How many Americans own cryptocurrency? The answer may surprise you

Nearly 16.3 million Americans, or 8 percent of the country, own some form of cryptocurrency, according to a new survey by Finder.com, which also found slightly more than 5 percent of Americans owned Bitcoin. If accurate, the results mark an increase from a study the Pew Research Center published in December 2016 that revealed roughly half of Americans had heard of Bitcoin but only 1 percent had traded, collected or used it.


WHY ARE PEOPLE HESITANT TO BUY CRYPTO?

The survey asked the remaining 92 percent of people why they hadn’t purchased cryptocurrency, finding that 40 percent believe “there is no need or they are disinterested” followed by 35 percent saying “it’s too high risk.”

Among the rest of respondents, 27 percent said “it’s too complicated to understand,” 18 percent said “it’s a scam,” 17 percent said “it’s a bubble,” 11 percent said “it’s too difficult to use” and 6 percent said “there are too many fees.”

Men were almost three times as likely to hold cryptocurrency than women, with nearly 12 percent of men reporting owning cryptocurrency compared to only slightly more than 4 percent women.

The survey further broke down respondents among millennials, gen x and baby boomers. Seventeen percent of millennials said they held cryptocurrency, making them the generation most likely to own it. But they were also the most likely to say “it’s too difficult to use” at 15 percent and “too complicated to understand” at 31 percent.

On the other hand, Gen X was the least likely to say cryptocurrency was too hard to use. Only 9 percent said “it’s too difficult to use” and nearly 26 percent saying “it’s too complicated to understand.”

The survey also asked what cryptocurrencies people were investing in. Bitcoin topped the list at 5 percent followed by Ethereum at 2 percent and Bitcoin Cash at 0.90 percent. Among those who had the cryptocurrencies, respondents reported owning an average of $3,453 in Bitcoin, $1,243 in Ethereum and $636 in Bitcoin Cash.

Personal finance website Finder.com commissioned the survey on 2,001 American users of Pureprofile, a website where people voluntarily answer questionnaires for cash and rewards.

It’s worth noting that users of Pureprofile know how to use the web well enough to make money. This can skew the survey’s findings since the respondents don’t necessarily represent less tech-savvy Americans.

CONSUMER CRYPTO CONFIDENCE PICKS UP

According to separate research published this month by cryptocurrency lending platform Lendingblock, more than half of people believe cryptocurrency will be widely accepted in shops by 2025.

Lendingblock CEO Steve Swain said his company’s research shows “the public is sure that cryptocurrency is here to stay.”

“Cryptocurrency is a maturing market, and this is exactly what we would expect to see happening at this time as we move from early adopters to more mainstream awareness and use,” Swain said.

Another study by Nomura Instinet also published this month, found that 60 percent of the merchants using Square’s mobile payments system would accept Bitcoin instead of cash. These merchants were vendors who earned $100,000 or less in yearly revenue.

“This result is surprising, especially amid Bitcoin’s elevated volatility,” said Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Doley.

What do you think of the survey results? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Dieter Holger/Bitcoinist, Shutterstock

The post Over 16 Million Americans Now Own Cryptocurrency, Survey Finds appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Bitcoin is unfolding like the dot-com crash — just 15 times faster

  • Bitcoin is behaving a lot like the Nasdaq did in the dot-com bubble but 15 times faster, Morgan Stanley says.
  • Similarities in price moves and trading volume could be signs that history is repeating itself, according to a note published by Morgan Stanley on Monday.
  • Morgan Stanley also points out changes in bitcoin trading volume into a cryptocurrency called tether.

Bitcoin is behaving a lot like how the Nasdaq did during the dot-com bubble nearly 20 years ago, but the timeline is unfolding much faster, according to research published by Morgan Stanley on Monday.

The Nasdaq in 2000 and modern-day bitcoin both rallied 250 to 280 percent in their most “exuberant” periods ahead of bear markets, Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients.

“Just that the bitcoin rally was around 15 times the speed,” Sheena Shah, strategist at Morgan Stanley said.

Bitcoin is behaving a lot like how the Nasdaq did during the dot-com bubble nearly 20 years ago, but the timeline is unfolding much faster, according to research published by Morgan Stanley on Monday.

The Nasdaq in 2000 and modern-day bitcoin both rallied 250 to 280 percent in their most “exuberant” periods ahead of bear markets, Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients.

“Just that the bitcoin rally was around 15 times the speed,” Sheena Shah, strategist at Morgan Stanley said.  These price moves and similar behavior in trading volume could be signs that…

Continue reading at CNBC.com

Bitcoin’s ‘Death Cross’ looms as strategist eyes THIS level

The tea leaves don’t bode well for Bitcoin.  Traders who look for future price direction in chart patterns are finding more indicators suggesting the world’s largest digital currency may have further to fall.

Bitcoin’s 50-day moving average has dropped to the closest proximity to its 200-day moving average in nine months. Crossing below that level — something it hasn’t done since 2015 — signals fresh weakness to come for technical traders who would dub such a move a “death cross.” Another moving-average indicator of momentum has already turned bearish.

While many cryptocurrency investors don’t follow technical analysis, the digital-coin universe is drawing interest from professional traders who pay growing attention to the indicators, after the token vaulted to a record in December.

“There’s been a definitive shift over the past couple of months after the bubble activity at the end of 2017,” said Paul Day, a technical analyst and head of futures and options at Market Securities Dubai Ltd.

The strategist studied the virtual currency’s…

Continue reading at BLOOMBERG

How Low Will Bitcoin Go?

Cryptocurrency is a market for the iron-stomached, if the asset’s most recent slide is anything to go by.

With news of Google banning cryptocurrency-related ads and the International Monetary Fund advising increased regulation on the asset, the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple continued their slide Thursday, wiping out about $499.2 billion of the market value of over 1,500 cryptocurrencies since their collective all-time high in early January.

For comparison, that loss is roughly equal to the value of Berkshire Hathaway, the $510 billion firm built by investing titan and Bitcoin skeptic, Warren Buffett.

Those losses for cryptocurrencies are notably not since Bitcoin’s peak in December, when it reached $20,000 on some exchanges. Rather, that’s nearly $500 billion lost based on when those 1,565 cryptocurrencies tracked by CoinMarketCap collectively reached their all-time high in valuation.

For the most part however, the smaller, so-called alt-currencies have largely followed the up-and-downs of Bitcoin—a trend that the most recent sell-off has maintained.

And as far as one Bitcoin bull is concerned, the slide may have…

Continue reading at FORTUNE.com

Why did Bitcoin just fall 9%, to a 1-month low?

Following Facebook – Google Bans Crypto Ads: No Currencies, ICOs, Exchanges, Wallets, Advice

The largest search engine on the planet, Google, announced formally it will restrict advertisement of “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice),” including aggregators and affiliates regarding “cryptocurrencies and related content.”

Also read: Québec Premier: We’re Not Really Interested in Bitcoin Mining

Google Crypto Ad Ban Confirmed

Just days ago, these pages published “anecdotal reports of several companies operating in the initial coin offering (ICO) industry, Google is taking steps to restrict the visibility of ICO advertising on its platforms.” As of March 13th, however, Google published Financial Services: New restricted financial products policy (June 2018), announcing it “will update the Financial services policy to restrict the advertisement of” cryptocurrencies and related content. The policy will be implemented by June of this year. By restrict, it appears some of those ads banned might be able to ultimately advertise with Google by getting certified.

To advertise through Adwords, advertisers will need to: “Be licensed by the relevant financial services authority in the country or countries they are targeting; Ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all Adwords policies; Comply with relevant legal requirements, including those related to complex speculative financial products; Advertisers can request certification with Google starting March 2018 when the application form is published. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products.”

Google Crypto Ad Ban: No Currencies, ICOs, Exchanges, Wallets, Advice

Their policy comes mere weeks after Facebook announced, as documented by News.Bitcoin.com, “As of a new ruling issued on January 30, ‘ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.’”

The economy for online advertisers is a competitive one, and Facebook/Google carve up the lion’s share of that market. Advertisers have long understood negative experiences with shady ads, malware driven links, and so forth sour user experience and thereby chip away at legitimate ads.

“Bad Ads” a Constant Problem

The search giant simultaneously released metrics for cleaning up its “bad ads” problem. Last year, they zapped more than three billion ads, almost twice that of 2016. “We blocked 79 million ads in our network for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites, and removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites last year. And, we removed 66 million ‘trick-to-click’ ads as well as 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software,” the company stressed.

“We’re constantly updating our policies,” the post explained, “as we see new threats emerge. Last year, we added 28 new advertiser policies and 20 new publisher policies to combat new threats and improve the ads experience online. This year, we updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs).”

Google Crypto Ad Ban: No Currencies, ICOs, Exchanges, Wallets, Advice

Scoldingly, the post revealed, “Many website owners use our advertising platforms, like AdSense, to run Google ads on their sites and content and make money. We paid $12.6 billion to publishing partners in our ad network last year. But in order to make money from Google ads, you have to play by rules— that means respecting the user experience more than the ads.”

In 2017, the company closed-in on 100 billion USD in ad-related business, 20 percent more than the year prior. The danger for many crypto enthusiasts is with the influence Google has on the broader ecosystem. Many worry such a wide net cast might inadvertently scoop up crypto businesses and operations acting legitimately. 

What do you think about Google’s ban? Let us know in the comments!


Images via Pixabay, Google. 


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The post Following Facebook – Google Bans Crypto Ads: No Currencies, ICOs, Exchanges, Wallets, Advice appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Is Bitcoin a Ponzi Scheme?

Bitcoin is not a Ponzi scheme.

If one is to truly allege that the digital asset is little more than a massive ploy to defraud unwitting investors of their money, à la Bernie Madoff, then one must admit that the entire stock market itself is one giant hustle, too.

And people don’t make that connection. Because it’s not true.

Bitcoin is, in fact, a legitimate and potentially life-changing part of a speculative portfolio.

And our crypto expert can prove it…

Here’s Why Bitcoin Is Not a Ponzi Scheme

Money Morning Cryptocurrency Expert – our guide on all things Bitcoin and blockchain – David G. Zeiler wrote in depth about this common misbelief in 2015.

In the years since, he’s seen various Bitcoin-related scams play out.

But he fervidly points out to this day that the digital asset itself is not a Ponzi scheme.

For starters, David says that when Madoff launched his Ponzi scheme in the 1990s from his existing investment firm, he promised – and delivered – high returns for years by using newer clients’ money. He covered his tracks with false trading reports.

Bitcoin has none of the attributes of such a scam.

For one thing, “Bitcoin itself can’t be a Ponzi scheme because it isn’t controlled by a central person or group,” David says.

Indeed, a central operator skimming money from clueless investors is a key requirement for something to be a Ponzi scheme – and Bitcoin clearly does not have one.

“No one is paying off existing investors with new money,” David adds. “People buy Bitcoin, like any other cryptocurrencies, like they would a stock. Whether you gain or lose money on Bitcoin depends on the price when you buy and the price when you sell – just like it does with stocks.”

Another key requirement for a Ponzi scheme is a lack of transparency – essential to keep those being fleeced in the dark.

“But Bitcoin is one of the most transparent financial systems ever devised,” David explains. “Every transaction is recorded in the public blockchain, the common digital ledger that’s shared over the Internet. Anyone can look up any transaction on the blockchain, even months or years after it took place.”

The Cryptocurrency Everyone Else Will Regret Not Owning: To See Tom Gentile’s No. 1 Crypto Pick and Exactly How to Trade It, Click Here Now

Lastly, David points out that, in Ponzi schemes, investors are promised to be regularly paid high returns. “There are no such guarantees with Bitcoin. Anyone who buys Bitcoin takes a risk as they would with any other investment, be it stocks, bonds, or commodities.”

But our crypto expert does add a warning about crypto Ponzis…

“That’s not to say you can’t have Ponzi schemes that involve Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies instead of dollars,” he says.

Here’s how you can avoid the scams…

There Are Bitcoin-Related Ponzi Schemes

Crypto pyramid ploys do exist, but they are separate from the cryptocurrency networks and operate pretty much the same way as any Ponzi scheme.

For instance, David says, “you have the problem of some initial coin offerings (ICOs) being outright scams.”

Indeed, ICOs are a way for startups to crowdfund a crypto investment. Instead of raising cash from venture capitalists like businesses do with initial public offerings (IPOs) on the stock market, a company can hold an ICO.

An ICO allows investors to invest in a cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin, in exchange for a new token that’s being issued by the startup. But this new cryptocurrency is not equity. Instead, it can be used in exchange for future services offered by the company. And in some cases, the new digital coin may climb to a much higher value than its initial investment.

ICOs, however, are largely unregulated – which makes them ripe for Ponzi scams.

One such racket went down in February…

The ICO was for a supposed startup called Giza, which claimed to be developing “a super-secure device that would allow people to store cryptocurrencies,” CNBC reported today (March 12).

Giza carried out its ICO in January and immediately started garnering major investments. One person who put money into the project told CNBC today that they invested $10,000 worth of Ethereum, and another said they had put in around $5,000 worth.

At the beginning of February, Giza held more than 2,100 ethereum coins, which at the time were worth a total of $2.4 million, CNBC stated.

Now, all but $16 worth Ethereum of that $2.4 million cache are missing.

“In these cases, the operators just take the money and run without bothering to set up a Ponzi scheme,” David says.

Still, their “pump-and-disappear” trickery bears a strong resemblance to a Ponzi scheme. And both leave cryptocurrency investors with big losses. “Unfortunately, these Ponzi schemes and scams reflect badly on Bitcoin, even though they’re nothing new to the world of investing,” David says. “People do need to careful about who they deal with – just like they would with their U.S. dollars in the non-digital world.”

And we’ve got just the answer to those interested in cryptocurrency who may otherwise not know where to start…

Man Crushes S&P 500… Now He’s Taking on Crypto

 Last year, Tom Gentile used his pattern-trading software to help give his readers a shot at beating the S&P 500.

Now he’s using that technology to help pinpoint recommendations in a market that grew 164 times faster than stocks: cryptocurrencies.

The windfall of profits he expects is staggering.

Click here to learn more about Tom’s system – and see the No. 1 cryptocurrency he’s buying right now on camera!

Follow Money Morning on Twitter @moneymorningFacebook, and LinkedIn.

 

About Money Morning: Money Morning gives you access to a team of ten market experts with more than 250 years of combined investing experience – for free. Our experts – who have appeared on FOXBusiness, CNBC, NPR, and BloombergTV – deliver daily investing tips and stock picks, provide analysis with actions to take, and answer your biggest market questions. Our goal is to help our millions of e-newsletter subscribers and Moneymorning.com visitors become smarter, more confident investors.To get full access to all Money Morning content, click here.

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Source: Money Morning

Do you want free cryptocurrency? ‘Airdrops’ is coming

  • In an “airdrop,” makers of a new digital token give it out for free to some owners of existing coins.
  • “In certain ways people are getting free lottery tickets,” says Matthew Roszak, co-founder of Bloq.
  • William Mougayar, blockchain investor, says airdrops are being misused. “Sadly, airdrops are the new spam mail or coupons junk mail.”

Digital currency developers are trying a new tack for marketing and encouraging mass adoption: “airdropping” free cryptocurrencies into people’s accounts.

The meaning of airdrop in the cryptocurrency world has little to do with an iPhone. In this case, a group of people starting a new digital currency decide to give these newly minted tokens to holders of an existing coins like bitcoin or ethereum, for free.

“In certain ways people are getting free lottery tickets,” said Matthew Roszak, co-founder of enterprise blockchain-technology company Bloq. “There will be a tsunami of airdrops this year.”

Earlier this month, holders of the cryptocurrency neo were selected to receive…

Continue reading at CNBC.com

Safe haven asset: Is Bitcoin the new Gold?

While many crypto investors have coined Bitcoin as the world’s “digital gold,” others are growing uncertain of Bitcoin’s value.

Howard Wang of New York-based Convoy Investments LLC and Jeremy Grantham of GMO LLC have analyzed Bitcoin’s advance relative to past frenzies and concluded that it’s unsustainable, which was noted in a recent Bloomberg article.

In a letter to investors sent out on January 3, Grantham summed up his concerns over Bitcoin saying, “Having no clear fundamental value and largely unregulated markets, coupled with a storyline conducive to delusions of grandeur, makes this more than anything we can find in the history books the very essence of a bubble.”

However, it is still too soon to tell if the “Bitcoin bubble” will indeed burst. What has become clear though, is that Bitcoin should not be considered a safe-haven asset

Continue reading at FORBES.com

These 2 Cryptos are predicted to TRIPLE in 2018

Worried about yesterday’s flash crash? Don’t be. The future is bright for cryptocurrency’s big players — particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum.


Good Times Ahead

Despite the sometimes dramatic dips which have occurred so far in 2018, investors should be looking towards a positive future for both Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to a market survey, however, Ethereum is set to see a more dramatic increase in market capitalization in 2018 than the current market leader, Bitcoin.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Finder — a consumer product and services comparison website — asked nine blockchain industry participants for their opinions in regards to the top 12 cryptocurrency’s predicted price trend.

Ethereum

The study suggests that Ethereum will lead the charge with a 212 percent increase, followed by the gold-standard of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, at 194 percent. Bitcoin Cash, by comparison, is expected to increase 123 percent.

Ethereum, however, will still only have the third largest price tag per token, with each ETH expected to cost $2,550. Bitcoin is forecasted to trade at $29,533 a piece — which may seem like a conservative estimation to those who claim we’re looking more towards a price tag between $50,000-100,000. Bcash, meanwhile, is expected to trade at $2,721.

The survey’s participants are particularly bullish on Ethereum due to the cryptocurrency’s wider applicability of its underlying blockchain network, according to the South China Morning Post. Ethereum is still the blockchain of choice for any startup looking to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), and that’s not expected to change anytime particularly soon.

However, there is mention of Ethereum’s (and Bitcoin’s) scalability concerns. Kevin Loo, co-founder and chief strategy officer of CryptAM, told the South China Morning Post:

As an example, in November 2017, the ethereum network saw a new craze for CryptoKitties, a virtual kitten game which lets players buy and breed ‘crypto-pets’. This slows the network down and highlighted one of the challenges facing older blockchains – a lack of scalability.

Ethereum is also expected to face more competition from the likes of EOS, NEO, and others.

Nevertheless, Ethereum has become a bit of a brand in the more mainstream cryptocurrency space, with a listing on Coinbase and memorable name helping solidify the cryptocurrency in the minds of a wider audience.

Ethereum and Bitcoin

Still, Bitcoin continues to be the dominator, and investors shouldn’t expect a “flippening” anytime soon. Notes SJ Oh, a trader and vice-president at Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency broker Octagon Strategy:

Bitcoin still accounts for an outsized portion of our flows [today]. To put it in perspective, average daily Bitcoin turnover is still more than three fold that of Ethereum.

[Full disclosure: The author of this article is a holder of both Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) — but not Bcash.]

Do you think Ethereum will see larger gains this year than Bitcoin, or do you think competition from EOS and others will eat into Ethereum’s dominance in the ICO space? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of AdobeStock, Shutterstock

The post Ethereum & Bitcoin Price Expected to See Triple-Digit Gains in 2018 appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Why did Bitcoin PLUNGE more than 10% today??

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a strongly worded warning on Wednesday about the risks of dealing with unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges.

“The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not,” the SEC statement said.

The announcement triggered a sharp selloff in cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin’s value plunged 10 percent, from $10,600 to $9,500, in the hour after the announcement was posted. Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and other major cryptocurrencies all suffered significant losses.

Prior to the fall of 2017, the SEC largely ignored the nascent market for cryptocurrencies. But in 2016 and 2017, there was a growing…

Continue reading at Ars Technica