Paying with Bitcoin: What You Need to Know

This article was originally published on HoganInjury.com

Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, continues to rise in popularity despite its value’s volatility recently; and if you are looking to use bitcoin to pay for things, you have to take due diligence in knowing how to do it, where you can spend, buy, or earn bitcoins, and what the risks and advantages are.

How do you pay with bitcoin?

First, you need a bitcoin wallet. There are free bitcoin wallets available for smartphones and all major operating systems. Just like with a physical wallet, you must always secure it – this means being careful with online services, putting backup and encryption, and putting just small amounts in it for everyday use.

A very common use for bitcoin is for online purchases. Today, there are hundreds of retailers and online shops – even local businesses – that accept bitcoins. Bitcoin can be used to purchase gift cards, videogames, household items; you can also use it in tipping and donating to charity. There are different ways to pay using your bitcoin. You can pay using your wallet or app, via QR code, or pay directly to a bitcoin address. Making a blockchain payment is fast and convenient – and you do not need to key in sensitive information when making a payment.

What are the advantages?

  • Anonymity. Your purchases are discrete with bitcoin, which means they are never associated with your personal identity. In fact, the bitcoin address generated is different for every purchase you make.
  • Low Transaction Fees. Since there is still no government involvement in bitcoin transactions at this point, the costs of transacting are very low.
  • Mobile. Since paying with bitcoin can be done using an app on your mobile phone, you can pay for our purchases anywhere you are as long as you have internet access.
  • No interruptions. Since the bitcoin system is purely peer-to-peer, it is void of involvement of banks, financial institutions, and the government.
  • No Sales Taxes. One major advantage of paying with bitcoin is that no sales taxes are added in your purchases since there are no third parties identify or track them.

What are the risks?

One thing that you need to understand is that bitcoin, no matter how popular it has become at this point, is still experimental. Getting into bitcoin now can mean that you have to deal with the growing pains as it still at the stage in which it is still improving and such improvements may bring about new challenges.

Bitcoin price very volatile. You should look at bitcoin as a high risk asset and you must not keep your savings with bitcoin at this point.

You must adopt good practices in protecting your privacy as bitcoin is not entirely anonymous. Your identity behind the bitcoin address you’re using may be anonymous, but transactions and balances in your address can be seen by anyone.

Bitcoin payments cannot be reversed, so only transact with people you trust and business that have already established their reputation. Beware of scams, fake ICOS, and fraudulent activities.

Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.

(Link to original article: https://www.hoganinjury.com/paying-with-bitcoin-what-you-need-to-know/)

Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum

By: Dennis Karpovitch

Over the past few weeks, BizTech members have had the chance to attend a few different conferences that offered insights into innovation and emerging technologies. Here’s what they saw!

Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum

In September, BizTech attended the Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship forum in Santa Clara, California. The conference opened up with a Global Blockchain Summit that gathered experts from around the world to share knowledge, trends, and insights on Blockchain. The discussion was optimistic about the future applications of this breakthrough technology in trusted digital registration and the decentralized exchange of just about anything.

20180930_145511

Keynote topics varied from Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security to Venture Capital and Innovation, but one notable speaker was Richard Lie, CEO of the Sino-Singapore Innovation Park Development Company in Chengdu. His talk focused around a vision to develop a high-end industrial and residential township that would feature an AI Innovation Centre and the Life Science Incubation Park. By bringing Singaporean companies and their employees to the same place, it will be easier for them to communicate and exchange information whether they are in consulting, finance, services or design. This is one of several private sector-led, government supported projects that Singapore has in China, but it will create a high-tech society on the forefront of innovation. In about two years, the township should take shape and gradually see more people living and working in Chengdu.

(Aside) The initiative for creating an innovative community has been undertaken by many leaders around the world including Jeffrey Berns, CEO of Blockchains LLC. Berns imagines a vast experimental community governed by a distributed collaborative entity would operate on a blockchain where everyone’s ownership rights and voting powers will be recorded in a digital wallet for that community. While this is way beyond the accomplishments of blockchain presented in the conference, people like Berns aren’t discouraged (New York Times).

The conference also featured a high tech venture exhibition for start-ups and investors to display their products. Here were some of the highlights:

Dreamworld presented its Dream Glass, one of the most cutting-edge yet affordable AR technologies available to the public. Dream Glass is designed for mobile platforms and is one of the first headsets to offer a 90 degree optical-see-through field of view with natural hand gesture interaction. When trying out the product, the headset was very light and the projections were incredibly clear, so the whole experience amazingly smooth. Dreamworld believes in the value of Tech for People and player on the frontier of augmented reality.

20180930_125858

AISense presented Otter.ai. A terrific speech recognition and natural language processing technology that records human conversations. AISense’s flagship product is the first in the world that can take meeting notes and share the transcript in real time. It can also distinguish between speakers and label each one in the text feed. SVIEF 2018 and TechCrunch Disrupt 2018 both selected Otter.ai as the exclusive voice app to provide live transcription for all speeches and panels.

20180930_112133

Anki presented Cozmo, a mini robot that can adapt to its environment and has a personality of its own. Anki is a robotics and A.I. company that creates unique consumer robots with cutting-edge technology that was once confined to robotics labs and research institutes. The company employs multidisciplinary teams of top roboticists, film animators, engineers, and game developers in order to bring objects to life through robotics and artificial intelligence, ultimately allowing people to build relationships with technology that feel a little more human.

Bitcoin Scams and How to Avoid Them

Image Source

This article was originally published on HoganInjury.com

Bitcoin has taken the world by storm, and since its introduction in 2008, it has inevitably faced several controversies. Scammers found a gold mine in the digital currency for many reasons. One of them is the fact that only a few people understand it, which makes it easier to make them believe false promises. Another reason is anonymity – cryptocurrency gives scammers relative ease to cover their tracks. Lastly, a major reason is that it is largely unregulated.  Bitcoin chiefly operates outside of the conventions of a financial system; and this worries regulators as it has the potential to be linked to money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, and terrorist funding.

What are the most common bitcoin scams and how do you spot them?

Fake Bitcoin Exchanges. One popular example for these would be South Korea’s BitKRX, which posed to be a branch of the country’s Korean Exchange (KRX) and claimed to be a platform to exchange and trade bitcoin. Ultimately, it turned out to be fraudulent. There are also those that pretend to be connected with well-known exchanges using apps or fake websites; users are scammed when they log in and their account details are given away. When you are directed to a website, make sure that the URL has “HTTPS” rather than just “HTTP.” Without the letter S, it means that the web traffic has no security and encryption.

Ponzi Scams. Someone promises an incredible return of investment using bitcoin and a lot of people buy in it. Before you know it, someone runs off with all of your money. That’s basically how Ponzi schemes work. At first, victims will be made to believe that it actually works – say, the digits in their bank account are increasing. This will also make them talk about its “success” and convince others to join in. Eventually, calls to the customer service are unanswered, there are technical problems with the website, or the money will be remitted late – among several excuses while your money disappears for good. If you see ads that sound like, “double your bitcoin overnight,” they’re probably scams. How it usually works is you have to send them your money first before they can double it.

Pyramid Schemes. Scammers use bitcoin as a product in pyramid scams. In these schemes, your low initial investment will be multiplied if you invite more people to sign up. After a lot of people have invested their money, the original scammer walks away with all the money.

Malware. Hackers have long been using malware in order to get a hold of other people’s login credentials and account details. Now, it’s being used to drain Bitcoin wallets that are connected to the Internet.

 

How do you avoid falling into these scams?

  • If the offer is too good to be true, stay away from it.
  • Be vigilant on social media – legitimate bitcoin traders and brokers can be victims of poser accounts or impersonators.
  • Never conduct financial transactions via direct messages on social media platforms.
  • Do your homework and research on services and platforms you encounter; verify their claims and check their legitimacy or whether they are a registered corporation or not.

Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.

(Link to original article: https://www.hoganinjury.com/bitcoin-scams-and-how-to-avoid-them/)

The Advancement of 5G

By: Dylan Chen

5G

With the advancement of wireless technology, 5G is creeping closer among us. Here are some things that you should know before 5G takes the world by storm. The integration of 5G brings along an even faster network, very low latency, and the ability to carry many connections as the same time. Some potential new uses coming from this enhanced mobile broadband includes ultra HD video while moving and virtual reality. 5G works by using a system of cell sites that divide their territory into sectors and send encoded data through radio waves.

With a faster network, 5G will allow more connections at a time while also using less power. This will provide additional monthly revenue for carriers. Like other cellular networks, 5G networks use a system of cell sites that divide their territory into sectors and send encoded data through radio waves. Each cell site must be connected to a network backbone, whether it’s through a wired or wireless backhaul connection.

With lower latency there will be very minimal delay for when the transfer of data begins, following an instruction for its transfer. In fact, downloads speeds are expected to be 1GB as a norm. 5G will run primarily through two different types of airwaves – below 6GHz and above 6GHz. The lower frequency 5G networks will use existing cellular and Wifi bands to utilize more flexible encoding and large channel sizes to reach speeds that will be 25-50% faster than 4G. In addition, new sites won’t be needed because these new networks will cover the same distance as existing ones.

Some drawbacks, however, is that wireless data prices are falling and growth in demand can be in different ways, such as denser LTE networks and Wi-Fi off-loading. Other obstacles, including constant connectivity, will be limited for high-band 5G due to propagation losses at higher frequencies. However, the revenues for the average internet of things will only be a fraction of those for mobile broadband because of low usage.

IOT.png

When 5G takes the world by storm it will be able to connect many more devices together. Smaller, cheaper, and low-powered devices will be able to utilize 5G along with high-powered devices so many different kinds of sensors will be connected to the internet. In addition, phones will finally be able to incorporate virtual reality into its daily functions, as low latency and consistent 5G speeds will ensure that VR headsets run smoothly with devices. The ability to connect several devices together, lower latency and a faster connection shows that 5G is a monumental step for technological innovation.

Digital Banking

By: Bill Tan

Digital Banking

With the recent development in Fintech, an uprising area – Digital banking – is attracting more interests from the general public due to a millennial shift towards online banking. Digital banking is a sector within Fintech. Often, the term “digital banking” is misunderstood with online banking or mobile banking. Online banking usually is an additional feature where bank account holders view their balances and transaction history.

Digital Banking is a broader field that utilizes the online/virtual form as its base line of financial transactions. There are many benefits of digital banking comparing to traditional retail banks. Digital banks have a minimal number of physical branches. Instead, they use 24/7 online banking service and automated kiosks. Moving most of the transactions online allows the banks to save 20%-40% operating cost. With a decreasing operating cost, there is an increase in the operating income. While digital banks benefit financially from the reducing administrative expense, customers also benefit from a reducing, or even zero, transaction fees and 24/7 concentrated customer services. Some of the additional benefits include fewer (ideally zero) transaction and administrative mistakes, and smoother and convenient banking experience.

Although there are many anticipations of digital banking, there are many challenges to new digital banks. An established digital bank requires a large active user base allowing the bank to generate enough cash flow to break-even. The initial stage of a new digital bank struggles to break even, thus, requiring confident investors to back the bank up until it reaches profitability. The misunderstanding of “digital banking” and the requirements of basic knowledge in mobile applications also limit a portion of the targeted audiences. However, with the growing usage of mobile devices and marketing, these struggles gradually become less problematic.

Nonetheless, digital banking is a growing Fintech field and requires a little more adaptation time. Banks such as N26 and Revolut are experiencing global expansion and approaching the break-even point. Soon, there will be more accessible digital banks available to choose from.