk about the stores you can find on Pei. Just note that these are only stores that are local to me, so if I don't have a certain store near me that Pei offers, I won't have it on this list. Additionally, Pei actually offers so many stores at this point that there's no way for me to actually keep this list up to date at all. There have been countless times where I've shopped somewhere that doesn't even come up as an option to earn with Pei but I'll see cash back listed on the app. It's really quite impressive.
In addition to receiving cash back at many locations, Pei also has a 'loyalty bonus' where if you shop at a certain store 5x you'll earn a bonus of $0.50!
They also do offer a "$2 on $20", essentially meaning that if you spend $20 at a certain merchant, you'll earn a $2 bonus. Local for me, I have the following options for $2 on $20:
I feel like a lot of people will enjoy this ~10% bonus on UbeLyft, especially if you ride a lot.
Most stores do have a $5 daily/weekly earning limit, so do be aware that if you spend more than ~$500, you'll likely reach an earning cap.

Drop - (iOS | Android)

Ref = fish

Drop is a passive loyalty program for US/Canada that allows you to choose 5 popular stores where you'll earn cash back (automatically) at as soon as you shop at them (both online or in store). You'll start off by linking your cards to drop (credit or debit), and they'll automatically track your purchases and once they notice a purchase from one of the 5 stores that you selected, you'll automatically earn cash back in the form of drop points which can be redeemed for instant gift cards to several stores.
As mentioned above, once you register you'll be presented with a list of store options. Do note that the stores you choose might be stuck with you forever, so pick stores you plan on shopping at a lot in the future, since you might never get the opportunity to change them.
For a new user signing up today, here are the current options you'll be presented and the corresponding rate:
Do note that this list may change at any time, but historically whatever rate you receive when you sign up is the rate that will be locked in for you.
Here are a couple things that are worth noting:
Other ways to earn with drop:
While the passive options have already been discussed, I think it's important to highlight some other features that the Drop app provides. In addition to your ongoing offers, you can also earn on Drop by participating in mini game challenges, one time offers, mobile offers/linked offers, Supercharge mini game, and referring friends.
Let's talk a little about that:

HOOCH Rewards (Ref Link)

HOOCH is a new addition to this list. Similar to Drop and Pei, HOOCH will automatically earn you cash back when you link a credit/debit card.
If you understand how Drop or Pei work, there's not really much more to say about HOOCH's cash back system.
You'll instantly earn 1% cash back at the following national brands:
  • Uber
  • iTunes
  • Starbucks
  • Domino's
  • Netflix
  • Shake Shack
  • Spotify
  • Audible
  • Redbox
  • Uber Eats
  • Hulu
  • In-N-Out
  • Chipotle*
*I don't see Chipotle listed, but I've definitely been earning cash back from Chipotle for each of my purchases.
In addition to 1% cash back at the national brands, here are some other ways you'll earn with HOOCH:
  • Connecting your first card ($5 bonus)
  • Drink at a HOOCH Venue (5%)
  • Book a Hotel (5%)
  • Dine at a HOOCH Venue (5%)
  • Refer friends
HOOCH started a long while back as a subscription app where you'll buy a subscription and you'll get a free drink at a HOOCH venue every day. The venues are extremely limited, so a majority of the people reading this won't find any value in that plan. Dining is just as rare.
Their referral system appears to be pretty generous. They're currently offering a $5 bonus for each friend you refer, as well as a 20% bonus on their earnings for life. Here's my referral link, if anyone cares enough to click it.
Here's the downfall of HOOCH:
You can only cash out for gift cards, and the minimum is $25.
For most people, this is a really big disadvantage of this app. Assuming that most people will only be earning through the 1% cash back brands, the minimum you'll need to spend in order to his the cash out minimum is $2500, which would likely take most people a really long time, since the brand options are not places where you're likely to spend a lot of money frequently...like, for example, a grocery store.
But still, you could probably earn yourself a few free gift cards every once in a while for a totally passive app.

Butter

Canada Only!

The ability to earn cash back with Butter is currently only available to Canadians. If you're in the US and you're interested in Butter, you can still use their limited US friendly version here. Canadians, don't use this link!
Butter is a service that allows you to track your ongoing subscription services while earning cash back from them 100% passively. When you sign up for Butter, you'll link your bank account/cards and it will automatically help you track your subscriptions (think Netflix, Dropbox... almost anything, really) by telling you how much you're spending on each. This actually seems like something I could really benefit from, because I just recently discovered a subscription that I totally didn't realize I was paying for for the last 6+ months. You'll also earn 1% cash back from each subscription Butter tracks.
I would provide a list of the subscriptions that you can earn cash back, but according to butter, the "list is in the 1000s."
You'll earn your cash back automatically by Interac e-Transfer once your cash back balance is over $25.
$25 is a steep minimum, but if you're someone who either has a lot of subscriptions or has some expensive qualifying subscriptions, it might not take too long to reach the minimum.
Since I'm not Canadian, my experience with Butter is very limited. You can read more about how cash back works in their help threads here.

Bumped - Sign up & join waitlist!

Bumped is an investing app, when you really boil it down. When you sign up you'll select one brand in each category (there are a lot of categories, you'll see below), and each time you shop at the selected brand, you'll earn the certain specified purchase back in the form of company stock. This is unique to all of the other apps on this list, because you're actually receiving company stock. Also, because of this, I think it's very important to note that in order to sign up for Bumped you'll need to enter your SSN since you will be opening up a brokerage account.
As of posting, the following are the category options that you can choose from:
I've bolded the brands I selected. Obviously you should pick a brand that you can find yourself using the most. Do note that if you pick a brand that you might want to change later, you'll get the opportunity to change your brands 3 times a year, at least 30 days in between.
Category Options
Burgers 3% at Jack in the Box
3% at McDonald's
3% at Wendy's
Coffee 2% at Dunkin' Donuts
2% at Starbucks
Drug Stores 2% at CVS
1% at Walgreens
Family Dining 2% at Applebees
2% at Chili's
2% at Olive Garden
2% at Red Robin
Grocery 1% at Kroger Family of Stores
Home Improvement 1% at The Home Depot
Mexican Food 2% at Chipotle Mexican Grill
2% at Taco Bell
Music Subscriptions 1% at Pandora
5% at Spotify
Pizza 1% at Domino's
5% at Papa John's
2% at Pizza Hut
Superstores 1% at Target
1% at Walmart
Telecommunications 1% at AT&T
1% at T-Mobile
3% at Verizon Wireless
Video Subscriptions 1% at Netflix
5% at Sling TV
Vineyards 1% at Willamette Valley Vineyards
One thing that is listed on the app is that if you want to move your way up on the waitlist you can refer your friends to join the waitlist as well.

Uber Visa Local Offers

Shop or dine out, get Uber credits back.
Use your Visa card next time you dine out or go on a shopping spree at a featured store and earn Uber credits toward future rides. To join, go to settings in your Uber app and tap on Visa Local Offers.
Whenever you shop out at certain places you'll instantly receive uber credits to your account. It's really simple, and yes, this does stack with all of the other cash back apps you might be a part of.
The brands they offer do change semi-frequently, so you should check them from time to time.
In the past there have been 100% cash back offers for streaming services, and 10-20% cash back at Sam's Club. Considering that these offers do stack, there is some really great potential if you find any value in uber credit.
If you're interested in activating the Visa local offers, you'll need to make sure you have a visa card linked to your Uber account first, and then you should see "activate local offers" in the app settings or payment settings of Uber.
There's really not much to say about Visa Local Offers, but if you're looking for some FAQ/Terms, feel free to check them all out here.

Groupon+

Groupon+ is a card link program introduced by Groupon that will automatically earn you cash back when you shop at select local restaurants.
The program is pretty easy to understand, but it isn't completely passive. In order to receive cash back at the local restaurants, you'll first need to activate the offer. So for example, I have an offer for 20% cash back at Dairy Queen (10% cash back after first purchase).
For reference, here's the offer in question. Once I click claim, the offer will automatically be applied to my credit card that I have linked (you'll need to link a credit card/debit card the first time you try to claim an offer). Now that it's claimed, when I go into this dairy queen location and spend with my linked card, I'll automatically receive a rebate after my purchase. What's great about Groupon+ is that the rebate will instantly go as a credit/debit card statement adjustment. So if I'm getting 10% cash back somewhere and I spend $18, I'll automatically see an addition of $1.80 on my credit card statement. It's pretty satisfying.
Note: The location you claim does seem to matter. For example, linked above is a Dairy Queen location in Joliet, IL. It appears to be that I'd only receive the cash back at this dairy queen location. For me if I search Groupon for "dairy queen", I'll find a ton of groupon+ offers (some of them different!) for many local Dairy Queens. Just make sure you've selected the right location if you're earning from a chain restaurant.
Overall I think Groupon+ is worth checking out. Just note that a lot of the options will be for local businesses.

Cash App "Boosts"

For those if you who don't know what Cash App is, Cash App is an app by Square that lets you send and receive payments. They've also expanded their app to support bitcoin purchases, and they'll also let you use the app as a checking account. With the cash app you can also sign up to receive the Cash Card, which is a debit card that is funded with your cash app balance.
If you have not used Cash App before, they do have a fancy referral program where when you sign up and send $50 you'll receive $5 and so will I. I do want to make this very clear: Cash App referrals can see the full name of the person who refers you, and the person who refers you will have your full name shown to them. If you're really private about personal information, be careful whose referral link you use. If you trust me, here's my referral link.
Please note that if you want to use the cash app boosts that I'm talking about, you'll need to be 18 years old and have the cash card (which is free, don't worry)!
Cash App announced that their cash card will be seeing 'boosts'. Boosts are their fancy way of saying that when you use our card at certain locations you'll receive a discount.
Once you have the cash card, you'll notice on the app below your card you'll be able to select your boost. The following are my personal boost options, as of posting. The boosts change frequently,
  • 15% Off Doordash
  • $1 Off Any Coffee Shop
  • 5% off Whole Foods
  • 10% Off Buffalo Wild Wings
  • 10% Off Little Caesars Pizza
  • $1 Off Panera
  • $5 Off Any Purchase (requires using the card 10x to activate)
  • 10% Off Chipotle <3
  • 10% Off Dairy Queen
So there are quite a few things I want to say & clear up.
  1. You can use a boost every 1 hour.
  2. You must select the boost that you'd like to use prior to the purchase. AFAIK you're able to swap which boost you want to use as often as you'd like. So when you walk into Chick-Fil-A, just check and make sure your boost is set to CFA. If not, swap it.
  3. In order to apply the boost, you must pay with the Cash Card. It's automatic. If your total is $6 and you're saving 10%, you'll only need a Cash app balance of $5.4 for the transaction. Cash App will cover the other $0.60.
  4. If you link your Cash Card to Apple Pay, you can pay with it that way and the boosts will still be applied.
  5. This is important. If you have a boost applied, it won't expire. I'll repeat this. If you have a boost applied, It won't expire. So if Square wants to remove your beloved Chipotle boost, it'll stick with you until you decide to swap from it. If you really like it, don't swap! Do realize that just because you have the Cash Card on the app, you won't see the boosts. You need to have the physical Cash Card in your possession for the boosts to show up.
I've been really enjoying using the Cash Card for purchases. Especially at CFA & Chipotle. It's really not a hassle. When I'm standing in line at Chipotle I'll open the app and make sure my cash app balance is enough and if not I'll just add funds right away. The boost is applied immediately which makes you feel good. It's like the guac is free at Chipotle after you use the cash card. The only downside to using the Cash Card is that you won't be able to stack discounts with anything else on this list... Unless you find a way to link the Cash Card to any of the things on this list. Regardless, 10% off at Chipotle is the best I have found.

Empyr Apps

I've listed this as "Empyr Apps" because all of these apps are basically just the same thing. I'll take the example of Swagbucks Local since that's what most of you reading this will already be using.
If you paid attention in the Visa Local Offers section of this post, you'll find that the Empyr apps are actually very similar to those visa local offers.
When you shop at a certain store/restaurant, you'll earn with the empyr app you have linked. It's actually really not that special.
Here's a list of some/most of the current Empyr powered apps:
IMPORTANT NOTE: You're only allowed to use one Empyr app at a time! As soon as you link up with another Empyr app, you'll be disqualified from another until you link back up.
I do want to go into this list a bit this time around since there seem to be more and more Empyr apps popping up.
Dosh might be the most popular of these apps right now. Dosh has nice referral programs as well as sign up bonuses that makes it very enticing. Dosh also has very decent cash back at the stores they offer.
Swagbucks Local will always be popular among Swagbucks users. What's really nice about Swagbucks Local is that the payouts are always instantly converted to Swagbucks, which can help you cash out sooner. You'll also likely get a slot in the Swago board filled out, which might be beneficial to you.
Pei is a really cool new app on Empyr that offers cash back at a lot of places you likely shop at. I talk about it above.
RetailMeNot is a newer one on this list and it's the only one here that I feel like I recommend you go on/off with. RetailMeNot has recently been doing a lot of "Spend $X, get $Y" deals at a lot of the stores they offer. For example, they are currently offering $5 Cash back for in Store purchases of $30+ at Staples. This is a really good deal for an Empyr app, and would probably be my pick for that transaction, but not most of the time since they don't have very many stores as options.
I personally choose Dosh as my Empyr app. Dosh has a lot of funding, which allows them to offer some very generous offers from time to time.

CoinSeed (Ref | Nonref)

CoinSeed preface: I don't recommend CoinSeed as an option solely for passive cash back. The app has monthly fees, and even for just $1 a month, it will cut either entirely into your passive cash back earned, causing a net loss, or it'll take a huge cut. Only use CoinSeed for passive cash back if you actually want to use CoinSeed.
CoinSeed originally released about a year ago as an app similar to Acorns, where you're able to passively invest money by setting up a recurring investment or invest through 'rounding up' transactions. What makes CoinSeed different from Acorns is that they will take your money and invest it into cryptocurrency. Just recently they have also added a cash back section to the app which allows you to earn points in the app each time you spend at certain locations. Before we talk about the cash back from this app, I want to talk a bit about what you're getting yourself into.
Since CoinSeed is an app like Acorns, they're expecting you to use the app to invest money. If you're reading this and you're actually thinking that you'd be interested in using this app to invest into Bitcoin, there are a couple things I think should be pointed out. 1. There is a 1% fee taken from each deposit. 2. There is a fee of $1 per month that you use the app. Your first month is waived, so the fee will only kick in on the second month. The wording is confusing, but it seems like the fee will only apply if you deposit and invest in the given month. So let's talk about cash back.
Similar to many apps on this list, you'll link your cards to CoinSeed and that's how they'll track your transactions. CoinSeed actually has two different cash back offers. First of all they offer regular portals in the app. For example, shop at through our link and earn cash back! The reason I think this is important is because currently they're offering 2% cash back at Amazon.com when you shop through their link. Cash back is uncommon enough to find at amazon, but what's great is that the only restrictions listed is, "Doesn't apply on Gift Card." Which makes me think that so long as you're buying anything other than gift cards, you should be eligible for the 2% cash back. I've reached out to CoinSeed to clarify exactly what they mean by that (whether or not it is referring to just Amazon gift cards or third party gift cards as well).
The other offers on the app, which they call "Premium" are the passive cash back options, meaning that every time you spend at any of the brands listed, you'll earn cash back. Here are the options that are currently available:
  • Uber (1% cashback)
  • Netflix (1% cashback)
  • Starbucks (1% cashback)
  • 7-Eleven (1% cashback)
There's one issue, though. When you try to activate the premium offers, a popup will appear saying, "Sorry, this feature is only available for users who have made an investment using the auto investing feature." What this is essentially saying is that in order to earn cash back from premium offers you must invest with the app.
CoinSeed seems to want to emphasize that the cash back is only a benefit of using their app to invest in crypto. For most people, investing in crypto can be near feeless using alternate methods, and in my opinion this app really doesn't provide many/any benefits that would make me want to even consider using this app for the heavy fees that they take. You would need to be spending a lot of money with their cash back retailers in order for the 'I'm only here for the cash back' route to even start to sound viable.

Credit Cards

I've refrained from listing credit cards on this post for a long time. Maybe because I thought it was too obvious, or maybe it was unnecessary, but since the number of younger people using this subreddit has been increasing I feel like I'd be doing a disservice to entirely disclude a blurb about credit cards.
If you have a credit card and you don't really care to learn more about credit cards, just skip this section. If you're reading this post and you're 18+ (or if you're about to turn 18) and you don't have a credit card or don't know much about credit cards, I think it's a good idea to look into them. I'm not going to tell you exactly what a credit card is since that's an easy google search, but I will tell you about some benefits, especially about those that pertain to the benefits of this post.
Credit cards are great because you can essentially spend money just like you normally would*, but you'll also earn cash back on all/almost all of the purchases you make with them. Additionally, especially if you're young, getting a credit card is a really great because it will start helping you build credit. I'm currently looking into renting a house next year with two housemates and I'm shocked to see that neither of them have any credit. They quite honestly couldn't possibly live in a house without me, since I'm the only one who has credit.
*Make sure you're paying off your credit card every month (or however often you need)... Don't let yourself get into debt. I'd argue if you think you're going to get into debt with a credit card, I'd personally suggest you don't get a credit card.
While you need to be 18 years old to get your own credit card, if you're under 18, you can still start gaining credit. Most major credit card companies will allow your parents to add you as an authorized signer on their credit card (which basically just means that you'll get permission to use their cards). An effect of this is that you'll start gaining credit. If you're looking to build up credit but you don't think you're ready for a credit card, I'd really recommend you ask your parents about becoming an authorized signer. It's a good conversation to have with your parents.
Anyways, let's talk about the cash back benefits, since that's what this post is about, after all.
There's a lot of credit cards. This post isn't going to list them all out. This isn't really even the right subreddit for credit card discussion.
Nerdwallet has a great list of credit cards, so you might want to check it out here, but I'm going to share my own personal situation and recommend that for anyone who might relate, since the average age on this subreddit is around the 18-25 range.
My first credit card was the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. I actually still use this credit card very frequently since it's a pretty balanced card. A couple years back on my 18th birthday I went into my local chase branch and physically had to beg for this card (it's a really beginner card, trust me). After getting denied both in bank and online, I finally found a rep who would give me a calm $500 credit limit for the card. Note: I had no credit before hand.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases with the card... so when you think about it, I'd previously been spending $100 at Chipotle every month with my debit card, but with the Freedom Unlimited card, I would now be getting 1.5% cash back ($1.50) back on those purchases. It's just an easy way to save money on everything.
If you use the other apps I suggest in this post, you'll likely earn cash back passively from them on certain brands that are featured, but stacking a credit card cash back on top of all the other bonuses is the absolute best way to earn passive cash back since it's usually 1-5% cash back on your purchases.

ReceiptPal

ReceiptPal is an app that allows you to upload your receipts from almost anywhere that you go shopping. It's actually a really simple process.
When you sign up you'll be presented with almost little scratch cards which contains 4 spaces. Each space is filled with a receipt that you upload. Once you reach 4 receipts, you'll earn 100 points. 300/400 points = $1, so basically every 16 receipts you upload you'll receive ~$1.
"So, mr Fishering, how is this passive!?"
Unlike most receipt apps, ReceiptPal allows you to link your emails and amazon account and they'll automatically upload receipts for you. I actually let this app alone for several months and came back to thousands of points and cashed out instantly.
If you make purchases online, you'll essentially be earning ~$0.07 for every purchase you make if you have your email linked. They'll automatically find receipts and submit them, so it's 100% passive earnings.
If you also shop IRL you can submit physical receipts as well.
You can cash out instantly for $5 minimum in the form of a gift card. I'd recommend saving up at least 7,500 points for a $25 gift card, since it'll value points at 300/$1.

Paribus

Paribus is not your typical cash back site. Once you sign up you can link your different accounts (such as your amazon account) and it will automatically track your shopping. Paribus doesn't directly earn you cash back... it acts more like Walmart's saving catcher if you've ever heard of that. If an item you buy somewhere goes on sale shortly after or if there's any other discounts/promotions you may have missed when you originally bought something, they'll quietly get you a rebate on whatever you purchased. It can be very hit or miss. The catch is that they do take a cut of your savings. I believe it is 30% for all new users, but for each member you refer you can cut the cut by 5%. If you save $10, they'll charge you $3 to whatever card you have linked.
Personally I've found it to be really hit or miss, but I've found some incredible savings. I bought a gopro and I got $15 saved with Paribus, and I also got $50 back from some really nice headphones I picked up on amazon from Amazon. What's weird is I bought the headphones like 6 months prior to the rebate. Was shocking to see it, but I've really had some good luck with Paribus.

Sift (iOS | Android)

After the last post, I noticed a lot of people enjoyed Paribus, so I figured it'd be good to add some alternatives in this post.
So, here's Sift. Sift is a similar site to Paribus, and its key focus is on enforcing credit card benefits that many people don't know about. It's actually pretty nice. It'll let you pick your credit card and it'll tell you pretty much everything about your card. I have the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, and I was actually shocked to hear some of the benefits my card has that I have never been taking advantage of.
From Sift's site:
We automatically comb through your credit card policies to show you all your benefits in one place. For every purchase we let you know what benefits you are eligible for. We streamline the claim process to make it as simple as possible to get your money back.
You can link your emails as well as your amazon account as well and they'll make it really easy for you.
I have not actually used Sift much myself, so I cannot attest to how well it works, but the app store reviews are generally positive for Sift.

Trim Savings

Trim is similar to Paribus and Sift, but there's a certain void that it's trying to fill that the other two don't really seem to be filling.
Trim's main selling point is its bill negotiations. Instead of trying to save you money when a price drops, they're going to try and just nip it right in the bud and try to get your bills lower.
Right now they're mainly trying to negotiate with cell providers, internet providers, and cable providers.
Here's how the process goes:
  • Submit Your Bill: Submit your most recent cell phone, cable or internet bill to get started.
  • Trim Negotiates: Trim negotiates with your provider to get you discounts on your bill.
  • You Save Money: Trim takes 25% of annualized savings, but only on success—otherwise, it's free!
So, similar to Paribus, Trim does charge a fee. In a sense, I guess that's a good thing because it gives them an incentive to make sure to get some sort of bill decrease for you so they'll make some money too. Their rate is currently 25% of your bill negotiation. Of course, if they're not able to negotiate your bill for you, you won't pay them anything.
Trim does also monitor your bank account for you and they'll notify you of account changes (that you can set). For example, if they see a transaction worth $xxx, they'll notify me that I've made a large transaction. If there weren't already so many other sites/apps that could do that, I'd say that's a great feature that Trim offers.

Conclusion

Hopefully there's some new apps/sites you found out about in this post. If you sign up for some/all of these programs listed, you should probably find yourself earning some pretty decent cash back, depending on where/how much you spend. These apps are very satisfying to watch your balances build up on, and after a while it's very rewarding to cash out and treat yourself.
Since the last version of this post, I have removed a lot of shitty offers, that aren't really worth anyone's time. I removed Samsung Rewards since it's been devalued to a point that using their app solely for rewards isn't worth it at all. Samsung rewards is only valuable for non-passive offers that they occasionally have.
In this update I added some really great additions, but did remove a previous favorite, Spent, which is currently offline. I'm ready to edit the post if anything changes with Spent, but it's seeming more and more unlikely since the app did go so downhill so fast.
As always if you have any questions please do leave a comment or send me a PM!
Thanks for reading!
submitted by Fishering to beermoney [link] [comments]

MFW I bought a bunch of ETH during the dip last night despite the FUD

MFW I bought a bunch of ETH during the dip last night despite the FUD submitted by upever to ethtrader [link] [comments]

If you hodl or trade, you`re the biggest problem with the world of cryptocurrencies.

There`s 3 components to a market economy: Spending, Savings & Investments. We only have 2 and those are way off balance.
Spending: Payments. Drives Inclusion & Adoption. Represents the primary bridge to real world assets.
Saving: Store of Value, Essential driver for stability. The ideea that your holdings are safe over time and don`t depreciate.
Investments: Trading, drives value of the economy, corrects inflation.
State of the nation:
IF there`s any chance at adoption, don`t just HODL. Don`t just DayTrade. Spend what you have. Money needs to move.
The moment you start spending a portion of cryptocurrencies, that money moves. The entire supply chain benefits. Miners Mine, Exchangers Exchange, Businesses get paid, Taxes get taxed. The underlying value of your holdings grows as you tell more people how you paid your AliBaba supplier in Bitcoin and didn`t have any trouble with your EU based bank making a fuss over "why you`re sending money to Asia".
If the only thing you do with Crypto is to buy it, hold it or trade it, it has no impact on real life. It`s not inviting more people to use it. Demand doesn`t grow. the value chain remains closed and non-inclusive. And it`s against the basic principles of Blockchain. You, the person who only has 10 USD in Dogecoin or the Hodler who has 8 bitcoins since Satoshi was in diapers, you`re responsible for the value of your assets and growth of your community. If you don`t SPEND it, people around you have NO reason to adopt. And if they do adopt, they do it for the wrong reasons and simply add to the volatility.
Introduction:
I`ve been in this space since 2009, reading all I could get my hands on. Coming from a poorly banked background and still having frustrations due to the inability of making online purchases at the time, just coming out of a recession, Bitcoin`s vision struck a nerve with me. I`ve been an avid believer in blockchain ever since and at no point did I buy crypto to store value, hedge my bets, invest, digital gold or any of this. I went in because it was, and still is: the easiest way to send money across the world. Ethereum`s smart contracts bring this simple function to a new level, introducing conditions to be met for the transfer itself. Simple, open, transparent, inclusive. Period.
What we`ve become, as a community:
As a whole, this community went from a group of passionate people who wanted an alternative to banks, government and politics, people who wanted to deal directly with other people, to something weird I can`t describe as a whole, but more as personas. Here`s what I`m seeing:
  1. The "I wanna buy Pizza with Bitcoin" crowd. I`m one of them. We just wanted a simple alternative, we were okay with volatility because we always knew the more people use it, more stable it gets as an alternative currency. Conspiracy theorists, tech geeks, scientists, curious people fascinated by the endless possibilities of a global, open banking system, built by the people, for the people. Joined from the first 3-4 years of Bitcoin, many still join it.
  2. The Hodlers: Also coined as the true "Believers". They`re responsible for the initial traction, and would rather liquidate their house than to "sell off" their Bitcoins. They see Bitcoin and other currencies as a "store of value" and see not much difference between buying/storing Gold and Crypto. Joined after the first group and peacefully co-existed with everybody so far. Most dedicated miners came from this group/generation of adopters.
  3. The Traders: People coming from the finance world. They either did Hedgefunds, Forex, VC. Smart opportunists that saw the first 2 groups, saw the potential value of the system as something to be gained from (nothing wrong with this) and heavily capitalize on it. These were the first guys to look at crypto as financial instruments and started fighting the compliance game. This is also where market manipulation started.
  4. The "Tokenize the world" generation. Driven by technology on one side, by the ICO madness on the other side, this opportunistic group wanted to create a token (and respective ICOs) for everything they could think of. Huge similarities between how everything needed a website in the 2000`s, everything needed an app in 2010, everything needed a coin/token started around 2016. Dogecoin is the perfect example of a joke that got way out of proportion, while the original ideea was to make fun of this particular group. Oh well, this group still garners a lot of traction/interest. This group is why we have 3000 shitcoins and who knows how many that never saw the light of day.
  5. The Consultants, Gurus, Ninjas. The "know it all`s". They`re all about the TREND, not about the substance. In the 90`s we had the "internet consultants" who were selling strategies for people to get online. Later the same people were selling strategies to get website traffic. Later, it was about the apps or about the cloud. Right now, it`s about blockchain, token economics, go to market, liquidity, or investing. Some are super smart, most are useless. The only thing that really bothers me is that consultants take no ownership in the success or failure of what they`re selling. As long as you cover their fees, they don`t care if their advice works or not and usually blame you for failing. These are the "market makers" of today, the youtube/facebook/twitteinstagram investment gurus who look at charts for 4 hours and make predictions without really having any skin in the game. Here`s what I never got my head around, if you know how to make a market for a coin, or really know how to invest in crypto.... WHY would you charge me 20k when you can make millions for yourself in less time than that? I guess it holds true: those that can, DO, those that can`t, Teach.
This brings us to the state of the market today.
Proposed solution:
Don`t wait for your government to regulate, don`t wait for banks or institutional investors to kick in, don`t wait for the media frenzy. Just do your part: spend, save and invest your crypto just as you would your USD/Euro/Yen/etc. If you`re a freelancer, accept crypto payments. if you run a business, accept crypto payments. If you have crypto, make crypto payments. This is the main reason we have crypto today and it`s exactly what we don`t use it for. Go back to basics and let`s see how influenced by "market volatility" or "market manipulation" or "media bias" the price will get.
Disclosure: Yes, trying to solve the adoption issue has led me to build a platform for e-commerce that also solves crypto-to-fiat payments for more than 2000 tokens. We walk the walk, not talk the talk.
I`d love to hear if you guys agree or disagree, and most importantly, Why?
C:\>
P.S. I love you
submitted by chrisorasanusdk to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

If you just hodl or trade, you`re the biggest problem with the world of cryptocurrencies.

TL;DR: There`s 3 components to a market economy: Spending, Savings & Investments. We only have 2 and those are way off balance.
Spending: Payments. Drives Inclusion & Adoption. Represents the primary bridge to real world assets.
Saving: Store of Value, Essential driver for stability. The ideea that your holdings are safe over time and don`t depreciate.
Investments: Trading, drives value of the economy, corrects inflation.
State of the nation:
IF there`s any chance at adoption, don`t just HODL. Don`t just DayTrade. Spend what you have. Money needs to move.
The moment you start spending a portion of cryptocurrencies, that money moves. The entire supply chain benefits. Miners Mine, Exchangers Exchange, Businesses get paid, Taxes get taxed. The underlying value of your holdings grows as you tell more people how you paid your AliBaba supplier in Bitcoin and didn`t have any trouble with your EU based bank making a fuss over "why you`re sending money to Asia".
If the only thing you do with Crypto is to buy it, hold it or trade it, it has no impact on real life. It`s not inviting more people to use it. Demand doesn`t grow. the value chain remains closed and non-inclusive. And it`s against the basic principles of Blockchain. You, the person who only has 10 USD in Dogecoin or the Hodler who has 8 bitcoins since Satoshi was in diapers, you`re responsible for the value of your assets and growth of your community. If you don`t SPEND it, people around you have NO reason to adopt. And if they do adopt, they do it for the wrong reasons and simply add to the volatility.
Introduction:
I`ve been in this space since 2009, reading all I could get my hands on. Coming from a poorly banked background and still having frustrations due to the inability of making online purchases at the time, just coming out of a recession, Bitcoin`s vision struck a nerve with me. I`ve been an avid believer in blockchain ever since and at no point did I buy crypto to store value, hedge my bets, invest, digital gold or any of this. I went in because it was, and still is: the easiest way to send money across the world. Ethereum`s smart contracts bring this simple function to a new level, introducing conditions to be met for the transfer itself. Simple, open, transparent, inclusive. Period.
What we`ve become, as a community:
As a whole, this community went from a group of passionate people who wanted an alternative to banks, government and politics, people who wanted to deal directly with other people, to something weird I can`t describe as a whole, but more as personas. Here`s what I`m seeing:
  1. The "I wanna buy Pizza with Bitcoin" crowd. I`m one of them. We just wanted a simple alternative, we were okay with volatility because we always knew the more people use it, more stable it gets as an alternative currency. Conspiracy theorists, tech geeks, scientists, curious people fascinated by the endless possibilities of a global, open banking system, built by the people, for the people. Joined from the first 3-4 years of Bitcoin, many still join it.
  2. The Hodlers: Also coined as the true "Believers". They`re responsible for the initial traction, and would rather liquidate their house than to "sell off" their Bitcoins. They see Bitcoin and other currencies as a "store of value" and see not much difference between buying/storing Gold and Crypto. Joined after the first group and peacefully co-existed with everybody so far. Most dedicated miners came from this group/generation of adopters.
  3. The Traders: People coming from the finance world. They either did Hedgefunds, Forex, VC. Smart opportunists that saw the first 2 groups, saw the potential value of the system as something to be gained from (nothing wrong with this) and heavily capitalize on it. These were the first guys to look at crypto as financial instruments and started fighting the compliance game. This is also where market manipulation started.
  4. The "Tokenize the world" generation. Driven by technology on one side, by the ICO madness on the other side, this opportunistic group wanted to create a token (and respective ICOs) for everything they could think of. Huge similarities between how everything needed a website in the 2000`s, everything needed an app in 2010, everything needed a coin/token started around 2016. Dogecoin is the perfect example of a joke that got way out of proportion, while the original ideea was to make fun of this particular group. Oh well, this group still garners a lot of traction/interest. This group is why we have 3000 secondary coins and who knows how many that never saw the light of day.
  5. The Consultants, Gurus, Ninjas. The "know it all`s". They`re all about the TREND, not about the substance. In the 90`s we had the "internet consultants" who were selling strategies for people to get online. Later the same people were selling strategies to get website traffic. Later, it was about the apps or about the cloud. Right now, it`s about blockchain, token economics, go to market, liquidity, or investing. Some are super smart, most are useless. The only thing that really bothers me is that consultants take no ownership in the success or failure of what they`re selling. As long as you cover their fees, they don`t care if their advice works or not and usually blame you for failing. These are the "market makers" of today, the youtube/facebook/twitteinstagram investment gurus who look at charts for 4 hours and make predictions without really having any skin in the game. Here`s what I never got my head around, if you know how to make a market for a coin, or really know how to invest in crypto.... WHY would you charge me 20k when you can make millions for yourself in less time than that? I guess it holds true: those that can, DO, those that can`t, Teach.
This brings us to the state of the market today.
Proposed solution:
Don`t wait for your government to regulate, don`t wait for banks or institutional investors to kick in, don`t wait for the media frenzy. Just do your part: spend, save and invest your crypto just as you would your USD/Euro/Yen/etc. If you`re a freelancer, accept crypto payments. if you run a business, accept crypto payments. If you have crypto, make crypto payments. This is the main reason we have crypto today and it`s exactly what we don`t use it for. Go back to basics and let`s see how influenced by "market volatility" or "market manipulation" or "media bias" the price will get.
Disclosure: Yes, trying to solve the adoption issue has led me to build a platform for e-commerce that also solves crypto-to-fiat payments for more than 2000 tokens. We walk the walk, not talk the talk.
I`d love to hear if you guys agree or disagree, and most importantly, Why?
C:\>
P.S. I love you
submitted by chrisorasanusdk to ethtrader [link] [comments]

20 INTERESTING FACTS about Bitcoin

20 interesting facts about bitcoin that you may not have known.
-The first transaction with bitcoin was made on January 21, 2009.
-In total, 21 million bitcoins can be produced, which will be mined gradually due to the complexity of the mining process. The last coin will be mined in 2140.
-It is still unknown who created bitcoin. There is a certain name – Satoshi Nakamoto-but no one knows whether it is an individual or a group of programmers. While the Creator of bitcoin remains anonymous.
-The purpose of creating bitcoin is to decentralize the financial turnover, to withdraw it from the monopoly control of the States. Simply put, free money with easy and fast transfer. So far, this is not always successful: somewhere the technology fails, somewhere the state does not allow the development of progress. In addition, bitcoin transactions are not cheap.
-More than half of the already mined bitcoins are now owned by 1000 people.
-Most bitcoin wallets (~90%) hold no more than 0.1 BTC on their balance.
-Only a third of the mined coins are actively involved in the turnover. The rest are inactive. Experts suggest that most inactive bitcoins are simply lost or forgotten by their users. Experts of Fortrader magazine remind that if the password from the bitcoin wallet is lost, it is impossible to restore it, this is how the system works.
-For example, in 2017, a woman unsuccessfully tried to remember her password from a bitcoin wallet. She turned to magicians, healers, and hypnotists, but without success. These coins will be lost forever to the Network.
-The highest bitcoin rate recorded at the time of writing was $20,042. This was in December 2017. Then there was a strong drop in the price of the coin.
-The value of the cryptocurrency grew gradually. But bitcoin became more expensive than an ounce of gold in 2013.
-The biggest dynamics of growth-the fall of the bitcoin exchange rate showed in April 2013, when the day fell immediately by 80%.
-Most of the exchange transactions of bitcoins takes place no, not on the dollars on the yuan.
-Now there are more than 3000 bitcoin ATMs in the world, the main share of which is in America, Canada and Europe. Moscow also has a small network of such ATMs. Government agencies in many countries have long accepted bitcoins as payments.
-For the first time, 2 pizzas were purchased for bitcoins. This was done by the miner Laszlo in 2010, paying 10,000 bitcoins for food. It is easy to calculate, based on the bitcoin exchange rate, which small country he could feed pizza today.
-Another annoying situation: a resident of the UK accidentally threw out a hard drive with a wallet that had 7500 bitcoins. This still needs to be experienced.
-The most expensive transaction was the transfer of bitcoins by a certain user who inadvertently paid 80.99 BTC instead of 0.01 bitcoin. In 2013, it was $50,000.
-In General, the bitcoin exchange rate is a reason for endless controversy. Someone believes that its rate is overvalued and predicts a fall to $1800, someone writes about the imminent growth of as much as $100,000. There are even schemes of collapse and catastrophes associated with bitcoin.
-In the meantime, the capitalization of Bitcoin is greater than the GDP of some countries, such as Ukraine and Estonia.
-Thailand is the first country that has actively taken up the regulation of bitcoin. First she forbade it, then she allowed it. Now many countries are in search of a solution to the question of how to make cryptocurrencies official and protect the population from possible fraud.
-Cryptocurrencies are actively winning back the market from Fiat money. Many retail outlets and even state structures are happy to accept bitcoin and other coins for payment. However, what is important, most new cryptocurrencies do not achieve popularity-they appear and disappear. You have to be careful with that.
More https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmYpavSD9aALIt_lhde2Ewg?view_as=subscriber
submitted by chapikla to u/chapikla [link] [comments]

r/Bitcoin recap - May 2019

Hi Bitcoiners!
I’m back with the 29th monthly Bitcoin news recap. (sorry a bit late this month)
For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month.
You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com
A recap of Bitcoin in May 2019
Adoption
Development
Security
Mining
Business
Research
Education
Regulation & Politics
Archeology (Financial Incumbents)
Price & Trading
Fun & Other
submitted by SamWouters to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks

Hey guys.
Merry Xmas !
I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively.
The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow.
I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise.
*The origin of your crypto wealth
*Your background (residence, citizenship and probity)
These two aspects must be documented in-depth.
How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit.
1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start.
Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice.
2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand.
Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier.
The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous.
The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here:
*proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early.
*story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day.
*micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning.
*signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ?
*ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow.
The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow:
*Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig.
*Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful.
*Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened.
*Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet.
*Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time.
The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me.
The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative.
The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point.
Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria:
*Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk
*AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted
*Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises...
*Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me.
First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards.
For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t.
EU tricks
Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible.
Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand.
Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really.
Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI
Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way.
Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids?
Dubaï
  1. Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
  2. Spend one day every 6 month there
  3. ???
  4. Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen.
The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains).
The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again.
Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly.
“Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out.
The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;)
What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight.
The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard.
Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp,
The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny.
Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts.
Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks.
Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier)
Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around.
Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary.
Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately.
The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused.
Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them!
The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax.
The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million.
Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction.
Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
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13 Ways to Save Money Passively (Best Passive Money Saving Apps/Sites 2018)

Are we really doing this again already?
About 6 months ago I made the second version of this post, which listed 10 ways for you to save money passively.
Since that post I have found quite a few additions and I feel like it's already time for an update.
Just to clarify, this post is mainly just an update to the previous post. Some points made here will be exactly the same from last time, but there are a lot of additions and clarifications this time around.

13 Ways to Save Money Passively 2018

Drop - (iOS | Android)

Completely Passive, Ref = fish

In the first post I said:
If anyone asks me, "Fishering, what is your favorite beermoney app?" I'll respond with Drop.
12 months later, I don't totally know if that's exactly true, just because Drop has gone through some changes that has made it seem (psychologically) not as great as it once was.
For those of you who don't know what Drop is, Drop is a passive loyalty program that allows you to choose 5 popular stores where you'll earn cash back (automatically) at as soon as you shop at them (both online or in store). Here are just a few of the stores you can pick from: Walmart, Macy's, Dunkin Donuts, Target, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Starbucks, Uber, McDonalds, and my personal favorite, Chipotle! There's about 20-30 stores you can pick from for your perm. ongoing offers.
If you signed up for drop in the previous post, you might not have noticed this, but they have actually changed their program a bit since then. There's a good chance you didn't even notice any differences at all, but they have recently set a weekly limit of $5 in cash back, and they seem to be wanting to limit what purchases count for cash back.
From Drop's TOS:
Drop users are limited to earning a maximum of 5,000 Drop points per calendar week (Sunday – Saturday) in connection with Drop’s ongoing (as opposed to one-time) offers. Drop maintains the right to review the accrual of points and to determine, in Drop’s absolute discretion, if certain transactions qualify for Drop Offers. Certain spending including, but not limited to, repeat purchases, high-value purchases, purchases of gift cards, and purchases made for commercial, non-personal or non-household purposes, may not, at Drop’s absolute discretion, be considered Qualifying Transactions and may be ineligible for Drop points.
Source. I really do recommend you take a look over this.. there are a lot of hidden secrets in Drop, like that 5000 point limit per week, while most people won't spend $500 (with 1% cash back) in a week, it still makes this program seem so much worse.
Anyways, if you're not signed up for Drop, it's really a great app. I've been enjoying it since its launch and I've made a fair amount back in savings from it.
Cash outs are instant and start with various gift cards at $5 (5000 points). (Amazon is $10 minimum).

Spent (iOS | Android)

EDIT: Spent has just announced a referral program! For every friend you refer you'll get a $5 bonus when they earn their first cashback. Additionally, all friends you refer will receive $10 when they sign up. Here's my referral link. You might have to click on it from a mobile device in order for it to track correctly. It seems that Spent has done away with the referral program.

Almost Completely Passive

Spent is very similar to Drop... so if you like Drop, chances are you'll also enjoy Spent. Unlike Drop, with spent you'll earn 1% cash back at all of the stores they offer, so you don't need to pick just your favorites. Here are all of the stores that Drop offers 1% cash back at. (Note: All of the stores with strikethroughs are stores that were originally offered, but have sent been removed).
  • Starbucks
  • Amazon
  • Spotify
  • Netflix
  • Grubhub
  • Walgreens
  • Uber
  • Panera Bread
  • Staples
  • Petsmart
  • Costco
  • iTunes
  • ExxonMobil
  • 7-Eleven
  • McDonalds
  • Kroger
  • The Home Depot
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Whole Foods
  • Shell
  • Chevron
There are a few things about Spent that are better than Drop, but there are also a few things that are negatives here.
I'll go ahead and make a nice little pros/cons list of Spent.
Pros of Spent:
  • $10 Sign up bonus (may or may not require referral link used?).
  • PayPal cash outs.
  • Manage transactions in the app.
  • Cash out minimum $0.01 w/ Gift Card Discount
Cons of Spent:
  • $20 Minimum cash out (PayPal).
  • Cash Back takes 1 month to get approved from pending.
Spent is also similar to Drop because you must link your bank account to it. This seems to be a common trend with these apps. And yes, Spent does stack with Drop, but Spent might not stack with other Empyr apps. You'll learn more about Empyr later in this post, or just CTRL+F for "Empyr". Just note that when you link a card with Spent you might have just unlinked your card from another Empyr app.
One thing I want to update about Spent is how cash outs work now. Since the original post a year ago I think it's important to note some changes. Cash outs for Spent are done through PayPal at $20 minimum (payment is sent instantly?). However, in the app they now have an option for you to purchase gift cards at a discount. So for example, you could be somewhere that Spent doesn't support.. Let's say Papa John's... and they'll let you buy a Papa John's gift card on the app and you'll receive 3% back. If you have any cash back balance you'll be able to use that to help pay for the gift card (or pay for it entirely, if you have enough balance). I can see this being a viable "cash out" option for users who feel like they'll never hit the $20 minimum. It won't be a free gift card, but a discount nonetheless. Do note that if you're someone who is only using drop for the 1% cash back at the select retailers listed above it will take you $2000 in spend to reach the $20 minimum cash out. That could take a while for some people, depending on how much you spend at these places.
One other thing about Spent that's worth mentioning is that it does also offer shopping portals online (spentapp.com) and you'll be able to find cash back for Travel/Hotels/Rental Cars. Just something worth checking out if you're interested in it. They also have an app called Spent Travel you might want to check out.

Pei ref = fish

Completely Passive

Pei is another new automatic cash back app, very similar to Drop & Spent. Pei is (as of posting) in an invite only system and they seem to be slowly letting users in. I was able to get early access since I'm 'Media'. I'm not sure how you can get invited into this app at this time, but if you read what I have to say about Pei that you find interesting, feel free to download the app and join the waitlist. I'd imagine soon they'll just let everybody in at once.
The one important thing to note about Pei is that it does run on the Empyr network. I was in contact with Pei about this and they confirmed that if you link a different Empyr app you will no longer receive the benefits from Pei. This is different from Spent since with Spent you can link your card (at which point your card will unlink from your previous Empyr app), but then link your card to a different Empyr app and you'll still get the 1% cash back offers to pay out. Just the local offers on Spent won't pay out. With Pei if you unlink your card, the whole app will break. So I'm going to try and convince you here that Pei is different from the other Empyr apps, and might be interesting and worth taking your one Empyr app slot.

Pros of Pei:

  • Cash Back at a lot of locations (way more than any of the other Empyr apps).
  • Cash out via PayPal or Bitcoin.
  • Stacks w/ Drop & Spent

Cons of Pei:

  • Steep $15 cash out minimum.
  • Hard to track where your points are coming from (no history page with transactions?)
So with all of that being said, let's talk about the stores you can find on Pei. Just note that these are only stores that are local to me, so if I don't have a certain store near me that Pei offers, I won't have it on this list. Please feel free to leave a comment informing me of what I'm missing.
  • Panda Express - 1.5%
  • Target - 1%
  • Petco - 1%
  • PetSmart - 1%
  • Sephora - 1%
  • Banana Republic - 1%
  • American Eagle Outfitters - 1%
  • Gap - 1%
  • Old Navy - 1%
  • Chipotle <3 - 1.2%
  • Taco Bell - 2%
  • Dominos Pizza - 1.5%
  • CVS - 1%
  • Starbucks - 1%
  • AMC - 2%
  • GameStop - 1.2%
  • Subway - 1.5%
  • 7-Eleven - 1%
  • Dunkin' Donuts - 1.5%
  • Walgreens - 1%
  • Nordstrom - 1%
  • Supercuts - 2%
  • ZARA - 1.2%
  • Express - 1%
  • H&M - 1.2%
  • Urban Outfitters - 1%
  • + Local locations - ~5%
Please let me know if there is anything inaccurate about this list if you're able to get into the app.

Paribus

Completely Passive

Paribus is not your typical cash back site. Once you sign up you can link your different accounts (such as your amazon account) and it will automatically track your shopping. Paribus doesn't directly earn you cash back... it acts more like Walmart's saving catcher if you've ever heard of that. If an item you buy somewhere goes on sale shortly after or if there's any other discounts/promotions you may have missed when you originally bought something, they'll quietly get you a rebate on whatever you purchased. It can be very hit or miss. The catch is that they do take a cut of your savings. I believe it is 30% for all new users, but for each member you refer you can cut the cut by 5%. If you save $10, they'll charge you $3 to whatever card you have linked.
Personally I've found it to be really hit or miss, but I've found some incredible savings. I bought a gopro and I got $15 saved with Paribus, and I also got $50 back from some really nice headphones I picked up on amazon from Amazon. What's weird is I bought the headphones like 6 months prior to the rebate. Was shocking to see it, but I've really had some good luck with Paribus.

Sift (iOS | No Android)

Completely Passive

After the last post, I noticed a lot of people enjoyed Paribus, so I figured it'd be good to add some alternatives in this post.
So, here's Sift. Sift is a similar site to Paribus, and its key focus is on enforcing credit card benefits that many people don't know about. It's actually pretty nice. It'll let you pick your credit card and it'll tell you pretty much everything about your card. I have the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, and I was actually shocked to hear some of the benefits my card has that I have never been taking advantage of.
From Sift's site:
We automatically comb through your credit card policies to show you all your benefits in one place. For every purchase we let you know what benefits you are eligible for. We streamline the claim process to make it as simple as possible to get your money back.
You can link your emails as well as your amazon account as well and they'll make it really easy for you.
I have not actually used Sift much myself, so I cannot attest to how well it works, but the app store reviews are generally positive for Sift.
Massive golf clap to zarraza2k for pointing Sift out.

Trim Savings - Referral Link

Completely Passive

Trim is similar to Paribus and Sift, but there's a certain void that it's trying to fill that the other two don't really seem to be filling.
Trim's main selling point is its bill negotiations. Instead of trying to save you money when a price drops, they're going to try and just nip it right in the bud and try to get your bills lower.
Right now they're mainly trying to negotiate with cell providers, internet providers, and cable providers.
Here's how the process goes:
  • Submit Your Bill: Submit your most recent cell phone, cable or internet bill to get started.
  • Trim Negotiates: Trim negotiates with your provider to get you discounts on your bill.
  • You Save Money: Trim takes 25% of annualized savings, but only on success—otherwise, it's free!
So, similar to Paribus, Trim does charge a fee. In a sense, I guess that's a good thing because it gives them an incentive to make sure to get some sort of bill decrease for you so they'll make some money too. Their rate is currently 25% of your bill negotiation. Of course, if they're not able to negotiate your bill for you, you won't pay them anything.
Trim does also monitor your bank account for you and they'll notify you of account changes (that you can set). For example, if they see a transaction worth $xxx, they'll notify me that I've made a large transaction. If there weren't already so many other sites/apps that could do that, I'd say that's a great feature that Trim offers.
One thing Trim also offers that is pretty nice is a cute little referral system.
Send your friends the link below, and you'll both get $2 when they connect an account...We'll send you an Amazon Gift Code worth $2.
So, that's cute :). As always, if you do happen to sign up with my refs, it's appreciated greatly.

SavingStar

Very Passive

Note: If you remember reading about SavingStar in my post from 6 12 months ago, nothing has changed.
SavingStar has been around for a very long time. It doesn't get a lot of love around here because it can often be referred to as the 'shittier version of iBotta'. While I agree that the products they have to offer for rebates are limited, there are two things that make SavingStar better than iBotta.
  1. Ease of adding deals.
On iBotta you will find a lot of offers on products you might be interested in buying, but activating the deals can be very tedious. Sometimes you'll have to watch an ad or answer a short survey just to qualify for a rebate. SavingStar makes it a lot easier. All you have to do is tap. Since there's no limit to how many rebates you can activate, I recommend just activating them all. Check in to the app maybe once or twice a week just to activate offers. Even if you don't plan on purchasing something, just add it in case you happen to buy it anyways.
  1. Ease of redeeming rebates.
iBotta can be a pain with this. After you activate a rebate and buy it, sometimes they will make you scan items (or did they get rid of this? I have not used iBotta in a while), and sometimes you'll have to scan your receipt. The process can be long. SavingStar makes it a lot easier by allowing you to link your store rewards card to redeem the rebates. After activation of a rebate, all you need to do is buy the item(s) from the store you have linked, and your account balance will automatically update.
When I first used this app (it's probably been about 5 1/2 years since I first signed up), I secretly linked my mom's Jewel-Osco card without telling her and each week I would activate all of the offers and I would just check the app every time after my mom went shopping and I would get so happy to see a couple dollars added to the account balance. Was one of the easiest beermoney apps for me at the time :). Jewel-Osco kinda got rid of their card a while back, so that made me sad, but you can still link the following cards to your SavingStar account: Stop&Shop, Peapod, CVS, Kmart, Piggly Wiggly, Mariano's. They have a handful of other stores as well, but that requires you to scan a receipt.

GetUpside

Semi Passive, DC, Virginia, Maryland, and Florida/Long Island.

GetUpside isn't really passive, but it qualifies for use a so many places (in the select states) that it feels like it deserves a spot on this list. Upside has been popular around here (for the people who can use it) because it allows you to compare gas prices at places, and earn cash back at over 600 gas stations in these three places. It's really easy because you don't really have to look hard to find the gas stations, and you just have to submit a receipt. If I could use this I'd probably just go to fill up, and while I'm waiting I'll open up the app to see if the gas station I'm at qualifies. It'd give me something to do for the minute while I wait for the tank to fill up.
GetUpside now offers cashback at certain grocery stores and restaurants. Does anyone know if GetUpside uses Empyr? I mean I told them I lived in a state where GetUpside works and I'm seeing I could be getting 20% cash back at Qdoba.
Like wtf bro i just want burritos in chicago is that too much to ask for wtf
whatever fuck it chipotle is better
In the DC area? You can also save up to 35% at restaurants and 15% at grocery stores near you.
It seems like they're mainly targeting DC area for restaurant and grocery cash back, but the play store lists DC, MD, and VA.
I don't use GetUpside because I live in Michigan/Chicago, and they have not reached us yet :(. They do have a referral program, though. Please please please, go ahead and start an Upside ref train below, I give permission on this post, unless the mods disagree.

SamsungPay

Completely Passive, Samsung devices only

SamsungPay has dropped so hard since I last updated this post. The only other thing that used to be on this list that has gone further was Expense Rewards (if you don't know what Expense Rewards is, don't worry about it. ._. )
Update: SamsungPay will now earn you 5-20 points per transaction, and they have removed all gift cards and rewards cards. You can now only redeem for 'coupons' or instant win sweepstakes. As of posting/edit they currently have $30 Uber Promo Codes, $25 Grubhub codes, and $25 Atom Tickets codes for 6,250 points, but these appear to be temporary. All of these codes have their own terms and limitations, so they're not as cut and dry as they might seem.
Samsung Pay has become my favorite way to pay... not only because I get rewards for using it, but because it totally takes a shit on apple pay and android pay. I am using my phone to pay at places where all of the employees tell me 'oh we don't allow you to pay with a phone', and I just shove my phone against their card reader and prove them wrong. It makes the process a lot easier for me as well.
Samsung pay has a rewards system where you'll earn anywhere from 10-40 5-20 points for a purchase. They have a level system each month where the more purchases you make in one month, the more your purchases will be worth the next. You'll have to maintain your levels to keep up the next month. Currently to reach the highest level (platinum) and receive 40 20 points per transaction, you'll need 30 transactions in a month.
I'll touch a little bit more on Samsung Pay's reward scheme shortly.
SamsungPay often offers various promotions that will offer discounts at certain stores or discounts on gift cards. As of posting they have 15-20% off various gift cards for 'back to school'. There's almost always some sort of gift card discount going on, so that could be a nonpassive way for you to save some money here and there.
So what kinds of rewards can you get from Samsung Rewards?
Currently you can spend your rewards points on some instant win games. I don't waste my time with them.
They also offer a few gift cards. Currently they offer ThinkGeek, Sephora, AMC, Uber, Best Buy, Gamestop, Shutterfly, and Overstock. You can also get a visa rewards card starting at $5 for 2000 points. These rewards cards automatically apply to your cards for Samsung pay and you can use them anywhere. SamsungPay has now done away with Gift Cards and Rewards Cards.
To anyone who has used Samsung Pay in the past (or maybe has not checked on it recently, or used it since the last post 6 months ago, for those of you who read that), they recently devalued their points.
Previously a $50 Samsung Rewards Card cost 10,000 points. Now it costs 12,500 points. I'm sad, and I wish they gave us a warning before the change.
Of course this is only for people who have qualifying Samsung devices: S6, S7, S8, S9, and the newer note devices.

Uber Visa Local Offers

Completely Passive

Just feel like throwing this important fact in here: I am a 5.00 star rated rider on Uber. Just wanted to boast.
Shop or dine out, get Uber credits back.
use your Visa card next time you dine out or go on a shopping spree at a featured store and earn Uber credits toward future rides. To join, go to settings in your Uber app and tap on Visa Local Offers.
If any of you are familiar with Swagbucks Local or apps similar to that, this is similar to those types of apps. Whenever you shop out at certain places you'll instantly receive uber credits to your account. It's really simple, and yes, this does stack with all of the other cash back apps you might be a part of.
If you're interested in activating the Visa local offers, you'll need to make sure you have a visa card linked to your Uber account first, and then you should see "activate local offers" in the app settings of Uber. I don't know if you'll see anything in the Uber Eats app, but you can use uber credits in either app.
There's really not much to say about Visa Local Offers, but if you're looking for some FAQ/Terms, feel free to check them all out here.

Cash App "Boosts"

Eh, Kinda Passive I guess

For those if you who don't know what Cash App is, Cash App is an app by Square that lets you send and receive payments. They've also expanded their app to support bitcoin purchases, and they'll also let you use the app as a checking account. With the cash app you can also sign up to receive the Cash Card, which is a debit card that is funded with your cash app balance.
If you have not used Cash App before, they do have a fancy referral program where when you sign up and send $50 you'll receive $5 and so will I. I do want to make this very clear: Cash App referrals can see the full name of the person who refers you, and the person who refers you will have your full name shown to them. If you're really private about personal information, be careful whose referral link you use. If you trust me, here's my referral link.
On a totally unrelated note, can someone please tell me if I correctly used the word 'whose' in the pervious paragraph? I'm really trying to get better at grammar and I still get fucked by who's / whose and who / whom.
Please note that if you want to use the cash app boosts that I'm talking about, you'll need to be 18 years old and have the cash card (which is free, don't worry)!
Cash App recently announced that their cash card will now be seeing 'boosts'. Boosts are their fancy way of saying that when you use our card at certain locations you'll receive a discount.
Once you have the cash card, you'll notice on the app below your card you'll be able to select your boost. Here are the current options (as of posting):
  • Coffee Shops (pretty much any coffee shop) - $1 Off Each Visit
  • Shake Shack - 15% Off Each Visit
  • Whole Foods - 5% Off Each Visit
  • Panera - 10% Off Each Visit
  • Subway - $1 Off Each Visit
  • Chick-fil-A - 10% Off Each Visit
  • Chipotle <3 - 15% Off Each Visit
So there are quite a few things I want to say & clear up.
  1. You can use a boost every 2 hours.
  2. You must select the boost that you'd like to use prior to the purchase. AFAIK you're able to swap which boost you want to use as often as you'd like. So when you walk into Chick-Fil-A, just check and make sure your boost is set to CFA. If not, swap it.
  3. In order to apply the boost, you must pay with the Cash Card. It's automatic. If your total is $6 and you're saving 10%, you'll only need a Cash app balance of $5.4 for the transaction. Cash App will cover the other $0.60.
  4. If you link your Cash Card to Apple Pay, you can pay with it that way and the boosts will still be applied.
Do realize that just because you have the Cash Card on the app, you won't see the boosts. You need to have the physical Cash Card in your possession for the boosts to show up.
I've been really enjoying using the Cash Card for purchases. Especially at CFA & Chipotle. It's really not a hassle. When I'm standing in line at Chipotle I'll open the app and make sure my cash app balance is enough and if not I'll just add funds right away. The boost is applied immediately which makes you feel good. It's like the guac is free at Chipotle after you use the cash card. The only downside to using the Cash Card is that you won't be able to stack discounts with anything else on this list... Unless you find a way to link the Cash Card to any of the things on this list. Regardless, 15% off at Chipotle is the best I have found, so I'm perfectly okay with it. If you're shopping at Whole foods, on the other hand, 5% might not be the best you can do. Stack a nice credit card with 1% Back from Spent and whatever other apps might have whole foods and you might be able to net >5%.

Empyr Apps

Completely Passive

In the last post I didn't include any of the apps like Swagbucks Local or Dosh (actually I don't even know if Dosh was out yet at that point). So, here we go.
I've listed this as "Empyr Apps" because all of these apps are basically just the same thing. I'll take the example of Swagbucks Local since that's what most of you reading this will already be using.
If you paid attention in the Visa Local Offers section of this post, you'll find that the Empyr apps are actually very similar to those visa local offers.
When you shop at a certain store/restaurant, you'll earn with the empyr app you have linked. It's actually really not that special.
Here's a list of some/most of the current Empyr powered apps:
IMPORTANT NOTE: You're only allowed to use one Empyr app at a time! As soon as you link up with another Empyr app, you'll be disqualified from another until you link back up.
I do want to go into this list a bit this time around since there seem to be more and more Empyr apps popping up.
Dosh might be the most popular of these apps right now. Dosh has nice referral programs as well as sign up bonuses that makes it very enticing. Dosh also has very decent cash back at the stores they offer.
Swagbucks Local will always be popular among Swagbucks users. What's really nice about Swagbucks Local is that the payouts are always instantly converted to Swagbucks, which can help you cash out sooner. You'll also likely get a slot in the Swago board filled out, which might be beneficial to you.
Pei is a really cool new app on Empyr that offers cash back at a lot of places you likely shop at. I talk about it above.
RetailMeNot is a newer one on this list and it's the only one here that I feel like I recommend you go on/off with. RetailMeNot has recently been doing a lot of "Spend $X, get $Y" deals at a lot of the stores they offer. For example, they are currently offering $5 Cash back for in Store purchases of $30+ at Staples. This is a really good deal for an Empyr app, and would probably be my pick for that transaction, but not most of the time since they don't have very many stores as options.
Here's what I plan on doing:
Most of the time I will plan on having my cards linked to one app... Probably Dosh, SB Local, or Pei. If I find a good offer on the RetailMeNot app, I would temporarily link my card to that just for the transaction and then link back to another app. I really just have to recommend you download all of these apps and see what they have to offer for you and pick your favorite.

TruNow

Eh, it's not actually passive... Ref = DCIBS9

TruNow is the one app I was really debating whether or not should make it on this list. It's not passive, but it stacks very nicely with a lot of these apps and it's really the only receipt app right now that scales, so I think it deserves a spot here as well as on my upcoming receipt apps comparison.
TruNow is a rather new app that will give you cash back at gas stations. It's actually a really easy process. You'll first go shopping at a gas station (probably buying gas) and once you're done you just upload a photo of your receipt to TruNow. All gas station receipts will pay 1%* cash back. Certain partnered gas stations will pay 2%* cash back.
The thing that makes this app so good is that it stacks with everything. Let's say I buy gas from ExxonMobil. I'll sign up for their rewards program and pay with a CC that earns a high rate at gas stations. I'll earn 1% from Spent and combine that with the rewards program and CC bonuses and earn 1%* cash back from TruNow as well.
You can cash out your TruNow balance to PayPal or spend it at a partnered retailer.
*So the issue with this app is that if you do choose to cash out to PayPal you'll only get half your money. So if you're using this and intend on cashing out to PayPal, just note that you're really earning 0.5% cash back. The minimum cash out is $5 for PayPal, so you'll earn $5 for every $1000 you spend on gas.
The app does have a referral program where you'll earn $2 for signing up under a ref link and the person who refers you also gets $2. If you feel like trying TruNow out, my ref is DCIBS9.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. 10 different ways to save money passively. I usually say at the end of my posts that I can't even type anymore because my hands are tired. I think that's absolutely going on right now. Right now this post is just over 20,000 characters long. One of my longest ones yet :)
Please, feel free to leave comments or questions for me. Make sure to get one of your ten required comments on this post so you can enter that ref contest next week!
And that's it. I'm done :) My first megapost of 2018! This is going to be a great year in beermoney :) You just wait!
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