CoinGate offers Merchant services for various businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment from their customers. We automatically convert Bitcoins to local currency such as EUR/USD which means no price volatility risks for business.
Litecoin Lightning Network is arguably the most anticipated feature for the Litecoin community to date. And finally, it all comes to fruition as we launch the first Litening Network (LN) pilot run with our own merchants!
We got a lot of positive feedback from the community when we first did the Bitcoin Lightning Network trial back in July of 2018. Since the launch, we witnessed over 30,000 created orders on our platform alone. Since the early December of 2018, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network started to grow exponentially, quadrupling the network capacity by the end of the year. And when people started to use our LN for online purchases and share their experience on Reddit, we knew we are on the right track.
It suffices as a strong sign that both our customers and the crypto community have a keen interest in the development of Lightning Network. Recognizing the huge potential and ever-growing demand, we decided to keep developing the feature, but this time, for Litecoin. With the support of the Litecoin Foundation and the Founder of Litecoin Charlie Lee himself, we made it happen.
We are starting the first testing round today, on January 17. From now on, customers of our selected merchant will be able to purchase goods and services using the Lightning Network. As soon as we make sure the network runs smoothly, we will also include other trial participants that expressed the interest in testing the network together. When the pilot test ends, which is expected to happen at the end of February, we will make the Litecoin’s Lightning Network available to all 4,500 of our merchants.
What is the Litening Network?
The Lightning Network layer provides a long-term solution for increasing scalability of the Litecoin network to a point where transactions become significantly faster and cheaper no matter how high the volume is.
Basically, it connects nodes in a web of so-called “payment channels” that act independently from the Litecoin network itself. These channels allow executing the transactions off-chain, eliminating the need to settle the payments on the mainnet immediately. Additionally, it lays the groundwork for atomic swaps – a seamless crypto-to-crypto trading option across different blockchains (for example, LTC to BTC).
If you wish to know more about what important effects and implications the LN has on the blockchain, we suggest reading our article about it where we explain it in-depth.
The merchant selection process for LN trial
CoinGate sees the second-layer solution as a crucial step in the further development of the Litecoin blockchain. Faster and nearly costless transactions will reduce the barrier between consumers and merchants, enabling significantly more businesses to conveniently accept cryptocurrency payments. It especially applies to companies that offer inexpensive goods or services, such as web hosting, VPN, various recurring subscriptions, or maybe just a cup of coffee.
According to our own data, VPN services are in fact one of the most popular among those who prefer to pay with cryptocurrency. And yet, in most cases, it is not reasonable to pay such small amounts in crypto as fees sometimes can even excel the price of a product. However, it is exactly what the Lightning Network promises to solve.
With that in mind, we started to look for merchants that would most benefit from LN payments among those who filled the participation form. Furthermore, we wanted to begin the trial with a secure, reliable and trustworthy company that could also provide some valuable insights into the process.
Surfshark first to test the Lightning payments
Thus, we are happy to introduce our very first merchant that will initiate the official launch of the first Lightning Network test phase – VPN provider Surfshark. If the pilot run goes without any major issues, other participants will join as well until it gradually rolls out into full-scale launch.
We picked up Surfshark as it fits all of our criteria, and has a perfect product for transacting on the LN. On top of that, they provide a highly secure product, according to the independent web security testers Cure53. According to their report, “Cure53 is highly satisfied to see such a strong security posture on the Surfshark VPN extensions, especially given the common vulnerability of similar products to privacy issues”.
For us as security and privacy advocates, it is very important that companies we work with values the privacy and security of their customers. The necessity of being fully compliant in all areas is a must considering the tightening regulatory environment. Surfshark has a clean sheet, thus we are confident of our choice.
We have high hopes that our Lightning Network on Litecoin will work as smoothly as it works on Bitcoin. This is an exciting time for us and the blockchain industry, though we are still in the early stages of cryptocurrency adoption. However, we are proud to be among the early adopters with the ability to provide working solutions to the crypto community and merchants across the world.
Are you interested in how it will all turn out? If so, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog by entering your email address down below! Just like that, you will never miss a story from us!
Until then, keep an eye out for further announcements!
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It is a pleasure to announce the newest addition to our bundle of native cryptocurrencies, TRX! Any user of the TRON blockchain can now shop at thousands of stores using CoinGate.
Our team here at CoinGate is sure that the rapidly emerging TRON blockchain will become a valued addition to our list of supported cryptocurrencies. By facilitating payments between TRX shoppers and online vendors, we aim to become a significant part of the TRON ecosystem and contribute to further growth of the community.
The TRON blockchain: mission & vision
Even though the TRON mainnet launched as recently as May 2018, it has already left a significant mark in the blockchain space. Led by the renowned founder Justin Sun, TRON demonstrates huge ambitions towards rebuilding the World Wide Web as we know it.
Resembling Ethereum, TRON provides the ability to build smart contracts with Solidity, issue custom tokens and deploy decentralized apps on top of TRON’s network. All these tools allow building a huge variety of businesses and applications, including social media and retail networks, publishing platforms, online stores, peer-to-peer video streaming and pretty much anything else that currently exists on the Internet.
Tron provides its own web, mobile and desktop wallets
In simple terms, TRON aims to enable users to trustlessly publish and store virtually any kind of data as well as get rewarded for it, without the necessity of third-party involvement.
TRON and Ethereum, the eternal crypto rivals
TRON strives to surpass its direct rival Ethereum by providing more effective scalability solutions. Supposedly, the TRON blockchain is able of processing 2,000 transactions per second (TPS). For comparison, the current Ethereum network capacity is 15 TPS, though the most recent developments might soon change that.
For such a network to scale, an enormous amount of mining resources would be required. However, TRON is secured by the Proof-of-Stake rather than Proof-of-Work, and does not require that much power to function effectively and securely. As a result, any attempt to alter, delete or demonetize content published on TRON would be impossible as all the data is permanently stored on the blockchain – at least before usage of the network grows significantly enough to shed light on shortcomings of its PoS consensus.
The state of TRON today
Just very recently in July, TRON made a $126 million acquisition of BitTorrent, the largest peer-to-peer file sharing service in the world, and its collective user base of 100 million in the process. Merging BitTorrent with the network would make TRON the biggest decentralized ecosystem in the world, potentially bringing blockchain technology to the masses. Still, there is a long way to go, according to their extensive 10 year-long roadmap.
As of now, TRON is getting ready for the crowdfunding of new cryptographic token BitTorrent (BTT) as a part of their secretive Project Atlas. It is a long-awaited release which aims to create a token-based economy, revolving around the usage of networking, bandwidth, and storage on hundreds of millions of computers around the world.
Justin Sun, the Founder of Tron
To put it simply, it will allow users to use the token for the improvement of BitTorrent’s network speed. However, according to the BitTorrent whitepaper, the further development will “open up a whole new borderless economy exchanging value for computational resources on a global scale”. Marked as the first step towards the decentralization of the Internet, the BTT token will be first distributed to TRX community via airdrop during the Q1 of 2019.
With the upcoming niTRON Summit, the very first TRON developer conference which will be held on January 17–18 in San Francisco, the project has attracted significant attention which also reflected on the price of TRX. The event will hopefully reveal more details about the BitTorrent token and Project Atlas.
Increasing the adoption of TRX
As the interest in blockchain-based technologies grows exponentially, TRX coin might as well become a commonly used payment option on our gateway. Recognizing that, we are here to cater to this community by providing a way to spend TRX cryptocurrency at more than 4,500 online vendors.
Hopefully, TRON, as well as all the cryptocurrencies that create a positive impact in the industry, will eventually gain enough traction to become widespread. As a bridge between crypto users and merchants, we are excited to accelerate the adoption of digital currencies by joining forces and combining technologies that benefit each other.
Of course, there is a way for everyone to make a contribution and, at the same time, get to enjoy numerous benefits that come with it. Check out the article where we provide some food for thought explaining why it is a good idea to consider accepting cryptocurrencies at your business. It also covers different ways you can integrate cryptocurrency payments to your store. Definitely worth spending a few minutes on it!
With that said, we will continue to offer more and more solutions that help increase the accessibility to crypto markets.
If you don’t want to miss out on any important news, we suggest subscribing to our blog – just enter your email address down below! We release new content on a weekly basis, so keep an eye out.
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The mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is still in its infancy stage. However, there are some industries like domain or web hosting, as well as VPS services that adopt cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin more rapidly than others.
In fact, hosting companies were among the first to utilize Bitcoin payments when the blockchain technology started to gain massive attention. It did not take long to realize the benefits that cryptocurrency can potentially bring for the internet-based businesses. Especially focusing on those that exclusively provide digital services.
Considering how highly the web hosting user-base values its anonymity for security purposes, there is no surprise that such businesses are so keen on accepting cryptocurrencies. Since Bitcoin knows no borders and provides a certain level of privacy, both companies and individuals eventually embraced it as a convenient tool to pay for web hosting services.
Best web hosting services that accept cryptocurrency
Today, we share top web hosting companies that are accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for their services. Here we go:
Hostsailor offers VPS Hosting, dedicated servers, domains, SSL certificates, and a huge variety of other web hosting packages and complementary technical services. However, there are several things that make this company stand out.
First of all, Hostsailor earned the reputation for their highly customizable hosting solutions as well as seamless integration with numerous operating systems. Also, they guarantee 99.9% uptime of their servers, and, judging from the reviews online, many people seem to appreciate it a lot. Moreover, their focus on customer support is unmatched as they use special forums and live chats with representatives to solve issues. And, of course, there is always 24/7 support in place.
As they are competing with other hosting providers with low prices, Hostsailor might be one of the best options out there. And, of course, they accept a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
Locations: Netherlands, Romania;
Price Range: VPS from 2$ to 45$, dedicated servers from 39$ to 227$ per month;
Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and +40 Altcoins.
Host1plus provides Enterprise cloud, Virtuozzo VPS and dedicated servers designed mainly to satisfy business needs both small and large. Relying on their top-tier hardware, they lend their computing resources on fully automated platforms. Beforehand implemented services and plugins allow web developers to effectively increase the capacity of any network, however large it is. If, for example, your business has to meet very certain requirements, their engineers can offer you a customized solution, and 24/7 hour support is always there to assist you.
They also provide numerous network and management solutions which might be of interest to big business owners. They already made a name for themselves by partnering with some big companies. It includes names such as Telia, KingstonSmith, Terabit Systems, Ynvolve and many more. However, these well-trusted web hosting plans might cost you more than a penny, but good is almost always equal expensive.
Locations: +15 countries in Europe, Africa, North and South America;
Price Range: Cloud servers from 20$ to 1,500$ a month, depending on a wide range of options; Dedicated servers from 160$ to 1,500$ a month;
Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and +40 Altcoins.
Hostwinds is a very reputable hosting provider. The company earned its respect by dedicating its efforts towards building a user-friendly, lightning fast hosting platform without any up-time issues whatsoever. Their dedication led them to be on the INC 500 list of fastest growing companies. While offering a wide range of services like shared or business hosting, VPS and dedicated servers, they do offer quite decent prices.
Furthermore, their prices seem justified as they provide a variety of extended support features for more advanced users. Considering how well they maintain their reputation, it appears that their promise of 100% satisfaction is not empty.
Even if you end up unsatisfied with their services, you are allowed to request for an instant refund. You can do that within 60 days of opening your Hostwinds account, even if you choose to pay with cryptocurrency.
Price Range: from $3.29 to $67.50 a month, custom plans not included;
Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, and +15 Altcoins; including Skrill payments.
BitcoinWebHosting is known as one of the most private hosting providers. They offer dedicated servers, high-performance SSD-powered VPS, as well as SSD-powered Bitcoin Shared Hosting services, among many others. Each hosting service comes with unlimited email accounts, MySQL databases, email forwarders, subdomains, and FTP accounts. On top of that, they offer a free domain with some of their hosting plans.
They also promise an instant activation as well as quick set up. Though if you are not satisfied with the service, you can insist on a refund. They guarantee to give you your money back within 45 days of using their services. Otherwise, you can always solve your issues with their 24/7 support team which, over the years, proved to be exceptionally efficient and qualified.
While aiming for the highest standards, BitcoinWebHosting does not charge too much for their services. They seem to be oriented in serving smaller scale clients, after all.
Locations: USA, Singapore, Amsterdam;
Price Range: Bitcoin shares hosting from 6$ to 24$ a month; Bitcoin VPS Hosting from 39$ to 209$ a month; Dedicated servers from 139$ to 429$ a month;
Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Monero.
HosterBox hosting falls into a category of the most affordable options. Though their services focus on smaller businesses, they provide a large, fast and reliable network which never exceeds 60% of its total capacity, so there is bandwidth available at all times. Moreover, their network is super fast as they have vast network capacity of 50GBPS by using numerous network providers.
Known as the experts of eliminating a single point of failure, Hosterbox is proven to be a reliable, fast, yet affordable and fair choice.
Locations: Canada, USA;
Price Range: Shared hosting from 4$ to 10$ a month, VPS hosting from 23$ to 63$ a month, dedicated servers from 130$ to 325$ a month;
The company was built by two college buddies that strived to offer everyone the possibility to create and develop a web presence at affordable prices. As a result, they offer cheap VPS services and dedicated servers with unmetered bandwidth, as well as web hosting plans for Joomla, WordPress, Magento, and other well-known CMS applications.
For bigger businesses, they have THC special dedicated servers in place that provide high performance dedicated resources for CPU-intensive applications, complex databases, and websites with a high volume of traffic.
It is an affordable, yet reliable option that comes with very customer-oriented 24/7 support alongside the 99.9% uptime.
Locations: USA, Europe, Singapore;
Price Range: Web hosting starting at $1.95 a month, VPS hosting starting at $14.95 a month, dedicated servers starting at $59.95 a month; Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and +40 Altcoins.
UK based hosting company offers dedicated servers and various hosting plans that scale up to unlimited disk space, data transfer, email accounts, and unlimited websites. If you are not a very tech-savvy person, you can relax – while using their services, advanced technical knowledge is not required as they provide a one-click installation of WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and over 200 web applications.
Even if you are in need of switching service providers, their experts will migrate any existing dedicated server seamlessly, free of charge and within 24 hours. Also, they also guarantee that the price you are paying for your chosen plan will never ever change.
Locations: United Kingdom;
Price Range: Web hosting from 3$ to 12$ a month, VPS hosting from 12$ to 50$ a month, dedicated servers from 25$ to 225$ a month;
Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and +40 Altcoins.
Finally, the cherry on top of a cake. Cherry Servers offer KVM based SMART virtual servers, as well as pre-configured fully dedicated Bare-Metal servers that can be deployed in just 10 minutes! You can even order a customized dedicated server if you have any specific requirements. Their team of experts promises to take care of you with ease.
Cherry Servers also excel at security as they do not have a single point of failure on their network. On top of that, they ensure your data against any human error caused incidents.
Also, they take their customer support very seriously as every client is assigned with a dedicated account manager. After being in the industry for 17 years, they leave no reasons to put your trust anywhere else.
Price Range: Bare-metal servers from 127$ to 1034$ per month, virtual servers from 63$ to 94$ per month;
Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and +40 Altcoins.
These are just a few companies that accept payments with cryptocurrencies among many others out there, including numerous industries worldwide. The inherent values of the blockchain technology allowed these web hosting companies to elevate their businesses by entering a large crypto economy. In fact, it enabled them to operate extremely efficiently as their customers could now purchase their services from anywhere in the world instantaneously as long as they are connected to the Internet.
On top of that, cryptocurrency payments are cheaper and do not require to provide any personal information to the hosting provider that might be considered highly sensitive. Thus, the demand for the blockchain-based payment options became loud and clear. The necessity of Bitcoin payments prompted hosting services to start adopting cryptocurrencies and embracing the blockchain technology.
Considering the rapid growth of the blockchain payments industry, the number of web-based companies that accept cryptocurrencies is inevitably going to rise. Especially keeping in mind the recent developments of the Lightning Network protocol which promise to make Bitcoin payments even cheaper, faster and way more convenient.
In fact, even right now accepting cryptocurrencies for any kind of business is easier than ever.
If you are a merchant who considers doing the same, we recommend checking our ultimate guide on why and how to accept cryptocurrencies. Even if you are just looking for companies that would accept your coins, you might also suggest such opportunity to your favorite merchants. That way, you could contribute to the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as well!
Join the crypto-movement today!
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If you own cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or any other, the feeling of insecurity you get to experience when reading about huge hack incidents might seem familiar. In fact, it became so common that some of us, unfortunately, do not recognize the danger it reflects anymore.
How to avoid scammers?
There is so much news about data breaches, password leaks and massive cryptocurrency thefts (which managed to cause some well-known forks), it is hard not to start worrying about your own safety. Especially when so many people already have experience of being hacked, or at least targeted as a victim.
The internet is a dangerous world full of digital stalkers, but you probably already know that. Did you ever receive an email from Facebook or Gmail telling you that someone is attempting to access your account? Perhaps you recall that one friend who tried to buy something online from a fake website, and sent his Bitcoin straight to the thieves?
These are the most casual encounters you might face on your day-to-day life. However, those who practice the art of hacking often use much more advanced techniques. For example, social engineering, phishing, and numerous others, and target bigger fishes accordingly. So much so that we hear about hacking or scamming victims quite often, whether it is a big company, or a well-known person, or a centralized cryptocurrency exchange.
Judging from the current scale of the issue, it seems that most think their digital devices are more secure than they really are.
Cryptocurrency owners are big targets
The truth is that on the Internet (or what is connected to it), nobody is ever safe enough. If you use social media or pretty much any online service, your personal information is out there. It doesn’t even matter if it is a decade old. So, if someone wants to know you a little bit better without ever seeing you, it is most likely possible. Sometimes it is enough to trick you into giving out sensitive information or infect your device with dangerous malware or ransomware programs.
In fact, Bitcoin and other crypto enthusiasts should be extra careful. They potentially expose themselves the most by recording their activity on a blockchain. Although cryptocurrency is theoretically the most secure way to store the value to date, you are completely responsible for your own protection as you are the sole owner of your private keys.
From one side, it is a good thing to be in full control of your own capital. On the other hand, it requires some additional measures to ensure that nobody will ever get to your digital property. It especially applies to those who own a substantial amount of cryptocurrencies. They are known to often become hot targets for hackers to scam.
The basic security measures
Today, we share some useful tips on how to effectively protect your cryptocurrency holdings, social media accounts and linked emails as well as the identity behind them. Do not worry – there are many different ways to protect yourself. With that said, we encourage you to use all available tools that help strengthen your security. We will start with the basics of security, and then jump right into the protection of private keys.
Create a very strong password
Whether you use an online wallet, crypto exchange or email, first thing you must do is create a strong password. There are several techniques that you can use to create a truly complicated passphrase. All of them share some common ground:
The password should be long enough, that means not less than least 12 characters;
Include numbers, symbols, capital, and lower-case letters;
Avoid using dictionary words – make it as random as possible.
By following these three rules, you will be able to create a password that is nearly impossible to guess. It applies even to those hackers who use password-cracking techniques like brute-force attacks. That means a hacker will not be able to obtain your password using tools that guess all dictionary words, their combinations, and their most common variations.
You might be thinking, “How can I possibly remember such a password?”. Well, one way to do it is to think of a long sentence you will remember, and then modify it in a way only you can decipher it. For example, let’s think of a random sentence like: ”Tomorrow I will spend 250$ on food at the Supermarket and feed my family of 9”.
Just by remembering this phrase, you can create a variety of passwords that would fit the criteria. Let’s take the first characters of each word and include all symbols, numbers, and letters as they are: TIws250$ofatSafmfo9. Our example includes 19 characters with numbers, symbols and capital letters that does not include any dictionary words. It should suffice as a very strong password that is easy to remember. Of course, this is just an example, and you are free to create your own techniques.
Worth mentioning that all passwords you use should be different. Not all websites are as secure as they advertise, hence data leaks happen from time to time. If so, your password may end up in the wrong hands, and all your accounts will be compromised.
Too difficult to keep track? Use Password manager
Creating a strong password is easy, but when you deal with hundreds of websites, it will eventually get unbearable. That is why it is a good idea to use password managers.
A password manager is a software that stores all your passwords in an encrypted vault. The vault itself is locked using the master password. These programs are designed to efficiently manage multiple passphrases, as well as identify the duplicates and the weak ones. With a help of such software, you are able to generate and use incredibly complex passwords without the need to remember them at all. Dashlane or KeePass are good choices that offer a variety of ways to increase your protection, such as automated password changers, security strength indicators and so on.
Password managers are completely secure from theft as long as you keep your master password, or master file, safe. Though you should never keep a copy of it online, or worst – on your computer. The best thing you can do is write it down on a piece of paper, or upload it to secure hardware, and lock it in a bank vault. In fact, anything will do as long as it is far away from the Internet connection.
But even if you encrypt your whole device, you are not completely protected from key-loggers that can track your actions on a keyboard, ransomware and other malware programs that could potentially trace your private keys.
Secure your devices with a proper Anti-Virus program
To make sure you are safe, you must install a decent Anti-Malware program that could efficiently detect possible threats on your device. Moreover, you have to make sure that your security system is up to date at all times. Without it, you leave your devices completely exposed to numerous threats, and there is no better way to protect yourself but with a well-trusted Anti-Virus program.
There are lots of options to choose from. You cannot go wrong with Bitdefender which monitors non-stop running processes on your devices and, using Advanced Threat Control, is able to identify most of the unknown threats, even the most sophisticated ones. On top of that, it also provides anti-ransomware, and many more customizable features to maximize your security. It is a decent choice for cryptocurrency owners as it effectively hides the transmission of your sensitive information.
Another excellent choice would be Emsisoft. An award-winning software uses 4-layer protection in real-time which secures you from widely spread cryptocurrency mining malware, ransomware, and other threats. Armed with powerful threat detection technologies, it does an excellent job of protecting your privacy.
If you are looking for more affordable options, Avast Free Antivirus is great security software that can shield your activities from tracking when using SafeZone Browser in Bank Mode. Of course, they offer a much wider variety of features and are definitely worth checking out.
Use 2 Factor Authenticator (2FA)
You might have heard about this feature before, and maybe you even use it. It is the most common tool for account protection, which is offered on every site that takes their security somewhat seriously.
Basically, 2FA adds an additional layer of security to your account so it could not be accessed only by entering the password. When 2FA the option is enabled, after logging in it will ask you to verify your identity. You can do that with a code generated by the authenticator. You can also choose to receive the code, for example, via text message, though is the least safe option as sophisticated hackers can easily intercept them.
Instead, we recommend using 2FA apps that provide automatically generated codes. Just keep in mind that not all authenticator apps provide the same level of security. The beloved app like Google Authenticator might seem like a decent choice. However, it lacks many important features that other free 2FA apps have. Since Google did not update their authenticator in a while, they left it hanging with a bunch of vulnerabilities.
Apps like Authy or LastPass are better choices as they provide some additional features that increase both convenience and security. For example, both allow creating encrypted cloud backups. So, if you ever lose your phone, or just buy a new one, you will not have to reset the whole authenticator for each website.
Google Authenticator, sadly, does not have this option. It also lacks multi-device support and, most importantly, PIN protection. It means if someone knows your password and has your phone, they can easily access your account using an unprotected authenticator. Both Authy and LastPass provide this feature (including a fingerprint scanner and Face ID). Ultimately, it makes them a superior choice over what Google currently offers.
All in all, the authenticator is one of the most important second-line defense you can set up in a few minutes. Everyone should use it because it complicates the things for hackers considerably. Nonetheless, it does not make you 100% safe just yet.
How to protect your cryptocurrency holdings: tips & tricks
Now that we secured all the accounts and established some common ground, we can start discussing cryptocurrency.
There are a few crucial things you should know in order to keep your coins as safe as possible.
Ways to secure your crypto
Do not trust the centralized exchanges
Cryptocurrency exchanges are often centralized, which means you do not have full control of your assets. Since such exchanges are the most attractive targets for hackers, it is dangerous to keep a large sum of cryptocurrency there. You never know how secure they actually are, and judging from the events of the past, such exchanges can collapse in a second. If that happened, all your funds would be lost immediately.
Use online and offline wallets instead
Every cryptocurrency out there has their own wallet you can store your coins in. There are also multi-coin wallets that support many different cryptocurrencies, and they are much safer to use. Of course, encryption of a wallet is crucial. However, it is not the safest option, especially for those who own large amounts of cryptocurrency.
Best option – cold storage
If you really want to keep your savings safe, the best way is to move your coins offline. That is possible by using encrypted hardware wallets like Cool Wallet S, Ledger Nano S or Trezor. You can also use a paper wallet which also counts as cold storage. All you need is a piece of paper, a pen and a secure place to hide your key.
What happens if you lose your hardware wallet, USB stick or that piece of paper with your keys? You should always consider the possibility that you might lose it in one way or another. Always have backups of your private keys, no matter what. Own several copies and store them safely where nobody could ever reach it.
Diversify your assets
You should not keep all your assets in one place. It is always smart to diversify a little bit and spread around your fortune across multiple wallets. That way you will make sure that even if someone gets the access to one of your wallets, you still get to keep the rest of them.
Use VPN services
VPN’s mask your IP address by creating a secure private network over the Internet. It allows you to hide your internet activity and is especially useful while browsing on, for example, public Wi-Fi. Though you should never use an unsafe internet connection while dealing with cryptocurrencies.
Always double check the address
Some malicious programs are able to modify the “copy/paste” procedure by pasting a completely different address that belongs to a hacker. It will not hurt to double check.
Consider decentralized exchanges
If you are a trader of cryptocurrencies, you might want to explore options of decentralized exchanges. Since they have no single point of failure, your coins are always safe. Well, at least much safer than on the centralized exchange as you are the one who owns private keys.
Be aware of fake websites
There are some websites that are created for a sole purpose of scamming. Usually, it is quite easy to distinguish a real website from a fake one, but there are always exceptions. Always do your due diligence before sending your crypto to the unknown merchant, especially if the shop looks somewhat fishy.
Shopping at CoinGate merchants is safe
Since Bitcoin payments are irreversible, it is important to be sure that you shop at a legit store. But sometimes it is not that easy to distinguish a legit merchant from a fraudster. However, we, as a payment processor, do our best to protect shoppers by allowing only fully compliant merchants to avail of our payment gateway.
So, if you ever stumble across a merchant who uses CoinGate payment processing services, we try to make sure that you are not using a website with fraudulent intentions. That is because all our merchants have to go through an extensive KYC identification. We do this in order to protect both our shoppers and our company from possible illicit activities.
Furthermore, the new 5th AML directory is coming into place this year. That said, we are preparing to launch even more protective measures to ensure that no fraudulent merchant will ever operate using our system. We strongly believe that there is no way for a company to grow if security and transparency are not taken utmost seriously, thus we prioritize it before anything else.
We hope that from now on, you will enjoy a much safer shopping experience! Use our tips and tricks and never again worry about your safety!
As 2018 came to an end, we use the opportunity to put in writing what we have accomplished, and what our plans for the future are. Read on!
We strongly believe 2018 was a healthy year for the entire blockchain space. For us at CoinGate, it was a wild ride, though – despite the market downturn. Without further ado, let’s jump into it and summarise what happened at CoinGate during the exciting year of 2018!
Looking back at 2018
We have always been open and transparent about our numbers, and that is how we strive to continue. It is also a good way to start our summary of 2018, so here we go!
As a team, we have doubled to 20 people, now complemented with more developers, compliance and support staff, and a newly formed sales team. In addition to welcoming new members, this year we have seen over 41,000 new users register with us. Over 4,500 merchants are now using our payment gateway, and we have processed close to 300,000merchant payments since January. In comparison, this is nearly three times more than last year! Although most payments are still made with Bitcoin, we processed more than 15,000 LTC and ETH payments combined in the last 6 months alone.
Aside from these, in our view, impressive statistics, we are most proud of enabling our merchants and their customers to reap the benefits of technology through our platform. Collectively, this year we managed to reach a number of huge milestones that truly put us in a front seat of innovation.
Lightning Network payments
A definite highlight of the year for us was launching Lightning Network payments for Bitcoin in September for all our merchants, after a successful pilot test with our most loyal merchants in July. Needless to say, we were among the first companies in the world to support Lightning. And we are proud that our implementation has been working flawlessly since then! We encourage each and every crypto shopper to start using Lightning Network to benefit from instant payments at virtually no cost. Read up on our blog post to learn how to it works!
We were so excited about the feedback received upon the launch, that we also decided to support Lightning Network payments for Litecoin. Stay tuned for news in January!
New native blockchains and ERC20 token support
Last year, we made a promise to become a multi-currency payment gateway. We kept our word and implemented the Litecoin blockchain into our platform alongside a new version of our API and a fully revamped invoice design (which we wrote about back in April). On top of that, we also started processing Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash payments natively in July and, just recently, integrated Nano.
After integrating Ether payments into our payment gateway, we started working on the infrastructure which would allow us to fully utilize the Ethereum blockchain. In less than two months since we launched ERC20 support, we have already implemented two new tokens into our payment gateway: Sirin Labs Token (SRN) and Telcoin (TEL).
We have no plans to stop here – our developers are implementing two new blockchains and several ERC20 tokens as we speak!
Instant crypto purchasing
We have recently integrated options for Skrill and Neteller wallet users to purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and various altcoins directly to their personal wallets. In addition, we have extended our option for buying crypto with credit cards to support not only BTC and BCH but also ETH, LTC, and XRP.
Purchases made with credit cards, and Skrill and Neteller wallets are instant. Also, they do not require for the user to sign up with CoinGate. The process is as simple as choosing the desired cryptocurrency and providing the payout address. Payments will be confirmed instantly, and your coins will reach your wallet within 24 hours. We have already processed thousands of such payments and look forward to the numbers increasing together with the rising interest in cryptocurrencies!
Revamped verification process
Aiming to stay in line with regulations that took place in 2018, and ahead of the ones that will come to force in 2019, we have fully redesigned our KYC procedures for both traders and merchants by utilizing our growing compliance team and third-party compliance tools. We are glad to maintain the verification flow entirely digital and fully automated.
Many of these changes were prompted by the General Data Protection Regulation. Back in May, GDPR vastly reshaped the regulatory environment in terms of how sensitive data of European citizens should be treated. If you wish to know more, our CEO Dmitrijus Borisenka wrote about the impact of GDPR on Medium, explaining the importance of the recent regulation, as well as discussing the challenges that companies like CoinGate had to overcome.
What lies ahead in 2019
The blockchain space has been developing so quickly that planning our development roadmap for the full year is quite impossible. During the first half of the year, however, we will dedicate our focus to several key developments. In addition to implementing new cryptocurrencies and revamping our website interface, we are building more enterprise-level features to cater to the needs of large businesses to start accepting cryptocurrencies. That is just the tip of the iceberg since we are getting ready to become a truly full-fledged merchant processor!
With that said, let’s go over some major plans we have in our mind!
New account features for merchants
As of now, we are refactoring the CoinGate back-end. Our aim is to improve the flexibility for merchants to handle funds on our platform. The results will allow various businesses to avail of the brand new features, such as:
Cryptocurrency wallet functionality
Up until now, our users could only withdraw their entire accumulated account balance. That is bound to change soon, however. By providing wallet functionality, we aim to enable both merchants and traders to store cryptocurrencies with us. Also, there is an option to seamlessly convert one cryptocurrency to another with a click of a button.
Refunds and payouts
Alongside wallet functionality, merchants will benefit from a popularly demanded feature to transfer cryptocurrencies to their own wallets, issue refunds to customers, make payments to suppliers, distributors, publishers, and so on!
With improved ability to use cryptocurrencies, we are also aiming to extend the functionality of our API. This has been particularly demanded by large merchants who need the capability of both collecting customer payments and transacting funds programmatically via the API.
Permission-based account access
Permission-based account access for merchants will enable different users within a company to log in to CoinGate to fulfill certain functions. This feature is especially useful for bigger organizations that have multiple departments working on the same account, e.g. accounting, support, developers and so on.
Mass payout options and recurring payments
Businesses will have the ability to instantly execute mass cryptocurrency payouts. It will also be possible to make them recurring. Whether you need to distribute funds across several accounts, or periodically pay to multiple suppliers, merchants will be able to do it with ease.
We will add more and more advanced features as we progress. We will share all upcoming developments as they go live. If you do not wish to miss out on it, keep up by subscribing to our blog by entering your email at the bottom of the page!
Litecoin Lightning Network is coming!
As we already mentioned before, we are getting ready to support the Litecoin Lightning Network payments! But before we do that, we are looking for merchants who would be willing to test it out together with us, just like we did with Bitcoin Lightning Network pilot. We will feature the participating merchants on our communication channels. Hopefully, they will get recognition of the vast community of Litecoin, as well as other crypto communities.
If you wish to participate, just fill out the form and we will keep you informed on the next steps!
Even more native cryptocurrencies!
Aside from the improvements on account functionalities, we are also natively integrating two new major blockchains into our payment gateway. Both are set to launch in the first two months of 2019. We are also implementing an ERC20 stablecoin with a few more tokens to come in Q1 and Q2. We cannot reveal the names just yet, but announcements are due very soon!
New website and UI design
A new website layout, as well as an improved user interface, have been on our minds since… 2016… The time has finally come and in 2019 you will definitely witness the change in our appearance! Our new home will be much more elegant, convenient and user-friendly than it was before, and that is a promise. However, we do not have a sneak peek for you just yet. Nonetheless, we will definitely give you a tour when it is ready!
Enhanced compliance monitoring
For us, the protection of our customers remains the top priority. Hence, we will expand our compliance team and build even more compliance tools. It is a way to ensure that we can professionally cater to tens of thousands of businesses worldwide. In fact, we already made significant changes to our KYC procedures. In due time we will share more information about our improved compliance processes.
All in all, we have high hopes that 2019 will be even more spectacular than 2018 was. That is our wish for the whole cryptocurrency industry as well. Ultimately, we are all striving for the same thing – a wider adoption of the most advanced cryptocurrencies in the world.
In a growing industry of global crypto payments, nothing seems to be more important than a mass adoption of a wider variety of cryptocurrencies.
Meet the Altcoin exchange Changelly
Currently, such commonly used cryptos like Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum are already quite well-known. However, there are many others that deserve a spot under the sun. Though the lack of utility often creates boundaries that prevent them from being viable for everyday use, for example, as a mean of payments.
It is no surprise that the lack of usability mostly applies to smaller cryptocurrencies rather than the big ones. These less known assets are often perceived more as stale commodities that rarely serve any purpose outside their own ecosystems. This might change very soon as CoinGate makes one step further towards the crypto adoption by partnering with Changelly.
Changelly is an incredibly fast cryptocurrency exchange that supports over 130 cryptocurrencies available for exchanging one to another. We are excited to call them our new exchange provider as they offer the best solutions to fill the gap between numerous crypto communities and global economies. By offering the most user-friendly way for various crypto shoppers to make payments, our partnership opens up a wide range of opportunities to both businesses and crypto enthusiasts.
Changelly enables Altcoin payments
As of now, Altcoins make up around 10-15% of total transactions per month made via CoinGate. We are happy to see the increasing numbers and strongly believe that they are going to rise even more. With Altcoins gaining traction that fast, we put our joint effort to bring even more cryptocurrencies to the masses.
Thus, our recent partnership with Changelly brings good news to the owners of 45 cryptocurrencies that are listed on Changelly exchange. From now on, you can use them as a payment option in online stores that apply CoinGate payment gateway!
In other words, 45 tokens are now accepted as a payment method across thousands of merchants online. It is a user-friendly, enjoyable experience of purchase that requires just a few clicks to finalize. We believe it will serve as a massive boost to these cryptocurrencies as their utility expands across numerous e-commerce stores worldwide.
Are you a merchant?
Altcoin owners can now spend their tokens, and that means merchants can accept them. If you, by any chance, are a merchant, you might be interested in accepting these cryptocurrencies with your business. In that case, we suggest checking our ultimate guide on how and why to accept cryptocurrencies with your business. In there, we explain how cryptocurrencies can benefit your business, as well as cover different methods how you can implement cryptocurrency payment options in your store.
A silky smooth flow for both shoppers and merchants
Shoppers have a 15-minute window to pay with any Altcoin via Changelly;
The exchange rate is locked at the moment of purchase so the shopper can be sure that fluctuating exchange rates will not cause any issues;
In case an issue occurs with the payment, e.g. the shopper makes an underpayment, the refund will be sent back to the shopper automatically;
We’ve made sure the merchant will not have any additional issues with Altcoin payments;
The merchant is guaranteed to always the exact amount that they’re supposed to;
Changelly support team is available 24/7 to answer all questions and solve every problem.
So, the next time you stumble across one of CoinGate’s merchants, keep in mind that you free to spend your variety of coins and make purchases in a safe, risk-free environment!
The blockchain technology and Bitcoin, in particular, is surely on the way to change the financial landscape forever. In fact, Bitcoin already made a huge positive impact, especially in the global payments industry.
Since the whitepaper for Bitcoin has taken the Internet by storm in 2008, it became much more than just a commodity to hold on to. Right now, the biggest companies like Microsoft, Overstock or Subway already accept Bitcoin for their goods as a legitimate, valuable currency. It might just mean that the way we understand online payments at this particular moment can shift very quickly.
These are just a few examples out of thousands of merchants that already accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Though it is still a very young industry, more and more individuals seem to realize what the open source blockchain technology is capable of in terms of cheap and fast cross-border payments. That is why there is a substantial number of people who already own and use Bitcoin every day.
Currently, the whole Bitcoin network processes around 300,000 transactions per day, sometimes reaching over 500,000. On CoinGate alone, there are more than 70,000 users who make over 1000 payments daily.
Why accept Bitcoin payments?
Why accept cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are becoming extremely convenient in terms of speed, costs, and security. Hence, businesses start reaping the benefits. Just by utilizing the blockchain technology, merchants avoid dealing with numeral issues that traditional payment methods like credit cards or bank transfers have. Onboarding cryptocurrency payment gateways and start accepting cryptocurrencies is an instant solution. Such payment systems solve most of the existing problems, as well as add some extra benefits, and here is how:
Get paid instantly and from anywhere
Location for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is not relevant, thus do not impact speed and costs of transactions as well. Merchants take advantage of that whether they sell only digital products, or ship the merchandise to another continent, or just sell it locally. Whether a customer sends Bitcoin from Siberia to Denmark, or from France to Angola, it does not matter. It will be processed instantly as all transactions on the blockchain require the same effort to make.
Avoid costly currency conversions
Also, paying with digital currency does not involve any need to convert one currency to another. In comparison, cross-border payments via bank account can get quite complicated as currency conversion might be necessary which creates additional obstacles. When transacting with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, these issues cease to exist. Payments via blockchain also spare a headache of dealing with fiat currency exchange rates. As it happens, it might not always be in your favor.
Take advantage of cheaper transaction costs
Traditional payment providers will easily charge merchants 3% and a higher fee for every credit card transaction. Instead, some merchants take advantage of cryptocurrency payment gateways that offer distinctly lower rates (around 1%). Though considering the recent success in the development of the Lightning network, transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain might soon cost even less than a few cents.
Forget fraudulent chargebacks
When using cryptocurrency, merchants never have to worry about fraudulent purchases, because payments on the blockchain are irreversible. That means merchant always knows exactly when he is paid. It removes the risk of fraudulent chargebacks completely, thus providing full security when shipping goods or providing services.
Embrace the new base of potential customers
Cryptocurrency is already widely used for purchases online. That means there are plenty of people who prefer to use their Bitcoin wallet as a convenient payment tool. Moreover, crypto shoppers are more willing to return to the same places where they are allowed to spend their coins. Hence, the fact that merchants started accepting Bitcoin brings new paying customers to the shop that might even stay loyal.
Avail of the new marketing opportunity
Where there are new potential customers, there will be a new marketing opportunity. Merchants who advertise themselves as crypto-friendly establishments often catch the attention of crypto enthusiasts very quickly. With that in mind, clever use of social media might boost the sales of any business that decided to accept cryptocurrencies. In the end, it is beneficial in the long run as merchants gain a competitive advantage in early adopters market.
Be part of the Bitcoin future
Bitcoin did not achieve its success by itself. Many blockchain related projects strived to make Bitcoin better in terms of convenience for every single person, and business alike. For example, Lightning Labs have been perfecting the Lightning Network protocol for years. Their goal is to make blockchain transactions cheaper, faster and more secure for everyone. Moreover, they also provide solutions for scalability of Bitcoin blockchain. These solutions are essential in order to maintain the exponential user growth of the Bitcoin community.
Other companies like Blockstream focus on developing the sidechains. They run parallel to the Bitcoin blockchain and are interoperable to each other. Also, sidechains provide new features and capabilities for blockchain users. Especially in terms of secure and instant peer-to-peer payments designed for the commercial use of Bitcoin. Moreover, the sidechain technology provides developers with tools to issue their own assets and build their own networks.
Of course, there are many other companies, as well as many other solutions to both scale and adapt the blockchain technology to more real-life use cases. As of now, becoming part of the cryptocurrency economy is not that difficult anymore. In fact, any business can integrate cryptocurrency payments with ease and join the next revolutionary movement.
How to accept Bitcoin: 4 methods of integration
There are different ways for a merchant to start accepting cryptocurrencies with his business. Some methods allow more space for customization, and some are simple and require only a little effort.
Here are the most convenient ways to integrate cryptocurrency payments for all kinds of businesses.
Steps to accepting cryptocurrency
The easiest and most flexible option is to integrate a plugin via the preferred e-commerce platform. Many e-commerce platforms like WHMCS, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, Opencart, and others provide official plugins for merchants to accept Bitcoin. Some plugins even allow accepting other cryptocurrencies as well.
Installing a cryptocurrency payment plugin is not challenging at all. You can download the plugin from the back-office of the e-commerce platform, or straight from the official website. Once you upload the module to your website, the last step is to set up API credentials. Do not worry – your payment gateway provider will generate them automatically.
And that is it. Just choose the currency in which you want to receive your payouts and you are good to go!
Time to set up: 15-60 minutes
Technical skills required: None to some
Crypto-friendly e-commerce platforms
Point of Sale (PoS)
Merchants also have a choice to integrate Bitcoin payment option with Point of Sale apps. They generally work on both Android and iOS devices, as well as any web browsers. As long as the device is connected to the Internet, the merchant is able to accept Bitcoin payments face-to-face, on a go, anywhere, and instantly.
Other than that, the merchant can connect as many PoS devices to his payment gateway account as he needs. Some PoS systems provide its users with features to trace their orders directly from the app. Some even enable the option to accept more than one cryptocurrency.
Worth noting that some payment gateways also provide their customers the option to convert Bitcoin payments to Euros or U.S. Dollars. Converted payments can then be sent to a bank account.
Time to set up: 10 minutes
Technical skills required: None
Connect with API
Merchants can also make use of a payment API which is the most customizable solution of all. The API is designed to process cryptocurrency payments on virtually any website from the point of checkout to settlement.
The API works similarly to other integration options – it provides Bitcoin address and QR code to finalize the payment. However, its implementation requires a wee bit of technical knowledge. To put the API to work, you need to implement its code in a website. Besides that, further API configuration might be a bit too challenging for a casual customer. Though for merchants who are eager to use the customizable API option, payment gateways usually provide a clear and detailed walkthrough.
When using payment gateways, merchants that make use of the payment API can track and manage their orders easily. As usual, the collected funds can be withdrawn to a bank account or a personal Bitcoin address.
Time to set up: 1 hour to 1 day
Technical skills required: Developer
Use the payment buttons
This is a very simple solution to accept cryptocurrency payments, yet fairly customizable. It is as easy as copying and pasting one line of code into your website. To some degree, you can easily adjust the function of the button according to your personal needs.
For example, you can set up the button to charge only one single amount. In other cases, the button can include a slide that allows choosing minimum and maximum amounts of payment. It is also possible to make a list of buttons with several fixed amounts to choose from.
Other areas, such as button window title, description background picture, and logo, are also customizable. Furthermore, certain payment gateways provide users with some additional features. For example, notifications for receiving payments or custom information fields for a shopper to fill out.
Of course, the button is also not limited to accepting only one cryptocurrency. In fact, any cryptocurrency can be implemented as long as the payment gateway supports it. Also, the payment gateway provider can transfer the collected funds to a bank account in form or Euros or U.S. Dollars.
Time to set up: 10 minutes
Technical skills required: None
Is any paperwork required?
How about paperwork?
Prior to any cryptocurrency payment integration, a merchant has to create an account with a payment gateway and verify it. All merchants must be compliant with regulatory requirements, period. It is crucial to ensure that no money laundering, terrorist or criminal activities are being executed via payment service providers.
Otherwise, there are certain limitations that apply to those who do not provide legal documents. In fact, the verification is utmost important as merchants will not be allowed to withdraw fiat currencies to their bank accounts. Also, the lack of proper documentation restricts the access to multiple other services.
The verification process itself is pretty standard and involves a few steps.
Fill up the questionnaire;
Provide a signed copy of the incorporation or registration certificate of the company;
Provide a valid copy of the applicant’s government-issued Photo ID Document.
It takes around 10 minutes to complete a verification process. Usually, merchants get the approval of verified status in around 24 hours. After that, the merchant is ready to use the services of the payment gateway right away!
It is not just Bitcoin anymore: get paid in Altcoins
You already know how to set up your cryptocurrency payment options. Now, it is time to think whether it is worth accepting other cryptocurrencies rather than only Bitcoin. Though Bitcoin might be the most commonly used cryptocurrency, it is not the only one around. Still, it remains as the most popular means of payment both across crypto-friendly merchants, and crypto customers. Despite that, cryptocurrency payment gateways such as CoinGate allow merchants to accept more than one cryptocurrency that is dominating the industry.
Why accept only Bitcoin, when you can accept them all? There are plenty of “Altcoins” that are also rapidly gaining massive traction. Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash are just a few cryptocurrencies that successfully operate on their blockchains since day 1. These markets might not be as huge as Bitcoins, but Altcoin owners still possess the spending power that merchants could harness.
Because the crypto industry is still young, merchants who are willing to accept less popular cryptocurrencies are still rare. That is why owners of such coins are more than eager to find such merchants themselves. For CoinGate customers, on the other hand, it makes no difference which cryptocurrencies their shoppers use to fill up their shopping carts. In the end, all cryptocurrency revenues are paid in Euros or U.S. Dollars to merchants’ bank account, unless merchant wishes to keep them as they are.
Ready to accept cryptocurrency payments?
We already discussed the cryptocurrency payment implementation methods as well as the necessary verification procedures in order to get started. Now it is time to choose a payment gateway which will satisfy the needs of both merchants and their customers.
CoinGate provides all payment processing services that are mentioned in this article. Whether merchant wishes to accept Bitcoin or any other supported Altcoin, our services cover it all. With that said, feel free to inspect our website where you can learn more about what we have to offer.
You can also see the example of how cryptocurrency payments work on our demo shop. And if you have any questions, do not hesitate and reach out to us!
We hope this article was helpful and will make a positive impact on the success of your business! So, do not hesitate and accept crypto now!