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Many of our account holders ask about Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the affordable alternative to Bitcoin, so let’s dive in. To begin with, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is quite a controversial player in the crypto arena. In August of 2017, this coin burst onto the scene due to a hard fork from the original Bitcoin blockchain. A hard fork refers to an event where a new blockchain is created from an already existing one. This gives birth to a new blockchain, thus resulting in two different versions of the same cryptocurrency. One of those chains has a longer history, and the other is new with a much shorter history. This is how Bitcoin Cash was created. But it wasn’t easy for Bitcoin enthusiasts to accept the new crypto created from the hard fork. It was met with plenty of drama and controversy. The split was partly driven by a desire to address some of the scalability issues of Bitcoin, such as slow transaction processing times and high fees. But others viewed it as a controversial upstart, with detractors claiming that it is a centralized version of Bitcoin that undermines the very principles of decentralization which cryptocurrencies were founded upon. But regardless of where you stand on the issue, its creation has sparked debates about the role of hard forks in the crypto space. For all you investors, let’s dig a little deeper into the potential of Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash: The SimilaritiesBitcoin Cash works similarly to Bitcoin, as it is based on the same blockchain technology. At its core, the blockchain operates as a decentralized database of transactional records on a network. Therefore, as long as everyone on the network agrees to abide by the blockchain's database, the transactions on the network can be verified and confirmed by any node or computer connected to that network. This eliminates the need for banks and intermediaries that often do the work of validating transactions. Like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash transactions are processed by miners, who use their computing power to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain. You can think of miners as nothing more than computers connected to the Bitcoin Cash network with the responsibility of validating and confirming transactions. Each miner on the network gets randomly picked to validate a block of transactions, and once the transactions are confirmed and validated, that miner receives rewards in the form of BCH coins. Apart from technical aspects such as block size which we’ll discuss in a moment, Bitcoin Cash still retains most of the characteristics of its parent blockchain. You can think of BCH as the cheaper version of Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin, it has a total supply of 21 million coins, but Bitcoin is the more widely adopted cryptocurrency and has a larger user base compared to Bitcoin Cash. However, BCH also has a large and dedicated following and is traded on most crypto exchanges alongside Bitcoin.
Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash: The DifferencesIn terms of popularity, Bitcoin (referred to as both XBT and BTC) is currently the most well-known and widely used cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of $545 billion as of this writing, as compared to around $2.46 billion USD for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). That’s a pretty significant difference. Moreover, many more businesses and merchants accept Bitcoin as a form of payment compared to BCH. When it comes to Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, there's one key difference that sets them apart - the block size. Bitcoin Cash boasts an impressive block size of 32MB, which allows for lightning-fast transaction processing times and lower fees. This is a stark contrast to Bitcoin's smaller block size of 1.39MB, which can lead to slower transaction times and higher fees. You might be wondering - why does block size matter? Well, a larger block size enables more transactions to be processed at once, which can help to reduce congestion in the network and keep fees low. This is especially important as cryptocurrencies become more widely adopted and the demand for faster, cheaper transactions increases.
Why Would Anyone Want to Invest in Bitcoin Cash?Bitcoin Cash offers several benefits that may appeal to different types of crypto investors and traders, but its future is difficult to predict. It depends on various factors such as adoption, technological advancements, regulatory developments and market trends. A key factor that could impact the future of Bitcoin Cash is adoption, one of the key drivers of the success of any cryptocurrency. BCH’s larger block size allows for faster transaction processing times and lower fees, and this makes BCH a useful option for merchants and online shoppers who need to make quick and low-cost transactions. Bitcoin Cash is also decentralized and borderless, thus making it ideal for sending and receiving money from anywhere in the world without intermediaries. There are ongoing debates in the cryptocurrency community about the scalability of BCH and its long-term viability. However, if Bitcoin Cash developers can continue to improve its scalability, security, and user experience, it could potentially increase its adoption and value. Keep in mind, though, that there are many other cryptocurrencies that aim to be a fast and low-cost payment system. If one or more of them become more popular, it could limit the potential of Bitcoin Cash. And of course, there is always the unknown “government regulation” to consider when investing for the long-term. If the government adopts favorable regulations for cryptocurrencies, it could potentially increase their adoption and value, and conversely, if regulations are strict, it could limit growth and adoption. If governments adopt favorable regulations for cryptocurrencies, it could potentially increase their adoption and value. Conversely, if governments adopt strict regulations, it could limit their growth and adoption.
ConclusionSo, there you have it. On the plus side, Bitcoin Cash’s use case is a good one. Its larger block size allows for faster transaction processing times and lower fees compared to Bitcoin, but adoption is unpredictable for the long term. And it was created as a fork of Bitcoin; therefore, it boasts all the features that make Bitcoin secure and reliable. What’s more, at its current price, it is one of the more affordable coins in the crypto space. However, while it has a dedicated following and offers some advantages over Bitcoin, it faces stiff competition and possible regulatory challenges. These are all important factors to consider when weighing the risks of investing in Bitcoin v. Bitcoin Cash, but whether you choose one or both, Coin IRA is here to make the process of establishing and funding your free account as simple and efficient as possible.
Coin IRA Introduces New Flex Metals ProgramIn the latest addition to our self-trading platform, Coin IRA account holders can now trade whole or fractional amounts of pure gold, silver and platinum in their Cryptocurrency IRAs, the same way you currently trade whole or fractional amounts of cryptocurrency. So whether you have a Tax-Advantaged Traditional, Roth, or SEP IRA, or an Individual Non-IRA Trading Account, you can now easily own precious metals alongside your cryptocurrencies in the same digital asset account. You might be asking why you’d want to own fractional metals in your Digital Asset IRA. Well, we can think of 9 great reasons:
- Affordability: Buying fractional metals allows individuals to invest in precious metals at a lower cost than purchasing a full bar or coin, without having to open a separate Precious Metals IRA, saving the fees and costs involved.
- Diversification: Fractional metals can be used to diversify a portfolio, reducing overall risk by spreading investments across different assets.
- Instant Liquidity: When selling fractional metals purchased inside your digital trading account, credit to your available trading balance is immediate. There’s no waiting, so you can use your proceeds immediately for another trade or request a distribution.
- Convenience: Fractional metals purchased in your account are 100% allocated to your account and are stored at Brinks, Salt Lake City, for easy management and convenience. There's no waiting for delivery or for your proceeds when you liquidate.
- Flexibility: You don’t have to purchase in whole ounces or the sizes and weights of available minted coins. You are buying fractional ownership of large bullion bars, the most inexpensive bullion product, and you can buy as little as $10 worth of gold, silver, or platinum.
- Hedge against Inflation: Precious metals have historically held their value during times of economic uncertainty and inflation, providing a hedge against potential financial losses.
- Tangible Asset: Fractional metals are tangible assets that are physically stored on your behalf in the most secure domestic vaults, offering a level of security in uncertain times, and complementing your virtual assets.
- Tax Benefits: You can trade in and out of precious metals without creating a taxable event until you take a withdrawal or distribution; and even better, metals owned in a Roth IRA grow tax-free, even at the point of withdrawal.
- Delivery Options: When you are ready to take a withdrawal from your account, there is an option to convert your whole ounce ownership of fractional metals to a minted product such as a 1oz American Eagle for physical delivery at a low cost. This way, you aren't paying the extra cost of a minted product unless you eventually want one.
Due to the filing of a lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Ripple Labs, Inc. in December of 2020, US residents have been unable to trade XRP tokens since January 30, 2021. But where do things currently stand, and when will we see a final ruling or settlement in in this case that will hopefully release the SEC’s grip on XRP? And why does a recent ruling in another crypto case (SEC vs LBRY) gives hope to the XRP community?
Where It All StartedRipple Labs, Inc. is a fintech/crypto company that was founded in 2012 (it was originally called OpenCoin). They created the XRP token which had grown substantially through the years, well, until the SEC sued them. In December 2020, the U.S. SEC filed a case against Ripple Labs, Inc., Christian Larsen (co-founder and former CEO of Ripple), and Brad Garlinghouse (current Ripple CEO) for the lack of investment contract and for not registering their sales and offers of XRP tokens. According to them, this is a violation of registration rules outlined in the Securities Act of 1933. Needless to say, the suit gave rise to doubts as to the future of XRP when crypto exchanges in the U.S. stopped trading XRP tokens over a year ago. The SEC has claimed that Ripple raised over one billion dollars from the sale of XRP which was not registered as a security offer to investors. Ripple, however, said that XRP is not a security and should not be treated as an investment. Furthermore, Ripple said that the SEC never gave them “fair notice” that their XRP token sales violated securities laws.
Where Things StandAs the case heats up, the SEC recently asked for a Summary Judgment ruling as to whether XRP should be classified as a security or a commodity. In response, the judge could grant either side a win without a trial, or decide to narrow the issues that go before a jury. And most recently, Ripple Labs Inc. said in court papers Friday, March 3, 2023, that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision supports one of its key defenses in the SEC's case. Ripple's General Counsel Stuart Alderoty has expressed his belief that they will win the case based on his assertion that not one single element of the Supreme Court's Howey Test has been adequately met by the SEC. They’re also saying that XRP is not an investment because it doesn't give investors voting rights or ownership rights as others do. Ripple's CEO has also expressed optimism that there will be a resolution either by settlement or judgment in Ripple's favor in the first half of 2023.
SEC vs LBRY: New Hope for Ripple’s XRP CommunityLBRY was created to develop an open-source ecosystem, a decentralized media-sharing system. In 2016, LBRY launched its native currency LBC which could be used via the LBRY blockchain to share content, reward creators, and pay miners who supported the network. In March of 2021, SEC filed a lawsuit against LBRY declaring that the blockchain company was selling and offering LBC in the form of unregistered securities, thereby violating federal securities laws. In November of 2022, the SEC was successful in a court case against LBRY in which the court summary judgment favored SEC's claim that LBRY provided LBC as a security. However, this February, 2023, in the latest decision on the SEC vs LBRY case, the judge decided that the sales of the LBC token on the secondary market are not categorized as securities - which means that LBC is a non-security. This judgment could work in favor of Ripple, as the XRP community has come out to say that the ruling meant that XRP was also a non-security.
Will XRP Pass the Howey Test?The debate over whether XRP can be considered a security has been going on since the cryptocurrency was first introduced in 2012. Again, based on the Howey Test, which the SEC uses to determine if an investment is security, the primary question is whether or not the profits earned from investing were “derived from the efforts of others.” As we all know, it’s not easy to tell how profits are earned from digital currencies because of their decentralized nature. Unlike stocks, cryptocurrencies are not backed by institutional bodies. Therefore, trying to correctly categorize investments in cryptocurrencies such as XRP is really quite difficult. Right now, the question of whether XRP constitutes a security or not remains debatable. Until the court releases its final verdict, only then will we know if U.S. regulators legally recognize this currency as security.
Is XRP a Commodity or a Security?The U.S. Southern District Court of New York will soon decide how cryptocurrencies are regulated in the future, and it’s verdict will settle once and for all whether XRP could be classed as a commodity or security. Remember, the U.S. SEC has stated that Ripple has raised more than one billion dollars through the sales of unregistered security offerings. In defense, Ripple has cited previous statements made by the SEC itself which suggest that XRP is not a suitable candidate to be treated as a security mainly because of its decentralized nature as compared to other cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). In the event that the trial against Ripple is ruled unfavorably, this could lead to huge fines being imposed on other digital assets and weaken the confidence of investors in the entire crypto industry. The court's decision will also set new guidelines for what constitutes legally defined virtual assets and securities in the United States.
How Will the Verdict Affect the Crypto Market?The lawsuit will likely be decided in 2023, but regardless of the outcome, it could create serious precedents for other cryptocurrencies too. If Ripple were to be found guilty, it could effectively make many investments in XRP unenforceable. Worse, this could also trigger more lawsuits against notable cryptocurrency-related businesses or products that could have carried out similar activities as those that are being alleged to Ripple. The SEC wants to regulate the crypto industry, so winning the court decision against Ripple could potentially start the ball rolling. Ripple and its executives would also likely face a hefty fine. However, if Ripple wins, it will solidify XRP's legality in the US market and probably increase its price. The final outcome of this decision will either be encouraging or discouraging for the future of cryptocurrency investors. Whatever way the events develop, there is one thing that is certain: this ruling will result in significant changes across all areas of the cryptocurrency world. XRP was offered by Coin IRA prior to the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple, and XRP is still on the Coin IRA Digital Asset Self-Trading Platform, but trading is inactive right now. If Ripple wins the case, trading will hopefully be reactivated on the platform, allowing our account holders to once again trade XRP. If you are an XRP fan and want to be in a position to act quickly in the event the suspension is lifted, our suggestion is to keep a close eye on the news updates surrounding the case and make sure you keep an available balance for trading in your account as mid-2023 gets closer, so you are ready to pull the trigger if and when a favorable decision is made, and trading is restored. So, let’s cross our fingers, not only for the XRP community but also for the entire crypto industry. To learn more about Crypto IRAs, visit CoinIRA.com or speak with an expert at 888-998-COIN.
Let’s be honest, scammers are constantly looking for ways to steal your money and cryptocurrency. With the recent rise in cryptocurrency investing, opportunities for online fraud and theft have increased as well. Surveys show that crypto scammers stole a total of $14 billion in 2021, almost doubling the amount stolen from the year before. Experts predict these statistics will only worsen moving forward unless users take active steps to protect their information and accounts online. Coin IRA is fully committed to safeguarding the security and privacy not only of our account holders but of cryptocurrency investors everywhere. We believe raising awareness of the common scams is the best defense against fraudsters and hackers. The following information outlines some of the top scams to watch out for and tips to avoid falling victim to these scams.
Fabricated Websites and Apps of Legitimate CompaniesFraudsters have been known to duplicate legitimate websites or applications to trick innocent investors into using their platforms. Fortunately, there are some simple signs that can help point out a fake website or app. For instance, fake cryptocurrency trading websites and downloadable apps might use a URL that closely resembles the legitimate one. This makes it easier for innocent users to mistake the fake website or app for the real one. Keep an eye out for inconsistencies such as misspellings in the website’s domain name and for spelling or grammatical errors on the site. Taking a minute to verify the URL for accuracy could prevent you from becoming the victim of a scam. And finally, when in doubt, use the domain lookup tool, https://whois.domaintools.com/. Always pay attention to the address bar, and be extra cautious about entering your personal information into a site beginning with http instead of https. The “s” indicates that the website uses a security protocol that protects your data while it is in transit between your computer and the website you are visiting. And make sure the contact information on any site asking you to send money or cryptocurrency is reliable. Be especially suspicious of apps that are not downloaded from the Apple or Google Play stores but instead are downloadable links sent to you via social media apps such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Scammers may target you using something you have in common as an icebreaker, and eventually befriend you, building your trust and then drawing you in with promises of huge returns. If it sounds too good to be true, be wary of engaging with that person and do not download the app. There are entire websites devoted to identifying fraud, such as https://fraudwatch.com/blog/, which contain invaluable free information on protecting yourself. It is well worth your time to put their recommendations into practice.
Phishing ScamsPhishing scams are often used to trick you into giving up vital personal and financial details, such as your Social Security number, account number, or login details. Scammers who are phishing will send you fabricated emails or text messages containing deceitful messages or updates. For instance, they may send you an email informing you about an issue with your account and ask you to click on a link to enter and reconfirm your login details. Clicking on the link will send you to a fake website where the scammer can then proceed to steal your information without you even knowing. There’s another variation of phishing called smishing that you need to watch out for. Smishing scams or SMS phishing are conducted through text messages and contain the same dishonest intent as phishing scams. To spot a phishing or smishing scam, you should watch out for the following warning signs:
- Text or email contains misspellings.
- Text or email has grammatical errors.
- Text or email makes unrealistic promises of substantial returns on your investment.
- Text or email creates a false sense of urgency in the user.
- Text or email requires you to disclose sensitive information, such as birth dates, passwords, and user IDs.
- Text or email threatens you with negative consequences.
- Text or email is demanding or nagging.
- Confirm that the message is trustworthy by running it through a URL scanner such as Norton Safe Web or Google Transparency Report
- Avoid immediately responding to the suspicious text message or email.
- Don’t click on any attachment links or documents.
- Avoid disclosing sensitive information in emails, like your Social Security Number, login credentials, and banking information.
- Avoid calling any numbers contained in a suspected phish.
- Examine the sender’s email address for subtle differences in the spelling (i.e., @cionira.com vs. @coinira.com).
Upgrade ScamsMost people have grown accustomed to applications and software that need constant updates to fix vulnerabilities and flaws. As cryptocurrency platforms are also a type of software, people easily get tricked into thinking that they also need updates. Scammers can plant deceitful upgrade notifications in your email and social media inboxes. During this “upgrade,” they trick you into giving up your private keys and other account information. Before falling victim to this type of scam, call the company who you believe sent it to verify it was real.
Social Media and Romance ScamsScammers attack vulnerable victims anytime and anywhere they find opportunity, even on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Scams conducted on these platforms are often referred to as “romance scams.” Often these scams are strictly online and long-distance. The scammer tries to win over the trust and affection of the victim. They’ll have a very convincing story or too-good-to-be-true opportunity enticing the victim to send money or cryptocurrency and disappearing when it’s time for you to withdraw your funds. Some even just pose as a person with whom you might bond over a common interest, background, or ethnicity. Some may have a money laundering scheme using cryptocurrency they’ll pull you into. Listen to your intuition. If it sounds too good to be true, you’ve never met the person, can’t verify they don’t live in the U.S., and you can’t verify what they’re telling you through a reliable source, proceed with extreme caution or not at all. Fortunately, users aren’t completely defenseless against cryptocurrency scams.
How to Avoid Becoming the Victim of Fraud
Use Multi-Factor Authentication in Your AccountsMulti-factor authentication (MFA) is a verification method that asks a user to provide two or more verification factors to access a particular resource like an application, trading platform, online account, or VPN. Using MFA decreases the likelihood of scammers accessing your account. (All Coin IRA accountholders are required to use multi-factor authentication.)
Regularly Change PasswordsMost people use a single password or slight variation thereof for every account they have. This makes it easy for scammers and cybercriminals to guess your passwords. Cybersecurity experts from McAfee recommend changing your passwords once every three months. If you find that your account has been hacked or is part of a data breach, change your password immediately.
Don’t Respond to Requests Asking You to Send CryptocurrencyIf you receive an email, a phone call, or a text with a link to download an app to your phone or computer that requires you to send Bitcoin or any other crypto to fund your account, don’t respond, and definitely do not send any cryptocurrency or money. Before sending money or crypto to anyone online, confirm that you know the person you’re sending it to. If you send cryptocurrency to the wrong wallet or to a scammer’s wallet, there’s no way for you to retrieve your crypto unless the other person sends it back to you. Double-check the recipient’s information before you hit send. For your information, all Coin IRA accounts must be funded with US dollars, not cryptocurrency, and we have two secure websites you can trust. Our main site is https://www.coinira.com and https://secure.coinira.com. If you receive a link to a site similar to one of these but not exactly the same, report it immediately to our customer support team at email@example.com.
Don’t Share Your Trading Platform DetailsIf you call Coin IRA regarding information about your account, we will text a six-digit verification code to your cell phone to verify your identity. You never have to provide us with any other information – not your email address, password, phone number or account number. If someone purporting to be an employee of Coin IRA calls you asking for any of your login details, don’t respond. Report the call to our Customer Support Team via firstname.lastname@example.org. The easiest way to record suspicious calls or fraudulent text messages, emails, or websites that appear to be from Coin IRA is to take a screenshot and email it to Coin IRA Customer Support.
Report Cryptocurrency ScamsIf you’ve been a victim of a cryptocurrency scam, you can report the incident to the following authorities: