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Leaked Documents Suggest Former Wirecard Exec Was Linked to Secret Russian Gov Operations

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Wirecard’s recently-prosecuted former Chief Operations Officer, Jan Marsalek, may have had ties to Russian intelligence services. He also allegedly held secret documents about the use of a Russian chemical weapon in the U.K.

According to the Financial Times, the former Wirecard executive bragged of his intelligence services’ ties in an effort to further integrate with London traders.

Recovered documents contain specific data on the formula for the world’s deadliest nerve agent, known as Novichok. The chemical weapon was used in the poisoning of a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Julia on March 4, 2018.

Germany on the hunting of Marsalek

Military experts from the U.K. don’t believe that the leaked documents have come from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, member states in western Europe. Nor do they believe them to have come from the U.S., due to its restricted circulation that is limited to the OPCW member states.

German authorities are trying to figure out Marsalek’s whereabouts. The former exec stepped down from Wirecard in June after authorities discovered a $2.1B shortfall on the firm’s books.

The former chief executive officer of Wirecard, Markus Braun, was detained by Munich police on June 23 after being charged with misrepresenting the company’s balances.

The Financial Times also reported that Wirecard’s former COO entered the Philippines via Manila in June before traveling to China from Cebu, according to the Filipino immigration records.

However, Philippine justice secretary, Menardo Guevarra, stated:

“CCTV footage does not show him arriving here, and there is no record of any flight to China scheduled in the morning of June 24 from Cebu.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/leaked-documents-suggest-former-wirecard-exec-was-linked-to-secret-russian-gov-operations

Blockchain

An Epic Beginners Guide to Uniswap [2020]

Beginners Guide to Uniswap

With so many new decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols emerging almost daily on the Ethereum blockchain, those in the crypto space hear almost every day about newly minted millionaires, huge returns on tiny investments, and also the occasional rug pull. The DeFi hype is centered around protocols that offer lending solutions, or other traditional centralized financial […]

An Epic Beginners Guide to Uniswap [2020] was originally found on Blokt – Privacy, Tech, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency.

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With so many new decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols emerging almost daily on the Ethereum blockchain, those in the crypto space hear almost every day about newly minted millionaires, huge returns on tiny investments, and also the occasional rug pull.

Beginners Guide to Uniswap
Beginners Guide to Uniswap

The DeFi hype is centered around protocols that offer lending solutions, or other traditional centralized financial products on the blockchain in a decentralized manner, with a particular focus on yield-farming protocols. These apps allow users to ‘lend out’ their cryptocurrency assets in return for fixed high yields, and the associated tokens of these platforms have driven a bull market throughout 2020.

As a result, one of the most frequently asked questions from new entrants into the DeFi space is where can you buy the latest DeFi tokens? Well, the easy answer to that question, and indeed the most trusted solution, is Uniswap. But what is Uniswap, and how does it work?

What is Uniswap?

Uniswap main
Uniswap provides decentralized swaps, liquidity pools, and yield farming.

Uniswap is a decentralized, peer to peer exchange developed specifically for the Ethereum network, also described as a decentralized protocol for automated liquidity provision on Ethereum. Launched in November 2018 by Ethereum developer Hayden Adams, Uniswap uses an automated market-making system powered by smart contracts to match orders on any ERC-20 token across the entire Ethereum blockchain.

Essentially, Uniswap is a smart contract for the exchange of ERC-20 tokens. It draws liquidity from liquidity pools, which we will explore later.

At the date of writing, Uniswap has over 8,484 unique assets that can be traded on the protocol. Here, we are going to explore how you can get started on the Uniswap protocol, but first let’s examine some of the core concepts behind the decentralized exchange.

What are Liquidity Pools?

Liquidity pools, which power the Uniswap platform, are essential to decentralized finance. Each liquidity pool is a pool of tokens locked inside a smart contract. These tokens, which are otherwise inaccessible to regular traders, are used to facilitate trading through the provision of liquidity.

Traditionally, most decentralized exchanges rely on these liquidity pools in order to match open orders on their books – as there always has to be a both a buy side and a sell side when a user places an order.

In traditional exchanges, such as stock exchanges and large, well-funded cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, it is easy to match orders between users, and market makers are also used to ensure that there is adequate liquidity on the exchange at any given time.

However, with decentralized exchanges, who have fewer users, there is no guarantee that there will be someone willing to buy or sell the asset you wish to trade. Likewise, as decentralized exchanges work through the blockchain, using a traditional order book model would be incredibly slow and inefficient – because blockchains still only process a few transactions per second.

Instead, liquidity pools can be used to provide instant and price-steady trading between two assets within a decentralized exchange. Users can supply their ‘liquidity’ to a pool by supplying tokens, which generates a yield for the user via fees while their tokens are locked in the liquidity contract.

This has created both lucrative opportunities for yield-farming, enabled better liquidity on decentralized exchanges, and provided passive returns to long-term token holders. Uniswap leverages these pools to allow users to quickly swap between ERC-20 tokens, and as such it has become one of the most popular places to trade new tokens.

How Popular is Uniswap?

Although Uniswap got off to a somewhat slow start as users made their way tentatively into the DeFi space, it’s seen a huge upsurge in activity during 2020, powered in part by the rising interest in Ethereum-based DeFi protocols such as AAVE and DMM DAO.

In 2020, total liquidity on Uniswap reached $300 million, and 24-hour trading volume regularly exceeds over $200 million collectively on various pairings on the platform—even occasionally surpassing Tether in generated gas fees.

On August 30, 2020, Uniswap overtook Coinbase in daily volume, processing some $426 million in a 24 hour period, compared to just $349 million on Coinbase in the same period.

Also contributing to Uniswap’s popularity has been the launch of their native token, UNI. Let’s explore UNI below.

The UNI Token

UNI Claim
If you haven’t already, claim your UNI tokens now!

Introduced on the 16th September 2020, the Uniswap token, or UNI, is a governance token that allows users to take part in the future of the Uniswap protocol. Over 60% of the total UNI supply was distributed to community members, making it a fairly decentralized token, with only 21.5% given to team members and roughly 17.8% given to investors.

Around 150,000,000 UNI tokens were claimed by previous liquidity providers on the protocol, and 430,000,000 tokens were retained as governance treasury tokens. Around 5,000,000 community UNI tokens will also be available for yield farmers to claim through various stablecoin yield farming pools.

Uniswap will use the UNI governance tokens to promote community initiatives, provide liquidity mining, and fund other programs for the good of the protocol. If you have used Uniswap, you should be eligible to claim up to 400 UNI tokens just for connecting your wallet.

How to Find Uniswap Gems

Often, you may find cryptocurrency community members talking about ‘Uniswap gems’. As Uniswap offers easy peer to peer trading between any ERC-20 token with low gas fees, it’s often the first place users can access brand new Ethereum-based tokens, such as the latest DeFi protocol or utility token for example.

As a result, many crypto traders keep a close eye on new additions to Uniswap to make the most of brand new trading opportunities. These are often called ‘Uniswap gems’, and although most accept that these type of tokens are somewhat of a gamble, they usually share similar characteristics, such as low market capitalization, a small daily traded volume, and a relatively small number of existing token holders – all characteristics which give tokens a high upside potential, if they are sound projects.

There is little doubt that the number of Uniswap gems and the returns they have netted for users, has significantly contributed to the protocol’s success, especially during the more bullish 2020 market.

How to use Uniswap

There are a couple of things you will need before you get started on Uniswap. Firstly, you will need to have a browser extension or plugin installed which lets you interface with web 3.0 applications. The most common of these, and the one best supported by Uniswap, is Metamask.

Wallet Uniswap
Choose your preferred wallet to connect to Uniswap.

There are also options to use WalletConnect, Coinbase Wallet, Fortmatic, and Portis wallets for ease of access. Coinbase wallet is a great option for users who are relatively new to cryptocurrency and have assets stored in the Coinbase mobile app. You can learn how to use Coinbase here.

This should make it much easier to transfer your assets across from Coinbase and swap them for ERC-20 tokens easily. Be careful though, as you can only use ETH and Ethereum-based tokens on Uniswap – don’t try and use Bitcoin, for example.

The swapping experience is simple on Uniswap. First, connect your chosen wallet extension. Once connected, in the top box, simply select the asset you want to swap and enter the amount, or click ‘max’ if you want to swap all of your asset. In the example below, we will swap ETH for UBT.

Uniswap
A basic Uniswap transaction.

Select the asset you want to swap for from the list in the bottom box. Occasionally, you may have to manually search for the asset you want to swap to. The easiest way to do this is to paste the contract address of your desired token. This is also the safest way since tokens can have the same name as others and you can’t guarantee you are buying the real one without the contract address.

Once you are happy with the exchange rate and slippage tolerance, go ahead and click ‘Swap’. You will be shown another lightbox with more details of the swap. If you are happy to go ahead, click ‘Confirm Swap’. You will now be prompted to confirm the swap via your wallet plugin and select your gas price. We will explore more on this below.

If you’re already familiar with Metamask or using other Ethereum plugins for interacting with decentralized applications, or DApps, then using Uniswap should be a pretty easy and familiar experience, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Let’s explore the most common things new Uniswap users stumble on when using the decentralized liquidity protocol.

Uniswap Slippage

UNI slippage
Be careful of slippage on Uniswap.

Slippage occurs when the price you have opened a trade at, or wish to swap assets for, isn’t available anymore at the time of the execution of your order. This can happen for a number of reasons, especially in periods of high market volatility when many other users are trying to buy into a token – prices move quickly.

To make sure you don’t lose your transaction to slippage, which is particularly annoying on Uniswap because sometimes you will still be charged gas fees for initiating the transaction, navigate to the cogwheel in the upper right-hand corner of the exchange interface.

Clicking the cogwheel will show a lightbox with multiple settings, but at the top, you will see ‘slippage tolerance’. The general concept of slippage is simple. If you set a slippage tolerance of 0.1%, the most you will pay for your assets is 0.1% above the spot price – the current market price of the asset.

If you set 0.5% you are willing to go that much higher than the spot price to secure your assets, and so forth. You can choose from 0.1% to 1% slippage from the pre-set options, or set your own slippage tolerance using the manual section.

Sometimes, in rare circumstances and at times of high market volatility, you may even have to go up to 5% slippage to successfully process a transaction. This is only recommended if you really feel you need to get an entry into a token, and you want to make sure you get a good position. Setting slippage tolerances above 5% isn’t recommended, as you are essentially just paying a premium for the asset.

Gas fees

Like everything powered by Ethereum, you will have to pay gas fees in ETH to process transactions on the Uniswap protocol. Even though you are able to swap one ERC-20 asset for any other supported ERC-20 asset directly, this transaction would still cost you gas payable in ETH, so you need to ensure you have some ETH handy in your linked wallet to successfully process this transaction.

Gas fees on the Ethereum network can get incredibly high at busy periods, or in times of high network congestion, and indeed the recent Uniswap and DeFi craze have added to the rising gas costs on the Ethereum blockchain.

Setting gas fees too low on Uniswap can cause your transaction to stall, or fail completely. Be warned, even if your transaction fails due to low gas, you may still lose some ETH funds for initiating the transaction.

Instead, it’s best to either use the network recommended gas prices at the time (medium speed), or opt to pay more gas for a faster transaction to ensure your swap completes successfully. If you aren’t in any rush to swap your assets, consider checking back in on Uniswap when gas prices are down, to bring down your costs.

Transaction deadlines

As we described above, settling too low of a gas fee, or insufficient slippage tolerances, can cause your transaction to stall, or in the worst case, fail completely. You do have to use caution setting a transaction on Uniswap and simply leaving your computer.

In periods of high market volatility or high gas prices, you may pay the initial transaction fee but your swap won’t process – and you will lose some funds. In periods of high gas, this can be quite a significant sum of money.

As a result, you may want to set transaction deadlines. Navigate to the same cogwheel menu as you did for setting slippage, and you will see the option to change the transaction deadlines. The default is 20 minutes, although this might still be too high for some. Essentially, if your swap hasn’t been filled in 20 minutes or the given amount of time, it will be automatically canceled.

We recommend everyone ensures they have a transaction deadline set up. The exact length is up to your risk profile and slippage tolerance, but it is a great tool to ensure your transaction doesn’t get lost in the ether!

Expert Mode

Here’s a little disclaimer before we teach you about Expert mode – if you’re not an expert, don’t use it! Expert mode allows ultra-high slippage trades, which can often result in poor rates of exchange between assets, and even make you lose part of your original asset or funds.

So, why might you use Expert mode in the first place? If you are an experienced trader, there may be opportunities that arise which you just don’t want to miss. For example, some DeFi coins have made astronomical daily gains during the past couple of months, and it can be difficult to get a position in a coin using normal slippage tolerances in a fast-moving market.

Instead, by setting high slippage and turning off confirmation transaction prompts, you can settle swaps far quicker than the average user. However, it’s highly likely that you will get less of the asset you are swapping for in terms of current market value. Therefore, Expert mode really is only for experienced traders who are sure they can turn a profit from a trade, despite the unrealized losses they may make on the initial swap.

Conclusion

If you are familiar with using decentralized applications through a browser extension, such as Metamask or Portis, then you should have little trouble navigating Uniswap. However, do make sure you are careful to avoid some of the common mistakes new users make on Uniswap to avoid losing your funds or missing out on a great trading opportunity.

Just getting started and want to buy ETH to swap for the latest DeFi coins on Uniswap? Find out how you can buy Ethereum here.

Blokt is a leading independent privacy resource that maintains the highest possible professional and ethical journalistic standards.
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Blockchain

How Does the Future Look for Cryptocurrencies in the Financial Market?

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The trading share of cryptocurrencies in the financial markets is getting bigger by the day, as professional and occasional investors redirect their funds from traditional assets to crypto coins. Billions of dollars, euros, pounds, and of other fiat currencies are used by traders, for the opening of new crypto trading positions, increasing crypto coin values, reputation, and market share. This is also one of the reasons, why new cryptocurrencies are regularly being launched. However, the supply of investment funds is not without limit, and on many occasions, it feels like a number of these new crypto coins are doomed for failure.

Today, cryptocurrency development stretches beyond its original creational limits, as even regulated institutions are investing in the creation of digital coins. These coins are generated to achieve collective wallet digitalization and consequently to gradually eliminate the need for cash. This, of course, is not something for which traders and investors care about, as their primary concern is how these assets will perform in the financial market. That being said, if a crypto asset is trusted and respected in the real world, then this will reflect on its performance in the world of finance. The problem is that for a cryptocurrency to earn the respect of the real economy, it will need to have enough time to mature.

 

Crypto Trading and Investment Challenges

Trading cryptocurrencies is not an easy task. There is a lot of research required, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done before opening a trading position. Experienced traders know that it is not something as fun and as easy as taking a spin on penny roulette, but those with less experience in crypto trading can end up facing heavy losses, just because they have not invested enough time to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Even though we have not seen any signs of a new cryptocurrency bubble burst for a long time, it does not mean that the threat is not there. This applies both to new cryptocurrencies as well as to those which the market categorizes as established.

Where Do We Go from There?

With a higher demand for digital monetary alternatives, it is only natural that countries, unions of nations, and Central Banks are looking towards finally regulating the crypto market. The regulation of such assets will set new standards for commerce and revolutionize the flow of money. It will, however, limit the profit potential of crypto coins, as it will no longer be possible for a cryptocurrency – whether it is new or old – to go from being worth peanuts to being worth as much as gold in a matter of hours.

👉Not being able to become rich overnight is bad news for those who dream of becoming wealthy through cryptocurrency trading, but it also comes with benefits. A regulated cryptocurrency market will discourage “dodgy trader” activity and reduce the risk of seeing toxicity forming in the crypto market. This will allow for the growth of crypto assets in a positively-charged environment, which will give them the time and stability they need to get to the same level of trust as that of traditional trading assets.

 

Source: Plato

 

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How Blockchain Can Help Your Business Grow

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Ever since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, the world has changed the way it views fiat currencies and digital security. People were excited that they could finally transfer digital currency anywhere in the world without exaggerated banking fees or long hours.

The technology, however, proved so versatile that it has found its way into other uses as well. In 2020, there are so many businesses that use blockchain that we simply don’t have the time to enumerate them all in a single short article. But we will do our best to give you examples of ways the blockchain could potentially help you.

 

More Security

Hackers rarely sleep. That’s one statement that Sony forgot back in 2011. While it is unclear whether they now use the blockchain or not, many other companies have started implementing it with great results.

The encryption technology that the blockchain employs requires transactions and other processes to go through multiple nodes connected to the blockchain to get approval. This way, if a hacker attempts to do something malicious, the multiple nodes will eventually realize that fraud’s at stake and stop the transaction in its tracks.

More Payment Methods

People often think that the blockchain is meant solely for cryptocurrencies. That’s not true, at least not anymore. Banks all over the world have started implementing this tech to ease transaction times and lower processing fees.

Moreover, businesses that implement blockchain can use this technology to offer their customers multiple payment methods with seemingly endless currency options. One non-banking company that has proved the efficiency of this method is BetConstruct, offering more than 400 payment methods.

 

 

AI Integration

Through the blockchain, you can set up a reliable network of chatbots that can help out your customers.

With the help of the blockchain, these AI bots can easily communicate with one another and learn from each other based on what users respond, how they rate their satisfaction with the chat, and how customer support agents respond to users once the chatbot sends them their way.

 

Hire Better Employees

Small companies often don’t have the time or necessary resources to double-check the information in a CV. But with the help of the blockchain, you won’t need any of that.

Even today, there are still a lot of people seeking a job who ungracefully lie in their resumes. The blockchain can process all the data in a resume and send you the verified information to see if it’s legitimate.

Not only does this save you time, but it also means you’ll have hired the right person for your future projects. And we all know what having the right person can mean if you want your company to be successful.

 

Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

You’re probably aware of the usual marketing techniques like social media, video ads, billboards, SEO, SEM, and more. Look, you won’t need the blockchain to implement those tactics.

However, Blockchain can be used by marketers to keep track of client information and consumer behavior. With this data, skilled marketers can craft clever campaigns that bring greater ROI. You can also use the blockchain to track any changes made to your campaigns. If only David Ogilvy has had this tech at his disposal, who knows what he would’ve been able to craft.

 

👉🔥The Bottom Line

The blockchain has revolutionized businesses all around the globe the same way it has revolutionized the way people view money.

Implementing this technology for your business will net you tons of long-term benefits for an otherwise small investment considering all the things you’ll be getting.

Source: Plato

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