The scope of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

The scope of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

Previous blockchain blogpost

Cryptocurrency is a digital payment maintained by a network of computers that uses cryptography to authenticate transactions. Depending on how investors expect to make money and how they are structured, some cryptocurrencies may count as securities. If traders of these currencies prop up the price and go online to spread gossips, that might count as fraud. It can be hard to determine if a bubble exists. The only way to ensure that they avoid a burst is mass adoption.

The first digital currency was Bitcoin mined by millions of people in different locations around the world. It was Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, who built its decentralized system that anyone could participate in, but no one could own. Although it was open to all, ironically, Bitcoin transactions were supposed to be anonymous. When Bitcoin came into being in 2009, the promise was to be the universal electronic currency that passed around the world in minutes. However, Bitcoin has qualities that make it not only a coin but also a store of value and a network of payments.

Store of value

The exponential jump in the rate of Bitcoin has stoked interest from big banks and even Wall Street. For example, in 2010, using the forum bitcointalk.org, a developer bought two pizzas by paying Bitcoins for the purchase. Fast-forward a few years, and the value of that Bitcoins shot up to 425 million dollars. They are now trading for more than $2,600/- but hardly anything to spend it on.

Network of payments

The software stores a continuously updated ledger that records all Bitcoin transactions. The code sets the scarcity of Bitcoin, and mining introduces new Bitcoins at regular intervals. This form of earning Bitcoins consists of solving the math problems necessary to confirm transactions. Successful solving of those problems using mathematical calculations triggers the creation of more currency.

Limitations of Bitcoins

A civil war is over the future of Bitcoin ever since its launch, and it is already showing strain. Bitcoin’s share of the market cap of all cryptocurrencies fell from 85% to 41%. Its price has soared and not dropped, but many rivals have risen even faster. Moreover, the Bitcoin network can only process seven transactions a second due to code limitations. This quantity is trifling considering that the system aspires to serve the masses. As the load increases, it takes time to confirm transactions, and customers have been at odds. The bickering threatens to condemn Bitcoin to obsolescence or divide the currency into two versions. All in all, although Bitcoin allows the transfer of value, it is slower and more limited in its capacity than some of its latest rivals.

Biggest cryptocurrency competitor

One of the biggest among the competitors of Bitcoin is Darkcoin, a portmanteau of digital cash. Part of the stellar success of Dash is due to Bitcoin’s flaws and limitations. This cryptocurrency emerged following Bitcoin’s rise in price in January 2014. Dash is one of the most popular digital currencies because it promised untraceable transactions. Although it saw plenty of dumping, its creator continued to add new features and refine the software. In 2015 it was rebranded as Dash so that it would not be mistaken for a single-feature coin. Gradually Dash gained legitimacy, and its currency’s total value has grown every year.

Advantages of Dash

A new payment method has to be easier to use, more secure and faster than others to attract customers. Bitcoin and the other digital currencies in the market fail on all these three metrics. Dash has functions and features to address such concerns and weaknesses that most others do not have. Also, Dash offers its users a quick send feature that is as easy as using a credit card. People who hold 1,000 coins and above are required to submit all future projects for a vote. The benefit of such a system is that it is a decentralized network that allows making decisions rapidly, avoiding conflicts such as that of Bitcoin, which has no way to compel anybody to adopt a new version.

The next version of Dash will include features that protect against fraud or theft such as moderated transactions. This function would allow funds to be released only upon the receipt of products, and vault accounts, which can stop an impending withdrawal of funds within 24 hours. The goal is to have a medium of exchange that can facilitate everyday commerce. The one of its kind governance system of Dash is its clearest innovation, one that is impossible to replicate.

Smartest cryptocurrency competitor

Ethereum’s creators have built a network that allows developers to create agreements written into the software. These intelligence contracts can dispense funds and perform functions automatically in response to triggers.

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Emergence of altcoins

Many of the players in the digital currency world, known as altcoins, were exclusively used as vehicles for use-and-discard schemes. An altcoin’s creator would often pour funds into a coin and build hype. Novices would jump in, the price would spike, investors would throw them away, and the amount would plunge downward.

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Bitcoin versus altcoins

People use many of the currencies younger than Bitcoin for much more versatile purposes. That means Bitcoin faces a threat from more nimble competitors such as Litecoin, Zcash, and Monero. On the other hand, just as Bitcoin struggle against the American dollar, new cryptocurrencies face an uphill battle against Bitcoin, which has the most significant user base and the broadest name recognition.

Today, there are many digital currencies in the world worth billions of dollars

Today, there are many digital currencies in the world worth billions of dollars

Total market value

Today, there are many digital currencies in the world worth billions of dollars. In 2017, digital currencies in aggregate had a total market value of approximately $100 billion. Based on market cap, the price of digital currencies can be possibly ten times that of the most significant companies.

Cryptocurrency becoming mainstream

People are using cryptocurrency wallets because retailers are now starting to accept them. Japan’s new legislation in April 2017 and Australia’s in July allows retailers to take Bitcoin as a legal tender. Ten financial institutions have put enough trust in Bitcoin that they use Ripple to send payments in real-time. There is a consensus among 56 companies worldwide on scaling Bitcoin, reaching an agreement on a settlement process.

Driver of innovation

Blockchain will disrupt every business, and digital currencies will drive new company model innovation, accelerating and scaling business outcomes at unprecedented levels. This revolution could be either a bubble or the onset of a financial realignment. Therefore, investors are cautiously bullish on the success of blockchain, which is crypto currency’s groundbreaking technology.

Coming up next:

Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later.This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority. But cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point.

Creation of value through blockchain technology

Creation of value through blockchain technology

Previous blockchain blogpost:

We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.

Creation of value through blockchain technology

The blockchain is the culmination of all the platforms such as Napster, Skype, and BitTorrent that operate on peer-to-peer networks. It is the infrastructure of the digital currency and is described as an open, shared, and distributed ledger. A process known as cryptography creates digital currencies and additional units of them. It also verifies the transfer of assets and secures the cryptocurrency transactions in the blockchain.

Global peer network

The blockchain is a network that verifies every transaction, which then becomes a new block of data. Blocks are nothing but lists of linked records that keep growing continuously. When this data gets added to the blockchain, the recorded value is available to all the users of the network. This revolutionary technology is maintained simultaneously across millions of computers without any central data storage. In short, blockchain is a spreadsheet that can record verifiable transactions efficiently and permanently.

Value exchange network

Fans and advocates of the technology hail it as an efficient global network of value exchange. A very high level of security within the blockchain technology leaves no room for failure. Part of the efficiency is because of its ability to generate value for the community of keepers. In the real estate industry blockchain enables to store authentic online documents, draw digital smart contracts, and keeps the identities of the parties anonymous.

Authentic online documents

While accepting digital payments in real estate transactions is new, this cannot change the status quo. It can only change if the government used blockchain to store all the data of the industry there. If blockchain can facilitate moving land records to an immutable online ledger, no one could go back and manufacture records out of thin air. A huge benefit of such an initiative would be fraud prevention, which amounts to someone producing false paper documents that look authentic.

Digital smart contracts

If verified and quality data about potential buyers and properties were available on the blockchain, it is possible to draw intelligent treaties. These are legal agreements written in computer code with programmed rules to direct the flows of money. No more sit-downs between escrow agents, lawyers, and brokers to review paper documents. The system would have it all and would run smoothly and quickly, provided the data regarding properties and people in the blockchain is accurate.

Parties remain anonymous

Cryptocurrency payments offer anonymity because they are digital that in some cases require just an email address to acquire them. Blockchain could protect the buyer’s anonymity by allowing interested parties to ask questions without revealing who the person behind it was. The fact that the owners can also remain anonymous is a significant appeal to some in the luxury real estate market.

Bottlenecks of implementation

While all sounds great on paper, for everything to work seamlessly, it still needs a lot of things in place. The first challenge comes down to how to authenticate and qualify the data for the real estate sector. Moreover, there are severe logjams in the real estate industry with the manual dissemination and collection of data. Then there are questions about how to regulate or tax those purchases; how to deal with Bitcoin payments that stay in the native cryptocurrency, versus those that people convert to cash; and who has access to query and search data in the blockchain. Although blockchain and cryptocurrencies are here to stay, that will require stakeholders including real estate attorneys, escrow agents, and brokers to get involved.

Digital wealth creators

Currency

Currency

Nowadays there are smart platforms in the crypto industry that create wealth and value. The platforms allow people to lend Bitcoins and receive daily interest on the investment. But first Bitcoin has to be transferred to an account, and all transactions will have to be with Bitcoin.

Emerging crypto investment

The crypto business and the hype behind blockchain remind us clearly of the tech stock and dotcom manias of the 1990s. It sounds a bit like the early days of the Internet, which blossomed when investors were chasing the most speculative stocks that did not end well. Capital One, a software company, is a case in point that went public at $21/- a share. By the end of the year, the share price surged to $1,000/-, however, five years later it filed for bankruptcy.

Largest Bitcoin exchange

Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox

However great the promises, technology always have one mitigating factor, and that is humans. A few years ago, Mt. Gox, the Bitcoin exchange, built on the blockchain, burned and crashed. When it filed for bankruptcy, a large number of Bitcoins went missing from the accounts because of a problem with its code. Mt. Gox was not the only digital enterprise that went down. There were many others too. But that does not by any means mean that Bitcoin is a bubble waiting to be burst.

Concerns by authorities

As traders and investors have bid up Bitcoin’s price higher and higher, the Securities and Exchange Commission have suspended trading of some firms, most notably The Crypto Company. The Security Exchange Commission authorities cite concerns regarding the adequacy and accuracy of information about compensation paid and plans for insider sales. Lately, it has also taken steps to crack down on potential scams and frauds surrounding digital currencies, especially with initial coin offerings. The sale of a digital token to investors instead of stock is known as initial coin offerings. Several cryptocurrency officials are worried about the industry getting a bad name too. Hence they are willing to cooperate with Security Exchange Commission and other regulators to weed out bad actors.

Hopeful but cautious

There is a promising and emerging trend towards digital payments using blockchain

There is a promising and emerging trend towards digital payments using blockchain

There is a promising and emerging trend towards digital payments using blockchain. But investors need to be cautious and not chase small companies that are trying to ride the wave. Currently, Bitcoin’s adoption rate is about 1%, however with scarcity and demand comes value appreciation. So, as the adoption grows, there is hope that Bitcoin’s value will increase substantially. After all, many of today’s tech companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, survived the dotcom tragedy and are now doing better than before.

Coming up next:

The blockchain is the system behind cryptocurrencies. A basic grasp of how it works will prove to be sufficient for now. But in the future, this knowledge would hardly be enough. The question is how to start, and the answer is first to have an understanding of the fundamentals of blockchain. With the growth of the industry, it is possible to reach mass adoption. Even if it fails, Blockchain is here to stay and is a big game changer.

Blockchain technology applications in various industries

Blockchain technology applications in various industries

Previous blockchain blogpost:

Bitcoin can address the cash flow problems that many marketing agencies face. One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.

Blockchain technology applications in various industries

The novel technology called blockchain is making waves and is the new change on the horizon. Although it is already in the financial world, the uses of blockchain technology are far more wide-reaching. It is shaking up many sectors along with all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing, and digital advertising.

Supply chain sector

WALMART IBM

WALMART IBM Source: Unlock blockchain

The problem that large food companies face is trust issue because their customers are skeptical of many things such as where their food comes from and the factory conditions. It is the job of the marketer to build trust to be able to sell the product successfully. And transparency about the product is the quickest and the surest way to gain that trust. For example, Walmart used a strategy to bring a certain level of transparency in their logistics and supply chain. They enabled their customers to track digitally from where the products came. The goal was to boost the trust of Walmart consumers in their products. This strategy of storing products through blockchain makes room for transparency and prevents tampering. Some services such as Metamask and Keybase already offer the user control of their transaction history and identity.

Earth with Tree between Hands - Ecology Concept

Earth with Tree between Hands – Ecology Concept

Corporate responsibility sector

Sustainable practice is something that customers used to take on the organization’s word. Regarding such initiatives as corporate social responsibility, there used to be no accountability. Blockchain can generate digitized agreements, wherein the company is then held accountable by making these promises public.

Fashion designing sector

VeChain-End of counterfeiting

VeChain-End of counterfeiting Source: The complete coin guide

Innovative ideas are coming through in the fashion industry using blockchain. Shanghai-based Vechain is authenticating fashion products and providing a background of the items using blockchain technology. At Shanghai Fashion Week, Babyghost provided a link between the fashion and digital worlds. The customers can verify if a particular fashion item is genuine or not by scanning the tag using blockchain, and even see where it came from as well as who had previously modeled it. Verification of the authenticity of the products can be traceable from the point of origin. This feel to each product allows the customer to create a unique connection with the item. Thus blockchain can tap into authentic advertising without being seen as marketing. The possibilities are endless for those marketers innovative enough to jump on the bandwagon.

Digital advertising sector

The advertising and marketing industry is not only dynamic but also susceptible to change. Intrinsically, it fluidly adapts to the shifting focus of consumers and new technologies. The blockchain comes into this arena by creating more value for ad campaigns. For advertisers and marketers, the future could be different on many fronts and applications. They include permanent contracts with consumers; verification of ad delivery; and handling consumer data transparently. This surge shows how much commotion is happening right now in the digital marketing industry. And it all boils down to an increase in the profit margin and a decrease in extra costs.

Intermediaries made redundant

The middle person plays a significant role in the world of digital advertising and marketing. However, the companies investing are hardly getting even half the value because of the intermediaries involved. The technology of blockchain solves this by proving that users are real, eliminating the need for a mediator for advertising. So, companies can now communicate directly with the site owners when they publish an ad.

New blockchain browser

The Brave browser built on blockchain has ad-blocking software that blocks intrusive ads and trackers. The blockchain browser allows screening of those ads that do not respect people’s privacy. It has introduced the Basic Attention Token, which brings the digital marketing model to a simple framework of users, publishers, and advertisers, without the intermediaries taking a cut. This software can anonymously track the sites that are of interest to a particular target market. Brave creates a win-win situation whereby the advertising agencies can target the ads directly to the end-consumers, and people can choose the level of exposure to these ads and also get paid for it.

Unified customer profile

In marketing, the process of gaining a customer profile comes in dribs from third parties such as Google and Facebook. But the novel way of doing things would provide marketers with an integrated profile of the customer. That way, marketers will have to prove their customer relationship value and find advanced ways to engage with them.

Future of marketing

The way forward is to balance advertising and marketing with consumer identity concerns. In the new era, marketers will have to earn the permission of the customer in a completely different way. So, in the future, the marketer will have to pay the user to see their advertising material. For example, when a company approaches a user to subscribe, the company will be asked to pay the customer a certain price for that info. It would be in crypto payments, which would then go through a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin branded company

A brand that embraces cutting-edge technology is one that is innovative and edgy, one that other companies might want to copy. It is possible to create a whole strategy around this and gain coverage that will put the company in the middle of conversations and generate intrigue and curiosity around the brand. There is also the opportunity to become a go-to expert by producing informative content around this topic. The way it could work for a business is by first learning how to source Bitcoins, and then deciding whether this is the right fit for the company.

Receiving Bitcoin tokens

To accept Bitcoins, all that is needed is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads. From there, the users can opt to donate them using blockchain all the while making it reliable and private.

Coming up next:

We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.

Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin

Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin

Previous blockchain blogpost:

Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. However, not much discussion goes around as to how blockchain would upend the role of advertising. Nevertheless, advertising industry will be one among the first that blockchain technology would disrupt. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena.

Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin

One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. With most agencies getting paid on a monthly basis, shortening the payment cycle can improve cash flow. Different ways such as providing clients with a menu of payment options to changing terms can accomplish this. Most agencies opt for the former, choosing to offer the option of paying via credit card, direct bank transfer or cheque. Although these are all very convenient, there are risks and costs associated with each.

There are risks and costs associated with each payment type

There are risks and costs associated with each payment type

Credit card transactions

For credit card transactions, merchant fees are typically around 3%, which can be high for clients on huge retainers. Moreover, credit card companies hold payments for up to three days before they transfer it.

Direct bank transfer

For direct bank transfer from one account to another using electronic methods, usually, there is a flat fee levied on each transaction, making them affordable for the sale sizes most agencies process. But while costs are less expensive, the time to process a bank-to-bank transfer is longer.

Payment using cheque

With cheques, although there is no cost to process them, there is a significant delay in getting paid. From the time it takes to mail it to the time the bank clears the payment, it can take a couple of weeks to see the amount hit the bank account.

Payment option challenges

Both direct bank transfer and credit card transactions sometimes incur disputes or chargebacks from customers. They may claim that the charge was unauthorized, false, or that the bank misappropriated the information of the account. When this happens, marketing agencies have no choice but to absorb the financial loss. Also, organizations that accept direct bank transfer or credit card payments are obligated to safeguard the payment information of the clients, and if they mishandle this, it can be a severe risk.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Bitcoin offers solutions

For marketing agencies struggling to increase cash flow and reduce risks, Bitcoin is the solution. There is no risk in accepting Bitcoins but an advantage regarding improving the cash flow. Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, it has grown to become the most extensively used cryptocurrency in the world. Vendors including Amazon, Overstock.com, Dish Network, Target, Dell Computers, PayPal, eBay, Expedia, the Sacramento Kings, Home Depot, Kmart and Sears now accept it. Bitcoin payment solution also has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages.

Great financial benefits

Marketing agencies that get paid via Bitcoin can either accept actual Bitcoins or merely turn them into cash using a third-party payment processor, much like credit cards do. From a risk standpoint, the former approach is much safer because there is virtually no exchange risk when using a third-party processor. There are no processing fees unless the transactions exceed a high amount. There are no chargebacks either because Bitcoins are push transactions, meaning the buyer initiates them.

Less tangible benefits

Marketing agencies should consider accepting Bitcoins because there are non-financial benefits. Agencies get paid faster because payments are processed immediately without any delay. Also, the agencies do not need to safeguard or hold sensitive customer payment information such as bank account or credit card numbers because of the push nature of the business. Therefore, the marketing agencies are not at risk of confidential information being leaked, stolen or hacked if it experiences a data breach. And converting them into cash eliminates the risk of fraudsters taking the Bitcoins through a cyber attack.

Easy payment form

Chief amongst the reasons to accept Bitcoin, as one of the accepted forms of payment, is customer satisfaction. Marketing agencies can allow their clients to pay for the services in the way that is most convenient and easiest for them thereby offering them more options.

Capture lucrative customers

While people have not widely adopted Bitcoin the way they have done with credit cards it is prevalent amongst high-tech and dot-com firms, which can be very profitable customers for the agencies. There is a growing but small cadre of advertising and marketing agencies that are accepting Bitcoins such as Quintain Marketing, 5ivecanons in Jacksonville, Florida, and DiMassimo Goldstein in New York. Because there are so few of marketing agencies that are taking Bitcoin, those that do are enjoying a significant amount of press coverage.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Processing Bitcoin payment

Blockchain has various uses, but it becomes technical when it comes to how it works and what it is. When someone wants to pay using Bitcoins, they must initiate it using a private key. The company or person who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Once Bitcoin has been initiated and processed, it cannot be refunded or taken back.

Get set go

Getting started is easy and fast as there are plenty of companies helping businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option. These companies help businesses to navigate the unfamiliar process of establishing a Bitcoin account. They will then connect the company with a third-party processor that will convert the Bitcoins into cash, which then gets deposited into the bank account. Among the most popular payment processors include Bitpay, Coinbase, and GoCoin. To help simplify the process, take some time to check out their sites, and if possible, work with a local agency. That way, there will be someone to turn to for help for quick answers to questions in this unchartered territory. 

Mass adoption challenges

The most significant problem with the mass adoption of Bitcoin is that people do not have a clear understanding of how it works. They cannot even comprehend what it is. Furthermore, Bitcoins have been used to facilitate black market or illegal transactions because they are non-refundable, difficult to trace and are not regulated by any central authority. As a result, the news in the mainstream media channels surrounding Bitcoin has been negative. This bad publicity has led to the hesitation on the part of many companies to accept it as a payment form.

Coming up next

Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. It is already in the financial world. But the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking digital advertising firms. It is also becoming prevalent in many other sectors in all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, and fashion designing. To accept Bitcoins, all the marketing firm needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.

Blockchain technology in sales and marketing

Blockchain technology in sales and marketing

For the next few months, expect a series of 13 blog posts about blockchain technology and its impact in sales and marketing. Below is a synopsis of what to expect in each blog post in the order given.

  1. Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena. Already companies based on blockchain are growing exponentially.
  2. One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.
  3. Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. Although it is already in the financial world, the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking up many sectors along with all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing, and digital advertising. To accept Bitcoins, all the company needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.
  4. We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.
  5. In the real estate blockchain enables to store authentic online documents, draw digital smart contracts, and keeps the identities of the parties anonymous. While all sounds great, for everything to work seamlessly, it still needs a lot of things. As traders and investors have bid up Bitcoin’s price higher and higher, the Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading of some firms. Investors need to be cautious and not chase small companies that are trying to ride the wave.
  6. The blockchain is the system behind cryptocurrencies. A basic grasp of how it works will prove to be sufficient for now. But in the future, this knowledge would hardly be enough. The question is how to start, and the answer is first to have an understanding of the fundamentals of blockchain. With the growth of the industry, it is possible to reach mass adoption. Even if it fails, Blockchain is here to stay and is a big game changer.
  7. Cryptocurrency is a digital payment maintained by a network of computers that uses cryptography to authenticate transactions. Depending on how investors expect to make money and how they are structured, some cryptocurrencies may count as securities. If traders of these currencies prop up the price and go online to spread gossips, that might count as fraud. It can be hard to determine if a bubble exists. The only way to ensure that they avoid a burst is mass adoption.
  8. A war is over the future of Bitcoin, the first digital currency, and is already showing strain. Two of the biggest among the competitors of Bitcoin is Darkcoin and Ethereum. Many of the currencies younger then Bitcoin can be used for much more versatile purposes. Hence Bitcoin faces a threat from more nimble competitors. Digital currencies will drive new company model innovation at unprecedented levels. This revolution could be either a bubble or the onset of a financial realignment.
  9. Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later. This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority. But cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point
  10. Some businesses and companies prefer to stick to their past, but this is not a good marketing strategy. Instead, it is essential to take a progressive approach and look out for the next big thing. That is what happens when companies begin to accept Bitcoin payment that put them in a position for greater success. Embracing the power of this new blockchain technology shows the customers and prospects of a business that it is well ahead of the curve.
  11. Charlie Shrem was among the pioneer public faces of cryptocurrency. He co-founded a startup company in 2011 called BitInstant that was one of the earliest cryptocurrency companies processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. In 2015, Shrem went to prison for two years for aiding an unlicensed money transmitter acquire Bitcoins to trade in the underground marketplace, where it was used to buy drugs. It was a felony that is the first of its kind in the crypto world.
  12. Charlie Shrem the first Bitcoin felon went to federal prison in 2015 for 2 years. Upon his release he went about strengthening the ecosystem of blockchain. A real breakthrough came when he created a prepaid Dash debit card. He then joined Intellisys Capital and decided to raise funds in the form of initial coin offering but was mired with doubts, as he feared the intense scrutiny from the authorities and eventually backed off.
  13. Today, many of the blockchain assets are tokens that are distributed as initial coin offerings. It constitutes the Internet’s second business model. Associated jobs have soared as its value has risen. Candidates who understand initial coin offerings, know how to write smart contracts, and have a good understanding of Ethereum would have an extra competitive edge. Interested applicants should read up the online literature on how blockchain works and be aware of the basics before applying in the field.
Blockchain technology in sales and marketing

Bitcoin is the earliest cryptocurrency

The topics of the series are broadly categorized as follows:

  • Blockchain is defined as a distributed peer-to-peer database that is based on an open and public ledger coded by cryptography. It is intermediated, decentralized and unalterable. Blockchain is a technology to be reckoned with as it can be applied in various industries. It will disrupt many businesses including the advertising world.
  • Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies or, in technological parlance, alternative coins, also known as altcoins. Although Bitcoin is the most commonly used cryptocurrency, there are many limitations to it. Its flaws and weakness have given rise to many other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Dash.
  • The marketing industry will see phenomenal changes in the way products and services are advertised. In future, customers in the target market will have to be paid a fraction of a cent for their attention. Such micropayments is only possible with blockchain that is one of its greatest advantages. The blockchain technology called Brave will enable this.
  • Big-ticket items such as mansions and real estate properties are purchased using Bitcoin. There are cases whereby houses with a Bitcoin price tag received overwhelming response and media publicity. However, the technology faces some obstacles in the real estate sector that prevents mass adoption.
  • Lastly, using a real life case study we will warn you on how not to conduct business using this emerging trend. It is a case study based on the first felony committed in the crypto industry. It is also the story of a powerful transformation in the life of the felon who has now dedicated his life to help evolve the blockchain ecosystem.

After the case study, we will provide some information for those who would like to pursue a career in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. We will then wrap it up with the publication of the white paper written by an anonymous hacker who goes by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

Stay tuned on www.blog.smei.org

What Does “Starbucks” Mean to Howard Schultz?

What Does “Starbucks” Mean to Howard Schultz?

Starbucks has almost become a synonym of coffee. Howard Schultz not only built an admirable company but also paved the ground for coffee culture inspired by timeless values. Each alphabet of the word STARBUCKS mean a great deal to Howard Schultz, the visionary entrepreneur, who built the organization from scratch. Through his Successful book “Onward” and in the Spirit of sharing Knowledge he tells us a Unique story of Coffee Brand in his own words involving Tenacity, Resilience, and Accomplishment.

S – Success

  • If not checked, success has a way of covering up small failures, and when many of us at Starbucks became swept up in the company’s success, it had unintended effects. We ignored, or maybe we just failed to notice, shortcomings.

T – Tenacity

  • I believed that Starbucks had an enormous potential to return to greatness, that the company had yet to be as good as it was going to be. I believed in the power of the brand, in our founding mission, and most of all, in our people.

A – Accomplishment

  • I’ve come to think that I am at my best as a leader when Starbucks is being challenged or fighting for survival. I’m comfortable with, and in a way, enjoy the rugged, steep ascent. That is my nature. And while I would not want to constantly battle against the odds, the raw feeling of accomplishing something that others did not think possible, or leading people beyond where they thought they could go, is extremely gratifying.

R – Resilience

  • One reason I believed that the Starbucks brand would be resilient was because our founding values still resonated, perhaps now more than ever as anxiety and distrust seeped into the popular zeitgeist, and not just in the United States. In addition to our values, Starbucks’ core product would also continue to be relevant. Coffee will never lose its romance. It will always bring people together and be part of conversations in every language, even as the conversations change. Coffee will forever connect.

B – Brand

  • Our ongoing challenge is to creatively nurture coffee’s essence, keeping it personal despite our size. I do not want Starbucks to be defined solely by its thousands of stores or millions of customers. More than our scale, the brand can and should be defined by the quality of its coffee as well as its value. Community. Connection. Respect. Dignity. Humor. Humanity. Accountability. It is our mission to make sure the world sees us through those lenses.

U – Uniqueness

  • Unlike other retailers that sold coffee, the equity of Starbucks’ brand was steeped in the unique experience customers have from the moment they walk into a store. The aroma. The sense of community. The familial relationships customers establish with their local baristas. And the pride they feel knowing that their purchases support our high standards and socially responsible partners. Reinvigorating the Starbucks Experience could provide the meaningful differentiation that would separate us from competitors.

C – Coffee

  • Roasting coffee beans is a delicate process requiring a thoughtful, exacting balancing act of time and temperature. Any coffee producer that truly cares about quality has a toasting philosophy, and at Starbucks our philosophy is to roast every bean to its peak of flavor in a manner that extracts its maximum potential. This means Starbucks roasts beans for longer than most commercial roasters for a so-called Full City roasts that pulls out the beans’ honest richness, flavor, and acidity, or brightness. Our professional roasters are constantly refining our roasting process. Over the years, they have customized our machines and developed proprietary software to help control and replicate their techniques. We take tremendous pride in knowing that no one in the coffee business has more control over the roasting process than Starbucks. Like roasting, blending specialty coffee is also an art form, and our blenders’ culinary talents are akin to those of master chefs. Most coffee companies mix different types of beans together as a way to mask inferior coffee, but Starbucks has always used blending as an opportunity to elevate coffees from parts of the world. Sometimes, in order to capture each bean’s peak flavor, we won’t even roast different beans together; only after roasting do we combine them. And when beans from multiple regions are blended just right, they create a unique symphony of flavor that does not exist by itself.

K – Knowledge

  • Entrepreneurs are builders, and the lens through which I view Starbucks and the marketplace is somewhat different from what it would be if I were a professionally schooled manager. Such a lens has, however, its strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, founders know every brick in the foundation. We know what inspired the company and what was required to create it. That knowledge, that history brings with it a high level of passion to do whatever it takes to succeed, as well as intuition about what is right and what is wrong. But sometimes we are too close to a situation. Entrepreneurs can be blinded by emotion, by our love of what we have built, unable to see it fresh and with the eyes of a more objective outside.

S – Spirit

  • If the barista only goes through the motions, if he or she does not care and produces an inferior espresso that is too weak or too bitter, then Starbucks has lost the essence of what we set out to do 40 years ago: inspire the human spirit.

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