What Is Cryptocurrency? – dummies

By Tiana Laurence

Part of Blockchain For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cryptocurrencies, sometimes called virtual currencies, digital money/cash, or tokens, are not really like U.S. dollars or British pounds. They live online and are not backed by a government. Theyre backed by their respective networks. Technically speaking, cryptocurrencies are restricted entries in a database. Specific conditions must be met to change these entries. Created with cryptography, the entries are secured with math, not people.

Restricted entries are published into a database, but its a special type of database that is shared by a peer-to-peer network. For example, when you send some Bitcoin to your friend Cara, youre creating and sending a restricted entry into the Bitcoin network. The network makes sure that you havent not the same entry twice; it does this with no central server or authority. Following the same example, the network is making sure that you didnt try to send your friend Cara and your other friend Alice the same Bitcoin.

The peer-to-peer network solves the double-spend problem (you sending the same Bitcoin to two people) in most cases by having every peer have a complete record of the history of all the entries made within the network. The entire history gives the balance of every account including yours. The innovation of cryptocurrency is to achieve agreement on what the history is without a central server or authority.

Entries are the representation of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies are generated by the network in most cases to incentivize the peers, also known as nodes and miners, to work to secure the network and check entries. Each network has a unique way of generating them and distributing them to the peers.

Bitcoin, for example, rewards peers (known as miners on the Bitcoin network) for solving the next block. A block is a group or entries. The solving is finding a hash that connects the new block with the old one. This is where the term blockchain came from. The block is the group of entries, and the chain is the hash. Hashes are a type of cryptologic puzzle. Think of them as Sudoku puzzles that the peers compete to connect the blocks.

Every cryptocurrency is a little different, but most of them share these basic characteristics:

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What Is Cryptocurrency? – dummies

Cryptocurrency Market Surges to $365 Billion, Start of a …

Throughout this week, as CCN reported, the cryptocurrency market has been eyeing a move towards the $350 billion region. Earlier today, on April 20, strong performances of major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum have led the valuation of the cryptocurrency market to surge to $365 billion.

Throughout 2018, amidst extreme volatility and recovery, investors inclined towards bitcoin as the safe haven asset. With the deepest liquidity and largest volume in the global market, bitcoin was able to sustain some stability while many cryptocurrencies recorded a free fall. Most assets declined by more than 80 percent from their all-time highs and struggled to record gains against bitcoin.

Over the past seven days, alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) and other major cryptocurrencies have consistently reported gains against the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market. The daily trading volume of the global cryptocurrency market crossed the $20 billion mark for the first time in April and the valuation of the market achieved a new monthly high.

In March and early April, investors were skeptical towards investing in cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin and Ethereum because they were uncertain about the short-term future of the cryptocurrency market. While altcoins tend to have intensified movements on the upside, it also has larger movements on the downside, and investors thought the risk was not worth taking.

Traders have started to take more risk than before by investing in cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Zilliqa, Nano, OmiseGo and others. As the volumes of altcoins across major exchanges surged, altcoins began to outperform bitcoin on a weekly basis, and it is possible that ERC20 tokens outperform major cryptocurrencies on a monthly basis by the end of April.

The next major target for the cryptocurrency market is the $400 billion mark and by surpassing that threshold, the cryptocurrency market would achieve a two-month high. At this juncture, it is safe to conclude that bitcoin has bottomed out at $6,000 and the market has begun a rapid recovery to its previous levels.

If the bitcoin price breaks the $9,500 level in the short-term, ideally within the next week, it is entirely possible that the cryptocurrency market surpasses $400 billion within April, in the next 10 days.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) of bitcoin is in the 57 range and is signifying a neutral zone. Bitcoin is neither oversold or overbought based on current levels, as demonstrated by two momentum oscillators RSI and Williams Percent Range.

Both simple and exponential moving averages are indicating buy signals for bitcoin, as it continues to gain strong momentum. From this point, traders are expecting the bitcoin price to cross $8,500 and potentially make its way into the $9 billion region.

Non-ERC20 tokens like Ripple and Verge were the best performers on April 20, with solid 20 percent gains. Both Ripple and Verge have performed strong against bitcoin throughout April and they are continuing to build momentum against bitcoin and Ethereum.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post Cryptocurrency Market Surges to $365 Billion, Start of a Bull Rally? appeared first on CCN.

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Cryptocurrency Market Surges to $365 Billion, Start of a …

cryptocurrency | Definition of cryptocurrency in English …

nounPlural cryptocurrencies

A digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin now provide an outlet for personal wealth that is beyond restriction and confiscation

More example sentences

Early 21st century: from crypto- + currency.

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BTCMANAGER | Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News

Category: Bitcoin, Blockchain, News, Regulation

Designed as a peer-to-peer, borderless, digital payment solution, bitcoin (BTC) continually finds itself shrouded in controversies, scams, uninformed media claims and, unfortunately, dark net marketplaces. Bitcoins Properties Make It a Perfect Darknet Currency Although bitcoins existence is that of a simple digital token, its misuse results in widespread legal crackdowns. Gangsters and darknet entrepreneurs increasingly use BTC to finance their

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Category: Top Coins For The Week

To read the previous Top Coins for the Week article, click here. The past week seems to have demonstrated a shift in market sentiment and could be the start of a major rebound. Due to significant events, this week is very important for cryptocurrencies such as; HireMatch (HIRE), Komodo (KMD), Ripple (XRP), UTRUST (UTK), and Verge (XVG). The Current Market

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Category: Altcoins, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum, Mining, News

It is common knowledge that mining is becoming less profitable for smaller operations. Miners that have set up small to medium scale mining infrastructure are quickly finding out the infeasibility of their operation due to electricity costs and a declining market. Cost of Bitcoin Mining for Small Users To ensure profitability, miners have to buy more powerful hardware chips. However,

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Category: Altcoins, Bitcoin, Business, News, Regulation

At a time when the big nations are busy dragging their feet concerning the favorable regulation of the virtual currency industry, Bermuda, the self-governing British overseas territory island nation is putting the finishing touches to its crypto regulation plans. Bermudas Regulatory Body Seeks Feedback The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) is seeking the opinion of residents concerning the anti-money laundering law

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Category: Bitcoin, Commentary, News

A Singaporean citizen who orchestrated a robbery during a bitcoin sale is to be jailed, according to reports from local police on April 12, amidst a wave of crypto-related thefts occurring outside of the cybersphere. In recent times cryptocurrency-related crimes have been on a steady increase in tandem with the sudden surge in the value of bitcoin and the wider

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Category: Business, Ethereum, News

Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has acquired Cipher Browser for an undisclosed amount. The announcement of the acquisition was made official on April 13, 2018. The company in question, Cipher, had once competed with Coinbase-developed Toshi Ethereum browser. This acquisition is the first instance in which Coinbase has shelled cash to buy out a smaller rival company. Cipher to Merge with

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Category: Moonshot

Each week BTCManager and JaketheCryptoKing are going to explore a new moonshot opportunity. We are in week 12 of this moonshot experiment! Markets just suffered a sharp correction providing the perfect opportunity for some moonshot shopping at discounted prices. The moonshot for the week beginning April 15, 2018, is; KMD. What is a Moonshot? A moonshot is an altcoin that

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Category: Altcoins, Commentary, Finance, News

In an interview with CNBC, a senior executive of Ripple said the companys native XRP token is not a security. The statement comes after widespread speculation regarding the digital tokens listing on Coinbase, which follows strict guidelines and strives to remain legally compliant. Cryptocurrencies Are Securities, Says SEC According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), general security laws

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Category: Bitcoin, Commentary, News

Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, has recently been accused of plagiarism. Apparently, Wright has already tried to steal an identity, this time, he stands accused of taking someone elses ideas and passing them off as his own. It all begins with a paper Wright released in July 2017. The Fallacy of Selfish Mining: A Mathematical Critique is a paper

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Category: Bitcoin, Business, News, Tech

Coinsecure, one of the most popular bitcoin exchanges in India, announced it had 438.3186 bitcoin (BTC) around $3.6 million at current exchange rates stolen from the companys main wallet on Friday, April 13. To spice up the story even further, the exchange is accusing its own CSO, Dr. Amitabh Saxena, of the theft. Mohit Kalra, the CEO of

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BTCMANAGER | Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News

Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) – msdn.microsoft.com

Updated: November 23, 2015

Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) encrypts SQL Server and Azure SQL Database data files, known as encrypting data at rest. You can take several precautions to help secure the database such as designing a secure system, encrypting confidential assets, and building a firewall around the database servers. However, in a scenario where the physical media (such as drives or backup tapes) are stolen, a malicious party can just restore or attach the database and browse the data. One solution is to encrypt the sensitive data in the database and protect the keys that are used to encrypt the data with a certificate. This prevents anyone without the keys from using the data, but this kind of protection must be planned in advance.

TDE performs real-time I/O encryption and decryption of the data and log files. The encryption uses a database encryption key (DEK), which is stored in the database boot record for availability during recovery. The DEK is a symmetric key secured by using a certificate stored in the master database of the server or an asymmetric key protected by an EKM module. TDE protects data “at rest”, meaning the data and log files. It provides the ability to comply with many laws, regulations, and guidelines established in various industries. This enables software developers to encrypt data by using AES and 3DES encryption algorithms without changing existing applications.

Encryption of the database file is performed at the page level. The pages in an encrypted database are encrypted before they are written to disk and decrypted when read into memory. TDE does not increase the size of the encrypted database.

Information applicable to SQL Database

When using TDE with SQL Database V12 V12 (Preview in some regions) the server-level certificate stored in the master database is automatically created for you by SQL Database. To move a TDE database on SQL Database you must decrypt the database, move the database, and then re-enable TDE on the destination SQL Database. For step-by-step instructions for TDE on SQL Database, see Transparent Data Encryption with Azure SQL Database.

The preview of status of TDE applies even in the subset of geographic regions where version family V12 of SQL Database is announced as now being in general availability status. TDE for SQL Database is not intended for use in production databases until Microsoft announces that TDE is promoted from preview to GA. For more information about SQL Database V12, see What’s new in Azure SQL Database.

Information applicable to SQL Server

After it is secured, the database can be restored by using the correct certificate. For more information about certificates, see SQL Server Certificates and Asymmetric Keys.

When enabling TDE, you should immediately back up the certificate and the private key associated with the certificate. If the certificate ever becomes unavailable or if you must restore or attach the database on another server, you must have backups of both the certificate and the private key or you will not be able to open the database. The encrypting certificate should be retained even if TDE is no longer enabled on the database. Even though the database is not encrypted, parts of the transaction log may still remain protected, and the certificate may be needed for some operations until the full backup of the database is performed. A certificate that has exceeded its expiration date can still be used to encrypt and decrypt data with TDE.

Encryption Hierarchy

The following illustration shows the architecture of TDE encryption. Only the database level items (the database encryption key and ALTER DATABASE portions are user-configurable when using TDE on SQL Database.

To use TDE, follow these steps.

Create a master key

Create or obtain a certificate protected by the master key

Create a database encryption key and protect it by the certificate

Set the database to use encryption

The following example illustrates encrypting and decrypting the AdventureWorks2012 database using a certificate installed on the server named MyServerCert.

The encryption and decryption operations are scheduled on background threads by SQL Server. You can view the status of these operations using the catalog views and dynamic management views in the list that appears later in this topic.

Backup files of databases that have TDE enabled are also encrypted by using the database encryption key. As a result, when you restore these backups, the certificate protecting the database encryption key must be available. This means that in addition to backing up the database, you have to make sure that you maintain backups of the server certificates to prevent data loss. Data loss will result if the certificate is no longer available. For more information, see SQL Server Certificates and Asymmetric Keys.

The TDE certificates must be encrypted by the database master key to be accepted by the following statements. If they are encrypted by password only, the statements will reject them as encryptors.

Altering the certificates to be password-protected after they are used by TDE will cause the database to become inaccessible after a restart.

The following table provides links and explanations of TDE commands and functions.

The following table shows TDE catalog views and dynamic management views.

Each TDE feature and command has individual permission requirements, described in the tables shown earlier.

Viewing the metadata involved with TDE requires the VIEW DEFINITION permission on the certificate.

While a re-encryption scan for a database encryption operation is in progress, maintenance operations to the database are disabled. You can use the single user mode setting for the database to perform the maintenance operation. For more information, see Set a Database to Single-user Mode.

You can find the state of the database encryption using the sys.dm_database_encryption_keys dynamic management view. For more information, see the “Catalog Views and Dynamic Management Views”section earlier in this topic).

In TDE, all files and filegroups in the database are encrypted. If any filegroups in a database are marked READ ONLY, the database encryption operation will fail.

If a database is being used in database mirroring or log shipping, both databases will be encrypted. The log transactions will be encrypted when sent between them.

Any new full-text indexes will be encrypted when a database is set for encryption. Previously-created full-text indexes will be imported during upgrade and they will be in TDE after the data is loaded into SQL Server. Enabling a full-text index on a column can cause that column’s data to be written in plain text onto the disk during a full-text indexing scan. We recommend that you do not create a full-text index on sensitive encrypted data.

Encrypted data compresses significantly less than equivalent unencrypted data. If TDE is used to encrypt a database, backup compression will not be able to significantly compress the backup storage. Therefore, using TDE and backup compression together is not recommended.

The following operations are not allowed during initial database encryption, key change, or database decryption:

Dropping a file from a filegroup in the database

Dropping the database

Taking the database offline

Detaching a database

Transitioning a database or filegroup into a READ ONLY state

The following operations are not allowed during the CREATE DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, ALTER DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, DROP DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, or ALTER DATABASE…SET ENCRYPTION statements.

Dropping a file from a filegroup in the database.

Dropping the database.

Taking the database offline.

Detaching a database.

Transitioning a database or filegroup into a READ ONLY state.

Using an ALTER DATABASE command.

Starting a database or database file backup.

Starting a database or database file restore.

Creating a snapshot.

The following operations or conditions will prevent the CREATE DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, ALTER DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, DROP DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, or ALTER DATABASE…SET ENCRYPTION statements.

The database is read-only or has any read-only file groups.

An ALTER DATABASE command is executing.

Any data backup is running.

The database is in an offline or restore condition.

A snapshot is in progress.

Database maintenance tasks.

When creating database files, instant file initialization is not available when TDE is enabled.

In order to encrypt the database encryption key with an asymmetric key, the asymmetric key must reside on an extensible key management provider.

Enabling a database to use TDE has the effect of “zeroing out” the remaining part of the virtual transaction log to force the next virtual transaction log. This guarantees that no clear text is left in the transaction logs after the database is set for encryption. You can find the status of the log file encryption by viewing the encryption_state column in the sys.dm_database_encryption_keys view, as in this example:

For more information about the SQL Server log file architecture, see The Transaction Log (SQL Server).

All data written to the transaction log before a change in the database encryption key will be encrypted by using the previous database encryption key.

After a database encryption key has been modified twice, a log backup must be performed before the database encryption key can be modified again.

The tempdb system database will be encrypted if any other database on the instance of SQL Server is encrypted by using TDE. This might have a performance effect for unencrypted databases on the same instance of SQL Server. For more information about the tempdb system database, see tempdb Database.

Replication does not automatically replicate data from a TDE-enabled database in an encrypted form. You must separately enable TDE if you want to protect the distribution and subscriber databases. Snapshot replication, as well as the initial distribution of data for transactional and merge replication, can store data in unencrypted intermediate files; for example, the bcp files. During transactional or merge replication, encryption can be enabled to protect the communication channel. For more information, see Enable Encrypted Connections to the Database Engine (SQL Server Configuration Manager).

FILESTREAM data is not encrypted even when TDE is enabled.

Files related to buffer pool extension (BPE) are not encrypted when database is encrypted using TDE. You must use file system level encryption tools like Bitlocker or EFS for BPE related files.

TDE can be enabled on a database that has In-Memory OLTP objects. In-Memory OLTP log records are encrypted if TDE is enabled. Data in a MEMORY_OPTIMIZED_DATA filegroup is not encrypted if TDE is enabled.

Move a TDE Protected Database to Another SQL ServerEnable TDE Using EKMTransparent Data Encryption with Azure SQL DatabaseSQL Server EncryptionSQL Server and Database Encryption Keys (Database Engine)Security Center for SQL Server Database Engine and Azure SQL DatabaseFILESTREAM (SQL Server)

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Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) – msdn.microsoft.com

Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things | MIT News

Most sensitive web transactions are protected by public-key cryptography, a type of encryption that lets computers share information securely without first agreeing on a secret encryption key.

Public-key encryption protocols are complicated, and in computer networks, theyre executed by software. But that wont work in the internet of things, an envisioned network that would connect many different sensors embedded in vehicles, appliances, civil structures, manufacturing equipment, and even livestock tags to online servers. Embedded sensors that need to maximize battery life cant afford the energy and memory space that software execution of encryption protocols would require.

MIT researchers have built a new chip, hardwired to perform public-key encryption, that consumes only 1/400 as much power as software execution of the same protocols would. It also uses about 1/10 as much memory and executes 500 times faster. The researchers describe the chip in a paper theyre presenting this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference.

Like most modern public-key encryption systems, the researchers chip uses a technique called elliptic-curve encryption. As its name suggests, elliptic-curve encryption relies on a type of mathematical function called an elliptic curve. In the past, researchers including the same MIT group that developed the new chip have built chips hardwired to handle specific elliptic curves or families of curves. What sets the new chip apart is that it is designed to handle any elliptic curve.

Cryptographers are coming up with curves with different properties, and they use different primes, says Utsav Banerjee, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and first author on the paper. There is a lot of debate regarding which curve is secure and which curve to use, and there are multiple governments with different standards coming up that talk about different curves. With this chip, we can support all of them, and hopefully, when new curves come along in the future, we can support them as well.

Joining Banerjee on the paper are his thesis advisor, Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of MITs School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Arvind, the Johnson Professor in Computer Science Engineering; and Andrew Wright and Chiraag Juvekar, both graduate students in electrical engineering and computer science.

Modular reasoning

To create their general-purpose elliptic-curve chip, the researchers decomposed the cryptographic computation into its constituent parts. Elliptic-curve cryptography relies on modular arithmetic, meaning that the values of the numbers that figure into the computation are assigned a limit. If the result of some calculation exceeds that limit, its divided by the limit, and only the remainder is preserved. The secrecy of the limit helps ensure cryptographic security.

One of the computations to which the MIT chip devotes a special-purpose circuit is thus modular multiplication. But because elliptic-curve cryptography deals with large numbers, the chips modular multiplier is massive. Typically, a modular multiplier might be able to handle numbers with 16 or maybe 32 binary digits, or bits. For larger computations, the results of discrete 16- or 32-bit multiplications would be integrated by additional logic circuits.

The MIT chips modular multiplier can handle 256-bit numbers, however. Eliminating the extra circuitry for integrating smaller computations both reduces the chips energy consumption and increases its speed.

Another key operation in elliptic-curve cryptography is called inversion. Inversion is the calculation of a number that, when multiplied by a given number, will yield a modular product of 1. In previous chips dedicated to elliptic-curve cryptography, inversions were performed by the same circuits that did the modular multiplications, saving chip space. But the MIT researchers instead equipped their chip with a special-purpose inverter circuit. This increases the chips surface area by 10 percent, but it cuts the power consumption in half.

The most common encryption protocol to use elliptic-curve cryptography is called the datagram transport layer security protocol, which governs not only the elliptic-curve computations themselves but also the formatting, transmission, and handling of the encrypted data. In fact, the entire protocol is hardwired into the MIT researchers chip, which dramatically reduces the amount of memory required for its execution.

The chip also features a general-purpose processor that can be used in conjunction with the dedicated circuitry to execute other elliptic-curve-based security protocols. But it can be powered down when not in use, so it doesnt compromise the chips energy efficiency.

They move a certain amount of functionality that used to be in software into hardware, says Xiaolin Lu, director of the internet of things (IOT) lab at Texas Instruments. That has advantages that include power and cost. But from an industrial IOT perspective, its also a more user-friendly implementation. For whoever writes the software, its much simpler.

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Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things | MIT News

How to keep your cryptocurrency safe – CNET

@benglabs

One of the hallmark qualities of cryptocurrency is its virtuality. Unlike most other forms of currency, crypto has no physical embodiment. You can’t get it as paper, coin, bar of gold or fancy bead. There’s no token that needs to be locked up in a bank vault or buried beneath a mattress.

But like anything valuable, cryptocurrency needs to be protected. It exists as a natively digital entity that requires an internet connection for any transaction — and that connectedness makes it vulnerable to hacking. In fact, despite its ethereal nature, it’s at least as susceptible to plunder as cash or gold. And with cryptocurrency, these violations are likely to come remotely.

Read: Bitcoin explained — everything you need to know

Many newcomers buy cryptocurrency from an exchange, such as Coinbase or BitFlyer, and leave their holdings in those sites’ “custodial” wallets. But like any other online entity, the exchanges are vulnerable to hacking — and as the crossroads for many billions of dollars of transactions every day, they make for particularly attractive targets. The cautionary tales of Mt. Gox, which “lost” 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins in 2014;NiceHash, which was robbed of $60 million in December 2017; and a recent close call at Binanceshow the risks associated with leaving your coins in an exchange’s online wallet.

Conventional wisdom dictates that if you’ve got more virtual currency than you’d be comfortable carrying around on your person, or you intend to hold it as a long-term investment, you should keep it in “cold storage.” This could be a computer that’s disconnected from the internet or a specialized USB drive called a hardware wallet. (We’ll take a look at how those work in a future explainer.)

Dedicating a computer to store your cryptocurrency or shelling out for a hardware wallet isn’t an option for everyone, however. Well known devices such as the Trezor and Ledger cost between $75 and $100 and, by design, add complexity and a few extra steps to every transaction. Software wallets, by contrast, are usually free and easily accessed though, ultimately, less secure.

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A cryptocurrency wallet’s primary function is to store the public and private keys you need to conduct a transaction on the blockchain. Many also offer features such as integrated currency swapping. There are three main kinds of software wallets — desktop, online and mobile — and each offers a different combination of convenience and security.

Desktop wallets are software you install on your computer. They give you lots of control over your assets but, if connected to the internet, remain vulnerable. A malware infection, the remote takeover of your computer or — even if you’re not online — a hard-drive failure could be a catastrophe.

Read:Blockchain Decoded on CNET

Online wallets are hosted on a website. This makes them convenient because they’re accessible from any internet-connected device. The downside: Your private keys are (theoretically) known to the website owner and, from a technical perspective, there’s not much to stop them from simply taking your coins.

Mobile app wallets are optimized for retail transactions — that is, paying for stuff with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. But because your encryption keys are stored on your phone, you lose your coins if you lose your device. You thought it was a bummer to leave your phone in a taxi? Imagine how bad it will be if it has thousands of dollars of cryptocurrency locked on it.

Whether you choose a hardware, software or paper wallet to manage your passwords and private keys, there are a handful of things you can do to keep your stash safer. These include:

We’ll take a high-level view of some well known software wallets to provide an overview of the different features and tradeoffs to consider.

Note: There are many wallet options available, and we have not comprehensively tested any of these. As such, we cannot recommend any of them. As with everything related to cryptocurrency, you are advised to do your own research before making any decisions. Caveat emptor!

A versatile online wallet, Jaxx can be installed on a computer (Windows, Mac or Linux), added as an extension to the Chrome web browser, or downloaded as an app on an Android or Apple phone or tablet. In addition to helping you store dozens of cryptocurrencies, Jaxx’s support for the ShapeShift API makes it easy to swap coins — say, Litecoin for Ether — right inside the wallet. ShapeShift’s exchange rates aren’t always as low as what you’ll find on major exchanges and they do charge a transaction fee (or “miner fee”), which was about 40 cents on the Bitcoin to Ether transaction we priced out. Jaxx offers novices an easy pathway into alt-coins that aren’t yet supported by Coinbase or Bittrex.

Learn more: jaxx.io

Super simple to install and use, MetaMask is a specialist, supporting only ERC20 tokens — that is, any cryptocurrency built on the Ethereum platform. The good news: there are about 50,000 or so tokens (and projects) built on Ethereum, accounting for roughly 90 percent of the total cryptocurrency market cap, which was more than $200 billionat the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

MetaMask can be used to send, receive and store Ethereum tokens and private keys. All of the data is encrypted and stored locally, making it difficult for the developers or anyone else to steal your keys or coins remotely. And, in addition to its storage and transactional capabilities, the MetaMask extension connects most web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Brave) with the growing universe of decentralized applications, also known as dApps, being built on the Ethereum platform.

Learn more: metamask.io

The Exodus software wallet is a good entry-level wallet for cryptocurrency newcomers. It’s known for responsive customer support, copious user documentation and a refined design and interface. It accommodates dozens of coins (here’s a full list) and was the first wallet to support Shapeshift. There’s no mobile app yet, however, and Exodus doesn’t offer two-factor authentication or multisignature addressing, which gives you the power to require approval from multiple devices before finalizing a transaction. This could give security-minded coin owners pause.

Learn more: exodus.io

One of the first mobile wallets, Mycelium has since established a solid reputation as a secure and user-friendly way to store bitcoin (and, so far, only bitcoin). Like any credible wallet, it lets you generate a set of 12 “seed words” that will help you restore the wallet if you lose access to your private keys. There’s no desktop interface, but it can be used in tandem with a cold storage solution, managing your accounts on a hardware device like a Trezor or Ledger. (The company also produces a USB key that generates paper wallets; plug it into your printer and out comes a paper wallet without any need for a computer.)

Instead of using ShapeShifter, Mycelium runs its own reputation-based exchange platform, which helps coordinate bitcoin trades between buyers and sellers. Transactions incur a fee that ranges from about 70 cents to $8 depending on the priority you set — that is, how quickly you want it to be confirmed and added to the blockchain.

Learn more: wallet.mycelium.com

Remember: Do your own research before installing or using any of these wallet technologies — or trading or investing in any cryptocurrency.

Buying and selling bitcoin: A quick and dirty introduction to trading cryptocurrency.

Initial coin offerings, explained: How can this possibly be a legitimate way to raise money?

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How to keep your cryptocurrency safe – CNET

Standard Exchanges Bitcoin.com

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Standard Exchanges Bitcoin.com