Tag Archives: #blockchain

Bitmain’s Ethereum cryptocurrency ASIC could give us our graphics cards back

Bitmain’s Ethereum cryptocurrency ASIC could give us our graphics cards back

Mining machine manufacturer Bitmain are supposedly developing an ASIC
 
(application-specific integrated circuit) for Ethereum – a cryptocurrency that is currently ruled by GPUs alone. This move could potentially cut down the demand for graphics cards from miners, which would be great news for gamers, but potentially very bad news for AMD and Nvidia.The information comes from senior analyst Christopher Rolland of the investment and trading group, Susquehanna, and reported by CNBC.

“During our travels through Asia last week, we confirmed that Bitmain has already developed an ASIC for mining Ethereum, and is readying the supply chain for shipments in 2Q18," Rolland says. "While Bitmain is likely to be the largest ASIC vendor and the first to market with this product, we have learned of at least three other companies working on Ethereum ASICs, all at various stages of development."

This could be a big hit to the customer base of both Nvidia and AMD, although the latter will likely be hit hardest by the potential change in the market – Rolland suggests Ethereum mining accounts for 20% of AMD’s sales. Ethereum currently maintains second from pole position in market cap – second only to Bitcoin – and the virtual currency has, up to now, been dominated by graphics cards to fund its Ether-powered network.

Doubts over the profitability of ASIC miners for Ethereum mining have been at the forefront of discussion for some time. ASIC miners are widely used for Bitcoin mining, although Ethereum has been assumed ‘ASIC-resistant’, due to a reliance on memory – which is currently difficult for graphics card manufacturers to acquire. Bitmain’s new miner supposedly incorporates three motherboards, each with 32 one gigabyte DDR3 modules and six ASIC chips – reports Hexus. Popular miners for ASIC-heavy cryptocurrencies, such as Bitmain’s own AntMiner S9 packed with 189 ASIC chips, utilise far less memory.

It’s not all memory limitations, however. The profitability of Ethereum ASIC miners has been in doubt ever since Ethereum’s inception and the inevitable change to a proof of stake algorithm (one which removes the onus from mining new coins) sometime in the future. This change, however, has been a long time coming, and could still be a long way away. As for AMD, their graphics card business has been booming thanks to the cryptocurrency market, and this business drying up could be especially bad for them. Rolland has since downgraded AMD’s stock outlook from neutral to negative, which represents a potential huge downward slide in share value if it comes to pass. Nvidia, on the other hand, don’t seem all too worried.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Tips for Hosting a Marketing Industry Event That Doesn’t Suck

Tips for Hosting a Marketing Industry Event That Doesn't Suck

One Toronto event featured sessions with titles like The Business of Marijuana, DIY Beer & Craft Culture and Axe Throwing.

I work in mobile marketing, and, in case you didn’t know,
our industry loves conferences.

First, there are the multi-day industry events, typically hosted someplace warm. You fly in with high hopes, but your enthusiasm tempers quickly when you see the bland conference hall, overflowing with attendees, the vendors so eager to pitch you that you feel overwhelmed and outnumbered. 

Next, there are the smaller conferences, held somewhere convenient, like San Francisco or New York. The content is compressed into a half-day format, and everyone goes home in the early afternoon. You talk to no one and leave uninspired. Finally, there are the company-organized events. More and more former sponsors of industry events have started hosting their own conferences, meetups, happy hours and other organized gatherings. And that's enough to keep you constantly filtering through the invitations in your overflowing inbox — or feeling tempted to forgo the whole task altogether.

Because of this overload, many companies are more selective about what they'll participate in. They want an event with valuable content worth their time and effort. So, as someone who's hosted industry events and attended more conferences than I can count, my main advice to event planners is to put their audience’s needs above all else. With that in mind, here are my must-do’s for hosting an industry event that doesn’t suck.

Build your attendee list thoughtfully.

This seems like a no-brainer, but based on past events I’ve been to, some people are evidently skipping this step. You have to start by clearly defining your target audience. Consider creating attendee personas — detailed descriptions of the type of people you want to attend. Think beyond title, company size or even geographic location. Assemble a group of people who will benefit from meeting one other, and from having meaningful conversations that can have a lasting effect. Odds are, you're not going to throw the next SXSW or CES, and that's OK. Some of the best events I've been to have been smaller in volume  — because 100 decision-makers are likely to be far more relevant than a massive crowd.

Choose the right location.

Let’s face it, when people consider which event to attend, location is a major factor. There is a reason why conferences like the Adobe Summit are held in Las Vegas and Ragan’s upcoming Social Media Conference is at Disney World. So, don't jump to rent a conference hall, because thinking outside the box can help your event stand out. Depending on the size of your event, consider a hip restaurant, a winery or a more creative space, such as this historical train station in Oakland, or even the Magic Castle in LA.

Think about the goals of your event and what location and format would best help you achieve them. Is your event intended to reward your most loyal clients and strengthen your relationships? Choose a destination that is enticing, and perhaps even exclusive. Are you trying to get a big turnout? Think about your attendees’ ease of travel, and of course be sure to make the logistics as easy as possible.

Deliver valuable content in an engaging way.

Take the time to pinpoint what you can offer your attendees that no one else can. Brainstorm internally, of course, but don’t hesitate to consult with others. Ask trusted clients, vendors and friends who fit your attendee persona what they want most from an event like the one you’re planning. Be sure not to spread yourself too thin — decide on a specific theme and stick with it. Events should be hyper-focused, with clearly defined content pillars, so it is clear what people will gain by attending.

For example, iMedia runs global summits all over the world. It always creates a specific theme for each event, based on feedback from the industry. Its upcoming Brand Summit in Bonita Springs, Fla., will cover brand activation in the new economy. In the event’s communication and marketing, iMedia is clearly defining the types of questions its content will answer. Some additional tips for curating the best content possible for your industry event:

  • Invest in the right keynote speaker. He or she will help to pique attendees’ interest and set the tone for the rest of the event. This is not the place to skimp.

  • Keep your sessions short. This will challenge your speakers to focus on their best possible content, and keep attendees interested.

  • Provide your speakers with clear guidelines and information on your audience. Tell them the types of questions you would like answered. Consider reviewing their content before the event to make sure it is on point.

  • Don’t make things “sales-y.” If you're allowing vendors to sponsor a session or two, remember that people prefer case studies to straight sales pitches.

  • Experiment with different formats: panels, breakaway sessions, audience Q&As, games, etc. You want things to be as interactive and engaging as possible.

  • Make it fun! Some sort of recreational activity, happy hour or creative out-of-the-box session allows people to let their hair down and network in a less formal setting.

What "out-of-the-box" might mean

Here are a couple of meetings where event organizers — or outside organizers — did something unexpected:

  • During Tableau’s conference in Austin, Texas, one of Tableau’s competitors crashed the event, offered attendees free doughnuts and handed out tickets for its competing party, featuring artists like Flo Rida and Snoop Dogg.
  • At Trend Hunter’s Future Festival in Toronto, out-of-the box sessions were offered, with titles likeThe Business of Marijuana, DIY Beer & Craft Culture, Yoga with a Mind Reader and Axe Throwing, in order to drive higher attendance.
  • C2, a creative business conference in Montreal, redesigned its setting in 2016 to include an innovative retail experience for attendees, including street art and handmade tea cozies.
  • Stockholm’s Global Forum event tried the silent approach, giving attendees a headset in order to switch between multiple speakers and sessions at their convenience.

There is no shortage of marketing conferences, but there is still a real need for events that offer high-quality, curated content and spare attendees the unnecessary noise they so often suffer through. No matter what industry you are in, if you are hosting an event, the key to success is to truly recognize the value of your audience — both for you and everyone else.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

A Guide to Airdrops Part 1: The Beauty of Airdrops

A Guide to Airdrops Part 1:
The Beauty of Airdrops

We’re sure you’ve all heard the idea that ‘airdrops are free money!’

As wise investors and skeptical purveyors of the cryptospace, we are rightfully incredulous of such a claim. “Free money?”

Sounds like bullshit. In some cases, you’re right. However, in many cases, you’re actually wrong. Because airdrops are so muddled with B.S. and worthless coin drops and require some level of technical knowledge of how cryptocurrency works beyond “send money from wallet A to person in wallet B,” and sometimes even involve the transfer of private keys, many people in the cryptospace stay away from them. But if you’re willing to navigate through the sea of B.S. and find the many (yes, many) projects that actually offer legitimate airdrops that can be cashed out for real value, then you actually can get “free money” in this space fairly easily.

How Much?  

This number depends on you and your personal situation as well as the cryptosphere in general at a given moment in time. How much free time do you have? What projects are offering the airdrops at this current moment? How long do you have to wait for it? Do you need to stake anything? Will the price of the coins drop or rise by the time you finally get around to selling your free airdrop? How much disposable income do you have available to accumulating coins specifically for the purpose of obtaining “free ones”?

Okay, I Get It but Can I At Least Get a Rough Estimate?

So, like I said above, it’s hard to get a ‘rough’ estimate. But if you stay on top of these, and you’re diligent about the opportunities that you pursue, and you have roughly $4,000 of disposable income to invest and ‘hold’ certain coins, you earning an extra $1,500+ per month is not out of the question at all, and that’s a conservative estimate.

Will you become a millionaire/rich off of airdrops? Probably not. But there is a great chance that you can earn yourself several thousand dollars of additional passive income each year doing little to no work without having to ‘gamble’ on making good choices on the markets, and that’s something that 99 percent of people on this planet should want to take advantage of.

So Why Are These Projects Giving Away These Coins?

Because there’s something in it for them and it costs them relatively little to nothing to do so.

Here’s a brief explanation:

  1. They have a new project that they just released, and they don’t want to have their project destroyed by folks that simply bought the coin during the ICO to make a quick profit the day that it launches on exchanges. So, they build in a staking mechanism or some other sort of incentive to encourage people to hold the coin, rather than selling it. This encourages folks to not only buy it, but hold it – shortening up the sell side of the order books (generally), and forcing the price upward gradually. This strategy doesn’t always work, but it has been very effective in the past, and it’s a formula that a lot of different crypto projects have attempted to duplicate for that reason alone.
  2. A hard fork is another common reason for “free coins.” This isn’t necessarily the developers doing; this is just a consequence of initiating a contentious hard fork on any chain. Basically, whenever a contentious hard fork occurs, it ‘copies’ the history of the chain up to that point. So, all of the transactions that occurred in the past are still valid.

Suppose there’s a coin called “ExampleChain.” ExampleChain has existed since 2011, and it has a lengthy history in the community. Some developers decide they’re going to create a hard fork for this chain called “BetterExampleChain” and it’s set to initiate tomorrow. Everything that’s a part of ExampleChain’s history is part of the “BetterExampleChain” blockchain up until the point of launch tomorrow. So, if Billy sent Jill 20 “ExampleChain” coins the week before, the “BetterExampleChain” has that recorded as Billy sent Jill 20 “BetterExampleChain” coins the week before.

So, when “BetterExampleChain” launches, Jill will have 20 “BetterExampleChain” coins in her wallet. And why wouldn’t she?

What Wallet?

So, let’s say Jill has no clue what the hell “BetterExampleChain” is. That doesn’t matter. If “BetterExampleChain” is a true hard-fork, then Jill should be able to “claim” her coins.

What Do You Mean “Claim?”

Basically, Jill has a few options here:

  • Jill can claim her new ‘BetterExampleChain’ coins by configuring the ‘BetterExampleChain’ wallet by inputting her public key and private key (proof that she really is the owner of this wallet), and she’ll gain access to the new tokens. *We’ll get into how to manage this private key issue later.
  • Perhaps Jill has her coins on an exchange that has the private key to her wallet. However, that exchange has decided to do the work for Jill and will compensate her by adding the corresponding amount of ‘BetterExampleChain’ coins to her wallet.
  • Jill has her coins in another wallet service like Coinomi that’s been known to support airdrops. They decide to do the work for Jill and deliver her coins to her.

Thus, if you’re someone that’s looking to make a bit of extra money through cryptocurrency, but you don’t want to risk an absurd amount of money doing so, airdrops may be the way to go. Keep in mind though – airdrops are not without risk. There’s a chance that the price could drop while you’re staking or waiting for an airdrop. Folks in the cryptocurrency world have been known to pick up a coin solely to stake it for an airdrop or to qualify as a ‘holder’ at the time of the ‘snapshot,’ then they’ll quickly “dump” or sell their holdings immediately thereafter. Thus, if you’re not wise about the strategy that you use for an airdrop, you may find yourself losing out.

However, the chances of coming out with a net loss during this process is usually tangibly less than it is for those trading on the open markets. You don’t have to participate in airdrops, but they often present themselves as a viable means of acquiring some ‘easy money’ in crypto. 

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

 

Bitcoin is Gaining Legitimacy in Europe as Dutch Court Deems it Transferable Value

Bitcoin is Gaining Legitimacy in Europe as Dutch Court Deems it
Transferable Value

Earlier this week, a Dutch court described bitcoin as a transferable value

during a case that requested Koinz Trading BV to pay mining proceeds worth $5,000, or 0.591. The court explicitly stated that property rights apply to bitcoin, given that as a cryptocurrency, it is able to transfer value in a peer-to-peer manner. The court went on to note that the cryptocurrency is a legitimate transferable value.

“Bitcoin exists, according to the court, from a unique, digitally encrypted series of numbers and letters stored on the hard drive of the right-holder’s computer. Bitcoin is ‘delivered’ by sending bitcoins from one wallet to another wallet. Bitcoins are stand-alone value files, which are delivered directly to the payee by the payer in the event of a payment. It follows that a Bitcoin represents a value and is transferable. In the court’s view, it thus shows characteristics of a property right. A claim for payment in Bitcoin is therefore to be regarded as a claim that qualifies for verification,” the court document translated by Cointelegraph read.

Differences in Bitcoin Regulation

In the US, cryptocurrencies are considered as commodities, at least by the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In Japan, the government acknowledged cryptocurrencies as a legal currency, allowing citizens and businesses to utilize cryptocurrencies to send and receive money. In the Philippines, cryptocurrencies are seen as a remittance method, that provides an efficient method for transaction settlement.

Generally, while cryptocurrencies as a whole are considered as different types of assets or money, they are considered legitimate by most governments. The Dutch court, if it had decided cryptocurrencies was not a legitimate transferable value, it would have requested the company to pay the proceeds in Euros. However, that was not the case, as the court specifically ordered the business to pay 0.591 bitcoin to the petitioner.

In many regions, the legality of bitcoin still remains unclear. In India for instance, the government has offered no additional information apart from an ambiguous message that bitcoin is neither legal or illegal. Consequently, businesses have integrated their own Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems, to stay compliant with the country’s existing regulations on financial companies, which can highly impractical and costly.

Europe

However, in Europe, at least within the EU, bitcoin is considered as an asset and a transferable value. In the recent G20 Summit, an international forum participated by the 20 leading economies of the world, global financial watchdog Financial Stability Board (FSB) emphasized that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are considered assets, and they do not pose danger to the stability of the global financial industry.

“The FSB’s initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time. The market continues to evolve rapidly, however, and this initial assessment could change if crypto-assets were to become significantly more widely used or interconnected with the core of the regulated financial system,” read the statement of the FSB. Conclusively, if the global cryptocurrency market and businesses within it continue to function as a strictly regulated market with compliant businesses, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will always be considered as legitimate assets.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

This Marketing Strategy Is a Game Changer for Resource-Strapped Startups

This Marketing Strategy Is a Game Changer for Resource-Strapped Startups

Tech-powered ABM is the future of marketing.
Is your startup prepared for the transition?
 

Take a look around any city sidewalk, classroom, restaurant or waiting room,

and you’ll see how prevalent technology has become in our society. In fact, according to a 2018 survey by Pew Research Center, just more than a quarter of consumers say they're "constantly online." But technology could never eclipse real human conversations and interactions, could it?

According to Daryl Plummer, managing VP at Gartner, that reality is just a few years away. Plummer believes that by 2020, artificial intelligence tech (such as chatbots) will dominate both our social and business cultures, heading up everything from customer service interactions to lead discovery conversations. And because bots will be trained to deliver targeted messages, have personality and incorporate hyperlocal nuances into conversations, people could find great joy in engaging with them. Before we know it, we could all be conversing more with bots than with our own spouses.

We can thank today’s information-fatigued consumers for innovative solutions such as this — and, in part, for the growing popularity of account-based marketing. Rather than wasting time on mass marketing that fails to grab or keep targets' attention, ABM calls for marketers to tailor messages to specific personas or audiences — ultimately personalizing the brand experience for users and generating more viable leads for the company. And when paired with certain technology, ABM can be a real game changer for businesses, especially resource-strapped startups and time-starved entrepreneurs looking to tip the scales in their favor.

Making ABM work for your startup.

It's the scaled-back, prospect-focused approach of ABM that's key to effectively engaging your targets and maximizing your team’s efficiency. Each success you have with a targeted account will offer you new insights, skills and tools that will help you expand your marketing efforts as your startup grows. However, the true secret to ABM success is leveraging the right technologies to set your business apart from the others. The best emerging technologies will help you not only target and streamline your efforts, but also track and strengthen your engagement rates, saving you valuable time and money in the long run.

Some technologies are already known to pair well with ABM. For instance, digital footprints can aid in identifying your audience’s unique obstacles, and predictive intelligence solutions can help you anticipate target accounts' needs so you can perfectly time marketing messages. Furthermore, addressability and programmatic buying can enable you to target messaging to those with certain characteristics, such as job title. But it's important to investigate less-common technologies and automation systems, too, until you’ve customized a tech package that fits your company’s unique audience, focus, needs and budget. With your tech choices squared away, your next step is to incorporate them into your business plan. Here are some tips for making the conversion to ABM:

Don't be a one-trick pony.

Since 2013, Amazon has been the king of curating product recommendations. You can thank its ultrapersonalized home pages, in part, for teaching targets to ignore email blasts and banner ads that don’t speak directly to them. That’s why ABM emphasizes seizing their attention through personalized messages and customized brand experiences.

There are really no limits to how creative you can get personalizing your brand message or user experience. But you’ll typically find that the more effort you put into customizing your outreach, the more engagement you’ll get in return — a top benefit of ABM, according to 83 percent of marketers surveyed by Demandbase. You might start out by building personalized landing pages on your company’s website for specific clients and target audiences. Customize these pages with images, text and special offers that fit the audience’s unique preferences, interests and needs. Then, monitor whether these pages draw users back to your site and which features they interact with the most, and adjust your efforts accordingly.

Take a course in social intelligence.

What really sets ABM — and potentially your brand — apart is how you can make each account feel seen, heard, understood and appreciated. Doing so is vital to keeping your contacts satisfied. In fact, 84 percent of marketers told ITSMA that ABM has the highest return on investment of any marketing strategy or program, showing that ABM’s customer-driven approach is key for marketers in retaining and growing business relationships.

How do you learn all the nitty-gritty details about your contacts so you can craft messages that make a real impact? And how do you keep up with all the changes and challenges they experience over time? A great place to start is by subscribing to a public information service, such as Google Alerts, that allows you to customize search parameters, track company activity and receive alerts whenever changes occur. To unveil more minute distinctions, interests and challenges, monitor your target account's online social activity on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter (try the list-building feature). Each new tidbit of information will help you anticipate your contacts' evolving needs, reshape your marketing messages and boost your startup’s value in their eyes.

Look beyond sales.

We all know that networking can be helpful in business. But when you’re working on a smaller scale, recognizing and capitalizing on business connections are frequently a pivotal part of building enduring relationships. It’s often that “we run with the same crowd, so let’s be friends” connection that pushes target accounts to choose your startup over your competitors. It’s important to remember that networking for your startup isn’t all up to sales, though. The rest of your team can make valuable connections that propel your business forward, too. In fact, a SiriusDecisions study found that when its clients cross-aligned their product, marketing and sales teams, they saw a 25 percent increase in revenue growth and a 56 percent increase in profitability.

The ideal way to uncover every valuable business connection your team may have is through the TeamLink feature on the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. With that information, you can then work your connections, get a dialogue going with potential customers and start building rapport that will hopefully lead to a sale. Technology isn’t going anywhere. It’s infiltrating our social and business lives more and more every day. But that doesn’t mean you need to adopt every form of new technology just to get your brand noticed. Instead, focus your efforts on account-based marketing solutions and technology. It’s the surest way to build meaningful connections, increase marketing efficiency, stay on budget and put your startup on the road to success.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Establishing ethical guidelines for marketing cryptocurrencies

Establishing ethical guidelines for marketing cryptocurrencies

The marketing of cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

is currently operating like the Wild West. From Ethereum to Litecoin to Neo, there are over 1,300 offerings in the burgeoning crypto market, and people like James Altucher are here to profit off the confusion. However, change is afoot. Facebook banned advertising of ICOs and cryptocurrencies, Google just joined suit and even Twitter is attempting to rein in the fraudsters. We need to establish what regulations must you follow to avoid liability and what ethical guidelines should the industry establish on its own to foster trust and legitimacy.

The Cryptocurrency Regulatory Landscape in Flux

So far, the U.S. is taking a cautionary approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and ICOs, issuing more statements than clear-cut regulations. This Coinbase article on ICO regulation summed up the government’s confusing approach well: “Be careful. ICOs are risky and dangerous. It’s possible that a token, depending on the circumstances, might not be a security, but it probably is. If the token resembles a security, again on a case-by-case basis, then you need to follow existing securities regulation for an ICO.” So, an ICO may be a security and governed by securities laws. Or maybe it isn’t. This lack of clarity poses risks for everyone from investors to entrepreneurs to marketers of running afoul of the law. Moreover, it poses questions of ethical duty: What rules should we follow? Should government put regulations in place?

There are many experts in the crypto industry that bemoan any mention of regulation, as the markets frequently react negatively to them. The anti-regulation sentiment is strong among Bitcoin investors, too. A recent survey by Lendedu showed that nearly 50% believe the government should not play a stronger role in regulating Bitcoin and virtual currencies in 2018. On the other hand, some experts say that the market is ready and even needs regulation to stabilize and gain the trust of mainstream investors. “I believe we need more regulation. It will hurt in the short term, but I believe it will eventually add a zero to the market cap,” said Protocol Ventures founder Rick Marini in an Q&A with VSC. “There’s a lot of big money—pension funds, endowments, institutional money—that is sitting on the sidelines, waiting for clarification.”Indiegogo Moves to Set a Standard and Self-Regulate

We should be looking to platforms like Indiegogo for inspiration on what a self-regulated crypto market should look like. Previously limited to the crowdfunding space, Indiegogo has chosen to follow all securities regulations in its initial foray into the crypto sphere in order to protect both sellers and investors and make the market more accessible to everyone.

Indiegogo partnered with FINRA-registered broker-dealer MicroVentures when it launched its equity crowdfunding portal last year to “help ensure [its] equity crowdfunding offerings are SEC compliant,” and it will similarly offer SEC-compliant ICOs. This is despite, as Indiegogo readily admits, the fact that many ICOs today are conducted outside of securities laws. For sellers, Indiegogo provides a registered broker-dealer that can facilitate token pre-sales inside current SEC regulations in addition to providing critical investor accreditation validation, know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money-laundering (AML) services. Additionally, it is not a free-for-all market—the company is carefully curating its selection of vetted token pre-sales to prevent shady ICOs from being offered on the platform.

Currency Ratings are Vital to Self-Regulation

The cryptocurrency industry should also consider creating independent cryptocurrency rating agencies a la S&Ps and Moody’s that rate bonds. While the 2008 market crash proved that these credit-based rating services are not perfect, that’s actually a good thing. The flaws in existing systems give the crypto industry a baseline for best practices and a way to learn from past mistakes. This could be accomplished via independent analyst teams that interview companies that are planning ICOs, and issue reports on the need for a coin in their stated use case, the financial strength of said company, management team pedigree, venture capital support, and then deliver A-F rating scale on the comfort with such an offering. In keeping with crypto’s purely market-based structure, non-governmental oversight seems more appropriate, especially if the market provides enough incentive for competing analyses.

It is possible that a truly crowdsourced rating prediction system could also be developed to supplement or even supplant the independent analysts. Studies have shown that non-expert “crowds” can be astonishingly effective at predicting outcomes. For example, UC Berkeley’s Good Judgement Project found that it can improve outcome predictions by training ordinary people to make more confident and accurate predictions over time as “superforecasters.” If applied with appropriate safeguards from manipulation, this crowd prediction model can also be applied to rating cryptocurrencies. Not only may it prove to be more accurate than ratings agencies, it’s very much in line with the decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency world.

I tend to believe clear and nationwide regulation of cryptocurrency will help stabilize the market and make it safer and more appealing to mainstream investors. But government regulation challenges the technical and cultural core of cryptocurrency as a decentralized market and a store of value that’s not tied to any one government-issued currency. Self-regulation of marketplaces and marketing could be the perfect middle ground. Effective self-regulation, exemplified at Indiegogo, can protect the future of the industry, the viability of cryptocurrencies, and even stem further government regulations. Of course, there is no guarantee this will stop regulation or even that users will want to adopt any rules. But the “good guys”—which is probably the majority of us—have a duty to act ethically and with the best of intentions when dealing with all types of investments, including the new frontier of cryptocurrencies. We can literally have the livelihoods of our friends and neighbors in our hands when doing this kind of work and we should all act accordingly.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Cryptocurrency Airdrops: The What, the Why, and the How

Cryptocurrency Airdrops:
The What, the Why, and the How

As the blockchain industry and ecosystem develop,

new terms become commonplace amongst those who run in blockchain technology circles. In the cryptocurrency sphere, the word airdrop has taken on a different meaning from the more widespread military definition. In the blockchain world, the term airdrop refers to gifts.

What is an Airdrop?

Airdropping is the process of distributing tokens to a user’s blockchain wallet at no cost to them. It is a technique commonly used by startup businesses that are undertaking an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), as a tool to promote projects and increase their brand exposure. In addition to this, airdrops can happen when there is a fork in a cryptocurrency. Examples of this include Bitcoin users getting Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum users getting Ethereum Classic tokens equal to the value of that held in their original wallets.

Why conduct an Airdrop?

Airdrops can happen for a number of reasons, the most common being:

To reward loyalty: Free tokens can be provided as a reward to users of cryptocurrency exchange websites, giving them free tokens to say thanks for being loyal to their platform. That was the case in 2017 when Binance gave 500 TRX to its users.

Marketing: Used by companies to attract attention during their ICOs in order to encourage investment in their crypto tokens. They are also often used at the launch of a new cryptocurrency, particularly when this is the result of a fork (for example, the Bitcoin Cash airdrop mentioned above).

Decentralization: This can help to create a higher level of security for the network and its users. For example, OmiseGO distributed a sizable chunk of its tokens to Ethereum users.

How do Airdrops happen?

One of two methods are generally used to conduct airdrops:

Planned: Planned airdrops are usually announced in advance, as part of a marketing strategy to promote a project and generate excitement in the crypto-community.
Surprise: Surprise can also generate excitement and a lot of free publicity when it is a well-established cryptocurrency that conducts the airdrop.

Where to find Airdrop information

Information relating to airdrops can be found in a number of sources, including:

  • Social media accounts/profiles
  • Crypto/blockchain forums
  • Crypto/blockchain news sites/applications

These sources can help users select the most popular or current airdrops. Besides this one, two other websites to source interesting and reliable information about airdrops are Airdropalert and Airdropaddict. Information about airdrops can also be sourced directly from the horse’s mouth, with companies that plan airdrops announcing them through social media and press releases. These releases generally contain the requirements on how to be eligible for the drop. An example of this can be seen in LCCX.

Security and scams

Like any other new technology, crypto and blockchain technology has attracted plenty of scammers in the recent past, and airdrops have not escaped this. It is, therefore, necessary to verify information about an airdrop, especially if you heard about it in an advertisement. You should never be asked for a private key, for your personal data, or for you to transfer funds.

Conclusion

Airdrops can be a useful technique to raise awareness of a new token or project – or to gain some coverage in the press with the excitement of free tokens for an established cryptocurrency. They have benefited the market greatly in building desire in users to invest in new projects, and to remain loyal to existing ones. But, like all technologies, it is vital to be on guard against scams and scammers, who will try to cheat you of your hard-earned cash and crypto.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
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An In Depth Look Into Blockchain Technology

An In Depth Look Into Blockchain Technology

Blockchain, a brainchild of the of the mysterious pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto,

is an indisputably ingenious innovation. The technology allows digital information to be distributed to users without being copied, thus creating the spine of a new kind of internet. The Blockchain technology was originally invented for the sole purpose of governance of the digital currency, Bitcoin, however, tech pioneers have devised and continually devise other potential uses for arguably the most disruptive technology.

Bitcoin (BTC), tagged – quite appropriately the “digital gold”, currently has a total currency value of close to $9 billion (USD) with Blockchain technology being central to its development as well as other emerging altcoins. Similar to the internet, understanding how the Blockchain works is not a strict requirement for utilizing the technology. However, having a basic knowledge of the Blockchain technology would help you get a grasp of why the technology is revolutionary.

Distributed Database

Essentially, Blockchain works like a spreadsheet which is duplicated thousands of times across a network of nodes. This spreadsheet, by design, gets regularly updated with trade transactions.

This is essentially how the Blockchain functions i.e. information on a Blockchain exists as a shared database that is continually updated and reconciled. One of the amazing benefits of the Blockchain technology is the fact that this database of information and trade transactions is not stored in any single location and not governed by one central node or computer. Records kept on a Blockchain is indeed public and easily verifiable by anybody.

The fact that the Blockchain is not governed by any central node – instead, it is hosted by millions of nodes/computers concurrently over the internet – means it cannot be hacked.

Durable and Robust

Blockchain technology, similar to the internet, has a built-in robustness. The Blockchain stores blocks of records that are the exact same across its network and as such, this stored information cannot:

  • Be governed by a central authority &
  • Does not have any single point of failure

Since the invention of the first Blockchain based digital currency (Bitcoin) back in 2008 to this recent date, there has been no significant disintegration of the Bitcoin Blockchain (problems recorded with Bitcoin to date have been as a result of hacking or mismanagement). These issues are not attributed to the underlying concept of the Bitcoin Blockchain but to bad intentions (hacks) and human error. As with the case of the internet’s (which has been around for about thirty years) durability, the Blockchain technology is revolutionary and it is set to stay as it gets developed further.

Incorruptible and Transparent

The Blockchain technology network functions in a state of consensus whereby it automatically checks-in with itself on a ten-minute loop. Essentially, the Blockchain technology functions as a self-auditing ecosystem of digital assets’ value, it reconciles all transactions that occur in ten-minute intermissions. Each group of these reconciled transactions is called a “block”. As a result of the Blockchain automatically reconciling transactions, there are two resultants properties yr.

  • Transparency:
  • Transaction records are embedded within the Blockchain network as a whole and it is publicly accessible by every and anybody.
  • Incorruptible:
  • The Blockchain cannot be corrupted. To alter any unit of information on the Blockchain network, a huge amount of computing power is required to override the entire network.

While there is a possibility of this occurring theoretically, it is not practically feasible. Taking control of the Blockchain network to garner bitcoins would destroy the value of the digital currency itself.

A Network of Nodes

The Blockchain is made up of a network of computing nodes i.e. computers that are connected to the Blockchain network. These connected nodes (computers) use a client to perform transaction validating and relaying tasks, they automatically receive a copy of the Blockchain when they (nodes/computers) join the Blockchain network. Collectively, these nodes create a powerful second-level network. Each node that joins the Blockchain network is an “administrator” of the network and has an incentive for its participation as part of the Blockchain network i.e. ‘mining’ Bitcoin (in the case of the Bitcoin Blockchain).

‘Mining’ is sort of a misnomer, in actuality, it means each of the nodes competes to win Bitcoin (BTC) by cracking computational puzzles. While Bitcoin was the primary reason for the Blockchain technology invention, currently, there are over 800 altcoins available in the crypto sphere. Likewise, there have been other adaptations of the Blockchain technology concept with the Ethereum Blockchain especially being used as a working board for alternate Blockchain adaptations in industries ranging from finance, transportation, e-commerce etcetera.

Heightened Security

Blockchain technology offers an enhanced security for digital information via its storage of records across its network, thus eliminating the risks associated with records being held at a central location. Additionally, the Blockchain technology being decentralized translates as the network lacking a centralized point of vulnerability that can be exploited by hackers.

The Blockchain technology’s added security also comes from the use of encryption technology as its security methods, unlike the internet whereby users mostly rely on the ‘username-password’ system which opens up well-documented security issues. In the Bitcoin Blockchain, there exists the public and private “keys”. The public key which is a long, randomly-generated string of alphanumeric digits is the users’ address on the Blockchain. Users receive Bitcoin to this address (also called a wallet address).

The private key is a password (also a long, randomly-generated string of alphanumeric digits) acts as a personal user’s password for their wallet address. This private key is used to access your digital assets. While the Blockchain safeguards your digital assets (Bitcoin in this illustration), users are mandated to safeguard their private keys.

How Blockchain Technology Works

So, let’s break down how the Blockchain technology actually functions. When a new transaction occurs or an existing transaction is edited, these information enters into a Blockchain. This information is evaluated and verified by the nodes connected to the Blockchain via the execution of algorithms.

Since the Blockchain is consensus-based, a majority of connected nodes would need to come to a consensus about the validity of the history and signature of the transaction information after which the new block of transaction information is accepted into the Blockchain ledger and a new block is added to the transaction chain. Otherwise, the block of information is denied and not added to the chain. The distributed consensus model allows the Blockchain run as a distributed ledger without the need for a centralized governance.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
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How Will Blockchain Affect Brands And Marketing?

How Will Blockchain Affect Brands And Marketing?

Whenever I advise on or architect blockchain solutions for a company,

someone always asks me, “How will a blockchain solution add brand value?”

The answer lies in the power of transparency.

People often talk about authenticity in a brand. It has become more and more important for shoppers to see that their favorite brands live out the same values that they do. And blockchain provides something that’s sorely lacking among brands at the moment—actual proof that sustainable, ethical, and responsible practices are being used in the production of goods. Millennials and other sustainable shoppers want that proof. If you look at the success of brands like Patagonia or Everlane—which are very transparent about where their materials come from and the conditions they’re produced under—it’s clear that the amount of people who want to buy ethical goods is growing.

Although many brands talk a big game, they don’t always walk the walk when it comes to labeling practices.

Brands have strong incentives to prove that their products are made in an ethical manner, without exploiting workers or destroying the environment. Brands know that Millennials and other socially-conscious shoppers want to buy products that are responsibly-sourced. So when you walk into a grocery store, there are labels and seals all over products that say “cruelty-free” or “sustainable” or “ethical.” They do it because that’s what sells. These labels have become so common that they don’t even merit a second look. The playing field has been leveled. And with Millennials spending an estimated $1.4 trillion per year by 2020, brands can’t take labeling lightly.

Some companies believe if you don’t have “organic” stamped on a product, then you’re not branding your product correctly.

But consumers want to know that product label claims are actually true. They want visibility into the chain of events that led to the stamp. For instance, palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil on earth, with a projected 66 million tons being consumed in 2018. Yet the growth of plantations that produce the oil is destroying huge swaths of tropical forests, mostly due to “slash and burn” techniques used to clear land.

Blockchain provides an opportunity for brands to transparently record where their palm oil comes from. If they show it comes from sustainable sources, that in turn improves their brand value in the eyes of their customers. Companies that can actually prove their ethical practices will have a leg up on competitors who rely on stamps and marketing gimmicks.

Brand value isn’t just affected by where products come from—it’s also affected by where they go.

The fact is, the way we currently mass produce goods is inefficient. The supply is based off last year’s numbers, dubious projections, or whatever some new AI analysis can come up with. It’s rarely accurate.

What happens when it isn’t accurate? If projections come up short, companies lose out on potential profits. If they’ve overestimated the demand, the planet gets a brand new infusion of garbage. That’s not an exaggeration, either. Fast fashion outlets like Forever 21 and H&M have long been accused of burning or otherwise destroying surplus inventory. Blockchain can help suppliers shift from an oversaturated supply chain to a demand chain. We can move away from the concept of inventory to create a completely direct-to-consumer model, with goods produced based on the demands. No faulty projections or inventory destruction necessary.

Ideally, all participants in the demand chain will be interconnected by a common blockchain backbone.

This is not just good for the planet—it’s good for brands too. It means more operational efficiency and less money spent creating excess inventory. Companies can also tell their customers that they’re actively minimizing waste and not over-producing goods. Using blockchain, businesses can save money and become more efficient. Customers can feel good about buying their products. It’s a win-win. But it’s also important to remember the people who actually make these products. Customers may feel good about buying from a company that doesn’t destroy inventory, but that doesn’t mean the products themselves were produced ethically.

Blockchain can also enable decentralized, constant reporting and feedback systems for workers at every level of the supply chain.

Through tools like BetterKinds, companies can prove that the workers in their supply chain aren’t being exploited or working in run-down factories. And HR members can participate and align around the specific products and brands they’re helping to fulfill. We’ll see greater worker satisfaction, higher retention rates, and real changes in the way that our clothing, food, and technology is produced. The end game here is to create a circular economy—a closed-loop system where everyone in the demand chain is incentivizing each other to become more efficient, more sustainable, and more ethical. We have the technology we need in blockchain. We just have to put it to work.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Major Differences Between Mobile And Desktop Marketing

 Major Differences Between
Mobile And Desktop Marketing

Around the globe, mobile is taking over. While there is no denying that mobile is where you need to be targeting your customer base, is that true for all industries and audiences? What about workers that sit at a desktop computer or laptop all day? Reaching these consumers takes finesse, and you need to plan your marketing strategy accordingly. That's why a dual campaign is important to reach your business’s promotional goals.

Communications executives outline the major differences between
mobile and desktop marketing.

Amount Of Content

What works as the right amount of content on a desktop may not be the right amount on a mobile device. On mobile, you shouldn't have more content than you can reasonably expect a visitor to scroll through and consume. Make it simpler for them to understand exactly why they should scroll because you're working with a lot less real estate than on a desktop to get that point across.

Priorities

On a desktop screen, it's possible to fit several calls to action. Add this to your cart, sign up for our newsletter, here's five ads, etc. A mobile device should only showcase one actionable item at a time. Order each CTA vertically in order of importance to your business. Attempting to fit two or more side by side will be too busy for users and dilute their effectiveness. Less is more.

Image Format 

An issue many brands have when maintaining a cross-platform strategy is posting images in formats that do not match best practices for their destination. Images cropped to a portrait-aspect ratio tend to have better performance on mobile, while landscape-aspect ratios tend to perform better on desktops. Optimizing for the target destination is often overlooked, but can have a sizable effect on ROI.

Location

As is true in real estate, location is important when it comes to developing mobile- or online-first campaigns. Consider where people are engaging with your campaigns. If they're interacting with your campaign during their commute, in between meetings or from their couch, are you meeting their expectations for the amount of effort they have to put in?

Content Fitting With User Habits 

Most mobile usage is done on the go, while standing in line, waiting for a movie to begin or an order to arrive, etc. You have a very limited window. Content should be short and engaging with easy-to-follow calls to action. Remove as many potential obstacles as you can. Make content easy to share, pre-populate contact information and make purchasing something simple with as few steps as possible.

How People Use Their Devices

Marketers need to decide between mobile and desktop based on the differences in use. For example, we have our smartphones with us 24/7, but we rarely run deep online research on them. My advice would be to combine mobile and desktop: Mobile can be used as an alert or interesting hook to an offer, while the discovery phase should be mobile optimized, but better fit the desktop.

User Intent

The key is recognizing that there is a distinction when it comes to intent between devices. A consumer searching for your product on their mobile device likely has a different intent than when they are at their desktop. Your copy needs to address both the audience and intent, which will differ by device. Use data to drive your investment once you have segmented your reporting.

Fewer Words, More Visuals

The rule "fewer words, more visuals" is not a surprise when we speak about desktop marketing, but it's a must in mobile marketing. Ads should be as short and eye-catching as possible. Use visuals that speak to pain points and solutions, and provide call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

Facebook Video Ads 

If you're marketing through a Facebook video ad, keep in mind that most people look at Facebook on their phones. They may be checking it under the table in a meeting when they're bored. For that reason, their volume will be turned off. Therefore, your video must be compelling and easy to understand without sound. Facebook will allow you to add captions to your video if needed.

Attribution 

People don't complete the main goal (purchase/lead) of a website on a mobile device. Rather, they do it on a desktop and use their mobile device as a research tool throughout the buying journey. If a marketer were to only measure the last touch as a success metric, they would have trouble finding mobile ROI. You need to attribute all steps of the journey to the final sale.

Altering States Of User Experience

When creating content and selecting platforms to expand reach, it's important to keep UX design top of mind as it will affect the way your consumers interact with your content. Just as code appears differently on mobile and desktop, marketing assets and content are experienced differently on both. Marketers that focus on creating excellent UX/UI design will see the most ROI from their campaigns.

Multi-Screen Opportunities

Although there has been a boom in consumer mobile purchases, desktop marketing isn’t dead. While mobile marketing should capture attention quickly and be shareable, there’s a unique opportunity for marketers to thoroughly flesh out messages on desktops. Plus, most consumers use more than one screen so you can capture them with a cohesive message across all channels — mobile or desktop.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614