Why Did Banks Ban Cryptocurrency Purchases Using Their Credit Cards?

The wave of banks that have banned the purchase of cryptocurrency using their credit cards grows as Wells Fargo is now on board with these type of bans. A number of other banks, such as Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and more, are also part of this new trend that is limiting the purchase of cryptos.Debit cards, it seems, can still be used to purchase crypto (check with your bank to be sure of their policy), but the use of credit cards to purchase crypto has taken a turn with these banks leading the way with these purchasing bans, and it probably won’t be long before this ban becomes the standard.Seemingly overnight purchases started being cancelled when credit cards were used to buy crypto, and people who never had any trouble before buying crypto with their credit cards began to notice that they weren’t being allowed to make these purchases anymore. Volatility in the cryptocurrency market is the culprit here, and banks don’t want people to spend a lot of money that will become a struggle to pay back if a major cryptocurrency downturn happens like it did at the beginning of the year.Of course, these banks will also be missing out on the money to be made when people purchase cryptocurrency and the market has an upswing, but they have apparently decided that the bad outweighs the good when it comes to this gamble with their credit cards. This also protects the consumer as it limits their ability to get into financial trouble by using credit to buy something that could leave them cash and credit poor.Most investors who used credit cards to make cryptocurrency purchases were probably looking for the short term gains, and had no plans to stay in for the long haul. They had hoped to get in and out quickly, then pay off the credit cards before the high interest kicked in. But with the constant volatility of the cryptocurrency market many who had bought, with this plan in mind, found themselves losing a tremendous amount of assets with the downturn of the market. Now they are paying interest on lost money, and that is never good. This, of course, was bad news for the banks, and it caused the current and growing trend of banning crypto purchases with credit cards.The lesson here is that you should never max out a line of credit to invest in crypto, and only use a percentage of your hard assets to make crypto purchases. These funds should be funds that you can have locked up for the long haul without it hurting your budget.So, don’t get caught putting money into cryptocurrency that you will be needing soon just to find that a downturn has taken money out of your pocket. There is an old saying that goes, “Don’t gamble with money you can’t afford to lose,” and that is the lesson that banks want people to learn as they venture into this new investment frontier.

What Is an ICO in Cryptocurrency?

ICO is short for Initial Coin Offering. When launching a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token, the developers offer investors a limited number of units in exchange for other major crypto coins such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.ICOs are amazing tools for quickly raining development funds to support new cryptocurrencies. The tokens offered during an ICO can be sold and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, assuming there is sufficient demand for them.The Ethereum ICO is one of the most notable successes and the popularity of Initial Coin Offerings is growing as we speak.A brief history of ICOsRipple is likely the first cryptocurrency distributed via an ICO. At the start of 2013, Ripple Labs began to develop the Ripple payment system and generated approximately 100 billion XRP tokens. These were sold through an ICO to fund Ripple’s platform development.Mastercoin is another cryptocurrency that has sold a few million tokens for Bitcoin during an ICO, also in 2013. Mastercoin aimed to tokenize Bitcoin transactions and execute smart contracts by creating a new layer on top of the existing Bitcoin code.Of course, there are other cryptocurrencies that have been successfully funded through ICOs. Back in 2016, Lisk gathered approximately $5 million during their Initial Coin Offering.Nevertheless, Ethereum’s ICO that took place in 2014 is probably the most prominent one so far. During their ICO, the Ethereum Foundation sold ETH for 0.0005 Bitcoin each, raising almost $20 million. With Ethereum harnessing the power of smart contracts, it paved the way for the next generation of Initial Coin Offerings.Ethereum’s ICO, a recipe for successEthereum’s smart contracts system has implemented the ERC20 protocol standard that sets the core rules for creating other compliant tokens which can be transacted on Ethereum’s blockchain. This allowed others to create their own tokens, compliant with the ERC20 standard that can be traded for ETH directly on Ethereum’s network.The DAO is a notable example of successfully using Ethereum’s smart contracts. The investment company raised $100 million worth of ETH and the investors received in exchange DAO tokens allowing them to participate in the governance of the platform. Sadly, the DAO failed after it was hacked.Ethereum’s ICO and their ERC20 protocol have outlined the latest generation of crowdfunding blockchain-based projects via Initial Coin Offerings.It also made it very easy to invest in other ERC20 tokens. You simply transfer ETH, paste the contract in your wallet and the new tokens will show up in your account so you can use them however you please.Obviously, not all cryptocurrencies have ERC20 tokens living on Ethereum ‘s network but pretty much any new blockchain-based project can launch an Initial Coin Offering.The legal state of ICOsWhen it comes to the legality of ICOs, it’s a bit of a jungle out there. In theory, tokens are sold as digital goods, not financial assets. Most jurisdictions haven’t regulated ICOs yet so assuming the founders have a seasoned lawyer on their team, the whole process should be paperless.Even so, some jurisdictions have become aware of ICOs and are already working on regulating them in a similar manner to sales of shares and securities.Back in December 2017, the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) classified ICO tokens as securities. In other words, the SEC was preparing to halt ICOs they consider to be misleading investors.There are some cases in which the token is just a utility token. This means the owner can simply use it to access a certain network or protocol in which case they may not be defined as a financial security. Nevertheless, equity tokens whose purpose is to appreciate in value are quite close to the concept of security. Truth be told, most token purchases are made specifically for investment purposes.Despite the efforts of regulators, ICOs are still lingering in a grey legal area and until a clearer set of regulations is imposed entrepreneurs will attempt to benefit from Initial Coin Offerings.It’s also worth mentioning that once regulations reach a final form, the cost and effort required to comply could make ICOs less attractive compared to conventional funding options.Final wordsFor now, ICOs remain an amazing way to fund new crypto-related projects and there have been multiple successful ones with more to come.However, keep in mind everyone is launching ICOs nowadays and many of these projects are scams or lack the solid foundation they need to thrive and make it worth the investment. For this reason, you should definitely do thorough research and investigate the team and background of whatever crypto project you might want to invest in. There are multiple websites out there that list ICOs, just do a search on Google and you’ll find some options.

Boost Your Retirement Through Investing Into Cryptocurrency

Across the world, human life expectancy has grown by leaps and bounds. Compared to the 1950s, it has shot up by 50% and comparison with 1980s it has increased by 30%. Long gone are the days when company-sponsored pension plans alone were sufficient to spend one’s golden ages in a relaxed and worry-free manner.Today, with ascend other expenses like housing, education, healthcare and more, several people are finding it increasingly challenging to save for their retirement.Unfortunately, the bitter truth is that people of all generations from baby boomers to millennials aren’t saving enough for their retirement. Saving is one of the most underrated worldwide epic crises.”Retirement is complicated. It’s never too early or too late to start preparing for your Retirement.”Thus, people are trying for alternate opportunities that provide them with higher returns in shorter span period. Traditionally, real estate, private equity and venture capital was wanted. Now, a new and more additional moneymaking and lucrative investment has joined the picture – enter cryptocurrencies.Cryptocurrency Investments – For those who don’t want to place all their Eggs in one BasketOne of the biggest advantages of cryptocurrency investments is that it decouples your portfolio from reserve currencies. Say, if you live in the UK, then you’re bound to have shares of UK-based companies in your retirement portfolio, if you’re into equity. What will happen to your portfolio if the British pound were to crash? And given, today’s volatile political scenario across the globe, nothing is certain.Therefore, cryptocurrency investments make the most sense. With digital currency investments, you’re effectively creating a basket of digital coins, that acts as an effective hedge or as a safe bet, against reserve currency weakness.The average investor should allocate only a small portion of his/her retirement assets into crypto, due to its volatility. But, instability can cut back both ways – think back to the healthcare stocks of the 1950s and the tech stocks of the 1990s. The smart early investors were the ones who made it big.Don’t get left behind or lose out. Include crypto in your assets to start building a truly, diversified portfolio.Cracking the Wall – Build your Trust in Cryptocurrencies One of the biggest and foremost hurdles most first-time crypto investors face is that they can not trust digital currencies. Many, especially people who are not tech-savvy or nearing retirement do not perceive what the promotion is all about. Sadly, they fail to realize and appreciate the myriad potentials of cryptocurrency.The reality is that – Cryptocurrencies are one of the most reliable assets, backed with the latest technology. The blockchain technology that powers digital currencies makes it possible to trade immediately and indelibly without the requirement for third-party verification. It’s a peer-based system that is entirely open and runs on advanced cryptographic principles.Retirement Planning Funds Should Work on Demystifying Cryptocurrencies To build the trust and win the support of individuals, retirement planning funds must educate investors about the endless potentials of cryptocurrencies. For this they need advanced analytics that helps in providing reliable risk analysis, risk/return metrics and projections.Additionally, investment firms can set up specialized cryptocurrency advisory services to help and guide new investors. In the coming years, one can expect several smart AI-based advisors to crop up on the scene – these will assist in calculating the right investments based on an individual’s time horizon, risk tolerance and other factors.Human advisors can work along with these intelligent advisors and provide customers with personalized consultation and other suggestions as and when needed.Need for More Visibility and Comprehensive Control Retirement investors who are looking to add cryptocurrencies to their asset portfolio require more control and visibility as they experiment with this new asset. Look for platforms that let you combine all your assets in one place. An integrated solution that enables you to manage and balance all your assets including traditional ones like bonds and stocks with new asset classes like cryptocurrency wallets.Having such a broad platform that supports all your assets gives you a holistic portfolio analysis, helping you make better and more informed decisions. Thereby, you reach the ultimate aim of saving for your goals faster.Look for investment planning portals that also provide additional features like periodic contributions to cryptocurrencies at scheduled or unscheduled intervals.Advances in Supporting Technologies for Cryptocurrency Investing Cryptocurrency investing will become mainstream only when the supporting technology makes it possible for investors to seamlessly trade coins, even for new investors who aren’t aware of the know-how. Exchanging one digital coin for another, or even for fiat currencies and other non-tokenized assets must be all made possible. When this becomes possible, it will eliminate middlemen from the equation, thereby lowering costs and additional fees.With maturation of technologies that support cryptocurrency investments and trading, the value of digital currencies will further increase, as the currency goes mainstream with broader accessibility. This means early adopters are in for a huge gain. As more and more retirement investment platforms integrate cryptocurrency, the value of digital currencies is bound to increase offering significant gains to early adopters like you.If you’re wondering, whether such retirement investment platforms will take a few years to see the light of the day, then you’re wrong. Auctus is one such portal that is currently in its Alpha phase of launch. It’s a first-of-its-kind retirement portfolio platform that includes digital currencies. Users of Auctus can get investment advise from both human and AI-powered analytical tools.For now, users can save for retirement using Bitcoins, Ethereum and several other digital currencies. Additionally, users can make use of the Automated rebalancing feature that lets them adjust their portfolio automatically using a set of preset rules.This holistic approach ensures that users can achieve their retirement goals earlier by making smart and the right investment choices or decisions.Final Thoughts – Cryptocurrencies are Not to be Ignored in your Retirement Portfolio Yes, it’s true that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile. In fact, there are speculations on the internet that suggest that “cryptocurrencies are nothing but a get rick quick scheme” and the bubble is likely to burst sometime in the near future.The uncertainty doesn’t mean that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be a part of your retirement portfolio, even if you short investment time horizons. On the other hand, the current slump in the prices of cryptocurrencies in 2018 mean you’ve got a rare opportunity to build gains.Greater trust, holistic and directly controllable investment management capabilities and advances in supporting technologies ensure that digital currencies make for an excellent investment choice to include in your retirement portfolio.

Are You Choosing the Right Stock Market Advisory Company

What do you do if you want to learn driving a car? You will try to find an expert teacher, isn’t it? You do not want to avail the services of a novice individual to help you out, but a professional person can provide you the vital tips and most importantly guide you efficiently. Similarly, when it comes to investing in the stock market for the first time, you require a knowledgeable advice to attain your financial goals and get profitable returns.

If you are a beginner, then it is quite obvious that you may be having no information about the process of buying the right shares in the market. In such a situation, getting the right tips from an experienced financial advisor or a registered advisory company will truly prove to be a great blessing in disguise. However, there are some of the important things that have to be kept in mind while choosing the top stock market advisory company, which are as follows:

How much assistance do you actually require?

Before you make up your mind to hire an advisor, it is imperative that you must first decide about the kind of service you require from them. You may need their help at the beginning or during the time of any issues. This is because an advisor has to formulate a map according to your requirements. Hence, it is suggested to ascertain your needs first and then take further action.

Choose a top ranked advisory company

It is a very important point that has to be taken into the consideration. Availing services of the well known advisory company or a financial advisor is an absolute necessity. Make it a point to carry out a proper background or research work about the company. Check out their credentials, reputation, experience, etc before hiring them.

Asking for a sample financial plan initially makes sense

When hiring a financial advisor, then do not forget to ask for sample plan first. It is imperative to note that there is no such thing called the perfect plan. A sample plan will help you to determine whether an advisory company is actually making sense according your requirements or not.

Conclusion

The financial planners or advisory companies can really turn out to be the greatest asset for you if you choose the best one. They are just like the professional sailors who can help you out to sail through stock investment related problems quite efficiently.

Deepak is a financial advisor who likes to provide quality tips to the people facing any issues with regard to investing in the stock market. He likes to keep himself updated about the stock market by reading articles, news and blogs, etc.

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