Monthly Archives: June 2018

Price Watch: Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, TRON Showing Signs of Green

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Over the past week, Bitcoin dipped below $6,000 for the first time since October 2017. Now, the cryptocurrency market is up 5% over the past 24 hours and BTC appears to have found new support. At press time, 95 of 100 top cryptocurrencies are in the green.

The post Price Watch: Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, TRON Showing Signs of Green appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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Wall Street Falls Behind: One Firm Trades Bitcoin for the Past Two Years

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As one of the earliest adopters of institutional digital assets trading, Susquehanna International Group, founded in 1987, has been ahead of the blockchain curve – actively trading cryptocurrencies for the past two years.

Wall Street is Old News

In contrast to traditional financial markets, cryptocurrency draws a worldwide, 24/7 audience of retail and institutional investors.

Goldman Sachs Confirms Launch of Bitcoin Futures Trading Desk
Related Story: Goldman Sachs Confirms Launch of Bitcoin Futures Trading Desk

As blockchain and cryptocurrency continue to grow, the once-resistant firms of Wall Street are changing sentiment and moving towards a new era of digital financial instruments.

Goldman Sachs and the NYSE parent company Intercontinental Exchange are just two examples of major investment firms seeking to join the crypto community by planning the launch of their own Bitcoin futures trading desks.

Bullish on Bitcoin

In an interview with NYT, Bart Smith, head of the digital asset group at Susquehanna, expressed his support for blockchain and cryptocurrency:

“We believe that this technology and this asset class is going to change some facet of financial services, and we think it is going to exist forever.”

An Early Opportunity

First exposed to Bitcoin trading in 2014, Susquehanna International Group was contacted by the Winklevoss twins for assistance with the launch of their Bitcoin ETF.

Winklevoss Twins Acquire Patent for Cryptocurrency Exchange Traded Products (ETPs)
Related Story: Winklevoss Twins Acquire Patent for Cryptocurrency Exchange Traded Products (ETPs)

Although regulators didn’t approve of the ETF, Susquehanna decided to maintain its Bitcoin trading desk and hired a few more digital assets traders the following year.

The firm now has a dozen dedicated cryptocurrency traders on staff and buys and sells millions in digital assets each year.

With investor interest growing, Susquehanna plans to open trading to 500 of its clients and expand soon after. With 1800 employees worldwide, Susquehanna has the resources and manpower to be a global force for institutional virtual currency investing.

The post Wall Street Falls Behind: One Firm Trades Bitcoin for the Past Two Years appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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How To Utilize Cryptocurrency In Your Business

 

Cryptocurrency, quite simply, is changing the financial face of businesses and even individuals. It is the revolution in the way we perform transactions, invest and raise capital. It is replacing the need for physical money, and in some cases, it is replacing the need for banks and high-interest loans. Therefore, as more and more of us turn digital, what does this mean for the financial future in the world of business? Below we delve into the world of cryptocurrency.

Blockchain & Bitcoin

The rise of cryptocurrency has allowed new, innovative internet technology known as ‘Blockchain’ to develop. This breakthrough technology was originally created for bitcoin transactions, as it cleverly lets digital information be transferred and distributed, but not copied. It means that when businesses and individuals trade using bitcoins, they can use the digital Blockchain virtual currency exchange. The database is a public ledger which has no location and isn’t stored in one place. Therefore, it is easily accessed by the public, and a hacker cannot corrupt the files as millions of computers are hosting it. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a digital cryptocurrency which can be used to pay for items electronically through a peer-to-peer network.

The Advantages

Cryptocurrency may be the newest digital financial trend but why are more businesses turning to this method?

  • Investment Opportunities: When you are looking to expand and grow your business, bitcoins pose the perfect investment opportunities for fellow startups and established companies. Bitcoin is often referred to as ‘digital gold,’ which means that the value has steadily risen in recent years. The total value of all bitcoin ranges into billions, and at the end of April 2017, the price per bitcoin was a record high of $1,343.
  • No Banks: As mentioned above, bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network, which means that any transactions aren’t processed through banks. It allows payments to be processed much quicker and in one currency. It means for your business that you can raise capital quicker and cheaper and it cuts out the drawn-out process of visiting banks for loans.
  • Anonymous Transactions: Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet, and when you trade using your wallet, all that is revealed to the vendor is your wallet ID. This protects your identity, your business identity, and the vendor’s identity.
  • International Payments: As it is one centralized currency, bitcoin means you don’t have to worry about exchange rates when you are trading and buying Bitcoins feature no credit card fees, and they aren’t tied to any current regulations. You also don’t need to wait for payments as they are instant.
  • Easy To Use: Unlike having to visit a bank to transfer money, with using the digital wallet, you can transfer easily using your computer or an app on your device. There are even complex puzzles you can complete to “mine” bitcoins which are growing in popularity. On average, every 10 minutes, the winner of the puzzle is awarded5 bitcoins.

The Downside

As with every piece of technology, cryptocurrency does come with its fair share of downsides.

  • No Regulations: As mentioned, currently bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency aren’t imposed by regulations within countries. It means that the threat of fraud and price manipulation is significantly higher than with traditional currency. Without regulations, it has also meant that investors are using the money they don’t possess to gamble on bitcoins. Financial investors have called upon governments to impose regulations, but the absence is a large reason why investors turn to cryptocurrency. However, there are governments across the globe considering regulating their countries bitcoin markets.
  • Cybersecurity: Unfortunately, using a digital wallet means you aren’t only not insured by FDIC, but hackers and cyber threats can be present. The cryptocurrency market is hosting on a vast number of computers, which means there isn’t one central location where you can use anti-virus and anti-malware protection.  
  • Anonymity: While keeping your identity private can be an advantage, cryptocurrency has become the chosen transaction method for those using it for illicit purchases, such as buying drugs online. The anonymity means transactions cannot be traced back to the individual, which in future police cases, may pose an important issue.
  • Uncertain Future: Cryptocurrency may be highly popular at this However, no one can be sure whether it will rise in popularity or it will crash and burn. It means that investment businesses choose may fall foul and lose valuable money. On the other hand, it also has the scope to become the currency of choice in years to come.

The post How To Utilize Cryptocurrency In Your Business appeared first on Wall Street.

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How Blockchain Technology Is Helping the Rohingya Crisis

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The Indo-Aryan-speaking Rohingya people in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are encountering the dire issue of persecution and ethnic cleansing. Fortunately, many individuals and groups are using blockchain technology to help refugees in innovative ways beyond just remittances.

Who are the Rohingya People?

The 3.5 million Rohingya people are a stateless, predominantly Muslim ethnic minority who’ve historically faced persecution and are without citizenship or equal civil rights. In 2016 and 2017, the Myanmar government ordered its military to commence mass executions of Rohingyas, resulting in large-scale human rights violations and deaths.

Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State

The ethnic cleansing has led to a refugee crisis, with over 600,000 refugees migrating to Bangladesh and India for sanctuary.

The United Nations (UN) has received criticism for its response to the Rohingya crisis. Although the UN criticized Myanmar’s military actions and characterized them as ethnic cleansing and genocide, it hasn’t called for member nations to help settle and protect Rohingya refugees.

Instead, the majority of aid is from private nonprofits like Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International.

A recently signed repatriation deal between the UN and Myanmar doesn’t address the issue of Rohingya citizenship and ignores pleas to establish a refugee representative. The crisis is also relatively less visible in Western media compared to other humanitarian crises like the Syrian civil war or Yemeni crisis.

How Blockchain Is Helping

Fortunately, blockchain technology is already helping Rohingya refugees improve their lives. The Rohingya Project is a philanthropic initiative to give refugees digital identification and other social services. The project aims to address the challenges of being stateless, including a lack of national identification, no access to capital, credit, and other financial services.

The project will use blockchain tech to issue digital identification to refugees who can verify their status by taking a test. The project, currently experimenting with a pilot program, hopes that successful identification will be a first step toward restoring the human rights and dignity of the Rohingya people.

Educating Refugees Using Blockchain

A new blockchain project that aims to help refugees worldwide is ExsulCoin. ExsulCoin is working on providing educational opportunities to refugees through an immutable record of educational achievements.

The ExsulCoin blockchain will help refugees learn, refine skills, find employment, and share their work records with other people. The founders of ExsulCoin, James Song and Cat Song, are deeply passionate about aiding refugees.

The UN and world governments should intervene and provide humanitarian relief. In their absence, these two blockchain technology initiatives will help refugees transcend their struggles and successfully pursue a better life.

The author does not hold any positions in any of the assets above.

The post How Blockchain Technology Is Helping the Rohingya Crisis appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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Japanese Chat App Juggernaut Line Set to Launch Crypto Exchange

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Line, the second-largest chat messaging app in Southeast Asia and the most popular chat service in Japan, announced the impending launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange called BitBox.

The new exchange, scheduled to go live in July 2018, follows an announcement issued in January by the chat giant heralding the creation of a new financial division aimed at the cryptocurrency market. The BitBox Line cryptocurrency exchange will launch as a purely crypto-only exchange, and won’t offer any crypto to fiat pairings at launch.

BitBox to List Multiple Cryptos

Line revealed the new exchange platform in an official statement published on June 28, notably highlighting the fact that BitBox will not be available to users in the US or Japan:

“Cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX is launching as part of LINE’s financial services business, providing services globally except in Japan and the U.S. 30 or more cryptocurrencies can be exchanged in BITBOX, and it will support 15 languages excluding Japanese. BITBOX only allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and does not accept exchange between fiat money and cryptocurrencies.”

The new exchange will support over 30 cryptocurrencies at launch, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, in a similar manner to Coinbase. Line states that cryptocurrencies selected for listing on the BitBox platform were chosen through a rigorous review by a listing committee composed of experts.

Line also announced an “opening commemorative campaign” offering new users zero commission trading for one month from launch.

Line Exchange Set to Expose Millions to Crypto

Line currently boasts over 200 million active users and offers services including on-demand taxis, delivery services, mobile payment solutions, and music streaming. While Line does hold a significant user base in Southeast Asia — especially Thailand, where it dominates over 90% of all mobile chat apps — it’s unlikely that Japan-based Line users will benefit from BitBox.

Line has yet to announce whether the new trading platform will obtain a license from the Japanese Financial Services Agency, stating:

“The application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency [FSA], and it is currently under review.”

The post Japanese Chat App Juggernaut Line Set to Launch Crypto Exchange appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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Bithumb Recovers Half of Stolen Funds From $31 Million Hack

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Last week, Bithumb – one of South Korea’s largest digital currency exchanges – was hacked for $31 million in various cryptocurrencies. Announced on June 28, 2018, Bithumb confirmed the recovery of nearly half the stolen funds.

Last Week’s $31 Million Hack

Bithumb Hacked for $31.5 Million, Withdrawals and Deposits Frozen
Related Article: Bithumb Hacked for $31.5 Million, Withdrawals and Deposits Frozen

Reported on June 19, Bithumb temporarily suspended withdrawal and deposit services following a 35 billion KRW (~$31 million USD) hack on its exchange.

Announcing progress since the hacking, Bithumb confirmed in a blog post that nearly 16 billion KRW (~$14 million USD) has been recovered, reducing damages by almost half the original amount.

Source: Bithumb

In the update, Bithumb revealed that 11 cryptocurrencies were stolen during the large-scale hack – Bitcoin making up nearly three-fourths of the total amount lost.

In collaboration with the Cryptographic Fund and Worldwide Cryptographic Exchange, Bithumb was able to seize custody of lost hot wallets and begin recovering some of its funds.

“The main reason for the reduction is the ongoing participation, support and cooperation of cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrencies foundations across the world… At this moment we will continue our recovery process as well as a preventative measure until this incident is fully concluded.”

Although deposits are now allowed, Bithumb is still halting withdrawal activity and warning users to refrain from deposit attempts until security systems are reformed in order to prevent further password leakage.

Full Compensation to Users

Bithumb reassured hack victims they will be fully compensated for their stolen funds. First issuing free commission fee coupons, Bithumb outlined in its blog post that users will be compensated in the form of a cryptocurrency airdrop.

Users can register for the airdrop event through a “compensation for withdrawal halt” application. These details are as follows:

“The amount of holding cryptocurrencies will be calculated from 8:00 PM ~ 9:00 PM (UTC+9) each day starting from the date of applying the event until the end of the event. And then annual interest rate of 10% will be prorated to the combined number of days at the end of the event. Then the equivalent value of cryptocurrencies will be given away in a form of airdrop.”

Bithumb has not yet confirmed which type of cryptocurrency will be used in the airdrop.

Despite the current conditions and status of hack recovery, trading on Korea’s second largest exchange is still online and available to users. Bithumb continues to rank in the top ten largest cryptocurrency exchanges by 24-hour trading volume, according to market cap data.

The post Bithumb Recovers Half of Stolen Funds From $31 Million Hack appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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EOS Governance Divides Crypto Community

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The hotly-contested nature of EOS decentralization and governance remains at the forefront of blockchain community discussion. The recent inaction of an EOS block producer — resulting in the loss of 3,570 EOS, or about $27,500 — brought the EOS governance model under harsh scrutiny over the past week, as industry experts and observers debate whether EOS can be defined as a “decentralized” cryptocurrency.

The EOS project, which can be likened to a hybridized blockchain system where property rights are enforced via community sentiment, relies on 21 block producers that operate the network. These block producers are voted in by the EOS community and rewarded with EOS tokens.

Dan Larimer Proposes Revised Draft of EOS Constitution
Related: Dan Larimer Proposes Revised Draft of EOS Constitution

Block producers contribute to a three-party system that composes the EOS governance architecture. EOS token holders are the second element of the EOS ecosystem, while the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) function as arbitrators – whose role within the EOS ecosystem created a significant amount of controversy since the EOS mainnet launch.

EOS Core Arbitration Forum Creates Blacklist, Ignored by Block Producers

The ECAF as an arbitration body within the EOS ecosystem is able to make decisions regarding EOS accounts deemed to be in violation of the EOS constitution. Recently, the EOS governance structure blacklisted a number of EOS accounts that were identified as associated with fraudulent activity.

Blacklists are issued by ECAF and are delivered to block producer meetings. The reliance of the entire EOS ecosystem on these meetings is an apparent weak point in the $4 billion project, as a recent meeting that was missed by a critical block producer saw 3570 EOS lost in a governance failure.

Block producer EosStore was not compliant with an ECAF blacklist issuance, and as a result, an account lost funds. An official statement released by EosStore on June 26, 2018, confirmed the block producer did indeed neglect to update blacklist data:

“ECAF has provided two blacklists, however, the second blacklist was not discussed in the community Zoom meeting no formal announcement of it could be found.”

While EosStore did note that affected accounts will “absolutely” be compensated, a significant flaw within the EOS governance structure was highlighted — ECAF currently has no official channel to publish its announcements:

“EosStore now sends an invitation to all BPs to co-develop a software providing publishing platform for ECAF arbitration orders. Hope BPs join us to make sure the voice of ECAF be executed duly and consistently.”

Blockchain Community BAHJSDA

The execution of ECAF blacklist orders has created dissent within the cryptocurrency community, with several industry experts expressing the perspective that the EOS governance model is at odds with the libertarian ideal of distributed ledger technology.

Strix Leviathan founder Jesse Proudman highlighted the importance of reliability in the governance structure of any large-scale network, sparking a heated discussion with cryptography and blockchain polymath Nick Szabo:

Proudman, an advisor to EOS Block Producer Cypherglass, was quick to reply to Szabo’s statement, emphasizing the need for rapid response times within the current iteration of the EOS governance structure:

Proudman broke down his statements in a discussion with CryptoSlate:

“An elected EOS Block Producer has an obligation to the community to maintain the operational integrity of the EOS network. If a BP can maintain a reliable infrastructure, it’s reasonable to expect they can maintain around the clock communications with the BP ecosystem.”

It’s not too late, states Proudman, for the EOS community to eliminate the root causes of the issues present within the EOS ecosystem:

“As many have recently pointed out, the EOS constitution requires too much human intervention. The meaningful part is that the constitution is new and amendable. The EOS community is aware of these issues and is working collectively to resolve them. These are evolutionary steps in a new crypto-asset and time will tell if EOS will be successful.”

Szabo, however, also expressed concerns regarding the EOS governance structure:

The furor surrounding the EOS block producer debacle led EOS CTO Dan Larimer to directly address community concerns, proposing a total overhaul of the EOS constitution that would see the powers available to arbitrators restricted:

“An arbitrator should not ever have the power to take assets unless said assets were previously placed in control of the arbitrator. I don’t agree with placing all assets under the control of producers. I want to eliminate fraud at all levels, including the governance layer”

The post EOS Governance Divides Crypto Community appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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US Judge Argues Centra Tech Tokens are Securities

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A Southern District Court judge in Florida produced a report arguing why Centra Tech’s ICO tokens should be classed as securities.

Hit with a class-action lawsuit for violating US securities law, several of the Centra Tech team members already face prosecution by the US Government — having had 91,000 Ether seized from the project’s ICO wallet.

The new report’s findings, however, may see the Floyd Mayweather-backed Centra Tech endure further legal ramifications.

Lodged by Chief Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton, the report summarizes and analyzes the arguments of several plaintiffs — who allege that US securities law was violated during Centra Tech’s $32 million token sale.

According to the report, the legal definition of a security is as follows:

“The definition of security under the Securities Act includes “investment contract(s).” “An offering is an investment contract if there is: (1) an investment of money (2) in a common enterprise, (3) with the expectation of profits to come solely from the efforts of others.”

On the basis of this definition, Simonton asserts that Centra’s tokens fulfilled all three requirements of a security. In essence, she recognizes that the CTR token was purchased as an investment — one that would produce profits or losses for investors based purely on the performance of Centra Tech.

In summary, the report states:

“Therefore, the offering of Centra Tokens was an investment contract under the Securities Act, such that the Defendants sold or offered to sell securities by virtue of the Centra Tech ICO.”

SEC Once Again Clamps Down on Fraudulent ICO
Related Story:  SEC Once Again Clamps Down on Fraudulent ICO

While Centra openly disputed CTR’s status as a security, the team did not defend this argument in court. They have, however, “indicated an intention” to battle this in the future.

The report will carry no legal bearing over similar proceedings. However — as US-based blockchain lawyer Stephen Palley points out — it may be used as a legal writing that aids related arguments.

A more pressing concern may be the outcome of the Centra Tech case itself – which could become the textbook cryptocurrency security argument.

The post US Judge Argues Centra Tech Tokens are Securities appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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VantagePoint Hot Stocks Outlook for the Week of June 29th, 2018

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Hot Stocks Outlook for the Week of June 29th, 2018

The Hot Stocks Outlook uses VantagePoint market forecasts that are up to 86% accurate to demonstrate how traders can improve their timing and direction. In this week’s video, we analyze forecasts for Kroger ($KR), Range Resources ($RRC), Darden Restaurants ($DRI), New York Times Company ($NYT), and Gray Television ($GTN).

This Week’s Hot Stocks Outlook

Kroger ($KR)

Kroger ($KR) had a predictive moving average crossover to the upside in early-June indicating a bullish trend. As soon as the blue line crossed above the black line, VantagePoint users knew they should start taking long positions in this market. The Neural Index also supported that move to the upside. In 17 trading days, $KR was up almost 18% or $4.27 per share.

Range Resources ($RRC)

Range Resources ($RRC) follows a similar pattern to the upside. The market had a crossover to the upside in late-April when that blue line made the cross above the black line. The neural index also reflected that short-term strength. All of this indicated to traders that the uptrend was beginning and to start going long in this particular market. Since that crossover, the market had a great run and was up over 20% in 42 trading days or $2.81 per share.

Darden ($DRI)

Darden ($DRI) also had a bullish crossover in late-May and also had a great run. Despite whatever trading strategy that traders are following, that blue line crossed above the black line and was a clear indication that an uptrend was beginning. Despite a very early period of consolidation, the trend was still bullish and had a big gap up around mid-June. Since that crossover 22 trading days ago, $DRI was up a whopping 21.04% or $18.40 per share.

New York Times Company ($NYT)

New York Times Company ($NYT) follows the same idea. That market had a bullish crossover in early-June. Traders knew, with confidence, that they could begin going long in the market when the predictive indicators in VantagePoint showed that crossover to the upside. Since that crossover of the blue line 15 trading days ago, the market was up almost 12% or $2.68 per share.

Gray Television ($GTN)

Gray Television ($GTN) is basically the same as the last. This market had a very clear crossover to the upside in early-June. When the blue line crossed above the black line, that’s when traders new the trend was beginning and to go long in the market. It’s that simple! In 13 trading days, Gray Television was up 41.36% or $4.73 per share.

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The post VantagePoint Hot Stocks Outlook for the Week of June 29th, 2018 appeared first on VantagePoint.

Why Social Trading is the Future

Social Trading Online Community

Social trading is being hailed as one of the best things to have happened to the online trading community in recent times, for good reasons. Its emergence has been made possible thanks to the internet revolution, which has enabled traders everywhere to access information and tools that were not attainable previously.

In times past, investing in commodities, forex, and indices required professional know-how and skills. Now, instead of depending on your own wisdom, you can rely on the knowledge, experience, and trading habits of other advanced traders to gain from the market. That’s the concept of social trading. But just what is social trading?

What is Social Trading?

Put simply, social trading (also known as copy trading) is a service that enables investors to copy the trading operations of professional traders. The service makes it possible for beginners to link their trading accounts to those of expert traders and replicate their trades automatically. No knowledge of the financial market is required to execute social trading.

With social trading, newbies follow the trading practices of successful traders in real time and copy their trades. Individuals build a network of traders by following advanced traders in the same way it is done on social media platforms like Twitter. Investors can trade socially on trading platforms that have copy trading functionality.

Some of these platforms include eToro, Zulu Trade, xSocial, and the MetaTrader 4 from MetaQuotes. Outside of these, many other brokerage firms allow novices to connect their accounts to those of advanced traders. Consequently, when the professional trader that is being copied exits the trade or triggers other trading feature such as the stop-loss order or take profit, the linked account replicates this practice automatically.

Social trading networks like eToro spot a “Leader Board” which lists the names of traders from top to bottom (with the most successful being at the top) based on their trading performance. This board helps make it easier for novices to identify the best performing traders to follow.

Why is Social Trading the Future?

We live in an incredibly busy world with an often frantic pace of life and busy minds. The fact that we spend most of our time rushing, trying to catch up with all of the tasks and responsibilities of the modern life means we have less time to invest in improving our trading skills.

This means that finding someone who is really great at trading is our best chance at gaining from the markets. Social trading enables traders to entrust their funds to capable hands where they know the money will be much safer.

It takes skills to beat the market regularly. Professional traders have the time to hone their skills and know where to access the right information. And while being busy may not always intrude into the rest of people’s lives, it affords them less time to acquire the necessary skill.

Social trading offers traders the opportunity to invest their funds smartly while still going about their busy lives. Those whose lives will continue to get more hectic than ever will always take the chance. The emergence of new trading tools will make social trading a lot more convenient.

The post Why Social Trading is the Future appeared first on Wall Street.

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