Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

RDA subcommittees to aid in digital marketing, branding efforts

RDA subcommittees to aid in digital marketing, branding efforts

The board approved a contract with Applied Marketing

Mary Ann Redeker/GazetteBoard members of the Regional Development Association discuss marketing concepts Friday morning in the Trulser Business Center. The board approved a contract with Applied Marketing for the generation of business leads for the Emporia community.Regional Development Association of East-Central Kansas board members focused on amping up their marketing efforts Friday morning during their meeting in the Trusler Business Center. Conversations also centered around the organization’s strategic planning retreat, which was held Jan. 15 in the business center. RDA President Kent Heermann said the board compiled a list of items during the retreat to help aid in the marketing of Emporia.

“We have a couple items that we will really be focusing on,” Heermann said. “One is the coordination of economic development activities, including the development of our digital marketing program for our community. Updating our web presence will be very important.” Heermann said various social media platforms would be important in this process; namely, LinkedIn, as it seems to be the preferred presence in the business community. “With the research I’ve done on it since the strategic planning meeting, I’ve found LinkedIn is a very good method that could be used to get the word out about Emporia,” Heermann said. “It’s a good platform to illustrate what assets are available here for companies, which are looking for future growth and expansion opportunities.”

Another area on which the RDA will be focusing is branding efforts and how to perform them from a community perspective. Two subcommittees were formed for this during the meeting. Board member Rick Tidwell will head up the committee focusing on digital marketing efforts and Vice President Jim Kessler will form the committee dealing with branding. “This project will be a work in process,” Heermann said. “We came up with the concept, did the research and will figure out which direction we want to go. Our strategic planning meeting was successful. We had not had a meeting like that in a long time where we just really talked about things. Usually in meetings, you have your agenda items to focus on. You never just chat, and that’s what we did. There are a lot of bright people on this board, and I wanted to know what they all thought and what their point of view was.”

In other business, the board approved a contract with Applied Marketing in the amount of $21,000 for business lead generation. “The advantage with Applied Marketing is, they will actually arrange a telephone call conversation with five or six different prospect companies,” he said. “A lot of the leads we get from other sources will send information and, if we make that screen, then maybe we might have a conversation someday or get a visit.

“The benefit through Applied Marketing is, we have conversations with prospects and we’ve also had companies come visit Emporia. We do have other marketing techniques we utilize. We have partnerships with the state through Team Kansas and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Last year we had more visits than we normally have in a year. It’s a function of businesses looking to expand and it’s a function of an economy that’s fairly robust, but that could all change tomorrow.”

During the meeting, Heermann also commented on the death of Mike Fiehler, former plant manager of IBP, Inc. and Tyson Fresh Meats. “Mike had retired only about two years ago,” Heermann said. “We worked with Mike on an expansion in early 2000. Then the company endured two layoffs and they were down to 500 or 600 employees on the processing side.”

In 2010, Heermann said Fiehler and his team worked tirelessly to ensure they brought more business to Emporia after the downsizing. “Mike was what I would call a strong plant manager and fought hard to bring jobs back to Emporia’s complex,” Heermann said. “He figured out a way to renovate the hot box area to bring new products here like corned beef and others. He let corporate know if they had other plants that were bursting at the seams, he had plenty of space and workers.”

Heermann said Fiehler was a man who worked quietly for the best interests of Tyson Fresh Meats and the Emporia community. “Mike worked very, very hard and led the quiet charge to get Tyson back to the numbers of around 900 to 925 workers after the downsizing,” he said. “I don’t think many people realize this. He did his best to make sure as many employees as possible were re-employed. He treated his employees like friends and family. He did a great job for the community, and we will miss him.”

Chuck Reynolds


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Venezuela’s Cryptocurrency Petro Finds Foreign Investors, ICO To Take Place In March

Venezuela’s Cryptocurrency Petro
Finds Foreign Investors, ICO To Take Place In March

Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Trade and International Investment

José Vielma Mora announced on Thursday, Feb. 8, that foreign investors will be accepting payments for their goods in petro, says Latin American government-sponsored news outlet TeleSur. The petro, an oil-backed state cryptocurrency set to be released in both a pre-sale and an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), was first announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in December 2017. The petro’s white paper released Jan. 30 explains that the idea for the petro came from Hugo Chavez, who had envisioned a “strong currency backed by raw materials.” Mora said that Brazilian businesspeople are prepared to invest $300 mln in Venezuela, beginning with a $100 mln inversion investment.

The minister also listed Poland, Denmark, Honduras, Norway, and Vietnam as foreign countries that would be willing to receive petro in exchange for food and medicine, citing a total amount of $435 mln. According to Mora, Canada has also expressed interest in investing in Venezuela in the sphere of “pharmaceutics for humans and animals.” The petro is an ERC20 token that has been pre-mined on the Ethereum Blockchain, with each petro is backed by one barrel of oil. Maduro had ordered the issuance of 100 mln in petro on Jan. 14 in preparation for the pre-sale.

The creation of the petro has been viewed skeptically by critics and members of the Venezuelan opposition parliament who consider the petro a fraudulent currency that could help Maduro avoid sanctions. The petro’s pre-sale will take place from Feb. 20 at -04:00 UTC to Mar. 19 at -04:00 UTC, and there will be 38.4 mln tokens available. Pre-sale tokens “may be exchanged for petro [coins] at any time between the launch date and the closing of the initial offer,” according to the white paper.

The ICO will take place a day after the end of the pre-sale, Mar. 20 at -04:00 GMT, with 44 mln petro available for sale at a reference selling point of $60 – the price of a barrel of oil in Venezuela in the second week of Jan. 2018. The price is subject to market fluctuations, according to the white paper. The white paper writes that the Venezuelan government will accept petro as payment for national taxes, fees, and public services, and it will be regulated by the Cryptocurrency Superintendency and the National Blockchain Observatory.

Chuck Reynolds

 


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SEC, CFTC Breathe Life Into Floundering Crypto Market

SEC, CFTC Breathe Life Into Floundering Crypto Market

Bitcoin and its crypto brethren received an unlikely lifeline

from American trading regulators on Tuesday this week, which ended in a complete turnaround after a nasty market crash. The Commodities and Future Trading Commission and the US Securities Exchange Commission held a highly anticipated hearing on Tuesday, focused on their stance towards cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and Blockchain technology. The discourse came at a crucial juncture, as the overall cryptocurrency market endured a spiraling sell off which saw Bitcoin reach lows below $7,000, a figure not seen in over five months.

Industry experts and pundits took to social media platforms, posting updates from the hearing which saw CFTC Chair Christopher Giancarlo and SEC Chair Jay Clayton make some highly influential statements about the current stance towards the overall cryptocurrency and Blockchain space. With a prevailing sentiment of fear, uncertainty and doubt, a negative stance from the two bodies that hold the future of mainstream cryptocurrency trade could have been as good as a death knell.

But both bodies unveiled balanced and positive sentiments towards cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. Giancarlo delivered an upbeat address saying “if there was no Bitcoin, there would be no distributed ledger technology,”  when he was asked about the value of Bitcoin. He also made it clear in his written testimony that cryptocurrencies are here to say and that regulation needs to nurture the sector while

protecting investors.

“Virtual currencies mark a paradigm shift in how we think about payments, traditional financial processes, and engaging in economic activity. Ignoring these developments will not make them go away, nor is it a responsible regulatory response. The evolution of these assets, their volatility, and the interest they attract from a rising global millennial population demand serious examination.”

Clayton echoed the sentiments of the CFTC chair, but he also produced a discourse that gave credit to the cryptocurrency industry for adding a new paradigm to

the financial system:

“Distributed ledger and other emerging technologies have the potential to further influence and improve the capital markets and the financial services industry.”

Clayton also hammered home the importance of fair regulatory frameworks that will create an environment that benefits all

parties involved.

“Said simply, we should embrace the pursuit of technological advancement, as well as new and innovative techniques for capital raising, but not at the expense of the principles undermining our well-founded and proven approach to protecting investors and markets.”

Markets react favorably

The overarching reaction following the hearing has had a positive effect on the cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin and Ethereum had seen 20 percent growth in value, according to CoinMarketCap data, at the time of writing, and the rest of the cryptocurrency market was in the green. This latest development has provided the first bit of positive sentiment in over a fortnight. China has reiterated it’s zero-tolerance of cryptocurrency, India’s regulatory stance has been taken badly, and a number of mainstream banks have ruled out cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards.

These developments culminated in a highly volatile, selling-spree in the cryptocurrency market.But, with regulatory bodies like the CFTC and SEC promising to foster environments conducive to the growth and development of legitimate cryptocurrencies, fears have been allayed. What remains to be seen is if this is the start of a fresh wave of positive growth in value for the cryptocurrency space. The developments have had a number of high profile pundits posting upbeat predictions in response. Canadian Twitter user Armin van Bitcoin said that the Mayer Multiple is signaling a

strong buy signal for Bitcoin:

Smart #bitcoin investors capitulate based on long term trends. The Mayer Multiple is a great example of this, using the 200 DMA to derive its formula. The multiple is currently signalling a $BTC buy.

200 DMA: $6,858
Current Price: $8,425

 

Software engineer Pierre Rochard quoted Xapo CEO Wences Casares in a tweet that emphasized patience in the world of

cryptocurrencies.

“If I am impatient – that’s my problem, that’s not Bitcoin’s problem. Bitcoin has all the patience in the world.” Onwards and upwards! Bitcoin’s greatest days are ahead.

Business Insider’s Frank Chaparro shared a story on the Winklevoss twins, who have released bullish sentiments on Bitcoin following the SEC and CFTC hearing this week. Winklevoss Twins see bitcoin hitting 320,000, saying non-believers will suffer a ‘failure of imagination

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Bitcoin continues its steady recovery, rising above $8,000/more

Bitcoin continues its steady recovery, rising above $8,000

Other cryptocurrencies match bitcoin’s march higher

Bitcoin continued to move above $8,000 on Thursday,
taking a cue from global equity markets, which appeared to be stabilizing somewhat after a week of extreme volatility. The price of a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +2.72% gained 6.7% to $8,091.23, bouncing off a session low of $7,576.25, according to CoinDesk data. The price of bitcoin remains well below a level of $10,000 seen a week ago, and its December peak above $19,000, but has recovered from a drop below $6,000 on Tuesday. Ether, the coin on the ethereum network, saw a similar rise, up 6.3% to $806.63, while bitcoin cash was at $995.25, up 3.5%. Litecoin rose 2.7% to $142.66, and Ripple gained 3.4% to 75 cents, CoinDesk prices indicated.

Winklevoss:
If you can’t see bitcoin at $320,000, you just lack imagination

‘We believe bitcoin disrupts gold’

Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss are still fired up about bitcoin.

‘You know the criticisms are just a failure of the imagination.’

That’s what Tyler, one of the Winklevoss twins, had to say to the skeptics — and there are many — who fail to see the massive potential for bitcoin BTCUSD, +2.33%  and the rest of the crypto space. “Cryptocurrencies aren’t really important for human-to-human transactions… but when machines-to-machines trade economic value, they are going to plug into protocols like bitcoin and ethereum,” he explained to CNBC. “They are not going to open bank accounts at J.P. Morgan… those were invented by bankers before the internet existed. Trying to use them as payments or money on the internet is a square peg in a round hole at best.” His brother, Cameron, says bitcoin will one day be worth 40 times today’s price, which is currently just over $8,000, thanks to a double-digit rally.

“We believe bitcoin disrupts gold GCH8, -0.01% We think it’s a better gold if you look at the properties of money. And what makes gold gold? Scarcity,” Cameron said. “Bitcoin is actually fixed in supply so it’s better than scarce … it’s more portable, its fungible, it’s more durable. Its sort of equals a better gold across the board. We think regardless of the price moves in the last few weeks, it’s still a very underappreciated asset.”

Neither Cameron nor his brother put a specific timeline on the prediction during the chat, but they did say they’re taking the 10-to-20 year view. The Winklevoss twins were hailed as the first crypto billionaires, after riding the hype and creating an exchange that processes $300 million in daily transactions. The brothers are currently No. 4 on the Forbes list of wealthiest players in the space, behind the Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

February Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Global Markets XBTG8, -0.30%  slipped 2.4%, to settle at $8,040, while those on the CME Group Inc. BTCG8, -1.52%  fell 3.6% to $7,970. Cryptocurrencies have drawn some support this week from a Senate hearing to discuss regulations for the industry , which was viewed as generally positive. But bitcoin and its rivals have been not escaped the volatility that has at times whipsawed global equity markets.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
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STB backs 3 brands as part of Marketing Innovation Programme

STB backs 3 brands as part of Marketing Innovation Programme

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has selected three out of the 44

applications submitted by businesses across a wide range of industries to be supported under the first edition of its Marketing Innovation Programme (MIP). The three campaigns from AccorHotels, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Wildlife Reserves Singapore were chosen as they showed the strongest potential to boost Singapore’s destination appeal and were best able to tell a “great Singapore story”. The campaigns were selected by a panel comprising STB and industry experts, based on criteria such as innovativeness, potential to drive tourism

outcomes and feasibility.

Each marketing campaign will receive a dollar-for-dollar matching award of up to SG$300,000 to amplify its distribution.

Details of the second edition of MIP will be shared during its launch in April this year. In 2016, MIP’s launched followed STB’s unveiling of its new marketing strategy, which aims to support and amplify innovative marketing campaigns that experiment with new ideas, as well as push the boundaries of traditional marketing methods. According to Jacqueline Ng, director, marketing partnerships and planning, storytelling is central to STB’s marketing strategy, as is its ability to constantly reimagine, disrupt and establish new standards that will make STB stand out from its competition.

“We are encouraged by the strong interest we’ve seen in the first edition of the MIP and hope that more businesses, including those not in the tourism sector, will be inspired to join us in a continuous journey to raise the benchmark for innovative marketing in the coming years,” Ng added. AccorHotels’ “48 Hours Start Over” social campaign reintroduces visitors to the Singapore experience in unexpected ways. It tells the story of a traveller who returns to Singapore for the best guest experience reimagined by AccorHotels. The main idea behind “48 Hours Start Over” is that the people you meet on your travels and the memories you bring home influence your entire travel experience.

Titled “M Social Communities”, Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ campaign aims to incorporate Singapore’s local arts scene into the M Social experience, allowing guests to interact with local creatives. Travellers and members of the public can interact with the work of Singapore’s artists and artisans, as well as meet them through a variety of exhibitions, workshops and events. The campaign aims to enrich travellers’ stay with learnings, stories and ideas.

Meanwhile, Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s campaign “Land of Giants” seeks to tell stories about Singapore’s biodiversity through 130 super-sized animatronic and static invertebrate installations. The seasonal outdoor exhibit, coupled with real life encounters of the pint-sized creatures, aims to bring across the essential roles that invertebrates play in the ecosystem.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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New Smart Contract Platform DocTailor Brings Blockchain to Businesses

New Smart Contract Platform DocTailor Brings Blockchain to Businesses

Cryptocurrency expert Sam Enrico Williams has announced the launch

of a new blockchain-based project designed to improve the accessibility of customisable, legally-binding smart contracts. DocTailor aims to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency holders and non-crypto businesses, making it simple for any business operating within any industry to create their own cost-effective contracts on the blockchain.

DocTailor will be used solely to enable the creation of customisable legal smart contracts. Users of the platform will be able to select, find, and replace clauses from standard legal document templates, from a database created by legal professionals. With these resources, users will be able to easily create and send tailor-made legal documents on the blockchain with the implementation of a smart contract. News of Williams’ groundbreaking project comes at a time when cryptocurrency is heading towards a staggering half a trillion in market capitalisation, and is predicted to climb further in the coming years.

The platform will utilise its own tokens (DOCT) as the sole designated means of payment, giving users access to DocTime where they can use a selection of features and clauses to create their own smart contracts. "The platform will reinvent the current status quo in the legal industry by effectively and securely bridging the gap between non-crypto businesses and an ever-expanding crypto economy", says Williams. Boasting a wealth of experience within cryptocurrency, blockchain, and financial markets, Williams aims to boost widespread adoption of beneficial technologies through addressing today’s common issues.

Currently, creating unique legal smart contracts is both time-consuming and costly, particularly for users with no developer experience, or little understanding of how to receive cryptocurrency or utilise blockchain technology. DocTailor has been designed to solve the problem through provision of an automated legal contract database which can be used to create growth and development opportunities.

The release of the platform demonstrates a clear commitment to improving blockchain adoption rates, as well as making it quicker, easier, and more cost effective for non-crypto businesses to utilise revolutionary technologies. DocTailor is aimed at lawyers and legal professionals, businesses in all industries, and individuals, with an easy-to-use interface. The platform is expected to benefit users through the provision of more than 10,000 legal clauses, the ability to merge clauses into existing document structure, and integrated tracking options which can make it simpler for businesses to monitor recipient action.

A comprehensive list of the integrated features and functions that will allow users to create contracts on the blockchain and effectively grow revenues to their current non-crypto and crypto businesses can be found on the platform’s dedicated website. The website also offers visitors the opportunity to download and read the DocTailor white paper, which explains more about DocTailor’s place in the current market.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
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‘Black Monday’ Shows Bitcoin Isn’t As ‘Dangerous’ As Regulators Claim

‘Black Monday’ Shows Bitcoin Isn’t As ‘Dangerous’ As Regulators Claim

Looking at mainstream media headlines

over the past few weeks shows a lot of columnists and pundits have declared that ‘bitcoin’s bubble has burst.’ They always claim that it’s much safer to invest in traditional investments like equities or the stock market while at the same time highlighting cryptocurrency’s volatile price swings. However, on Monday, February 5th the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,175 points, losing more value in one day than the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem over the past six weeks. 

The Black Monday of 2018

It was a ‘Black Monday’ on February 6 when both global stocks and the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem shed billions yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) and a good portion of stocks worldwide plummeted at 2:40 pm EDT; more so than the drops during the 2008 economic crisis. Yesterday’s stock market dip broke records not only bringing up memories of 2008 but the day was also very similar to the other ‘Black Mondays’ of 1929, 1987, and 2000. However, mainstream media is not so quick to call the stock market slump a ‘crash,’ a ‘bubble pop,’ or even a death spiral. Yet the Dow lost more value ($300 billion USD) than the entire crypto-bear run of 2018 in one intraday.

On Monday, February 5th the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1175 points losing $300 billion USD in value in just one intra-day.

Some Reports Say the Stock Market Sell-Off Pushed Money Towards Crypto-Investments

In addition to the grueling stock market madness, the financial publication Business Insider published a report that stated, “money was pouring into crypto during the stock market’s selloff.” The Dow started to nosedive at 2:40 pm EDT, and twenty minutes later the entire cryptocurrency capitalization according to Coinmarketcap spiked 7 percent one hour later.

“Cryptocurrencies got whacked alongside equities last week,” explains the report on Monday evening.   

But Monday’s continuation of the stock market selloff appeared to send some investors to digital currencies in search of a safe haven.

One publication, Business Insider says on ‘Black Monday’ money from the stock market sell-off was “pouring into crypto.”

Yesterday BTC/USD markets tumbled 20 percent in 24-hours reaching a low $5,900 which shaved $18 billion USD from its market cap. The following day BTC markets have rebounded considerably back above the $7,200 price territory. The Dow average took another hit during the opening bell on Tuesday, losing 500 points but has since recovered much of the morning loss. However the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq, and a vast swathe of traditional investments still look unsettling. The Dow is showing some slight recovery, but many other mainstream investment vehicles are still nurturing losses. Moreover, European stock markets are declining rapidly after U.S. and Asian markets were routed.

Mainstream News Outlets Have No Problem Saying Bitcoin Is Dead But They Think Twice When It Comes to the Global Stock Market

Over the past week, mainstream news outlets have had no problem calling bitcoin markets ‘dead’ and publishing reports stating that it will never recover. There are at least seven new editorials per day stating that bitcoin is “done” since the beginning of January. There’s no hesitation towards telling the public that the dream of cryptocurrencies has come to an end, and many columnists are telling people to sell.

On Tuesday, February 6, mainstream media’s outlook on the stock market is gloomy, but there’s not that many (if any at all) editorials about the stock market ‘crashing,’ or the ‘stocks bubble has popped.’ The only ones calling the stock market ‘dead’ are the lesser known ‘conspiracy-like’ publications. Mainstream media pundits wouldn’t dare shake the market with headlines saying that traditional markets are in a ‘death spiral.’ But with cryptocurrencies, these ‘news outlets’ could not care less about spreading FUD among the crypto-investment crowd.

The Stock Market Can Be Far More Dangerous Than Crypto

The truth is stocks, bonds, equities, and nation-state issued currencies can suffer from extreme volatility. Some nation-state currencies are so worthless people weigh bags of cash on scales rather than counting. Moreover, stock markets can cause significant disruption to retail investors, and way more than the digital currency ecosystem governments warn everyone about. Stock market crashes can collapse an entire housing market, banks close in record numbers, and in some cases, there can be a run on the banks.

This week U.S. regulators mentioned the ‘dangers’ cryptocurrencies could bring to retail investors during a congressional hearing, but of course, they failed to mention that regulated and centralized markets can be even more dangerous. What do you think about the stock market tumble in comparison to bitcoin markets? What do you think is more dangerous?

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
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How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune

How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune

The Winklevoss twins, Cameron (left) and Tyler, at their office in New York City.

A bet on Bitcoin several years ago has grown into a fortune for the brothers. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times.The Winklevoss twins have carved an unorthodox path toward fame in the American business world.They went to Harvard University and then on to the Olympics as rowers. Along the way, they fought a legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg over the ownership of Facebook. In the Oscar-nominated movie “The Social Network,” they were portrayed as uptight gentry, outwitted by Mr. Zuckerberg, the brilliant, budding tech mogul. Cameron, the left-handed Winklevoss brother, and Tyler, the right-handed one, followed that with a risky bet.

They used money from a $65 million settlement with Mr. Zuckerberg to load up on Bitcoin. That turned them into the first prominent virtual currency millionaires in 2013, back when Bitcoin was primarily known as a currency for online drug dealers. More than a few people in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street saw the towering twins as the naïve — if chiseled — faces of the latest tulip bulb mania. Many still do. But the soaring value of Bitcoin in recent months is giving the brothers a moment of vindication, and quite a bit more than that: Their Bitcoin stockpile was worth around $1.3 billion on Tuesday. “We’ve turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back,” Tyler Winklevoss said in an interview last week.

It is unclear how fleeting their vindication, or their fortune, will be. Many Bitcoin aficionados are expecting a major correction to the recent spike in its value, which has gone from $1,000 for one coin at the beginning of the year to around $18,500 on Tuesday. Currently, the average price of one Bitcoin is about $8,143, according to Blockchain.info, a news and data site.

If nothing else, the growing fortune of the 36-year-old Winklevoss twins is a reminder that for all the small investors getting into Bitcoin this year, the biggest winners have been a relatively small number of early holders who had plenty of money to start with and have been riding a price roller coaster for years. (The mysterious creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is believed by researchers to be holding on to Bitcoin worth around $19 billion.) .The New York offices of Gemini, a virtual currency exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

Some of these new Bitcoin millionaires are cashing out and buying Lamborghinis, professional hockey teams or even low-risk bond funds. The Winklevoss twins, though, said they had no intention to diversify. “We still think it is probably one of the best investments in the world and will be for the decades to come,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “And if it’s not, we’d rather live with disappointment than regret.” They have collected an additional $350 million or so of other virtual currencies, most of it in the Bitcoin alternative called Ethereum. The brothers are also majority owners of the virtual currency exchange they founded, Gemini, which most likely takes their joint holdings to a value well over $2 billion, or enough to make each of them a billionaire.

They have sold almost none of their original holdings. While they both have apartments in downtown Manhattan, they say they live relatively spartan lives with few luxuries. Cameron drives an old S.U.V.; Tyler doesn’t have a car at all. The Winklevoss twins’ financial rise began during their settlement with Mr. Zuckerberg in 2008. Their lawyers urged them to take the $45 million (after lawyers’ fees) in cash. But they wanted to be paid in shares of Facebook. “The lawyers thought we were crazy,” Cameron Winklevoss said last week. “We thought they were crazy for taking cash.” By the time Facebook went public in 2012, their stock was worth around $300 million, their rowing careers were over, and they were looking for something new.

When they began buying Bitcoin in late 2012, the price of an individual coin was below $10. Few people in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street had publicly expressed interest in the virtual currency. Have to admire the twins for being on the cutting edge on two major investments. But I would like to have heard their take on Bitcoin…Over a few months, the brothers bought 1 percent of all the outstanding Bitcoin at the time — some 120,000 tokens. As they did, the price soared, making their Bitcoin portfolio worth around $11 million by the time they went public with it in April 2013.

Their buying spree was mocked at the time, and a few of their early decisions fueled that derision. They also invested in Bitinstant, one of the first companies to trade Bitcoins online. Bitinstant’s executives, in fact, had tutored the brothers in the basics of Bitcoin. The chief executive of Bitinstant, Charlie Shrem, was arrested in 2014, accused of helping to supply Bitcoins to users of online drug markets. Mr. Shrem pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to a year in jail. The Winklevosses were never implicated in the wrongdoing, which happened before they became investors.

While that drama was unfolding, the twins applied to create the first Bitcoin exchange traded fund, or E.T.F., an investment product that would hold Bitcoins but be traded on stock exchanges. That brought more criticism from people who wondered why someone would buy a fund rather than Bitcoin itself. In March, regulators rejected the application. On top of all that, until last year the price of Bitcoin was sliding and the virtual currency concept was looking wobbly. But the Winklevosses, who once bet that years of punishing rowing practices would take them to the Olympics, held their ground. “We are very comfortable in very high-risk environments with absolutely no guarantee of success,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “I don’t mean existing in that environment for days, weeks or months. I mean year after year.”

They sold some of their tokens to pay for Gemini, a name that means twins in Latin. Like the Bitcoin E.T.F., their investment in Gemini was driven by their experience with the difficulty of buying and securely storing Bitcoin. Every Bitcoin sits in an address that can be accessed only with the corresponding password, or private key. The problem with this system is that anyone who gets hold of a private key can easily take the Bitcoin. And unlike money taken from a bank account, stolen Bitcoin are essentially impossible to retrieve. A number of virtual currency exchanges and wallets have collectively lost billions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin to thieves.

The Winklevosses came up with an elaborate system to store and secure their own private keys. They cut up printouts of their private keys into pieces and then distributed them in envelopes to safe deposit boxes around the country, so if one envelope were stolen the thief would not have the entire key. With Gemini, they have created a high-tech version of this process to hold customer money. Getting into the company’s wallets requires multiple signatures from cryptographically sealed devices that were never linked to the internet. Gemini got a license from New York State regulators that allows them to hold Bitcoins for regulated banks and asset managers — something essentially no other virtual currency companies can do. That has turned Gemini into one of the most trusted destinations for sophisticated investors.

“Gemini is an underappreciated exchange, one of the few exchanges I trust as a custodian,” said Ari Paul, a managing partner at the virtual currency hedge fund BlockTower Capital. Gemini is now expanding from its old 5,000-square-foot offices to new, 35,000-square-foot facilities in Midtown Manhattan. This doesn’t mean Gemini or the Winklevosses have ironed out all the kinks. Like many other exchanges, Gemini has struggled to stay online in the deluge of new customers in recent weeks. These growing pains are part of the reason the brothers say they are holding on to their Bitcoin. They believe virtual currencies are still a long way from real mainstream adoption.

They said they might look at selling when the value of all the Bitcoin in circulation approaches the value of all gold in the world — some $7 trillion or $8 trillion compared with the $310 billion value of all Bitcoin on Tuesday — given that they think Bitcoin is set to replace gold as a rare commodity. But then Tyler Winklevoss questioned even that, pointing out the ways that he believes Bitcoin is better than gold. “In a funny way, I’m not sure we’d even sell there,” he said. “Bitcoin is more than gold — it’s a programmable store of money. It may continue to innovate.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Personalize Your Marketing Communications in 2018

Personalize Your Marketing Communications in 2018

 

 

 

 

The power of Personalization is no secret to marketers today.

Today's consumers have come to expect—if not demand—laser-like precision in the messages that brands are delivering to them. Unfortunately, message personalization is often used to refer to tactics such as putting a customer's name in the subject line of an email or adjusting the send time to the user's location. Personalization has become a buzzword in marketing, but in most cases what's being used is easily captured demographic and geographic data. True personalization is about so much more. It's about understanding the behavior of your customers, then tailoring your messaging around that behavior.

Let's take an example.

Say your product is a dating website. You know that if someone doesn't upload his photo, he stands a very poor chance of generating romantic inquiries. Crafting an email around getting people to take that one particular step of uploading a photo is a very good idea. Messaging personalization really comes to life when you use such real-time behavioral data. Targeting your messages to your customer's behavior might be harder than slapping a "Hey $FNAME" to an email before it heads out the door, but get it right… and you'll be well on your way to a one-on-one relationship with each consumer that leads to long-term loyalty.

Here's my best-practice advice to getting behavior-based messaging right.

1. Decide which behaviors warrant a message

Not all behaviors are created equal. It's up to you to figure out what behaviors the user takes (or doesn't take) that are worthy of sending a message. To again use the dating website example from earlier, the behavior in question could be creating a profile or sending five messages. If you're unsure what these important actions look like, start by defining your ideal end state: What does a successful customer look like? What steps do they need to complete before they can be successful? Those are the actions you need to encourage in your customers

2. Prioritize the behaviors

Just because a message you send is personal doesn't mean it's of value to your customers. For example, let's say you've just signed up for that cool new productivity app on Product Hunt, invited your first teammate, created your first to-do list, and uploaded your first file all in the space of 30 minutes. And like a configuration of falling dominoes, a series of messages hits your inbox in a predetermined order until they run out—and you unsubscribe.

Does it make sense to attack your customer's inbox with messages for every single action the customer takes? Of course it doesn't. To make sure your messages are relevant and timely, have a clear priority for your behavior-based messages. Perhaps customers will receive a welcome email, but you'll leave them alone for the next few days if they're making good progress. In general, I recommend leaving at least two days between each message to avoid overwhelming your users.

3. Understand the customer's entire lifecycle

Having data around the actions that people take in relation to your product is among the most powerful kind of information you can have. But it tells only one part of the story. To deliver meaningful one-to-one personalization at scale, you need to use the many context signals at your disposal. Let's say you own a collaboration app and a customer has taken one of your product's most important actions: completed his first project. A perfectly adequate message to send here would be "Congratulations on setting up your first project—keep it up." But you can do better.

Ask yourself: What else do we know about this customer?

  • Has he opened previous messages?
  • Has he visited the knowledge base before?
  • What size company is he from?
  • Has he opted out of marketing communications?

The above are but a handful of signals that, along with usage data, can help us deliver messages that are laser-focused in their accuracy. For example, if you're speaking to a high-value customer who has contacted customer support several times already this month, your message will have to reflect that. Personalizing your messaging correctly is at the core of a sound—and scalable—customer-engagement strategy. The idea of a "spray and pray" messaging strategy is ancient history, whether you're a startup just hitting your stride or a large company swimming in inbound inquiries. The good news is that once you've properly got to grips with behavior-based messaging, sitting down to write the perfect message becomes much easier.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Facebook Goes Local, More Opportunities for Agent Marketing

Social media is constantly changing, adapting to new platforms

and the way people use them. Facebook has made strides in functionality to keep it relevant among the multitudes of platforms looking to take over as the top social platform. In order to maintain this relevancy, Facebook is looking to get even closer to its user base by catering to individual needs. A few months ago, Facebook introduced an apartment search engine to its marketplace. And more recently, the social media giant made headlines for its attempt to promote Facebook-validated news sources. Now, the platform wants to be involved in a more intimate way by providing more local news than national news on users’ feeds.

“People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook. Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a recent Facebook post. “Research suggests that reading local news is directly correlated with civic engagement. People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference.” So, what does this mean for the real estate industry?

Facebook Has More Power Over Content

While it is too soon to tell, real estate business pages may or may not fall under the news category according to Facebook. And if they do, real estate professionals will have difficulty determining whether their pages are being considered trusted local news sources that are appearing more frequently, or if they are being grouped as untrustworthy and are not being viewed. Real estate agents will need to keep a close eye on their pageviews and Facebook analytics to determine if this change is for the better. For industry professionals that use only their personal pages to promote their business, this local announcement may not impact them, unless Facebook is scanning posts by content instead of source.

The More Local, the More Relevant

If Facebook is looking to push local sources, the news factor may not play a role at all if real estate professionals are promoting mainly local content. Instead, agents and brokers may see a surge in pageviews from increased visibility to their content. If this is the case, real estate professionals should be prepared to post more content that features specialized local data versus articles with national or generic elements.

“Starting [Jan. 29], we’re going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city,” wrote Zuckerberg. “If you follow a local publisher or if someone shares a local story, it may show up higher in News Feed. We’re starting this first in the U.S., and our goal is to expand to more countries this year.”

Content Will Need to Be Reviewed Carefully

According to the social platform, these are just the first steps being taken to ensure high-quality news is prioritized. Since Facebook’s algorithms are already a mystery to the masses, agents and brokers will need to carefully read through their content before posting on Facebook to ensure the platform doesn’t pick up on any clickbait-type words that cause it to be labeled as untrustworthy.

These recent announcements from Facebook have received a lot of backlash from the social media community. While local news is slated for Facebook’s near future, the way it is packaged and how it will evolve remain a mystery until individuals begin to monitor their content more closely, paying special attention to how their local content fares in the social world. “Local news helps build community—both on and offline. It’s an important part of making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is valuable. I’m looking forward to sharing more updates soon,” wrote Zuckerberg. As a real estate professional, how do you feel about Facebook’s recent push to control news visibility?

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

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