Category Archives: Markethive

UK Research Council to Award £3.6 Million in Blockchain Grants

UK Research Council to Award £3.6 Million in Blockchain Grants

  

British, UK, money

A UK-based research agency charged with distributing government grants has announced that £3.6m ($4.5m) will be made available to seven blockchain projects.Revealed yesterday, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) said the grants will range from £420,000 ($525,000) to £617,000 ($772,000). The funds will be issued under its "Digital Economy Theme", an effort aimed at supporting research around digital technologies that could have a positive impact on daily life.

The EPSRC is the main funding agency for science and research initiatives in the UK, investing approximately £800m ($100m) annually for research and postgraduate training. According to EPSRC chief executive Philip Nelson, the decision to award the blockchain grants was made due to the apparent maturation of the industry beyond financial use cases.

He said in a statement:

"Distributed Ledger Technology may be synonymous with bitcoin to many, but as these projects show it has disruptive potential across a wide range of products and services. If it delivers on its radical promise, it could make a significant impact on the economy and society."

Each of the seven EPSRC-funded projects will bring together universities and private-sector companies, with projects being led by professors from British colleges and universities. Receiving the most funding, at £617,000, will be an initiative focused on regulation and compliance models.

The project is being led by Professor Tomaso Aste of University College London and will gain insight from blockchain consortium R3, as well as public institutions like the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission, the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the London School of Economics. The second most highly financed project seeks to develop trusted and transparent voting systems, using distributed ledger tech.

Perhaps unsurprising given the increasing interest in central bank-backed digital currencies, the EPSRC will also fund an initiative that will use data analytics to steer monetary policy decisions regarding the money supply.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Russian Plans to Legitimise cryptocurrency by 2018

russia plans to legistimise cryptocurrency by 2018

Russia Plans To Legitimize Cryptocurrency By 2018

Russia is a country has never seen eye-to-eye with bitcoin up until now. Several legal proposals have been drafted which could have lead to jail time. Thankfully, it appears regulators have come to their senses, as bitcoin users in Russia no longer need to fear jail time. In fact, the country may turn bitcoin into a legitimate financial instrument as early as next year.

This U-turn by Russian legislators has quite a lot of people stunned in disbelief. Just a year ago, it seemed using cryptocurrency in the country would lead to jail time. While that is still a distinct possibility right now, things are going to change very soon. The Russian Finance Ministry wants to accept bitcoin as a way to fight money laundering. An interesting stance, as most countries feel bitcoin facilitates money laundering, even though there is no evidence.

If all things go according to plan, bitcoin will become a legal instrument in Russia as soon as 2018. Government officials want to combat illegal money transfer. As a result, the Russian central bank and government are working together on getting this new legislation approved as soon as possible. A positive stance towards digital currencies can benefit the country, that much is evident.

Russia Looks Differently At Bitcoin All of a Sudden

One thing bitcoin provides is absolute transparency regarding transaction participants. To be more specific, transactions can be seen by the public in real-time. Through the banking or other financial systems, there is little to no transparency. This effectively facilitates money laundering, costing the Russian government millions every year. Bitcoin transfers show which address is the sender and the recipient. It is anything but an anonymous payment method.

Do not be mistaken in thinking Russia will effectively regulate bitcoin, though. Despite what governments may think, it is impossible to regulate cryptocurrency in any way or shape. Legalizing bitcoin will force companies dealing with cryptocurrency to conduct additional AML checks. A similar scenario is playing out in China right now, with exchanges introducing additional verification requirements.

Russia has been battling money laundering for quite some time now. Hundreds of lenders lost their banking license in the past few years. Legalizing bitcoin is a direct result of investors looking for alternative solutions. Additionally, it will also help give bitcoin a better publish image moving forward. After all, once bitcoin is a legal currency, activity will be monitored even further. That is not necessarily a bad thing as long as people use it for legal purposes. Anyone conducting illegal activity with cryptocurrency will have to find other solutions, though.

For the time being, the first deadline to mark on the calendar is mid-2017. Around that time, legislators will decide if digital currencies are an asset in Russia. This will be an important day in the history of bitcoin, that much is certain. After Japan legalizing bitcoin, it appears other countries are scrambling to do the same. An interesting development, yet it shows how mature bitcoin has become over the past few years.

David Ogden
Entreperenuer

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

IBM Ramps Up China Blockchain Work With Supply Chain Trial

IBM Ramps Up China Blockchain Work With Supply Chain Trial

ibm in China

IBM advanced its status as a blockchain leader Tuesday with the launch of a supply chain platform designed to streamline flows among buyers, sellers, and financiers in the pharmaceuticals space. The Yijian Blockchain Technology Application System – built in a partnership between IBM and Hejia, a Chinese supply chain management company – seeks to eliminate some of the financing problems faced by the country's pharmaceutical retailers. Specifically, it targets the country's underdeveloped credit evaluation system, which it argues can make it difficult to raise short-term working capital.

The platform is designed to bring greater transparency into supply chain networks by tracking the flow of drugs, encrypting trading records and offering an easier means of authenticating transactions. The end goal is to reduce the time small retailers must wait to be paid after delivering medicine to hospitals – which currently can be as high as 60 to 90 days. Overall, Ramesh Gopinath, vice president of Blockchain Solutions at IBM, said that the use case offers an ideal example of how the company's enterprise blockchain platform can smooth multi-party transaction processes.

He told CoinDesk:

"Blockchain is perfect for the kind of flow that happens between three parties. It's not a random thing, we see a pattern of this appearing again and again."

Initially, the Yijian system will be implemented on a test basis by one pharmaceutical retailer, one hospital, and one bank, but plans are in place to expand in July to create a farther-reaching network. Leng Tianhui, board chairman of Hejia, emphasized in statements that he expects the platform to be adopted far beyond just the pharmaceuticals sector in China.

Eyes on China

Yet, the Yijian platform's launch also strengthens IBM's positioning in China – it has now rolled out five different solutions in the world's second-largest economy in the last 12 months. In March, the technology giant announced the creation of a green asset management platform designed to help companies develop, manage and trade carbon assets more efficiently under China’s carbon emissions quota scheme. Further, in January, it teamed up with the Postal Savings Bank of China to launch a blockchain asset custody system.

As far back as 2016, this strategy could already be observed, as IBM partnered with UnionPay – China's largest payment credit card processor – to roll out a blockchain platform facilitating the exchange of user loyalty points in September. It also launched a pilot in conjunction Walmart to move China’s pork industry supply chain on to a blockchain in October. Still, Gopinath said that IBM's focus on China is a function of the availability of pertinent use cases and local partners.

"I wouldn’t calculate this as 'OK, we have a concerted effort to do something in China'," he said, adding:

"It's more like there are all these classic, what I would call, great uses cases starting up in different places."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Quick Ways to Improve SEO to Increase Brand Visibility

Quick Ways to Improve SEO to Increase Brand Visibility

Optimising your Website

It’s safe to say that optimizing your website and blog content for the search engines continues to be vital in 2017. With search being one of the top tools consumers use to shop, locate information, get answers to their questions, and find solutions, it’s imperative that your brand “shows up” when your audience is looking for you. Amplifying your search engine optimization techniques will help to boost your visibility and get in front of your ideal customers.

The good news is, improving SEO in your digital marketing is not a complicated feat. In fact, there are several simple steps that you can take today to better your presence tomorrow. We’ve outlined five quick ways to bolster SEO to help you build brand awareness, drive traffic, and achieve other marketing goals like increased leads and sales.

Increase Page Load Speeds

Did you know a business loses roughly 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over 4 seconds to load (Source: Kissmetrics)? The time it takes for your content to appear greatly influences SEO…for better or worse. If your visitors have to wait, you may lose them. You’ll suffer because few readers will remain on your site long enough to impact SEO or engage in your other content pieces like your webforms (for leads) or sales pages.

With that said, here are a few tips that you can implement now to increase your page load speeds:

  • Use a caching plugin to help improve your speeds
  • Make sure the code is clean and streamlined
  • Since visuals tend to bog down websites, optimize images prior to uploading them onto your site. Either “save them for web” when using an image editing tool or install a plugin like WP Smush.it (WordPress) that optimizes JPEG images
  • Seek out a new web hosting provider that utilizutilises caching and bandwidth optimisation tools
  • Reduce the number of plugins you have, especially those you’re not using
  • Minimize redirects

Ensure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

This is a big one. More consumers are accessing search engines and websites from their mobile device than desktops. If your site is not mobile-ready, you are missing out on a lot of traffic as your content may not load correctly where it’s legible on smartphones. In 2017, it’s crucial that your website is set up to capitalise on mobile traffic.

Include Authoritative Links

Studies illustrate time and time again that including outgoing links within your blog post has a positive effect on SEO ranking. Content that adds these authoritative links to their content experience higher ranking than those that do not. You see, it builds trust with Google, showing that your article is indeed valuable and relevant to your respective industry. Outgoing links also provides visitors with additional resources to read, thus improving user experience, enhancing your message, and further proving your own credibility in your space. When linking other sources to your content, don’t overdo it. Have just enough where it enriches your content yet doesn’t distract people from easily flowing through your post.

Improve Website Experience

Speaking of user-experience, when you add interactive content pieces to your site's infographics, videos, surveys and polls, calculators and audios, you greatly improve the time people spend on your website, significantly boosting SEO status. The higher the dwell time, the better signals are sent to Google showing that your content is worthy to be ranked accordingly because of the apparent value you’re sharing.

Including various multimedia types within your post also helps you to expand your reach and influence. You’ll appeal to different learning styles, keep your content fresh and engaging, and compel people to return. All these are key ingredients to bolstering your SEO ranking.

Move Website to HTTPS

In 2014, Google announced they were giving “extra credit” to websites that were secure or have the URL that leads with HTTPS (https://example.com). Therefore, these sites would receive a boost in ranking simply by having the “S” in their web address which stands for security. Yet many websites have not jumped on the bandwagon, failing to incorporate this added safeguard to their websites. The point here is that every little bit helps with improving search engine optimisation. If Google will give you a little push in their search results, you want to take them up on their offer!

Conclusion

One last thing to mention is to maintain a consistent blogging schedule. Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. You have more opportunities to use keyword phrases your audience is actively using to rank organically in search and more content to share with your audience on social media. Leverage an editorial calendar to help you plan, organise and schedule blog content to solidify your expertise in your industry while bringing more exposure to your brand. Get ready to enhance your website and better position your content to be found by your ideal customer upon implementing these tips! Make a plan to execute them one-by-one in your digital marketing to create success. Stay engaged with your audience to continue delivering experiences that best resonate with their interests.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Many Small Businesses Lack SEO Knowledge

Many Small Businesses Lack SEO Knowledge

   

Common SEO Mistakes

Most small business owners have come across the term search engine optimisation (SEO). Many of them know it is critical to their business online. But prod them a bit more and it becomes clear many don’t know what it really means.

According to a new survey by Memphis, Tennessee-based marketing agency HigherVisibility, 20 percent of small businesses still don’t have a website. What’s more, 54 percent of the surveyed respondents said they don’t have a budget for SEO.

Small Businesses Making Some Common SEO Mistakes

For a small business, SEO is essential because it helps drive more people to their website. But as the survey reveals, businesses are making some common mistakes that have an adverse effect on their website’s SEO. For example, 38 percent of surveyed respondents wrongly believe keyword stuffing is a good thing. Twelve percent incorrectly think it’s okay to publish duplicate content that has been copied and pasted from another website or page.

Many Small Businesses Lack SEO Knowledge

Further, the survey highlights examples of how small businesses lack SEO knowledge they need. To give an example, 26 percent are unaware of the importance of onsite optimisation SEO. Likewise, 21 percent of respondents don’t know how important blogging and content creation is to SEO. It goes without saying these lapses may have a serious impact on a small business’ SEO initiatives.

What Businesses Need to Do Differently

This is not the first time a report has highlighted the problems with how small businesses are approaching SEO. The Web.com Small Business Digital Trends Report published earlier found that 43 percent of businesses have no plans to change or improve their online presence in 2017. In 2017, no small business owner can afford to take SEO lightly. Otherwise, there’s a risk of losing customers to a competition.

That’s why it’s essential for small businesses to pay special attention to their SEO activities. A well-planned SEO strategy can go a long way in making a significant difference. A long-term strategy can help make the most of the SEO trends in 2017 and will have an impact on how these businesses connect with customers.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How can SEO be beneficial in 2017?

How can SEO be beneficial in 2017?
 

Online business is at its boom

The Internet has become an easily accessible marketplace. Whether you want to purchase a pair of shoes or get your real estate property booked, the Internet is the right place to do so. E-commerce is gradually spreading its dominance over traditional forms of business. In fact, conventional businessmen are shifting towards the online arena. Establishing an online business is not enough. Digital marketing is an essentially important aspect to getting your business noticed online and increase its digital visibility. You need to build a sense of trust in potential customers to maximize conversions.

This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play. Once you have built a business website, it is important to increase its visibility. SEO helps to increase search engine rankings. There are many professionals that can draft you a strategy like SEO expert Brad and enable an effective implementation. However, it can be done by yourself as well but involves several technicalities. Regardless of the complexities involved in the field, SEO can elevate your business in a number of ways. It is 2017 and if still, you are not aware of the advantages it offers then you are missing out on something really important. Here is how it can be highly beneficial:

Cost effective

SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing. We already know how important an effective marketing strategy be to make or break a business. This is the cheapest form of marketing. It enables the business to reach a wider pool of customers. Buying advertisements for business promotion can cost you a great deal of money. Hiring an SEO expert can be one of the wisest investment your business can make. It will surely pack back.

Improve search engine rankings

Google is the king. Statistics prove that most of the people search for products or services on search engines before actually purchasing it. This is why you need to improve your search engine rankings. SEO of your blog or website can increase your rankings.

Visibility

Visibility counts a lot for any online business in this digital era. There are hundreds of companies doing the same job selling the same product or service. Why would a specific customer buy from you? Obviously quality is the primary factor but it only works along with other significant features. Many companies lose out of business because people are not aware of their existence. You will not be on the Internet if someone searches for you. SEO helps you to enhance your appearance on search engines. Obviously getting noticed is the first step, then only a customer will carry on with the transaction.

Generates traffic

SEO is the key to good search engine rankings but there are multiple ulterior benefits as well. The most obvious one is in real audience coming to your business. Generation of traffic is undoubtedly the greatest benefit you can leverage out of it. It will gradually lead to conversions and more profit for your company.

Worldwide audience

Each business has its own SEO strategy. If implemented correctly, it can progress in unparalleled ways. A progressive mindset is essential in order to acquire a competitive edge over other companies. Such strategies can get you audience from the entire globe. You have an extra element of profit through optimization. You can easily cover overseas with an effective implementation. No additional costs are present which is the most interesting part. This even gives you an opportunity to establish a business out of the country. Getting your brand noticed worldwide enlarges the room for improvement. In a nutshell, SEO serves you exceptionally.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Effective Strategies to help you with Lead Generation

  Effective Strategies to help you with Lead Generation
 

Generating Leads Difficult?

I know how difficult it can be to keep generating leads, I understand the pressure involved to keep feeding good quality leads into your sales funnel! The good news is, you don't have to reinvent the wheel, there are plenty of strategies you can use to help you generate more leads, but before we explain these strategies, you have to answer the following questions about your business:

What is your target market?
What is your Ideal Customer Profile?
What are the problems that your customers have which your business can help solve?
What are you customers most common fears? Frustrations? Desires?

Once you have answered all the above questions, you will be able to understand your market better, you are looking to identify the NEED which your business satisfies, its easier to approach potential customers if you know why they need YOU.

Whenever you feel like you are overwhelmed or lost, go back to your answers to the above questions. Your second step will be to create and maintain a customers Database, set a goal for the number of leads you want to have in your Database. The Database can be in the form of a CRM software such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, HighRise or can be a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Having a Database will help you:

  1. Maintain all your contacts in one place.
  2. Keep Important notes on each contact
  3. Keep track on your activities with each contact.

Now you are ready to start adopting some lead generation strategies, here we go:

Ask your past clients for testimonials and referrals

Have your previous clients write testimonials, this can help your business establish credibility and enhance your public image. you have to know that your clients may not know how to write a testimonial, therefore it’s worth your time if you guide them through it, a good testimonial template can be like the following:

-(open)

My name is ____(X), I am ___ (age), I live in ___ (location), I’m a ____ (profession)
I used to experience _____(problem/ I had _____ (pain)
I thought that ______(myth #1)
And I had to _______(myth # 2)

(Transition)
After working with {your company name)
I _______(quantifiable desired benefit)
and ______(secondary quantifiable desired benefit)
Now I feel _____(emotions related benefit)
I’m excited to ______(opportunities that are now opened up)
(Close with thanks)

Do you like what you read so far? Keep on reading and don't forget to LIKE & SHARE with your connections..

Ask you current clients for referrals.

This strategy also works for existing businesses, If your current clients are happy with the product/ service you are providing, call them and ask if they can refer you to their friends, this strategy could generate good leads for your business and you will take advantage of using social proofing, since his friend is using your product/ service then you will face less resistance

Turn your bills into buyers

Check out your bills, who are the people you currently pay money to? Check if you can exchange your service with theirs instead of paying them hard cash.

Networking

Networking is by far one of the best ways for lead generation, it allows you to build rapport and get warm leads, your goal during any networking event is to get as many good quality business cards as you can get. You can keep good leads cards in your left pocket and business cards that are not relevant in your right pocket, make sure to fill the data from those business card into your database as soon as you get back to office, don’t let those cards pile up, otherwise they just become a stack of meaningless business cards. Follow up with an email or a call within 3 days of event date, you have to make sure the lead still remembers you and build on that. A good place to find out about new networking opportunities is meetup.com

Public speaking

People love to do business with “experts” and public speakers are viewed as experts, find out about events and ask if you can schedule a chance to speak. It’s important that your speech focuses on offering value to your audience, do not try to sell your product or promote your business, seize the opportunity to educate your audience about your subject matter.

Offer a free Report/ Free consultation

You can get more leads from your website if you offer your website visitors with value in exchange for contact information, provide people with something like:

  • E-book
  • Exclusive content
  • Reports
  • Infographic
  • Templates

The Facebook referral system

Each one of your friends knows at least 3 people who can benefit from your product/ service, if you have 250 FB friends and you asked each one of them to refer you to 3 of their friends, this has the potential to generate 750 leads, assume that your conversion rate was 1 % then you have the chance to make 7-8 new customers from this strategy.

A good message template for Facebook referral can be like:

Hi, (Name)
I am looking to build my business with referrals. A good referral for me is {target market}
I want to offer them a {free consultation/ Ebook/ audit report (add value})
If they say “Yes”— great. if they say “No” — No problem.

If you can message me back with 3 referrals today, I will enter your name in a contest where I am giving {25$ Amazon gift card/ Coupon}. I really appreciate your help, it will make a big difference.

Recycle old Leads

Check your database, am sure you will find some old leads who asked you to contact them again in the future, it maybe worthy of your time to follow up with them every 90 days to see if they are ready to buy your product/ service.

Referral Partnership

Find complementary businesses, these are business that are selling your same target market however are not a competitor to you. you can create partnerships with these businesses where you promote his services to your network in exchange for referrals for your business.

Internet Marketing

Google, Facebook, Email Marketing and Video Marketing are great ways to convert traffic to your website and generating new leads, they are mostly free as well, except for the pay per click ads of course, you should utilize these tools to generate leads, It is not possible to cover the whole topic of Internet Marketing here, however I wrote down a few tips on how Internet marketing can help:

Google Business

97% of Internet users look online for local goods and services, therefore If you haven’t listed your business on Google business Directory, I suggest you start now.

Get an Email Marketing system

The good side of having an Email marketing system is that you can automate the process, you do not need to send every email by yourself, you can set up automatic replies to your leads and let the system are care of the process, another benefit is that you can measure your success and failure rates then be able to revise your emails accordingly.

Some good Email Marketing platforms are:

  • GetResponse
  • Campaign Monitor
  • MailChimp

Video Marketing

The main advantage of Video marketing is that its free, other benefits are it engages, educates your customers and drives traffic to your website.

Pay per Click Advertising

Great, low-cost way to drive business to your websites or business page, you can use google Adwords and Facebook Ads to drive your target audience to your website. Don't waste any time, start applying some of these strategies right away to get more leads, If you are already implementing some of these strategies then please let us know which in the comments section below, what worked best for you? what didn't work best?

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

All You Need To Know About Dollar-Denominated Cryptocurrencies

dollar denominated chryptocurrency

All You Need To Know About Dollar-Denominated Cryptocurrencies

A well-known obstacle to the greater popularity of Bitcoin as a medium of payment is the high volatility of its exchange value. This volatility results from its built-in quantity commitment: because the number of Bitcoins in existence stays on a programmed path, variations in the real demand to hold Bitcoin must be accommodated entirely by variations in its unit value. When demand goes up, there is no quantity increase to dampen the rise in price; and vice-versa for a fall in demand.

 

Not surprisingly, several cryptocurrency developers have thought of creating a cryptocurrency with a price commitment–namely a pegged exchange rate with the US dollar–rather than a quantity commitment, in hopes of greater popularity. The aim is to create a system in which dollar-denominated payments can be made with the ease, security, and low cost of Bitcoin payments, but without the exchange-rate risk.
 

New Digital Assets
 

The development of “Blockchain 2.0” platforms has enabled the launching of a variety of new digital assets, including such dollar-pegged (and euro-pegged and gold-pegged) currencies. As we will see, the histories of early (2014-2016) dollar-pegged cryptocurrencies show a series of flops. But one project, Tether, has become a late-blooming success.
 

Tether had $55 million in circulation as of March 29, 2017, making it the #13 largest cryptocurrency. To keep this size in perspective, a brick-and-mortar US institution with $55 million in deposits is a tiny bank or a mid-size credit union, and Tether is currently only 1/300th the size of Bitcoin.

The Tether white paper explains in more detail the motivation for developing a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency by listing advantages to individuals using it for dollar-denominated transactions rather than using dollars held in “legacy bank” accounts:
 

Transact in USD/fiat value, pseudonymously, without any middlemen/intermediaries

Cold store USD/fiat value by securing one’s own private keys

Avoid the risk of storing fiat on [cryptocurrency] exchanges–move crypto­fiat in and out of exchanges easily

Avoid having to open a fiat bank account to store fiat value

In sum, “Anything one can do with Bitcoin as an individual one can also do with” a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency, namely, “avoid credit card [or debit card] fees,” maintain greater privacy, “remit payments globally” more cheaply, and access blockchain financial services.

But what is the claimed advantage over using Bitcoin? It is the expectation of wider acceptance in payments, because of the advantages to merchants of accepting a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency over accepting Bitcoin in a US-dollar-dominated economy:

Price goods in USD/fiat value rather than Bitcoin (no moving conversion rates/purchase windows)

Avoid conversion from Bitcoin to USD/fiat and associated fees and processes

 

The Flops

First we consider the projects that have flopped. Three projects were launched in September 2014: CoinoUSD, NuBits, and BitUSD. Their pegging mechanisms were different, and are difficult to describe briefly (partly because they were not all entirely transparent), but two common features are important to note.

The rate-pegging mechanisms were not programmed into a source code, like Bitcoin’s quantity commitment, but relied on non-programmed policy actions by a trusted central authority.

None used the traditional currency pegging method of having the issuer hold reserves in physical dollars or dollar-denominated debt securities. (On the NuBits mechanism see this critique by a BitUSD promoter. On the BitUSD mechanism see this critique by the CoinoUSD developer.)

We can examine the fortunes of each project by looking at its price and “market capitalization” (value-in-circulation) history on the cryptocurrency tracking site CoinMarketCap.com.
 

CoinoUSD

CoinoUSD, which began trading in December 2014, was developed by a for-profit payments firm called Coinomat and built on the blockchain of the NXT cryptocurrency. (In November 2014 NXT was the #6 cryptocurrency with a market cap of $19 million; currently it ranks #38 with a market cap around $13 million.)

CoinoUSD reached a market cap plateau of $2.7 million in early 2016, but shut down in early 2016, due to a “payout glitch” that flooded customers with free CoinoUSD units, making it impossible to maintain the exchange value at $1. Coinomat announced a reboot in which the erroneous payout would be reversed and said, “NXTUSD will replace CoinoUSD completely, and enhance it,” but this appears not to have happened. Since then it has had a market cap of zero, and its webpage at the Coinomat site declares it “disabled until further notice.”
 

NuBits

The history of NuBits, also a for-profit enterprise, shows that it gained only a similarly small market foothold. Its market cap plateaued early on below $2.5 million, and since April 2015 has remained below $1 million. In June 2016 NuBits had a devaluation crisis, with the price falling to 20 cents. Its rate-pegging intervention mechanism, despite claiming many layers of reinforcement, was not robust and failed.

Although the price later returned to par, today NuBits shows very little market activity. Since January 2017 the market cap has hovered around only $135,000, with daily trading volume in the neighborhood of $2000.

BitUSD

BitUSD is built on the blockchain platform of the cryptocurrency BitSharesX. Its highest market cap plateau was around $1 million soon after introduction, but it fell to below $200,000 in April 2015 and is currently less than $110,000.

BitUSD uses a novel pegging system that so far has proven robust. A piece promoting BitUSD emphasizes that “the bitUSD is an asset that is not backed by real dollar in someone’s bank account.” (It claims this a virtue: “We cannot trust anyone to hold and secure a physical asset so that people can redeem it eventually. History has repeatedly shown: It doesn’t work!” In fact, history shows the major banks in unhampered banking systems routinely justifying the public’s trust by redeeming their liabilities on demand for decades. Paypal works on the same supposedly non-working model, backed by Paypal’s dollar deposits at Wells Fargo Bank.)

By contrast, BitUSD are created through collateralized forward currency contracts. The network provides an escrow service that credibly ensures repurchase (or “redemption”) of the BitUSD at or near par. Someone who wants to acquire BitUSD, say in order to buy from a seller who prefers a dollar-denominated medium of exchange, offers a contract: so many BitShares (hereafter BTS) for a certain amount of new BitUSD.

Under the BitShare network rules, the acquirer must not only pay at the outset in BTS but also agree to post collateral in BTS equal to the value of the bid. If the bid is accepted by another network participant, explains the BitUSD white paper, “the collateral and purchase price are held by the network until the BitUSD is redeemed” by some third party repurchasing it. The acquirer of BitUSD thus puts 200% collateral into a contract “that only allows access to these BTS when the BitUSD are paid back.” In effect the acquirer is shorting the dollar price of BTS.

“BitUSD is an asset used to hedge a position in BitShares against changes in the price of USD and is not supposed to have an exact 1:1 exchange rate with USD.”

Note that the new BitUSD units are initially 200% collateralized not in dollar-denominated assets, but in BTS. If BTS fall 25% or more against
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

IT leader’s guide to the blockchain

IT leader’s guide to the blockchain

  

The blockchain may hold significant opportunities for the enterprise

from financial services to IP protection to job documentation. This ebook looks at what the blockchain is and how it could affect your business. The blockchain is a record of every Bitcoin transaction. The name comes from the method by which Bitcoin is unlocked and available to be mined by the public. The code releases nodes in 1 MB chunks, or “blocks,” approximately every 10 minutes. Every coin, and every transaction related to it, is logged. Because the blockchain is available to anyone and contains metadata similar to a bank statement, the code is often referred to as a “public ledger.”

The database is cryptographically secure, and the chain is reliable and can be used to develop applications and protocols that require transparency and complete security. The primary advantage of money—like dollars, euros, and Bitcoin—is that the currency is understood by everyone, yet can be controlled by individuals or institutions. The blockchain, and Bitcoin, offers the additional benefit of transparency. Code, rather than a government, dictates the supply of Bitcoin.

Corporations, small businesses, and individuals all need to be aware of the blockchain. Because the blockchain allows financial transactions to occur anonymously, the technology has empowered the growth of questionable, sometimes illegal, behavior. In recent years ransomware has become a popular method of extorting consumers. Black markets have exploded in popularity. These markets exist on the Dark Web and allow hackers to buy and sell stolen data, zero-day exploits, drugs, weapons, and humans. The United Nations, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies attempt to track illicit Dark Web transactions, but Bitcoin-based markets continue to flourish.

Well-funded startups also use the blockchain. It's data-rich, secure, and offers unprecedented transparency, so the code can be used as the building block (pun intended) for numerous modern, and future, technologies and startup companies. Etherium, for example, is a blockchain startup that helps enterprise companies develop private chains and private currencies. Mycelium builds physical point-of-sale systems and debit cards for cryptocurrency.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member