2018: The Year of the Cryptocurrency Craze

The Year of the Cryptocurrency Craze

Every successful new technology

undergoes a Cambrian Era-style explosion of growth in which we try to use it for everything. Email, search, social networking—each passed through its “this will solve all our problems!” phase before we figured out what its best applications and limitations were. With the Bitcoin bubble testing astronomical prices every day, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that drives them are now taking their turn in this one-tech-fits-all role. A blockchain is a cryptographically protected distributed ledger—it’s what protects you or anyone else from making a copy of that Bitcoin you just bought. You’ve probably heard about the popularity of blockchain tech in the financial business.

In fact, anything that you can make a list of, you can manage with blockchains. Ambitious developers and entrepreneurs are aiming to use them to rework everything from how we track land ownership to how we distribute medicine and how we grant diplomas. Some of these ideas are brilliant, while others are ridiculous. Do we really need a blockchain to run an online encyclopedia or pay for news? Whether we do or not, in 2018, we’re probably going to see it tried. That’s partly because of a glut of venture capital and the salivation of investors thrilled by Bitcoin’s wild ride. But it’s also because this is the exuberant but wasteful process by which the tech industry determines what each new platform is actually good for. And it’s a process that will play out whether the Bitcoin bubble keeps soaring or finally pops.

In the coming year, the motto of financial-tech developers is going to be “cryptocoins for everything!” Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which introduce new cryptocurrencies to the world, have raised $4 billion so far, mostly in the last year—and that has turned them into a craze of their own. A future in which each of us has our own personal currency remains improbable. But one in which each big tech platform issues a token as the coin of its realm is probably not far off. Before that can happen, here are three issues that the industry will need to resolve: Are ICO tokens primarily investments, or tools? Can we give up the idea that cryptocurrencies are a new species of traditional cash? And can developers end the plague of technical problems surrounding Bitcoin and every other cryptocoin? The continued rise of cryptocurrencies in 2018 will depend on how much progress the crypto world can make on these questions.

What Is a Token?

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) started out as an alternative means for funding new protocols and infrastructure in the crypto universe. Through this process, companies create and sell tokens; the tokens can be hoarded as investments, or used to accomplish tasks on their platform. Some projects, hoping to reassure skeptics and qualify for more institutional capital, explicitly model their cryptocoin projects on traditional investment vehicles. The startup incubator Science, for instance, raised $12 million in an ICO aimed at taking advantage of ICO-mania to kickstart a whole venture fund’s worth of investments in blockchain-related companies. Science structured its ICO to meet Securities and Exchange Commission rules, and buying into the Science ICO was not that different from buying into any other seed investment round.

The Smartest Move on the part of Companies making ICOS and Bitcoin-Related products will be to wean the Public and the media off the "Digital Cash: Concept.

Others take a more complex view of the role of tokens: Sure, they can fluctuate in value and serve as investments, but we’re creating them because they have a job to perform in making a new technology work. Engineers building new protocols and platforms don’t just take the cash raised in the ICO; the tokens they sell also create incentives and perform basic functions in the systems they’re building, so the tokens won’t just sit in investment accounts. That’s the approach that lay behind the recent $50 million ICO by Blockstack, a startup that envisions a decentralized, blockchain-based web in which your direct interactions with businesses, organizations, and other individuals are powered by its tokens. Blockstack’s system uses its own browser and plans prototype apps from independent developers for data storage, Airbnb-style home rental, music publishing, and personal health records.

Right now, the ICO world happily embraces both these models. A year from now, we should have more evidence to show which one makes more sense. The investment model offers more assurance that any particular ICO won’t be an outright scam; the “put tokens to work” approach opens up more revolutionary technical possibilities.

The Future is Cash-Free

Bitcoin was first explained to the public as a form of digital money, and that is how its successors and competitors—like Litecoin, Filecoin, and Ether—have been framed as well. Each of these “currencies” resembles traditional money in certain ways—they’re abstractions of economic value; they can be traded; they each use unique symbols. But none of them is suited to playing the most basic role of currency, as a relatively stable medium of exchange—that is, as a simple way to buy and sell stuff. There’s too much friction involved. Each transaction takes too long, uses too much energy, and involves too many risks. (Bitcoin, for instance, is shockingly easy to lose—one misplaced password and you’re in trouble.)

More Predictions for 2018

Nearly a year ago—back when Bitcoin was trading for a mere $1000 and people rolled their eyes!—Cade Metz was arguing in Wired that “Bitcoin will never be a currency.” But that idea isn’t dying gently. Here, for instance, is the latest sad tale of a Bitcoin owner who tried to sell some of his holding and found himself in a labyrinth of trouble. As he lamented on Twitter, “It’s still either super complex to use, either woefully insecure and/or unsafe. but now you also have ridiculous high fees, long confirmation times, super impractical exchanges with zero .” (His Twitter ID says he’s a Google engineer, so he’s likely neither a rube nor a technophobe.) In 2018, the smartest move on the part of companies making ICOs and Bitcoin-related products will be to wean the public and the media off the “digital cash” concept. It’s a metaphor that no longer makes sense, and it’s getting in the way of our properly understanding a new technology that’s looks like money but really isn’t.

Still Working Out the Bugs

The biggest problems with Bitcoin have emerged because the mechanics of buying and holding bitcoins are so inscrutable that nearly everyone pays third parties to handle them. Those wallet-service middlemen become points of failure for the whole system. They get hacked; their systems go down; they get ordered by governments and regulators to report transactions that users thought would be anonymous. In 2018 you can expect to see an escalating competition among providers of these wallet services to earn users’ trust. It won’t be easy, since the inflation in Bitcoin’s price has driven a frenzy of participation that strains these companies’ capacities. But if the Bitcoin world doesn’t solve this problem, it will sour the entire industry’s prospects, as it crops up for each new coin or token that catches fire.

Each of these three challenges that cryptocurrencies face comes down to a question of trust. Ironically, the libertarian dreamers who conceived of Bitcoin and its brethren imagined a world of “trustlessness,” in which you didn’t have to assess the reputation of the counterparty in any transaction, or any middleman institution, because the whole process was guaranteed by the blockchain’s irrefutable, crypto-secured record. But nothing that’s happening in the world of ICOs and Bitcoin today has moved us any closer to such a trustless state. People are still making gut-driven bets based on faith: Is my wallet company the most reliable? Which token is most likely to last and appreciate? Which developers are moving in the smartest direction?

Those bets will continue as long as the market keeps rising. The cryptocurrency boom has been built on abundance—both in capital (because interest rates have been so low for so long) and in technical resources (because there were lots of idle CPUs before the cryptocurrency frenzy commenced). As BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen says, “Bitcoin does a very good job of wasting every available resource it can get its hands on.” The technical resources have begun to dwindle, which is why gamers have to pay more for their graphic cards—the Bitcoin miners have bought up all the hardware. The slightest whiff of a financial crisis will tighten the available financial resources, too. The real test for cryptocurrencies, next year and beyond, will be whether they can evolve to be more efficient. Remember: The Cambrian Era ended in mass extinction.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Why Blockchain Will Save the Agency Business

Why Blockchain Will Save
the Agency Business


Now it's time to turn our attention

Last month, I proposed a new disruptive agency model that outlines the operational and organizational structure of the agency of the future. Now it's time to turn our attention to the most important jigsaw piece: the question of the disruptive agency's business model. Like the scene from "The Graduate" in which Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) learns the secret to success in one word, "plastic," the silver-bullet answer for agencies is "blockchain."

I realize there's a lot of "buzzy" talk about blockchain. But blockchain isn't about technology at all. Rather, it's about new business models that fundamentally change how business will be done. As Emily Becher, SVP AT Samsung NEXT International, explains: "Blockchain is a distribution of trust that can shift the distribution of power …." Don't be put off by the geek-speak. Blockchain represents the biggest new revenue opportunity for agencies since 2005, before the industry was taken over by a few big ad networks, black box platforms and fraud. In 2005, ad tech was approached with a "wait and see attitude" because agencies didn't see the business model. Ten years later, the business model is clear and agencies took the biggest hit.

In a reversal of fortune, instead of technology creating more opacity as usual, blockchain is the technology of trust agencies need to protect and act on their clients' best behalf. What's disruptive about blockchain for agencies is that it powers a new and vital "trust" role for agencies, ensuring the quality of the entire advertising supply, heretofore impossible for agencies to execute. With blockchain, "trust" can become a monetizable asset for agencies three ways.

Blockchain allows agencies to diversify campaigns efficiently by breaking the lock of the big ad duopoly.

Facebook and Google capture 70% of all U.S. ad dollars because, for agencies, these platforms scale easily. Yet this concentration of so many ad dollars into so few outlets puts agencies and their advertisers at a huge disadvantage, with little control over campaign execution. Blockchain solves this problem because it decentralizes "transactional" control, so that agencies can efficiently deal directly with many digital outlets, like local media, to improve the quality of campaigns. In this new environment, savvy agencies can create engaging user experiences organized around verified audiences who are engaged on specific topics in real time.

Blockchain eliminates the need for "black box middlemen" who bleed ad budgets (and results) for advertisers.

Blockchain aims its "decentralization arrow" at the heart of ad tech middlemen (ad networks, exchanges and SaaS platforms) because its distributed ledger architecture is a trusted framework with which parties can directly interact. No need for "transaction arbitrators" or external SaaS players, all of who saw spectacular financial growth at the direct expense of advertiser results, due to an erosion of active media dollars.

Blockchain breaks the financial influence tech firms have on marketing.

Let's face it. Technologists drove ad tech to suit the needs of investors first and marketers second, which is why we are left with a complex, dysfunctional landscape of epic proportions. Right now, blockchain is being largely left to the technologists, who have a propensity to solve technical problems in complex ways. For instance, one blockchain venture plans to run 100,000 simultaneous blockchains to overcome the severe blockchain transaction limit of 7-10 per minute. This approach may be imaginative, but its complexity is daunting, covering issues as diverse as energy management (blockchain consumes crazy amounts of energy) to latency issues. Yet this is what is getting funded. The nascent blockchain business is being shaped by technologists, not agencies, and that could mean agencies will miss a new revenue opportunity, one they haven't seen in over a decade and are unlikely to see again for another decade.

The most important change agencies need right now is a change of attitude. Blockchain can disproportionately allow agencies to save the industry, as they save themselves. If agencies had 2005 to do again — I bet a lot would be different. It's a "back to the future" moment when Dr. Brown declares: "If my calculations are correct … you gonna see some serious stuff," and for the disruptive agencies, this is gonna be awesome.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Ripple Price Surges 84% In A Day To New Record High. Is XRP The Next Crypto Rocket ‘To The Moon’?

Ripple Price Surges 84% In A Day To New Record High. Is XRP The Next Crypto Rocket 'To The Moon'?

Ripple seizes the #4 spot with $18B market cap.

Alongside major developments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, other altcoins are beginning to gain traction in the broader eye. One such coin is Ripple (XRP), a cryptocurrency known for its connection with the banking world. 24 hours ago, the price of XRP was $0.27. Earlier this morning (PST), it hit $0.51—an increase of 84 percent. At the time of this writing the price is $0.46 (CoinMarketCap).

What you need to know about Ripple

Alongside its cryptocurrency, Ripple operates as a payment network called RippleNet. The goal of the platform is to optimize easy transfer of funds—to almost any other currency or cryptocurrency in the world in 4 seconds. Ripple is working with banks and financial institutions to become the premier cryptocurrency of record, offering a quick, cost-effective way to transfer funds globally. For example, if you wanted to send your friend in Italy $50, you could trade for $50 worth of XRP, and they could quickly trade that out for Euros.

So why has XRP gone up so quickly?

The increased activity in Bitcoin following Cboe launching bitcoin futures trading on Dec. 10, is generating more activity around the entire cryptocurrency world. As the #4 (and occasionally #5 when Litecoin surpassed it) cryptocurrency, of course Ripple has felt the, well, ripple effect. Another explanation is that as the Bitcoin craze cools off, more people are trading for Ripple—which some see as a more stable asset.

"I think that markets view XRP as a very stable digital asset, so they feel safe parking funds in XRP when they exit other assets. If someone wants to get out of BTC, but doesn't want to necessarily move into fiat, he or she moves the value into XRP," said Miguel Vias, head of XRP markets at Ripple in an interview with Coindesk. Especially as network speeds lag and transaction fees soar on Bitcoin, Ripple may be an appealing trading alternative with its super-fast speeds.

AMEX Partnership

Unlike many cryptocurrencies, whose ethos moves away from traditional banking and financial institutions, Ripple seeks to use the new technology to optimize how money is moved. To that end, a recently announced partnership with American Express could be driving buzz around XRP. Ripple will be working with AMEX to "solve liquidity shortfalls in remittances by offering instant blockchain-based payments."

"American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies…,” said American Express Chief Information Officer Marc Gordon, in a statement. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.” Another explanation is that as the Bitcoin craze cools off, more people are trading for Ripple—which some see as a more stable asset.

"I think that markets view XRP as a very stable digital asset, so they feel safe parking funds in XRP when they exit other assets. If someone wants to get out of BTC, but doesn't want to necessarily move into fiat, he or she moves the value into XRP," said Miguel Vias, head of XRP markets at Ripple in an interview with Coindesk. Especially as network speeds lag and transaction fees soar on Bitcoin, Ripple may be an appealing trading alternative with its super-fast speeds.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Saudi, UAE Central Banks Team Up to Test CryptocurrencySaudi, UAE Central Banks Team Up to Test Cryptocurrency/more

Saudi, UAE Central Banks Team Up to Test CryptocurrencySaudi, UAE Central Banks Team Up to Test Cryptocurrency

The central banks of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia Saudi,

UAE Central Banks Team Up to Test CryptocurrencySaudi, UAE Central Banks Team Up to Test Cryptocurrencyare reportedly launching a pilot initiative that will see the two institutions test a new cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.

Regional news sources such as The National and Gulf Digital News report that Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri, the UAE central bank's governor, unveiled the initiative at a meeting of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF). Though a press release tied to the Dec. 13-14 meeting does not directly relate to cryptocurrency, it does reference that financial technology topics more generally will be up for discussion among the group of central bankers and financial regulators.

According to GDN, al-Mansouri praised the effort as a first for the region. "This is the first times[sic] the monetary authorities of two countries cooperation to use blockchain technology," he said. As quoted by The National, al-Mansouri described the project as a "digitisation of what we do already between central banks and banks." The involvement of Saudi Arabia's central bank is notable, given that the institution to date has not commented on the tech or indicated that it was looking into potential use cases.

By contrast, the UAE is home to a number of private and public sector-driven initiatives, including Dubai's Global Blockchain Council. A number of financial institutions have explored uses of the tech in recent months, include Emirates NBD, which is developing a blockchain-based service for validating bank cheques.

Crypto hedge funds are beating their benchmarks

Decisions, decisions.

Hedge fund managers have been under pressure of late, criticized for charging high fees (paywall) while often failing to outperform inexpensive index trackers. But investors in hedge funds that bet on cryptoassets have less reason to gripe: these funds are comfortably beating broad measures of market performance.As usual with cryptocurrencies, the returns are mind boggling. Crypto hedge funds have gained 1,641% in the year to November, according to data-tracking firm HFR. The funds in HFR’s index hold a portfolio of assets like bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, as well as tokens from initial coin offerings (ICOs).

A value-weighted index of the 10 biggest cryptoassets has gained a mere 1,226% over the same period, according to the HOLD 10 Index. A measure of bitcoin prices provided by CME Group—the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate—is up 857%. The funds’ bumper performance could be explained by their investments in ICOs, which blend aspects of digital tokens with crowdfunding. Just about every government watchdog has warned investors to think twice before investing in them. But despite their slippery legal status, some ICOs have recorded immense gains, either on their own merits or often simply because the tokens are denominated in ether, which has gained more than 6,000% in price this year.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin ‘dwarfs’ nearly all bubbles, Bitcoin Has Gone Mainstream.

Bitcoin 'dwarfs' nearly all bubbles, including the 1929 stock market crash, investor Ken Fisher says

  • Bitcoin, which has soared this year, has some market participants warning of a bubble.
  • "This one in magnitude, whether it's a bubble or not, the price move around that dwarfs every bubble that's ever occurred," Ken Fisher says.

Whether or not bitcoin is in a bubble,

the cryptocurrency's performance "dwarfs" nearly all bubbles, including the 1929 stock market crash, investor Ken Fisher told CNBC on Wednesday. Bitcoin, which has surged more than 1,500 percent this year, has many market participants warning of a bubble. Fisher suggested looking at the peak of prior bubbles with that of the popular digital currency.

"If you look at bitcoin coming up to this point today and overlay it with the peak, it dwarfs all those other bubbles," the executive chairman and co-chief investment officer of Fisher Investments said. "Gold a couple of times, 1929. Nineteen-ninety with the Nikkei, 2000 with the Nasdaq. You can just go down the list: boom, boom, boom, boom, boom."

"This one in magnitude, whether it's a bubble or not, the price move around that dwarfs every bubble that's ever occurred," Fisher added in an interview on "Squawk Box." Birinyi Associates studied bitcoin versus 10 large financial bubbles. If the cryptocurrency is a bubble, it's already larger than the Nasdaq in the 1990s, the Dow in the 1920s and silver in the 1970s, the study showed.

Bitcoin futures, trading under the ticker symbol XBT, debuted Sunday night on the Cboe. The futures price climbed 10 percent in the first two hours and triggered at least two trading halts due to rapid price gains. The new futures were slightly higher on Wednesday. Critics, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, have doubted the legitimacy of bitcoin. Proponents argue bitcoin is a good medium of exchange and a way to store value like gold.

Bitcoin Has Gone Mainstream.
That's a Big Deal Bitcoin Has Gone Mainstream.
That's a Big Deal..!!

Last week, my eighth-grader came home saying

that all the boys at school were talking about bitcoin. Some might describe this vignette, and many others like it from the past few weeks, as a 2017 version of that ominous 1929 moment when shoeshine boys started giving stock tips. But whether or not they signal the bursting of a bubble, these stories also mean something far more important: bitcoin has gone mainstream. I'm not talking about the long-awaited mass adoption point in which a critical mass of users owns, earns and spends bitcoin. We're still a long way from that notion of "mainstream."

Rather, it's a moment of global awareness and dialogue. Even without user adoption, it opens up an immeasurably large array of possibilities, both positive and negative. As crypto-asset prices have gone haywire this past month, the whole world has started talking about bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology – around dinner tables, at holiday parties, in boardrooms, at trade conferences, in government meetings. At this stage, it's not a sophisticated conversation. Knowledge and understanding are still seriously lacking. But people are gripped with curiosity, and that's no small matter.

This human conversation can't be separated, either, from the widening engagement of institutions, big and small. Business news shows and websites are now running the BTC ticker on their home screens alongside the Dow Jones Industrials. Every day, mainstream newspapers and online publications run high-profile articles on bitcoin, ICOs and decentralized approaches to everything from ridesharing and supply chain management to social media and healthcare.

Established companies are forming research consortia with their suppliers, vendors, competitors and new crypto startups to define the future open-source protocols of their industries. The World Bank, the IMF and other multilateral institutions are setting up blockchain labs for development and humanitarian objectives. Central banks are exploring programmable, digital fiat currency prototypes that, despite being government-controlled and centralized, could disintermediate banks and stoke a global competition for new monetary models. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of entrepreneurs in dozens of different countries are launching moon-shot ideas to disrupt virtually every market on earth. There is no turning back. The age of cryptocurrency has arrived.

More than market mania

To battle-hardened cryptographers and Wall Street veterans alike, it all looks a bit disturbing. They cringe as newbies pile into digital assets while touts of varying integrity woo them with blockchain schemes based on untested, undeveloped or often non-existent technology. The cynics' concerns are justified. People will lose money. A lot. Fingers of blame will be pointed. Mostly at the wrong parties.

But there's much more to this than the hype-stoked crypto markets. The intense attention on this unprecedented economic phenomenon is prompting people to ask some key, probing questions. Where does this fervor for bitcoin come from? What's underlying it? Why does blockchain technology matter? Is it an opportunity for me, for my business, for society? Or is it a threat?

In the end, it matters not whether it's bitcoin, ethereum, or some other decentralizing technology that ends up framing our economic future. The most important thing is that people everywhere are starting to think about how a decentralized system of record-keeping and value exchange can flatten organizational hierarchies, reduce friction, expand access, open new markets and promote shared prosperity. It's early days, but this unplanned global conversation could give rise to a "Big Bang" of crowdsourced ideas and entrepreneurship, one that evolves into an unstoppable wave of world-changing innovation.

Welcoming the chaos

What's exciting about this – and, let's face it, also scary – is that it's near impossible to predict where it will all go. The important thing is to let the conversation and ideas happen while also encouraging as wide public input as possible into how this technology is governed, tested and allowed to evolve. We know this from the history of the internet. The value of TCP/IP and of the various other open-source protocols of the internet was that, together, they formed an extensible platform. Anything could be built upon it. We just didn’t know what.

Engineers at DARPA, MIT, Stanford and other places who worked on what was then known as Arpanet say that, when first contemplating its possibilities, they imagined sending DOS-based text messages to each other or sharing files without having to carry a floppy disk from one computer to another. But that was about it. They couldn't foresee everything else: blogs, Wikipedia, social media, online search, streaming audio and video, the cloud, e-marketplaces or ridesharing, much less how the internet would become the backbone of the entire global economy.  That unforeseeable future required a much richer, collective imagination, one with global input.

What those engineers also couldn't foresee was that a failure to establish a truly decentralized trust-management system would allow new, centralized institutions to monopolize control of the global digital economy – the Googles, Amazons, Alibabas and Tencents of this world. Now, at the dawn of the age of cryptocurrency, we have an obligation to get it right, to build a more open economy.

We must let the ideas flow, from every corner of the globe and from every community and interest group. And let those who generate them find the opportunity and the resources to turn them into something they can test, deploy and, hopefully, bring to market. We must promote a decentralized system of open-access that gives everyone a chance to succeed. If the past few weeks are any indication, we're in for a chaotic ride. But our world's problems are too big to entrust to anything less than chaos.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Price Will Hit $1 Million, Says Social Capital Founder/Your Brain into the Blockchain

Bitcoin Price Will Hit $1 Million,
Says Social Capital Founder

Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of Social Capital

and co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, voiced his opinion on the value and potential growth of Bitcoin in an interview on CNBC on Tuesday. The business leader, who first invested in Bitcoin in 2012, indicated that he sees the price of Bitcoin rising massively in the next 20 years as adoption continues to grow. His analysis echoes other commentators and investors who have seen the potential for Bitcoin’s price to reach levels close to $1 mln. Palihapitiya explains his prediction as based on the evaluation of Bitcoin as a store of value comparable to gold.

He said:

“This thing has the potential to be comparable to the value of gold…This is a fantastic hedge and store of value against autocratic regimes and banking infrastructure that we know is corrosive to how the world needs to work properly…I think this thing is a $100,000 a coin in the next 3-4 years, and in the next 20 years will be $1 mln.”

Bitcoin as a hedge against banks

The main argument, according to Palihapitiya, is that Bitcoin presents a hedge against potentially massive problems being caused by the current banking infrastructure. Should the banking structure 4l, Bitcoin is “fundamentally disconnected” from the current platform. His final advice? Put at least one percent of what you invest into Bitcoin — it “may actually save us all”

Put Your Brain into the Blockchain –
An Interview with Crystal Rose

At BlockShow Asia 2017 Cointelegraph

had the opportunity to sit down with Crystal Rose, the Co-Founder and CEO of Sensay. A coder since she was very young, Crystal has many insights into the world of Blockchain, artificial intelligence and a decentralized future.

How it all began

Cointelegraph: How did you start off your journey and how has it led you to sitting with us today?

Crystal Rose: I've been in technology my whole life, I started coding when I was eleven. I was taught through an AOL chatroom, anonymously, how to code html to start and I've learned more computer languages than human languages. My first company was a digital agency and from there I learned that social media was rocking the world and started a social media platform and I've since moved onto deeper technologies; machine learning and A.I. with a primary goal of connecting all of the world's humans together.

Building a community: learn the basics

Today more than ever, it's becoming easier to leverage technology and even build businesses on top of it without understanding the underlying protocols too deeply. We have so many companies building infrastructure that allow you to easily plug in. Certainly, the Internet is a great source for figuring things out and even trying it yourself. Coding is actually really easy so trying to use something open source from GitHub and do something for yourself for the first time gives you a lot of insight. One of my favorite things to do is have designers actually code their designs for the first time through front-end coding just to see how the process goes. I think in terms of Blockchain, it's important to really talk to the people behind it. A lot of them are very accessible. Look at the Telegram groups or any other group that's happening, the forums, and just really connect directly to the people. That's the best way to learn.

CT: What is the number one thing needed to really grow this community in terms of consumers?

CR: Adoption in this space, while we're moving really fast, is still very slow because it is very hard for consumers to use. We are somewhere around one percent of the total mobile population who are currently using digital currency, at least in known users. That is about fifty million, earlier this year it was about five mln. These are studies done by MIT and Cambridge and still it is extremely hard to quantify. I think the space is going to move incredibly fast as we've seen even this year alone. Yesterday Bitcoin hit over $10,000 and I think that is showing us that we certainly have traction and the system is going to keep moving forward. I'd like to see more people be able to adopt it faster so for the consumer applications that are out there; I think it's important that more developers get on board with building bots. We at Sensay have an API that we've opened up, we've opened our entire underlying technology. We are moving from a centralized company to a decentralized company giving away all of the technology we've built over the last three years because we want to encourage more people to build on top of it so if more companies can open source, if more developers can come on board and if more consumers can start using the applications, we're going to see the world radically transform in a very positive way.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

2018: Another Growth Year for Blockchain

Another Growth Year for Blockchain

2017 was a year of tremendous growth for blockchain,

though not in the expected ways. At the beginning of this year, I and others predicted that 2017 would be the year that blockchain moved from proof-of-concepts into production. We did see some notable successes in this regard. Ripple became a fully operational platform with over 100 members and payment volumes in the billions, and industries began to form blockchain business networks, for example, the Digital Trade Chain consortium (DTC) in trade finance. But overall, I expected to see more "go lives" than we did. On the other hand, I don't think anyone expected the unprecedented growth in the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies or the related ICO boom.

So, what will the new year bring?

Despite the obvious perils in making predictions, I feel confident that, among other things, we will see

the following:

  • Blockchain solutions will continue to come into production as the "low-hanging fruit" are addressed.
  • Cryptocurrencies will continue to grow, fueled by traditional asset management players and techniques.
  • Companies will focus on changing business models as blockchain begins to transform market structures.
  • New ecosystems with smart contract technology will arise as integration platforms between existing industries.
  • The ICO will become "professionalized" and morph into IPO 2.0.
  • Scalability and performance of blockchains will become a critical issue, and there will be interesting new approaches
  • People will increasingly recognize that local blockchain ecosystems are a critical success factor.

Now, let's unpack the details.

Low-hanging fruit

Although it was quieter than expected this year, I believe we will continue to see blockchain solutions come into production as enterprises address the "low-hanging fruit" by digitizing businesses and use cases where blockchain can make the most impact. In fintech, the two most promising use cases remain payments (where there are $50–60 billion of potential savings to be had) and trade finance (which stands to save some $15 billion).

As we saw payments do in 2017, I expect we will see trade finance begin to go live on blockchain in 2018. In payments, momentum will pick up and volumes will increase as larger banks, including correspondent banks, get into the act. These players will be tempted by the advantages blockchain brings in terms of real-time processing, lower risk profiles, lower costs and transparency. Blockchain can serve as a stick as well as a carrot, simply by proving that there are better alternatives to the status quo in many industries. We can imagine, as an example, that blockchain has had a hand to play in the European Banking Authority's EU-wide transparency exercises.

We were all somewhat surprised – if pleasantly so – by how well cryptocurrencies did in 2017 as a speculative asset. Indeed, growth was spectacular, with the asset class rising from $14 billion in December 2016 to over $450 billion in December 2017 in terms of market capitalization. I think this growth will continue to be fueled by traditional asset management approaches, including bitcoin futures, crypto hedge funds and the like, all of which will increase the demand for cryptocurrencies and tokens.

New business models

As blockchain continues to change market structures, companies will increasingly focus on changing business models. In a world where middlemen are becoming obsolete, companies will have to learn to stop thinking in silos and be more open to becoming partners in ecosystems or on broader platforms. That, in turn, means deciding what kinds of business models they want – whether it's platform plays, product plays, omni-channel strategies, and so on. These discussions will become multi-dimensional, encompassing both existing services and, increasingly, the new kinds of services that blockchain enables – particularly as blockchain combines with IoT and AI to create new kinds of marketplaces where industry silos come down in favor of broad, horizontal structures.

One of the most satisfying parts of 2017 for me was being able to see this start to happen close-hand among some of the companies I have the privilege to work with. Deon Digital has partnered with Mercedes Benz to develop a new operating system that will help break down silos in the mobility space. Skycell is a good example of IoT and blockchain opening up the pharmaceutical supply chain to embrace payments, invoicing and insurance. TEND is rethinking investment management by creating a Sharing Economy 2.0 for high-value assets.

One space I think we should keep a particular eye on in 2018 is the fund industry, where firms like Melonport are using blockchain to rethink asset management. I think we will see more of this, and that the fund industry will start to be significantly disrupted next year. This will start with the management of crypto assets, but over time we will see traditional assets increasingly being tokenized, migrated onto blockchains and managed on-chain.

The morphing of ICOs

With startups raising over $3.5 billion in ICOs, 2017 was clearly the year of the token launch. To me, though, the ICO boom is significant, not necessarily because of the amounts raised, but because we are seeing the beginnings of the democratization of venture capital. And though the concept had a great 2017, change will come to the world of ICOs in 2018 as more traditional players get involved.

Over the next 12-18 months, I expect people with experience and expertise in the IPO world will embrace tokenization as a technical platform, and the whole business will be professionalized, with book building, pricing, startup evaluation and so on happening more along traditional lines. As we've already begun to see, it will be harder to get funding simply on the back of a white paper. Investors will demand sound business plans and high levels of transparency, with all that entails.

Scalability and ecosystems

One of the key challenges of existing blockchain technology is scale and performance. I predict that next year we will see alternatives to current blockchain technologies that will be more scalable, faster and minimize energy consumption. IOTA, which has gained a lot of traction lately, is, I think, a project to watch in this regard. I also believe people will increasingly find that local blockchain ecosystems, where critical services are co-located in one geographical area, are critical success factors for blockchain projects. This is certainly what we see in the "Crypto Valley" in Switzerland. As the President of the Crypto Valley Association, I hope readers will forgive me for predicting – or at the least, pitching for – the continued success of Switzerland as a blockchain ecosystem.

Crypto Valley has a high concentration of all the services blockchain projects will need to raise money and set up shop, including legal, advisory, tax, accounting, smart contract platforms, KYC/AML utilities and marketing expertise. This coupled with Switzerland’s other advantages, from its state-of-the-art infrastructure to its highly skilled workforce, will, in my opinion, mean it should remain a great draw for blockchain companies – in the new year and hopefully for many years to come.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614


David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Blockchain’s Big Year: Competitive Job Market Grows More Than 200%

Blockchain's Big Year:
Competitive Job Market Grows
More Than 200%

The number of blockchain jobs posted in the U.S.

this year has seen a dramatic increase, according to data provided to CoinDesk from one of the largest jobs sites. The just-published statistics from Indeed.com indicate that, since last December, that number has increased by 207 percent. Even more dramatically, the number of blockchain jobs has increased 631 percent since November 2015. Showing how hot cryptocurrency has become this year after being generally overshadowed by blockchain in 2016, 15 out of the 18 most popular industry jobs specifically mentioned "cryptocurrency" in the description.

Moreover, when seen as a percentage of the site's total number of job postings, the blockchain industry overall increased from only a few jobs per million to roughly 30 jobs per million, showing a slight increase relative to the overall available positions on the site. While many industry observers likely didn't need the numbers to know the blockchain industry has grown massively over the course of the last year, the quantification is interesting, especially as it relates to the divergence in the number of jobs searched compared to the number of jobs posted.

At the beginning of this year, the number of jobs searched neared parity with number of jobs posted, at about 20 searches each per million, according to the chart below, also provided by Indeed. Then, over the course of this year, the frequency of blockchain jobs searched increased by five times to almost 100 blockchain jobs searches per million. This combination of explosive blockchain jobs growth and the interest of jobs seekers has created a tumultuous environment, where the leading employers are duking it out over top-notch talent.

Vice president of product at Indeed.com, Terence Chiu said:

"While the number of opportunities and searches are still quite small, Indeed data shows that companies are increasingly seeking experts to focus on this new technology – and job seekers have been quick to react."

Not just technicians

While nearly all the jobs on Indeed.com were technical in nature, not all employers are after developers or engineers. This year also marked the birth of the Crypto Jobs List website, dedicated exclusively to crypto industry jobs. Launching in September with the promise to not scrape job postings from other sites, and instead only to publish original opportunities, the site has discovered a niche in the non-technical side of the industry.

With an average of two job postings per day, the site has listed 90 blockchain jobs so far, with about 20 more currently being "curated" for possible inclusion. Among those that have been posted are positions for writers, traders, marketers and lawyers. The site's founder and director of growth, Raman Shalupau, described the diverse demand,


"Even though demand for Solidity smart contracts engineers and core engineers is through the roof, there are plenty positions that are accessible for non-technical people."

As an example of this diversity, one of the largest industry employers, Deloitte, currently employs about 800 people across its various blockchain efforts, but only 400 of those are either blockchain developers or architects, according to numbers provided to CoinDesk. The other half of those jobs include positions such as business analysts, strategy and technology consultants, and tax and accounting experts. An estimated 75 percent of all blockchain jobs result from cross-training existing employees – an increasingly popular trend, according to Eric Piscini, a Deloitte principal who oversees much of the firm's blockchain work.

"Every morning when I wake up the first thing I think about is, where can I find more people to join the team?" he said. In addition to cross-training employees, Deloitte hires many of its staff from educational institutions and is one of the largest posters of jobs in the provided Indeed.com data.

The top employers

But it's not just the types of opportunities that differ greatly from job site to job site. It's also the types of employers. On Crypto Jobs List, the top three biggest blockchain employers are interoperable smart contracts startup Wanchain, ethereum client software startup Parity Technologies and asset management startup Cindicator. On the flip side, Indeed.com appears more attractive to legacy firms, with industry mainstays like Deloitte and JPMorgan, as well as interesting newbies including eBay, ESPN and Uber using the premium Indeed Prime service to actively seek out candidates. CoinDesk also reached out to several other large blockchain companies to get an idea of how employment numbers have changed.

Distributed ledger consortium R3, which earlier this year raised $107 million in venture capital, has grown its staff from 30 in early 2016, to 90 at the beginning of 2017, and as high as 150 today, according to the consortium's head of global talent, Simon Clarke. Clarke said R3 has had to become more competitive with its compensation packages, while focusing on creating a culture that encourages employees to stick around. "It's no secret that blockchain expertise is in huge demand right now," said Clarke. "Firms are fighting to hire the best talent, and candidates are able to be incredibly picky about the role they ultimately choose."

Computing giant IBM said that other large enterprises aren't the biggest threat in attracting talent. According to the firm's vice president of people and culture, Mike Schade, it's rather the blockchain startups that are most attractive to job seekers. Since the beginning of the year, IBM has grown the number of blockchain-focused employees it has from 400 to 1,500, primarily by giving those employees access to its biggest clients (whereas startups generally offer equity in the company). Yet, if that doesn't work, Schade said the tech giant works to keep friendly relations with even former blockchain employees, in case the startup life doesn't work out. "We keep in touch with them closely,"

A new kind of employee

Beyond just changing the relationship these companies keep with former employees, blockchain technology is also changing the nature of employment itself, according to Andrew Keys, an early employee of ethereum startup incubator ConsenSys. Formerly the head of global business development for the firm, Keys is himself as an example of the evolving arrangements that are helping change what it means to be an employee. Keys is now the co-founder of ConsenSys Capital, which is just one of more than 25 so-called "spokes" of ConsenSys as a larger company. Each spoke has its own founder, who interacts with the corporate hub in his or her own way.

But along with their job titles, Keys and other employees identify as "members" of ConsenSys, an allusion to their varying vested interests in the company's success. The company, which grew from about 100 employees in January to about 470 today, offers a spectrum of compensation arrangements, including varying degrees of equity, salary, token distribution arrangements and other affiliations. "We're blurring the lines of what employer-employee relationships are," Keys told CoinDesk.

Threat to jobs?

In the end, though, the total number of blockchain jobs in the economy will likely be more difficult to calculate than any other profession, as will their impact on other jobs. While jobs numbers are always an estimate, blockchain roles in particular will likely always be tough to quantify due to the pseudonymous or anonymous nature of many in the industry. That's not the only reason why the impact of blockchain on the jobs market could prove difficult to calculate, though. The often touted "increased efficiency" achieved by a shared, distributed ledger has increasingly become a widely used euphemism for cutting jobs.

Earlier this year, Digital Asset Holdings founder Blythe Masters warned that there was no guarantee blockchain would be a net win for the jobs industry. Echoing that sentiment is Mizuho Bank senior digital strategist working with blockchain, Ikuma Ueno. Following an address Ueno gave at banking conference Sibos earlier this year, he argued in interview with CoinDesk that employers might eventually have a responsibility to retrain the employees that blockchain makes irrelevant – if they can. "It's always hard to tear off the people who have been dedicated to that service for 25 or 30 years, and then tell them to do sales. It's not going to work," he said,


"But that must be taken into consideration when you are trying to do new approaches."

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

A BIT LIKE BITCOIN Iota price and how to buy – what is the cryptocurrency and how does it compare to Bitcoin?

Iota price and how to buy – what is the cryptocurrency and how does it compare to Bitcoin?

Iota – which stands for Internet of Things Application – is a new digital currency, similar to Bitcoin
IOTA is the latest word on the tips of people’s tongues as cryptocurrencies continue to make the news.
Here is everything you need to know about it…

Iota is a bit like Bitcoin but different in a few key ways

What is Iota?

Iota – which stands for Internet of Things Application – is a new cryptocurrency, similar to Bitcoin. But it is different in certain key ways. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like pounds, dollars or euros – they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world. To process Bitcoin transactions, a procedure called “mining” must take place, which involves a computer solving a difficult mathematical problem with a 64-digit solution.

For each problem solved, one block of Bitcoin is processed. Iota, on the other hand, removes the need for this by asking anyone submitting a transaction to verify two other random transactions. It all sounds quite technical but it basically means it is decentralised, there’s no fee for transactions and the more people using Iota the faster the network becomes.

How do you buy Iota?

You can buy Iota by using something called a crypto exchange – the same as if you were buying other cryptocurrencies.The main difference with Iota is that it is not available to buy directly with traditional cash – you can only trade it for another cryptocurrency. That means if you want to get your hands on some Iota, you first need to acquire something like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Some of the most popular options for buying these are Coinbase, Blockchain.info and Xapo. You can then trade them on certain crypto exchanges for Iota.

There are currently only two exchanges with significant trade volume of Iota – Bitfinex and Binance. Bitfinex is based in Hong Kong and is better for non-US customers. But anyone thinking of investing in Iota or any other cryptocurrencies should be very careful. Their values are volatile, with the ability to plummet as quickly as they shoot up. And investors are frequently targeted by hackers and other criminals who seek to steal their crypto-cash online.

Is Iota as valuable as Bitcoin?

Iota is not as valuable as Bitcoin, which was today (11 December) trading at £12,503.76 for a single unit. Iota is a newer currency which – trading as “Miota” – is worth just £3.16 ($4.23). But its value has shot up by more than tenfold over the last six months.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Cryptocurrency Scammers Took At Least $1.7 Million From Canadians Last Year

Cryptocurrency Scammers Took At Least $1.7 Million From Canadians Last Year

Cryptocurrency scams doubled from 2016.

Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum

have become incredibly valuable in a very short period of time; in the last 12 months, one bitcoin went from being worth $700 USD to over $16,000 at the time of writing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has made cryptocurrencies—and the people who own them— more attractive targets for criminals.

To see a concrete example of this trend, you only have to look to Canada. In 2017, scams involving cryptocurrencies doubled from the previous year, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Canadian Press reported on Monday. The total amount of fiat money stolen from Canadians through cryptocurrency scams in 2017 was $1.7 million CAD ($1.3 million USD), the anti-fraud agency reported. And, presumably, that's just what victims reported to the agency. This year’s cryptocurrency crime numbers are five-fold greater than in 2015.

Canada has seen some high-profile cryptocurrency scams this year. A Quebec-based Ethereum startup called PlexCoin collected nearly $15 million USD from unsuspecting victims before the scheme came under fire from Canadian and US finance regulators. Last week, PlexCoin’s CEO was sentenced to two months in jail by a Quebec court.

Cryptocurrency scams are really a dime a dozen these days, with criminals even going so far as to set up entirely legitimate-looking websites with real, and helpful usability guides—but all the links are fakes that steal digital coins or user information. It makes sense, since digital currencies are extremely valuable, but can also be irretrievably lost with the push of a button. It’s a perfect storm.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden