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The Truth About Credit Cards – How Do Credit Cards Really Work?

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I often find myself answering this question. I recently found myself embroiled in a debate and conversation with my own credit card company regarding an interest charge. It was only $13.00 but I wanted to get to the bottom of this great misunderstand and regular debate as a public service to my clients.

The following is the explanation and example courtesy of my Citibank card services representative.

When you agree to accept a credit card you are agreeing that you will pay the amount they are loaning you for that month [or “billing cycle”] back in full or you will pay interest on the entire amount regardless of how much you have paid [down or off]. You will continue to pay that interest until that amount is paid off. If you use the card in the meantime, say the next month [billing cycle] that will also be added on and usually to the end. So you will not be able to pay on that amount until you pay off the prior amount.

Example: January you have a credit card with a $2000 limit & 22% interest rate. You charge up $2,000 on that card during January. The bill comes at the end of the month and you pay $1,000 of that bill. February you will pay 22% on the total $2,000 because you said you would. You also agreed that you would pay 22% until that original amount is paid off. If you didn’t use the card and you paid the final $1,000 off when your February statement came, you would be paying the $1,000 plus 22% interest on the $2,000. If during March if you still have not charged more on the card you would potentially have the interest for the $1,000 at 22% interest and be done.

What About Balance Transfers?

Tragically most people don’t know this, nor do they understand that by charging more on this card the problem just continues to compound and snowball. Hence, the statement often comes up, “I should be OK because I rolled mine over to a “0%” card for 1 year [or some other specific term]. That is fine, however, there are two additional pitfalls which can [and do] significantly change this ideal temporary recovery window. First, you potentially will have to pay a fee, typically this is a percentage of the balance transferred. If it is a large balance, this will equate to a large amount. Second, if you use this [new 0%] card after you have rolled over debt from another card, you will have to pay off the transferred balance prior to beginning to pay on the new charges you have added which are accruing at whatever the assessed rate of the card will be following the “one year zero interest period” ends.

The following example is courtesy of one of my clients.

Example: The client transferred $20,000 from a high interest credit card to a zero interest credit card for 12 months. He was short on cash one evening and strictly and out of convenience, he used this [new card] for the dinner bill of $70.00 bucks. After speaking with the card services rep. he was informed of the following. In the agreement he signed for this [new] card, he agreed that the balance transfer amount would be assessed at 0% interest. However, if he uses this card the charges would “hunt to the end” or come behind the $20,000 to pay off, if you will. Meaning, the $20,000 is at 0% interest but the $70 which he could not pay off until the $20,000 is paid off, is accruing at 29% and would continue to do so until the initial $20,000 is completely paid off. Only after this initial transfer was paid off, would the client be able to pay off the $70 plus interest at that point.

NOTE: “Billing Cycle [which is yet another way you can get hung up but we’ll address at another time].

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DeFi Hack: Vee Finance Losses $35 Million To Hackers Following Mainnet Launch

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Vee Finance

One of the major threats to businesses online, not only the crypto industry, is cybercriminals’ attacks. Even though the existing networks are supposed to be safe and secure, attackers often find loopholes to exploit them in the bid to steal investors’ funds. This is not new in the online world. There have been occasions when hackers even forced companies to shut down.

The decentralized finance sector has seen a lot of growth in recent times, but the growing exploitation cases are becoming alarming. Many protocols have suffered such attacks amounting to losses to the tune of millions of dollars. The latest to record such an exploit is Vee Finance based on the Avalanche Blockchain.

Hackers stole $35 million from this protocol a few days after its mainnet went live on the host network. Before reporting this incident, Vee Finance stopped all its transactions on September 20, 2021. The team suspected questionable activities in the network and had to stop rendering services to users.

Vee Finance Lost Money In BTC And ETH

The two cryptos that hackers stole are BTC and ETH. The total number of BTC was 214, while ETH was 8,804. Checking the value of both at press time, the amount was above $35M. According to what the team revealed, the hackers targeted a particular address through the trade contract address of the protocol.

Related Reading | Will Fear And Greed Keep Bitcoin Buyers From The Halloween Effect?

As soon as the Vee Finance team discovered this exploit, they stopped rendering the contract and also stopped all borrowing and depositing functions on the platform.

However, the team hasn’t said much about the reason and how the hackers got access to the address. All we could gather is that they’re fixing the issue and attempting to facilitate a possible funds recovery from the criminals.

In its statement, Vee Finance assured users that its goal is to protect their interests, and that’s what the team will focus on achieving.

Vee Finance To Alleviate Mining Operations

The recently exploited protocol is amongst the emerging DeFi projects that aim to improve the mining features of the sector.

Vee Finance wants to boost processes such as leverage mining, liquidity mining, and transaction mining. September 14 was the day it went live on the Avalanche network. It also launched its liquidity mining feature the same day.

Like many other DeFi protocols, Vee Finance also relies on Chainlink price feeds to get real-time value for digital assets on-chain. This is part of the benefits of using blockchain oracle solutions. Five days following the launch, the protocol garnered a total of $300 million in TVL (Total Valued Locked).

Unfortunately, a few days later, the protocol lost $35 million to hackers. In recent times though, many other protocols on the Avalanche blockchain have recorded such losses.

Related Reading | Mid-Cap Altcoins Hold Onto Highs Better Than Bitcoin And Ethereum

Some of them include Zabu Finance, which lost $3.2 million to hackers, crashing its value to zero. But the Avalanche Blockchain has been growing recently, and even the native token, AVAX, is also rising in value.

The AVAX Token is rising by 10% as per the chart | Source: AVAXUSD on TradingView
Featured image from PYMNTS, charts from TradingView.com

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El Salvador’s Chivo And Bitcoin Adoption In Mindblowing Facts And Stats

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Chivo, a goat over a mountain

Why didn’t we thought of measuring Chivo and Bitcoin adoption this way? Cero anecdotal evidence. Only facts, numbers, and reports from wherever we can get them. What do we know about the Chivo Wallet’s Lightning node? What apps besides the government wallet are the Salvadorans using? Are they happy with them? Investor and blogger Kevin Rooke has a fresh take on El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption and we’re here to summarize it. 

“I wanted a deeper understanding of how real people in El Salvador are interacting with Bitcoin, so I went off in search of other success metrics.”

Related Reading | New To Bitcoin? Learn To Trade Crypto With The NewsBTC Trading Course

However, since “the Lightning Network is private by design,” it’s hard to accurately measure “payment volumes and the flow of funds between various wallets and exchanges.” So, what did Kevin Rooke do? He looked everywhere else for hard data about Chivo and Bitcoin adoption. Let’s explore what he found.

BTC price chart for 09/24/2021 on Exmo | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

The Chivo Ecosystem Is Growing Fast

To measure the Chivo wallet’s adoption, Rooke used the official information provided by President Bukele. Not ideal, but not uncommon either. It’s easier to get info about the Chivo Lightning node because you can check all the public info here. But wait, why is the Salvadorean government running a Lightning node?

“Just like every other participant on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, Chivo runs a Lightning node. Since Chivo is a custodial wallet, all Lightning payments that Chivo users send to and from other Lightning wallets will transfer liquidity to and from Chivo’s node.”

Through those sources, what did the author find out about the Chivo ecosystem?

  • At the moment, “Chivo’s node has 12.7 BTC of public capacity.” Which is 1,269,941,898 sats.
  • The Chivo node “ranks 83rd among public Lightning nodes.” 
  • At the time of writing, it’s connected to 58 other channels, but this number changes daily.
  • Back to the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, the Chivo wallet remains at the top of the popularity list, “beating all the most popular social media apps like WhatsApp, TikTok, and Instagram.
  • O bet you haven’t thought about this one, “By onboarding over 1.6 million users in just two weeks, Chivo is likely the most popular Lightning Network app in the world today.

What About The Other Bitcoin Apps? Are They Popular In El Salvador?

Ok, granted. El Salvador’s government incentivizes the downloading of the Chivo wallet app with $30. That has to move the needle. However, when it comes to all the other Bitcoin apps, such an incentive doesn’t exist. How are they measuring up to other financial apps? 

El Salvador's most popular apps, September 2021

El Salvador's most popular apps for September 2021 | Source: Kevin Rooke

This infographic says it all:

  • Salvadorans are already showing strong preference for Bitcoin apps over banking and remittance apps on a national scale,” as the graphic shows.
  • To put it in numbers, “9 and 13 of the top 20 apps on the respective app stores” are Bitcoin apps. And Chivo is at number one.
  • Most of El Salvador’s banks and payment processors have user ratings of 2-4 stars,” that’s the traditional banking system for you.
  •  On the other hand, “Bitcoin related apps have user ratings of 3-5 stars.” Even though it’s still early, the facts are the facts. It should be noted that the Chivo app is at the lower end of that spectrum.

Related Reading | How Big Is Bitcoin’s Lightning Network? The Answer Will Surprise You

Besides that, Kevin Rooke identified a truth that might be obvious to some, but has to be said:

“The millions of Salvadorans that have already been onboarded to the Lightning Network aren’t Silicon Valley nerds or early tech enthusiasts. They’re regular people that are making a conscious choice to use the Lightning Network because it saves them time and money.”

And they don’t have to use the Chivo ecosystem if they don’t want to. That’s a fact.

Featured Image by Ray Aucott on Unsplash - Charts by TradingView
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Binance Adds New Crypto Trading Pairs for Its Users

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Binance Adds New Crypto Trading Pairs for Its Users

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange platform, is now adding new trading pairs. The users can now trade on these pairs ARPA/RUB, DF/USDT, FET/BUSD, LTC/UAH, SOL/USDC, STX/BUSD and SYS/USDT. Also, the trading pairs activate  at 2021-09-24 10:00 AM (UTC).

Binancians can trade the cryptocurrencies with listed pairs with low transaction fees in the Binance exchange. Besides these trading pairs helps the users to invest their assets on different cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Binance exchange is popular for its low trading costs which is much lower among other U.S exchanges. 

Binance Crypto Trading pairs

At present Binance exchange is trading more than 740 digital currency and fiat pairs including all top cryptocurrencies. The exchange is increasing its network by adding new coins and tokens to satisfy its users. Thus, Binancians are also happy to be a part of the exchange community to explore new trading pairs.

Unlike other U.S cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance ranks highest for its low spot trading fee of 0.1% including eToro and Coinbase. Along with trading, the users can fund their amount with fairly charges. However,  Binance offers its users a seamless trading experience through a variety of crypto assets and trading volume. 

Besides releasing new coins and tokens in the exchange, Binance also adds new trading pairs for its users. Binance currently open trading pairs for crypto assets and fiat currencies like ARPA/RUB, DF/USDT, FET/BUSD, LTC/UAH, SOL/USDC, STX/BUSD & SYS/USDT. In this  RUB and UAH are fiat currencies which do not depict any cryptocurrencies. 

Moreover, from the initial stage to present Binance have added more than 740 trading pairs and continue to increase the pairings enabling its users to trade their favourite coins. Besides, the low trading and transactions fees is the best competitive strategy used by Binance to sustain in the marketplace. 

For more information and updates, please visit:

Website:   https://www.binance.com/en 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/binance 

Telegram:  https://t.me/binanceexchange 

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Cardano Summit Begins Tomorrow, Here’s What You Should Know

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Picture of a Cardano logo with the galaxy behind it

The Cardano summit is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Saturday, September 25th. The summit is scheduled to run for two days, the 25th to the 26th, and promises to be a one-of-a-kind event. Meetups are available in six locations around the world. But the summit will feature both live and virtual events where anyone from around the world can attend. Local groups are also available with community-led events.

Events at the Cardano summit are split by the worlds they fall into. Currently, the summit features seven different worlds in which individuals can choose to participate in. These worlds include Cardano World, Utility, Impact, Governance, Adoption, Catalyst, and Community.

Related Reading | Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson Says The Term Smart Contracts Needs To Be Changed

The Cardano community is still giddy with the recent launch of smart contracts capability on the network, and with good reason. This summit promises some bigger announcements following this incredible feat. Details of what might be expected from the team are still sparse. So right now, it really is a waiting game as the opening of the summit draws closer.

The partly virtual event features avatars for participants to communicate with one another. While also featuring notable keynote speakers from the crypto space that will speak throughout the two-day summit. In addition to these will be the availability of limited edition NFTs minted on the blockchain to be collected throughout the summit. Founder Charles Hoskinson will provide the live opening keynote across all seven worlds to mark the beginning of the summit.

Hydra 2, DeFi, And The Cardano Network

Cardano recently announced the launch of the Hydra Layer 2 solution that will enable developers to build and deploy their decentralized apps (DApps) in a safe and secure environment. With the launch of Hydra, Hoskinson tweeted that more information will be available about the solution at the summit.

More information about decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols launching on the network, with updates expected from decentralized protocols like Minswap and SundaeSwap, which are both built on the blockchain.

Related Reading | Why Cardano Bull Trend Isn’t Over And 91% Increase Is Imminent, deVere CEO Nigel Green

Founder Charles Hoskinson celebrates how far the blockchain has come up until this point. “The Cardano summit 2021 follows the launch of smart contract capabilities on Cardano, and a remarkable six years of intensive development and perf-reviewed academic research to create a third-generation blockchain platform which is not only eco-friendly but provably secure,” the founder said.

ADA price trending above $2.1 | Source: ADAUSD on TradingView.com

Future exploits by the developer are expected to be announced at the summit. Alongside how the project plans to bridge the gap when it comes to decentralized finance. The summit is open to participants from all around the world and sign-up is free at https://summit.cardano.org/.

Featured image from Beinchain, chart from TradingView.com

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Time Magazine Joins the NFT League in OpenSea!

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Time Magazine Joins the NFT League in OpenSea!