Our DeFi experts demystify and explain decentralized finance, how it works, and how to capitalize on its growth potential.
What Is TradFi
TradFi, short for traditional finance, refers to the mainstream financial system that consists of retail banks, commercial banks, investment banks, other financial institutions, and fintech companies. A few popular examples of TradFi institutions are Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, PayPal, and Wise. They are mostly brick-and-mortar organizations that offer banking and financial services which have been around for years. Although most TradFi providers have digitized their operations and services, they are characterized by a high degree of centralization, government regulations, compliance, KYC, and high barriers to entry. As a new wave of non-traditional finance emerges, it’s important to define TradFi and understand how it stands apart. How Is TradFi Regulated? TradFi is regulated by the government and the central bank in most countries. TradFi institutions have to comply with the rules and regulations mandated by the authorities. Depending on the sector and scale of business, the tax requirements vary. It is also mandatory for TradFi institutions to submit audit reports annually. While the red tape is often too stringent for new players to enter, it is also efficient in nurturing the growth of the economy in the desired course. This is given that the policymakers know what they’re doing. For example, the government wants to empower women in rural areas. As a means, the central bank can ask banks to offer loans to rural women at low-interest rates. The regulations help curb money laundering, corruption, and terrorism, among other illicit activities. How TradFi compares to other Finance DeFi vs. TradFi DeFi (decentralized finance) refers to the peer-to-peer financial infrastructure built on blockchains. DeFi uses a distributed ledger system to verify and authorize transactions, removing middlemen like banks and governments from the picture. Let’s take a quick look at the key differences between the two: In DeFi, a blockchain protocol or a community issues money. In TradFi, the central bank issues money.In DeFi, smart contracts authorize the transaction of money between two parties. In TradFi, banks facilitate the transactions. Anybody can give/get DeFi loans as long as they fulfill the collateralization requirements. Banks offer traditional sources of finance after checking the applicant’s financial statements and credit score. You can start investing on DeFi platforms in a few steps. With digitization, TradFi investing has opened up to a large section of people as well. But it still requires KYC and documentation. CeFi vs. TradFi CeFi (centralized finance) merges the yield benefits of DeFi with the user experience and security of TradFi. It offers opportunities to invest in cryptocurrencies and digital assets using crypto-based accounts that are similar to traditional savings accounts. However, the APYs vary significantly. On CeFi platforms, you can borrow money against your crypto holdings, just like how you would avail a collateral-backed loan from a bank. Unlike TradFi, this requires little to no paperwork. While TradFi deposits are sometimes eligible for government-backed insurance, that is not the case with CeFi deposits. Being a relatively new sector, it is riskier. Traditional Finance vs. Behavioral Finance Behavioral finance studies the psychological influences and biases behind the behavior of investors, financial practitioners, and other market participants. Traditional Finance and Entrepreneurial Finance Entrepreneurial finance consists of the resource allocation for new ventures, addressing some of the key challenges faced by entrepreneurs like fundraising and valuation. What Role Does TradFi Have In Cryptocurrency? Industries have to keep pace with the latest technology to prove themselves relevant in the long run. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies mark today’s biggest financial revolution. TradFi organizations and platforms, including banks, will have no choice but to adopt cryptocurrencies eventually, bringing them to the mainstream. Since TradFi is under the watch of the government, this will pave the way for the positive regulation of the crypto industry. In key sectors like insurance and lending, they can work together, blending innovation, accountability, and speed. Benefits of TradFi Only businesses with licenses and accreditation can provide TradFi services. In the event they lapse, customers can raise complaints and get compensation. The red tape makes it difficult for scammers and fraudulent participants to get in. TradFi cooperates with the government to track illegal spending and investments. In DeFi, this will be hard as transactions are anonymous. Governments can implement developmental policies by joining hands with TradFi institutions. TradFi has its set of limitations. The excess regulations and government intervention hamper growth and innovation in the industry. It also prevents a large section of people from accessing financial services. In the coming years, TradFi, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies will hopefully find a common ground to build an advanced financial infrastructure feasible for all.
Dexs6 Best Crypto Exchange Platforms in the UK in 2023As the cryptocurrency market continues to grow, more and more exchanges are popping up in the UK. But with so many options, it can be challenging to choose the best platform for your trading needs. Here we've compiled a list of the top crypto exchange platforms in the UK in terms of usability, safety, features, fees, supported crypto, and more. 1. eToro—Best in Ease of Use eToro is one of the best crypto exchanges globally, offering over 70 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. It's regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including the UK. eToro is also secure and easy to use, allowing its UK users to instantly deposit funds using a credit card, debit card, e-wallet, or via bank transfer. Opening a verified crypto account on the platform is fairly straightforward and takes five minutes. One of eToro's top features is its Copy Trading tool, which allows both new and experienced investors alike to mimic the trades of expert traders in the cryptocurrency space. The platform's crypto portfolio is also updated regularly, making it a great exchange if you're into altcoins, meme coins, or stablecoins. 2. Kraken—Best in Security Kraken has been around since 2011 and has remained one of the top platforms for buying, selling, and trading crypto. The platform ensures the safety of its users' assets through regular security testing and bug bounty programs, in addition to a strict protocol for keeping assets safe in cold storage. Kraken has never experienced a platform-wide crypto hack and likewise extends its security measures to its users through PGP asset encryption, two-factor authentication, and global setting lock. Kraken also offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies and has an iOS and Android-compatible app to allow trading on the go. 3. Bitstamp—Best for High-Volume Traders Bitstamp is a great place for buying crypto in the UK with low fees. It's one of the longest-running exchanges worldwide and has been around since 2011. As such, its reputation for exceptional safety, user experience, and asset offerings is also quite high. Bitstamp offers over 50 cryptocurrencies for trading within the UK and charges a flat fee of 0.5%. The fee drops to 0.25% for transactions exceeding £7,975 in trading volume per month, making it a great option for high-volume traders. Crypto can also be bought instantly by credit or debit card, but this will result in a 5% fee per transaction. For safety, 98% of customer holdings are offline and Bitstamp offers asset protection with BitGo insurance. 4. Coinbase—Best for Beginners Coinbase is one of the most user-friendly crypto exchanges, making it a great option for crypto beginners in the UK. The platform allows users to buy crypto instantly through a debit or credit card and has a standard transaction fee of 3.99%. Users can also transfer their funds into a UK bank account for a standard commission fee of 1.49%. While the platform's fees may seem steep compared to that of other exchanges, users find that its user-friendly interface and intuitive design more than make up for it. 5. Crypto.com—Best in Mobile Crypto.com's 10 million users worldwide are a testament to its ease of use, especially if you prefer trading on your mobile device. The platform offers a wide range of cryptocurrency options and allows for instant purchasing through a credit or debit card. The platform charges a 0.4% maker/taker fee whenever users buy or sell cryptocurrencies. However, fees can be reduced further for payments made in Cronos (CRO), the platform's native token. Crypto.com's app is well-designed and very easy to use, making it a great option for tracking assets and staking CRO—which offers a 34.6% annual percentage yield (APY). Their Crypto Earn feature also allows users to earn interest up to 14.5% APY on 50 cryptos. 6. OKX—Best in Versatility OKX is one of the top crypto exchanges in the UK owing to its versatile assets and services. In addition to buying, selling, trading, and storing cryptos, users can immerse themselves in its vast library of educational materials, allowing them to hone their crypto trading skills. OKX has basic and advanced trading features, making it a great platform overall for both newbies and experienced traders. The platform is also very secure, with 95% of client funds held in cold storage, in addition to supplementary semi-offline wallets for the other 5%. Fees on OKX are also quite low, at 0.1% taker and 0.08% maker, making it one of the most cost-effective options for traders. Investors who choose to take out a fiat loan on OKX can also use their crypto as collateral—a great option for those looking to diversify their investments. Conclusion Overall, there are a variety of great options for crypto trading in the UK. The best exchange ultimately boils down to your individual preferences and needs. Be sure to do your own research and choose the platform that best suits your style of trading. » Looking to invest elsewhere? Explore the best crypto exchange platforms in the US and Argentina
Dexs3 Best Crypto Exchange Platforms in the US in 2023Blockchain technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, and with more and more people joining the crypto craze, more trading options have emerged. However, if you're new to trading, it can be challenging to determine which cryptocurrency exchanges have the features you're looking for. To help narrow down the options, here are some basic factors to look at when comparing potential US-based cryptocurrency trading platforms. Choice of Crypto There are over 19,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation. Most exchanges will carry high market cap currencies but for those interested in unconventional coins, you may have to look into niche exchanges.Security Keep your assets safe by choosing a reputable cryptocurrency exchange that employs industry-standard security measures like two-factor authentication (2FA) and strong encryption.Transaction Fees There isn't a standard charge for exchanges yet, so trading and commission costs may vary. These costs may appear small at first, but can add up in the long run.Liquidity A highly liquid exchange allows traders to trade at any time since it receives a significant number of orders daily. It also implies many users trade on it. Below, we've compiled the 5 best crypto exchange platforms in the US that are capable of carrying your investments safely into 2023. 1. Gemini Establishment and Offering The Winklevoss brothers founded Gemini in 2013. Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and other global institutions. It supports over 50 coins and is easily accessible across all US states. Fees Every trade on the platform comes with convenience and transaction fees. The convenience fee amounts to about 0.5% of the market price and is payable in the cryptocurrency you choose to purchase. Trading crypto imposes a flat processing fee of 1.49%, while the fee to buy or sell cryptocurrency varies from currency to currency. Pros and Cons Gemini offers a versatile trading platform. It's easy enough for beginners to use, but also offers advanced features that are appealing to serious traders, including a portal for peer-to-peer trading, insurance against exchange hacks, block trading, and advanced charting. However, Gemini's fees are higher than some other crypto exchanges, but its high functionality and advanced security measures make it worth it. 2. Coinbase Establishment and Offering Coinbase is one of the largest exchanges. It has a presence in over 100 different nations and has even introduced a Visa debit card in the US and Europe. In 2021, the exchange made $7.8 billion in revenue from a user base of over 98 million. Fees A "Coinbase Fee" is added to every transaction on top of the spread and the cost of depositing money. This fee varies and depends on the transaction amount, payment type (debit or credit), and location of purchase. Pros and Cons It’s one of the best and most user-friendly platforms for beginners with more than 150 cryptocurrencies, including all the major ones, available to US traders. Additionally, users can receive token rewards and interest in USDT by fulfilling certain tasks on the exchange. They may also opt to use the Coinbase wallet. However, it does charge higher fees compared to its competitors and the fee structure can be confusing. 3. Kraken Establishment and Offering Kraken was established in 2011, making it one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges in the world. The platform offers access to over 150 cryptocurrencies, including DOGE and other risky coins, to both beginner and experienced traders. Fees Rates offered to entry-level traders are up to 2%—slightly higher than some of Kraken's competitors. However, the fees offered to advanced traders on the Kraken Pro platform are very low at only 0.26%. Pros and Cons There are few exchanges as safe as Kraken. Compared to other exchanges, it ranks second in security overall and has seen no major hacking incidents since its inception. Its servers are secured in cages with 24-hour armed guards and camera surveillance. All private contact data is encrypted, and the system is regularly tested for vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, Kraken is not available in all US states as it excludes New York and Washington. Additionally, it uses a service called Trustly to let users link their bank accounts and while the service has 1,000 banking partners, if you're bank is not one of these partners you may not be able to complete transactions. Conclusion With so many options to choose from in the market, it's important to think about what kind of exchange best fits your needs. While investing in cryptocurrencies is exciting, it's not without its downsides. Do your own extensive research to make sure you understand how these platforms work before using them to avoid any catastrophes. » Looking to invest abroad? Explore the best crypto exchange platforms in Argentina and crypto trading platforms in the UK
Dexs3 Best Crypto Exchange Platforms in Argentina in 2023Picture this: You finish the registration process at a crypto exchange platform, including KYC, only to discover that you can't buy or sell the altcoin you're interested in. Or, whenever purchasing assets, you incur high currency exchange costs because the platform doesn't support Argentine Pesos or local payment methods. It's definitely a difficult situation to be in. While there are numerous crypto exchange platforms on the market, the one you choose will significantly impact your overall trading or investing experience. Some factors you should consider include payment methods, fees, supported currencies, compliance with laws, security, personal goals, and user experience. So, we compared different offerings with all these factors in mind and identified Argentina's top three crypto exchange platforms. Read on to see why they made the cut. 1. Paybis Establishment and Offering Paybis is one of the first well-established crypto exchanges for people from Argentina. The UK-based exchange was founded in 2014, giving it a long history in the crypto space. On this platform, users can buy around 50 different cryptos using one of the supported 47 fiat currencies, including Argentine Pesos (ARS). Fees You can expect to pay a 2.49% fee for every transaction and a 4.5% payment processing fee when using credit cards. Pros and Cons Paybis is an excellent choice for beginners that are buying crypto with a credit or debit card in ARS and keeping them. If you don’t want to store your crypto at Paybis, you can instantly send the purchased assets to another wallet of your choice as Paybis allows for easy and simple transfers. Additional benefits include 24/7 online customer support, a platform available in Spanish, high limits of up to $20,000-$50,000 per week for credit or debit card purchases, and up to $200,000 weekly for bank wire transfers. However, Paybis isn’t heavy on advanced trading features, so we wouldn’t recommend it to those seeking to trade frequently. Paybis also has limits for each transaction depending on the payment method and fees are on the higher end. 2. Satoshi Tango Establishment and Offering Satoshi Tango markets itself as one of the first brokers in Latin America. The platform has more than 8 years of experience in the market and allows users to easily buy, sell, swap, and margin trade 15+ cryptos. The platform is not just amazing for Argentinians, but also for other crypto enthusiasts from South America. In addition to ARS, Satoshi Tango also features Peruvian Sol, Brazilian Real, and Chilean Pesos. Fees Satoshi Tango charges a fixed 1% transaction fee every time you buy or sell crypto. But if it's a crypto-crypto purchase, you'll pay a 0.5% fee instead. Pro and Cons Regarding the user experience, we believe Satoshi Tango offers one of the best there is. You can expect 24/7 customer support, nearly 20 popular cryptos on offer, and margin trading with a 5x leverage. The platform even has a feature to help you pay utility bills using the crypto in your account. While Satoshi Tango might appear perfect, it still has some downsides. The platform charges relatively high withdrawal fees, which vary depending on the method used. However, the fee structure is clear so you can determine if it'll work well for you before getting started with the platform. Additionally, their variety of cryptos is quite limited, so we wouldn’t recommend it if you plan on investing in altcoins. 3. Binance Establishment and Offering Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges along with Coinbase and FTX. It's available in Argentina and allows Argentinians to buy crypto with their native currency through Binance's P2P (peer-to-peer) network to trade with other users. Fees Binance has low trading fees, which are set at 0.1%. Pros and Cons Binance provides advanced trading features for both new and experienced traders, including advanced trading tools, high levels of security, 24/7 chat support, and resourceful learning materials. You can also obtain the Binance Argentina Card, which allows you to spend your crypto in both online and brick-and-mortar stores. You'll get 1% to 8% back in BNB on every purchase you make with the card, depending on how much BNB you're holding in your card. On the downside, some users may find the Binance identity verification process lengthy. Unfortunately, this could scare some newbies away, as they’ll find it overwhelming. Still, this is for the greater good, as Binance wants to ensure that you’re using the platform's services safely and fairly. Conclusion While there are numerous crypto exchanges for Argentinians interested in crypto, not all of them are created equal. So, before joining and depositing money at any exchange, it’s essential to exercise due diligence and consider various factors. Do your own thorough research regarding fees, payment methods, customer support, and security to match your trading goals. » Looking to invest abroad? Explore the best crypto exchange platforms in the US and crypto trading platforms in the UK
Dexs3 Best Crypto Exchange Platforms in Hong Kong in 2023Cryptocurrency exchange platforms offer investors an easy and secure way to buy, sell, and trade crypto. However, many new traders get carried away by a well-designed website or the hype made by famous crypto influencers. Unfortunately, not all platforms are worth your time and money. Even among reputable exchanges, their offerings and services may differ slightly, with some being better suited to your trading needs than others. So which crypto exchange is best for Hong Kong investors? You must consider various key factors, including individual trading goals, Hong Kong regulations compliance, track record, fees, security, supported coins, and payment methods. To help you, we conducted an in-depth analysis while considering all these factors. Below are the top 3 crypto exchange platforms in Hong Kong for 2023 from our research. 1. Cex.io Establishment Cex.io is one of the best crypto exchange platforms for Hong Kong traders and investors, with a good track record dating back to 2013. This London-based exchange began as a cloud mining provider but then refocused on becoming a global cryptocurrency exchange in 2016. Functionality On this platform, users can buy or sell crypto via fiat currencies, trade over 100 cryptos and tokens, earn rewards by staking cryptos, and borrow crypto-collateralized loans. Moreover, Cex.io has a reputable history of taking regulations seriously in multiple jurisdictions. So, it’s safe to assume that it will quickly comply with any future crypto trading regulations imposed by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Fees Like other crypto exchanges, your trading fees will be based on your 30-day trading volume. New and low-volume traders should expect a 0.25% taker fee and a 0.15% maker fee, while more seasoned ones can expect lower fees. There are also daily deposit limits and commissions that vary by payment method, though they’re on the lower end. Pros and Cons One of the conveniences of trading with Cex.io in Hong Kong is that it accepts payments through Hong Kong's Faster Payment System (FPS). Other accepted payment methods include debit and credit cards and wire transfers. Regarding its security, Cex.io has had zero security breaches so far. The platform's notable security features include an internal KYC policy, two-factor authentication, cold storage for user crypto funds, and data encryption. Finally, Cex.io also features a dedicated trading experience, with spot trading and margin trading. However, absolute beginners may be overwhelmed by this abundance of features, so we suggest they take it slow or use another platform. 2. BitMEX Establishment BitMEX (Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange) was launched in the island country of Seychelles in 2014, giving it a relatively long history in the fast-growing crypto industry. Functionality BitMEX isn't your typical Hong Kong crypto exchange platform for buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency. Instead, it focuses on crypto derivatives trading, which includes futures and perpetual swap contracts on various cryptocurrencies. As a result, BitMEX is ideal for experienced and professional traders looking for professional-grade derivatives. Fees You can capitalize on low trading fees and zero withdrawal and deposit fees on BitMex. Pros and Cons Some benefits of trading on BitMEX include high liquidity for crypto derivatives, the low fees just mentioned above, no ID verification requirements, and leverage of up to 100x on Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, the downsides of BitMEX include a lack of fiat currency deposit options, a lack of regulatory compliance, complex features for inexperienced traders, and a restriction on crypto-to-crypto-only trading. 3. Crypto.com Establishment Crypto.com was launched in 2016 in Hong Kong to serve as a one-stop shop for all crypto features. Currently, the platform supports well over 250 currencies and constantly offers 50% off newly-listed tokens, making it ideal for those looking to acquire altcoins. Functionality Beyond buying and selling crypto, the exchange offers other quite solid features. These include spot and margin trading for 200+ pairs with up to 10x leverage, 40+ quarterly futures and perpetual contracts, deposit bonuses, high daily rewards for staked coins (up to 14.5% APY), a stand-alone crypto wallet, a cashback card, and even an NFT marketplace. The exchange also provides trading fee discounts to investors with large CRO balances (Crypto.com native cryptocurrency). Fees The average trading fee is 0.4% for new or low-volume traders, which is definitely on the higher end. However, high-volume traders can benefit from trading fees of as low as 0.04% as a maker or 0.1% as a taker. Pros and Cons Crypto.com offers a wide range of functionalities, making it an attractive platform for traders. However, Crypto.com isn’t perfect. Cons include a lower trading volume, which might result in higher trading fees unless you hold and use CRO. Conclusion We can summarize that some of the best crypto exchange platforms suited for Hong Kong traders are Cex.io, BitMEX, and Crypto.com. Still, remember that your trading goals ultimately determine the best platform for you. Do you want to buy some cryptocurrency and hold it in the long term? Or is your goal trading actively and earning on the go? Depending on your requirements, the answer for the best crypto exchange for you will vary. Therefore, we recommend doing your own research to find the best platform for you. » Looking to invest in Singapore? Discover the best crypto exchange platforms in Singapore
Dexs3 Best Crypto Exchange Platforms in Singapore in 2023Every seasoned crypto trader or investor will agree on one piece of advice for beginners: if you're serious about investing in cryptocurrency, you must choose a safe and reputable exchange to buy, sell, and trade from. However, with all the exchanges on the market and so much hype surrounding them, how do you know if a platform is safe and best suited to your needs? Firstly, you shouldn’t choose an exchange based on hype or speculation—you should look at the important factors, such as: Payment optionsFees and commissionsPrice quotesSupported coinsRegulation by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)Customer supportSecurity We understand that analyzing various exchanges isn't an easy task. That's why we have done the heavy lifting for you and shortlisted the top three crypto exchange platforms in Singapore for 2023. 1. Coinhako Established Date and Regulation Established in 2014, Coinhako is one of the most popular and reliable crypto exchange platforms in Singapore and Asia in general. You can use Coinhako confidently and reliably as it's regulated by the MAS under the Payment Services Act. Fees This exchange offers traders competitive trading fees. USDC/USD trades have a 0% commission, while all other stablecoin-fiat trades have a 0.3% commission. Outside of stablecoins, Coinhako charges a 0.6% fee for every buy, sell, or swap transaction, which is on the lower end. Regarding payment fees, Singapore dollars (SGD) deposits by bank transfer are free of charge, but Xfers deposits are subject to a 0.55% fee. SGD bank transfer withdrawals incur an SGD 2 fee per transaction. Advantages The main reasons that people flock to Coinhako are that the exchange is easy to use for newbies, has an integrated wallet, and allows users to trade crypto for SGD at spot prices. Moreover, Coinhako Singapore users can fund their accounts with bank transfers, debit/credit cards, GrabPay, and Xfers Direct Charge. So, what makes Coinhako a good platform? Well, Coinhako's advantages include: Ease of useSupport for most coinsHigh securityMAS complianceCompetitive feesFast transactions Disadvantages Coinhako's only drawback would be its lack of advanced trading features. 2. Independent Reserve Established Date and Regulation This Sydney-based cryptocurrency exchange was founded in 2013 with a vision of becoming the leading fiat-to-crypto exchange in Asia and Oceania. It's regulated by the MAS, which means you're unlikely to encounter problems with authorities for safely trading on the platform. Users can buy more than 20 cryptos using fiat currencies, including SGD. Fees The fees on the Independent Reserve exchange vary depending on your 30-day trading volume but are generally in the range of 0.02% to 0.5% per transaction. If you want to fund your account at Independent Reserve, FAST transfer is probably the easiest and cheapest way if you’re in Singapore. Deposits and withdrawals of up to SGD 20,000 every 24 hours are processed instantly. Moreover, you won't incur any deposit fees if you deposit amounts above SGD 1,000. Even if you make a deposit of less than SGD 1,000, you'll pay a small SGD 2.50 processing fee. Advantages Low feesMAS complianceFast withdrawals and deposits Disadvantages The two biggest cons of Independent Reserve include a limited token offering and its non-user-friendly interface. Since there are only around 20 cryptos to choose from, you won’t be able to make your portfolio that diverse. 3. Gemini Established Date and Regulation Founded in 2014, Gemini is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange platform that’s incredibly popular in Singapore. As of late 2022, Gemini supports over 120 cryptocurrencies, including all of the popular ones like BTC, ETH, and BNB. Moreover, the trading interface is simple and clean, both for the website and the mobile app. Gemini offers a dollar-cost average (DCA) feature, which is specifically for those using the platform for long-term investing. It allows you to invest small amounts at regular intervals. Of course, active traders who want advanced order types are not left out either. Fees Gemini has a separate in-built platform (ActiveTrader) with low commissions of 0.4% compared to 1.49% on the Gemini app. Regarding Singaporian residents, Gemini supports SGD transfers via FAST transfer. It allows you to deposit up to SGD 20,000 per transaction from your local bank account to your Gemini wallet. Advantages Offers numerous tokensGood for beginnersUser-friendly interfaceLow commissions Disadvantages Gemini's only real disadvantage is the slightly higher fees than other exchanges. Conclusion A quick search on CoinMarketCap reveals that there are over 500 cryptocurrency exchanges, which can make selecting one difficult. However, choosing a reputable exchange with the necessary features to support your trading or investing objectives is critical. Some features you should look for include MAS compliance, easy payment, low fees, support, and ease of use. Thus, our top three crypto exchange platforms in Singapore are Coinhako, Independent Reserve, and Gemini. Still, please do your own research to ensure you select one that's best suited for you. » Looking to invest in Hong Kong? Discover the best crypto exchange platforms in Hong Kong
Decentralized financeZero-Knowledge Rollups: What Are They and How Do They Work?Zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) are a type of scaling solution for blockchains. They allow for cheaper and faster transactions by batching them off-chain into "rollups", while still maintaining the security and privacy of on-chain transactions. In comparison, in a traditional blockchain transaction, all data and computations are done on-chain, leading to higher fees and slower transaction times. What Are Zero-Knowledge Rollups? Following the above definition, an important component of ZK-rollups is a Merkle tree, because it allows ZK-rollups to successfully validate transactions faster. A Merkle tree is a data structure that can compress large sets of data into a smaller, more efficient representation. This means that Merkle trees only hold the most crucial data needed by the smart contract, saving a lot of processing power and cutting down transaction time drastically. Other data is stored off-chain and then verified on-chain using zero-knowledge proofs. This allows ZK-rollups to perform better than Layer-1 blockchains and because the blockchain isn't too bogged down in validating transactions, gas fees also decrease. How Do Zero-Knowledge Rollups Work? ZK-rollups work by batching multiple transactions off-chain and then creating a cryptographic proof called a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP), that's verified on the blockchain. Essentially, ZKPs are a way to prove that transactions are valid without revealing the details of those transactions. The ZK-rollup's core architecture consists of the following two components: 1. On-Chain Contracts The ZK-rollup protocol is primarily managed by smart contracts running on the Ethereum network. This includes the main contract, which stores data about rollup blocks, tracks deposits made, and monitors state changes or updates. Another on-chain contract called the verifier contract checks ZKPs submitted by block producers. As such, Ethereum is considered the base layer or "Layer-1" for ZK-rollups. 2. Off-Chain Virtual Machine (VM) The ZK-rollup protocol uses a virtual machine for transaction execution and state storage that's separate from the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The off-chain VM serves as the ZK-rollup transactions' execution environment. As such, it serves as the secondary layer or "Layer-2" for ZK-rollups. » How are ZK-rollups implemented? Explore how Polygon uses ZK technologies Zero-Knowledge Rollups and the Ethereum Blockchain ZK-rollups utilize the main Ethereum protocol for: 1. Transaction Data Availability ZK-rollups allow for state data to be published off-chain for every transaction processed. Having transaction data stored on-chain remains crucial for allowing independent and permissionless verification of the Layer-2 chain. This deters malicious actors from freezing the chain or censoring it. Also, users need on-chain data to interact with the rollup. Without access to state data, users can't check their account balance or carry out transactions that rely on state information. 2. Finality ZK-rollups use Ethereum as a settlement layer. As such, Layer-2 transactions are only finalized if the Layer-1 contract accepts the validity proof—eliminating the risk of chain corruption by malicious operators. Since every transaction must be approved on Ethereum's mainnet, the network ensures the correctness and finality of Layer-2 transactions. In addition, user operations finalized on Layer-1 are irreversible. 3. Censorship Resistance ZK-rollups' efficiency also opens them up to the risk of censorship. To remain secure, ZKPs allow users to submit transactions to the mainnet's rollup contract directly, should they suspect that they're being censored by an operator. In such a scenario, users can force exit a ZKP without needing to go through the operator. » Want to learn more about Ethereum? Read this brief timeline of Ethereum Zero-Knowledge Rollups Vs. Optimistic Rollups ZK-rollups and optimistic rollups serve similar functions by allowing off-chain scaling solutions. However, optimistic rollups largely rely on the validity of transaction batches, while ZK-rollups require cryptographic validation. Optimistic rollups also have a set period in which they can be challenged and disputed. Fraud proofs can be submitted against the transactions during this time frame. As such, optimistic rollups can only work securely as long as honest nodes are submitting fraud proofs when required. In contrast, ZK-rollups use zero-knowledge proofs to ensure security and validity. Additionally, the amount of data published on-chain is significantly lower for ZK-rollups compared to optimistic rollups, allowing for greater privacy and scalability potential. » How are optimistic rollups implemented? Discover how Optimism and the Boba Network use optimistic rollups Conclusion ZK-rollups offer a secure and efficient solution for scaling on Ethereum. By utilizing the main Ethereum protocol for data availability, finality, and censorship resistance, ZK-rollups can operate as a trusted Layer-2 solution.
Decentralized financeShiba Inu Coin: Is It a Viable Option for Long-Term Investment?Created in August 2020, Shiba Inu is not like the majority of cryptocurrencies out there. Since the inception of blockchain technology, new cryptos have been appearing to provide solutions to relevant problems. For example, Bitcoin is considered the digital gold of the 21st century, while Ethereum is primarily designed as a network where users can create applications through smart contracts. But Shiba Inu is one of those tokens in crypto called "meme-coins", where they don't have a specific purpose but are instead "meme-inspired". Of course, Shiba Inu isn't the first "meme-coin" project. One of the first was DogeCoin (DOGE), which exploded in price and now regularly ranks among the top 10 cryptos. Shiba Inu isn't as large as DOGE, yet it's seen as DOGE's rival, having a goal of outmatching it. Now that we've covered the basics of Shiba Inu, let's discuss more about it. What Exactly Is Shiba Inu Coin? Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a decentralized cryptocurrency inspired by the Shiba Inu dog breed, which is a popular meme. The token was created by a developer called Ryoshi on the Ethereum blockchain. SHIB is an ERC-20 token with a total supply of over 500 trillion tokens, and a maximum supply of 1 quadrillion tokens. While the supply is large, only 10% of the total supply is in circulation, with the remaining 90% locked up. Shiba Inu has no pre-mine or initial coin offering (ICO), meaning all of its tokens have been distributed through "airdropping" where users can receive free tokens by participating in online games or simply holding other cryptocurrencies. So, how did SHIB rise in price? Well, after SHIB was minted, Ryoshi sent half of all released coins to Vitalik Buterin, one of the founders of Ethereum. This gave the coin a lot of popularity and mainstream coverage, leading to a massive explosion in price. Seeing this as an opportunity to make a positive impact on the crypto world, Buterin decided to donate billions of dollars' worth of SHIB to charities, making it one of the biggest crypto donations in crypto history. This drove a lot of attention to the token, causing the price to go up significantly. Is Shiba Inu a Good Long-Term Investment? While Shiba Inu has a lot of potential, it's also a very risky investment because the token is primarily driven by speculation and hype, rather than actual use cases. While there are some real-world applications for SHIB (like tipping content creators on social media), the majority of its price movement is due to speculation alone. But Shiba Inu could still be a good long-term investment, because its constant news appearances create a buzz and give the token a lot of exposure, keeping investors interested. Does Shiba Inu Have Room to Grow? It's hard to say whether or not Shiba Inu has room to grow. As discussed, SHIB has a lot of hype and exposure, but it's a very risky investment—all of which can influence its price. Still, chances are that SHIB's price will go up after the bear market ends, given that its all-time high is $0.000086, while the token's current price is $0.00001. If the token goes back to its previous high, you can expect a 760% return. Potential Risks of Investing in Shiba Inu Of course, as with any investment, there are always risks involved. When it comes to Shiba Inu, some of the biggest risks include: High volatility: Since SHIB is primarily driven by speculation, its price is very volatile and can rise and fall sharply. Scams: Because there's a lot of hype around SHIB, there are many scammers trying to take advantage of new investors. High supply: With a total supply of over 500 trillion SHIB, the token has a very high supply, which could lead to price dilution in the future. Will Shiba Inu Ever Reach the Same Level as Bitcoin? The truth is that Shiba Inu will probably never reach the level of Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization or price, given that SHIB was built for a different purpose. Still, we could see Shiba Inu climbing up the ranks, possibly becoming part of the top 10 cryptos by market capitalization. Currently, as of October 2022, the coin is ranked #15 by market capitalization, with a price of $0.000001. » Want to learn more about Bitcoin? Read this brief history of Bitcoin How to Invest in Shiba Inu If you're thinking about investing in Shiba Inu, you must remember it's a very volatile asset. The entire crypto market is volatile, but this is especially true when it comes to "meme-coins". Nevertheless, you can invest in SHIB at the majority of reputable centralized (CEXs) and decentralized exchanges (DEXs). This includes Binance, Coinbase, KuCoin, Kraken, Uniswap, and others. After buying Shiba Inu, you can use a solution like the Flex network to pay with your new SHIB tokens like you paid with a credit card. Safer Alternatives to Shiba Inu Consider Bitcoin or Ethereum as safer alternatives to Shiba Inu. They're the largest and most popular cryptocurrencies with a lot of mainstream adoption and real-world use cases, and are backed by large companies. But this doesn't mean they're not volatile either. Just like the best NFTs, almost all assets in crypto are susceptible to big price movements. If you want a truly safe investment, then your best option would be investing in low-fee stablecoins. These are crypto tokens that have their value pegged to a real-world asset, like the US Dollar, so they aren't susceptible to that much volatility. The most popular stablecoins are easy to buy since you can get them on all major platforms. » Which stablecoins are the safest? Explore the top investors' choice for the safest stablecoins Conclusion Shiba Inu is a very risky investment, but it also has the potential to be very profitable. The truth is that no one can predict the future of SHIB, or any other cryptocurrency for that matter. So, if you're thinking about investing in Shiba Inu, make sure to do your own research and only invest what you can afford to lose. » Curious about other coins? Compare SHIB to the Algorand coin and the Solana coin
Decentralized financeThe Solana Coin: Value, Longevity, Rival Coins, and MoreWhere many blockchains are struggling, Solana shines. The blockchain is able to offer faster transactions at lower costs. For instance, when Solana's 60,000 TPS is compared to Ethereum's 30 TPS, it's evident that Solana is far superior. It's no wonder that Solana has attracted a dedicated user base. Due to the blockchain's continued efficiency and stability, its native token SOLANA (SOL), has remained to be a potentially strong long-term investment. However, recent occurrences have caused a downward trend in SOL’s price—presenting an opportunity for investors. What Is the Solana Coin? Solana (SOL) is the native currency of the Solana blockchain, and according to Forbes, it's among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap. The token has two main functions. Firstly, as a utility token, it's used to pay transaction fees for peer-to-peer payments (P2P), and to engage with smart contracts. Secondly, as a staking token, it's used in the network's proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which enables token holders to be validators of the network. It effectively serves these functions thanks to a limitless supply of tokens. However, half of the SOL paid in transaction fees is burned by the platform every year to maintain its yearly inflation rate. Value of the Solana Coin In 2020, when it was first offered for sale, one unit of SOL cost $0.77. At the time of writing, its price has increased by roughly 3,674.03%, reaching $29.06. SOL's price surged to $260 in 2021 as non-fungible coins (NFTs) gained popularity—and Solana provided NFTs at lower pricing and fewer fees. As mentioned, it's one of the top 10 digital assets in terms of market cap, joining the likes of Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), Binance Coin (BNB), XRP (XRP), Binance USD (BUSD), Cardano (ADA), and Dogecoin (DOGE). SOL’s value hinges on the fact that it has all the characteristics of a good currency: growing significantly in a short period of time; remaining stable despite challenges such as the pandemic; having a more advanced blockchain technology (a hybrid of PoS and proof-of-history) when compared to other networks, as well as faster speeds and lower transaction costs. Longevity of the Solana Coin Solana is often called the “Ethereum Killer” thanks to its success and ability to bounce back despite recent crypto losses. Like other networks, Solana is a layer one network that utilizes PoS, but with quick processing times and low transaction fees. However, it all comes with a price. One of the main complaints about the blockchain is how centralized it is. The Solana Foundation asserts that they're actively striving to increase the network's decentralization with over 2,000 nodes validating blocks every 400 milliseconds to counteract this. A stability issue also arises in light of the fact that Solana has had seven power outages since its inception in 2020, five of which occurred in 2022. Given that it's presently the only blockchain to experience significant outages, which materially affect its performance, this raises concerns about its long-term viability. Just last September, Solana was down for about 18 hours. Nevertheless, there are still many who believe that SOL will overcome these challenges. » Which protocols are built on Solana's blockchain? Learn more about Orca—the Solana-based DEX Which Coins Rival the Solana Coin? These five currencies continue to pose serious competition to Sol: 1. Ethereum (ETH) Both run smart contracts that enable the utilization of applications like decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFTs. While both employ a PoS consensus technique, Solana is superior since it also incorporates proof-of-history. Solana also has a considerable edge over Ethereum in transaction processing speed and transaction fees. Solana can process 60,000 TPS for $0.00025/ transaction, while Ethereum handles 15 TPS at $0.5289 per transaction. » What about the Ethereum merger? Find out what Ethereum's PoS transfer means for the world of crypto 2. Cardano (ADA) Cardano is also known as the “Ethereum Killer” and is similar to Solana in many ways. Both employ smart contracts, have lower transaction times and speeds, and both have enjoyed a cumulative rise in the crypto market. In 2021, Solana overtook Cardano in the top 5 cryptos. 3. Near Protocol (NEAR) Near and Solana feature comparable blockchain architectures, utilize the same programming language, and were established by companies in the same area. Both of their native coins secure their networks through PoS consensus and provide holders governance privileges. The NEAR token, however, has other uses. It’s used to pay for data storage, and 30% of network transaction fees are earned by smart contract developers to build dApps. Despite this, SOL outperforms NEAR. SOL's market worth is $9.5 billion, whereas NEAR's is $2.3 billion. 4. Polkadot (DOT) Polkadot is one of the biggest and most popular blockchains in the industry. Solana still remains faster in terms of network speed as Polkadot can only validate 1,000 TPS. However, where Polkdaot shines is in its sustainability and interoperability. » What else does Polkadot offer? Discover everything you need to know about Polkadot by exploring Polkadot's ecosystem 5. Avalanche (AVAX) Solana and Avalanche are both doing significant network upgrades to ease congestion and boost stability. Both also offer incentives to their respective coin holders to stake them for rewards. Solana outperforms Avalanche in terms of transaction speed and fees. Avalanche can only handle 4,500 TPS. The hefty transaction prices are another common user complaint. Is SOL for You? SOL has been having trouble lately. A hack this year resulted in $100 million stolen and impacted 7,767 wallets. Major power outages pose another challenge to the platform. This had caused price estimates to vary widely among analysts. According to PricePrediction's SOL price projection, the cost may average $34.26 in 2022 and $661.07 in 2030. But WalletInvestor predicts that the coin will fall to $3.40 in a year. Additionally, it's predicted to reach $1 at the beginning of 2027. Keep in mind that cryptocurrency markets are incredibly volatile, making it challenging to anticipate a coin's price, whether it's for a few hours or for years. As a result, forecasters who use algorithms and analysts both have the potential and the tendency to misinterpret the future. » Curious about other coins? Explore the Algorand coin's performance
Decentralized financeThe Algorand Coin: Price Prediction and Investment Potential ExplainedFounded by Silvio Macali, who is an MIT professor and Turing award winner, the Algorand project has been around since 2017. Algorand is both a blockchain and cryptocurrency, primarily designed for scalability and efficiency. Running on a pure proof-of-stake (PPoS) consensus algorithm, Algorand is powered by node validators—i.e. users that stake their ALGO coins to power the network. Since its inception, Algorand has proven to be a reliable blockchain project that's rich with features. In addition to being used for handling transactions, Algorand is also an abundant smart contract platform with ecosystems, protocols, and decentralized applications (dApps). Now, with the basics of Algorand as a project covered, let's dive deeper into its coin (ALGO). What Is the Algorand Coin? ALGO is the native cryptocurrency of the Algorand blockchain used to fuel transactions and power the network. The token was released through an initial coin offering (ICO) in June 2019, where 60% of the total supply was sold to investors. The other 40% is reserved for the team, the project's foundation, and ecosystem growth. ALGO is the backbone of the entire blockchain. Every transaction on the network is validated by an Algorand node, which is simply a wallet holding ALGO. The holder of the ALGO coins (i.e. the validator) gets a return of around 3-6% APY, depending on the network's current state. Moreover, Algorand is one of the only blockchains to have the validation process fully automated. For example, if you'd like to stake Ethereum, you must have a wallet with at least 32 ETH and run a validation node. But validating with ALGO is fully automated, so you'll get rewards even if you're holding ALGO in a non-custodial wallet. Additionally, ALGO is thought to be one of the "Ethereum killers", along with Cardano, Solana, and Polkadot. These blockchains aim to replace Ethereum by providing the same features only with much more efficiency. With all of this being said, it's quite evident that the Algorand coin has a ton of potential. But what does the future hold for it? Let's find out. Price Prediction for the Algorand Coin Throughout its history, the ALGO coin has had a lot of ups and downs. As of late October 2022, ALGO is priced at $0.31 per coin with a $2.1 billion market cap. However, over the last 12 months, ALGO hit a high of $2.83 per coin. If the coin even hits that high again, you'll be looking at an 800% profit with just one trade. Unfortunately, as of late 2022, the macroeconomic environment of the world is quite unsettling, and this has affected many asset classes, not just crypto. However, this economic decline is set to end around mid-2023, and this is when we believe the Algorand coin will start to rise in price. Now, let's go over the most important factors which will influence this rise in the price of Algorand. Staggered Release of the Total Coin Supply As we've mentioned before, during Algorand's ICO, only 60% of the total supply was released. This prevented market manipulation and whales (large investors) from cornering the market. The team behind Algorand has committed to releasing 8.33% of the remaining coins every year for 5 years. This will happen in the form of airdrops, and it's meant to keep the price stable while still providing an incentive for people to use the network. As of late 2022, the total circulating supply of Algorand is 70% of all created coins. Support of New Defi Apps Recently, the DeFi space has boomed. This is thanks to the launch of numerous new protocols and platforms that offer lending, borrowing, and liquidity services. Algorand is one of the most popular blockchains in the DeFi industry, because it makes apps and integrations easy for users so that they can get involved with DeFi protocols. Some of the most popular Algorand-based DeFi apps include HunnyPlay, Tinyman, HumbleDeFi, and AlgoFi. All of these apps offer different services, but they're all based on the Algorand network. As more and more people start using these DeFi apps, the price of ALGO will rise as well. Exposure to Users Unlike other blockchains, Algorand is trying to target users outside of the crypto industry. The team behind Algorand is focused on providing real-world solutions and integrations so that businesses and everyday people can use blockchain technology in their lives. Some examples of this include Algorand's partnership with Purestake, which allows users to stake their coins without having to run a node. This makes it much easier for people to get involved with staking and earn rewards. Other partnerships Algorand has include Pillar, Bixin Capital, MetaStable, and IMO Ventures. Increased Operability One of the main issues with Ethereum is that it often struggles with congestion. This is because Ethereum could only process 15 transactions per second (TPS). After the Ethereum merge, however, this number has risen to 30 TPS. Still, when there's a lot of activity on the network, transaction fees start to rise and users have to wait longer for their transactions to be processed. But Algorand can process up to 1,000 TPS. This is thanks to Algorand's unique consensus algorithm (PPoS) which doesn't require as much power and time to verify transactions, resulting in lower transaction fees and shorter waiting times for transaction processing. Is the Algorand Coin a Good Investment? In the short term, Algorand isn't expected to have an increase in its price, primarily due to the macroeconomic state of the world. But what about the long term? In our opinion, the answer is yes. Firstly, the staggered release of the total coin supply will help to keep the price stable while still providing an incentive for users to use the network. Secondly, Algorand's exposure to users outside of the crypto industry will help to increase the adoption and usage of the network. Still, remember that nothing in crypto is ever guaranteed, as the future is difficult to predict with such volatile assets. So, your best approach would be to do your own research and never invest more than you can afford to lose.