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Crypto Can’t Free People if They Don’t Know How to Buy it

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Education: Crypto the eighth largest economy in the world. Gabriela Reyes, CEO of Lively Verse asks, how can that uplift the people who need to use it the most, when they feel like it’s hard to even buy crypto?

It’s no surprise that the first half of 2022 hasn’t been kind to the global financial markets, especially for cryptocurrencies. Still, their adoption continues to grow globally, even though the crypto winter is in full swing. 

The daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies has increased to $93 billion. The global market cap is currently sitting at over $1 trillion, making crypto the eighth largest economy in the world. Especially in low and middle-income regions like Africa, Latin America, and Slavic countries, crypto adoption has substantially grown. People are seeing digital assets as an alternative means to boosting financial stability. 

But this unprecedented growth in adoption is not matched by the increase in knowledge and literacy. According to a recent survey, 96% of Americans and 99% of Brazilians and Mexicans failed the basic crypto literacy quiz. This is even though nearly 30% of the world’s Bitcoin supply circulates in North and Latin America.  

But why is crypto literacy so critical? Isn’t it as simple as buying coins for a lower price and selling at a higher price for profits? Let’s discuss. 

The importance of crypto education: investments, scams, and jobs

Fundamentally, cryptocurrency trading works exactly like the stock market. Consumers buy the assets when prices are low and sell when they go up. Sounds simple? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. 

Education: Crypto the eighth largest economy in the world. How can that uplift the people who need to use it the most, when they feel like it’s hard to even buy crypto?

Education and making smart investments 

Just 13 years have passed since the first bitcoin was issued. Other mainstream cryptos such as Ethereum and Solana are less than a decade old. At the same time, the broader adoption of crypto assets started less than five years ago. The market is still young – and, as a result, very volatile. Prices can fluctuate significantly in a single day. Without proper education, users won’t be aware of the indicators that can help predict these fluctuations. 

For instance, every cryptocurrency follows a supply and demand mechanism. Being able to observe and analyze the circulating supply of such assets, users can make concise investment decisions. Several other indicators such as regulatory updates, mining status, and market inflation rates can drive better decisions in this space. However, without proper education, investors will not be aware of these indicators, thus risking their financial positions. 

Steering clear of scams

It is essential to understand that cryptocurrencies are decentralized assets. No regulators or institutes monitor these assets to ensure compliance and user security. That’s why the sector is full of scams and fraudulent projects. 

Take the Squid Game token, for example. Following the immense popularity of the Korean show on Netflix, scammers launched the $SQUID coin and ended up running away with millions. 

There are several ways of identifying a scam coin. Such projects often don’t have a concrete whitepaper or an actual roadmap. Developers and CEOs are anonymous: just NFT avatars with nicknames. Still, those with little to no literacy in the subject will hardly pay notice. And indeed, scammers use this lack of literacy to trick novice traders into investing, ultimately stealing their hard-earned money. 

Education = better job opportunities

Crypto also creates new job opportunities. These are not just digital assets but fundamental infrastructures. They are tied to next-gen technologies such as blockchain, NFTs, metaverse, and the entire DeFi sector. So, being literate in crypto means pursuing different opportunities across this new and innovative spectrum of digital industries. 

That’s why education is critical. Being crypto literate will help people make better financial decisions, protect them from scams, increase security in the digital space, and open the doors for new economic and employment opportunities. The scope is limitless. 

How should crypto education be organized?

The responsibility of increasing crypto literacy falls on the shoulders of the users and the education providers. Platforms providing blockchain or DeFi education must know what to prioritize. 

Firstly, it’s essential to focus on financial literacy. Education providers must set realistic expectations for beginners. They must speak about the risks instead of over-romanticizing the benefits. It is vital to teach the economic fundamentals of decentralized assets, how they work, their characteristics, and how markets change. 

There should also be in-depth lessons on how to invest. Referring to the survey findings, only 1 out of 3 investors feel purchasing crypto is easy. Education providers must change this perception. Structured lessons on how to invest in digital assets can influence faster adoption. 

Finally, focusing on how audiences are being reached and targeted is essential. Most education mediums and contents in the blockchain and DeFi space are blended and bland. They overemphasize technical elements, which creates confusion for new users. Instead, crypto education should be fun and accessible, just like any other education. And, preferably, feature a good deal of gamification.

Lively Verse is a good example here. It’s the first ever blockchain platform that provides education through its TV show, the ‘Lively World.’ It’s a fun and engaging way to educate newbies while influencing their mainstream adoption. Platforms like Lively World can drive crypto literacy through creative audiovisual content that can inspire and excite the audience. This encourages people to interact with the ecosystem and dive into the subject even deeper. 

To sum it up, crypto adoption will only continue to grow with the increased use of blockchain technology, DeFi protocols, and the emergence of Web3 (the Metaverse). However, literacy in this sector must also increase subsequently to influence financial stability and make the space more secure for new users. 

About the author

Gabriela Reyes is a Spanish entrepreneur with a growing footprint in the blockchain scene both globally and in Spanish-speaking countries. Lively Verse aims to use the immense power of the media to raise mass awareness about blockchain and helps companies and startups raise funds for their projects as well as give them exposure.

Got something to say about crypto education or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion in our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on Tik Tok, Facebook, or Twitter.

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US Treasury Sanctions Hit Russian Arms Dealer’s Crypto Wallets

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed full blocking sanctions on 22 individuals and entities across several countries, including Russia and Cyprus, as part of its sanctions evasion network that supports Russia’s military-industrial complex.

The sanctions were imposed under Executive Order 14024 and are part of the U.S.’s strategy to target sanctions evasion globally, close key channels, and limit Russia’s access to revenue for its war in Ukraine.

US Treasury Goes After Russian Arms Dealer’s Cryptos

The U.S. Treasury’s sanctions were imposed by the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force, a multilateral effort to identify, freeze, and seize assets of sanctioned Russians worldwide. This task force leverages information from international REPO partners and key data from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to share information, track Russian assets, and sever Russian proxies from the international financial system.

The REPO Task Force aims to maximize the impact of multilateral sanctions while preventing opportunities for Russia to evade or circumvent U.S. and partner sanctions.

The primary target of the sanctions is a Russian sanctions evasion network led by Russia and Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Zimenkov and his son Jonatan Zimenkov. The Zimenkov network has been involved in projects related to Russia’s defense capabilities, including supplying a Russian company with high-tech devices after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They have also supported sanctioned state-owned Russian defense entities, Rosoboroneksport OAO and State Corporation Rostec, which are critical components of Russia’s military-industrial complex.

Igor and Jonatan Zimenkov have worked closely together to enable Russian defense sales to third-party governments and have engaged directly with Rosoboroneksport’s potential clients to facilitate sales of Russian defense material. Igor Zimenkov has also supported the Belarusian military-industrial complex by enabling the sales efforts of State Owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise Belspetsvneshtechnika in Latin America.

Today, Igor Zimenkov was designated for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, while Jonatan Zimenkov was designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for Igor Zimenkov, Rosoboroneksport, and other sanctioned entities.

The Zimenkov network used front companies to funnel money and maintain a lawful appearance. Singapore-based Zimenkov network shell company Asia Trading & Construction PTE Limited and its director, Serena Bee Lin Ng, have sold helicopters to clients in Africa on behalf of the Zimenkov network. Additionally, Cyprus-based Zimenkov network shell company Lobster Management Limited and its director, Mikhail Petrov, have facilitated sanctions evasion by providing support to sanctioned entities.

The Treasury’s OFAC continues to work with its international partners to coordinate information sharing and enforcement and to travel the world in pursuit of sanctions evasion. The sanctions imposed today are a clear signal to Russia and its military-industrial complex that the U.S. and its partners are committed to tightening sanctions enforcement and preventing the evasion of international sanctions.

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BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.



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Digital Wallet Growth Will Enable More Closed-Loop Transactions

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Crypto and fintech investment firm Ark Invest has made bold predictions about digital wallets, estimating that more than half the world will soon be using at least one.

In its Jan. 31 ‘Big Ideas 2023’ research report, Ark Invest revealed that digital wallet global population penetration is currently 40%. This equates to around 3.2 billion users, the firm added.

However, the research suggests that the number of online wallet users will increase at an annual rate of 8%. The firm predicted that this will result in a global population penetration of 65% by 2030:

“Having onboarded billions of consumers and millions of merchants, digital wallets could transform the economics associated with traditional payment transactions, saving them nearly $50 billion in costs.”

It also noted that digital wallets were gaining market share in online and offline transactions. Cash is definitely in decline, accelerated by government initiatives to go digital, as recently seen in Nigeria.


Payment method trends - Ark Invest
Payment method trends – Ark Invest

Digital Wallet Growth to Continue

Ark reported that digital wallets were scaling faster than accounts at traditional financial institutions. Furthermore, U.S. digital wallet adoption rebounded in 2022, surpassing previous highs following a COVID-induced dip.

The firm estimates that U.S. digital wallet users will increase by 7% annually during the next eight years. This will be a growth of around 160 million in 2022 to more than 260 million by the end of the decade.

Digital wallet user growth - Ark Invest
Digital wallet user growth – Ark Invest

Furthermore, online wallets are enabling “closed-loop” ecosystems. This is where consumers and merchants can transact directly, cutting out the middleman. 

“Digital wallets are onboarding millions of merchants to platforms that enable direct consumer-merchant transactions that disintermediate traditional financial institutions,” it noted.

In this closed-loop environment, wallet providers capture more value per transaction, enabling savings to be shared with merchants and consumers.

Open and Closed Lopp transactions - Ark Invest
Open and Closed Lopp transactions – Ark Invest

Additionally, Ark noted that closed-loop transactions could boost the margin structure of wallet providers.

It used Block Inc. (formerly Square) as an example, stating that it paid around 60% of customer transaction fees to third parties in 2022. The fees were paid for interchange, assessment, processing, and bank settlement fees. Block’s net take rate could more than double if customers transacted directly with merchants.

Block Inc. fee structure - Ark Invest
Block Inc. fee structure – Ark Invest

Closed Loop Transactions Could Top 50%

Finally, Ark predicted that these closed-loop transactions could account for over 50% of digital payments by 2030.

It used China as an example where wallets and merchants are largely internal or domestic only.

Closed loop cost savings - Ark Invest
Closed loop cost savings – Ark Invest

In conclusion, digital wallet growth is set to continue. Cutting out the intermediary which they facilitate is beneficial to both the consumer and merchant.

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Strike Launches Lightning Remittances in the Philippines

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Bitcoin fintech giant Strike rolled out its Lightning Network money transfer service Send Globally in the Philippines, a $35 billion remittance market.

Send Globally launched in the Southeast Asian country on Jan. 31, 2023, enabling businesses and tourists to receive international money transfers in the Philippine peso. The country receives $35 billion in remittances globally.

How Strike’s Send Globally Service Works

“Remittances are a broken system and Strike delivers an incredibly empowering experience for people to send money around the world in nearly an instant,” Strike CEO Jack Mallers said.

According to a press release, Strike’s remittance service converts a sender’s fiat into Bitcoin and sends the Bitcoin to a Strike partner in the destination country using the Lightning Network, which in the case of the Philippines, is Pouch.ph. Pouch.ph then converts the Bitcoin to the recipient’s fiat currency and credits their bank or mobile money account, with Strike shielding both parties from the tax implications of handling Bitcoin directly.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a layer-two solution on the Bitcoin blockchain that allows micropayments between nodes over a payment channel. Unlike traditional payment networks, Lightning’s low fees enable almost zero-cost remittances.

Recently, Mallers announced a trial to bring Bitcoin Lightning Network payments to retailers through a partnership with Fiserv’s point-of-sale solution Clover Commerce. The trial allows any application with Lightning capability to pay Bitcoin for goods and services at Clover merchants.

Philippine Smartphone and Internet Adoption Auger Well for Strike

Send Globally rolled out to Strike users in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya on Dec. 6, 2022, where it has reportedly gained rapid traction.

However, mainstream adoption in the Philippines will depend heavily on network effects, driven by smartphone and internet penetration.

According to Statista, the number of smartphone users will increase from 85 million in 2022 to 87 million by 2023. Additionally, forecasts suggest smartphone users will increase to 91.5 million in 2025, representing roughly 83% of the island nation’s population.

Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines
Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines | Source: Statista

Additionally, Statista predicts that about three-quarters of the population will have internet access by the end of 2023. Growing internet access increases the chance of Strike’s success, since it helped drive adoption of crypto game Axie Infinity.

For Be[In]Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

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BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.



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