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Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, finally sustained a breach of its 2023 ATH on the 16th of December on the back of exponential price appreciation on the charts. However, it wasn’t done, not by a long shot. In fact, at the time of writing, BTC was valued at just over $34,000 on the charts, having risen to as high as $64,000 less than two months ago.
Now, while the degree of corrections in the said case has been understandably significant, the fact of the matter is Bitcoin, at press time, was still giving YTD returns of over 35%, with the 1Y change v. USD as high as 246%.
What this means is that brushing aside the obvious, exaggerated complaints of volatility, Bitcoin has once again proven its credentials as a store of value asset. This narrative is particularly powerful for crypto-holders in countries where citizens might not necessarily have access to high-performing assets.
The aforementioned report found that investors based in the United States made over $4 billion in realized Bitcoin gains over the course of the year, over 3x more than China, a development that probably came on the back of U.S-based exchanges noting huge inflows in the early part of the year, most of which appeared to have been realized by the end of it.
The more interesting findings, however, were down the charts. While everyone expected the United States and China to lead from the front, what wasn’t really expected was the contradiction in well-to-do economic metrics and Bitcoin investments, and by extension, Bitcoin realized gains.
Consider this – according to Chainalysis, countries like Vietnam and the Czech Republic are punching above their weight. Vietnam, a low-middle income country, while ranked 53rd on the GDP charts, was ranked as high as 13th for Bitcoin investment gains with figures of $351 million. Similarly, while the central European country was 54th on the GDP charts, it was 18th when realized Bitcoin investments were looked at.
On the contrary, there was some variation to this juxtaposition too, with India being the prime example. The world’s fifth-largest economy with a GDP of $2.9 trillion was ranked a “lowly 18th.” Chainalysis attributed the same to,
“This may be a result of the Indian government’s historical unfriendliness to cryptocurrency.”
Here, it should be underlined that such unfriendliness was seen in countries like Turkey too, with the Erdogan-led government and the central bank regularly cracking down on crypto-holders and entities dealing with them. Even so, the nation-state was ranked 16th with respect to realized Bitcoin gains for 2023. It can be assumed that this might not be the case in 2023, especially since recent actions have shaken the local community’s confidence in the asset class.
The aforementioned findings should be read in the context of recent development, however – El Salvador’s decision to make Bitcoin a legal tender.
The Central American country doesn’t have strong GDP figures to boast of, with the same growing by over 3% just twice this century. What’s more, a World Bank report last year hypothesized that the country’s economy could contract by almost 9% on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For such a country, especially a country where financial inclusion is a struggle, the acceptance of Bitcoin as legal tender is a huge step, one that underlines the value associated with the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
With the aforementioned Chainalysis report also doubling down on BTC’s credentials as a credible store of value, given the fact that the crypto is expected to hike even more, these realized gains are likely to grow greater this year.
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Which companies were able to sell the most in the smartphone market in 2023? There’s not much of a surprise. The three winners are the same as they were the previous year, according to analysis firm Canalys, which bases its findings on the number of phones supplied by factories worldwide. The top three are Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi. Then we have Oppo and Vivo completing the top 5.
If the rankings have not changed, the numbers show that the top two consistently dominate. Samsung rises from 20 to 22% and Apple from 17 to 19%, while Xiaomi drops from 14 to 13% and Oppo and Vivo drop to 9% of global sales.
It would be easy to assume that the two giants in the front had won everything, but the situation is more complicated than that. In 2023, shipments of smartphones dropped drastically by 11% to fewer than 1.2 billion.Apple is the unquestionable champion of the fourth quarter
In the fourth quarter, Samsung increased from 19 to 20%, continuing its upward trajectory, much like Oppo, which came in at number four and improved from 9 to 10%. Vivo continues to have 8% of sales, while Xiaomi narrowly holds onto third place with 11%.How can such performances be explained?
The one would be inclined to immediately blame the brands’ lack of creativity for this decline, but the analytical business, for its part, blames a complex economic environment. “In a hard macroeconomic situation during 2023, smartphone vendors have had difficulty. The fourth quarter represents the poorest yearly and quarterly results in ten years “said Runar Bjrhovde, an analyst for Canalys. According to the company, 2023 will be as challenging.Who sold the most smartphones in 2023? Gizchina News of the week
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The market for smartphones as a whole is struggling. However, not everyone experiences this collapse as quickly as others. Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo all experience steep declines, but Samsung and Apple are maintaining their sales despite the crisis.
The smartphone market has stumbled a little in 2023, falling 11%. At least that’s what the research firm Canalys contends, as it tracks smartphone shipments from manufacturers, a reliable indicator of global sales volume.
They claim that 1.2 billion phones have been sold globally. Additionally, we can readily estimate the number of phones sold by Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo as the company also reports the market shares of the top 5 over the course of the year.
“Vendors will approach 2023 cautiously, prioritizing profitability and protecting market share,” said Canalys Research Analyst Le Xuan Chiew. “Vendors are cutting costs to adapt to the new market reality. Building strong partnerships with the channel will be important for protecting market shares as difficult market conditions for both channel partners and vendors can easily lead to strenuous negotiations.”How many smartphones were sold by the Top 5
Remember that these are estimates, especially given that Canalys makes a point of rounding up and down occasionally to display percentages. Here is the calculation’s outcome:
Samsung: around 264 million (22%);
Apple: around 228 million (19%);
Xiaomi: around 156 million (13%);
Oppo: around 108 million (9%).
Vivo: around 108 million (9%).
Here is what it gives when compared to 2023, when, per Canalys, 1.35 billion smartphones had been sold:
Samsung: around 274.5 million (20%);
Apple: around 230.1 million (17%);
Xiaomi: around 191.2 million (14%);
Oppo: around 145.1 million (11%);
Vivo: approximately 129.9 million (10%).Chinese brands are facing significant loses
Therefore, it is clear that while all of the Top 5 brands are affected by the decline in sales. Not all of them are affected equally. Apple lost 0.91% and Samsung lost 3.83%, respectively. While the percentages for Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are 18.41% loss for Xiaomi, 16.86% for Vivo, and 25.57% fall for Oppo, the latter is the worst loser in history.
These numbers undoubtedly explain the Chinese manufacturers’ regression in 2023, which frequently prevented them from bringing numerous models to the gloabl market, a problem that particularly affects the models that serve as benchmarks for the brands. We can give the unreleased Xiaomi 12S Ultra, Oppo Find N, and Vivo X90 as examples.
Battlefield 2042 just dropped from the top 50 most-played Xbox games
If you’re a Battlefield player, it’s possible that you’ve noticed the game 2042 is no longer in the top 50 most-played games on Xbox.
The top 50 games are those with the highest number of players in a single hour.
The game has been performing poorly since its launch with reported glitches and a revamped progression system.
The Battlefield franchise has been a mainstay of the Xbox Live charts for years but it seems the luck is changing if the latest reports are anything to go by.
When the official date and game requirements were announced, things seemed to be moving swiftly in the right direction.
However, the recent release of Battlefield 2042 has not only been a disappointment for fans of the Battlefield franchise but it’s also brought down the series’ ranking in the top 50 played games on Xbox Live.
The game suffered from technical issues at launch, including rampant crashes and memory leaks. The game also featured a revamped progression system that turned off many fans of the classic Battlefield experience.Drop from the top
Battlefield 2042 is not in the top 50 most-played games on the system, despite releasing just about three months ago. Battlefield 2042 has been on a downward trend for months, with many users complaining about bugs, glitches and boring gameplay.
This is pretty surprising, considering that Battlefield 2042 was once the most played Xbox game on Steam. Now, Battlefield 5 seems to be progressing at a faster rate leaving Battlefield 2042 behind.
In fact, according to data from Steam Charts, Battlefield 5 is now more popular than Battlefield 2042 on PC. Server issues aren’t the whole story here, though. The game’s retention numbers are also low, with about half of all players who try the game giving up after just one match.A fall from grace
Battlefield 2042 is no longer being played by many people and has fallen off a major leaderboard that tracks the most popular multiplayer games on the Xbox One. The slip from charts is not a good sign as reports also indicate the numbers on Steam are also not doing so well.
This isn’t a good sign for the game’s future, because if there aren’t that many people playing it, then it’s probably on its way towards going free-to-play.
A quick glance at the top 50 most-played games on Xbox includes; Halo Infinite, Apex Legends, Grand Theft Auto 5, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Fortnite, with the number 50 slot going to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.Free or not, problems are still there
EA hasn’t made any official announcements about Battlefield 2042 going free-to-play, but this move would make a lot of sense for them.
If Battlefield 2042 is going to make a comeback, it’s going to need to do more than just make its premium content free – it will need to overhaul the game’s core mechanics.
EA has been under a lot of pressure recently due to the loot box debacle and some other decisions that upset their customers. This is mostly because the last Battlefield game did not meet expectations within the company.
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Aphasia is a cognitive health condition that impairs your ability to understand or process language. The most common cause of Aphasia is a blockage of the blood vessel that connects the language center to the brain. This may happen if you experience a sudden stroke or acute trauma like a brain injury. Alternatively, Aphasia may also develop from an insidious neurodegenerative disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The Oscar-nominee actress Sharon Stone was rushed to the hospital when she collapsed in her home at the age of 43 due to a brain aneurysm. She was in the hospital for nine days and also endured subsequent cerebral haemorrhaging. She had lost her ability to read and used to stutter while talking, when she was discharged from the hospital.Bruce Williams (Actor)
The action-movie star popularly known for his role in the Die-Hard movie series, Bruce Williams, was diagnosed with Aphasia when he was 67 years old. His ex-wife Demi Moore reported the same for the first time through an Instagram post and conveyed to his fans that Williams had decided to step away from his career.
Aphasia affected the cognitive abilities of Bruce Williams which led him to take one of the most difficult decisions of his life and that was to retire from acting. The family did not disclose the cause of his aphasia but imparted positivity through William’s words which say ‘Live it up’.Randy Travis (Singer)
This Grammy-winning Singer was hospitalized in 2013 when he suffered a stroke. Travis had a stroke due to a viral cardiomyopathy which was a virus attack on his heart. Unfortunately, he lost his ability to talk and understand language. Even today, his ability to speak is severely limited. In 2023, Travis published a memoir titled ‘Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life’ in which he described his struggle with aphasia.
Travis highlighted the difficulties he faced when he was not able to understand what his wife would say to him and how he spent three months in speech therapy before he could say one letter ‘A’. After about a year and a half, he was able to speak a few words like ‘yup’, ‘nope’ and ‘bathroom’. Randy Travis and his wife Mary have started the Randy Travis Foundation to support the victims of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.Mark McEwen (Former Journalist)
Mark McEwen has worked as an entertainment reporter with the American commercial broadcast television and radio network Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) for 16 years. Moreover, he has covered many award shows, and Olympics as well as interviewed five U.S. presidents till 2005. However, in the year 2005, he suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with Aphasia. He documented his struggle and recovery in his memoir titled ‘Change in the Weather: Life After Stroke’.
Additionally, he has written on his website about how he battled with Aphasia and how singing songs from the Beatles and Stevie Wonder helped him speak fluently in the recovery stage. In a TEDx talk, he also highlighted how he became a stroke awareness activist. He has used his celebrity status to showcase people who have suffered from this cognitive condition and raised awareness about the same. He has hosted the National Stroke Association’s Raising Awareness in Stroke Excellence (RAISE) Awards and honored many support groups like a Las Vegas-based Aphasia Lunch Bunch support group that work endlessly to create awareness among the people about Aphasia complexities.Michael Hayden (Former General)
Michael Hayden suffered a stroke in 2023 and lost his ability to read and write. This four-star general who once served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) went all over again and learnt the alphabet from his four-year-old grandson. Thankfully, his intelligence was not affected and his therapists helped him to recover. Hayden has openly discussed his inability to speak fluently and how his therapists and speech pathologists helped him to come to a stage where he can now clearly articulate his criticism towards protesters denouncing systemic racism and police brutality across the U.S.Emilia Clarke (Actress)
In 2011, the Game of Thrones star, Emilia Clarke was working out with her trainer and she experienced a painful headache. She suffered from a subarachnoid hemorrhage which is a rare type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. As an aftereffect of the hemorrhage, she was not able to remember her name and went into a blind panic. She recalled the experience as a sense of doom closing in when she spoke to The New Yorker magazine. Her aphasia disappeared after a week but the feeling of being unable to express herself in language lingered for quite some time.Gabby Giffords (Former Congresswoman)
In January 2011, when the then Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was hosting her first ‘Congress on Your Corner’ event in Tuscan, Arizona, a gunman opened fire on the crowd and tried to assassinate her. This caused aphasia in Giffords and she was not able to articulate more than a few words in response to any question for many years. The left hemisphere of her brain was damaged which is responsible for language, while her right hemisphere was intact and was able to process tunes and songs.
As a result, she had difficulty speaking words but was able to sing songs she had learned before the shooting incident. Giffords worked hard to recover and was able to deliver a prepared speech at the 2024 Democratic National Convention’s dramatic fashion show. After her retirement, she started an anti-gun-violence organization with the help of her astronaut husband Mark Kelly to promote sensible legislation for the address of gun violence.Late Dick Clark (American Television and Radio Host)
The legendary host of ‘American Bandstand’, Dick Clarke suffered a stroke in December 2004. This stroke paralyzed his right side and caused aphasia. He lost his ability to deliver his signature sign-off. He returned to the New Year’s celebration in 2005 after a year of developing aphasia and continued to co-host the celebrations until his death in 2012. Dick Clark showed the world that people can continue to function despite suffering a stroke. The Los Angeles Times newspaper noted in its obituary for Clark that he was fearless and refused to shrink back from life after suffering a stroke. He has been an inspiration for people and has shown how hard work can pay off.Conclusion
Some notable people have experienced a sudden loss in processing or expressing verbal and written communication due to a cognitive condition called aphasia. The most common cause for this condition was stroke or acute trauma. However, their experiences give us hope that if they can fight over this disorder, we can do it as well. Let us take inspiration from these celebrities who have dealt with aphasia and have recovered after consistent efforts.
An opalescent squid drifts in the inky darkness of the ocean at nighttime. A marmoset with a face full of terror leaps away from a lunging fox. Hot tongues of lava emit clouds of noxious steam. These are some of the moments captured by the winners of the 2023 London Natural History Museum’s annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
Wildlife photography requires a truly astounding amount of patience, planning, and luck. This year’s winners tracked colonies of army ants through the rainforest, camped out in snow-covered deserts, and hid behind underwater shipwrecks in an effort to showcase the diverse majesty of wild places and beings. And they weren’t alone: The contest received more than 48,000 entries from 100 different countries in its 55th running.
Photographer Yongqing Bao received the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for “The moment,” a gripping action shot featuring a standoff between a marmoset and its foxy predator. According to the judges, the image deftly combines “horror and humor” to capture “the drama and intensity of nature.” The image was taken on the rarely photographed Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Ultimately, 19 winners were chosen for 18 different categories (with a joint award shared by two photographs for “Animal Behavior.”) These photographs, along with dozens of other notable submissions, will go on display at the London Natural History Museum starting Friday, October 18.
Another barred migrant Alejandro Prieto / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Winner 2023, Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image
Nikon D850 + Sigma 14–24mm f2.8mm lens at 16mm; 30 sec at f2.8; ISO 1600; remote control; Gitzo tripod; Epson projector
Under a luminous star-studded Arizona sky, an enormous image of a male jaguar is projected onto a section of the US-Mexico border fence—symbolic, says Alejandro Prieto, of “the jaguars’ past and future existence in the United States.” Today, the jaguar’s stronghold is in the Amazon, but historically, the range of this large, powerful cat included the southwestern US. Over the past century, human impact—from hunting, which was banned in 1997 when jaguars became a protected species, and habitat destruction—has resulted in the species becoming virtually extinct in the US. The photograph projected on the border wall is of a Mexican jaguar, captured with camera traps that Prieto has been setting on both sides of the border and monitoring for more than two years. The shot of the border fence was created to highlight President Trump’s plan to seal off the entire US‑Mexico frontier with an impenetrable wall and the impact it will have on the movement of wildlife, sealing the sad fate of jaguars in the US.
Night glow Cruz Erdmann / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Winner 2023, 11-14 years old
Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/125 sec at f29; ISO 200; Ikelite DS161 strobe
Cruz Erdmann was on an organized night dive in the Lembeh Strait off North Sulawesi, Indonesia and, as an eager photographer and speedy swimmer, had been asked to hold back from the main group to allow slower swimmers a chance of photography. This was how he found himself over an unpromising sand flat, in just 10 feet of water. It was here that he encountered the pair of bigfin reef squid. They were engaged in courtship, involving a glowing, fast‑changing communication of lines, spots and stripes of varying shades and colors. One immediately jetted away, but the other—probably the male—hovered just long enough for Erdmann to capture an instant of its glowing underwater show.
The architectural army Daniel Kronauer / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Winner 2023, Behavior: Invertebrates
Canon EOS 7D + 16–35mm f2.8 lens at 16mm + extension ring; 3.2 sec at f22; ISO 100; Canon Speedlite flash
At dusk, Daniel Kronauer tracked a colony of nomadic army ants as it moved, traveling up to a quarter of a mile through the rainforest near La Selva Biological Station, northeastern Costa Rica. While it was still dark, the ants would use their bodies to build a new daytime nest to house the queen and larvae. They would form a scaffold of vertical chains by interlocking claws on their feet and then create a network of chambers and tunnels into which the larvae and queen would be moved from the last nest. One night, the colony assembled in the open, against a fallen branch and atop two large leaves, creating a structure that spanned 20 inches and resembled “a living cathedral with three naves.”
The garden of eels David Doubilet / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Winner 2023, Underwater
Nikon D3 + 17–35mm f2.8 lens at 19mm; 1/40 sec at f14; ISO 400; Seacam housing; aluminium plate + ballhead; remote trigger; Sea & Sea YS250 strobes (at half power)
This colony of garden eels was one of the largest David Doubilet had ever seen—at least two thirds the size of a football field, stretching down a steep sandy slope off Dauin, in the Philippines. These warm-water garden eels are extremely shy, vanishing into their sandy burrows the moment they sense anything unfamiliar. Doubilet placed his camera housing just within the colony and hid behind the remnants of a shipwreck. From there he could trigger the system remotely via a 40-foot extension cord. It was several hours before the eels dared to rise again to feed on the plankton that drifted by in the current. He gradually perfected his set-up, each time leaving an object where the camera had been so as not to surprise the eels when it reappeared. Several days later—now familiar with the eels’ rhythms and the path of the light—he began to get images he liked. When a small wrasse led a slender cornetfish through the gently swaying forms, he had his shot.
The equal match Ingo Arndt / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Joint Winner 2023, Behavior: Mammals
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II + 600mm f4 lens; 1/3000 sec at f4; ISO 1000; Gitzo tripod
Fur flies as the puma launches her attack on the guanaco. For Ingo Arndt, the picture marked the culmination of seven months tracking wild pumas on foot, enduring extreme cold and biting winds in the Torres del Paine region of Patagonia, Chile. For half an hour, Arndt watched this female puma creep up on the large, male guanaco. When the puma was within about 30 feet, she sprinted and jumped. As her claws made contact, the guanaco twisted to the side, his last grassy mouthful flying in the wind. The puma then leapt on his back and tried to deliver a crushing bite to his neck. Running, he couldn’t throw her off, and it was only when he dropped his weight on her, seemingly deliberately, that she let go, just missing a kick that could easily have knocked out her teeth or broken bones. Four out of five puma hunts end like this—unsuccessfully.
Creation Luis Vilariño Lopez / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Winner 2023, Earth’s Environments
Sony α7R III + 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 196mm; 1/4000 sec at f5.6; ISO 800
Red-hot lava tongues flow into the Pacific Ocean, producing huge plumes of noxious laze—a mix of acid steam and fine glass particles—as they meet the crashing waves. Kîlauea started spewing out lava through 24 fissures on its lower East Rift at the start of May 2023. In a matter of days, the lava had reached the Pacific on the island’s southeast coast and began the creation of a huge delta of new land. It would continue flowing for three months. By the time Luis Vilariño Lopez could hire a helicopter to fly over the area, the new land extended more than a mile from shore. Framing his shot through the helicopter’s open door, Vilariño Lopez captured the collision boundary between molten rock and water and the emergence of new land.
Snow exposure Max Waugh / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Winner 2023, Black and White
Canon EOS-1D X + 100–400mm f5.6 lens at 200mm; 1/15 sec at f22 (+1 e/v); ISO 100
Face of deception Ripan Biswas / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Winner 2023, Animal Portraits
Nikon D500 + 18–55mm lens (reverse mounted); 1/160 sec; ISO 200; Godox V860II flash
This may look like an ant, but then count its legs —and note those palps either side of the folded fangs. Ripan Biswas was photographing a red weaver ant colony in the subtropical forest of India’s Buxa Tiger Reserve, in West Bengal, when he spotted the odd-looking ant. On a close look, he realized it was a tiny ant-mimicking crab spider, just 1/5 of an inch long. Many spider species imitate ants in appearance and behavior—even smell. Infiltrating an ant colony can help a spider wanting to eat ants or to avoid being eaten by them or by predators that dislike ants. This particular spider seemed to be hunting.
Winner 2023, Animals in Their Environment
Nikon D5 + 600mm f4 lens; 1/1250 sec at f6.3 (+0.3 e/v); ISO 125; Gitzo GT5532S 6X tripod
A small herd of male chiru leaves a trail of footprints on a snow-veiled slope in the Kumukuli Desert of China’s Altun Shan National Nature Reserve. These nimble antelopes—the males with long, slender, black horns—are high-altitude specialists, found only on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. A million chiru once ranged across this vast plateau, but commercial hunting in the 1980s and 1990s left only about 70,000 individuals. In winter, many chiru migrate to the relative warmth of the remote Kumukuli Desert. For years, Shangzhen Fan has made the arduous, high-altitude journey to record them. On this day, the air was fresh and clear after heavy snow. Shadows flowed from the undulating slopes around a warm island of sand. From his vantage point more than half a mile, Fan drew the contrasting elements together before they vanished.
The moment Yongqing Bao / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Joint Winner 2023, Behavior: Mammals
Canon EOS-1D X + 800mm f5.6 lens; 1/2500 sec at f5.6 (+0.67 e/v); ISO 640; Manfrotto carbon-fibre tripod + 509HD head
It was early spring on the alpine meadowland of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, in China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve, and very cold. The marmot was hungry. It was still in its winter coat and not long out of its six-month, winter hibernation, spent deep underground with the rest of its colony of 30 or so. It had spotted the fox an hour earlier, and sounded the alarm to warn its companions to get back underground. But the fox itself hadn’t reacted, and was still in the same position. So the marmot had ventured out of its burrow again to search for plants to graze on. The fox continued to lie still. Then suddenly she rushed forward. And with lightning reactions, Yongqing Bao seized his shot. His fast exposure froze the attack.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.
Bitcoin isn’t a new phenomenon (it was actually released in its most primitive form way back in 2009), but it might be new to you! Thankfully, while the Bitcoin waters may be confusing and difficult to wade through, there are lots of great Bitcoin apps for your iPhone to help you get started.Why Bitcoin?
If you’re new to Bitcoin, you might want to look into some resources we linked below to help you learn more about the three whys of Bitcoin:
Bitcoin was created after the financial crisis of 2008, and it was designed to be a decentralized project that would allow an “off-ramp” to traditional fiat currency. The popularity of Bitcoin has continued to grow as it reached a new all-time high in November of 2023. As governments around the world have continued to print nation-backed currency, many people are looking to Bitcoin as a store of value as inflation continues to rise. If you want to learn more about Bitcoin, here are some of my favorite books and podcasts to get plugged into the technology.
I am a big believer in Bitcoin, and I’ve found the above resources really useful to learn more about why Bitcoin matters, what problems it solves, and how it’s secure.Best Bitcoin only iPhone apps
One critical thing to know about the Bitcoin space is that there are different factions of belief systems about what these cryptocurrencies are and what their purpose is. Some people believe that Bitcoin is the only worthwhile project in the entire crypto space, others contend that Bitcoin is the one of most importance but that others like Ethereum have their place, and yet others think non-Bitcoin projects like Ethereum or even Dogecoin are better than Bitcoin in every way.
For that reason, there’s a divide in the apps and services offered in the bitcoin world. Many of the most longstanding players — like Coinbase — frame themselves as “cryptocurrency” apps. They’re generally open-minded to the possibility that non-Bitcoin currencies and blockchains could be as valuable or meaningful (or even more so in the future) as Bitcoin. Others prefer to stick with the leader in the space, and they’re generally proponents of the idea that bitcoin will “win.” Here’s a list of some of the top bitcoin-only apps.
My personal favorite bitcoin-only app is Swan Bitcoin. It’s not available on the App Store yet, but they have a great web app that works just fine. Once you set it up, you’ll rarely log into it anyways.
The best thing about Swan is that the people behind it really understand bitcoin. They understand what it is, what it’s used for, and what it can be. And they understand why the vast majority of blockchain projects in the space are going to do you no good. It’s a common mistake that early entrants into the Bitcoin space look for something other than Bitcoin at first because it seems “cheaper.”
From the first day you set up your Swan Bitcoin account, you’ll be walked through the process of dollar-cost averaging. This is by far the most practical way for bitcoin enthusiasts to start accumulating the digital asset, and with Swan, you can watch it grow over time into something great. I buy Bitcoin every Monday using Swan as it’s drafted automatically from my bank account.
Also, if you’re interested in putting in large amounts, Swan Bitcoin will allow you to wire up to $10M.
Cash App is one the easiest way for most people to buy bitcoin. It has some of the lowest fees of the consumer-facing Bitcoin exchanges, and most people already have a Cash App account. Plus, you can buy and sell bitcoin in the app without having to fill out any additional information other than the basic Cash App requirements — that is, unless you want to withdraw your bitcoin to a hardware wallet, send it to an exchange, or send it to someone else.
It also lets you easily set automatic purchases over time, which is definitely a smart technique for anyone just getting into bitcoin for the first time. Choose a small amount, select a timeframe (weekly, monthly, etc.), set it, and forget it.
Strike is one of the simplest apps out there. It’s integrated with Twitter for the social network’s new tipping service, but it’s also a free way to buy bitcoin. Strike also makes it easy to send money anywhere in the world over the Bitcoin network and then have it auto-convert to the local currency once it arrives. Strike also makes it easy to get paid in Bitcoin from your employer.
Strike gives you bank account information (routing and account number), and you set up what percent of your paycheck you want in Bitcoin vs. USD. Overall, it’s a handy app to have around to quickly send money or buy some bitcoin.
If you join using my referral link, you’ll get $5 to start. Strike also makes it easy to send bitcoin to a hardware wallet as you want to take custody of your bitcoin.River Financial
River Financial — as made clear by its name and logo among other things — tries to position itself as a white-glove service of sorts for Bitcoin buyers who might have deeper wallets. Like other services, it’s just a place to buy Bitcoin, so there’s not that much that can be unique, right? River touts human customer service, top-tier security, and the adoption of bitcoin technologies like the Lightning network.Casa
Casa is another app you can download on iOS that is bitcoin-first and bitcoin-only. Like other services, Casa lets you buy bitcoin. Nothing spectacular about that, really. But what Casa does differently is that they’re one of only a few services offering what’s known as multi-signature wallets. These wallets come at a cost — usually a monthly subscription — but bring additional security by requiring multiple private keys to access funds. This means no one can access your bitcoin without having access to at least two of the following: your cold storage key as part of a hardware wallet, the key on your phone, and a key controlled by Casa.Fold
While Cash App, River, and Casa all allow you to purchase and custody your Bitcoin, there are other Bitcoin-only apps available for iOS that are great additions to the Bitcoin product lineup. Fold is one of these — it allows you to earn Bitcoin rewards just by making purchases through their services. At the moment you can earn satoshis — divisible parts of a Bitcoin — by making gift card purchases or using their debit card.Blue Wallet
If you aren’t already familiar, there are many ways to store and secure your Bitcoin. You can keep it on an exchange like Coinbase, Cash App, or others, but many users prefer the security that comes with keeping control of their own coins. Blue Wallet is one of the better options for this. It’s widely regarded as one of the best wallets by the Bitcoin-only community, mainly because it’s a bitcoin-only wallet and supports technologies like Lightning, which can let you send cheaper faster bitcoin transactions.Other great Bitcoin and cryptocurrency apps for iPhone
While the Bitcoin-only ecosystem is strong, there are definitely reputable apps and services available outside that box. Some of these are actually the most popular apps in the space.
Okcoin is a fan favorite for buying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on iPhone, iPad, and on the web. It has some of the lowest fees on the market. Okcoin makes it easy to set up automatic buys, earn interest, as well as transfer to your hardware wallet when the time comes.
One thing I noticed when setting up a new account is how focused on security the company is when it comes to account security. When I was configuring my account, I was given the option to set up multiple passwords to ensure my accounts couldn’t be liquidated if someone had access to my password. If you sign up using my referral link, you’ll get $50 when you buy $100 worth of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The CEO of the company was recently on the Coin Stories Podcast, and I found the discussion to be fantastic.
Coinbase is perhaps the longest-standing and most-established cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Unlike many cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase goes out of its way to comply with all US regulations, and it’s therefore fully banked — and the easiest to use if you’re purchasing your bitcoin with US dollars transferred from a US bank account. Its fees aren’t as low as Cash App or some other services like Swan Bitcoin, but it’s one of the exchanges I would feel safer keeping decent amounts of Bitcoin on. If you have any material assets on Coinbase, leverage the Coinbase Vault for timed withdrawals – and of course, use multi-factor authentication.Exodus
Exodus came onto the scene a few years ago with the goal of being a one-stop hot wallet (a wallet that has a connection to the internet but one that you still have control of your private keys) for all cryptocurrencies. The team behind Exodus tries to support as many different assets as they can, and they definitely keep a degree of quality control — only assets worthy of being there and meeting their criteria end up on the list. They also have great customer service for free, something that’s relatively rare with wallets in this category. Most of all, its design and UX is bar none. It’s truly built for the Apple devices it runs on.
BlockFi is a unique service. If you’ve ever thought borrowing US dollars while using your bitcoin as collateral sounded like a good idea, BlockFi is for you — because that’s exactly what they offer. The service is also one of the only places you can store your Bitcoin and earn interest. It’s never risk free to trust another custodian with your coins, but not many places offer you bitcoin to hold on to — and loan out — your bitcoin.
I am personally using the BlockFi Visa Card to earn bitcoin rewards for every transaction I make. At the end of the month, I withdraw it to a hardware wallet to take custody of my bitcoin.Gemini
Gemini is another popular place to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. I’ve been a customer for over a year, and it has a really easy-to-understand interface, makes it easy to set up recurring purchases, earn small amounts of interest on your Bitcoin and other tokens, and more.
Gemini was started by the Winklevoss brothers who were at the center of the Facebook trial depicted in the Social Network movie. In fact, an interview with the Winklevoss brothers is what led me to start researching Bitcoin.Best Bitcoin hardware wallets that work with Mac, iPhone, etc
Trezor (Mac only)
Ledger (Mac and iPhone depending on the model)
ColdCard (Mac via SD card)
Bitbox02 (Mac only)
Arculus (iPhone only)Have suggestions?
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