Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding ‘Social Security Rate For Employees’ Forex Fundamental Driver


The Social Security Program of the United States is the government insurance program for retirees, disabled, and survivors. It is one of the most extensive Government Spending programs and affects the majority of its population. Hence, it is a macroeconomic statistic, and changes in the same results a significant impact on its citizens. An insight into the Social Security Rates and how it affects the individual and the economy as a whole can help us understand the monetary structure of the United States.

What is Social Security Rate For Employees?

The Social Security Program (SSP) is managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the United States. The SSA is a federal agency and defines the SSP as a protection program against income loss due to retirement, disability, or death. The Social Security Program is officially called the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

The funds collected by the SSP are divided between two funds, namely the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. Retired workers and their families, or survivors (ex: wife of an expired husband) receive benefits from the OASI funds. The DI trust funds provide benefits to the disabled and their families. The benefits are paid out monthly to the eligible people.

The Social Security Programs receives its funds primarily from the currently active employees enrolled in the program, employers, and as well as self-employed citizens. The funds received at present are not stored for the future, instead, they are utilized to pay out for the currently eligible retirees. The cycle goes on, and it means the current employee pays out for the already retired people, and when the employee himself retires would be paid out through funds collected from the paying employees at that time.

Apart from the employee, employer, and self-employed, funds receive income from investments and interests on investments, and taxations of benefits. For the year 2020, the Social Security Rate is 12.4%, which is evenly divided amongst the employer and the employee. Hence, the employee pays 6.2% of their income. Generally, It is deducted monthly from their income. On the other hand, the self-employed people like small shop owners or freelancers are subject to pay the full 12.4% themselves.

The benefits apply to people who have enrolled and have paid for a minimum of ten years. The retirement age at which they are eligible for collecting their pension is 62, while people who wait longer, like the age of 66 or 70, receive higher and better benefits accordingly. The Social Security Tax has a cap limit of $137,700, above which the earned income is not subject to the tax deduction.

How can the Social Security Rate For Employees numbers be used for analysis?

Since the Social Security deductions are directly taken out from the gross salary, it directly affects the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) and thereby Consumer Spending. Both of these are macroeconomic indicators bearing high significance in terms of currency market volatility. Suppose the taxes increase, Consumer Spending decreases, which can drive the economy into a recession. Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the United State’s GDP.

The program collects from millions of people and pays out to millions of people. The transactions are in billions of dollars every year. Any change in the percentage is bound to affect a large chunk of the country’s population directly. Hence, the changes in the rates are less frequent over the years and change only during significant policy reforms.

The regressive nature is often criticized, meaning the more affluent section of the society ends up paying lesser than the lower-income bracket people due to the tax cap limit. Also, the model of the Social Security Program is a cause of worry for many as the increased life expectancy and the diminishing worker-to-retiree ratio will ultimately result in depletion of funds soon.

As the population stops to grow, and more people retire than the number of people actively working will ultimately force the Government to either raise taxes or retirement age-limit or decrease benefits. None of those above options is favorable, and the Government needs to plug this gap in funds sooner than later.

 Impact on Currency

The Social Security Rate for the employees is revised every year. Most of the time, it tends to remain constant and changes only in small incremental steps over a few years at a time. Therefore, the volatility induced in the currency markets is negligible unless significant changes occur. Above all, the changes would be priced into the market through news updates long before official statistics are published. Hence, Social Security Rate for employees is a low-impact indicator and can be overlooked for more frequent statistics in the currency markets.

Economic Reports

The Social Security tax rates for both the employee and employer are provided by the Social Security Administration of the United States on its official website. The historical figures of the same are also available. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) also maintains the tax rates for employees of its member countries on its official website.

Sources of Social Security Rate For Employees

Social Security Rates for employees is available on the Social Security Administration website.

Social Security Rates for employees is also available on the OECD’s official website.

Social Security Rates for employees (similar policies with different names) across the world can be found in Trading Economics.

How Social Security Rate For Employees Announcement Affects The Price Charts

For employees, the social security tax is deducted through payroll withholding by the employer. This rate is split in half between the employee and the employer. Since the social security rate in the US is 15.3 %, an employee contributes 7.65% of their earnings up to $137,700.

The screengrab below shows the current social security rate for companies in the US from Trading Economics.

The latest review of the US social security rate was on October 10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET, and the press release can be accessed here.

USD/CAD: Before Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, just before 4.00 PM ET

As can be seen on the above 15-minute chart, the USD/CAD pair was trading on a neutral trend before the news release. This trend is shown by the candles forming around an already flat 20-period Moving Average. This trend signifies relative market inactivity at this time.

USD/CAD: After Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET

After the news release, no market volatility is observed. The US/CAD pair forms a 15-minute “Shooting Star” candle. Afterward, the pair struggled to alter the trading pattern with the candles attempting to cross below the 20-period Moving Average but subsequently continued trading in the previously observed neutral pattern.

USD/JPY: Before Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2020, just before 4.00 PM ET

Before the news release, the USD/JPY market is on a weak uptrend. The pair can be seen struggling to maintain this trend as observed by multiple bearish spikes. The pair adopts a downtrend 30 minutes before the news release.

USD/JPY: After Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET

After the news release, the pair forms a 15-minute bearish candle. However, the news is not significant enough to maintain the earlier observed downtrend.

USD/CHF: Before Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2020, just before 4.00 PM ET

USD/CHF: After Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET

Before the news release, the USD/CHF pair shows a similar trading pattern as the USD/CAD pair. The pair was trading on a neutral trend with 15-minute candles forming around a flattening 20-period Moving Average. As the USD/JPY, the pair showed signs of reversing into a downtrend 30 minutes before the news release. After the release, USD/CHF formed a 15-minute “Shooting Star” candle. It later continued trading in a downtrend with subsequent candles forming below the 20-period Moving Average.

Bottom Line

On October 10, 2019, the US effectively increased the social security rate. Theoretically, this is supposed to be positive for the USD. However, as shown by our analyses, this news release had no significant price action impact on any currency paired with the US dollar.

Crypto Guides

What should we know about DEXs & its benefits?


A decentralized exchange or DEX is referred to as a platform that eliminates the middlemen and allows traders to trade with each other directly. This direct approach allows traders to control their funds instead of giving them to exchange providers where trades are performed via smart contracts.

These exchanges are hosted on a collected ecosystem of distributed nodes. This not only reduces the hacking risk but also addresses the problem of downtime that limits the trading ability. These exchanges are designed to extend an open, transparent network that makes crypto trading accessible to all.

What Makes DEX Different from Centralized Exchanges?

A Centralized exchange is also an online platform where people can buy and sell digital currency, but they use a third-party to authenticate and execute the transactions. This needs the buyers and sellers to entrust their funds to exchanges and allow them to safely complete the transactions.

These exchanges are known to be easy to use and enable traders to buy digital currencies with cryptocurrencies or fiat. They offer a streamlined entry point to the market and cover the majority of cryptocurrency trading.

Benefits of DEX

Following are the reasons we should think about trading in decentralized exchanges:


In centralized exchanges, traders do not tend to have full control over their funds, limiting the trading potentials. Recently, the event known as Proof of Keys was run by centralized exchanges to ensure that exchanges could generate more profits on deposits, the same way a bank works.

This limited the users’ rights to withdraw all their funds in a single day.  The open nature of DEXs implies that our money remains in our control. Users get to withdraw their amount whenever they intend to.


Centralized exchanges collect a massive amount of money from investors. This makes these exchanges the prime target of cybercriminals. Bitstamp and popular exchange based on Slovenia was hacked in 2015.

The hackers got access to the hot wallet and stole 19,000 Bitcoins, which was worth $5 million. And with the increasing number of trading in cryptocurrencies, centralized exchanges are becoming more vulnerable to hackers. Decentralized exchanges offer more security and, over the years, have become more common choices for crypto trading.


Centralized exchanges are categorized as MSPs or Money Service Providers. This implies that users have to undergo certain anti-money laundering (AML) and Know-your-customer (KYC) processes. But people are often resistant to providing their personal information to third parties. This is because they end up having no control over what will happen to the data.

Decentralized exchanges, on the other hand, are not controlled by a central authority. Therefore, we do not need to register other than having a valid wallet address. Decentralized exchanges still remain a rather new concept in this ecosystem. But traders are rapidly comprehending its advantages over centralized exchanges.

Bottom line

Many new DEXs are coming in the market with better features, security options, and ease of use. When assessing these platforms, ensure to consider important factors such as security features, trading volume, currencies available, transaction fees, sign-up process, etc.

Crypto Guides

‘Howey Test’ & The Role It Plays In The Token Ecosystem Of Blockchain?


Blockchain has led to the emergence of the token economy and, thus, new business models. With the help of the token in the business, both the customers and the owners benefit immensely. We have seen two types of token so far, utility and security tokens.

Utility tokens can be compared to loyalty points up to a certain extent while they are much more in the designated environment. Security tokens allow them to own any material/securities in a digital format in a fungible manner. Security tokens allow people to own things in a never before way.

There is a deciding factor that differentiates between security and utility tokens called the Howey test. Utility tokens don’t need any regulatory requirements since it is intended for use in its designated environment only while security tokens represent a real asset in the real-world digitally. Hence security tokens are subject to regulations.

What is the Howey Test?

Howey test is a monumental case handled by the Supreme court of the USA in 1946, which laid foundations to determine whether a particular arrangement involves an investment contract or not. The case was between the SEC and Howey. Two Florida based corporate put up real estate contracts for tracts of land with citrus groves. The defendants came up with an offer where the buyers who bought the land can lease the land back to the defendants who can grow citrus, market them, and make money.

Most of the buyers did lease the land back to the defendants as they weren’t aware of the agriculture. This was deemed illegal by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and sued the defendants. The arrangement was considered illegal as the defendants broke the law by not filing a securities registration statement with SEC. The defendant’s leaseback was indeed determined as security, and this led to a landmark judgment. Hence this was determined as a test whether a particular transaction is an investment contract or not.

A particular investment can be deemed as an investment contract if it fulfills the below criteria.

  1. It a monetary investment
  2. The investment is made in a common enterprise.
  3. There is an expectation of profit from the work of the promoters or third parties.

Even though the original Howey test used the term money later, it has been broadly classified into other investments and assets other than money. One more criterion is considered in determining a particular investment as security. If or if not, an investor has any control over the profits that come from the investor? If not, then the investment is generally considered as a security.

How the law applies to tokens generated based on blockchain technology?

SES guides that if a token clears all the criteria mentioned above, it can be deemed a security token. If it doesn’t follow, then it can be deemed as a utility token. Security tokens usually derive their value from the external, tradable asset. Hence security tokens are subjected to federal rules and regulations.

If the ICO doesn’t follow all the rules and regulations as prescribed, they are subjected to penalties. If followed, they offer a multitude of investment opportunities that were not possible before. If SEC determines any cryptocurrency as a security token, the founders are deemed to register the coin with SEC, and also, the investors should register their holdings with SEC.

Crypto Guides

‘Blockchain Coding’ – The Different Programming Languages That Are Being Used!


In the nineties, when the internet was evolving, it sometimes used to take hours to connect to the internet. When the visionaries were betting on the internet that it would change the world, most of them wondered if it has that transforming effect? Now we cannot imagine a world without the internet. The same is going to happen with blockchain. Blockchain is going to create the internet of value. To build that work, we need developers in blockchain, and different languages used in developing the technology.

To understand which languages should be used in blockchain coding, let us see the challenges the tech offer to understand and select a language for development.


If we talk about public blockchains, the code is open source and public. Anyone can check the code, find vulnerabilities, and take away millions in dollars. Hence the development is very slow in general.

Resource Management

Networks grow in size pretty soon, and hence the maintenance should be appropriate. Local queries should be addressed at the earliest.

✰ Performance

The language chosen should be extremely versatile. Blockchain has specific tasks that can be checked parallelly while some cannot. Signature verification can be checked parallelly, while transaction verification should be done to avoid double-spending.

Deterministic behavior

A smart contract should behave in the same way, no matter in which machine you run them. In the same way, a transaction should hold good at any point in time. Hence, they should operate in Isolation. Hence, we should isolate smart contracts and transactions from non-deterministic elements.

Let us see the languages which overcome these challenges below:


The bitcoin blockchain is written in C++. C++ has been developed as an extension of the C language, and it is an object-oriented language (OOP). OOP means, when an object is created with functions and data, it can be called upon for use any number of times further, thus reducing coding time. Let see the features of C++ below, which aides in blockchain coding.


C++ takes complete control over CPU and memory usage. We have seen that blockchain requires effective resource management and the platform itself to integrate with lots of untrusted endpoints still giving quick service.


A thread is a set of instructions that can be executed simultaneously. C++ not only supports multithreading but also optimizes single-thread performance. As we discussed before, blockchain needs both parallel and non-parallel tasks to be performed; hence threading functionality helps in this requirement.

Move Semantics

Move Semantics helps in getting copies of particular data only when required. This reduces data redundancy and boosts performance.

Code Isolation

Code isolation is possible in C++ due to its usage of classes. The language itself is so mature that it is frequently updated, which helps use the latest features.


The most common language used in Ethereum to write smart contracts is Solidity. Anyone interested in developing DAPPs or get into the ICO games, Solidity, is a must learn. Most of the Ethereum founders contributed to the development of Solidity. Solidity is a slimmed-down language explicitly designed to develop smart contracts with a syntax very similar to Javascript.

Python and Javascript are used as well in blockchain coding as they have the required properties as well. Go Lang, developed by Google, is used as well due to its faster speeds. The need for blockchain developers is very high, and going forward will only increase. Hence, for programmers, if they can learn what blockchain is, they have a high tide to ride and make their name in the blockchain world.

Crypto Guides

How Do ‘Ring Signatures’ Increase The Privacy Of A Crypto Network


Cryptocurrencies are the primary application of blockchain. Transparency and Privacy are two terms that go side by side concerning cryptocurrencies. Users of cryptocurrencies are looking for more and more Privacy with more adaptability of cryptocurrencies. Anyone can open the bitcoin ledger and check the ongoing transactions and find out the users who are transacting and the amounts of the transactions as well. Hence to increase the Privacy of the cryptocurrency network, Ring Signatures have been introduced to cryptocurrencies.

What are Ring Signatures?

Ring signatures are nothing but digital signatures performed by anyone from a group of members but not possible to know who has done the signature. We can add any group of members without any additional setup. The concept was initially developed to leak the information, especially from high ranking individuals. This way, we will not know who leaked the news, but one can ascertain the information is authentic. The concept is developed by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Yael Tauman and announced at Asiacrypt in 2001.

Since then, there have been certain developments made in the ring signatures called traceable ring signatures to overcome vulnerabilities raised due to malicious or irresponsible people. The modification or further development of this is what is used in crypto note coins developed to overcome the weaknesses of bitcoin. By this development, the ring signatures were effective enough to obscure the sender’s information in the peer to peer transactions.

Now the concept is further developed called Ringed Confidential Transactions (Ring CT’s), which obscures the transaction amount as well instead of obscuring only the sender’s information. Monero Labs formally announced this in 2015. We all know that Privacy is strictly entitled when it comes to the transactions in the Monero platform, and now we know why, i.e., because of the concept of ring signatures.

How Do They Work?

Cryptocurrencies work on the principle of digital signatures. Ring signatures are digital signatures, which are group signatures. Ring signatures require multiple partial digital signatures of different users who may be part of the network already to form a single digital signature, which is used to sign the transaction. Thus, to validate the signature, multiple private keys are required, which wouldn’t be possible to obtain. The name ring came up because of the use of various users’ output to generate a single digital signature.

Let us see an example of a transaction in Monero blockchain and see how the concept of ring signature works.

⭕ A intends to send 50 coins to B in the Monero network basically to B’s Monero crypto wallet and initiates a transaction.

⭕ In general, this transaction would be signed using A’s private/public key combination, but in this case, a unique one time spend key is generated that starts with the output from the sender’s wallet.

⭕ The other signatures are picked up randomly from the users in the ring from the past outputs in the network to create a unique digital signature, which wouldn’t be possible to determine the original signer.

⭕ Even though the public key of the original sender is used, since the signature is created using different users’ previous outputs, it is not possible to determine the sender’s identity.

Ring signatures have started to become vital, especially where Privacy is a matter of concern in cryptocurrency networks. CryptoNote coins are the most well-known coins for Privacy. Monero and Bytecoins are excellent examples which use ring signatures and Ring CT’s.

Crypto Guides

How Different Is Permissioned Blockchain From Permissionless Blockchain?


Blockchain has created ripples throughout many industries. Its security futures are ever essential now with increasing data due to IoT. Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are used to analyze the data generated to find different patterns as per the requirement. Blockchain is essential to secure the data or transfer the data securely.

Different industries are trying to implement the blockchain technology to improve their business. Hence, it is essential to design the platform in terms of their requirement. To facilitate the same, we have different types of blockchain platforms available. They are as follows:

  1. Permissioned blockchain or Private blockchain
  2. Permissionless blockchain or Public blockchain.
  3. Hybrid blockchain.

Permissionless Blockchain

Cryptocurrency platforms are classic examples of permissionless blockchain platforms. As the name suggests, it is a public blockchain. Anyone can join the network to perform different activities in the network, like users, miners, developers, or community members. Since the network is transparent, anyone can have a look at the transactions getting confirmed in the network.

🔓 Permissionless blockchain networks follow all the underlying principles of a real blockchain network. These networks are genuinely decentralized.

🔓 Authorities cannot shut down the network as no single entity controls the network. People, regardless of nation, location can join the network from anywhere.

🔓 Mostly all public blockchains are linked to a token with some intrinsic value. Based on the network-specific number of coins are mined at the beginning itself, or new coins are mined after every block is confirmed.

🔓 Miners are rewarded with these tokens to keep running the network smoothly.

🔓 Bitcoin is an example of a permissionless blockchain network.

Permissioned Blockchain

Enterprise blockchains are an excellent example of permissioned or private blockchains. Permissions should be given for different entities to join the network.

🔐 Everyone should have valid credentials to join the network.

🔐 These networks are not genuinely decentralized as these networks are created for the purposes of enterprises.

🔐 Not all the members of the network can see the transactions unless they have appropriate permissions.

🔐 Different Hyperledger platforms developed for different enterprise use cases are good examples of permissioned blockchain networks.

🔐 These blockchains are often not associated with tokens as enterprises run these.

Consortium Blockchains

Consortium blockchains are nothing but private blockchains but run by different entities together. Blockchain, being niche technology, different companies, even rivals, are coming together as a consortium to develop the technology.

R3 Corda is one such example in the financial place formed to create the technology for Fintech purposes.

Hybrid Blockchain

Hybrid blockchains offer the functionalities of private and public blockchains together at the same time. The entities involved can choose which data should be open or closed, depending on their functionality. The users need not forgo one feature completely to utilize the other functionality.

🔐🔓 Interoperability is very much possible, enabling to form multichain because of the hybrid nature of the platform.

🔐🔓 Dragonchain is an excellent example of Hybrid blockchains.

These are different types of blockchains available as of now, enabling the adoption of various industries as per their requirement.

Forex Course

41. Picking A Genuine Forex Broker 101


Choosing the right broker is a vital point to consider, as all your transactions such as deposition, withdrawal, opening a position happen in this corner. In the present world, the competition between the retail brokers is so high that it can take a lot of hard work to determine the right broker of your choice.

So, in this lesson, we will discuss some of the most critical criteria you consider before opening an account with a broker.

📍 Security

Security can be considered as the most important criterion to choose a broker. Since traders will be playing around with their money here, it is necessary to make sure that the broker is genuine and trustworthy.

Checking the credibility of the broker is pretty simple, as there are regulatory agencies that disclose the trustworthiness of a broker. So, if a broker is registered with any of these agencies, we can consider the broker to be genuine and secure.

For your reference, some of the regulatory agencies are given below.

  • National Futures Association and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in the US
  • Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority, in the UK
  • Swiss Federal Banking Commission, in Switzerland
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission in Australia
  • Investment Information Regulatory Organization of Canada, in Canada
  • Financial Conduct Authority, in the UK
  • Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, in Cyprus

📍 Types of Fee levied

Many brokers claim that they do not charge any fee other than the spread. However, some brokers do charge different types of fees from the clients, such as brokerage fees, commission fees, daily rollover interest, etc. Therefore, one must verify with the broker on what all charges are imposed by them.

📍 Margin trading

This is no doubt the best feature provided by the forex brokers. Margin trading is the facility provided by the brokers where a trader can open larger positions with a lesser amount. Different brokers provide different margins. So, one must choose their broker by considering the margin provision and also by keeping the risk factor in mind.

📍 Deposit and Withdrawal

It is essential to choose brokers who provide a user-friendly, swift, and fast feature to process the deposits and withdraws. One should check the withdrawal policies of the broker before signing up with them. Because this is where most of the brokers have their hidden costs or undisclosed withdrawal limits.

📍 Trade execution

The trading software must be such that the orders are filled at the best available prices. This is an important factor for scalpers to consider, as every micro pip has significance.

📍 Trading platform

The trading platform also plays a vital role while choosing a broker. For a novice trader, if the UI of the trading platform is not user-friendly, it can become quite challenging for them to place and manage trades. Also, the presence of trading tools and indicators is necessary for professional traders. Hence, one should make sure that the broker meets all your requirements and specifications.

Therefore, considering the above points can definitely help you fetch a good broker for you to trade the forex market.

[wp_quiz id=”55229″]
Crypto Guides

Which kind of Problems can be Solved by Cryptocurrencies?


Cryptocurrencies have made an impact on the world’s financial system in an unprecedented way. The speed and agility of global transactions have changed with the advent of cryptos. At present, there are around 3053 cryptocurrencies trading across the world, with a market cap of more than $246 billion. Many global companies around the globe have started to accept cryptos as a mode of payment for the products and services they provide. Bitcoin atm’s and debit cards are making the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies easy and worthwhile. In this article, let us understand the reason for this wide adoption of these cryptos by looking at some of the problems they solve.

🏳️ Centralization: Cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain platforms enabling them to adopt all the features of the blockchain technology. The fiat currency we use today is minted by the central banks of the respective countries. The presence of a central entity to control something is called centralization. Banks play a significant role in the financial status of any country. It is well known that the financial crisis of 2008 is due to the banking crisis. That was the time when Bitcoin came into the picture, paving the way for the decentralized currency. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized with no third-party control. They run on blockchain technology as per the network setup initially. The network is maintained and run by different entities mining the native currency. Thus by no one controlling the money, they remain unique and stable. This is the prominent problem that cryptocurrencies solve over fiat currency.

🏳️ Intermediary costs: The transaction costs to send money between different countries is too high. The respective entities charge a certain percentage of the transaction amount, and it depends on the amount we send and the service we utilize. Also, it takes more time to settle transactions across different countries. There is no limit for cryptocurrency transfer across the world. It is instantaneous with a minimal amount as a transaction fee when compared with the standard bank wire transfers.

🏳️ Privacy: The transactions you make in cryptos are semi-anonymous; some cryptos even ensure complete anonymity. Each of the users will have their crypto addresses, which are used to make transactions. These addresses ensure privacy while transacting cryptos. Having said that, the level of privacy varies from one crypto to others.

🏳️ Security: Blockchain assures the utmost protection when it comes to cryptocurrency transactions. The transactions in the blockchain cannot be reversed; once committed, they are committed for a lifetime. The cryptographic techniques used to secure the transactions are almost impossible to hack.

🏳️ Inflation: Any cryptocurrency has a limit of coins that it can ever have or in some coins, the number of coins that can be mined per year will be capped. In the case of fiat currency, the government can issue bonds and manipulate interest rates to increase the circulating money, thus decreasing its value leading to inflation. Since the number of coins that ever will be available is capped in the case of crypto, inflation can be effectively handled.

These are only a few problems that cryptocurrencies can solve, but with the widespread usage, there would be solutions for problems that we don’t even see now. We hope you find this article informative. Cheers!

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Utility VS Security Tokens – Avoiding Facebook Scams

Utility vs. security tokens

Anyone that’s new to cryptocurrencies must have been confused by the terminology at one point or another. Terms like “cryptocurrency,” “tokens,” “securities,” “utility tokens,” etc. must get extremely overwhelming in the beginning.
This guide will try to explain and simplify terms like “utility token” and “security token” in order for people to better understand them.

What are Tokens?

Tokens are considered a representation of an asset or utility that resides on top of another blockchain. They can represent basically any asset that is fungible and tradable. Tokens do not have their own blockchains, but they rather use a platform’s blockchain. Utility tokens and tokenized securities concepts that are funding underfunded projects with good ideas all around the world.

A token is not limited to one particular goal as it can fulfill many roles in its native ecosystem. A token represents a security or utility that an entity has. These securities and utilities are usually offered to their investors in exchange for funds during a public sale called ICO – initial coin offering (in the case of utility tokens) or STO – Security Token Offerings (in the case of security tokens).

The Howey Test

Before we talk more about utility and security tokens, we have to know how they are divided into these categories.
In order for a financial instrument (in this case, a token) to be regarded as security and fall under SEC’s purview, the instrument must satisfy these four criteria:

It must be a money investment
profits are to be expected
In a unique enterprise
With the profit to be generated by a third party.
All these three elements must be met for a token to be classified as a security. Otherwise, the token is a utility.
The Howey Test and securities, in general, have become a source of intense debate in the crypto-community. The criteria of the Howey Test can be interpreted quite differently from one person to another. This brought additional instability to the ICO markets, which resulted in a lot of money being pulled out of the market itself.

Utility Tokens

Most ICOs are considered an investment opportunity, which means that most tokens usually can be considered as securities. However, if the token doesn’t qualify according to the Howey test, then it is classified as a utility token. These tokens aim to provide users with a product or service.
Their value is derived by the utility they provide and (of course) supply and demand. As there is a maximum number of coins, and no minting is allowed in most cases, the value of the tokens may go up as the demand rises.

How Utility Tokens Work

Utility tokens can offer a wide variety of things, with the most important features being:
Giving holders a right to use the network;
Giving holders a right to take advantage of the network by voting.
Utility tokens the most popular form of tokens out there, mainly because of the 2017’s ICO boom. Companies raised millions of dollars in funding by offering utility tokens. However, many of these crowdfunding campaigns were just there to part people from their money. Once the cryptocurrency market started entering the bear market, the ICO market settled down a bit.
The most clear example of a utility token is the ERC-20 Ethereum standard. Most tokens were made on the Ethereum platform.
Examples of utility tokens:
Security Tokens

Any crypto-token that passes the Howey Test can be considered a security token. These tokens derive their value from an external, tradable asset. As these tokens are deemed as securities, they are subject to federal regulations.
A token is considered a security when there is an expectation of profit from the effort of others. If the crowdfunding doesn’t follow certain regulations, it could be subject to penalties. However, if all the regulations are met, then these tokens have the potential to have some amazing use-cases.

At its core, a security token is an investment contract. It represents legal ownership of a physical or digital asset such as real estate, ETFs, or any other asset. This ownership has to be verified within the blockchain in order to be valid. After the ownership is verified, security token holders can:
Trade their tokens for other assets
Use them as collateral for a loan
Store and hold them in different wallets

What Regulations Are Security Tokens Subjected to?

Security Tokens are subject to federal security regulations, which means that they have to be compliant from the first day itself. This means that security tokens need to follow certain regulations within the USA. These regulations are:
Regulation D
Regulation A+
Regulation S
Regulation D
Examples of security tokens are:
Sia Funds (Sia has two tokens – Sia coin which is a utility token and Sia Funds which is a security token)
Bcap (Blockchain Capital)
Science Blockchain…


Both utility and security tokens have a role to play in the token infrastructure. They offer and represent different things, which means that they are not direct competition with one another.
As time passes, regulators will clarify and classify tokens better, which will make the token market a much safer and straightforward market.