You would make roughly $700,000 more if you put $1,000 into Ethereum rather than Bitcoin two years ago…

ethereum

Okay, here it is, the post you’ve been waiting for. If you’re not depressed yet about getting onboard the cryptocurrency train late in its journey (or not at all), let me just warn you, you probably will be after reading this. I decided to put myself in your imaginary shoes, in a world where in December 2015, rather than spending $3,000 on something like; a ski vacation, the down-payment on a car, gold, or something else…you instead put it into Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.

Ready for the pain train? Let’s walk through this one by one starting with Bitcoin.

Two years ago Bitcoin was around $450 so for $1,000 you would get 2.22 Bitcoin. Today, 2.22 Bitcoin is worth $37,300.

Two years ago Litecoin was around $3.7 so for $1,000 you would get 270 Litecoin. Today, 270 Litecoin is worth $82,256.

Two years ago Ethereum was around $0.85 so for $1,000 you would get 1,176 Ether. Today, 1,176 Ether is worth $728,235.

Here’s what interesting about these numbers. While you might have thought that putting money into Bitcoin two years ago would have been the best move you could have made in the cryptocurrency world…that’s not actually true today. In fact, if you had only $1,000 to invest in December of 2015 and you put your money into Bitcoin rather than Ethereum…you would have left $690,935 on the table, ouch.

Sure, you’d be happy that you turned $1,000 into $37,300 – that’s pretty awesome, but let’s be honest, turning $1,000 into $728,235 is a lot more exciting, life-changing, etc.

Over the last week both Ethereum and Litecoin saw strong growth which is what makes the numbers above that much more shocking. Of course this begs the question – if you have $1,000 to invest in cryptocurrency today, where should you put it? One thing’s for sure – you don’t want to be sitting here two years from now looking at another list like this and kicking yourself for missing the boat.

Soon I will be sharing the investment moves that I’m making live on CoinTalent.com so I’ll be sharing where I’m putting my money, hopefully I won’t be kicking myself looking back on this post two years later!

A three minute primer on SegWit2x

segwit2x

If you’ve been reading cryptocurrency news over the last month then you’ve probably come across the term SegWit2x, which, to most people means absolutely nothing. At the same time, if you’ve tried researching what the heck SegWit2x is you’ve probably stumbled across some pretty lengthy articles that likely require a PhD to get through. So to make life easier, we thought we’d put together a quick three minute primer on what SegWit2x is, and why you should (or shouldn’t) care.

Let’s start with Segwit

First you need to know what SegWit is. SegWit is a process that increases the block size limit on a blockchain by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions. The net result here is that the volume of transactions that fit into a block can be increased without raising the block size parameter.

So what’s the deal with adding “2x” to the end of Segwit?

Segwit2x is the concept of activating Segwit and increasing the network’s block size to 2MB (today it’s 1MB so think – double).

What’s the general goal of Segwit2x?

The goal here is to increase Bitcoin’s transaction capacity.

Why is it so controversial?

Segwit2x is so controversial because many believe that it could cause a split, meaning that we’d actually have two different Bitcoin’s starting August 1st. This is part of what has been causing so much volatility in the cryptocurrency world over the last couple of weeks.

There, three minutes later and you now understand the basics of what Segwit2x is and why it matters. If you’re looking for a deeper dive (but not too deep) I highly recommend taking a look at this article on CoinDesk.

3 steps to setting up an Ethereum wallet quickly, not the slow boring way

ethereum-wallet

So you’ve decided you want to get started with Ethereum because everyone’s talking about it and you feel like you’re missing out. Whether you’re looking to trade the currency or mine it, you can’t do either without a wallet. Luckily setting up a wallet isn’t all that hard, but it isn’t completely straightforward, which is why we put together this simple guide. Before we dive into the three steps you’ll need to follow to get you shiny new Ethereum wallet ready to rock there’s a quick bit of knowledge we need to drop.

There are two different kinds of wallets, a desktop wallet and an online wallet. For now, here’s all you need to know. Online wallets aren’t great as a primary place to store your coins. They can get compromised, and when that happens, yeah, uh, you lose all your money, or ether. So we’re going to walk you through setting up a desktop wallet since we’re nice people and we don’t want you to lose all your ether.

Mist is the wallet that seems to be all the rage right now so we’ll be walking you through how to setup an Ethereum wallet using Mist in this tutorial because, well, everyone else is doing it. Just follow the steps below and in three easy steps you’ll be ready to trade or mine Ethereum.

Step 1: Download the Mist wallet

This may sound incredibly easy but it’s actually a bit funky. Unlike most applications you install, the Mist wallet doesn’t have a big bright download button that detects your operating system and downloads the right version for your computer. Instead, you’ll need to go to the Github repository for Mist (geek for where code goes) and select the right download for your OS. You’ll need to scroll down to the downloads section…it looks like this:

mist-wallet-download

Step 2: Open the wallet application

Once you’ve downloaded the Mist wallet it will make a folder called Mist wallet, nope, that would make too much sense. Instead, on Windows it makes a folder called win-unpacked, intuitive right? Well in that folder you’ll find an application called Ethereum wallet, open that and you’ll see a screen that looks like the image below. Now you’ll have to make yourself some coffee, heck it takes a while you could probably brew your own beer while it’s happening.

ethereum-wallet-downloading-blockchain

Step 3: Click “Launch Application”

Duh. Once the blockchain is all good to go you click the words at the bottom below the progress bar that say Launch Application and, what do you know…it launches the application. You’ll now see a window like the one below:

ethereum-wallet-main-screen

Your wallet address, which is that crazy long string below Main Account that starts with 0x is what you’ve been waiting for. You’ll need that to do all the fun stuff you plan to do with your Ether. Now go forth and conquer! Oh and if any of these steps change over time, please be a good sport and let us know in the comment section below.

Is the prospect of making money mining ethereum disappearing into thin air?

Wow. It has been a while, a long while since I last wrote on CoinTalent, and well, a lot has changed. Our last post was back in September of 2014 when Bitcoin was $465 and the thought of it exceeding $1,000 seemed like a complete pipe dream. Fast-forward to today and well, in case you missed the memo, Bitcoin has been on an absolute rampage and currently sits at $2,595.

I personally made an ROI of over 100% on my Bitcoin investments, but I bought in the low two hundreds and sold in the high four hundreds, so…while it’s a great ROI, I’m really kicking myself for selling when I did. Of course I’m not kicking myself as much as the guy who threw out a hard drive with $7.5M in Bitcoin on it so I guess it could be worse.

All that being said, I’ve decided to get back into the cryptocurrency game because I honestly feel like I’m missing out, and I probably am. However, I’m going to take a break from Bitcoin and start looking into other Cryptocurrencies since I do believe that a lot of good opportunities are still out there. The first currency I’ll be looking at is Ethereum and I’m going to start by turning my VR PC into a mining rig to see how it does and to learn more about Ethereum and the Ethereum mining process.

ethereum mining

Since I know absolutely nothing about Ethereum mining I’m turning to this how to on Reddit – Ethereum Mining 101 to learn the basics. If you look at my last post here on CoinTalent you know that I felt the ship really sailed for Bitcoin miners years ago so I’m not incredibly optimistic about Ethereum mining. Honestly I think that mining gets a lot of hype because, not surprisingly, people love the idea of being able to print money. Here’s the catch, if you could really print money, and do so easily, everyone would be doing it.

Instead what I see is people making money mining when they’re super early, so early that nobody is talking about it, there are no read me’s online about how to get started, it’s a fresh slate. That’s when there’s a real opportunity to mine. Once the front page of Google is full of articles on how to get started mining, and especially if the first article is from the Huffington Post, it’s safe to say, the word is out and the real opportunity is gone.

Here’s what you get when you do a Google search for Ethereum mining:

ethereum-miningHere’s the problem with mining once a cryptocurrency gets somewhat popular. The difficulty goes up a lot faster meaning that awesome rig and those calculations you did a few months ago, aren’t going to lead to the same results a few months from now. There’s an interesting thread on Reddit about this exact issue from a new Ethereum miner that is running into this right now:

I started mining at ethermine.org two weeks ago with 4 1070’s. At this time the estimated earnings nearly touched 2 eth pr month. Now the estimate has sunk to 1.5. Yes – the estimate varies depending on current average hashrate, but the trend is very clear. I wonder how it will continue to decrease, will the speed of the decrease slow down when it get’s more and more difficult? I sure hope so! If I do bad math and pretend this trend is going in straight line, and not a curve, the estimates will decrease to 0 eth in six more weeks!

The mining calculator at My Crypto Buddy tells me otherwise, but I can’t help being caught in my own mining-FUD. People say that having cheap electricity leaves me on a good course, but I can’t help constantly checking the rapid decline in estimated earnings at ethermine and wondering if I ever reach ROI. (Source – reddit.com/r/ethermining)

Over the next few weeks we’ll be doing a deeper dive into Ethereum mining. We’ve already discovered a number of tutorials either with outdated information or bad links so we’ll also be sharing what resources seem to have it right, and which might lead you down a path that just wastes your time and leaves you with an incomplete mining setup.

Stay-tuned, more to come!

Bitcoin Mining Is Now An Expensive Hobby For Most

A few weeks ago we set out to put-together an article about how someone can get started in the Bitcoin mining world. Since then we have connected-up with dozens of Bitcoin miners from around the world to get their feedback on how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to mining hardware.

While we were hoping to put-together a great article on how to generate passive income through Bitcoin mining, through our research we uncovered some tough realities about the current state of Bitcoin mining.

bitcoin-mining

When Bitcoin was over 1,000 and difficulty was lower there was money to be made and thus started the Bitcoin mining rush. The problem is, with Bitcoin now well below 1,000, heck below 500, mining has somewhat quietly moved into the “hobby” category, and it’s an expensive one at that.

Based on our conversations with professional Bitcoin miners even spending thousands of dollars will not land you a mining operation that can turn a profit. Instead, you’ll lose money and if you’re lucky break-even, but given how low Bitcoin values have fallen and how challenging the next level of difficulty is going to be, it’s safe to say that the days of Bitcoin mining riches have come to an end…for now.

So why do people still mine? 

What we discovered is that there are still plenty of people mining, but they’re doing it for fun, and in almost all cases at a loss. It’s a bit like buying a video game system and continuing to buy games for it, sure you’re not making any money but you’re having fun.

People start mining now just for the thrill of setting-up mining hardware, tweaking it, and getting the best hash rate they possible can. While some are holding onto the hop that Bitcoin will once again move past the $1,000 USD mark, most are realistic and realize that mining will be a hobby for them and a fun way to stay involved with the Bitcoin community, but that’s it.

The best way to get Bitcoin right now is to buy it not mine it. Still, if you like tinkering with computers and want a safe hobby (sorry hockey fans) that can keep you entrenched in the Bitcoin world, go right ahead, just know that most-likely this will always be a hobby and don’t plan on quitting your day job.

We’ve decided we’re still going to write a series about how to get started mining Bitcoin, but we felt it was important to write this article first so people know what they are getting into. Stay-tuned, if you’ve wanted to mine Bitcoin you might not make any money doing it but that won’t stop us from putting together a badass tutorial to help you get rocking!

Bitcoin ATMs are Popping-Up Everywhere

It’s official, the Bitcoin ATM train has left the station and it’s coming to a city near you. The latest Bitcoin ATM’s were spotted in Dallas, Texas after making their way to NYC a couple of weeks ago.

Photo credit WFAA

Photo credit WFAA

While these ATM machines will without a doubt make Bitcoiners happy, it also serves as a pretty nice advertisement for Bitcoin for everyone else who is going to an ATM machine and scratching their head saying, “What the heck is that?” It also starts to make ATM’s look a bit old-school given that a Bitcoin ATM is a lot more slim and futuristic-looking…oh and it doesn’t spit out paper money.

You can see a bit of local coverage of the new Bitcoin ATM’s…which of course means even more publicity for Bitcoin, which makes us all happy.

If you spot a Bitcoin ATM in your area send it our way, we’ll post it and if you get it to us before anyone else, we’ll pay a nice finders fee for the photo too! Just email your Bitcoin ATM photos to cointalent(at)outlook.com

Why this Bitcoin Miner is officially out of the mining game

There’s an interesting thread on BitcoinTalk.org, one of the top Bitcoin forums posted by a miner who is throwing in the towel. In his thread he announces to the community that electricity is too expensive in the country he is in to turn a profit. This is becoming an increasingly common issue amongst miners as Bitcoin’s price hovers around $500 USD.

No More Bitcoin Mining

We are doing a new series on getting started in the Bitcoin mining world for under $500 and based on what we’ve learned so far it looks like it might be incredibly hard to turn a profit without shelling out more cash.

What do you think? Do you need to have some serious bucks to make money in mining or is there still hope for the little guy? Judging by the fact that this thread was read 3,498 times it’s clear we aren’t the only one asking this question…

Building a Bitcoin mining rig for under $500: Part 1

We’ve had a number of requests from readers to put-together an article about how to build a Bitcoin mining rig without breaking the bank. While everyone considers different numbers to be high we think $500 is a fair place to draw the line as I think we can all agree that less than $500 is affordable.

Bitcoin Mining Rigs

The big question we want to answer is, can you still squeak out a profit running a mining rig in the US without spending thousands of dollars on the top of the line hardware? Many people have exited the Bitcoin mining game claiming that it’s getting harder and harder to make any money. This has also led a good number of people in the Litecoin and Dogecoin mining game which is another topic we’ll be covering after this series.

We are opening up the hardware selection for this series to the Bitcoin community, if you have a recommendation feel free to either post it in the comment section here, or on this thread on BitcoinTalk.

Given the number of outdated tutorials there are out there about Bitcoin mining we look forward to providing a fresh look at this for anyone looking to get started in the mining world.

Photo Credit: brendanlim via Compfight cc

YC-Backed SFOX Wants To Add Transparency to Bitcoin Pricing

There are a lot of places to buy and sell Bitcoins online, the problem is the prices can vary widely depending on where you look. A new YC-backed company is looking to add some much needed transparency to the Bitcoin world with some pretty snazzy algorithms built to save you money.

SFOX

Co-founder Akbar Thobhani (formerly at AirBnB) told Techcrunch via email:

“Our goal is simple – find our customers the best price for their bitcoin. To do this, we work with multiple exchanges and use our algorithms to route the transactions”  (Source – Techcrunch)

It is important to note that you aren’t actually buying Bitcoin from SFOX but instead are using their platform to find the best price on other exchanges. While it’s still early for the company Y Combinator has a pretty solid track record and the founders definitely seem like the right people for the job.

The team here at CoinTalent will definitely be following along with the SFOX adventure, it’s definitely an innovation we’d love to see.

This company is going to stop accepting US Dollars in 2016

Yes, the times they are a changing, so much so that Amagi Metals a global online dealer for precious metals has announced they will no longer accept US dollars starting in 2016. As an online business, and one that focuses on precious metals the price fluctuations of currencies like USD have sent them in search of greener pastures, and those greener pastures are – Bitcoin.

In a recent blog post the company said:

Since the dollar was decoupled from gold in 1971, it has lost 97% of its value compared to the yellow metal and 83% of its domestic purchasing power, and the trend shows no signs of stopping. Both investors and foreign governments have begun to lose confidence in the dollar’s future…and so has Amagi Metals. Thus, Amagi has planned that by the end of 2016, the company will no longer accept US dollars or other “fiat” currencies. Instead, Amagi plans to be trading exclusively in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. (Source – Amagi Metals)

They also added a new banner that we might just see popping up on sites all over the net as Cryptocurrencies continue to gain momentum and widespread acceptance.

Dollars not accepted here

Is this a new trend? Only time will tell but one thing is certain, by 2016 we will be living in a very different world, a world where some people might look to Cryptocurrencies for the stability they once found in physical currency. What do you think, is this a complete outlier or signs of things to come?