Cryptocurrencies have transformed the world of finance and technology, has added an unprecedented momentum to the digital revolution. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized means of currency which uses a distributed ledger technology for digital transactions. However, just like physical currency, cryptocurrencies need to be stored in wallets, which is both a requirement for trading as well as for keeping the currency secure. The wallet stores, receives and transacts in digital currency similar to a bank account. The choice of wallet, however, depends on certain considerations as different kinds of wallets are available like a hardware wallet, online wallet, mobile and desktop wallet, and paper wallet. Let us examine the top five cryptocurrency wallets that are available for crypto users.

Ledger Nano S

It is a USB sized hardware wallet particularly created for digital currencies and has all the features needed for security and back up for private keys. The wallet has a small LCD screen and does not require a computer to operate as it is not a ‘plug and play type’ device. It is small in size and very convenient to carry, with the ability to perform transactions, exchange, transfer from one account to another and use related apps in seconds. In case of theft, the user can block access to his account immediately and rely on the backup. The important features are- multi-currency support, built-in-display, ease of operation, security, and backup.

Guarda Wallet

It is a non-custodial multi-platform wallet crafted to transfer, store and manage cryptocurrencies in a hassle freeway. It supports over 10,000 tokens and 40 blockchains, and the currencies can be bought with a bank card within the wallet and exchanged through the built-in-exchange service. It makes rapid transactions and is supported by different versions and platforms, which helps in accessibility from any device with an internet connection. Guarda offers a range of single-currency open-source mobile wallets where the private keys and data are not stored, preventing possibilities of information leak.

Coinpayments

It is a web-based cryptocurrency wallet and can store over 1200 cryptocurrencies without any registration charges and small transaction fees. One of its best features is visibility, and it has been accepted as a payment mode by several online stores, which makes it easy to use anywhere. Although online wallets are prone to cyber attacks, Coinpayments has undertaken several measures to ensure wallet safety. Some of its noticeable features are- wide acceptability, multi-coin wallet, BitGo integrated, which makes it fast and secure and a vault feature to make the processing of money difficult so that accounts are less vulnerable to hacking.

Atomic Wallet

It is a custody free, multi-currency digital wallet, where one can manage, exchange, buy, or sell cryptocurrencies with ease. It boasts of a ‘user-friendly interface protected by a mnemonic seed,’ with full user control of funds and supports more than 300 tokens. A few of its important features are high security, anonymity, multi-platform wallet, zero fees, 24/7 customer support, instant exchange, and Buy Crypto option that enables exchange with over 60 cryptocurrencies.

Exodus

It has emerged as one of the best online web-based cryptocurrency wallet featuring graphics and a reporting system. Exodus shines out in its features as well as its presentation and has most of the advanced features of a digital wallet. Some of the important features, which ensure security and convenience to users, are- one-click exchange without complicated verification that fastens transactions, stores multiple currencies without extra subscription fees. Exodus is an offline wallet which implies that sensitive information is stored on the computer used, and not on the server, the account is however created through the website. It is free for all users except for some premium services, and the user-friendly design makes it very popular among non-technical crypto users.

Crypto trading or Bitcoin trading becomes very easy and convenient with the help of a bitcoincodereview.com platform. It provides smart trading software to make your trading user friendly. A diligent choice of cryptocurrency wallet is very important as it would ensure the safety of the currency and its effective use. Therefore one must make a wise decision and choose the right wallet based on the needs and features offered.

Google launched its affordable Pixel 3a and 3a XL as alternatives to its Pixel 3 flagship model. The handset which was unveiled at the 2019 Google I/O offers functionality which is top notch just like Pixel 3 and also has a 12.2 MP camera with Night sight mode and also enterprise-grade security but will have only one camera and also have no wireless charging. The smartphone Pixel 3a will cost $399 which is priced very low when compared to its predecessor Pixel 3 which cost $799. The Pixel phone will be offered by various carriers including T-Mobile, US Cellular Networks, and also Verizon.

Google now a serious competitor

Till now Google’s smartphones were not so popular in the market despite Google’s popularity. The sales of Pixels were very low when compared to Apple or Samsung mobiles for various reasons including lack of price options and advertising. But now with the competitive pricing of $399 it is now a serious competition to other mid-range smartphones including Samsung. There was never any doubt on which was the better phone in terms of its features and capabilities. The phone was way ahead in its camera and AI when compared to Samsung using the same Android OS, but the prices were prohibitive even for the high-end phone market. As Ben Wood, a market researcher puts it ‘Up until now, Pixel was more like a hobby than an actual business.’

Pixel 3 a specs

The Google 3a has the same functionality as that of its flagship Pixel 3 but is available at a more affordable cost.

Pixel 3a and 3a XL have a 5.6’ screen with a resolution of 1080*2610. The top bezel has an 8MP front camera and a fingerprint scanner at the back of the mobile.

The Pixel 3a has a great camera even though the lack of Visual Core feature promises some great pictures. The camera performance will remain the same with all the software the Pixel has including the Night Sight along with an upgraded Photobooth mode. Both 3a and 3a XL will have ‘duck face’ and ‘Time-lapse’ modes.

In the hardware department, the phone has a Snapdragon 670 SoCs processor with a 4GB RAM and comes with a 64GB or a 128 GB internal storage. It is expected to have a battery life of 30 hours and has a fast charging option. The OS will be Android 9 Pie, and the handsets will be available in three options Just black, Clearly White and Purple-ish.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the ruling party has decided to nationalize the Reserve Bank of South Africa. In a university campus speech, he said, “We have got to go through processes. There is no hidden agenda’. He also stressed the need for the central bank to have independence. He further added that the move to bring it under the control of its citizens will affirm the nation’s sovereignty.

Ramaphosa has been pushing for the independence of the Reserve bank for more than a year now and has upheld the resolution to nationalize. In one of the earlier speeches, he said, “The Reserve Bank plays a critical role in the life of any nation with regard to monetary policy and safeguarding and promoting the value of its currency. The party once more reaffirms the role, mandate, and independence of the Reserve Bank.”

After the speech ahead of his meeting Lesetja Kganyago who is the Governor of Reserve Bank, the rand declined by 0.7% w.r.t the dollar.

South Africa is among the few countries where private investors own the central bank. It has more than 770 shareholders and closes to 2 million shares. The investors can hold a dividend of R1000 rand and can own up to 10000 securities.

The resolution fits the global trend:

Ramaphosa says nationalizing the central bank fits the global trend. He said, “the UK used to have a shareholding in the Bank of England, but that has changed.” He further added “We have a situation where we have external shareholders who live in various countries in the world, SA is one of only six countries in the world that still has a shareholding in their central banks. It is the done thing around the world that the central bank is one of the most important institutions in the life of our country, and that is what the ANC resolved should be done.”

Nationalizing the banks will help the South African Bank as it will then be aligned with the structure of the majority of the Central banks around the world. Only a few other countries like Belgium, Greece, Japan, Italy, etc have private shareholders. Many countries have opted to Nationalise their banks and the most recent was by Austria in 2010.

Though the South African President announced his intention, there is a great deal of work to be done by the government as they may not have the full authority over the South African Reserve Bank Mandate.

Chinese firms who have recently listed in Hong Kong have had disappointing stock debuts, and movie ticketing app Maoyan has held on to the same trend with a weak opening in its IPO. It is China’s biggest platform for movie tickets by total sales, and despite high expectations, the Tencent backed firm made a tepid opening. The stock slumped 1.1% from its IPO price. Shares of Maoyan Entertainment were offered at an IPO price of HK$ 14.80, but once it was listed, the share prices barely moved and reached a price of only HK$ 14.82 at an opening.

The shares eventually fell to a low of HK$14 and this sort of listing day performances has been the norm for Chinese tech companies recently. Many of the companies have been going for an IPO after achieving big ticket valuations through private equity funding, and most of those have had disappointing opening day performances in the Hong Kong stock market. That being said, Maoyan’s poor performance is also down to the reduced trading volumes in the stock market in Hong Kong due to the Lunar New Year and shortened trading sessions, according to analysts. Aequitas Research head of research Ke Yan said, “While on the one hand there’s a lack of demand for the name given the limited upside in the online movie ticketing market in terms of market penetration, on the other hand, the upcoming Chinese holiday season could be another contributing factor for the thin volume and the poor performance.”

Maoyan has not been able to generate any profits, but the company expected a much bigger raise from its IPO than the $250 million that it has raised so far. This IPO is being seen as a bellwether of sorts for Hong Kong listings for Chinese companies. In 2018, IPOs of most Chinese firms had proven to be disappointing, and the US-China trade war has also been a big factor in the whole thing. The slowdown in the Chinese economy and weakness in the stock markets across the world has resulted seen as some of the big reasons behind the downward spiral of Chinese tech stocks. Maoyan has not turned a profit as yet, but until September 2018, the company has been able to lower its losses from 152.1 million yuan to 144 million yuan. Revenues doubled as well and reached 3.1 billion yuan.

Performance of stocks on Friday was lackluster after the best month enjoyed by global equities in the last seven years. Earnings started rolling in, and investors kept an eye on the resumed U.S. – China trade talks. The dollar remained steady.

European shares moved slightly higher as contracts on the S&P 500 were slightly changed. However, shares on the Nasdaq dipped a little as the trade talks between the world’s two greatest economies broke up after agreeing to continue talking. News that China will be increasing its purchases of American energy and agricultural goods failed to boost Asian shares, which were already heading for the fourth straight weekly advance. With the Federal Reserve’s pivot on its stand and the interest rates and monetary tightening on Wednesday, treasuries have retained most of their gains.

Traders are getting ready for the monthly American labor report to come out on Friday amid the ongoing earning seasons that has sent out mixed signals to investors. Technology shares have gone up in the U.S. on Thursday due to solid corporate reports. However, a lower than expected sales forecast from Amazon.com Inc has dimmed optimism. In other trade talk news, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be heading to China in mid-February.

According to Homin Lee, a macro strategist at Lombard Odier, the outlook remains positive with hopes that the market will go up further. This also depends on no further hiccups in what the Federal Reserve has mentioned this week.  The pound weakened as data poured in that U.K. manufacturing fell to a 3 month low in January. Oil prices remain below $54 a barrel as concerns about its demand grew.

The coming week will witness central banks reviewing their monetary policy, including the Bank of England, in Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Serbia, Russia, Philippines, India, and Thailand. Earning seasons will continue with releases from Toyota, Alphabet, BP, and Disney. Chinese financial market will be closed for the Lunar New Year holiday next week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index went up 0.1 percent and futures on the S&P 500 Index slipped less than 0.05 percent. The FTSE 100 Index went up 0.7 percent. The DAX Index increased less than 0.05 percent. The MSCI Emerging Market Index went up less than 0.05 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index went down slightly by 0.1 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index went down by less than 0.05 percent. The euro went up by 0.2 percent to $1.1467.

The past few weeks saw a lot of bearish moves in bitcoin, and Ethereum (ETH) price declined heavily. This decline leads to the fall of the $110.00 support level. Experts believe that ETH/USD needs to stay above the $100.00-102.00 range to attain a decent recovery. It is said that the cryptocurrency climate change has majorly hit Ethereum noted in the crypto market round-up report released on Friday.

Bitcoin briefly crossed the threshold of $3,400. However, the Bitcoin price is working on a test of the $3,000 mark. It seems that the Bitcoin price‘s 3-day chart looks a bit hellish in this cold weather for bull investors. Over the past couple of days, a loss of $200 has been reported by Bitcoin. So, it seems that resurgences are merely bots “buying the dip,” without the vision that maybe even lower prices are on the horizon. But, it is crypto so that no one can claim this for sure.

The worst to have been hit by the crypto winter is Ethereum. A market round-up on Friday mentioned that Ethereum was struggling to maintain $120 and $118, and a couple of dollars lower, across markets. And over the weekend, things turned uglier for Ether, with the24-hour period by press time being the worst. Though Ether opened on Coinbase 24 hours ago around $111, currently it is at around $105.

If reports are to be believed, the major reason for this fall is the lack of new ICOs to generate demand for Ethereum. Since there is no decentralized application usage, which creates a demand for “gas” (Ethereum used to pay for the processing of token transactions), the fall in Ether is bound to happen. If Ethereum manages to increase in either of these, a new demand can be created.

EOS is back in its Fourth Position

EOS had earlier been displaced by Tether, majorly due to the damage done to the EOS price. Recent reports suggest that Tether is comparatively more stagnant by comparison to new stablecoins that are growing at a regular pace. Over the past several hours of trading, EOS witnessed a 10-cent rebound with a volume of approximately $800 million.

Litecoin Struggles to Hold the $30 mark

Litecoin, on the other hand, appears to be in a holding pattern across a trading volume more than twice the amount of Tron traded ($716 million versus $287 million). The day was rounded out at an average around $31.20, while Coinbase had it a bit cheaper, at $30.90. Historically speaking, Litecoin has always followed Bitcoin both up and down. It would be interesting to witness Litecoin maintaining its $30 target, while Bitcoin potentially falls downhill below $3,000.

The RBI has formed a new unit. This unit is within the central bank itself which has been formed so that they can boost up their intellectual finance when it comes to new technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence.

Two persons who were aware of all the plans that central banks had said that all the above mentioned emerging technologies that will come in the future will be researched and probably the rules would be drafted as well following which the new unit will supervise them.

On among the two persons mentioned above stated, “As a regulator, the RBI also had to explore new emerging areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. A central bank has to be on top to create regulations. This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes.”

When the unit was just one month old, it was led by the chief general manager. However, the same was not formally declared within the unit. Some expert analysts agreed with what RBI was doing by saying that the RBI has taken this initiative at the right time as the emerging technologies were bound to bright a lot of difference the business models.

The managing director, financial services, Asia Pacific and Africa at Accenture, Piyush Singh said that till the time all the regulators don’t take part in the ecosystem, have an understanding about it and are clear about what is welcomed and what will not be accepted they will not able to provide protection to the industry that it is regulating and neither the customers who make use of it.

In spite of having a warning that had been issued with respect to digital trading currencies, RBI has formed a special unit to know more about emerging technology.

A warning was issued to the users when Bitcoin reached the highest record on December 2017 to the traders and holders of the cryptocurrencies. They were warned about the potential risks involved economically, operationally, financially, legally, consumer protection and risks about the security of the user when it comes to trading with digital currencies.

A couple of years back when Urjit Patel, the governor took all these matters into his hands following which all the ideas started giving positive results. Similar to this there has been an announcement of another idea where a new laboratory of data sciences will be set up.