Cryptocurrencies are capable of achieving world trade and business at the snap of a finger – digital trade is expedient in ways once deemed impossible in the days of analogue dollars.
Digital money is superior for climbing over the barriers separating physical, government-issued pounds, dollars, euros, dinars and shekels.
Bitcoin once had the reputation of being the preferred currency for the purveyors of the Dark Web, who were buying and selling prohibitive items without government interference. Now, cryptocurrency has acquired mainstream approval from investors and the business world in general in 2020.
The convenience and speed of cryptocurrency sets this form of currency apart from traditional, pre-digital cash.
Investors or purchasers can send Canadian dollars to Europe, have them converted into euros then have the funds deposited into the accounts of their choice instantly and anonymously at competitive exchange rates. Often, cryptocurrency investors pay only a couple of dollars or less in fees.
Bitcoin – the most familiar cryptocurrency – was invented in 2008 by an unknown person (or persons) with the anonymous name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin entered the world markets in 2009, when this digital-based currency was released as open-source software.
Bitcoin used peer-to-peer technology. Central authorities never manage digital transactions using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Banks and governments don’t own or control Bitcoin, since this digital currency is designated as being open-source, otherwise known as software derived from the original source code, becoming available for redistribution – sometimes featuring modifications with fees attached.
Cryptocurrency is used for quick peer-to-peer transactions and worldwide payments on a growing footing. The practicality, anonymity and low processing fees attached to Bitcoin, Ethereum and thousands of other cryptocurrencies are making them hot items on international markets.
Investors are advised to have diverse portfolios if they invest in cryptocurrencies, in case the prices of their investments crash. Bitcoin is one of the most successful digital assets, reportedly with a market capitalization of close to $180 billion as of September 2019. This cryptocurrency effectively created several millionaires since being launched in 2009.
With financial success comes criminal ingenuity.
Cryptocurrency scammers arrived on the scene as digital-led economy grew, hoping to produce marks out of novice investors who didn’t realize the differences between their Tethers and Chainlinks.
Writing for COINTELEGRAPH, Joseph Young reported on a story from Sept. 27 about an unknown hacker behind the KuCoin breach, who was trying to unload stolen ERC-20 tokens on Uniswap – a decentralized exchange network opened in November 2018 and intended for cryptocurrency traders and investors.
However, blockchain technology has assisted investigators in tracing Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, meaning digital money can’t be laundered or stolen as easily as the online thieves and hustlers might think.
If proper enquiries into the origins of stolen or laundered digital funds are followed through, online crimes involving cryptocurrency can be rectified through studying the blockchain links. A blockchain represents a list of records linked to secure communications, such as cryptocurrency transactions. Blockchains contain timestamps and transaction data and are purposed to add security to digital funds.
Aside from attempts at blatant theft and laundering, phone and online scams are used to trick people into making false cryptocurrency investments.
Tim Falk in the online magazine Finder offered advice on detecting crypto scams in an article written on May 26, 2020.
Non-legitimate cryptocurrency websites have addresses beginning with http instead of https – the data sent to these websites isn’t secure.
The word “Secure” or a padlock image should appear on the website’s address bar.
Search for spelling and grammar mistakes on the website, along with awkward phasing.
If the website promises unrealistic returns, consider this a scammer’s opportunity lying in wait.
Search for an “About Us” page to discover the story behind each website for investors who are seeking to extend their portfolios.
Search for reviews. Study other investment pages and see what the cryptocurrency community is saying about them prior to investing. Find who the registered owners of the domains or websites are. Avoid websites who lure others with celebrity endorsements. Finally, unsolicited messages sent through emails or social media regarding cryptocurrency investments should be binned and the senders should be reported and blocked.
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October 26, 2020
Retirees: 3 Investment Mistakes You Must Avoid – The Motley Fool Canada
There’s a good chance that the COVID-19 pandemic would have delayed retirement plans for several Canadian seniors. Though the stock market has made a stellar recovery since March, Canada is struggling with high unemployment rates, lower consumer spending, and rising healthcare costs.
These extraordinary times have resulted in a volatile stock market. No one is quite sure how things are going to unfold especially as COVID-19 cases are on the rise once again.
Investors might feel the need to guard against these market fluctuations. However, there are common mistakes that should be avoided right now.
Exiting the stock market
If you are closer to retirement age, you might be tempted to sell stocks in your portfolio and exit the equity markets entirely. The market recovery has surprised analysts and experts while some economists are of the view that the rebound is unsustainable given the structural issues impacting global economies.
However, it is better to think twice before withdrawing funds from your retirement account. While it’s ideal to buy the dip and sell when markets peak, it’s impossible to time the equity markets. Further, pulling out investments at the wrong time could cost you dearly; you need to focus on a strategy where you bet on quality companies with huge economic moats.
In the long term, quality companies are well poised to weather macro-downturns and emerge stronger from a crisis.
Retiring when you are not prepared
The ongoing uncertainty might be tempting for several Canadians to postpone their retirement plans. However, this means you will withdraw the money from your retirement account in a market downturn when stock valuations are depressed.
So if you decide to retire and the stock market undergoes another crash there is a chance to lose a significant amount of savings.
Putting investments on hold
Savings for your retirement is a long-term play where you need to disciplined and focused. So, it does not make sense to pause your investments at a time when markets are volatile, which might be counter-intuitive.
Consistently investing for retirement should remain a priority to benefit from compounded gains. You can in fact double down on your investment when the market undergoes a correction and pick up top stocks at a lower valuation.
Retirees can look to buy stocks such as Fortis (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS), a utility company with an attractive dividend yield of 3.7%. Fortis is one of the largest utility companies in North America and over 80% of its annual sales are protected by regulatory mechanisms or from residential sales, largely insulating it from COVID-19 related headwinds.
Fortis managed to increase adjusted earnings by 2% to $0.56 in the second quarter. The company’s earnings were positively impacted by a strong rate base growth of its regulated utilities and higher retail sales at UNS Energy. This was offset by lower earnings in the Caribbean due to a drastic fall in tourism activities in the region.
Fortis is a Dividend Aristocrat and has increased its payouts for 46 consecutive years. With over 3.3 million customers in North America and a steady stream of cash flows, it remains a solid dividend bet.
The company aims to increase dividends at mid-single-digit rates in the upcoming years indicating its balance sheet strength and recession-proof business.
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Iveson says $17.3-million federal housing investment puts Edmonton on the right track to end homelessness – Edmonton Journal
Article content continued
“The goal was to create urgency around accommodation for everybody this winter and urgency around bringing the right kind of units online in a matter of months rather than years and so I think we’ve accomplished that with the federal government’s announcement,” he said. “I think we’ve made considerable progress within the last eight or nine weeks and anyone who wants to come in from the cold will have a place to do it within that 10-week timeframe. So I’m pleased with how it’s come together.”
Now that the funding is secured, Iveson said the city will work with social agencies over the next few weeks to “go shopping” for the right sites.
“We’ve been in discussions with a number of hoteliers and also looking at some of the modular sites that the city had previously approved so the money will move quickly and as soon as we have a decision point on that we’ll bring that forward, but our goal will be to move that within weeks,” he said.
Iveson said the city will also be aggressively pushing for a portion of the other $500 million that will be granted to specific projects. A few projects are already in the works, Iveson said, pointing to four planned supportive housing complexes that will provide 150 units. Projects under this stream must be completed within one year of a signed agreement.
The city is working to open up a 24-7 temporary shelter at the Edmonton Convention Centre by Friday, which will accommodate up to 300 residents overnight. The Mustard Seed and Hope Mission are also looking to expand their overnight shelters in order to serve more people at larger spaces while maintaining appropriate physical distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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