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How To Buy Bitcoin Cash (BCH) 5 Steps To Buy BCH

While there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies, a few of them make up a substantial portion of the total value of the asset class. The most prominent is, of course, Bitcoin, which kicked off the whole phenomenon of cryptocurrency and is worth nearly $1 trillion.

And then there’s Bitcoin Cash, an offshoot of the original Bitcoin, that itself is worth just over $9.5 billion as of late March 2021, according to CoinDesk, and is one of the ten most valuable cryptocurrencies.

What is Bitcoin Cash and How Did it Start?

If you want to know what Bitcoin Cash is, you should first ask, what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the foundational cryptocurrency, the first to utilize blockchain technologies that generate unique entries on a “ledger” and can then be exchanged between users without an intermediary or third party. While there are now hundreds of types of cryptocurrencies, coins, and tokens, Bitcoin is one of just a handful of cryptos, including Ethereum, that make up the bulk of the cryptocurrency economy.

Bitcoin Cash (BHC) was launched in 2017, eight years after the original Bitcoin. It is what’s known as a Bitcoin “fork”—a new branch in the technology that was designed with the intent of easier and more efficient transactions on its blockchain. Bitcoin Cash proponents argued that the size of Bitcoin “blocks”—one megabyte or less—was too small, and designed Bitcoin Cash to have eight megabyte blocks in order to drive the cost of processing payments on the blockchain down. Since then the Bitcoin Cash block size has gone up even more, to 32 megabytes.

When Bitcoin forked to Bitcoin Cash, everyone who owned Bitcoin on that date received the same amount of Bitcoin Cash, deposited into their wallet (the software used for storing cryptocurrency).

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Price

As of this writing in March 2021, the price of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is $547.24. That’s up from a record low in November of 2020, when it dropped to 241.13.

But Bitcoin Cash’s all-time high to date occurred 5 months after its 2017 launch, in December 2017. At that time, BCH hit $3,556.

5 Steps to Buying Bitcoin Cash

Buying Bitcoin Cash is not that different from buying Bitcoin or other well known and popular cryptocurrencies.

Before investing in crypto, it can be helpful to do some reading. In fact, we’ve put together a list of 6 things you should know before investing in crypto. Additionally, while the exchange you ultimately choose to buy crypto will have its own extensive guidelines and rules, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic cryptocurrency regulations beforehand.

Then you can buy Bitcoin Cash in 5 simple steps:

1. Sign Up for an Exchange to Buy BCH

Most investors exchange “fiat money” (aka the currency you use in everyday life to pay bills, taxes, etc) for cryptocurrency through a consumer-facing exchange. When choosing between the many crypto exchanges available, there are a few things to consider. Safety and security is paramount, but things like fee structure and ease of use are also important. Some common exchanges you might come across include Coinbase, Gemini, CoinEx, or Kraken.

2. Choose an Account to Fund Your Crypto Investments

Although one promise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is freedom from the traditional financial system, you typically need a bank account to use a mainstream cryptocurrency exchange. Coinbase, for instance, takes payment through ACH transfer, wire transfers, debit cards, and PayPal. These different methods have different times to clear, so you may not be able to buy Bitcoin Cash immediately if you’re using an exchange for the first time.

3. Be Prepared to Verify Your Identity

While crypto is identified with cryptographic keys and is thus “pseudonymous,” to actually make a financial transaction like buying BCH, you will most likely have to verify your identity.

Generally, like virtually all US financial institutions, cryptocurrency exchanges have to abide by so-called “Know Your Customer” and money laundering rules which require identity verification. After verifying ID, you’ll be able to do a bank transfer or debit card payment and fund your account.

4. Download a Crypto Wallet

While anytime you own a cryptocurrency that uses blockchain technology, you have a “public” key, you also have a “private” key that needs to be secured. Many mainstream crypto exchanges, like Coinbase or Gemini, also offer wallets which keep private keys secure. You can also download your own stand-alone wallet software or even store your private key on paper or on standalone hardware systems.

5. Buy Bitcoin Cash

At this point you can actually buy BBCH and then decide to hold onto it, sell, or whatever you like depending on your risk tolerance and preferences. In general, it’s a good idea to look up the price of Bitcoin Cash before buying, although you can sometimes buy fractions of cryptocurrency that will cost less than the value of a single unit of cryptocurrency. Typically, investors can buy Bitcoin Cash using either fiat money (dollars) or other cryptocurrencies if the exchange offers crypto-for-Bitcoin-Cash trades.

Remember to Pay Crypto Taxes

If you’re buying Bitcoin Cash as an investment with an eye to selling it in the future, keep in mind your tax situation. Just because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not fiat currency, that doesn’t mean they can’t entail tax obligations when they’re bought and sold: you have to pay your crypto taxes. In most cases the IRS currently taxes crypto as property, not income. So it can be helpful to learn the rules and regulations before selling.

The Takeaway

Bitcoin Cash is a fork of Bitcoin, the OG of cryptocurrency. Buying Bitcoin Cash is much like buying any other cryptocurrency—investors can get set up with an exchange, a wallet, and everything else they need to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin Cash in just 5 easy steps.



SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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Top 30 States with Foreclosures in February 2021

Despite the economic fallout and job loss from the pandemic, the number of US properties with foreclosure filings in February was 11,281, down 77% from last year, according to ATTOM Data Solutions . This is likely thanks to the COVID-19 foreclosure moratorium for federally guaranteed mortgages, which has been extended to June 30, 2021. (Note: President Joe Biden’s executive order also extended the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window to June 30, 2021.)

While foreclosures were down for the month compared to last year, they were up compared to the previous month: specifically, foreclosures in February were up 16% compared to January. Read on for the top 30 states with foreclosures in February 2021—plus top counties within those states.

States with the Highest Foreclosure Rates: 1 -10

The top 10 states are not located in any one region. That said, the South had five states in the top 10: Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Northeast had none.

1. Utah

With a total 1,087,112 housing units, Utah’s foreclosure rate was 1 in every 3,883 homes in February. The 31st most populated state in the country, the state saw a total 280 foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions). The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Utah, Ulintah, Beaver, Juab and Carbon.

2. Delaware

With a total 433,195 housing units, Delaware’s foreclosure rate was 1 in every 5,219 homes. Ranking 45th for population, the state had 83 foreclosure filings in February. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Kent, Sussex, and New Castle.

3. Florida

The third most populated state, Florida was also third for most foreclosures. Of its 9,448,159 homes, 1,516 went into foreclosure–making the state’s foreclosure rate 1 in every 6,232. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Highlands, Levy, Hendry, Madison and Taylor.

4. Illinois

With a total housing unit count of 5,360,315, Illinois had 846 homes go into foreclosure, resulting in the state’s foreclosure rate of 1 in every 6,336. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Power, Boundary, Fremont, Payette, and Bannock.

5. Louisiana

With the 25th largest population in the country, Louisiana’s foreclosure rate of 1 in every 7,923 homes put it in the number five spot. Of its total 2,059,918 housing units, 260 went into foreclosure. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Washington, West Baton Rouge, Caddo, Jackson, and Union.

Recommended: Tips on Buying a Foreclosed Home

6. Indiana

With a total 2,886,548 housing units in the state, Indiana’s foreclosure rate was 1 in every 7,930 homes. Ranked the 17th most populated, the state ranked 6th for foreclosures with a total 364 filings. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Vermillion, Clinton, Jasper, Fountain, and Huntington.

7. Ohio

Just like Florida, Ohio’s population ranking (7th) matches its foreclosure rate ranking. With 1 in every 8,310 households going into foreclosure, the state had 626 homes of a total 5,202,304 go into foreclosure. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Lake, Fairfield, Trumbull, Marion, and Cuyahoga.

8. South Carolina

With 1 in every 8,565 homes going into foreclosure, South Carolina was a close eighth to Ohio. Ranked 23rd for population, South Carolina has 2,286,826 housing units and saw 267 foreclosure filings. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Mccormick, Allendale, Fairfield, Darlington, and Bamberg.

9. Wyoming

Though it’s the least populated state in the country, Wyoming ranks 9th for foreclosures with 1 in every 8,651 homes. Of its 276,846 homes, 32 homes were foreclosed on. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Weston, Carbon, Uinta, Campbell, and Lincoln.

10. Georgia

Eighth for most populated state, Georgia was tenth for most foreclosures. It has 4,283,477 housing units, of which 472 went into foreclosure—making the state’s foreclosure rate 1 in every 9,075 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Berrien, Baker, Terrell, Oglethorpe, and Candler.

States with the Highest Foreclosure Rates: 11 – 20

With the next group of states, the trend of the South (North Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Mississippi) dominating foreclosure rates continues. The Northeast appears with Maine and New Jersey and the West Coast debuts with California.

11. Maine

Ranked as the 9th least populated state, Maine saw a total 81 foreclosures in February. With a total 742,788 housing units, its foreclosure rate was 1 in every 9,170 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Oxford, Penobscot, Franklin, Waldo, and Somerset.

12. California

The most populated state is only 12th for foreclosures. Of its 14,175,976 homes, 1,427 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 9,934 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Calaveras, Sutter, Trinity, Kern, and Butte.

13. North Carolina

The 9th most populated state has 4,627,089 homes, of which 462 homes went into foreclosure. That makes the state’s foreclosure rate 1 in every 10,015 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Hyde, Anson, Lenoir, Onslow, and Bertie.

14. Missouri

Of Missouri’s 2,790,397 housing units, 265 homes went into foreclosure in February. The 18th most populated state’s foreclosure rate is 1 in every 10,530 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Moniteau, Pike, Montgomery, Greene, and Adair.

Recommended: What Is a Short Sale?

15. Iowa

The 30th most populated state, Iowa is 15th for most foreclosures. Of its 1,397,087 homes, 128 were foreclosed on. That puts the state’s foreclosure rate at 1 in every 10,915 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Guthrie, Wayne, Hamilton, Davis, and Adair.

16. Oklahoma

With 154 of its 1,731,632 homes going into foreclosure, Oklahoma’s foreclosure rate is 1 in every 11,244 households. In the 28th most populated state, the counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Roger Mills, Pawnee, Pontotoc, Muskogee, and Choctaw.

17. Alabama

Ranked 24th for most populated, Alabama was 17th for foreclosures. Of its 2,255,026 homes, 198 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 11,389 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Marshall, Jefferson, Coffee, Autauga, and Shelby.

18. New Jersey

New Jersey has a total of 3,616,614 housing units and 317 homes are in foreclosure. While it’s ranked 11th most populated state, its foreclosure rate of 1 in every 11,409 homes puts it in 18th place. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Salem, Atlantic, Sussex, Gloucester, and Cumberland.

19. Alaska

The third least populated state, Alaska has 314,670 homes, of which 26 went into foreclosure in February. That means its foreclosure rate is 1 in every 12,103 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Matanuska-Susitna, Anchorage, Fairbanks North Star, Juneau, and Kenai Peninsula.

20. Mississippi

In the number 20 spot for most foreclosures,Mississippi ranks as 33rd for most populated–and has 1,322,808 homes. A total 107 went into foreclosure in February, making the state’s foreclosure rate 1 in every 12,363 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Scott, Simpson, Lawrence, Bolivar, and Pike.

States with the Highest Foreclosure Rates: 21 – 30

The remaining states (21 to 30) in our rankings of the highest foreclosure rates are mainly located in the Northeast: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The Midwest and Southwest were tied with two states each: Wisconsin and Nebraska and Texas and Arizona.

21. Connecticut

With housing units totaling 1,516,629, Connecticut saw 116 homes go into foreclosure. That puts the 29th most populated state in 21st place, with a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 13,074 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Windham, Litchfield, Tolland, Hartford, and Middlesex.

22. Arizona

Though ranked as the 14th most populated state, Arizona’s total 228 foreclosures (out of 3,003,286 total housing units) puts it in 22nd place for most foreclosures. The state’s foreclosure rate is 1 in every 13,172 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Apache, Mohave, Pima, Santa Cruz, and Pinal.

23. Pennsylvania

With a total 5,693,314 housing units, Pennsylvania saw 421 homes go into foreclosure. That puts the foreclosure rate for the 5th most populated state at 1 in every 13,523 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Philadelphia, Lycoming, Cambria, Luzerne, and Wyoming.

24. Maryland

The 19th most populated state ranks 24th for foreclosures. Of its 2,448,422 housing units, 170 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 14,402 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Somerset, Allegany, Prince George’s County, Caroline, and Baltimore City.

25. Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, the 20th most populated state, there were 179 foreclosures (out of 2,694,527 housing units.) That puts its foreclosure rate at 1 in every 15,053 homes. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Florence, Ashland, Langlade, Vernon, and Grant.

26. Massachusetts

Ranked 15th for most populated, Massachusetts came in as 26th for foreclosures. With 2,897,259 housing units and 172 homes in foreclosure, the state’s foreclosure rate was 1 in every 16,845 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Hampden, Franklin, Berkshire, Worcester, and Barnstable.

Recommended: Home Buying 101: How Much House You Can Afford

27. Texas

The second most populated state was 27th for foreclosures. Of 10,937,026 homes, 636 went into foreclosure, making for a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 17,197 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Liberty, Atascosa, Franklin, Mills, and Mcculloch.

28. New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s total number of foreclosures was only in the double digits: 35. But in a state with the 10th smallest population (and 634,726 housing units), that number put it in the 28th spot for foreclosures, making for a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 18,135 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Cheshire, Sullivan, Merrimack, Belknap, and Strafford.

29. Nebraska

With 46 of a total 837,476 housing units in foreclosure, Nebraska’s total number is also in the double digits. But with a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 18,206 households, the 14th least populated state holds 29th for foreclosures.. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Cuming, Nemaha, Red Willow, Scotts Bluff, and Antelope.

30. Virginia

Last but not least, Virginia saw 192 homes go into foreclosure in February. That nabbed the 12th most populated state the 30th spot on our list. With 3,514,032 total housing units, the state’s foreclosure rate was 1 in every 18,302 households. The counties with the most foreclosures per housing unit were (in descending order): Emporia City, Norton City, Nottoway, King William, and Lancaster.

The Takeaway

Of the top 20 states with the highest foreclosure rates, half were in the South: Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Mississippi. Of the top 30 states, Florida had the most number of foreclosures (1,516) and Alaska had the least (26).

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How Safe is Blockchain? Blockchain Security Guide

How safe is blockchain technology? It has proven to be a powerful technology for protecting the integrity of vital information. But that doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe.

The technology has become increasingly prevalent in recent years as the cryptocurrency markets have moved toward center stage. One reason for its rapid adoption is that blockchain is designed to offer unparalleled security to digital information.

In its short life, blockchain—also known as distributed ledger technology—and the cryptocurrencies it powers has seen its share of successes and failures. And as its applications spread, blockchain security has become more important—and not just for cryptocurrency investors.

How Blockchain Works

In some ways, blockchain technology is like the internet, which relies on a decentralized network rather than just a single server.

Blockchain uses a decentralized, or distributed, ledger that exists on a host of independent computers, often called nodes, to track, announce, and coordinate synchronized transactions. This differs from traditional trading models that rely on a clearinghouse or exchange which tracks everything in a central ledger.

Each node in the decentralized blockchain constantly organizes new data into blocks, and chains them together in an “append only” mode. This append-only structure is an important part of blockchain security. No one on any node can alter or delete the data on earlier blocks—they can only add to the chain. That the chain can only be added to is one of the core security features of blockchain.

By referring to the chain, participants can confirm transactions. It cuts out the need for a central clearing authority.

Blockchain Security Basics

Blockchain is not immune to hacking, but being decentralized gives blockchain a better line of defense. To alter a chain, a hacker or criminal would need control of more than half of all the computers in the same distributed ledger (it’s unlikely, but possible—more on that later).

The largest and best-known blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are public, and allow anyone with a computer and an internet connection to participate. Instead of creating a security crisis, having more people on a blockchain network tends to increase security. More participating nodes means that more people are checking one another’s work and calling out bad actors.

That’s one reason why, paradoxically, private blockchain networks that require an invitation to participate can actually be more vulnerable to attack and manipulation.

Permissioned vs. Permissionless Blockchains

As the names imply, permissioned or private blockchains are closed systems that require an invitation to join. This can be useful for businesses like companies and banks, which may want more control over data and thus would restrict outsiders from joining. Ripple, which was created by the banking industry as a way to make low-cost transactions, is an example of permissioned blockchains.

Permissionless blockchains are public—anyone can transact on these blockchains, with no one in control. The data is copied and stored on nodes worldwide, and individuals can remain more or less anonymous. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are all examples of permissionless blockchains.

The Role of Miners in Blockchain Security

As Bitcoin and other forms of crypto have grown in popularity, so has the process of mining. For speculators, cryptocurrency mining is a way to receive crypto coins or tokens. For the cryptocurrencies themselves, mining contributes to blockchain security, as it’s a way to ensure the integrity of the underlying blockchain of their currencies.

Miners verify the transactions to make sure that they are valid and in line with the blockchain code. For popular crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, they submit their proof of work (POW) algorithmic evidence supporting or denying each transaction, and receive payment in the form of coins.

How Blockchain Security Prevents Double Spending

For payments and money transfers, blockchain is useful in preventing “double-spending” attacks. These attacks are a core concern for cryptocurrencies. In a double-spending attack, a user will spend their cryptocurrency more than once. It’s an issue that doesn’t arise with cash. If you spend $5 on a sandwich, then you no longer have the $5 to spend. But with crypto, there’s a risk that a user will spend the crypto multiple times before the network finds out.

Blockchain helps prevent this. Within the blockchain of a given cryptocurrency, the entire network needs to reach consensus on the transaction order, to confirm the latest transaction, and to post them publicly.

Bitcoin was the first form of crypto to solve the problem of double spending. And it serves as an example of how blockchain helps preserve the integrity not just of currency, but of records as a whole. If someone wanted to spend the exact same bitcoin in two places by sending it to two recipients simultaneously, then the two transactions would first go into a pool of unconfirmed transactions.

The first transaction to be confirmed would be added to the coin’s blockchain as the next data block in its transaction history. The second transaction—being connected with the block in the chain that had already been added to—wouldn’t fit into the chain, and the transaction would fail.

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Blockchain Security Risks

But even with the security provided by the very nature of blockchain itself in addition to a global network of nodes and miners constantly confirming and protecting the integrity of a blockchain, there are still risks.

No Human Safeguards

One risk is also a supposed benefit: blockchain creates a seamless way to execute transactions. There’s no manual intervention required to send or receive money, which eliminates some of the more human safeguards that have evolved over time. While the technology has benefits for ensuring the integrity of the assets identity, or information involved, it is completely agnostic about the sender and receiver. This is one area where a central clearinghouse can exercise valuable discretion.

While this doesn’t pose a direct risk to any crypto assets an investor may hold at the moment, it could lead to issues later. Many critics of bitcoin and other forms of crypto point to its growing use by criminal and terrorist groups to circumvent money-laundering and other bank regulators. The anonymity that crypto allows also made it popular on the Silk Road online bazaar of illegal goods and services that flourished between 2011 and 2013.

That criticism has led to increased interest from regulators in the US and abroad, which could ultimately lead to new laws about how blockchain can and can’t be used.

High Costs

Other critics point to the high cost of maintaining the networks that make blockchain function. The process of mining these coins, which is vital to their integrity and survival as a working currency, consumes vast amounts of energy. The total energy consumption of the bitcoin network is equal to the electricity needs of 2 million U.S. homes, according to Morgan Stanley.

Because miners are paid in coins, that creates a real risk. If the price of the coins go down low enough, or the price of electricity rises high enough, then people may decide the game isn’t worth the candle.

Hacker Activity

While the very nature of how blockchain works—using decentralization, consensus, and cryptography—ensures that transactions are basically tamper-proof, hackers have still found ways to defraud the system over the years. In 2019 alone, twelve crypto exchanges were hacked.

These are a few ways the system is vulnerable to hackers.

•  Phishing is one problem, in which scammers send bogus emails in an attempt to get wallet key credentials from crypto users. (Securely storing your cryptocurrencies isn’t enough—it’s also essential to stay vigilant about protecting sensitive information.)
•  There’s also a chance that one miner or a large enough group of miners could eventually gain control of more than 50% of a network’s mining power. In that case, they’d gain control over the ledger.
•  In other situations, hackers can access real-time data as it’s being routed between internet service providers.

How to Choose a Secure Blockchain Network

There are a few things a user can do to make sure the crypto exchange they select is secure. Here’s a checklist to use when choosing an exchange:

•  Does the exchange engage auditors to look for flaws in the system?
•  Does the exchange store assets in “cold storage” (someplace without an internet connection—think of a paper wallet with a private key)
•  Do they offer security options like alerts for suspicious transactions? Two-factor authentication? Multi-signature transactions?

The Takeaway

For Blockchain, security is both a strength and a concern. Cryptocurrency transactions—including paying with crypto, investing in crypto, and crypto lending—is anonymous and protected in part by the very way blockchain technology is built. But as with most other technologies, it’s not completely immune to tampering.

That said, users can protect themselves by securely storing their private keys and not falling prey to phishing emails looking for personal information in order to hack your account.


SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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5 Easy Steps to Invest in Litecoin

5 Easy Steps to Invest in Litecoin

When anyone mentions crypto, the first name that usually comes to mind is Bitcoin. However, there are hundreds more cryptocurrencies that have been around nearly as long as the first cryptocurrency but at a fraction of the price, such as Litecoin.

If Bitcoin is digital gold, then Litecoin is digital silver; it is faster and more abundant. (N.B.: Both are risky investments.) Casual investors can invest in this virtual coin in just a few steps.

Understanding the Litecoin Basics

Litecoin (LTC) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open-source software project like Bitcoin, designed for cheap and fast transactions. It was created in 2011 through a soft fork of the Bitcoin blockchain and was one of the first Bitcoin spinoffs or “altcoins.”

One of Litecoin’s lead premises was to provide faster transactions by confirming a new block on the Litecoin Network every 2.5 minutes as opposed to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin can be purchased and sold through online platforms such as digital currency exchanges and alternatively, be mined with specialized computer hardware through a version similar to Bitcoin’s Proof of Work mechanism.

Litecoin’s price is generally correlated to Bitcoin’s price movements, rising when Bitcoin rallies and falling when Bitcoin declines. Due to Litecoin’s faster transaction speeds and lower fees, some merchants, vendors, and blockchain applications have introduced Litecoin payment processors.

This demand has also contributed to many major global cryptocurrency exchanges to list Litecoin, making buying cryptocurrency more accessible around the world.

Buy Litecoin in 5 Steps

1. Get a Litecoin Wallet

The first step to buying Litecoin is having somewhere to store it. There are several ways to store Litecoin depending on convenience or security needs. Though cryptocurrency exchanges and investing platforms offer custody services to hold cryptocurrency, investors typically only use exchanges and investing platforms to purchase Litecoin and then withdraw the coins to a Litecoin wallet.

The first step is to determine which type of cryptocurrency wallet better fits investing needs, of which there are two distinctly different types.

Hot Wallet

A “hot wallet” is an easy and free way to store Litecoin through a service connected to the internet. Hot wallets are popular and typically accessed through websites, browser extensions, or desktop applications.

Hot wallets are also convenient for users because they are always online and can be accessed from a different device if an old device becomes inoperable. However, it’s because hot wallets are connected to the internet that they can be more vulnerable to hacks and theft. When creating a wallet, the user is provided with three important components to be safely stored for future use:

•  Public Key Address: The wallet’s public address that is shared with others in order to receive Litecoin. This will need to be readily accessible to withdraw funds to the wallet.
•  Private Key: Private password consisting of an arbitrary string of letters and numbers required to access the wallet’s funds.
•  Seed Recovery Phrase: A backup login method in case the private key gets lost, which consists of a list of random words in a sequential order. Some wallet providers may offer different length seed phrases but typically contain 12, 18, or 24 random words.

Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, also provides hot wallet services. Mycelium, Exodus and Electrum are other examples of some hot wallet providers.

Cold Wallet

Another option for investors concerned about online safety is a “cold wallet,” a physical device that must be purchased and is only ever connected to a computer to send or receive cryptocurrency as needed. Otherwise, it is safely stored by the individual owner where it remains offline and disconnected from any computer or internet connection.

This security measure creates an “air gap” between potential malicious parties and any form of online or local area network (LAN) access to Litecoin in storage. While individual cryptocurrency owners tend to self-custody and store cold wallets at home, it is not unheard of for investors to take further measures and store a cold wallet in a bank-protected vault. Trezor and Ledger are examples of cold wallet makers.

2. Create Account on Cryptocurrency Exchange

The safest method for buying cryptocurrency is through a reputable digital currency exchange, an investing platform exclusively for buying and selling digital currencies.

Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. by crypto volume. Binance, Gemini, Kraken, Cash App and Bisq are other well-known, popular markets.

The first step to invest in Litecoin is to create an account on a digital currency exchange or investing platform that sells Litecoin. This starts by registering a username, complex password, and storing them in a safe place offline.

Next, new users will be required to verify their identity by providing basic personal information such as date of birth, address, nationality, and providing a form of personal identification such as a valid government-issued driver’s license or passport.

Financial companies are required to comply with SEC-mandated Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) cryptocurrency regulations to prevent fraud and provide an assurance of customer due diligence. This process is subject to approval and may take a couple days before being approved to continue funding the account and using it to trade.

3. Deposit Funds Into Cryptocurrency Account

Once the account is created, a funding method must be linked to the account to transfer money into the account. Bank accounts are typically used to fund accounts but some platforms may also allow other third party payment providers or wire transfers.

The user may be asked to provide the bank account number and routing number in order to link a bank account, after which a series of microtransactions may be initiated to confirm a successful connection.

After an account is successfully connected, funds may be transferred from the funding account to the investing account, which can then be used to buy Litecoin. Funds may be deposited up to a certain dollar amount and will then be available to trade. Prices of Litecoin have soared since the end of 2019, rising more than 300% to $174.48 near the beginning of February 2021.

4. Submit Buy Order

Once the account is funded, it’s time to buy Litecoin. It may be possible to pick from two options: a market order or limit order.

After a buy order executes, the required funds will be debited from the account’s balance and the purchased coins will appear in the account. The newly-purchased Litecoin is immediately available for spending, trading, or transfer.

Market Order

Market orders are more common for even simple investing platforms. A market order simply buys the designated amount of Litecoin at the current market price. This can result in some price slippage especially during volatility, but guarantees that a buy order is executed immediately.

Limit Order

Limit orders allow for some flexibility and precision in buying only at certain prices. An investor can determine at what price they want to buy and nothing higher. If the price is never met, the trade doesn’t execute. A limit order can be set for the day or in some cases for a couple months.

5. Withdraw Litecoin

After purchasing Litecoin, the next step is to withdraw it from the investing platform and send it to a private and secure wallet. This process is completed as follows:

•  Initiate a withdrawal request
•  Input the desired token withdrawal amount
•  Copy and paste the newly created wallet’s public address
•  Submit the withdrawal request

The request should initiate immediately and place the withdrawal order into a queue on the Litecoin network. Because Litecoin’s transaction speed is multiple times as fast as Bitcoin’s, it should only be a matter of minutes before the requested withdrawal amount appears in the designated wallet’s balance.

Is Litecoin a Good Investment?

Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies having been around since 2011. It has maintained its position as one of the most popular cryptos, consistently being a top-five cryptocurrency based on token price and market cap.

While there are many different types of cryptocurrency, some of which are not yet actively functioning or as time-tested, Litecoin’s network has been among the fastest transaction speeds in cryptocurrency for years. Litecoin is easily accessible on many global digital currency exchanges and investing platforms, providing the token with high liquidity and global market penetration.

After initially trading for a few cents in late 2011, Litecoin has seen exponential growth over time. Litecoin also has a total maximum supply of 84 million compared with Bitcoin’s maximum supply of 21 million, making Litecoin four times as abundant as Bitcoin but more scarce than many other large cryptocurrencies such as Ripple and Ethereum.

The Takeaway

Proponents of cryptocurrencies say the market is here to stay and disrupt the traditional financial sector. Retail investors have immediate access to investing in disruptive cryptocurrency projects like Litecoin alongside accredited investors.

As the cryptocurrency asset class transitions from one market cycle to another, some investors argue that it can continue to provide outsized investment opportunities.

In addition to Bitcoin, investors have other investment options in cryptocurrency including Litecoin. With the option of buying whole or fractional coins, Litecoin is a user-friendly investment option that allows users to buy as much or as little Litecoin as desired and transfer it quickly.


Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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What is Store of Value?

A store of value is any asset that retains its value over time. The ideal store of value would be one that has little risk and can be trusted to stay valuable well into the future.

One of the reasons that it’s important to understand the idea of a store of value is that cash always depreciates. Due to inflation, which central banks often try to keep at or around 2% per year, money loses purchasing power constantly. To see this in action, look at official Consumer Price Index (CPI ) numbers.

Store of Value Definition

A store of value will most appeal to those who have a low tolerance for risk. Store of value assets are defined as those that have a history of maintaining their value throughout time.

Speculative assets can produce tremendous returns but tend to be volatile and often come with high risk. Stores of value, on the other hand, tend to have lower volatility and lower risk, while often producing lower returns.

Store of value assets have a lot in common with safe haven assets, and sometimes the two are interchangeable. There are times when certain “safe-haven” assets can outperform many other sectors of the market, such as during times of volatility in the market when investors are fearful and seeking shelter.

Examples of Poor Stores of Value

A store of value definition wouldn’t be complete without considering what doesn’t work when it comes to retaining value.

Cash

As mentioned, fiat currency (national currencies created by central banks like the Federal Reserve) does not retain its value. Every year, the price of many goods and services rises relative to the dollar and other fiat currencies. Cash loses purchasing power steadily.

Bonds

For most of history, low-risk bonds like U.S. Treasuries have been considered the holy grail of safe havens. There was a time not too long ago when government bonds were one of the best stores of value available.

But recently, something unprecedented has been going on in bond markets all over the world: negative interest rates. Japan, Germany and several other countries, many of which are in the European Union, have had negative interest rates for years now.

Never before in recorded history has there even been a discussion of interest rates going negative. What does it mean to have a negative interest rate?

It means that investors are 100% guaranteed to lose money. Why would anyone agree to this?

There are a number of theories. Investors might want to take a small guaranteed loss as opposed to having to deal with the uncertainty of a potentially much bigger loss. Or they might believe that at some point in the future interest rates and yields will have to rise.

One logical explanation could be that investors don’t plan on holding the bonds at all, but instead are buying them with the intention of selling them for a higher price at a later date (a bond’s price is the inverse of its yield, so if yields are going down, that means bond prices are going up).

Speculative Stocks

Speculative stocks like penny stocks (stocks trading under $5 a share) are generally not considered to be good stores of value.

The value of a penny stock can rise or fall by a large amount very quickly and suddenly. Many even see their values drop to zero when a company goes bankrupt, causing shareholders to usually lose everything they had invested.

Shares of these stocks also tend to be highly volatile because of their low market caps, making it less certain whether they will hold their value during stormy periods in the equity market.

Commodities

Most commodities don’t make for practical stores of value, even though some might remain valuable for a time.

In the past, during periods of scarcity, oil was considered by some as a good store of value. But crude oil’s value is really derived by supply and demand forces. It’s price can actually be quite volatile. For instance, during periods of economic uncertainty, investors anticipate demand for oil will dip as fewer people need to drive cars or send goods, driving down the price of crude.

More recently, fracking in the U.S. has also led to much more supply of oil, which has further pressured prices–making oil not a good store of value.

Agricultural commodities like corn, wheat, or soy are impractical for similar reasons. Commodity prices in general can be volatile depending on weather and what’s happening in the world.

Examples of Potential Stores of Value

There are several assets that can serve as a store of value. Which asset class serves this purpose best is a matter of constant debate within the investment community. Much of it comes down to an investor’s individual preference, as well as the market dynamics at the time.

Gold

Gold is perhaps the most tried-and-true store of value, with a history going back thousands of years. The yellow metal has a long track record of retaining its value against other forms of money. Throughout much of modern and ancient civilization, gold served as a universal form of money and was used as both a store of value and a currency.

Today, gold is generally considered a commodity, an inflation hedge, and a safe haven asset. During times of uncertainty, gold tends to perform well. During the coronavirus crisis of 2020, for example, gold reached a record in August amid unprecedented stimulus programs across the globe, negative real rates in the bond market and a falling U.S. dollar.

Silver and platinum are other precious metals that investors have turned to as a store of value.

Gemstones

Gemstones can serve as a store of value in much the same way that gold does. Some ultra-high net worth individuals might prefer stones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and others to gold because they might consider these rarer and easier to transport.

For instance, a million dollars’ worth of gold might require storing several large, heavy bars of metal. The same amount of money held in diamonds might fit in a small pouch.

Bitcoin

Once considered a purely speculative asset, investing in bitcoin has increasingly been considered by some investors as a store of value (despite constant price fluctuations). Some investors consider Bitcoin to be a scarce commodity, because its supply is capped at 21 million BTC. Bitcoin’s limited supply is thought to be one reason behind Bitcoin’s rise in value since it launched in 2009. In late 2021, Bitcoin prices hit a peak of over $65,000, compared with $200 just five years earlier — and about $16,000 a year later.

Bitcoin is also relatively liquid because cryptocurrency markets trade 24/7, and there is steady demand for BTC. Also, a growing number of merchants have begun accepting Bitcoin as a form of direct payment, although widespread adoption of BTC as payment has yet to occur.

Index Funds/ETFs

Index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) provide an easy way for investors to gain exposure to equity markets while getting automatic diversification.

Index funds in particular can be good stores of value because they attempt to track the performance of a market index over time. Historically, over longer time periods, financial markets have almost always gone up.

The Takeaway

In short, a store of value is something that tends to maintain or increase its price over time. The law of supply and demand very much applies here, and in itself can be used to determine whether or not something might be a good store of value.

SoFi Invest® offers investors multiple ways to participate in the markets, whether they’re looking for short-term speculative gains or long-term stores of value.

Get started with SoFi Invest today.


SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.

Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.
Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

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