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TOP WAYS TO EARN FREE CRYPTOCURRENCY IN 2021

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Simon Chandler, Writer for CryptoVantage

 

Cryptocurrency is everywhere these days. Open your favourite tech or finance website, and it’s there. Watch the news, and it’s there. Speak to your co-workers, friends and family, and it’s there too. However, while such attention is great for the cryptocurrency industry, it inevitably means that obtaining bitcoin and other digital currencies is becoming increasingly expensive.

But as high as the price of bitcoin is becoming, there are still ways to earn free cryptocurrency in 2021. Most of these may require you to sign up to a service (so arguably they aren’t completely ‘free’), but they do offer various means of incrementally racking up your cryptocurrency holdings at minimal cost.

 

Rewards

The worlds of fintech and crypto are beginning to merge, and one of the upsides of this overlapping is that each month seems to bring a new start-up offering some kind of credit or debit card that offers cashback rewards in crypto.

For example, crypto startup Fold was one of the first companies to offer a Visa debit card that rewards users with bitcoin for purchases they make at participating retailers. It was soon followed by the likes of crypto-exchange Gemini and lender BlockFi, which have since rolled out similar offerings. There’s even a mortgage which offers up to $3,100 cashback in bitcoin, having been launched in Canada by Mogo in March.

Gemini’s card offers holders the chance to earn up to 3% back in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, so while the rewards may not be life-changing, they will accumulate if you use the cards regularly.

 

Airdrops

While airdrops aren’t as common now as they were a few years ago, they offer a great way to receive new cryptocurrencies for free. Basically, an airdrop is when the developers of a new blockchain platform give away that platform’s native crypto, in order to boost adoption and create a community of users.

It’s hardly guaranteed that a new cryptocurrency you receive will end up becoming valuable, but with such relatively large cryptos as Stellar, NEM and Decred having undergone their own airdrops, a small minority of participants will get lucky.

There are various websites which maintain a database of upcoming airdrops, such as airdrops.io and airdropalert.com. These provide details of each platform planning its own airdrop, so you can find out for yourself whether there’s a good chance of their cryptocurrencies ever becoming valuable.

 

Exchange Giveaways

Depending on which crypto-currency exchange you use, you may benefit from being on the receiving end of a promotional giveaway. The most prominent example of this comes from Binance, the biggest exchange in the world in terms of trading volume.

Binance regularly holds giveaways of one kind or another, mostly for its native BNB token. However, such giveaways usually entail signing up for something or completing a certain volume of trades, so you can certainly argue that they aren’t really free.

Coinbase, another one of the biggest exchanges in the world, also organizes its own giveaway scheme. In its case, it provides small rewards in crypto for engaging with its educational platform.

 

Donations

If you’re a creative type with your own blog or website, one way of earning free cryptocurrency is to create some kind of donation page or facility on your site.

By posting the public address for your Bitcoin wallet, and by asking for contributions, you may find that some of your biggest admirers end up sending a small amount of bitcoin your way. Lots of charities now do this, as do many, many bloggers, journalists and researchers.

Sure, the free bitcoin or crypto is technically payment for your work, but you may not have received it otherwise, so you can pretend it’s free.

 

Staking

A growing number of cryptocurrencies — Tezos, Algorand, Icon — secure their network via a process known as staking. This involves users staking their coins in order to validate transactions, a process for which these same users earn interest for their troubles.

Staking is set to become very big, since Ethereum is going to begin staking later this year. Crypto-exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase offer staking services for users, so that they don’t have to deal directly with blockchains themselves.

 

Forks

A ‘fork’ is when a cryptocurrency splits into two distinct versions, usually because developers can’t agree on a new software update. So rather than agree, one group decides to stick with the existing version of a platform (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum), while the other decides to start running a new update (such as Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum Classic).

Forks are another way of earning free cryptocurrency, although they can’t really be predicted and are very rare. They provide ‘free’ cryptocurrency because holders of the pre-existing coin usually end up receiving an amount of the new crypto equal to their holdings in the original crypto.

This happened with Bitcoin, for instance, when it forked into Bitcoin Cash in 2017. Holders of bitcoin received the same amount in bitcoin cash, which at the time was worth about $767. Many promptly sold up, causing the price to dive to $200.

 

Non-Free Cryptocurrency

There are also a number of other ways to obtain cryptocurrency (besides actually buying it), although it would really be a stretch of the imagination to claim that they’re free.

For instance, certain companies (almost exclusively in the cryptocurrency sector) will pay their employees in crypto, although obviously this entails numerous hours of work.

Likewise, you can mine cryptocurrencies yourself, which basically means using computing hardware to confirm cryptocurrency transactions. While some of the smaller cryptos can be mined by people with their own personal computers, it again involves time and considerable work (and electricity), so it’s arguably not free.

There are also a number of social networks (e.g. Steemit, Publish0x) that offer users rewards for posting or even reading content. But again, you need to invest time and effort in this, so unless it’s already something you enjoy doing, it’s not really free.

These quibbles aside, there really are a growing number of ways to earn cryptocurrency without actually having to trade it. And while they may not land you with massive stores of crypto, they can certainly boost your holdings.

 

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What happens to your investments after your death?

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By Jaco Prinsloo, certified financial planner at Alexforbes

Financial planning regarding the succession of investments is rarely carried out, at least in South Africa. As a result, potential heirs are often not sure what to do or where to start to claim and settle a loved ones investments. In many cases, the family is unaware of the existence of an investment portfolio. With succession planning, the transfer of assets (whether property, your bank accounts, cars or investments) is facilitated.

Today I want to focus on investment and the succession planning of investments, specifically discretionary investments, compulsory investments and policies. The type of investment will determine how the assets and proceeds get distributed, so we first need to look at the different investment types:

Discretionary investments

Discretionary investments are any investment you make with after tax money at your own discretion. Discretionary investments include:

  • Unit trusts
  • Money market accounts
  • Fixed deposits
  • South African retail bonds
  • Share portfolios
  • Tax free savings accounts

Jaco Prinsloo

These investments will form part of your estate and will be subject to estate duty and executor’s fees. However allthou a tax-free savings account forms part of your estate there are no executor’s fees payable. The proceeds from the investments will be distributed as per your Will to your nominated beneficiaries after your estate has been settled. Because these investments form part of your estate the investments will be “frozen” and no transaction or changes can be made to the investments until the proceeds are paid to the estate.

Investment and Life Policies

Life insurance is a type of insurance contract where you agree to pay premiums to keep your life cover active. If you pass away, the life insurance company will pay the life cover benefit directly to your nominated beneficiaries, which can be a person or your estate.

You also get investment policies like living annuities and endowment policies where the investment value pays to the nominated beneficiaries on your passing. One benefit of investment and life policies is that it does not form part of your estate, which means no estate duty and the proceeds get paid directly to your nominated beneficiaries giving them access to cash while they wait for the estate to be wind up. Making it an essential part of anyone’s overall financial plan.

Compulsory investments

Compulsory investments are investments which are compulsory with some employers. Working for some companies you might be required to be part of a provident or pension fund as part of your employment contract. Compulsory investments might also offer some tax benefits but investors have limited access to their money and these investments are governed by Regulation 28 stipulating where and how you can invest. Compulsory investments can be summarised as “retirement funds” and include:

  • Pension fund
  • Provident fund
  • Retirement annuity fund
  • Preservation funds

The proceeds from retirement funds are distributed as per Section 37C of the Pension Fund Act.

Which means the trustees of the fund will use their discretion to distribute the proceeds of your retirement savings to insure all dependents and beneficiaries receive equal and fair benefits. Belonging to a retirement fund you will be required to nominate beneficiaries but its important to remember the beneficiary nomination is seen as a guide to the trustees or a “wish list” and the ultimate decision on how the benefits get distributed lies with the trustees of the fund.

As shown above, it is important to keep your Will and nominated beneficiaries updated on your policies and retirement funds. So how to plan for succession?

The first step is to talk to your family members about your investments and the administrator of these investments. Secondly you can create an organised folder with all the documentation of your investments, policies, copy of your Will and personal documents like your ID copy and bank statements. Your family does not need to know the value of the investments but the knowledge of the investments and where to find all your important documents will make it easier for them to start the claim process. Speak to a certified financial planner for advice on your beneficiary nominations and to formalise your wishes in a document, thus setting up a will.

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Finance

YOUR PARTNER SHOULDN’T BE YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN

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By Buhle Langa, certified financial planner at Alexforbes

Financial independence is important during any person’s lifetime, at all stages.

By starting to plan for your retirement early in your working life, you can maintain your standard of living in your retirement years. While a life partner can be wonderful, they should not be considered as a part of your retirement plan as they may not even have saved sufficiently to meet their own requirements.

Women tend to live longer than men, and since research shows they generally earn less, this means that they need to save more, for longer, than their male counterparts.

It is important to familiarise yourself with how you were married and what the terms are should the marriage end either in divorce or death. If you are married in community of property, both you and your spouse’s assets will form part of your deceased estate and your spouse will automatically, by law, be entitled to 50% of the combined assets.

You can be married out of community of property with or without the accrual system. Being married without accrual is the easiest system to work with in your will and estate; your assets remain your own and you may deal with your assets as you wish with no claim from your surviving spouse.

Buhle Langa

Often, a home will be registered in one partner’s name while the other contributes to the bond repayments. If you are not married or are married out of community of property, ensure that you have a written cohabitation agreement. These financial contributions can be difficult to prove if the relationship ends, leaving the one partner with no claim to the property.

Having sufficient planning in place for both parties is always advisable, and each party should have their own savings and investments. A tax-free savings account is a great place to start, allowing you to save up to R36 000 a year without paying tax on the growth.

Increasing your contributions to your work retirement fund will help you accumulate larger savings for your retirement. To take advantage of the benefits of compound interest and avoid a hefty tax liability, it is also advised to keep your retirement savings invested when changing jobs. When leaving your employer, a number of tax-free options are available to you and one should seek financial advice in order to understand which of these is the best choice for you:

  • Transferring your savings to your new employer fund
  • Transferring your savings into a retirement annuity fund
  • Transferring your savings into a preservation fund
  • Keeping your funds invested within your previous employers retirement fund through a paid up status (not contributing further to the fund).

Each of the options noted have varying implications such as when you would be able to access the retirement funds either through resignation, dismissal or retirement and whether you are able to continue contributing towards the fund, therefore each individual person would need to seek financial advice from an accredited financial advisor so as to determine which option would best suit their individual needs.

Regular consultations with a certified financial planner will ensure that you are on track for a secure retirement.

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