Utility Settlement Coin Creator to Open-Source Modular Blockchain Software

 

The company behind the Utility Settlement Coin project,

one of the first designed to enable central banks to utilize distributed ledger tech, is preparing a coming-out party of sorts. After working in almost complete secret on what founder and CEO Robert Sams calls "foundational technology," venture-backed blockchain startup Clearmatics will soon begin a rather unusual roll-out of new offerings for the open-source community. In a new exclusive interview, Sams said he plans to share the first of several waves of software with the financial sector before the year’s end.

He told CoinDesk:

"We view the technology – the actual source code – in a very modular way, and we think that not only is this a space that definitely, firmly belongs in the open-source domain, the approach to the development of the software needs to be more modular."

While little is being revealed about the technology itself, Sams contrasted his platform with bitcoin, which relies on an unspent-transaction model, and ethereum, which uses an account-based system. Instead, Sams said the yet-to-be named software will be "tightly coupled" implementations of various components, distributed consensus algorithms and networking stacks. He compared the modular architecture to the various components of the Linux operating system, saying the software would be coupled with standards for how users implement the solution. "You'll see over time less and less discussion about this or that platform," said Sams. "And more and more discussion … on how to put these components together to conform to a set of standardizations."

Twin projects

While Sams acknowledged that his work with the Utility Settlement Coin, his most well-known project, "informs" the soon-to-be-revealed open-source code, he made explicit that they are distinct from each other. Last year, Clearmatics unveiled a Utility Settlement Coin consortium comprised of BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Santander and ICAP – since rebranded as NEX. Sams said the group recently completed the second phase of its work to help central banks and other financial infrastructure providers capitalize on blockchain, but that the results would remain proprietary.

While the Utility Settlement Coin project is largely focused on the business logic required to help legacy financial infrastructures increase efficiency using blockchain technology, Sams said the open-source work itself will largely consist of technology and an early version of related standards.

Sams concluded:

"The open-sourcing of Clearmatics is not the open-sourcing of Utility Settlement Coin."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin recovers from crash to surge above $2,500

Bitcoin recovers from crash to surge above $2,500

Bitcoin recovers from crash to surge above $2,500

 

BITCOIN'S price has continued to bounce back, and rocketed by around 40 per cent over the last three days as it recovers from lows seen at the start of the week.

The cryptocurrency jumped above $2,500 towards $2,600, after touching lows of $1,852 on July 17.
 

Traders were spooked by fears that Bitcoin could be split.

 

But the recovery has been helped after software has helped bridge the gap between bitcoin miners.

 

The cryptocurrency has previously reached record highs of $3,000 but some analysts have predicted the rally could go much further.

He believes bitcoin and other currencies underpinned by block chain technology are set to become more mainstream over the next decade.
 

In the shorter term Sheba Jafari, the head of technical strategy at Goldman Sachs could reach $3,691.

 

Japan recently helped bring Bitcoin into the mainstream by passing legislation that allows it to be accepted as a legal currency.

 

The currency has a limited supply of around 21 million, which has helped it reach safe haven status – like gold.

 

The supply is expected to be reached by 2140 – it's currently at around 16.3 million.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: LANA CLEMENTS

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

There’s a new way for sophisticated investors to get in on the cryptocurrency craze

There's a new way for sophisticated investors to get in on the
cryptocurrency craze

  • Coinlist, founded by Protocol Labs and AngelList, is a new exchange that standardizes the initial coin offering process.
  • Filecoin will be the first company to run its token sale through the Coinlist platform.
  • Coinlist offers a more streamlined ICO process that could potentially attract more sophisticated investors to the digital currency world.
    

Despite their surging popularity,

initial coin offerings for digital currency start-ups remain almost entirely unregulated, leaving many institutional investors on the sidelines waiting for more clarity. They're unsure if the cryptocurrencies should be treated as securities, which would subject them to heavier regulations and scrutiny from the SEC. Often the companies have no product to back, but just the promise of one.

Filecoin is seeking to attract sophisticated money managers with a new type of offering. The project, developed by start-up Protocol Labs, said on Wednesday that it will launch its ICO this month on Coinlist, a new platform it created with cooperation from AngelList, a service that connects startups and investors. "The SEC is very well aware of this whole market and I think they're going to appear at some point and will try to fix it," Juan Benet, the founder of Filecoin, told CNBC.

Rather than making crypto tokens available to anyone, Coinlist is open only to accredited investors — those making over $200,000 a year or have a net worth of over $1 million — gating out the less sophisticated investors who tend to drive more volatility. It also uses a new security protocol called SAFT (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) that was designed to meet existing securities regulations.Filecoin's technology makes it easy for people to buy and sell unused storage space on their personal computers and uses blockchain technology to verify and track those transactions. The tokens being sold in the offering can be used to buy storage or they can be held as an investment. Filecoin plans to sell up to 10% of its tokens through this offering, though it did not disclose how much it's trying to raise.

Filecoin's ICO represents a new development in the digital currency space. ICOs have drawn huge attention, with more than $1.2 billion raised this year alone, according to Autonomous NEXT, but they've been riddled with problems. Just this week, the CoinDash ICO lost $7 million to hackers. Benet said Coinlist's platform could help broaden the accredited investor base by enabling more compliant offerings. It has a standardized profile page for each sale, and a unified payment structure that can be used across the platform. It could also help attract more U.S. investors who are often blocked out from directly investing ICOs. "It makes the whole experience more accessible," he said.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

From Mining to Investing in Cryptocurrency

From Mining to Investing in Cryptocurrency

From Mining to Investing in Cryptocurrency
 

What Is Mining

Mining is the process by which transactions of crypto currencies are secured. For this purpose, the miners carry out mathematical computations for the network with their computer equipment. As a reward for their services, they collect the newly created coins, as well as the fees associated with the transactions they confirm. In this sense, miners are competing and their incomes are proportional to the computing power they deploy.

To better grasp the concept of mining, Andreas Antonopoulos, one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in the Bitcoin community, explains that “a good way to describe mining is like a giant competitive game of sudoku that resets every time someone finds a solution and whose difficulty automatically adjusts so that it takes approximately 10 minutes to find a solution. Imagine a giant sudoku puzzle, several thousand rows, and columns in size. If I show you a completed puzzle you can verify it quite quickly. However, if the puzzle has a few squares filled and the rest is empty, it takes a lot of work to solve! The difficulty of the sudoku can be adjusted by changing its size (more or fewer rows and columns), but it can still be verified quite easily even if it is very large.”

 

The Mining Equipment

In the beginning, mining with a processor (CPU) was the only way to mine bitcoins. Graphics cards (GPUs) eventually replaced CPUs due to their nature which allowed an increase of 50x to 100x in computing power, by using less power per megahash compared to a CPU.

The Bitcoin mining world is now dominated by Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). An ASIC is a chip designed specifically to accomplish a single task. Unlike FPGAs, an ASIC cannot be programmed to perform other tasks. An ASIC designed to mine bitcoins can and will not do anything else than mining bitcoins

The rigidity of an ASIC allows it to offer an increase in computing power of 100x while reducing power consumption compared to all other technologies by a factor of 7. Unlike the generations of technologies that preceded the ASIC, this last innovation is dubbed the “end of the line”, as there is nothing to replace ASICs today or soon.

Then came along Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that can be mined like Bitcoin – with an important difference. The Ethereum network was built to be resistant to ASIC hardware, making mining Ether with graphics cards viable. Ethereum is enjoying a Bitcoin-esque bubble of mammoth proportions right now, with the price of Ethereum skyrocketing.

This led to a shortage of graphic cards. Miners worldwide bought those Nvidia and Radeon cards that are best suited for mining – selling them out quickly. This is not the first time that graphics cards enjoyed a meteoric rise in price due to cryptocurrency. Bitcoin took GPU prices for a ride back in late 2013.
 

Innovation Meets Mining

Mining has nowadays become an activity that with an appetite for resources so enormous that it is bolstering the creativity of investors in this field, to always strive for the optimal solution. It is in this context that the concept of “cloud mining” was born. This means that the investor does not buy a physical mining rig, but rather rents computing power from a different company and gets paid according to how much power was bought. By doing so, investors get rid of the hassle of buying expensive equipment, storing it, cooling it, and maintaining it.

This industrialization of mining has led companies to seek out the lowest resource costs possible. While many areas of the globe offer competitive costs and infrastructure, polar areas offer unique mining conditions. Such was the idea of KnC Miner that announced the installation of computing power by the Arctic circle. This initiative, unfortunately, didn’t get enough time to reveal its true potential, as the company filed bankruptcy in 2016

Less in the north, in China, people have been puzzled by the fast growth of crypto-mining farms. Investors appeared on the scene with the wacky idea to mine Bitcoin using hydropower, thus benefiting from free water infinitely more profitable.

These innovative solutions have been of varying success. However, for the most profitable ones, it is still difficult to replicate and scale them up, as they require specific and unique geographic properties.

 

Is It Still Profitable?

The early days of Bitcoin mining are often described as a gold rush, but is it still the case in 2017?

Mining has grown from a handful of early enthusiasts into a specialized industrial-level venture. The easy money was scooped out a long time ago and what remains is buried under the cryptographic equivalent of tons of hard rock.

While mining is still technically possible for anyone, those with underpowered setups will find more money is spent on electricity than is generated by mining. In other words, mining won’t be profitable at a small scale unless you have access to free or really cheap electricity.

The good news is that mining is not limited to Bitcoin. New coins come up all the time with difficulties of mining that are vastly different from Bitcoin’s. Today, Ethereum is such a currency. When tomorrow Ethereum’s difficulty will make it less lucrative for mining, or when it’s moving to a different model altogether, other coins will be there that offer better returns.

If you want to go into mining yourself, the time you will spend educating yourself about the technology, the hardware, and the currencies, is significant. The setup costs for buying hardware are also considered when you want to mine at scale.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

2×9 BitMax Review: Matrix-basedbitcoin cash gifting

2×9 BitMax Review:
Matrix-based
bitcoin cash gifting

                             

The official 2×9 BitMax Facebook group lists five admins

There is no information on the 2×9 BitMax website indicating who owns or runs the business. The 2×9 BitMax website domain (“2x9bitmax.com”) was privately registered on January 10th, 2017. The official 2×9 BitMax Facebook group lists five admins; Kamran Baig, Atolagbe Dorlee, Steve John, Martin Germer and Faye Brown. The generic-sounding Steve John is the listed referral if one visits the 2×9 BitMax website without an affiliate referral link. This suggests he is running the show. Unfortunately Steve John doesn’t appear to exist. The Steve John Facebook profile was created in December, 2016 and hosts no content. As always, if an MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money.

2×9 BitMax Products

2×9 BitMax has no retailable products or services, with affiliates only able to market 2×9 BitMax affiliate membership itself.

The 2×9 BitMax Compensation Plan

2×9 BitMax affiliates gift bitcoin to each other via a 2×9 matrix. A 2×9 matrix places a 2×9 BitMax affiliate at the top of a matrix, with two positions directly under them:

    

These two positions form the first level of the matrix.

The second level of the matrix is generated by splitting each of these first two positions into another two positions each. Levels three to nine of the matrix are generated in the same manner, with each new matrix level housing twice as many positions as the previous level. A 2×9 BitMax affiliate begins by signing up and gifting 0.0002 BTC to the affiliate who recruited them. This payment in turn qualifies the affiliate to receive 0.0002 BC from two affiliates recruited into the first level of their matrix. Levels three to nine of the matrix operate in the same manner, the only difference being the amounts gifted at each level.

  • level 1 – gift 0.0002 BTC to the affiliate who recruited you and receive 0.0002 BTC from two subsequently recruited affiliates
  • level 2 – gift 0.0003 BTC and receive 0.0003 BTC from four affiliates
  • level 3 – gift 0.0006 BTC and receive 0.0006 BTC from eight affiliates
  • level 4 – gift 0.003 BTC and receive 0.003 BTC from sixteen affiliates
  • level 5 – gift 0.02 BTC and receive 0.02 BTC from thirty-two affiliates
  • level 6 – gift 0.1 BTC and receive 0.1 BTC from sixty-four affiliates
  • level 7 – gift 0.25 BTC and receive 0.25 BTC from one hundred and twenty-eight affiliates
  • level 8 – gift 1 BTC and receive 1 BTC from two hundred and fifty-six affiliates
  • level 9 – gift 4 BTC and receive 4 BTC from five hundred and twelve affiliates

Joining 2×9 BitMax

2×9 BitMax affiliate membership is tied to a minimum 0.0002 BTC gifting payment. Full participation in the 2×9 BitMax income opportunity costs 5.3741 BTC.

Conclusion

From the 2×9 BitMax website;

Lifetime Validty [sic]  – Turn 0.0002 into 2337 BTC Profit

2x9BitMax is a Person to Person, Direct Funding and Donation Sharing Platform.

Despite referring to itself with three descriptions, each used is an MLM underbelly synonym of cash gifting. All funds paid into 2×9 BitMax are from one affiliate to another, with the admin(s) running the show retaining most of the deposited money via pass-ups at each matrix level. A few early adopter affiliates get’s what’s left, with the rest of the 2×9 BitMax affiliate-base losing out when the scheme inevitably collapses.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Post offices in Austria are offering bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash in exchange for cash through “bitpanda to go,” a startup that focuses on making the purchase of cryptocurrencies easy. Users can purchase 50 €, 100 € or 500€ worth of cryptocurrency from the Osterreichische Post branches.

Post offices in Austria are offering bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash in exchange for cash through “bitpanda to go,” a startup that focuses on making the purchase of cryptocurrencies easy. Users can purchase 50 €, 100 € or 500€ worth of cryptocurrency from the Osterreichische Post branches.

The 1,800 post branches provide cryptocurrency purchasers a receipt that can be entered on bitpanda.com/togo. The website also posts the current exchange rate for the respective currency. There are no additional fees.

Users need a valid email address to set up an account. They select which cryptocurrency they want to purchase and enter a code. The selected amount is then transferred to the user’s wallet.

 

Fair Prices For Offline Purchases

Bitpanda, formerly known as Coinimal, seeks to provide fair prices for offline purchases of cryptocurrencies. The Österreichische Post AG allows bitpanda to offer the digital assets at cost. Hence, the fee structure by offline purchases via cash matches “online” options. This provides cryptocurrencies a more acceptable image in the minds of those who view Internet commerce less favorably.

Bitpanda was founded as Coinimal in October 2014 by bitcoin enthusiasts who had experienced how hard it was to acquire bitcoin in the European Union. This deficiency in the market led to the idea of Coinimal.

 

A Versatile Platform

Last year, Coinimal introduced a “sell” feature to enable users to convert ETH back to fiat as an easy way to buy and sell Ethereum using a bank account. The process of buying and selling ETH can otherwise be time-consuming since most exchanges are either U.S.-based or primarily offer ETH-to-BTC trading. There are nine funding options and withdrawals using PayPal, NETELLER, Skrill or SEPA transfer.

Coinimal rebranded as bitpanda in 2016 and introduced its own bitcoin wallet. Last month, bitpanda built an Ethereum wallet into its platform. It has also added Litecoin and Dash.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Lester Coleman

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Tokens Are ‘Eating The World’, Become “Another Killer App”: Vinny Lingham

Tokens Are ‘Eating The World’, Become “Another Killer App”: Vinny Lingham

    

Civic CEO Vinny Lingham has stated tokens are “eating the world”

as his startup’s token becomes exchangeable. In a Medium post Monday, Lingham said that tokens released by companies as value assets are becoming “yet another killer app.” “We are now entering a realm where its (sic) possible for applications to be built on top of Blockchain technology, and this is enabling new use cases and, more importantly, the ability to create ‘private economies,” he surmised.

Lingham received praise for the distribution methods of Civic’s CVC token last month as other ICOs, and token sales gained criticism for their perceived lack of technical robustness and impact on the Ethereum network. Currently trading on Bittrex, EtherDelta and COSS as well as ShapeShift, the average cost of CVC is now just over 20 cents – already double that of the token sale price. “When we look at Civic, we don’t see how the value of Civic tokens is correlated to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, except that there is demand from crypto buyers/traders,” he continued.

“We aren’t dependent on the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum or any other crypto.” The post serves as a vote of confidence in CVC’s future as much as in tokens in general. Lingham also highlights the benefits of having a token not dependent in any way on fiat currency by default. Gift cards, which Lingham dealt with daily for his previous business Gyft, are vulnerable to inflation as they are controlled by the health of the fiat currency they represent, he notes as an example. he entrepreneur has often called for restraint in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Meanwhile, arguing too rapid a price rise would lead to instability and a detrimental effect on the cryptocurrency’s long-term image.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

 

No one can say there is such a thing as a boring day in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. After the onslaught of price declines throughout the weekend, we kick off this Monday on a positive note. All currencies are seemingly recovering their losses. The Bitcoin price surpassed US$2,000 again, but it looks like Ethereum is the winner of the day so far. Other currencies all doing quite well too, for now.

 

 

CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKET SEES A DEAD CAT BOUNCE

Even though we are not a big fan of the term “dead cat bounce“, it accurately describes what is going on in the cryptocurrency world right now, by the look of things. The markets are showing signs of positive momentum, but there is no reason to get overly excited just yet. After all, the gains made today can easily be wiped out in an hour or two of bearish trading. This is especially true for the currencies showing large gains compared to yesterday.

Taking a closer look at the charts, we can see there is only one coin in the top 50 without a green number next to it right now. Overall, that is a positive sign for cryptocurrency as a whole. At the same time, people have to keep in mind these positive changes are a direct result of the Bitcoin price going up slowly. Should Bitcoin drop in value again, these short-term gains for all altcoins will be wiped out pretty quickly.

While it is good to see the Bitcoin price bounce back to above US$2,000, maintaining that position will be quite challenging. There is a lot of negative pressure on the market, which may push the price back to to the US$1,900 range in the coming hours. Such a retrace will effectively prove to be a tough time for any altcoin struggling as of late, including the likes of Ethereum and Dash.

Speaking of those two particular altcoins, Dash has seen its value climb by 13.52% over the past 24 hours. This is despite a trading volume of under US$50m, mind you. Ethereum, on the other hand, notes an 18.02% gain over the past 24 hours, thanks to a trading volume which even surpasses Bitcoin’s. Many people still hope to see ETH return to US$400, but for now, it is a struggle to remain above US$160.

Seeing the Ethereum trading volume surpass Bitcoin’s is not entirely surprising. Korea and China are trying to push the ETH price back up, yet their efforts are not wildly successful so far. In fact, the price on Bithumb – denominated in US Dollars- is below the ETH/BTC price on Poloniex when converting it to USD. That is somewhat surprising, considering Korean exchanges often depict higher values for cryptocurrencies compared to Western markets.

It is still too early to tell if the cryptocurrency markets are effectively recovering. For all we know, this is just a temporary blip on the radar, which will be nullified before the day is over. It seems plausible to assume Bitcoin will have a tough time remaining above US$2,000 for an extended period of time. The markets remain volatile for quite some time to come, but there is always sunshine beyond the dip. No one needs to panic right now, as things will be alright in the end.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: JP Buntinx

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Build an Inbound Marketing Strategy in 24 Hours

How to Build an Inbound Marketing Strategy in 24 Hours

                

"I'm active on social media."

"I'm blogging regularly." "I'm using SEO best practices." "I feel like I'm doing everything right, but I'm not seeing results." Do any of these statements sound familiar? A lot of marketers and CEOs we talk to feel like they are doing all the right things.  But, they aren't achieving their goals. A recent survey from DM News confirms this is common. 46% of the executives surveyed, stated that a "lack of an effective strategy" was the biggest obstacle in achieving their inbound marketing goals. So why is everyone struggling? I'm not quite sure as to WHY, but in this article, I'll show you HOW you can overcome this obstacle…and overcome it in the next 24 hours.  Let's roll!

What is Strategy?

First, let's identify what strategy actually is. It really doesn't have to be that complicated.  Strategy is simply a plan of action designed to achieve an expected goal.  So, we need a goal to get started. For the purpose of this article, let's say that our goal is to generate 50 qualified leads per month for the sales team. A worthy goal. Now, we need a plan of action that will get us there. You may have a different inbound marketing goal, so just apply this same framework in order to backtrack from your goal, to an activity plan.

Identify Audience

If we're going to generate 50 qualified leads per month for the sales team, we need to define a "quality lead". Let's pretend we're a software company that provides project management software for contractors like roofers, electricians, plumbers, etc.  The sales team says that if they can get a Demo Request, they consider that a quality lead. Okay, so now we've got an audience and we know what a quality lead is.  We're getting closer to being able to build our plan of action.

Action Steps for Identifying Your Audience:

  1. Nail down your target market. Target Market Example: Contractors located in the United States that are doing between $500,000 and $20M in revenue annually. 
  2. Talk to the sales team and establish what a quality lead is. In this case, we know we need 50 Demo Requests each month.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. Honestly, this should be something you already know (your target market).  But give yourself an hour to talk to a few people inside your company, read through your messaging, and establish who you're really after.
  2. Give yourself another hour to talk to a few sales reps or the sales manager at your company. Or potentially, you're talking to the owner or president.  Make sure you find out exactly what will be considered a quality lead.

Identify Where Your Audience Lives Online

Once we know who our audience is and what our goal is, we need to locate our audience.  Where are they online?  You'll want to look at social media, blogs, websites, and forums.  Make a big list!  Here's what I might do if I were looking for contractors.  First, I'd dive into social media. I know LinkedIn is better for B2B, so I head there first.  There are tons of various groups, so I started looking for groups full of my audience. A quick search for "roofers" brings up 38 different groups.

I will continue my search for "HVAC", "plumbers", and "electricians".  After spending some time gathering a list, hopefully I've identified at least 25 solid groups that have my target audience.  Next, I'll explore other social media options to see if there is anything industry specific.  After spending some time on Google, I run across Houzz, a social network for contractors, builders and remodelers.

Still further, I'll spend some time on Google again looking for blogs, forums and other websites where I might find my audience. At the end of this research process, you should easily have 50-100 websites (forums, blogs and other websites), groups (on LinkedIn or Facebook) and communities (on Google+) on your list. Now, we're getting somewhere! We're narrowing down the Web and locating the corners in which we want to spend our time and effort.

Action Steps for Finding Your Audience:

  1. Spend time looking at social media, websites, blogs and forums for your target audience.
  2. Create a master list with links to these places.

Time Estimate: 4 hours

  1. Don't shortchange yourself here.  Put in the time to locate your audience.  This step will serve you well for many inbound campaigns into the future, so spend about four hours doing your research.
  2. Create the list as you go along.

Identify Pains, Problems, Questions

Ok, just to re-cap.  We now know:

  • Our goal
  • Who we're targeting
  • Where they live online

Now, it's time to dig for pain. As you're doing your research and visiting groups, websites and blogs with your audience, start listening. What does that mean, really? How do you listen? What are you listening for? What you want to do is listen to the problems that your audience is expressing. You want to write down the questions they are asking.  Write down the things they are complaining about. You want to be able to speak their language. You'll start to see different discussion questions, comments on blogs, or frustrations. Here are a few sample discussion topics I pulled from a LinkedIn Group full of roofers.

  

Obviously, you want to identify challenges and pains

around the product or service you offer, but sometimes you can get some really powerful insight just by writing down any common questions or problems. You'll start to see some trends. As you'll see in the next section, we want to use these questions, pains and problems in our content and messaging.

Action Steps for Identifying Pains, Problems and Questions:

  1. Go to 10-20 places on your master list and start copying and pasting your audience's discussions and questions.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. This should take you about 2 hours, but don't be afraid to spend 3 or 4 if you feel you're not seeing any trends.

Create a Content Calendar

Alright, now we're ready to create a content calendar. Most people want to rush into this step because it feels like you're accomplishing something. However, this step won't be worth much if you haven't dedicated the time to your research. Basically, now that we've got a sense for what our audience is dealing with, we can brainstorm some effective blog titles, maybe some webinar topics and definitely some e-book ideas. If we think back to our goal of 50 qualified leads per month, you might be asking, "How many blog articles should I be writing?" or "How many lead generation offers, like e-books, do I need?" You can make an educated guess, but this is always the unknown with strategy. (Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty)  You make the best plan of action you can to achieve your goal, but you'll need to adjust your plan over time depending on how close you are getting to that goal.

Based on my experience, without knowing how much traffic this hypothetical website is getting or how many leads it's currently generating, you'll want to be creating 2-3 blog posts per week. You'll also want to have at least two or three e-books that you can leverage to capture leads. In addition to the e-books, you'll want to create email nurturing campaigns that will move leads down the funnel towards the goal step of a Demo Request.  For a quick and effective guide to lead nurturing, check out this document here.  It will walk you through the steps of taking an e-book lead and moving it towards a goal like a Demo Request.

Action Steps for Content Calendar:

  1. Brainstorm blog topics, e-book and/or webinar topics.
  2. Map out how many blog articles you'll need to create each week.
  3. Plan your e-book creation.
  4. Plan your lead nurturing sequences.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. Spend 1 hour brainstorming topics and titles.
  2. 15 minutes for mapping out your blog calendar.
  3. 20 minutes for planning out your e-books.
  4. 20 minutes mapping out your lead nurturing sequences.

Create a Promotions Plan

Your promotions plan is just as important, if not more important that your content plan and calendar.  Most marketers feel like once they hit "publish", it's time to start working on the next piece.  Not true!  Once you hit publish, it's time to go to work promoting that article.  You spent time writing it, editing it, finding an amazing photo and placing a relevant call to action.  Now, it's time to zero in on our audience and share that content with them. This is how we'll drive people back to our content, they'll click on our e-books, receive our emails and ultimately sign up for that demo! Creating your promotional plan will be much easier now that you've got a master list of where your audience lives. You'll be able to share your blog articles as discussions in exactly the right LinkedIn Groups.

You'll be able to comment on other websites and blogs and reference your content in a super relevant fashion because you know exactly what your audiences challenges and pains are. You'll be able to craft blog titles that are irresistible to your audience because you studied their problems and pains. Your promotions plan should basically be the time you spend promoting your article to all the places on your master list. It might look something like this: Blog Title: 5 Project Management Struggles Roofers Face…and How to Solve Them

Promotion:

  • Create a discussion in all 20 LinkedIn Groups and frame it with the question "What is your biggest project management challenge right now?"
  • Share article on Twitter using the hashtags #projectmanagement #roofers #contractors #HVAC #plumbers. Rotate hashtags. Schedule 10-20 Tweets over the next 30 days.
  • Jump into a couple of forums and find the discussions around project management.  Add value to the discussion and add a link to the blog post as a reference point.
  • Find individual contractors on Houzz or other websites and send a personal email with a link to the article.
  • Send out an email to all current leads in the database and share the article.

So, your promotions plan will have some activity that you'll do every time you create a blog post.  Then, for specific topics, you may have additional activities you'll want to add that make sense based on the topic.

Action Steps for Content Calendar:

  1. Write out all the possible promotional activities you might have for a specific blog post.   Each time you publish, go to that list and execute as many as possible!

Time Estimate: 1 hour

  1. Spend an hour brainstorming all the ways you could promote a blog post, e-book or piece of content.

Your Strategy

Phew!  There's a lot of work there, but you can do it… and you can do it in less than 24 hours!  The total time spent in this process totals 11 hours.  Obviously, it would be a long work day to push through these activities, but you'll be setting yourself up for success over the next several months, if not years. If you can't block off an entire day to do this, spend a couple hours each day for a week and you'll be all set. Your goals and strategy will change over time, but I wanted to break down a very simplistic way to create a strategy quickly and start moving forward. 

Just to re-cap what you need to do:

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Who are you targeting?
  3. Where do they live online?
  4. Develop your content calendar.
  5. Create a promotional list.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about
-Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

Whether it be Bitcoin or Ethereum, every cryptocurrency has suffered massive losses over the past several days. Prices have dropped to as low as 64 percent, bringing the entire cryptocurrency market cap down to $70 billion from $110 billion.

Ethereum’s price has gone from $400 right down to $151 in about a month, leading investors to panic sell. On the other hand, Bitcoin, which dominates the cryptocurrency market is down about 36 percent from its high (it’s currently trading around $1,894). Investors are finding it hard to hold onto cryptocurrencies at such a low price — especially amateur investors who bought them at a much higher price.
 

So what is causing the prices to dip so low? Could they go any lower? Could the market rebound from here?
 

Here are a few possible causes for the recent price tumble:
 

1. August 1st is looming

The infamous crypto “civil war” is around the corner. The debate on whether or not to increase the Bitcoin block size has been going on for a few of years now, with disagreement between the miners and nodes.

 

On August 1st, we could see a split, with part of the Bitcoin network supporting a change in protocol and the other part sticking to the current protocol. The result could be a massive devaluation of Bitcoin. This particular concern is making investors nervous, and some are liquidating their BTC into fiat, which could be the cause for this free fall.
 

As the Bitcoin price falls further, it will take down most of the major currencies with it. It is safe to say August 1st is not only Bitcoin’s independence day, but also a big day for all the blockchain based currencies.
 

2. Post-ICO “startups” are cashing out

Many blockchain-based companies have managed to raise millions of dollars in ETH — through initial coin offerings (ICOs) without even having a product. Nearly $700 million was raised in total last month through ICOs on the Ethereum platform.
 

Needless to say, most of these so-called startups are not worth the money they have raised. For instance, the BAT ICO raised $25 million in less than a minute, Cosmos raised $16 million, Status raised $95 million, and Bancor raised $153 million. One thing these companies are good at is marketing and writing fancy white papers.

 

Serious startups may hold onto Ethereum when they receive their funds, but those that are looking to make a quick buck could immediately cash out. This trend could also cause honest companies to liquidate their ETH and hold their funds in fiat (because, well, less volatility).
 

This could be one reason the Ethereum price is feeling downward pressure. EOS, for instance, which raised $200 million worth of ETH earlier this month, has apparently been offloading its ETH to Bitfinex. EOS is not alone; TenX, which listed Vitalik Buterin as an investor, raised 200,000 ETH ($67 million at the time) in its token sale, has sold nearly 30 percent of that ETH cache already. It is not clear whether TenX’s ETH are being sold on open exchanges or directly to individual investors, but they are going off TenX’s smart contract address.

 

From a startup’s perspective converting ICO funds (ETH) into fiat isn’t a bad thing at all, as Jeremy Epstein explained recently on VentureBeat. It helps them stay away from a highly volatile market and focus on their project.

 

Still, given that many ICO project developers have no incentive whatsoever to deliver on their promises following a big fundraise, we need an ecosystem to regulate these irrational multimillion-dollar seed funding rounds — and it needs to be set up quickly. The system must ask for provable business models. The projects must have use cases, users, flowing revenue, and even profits. Also, a working prototype would be nice.
 

3. We’re seeing market manipulation and amateur panicking

The cryptocurrency market is as unregulated as it can get. Things that would result in jail time on the stock market are legal here. In such a scenario, it’s no surprise that big players are manipulating the markets for their own gain. It’s no longer rare for people to run bots to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

 

Amateur investors, on the other hand, want to make quick profits. Once the price starts falling, these investors tend to panic sell. The combination of market manipulation and panic selling may be a reason behind the current price fall. One might argue that the market is going through its long term growth correction, but there is a chance it could be in for a deeper fall. The market could swing either way.

 

The bright side

Cryptocurrency is here to stay. While most of the current coins might disappear in the years to come, a few of these startups hold the potential to disrupt the entire financial system as we know it.

 

Some analysts are very bullish on this market and say it is still in the nascent stage with very few investors. Once the cryptocurrency market goes mainstream, the market cap will grow and so will the prices of coins.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

david ogden cryptocurrency entrepreneur

 

Author: Anupam Varshney

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Look Mom I have a blog