Sunday, October 20, 2019

How to Trade Crypto in Person Safely

 

With mainstream exchanges becoming progressively cumbersome due to privacy invasive policy and regulation, some crypto traders are switching to more private, face-to-face trading. While this route isn't for everyone, and comes with unique risks, it does offer a very real solution to many of the problems plaguing mainstream exchanges currently. The goal of this breakdown is to provide a few best practices for safety and success when trading crypto in person.

Why Face to Face?
For anyone that's ever had their money frozen on an exchange, this question is a no-brainer. Since most exchange wallets are custodial, meaning the service itself holds and manages user funds centrally, one bug in the code, hack, or audit from a governmental regulatory agency could mean that you and your money are parted indefinitely. Stomach sinkers of this nature have occurred often enough that many, understandably, don't want to run these risks anymore. Others are concerned about privacy and the security of their personal data and information. Trading in person via a non-custodial platform or otherwise lets traders hold funds until the very last second, and guarantees more control. Still, there are important things to be mindful of in order to trade safely and successfully.

Best Practices
To avoid getting scammed, set up, or potentially endangered, there are some time-tested best practices for trading face to face. The overarching one is simple, though: just use common sense.

Choose a trustworthy platform / trader
Maybe you know someone in your community who also uses cryptocurrencies. Perhaps a friend of a friend, or an acquaintance interested in getting into crypto, but they don't know how. Online, reliable peer-to-peer platforms such as that currently offered at local.bitcoin.com are great places to start. Platforms that offer blind escrow, and end-to-end chat encryption are the safest bets. Whatever one's approach, testing first and vetting for reliability is critical.

Using shoddy, unproven platforms or trading with strangers who've no reputation for being honest probably won't end well. There are scammers as well as government agents on some p2p networks, and in real life, more than happy to ensnare even innocent, legal users of crypto for their own benefit.

Well-managed platforms will have a reputation system in place so users can verify which traders have completed the most trades successfully, and feedback features for rating their quality of service. Be sure to work out all the specifics of the trading process and procedure in clear detail on an encrypted chat application prior to meeting for the trade.

Meet in an open, highly visible public space
After working out the specifics of your deal, and providing only necessary information to the contact, meet in an open, highly visible space that is frequented by people but also provides enough serenity to conduct business. A well-lit coffee shop or popular meeting spot in view of the public can be a great place to conduct crypto trades. Trust your gut in meeting someone for the first time, and if anything "feels off," don't hesitate to politely back out.

A great way to get scammed face to face is to send your bitcoins to the guy across the table and watch him run off without paying you. In this situation you could give chase (risky), yell, flail about, or call the cops, but you're more than likely just SOL. Be sure the other person lets you see the money, gift cards, etc., first, before sending any coins.

Most respectable traders will place money on the table discreetly (in an envelope or book) so that it is within reach of both parties, and sudden moves to bolt are not likely to succeed. Once the tx has enough confirmations for the buyer's liking, they should slide the money over and invite the other party to count it. If you are the one buying crypto be sure to make the seller feel at ease by setting up the trade similarly. Crypto-to-crypto deals require a bit more creativity perhaps, but having both devices in reach and openly in view can help.

Horse Sense Is Number One
There are limitless options for working out trustworthy trade arrangements, including step-by-step, fractional trades to test the waters on first meeting, PGP contracts making it difficult for a party to lie about the agreement after the fact, and verification via other contacts of a trader's reputation. However, as mentioned earlier, the main thing is to trust your reason, and gut instinct. If some aspect of a crypto trade arrangement feels spooky or inconsistent, it's more than okay to kick the deal and get out. More often than not, however, in person trades are fun, friendly experiences that can be a good way to get out of the typically isolated, smugly self-referential hell that is crypto Twitter, catching a breath of fresh air while stacking sats and building the bitcoin economy.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bitcoin Poised For Another Breakout as It Clings to Support, Which Way Next?

 

Bitcoin has spent the past two weeks consolidating just below the 200 day moving average. So far it has managed to cling to support above $8,000 but a big move could be coming soon so which way will it go next?

Bitcoin Trading Range Tightens
Another day has seen Bitcoin bounce between $8,300 and $8,400 as the range bound channel begins to tighten up. According to Tradingview.com BTC is currently within this range at $8,340 since the big dump on Friday.

RSI is right on 50 on the four hour chart but below it on the daily. That death cross of the 50 day MA and 200 day MA is looming ever closer and could occur in about a week, especially if the breakout is to the low side.

Trader 'CryptoHamster' has observed the sideways channel on the 50% Fibonacci retracement level which is also a signal of a bigger move approaching.

Stating that Bitcoin will 'either go up or down' is pretty obvious but where will it stop is more interesting. On the high side the 23.6% Fibo shows resistance at just below $8,600 while a drop lower to the 61.8% line takes it back to $8,200.

Below that is further support at $8k then $7.8k. At the moment BTC has corrected 40 percent from the 2019 high and is holding ground. Market dominance has failed to regain 70 percent and is currently just below it according to Tradingview.com.

Elsewhere on Crypto Markets
The majority of the altcoins are showing red this Sunday though losses are minor as they also follow big brother's consolidation. Ethereum has weakened again in a fall back towards $180. ETH is unlikely to decouple from BTC until major network upgrades in Istanbul and early Serenity phases are rolled out in a few months' time.

Ripple's XRP has remained flat for the past few days but it has managed to hold on to previous gains keeping the token around $0.275. Bitcoin Cash has weakened again allowing Tether to retake fourth spot with a larger market cap and Litecoin has shown very little movement from its $55 price level.

Today's top movers on altcoin markets are Binance Coin adding 4 percent to close in on $18, and BSV getting a 3.5 percent lift as it approaches $90. There are no coins in the top one hundred gaining double digits as Sunday trading remains lethargic.

Total crypto market capitalization hasn't moved much this weekend and remains around $225 billion. Daily volume, according to coinmarketcap.com, has declined below $50 billion but markets are marginally higher than this time last weekend.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Is PayPal Backing Out Of Libra Deal?

 

The controversial essence of what is Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency has just been hit significantly according to recently surfaced news.

A spokesperson for the payment giant Paypal spoke to the Wall Street Journal on Friday afternoon and said that the firm has decided to "forgo further particpiation" on the project. However, despite this, they added that the payment network will continue to support the goal of Libra which is to 'democratize finance'. This would mean that is will keep it options open with Facebook for the future.

The PayPal representative said:
"We remain supportive of Libra's aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future. Facebook has been a longstanding and valued strategic partner to PayPal, and we will continue to partner with and support Facebook in various capacities."

This is an announcement that came shortly after sources to the Financial Times said that PayPal spokespersons didn't make an appearance at the Washington-based Libra conference. Sources went onto say that out of the 28 corporate backers of the upcoming stablecoin, PayPal was the only one who didn't turn up to the meeting. What this was down to is unknown, however, it's important to keep an open mind and not presume the worst.

It's also worth noting that by not turning up to support the Libra Association, PayPal hasn't actually betrayed any formal contracts or agreements. Gabrielle Rabinovitch, the Vice President of investor relations at PayPal, said in August that the firm's participation in the crypto venture was one backed by a "non-binding" contract.

Apple
We recently got the opinion of Apple's Tim Cook and what he thinks of cryptocurrency and Libra. However, when being asked whether Apple is planning to create a currency, Cook said:
"No. I deeply believe that money must remain in the hands of states. I am not comfortable with the idea that a private group creates a competing currency. A private company does not have to seek to gain power in this way. Money, like Defense, must remain in the hands of States, it is at the heart of their mission. We elect our representatives to assume government responsibilities. Companies are not elected, they do not have to go on this ground."