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Cryptocurrency Market Approaching $400 Billion as Bitcoin Tests $9,000

Cryptocurrency Market Approaching $400 Billion as Bitcoin Tests $9,000

 

 cryptocurrency market extended its bullish rally on Sunday,

as bitcoin and the major altcoins continued to test multi-month highs. Buy orders accounted for the overwhelming majority of transactions, giving rise to expectations of a more sustained upswing in prices.

Cryptocurrency Rally Continues

The combined value of all cryptocurrencies peaked at $397.2 billion on Sunday, the highest since Mar. 8. At press time, the market was valued just below $394 billion. Transaction volumes ebbed on Sunday, with daily turnover amounting to $20.8 billion. Volumes were up around $25 billion on Saturday. In terms of individual currencies, bitcoin crossed the $9,000 mark for the second time in as many days. The digital currency was last seen trading at $8,932, having gained 4.8%. However, its share of the total market decline to around 38%.

All major altcoins contributed positively to the rally, with Ethereum gaining nearly 5% to $632. The value of Ripple XRP rose 2.6% to $0.886. Bitcoin cash also extended its bullish rally, climbing nearly 7% to $1,226. Since bottoming at $249 billion on Apr. 6, the cryptocurrency market has added nearly $150 billion in value. Since the market crash of early February, coins have crossed the $500 billion mark on only one occasion, and that was roughly two weeks later. The total market has been capped below $400 billion since early March.

Bulls in Firm Control

The dramatic recovery in cryptocurrency prices can be summed up in one vital statistic: nine out of every ten trades have been buy orders. That figure was as high as 92.9% on Thursday, according to TurtleBTC. Cryptocurrency trading is largely governed by investor sentiment, especially among speculators entering the market for a quick profit. This environment, when combined with thin volumes, often generates sporadic trading conditions that are characterized by extreme volatility.

Sentiment has been overwhelmingly positive over the last two weeks as investors looked to capitalize on extreme oversold conditions. Traders have seemingly shrugged off negative news headlines concerning India’s crackdown on cryptocurrency trading as well as the state of New York’s inquiry into exchanges. There’s strong reason to believe that South Korean traders are playing a major role in the price recovery. According to the most recent volume rankings, three South Korean exchanges are among the top-five in total trading volumes.  They are: OKEx ($1.8 billion in daily volume), Upbit ($965 million) and Bithumb ($751 million).

With the recent spike in volume, cryptocurrencies are once again trading at a large premium in South Korea. This is generally the norm during bull cycles due to high demand and supply constraints. These premiums drew negative attention to exchanges last year as government officials began equating cryptocurrency trading with gambling. Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Authored by Sam Bourgi


Sam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.

Original URL: https://hacked.com/cryptocurrency-market-approaching-400-billion-as-bitcoin-tests-9000/

 

Third Co-Founder Of Centra Tech Charged With $25 Mln Securities Fraud

Third Co-Founder Of Centra Tech Charged With $25 Mln Securities Fraud

The third co-founder of crypto financial services

startup Centra Tech Raymond Trapani has been arrested yesterday, April 20, and charged with securities and wire fraud of more than $25 mln associated with the company’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO), according to the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) press release April 20. The two other co-founders, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas, were arrested and charged of the same offenses earlier in April. Sharma, Farkas, and the now also arrested Raymond Trapani advertised the “Centra Card,” a debit card that was reportedly backed by Visa and Mastercard, which allowed users to convert crypto into fiat currencies.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports that no partnership actually existed between Centra and the two credit card companies. According to the DOJ’s press release, after the founder of an unrelated allegedly fraudulent ICO was arrested last fall, Sharma asked Trapani and Farkas to remove all false information, “fufu,” about Centra’s deal with Visa from their website: “I rather cut any fufu . . . Now . . . Then worry . . . Anything that doesn’t exist current . . . We need to remove.”

New York Times writer Nathaniel Popper tweeted an excerpt of the SEC’s complaint against Trapani, referring to the problems the Centra Tech founders ran into by using random people’s photographs as their “team members” online. One solution to the issue of needing to remove the photos when people complained was to invent a fake car accident to kill the fake CEO and his fake wife:

In the DOJ’s press release, Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami said,

“As alleged, Raymond Trapani conspired with his co-defendants to lure investors with false claims about their product and about relationships they had with credible financial institutions.  While investing in virtual currencies is legal, lying to deceive investors is not.”

Centra Tech had been promoted by celebrities like boxer Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled. Last fall, the SEC had warned the public that celebrity endorsements of ICOs could be illegal if they don’t reveal the compensation they receive for their advertising.

Authored by
Molly Jane Zuckerman

Molly Jane Zuckerman@MollyJZuckerman
reporter
@cointelegraph

Original URL
https://cointelegraph.com/news/third-co-founder-of-centra-tech-charged-with-25-mln-securities-fraud

Molly Jane is a Russian Literature major from California with a background in writing. She joins Cointelegraph after working as a freelance journalist and blogger.

WikiLeaks Shop Reports Suspension Of Coinbase Account Due To Terms Of Service Violation

WikiLeaks Shop Reports Suspension Of Coinbase Account Due To Terms Of Service Violation

 

 

WikiLeaks Shop, the merchandise arm of international

anonymous publishing non profit WikiLeaks, reported on Twitter Friday, April 20, that their account with crypto wallet and exchange Coinbase has been blocked. WikiLeaks Shop’s tweet contains a screen grab from an alleged email from Coinbase that states the organization violated their Terms of Service and therefore “can no longer [receive] access to [their] service.” Coinbase has not responded to a requests for comments on the specifics of WikiLeaks Shop’s violation by press time.

All proceeds of the shop go to WikiLeaks operations, and customers can pay in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Neo, Namecoin, Vertcoin, Monero and ZCash through Coinpayments.net. The official WikiLeaks Twitter posted a call for a “global blockade” of Coinbase in response to the block: Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Andreas M. Antonopoulos tweeted that Coinbase has “repeated history,” as Bitcoin has played an important role for WikiLeaks from the time when the non profit was legally unable to use traditional banking systems:

Last fall, WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange publicly thanked the US government on Twitter for forcing the organization to rely on Bitcoin due to the banking embargo, giving WikiLeaks a 50,000 percent return. Assange also urged WikiLeaks donors to use cryptocurrencies for their donations as a way to avoid this financial blockade. The WikiLeaks website accepts Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, and ZCash for donations.

Antonopoulos added in a comment to his tweet that this embargo by Coinbase is unlike the first in that it is “purely symbolic,” as there are other crypto wallets out there, but that the “symbolism is a pretty poignant reminder of what centralization and banking regulations mean.”

Author
Molly Jane Zuckerman

Molly Jane Zuckerman@MollyJZuckerman
reporter
@cointelegraph

Original URL
https://cointelegraph.com/news/wikileaks-shop-reports-suspension-of-coinbase-account-due-to-terms-of-service-violation

Molly Jane is a Russian Literature major from California with a background in writing. She joins Cointelegraph after working as a freelance journalist and blogger.

IMF’s Lagarde Counters Crypto Warnings With New Praise Of ‘Potential Benefits’

IMF’s Lagarde Counters Crypto Warnings With New Praise Of ‘Potential Benefits’

 

 

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde

was buoyant about cryptocurrency in a blog post in support of the technology, published Monday, April 16. The post, which comes roughly one month after Lagarde cautioned against the “dark side” of cryptocurrency, sees the IMF leader focus on what she describes as the “potential benefits” of “crypto-assets such as Bitcoin.” “A judicious look at crypto-assets should lead us to neither crypto-condemnation nor crypto-euphoria,” she writes. While continuing her narrative about the need to reign in illicit activity involving crypto, which she had voiced during January’s World Economic Forum 2018 and since, Lagarde nonetheless reiterates the need for an “even-handed approach”

going forward:

“Understanding the risks that crypto-assets may pose to financial stability is vital if we are to distinguish between real threats and needless fears. That is why we need an even-handed regulatory agenda, one that protects against risks without discouraging innovation.”

She continued, “A clear-eyed approach can help us harness the gains and avoid the pitfalls of the new crypto-assets landscape.” Lagarde’s call for a balanced outlook on cryptocurrency comes at a time of increasing regulatory involvement in the industry, while traditional financiers continue to call Bitcoin a ‘bubble’ and pundits spy the start of a market surge.

Author – William Suberg
Original URL
https://cointelegraph.com/news/imfs-lagarde-counters-crypto-warnings-with-new-praise-of-potential-benefits

William Suberg got into Bitcoin while completing his Masters degree and hasn't looked back since, writing about anything crypto-related which makes him sit up and pay attention. He started working with Cointelegraph in October 2013.

The Craigslist of Crypto Is Making Millions Where Bitcoin Is Needed Most

$27 million.

That's how much revenue LocalBitcoins is now generating annually off a business that started back in 2011, all with an investment of just a few thousand dollars. One of the longest-running and most controversial bitcoin companiess, the decidedly low-fi website now has roughly 20 employees worldwide and 4 million registered accounts.

And reflecting the global tide, 40 percent of those users have signed up in the last six months. All that is according to Nikolaus Kangas, the CEO of the company, who started the venture with his brother Jeremias at a time when there weren't many options outside meeting up face-to-face to trade bitcoin. But the online portal continues to thrive even as the landscape of polished VC-backed exchanges (and even bleeding-edge decentralized alternatives) matures.

Sure, the peer-to-peer marketplace accounts for only a sliver of worldwide bitcoin trading – last week, it handled $62 million in trades, according to Coin.Dance estimates. This may be less than a top-20 exchange does in a day, but the service is gaining traction in markets that are generally overlooked by mainstream providers. "We are the most global platform out there," Kangas said. "Our goal is to improve the global trade possibilities, to serve people who have limited access to financial services." And, it turns out, even though LocalBitcoins tends to be more expensive (since sellers set their own prices), the company is much needed.

Indeed, Coin.Dance shows that Venezuelan transactions spiked to a new all-time high this month, as did usage in Tanzania and Peru – all countries that are struggling to recover from banking industry slumps. During the peak week of April 14, LocalBitcoins' trading volume in these three nations combined was worth roughly $55 million – more than six times the value of U.S. trading on LocalBitcoins in the same week.

And when the Bank of Montreal restricted customers from making cryptocurrency purchases, LocalBitcoins activity in Canada spiked. It's these instances that make LocalBitcoins so valuable, even in an environment where growing awareness of institutional traders and their high-value swaps (average transactions on LocalBitcoins are just $450) are stealing the limelight.

And that's paid off. The peer-to-peer exchange, which charges a 1 percent transaction fee, took in more than €22 million (roughly $27.2 million) of revenues in 2017, more than triple the amount from 2016, according to Kangas. Despite the market dip since December, when bitcoin's price peaked at $19,783, he said trading volume has continued to grow.

Nikolaus told CoinDesk:

"If you compare us to those big altcoin exchanges that were making $100 million per day or something like that last fall, we are kind of a small player. But I think we are solving a basic problem of how to buy or sell bitcoin for fiat currency."

Not always easy

And that basic problem was even more apparent in 2011 when the brothers first started in on the idea. Nikolas, a Finnish programmer, was fascinated by bitcoin – a new stateless currency meant to take power away from the banks, and maybe even governments. But every website he went to that provided services for Finnish buyers was awful in that they were hard to use. The Kangas brothers wanted to change that.

So having saved up a year's worth of living expenses and with a few thousand dollars to spend on server fees, the brothers launched LocalBitcoins. Yet, the journey for LocalBitcoins hasn't always been easy. The company has tested several products over the years, including a merchant billing service in 2014, but none of those gained traction like its bread and butter – P2P exchange.

On top of that, LocalBitcoins was the platform in the middle of more than half a dozen criminal cases associated with LocalBitcoins traders. For instance, last year, the U.S. Department of Justice sentenced a father-son duo of LocalBitcoins users, Michael and Randall Lord, to several years in prison for operating an unlicensed money transmission business. And Reddit is full of testimonies about scammers and hackers exploiting inexperienced LocalBitcoins' users. Nikolaus said the team is very concerned about criminal activity on the site and cooperates with authorities to investigate any crimes that use the platform.

Yet, just like Craigslist horror stories haven't stopped people from using the internet marketplace, instances like these connected to LocalBitcoins haven't slowed the platform's usage. In fact, the $27.2 million in revenue LocalBitcoins took in last year was more than triple its profits from 2016. Even with bitcoin's recent price dip (after December highs close to $20,000 a coin), Nikolaus said trading volume continues to grow.

Compliance for a non-bank

That said, Nikolaus remains steadfast in its interest in staying on the right side of the law. "We want to follow all the current regulations and laws, but right now it is quite unclear," he said. What is clear, though, is that at least in the U.S. the company has to report certain transactions as suspicious. This includes transactions over $10,000 and any transactions set up obviously to circumvent that limit.

Everything else – complying with local regulations – is up to the buyer and seller. In this way, LocalBitcoins has set itself up to be only a technology provider and not a complicit party to any unlawful actions users of its technology might participate in. This outsourcing of compliance responsibility is one of the reasons the company has been able to stay afloat, even in the face of competition from well-funded startups.

Because LocalBitcoins facilitates generally trades of smaller amounts, they rarely attract scrutiny. For instance, when the Investor Protection Bureau of the New York Attorney General's Office sent an inquiry letter this month to more than a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini – exchanges that function more like banks — P2P platforms like LocalBitcoins were notably absent from the dragnet.

It seems it helps to be local.

For example, Iranian blockchain researcher Ziya Sadr in Tehran routinely uses LocalBitcoins to sell cryptocurrency. Since sanctions keep Iranian banking customers from accessing foreign markets, he told CoinDesk, Iranian traders use LocalBitcoins to find local sellers who accept wire transfers from Iranian banks.

As mentioned before, it's these kinds of markets, which are cut off from the rest of the world, that need P2P crypto exchanges like LocalBitcoins. Roman Snitko, CTO of a new P2P exchange called Hodl Hodl, noticed a similar trend on his platform. Russians, who lack centralized exchange options, were some of the first users to flock to Hodl Hodl.

Speaking to this need, then, Snitko told CoinDesk:

"In countries without centralized exchanges, I think P2P trading will play a significant role."

Original URL
Written by – Leigh Cuenleigh@coindesk.com

Leigh Cuen is a tech reporter covering blockchain technology for publications such as Newsweek Japan, International Business Times and Racked. Her work has also been published by Teen Vogue, Al Jazeera English, The Jerusalem Post, Mic, and Salon. Leigh does not hold value in any digital currency projects or startups. Her small cryptocurrency holdings are worth less than a pair of leather boots.

Company Aims To Become ‘Amazon Of Sharing Economy’ With Blockchain App

Company Aims To Become ‘Amazon Of Sharing Economy’ With Blockchain App

A company is building a Blockchain-based system

to eliminate fragmentation in the sharing economy – and creating a single app that gives users access to “any available asset they wish to rent, borrow or share.” ShareRing claims the current market is extremely inconvenient for consumers. Although thousands of companies exist, many of them are specialized in one particular niche, such as caravans or office space. This forces users to go through the arduous process of registering multiple accounts – and, given the fact that some of these small businesses only operate in a heavily localized area, there’s no guarantee that the items they need to borrow will be available where they live.

The Australian company has the goal of becoming the “Amazon of the sharing economy,” enabling users to lease “assets” from a broad range of categories through a single smartphone app. They would be connected to individuals nearby who have items they are willing to share, while rental companies would be able to develop their own “mini” app within ShareRing to reach greater numbers of prospective customers. ShareRing is already exploring deals with big brands, and the latest partnerships will be announced on its website.

In its white paper, the company lists areas where its technology could prove useful. Some examples include renting cars, trucks and trailers, as well as booking delivery drivers, sharing gardens, swapping books, co-housing, car sharing and social dining. ShareRing’s Blockchain platform, known as ShareLedger, is already in development. “Highly customizable” smart contracts will be used to complete transactions, with the company stressing that typical users are not going to require advanced technical knowledge in order to use the platform.

“Taking things to the next level”

The team behind ShareRing already have experience in this industry after starting the vehicle-sharing brand Keaz in the middle of 2013. Offering solutions for both corporate users and consumers, the company now has offices in five countries – and its main technology, KeazACCESS, was launched in May 2015. Executives say they have “decided to take things to the next level” through Blockchain because a company is yet to help this industry achieve its full potential. Their white paper argues that most people are even unable to name five businesses operating within the sharing economy – and the two examples most commonly used as answers, Airbnb and Uber, only cover two types of assets available to the public.

ShareLedger is also going to feature a dual token mechanism. Whereas SharePay is the currency that customers will use to rent assets, ShareToken allows providers to pay for access to the Blockchain. All users will be able to access their balances for these tokens in a lightweight wallet accessible from PCs and smartphones. “Small transaction fees” are charged to providers who use ShareRing. There are one-off charges whenever individuals or businesses add an asset to the platform. Providers are also charged if “attributes” need to be added, allowing extra bits of information such as a Vehicle Identification Number to be linked to the asset. Finally, they will pay a fee every time their asset is rented out to a ShareRing user.

Growing the ecosystem

At the heart of ShareRing’s system will be a “clever, integrated app” which uses geolocation to show users which services are available nearby – and within two years, the company hopes that up to 1 mln assets will be available to share around the world. Its Blockchain system will be publicly available by Sept. 2018, and KeazACCESS will be the first “client” integrated into ShareLedger. ShareRing’s token sharing event is set to take place in May, with the company planning to run token hunts and several other competitions to spread the word and raise awareness of the project.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Vexanium, a Marketing Platform To Benefit Both Retailers and Users

Vexanium, a Marketing Platform To Benefit Both Retailers and Users

—SINGAPORE, April 11, 2018

An innovative decentralized marketing ecosystem called VEXANIUM, which helps to cut costs and improve efficiency and transparency for commercial businesses, is being launched by Danny Baskara and team. The blockchain based ecosystem which VEXANIUM creates will solve the major pain points that this industry faces today. The VEXANIUM platform will also naturally serve existing blockchain businesses in their user acquisition, activation and retention. This makes it attractive for both businessmen, crypto-enthusiasts and ordinary users.

In Asia, a majority of retailers use online promo marketing platforms such as Groupon, Dianping or Meituan to win new customers. Promo marketing strategies rely heavily on campaigns on these platforms which provide substantial traffic and sales. These platforms charge an average of 15% – 20% in commission per transaction through a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) or CPS (Cost Per Sale) structure. An increasing number of retailers struggle because these commissions together with the discounts offered represent too high a proportion of their margins. To protect margins, retailers often end up giving lackluster promotions that are either unattractive or with unrealistic terms. Meanwhile, customers are often frustrated when trying to utilize a voucher or redeem their gift cards and coupons. Common difficulties include using vouchers that have already been utilized, expired, are lost or with unreasonable T&C requirements.

“By using the VEXANIUM platform, companies can create points in loyalty program applications in the form of digital tokens, "said Danny Baskara. "Typically such incentives are rewards to customers in Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) activity. The tokens can also be converted into coupons or points that can be used in corporate applications, " A study conducted by GfK concluded that 49% of consumers would gladly switch brands for savings in the form of a coupon. In the retail market, South-East Asia and Indonesia, in particular, are some of the fastest growing markets globally, with the latter boasting a population of over 260 million people. The importance of vouchers and coupons for retailers to attract new customers in those regions is significant.

VEX token will be listed on Tokenomy upon launching of the platform. Partnering with fIndodax.com (former bitcoin.co.id), the biggest digital asset exchange in Southeast Asia, Tokenomy helps VEX access to 1,000,000+ potential investors and traders. The VEX app features an integration with selected crypto exchanges in order to allow users to directly trade their VEX token balance on the exchange. Also, the VEX Exchange will allow consumers to trade vouchers among themselves and set their own prices. Customers will be able to store and redeem their voucher tokens via VEXANIUM app.

One game-changing use case of the VEX Platform is the lucrative “airdrop” market, which will allow blockchain companies to create airdrop campaigns for acquiring new customers and rewarding existing ones, using the VEX token. "For companies that want to take advantage of the VEXANIUM platform and want to create digital tokens on their applications are required to purchase a large number of VEXANIUM digital tokens, VEX, because each transaction is using the token, included in transaction fees," Danny states. This will be facilitated via the VEX web and mobile apps.

In an exciting move,  the VEXANIUM marketplace plans to be fully functional and open to merchants and individual users in Indonesia by Q4 2018. VEXANIUM will complete the establishment of the ecosystem by launching VEXchange and VEXplorer by Q2 2019. Merchants and enterprise users can create voucher tokens and start their marketing campaigns all seamlessly via the one-stop mobile app. VEXANIUM founder and CEO Danny Baskara previously built and sold Indonesia’s largest voucher and couponing platform Evoucher, which was with more than 2 million active users. After 7 years of building Evoucher, the founders realized that the blockchain can solve the fundamental problems of this industry. The idea for the VEXANIUM ecosystem was born.

VEXANIUM will revolutionize this space by bringing the voucher and couponing industry on-chain. The immutability, liquidity and decentralized nature of VEXANIUM will revolutionize this market while introducing a whole new wave of retailers and users to the blockchain era. A number of angel investors are already backing VEXANIUM, such as Marcus Yeung, founder and CEO of SEAbridge, and Joseph Aditya,  CEO of Ralali, the largest B2B marketplace portal in Indonesia. VEXANIUM VEX token pre-sale starts on April 14th, 2018.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Bitcoin Price: Experts Weigh in on Cryptocurrency Price Recovery Amidst Institutional Interest

Bitcoin Price: Experts Weigh in on Cryptocurrency Price Recovery Amidst Institutional Interest

Bitcoin looks like it will end the week with a 15% price increase

and all but four of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization are still showing green. Investors are demonstrating increased confidence illustrated by trading volumes. Experts have shared their predictions and explanations for the increase, which may well indicate a recovery for the cryptocurrency market after months of trepidation. Thursday’s sudden price increase for Bitcoin is the result of what experts term a “short squeeze” and it sparked a frenzy of activity in the charts.

“This is what’s known in the markets as a short squeeze. When a lot of people are short on heavy leverage, a small movement up can trigger someone’s stop-loss,” said Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro. “Keep in mind that when a short position gets closed it actually creates a buy order. After a prolonged period of moving within the range, stop losses start to pile up. And so, even a small movement in the market can trigger a chain reaction of stop losses all at once and lead to a breakout on the charts.”

The orange and blue dotted lines represent the tight range, between $6500 and $7500, that bitcoin has been trading in for the

past two weeks.

“We would normally look for a test of the blue line before moving forward. However, should the excitement start to come back into this market, it might not need to.” Said Greenspan. “The ratio of short margin trades versus longs has been increasing recently,” said Nick Kirk, quantitative developer and data scientist at Cypher Capital. “Buying volume ticked up today and a lot of these short trades got liquidated, helping fuel the rally.”

In an earlier interview with Bloomberg on April 11th, 2018, Greenspan predicted that Wall Street was “building bridges” and would “at least even things out” in the cryptocurrency markets by injecting new liquidity.

On April 6th, 2018, news broke that hedge fund legend George Soros might begin to invest in cryptocurrencies. According to reports, Adam Fisher, head of macro investing for Soros Fund Management received internal approval to trade cryptocurrencies. Hedge Fund Research indicates the average return on funds that started investing in cryptocurrency at the beginning of 2017 is 2,908%, compared to 9% gains for traditional hedge funds over the same period. On April 10th, 2018, Venrock, the Rockefeller family’s venture capital businesses announced a partnership with cryptocurrency investor group

CoinFund.

“We wanted to partner with this team that has been making investments and actually helping to architect a number of different crypto economies and crypto token-based projects,” said Venrock partner David Pakman

The Rockefeller family has an estimated net worth of over $1 trillion, with Venrock reportedly holding $2.6 billion in managed assets. Venrock made significant gains with early investments in Intel and

Apple.

“There are a lot of crypto traders in the market,” continued Pakman. “There are a lot of cryptocurrency hedge funds. This is different. To us, it looks a little bit more like venture capital.”

There are also disputed rumours that the Rothschild family now hold cryptocurrency related investments. Commenting to Bloomberg, leading Wall Street strategist Tom Lee describes Bitcoin’s sudden price hike

as “overdue”.

“We still feel pretty confident that bitcoin is a great risk-reward and we think it could reach $25,000 by the end of the year,” said Fundstrat co-founder Lee.

It’s not just Bitcoin that is seeing health price increases. Only a handful of coins in the top 100 are still showing declining prices. A number of coins have 24-hour average price increases of 20% and more. Ripple (XRP), with the third largest market capitalization after Bitcoin and Ethereum, is currently trading at $0.67 after a 21% increase. This is directly compared to a current rate increase of 5% for Bitcoin today. Ripple’s increase is likely fuelled by the announcement that Santander is launching an international payments service “OnePay FX” based on Ripple’s xCurrent blockchain technology. With the move, Santander becomes the first bank to offer a blockchain-based international payments service across a number of countries

at the same time.

“One Pay FX uses blockchain-based technology to provide a fast, simple and secure way to transfer money internationally – offering value, transparency, and the trust and service customers expect from a bank like Santander.”

Other notable price increases include IOTA (MIOTA), currently 10th by market capitalization at 21%, NEM (XEM) at 17% and Vitalik Buterin backed OmiseGO at 18%.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Realities That Will Rock The World Of Marketing In 2018

Realities That Will Rock The World Of Marketing In 2018

The digital marketing industry shows few signs of slowing down

as brands continue to adjust to the pace of change in data, technology and measurement. As marketing shifts away from the classic model of mindless spending, there are new opportunities and emerging technologies that can better trace the correlation between spending and engagement with prospective customers. From fake news to Facebook algorithms to Google and other tech giants changing the game, the industry landscape continues to force brands to adapt to new consumer behaviors and innovate to get the win. Based on my experience as the CEO of a digital marketing agency, here are four realities that I see shifting the world of marketing this year.

Every aspect of marketing is in the midst of an automation transformation.

Technology has introduced new kinds of marketing tools that take the guesswork out of advertising. For some firms, this has been a game changer, and for others, it has been a death sentence. Driven by emerging technologies, analytics and better data, marketing plans are shifting every day to match media consumption changes and platform updates. Yet, one of the biggest opportunities out of the digital transformation in marketing is reimagining the strategy in itself. Brands need to evolve their thinking to a process that observes the behavior of consumers through unique customer journeys and optimize efforts accordingly. Gone are the days when marketers can look at the last click in the funnel and make campaign-based decisions.

Digital transformation is not as straightforward as a one-touch fix. To deliver consumers a personalized marketing experience, brands need better control over their channels and performance. The rise of machine learning and automation has given way to incredible platforms for attribution modeling and optimization. By using these technologies, marketers can now track and measure their interaction with customers across all mediums to see where their ad spend is most effective and how customers are receiving and interacting with their marketing message.

Marketers must mine the endless mounds of data.

Across the board, companies increasingly understand that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing can’t win anymore. Brands will be connecting with consumers in a more innovative, data-driven environment — especially in retail — by tapping into marketing technology platforms for better insights into consumer buying habits. Those brands with campaigns that are data-driven with location intelligence and analytics are more apt for stronger data and greater personalization. In this strategically intricate dance, consumers will be continuously touched by brand messaging, experiences and influencers that, when optimally layered together, drive better results.

Besides easing operational processes and increasing efficiency, marketers must leverage the potential of artificial intelligence-driven tools to power through data and effectively engage with their customers — and with better success after every instance. AI can also help identify the best engagement points in the buying journey. Innovations in AI like chatbots and augmented/virtual reality are changing the way brands plan campaigns, envision touchpoints and enhance customer experiences, all while generating actionable data insights throughout the process.

The power of search has voice.

Last year marked a huge shift in the power of voice in search marketing. If consumer brands haven’t gotten on board with SEO strategies catered to voice search, they need to get in the game before it’s too late. Google insights reveal that, on a daily basis, more than half of American teenagers and 41% of adults are talking to their phones via voice search. Amazon is said to have sold more than 20 million Echo units to date, with Google Home gaining ground and taking up to 24% of market share since it entered the game in 2015. By 2020, ComScore predicts voice search could account for up to half of all queries. This trend has been happening in the SEO world for some time, and with the growing appetite for search bots (i.e., Alexa, Cortana), the transition to a voice-search world is progressing every day.

SEO marketers should make note of this, given that optimizing for voice search requires different tactics compared to the traditional method and having insight into this new normal could help brands provide better customer experience. Optimizing for voice search technology allows for marketers to create more conversational campaigns and provides a natural way for people to interact with brands. Voice search will continue to explode as more predictive machine learning technologies advance this particular AI evolution. Looking forward, the voice search market is wide open and it’s possible that the strongest user group hasn’t even been born.

Content transformation will be king.

By 2021, an eMarketer report (registration required) predicts there will be more than 2.7 billion people around the world using mobile phones, with more than 87% of those using smartphones for internet access. The report also described the dominance of tech titans Google and Facebook in the U.S. digital ad market and digital ad revenue worldwide. In this attention-driven duopoly, with ever-changing algorithms and updates, businesses are competing against friends and family for attention. The demand for mobile-ready, shareable content has never been more relentless. Every aspect of content marketing will become more user-centric and personalized, and brands must be willing to adapt.

In order to scale authenticity in this crowded environment, some brands are heavily investing in video to connect with customers to help share ideas, products, purpose and personality. Likewise, influencers will continue to play a role in content but with a new requirement of stronger return on investment. No matter the industry, your brand must steer away from vague, overly expensive programs and partnerships and opt for relevant, data-driven influencer strategies. The challenge in digital content for today’s marketer is to remain authentic while achieving campaign goals. Brands that create experiences that inspire, educate or entertain through content and messaging efforts will continue to win in 2018.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

What marketers need to know about Facebook’s updated Business Tools Terms

What marketers need to know about Facebook’s updated Business Tools Terms

The updates are largely guided by GDPR and go into effect May 25, 2018.

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced Senate and House committees in Washington, DC,

this week, the platform introduced new terms around the use of customer data, tracking and measurement. Zuckerberg reiterated to lawmakers that Facebook will, in effect, apply the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards to its business globally. Not surprisingly, the Terms changes are timed to go into effect on May 25, 2018, the same date the GDPR’s sweeping set of rules governing the handling of consumer data will go into effect.

A new “Facebook Business Tools Terms” consolidates the “Conversion Tracking, Custom Audiences From Your Website, and Custom Audiences From Your Mobile App Terms” and “Offline Conversion Terms,” and the Custom Audience Terms have been updated. Here’s a rundown of the key changes to the terms that apply to any website owner, publisher, developer, advertiser, business partner (and their customers) and any other entity that integrates with, uses and exchanges information with Facebook. Note that Facebook Business Tools encompass a lot: APIs and SDKs, the Facebook Pixel, social plugins such as the Like and Share buttons, Facebook Login and Account Kit, as well as other platform integrations, plugins, code, specifications, documentation, technology and services.

New terms for GDPR compliance

In section 5.1 of the Facebook Business Tools Terms, a note to EU and Swiss data controllers specifically on

GDPR states:

To the extent the Customer Data contain personal data which you process subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (the “GDPR”), the parties acknowledge and agree that for purposes of providing matching, measurement, and analytics services described in Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 above, that you are the data controller in respect of such personal data, and you have instructed Facebook Ireland Limited to process such personal data on your behalf as your data processor pursuant to these terms and Facebook’s Data Processing Terms, which are incorporated herein by reference. “Personal data,” “data controller,” and “data processor” in this paragraph have the meanings set out in the Data Processing Terms.

What this means:
This section clarifies that the Facebook Marketers are considered data controllers from a GDPR standpoint and Facebook the data processor. A third-party data processor is an entity that processes personally identifiable information (PII) on behalf of a controller. A controller is defined by the GDPR as an entity that determines how that data will be processed and for what reason. Both controllers and processors must comply with the EU regulation. The Terms for using Facebook Pixels and SDKs have also been updated for GDPR.

Section 3.3 states:

In jurisdictions that require informed consent for the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on an end user’s device (such as but not limited to the European Union), you must ensure, in a verifiable manner, that an end user provides the necessary consent before you use Facebook Business Tools to enable us to store and access cookies or other information on the end user’s device. (For suggestions on implementing consent mechanisms.

What this means:
Site and app owners must obtain and manage user consent for Facebook to access, gather and store their data. This is a critical piece of GDPR that pertains to any company controlling or processing data on EU citizens, regardless of where they reside.

Requirement to notify Facebook of any actual or ‘threatened’ complaints about personal data

Another important change in the terms that marketers need to be aware of is in section 1.5.

The provision states:

You will notify us promptly in writing of any actual or threatened complaint or challenge related to the use of personal data under these Business Tools Terms and will cooperate with us in responding to such complaint or challenge.

What this means:
Advertisers must take any user’s complaint (even threatened) about the use of personal data seriously. You must be prepared to report to Facebook, in writing, any suggestion of a complaint or challenge over the handling or use of personal data when you’re made aware of it.

Keep reporting internal

Want to share a case study about your Facebook ad campaign? Think again. Section 2.2.2 of the Facebook Business Tools Terms explicitly states that advertisers are not allowed to share Campaign Reports or Analytics unless they have Facebook’s written consent:

We grant to you a non-exclusive and non-transferable license to use the Campaign Reports and Analytics for your internal business purposes only and solely on an aggregated and anonymous basis for measurement purposes. You will not disclose the Campaign Reports or Analytics, or any portion thereof, to any third party, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by us. We will not disclose the Campaign Reports or Analytics, or any portion thereof, to any third party without your permission, unless (i) they have been combined with Campaigns Reports and Analytics from numerous other third parties and (ii) your identifying information is removed from the combined Campaign Reports and Analytics.

What this means:
All Campaign Reports and Analytics need to stay internal and include only anonymized, aggregated data. Keep screen shots and charts out of presentations, case studies and social media unless you have permission from Facebook. However, Facebook retains the right to use your unidentified reporting data when aggregated with that of other advertisers

No pixel sharing

This is a change. Section 3.1 of the Facebook Business Tools Terms states:

You (or partners acting on your behalf) may not place pixels associated with your business manager or ad account on websites that you do not own without our written permission

What this means:
You may not gather data for ad targeting or measurement by placing your or your clients’ pixels on other sites you may have access to or any other site unless Facebook OKs it. This has been a not-so-secret Facebook marketing tactic for some time. If you currently have pixels on other sites, it’s time to revisit those placements and either get Facebook’s permission or remove them to stay in compliance with the Terms.

Facebook Business Tools Terms

Some of the terminology has also changed with this update.

As of May 25, 2018:

  • “Sales Data” now is called “Customer Data.”
  • “User Information” now means “Contact Information.”
  • “Sales Transaction Data” now is “Event Data.”
  • “Matched Data” now means Event Data that is combined with Matched User IDs.
  • “Unmatched Data” now means Event Data that is not combined with Matched User IDs.
  • “Reports” is now “Campaign Reports.”
  • “OC” is now referred to as “Offline Conversions.”

Those are the main takeaways that we pulled from the updated terms. There are other changes, but they don’t appear to impact the day-to-day of marketers as much as the above. If you have any other items that stood out, please let us know on social media.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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