Who Accepts Bitcoins in 2020? List of 20+ Major Companies

Nine Countries That Don’t Tax Bitcoin Gains- time to move

Tax liability is a major source of concern for anyone invested in Bitcoin and other digital assets. In sum, some have described it as nothing short of a nightmare.
But while some countries are putting pressure on investors and levying taxes on income and capital gains from Bitcoin transactions, many are taking a different approach—often with the aim of promoting better adoption and innovation within the crypto industry. They’ve implemented friendlier legislation, and allow investors to buy, sell, or hold digital assets with no tax liability.
Here’s our list of the nine most crypto-friendly tax jurisdictions.
———————
  1. Belarus 🇧🇾
Belarus is taking an experimental approach to cryptocurrencies. In March 2018, a new law legalized cryptocurrency activities in the East European state, exempting individuals and businesses involved in them from taxes until 2023 (when it will come up for review.)
Under the law, mining and investing in cryptocurrencies are deemed personal investments, and so exempt from income tax and capital gains.
The liberal laws aim to boost the development of a digital economy, and technological innovation. The country was recently ranked third in Eastern Europe and 19th globally in levels of P2P crypto trading.
  1. Germany 🇩🇪
Germany offers a unique take on taxing digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Unlike most other states, Europe’s biggest economy regards Bitcoin as private money, as opposed to a currency, commodity, or stock.
For German residents, any cryptocurrency held for over a year is tax-exempt, regardless of the amount. If the assets are held for less than a year, capital gains tax doesn’t accrue on a sale, as long as the amount does not exceed 600 euros ($692).
However, for businesses it’s a different matter; a startup incorporated in Germany still needs to pay corporate income taxes on cryptocurrency gains, just as it would with any other asset.
  1. Hong Kong 🇭🇰
Hong Kong’s tax legislation on cryptocurrencies is a broad brush affair, even after new guidance was issued earlier this year.
Essentially, whether cryptocurrencies are taxed or not depends on their use, according to Henri Arslanian, a global crypto leader at PwC.
“If digital assets are bought for long-term investment purposes, any profits from disposal would not be chargeable to profits tax,” he wrote in March when the directive was introduced. But he added that this doesn’t apply to corporations—their Hong-Kong sourced profits from cryptocurrency business activities are taxable.
  1. Malaysia 🇲🇾
In Malaysia, cryptocurrency transactions are currently tax-free, and cryptocurrencies don’t qualify for capital gains tax, because digital currencies are not considered assets or legal tender by the authorities.
But the law is currently fluid; it only applies to individual taxpayers, and businesses involved in cryptocurrency are subject to Malaysian income tax.
And things may soon change. Mohamad Fauzi Saat, director of Malaysia’s tax department said in 2018 that Malaysia was committed to working towards issuing comprehensive guidelines on the tax treatment of cryptocurrency by the end of 2020.
  1. Malta 🇲🇹
The government of the so-called “Blockchain Island” recognizes Bitcoin “as a unit of account, medium of exchange, or a store of value.”
Malta doesn’t apply capital gains tax to long-held digital currencies like Bitcoin, but crypto trades are considered similar to day trading in stocks or shares, and attract business income tax at the rate of 35%. However, this can be mitigated to between five percent and zero, through “structuring options” available under the Maltese system.
Malta’s fiscal guidelines, published in 2018, also discriminate between Bitcoin and so-called “financial tokens,” equivalent to dividends, interest or premiums. The latter are treated as income and taxed at the applicable rate.
  1. Portugal 🇵🇹
Portugal has one of the most crypto-friendly tax regimes in the world.
Proceeds from the sale of cryptocurrencies by individuals have been tax-exempt since 2018, and cryptocurrency trading is not considered investment income (which is normally subject to a 28% tax rate.)
However, businesses that accept digital currencies as payment for goods and services are liable to income tax.
  1. Singapore 🇸🇬
Capital gains tax does not exist in Singapore, so neither individuals nor corporations holding cryptocurrency are liable.
But companies based in Singapore are liable to income tax, if their core business is cryptocurrency trading, or if they accept cryptocurrency as payment.
The authorities consider payment tokens such as Bitcoin to be “intangible property” rather than legal tender, and payment in the cryptocurrency constitutes a “barter trade” where the goods and services are taxed, but not the payment token itself.
  1. Slovenia 🇸🇮
Slovenia is another country that treats individuals and businesses separately under its cryptocurrency tax system.
No capital gains tax is levied on individuals when they sell Bitcoin, and gains are not considered income. However, companies that receive payment in cryptocurrencies, or through mining, are required to pay tax at the corporate rate.
Notably, the Mediterranean country doesn’t permit business operations in cryptocurrency alone (such as only accepting Bitcoin as payment.)
  1. Switzerland 🇨🇭
It’s no surprise that Switzerland, home to the innovation hub known as “Crypto Valley”, has one of the most forward-thinking tax policies too.
Cryptocurrency profits made by a qualified individual through investing and trading are treated as tax-exempt capital gains.
For the complete link to the written article - click here
Edit: hey thanks for the award, that was so awesome. Have a nice day everyone.
submitted by girlshero to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The greatest wealth transfer of this century! An analysis: British-US-Chinese Empires: Gold, Silver, Bitcoin, Ethereum!

"Inflation makes you pay 50 dollars for the 20 dollar haircut you used to get for 5 dollars when you had hair!"
Let's embark on a journey that made the United States the number 1 economy of the world.

1. Despite the British Empire's claim that it would for ever remain the leading empire,history can serve as a harbinger for what's to come...

At the peak of its power, in 1913, "the empire on which the sun never sets", controlled 25% of the planet's land mass and about the same percentage of the world's population. Britain was both the naval an imperial power of the 19th century, and between 1812-1914, its dominance resulted in relative peace in Europe and the rest of the world. The industrial revolution transformed Britain into the workshop of the world.
By the start of the 20th century things changed as both Germany and the United States started to challenge Britain's economic and influential leadership. As often happened during human history such challenging lead to war and although Britain achieved its largest territorial influence after WW1, the war had destroyed much of its economic strength, with losses in industrial and military power marking the begin of its demise.
During WW2, Japan occupied Britain's colonies, and after WW2, India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence. Much of the British Empire's influence is now enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter, stating shared values like democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The United Kingdom's pound sterling was its world's reserve currency during its reign and by controlling the supply of money, Britain was able to influence its global power.
"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!" Mayer Amschel Rothschild

2. The US Empire repeats this blueprint by claiming the U.S. Dollar's reserve currency status as its birthright!

The Federal Reserve Act.
The Panic of 1907 triggered many American's belief that The Federal Reserve Act, passed by the 63rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on December 23, 1913, was necessary for financial and economic stability. The law created the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States.
The Bretton Woods System.
The FED ended immobile reserve issues and the inelastic currency problems and successfully internationalized the U.S Dollar as the global reserve currency. The usage of the prior nationally used U.S. Dollar expanded a first time when the Allies agreed to the terms of the Bretton Woods System, establishing the rules for commercial as well as financial regulations among the United States and its allies. Canada, Western Europe, Australia and Japan accepted the U.S. Dollar, which was backed by a gold exchange standard, making the U.S. Dollar "as good as gold". This was only possible because the United States controlled two thirds of the world's gold reserves.
Soviet representatives, who claimed that institutions like the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) were Wall Street branches, didn't participate in Bretton Woods and later proved to be right, as the United States printed too much money (not backed by its gold reserves) to wage war on Vietnam, destroying a big part of the value of the U.S. Dollars held by its allies, due to the inflation of the U.S. Dollar money supply.
Yet, the initial demand for U.S. dollars created the American way of life: a consumer driven economy fueled by products made outside the U.S. in return for U.S. Dollars. As the Allied countries couldn't really buy any "Made in America"-products, due to the fact that the United States' elites rather outsourced their manufacturing, they instead invested their hard labor into U.S. Treasuries.
On August 1971, President Richard Nixon announced the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold, in a response to halt the Allied countries' continuous attempts to exchange their U.S. Dollars for Gold. By 1973, the Bretton Woods system was replaced by the current freely floating fiat currency system.
The petro dollar system.
The second wave of U.S. Dollar adoption was the result of the petro dollar, making the global trade of oil U.S. Dollar denominated. Every country on this planet needed and still needs oil to operate and grow its economy, creating an enormous growth in U.S. Dollar demand and like mentioned before, those dollars had to be earned. Especially China served the United States consumer model by producing almost everything Americans can buy in Wall Mart and other stores. By relying on the U.S. Dollar reserve currency status, the American elites have made the mistake of outsourcing manufacturing to China, as often predicted by Donald Trump in the 1980's. The y figured it was easier to just print wealth.
The tradewar.
President Donald Trump, decided it was time to bring jobs back to the U.S. and started an ongoing trade war with China, the country that supplied the U.S. consumer driven economy, and proud owner of $1.07 trillion in Treasury holdings. The trade war has negatively impacted the economies of both the United States and China and will most likely result in the decoupling of both economies.
What is to come? My personal insights.
I see huge problems for the U.S. and the rest of the western liberal democracies. But especially the United States, who's currency amounts to no less than 60% of all the world's reserve assets, is vulnerable if and when China who only accounts for 1 or 2 %, says it is time for change. Most likely we will experience another banking crisis, with or without Covid-19, and unfortunately a bigger one when compared to the 2008 dissaster. Did you know that the global debt tripled since then? Many economists and politicians advocate the end of the U.S. Dollar reserve currency system and predict a reset. Every financial system has a limited lifespan similar to a human live: it is created, it grows, it matures, and unfortunately, it ages, weakens and dies. It happened to the Brittish Pound Sterling, and I am afraid that the days of this financial hegemony are numbered as well.
And I did write "afraid", why?
History tells us that these transition periods are particularly dangerous and have often led to full-blown military conflicts if not world wars. The current wealth transfer, the result of manufacturing outsourcing to mainland China, impoverished the United States and destroyed its middle class. President Donald Trump's analysis that the U.S. needs a strong manufacturing base is correct, yet without its allies the United States will not be able to turn the tide.
It took China decades to build its manufacturing base, and President Trump doesn't have the privilege of having the political luxury to design five year plans, as the United States capitalistic and political model specializes more on presidential campaigning and less on economic planning, which is exactly China's strength.

3. The Chinese 'digital' empire.

China is ideally positioned to become the new global power: it produces many of our products and dominates most supply chains. It has been hoarding gold and mines most of the Bitcoin. It might just have the right reserve assets to back its DCEP, the digital Yuan, which will be pilot tested during the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted by China. Despite the fact that the United States and other western nations might not want to adopt the Yuan or allow it to be part of the world's reserve assets, China can demand payment in Yuan for its products. It's that simple! This is why outsourcing is such as stupid economic voluntarily yet fatal policy. If you only print money and don't produce goods, how long will the world play ball?
One of the results of Trump's trade war is that China and other countries such as Russia and Iran no longer want to be vulnerable to U.S. sanctions that come in the shape of being denied access to the financial system through Swift. The United States can indeed destroy a big part of Iran's economy, but Iran is now becoming a big cryptocurrency player. In other words, bullying those countries might work in the short-term, but in the long-term they will simply adopt a new standard: and I believe that the Yuan will likely play a major role in the financial system they will adopt.
This trend means that the expansion of the demand in U.S. Dollars will stop and reverse, when countries no longer want to use the currency whose issuer can economically destroy them through sanctions. The alternatives for such countires are cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and many others, national CBDC's (Central Bank Digital Currencies), and the adoption of the digital Yuan.
This digital Yuan will be attached to the One Belt, One road initiative, finding adoption whilst developing huge infrastructure projects that will lead to a Eurasian trading zone. If the U.S. Military leaves the Middle East, as Trump brings home troops, this will create the right conditions for China to emerge as the victor.

4. Surveillance Capitalism - Insights on the DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment, DC/EP):

  1. This centralized digital financial system works on blockchain and cryptographic principles and aims to increase the circulation of the RMB, in the hope it can become a reserve currency like the U.S. Dollar.
  2. Created and sanctioned by the Chinese Government, it is the only legal digital currency in China.
  3. The system offers Chinese regulators better monitoring abilities and will be an efficient tool against anonymous counterfeiting, money laundering and illegal financing. At the same time it reduces costs involved in maintaining and recycling bank notes and coins.
  4. As mentioned above, China aims to bypass Swift, which it regards to be a U.S. entity, and will be able to collect real-time data related to money creation, bookkeeping, essential information for the implementation of monetary policies.
  5. The pilot institutions for DCEP, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, will serve as a production test for China's new currency system, after which the DCEP will be distributed to large fintech companies such as Tencent and Alibaba to be used in WeChat Pay and AliPay. Transfers will not go through bank accounts, but through electronic wallets.
  6. By mandating that all merchants who accept digital payments must accept DCEP, the DECP will become the most accepted digital currency in the world.

5. Sings of hope.

If the United States adopts blockchain and issues a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) backed by Bitcoin, they will have a reasonable chance to offer the western democracies a new type of dollar standard that can be an anchor versus the coming RMB. If not, I fear the worst is yet to come for the U.S. Dollar and its economy.
Many smart American economists and Wall Street goeroe's have finally figured out the remarkable strength of Bitcoin, the world's first and most favorite digital form of gold.
Some of the smartest investment capitalists like Ray Dalio and Warren Buffet have allocated more money into gold, a clear sign of trouble. Bitcoin might be a step too far for Warren Buffet, but rest assure that Wall Street investment management companies have figured it out by now, have you?
You can expect more institutions to allocate a % of their portfolio's wealth into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as a hedge against the systemic risk in our global financial system, which will inevitable start feeling the effects of the trillions that have been printed.
"Inflation makes you pay 50 dollars for the 20 dollar haircut you used to get for 5 dollars when you had hair!"
submitted by O_My_Crypto to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Top 5 Misconceptions About Blockchain

When we are faced with a new technology, we often look for analogies to understand and describe it. To bridge the knowledge gap, we seek analogies from the universe concepts familiar to us.
In our search for the right analogies, we often risk misunderstanding this new technology. Blockchain technology has introduced a paradigm shift in the way we organize ourselves to generate, account for, transfer and store value. Yet, we are still in early stages of understanding its importance.
In this post I will try to shed light on the top 5 major misconceptions about digital assets and about the open blockchain—a technology that underlies them.
1. Blockchain, not bitcoin
This misconception stems from failing to realize why blockchain exists in the first place. In essence, blockchain is a shared ledger designed to function in an extremely hostile, open environment. It derives its value from the security of its tamper-proof records.
In the blockchain networks powered by proof-of-work (PoW) algorithms, that security is achieved by miners competing to solve a computationally intensive puzzle. The miners do this with the expectation of receiving a digital token as a reward. This digital token can be freely redeemed for fiat currency to cover their operating costs and generate profits. These open systems are designed in such a way that value of their token ultimately dictates the level of security of their network.
When we decouple the concept of blockchain from its underlying token, it simply wipes out most, if not the entire, value proposition the blockchain as a concept.
Implementing blockchain as a token-less system of recordkeeping within a single company is perhaps the prime example of this misconception. Such an endeavor fails to use one of the most valuable properties of the open blockchain. Implementing a blockchain solution in such settings may even be counter-productive especially when better alternatives exist, in the form of databases with proper access control.
Blockchain could be useful in a commercial setting where a consortium of companies decides to use a single ledger to keep track of important transactions. An example of such transactions could be shares of companies that are traded on Wall Street millions of times each day. These transactions are reconciled periodically between the financial institutions by a trusted third-party entity, which could be ultimately replaced by a blockchain-based protocol at a fraction of their cost. That said, these systems may never become as secure and tamper-proof as the open blockchain as the security of the network depends on the number of its minestaking nodes.
2. Exchange Hacks = Digital Assets Are Not Secure
Centralized digital asset exchanges are popular avenues for exchanging digital assets for currencies such as USD or other digital assets. However, their design creates a system of incentives for external or internal actors to compromise them.
When we hear about exchange hacks in the digital asset space, it almost always involves compromising the security of an entity that operates within the traditional server-client architecture. However, the mainstream consciousness conflates the digital exchange security with that of technology that underlies digital assets. Holding a digital asset in a cold storage is extremely secure. Holding it in an exchange is not.
3. Blockchain has low TPS, hence it will never compete with or replace traditional financial infrastructure
Traditional financial systems process a vast number transactions every day. This transaction processing capacity is called throughput and is measured by a metric called transactions per second (TPS). Payment networks such as Visa claim to process up to 56,000 TPS, while traditional exchanges are likely to have much higher capacity to process transactions to accommodate high-frequency trading.
Today, the Bitcoin network processes around 4-5 transactions per second while the second largest digital asset network—Ethereum processes around 15. If we compare the current state of the blockchain technology to the demands of the global financial industry, it is easy to see why such claims could be justified. However, this is a myopic view of this new technology, very much akin to the way Kodak dismissed digital cameras as a potential threat to its business model.
It failed to recognize (i) the speed at which digital cameras would develop and (ii) the fundamental shift the digital cameras introduced in the way we take and store pictures, despite being the company that invented digital cameras in 1975. As the history shows, that was Kodak’s grave mistake.
It is hard to ignore the historical parallels here. The digital asset space is evolving fast. The next-generation networks, which operate under the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, preserve the securities of proof-of-work, but do away with its capacity limitations. A notable example of that is Cardano. These new networks also represent a shift in the global economic paradigm that many do not seem to notice.
4. Digital Assets Have No Intrinsic Value
The concept of intrinsic value, or lack thereof, is often used to describe digital assets as a purely speculative asset class. While this may apply, with some justification, to digital assets which only claim to function as money, such claims fail to capture the wider nature of platform-based digital assets, which derive their value from the direct use of their networks.
In digital asset platforms like Cardano or Algorand, the native token gives the holder the right to participate in the consensus of the network through the process of staking. The consensus mechanism secures the network, maintains the decentralized ledger, enables participation in the governance of the network and can sustain myriads of decentralized applications with real-world utilities.
Put simply, digital tokens may derive their value from the economic activity that takes place on their networks. The economic activity on such networks, in turn depends on the security of the network, its technical capabilities, its transaction fees and the real-world utility of decentralized applications that reside on them. In that respect, they can be thought of as a new kind of financial instrument. The kind that seamlessly combines the properties of currencies, commodities, and shares of ownership into a single digital token.
These new instruments require that we develop and apply new analytical frameworks to value them, much like the concepts of equities and derivatives did when they first emerged as new financial instruments.
5. Developed Economies Do Not Need Blockchain Technology Because They Have Well-Established Financial/Commercial Solutions.
While it is easy to see how the blockchain technology could unlock a lot of value in the emerging markets, the idea that developed economies do not benefit from this technology is short-sighted.
It is akin to saying that cell phones are a great technology for emerging markets, but developed markets already have land lines, hence do not need them. In a similar vein, we could argue that developed countries do not need internet because most of what internet could do already exists in analog form.
We have to realize that (i) at its core, blockchain is a paradigm-shifting infrastructure/technology and (ii) despite its nascent stage, blockchain is extremely cost-effective… To a degree that it has the capacity to fundamentally disrupt a slew economic sectors out of existence, from banking to real estate, and create new ones.
When we accept this eventuality, we will have to face some uncomfortable truths that many sectors will not exist in their current form or entirely disappear. Currently these sectors provide economic value, employment and generate taxes. If some blockchain-based solution is to replace them in 3-5 years, where would that value migrate? Losing them to open blockchain networks would not be acceptable politically or economically for many developed countries.
One way out of this could be for developed countries to invest in national networks, allowing them to reap the benefits of this new technology, while retaining value from economic activity of their citizens and companies within their jurisdictions.
Another, more realistic way, would be to invest heavily into friendly legal frameworks that would encourage both individuals and companies that would ultimately develop or maintain open blockchain protocols migrate to these jurisdictions, drawing in talent, capital and innovation.
One thing is becoming increasingly clear: we can no longer ignore the elephant in the room. Much like digital cameras and internet itself, blockchain is unstoppable.
If you like this article and would like to have access to our in-depth research in the future, please consider staking with skylight pool (tickers SKY and SKY2). We are working hard to create a suitable space on pooltool.io to disseminate our research to our verified stakeholders.
Connect with us:
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I wish everyone uses bitcoin the way i use it

Sorry if the title seemed a bit show off, or you know what, i am not sorry. Not only i wish everyone uses bitcoin the way i use it, i think i am the ultimate bitcoin user and here is why:
-I use bitcoin almost on daily basis. I purchase gift cards, subscriptions, accept it as payment & generally hodl the majority of it, i replace what i spend whenever possible.
-I've texted with many people on whatsapp personally asking me abt paying with bitcoin as i offer 20% off on btc payments, its similar what i did back then when i used to share paypal with my customers who had no idea what it is.
-I never keep my btcs on exchanges, in fact, i completely buy and sell p2p from trusted sources that i work with from many years face to face.
-When i use btc to pay for things, i purposely pay higher fees when i can make it slower, i want miners to generate income too.
-I am very careful on how i store my bitcoins, never been hacked or scammed, feeding scammers equal to selling bitcoin.
-I supported bitcoin books authors by buying their books multiple times, shared it within my linkedin 4k plus connections.
-I was early in setting up a full node, early in adapting lightning payments, i wish lightning payments were available and mainstream a couple of years back, my ecommerce would have boomed.
-I actively use social media to spread btc awareness, fed brrrr has helped very much in this regard, i recently saw much more interest in bitcoin among my friends and relatives too, it became much easier to introduce btc, maybe people are just desperate.
-Most of my recent donations were made using btc, this is something i recently added.
-Finally, i never used btc in any suspicious transaction, never used dark markets nor tried to escape taxes.
I wish if i can share screenshots of my usage or ecommerce stats or even the whatsapp convos with customers but that would be giving too much info, plz use btc if u want banks to shake in fear, we need to prevail and step on bankers heads.
submitted by religionresearcher to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Google Alternatives huge list restore your privacy

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to degoogle [link] [comments]

Bitcoin vs. Credit Card Transactions: What's the Difference?

Bitcoin vs. Credit Card Transactions: An Overview

Most people have a credit card they can use to pay for things. But some also have bitcoin at their disposal. Which one should people use, and when, to maximize their assets?

Bitcoin Transactions

Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of bitcoin, titled his original white paper on the subject "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." This description touches on the core differences between bitcoin and credit card transactions.
Bitcoin payments are analogous to wire transfers or cash transactions, where payment is "pushed" directly from one party to another, without going through another financial institution. Payment processing is executed through a private network of computers, and each transaction is recorded in a blockchain, which is public. Bitcoin is based on peer-to-peer technology and relies on the blockchain and the cryptography securing it, without any third-party oversight.
When making a bitcoin transaction, it is not necessary to provide personal identification, such as your name and address.

Credit Card Transactions

By contrast, credit card transactions entail the buyer effectively authorizing the seller to "pull" a payment from their account, passing through financial intermediaries in the process. For example, a typical Visa transaction involves four parties: the merchant, the acquirer (the financial institution that enables payments to the merchant), the issuer (the cardholder's bank), and the individual cardholder.

Key Differences

Bitcoin transactions are made using an anonymous alphanumeric address, that changes with every transaction, and a private key. Payments can also be made on mobile devices by using quick response (QR) codes.
While credits cards are stored physically in a wallet, bitcoin transactions are sent to and from electronic wallets, which can be stored on your computer, smartphone, or in the cloud.
Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and can only be refunded by the receiving party—a key difference from credit card transactions that can be canceled. This means there are no charge-backs for merchants when taking payment via bitcoin. A charge-back is the demand by a credit-card provider for a retailer to cover the loss on a fraudulent or disputed transaction.
Bitcoin merchants also save on credit card fees that can range anywhere from 0.5% to 5%, plus a 20 to 30 cent flat fee for each transaction made. Bitcoin payments can be sent and received at a very low cost or none at all, as bitcoin fees are based on the amount of data sent.
For merchants, the advantages of receiving bitcoin are obvious. Payments made using the virtual currency save substantially on processing fees and eliminate the risk of charge-backs. For shoppers, the advantages of paying with bitcoin include greater simplicity in placing the transaction, user anonymity, no interruptions from intermediaries, and very low transaction fees. (For example, your account being frozen as a result of a fraud alert).
Credit cards offer important beneficial features, such as the ability to borrow money, protection against fraud, reward points, and vastly wider acceptance among merchants. While a few major retailers, including Overstock.com (OSTK) and Newegg, have started to accept bitcoin, most have yet to make it a payment option. However, using credit cards carries the risk of incurring late fees, interest charges, foreign transaction fees, and potentially adverse effects on your credit score.
submitted by FormerSuggestion8 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Water Currency

Hello!
I am the creator of WaterCurrency and I've been inspired to create something new in the Cryptocurrency world :D
I am developing a Cryptocurrency backed by Water!
This post is a small poll to actually know what you guys think, since you'd be the major users of this project :)
(To be honest it's entirely dedicated to you guys!)
WaterCurrency is a coin pegged to the price of 1 Liter of Water and will be adjusted with Ask-Bid spread once it takes off :)

The reason:

I wanted to create a Currency which can be considered stable enough to withstand many events:
Gold is the commodity #1 in our world, followed by Silver.
When bad things happen both of these metals gain value because people don't trust standard FIAT money anymore.
Nowadays a new opponent has arisen: Bitcoin.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency not owned by anyone: a Peer-to-Peer money exchange network without a middleman.
Bitcoin is a service commodity whose intrinsic value depends on its ability to create value by performing some complex hashing procedures; many people however believe that Bitcoin doesn't really have any intrinsic value since it's not backed by Gold or Silver and it's made out of "Thin Air".
Certainly during a crisis period Bitcoin will have a rough time to compete against an actual asset like Gold since no one would actually mine Bitcoin's anymore and accept them as payment.
The scenario I imagine is pretty much apocalyptic: famine, diseases and Gov instability.

The proposed solution:

Water is the basis of all life, its intrinsic value persists even during the previously mentioned apocalyptic scenario because any living being on this planet will need water to survive.
Water has a stable price in developed countries and can actually be stored for a very long time since Water doesn't go bad (Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-water-expire)
Water can be stored in Glass containers and last a lot, according to Truls Krogh, director of the Department of Water Hygiene at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health even more than your entire lifetime (Source: https://sciencenorway.no/forskningno-norway-watecan-water-spoil/1442835)
A Currency backed by Water means that you can "virtualise" many liters of Water and exchange them for Goods or services or even other Cryptocurrencies if you wish but knowing that the price of water is stable and you can redeem water during Crisis.

Details of the Project:

WaterCurrency starts with 100 000 Coins availability, each one of them is the equivalent of 1 Liter of Water
WaterCurrency has a 3 Decimal precision so you can buy
  1. Liter
  2. Deciliter
  3. Centiliter
  4. Milliliter
The initial supply of 100 000 Coins is calculated with the average household water consumption of 273 Liters per day for a single person.

Fees:

WaterCurrency has very little fees: 0.01 per transaction (proposed, need to evaluate better).

What can I do with it:

You can buy anything you want! WaterCurrency should soon be able to purchase physical and digitals goods by one of our partners.
You can even exchange it for other Currencies such as Bitcoin, Eth, Monero or others!

Conclusion:

Having a currency backed by Water is a guarantee. Water won't go away or go bad if stored properly and can last many years to come, can help you and your family during a financial crisis and can actually help the planet.
The more Water you earn the more you can help one of our partner to plant Trees and actually make this World a bit better :)
And also... It's a Water Currency! How cool is that?! :)

WHAT I NEED:

I'd like to ask you guys to tell me if you are actually interested in this project and if I should carry on and actually make it public.
The Currency is already there and should work correctly once released in production but I need your thoughts, ideas, doubts and whatever you want to tell me!
I'd like to leave you my landing page website and ask you to SIGNUP if you are interested with your email or complete the following Poll if you don't wish to disclose your email.
Thank you in advance to everyone.
___________________________________________________

The site:

https://watercurrency.org/
___________________________________________________

POLL:

Would you use it? Do you like the idea?

View Poll
submitted by albwalb to HydroHomies [link] [comments]

How Data Centralization Ends by 2030

Link to Coindesk: https://www.coindesk.com/data-centralization-2030
The next 10 years will witness the systematic manipulation of human life at a scale unrivaled in history. For all the recent controversies over privacy and surveillance, the real threat is ahead of us.
Unless new approaches to online identity and data management take hold, both governments and private actors will move inexorably from knowing you to shaping you. Blockchain-enabled decentralization will develop as the only viable response to the iron logic of data centralization.
Blockchain believers often talk as though today’s early-adopter use cases, such as cryptocurrency trading and decentralized finance, will lead straight to mass market adoption. As the inevitable ‘killer apps’ appear, so the story goes, blockchain-based systems will conquer the mainstream. One might imagine that we’ll all soon be trading digital collectibles and relying on token-curated registries for accurate information. Governments will lose control over money, and blockchain-based smart contracts will replace court-enforced legal agreements. Uber, Facebook and the banks will wither away in the face of tokenized alternatives.
This narrative is wishful thinking. In most markets, intermediaries will endure for the same reasons they always have: they provide value. The Ubers and Facebooks – and yes, even the banks – tame complexity and produce coherent, convenient, de-risked experiences that no decentralized community can ever match. Early adopters use blockchain-based systems for ideological reasons or to get rich on cryptocurrency speculation. The billions behind them in the mainstream will not. The lock-in power of network effects creates high barriers for alternative economic systems. And the need for trust disqualifies decentralized solutions that are havens for criminals, incapable of effective compliance or vulnerable to catastrophic attacks – which, regrettably, means virtually all of them today.
Truly decentralized blockchain systems will reach critical mass not out of hope but out of necessity. Powerful actors and mainstream users will adopt blockchain as a counterbalance to digital behavior-shaping by governments and private platforms. Dramatic innovations such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), which manage activity automatically through smart contracts, will become significant at the end point of this process, once the foundations are in place.
Big data and artificial intelligence, pitched as freeing us from human frailties, are becoming powerful tools for social control. This is occurring along two parallel tracks: surveillance authoritarianism and surveillance capitalism. Through massive data collection and aggregation, China’s social credit system envisions an airtight regime of perfect compliance with legal and social obligations. Many other governments, including liberal democracies, are adopting similar techniques. The potential for catching terrorists, child predators and tax evaders is simply too appealing – whether it’s the real objective or a cover story.
"WHAT WE NEED IS A TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS FOR SHARING WITHOUT GIVING UP CONTROL. FORTUNATELY, IT EXISTS."
Meanwhile, private digital platforms are using troves of data to shape online experiences consistent with their business models. What you see online is, increasingly, what maximizes their profits. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Tencent and Alibaba can build the best algorithms because they have the most data. And they aren’t interested in sharing.
Regulatory interventions will fail to derail the self-reinforcing momentum for ever more centralized data repositories. They may even accelerate it by creating layers of compliance obligations that only the largest firms can meet. Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) actually increased the market share of Google and Facebook in online advertising, and so it is not surprising to see such incumbents actively welcoming the prospect of more regulation.
The only lasting solution is to change the economics of data, not to impose private property rights; that would accelerate the market forces promoting data centralization. Giving you “ownership” over your data means giving you legal cover to sell it, by clicking “OK” to a one-sided contract you’ll never read. The problem is not ownership, but control. In today’s algorithm-driven world, sharing and aggregating data increases its value, producing better models and better predictions. The trouble is that once we share, we lose control to centralized data hogs.
What we need is a technology that allows for sharing without giving up control. Fortunately, it exists. It is called blockchain. Blockchain technology is, fundamentally, a revolution in trust. In the past, trust required ceding control to counter parties, government authorities or intermediaries who occupied the essential validating roles in transaction networks. Blockchain allows participants to trust the results they see without necessarily trusting any actor to verify them. That’s why major global firms in health care, finance, transportation, international trade and other fields are actively developing cross-organizational platforms based on blockchain and related technologies. No database can provide a trusted view of information across an entire transactional network without empowering a central intermediary. Blockchain can.
Adopting any new platform at scale, along with the necessary software integration and process changes, takes time – especially when the technology is so immature. But today’s incremental deployments will serve as proofs-of-concept for the more radical innovations to come. Chinese blockchain networks are already managing tens of billions of dollars of trade finance transactions. Pharmaceutical companies are tracking drugs from manufacturing to pharmacies using the MediLedger platform. Boeing is selling a billion dollars of airline parts on Honeywell’s blockchain-based marketplace. Car insurance companies are processing accident claims in a unified environment for the first time. These and other enterprise consortia are doing the essential technical and operational groundwork to handle valuable transactions at scale.
The need for transformative approaches to data will become acute in the next five years. Every week, it seems, another outrage comes to light. For instance, users who posted photos under Creative Commons licenses or default-public settings were shocked they were sucked into databases used to train facial-recognition systems. Some were even used in China’s horrific campaign against Uighur Muslims. Clearview AI, an unknown startup, scraped three billion social media images for a face identification tool it provided, with no oversight, to law enforcement, corporations and wealthy individuals. The examples will only get worse as firms and nations learn new ways to exploit data. The core problem is there is no way to share information while retaining control over how it gets used.
Blockchain offers a solution. It will be widely adopted because, behind the scenes, the current data economy is reaching its breaking point. Outrage over abuses is building throughout the world. The immensely valuable online advertising economy attracts so much fraud that the accuracy of its numbers is coming into question. Communities are looking for new ways to collaborate. Governments are realizing the current system is an impediment to effective service delivery.
The technologist Bill Joy famously stated that no matter how many geniuses a company employs, most smart people work somewhere else. The same is true of data. Even giants such as Google, Facebook and Chinese government agencies need to obtain information from elsewhere in their quest for perfect real-time models of every individual. These arrangements work mostly through contracts and interfaces that ease the flow of data between organisations. As Facebook discovered when Cambridge Analytica extracted massive quantities of user data for voter targeting, these connection points are also vulnerabilities. As tighter limits are placed on data-sharing, even the big players will look for ways to rebuild trust.
The blockchain alternative will begin innocuously. Government authorities at the subnational level are deploying self-sovereign identity to pull together information securely across disparate data stores. This technology allows anyone to share private information in a fine-grained way while still retaining control. You shouldn’t have to reveal your address to confirm your age, or your full tax return to verify your stated income. The necessary cryptography doesn’t require a blockchain, but the desired trust relationships do.
Once people have identities that belong to them, not to banks or social media services, they will use them as the basis for other interactions. Imagine a world where you never need to give a third-party unnecessary data to log into a website, apply for a job, refinance a mortgage or link your bank account to a mobile payment app. Where you can keep your personal and professional profiles completely separate if you choose. Where you can be confident in the reputation of a car mechanic or an Airbnb or a product made in China without intermediaries warping ratings for their own gain. The convenience of user experiences we enjoy within the walled gardens of digital platforms will become the norm across the vastness of independent services.
We will gradually come to view access to our personal information as an episodic, focused interaction, rather than fatalistically accepting an open season based on preliminary formal consent. Major hardware companies such as Apple, which don’t depend on targeted advertising, will build decentralized identity capabilities into their devices. They will add cryptocurrency wallets linked behind the scenes to existing payment and messaging applications. Stablecoins – cryptocurrencies pegged to the dollar, pound or other assets – will help tame volatility and facilitate movement between tokens and traditional currencies. Privately created stablecoins will coexist with central bank digital currencies, which are under development in most major countries throughout the world.
Once this baseline infrastructure is widely available, the real changes will start to occur. DAOs will begin to attract assets as efficient ways for communities to achieve their goals. These entities won’t replace state-backed legal systems; they will operate within them. As numerous controversies, crashes and hacks have already demonstrated, software code is too rigid for the range of situations in the real world, absent backstops for human dispute resolution. Fortunately, there are solutions under development to connect legal and digital entities, such as OpenLaw’s Limited Liability Autonomous Organisations and Mattereum’s Asset Passports.
Today, the legal machinery of contracts strengthens the power of centralized platforms. User agreements and privacy policies enforce their control over data and limit individuals’ power to challenge it. Blockchain-based systems will flip that relationship, with the legal system deployed to protect technology-backed user empowerment. Large aggregations of information will be structured formally as “data trusts” that exercise independent stewardship over assets. They will operate as DAOs, with smart contracts defining the terms of data usage. Users will benefit from sharing while retaining the ability to opt out.
"DATA WILL BE TREATED NOT AS PROPERTY BUT AS A RENEWABLE RESOURCE, WITH THE COMPETITION FOR ECONOMIC VALUE IN THE APPLICATIONS BUILT ON TOP OF IT."
Many significant applications require aggregation of data to drive algorithms, including traffic monitoring (and eventually autonomous vehicles); insurance and lending products serving previously excluded or overcharged customer groups; diagnosis and drug dosing in health care; and demand forecasting for economic modeling. Collective action problems can prevent constructive developments even when rights in data are well defined. DAOs will gradually find market opportunities, from patronage of independent artists to mortgage securitization.
The big data aggregators won’t go away. They will participate in the decentralized data economy because it provides benefits for them as well, cutting down on fraud and reinforcing user trust, which is in increasingly scarce supply. Over time, those who provide benefits of personalization and targeting will more and more be expected to pay for it. A wide range of brokering and filtering providers will offer users a choice of analytics, some embedded in applications or devices and some providing services virtually in the cloud. Governments will focus on making data available and defining policy objectives for services that take advantage of the flow of information. Data will be treated not as property but as a renewable resource, with the competition for economic value in the applications built on top of it.
The most powerful benefit of open data built on blockchain-based decentralised control is that it will allow for new applications we can’t yet envision. If startups can take advantage of the power of data aggregation that today is limited to large incumbents, they are bound to build innovations those incumbents miss.
The surveillance economy took hold because few appreciated what was happening with their data until it was too late. And the cold reality is that few will accept significantly worse functionality or user experience in return for better privacy. That is why the blockchain-powered revolution will make its way up from infrastructural foundations of digital identity and hardware, rather than down from novel user-facing applications.
This vision is far from certain to be realized. Business decisions and government policies could make blockchain-based data decentralization more or less likely. The greatest reason for optimism is that the problem blockchain addresses – gaining trust without giving up control – is becoming ever more critical. The world runs on trust. Blockchain offers hope for recasting trust in the networked digital era.
submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

HOW TO BUY BITCOIN WITH GIFT CARD

HOW TO BUY BITCOIN WITH GIFT CARD

How Gift Cards Work?

Gift cards are prepaid debit cards that are loaded with cash at the time of purchase. As the majority of prepaid debit cards, they typically have a quite small maximum available balance, usually in the range from $20 to $500. You can easily purchase a gift card online or in a physical store. Similar to prepaid debit cards, customers are typically not required to show their ID or SSN when they are purchasing a gift card.
Unlike certain prepaid debit cards, gift cards are not reloadable, meaning a card holder is not able to add additional funds to a gift card. Typically, gift cards are Visa or Mastercard and have a unique brand of the company that issued a particular card. Gift cards are not connected to a bank account like debit cards. We accept some gift cards and our customers can instantly buy Bitcoin with a gift card on our website.

https://preview.redd.it/lugu9fksbep51.png?width=680&format=png&auto=webp&s=f7a0e60b70d0de1cbc5dc7151aef5e93a5d50235
Prepaid gift card as a payment method is convenient because your payment transactions are secured by financial institutions and typically processed immediately. As a result, you can receive your Bitcoin in minutes, if you buy Bitcoin with a prepaid gift card. This is not the case when you are using bank wire transfers and some other payment methods to purchase Bitcoin.

Where to Buy Bitcoin with a Gift Card?

Some cryptocurrency exchanges allow their users to use prepaid debit gift cards as a payment method. However, regulators all over the world require stricter regulations of crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, and other crypto related businesses. Therefore, such companies are forced to be compliant with financial regulations and implement more rigorous and time consuming Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies.
At the same time, we observe a growing demand for online fiat-to-crypto services that can improve customer experience and make Bitcoin purchase process faster and easier. Such Fintech companies as MoonPay and Simplexuse a simplified KYC process and allow their customers to buy Bitcoin with certain gift cards instantly. We partner with MoonPay and our customers can seamlessly buy Bitcoin with some gift cards, including VISA and Mastercard.

https://preview.redd.it/h0n4e5jubep51.jpg?width=1601&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ed075dd99926165843997693ca4be9c80b06ece0
You can learn more about Bitcoin investment products and strategies here.
Legal Disclosure: The information contained in this article is the property of Digital Finance LLC and cannot be republished without our prior permission.
Digital Finance is a Washington, DC, financial company that specializes exclusively in the Bitcoin market. We provide easy and compliant exposure to digital assets and help our customers from all over the world to instantly buy Bitcoin and earn up to 6% annually on their Bitcoin holdings.
submitted by MaximNurov to u/MaximNurov [link] [comments]

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy
This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets.
The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1.
However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.

Demand for U.S. Dollars

Firstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4.

https://preview.redd.it/d4xalwdyz8p51.png?width=535&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f0556c6aa6b29016c9b135f3279e8337dfee2a6

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This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.

https://preview.redd.it/6956j6f109p51.png?width=487&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccea257a4e9524c11df25737cac961308b542b69
Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.

Source: Bloomberg
Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.

The Rise of Crypto Dollars

Due to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13.

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An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.

Institutional Developments

In addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero.
J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications.
Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19.

https://preview.redd.it/lgb1f2rw19p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=040bb0deed0499df6bf08a072fd7c4a442a826a0
These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.

Future Opportunities

There is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation. Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry.
There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish.
In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world.
Thank you.

Reference:
[1] How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia
[2] The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist
[3] Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath
[4] Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers
[5] Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS
[6] Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider
[7] McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company
[8] Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates
[9] Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC
[10] Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters
[11] Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis
[12] The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg
[13] Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com
[14] Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes
[15] New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk
[16] Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank
[17] Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan
[18] Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News
[19] Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS
[20] Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
submitted by Tokenomy to tokenomyofficial [link] [comments]

guide to how to restore your privacy huge list

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to privacytoolsIO [link] [comments]

Top 10 Companies That Accept Bitcoin Casa Node - Using Bitcoin Lightning Payments Local Barbershop accepts CRYPTO for payments through CoinPayments POS Pick n Pay now accept Bitcoin as payment LUXURY CAR COMPANY ACCEPTING BITCOIN AS PAYMENT - YouTube

Stores that accept bitcoin should say in their description. Square The major point-of-sale company announced plans to roll out bitcoin support for its Cash payments app. This is why the number of companies that accept Bitcoin as payment has been steadily increasing throughout the years. So, in order to discover what you can buy with your Bitcoins, we have compiled this list of businesses, big and small, that accept it as payment. (Updated on April 2020) 19 Major companies that accept Bitcoin Note: You can also use Spendabit to find places to buy most items with Bitcoin. Major Retailers Microsoft. Microsoft has been accepting Bitcoin for use in its online Xbox Store since 2014. They temporarily took a pause from accepting it due to the volatility and now again are accepting it strictly for the Xbox store credits.. Bill Gates has commented on Bitcoin many times saying things such as ... Home » Bitcoin » 20 Major Websites That Accept Bitcoins [Pay In Bitcoins] When we hear of Bitcoin ’s use case, we often get to hear many narratives. But to me, one of the fundamental use cases is to be able to allow value transfer from one person to another or one business to another in a totally transparent and censorship-resistant way. Both Tutanota and Protonmail privacy-focused e-mail service providers accept Bitcoin as payment for their premium tier products. Shopify – While you cannot pay your professional fees to Shopify in Bitcoin, any store that uses Shopify can accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with relative ease through the platform, so it’s worthwhile to ...

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Top 10 Companies That Accept Bitcoin

We (Austin and Beccy Craig) are newlyweds living the first 90 days of our marriage using bitcoin. Our experiences will be featured in an upcoming documentary... I love to see new things and having a travel agency accept bitcoin seems to be right on being the fact that Bitcoin is a international currency. So there you have it the 10 major companies ... Pick n Pay, first retailer in South Africa to accept Bitcoin as payment via Luno. Will other retailers follow? ... A Large Grocery Store Accepts our Bitcoin! - Duration: 4:21. This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue ScissorHex a renown barbershop, accept payments with CRYPTOCURRENCIES via CoinPayments Where Can I Spend My Cryptos? CoinPayments offers a store directory of merchants worldwide who accept payment ...

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