Without a doubt, Bitcoin (BTC) has been taking the world by storm based on the notable strides it has been making.
The top cryptocurrency recently breached the psychological level of $60k and set a new all-time high of $61,700. BTC is currently hovering around the $58,830 mark with a market capitalization of $1.09 trillion at press time, according to CoinMarketCap.
Popular on-chain and market analyst Willy Woo has revealed that strong hands are the engine behind the current Bitcoin bull run because they have been buying every dip. He explained:
“This is insanely bullish, of course. Strong hands have been buying every dip, which has been driving the price steeply upwards since Q4 2020. Red bars track the number of coins moving from weak hands to strong hands each day.”
Strong hands are investors who buy Bitcoin for holding purposes other than speculation. Willy Woo went ahead to show that the supply being held by speculative “weak hands” was being depleted. He acknowledged:
“From March 2020, Bitcoin undergoes steep and continued supply shock in sync to USD money printing. Supply held by speculative “weak hands” deplete. These are the coins held by wallet users that have a history of selling coins. This is conservative as BTC held by “strong hands” using exchanges as custody will be classified as “highly liquid” / “weak hands” in this chart.”
There is room for more upward Bitcoin movement
Glassnode has noted that there is room for Bitcoin to scale even further upwards based on long-term holder data. The on-chain market provider stated:
“Long-Term Holder MVRV at 20+ has been a good indicator of Bitcoin market tops in previous cycles. Currently, at 10, it indicates room for more upwards movement. BTC was trading at ~$4,500 at these levels in 2017 – and made another 4.4x to the peak.”
The holding culture is continuously being advocated for in the Bitcoin network. Recently, market analyst Pierre Rochard disclosed that most people might be inclined towards holding Bitcoin compared to investing in stocks, bonds, or real estate in the future.
Dubai’s economic department to expand its blockchain-powered KYC tools to financial institutions.
Dubai government has announced that it will be expanding its blockchain-powered Know-Your-Customer tool for financial institutions. The Department of Economic Development, better known as Dubai Economic, has partnered with the Dubai International Financial Centre to expand the tool, accounting for over 50 percent of all KYC verifications in Dubai. The UAE KYC Blockchain Consortium was […]
Dubai government has announced that it will be expanding its blockchain-powered Know-Your-Customer tool for financial institutions. The Department of Economic Development, better known as Dubai Economic, has partnered with the Dubai International Financial Centre to expand the tool, accounting for over 50 percent of all KYC verifications in Dubai. The UAE KYC Blockchain Consortium was first launched in February 2020. Governments across countries have acknowledged the importance of blockchain technology in the last year or so.
Dubai economy processes at least half of all corporate KYC verifications.
Some of the founding members of the economy department include Emirates NBD, the Commercial Bank of Dubai, HSBC, Emirates Islamic, and the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. It grew aggressively, and by July 2020, it had over 120 members. According to Dubai Economy, it processes at least half of all corporate KYC verifications in Dubai. Abdulla Hassan, the Dubai Economy Corporate Sector CEO, attributed the growth to the tool’s efficiency. It has also enabled financial institutions to digitize one of their most important requirements.
“The department has become crucial in enabling banks to receive verified KYC data digitally.”
Abdulla Hassan remarked, “Following its launch in 2020, the platform has become increasingly crucial not only in simplifying the procedures for opening bank accounts for investors but also in enabling banks to receive verified KYC data digitally.” “This initiative has a positive impact on attracting business and the global ease of doing business ranking of Dubai and the UAE,” he added. The DIFC also pledged to continue supporting emerging technologies such as blockchain to position Dubai as the go-to financial hub globally. “The global finance community holds Dubai and DIFC in high regard for our commitment to innovation, which includes driving the future of finance through emerging technologies such as Blockchain,” DIFC’s Alya Al Zarouni commented.
MobileCoin Review: The Signal Integrated Privacy Coin
Since its earliest days cryptography has been used to secure communications. It began with simple encoded messages, and has evolved to more complex digital interactions such as we see in various blockchain projects today.
And of course along with the blockchain we’ve also been gifted with cryptocurrencies as one offshoot of cryptographic technology. This allows people to transfer value while maintaining surety that there is no falsification or counterfeiting of any currency or transactions.
Those without limited or no knowledge of cryptographic protocols might think that any digital transaction needs to be sent textually to make it publicly verifiable, simply because this is what they are used to.
However, cryptographic communications on blockchains can very definitely conceal the identity of participants and can even obscure the amounts involved in transactions, while still allowing the transactions themselves to be verified. This is exactly the methodology used by the cryptocurrency called MobileCoin.
MobileCoin was created as a decentralized digital payment network. Its goal is to enable the exchange of value in a safe and efficient manner. Like any other cryptocurrency you might be familiar with, MobileCoin also creates and maintains an immutable transaction record in its blockchain. Most interestingly, MobileCoin has been optimized for use on mobile devices and on messaging platforms.
In December 2020 the mainnet went live and the project is now testing its functionality as a transactional cryptocurrency being used on a messaging app.
What is Mobile Coin
MobileCoin released a whitepaper in 2017, which was written by current CEO Joshua Goldbard and advisor and Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike. The company MobileCoin was founded in 2018 and is based in San Francisco, but holds its corporate registration in Delaware. The project aimed at providing fast and easy payments to mobile.
According to the whitepaper, the motivation for the project was to:
develop a fast, private, and easy-to-use cryptocurrency that can be deployed in resource constrained environments to users who aren’t equipped to reliably maintain secret keys over a long period of time, all without giving up control of funds to a payment processing service.
Mobile Coin went live in December 2020 and is described on its website as “a cryptocurrency designed to be used as digital cash on your phone. It’s easy to use with near instantaneous transactions,” which is a simpler way of stating the goal that was originally put forth in the whitepaper.
- Easy wallet recovery
- Fast transactions
- User-friendly and planet-friendly
How Does Mobile Coin Work
MobileCoin is using a number of novel techniques, however many of those are backed by technical documentation that does not address key details that might be considered pertinent to MobileCoin, or by papers that have not been peer reviewed and are either incomplete or contain errors.
Some other areas of the technical workings can only be understood by examining the source code and documentation directly. And honestly, if you don’t have a background in mathematics you can’t be expected to understand the intricacies of elliptic curve cryptography and advanced Schnorr-like signatures, which are used extensively by MobileCoin.
The following review will attempt to simplify the workings of MobileCoin, and will go into some of the more practical elements of the project, such as its current implementation and usage.
Those interested in digging into the depths of the technical documentation are free to check out The Mechanics of MobileCoin, a comprehensive technical explanation of MobileCoin that has been commissioned by the MobileCoin Foundation, and was recently released on GitHub by the psuedoanonymous developer koe.
That work introduces the fundamental concepts necessary to understand elliptic curve cryptography, reviewing algorithms and cryptographic schemes, and collecting in-depth information about MobileCoin’s inner workings. It is presented as a step-by-step description of the MobileCoin cryptocurrency, and at 144 pages long we do believe it is quite comprehensive.
The writer koe has assumed that many readers will come to the document with little or no knowledge and understanding of discrete mathematics, algebraic structures, cryptography8 , or blockchains. In that regard the book was written to be thorough enough that laypeople with a diversity of backgrounds may learn about MobileCoin without needing external research.
A Basic Understanding of MobileCoin
MobileCoin is designed so that a mobile messaging application like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Signal can integrate with a MobileCoin wallet.
MobileCoin was developed using the Stellar Consensus Protocol, which is a Proof of Reputation protocol. The intention of the developers was to create an end-to-end encrypted ecosystem similar to the messaging apps Signal and WhatsApp, both of which use the Signal protocol that was developed by Marlinspike.
It’s important to note that the Stellar Consensus Protocol is not the same as the Stellar Network. While the Stellar Network runs on the Stellar Consensus Protocol, it is a separate implementation to that used by MobileCoin. However, MobileCoin does use the Stellar blockchain because of its speed and efficiency.
The consensus model used by MobileCoin is Byzantine Fault Tolerant, and it copies that used by Stellar. That means the verification nodes used must be approved by the MobileCoin Foundation.
Furthermore, these nodes must run on a machine that’s been build using the Intel SGX chipset which offers hardware-based memory encryption that isolates specific application code and data in memory. Interestingly there is no mention anywhere of a staking requirement to run a node, or of any incentive rewards for those running nodes.
According to the MobileCoin whitepaper:
A user should be able to install the app, enter a 4 digit PIN, and send/receive funds to/from other users addressed by their phone number or other user identifier. Transactions should take less than a second, funds should be immediately available for use, and neither the messaging service nor any other third-party should learn anything about a user’s account balance or transaction history (such as who is paying who). At any point, a user should be able to reinstall the app or get a new phone and regain secure access to their funds simply by entering a 4-digit PIN. Payments should also be possible across apps and networks.
The developers of MobileCoin also understand that one of the key challenges of any cryptocurrency or blockchain project is usability. According to MobileCoin advisor Marlinspike in a December 2017 Wired article:
The innovations I want to see are ones that make cryptocurrency deployable in normal environments, without sacrificing the properties that distinguish cryptocurrency from existing payment mechanisms.
By using the Stellar Consensus Protocol, the validating nodes don’t necessarily store the full transaction history of the blockchain. Instead they discard most data after each transaction is completed. This makes MobileCoin more resistant to surveillance, whether it’s coming from a government or a criminal who wants to track and extort users.
Privacy & Fungibility
Cryptocurrencies used a distributed ledger called the blockchain to store the information about all the transactions that occur with those currencies. In most cases this information is stored in plain text, because this makes is easier for the community to verify the existence of transactions. This clearly defies any concept of privacy or fungibility since it is publicly posting the complete transaction history of all users.
Thus users of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have found ways to restore their privacy by such means as using temporary intermediate addresses when conducting transactions. However this is far from perfect as the true senders and receivers can still be revealed through the analysis of coin flows.
MobileCoin is addressing the issue of privacy by storing single use addresses for the ownership of assets, and then authenticating the use of those assets with ring signatures and verifying transactions using secure enclaves that act as black boxes which discard any extraneous information after verification is completed. This completely avoids the possibility of another person analyzing transactions to link senders with receivers.
In addition, MobileCoin renders all currency flows opaque by concealing transaction amounts behind cryptographic constructs. The end result is a currency that exhibits high degrees of both privacy and fungibility.
MobileCoin and Signal
The encrypted messaging service announced on April 6, 2021 that they began testing a peer-to-peer payment system as a beta in its app in some jurisdictions. The new service is being called Signal Payments and the new feature only supports the MobileCoin wallet and the cryptocurrency MOB.
Of course signal was co-founded by its CEO Moxie Marlinspike, and it has a close relationship with MobileCoin as Martinspike is publicly acknowledged as an advisor to the MobileCoin project.
The first payments protocol we’ve added support for is a privacy focused payments network called MobileCoin, which has its own currency, MOB,” wrote Jun Harada, Signal’s head of growth and communication, in a blog post.
Signal claims that it chose MobileCoin over Zcash or Monero because MobileCoin was specifically designed for use with mobile devices. While Signal is cross-platform, the bulk of its users are on mobile devices. It is known that mobile devices struggle with many blockchains since they are not able to store large amounts of data, and when using mobile devices the blockchain transactions are handled differently.
We want payments in Signal to be fast, private, and work well on mobile devices. The first payments protocol we’ve added support for is a privacy-focused payments network called MobileCoin, which has its own currency, MOB. – Signal official announcement
Due to the design of MobileCoin the Signal app never has access to a users balance, transaction history, or funds. And of course users are able to transfer their MOB coins off the Signal app and into another app or service at any time. Because of MobileCoin’s design it is likely it will be implemented in other messaging apps in the future if the beta test on Signal works well.
In addition, if the use of MOB over Signal and other messaging apps becomes commonplace it could revolutionize the use of cryptocurrency.
Signal is not as popular as other messaging apps like Telegram or WhatsApp, but it has been growing and has strong advocates such as Elon Musk and Edward Snowden who could help popularize the app further. While Signal does not disclose the size of its user base, it’s been estimated that it is around 40 million users. That compares with Telegram’s 500 million users and WhatsApps 2 billion users.
Because MobileCoin is quite new as a cryptocurrency, and the payment system on Signal is in a limited beta there has been little talk of future enhancements, however it has been suggested that just as any other blockchain based on the CryptoNote protocol MobileCoin will be able to support second layer extensions, multisignature, transaction proofs, escrowed marketplaces, and much more.
Historical Problems with Regulators
It’s well known that messaging apps and cryptocurrencies together haven’t been well received by regulators. Both Kik and its KIN token and Telegram have had drawn out battles with the SEC, with both eventually choosing to forego adding cryptocurrency support to their messaging apps. However MobileCoin might be safe since it’s backed by venture capitalists and hasn’t been funded via ICO like Kik and Telegram.
Telegram chose to shut down its own cryptocurrency project in 2020 after battling regulators for several years. Prior to that they were planning on issuing a GRAM token that could be used on Telegram for the fast, secure transfer of value.
It seems like the most difficult jurisdiction for regulation is the U.S. and so far Signal is avoiding that market. There’s even a notice on the MobileCoin Github warning that the MobileCoin Wallet is not available for download or use by U.S. persons or entities, persons or entities located in the U.S., or persons or entities in other prohibited jurisdictions.
MobileCoin & Signal Controversy
While it has been acknowledged that Signal co-founder Moxie Marlinspike is an advisor to MobileCoin, it turns out there could be a closer relationship between the two projects. An early copy of the MobileCoin whitepaper dated November 13, 2017 lists Marlinspike as the CTO of MobileCoin. That would most likely mean that the integration with Signal is simply a method to monetize the large Signal userbase.
However other versions of the whitepaper also appear online and do not include a section on the MobileCoin team members. MobileCoin CEO Joshua Goldbard in 2017 denied that Martinspike was ever the CTO of the project, and that the whitepaper with the team members is nothing written by anyone at Mobilecoin.
There are also snapshots of the MobileCoin website from December 2017 through April 2018 that list Martinspike as a member of “The Team”, however it does not give him a title. In May 2018 his title was finally listed as Advisor.
Moxie was never CTO. A white paper we never wrote was erroneously linked to in our new book, ‘The Mechanics of MobileCoin.’ That erroneous white paper listed Moxie as CTO and, again, we never wrote that paper and Moxie was never CTO.
This book is actually the most recent “comprehensive, conceptual (and technical) exploration of the cryptocurrency MobileCoin” posted on the MobileCoin Foundation GitHub, which Goldbard describes as project’s “source of truth” and serves as the most up-to-date technical documentation for the project.
The team has always acknowledged Martinspike as an advisor to the project, but never discussed any direct involvement in MobileCoin, and certainly nothing as involved as the role of CTO.
Of course if Martinspike was the CTO at MobileCoin, or held a more involved role than that of advisor it raises questions regarding the motivation for aligning with the project.
Signal sold out their user base by creating and marketing a cryptocurrency based solely on their ability to sell the future tokens to a captive audience,” said Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corallo, who also used to contribute to Signal’s open-source software.
You can check the current team of MobileCoin on LinkedIn. There are 27 members listed, including CEO Joshua Goldbard, although he lists his title as “Janitor”, not CEO. Working in Telecom for much of his adult life, Joshua developed, managed, and implemented networks of significant complexity. His expertise on mobile systems as well as his passion for cryptocurrency as an information network governing systems of value help him lead this project.
The current CTO of MobileCoin is Sara Drakeley Hall, and while she’s been with MobileCoin since 2018, she’s only been in the position of CTO since February 2021. She brings a wealth of technical experience to the project, having worked as a technical director at Walt Disney Animation Studios and as a software engineer at SpaceX.
Chief Architect for MobileCoin is Matthew Faulker, a PhD computer scientist with a specialty in algorithms and systems for understanding the physical world through IoT devices.
And the VP of Engineering for MobileCoin is Toby Segaran, who brings more than two decades of experience to MobileCoin. He was previously Senior Director of Engineering at Reddit as well as a staff software engineer for Google.
MobileCoin Token (MOB)
The MOB token was created with a maximum supply of 250 million tokens which were pre-mined. Currently there is no data on circulating supply however as there is no blockexplorer for MobileCoin. It is only listed on a handful of exchanges too, which makes it more difficult to acquire.
As of April 2021 you can trade for MOB tokens on FTX, Bitfinex, BigONE, and Hotbit. Notably missing from that list is Binance, which is unusual since Binance was an early investor in MobileCoin back in 2018. It was also the lead in the crowdfunding round for the coin.
At the time Binance released the following statement:
As one of the market leaders in the space, our mission at Binance Labs is to help advance blockchain technologies and grow our collective crypto ecosystem. A mobile-first, user-friendly cryptocurrency, like MobileCoin, plays a critical role in driving mainstream cryptocurrency adoption. The MobileCoin team and Binance Labs share a common vision and we are proud to be a supporter of what they are doing.
With such an association between Binance and MobileCoin it only makes sense to presume they will list the MOB coin at some time, likely in the near future.
As far as pricing for the MOB token goes, that’s been nothing less than spectacular in 2021. In the prior year MOB traded around the $2 level, but heading into 2021 it had already doubled to $4. In late March 2021 the price suddenly catapulted to $18 and within three days MOB closed March out at $39. It’s likely there was some knowledge regarding the upcoming announcement of the Signal integration.
On April 6, 2021 Signal announced the addition of MOB to its platform, and on the same day MOB hit an all-time high of nearly $70. Since then the price has dropped, but as of April 15, 2021 it remains at $54.92.
Putting aside the controversy over whether or not Moxie Martinspike was ever the CTO of MobileCoin, which will likely never be answered, the idea of MobileCoin is an excellent one. And the implementation seems well thought out too.
After all, it seems clear that digital currency will eventually replace physical currency for most uses. And with so many people carrying smartphones it only makes sense to create a currency that can be transferred quickly and easily via a mobile app.
There are still a number of questions that need to be addressed however. Will MobileCoin deliver on its promise of fast, secure money transfer? Will users actually embrace the use of cryptocurrency within messaging apps?
The most important question at this time is whether the project will remain ahead of regulators or if it could suffer the same fate as Kik and Telegram.
It’s still early days for MOB, but so far things are looking promising. We recommend keeping an eye on the project to see how it develops over time.
Featured Image via Shutterstock
Top 10 Best Personal Finance YouTubers
A Changing World
The last year, with its attendant horrors and upheaval, has changed the way we live. However hard everyone prays for a return to normality, the reality is that life will not return to how it was before terms like coronavirus, lockdown, social distancing and pandemic became part of our everyday vocabulary.
Superficially at least, some aspects of life may soon give the impression that normal service has been resumed. People will start going out again, bars and cafes will fill with people, the sky will fill with planes and the roads will go back to being as congested as before. Some optimists even talk of a post-Covid boom – for those businesses that have survived, at any rate.
But the way we live will change. Fewer people will commute to work five days a week. Concerns about public health are likely to continue to be a priority for many, as the trauma of the last year lingers on. We are finding ourselves entering a different world from the one we knew before.
The experience of lockdown and a largely frozen economy hasn’t been all bad. Many sectors, not just those considered essential or those largely web-based before Covid struck, have seen unprecedented growth. The record profits posted by the likes of Amazon and Netflix have caught the attention of the media, but they are not alone in reaping the benefits of having billions of people stuck at home with little to do.
Taking It in Hand
As the days, weeks and months have drifted by, many have turned to investing and trading as a way to pass the time and make some money. The cryptocurrency sector has seen explosive growth and not just from institutional investors. Millions of retail investors have also piled money into crypto, having found themselves with the time needed to dig down and find out what it’s all about.
But it’s not just crypto that has seen a flood of new investors. The stock market has also seen a deluge of retail money, helped in the main by the appearance of a new breed of user-friendly and competitively-priced investment platforms. The best-known of these is Robinhood, which launched its app back in 2015 to ‘provide everyone with access to the financial markets, not just the wealthy.’
Whereas traditional investment platforms charge high fees to execute trades, Robinhood offers a commission-free service via its app. The company boasts over 13 million users and was recently valued at $8.3 billion.
A host of other similar apps have sprung up, all offering investors the chance to get involved in the markets without having to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fees. As a result, millions of people who until previously had felt shut out of the stock market have been able to slowly amass investment portfolios.
This paradigm shift was beautifully illustrated by the recentGameStop affair. Here a horde of retail investors, largely organised through the wallstreetbets forum on Reddit, piled in to buy shares in the troubled US games retailer thereby driving up the price and wiping out the massive short positions taken by many hedge funds. It seemed as though an army of individual investors had risen up to challenge the might of Wall Street.
The rise of Robinhood and its imitators has not been without controversy and the ability for users to trade with leverage on many platforms has caused many to voice their concern. Trading and investing may have become democratised, but the risks remain.
The Growth of Personal Finance
Once upon a time, people left their monetary affairs in the hands of others. Financial advisors, accountants, brokers and the like were entrusted to manage portfolios and investments. The age of fast internet has changed that. The professionals are still in business, but many millions of small-scale, part-time investors are taking matters into their own hands. After all, why pay someone a hefty retainer when you can do the necessary research yourself?
Personal finance is big business and, over the last year especially, interest has surged amongst people eager to take charge of their money. Whether it’s investing or trading or both, there is a growing hunger for knowledge, guidance and tips on how to strike it rich. There is a wealth of information out there and one of the most popular places to find it is on good ol’ YouTube.
As with crypto, there are plenty of channels discussing personal finance and, as with crypto also, there are good ones and not-so-good ones. It can be hard to figure out which ones are best, as many of those with high numbers of subscribers are little more than get-rich-quick moonboys, or those merely eager to boast about how much they’re worth.
So, we’ve gone out into the wilds of YouTube to find you ten of the best personal finance channels out there. If you’re managing your own finances then doing plenty of research is vital if you’re to find the right places to put your money. This lot have all enjoyed a great deal of success and are sharing their knowledge through high-quality, informative content.
Top 10 Personal Finance YouTube Channels
1. Andrei Jikh
There’s no getting away from the fact that an awful lot of the personal finance gurus on YouTube tend to be absurdly young. Andrei Jikh is a prime example – without the beard it’s doubtful he’d even be able to open a bank account on his own.
At first, it can seem a little disconcerting to see such youthful faces talking about investing and making money. After all, it’s natural to assume that older, wiser heads are more likely to offer sound advice, having presumably made their fair share of mistakes and learned from them over time.
Warren Buffet is a prime example in this regard. He’s been in the game for decades and is consequently one of the richest people on the planet. He will have forgotten more than most of us will ever know about making money.
Well, for one thing, YouTube is not really the sort of place you’d expect to find a grizzled old investor complete with two-tone shirt and red braces. It’s a young person’s game these days and hey, if someone has made a lot of money through their own smarts, then who are we to quibble about how they look like they should still be in high school?
Andrei Jikh has certainly done alright for himself and can be comfortably said to be better off than most 32 year-olds. Born in Russia, to parents who were circus performers, he moved to the US with his family when he was nine after his father got a job with Cirque du Soleil. His first great passion was cardistry – tricks and illusions with playing cards – which he still puts to good use in his videos.
It’s probably Jikh’s background as a performer that makes him such a natural in front of the camera. His style is engaging and fast-paced, with plenty of humour (and card tricks) thrown in for good measure. It’s served him well too, gaining him 1.42 million subscribers to date since he started the channel in 2019. After a slow start, he reportedly made $100,000 in his first year and hasn’t looked back since.
Jikh’s channel is home to a wide range of videos covering all manner of topics. Stocks, trading apps like Robinhood, passive income, real estate, Teslas, thoughts about the markets and yes, even crypto are all covered plus a whole lot else besides.
There are also a fair few card trick videos in there too, if you’re keen to see how Jikh started out (some of which are pretty damn cool). Perhaps Jikh’s greatest strength though is his natural aptitude for being on camera. His presentation skills are second to none and he’s able to make you feel as though he’s in the room with you.
Like all the best YouTube channels Jikh’s is ad-free, so his videos play without pesky interruptions. The main attraction though is Jikh himself: fast-talking and funny, he clearly knows his stuff and has the lifestyle to prove it.
Many such YouTubers can come across smug and full of themselves, but Jikh has enough charisma and enthusiasm to avoid any such pitfalls. He’s happy to admit to his past mistakes and to the fact that he’s not the richest YouTuber out there by any means. We like his style.
2. Coin Bureau
Ok, so there’s no getting around the shameless self-interest here, but hey. We at the Bureau are proud of what we’ve got going on and what we offer our loyal subscribers: thoughtful, well-researched and wholly impartial advice about crypto.
There are plenty of moonboys out there more than happy to shill whichever coin or token they’re holding, without going into much detail about why it’s supposedly such a nailed-on cert to make you rich. Right from the start, Guy knew that wasn’t the way he wanted to go with Coin Bureau and he’s stayed true to that ever since.
The focus is all about education – with a bit of entertainment thrown in to keep things from getting too heavy. Guy loves nothing better than getting right down into the nitty-gritty of a crypto project and quite often we have to edit some of his videos down to prevent them from getting seriously long. The aim is to help viewers with their own research, as they decide whether or not a project is worth investing in.
It was a steep learning curve when the channel started out, with any number of different disciplines to get to grips with. Progress was slow at first, but Guy and the team persevered, in part because of their belief in what they were doing and in part because they quickly realised that they loved it too. Through late nights, repeated reshoots and the occasional piece of news making a freshly edited video out of date, they kept going.
Several hundred videos and over 650,000 subscribers later, the channel is still growing strong. Subscribers seem to love the fact that they can get an in-depth knowledge of a project they’re interested in, from a respected and trustworthy source. The fact that a lot of Guy’s predictions have come true has also helped a little bit too, we reckon. There’s no getting around it, Coin Bureau is the best crypto YouTube channel out there: free of hype and free of ads too, as it happens.
The majority of Coin Bureau’s videos are naturally crypto-focused, but Guy does occasionally explore other areas relevant to personal finance. He especially enjoys exposing the tricks and scams that some of the big beasts of mainstream finance like to indulge in, all with the aim of making the case for crypto as part of a balanced portfolio.
As subscriber numbers have climbed, so too has the number of places where you can follow Guy on his journey through the cryptoverse. He’s now active across other platforms besides YouTube and is showing no signs of slowing down.
3. Graham Stephan
“What’s up Graham, it’s guys here.” Another fresh-faced American success story is at number three, but he’s got the highest subscriber count of all, with over three million to his name. Those are impressive numbers and Stephan deserves them: he’s made himself a lot of money, he turns out the videos like clockwork and he’s an entertaining guy to spend time with.
Stephan is a native of Los Angeles and got started on the road to riches when he went into real estate aged 18. Having not made it into college, he dedicated himself to selling houses and found he had a knack for it. From there he progressed to YouTube in 2016, where he started by making videos about making money from real estate.
Fast forward to now and his impressive output has expanded to cover all manner of other topics, including stocks, the markets, crypto, Teslas (his ride of choice), the stimulus and his responses to the output of other well-known YouTubers. He’s been so successful in this that he’s launched two additional channels, The Graham Stephan Show and The Iced Coffee Hour, both of which have some pretty decent subscriber numbers themselves.
Although his videos may give the impression that he leads a pretty high-end lifestyle, Stephan claims to save the vast majority of his income, with outgoings largely limited to the essentials (mortgage, bills, insurance etc). This strategy, combined with healthy revenue streams from YouTube, real estate and a few other related sources, saw him become a millionaire by the time he was 26.
He keeps his subscribers updated on the make-up of his portfolio, as well as giving them a glimpse into his lifestyle. His girlfriend, Savannah Smiles, herself an up-and-coming YouTuber, also makes a few welcome appearances too.
4. Meet Kevin
May 2020 was probably a pretty forgettable month for most people out there, as the pandemic ensured that the majority of us were locked down with nowhere to go. But Kevin Paffrath and his wife Lauren had plenty to celebrate, as they banked over $1 million in monthly income for the first time.
Like a lot of personal finance YouTubers, Kevin started his career as a realtor. He and Lauren – who knows a thing or two about the real estate business herself – bought a rundown house in 2012 for $305,000 – using the bulk of their savings with only $8,000 leftover for renovations. After managing to turn a healthy profit, they realised where their future lay.
Lauren now runs their real estate business, while Kevin devotes himself mainly to pumping out the content for his 1.5 million-plus subscribers. He works a 12-hour day most days and it shows in the sheer number of videos he creates, on all manner of finance-related topics. It’s not unusual for him to post several videos a day and they rack up some impressive viewing figures too.
Some friendly advice from Graham Stephan helped Meet Kevin monetise his channel back when he was starting out and he hasn’t looked back since. He and Lauren now pull in north of $6 million a year, with over $7 million in their investment portfolio, as well as their property empire. Needless to say, the obligatory Tesla sits on their driveway.
5. Jordan Page, FunCheapOrFree
Personal finance on YouTube is not confined to videos about how someone has made a boatload of money. Sometimes it’s not all about how money is made, but how it is managed and made to go further. This is where Jordan Page comes in, with her channel devoted to budgeting, frugality and general good financial sense.
Jordan makes a refreshing change from your more stereotypical personal finance YouTuber and her focus is on making every penny count – a necessity for her seeing as she’s a mother to eight – yes, eight – children. Her admission that ‘I’m willing pretty much to do anything to save a buck’ may sound extreme, but she is as good as her word. She’s not too proud to ask neighbours for any leftover food and once managed to bake cookies on the dashboard of her car.
Jordan’s channel is much more focused on providing for a family than on making gains in stocks or crypto. It may not be what a lot of people are looking for, but there’s a lot of sound advice to be found there and Jordan’s always-positive, can-do persona always keeps things entertaining.
It’s an approach that has netted her nearly 900,000 thousand subscribers, though the demands of such a massive family seem to have slowed her output down somewhat. Her videos appear roughly once a week, as opposed to the daily or even twice-daily output of some of the other gurus on this list. That said, they probably don’t have eight kids to look after, so we should perhaps cut her some slack.
6. The Financial Diet
Another great channel that features minimal amounts of real estate chat is The Financial Diet, which has been around since 2015 and boasts nearly 900,000 subscribers to date. It takes a refreshingly different approach to things and states that it ‘talks about personal finance in a way that doesn’t make you want to curl up in a ball and cry.’
The Financial Diet is different from a lot of the other channels on this list, as it features a range of presenters and breaks its videos down into specific categories. Chelsea Fagan fronts matters but is joined by a wide variety of guests who contribute their expertise on all manner of topics.
This the place to go to find videos that explode some of the myths around finance and that take a sceptical look at some supposed fixes that don’t work. In other words, it’s a channel that isn’t afraid to take a contradictory view of many of the fads and nonsensical ‘life hacks’ that seem to be everywhere these days. This alone makes it well worth a sub, but there’s plenty of down-to-earth, useful advice to be found there too.
7. Debt Free Millennials
Millennials are a much-maligned generation – accused of being obsessed with social media and financially imprudent by boomers who grew up in a world of affordable housing and job security. While there may be plenty to mock millennials for, there’s no denying that they’ve been dealt a pretty crappy hand when it comes to money.
The price of a decent education has skyrocketed in recent years and those entering the jobs market – assuming they’re able to get a job – find themselves weighed down under the burden of student debt, along with all the other crippling expenses that modern life imposes. And most of them can forget about owning their own home anytime soon into the bargain.
Debt Free Millennials host Justine Nelson is on a mission to help her fellow millennials navigate their way out of this hole. Despite earning $37,000 a year, she managed to pay off her $35,000 student debt in under three years and her channel is full of helpful ways in which viewers can do the same.
There’s no sugar-coating the fact that Justine has had to work hard to achieve her goal and she doesn’t offer easy fixes to others. But her videos are full of sage advice and her easy, conversational style makes them a pleasure to watch. She doesn’t go in for much fancy production either, but her content is all the better for it.
As well as getting out of debt, Justine also covers other aspects of personal finance, so you can figure out what to do with all that extra cash you’ll have lying around once all those pesky debts have been consigned to history. Her channel may have only a little over 30,000 subscribers – pretty small compared to most on this list – but that just makes it more of an undiscovered gem.
8. Nate O’Brien
Obscenely youthful and photogenic American alert. Yes, we’re back to those clean-cut gods of the personal finance space with another who has managed to rake in over a million subscribers to his channel.
Nate O’Brien has the usual array of videos that deal with topics like investing, side hustles and passive income. But he also has a strong minimalist streak running through him too and, like any self-respecting personal finance channel, conspicuous consumption is nowhere to be found.
A visit to the channel can also yield a lot more viewing pleasure than just finance talk. Other notable videos include his thoughts on books, motivation, productivity, phone usage and keeping a journal. The whole thing is a bit more off-piste than some of his pretty boy compatriots and all the better for it.
9. Wealth Hacker – Jeff Rose
Jeff Rose is a veteran of the YouTube personal finance space, having been around since 2011. His channel is all about ‘teaching you insanely actionable wealth building, investing and online marketing strategies.’ It’s brought him nearly 370,000 loyal subscribers and over 26 million views for his videos.
Rose is a US military veteran who served in Iraq and retrained to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) on his return from active duty. His quest for financial freedom is inspired by the debt struggles that his parents endured while he was growing up, which he believes contributed to his father’s death.
Rose’s channel has a range of videos on most of the usual topics we’ve come to expect, with a lot of recent content devoted to the much-anticipated stimulus checks being issued in the US. He’s a little older than most of the faces we’ve seen on this list and his perspective is generally a little more worldly-wise and informed by previous hardships.
Besides the YouTube channel, Rose also runs financial education courses, writes for the likes of Forbes and Business Insider and has featured in the likes of USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. His successful blog can also be found here.
10. Jack Chapple
This YouTuber mixes things up a bit, as he combines the familiar talking-to-camera approach with some well-produced documentaries for which he provides the voiceover. Canadian Chapple has been doing his thing since 2016 and has over 470,000 subscribers and close on 50 million views for his videos.
This channel is a good one to go to if you’re looking to understand some of the financial forces at work in the world today, as well as for the usual content about investing, side hustles and stock market plays. Chapple’s macro view of economic issues gives a useful and thought-provoking insight into how our lives and finances are shaped by events beyond our direct control.
It looks like his documentaries may be the future for Chapple, as they have been racking up the views and seem to be taking up most of his time these days. A perfect complement to all the other, more personalised advice that’s out there on the Tube.
It’s On You
The popularity of these and other channels shows that there is a growing realisation amongst millennials – and others – that financial self-reliance and responsibility are more vital in today’s world than ever before. Many of the certainties and safety nets of the past are gone forever and young people have little option but to wise up or face a lifetime of financial struggles.
It’s heartening to see personalities like all of those above preaching the doctrines of hard graft and good sense. Not everyone will be able to achieve what they have, but some sound advice and good examples are being set.
The era of conspicuous consumption is going to have to come to an end if we and future generations are to enjoy any sort of worthwhile future. The people on this list have realised that and are spreading the word, helping millions of others along the way. The message is clear: it’s a big, bad world out there and you need to look out for yourself. Better make a start.
Featured Image via Shutterstock
OneLedger Announces “Gem Hunt” Mining and Validator Competition
Blockchain technology service provider, OneLedger, is launching its first incentivized Gem Hunt mining competition for token holders, blockchain developers, and validators, with the aim of attracting new people to the network. Validators who join the network between April 19 2021 – May 17, 2021 will receive 20,000 OLT as a thank you for participating in […]
The post OneLedger Announces “Gem Hunt” Mining and Validator Competition appeared first on Asia Crypto Today.
Blockchain technology service provider, OneLedger, is launching its first incentivized Gem Hunt mining competition for token holders, blockchain developers, and validators, with the aim of attracting new people to the network.
Validators who join the network between April 19 2021 – May 17, 2021 will receive 20,000 OLT as a thank you for participating in the race to hold one of the 16 coveted nodes on OneLedger’s mainnet. The new initiative will allow participants to test the effectiveness of OneLedger’s mainnet: Kratos.
Kratos went live in August of 2020 and was the culmination of a journey that began in 2018 when a group of passionate developers aspired to create a truly interoperable decentralized protocol.
George Connolly, CEO of OneLedger said: “OneLedger is a ‘living’ network that can perpetuate without the company, the core tenets of the platform are its governance, interoperability and upgradability. The ecosystem grows and becomes stronger when developers continue to deploy integrated dapps across the network building a decentralized web, where users control their data and are not limited by trust bonds within the network.”
Since its launch, the OneLedger team has been continually working to improve the ecosystem, and the upcoming validator competition is one way in which it plans to do just that. The team wants to encourage as much engagement as possible and is looking for tech-savvy crypto enthusiasts as well as those looking to earn incentives and to contribute to this historical event.
A validator is used to approve a transaction that has been submitted by a user or blockchain client. Those who are interested in helping run the OneLedger network but cannot run a full node at this time can participate as a delegator which grants participants 15-20% APY and increases network security.
Validator newbies can find more info on OneLedger’s blog, including step-by-step directions on how to run a full node, how to get OLTs (OneLedger Tokens) to stake, and how to stake as a validator.
As mentioned above, there are plenty of incentives to stake as a validator through the Validator Staking module. Aside from the 20K OLT bonus, validators will earn OLT in the form of Block Rewards at a minimum of 20% APR.
Conditions applied, only top 16 staked validators would be in, the rest would be out of the validators network if more than 16 validators for tier1. OneLedger would open the registration for the next tier once tier 1 is full.
In order to participate in the contest as a validator and join in on the global community of competitors, you will need to hold a minimum of 3,000,000 OLT – but of course the more the better and the more OLT a validator has staked the greater chance they can be contestant winners.
The OneLedger Gem Hunt is searching for 16 validators to be either diamonds, rubies, sapphires or opals. Diamond validators will stake the most OLT, ruby validators will have the second highest and so forth.
To get connected with the OneLedger validator community and to stay in the loop, join the Gem Hunt special telegram thread.
OneLedger is a Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) solutions company that uses its own blockchain technology to support its customers business needs. OneLedger’s mission is to simplify businesses’ adoption of blockchain technology and its integration into their specific business applications and products. The company focuses on blockchain technology in the Healthcare, Asset Management and Supply Chain sector.
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