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Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: How Are They Different?

Bitcoin (BTC) is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization (market cap). Ethereum’s native token, Ether (ETH), is the second.

So what’s the difference between the two cryptocurrency assets? Should you own one and not the other?

In this quick and easy guide, we’ll explain the main differences of Bitcoin vs. Ethereum so you can decide which one — or even both — belongs in your digital wallet.

What Is Bitcoin? The Basics

Although the idea of cryptocurrency has floated around for decades, Bitcoin was launched as the first successful crypto coin in January 2009. 

Bitcoin was introduced in a white paper published by an anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

Although there’s plenty of speculation, nobody knows the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. We don’t even know if it’s one person or a group.

The point of Bitcoin as lined out as its introduction is as an online currency that is free of central authority. There are no banks or governments involved in issuing Bitcoin.

And there’s no physical coin, either. Bitcoin exists on a blockchain, a cryptographically secured public ledger.

Bitcoin has grown in popularity. In fact, many early supporters believe the coin has gone too “mainstream” for their liking.

A handful of companies accept Bitcoin for payments, and the country of El Salvador actually named it a legal tender (for better or for worse).

As of this writing (February 7), Bitcoin was trading at nearly $44,000. 

But although Bitcoin is the largest and most valuable cryptocurrency, its market share has shrunk to roughly 40% of cryptos.

The culprit?

Ethereum.

What Is Ethereum? The Basics

Ethereum was launched in July 2015. Technically, it’s not a cryptocurrency but a decentralized software platform that enables cryptocurrency transactions.

In other words, Ethereum doesn’t exist on a blockchain; it is a blockchain.

Ether is the crypto token that facilitates transactions on the Ethereum network. 

Those who are really in the know about cryptocurrencies will point out that Ether technically isn’t a cryptocurrency. But as a crypto beginner, you don’t need to worry about that too much!

Ether isn’t the only asset that relies on the Ethereum blockchain. Many non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are traded on the platform as well.

In 2021, Ether’s share of the cryptocurrency market nearly doubled. Although Bitcoin still takes the top spot, Ether currently has about 20% of the market.

Currently, Ether trades for about $3,100.

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks is their overall intentions.

Bitcoin was created to be an alternative to government-issued currencies. It’s also a store of value and an investment.

On the other hand, Ether was created to be a platform for facilitating transactions and applications through its native currency, Ether.

Although Ether and Bitcoin are both digital currencies, Ether’s original intention was to be the “fuel” that runs the Ethereum network, rather than an entirely new system of money.

However, recently, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has made Ether a traded asset in its own right.

Other than that, there are technical differences between the two. For one thing, Ether transactions are confirmed within seconds, while Bitcoin transactions can take minutes.

Ethereum is moving from the proof of work (PoW) protocol (which Bitcoin uses) to a proof of stake (PoS) system. This upgrade should make Ethereum even more secure and less energy-intensive.

Should You Buy Bitcoin or Ether?

Cryptocurrencies are so volatile that it’s hard to predict where their prices will go.

However, some analysts are predicting Bitcoin will soar to $100,000 in 2022.

Meanwhile, although Ethereum’s coming upgrade makes it look attractive, there have been indications that Ether is losing ground to other, younger cryptocurrencies.

Before investing in crypto, it’s important to know exactly what you’re doing and how to do it right. The team over at Titan Trading has put together a free alert service that will provide you with daily intel and education. Click here for more info.

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3 Financial Stocks to Buy in February 2022

3 Financial Stocks to Buy in February 2022

With interest rate hikes on the horizon, now is the time to get into financials.

Financial stocks are about the most unsexy stocks I can think of. If you tend to trade exciting stuff like tech and growth, your eyes might glaze over at the thought of investing in banks, credit cards, or — most boring of all — insurance companies.

However, right now we have a great opportunity to potentially profit from financial stocks.

That's because the Federal Reserve has indicated it will raise interest rates at least three times in 2022 — with the first rate hike occurring as soon as March.

In addition, the Fed plans to raise rates further in 2023.

The expected rate hikes are an attempt to curb rapidly growing inflation. 

But they'll have another effect on the market. When rates climb, financial companies watch their profit margins grow.

So it makes sense to check out investments in financial companies now, before that happens.

Today, we'll share three of our favorite financial stocks to invest in before the rate hikes start.

1. Bank of America Corp.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is the U.S.'s second-largest bank by assets. It's a true financial powerhouse, offering a huge menu of services to individual consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, and even large corporations.

Products range from individual checking accounts to high-dollar investment management services to business loans and everything in between.

And despite its name, Bank of America's services are offered in roughly 35 countries around the world.

During its most recent quarter, the bank's net income rose 28% to $7 billion. And loan and lease balances grew by $10 billion. 

Higher credit card balances only indicate a bright future when the Fed raises interest rates — and let this serve as a reminder for you to pay off your credit cards STAT!

Wall Street analysts expect Bank of America's stock price to rise as high as $64 in the next 12 months. That would be a nearly 40% gain from today's price, around $46 per share.

However, the stock could climb even higher in years to come, depending on moves by the Federal Reserve.

2. Visa

Visa (NYSE: V) is the largest financial stock in the world by market capitalization. It processes trillions of dollars' worth of payments every year. And there are roughly 3.6 billion Visa credit cards in use today.

Visa's a true multinational company — its services are available in more than 200 countries and territories.

But the company is no stodgy behemoth. Although it currently holds no cryptocurrency on its balance sheet, Visa offers crypto-linked cards. In the first quarter of the company's fiscal 2022, Visa customers made $2.5 billion in payments with these crypto cards.

In the most recent quarter, Visa's earnings increased 27% year-over-year, while sales jumped 14%. There was also a 21% increase in processed transactions during the quarter.

Analysts expect Visa stock to gain 20% to 35% in the next 12 months. The company recently increased its dividend payout, too, making this a great pick for income and profits.

3. Allstate Corp.

Insurance companies are another corner of the financial sector that benefit from rising interest rates. That's because a large chunk of their revenue comes from interest-generating investments.

Allstate (NYSE: ALL) is one of the country's biggest insurers. It has a long history of operating results that beat its competition.

However, the company's stock went for a bit of a roller-coaster ride last year. This was due mainly to the increase in claim costs due to inflation in auto part prices. These increased costs have cut into the company's revenues.

However, Allstate stands to gain from rising interest rates. Among the major insurers, Allstate is notoriously the most conservative in its underwriting, which makes it a less risky investment.

And Wall Street expects the company's stock to rise by as much as 35% in the next 12 months.

Again, it's an unsexy stock. But the money you make from it could be quite attractive indeed.



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Cryptos Are Crashing. Is It Time to Buy?

Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies have been plunging in value in recent weeks. In fact, on January 21, 2022, the total cryptocurrency market lost $205 billion in a mere 24 hours.

As I write (on January 27), the price for Bitcoin has fallen more than 22% since the beginning of the year. 

That means, if you had $1,000 invested in Bitcoin on January 1, you’d have only $780 today.

Other cryptocurrencies have seen sharper plunges. Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, is down more than 35% year-to-date. And Solana (SOL) has lost nearly half of its value.

Volatile markets can be scary. But they’re not the end of the world. Let’s take a look at what you should be doing now as a cryptocurrency investor.

Why Is the Crypto Market Down?

One of the big reasons why cryptocurrencies are down is because of uncertainty in the U.S. economy.

We’ve been seeing rising inflation rates since the COVID recovery began. In December 2021, inflation rose by 7%, the highest rate seen in nearly 40 years.

That’s led the central bank of the U.S. — the Federal Reserve — to suggest it will start raising interest rates soon in order to battle inflation.

Now, whenever the Federal Reserve raises rates, it’s bad news for tech stocks. That’s because, typically, they depend on taking on debt in order to fund projects. 

And when interest rates rise, the cost of adding more debt takes a bigger bite out of revenue. That can slow growth for many tech firms.

So in recent weeks, investors have been bailing out of tech stocks, causing them to crash.

That’s led cryptocurrencies to follow suit, since their values tend to correlate to the tech sector.

But I Thought Cryptocurrencies Weren’t Tied to Stocks?!

Until relatively recently, the values of cryptocurrencies weren’t correlated to stocks. They were traded mainly by market “outsiders” and were considered a safe haven from stock-market turmoil.

But that’s changed for two reasons:

  1. Retail investors now have easy access to crypto trading through platforms like Coinbase, Robinhood, and Webull.
  2. Institutional investors are starting to invest in cryptos as well. Big companies and funds are buying millions of dollars’ worth of digital assets — especially Ethereum and Cardano (ADA).

With all of these stock-market investors getting into cryptocurrencies, it’s no wonder that their values are now following those of stocks — particularly those in the tech sector.

How Low Can Cryptos Go?

Of course, nobody is able to see into the future. (If only we could!)

Unlike companies, cryptocurrencies don’t have underlying assets to keep them from falling to zero. There’s no inventory, real estate, or royalty value to provide at least some value.

That said, most analysts are expecting many cryptos to recover.

In fact, Bitcoin bulls forecast prices as high as $100,000 this year. As the largest cryptocurrency, that would likely boost many other cryptos as well — particularly altcoins that are measured in Bitcoin.

Should I Invest in Cryptos Now?

If you’ve been considering an investment in the cryptocurrency market, now might be the right time.

The current pullback in prices has opened up opportunities to buy digital coins at low prices.

However, as you would before entering any kind of trade, think rationally. Don’t buy just to buy. Do your research to make sure the crypto you’re buying is worth even a discounted price.

If that seems like a challenge, I’ve got good news for you. The Titan Trading team has put together a free educational service that will teach you how to trade cryptocurrencies like a pro.