Gold vs Bonds – How to invest in gold and generate yields

Find out how gold can now earn a recurring passive monthly yield, making for a lucrative investment. Weighing up the investment options on the financial market can present a dilemma when choosing between the safety of gold, as a traditionally stable asset, and the yield-bearing potential of bonds. Gold vs. Bonds Both bonds and gold are widely considered to be low-risk investments.  When speaking of bonds, we are referring to fixed income instruments that represent a loan made by an investor to a borrower eg. government, or corporate bonds. They are often understood as an I.O.U (``I Owe You“-  a signed informal notice of an unpaid debt) between a lender and borrower, including details such as the date when the loan will be paid back, and the terms of variable or fixed interest made by the borrower.  Of course, the risk is never completely absent from any investment, especially in the short term, where market volatility plays a significant role in manufacturing risk.  Bonds have experienced a historic low in their interest rates recently, transforming them into an incredibly cheap investment worth considering.  If interest rates do eventually start to climb again, this would offer investors a modest recovery on the yielding potential of their bonds. However, the spot price of bonds that are already in circulation would be hit - particularly those which have the longest maturity. While the outlook for bonds appears gloomy, the future of gold presents itself much more optimistically. Indeed, investors anticipating the long-term benefits of holding gold have rarely been disappointed.   Gold experienced a pivotal moment in economic history when president Nixon announced on the 15th of August 1971 that the US would stop trading gold for dollars at the fixed rate of $35 an ounce - otherwise known as the fall of the Bretton Woods Agreement. Fifty years after its collapse, gold has increased in price 50 times over. Bullion Reaching New Heights Bullion reached a historical peak in its pricing of $2,074 an ounce last summer, before slipping back to under $1,800. Despite this, the long term trajectory of gold remains positive, in accordance with our recent market analysis.  In contrast, Treasury Yields still seem to be caught in a long-term bearish trend. As inflation rises, the yielding potential, for the majority of bonds in many economic areas, such as the European Union, Switzerland and Japan,  is still below zero. The U.S. rate hike forecasts are just as underwhelming, with most Federal Reserve officials expecting the first interest rate increase - only by 1% - in 2023. This means that investing in bonds, with a projected maturity time of one to five years, is generating a negative return or loss for investors who have parked liquidity there.  Of course, gold and bonds are likely to appear in the portfolio of any investor, but their roles are very different. Gold has always been a safe haven for investors. Its function, as an asset that protects wealth, will become even more effective if the markets experience uncertainty and crisis.  With a focus on stocks, which have skyrocketed over the past 15 months, investors can expect to observe the turbulent lows and highs of the market. Just since the low of the Covid-19 pandemic, the  S&P 500 (a stock market index tracking 500 publicly traded domestic US companies) has already doubled in value to the current state.  It seems that sooner or later, there will be new corrections as the market responds to the dramatic shifts and changes, making gold the safest store of value for every investor.  Earning a Yield on Gold As opposed to bonds, Kinesis gold (KAU) and silver (KAG) offer investors a recurring and reliable monthly yield, paid directly into their Kinesis accounts - for life. Rather than waiting to utilise their investment, as is the case when awaiting bond maturity, participants of the Kinesis system experience a sense of immediacy, with the ability to spend, send and transfer their KAU and KAG as physical-digital currencies, just like regular cash.  By holding Kinesis gold and silver, investors can access the yield-bearing benefits, traditionally associated with bonds, coupled with the appreciating value of gold as a stable asset. In other words, the best of both worlds. Find out more about the yielding potential of gold. KINESIS YIELD Carlo Alberto De Casa is Market Analyst for Kinesis Money. He also writes as a technical analyst for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. Carlo Alberto provides regular commentary for UK outlets including the BBC, Telegraph, the Independent Bloomberg & Reuters. He is also a commentator for CNBC Italy. He worked for Bloomberg as their Equity Research Fundamental Analyst before joining brokerage ActivTrades in 2011 to specialize in currency markets and commodities. In 2014 he published a book on gold and the gold market, followed by a new updated edition in 2018. This report is not an offer of or solicitation for a transaction in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any material provided does not have regard to the specific investment objective and financial situation of any person who may receive it. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Carlo Alberto De Casa
Carlo Alberto De Casa

06/10/2021

Tether vs. KAU: The Difference Between Fiat Stablecoins and Gold Stablecoins

Find out what Tether's recent audit investigation means for its future and how Tether fares against Kinesis native gold-backed currency: KAU.  What is Tether? Tether (USDT) made its stance on the crypto scene when its trading started in 2015. It quickly established itself as a fiat-backed alternative to standard cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Litecoin, which experience extreme market volatility.  As the name suggests, Tether is a cryptocurrency that is 1:1 allocated - or tethered - to the equivalent amount in traditional fiat currency, specifically the US dollar (USD). Today, it ranks 5th among the leading world cryptocurrencies, according to its coin market capitalization, certainly making it one to watch.  How does Tether stay at $1 dollar? Since one Tether coin is pegged 1:1 to the US dollar, it is not surprising that its valuation should rest comfortably at a pricing of $1 for a coin.  This single fact can be attributed to Tether’s success, as a cryptocurrency with a proposition to ensure the collateralized, fully allocated value of each coin.  Since fiat currency has traditionally operated with fractional reserve banking and is managed by central banking institutions, Tether exists as an alternative that claims to have a pegged, stable value to every single coin. This provides the basis for a more stable option to holding fiat currency in a traditional bank account, where only a proportion of fiat is held in its physical form (cash reserves).  A Dip in the Market  Despite Tether’s reputation as a stablecoin, its price has dipped below the value of $1 a number of times in recent years.  Tether sparked controversy in 2019, causing an alarming debate about the integrity of the cryptocurrency when an investigation into Tether’s trading platform revealed that it was not fully backed by the dollar. In fact, the landmark investigation by New York Attorney General, Letitia James, found that Tether was in fact only 74% backed by the dollar at the time.  A few months before in November 2018, Tether Ltd. published an audit report of their cash reserve at Deltec Bank & Trust Ltd. but at least $700 million was removed from Tether’s account the following day. Without user awareness, it was revealed that this sum was moved from Tether’s account to Bitifinex’s - one of their affiliated companies.   Trust in Stablecoin Since the scandalous revelations about Tether unfolded, users continued to trade the cryptocurrency, as evidenced by its trade volume which has almost doubled since late 2018.  However, when scandals like this one are publicised, general trust for crypto, especially a currency that claimed to be a stablecoin, can be severely dented.  After Tether published the report on their dubiously audited cash reserves, Tether denied further commentary on the investigation but conceded to pay an $18 million fine as settlement, promising to provide quarterly audits of their reserves for the next two years.  To avoid future penalisation, Tether clarified their claim of being 100% backed, making the following addition on their website: “Every Tether token is always 100% backed by our reserves, which include traditional currency and cash equivalents and, from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities (collectively, “reserves”).” Tether’s reserves, revealed as being diversified across unnamed third parties and affiliates, was a public response from the company that left participants questioning the security of it as a digital asset.  One damning report even suggests that Tether’s cash reserves only back the USDT tokens by 2.9% as opposed to the 100% backing initially promised by the company.  Clearly, this presents a problem for customers who want to exchange their USDT tokens for physical US dollars, as the company does not provide any guarantee of physical redemption.  In contrast, when Kinesis users redeem the value of the Kinesis gold-backed KAU, they receive its equivalent value, since KAU is always backed 1:1 with physical gold bullion.  With biannual audits published twice a year, Kinesis seeks to provide a fair and transparent monetary system for all users on the platform. Find our most recent audit here. A Question of Value  With fiat, crypto or alternative forms of currencies, it is clear that money cannot just be a medium of exchange but must also function as a store of value. Hence, the instability of Tether as a supposedly stablecoin will continue as long as the dollar is not linked to a stable asset or commodity backing its value, such as precious metals. Market analysts have shown that gold and the dollar oftentimes have an inverse relationship, so while the dollar has depreciated, gold has appreciated in value over time. The dollar has historically depreciated in value, in line with inflation, since its value was separated from gold after the fall of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971. However, gold has appreciated in value almost 50 times over since this date, making it the asset of enduring value.  By modelling a system on the steady and stable value of gold, Kinesis offers a true alternative to the ills of the byzantine banking system. In comparison to Tether, Kinesis KAU and KAG currencies enable users to generate a recurring passive monthly yield simply for holding the gold and silver in their Kinesis accounts or wallets.  In today’s low or even negative-yielding environment, the need for gold-backed stablecoins is clear, in addition to a currency that ensures protection against inflation, which fiat currencies do not. Find out more about the Kinesis Money yield system here.

Latifa Alkhanjary
Latifa Alkhanjary

22/09/2021

A Step-By-Step Guide in Buying Your First Crypto

Our step-by-step guide in buying your first crypto will have you trading in no time.  Most of us have heard about buying cryptocurrencies in one form or another. These currencies have been rapidly increasing in popularity over the course of the last decade, with Bitcoin leading the way due to its exponential growth.  If you’ve been asking yourself, “how do I buy Bitcoin?” - now is as good a time as any to start investing. 1. Get prepared Before you consider creating an account, it’s good to brush up on a couple of critical points.  Cryptocurrency is a digital currency where an independent system maintains transactions, rather than established and centralised financial institutions such as banks or regular exchanges.  Decentralised finance (DeFi) is where transactions or trades can take place without the involvement of banks or authorities. The advantage of this is that people have more control over their investments, and the disadvantage is that there is less protection or insurance when things go wrong.  Crypto transactions are logged into digital ledgers called Blockchain. Blockchain is highly secure and difficult to gain access to without the required passwords, meaning it's safe from hackers and cyber attacks.  This means that Bitcoin, for example, does not have a physical form like standard currencies and were originally unusable for most business transactions. However, more companies like eg. Paypal are starting to accept Bitcoin, providing a promising outlook to those wishing to delve into the market.  To buy cryptocurrency, you will need:  A cryptocurrency exchange account.Personal identification (for Know Your Customer platforms).A valid payment method.A Crypto wallet.Malware and security software. It’s wise to consider why you want to invest in cryptocurrency over other types of investment and think about your long-term goals in becoming a trader of digital assets. It will also be worth your time learning about the different types of currencies on offer and the mechanics of blockchain technology. That way you’re making a fully informed decision before stepping into the marketplace.  2. Choose your crypto exchange When buying and selling crypto, it’s essential to use a reputable exchange. So making sure you find the right one that’s trusted in the type of investment you’re looking to make is key.  Some platforms allow you to withdraw your crypto to your online wallet for extra security. Others allow you to remain anonymous and therefore free from providing personal information.  Here at Kinesis, our exchange offers different tier levels of verification, access to various currencies, the ability to view all pairs and current order books, and multi-layer security protection.  Stay safe Remember, all your cryptocurrency activity will be online. Therefore it’s crucial to practice safe internet precautions. Ensure you’ve got top of the range security and malware software installed, keep a paper copy of any passwords and store them safely in a safe or a hired storage space.  Extra software may seem like an expensive addition to your cryptocurrency investment setup. However, a malware attack that stops your device from operating or leads to stolen data will be a much more costly disaster.  Your online transactions should also be protected. Installing VPN software, such as eg. ExpressVPN will encrypt your data, making your online purchases and transactions completely anonymous.  3. Link a valid payment option To buy shares in Bitcoin or other digital currencies, you’ll need a valid payment option linked to your account. To set this up, you may need to provide ID and some personal information.  This information can range from a copy of a driving license to your employment history and source of funds depending on your country of trading’s laws and regulations.  Once your information is verified, it’s time to link a payment option. It would be wise at this point to check if your bank can accept cryptocurrencies. While most banks accept transfers to Bitcoin and other currencies, others may have limitations in place to protect their customers.  4. Organise your wallet(s) Before you start investing in Bitcoin or other currencies, it is essential to set up your crypto wallet.  A crypto wallet is a secure way of storing your cryptocurrency. However, like most things we’ve encountered so far, it’s not as straightforward as your usual day-to-day wallet.  Hot wallet A hot wallet is similar to your everyday wallet. This term is used because it enables you to have regular access to your digital currency.  Benefits:  Quick access.Variety of support for different devices.Straightforward interfaces, easy to use.  Cons: If recovery details aren’t stored elsewhere, risk losing online access permanently. Open to security hacks.Damage to a device (mobile phone, for example) means potential loss of access to hot wallet info.  Cold wallet A cold wallet would store the money for long periods, similar to holding cash in bank accounts.  Benefits:  It is secured offline and is therefore protected from online threats like hackers or malware. Stores large amounts of currency for long periods. Cons: No quick or easy access to stored currency.Sometimes not easy to set up.It still could be physically damaged.  Hardware wallet Hardware wallets are physical devices such as an external hard drive or USB stick that you can purchase from specialised companies or second hand. The contents can only be opened or restored (in the case of loss, damage, or theft) by your private key.  At Kinesis, we recommend taking advantage of our CoolWallet S, which combines top security with convenience alongside 2+1 factor authentication.  5. What cryptocurrency to choose, and when?  Kinesis offers access to their gold and silver currencies as well as a selection of popular crypto tokens, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Tether. According to Nextadvisor, Bitcoin has a growing track record of holding and increasing in value over time. Before you make your first purchase, examine the market price, look at trends, and don’t feel pushed into buying anything until you know exactly what you’re doing.  Depending on available funds and the type of investment you seek, you may look at how to buy Bitcoin shares or look at how to buy part of a Bitcoin. One whole Bitcoin costs tens of thousands of pounds, but this doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from looking at investing in shares of a Bitcoin (otherwise known as part of the coin itself).  Depending on your chosen payment method (debit card, credit card, Paypal), your transaction fees may work out as very expensive. For example, credit card companies generally treat Bitcoin investments as cash advances, so do your research before you buy!  Know the risks Again, it’s essential to understand that cryptocurrency is a volatile market that changes every day, with dramatic increases and drops. This market never stops, hence you need to make a habit of checking in on the value of your investment and knowing when best to buy and sell Bitcoin. Kinesis provides a Knowledge Base, video lessons and 24/7 chat support for its users for any concerns or questions you may have throughout your investment journey. Now that you are setting up to invest in your first crypto, why not learn more about the intrinsic value of Bitcoin? 

Doug Turner
Doug Turner

16/09/2021

How Does Cryptocurrency Mining Work? Guide

You have probably heard of buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptos on peer to peer networks. But do you know what exactly is crypto mining? In simple terms, crypto mining is gathering cryptocurrency through solving cryptographic equations through a computer system. Data blocks are validated, and transactions are added to the blockchain ledger, otherwise known as a public ledger. Still sounds complicated? Want to know how Bitcoin mining actually works? To fully understand the purpose of virtual money mining, we must learn how cryptocurrency is processed through decentralised financial institutions.  RELATED: What is ASIC Mining and is it Worth Your Investment? | Kinesis Money Traditional and Decentralised financial markets We are all familiar with traditional financial institutions like for example banks. Banks and brokerage firms have a central authority that maintains an up-to-date ledger. The ledger is regularly verified, logging every transaction passing through the system, including cash transfers and processing cheques. Everything is stored in a centralised public register.  Cryptocurrency works differently, with the ethos of its origins wanting more freedom and anonymity away from a central authority. This means the Bitcoin network can connect anyone and send and receive payments without going through a bank.  This means that instead of a central authority validating ledger entries, cryptographic equations are used to verify transactions.  How to earn money from Bitcoin mining? This is where cryptocurrency miners are needed. Their job is to verify the validity of transactions by performing the cryptographic equations for each transaction. This involves a lot of time and work, as well as computing power -  this is the simplified recipe for mining crypto.  Miners receive a small amount of Bitcoin (or whatever digital currency they are mining) as a reward. How much you can earn mining Bitcoin depends on your equipment, resources and the amount of work you’re willing to put in. Established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin use a system they call blockchain. To understand Bitcoin mining, you must be able to understand the different components of a blockchain. RELATED: What is GPU Mining? | Kinesis Money How does crypto mining work? Before you invest in cryptocurrency mining or start mining Bitcoins, it’s a good idea to break everything down from the beginning.  A Bitcoin Blockchain consists of:  Nodes - Individuals and devices within the blockchain such as your computer and other computers connected to you.Miners - specific nodes who are responsible for validating blocks of transactions by verifying the hashes. Transactions - Exchanges of digital currency between two parties, which starts the mining process. Transactions are added to data blocks that need to be looked over by miner nodes. Hashes - One-way cryptographic (mathematical) equations that allow nodes to validate the cryptocurrency mining transaction. Header data from the previous data block is paired with a nonce and a hash is generated.Nonces - a number only used once that gets added to the hash in each data block of the chain.Consensus algorithm - Blockchain process that allows various notes within a network to come to a consensus when verifying data. The first type of algorithm to note is proof of work, a mechanism, which stops users from double-spending their coins.Blocks - Individual sections of the blockchain that contain completed transaction information. Blocks that have already been confirmed cannot be modified. It is said blockchains generate new blocks roughly every 10 minutes. Blockchain - A collection of blocks listed in chronological order.  Of course, there are many different types of cryptocurrency out there, however Bitcoin is an easy one to look at to really understand the mechanics of mining. How to mine cryptocurrency? Currently, there are no laws in the UK, nor in the USA against cryptocurrency mining or learning how to use a Bitcoin miner. In fact, there are various sources available for crypto farm mining. There are a few things to know before you start learning the process behind mining, though.  Firstly, if you’ve been wondering how much you can earn with Bitcoin mining, there is a limit of 21 million Bitcoins that can be mined. This figure is set to be reached approximately in 2140 and after this date, there will no longer be any Bitcoin to mine.  Secondly, mining Bitcoin is not a free gig. It costs thousands of dollars to mine a single coin (between $7000 - $11000 according to Minerdaily). Moreover, there are a large number of things to consider covering financially, such as electricity costs, purchasing a computer system with optimum processing power, a cryptocurrency mining rig, a Bitcoin mining machine, graphics card or graphics processing units (known as GPUs), and an ASIC application-specific integrated circuit). The better quality of equipment you have, the more Bitcoin you’ll be able to mine. It also may be worth your time making sure you’re on the lowest electricity rate possible, as electricity will be your biggest cost.  What you will need: A profitability calculator  - This is to ensure the crypto mining will be worth your time financially, calculating your possible earnings against your running costs. Choose your mining hardware - There are various ASIC devices available for you to compare the features and cost and ascertain which is ideal for your mining needs. Join a mining pool company/ community - Sometimes it's better to work in numbers, and mining is no exception. Joining a reputable pool allows you to combine your resources together, for a better chance of finding a lead.Download mining software - You may be able to join a pool that has its own software. Alternatively, GUI mining software offers easier use. Start mining - Now you’re ready to mine! Don’t forget to set up a secure wallet to link to your rig.  It is also worth noting that many companies that provide pools, do not accept mining out of “hobby” and you may wish to look at Cloud Mining services that grant you access to a shared processing unit, without needing the hardware yourself.  Remember, mining crypto is not for everybody, and you may prefer to buy and trade Bitcoin through the exchange. RELATED: What is an NFT and where can I get one? | Kinesis Money

Doug Turner
Doug Turner

14/09/2021

Policing the Crypto Market - What SEC’s threat to Sue Coinbase Means for Crypto Investors

Global cryptocurrency exchange platform, Coinbase, is facing legal action from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against their proposed “Lend” programme this week. The US-based platform had been in close communication with Gary Gensler, Chairman of the regulatory body, six months prior to the threat to sue Coinbase was made brutally clear with the presentation of a Wells notice.  The confrontational route of a Wells notice is a clear signal from the SEC that enforcement against a recipient is forthcoming - typically utilised against potential violation or breach of securities.  SEC initially did not expand on the rationale behind the call against the potential security threat of the ‘Lend’ scheme. However, Gensler has already made a point of branding the crypto-verse as the wild west of finance.  Enrolling in Coinbase’s proposed scheme would enable eligible users to earn an annual yield on USD coins lent to eligible borrowers. Furthermore, the company assures that it’s a safe investment guaranteed by Coinbase that enables Lenders to earn a recurring yield.  Why the fuss? The regulatory crackdown on crypto from SEC may in fact point to the wider narrative of distrust for the volatility of cryptocurrencies, and most importantly decentralised finance (Defi).  What’s interesting in this scenario, was voiced by Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong in the Tweet: "How can lending be a security?" Armstrong raises a pertinent question. Anyone who knows anything about finance is no stranger to the principle of lending, but it seems the issue here is the context: who is doing the lending.  After all, it is the act of lending money for it to become credit that the current debt-based economic model was built upon.  In our current low or negative-yielding environment this single factor may be the tipping point for many individuals on the verge of starting the cryptocurrency investment portfolio.  Whether it’s the aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic or the unappealing interest rates on cash ISAs, fixed-rate bonds or other saving options, yields come as a desirable option.  Usage-based Yields vs. Lend-based Yields One aspect that has noticeably been absent from the discussion of yielding in relation to Coinbase, is that there is in fact an alternative.  As the Kinesis yield model is entirely usage-based, users are rewarded the more they collectively participate in the platform - even if that means simply holding their respective gold or silver currencies in our vaulted facilities, free of charge.  In comparison with Coinbase, the Kinesis yield model is built upon revenue generation from transaction fees of fully-backed assets existing within its system. This means users can rest assured that a usage-based yield entails a drastically lower level of risk than lending does. With lending, even in the cryptocurrency sphere, the act of borrowing currency still presents wider implications, considering that Coinbase's crypto-backed by the US dollar is no more stable just because it exists in a digitalised format.  What’s more, it is no secret that the dollar continues to depreciate in value, losing as much as 97% since the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913. At the same time, gold continues to greatly appreciate in value over time, making it the safe haven for investors looking to hedge against inflation. Kinesis offers a sustainable alternative for users, with a stablecoin that is backed with the 1:1 allocation of gold (KAU) or silver (KAG).  In our historic Minter’s yield launch, 14,052 grams of gold (KAU) and 1,686 ounces of silver (KAG) were distributed back to minters on the Kinesis Monetary platform.  Kinesis is transforming the universal standard we hold for money, in order to create an ethical, fair, and debt-free economy that is accessible for the benefit of all.    Start benefitting from the Kinesis Yield System today. CLICK HERE

Latifa Alkhanjary
Latifa Alkhanjary

10/09/2021

The Ultimate Guide to Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency

What is gold-backed crypto? In its simplest form, a cryptocurrency backed by gold or silver is the modern evolution of the gold standard: that is, a monetary system where a currency is directly linked to physical precious metal. Coins or tokens issued that follow this system provide token holders with digital assets that have a value directly correlated to the physical assets they represent; gold or silver. To go into more depth, gold or silver-backed crypto regulates its worth by having a direct, stable link with a trusted asset - gold - thus avoiding what many risk-averse experts see as one of crypto’s shortcomings - its lack of intrinsic value, which results in high price volatility. Stablecoins (cryptocurrencies whose value is tied to outside assets) that use these physical assets can therefore enjoy more tangibility and more predictable price swings, compared to their fully digital counterparts. As a result, their price will never drop below the price of a precious metal that backs them, though the value of the token can increase in tandem with the underlying physical asset, providing both stability and the potential for profit. The history of money backed by gold To fully understand the benefits of gold-backed currency, it’s important to understand the idea behind linking currencies to precious metals and how it played out historically. First introduced by the United Kingdom in 1861, fixed-rate gold-backed currency came about to help stabilise an economy that was gradually becoming more and more global. Gold has always been an important resource for central banks and governments to hold, so tying a nation’s currency to its gold reserves was a way of ensuring that trade was always at a surplus.  The United States followed suit in 1879, and until 1933 the US dollar was backed by gold. Why did this change? In part, following the First World War and the Great Depression in the 1930s, people began to hoard gold supplies. Governments also realised that it was difficult to aggregate resources based only on their reserves, so the system was changed to the current trust-based system that we see globally today. As a result, currencies were decoupled from gold and silver, and the value began to fluctuate more wildly as it was based on intangible promises, not unlike today’s modern cryptocurrency.  Throughout this, gold remained as valuable in the eyes of traders as it always had been. Investors kept investing in gold, and as a more stable option than many global currencies, it’s now a sought-after asset for the astute.  Translating the gold standard into the modern day Though the US dropped the gold standard fully in 1971, the idea behind linking money to something that’s truly valuable remains a solid financial strategy. With blockchain technology connecting commerce like never before, it was only a matter of time before cryptocurrency enthusiasts linked this new fintech revolution with a stable, trusted asset.  By digitising the timeless value of gold into a spendable currency, Kinesis worked on our blueprint to integrate the stability of precious metals with the convenience of modern finance.  This gives holders all the reliable store of value offered by gold, and all the ease of use you expect from a more modern, fluid asset.  What is the benefit of currency backed by gold?  The benefits of gold-backed crypto are numerous and are largely linked to its stability compared to other options like Bitcoin or the Ethereum blockchain. We’ve listed a few of the most commonly cited benefits below: It’s a stable option As mentioned, a legitimate gold-backed cryptocurrency enjoys a higher level of market stability than its more volatile counterparts. This is because it’s intrinsically linked to the current gold price, which is largely one of the most stable markets around. Historically, everyone wants precious metals, and so a coin linked to those metals is bound to retain its value as long as it’s associated with these materials. It’s easier to understand the market Tied to this stability, the price fluctuations of gold-backed crypto as a whole, are easier to understand. Many of the market variations of Bitcoin and other crypto tokens can seem random, even arbitrary. However, with these stablecoins, you can look at the daily gold market and see trends, changes and predictions that will help to make informed investment decisions. Cryptocurrency is easy to store Unless you have a Swiss vault (or several) to hand, it’s not easy to store large volumes of gold on an individual level. Digitalised gold and silver allows investors to take advantage of its value for trading, investing and spending without worrying about its physical location at all times. This can translate to lower fees for using it as a trading asset, leading to greater convenience and profit. You can access blockchain trading apps By tokenising gold and silver into digital assets, holders can access blockchain trading platforms and all of their associated benefits with a tangible asset value behind them. These platforms offer easy trading, strict security credentials and the transparency of the blockchain as well as their safety regulations. It avoids central bankers and, thus, banks Through the blockchain trading methods mentioned above, investors can transfer value without having to go to a bank. This is beneficial in various ways: it’s faster, it’s more accessible, and it allows you to avoid the fluctuations that can happen when you trade money globally. In short, it’s a good way to beat a bad exchange rate. All that glitters is not gold...  The drawbacks of gold-backed crypto There are, however, aspects of some gold-backed crypto that still show room for improvement. Although digitalised precious metals are, by default, superior when compared to fiat or traditional physical bullion assets, in most cases they do not offer anything beyond a combination of what crypto or precious metals are offering already. Lack of yield Traditionally, the lack of yield and therefore limited earning opportunities on the vast majority of gold-backed crypto, result in other assets, like stocks paying dividends, bonds or rental properties, appearing as a more attractive prospect for investors.  Nowadays, we can see an increase in the public awareness of the inflationary risks associated with long-term capital holding, which means that investors will look even more consciously for the assets with the highest earnings potential. As negative interest rates have become normalised, people are scouring for a solution that will not require them to – counterintuitively – spend extra money in order to keep their money stored with a bank. Gresham’s Law Another stumbling block is what’s known as Gresham’s law – bad money drives out good money. In practice, this means that people hold onto their gold and silver (good money) and spend paper fiat (bad money), despite their remarkably increased liquidity (and thus, spendability) obtained in the process of digitalisation. Kinesis Yield on digitalised gold and silver Kinesis solves both these problems. By presenting a passive Holder’s yield on digitalised gold and silver, Kinesis allows its users to earn money, simply by holding their assets. The Kinesis Yield system not only takes gold-backed crypto a leap further, but simultaneously stimulates the organic growth of a monetary system in which its users are rewarded for their participation, not penalised.  Moreover, a yield on gold and silver, which can be earned by holding, sending or trading, incentivises spending and defeats Gresham’s Law as a consequence.  Back to the Gold Standard In the wake of the 50th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Agreement collapse (which ended the role of gold as a unified fixed exchange rate dollar-stabilising mechanism), the necessity of re-visiting the policy of a store of value as a currency price determinant appears more self-evident than ever. This necessity, coupled with global digitalisation, is already enabling us to bring back gold and silver as money, once again. Putting gold on the blockchain, a kind of 21st-century alchemy, transmutes it into a spendable asset, with the potential of broadening its reach across the globe. Society seems to be craving the financial stability that gold-backed currency can unquestionably deliver. As The New Case for Gold book author, Jim Rickards explains, while sharing his insight on what a new Bretton Woods System would look like, the solution is already here.  A gold-backed currency, with underlying gold securely stored in a vault and available to spend at the tap of a button, is already available through the Kinesis Monetary System. If you’re convinced by the many benefits of this stablecoin and want to start trading in gold-backed crypto, you should know that it offers more than just a reliable asset. With a rising market cap and surging demand since the beginning of 2020, it’s increasingly looking like the go-to option to combine convenience and stability in the blockchain world. 

Doug Turner
Doug Turner

07/09/2021

What Is a Crypto Faucet?

Crypto faucets are a way of rewarding users with instant payments of Bitcoin in exchange for performing tasks on a website or app. Like Bitcoin, this works based on a decentralised system using blockchain technology as a ledger to underlie the crypto.  Crypto faucets, like cryptocurrency, are part of a decentralised financial system using peer-to-peer transactions. A cryptocurrency faucet doesn’t incur any transaction fees by bypassing traditional financial services and payment systems, such as banks and credit cards, as well as advertising business models such as Google Ads which would typically sit between a user and a website or app. The tasks the user completes could be clicking on a paid ad, completing a CAPTCHA test or logging in every day. The user – that is, the wallet holder – earns Bitcoin cash by completing tasks on a crypto faucet via a website or an app.  What’s the benefit for each party? A crypto faucet cuts out the intermediary, typically Google Ads or any other online monetization company, and rewards the user directly.  Factors including ad clicks and CAPTCHA tests generate website traffic and this, in turn, is a source of revenue for the website or app, while the user earns crypto coins directly into their crypto wallet.  What is a Bitcoin faucet? A Bitcoin faucet is a rewards system that specifically dishes out Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency. There are faucets for other cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin, including altcoins, such as Ethereum, Dogecoin or Litecoin. Simply put, these crypto coins are different assets for people to invest in. The crypto-assets can all be used as rewards via a Bitcoin faucet, Dogecoin faucet Litecoin faucet, and others.  Crypto stats  Capped supply of Bitcoin: 21 million How often new Bitcoins are minted by miners: 10 minutes How much 10000 satoshis will give you in GBP: 2.3631 GBP  The supply is capped at 21 million Bitcoins. Buying or earning through crypto faucets just 1 Bitcoin means you’ll be joining the very exclusive 21 million club. You’ll be 1 in 21 million.  So which type of faucet do you go with? You might want to pay attention to market capitalization – or market cap – that’s the price of each coin multiplied by the number of coins in circulation. Bear in mind Bitcoin will only ever have 21 million coins in circulation since this affects how this cryptocurrency scores in the ranking of cryptocurrencies and is indicative of its potential for growth. The same applies for other cryptocurrencies. How do crypto faucets work? Now we know what a faucet is, how exactly do they work? When thinking about how faucets work, including Bitcoin faucets, think of it as a mutual exchange between the user, the wallet holder, and the faucet, the website or app. The user earns cryptocurrency into a secure crypto wallet by completing tasks and the faucet that dishes out the crypto as a reward generates revenue from the traffic generated through the actions or tasks carried out by the user, including:  Clicking on paid adsLogging on to a website every dayCompleting CAPTCHA testsPlaying gamesWatching ads Long term strategy The reward system used with crypto faucets is done over time and in small quantities. It’s a low effort and low-risk way for the user to earn crypto coins, The reward system used with crypto faucets is done over time and in small quantities. It’s a low effort and low-risk way for the user to earn crypto coins, but you have to be willing to put the time in over a period of days, weeks, or months. You’re playing a long game.  Like other investment assets, there are various risks and rewards involved, different types of asset class, as well as short term and long term strategies to adopt with cryptocurrencies. A lot has already been said about the volatility of Bitcoin price and its value. But volatility means that while there are risks, there are also big gains to potentially be made and the potential to generate wealth. The volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies means that while the digital asset may be earned in small amounts over time through crypto faucets, it has the potential to gain significant value over time. To put this in context, 1 Bitcoin is worth approximately $34,000 USD today. Just over a decade ago in 2010, 1 Bitcoin was worth less than $0.01 USD.  Crypto faucets, secure transactions and Blockchain Bitcoin transactions are public and can be viewed on Bitcoin software, known as the blockchain. This is because cryptocurrency transactions are part of an open, decentralised financial system. Every time someone sends Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to another wallet, a transaction is created with an ID that is used to verify transactions. Mining v faucets Mining Bitcoin through Blockchain is significantly more complicated than using a cash faucet. Bitcoin miners will need the right technology, which has become more scarce, in addition to hardware and a powerful electricity supply. One will also incur power costs in order to connect to and mine the Bitcoin network. Plus, many people are asked to solve a complex mathematical query to be authorised as a miner.   Buying or earning Bitcoin through a Bitcoin cash faucet is much more simple. If you want to explore  Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, a faucet Bitcoin is a good place to start. Low risk, low effort and doesn’t involve mining – and when it comes to minting, this process is also easy and just got a lot quicker. Future of money and cryptocurrency Digital currency isn’t going anywhere. Governments and banks are becoming more open to the idea of investing in digital currencies, as well as the broader public. El Salvador just announced plans to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country from September. Wealth managers increasingly advise clients on investing in crypto assets instead of traditional assets, or as part of a diversified portfolio. If you decide you want to invest in crypto, firstly, take the time to understand the digital currency landscape. If you’re still a bit unsure, consider starting with a low-risk option, such as crypto faucets.  What do you think is the future for cryptocurrency?

Doug Turner
Doug Turner

02/09/2021

Marking 50 Years: the Fall of the Bretton Woods Agreement

50 Years Without a Gold Standard: fiat currency post-Bretton Woods Agreement, as discussed in Rickards’ book: “The New Case for Gold” Yesterday, Sunday, August 15th, marked a significant time stamp in the history books, as 50 years since the fall of the Bretton Woods Agreement and gold-backed US currency.  The Agreement of 1944 was the beginning of a foreign exchange system that promoted economic growth on an international scale, forged as a safe-guard against the devaluation of the dollar (USD). Perhaps more importantly, the resulting social cohesion among independent states after WWII was vital for stabilising market volatility on a wider scale.  However, this came with the caveat that all participating countries would peg the respective value of their currencies to the dollar.  Considering the importance of the Agreement retrospectively, the global reliance and exchange of the dollar have largely contributed to its existence as a major currency, currently involved in over 80% of all foreign exchange transactions.  With an end to the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971 during Nixon’s presidential campaign, foreign currencies became free-floating on the foreign exchange market, as was the case for larger economies like Great Britain, Japan and the US.  Without the ability for the American citizens to claim gold as before, investors looked for private intermediaries to house their gold or to participate in high-risk strategies like Exchange-traded funds (ETFs).  The New Case for Gold  Despite the eradication of the gold standard in 1971, it is clear that the enduring value of this precious metal persists today.  Bestselling author on matters of finance and precious metals James Rickards explores this momentous event in “The New Case for Gold” as well as debunking age-old myths that surround it.  According to him, the process of separating gold from the dollar confirmed rather than undermined gold as a lucrative asset for preserving value. Whether that value is intrinsic or subjective, humanity’s usage of gold as a currency throughout time can be pinned to its pre-requisite properties of “scarcity, malleability, inertness, durability, and uniformity.” His title recognises the renewed importance of monetary systems based on gold, saying: “In the absence of an official gold standard, individuals should go on a personal gold standard by buying gold to preserve their wealth” While the rationale behind a personal gold standard is varied, this pursuit entails low-risk investment in a stable asset that can provide a safe-guard against inflationary threats. In times of global crises, investors look to gold as a “safe haven”, since it is an asset increasing in value rather than depreciating.  The Future of Gold Post Bretton Woods Agreement, it is certain that the future of money is digital. Clearly, the move towards decentralized digital asset management is becoming a widespread reality for those seeking to diversify their portfolio.   As central banks follow suit with digital currencies set to represent fiat, the direction towards digital rather than paper money is already well underway.  As Rickards mentions in an interview about his new release, the answer of a digital gold-backed currency with an accompanying debit card to spend owned gold would bring back a new kind of gold standard.  Making gold a spendable asset, rather than a hoarded one, enables its circulation in the wider economy. This means that gold can be defined as money in terms of a store of value but also a medium of exchange and unit of account.  A New Bretton Woods Agreement  Going forward, the future of gold and gold-backed currency is already in progress. However, whether the gold standard will be introduced to currency on a global scale is another matter.  One of the reasons the Agreement fell was the great undervaluing of the price of gold, which meant that gold production would not be sufficient to provide the resources to finance the growth of global trade.  However, as Rickards highlights, when gold is priced on an analytical, not political basis, this enables its sustainable endurance as a form of money.  The Kinesis Solution At the time of speaking, he notes that gold was historically a non-yield producing asset, sitting stagnant in vaulted infrastructure for long periods of time. This made it impractical for daily use and inaccessible as an exchangeable asset.  However, the Kinesis system participants can not only store their gold with zero fees but can also generate a yield, whether it is spent or simply held in a user’s wallet.  Rather than a Monetary System built on principles of risk or debt, yields are acquired from mutual transaction fees drawn from the entire Kinesis ecosystem.  Whether the future monetary policy will mimic the principles of the Bretton Woods Agreement is uncertain, but a global want for fair and ethical monetary systems is without question. 

Latifa Alkhanjary
Latifa Alkhanjary

16/08/2021

What is an NFT and where can I get one?

One of the latest digital trends to emerge from the crypto-universe, NFTs are ‘Non-Fungible Tokens’. However, you’d be forgiven if that explanation left you with more questions than answers. Questions around what they do, how they can be acquired and why some individuals are paying millions of dollars for them? Before these questions can be answered, we first need a concrete understanding of an NFT’s meaning. “Fungible” - a common term in economics - simply means “replaceable”. The easiest example of a fungible object is money, which can be readily exchanged for any currency of equivalent value. Another example could be a line of mass-produced trainers, all made to be identical in look and quality. When we think of non-fungible objects, we typically think of works of art. Something made entirely singular and unique. But it could also include a pair of the aforementioned trainers if they had then been signed by a celebrity athlete or had someone’s initials added to them. It’s this uniqueness - through either creative, cultural or personal value - that makes an object non-fungible. For those who have dealt in cryptocurrency, ‘token’ will be a familiar term. While cryptocurrencies on the blockchain have fungible tokens, making them replaceable and easily exchanged, NFTs are represented by a unique NFT crypto token. This means they can be used as proof of ownership of an individual and exclusive asset - with works of digital art being the most common so far. How do NFTs work? While the transfer and ownership of NFTs are identical to that of any cryptocurrency on a blockchain, they do have a key difference. This is a distinct digital signature that means it can’t be directly interchanged with another token. Although an NFT will include this digital signature to make it unique on the blockchain, creators could still offer multiple of a single asset. Much like a limited retail release, these could be fifty copies of a single album or one of the hundreds of trading cards. NFTs do also have an additional feature over regular cryptocurrency for the benefit of creatives and artists looking to sell their work as an NFT. They can be paid royalties every time their work is either purchased or exchanged at a royalty rate that matches their needs. This can empower digital artists to start enjoying a larger stake in their success, which many have felt cut out from - particularly on music platforms like Spotify. This connection between creator and consumer reveals part of the reason why some NFTs are selling for such great amounts. However, there is still more to understand about some of the prices seen on NFT marketplaces. Why are NFTs valuable? There have already been numerous articles detailing some of the highlights of NFT exchanges. Not just on their staggering price tags but also some of the surprising items that are being put up for sale in the first place. From Jack Dorsey auctioning off Twitter’s first tweet to highlights of NBA matches, it seems like any digital asset you can conceive of is being bought and sold. But with digital files like photos and videos being easily copied and downloaded, it’s easy to be left wondering why NFTs have any value in the first place. While some NFTs are being auctioned with their proceeds going to charity, others purely offer an opportunity for fans of content creators to support them directly. A lucrative market built around valuation and speculation has also emerged, further attracting hedge funds and investors into cryptocurrencies. Some say that NFTs are a natural progression for the fine art market. A new playground for the wealthy to buy and sell digital assets they simply want to own or will sell for a sizable return in the future. It can be argued that it’s blockchain technology itself that piques and satisfies a desire to be recognised as the singular owner of an object. With blockchains being a public ledger that is verified by countless computers across the world, they can become galleries that permanently display ownership of an exclusive asset for all the world to see. This is perhaps even more true of NFTs sold directly by celebrities. Imagine your direct interaction with a personal hero, forever being captured on the blockchain. How can you get NFTs? Although some feel that the NFT bubble might have already burst, NFTs have opened new ways in both supporting artists and changing how we exchange goods. Connections between the physical world and the more abstract realm of NFTs are already being patented. With how quickly cryptocurrencies were adopted across global markets, it appears likely that many of us will look to buy NFTs soon. While any blockchain can design its version of NFTs, they are almost exclusively traded on the Ethereum blockchain. So to participate in auctions and purchase them, you will need to have ETH available in your wallet. Currently, several popular websites perform as retailers and auction houses for NFTs, such as OpenSea, Mintable, Foundation and more. With straightforward and standard transactions, you only need to browse, bid and buy at your leisure.

Doug Turner
Doug Turner

05/08/2021

What is ASIC Mining and is it Worth Your Investment?

ASIC mining has remained the most efficient method of acquiring cryptocurrency for years. Is it worth investing in today? Short for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, an ASIC miner - unlike other mining setups that repurpose CPUs, graphics cards or even disk storage - has been manufactured for the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrency. Offering the greatest leap in efficiency and simplicity since Canaan's first ASIC miner in 2013, many manufacturers have entered into the technological race of producing the most efficient ASIC rigs. Now, those who are serious about crypto-mining enjoy a wealth of choices when selecting their ASIC miner. The catch to ASIC units compared to their predecessors is that they can only mine a single crypto hash algorithm. This means that they will only be able to mine cryptocurrencies locked to that algorithm, which could be just one or several. Initially seen as an investment only available for those with extensive funds, ASIC rigs have become affordable and viable for smaller investors. With knowledge and interest in cryptocurrencies growing amongst even the tech-illiterate, more individuals are wondering whether ASIC mining is worth pursuing. What companies are involved with ASIC mining? ASIC rigs were first mass-produced in 2013, following the launch of Canaan's Avalon V1. This ASIC bitcoin miner could acquire upwards of $200 a day in Bitcoin. Although today, the ASIC landscape is significantly different. With explosions in profitability driven by increased valuations in cryptocurrencies, competition has erupted between manufacturers to produce the most efficient ASIC rigs. Whilst Canaan is still a significant player within the industry - even recently investing into their own mining farm in Kazakhstan - there are now many competitors driving advancements in ASIC miners. Bitmain, Whatsminer and Bitfury are just some of the now recognisable brands producing the most in-demand ASIC miners. However, it’s not just ASIC manufacturers which have turned into multi-billion dollar enterprises. Entire companies have been created to invest in ASIC mining farms and bring together thousands of rigs into a single location to mine cryptocurrencies 24/7 at a massive scale. These include the likes of Riot Blockchain, Marathon Patent Group and HIVE Blockchain - all of which have enjoyed substantial growth in recent years, capitalising on the significant increase in Bitcoin and Ethereum value. What are the pros and cons of ASIC mining? Now, from the above, you’d be forgiven for thinking ASIC mining was the only real consideration for any individual or group looking to start crypto-mining. However, the drawbacks of ASIC can range from mild to rather significant depending on where your operation is based and how much you’re able to invest in terms of funds, space and time. In very general terms, the more you can invest in an ASIC mining rig, the greater the profit you’ll be able to yield. While this has always been the case for crypto-mining, the principle has never been more true than now. As mining grows more popular, the time taken to validate transactions on the blockchain is ever-increasing - this serves to tackle uncontrollable inflation within the currency. Unsurprisingly, the ASIC miners with the greatest hash power to validate these blockchain transitions are the most expensive. A top of the market ASIC miner like Bitmain’s Antminer S19 PRO would set you back between $8,000 to $10,000, if not more. That is a tremendous investment for someone with no experience or background in mining to make. Plus, that doesn’t account for the sizable electricity costs required to keep it running. Naturally, you don’t have to go for one of these premium models. In fact, you don’t even have to buy new - especially with China’s recent ban on crypto-mining leading to swathes of units being auctioned off on second-hand markets on eBay and Amazon. These can be especially inviting if they’re sold alongside their required power supply, offering further savings. This means there is an abundance of ASIC mining hardware to match any budget. For a relatively modest $400, you could pick up Antminer S9. With just enough profitability to keep you in the red, this would be a perfect starter miner for someone looking to become more familiar with mining without losing money on the rig. However, such small profits can be quickly consumed by how much you have to pay for electricity. Even just a small increase in kilowatt per hour can turn a profitable rig into a lossmaker. This naturally means those with access to a surplus of renewable energy have a distinct advantage. As an inexpensive alternative, it will substantially reduce - or completely eliminate - the sizable electrical bill that comes with mining. With the limits of improved hash rates already being seen, it’s predicted that the next race for mining cryptocurrency will be who can achieve the greatest energy efficiency. For larger enterprises, establishing an ASIC farm in the desert driven by electricity from solar panels is a feasible proposition. For smaller startups and individuals, however, commercial access to that amount of renewable energy would be a more difficult acquisition. There is also the previously mentioned limitation on the currency that can be mined from each rig. While the simplicity of ASIC mining is unparalleled - plug in, log in, connect your wallet and away you go - the volatility of your chosen currency could make your profitable rig into a financial burden overnight. Currently, this is the case with Ethereum ASIC mining hardware. With the switch to Ethereum 2.0 and its ‘Proof of Stake’ concept, mining the currency will no longer be possible in a couple of years. This will lead many to reconsider investing in any costly Ethereum miners. While it may seem that ASIC mining is better suited to larger enterprises, it does offer a few advantages to individuals looking to earn some passive income. Given their compact size, you could easily house several ASIC units in a modest apartment. However, be warned. You will have to find an effective way to exhaust the heat, as even a single ASIC miner will begin to push the temperatures up in the room it’s working in. The more we explore the ups and downs of ASIC mining, the more difficult it becomes to give a reliable answer on whether it’s the right mining solution for you. Another popular alternative on the mining market presents itself in the form of GPU mining. In this article, we’ll help you to understand how GPUs are used in mining rigs and how you can mine effectively with them. However, with preparation and the right resources, ASIC mining still remains the most profitable form of crypto-mining.

Doug Turner
Doug Turner

30/07/2021