A primer on cryptocurrencies and blockchain covering everything from exchanges and ICOs to related regulatory and privacy issues. (Reuters) - When cryptocurrency issuers want positive coverage for their to get Alethena five-star ratings on ICObench for $ each. Cryptocurrency exchanges are platforms for buying and trading cryptocurrencies. Users can trade resources, cash or credit for the desired cryptocurrency such as. BITCOIN GO FUND ME
We scored each factor on a 0-to-1 scale or as a zero or one, depending on the factor , with zero being the worst possible score and one being the highest possible score. We then assigned a percentage weighting to those scores and established an overall 1-tostar rating for each exchange. One star is the lowest possible rating, and five stars is the highest. Data collection was a key part of our evaluation process. We gathered data from company websites and media contacts to ensure we had the most accurate information possible to rate each crypto exchange objectively.
Our research team collected over data points and weighted more than 20 criteria to determine company ratings. For those interested in crypto trading and investing, security is an essential factor to consider when choosing an exchange. With this in mind, we evaluated several factors related to security, assigning a zero or one score to each and a percentage weighting according to importance:. We also considered whether the crypto exchanges we evaluated offered hot or cold wallets or a combination of both.
Hot wallets are internet-connected, while cold wallets are not. Exchanges offering cold wallets or a combination of hot and cold wallets received a score of one, while those offering no storage received a score of zero. Know-Your-Customer, or KYC, standards were developed to help minimize instances of fraud and money laundering on financial platforms.
Crypto exchanges that follow KYC standards require that users verify their identities. Exchanges following KYC standards received a score of one in our evaluation, while those not following KYC standards received a score of zero. Generally, this insurance is provided through partner banks. Given that this is an important consideration for crypto traders and investors, we compared various fees across exchanges. In our assessment of trading fees, we considered maker fees, taker fees, and derivatives trading fees.
We compared fees across each exchange and assigned a 0-to-1 score for each fee type. We also looked at both crypto and fiat deposit fees for each exchange, and companies that offered no fees or lower fees received higher scores on our 0-to-1 scale. Crypto exchanges also charge withdrawal fees in certain cases. We then used the crypto and fiat withdrawal fee scores to develop an overall score.
In our evaluation of each exchange, we also considered its offerings such as how many cryptocurrencies are supported. We collected data on the following criteria and assigned a percentage weighting based on importance:. Certain exchanges offer more supported cryptocurrencies than others.
Those that offered a higher number of supported assets scored higher on our 0-to-1 scale, while those that offered a limited number of assets scored lower. Derivatives are a type of contract between a buyer and seller, and the value of the contract is tied to an underlying asset. There are several types of derivatives contracts that can be used for different purposes. For instance, traders may use a futures contract to speculate on the future price of an asset, and the contract could stipulate certain buy and sell commitments.
In our evaluation process, we considered whether each crypto exchange offered derivatives, as well as the types they offer. We scored each company on a 0-to-1 scale based on the number of derivatives it offers. Exchanges with several derivatives options received higher scores. Different cryptocurrency exchanges may offer different order types. Others may not offer this order type. We collected data on the different order types each exchange offers and then used this data to score each company on a 0-to-1 scale.
Exchanges with a larger number of order types received a higher score than those with a smaller number. These scores accounted for 1. If a cryptocurrency exchange supports OTC trading, it allows two parties to conduct transactions directly instead of through the exchange. OTC trading is often used by those who want to buy or sell a large amount of cryptocurrency.
Some exchanges offer this option for institutional traders or high-net-worth individuals looking to make large transactions. We collected data on whether or not each crypto exchange we evaluated supports OTC trading. Exchanges that support this option received a score of one, while those that did not received a score of zero. We also considered whether or not exchanges we evaluated support third-party trading bots. They may offer added value to high-volume users or those looking to automate their trades.
Exchanges that support third-party trading bots received a score of one in our evaluation, while those that do not received a score of zero. These scores make up 0. During our evaluation process, we also considered the availability of each crypto exchange on our list. We looked at the following factors in this category and scored each exchange on a 0-to-1 scale based on its availability. Then we assigned a percentage weighting to each and used those percentages to calculate our overall star ratings.
For instance, Bitfinex is not accessible in the United States. Exchanges that were available in more countries received a higher score in our evaluation, and these scores accounted for 1. To assess availability from a funding perspective, we also considered which funding methods each company offers.
We considered three different funding methods in this category, including funding via online service, ACH transfer, and wire transfer. For instance, you might be interested in applying for a credit card that earns crypto rewards or earning interest on your crypto. Some exchanges may offer these features while others may not. In our evaluation of features, we considered the following criteria, scored each on a 0-to-1 scale, and assigned percentage weightings based on importance:.
Certain exchanges offer valuable products and features like co-branded credit cards that allow you to earn crypto rewards for your day-to-day spending, the ability to earn interest on crypto, and the option to take out a loan against your crypto holdings. Since many crypto exchanges are relatively new, they may not offer many options for customer support.
But as a customer, being able to access customer support is essential if you encounter problems or have questions about your account. Given this, we collected data on customer support options and scored each exchange on a 0-to-1 scale based on the number of options available. Certain exchanges offer rewards for specific actions, like referring a friend or maintaining a high balance of a specific asset.
Rewards may come in a few forms, including bonus earnings or discounted fees. We assigned a 0-to-1 score to each exchange based on the number of rewards it offered. We also considered whether each crypto exchange we evaluated has a mobile app, as well as mobile app accessibility, ratings, and functionality.
In our evaluation, we considered if each exchange offered a mobile app available for Android and Apple. We then scored each exchange on a 0-to-1 scale based on mobile app availability. Mobile apps that were available on both operating systems scored higher than those that were only available on one. The latest news and innovation around fintech.
There is no specific mention of Hacken, or any specific cryptocurrency issuers, paying him. Greene did not respond to emails and phone messages from Reuters asking about his work for Hacken. Some people paid attention. Made me buy a couple hundred. Zurawel told Reuters in Twitter messages that he lost much of his initial investment, worth several hundred dollars. He said he was not aware that Greene was paid for his Hacken video, but he shrugged off the poor performance of the currency.
Few researchers or experts disclose their own holdings of the digital assets, which so far have existed in a regulatory gray area. That has not stopped the hype machine humming. Also common in these plugs is a lack of disclosure, which may mean the buyer is unaware of a conflict of interest. When it comes to cryptocurrencies however, stricter rules may apply.
In July , the U. Failure to do so is a violation of anti-touting provisions of federal securities laws, and may also be fraud, the SEC said. The SEC has not issued determinations on which cryptocurrencies it regards as securities. But the agency has brought enforcement actions against a dozen or so companies connected to ICOs, some of which the agency has identified as unregistered securities offerings, and therefore subject to its regulation.
The SEC has not targeted outside promoters of currency offerings. The SEC declined comment to Reuters for this story. Nevertheless, hundreds of self-styled cryptocurrency experts have emerged over the past 18 months, and their activity has declined only slightly. There are now more than 2, cryptocurrencies vying for attention, all promising riches to investors.
The vacuum of hard facts on new currencies has left investors vulnerable to hype and bad advice. Cermak said he does not own any cryptocurrencies and has never promoted any. A Reuters visual guide to blockchain technology. Its pages are among the top hits in any Google search for a specific crypto project and the word ICO, making it a key site for currency operators to appear on.
As of Nov. ICObench had 1. The website itself makes money through advertising and a premium model which lets cryptocurrency companies pay between 1 and 40 bitcoin to be featured in newsletters, at the top of search results and elsewhere. Seven ICObench experts told Reuters they have been approached by cryptocurrency companies or their public relations agents and offered money in exchange for a rating, although none said they accepted any such offers.
Tim Glaus, a co-founder of Alethena, a Swiss-based startup, told Reuters his firm was approached by multiple individuals who said they could arrange paid-for ratings from ICObench experts after Alethena listed its coin offering on ICObench. Sharatsky told Reuters that ICObench does not sell ratings.
When ICObench is informed that experts may have been paid for ratings, he said, it investigates and takes the reviews down if they are tainted. These were the only new five-star ratings that appeared after Vagiz messaged that he was done, leading Alethena to believe those were the reviews that had been arranged, Glaus said.
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