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What is the Lightning Network?

The Lightning Network is a system that allows for extremely fast Bitcoin transactions off-chain. Lightning Network is a smart contract protocol that uses existing blockchains to mediate transactions off-chain to increase the speed at which they can be finalized. Such a technology is much sought-after in the Bitcoin community, where transactions can take hours to clear if the workflow for miners gets backed up. With the fast pace of business today, the emergence of many other options for faster settlement, such as Ethereum and Ripple, developers know that something like Lightning Network may be needed to keep Bitcoin relevant and make it more scalable. Continue reading...

What is the Difference Between Litecoin and Bitcoin?

Litecoin is very similar to bitcoin, but there are some distinct differences.  Litecoin was designed with a blockchain protocol called Scrypt rather than SHA 256, which powers bitcoin. In Scrypt, blocks have solved an average of every 2.5 minutes rather than the 10 minutes that bitcoin requires. Let’s face it -- 10 minutes is a really long time in the digital world, and litecoin was created in an effort to get things moving a little faster. This means that each confirmation takes less work and energy for the network to confirm, which should translate into lower transaction costs. Continue reading...

How to Mine Litecoin and other Altcoins?

It used to be that litecoin mining could only be done by GPU, but now ASIC machines are getting all the glory. For a time, new miners preferred to mine litecoin instead of bitcoin because ASIC miners had rendered old-fashioned GPU mining for Bitcoin unprofitable. During that time, when ASIC machines had not be designed for Litecoin Scrypt mining, anyone with a good enough GPU could profitably mine litecoin with the same computer they used at home, while they were off at work or asleep not using it. If you aren’t aware, GPUs (graphics cards) compute the kinds of functions necessary for mining at many times the speed that CPUs (core processors) alone would. Continue reading...

What are Multichains and Sidechains?

Sidechains are blockchains which handle assets off of the main blockchain and are able to return them to the main blockchain at a future date. As you understand by now, blockchains are comprised of interconnected computers serving as nodes in a decentralized consensus network. Everything that happens to assets on that blockchain is validated and recorded on that blockchain. If assets are taken to another chain, however, where different protocols may apply to suit the needs of the parties using the assets, this may be called a sidechain. Continue reading...

What is an Electronic Communication Network (ECN)?

An ECN is an alternative platform to an index for making trades. An Electronic Communication Network is a type of alternative trading system that allows for trading listed stocks and other exchange-traded products. Trading on an ECN is typically limited to institutions and broker-dealers, and trades are facilitated when the price on a buy order intersects with a price on a sell order. ECN’s must register with the SEC, and you must be a subscriber to trade on one. Continue reading...

What are Bitcoin Mining Pools?

Individuals who do not have the computing power to compete with large bitcoin mining operations can join a mining pool and split the rewards. Mining pools allow individuals with insufficient computing power to join a mining pool and split the rewards proportionally to the amount of computer power that they contributed. If a user contributes 3% of the computing power that it took for the pool to solve a block, that user will receive 3% of the reward. Continue reading...

How Does Blockchain Technology Work?

Blockchains are intended to maintain integrity in the system without anyone needing to monitor or control it. By instituting a system of checks and balances that functions on its own accord through rules programmed into the protocol, and which also makes decisions and keeps records based on consensus throughout a peer-to-peer network, a blockchain oversees its own activities without requiring any trust in a central authority or the other parties involved. Continue reading...

How is Ripple Different Than Bitcoin and Ethereum?

Ripple’s XRP has the third-largest market cap in the cryptocurrency world, but what gives it value? Ripple Lab’s intent was not to be a store of value or a currency, per se, like Bitcoin. Neither did it intend to be a platform for developers to explore the possibilities of blockchains, like Ethereum. Ripple was always focused on being a payment system, facilitating transfers between banks, currencies, and countries in a way that would not be possible without blockchains. Continue reading...

What is an Inverted Yield Curve?

An inverted yield curve occurs when long-term treasuries have a lower yield than short-term treasuries. Normally, investors would not be interested in a such an arrangement and the yields would have to come up to generate some demand. However, if investor sentiment is bearish enough on bonds, they will seek to avoid the interest rate risk of short-term bonds, which will expire sooner and leave them unable to find a good rate at that point potentially. Investors with that mindset will pile on demand for long-term bonds, which drives the price up and the yields down. Continue reading...

What is a Hostile Takeover?

A hostile takeover may not be as intense as it sounds, but it may not be pleasant for all those involved. It is an acquisition in which the controlling interest of shares in one company has come under the direction of another company, and the newly controlling company has decided to integrate the target company into their operations, which often results in cutting redundant jobs and making other decisions that the target company would probably not have made on its own. Continue reading...

Do I Have to Pay Taxes on My Bitcoins?

The IRS currently requires that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies be reported as personal property and capital assets. The IRS has published guidance that, yes, you do have to report gains/losses/income in the form of bitcoin and other “convertible virtual currencies.” Generally, the IRS treats bitcoin as property, instructing taxpayers to follow the existing IRS guidelines for personal property taxation. You can claim them as a capital asset, allowing you to treat them as stocks, essentially, with the ability to only pay long-term capital gains taxes on them if you hold them for a while. You can get paid in bitcoin by your employer, but employers must still withhold the usual amount of taxes, and you must report your bitcoin income the same way you would your regular income. Continue reading...

What is a Currency Transaction Report (CTR)?

CTRs (Currency Transaction Reports) are required filings to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to report all transactions and deposits in cash (in any currency) worth over $10,000. This includes multiple transactions that add up to over $10,000. This rule is closely tied to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and reporting requirements which have become more stringent since the turn of the century. Continue reading...

Best Networking Stocks Trends

The networking industry, a cornerstone of the digital era, has been a fertile ground for investors seeking robust returns and steady growth. In 2024, this sector continues to burgeon, driven by relentless advancements in technology and an ever-increasing demand for connectivity and cybersecurity. This article delves into some of the most prominent companies in the networking arena, highlighting their market performance, capitalization, and potential for investors. Continue reading...

Top Social Networking Stocks

In today's digital age, social networking has become an integral part of our daily lives, transforming the way we connect, communicate, and consume information. From staying in touch with friends and family to networking professionally and discovering new interests, social networking platforms have revolutionized the way we interact with the world around us. As investors, tapping into the potential of this rapidly evolving sector can offer lucrative opportunities. In this article, we delve into some of the top social networking stocks poised for growth and innovation. Continue reading...

What is a Takeover?

A takeover is an acquisition done through the procurement of enough equity interest to govern a company from the board of directors. Takeovers can be hostile or friendly, and may involve a tender offer from the acquiring company who seeks to buy a large block of shares. Takeover carries a negative connotation, since in peaceful circumstances this is usually called an acquisition. An acquiring corporation will offer to buy enough shares to have a controlling interest in the company in what is called a tender offer. Shareholders of the target company will have a set amount of time to decide whether they would like to take the offer, which is normally to buy the shares at a premium over the market price. Continue reading...

What is Form 8891?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Form 8891 was previously used by individuals with retirement plans held in Canada when they were living in America, each time they took distributions. The process proved to be cumbersome for many good-natured Canadians, and caused the IRS a lot of trouble as well. This form has been retired in favor of an acknowledgement on the IRS Form 1040. Form 8891 is no longer used, which came as a relief to many Canadian-Americans who had retirement plans from work they did in Canada. Certain filing requirements still exist, such as a new form replacing the FBAR, for foreign bank accounts, now called the FinCEN Form 114. Continue reading...

Why Structured Notes Might Not Be Right for You?

Structured notes are often touted as a way to gain exposure to the stock market's upside potential while safeguarding against market downturns. On the surface, this combination of potential gains and downside protection can seem like a winning proposition for investors. However, it's important to take a closer look and understand why structured notes might not be the right choice for everyone. Continue reading...

What is Monetary Policy?

Monetary policy is the stance of the central bank at any given time regarding the tightening or loosening of rates, or the issuance of new currency denominations, that will affect the money supply in the country. Monetary policy is the prerogative of the central bank but may be influenced by congress as well as private banking institutions and the central banks of other countries. The goal of monetary policy is to keep the Federal Funds Rate or the LIBOR, or whatever it might be depending on the country, at just the right level to keep the economy going in the direction that will be most helpful. Continue reading...

What is the Federal Reserve System?

The Federal Reserve System was established by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which created a network of reserve banks that could help to prevent economic meltdowns by serving as a regulator and a source of funds. There are 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks which monitor banks in their jurisdiction and make loans when necessary. The Federal Reserve System is sometimes referred to as one bank, but it is in fact a network of 12 banks with 24 branches, overseen by a Board with members nominated by the US Government. Continue reading...

What is the right mix of assets for me?

Arriving at the appropriate asset allocation is not very easy to do by guesswork, so we’re here to help. There is no such thing as a mix of assets that is right for everyone. It depends on your age, employment situation, the size of your investment portfolio, your objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance, income requirement from your investment portfolio, tax bracket, and many other factors. Programs and algorithms can help you significantly when you plug some of these variables in, but it is still wise to apply some scrutiny and a human touch. Continue reading...