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What is a Bank Draft?

The truest definition of a Bank Draft is a check written with the certification of a customer’s bank. Bank Drafts are checks also known as Bank Checks and Cashier’s Checks. They have already been cleared at the writing institution and they provide an extra endorsement that the payment is good. Regular personal checks do not need to be co-signed or verified before they are used as payment, whether or not there is enough money in an account to cover it. Continue reading...

What are the FinCEN Guidelines Surrounding Cryptocurrency?

FinCEN is an agency of the Treasury Department responsible for preventing financial crimes, and they have taken a few steps toward creative effective regulations for cryptocurrency transactions. FinCEN is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an office of the Treasury Department, primarily concerned with money laundering and other forms of financial fraud domestically and internationally. It is because of FinCEN’s far=reaching authority that major cryptocurrency exchanges who do business with US citizens will generally require identity and bank account verification, and will impose limits on transaction amounts. In 2013, FinCEN issued guidance that anyone engaged in the transmission or exchange of cryptocurrencies may fall under their jurisdiction to regulate Money Service Businesses (MSBs), meaning you may potentially have to register as a Money Transmitter on the Federal and state level if you frequently engage in cryptocurrency transactions. Continue reading...

How Could Blockchain Technology Change the World of Finance?

Blockchain, if applied on a broad basis, could lower costs substantially for both financial institutions and consumers, while also preventing fraud. This could upend the financial markets as we know it, in a good way. With blockchain, virtually any type of asset can be stored digitally and securely, meaning that money, equities, bonds, contracts, deeds, etc.. can be moved from peer to peer with little to zero fear of fraud, and no vulnerable (or costly) intermediary like a bank or a government. Continue reading...

What is a Merkle Tree?

A Merkle Tree is a technique widely used to create the blocks in blockchains. When records of numerous transactions are blended together into a block and sent to a blockchain to be deciphered and validated, Merkle Trees are generally the design with which they are put together. Ralph Merkle first designed this hashing method in 1979 but didn’t see it popularized for some time. They are sometimes called hash trees. In case you are unaware, the difference between hashes and encryptions is that hashes are not intended to be decryptable unless someone has the original content. Hashes are basically symbols of a certain length generated using the “seed” of the actual content that was fed into the hash function. If the same content is entered as the seed, it will produce the same hash, but any differences will yield a completely different result. Continue reading...

Bitcoin's Taproot Upgrade: What Are the Key Takeaways?

In the fast-paced world of cryptocurrencies, innovation is constant. Bitcoin, the pioneer of the digital currency realm, has recently undergone its most significant upgrade in the last four years – the Taproot upgrade. This upgrade holds the promise of transforming Bitcoin's functionality, transaction efficiency, privacy, and even its role in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi). In this article, we'll explore what Taproot is and why it's making waves in the crypto community. Continue reading...

What Are Non-Fungible Tokens(NFT) and Why Are They Important?

Dive Deep into the World of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)! Discover how these unique digital assets are transforming the very fabric of digital and real-world ownership. From revolutionizing art and gaming to democratizing high-value assets, NFTs are at the forefront of a digital revolution. Join us as we explore the vast potential, challenges, and future of NFTs in an interconnected digital age. Embrace the future, where ownership is not just a concept but a tangible, digital reality! Continue reading...

How Does Ethereum Work?

Ethereum uses a blockchain that looks very similar to Bitcoin’s until you get into the details. Ethereum is a platform on which transactions can be made using Ether or other tokens which have been made using the protocol, and smart contracts and decentralized applications (Ðapps) can be executed using the distributed computing power of what’s called the Ethereum Virtual Machine. When viewed from different angles, Ethereum is an open-source coding environment, a market upon which to distribute new blockchain-based applications, and a distributed computing machine that processes functions of the blockchain applications across a broad network. Distributed computing itself is not that new, but distributed computing on a blockchain is. Continue reading...

What is the Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IARD)?

The IARD system is maintained by FINRA, and keeps track of all adviser registrations, which states they are licensed to work in, all licenses they hold, and any customer complaints. It simplified the registration requirements of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) was established in 2001 to streamline the registration requirements of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. The act required that all advisers register with the SEC and the states in which they practice. Continue reading...

What are 'Liar Loans'?

Liar loans are a term that refers to loans or mortgages that were granted with little or no request for qualification documentation, such as proof of income. On certain low-documentation loan programs, such as stated income/stated asset (SISA) loans, income and assets are simply stated on the loan application. Then there are still other loan programs known as no income/no asset (NINA) loans, where the applicant essentially does not have to provide any proof of eligibility. These types of loans opened the door for fraudulent lending practices, which ultimately bankrupted several mortgage companies during the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading...

How Do You Store Your Bitcoin?

In your “bitcoin wallet,” of course... Once you have acquired bitcoin, you will want to make sure that you store it in a secure fashion that suits your taste and needs. You have several options for this, since technically all you’re storing is a few lines of code, and this can be done on a computer, in a cloud, on a removable storage device, or on some sort of physical medium such as paper or even a physical manufactured bitcoin. Continue reading...

Where do I find a good CPA?

A good CPA can be a valuable ally. You should find one who works with clients similar to you and who is easy to talk to. Taxes and accounting are a part of nearly every financial instrument and consideration that people will be confronted with in their life. It can be very beneficial to work with a CPA who can advise you properly on the issues that affect you. It can also be detrimental to place too much trust in a CPA who isn’t really an expert in the areas he claims to be. Continue reading...

How to use the Advance/Decline Ratio in trading

The Advance/Decline Ratio (AD Ratio) is a market breadth indicator, calculated by placing the number of advancing stocks over the number of declining stocks for a day or time period in order to view the direction of the market. It is one way of viewing the daily breadth, or difference in the number of advancing issues and declining issues. The Advance/Decline Ratio uses the same numbers as the Advance/Decline Line but presents them as a ratio instead. The AD Ratio is sometimes more useful than an AD Line, including in instances where comparing AD for different indexes which have different metrics; the ratio is the standardization with which comparisons can be made. Continue reading...

What is commodity paper?

Commodity paper is the contract for a loan which is secured by collateral in the form of a commodity held in a warehouse or in transit. This is basically a form of warehouse financing, where the inventory in storage is verified and the changing level of inventory insures a larger or smaller line of credit from the lender. In this arrangement, however, there is one agreed-upon loan and collateral amount. Continue reading...

What is Bank-Owned Property?

If a bank forecloses on a home, and it does not sell at auction, it becomes bank-owned-property. Bank-owned property, also known as real estate owned (REO) property, was taken over by a bank because the owners did not pay their mortgage obligations, and it did not sell at auction. After a foreclosure, an auction is announced in the paper, and a company who contracts with the fe to sell the property money and recoup some of the lost to bad debt. If no one buys it at auction, it sits on the bank’s books as REO. Continue reading...

What Encompasses Reconciliation in Accounting: Its Definition, Purposes, and Types?

Reconciliation is a cornerstone of the accounting world, ensuring accuracy and alignment between different sets of financial records. This comprehensive examination of account reconciliation delves into its definition, purposes, and various types, providing a thorough understanding of its significance in both personal and business realms. Continue reading...

What Can a Blockchain Do?

Blockchain technology is already being used and developed for many important and impressive applications, and much more is yet to be discovered. Blockchains use distributed work to obtain consensus for changes to a distributed ledger.  Because of their nature, blockchains are incredibly powerful tools that can be used in many realms and applications. They offer security in that they are almost unhackable; any attempted unauthorized changes to the system are immediately obvious to the entire system because it is built on agreement and consensus among its many nodes. Because this structure gives each addition to the ledger, and the record in the ledger, a high degree of integrity and security, future applications of blockchains are being researched in various fields around the world. Continue reading...

What is Accelerated Life Insurance?

Life insurance contracts sometimes contain provisions by which the death benefits can be paid out to an insured person while they are still alive. This is called “accelerating” the benefits. Certain terms must be met for the benefits to be accelerated, and different policies have different contract language and exclusions. Sometimes these provisions are attached to a regular contract as a Rider, which might require an additional premium, or might be included by default. Continue reading...

What is Investment Advice?

Professional investment advice is highly regulated, and all publications, seminars, correspondence and recommendations between professional advisors and clients must be kept on record and hold up to scrutiny. It is easy to mislead or misinform investors who have not had a chance to educate themselves, and their very livelihoods are at stake if their money is mishandled. Investment advice can be found at the local barber shop, bleachers, and beaches, but those who want to make sure their money is handled correctly will seek professional advice. Continue reading...

What Is Escrow in Financial Transactions, and Why Is It Essential for Your Security?

Unravel the intricacies of escrow, the financial world's guardian angel. Acting as a neutral third party, escrow ensures that transactions, whether in real estate or online sales, are secure and trustworthy. But how did it come to be? And how does it intertwine with the birth of the Euro and the EUR/USD currency pair? Dive deep into the world of escrow, from its definition to its diverse applications, and understand why it's an indispensable tool in today's global economy. Whether you're a buyer, seller, or just curious, this guide offers a comprehensive look into the safety net of financial transactions. Continue reading...

What is the Absolute Breadth Index?

The Absolute Breadth Index (ABI) is a market breadth indicator, calculated using the absolute value of the difference between the number of advancing stocks and declining stocks to indicate the size of market movement without considering price direction. Larger ABI numbers will indicate more volatility. When breadth is smaller, it means that the market isn’t experiencing significant movement, or movement in a definitive direction. When advances or declines pull away from the other, it indicates the presence of market-wide trends. Continue reading...