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Category: Markethive

China’s Movie Ticket King on What Studios Can Learn About Digital Marketing

China's Movie Ticket King on What Studios Can Learn About Digital Marketing

  

Beijing Weying Technology exec Luke Xiang opens up

about why China is vastly more advanced than North America at mobile ticketing, the "disappointing" performance of 'Ghost in the Shell' and box-office fraud at Chinese cinemas. Nonexistent just five years ago, China's emergent mobile-ticketing platforms have been embraced by the country's digitally driven youth, drastically remaking the way movies are marketed and consumed in the world's second-largest entertainment market. Luke Xiang, 49, is the vp and international face of Weying, whose Wepiao ticketing service ranks among China's top three — along with Maoyan and Alibaba's Tao Piao Piao — accounting for an estimated 20 percent to 35 percent of all movie, sports and live entertainment tickets sold in the country.

Founded in 2014 by former Groupon executive and tech entrepreneur David Lim, Weying has experienced explosive growth. Valued at $2 billion last year, the service has more than 100 million users, selling an average of 1 million tickets every day. The company's vast data mining also has played a key role in helping the government combat fraud in the exhibition sector — an ongoing problem in which local theater owners artificially inflate or under-report admission figures. THR visited the multilingual Xiang (in addition to Mandarin and English, he's fluent in German and speaks some French) at Weying's Beijing headquarters to discuss his company's recently launched Los Angeles office, its plan to invest in U.S. studio tentpoles and what Hollywood can learn from China's more advanced movie ticketing and marketing landscape.

How does Weying ticketing work?

Our service is embedded within China's largest social networks — WeChat and QQ — which are both from Tencent, our partner and one of our investors. Each of these services has more than 800 million users. As the audience uses the ticketing service to engage with movie-related content, check show times and buy tickets, they generate data, which becomes the moviegoing DNA of each individual audience member. We know their moviegoing history in every detail: what kind of movies they like; what time they go to the movies — are they there on opening weekend or do they go later in the release?; whether they buy tickets at regular pricing or only with discounts; if they go to the cinema by themselves or on dates or with friends; if they are a passive viewer or an active reviewer and influencer on social media; and so on. As we capture this very detailed data from the audience and cinemas, we are able to do big data mining and analysis that informs and facilitates digital marketing and distribution in a very targeted way — and in real time.

Can you offer an example?

Say you are a young guy in one of China's tier-three cities. If you show up within two or three [miles] of a cinema, and we know that you've been a fan of action movies in the past, we push a notice to you with some exciting content about what's going on at a cinema very nearby — do you want to see the latest film from Vin Diesel, one of your favorite action stars? So within 10 seconds, you can reserve and pay for a seat at the next showing. After the movie, the relationship continues when we ask you if you want to review the film and share something about it on social media. We can also push you an offer for some licensed merchandise related to the film and based on your interests, which you can buy instantly on our platform. All of these interactions generate more data.

In China, roughly 80 percent of all movie tickets are bought online, but in North America it's only about 25 percent. Why do you think we are so far behind in mobile ticketing and marketing?

It varies a lot by title in North America. If it's a Star Wars movie, more people book in advance online; but on an average film, it's usually even lower, around 15 percent. There are many people in parts of China who had a smartphone before they ever saw a movie in the cinema. So we had a unique opportunity to leapfrog legacy practices of other more developed markets. We didn't have a lot of baggage, and the whole industry was new and being built on the internet, for a very young audience. So there is a lot of innovation. In this sense, I certainly think it would be smart for U.S. compa­nies to look carefully at what's happening in China.

How Hollywood Plans to Extract More Money From China

How much money is the U.S. film industry leaving on the table by lacking high-tech mobile ticketing platforms like China's?

That's really hard to estimate, but I would agree that there is a very large amount of value to be unlocked when the North American market can become more sophisticated with mobile ticketing and marketing. Some U.S. films are achieving greater results in China than North America now, and they are usually the ones that have worked deeply with online platforms here on marketing and promotion.

China's internet landscape — dominated by Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — is somewhat more consolidated than North America's. Eventually, this would seem to allow for powerful efficiencies, as these internet giants get better and better at sharing and exploiting data across their vast webs of services.

Yes, in the U.S., you can't expect Amazon's video viewership data to be given to AMC and Facebook. But here, that's basically what we see happening — it's all integrated. If you think of the whole industry as an organism with artificial intelligence, the data is the blood. China's blood is flowing. As we learn to circulate it in more extensive and sophisticated ways, the whole machine will become more intelligent and efficient — improving the consumer experience and releasing more value for the whole industry.

How big of an issue is box-office fraud at Chinese cinemas?

Clearly, it was a serious problem because the Film Bureau issued a new law to punish this behavior. One of the reasons box-office cheaters have been getting caught is because platforms like ours and others have been making data available; we do this to make the industry more transparent.

Some believe ticketing services have created price distortions in the market that have hurt growth. Is that a fair argument?

Yes. Because the competing online platforms were trying to acquire users to establish this kind of online prebooking habit, they relied too heavily on subsidized pricing. Of all of the promotional tools, low pricing is the easiest to execute. The next step is using your data to really understand your users' needs. We've come to this second phase in the industry.

So the worst of the correction is over?

This year there are fewer and fewer platforms trying to acquire users with pricing and more using data to fine tune their marketing and messaging tools. Pricing is getting involved, but now you are able to direct your offers in a more targeted way to the users who are most susceptible to price, rather than just spreading discounts across the whole market like peanut butter.

It's an evolving process. There will be more upswings and more corrections, more experimentation and an ebb and flow. But that's normal for a developing market. Overall, I think we are moving in the right direction. On the data and technology side, we are evolving quickly and becoming more sophisticated with incredible speed. And with more Hollywood studios working with the Chinese industry on the content side, our production capabilities and storytelling will continue to professionalize and improve. The broad, long trends are all healthy.

Weying made its first equity investment in a U.S. studio film this year, buying a piece of Paramount's Ghost in the Shell. How would you say that went?

Well, it was a little disappointing, but that was true globally for this title. The investment was an indication of how we want to get more involved in content. When we make an equity investment, we get more access to the creative process and can exercise more control over the marketing campaign's development and the distribution plans in China. This enables us to leverage our data and resources much earlier in the process, instead of just acting as a service provider at the final step.

Do you plan to make more investments of this kind?

We've set up an office in Los Angeles, in Century City, to acquire content for China as well as to build strong, direct relationships with the studios. In the year ahead, we will make several more investments in U.S. studio films, European independents and Japanese titles. We will be diversified because that's what the Chinese marketplace has an appetite for.

Chuck Reynolds

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

#pitchsharktank, From Social Networks To Market Networks

From Social Networks To Market Networks

@mzcasting15 

Most people didn’t notice last month when a 35-person company in San Francisco called HoneyBook announced a $22 million Series B*.

What was unusual about the deal is that nearly all the best-known Silicon Valley VCs competed for it. That’s because HoneyBook is a prime example of an important new category of digital company that combines the best elements of networks like Facebook with marketplaces like Airbnb — what we call a market network.

Market networks will produce a new class of unicorn companies and impact how millions of service professionals will work and earn their living.

What Is A Market Network?

“Marketplaces” provide transactions among multiple buyers and multiple sellers — like eBay, Etsy, Uber and LendingClub.

“Networks” provide profiles that project a person’s identity, then lets them communicate in a 360-degree pattern with other people in the network. Think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

What’s unique about market networks is that they:

  • Combine the main elements of both networks and marketplaces
  • Use SaaS workflow software to focus action around longer-term projects, not just a quick transaction
  • Promote the service provider as a differentiated individual, helping to build long-term relationships

An example will help: Let’s go back to HoneyBook, a market network for the events industry.

An event planner builds a profile on HoneyBook.com. That profile serves as her professional home on the web. She uses the HoneyBook SaaS workflow to send self-branded proposals to clients and sign contracts digitally.

She then connects to that project the other professionals she works with, like florists and photographers. They also get profiles on HoneyBook, and everyone can team up to service a client, send each other proposals, sign contracts and get paid by everyone else.

This many-to-many transaction pattern is key. HoneyBook is an N-sided marketplace — transactions happen in a 360-degree pattern like a network. That makes HoneyBook both a marketplace and network.

A market network often starts by enhancing a network of professionals that exists offline. Many of them have been transacting with each other for years using fax, checks, overnight packages and phone calls.

By moving these connections and transactions into software, a market network makes it significantly easier for professionals to operate their businesses and clients to get better service.

We’ve Seen This Before

AngelList is also a market network*. I don’t know if it was the first, but Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi deserve a lot of credit for pioneering the model in 2010.

On AngelList, the pattern is similar. The startup CEO can complete her fundraising paperwork through the AngelList SaaS workflow, and everyone in the network can share deals, hire employees and find customers in a 360-degree pattern.

Joist is another good example. Based in Toronto, it provides a market network for the home remodel and construction industry. Houzz is also in that space, with broader reach and a different approach*. DotLoop in Cincinnati shows the same pattern for the residential real estate brokerage industry.

 

Looking at AngelList, Joist, Houzz, DotLoop and HoneyBook, the market network pattern is visible.

Six Attributes Of A Successful Market Network

Market networks target more complex services. In the last six years, the tech industry has obsessed over on-demand labor marketplaces for quick transactions of simple services. Companies like Uber, Mechanical Turk, Thumbtack, Luxe and many others make it efficient to buy simple services whose quality is judged objectively. Their success is based on commodifying the people on both sides of the marketplace.

However, the highest value services — like event planning and home remodeling — are neither simple nor objectively judged. They are more involved and longer term. Market networks are designed for these types of services.

People matter. With complex services, each client is unique, and the professional they get matters. Would you hand over your wedding to just anyone? Or your home remodel? The people on both sides of those equations are not interchangeable like they are with Lyft or Uber. Each person brings unique opinions, expertise and relationships to the transaction. A market network is designed to acknowledge that as a core tenet — and provide a solution.

Collaboration happens around a project. For most complex services, multiple professionals collaborate among themselves — and with a client — over a period of time. The SaaS at the center of market networks focuses the action on a project that can take days or years to complete.

Market networks help build long-term relationships. Market networks bring a career’s worth of professional connections online and make them more useful. For years, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook have helped build long-term relationships. However, until market networks, they hadn’t been used for commerce and transactions.

Referrals flow freely. In these industries, referrals are gold, for both the client and the service professional. The market network software is designed to make referrals simple and more frequent.

Market networks increase transaction velocity and satisfaction. By putting the network of professionals and clients into software, the market network increases transaction velocity for everyone. It increases the close rate on proposals and expedites payment. The software also increases customer satisfaction scores, reduces miscommunication and makes the work pleasing and beautiful. Never underestimate pleasing and beautiful.

Social Networks Were The Last 10 Years. Market Networks Will Be The Next 10.

First we had communication networks, like telephones and email. Then we had social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn. Now we have market networks, like HoneyBook, AngelList, Houzz, DotLoop and Joist.

You can imagine a market network for every industry where professionals are not interchangeable: law, travel, real estate, media production, architecture, investment banking, personal finance, construction, management consulting and more. Each market network will have different attributes that make it work in each vertical, but the principles will remain the same.

Over time, nearly all independent professionals and their clients will conduct business through the market network of their industry. We’re just seeing the beginning of it now.

Market networks will have a massive positive impact on how millions of people work and live, and how hundreds of millions of people buy better services.

I hope more entrepreneurs will set their sights on building these businesses. It’s time. They are hard products to get right, but the payoff is potentially massive.

by (@JamesCurrier)

Is Markethive one of the new pioneers called a Market Network?
Please comment below what do you think?

References:

TECHCRUNCH

THE HIVE IS THE NEW NETWORK

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency – Looking Forward from May 2017

Cryptocurrency – Looking Forward from May 2017

Cryptocurrency — Looking Forward from May 2017

For cryptocurrency enthusiasts, developers and investors, the first half of 2017 has been nothing but exciting. Very few people would have predicted the trends that we are now seeing today: a vibrant and rapidly growing altcoin market, massive all time highs for both Bitcoin and Ethereum and an initial coin offering (ICO) crowdfunding mechanism that is creating enormous investor hype.

Among all of this noise are a number of very interesting developments. These developments could indicate what’s to come in the second half of 2017, and this article aims to summarize events so far and what may be to come. Whatever your role in the cryptocurrency space, this piece should serve as some inspiration as to where to look next.
 

RIPPLE — BITCOIN FOR BANKS

The popularity of Bitcoin’s blockchain stems from its ability to circumvent banks and allow users to engage in peer to peer transactions without authority; creating an enormous array of applications for Bitcoin gambling and dark net markets, as well as limitless “white hat” models. This ideology is more powerful than ever today, but the introduction of Ripple in 2013 has demonstrated that banks themselves can be revolutionized by overhauling their systems to use blockchain-based payments.

Ripple is unlike most other cryptocurrencies, in that it operates on a private or “consortium” blockchain, whereby the nodes (transaction verifiers) are controlled by trusted financial institutions that have been vetted to join the network — on the contrary, anyone in the world is free to join and use the Bitcoin network. The Ripple tokens (XRP) power international transactions on the network, whether that’s fiat to fiat, crypto to crypto or a mix of the two — with currency exchange conversions happening on the fly. Ripple allows banks to reduce global (and domestic) payment times from days and weeks down to seconds, with layers of transparency that are unprecedented in the traditional banking sector.

Despite being a private blockchain, anyone in the world is able to purchase XRP, and with a fixed supply of 100bn, scarcity may play an important role in the future price of XRP. This scarcity has also been compounded by the founding team of Ripple agreeing to verifiably “lock up” well over half of that total supply — adding some predictability to the XRP price. This lock up time is possibly planned for extension, which — combined with the listing of XRP on major exchanges like Bitstamp, and Ripple’s partnership with Japan’s largest bank — has led to a meteoric rise in the value of XRP from $0.01 to $0.18 in a matter of weeks.

Over the past several months, it has become apparent that large financial institutions are leaning towards consortium based blockchains as opposed to the public ones offered by Bitcoin — although Ethereum may buck that trend as discussed below.
 

ETHEREUM — EEA AND DEVELOPMENT ROADMAP

Ethereum was the first blockchain to successfully convince investors that altcoins had a viable place in what was largely considered a Bitcoin-only ecosystem. Popular due to its built-in smart contract protocol, Ethereum is able to run computations that can transact value without middlemen. As a result, the project has led to the formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) which connects dozens of businesses and academics who are rapidly researching and developing smart contract technology.

While a number of the projects being worked on are private forks of Ethereum — such as JP Morgan’s Quorum protocol — the interoperability with the main Ethereum chain, as well as the lessons being learned (and shared among EEA members and the open source community), is having profound effects on Ethereum as a whole.

The EEA is just one offshoot of Ethereum that has attracted enormous investment, however there are other developments which have led to a recent upsurge in the price of Ether, from $10 to roughly $90 at the time of writing.

ETHEREUM NAME SERVICE

In May 2017, the Ethereum Foundation (EF) launched the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). This protocol is analogous to the separate Domain Name Service (DNS), which ties domain names to i.p. addresses — making them more readable to human users. In a similar way, the ENS will tie long and unreadable smart contract or personal wallet addresses to a memorable “name” such as mywallet.eth. These names are currently at auction, and there has so far been $7m worth of bids, with exchange.eth receiving a massive $600,000 bid. Note that this is a proxy bid, meaning the winner would only ever pay a trivial amount more than the next highest bidder.

REDUCING MINER REWARD

A poll taking place on carbonvote.com has indicated that an overwhelming 99.73% are in agreement with a move to reduce the miner reward from 5 ETH per block to 2 ETH (with blocks continuing to be mined at roughly 15 second intervals). The motivation behind such a change is to reduce uncertainty about the future total ETH token supply, helping to drop ETH inflation from 13% to a figure that is more inline with Bitcoin’s 4% inflation.

PROOF OF STAKE

Proof of Stake (PoS) is an alternative consensus protocol to the Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism that was made famous by Bitcoin’s blockchain. In order to secure a blockchain, miners must be rewarded by processing valid transactions, and ignoring invalid transactions. In a PoW system, a miner must expend enormous amounts of energy (with a significant cost in doing so) to process a “block” of transactions and to earn their reward. PoW protocols are enormously inefficient, with huge energy requirements that are not inline with modern day environmental considerations.

Proof of Stake serves as an alternative consensus protocol that achieves similar levels of security, but requires “miners” (called validators) to stake value in the form of cryptocurrency — expending little to no energy at all. If the validator tries to game the system for their own advantage, they lose all of their staked value. Validators that act honestly are rewarded by receiving what is analogous to interest payments.

Ethereum plans to move from their PoW structure to a PoS one, and this move is pegged for the end of 2017/start of 2018. Such a change in protocol would lock enormous amounts of Ether in staking contracts, removing said Ether from the ecosystem and reducing circulating supply.

 

BITCOIN — SEGREGATED WITNESS AND THE LITECOIN TEST BED

Bitcoin has been unswayed by the incredible rise in altcoin market caps over the past 6 months and remains one of the best performing cryptocurrencies in the market. Having matured beyond the “pump and dump” phase, the currency has now established itself as the gateway into the world of crypto. Bitcoin is, in its current form, the ultimate store of value and medium for exchange when dealing with other currencies. All of this is despite major concerns over the currency’s ability to scale. Transaction fees have increased several fold, and the mempool (unconfirmed transactions) has seen enormous growth — leading to delays of several hours or even days.

Thankfully, Bitcoin’s little cousin — Litecoin — has played a vital role in abating fear amongst Bitcoin investors. Litecoin, whose market cap is a fraction of Bitcoin’s, has acted as a test bed for introducing Segregated Witness (SegWit) — a code change to help mitigate some of the scaling problems mentioned above. Litecoin’s activation of SegWit has given developers, users and miners renewed confidence in what this code change can do for Bitcoin, providing a “light at the end of the tunnel” on a 3 year long debate.
 

WHERE DO CRYPTOCURRENCIES GO FROM HERE?

Many early adopters have hailed blockchain technology as “the internet 2.0”. In past years, a number of key figures in the industry analogized the current state of blockchain to that of email in the 1990s, suggesting that what we see today is a fraction of what can be achieved with the protocol in the years ahead. That analogy, which was (and still is) heavily criticized by skeptics, is now becoming too obvious to ignore.

Rather than blockchains competing with one another, we are seeing interoperability take hold, and growth is practically ubiquitous amongst all majro cryptocurrencies. Smart contract technology is destined to have an enormous impact on a broad range of markets in the years to come, and the impact that blockchain-based banking will have on global economics is undeniable.

It is likely that cryptocurrencies will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate until, in the same analogous way to the Internet, we experience a gigantic bubble. At what point the bubble bursts is an unknown, however — sticking with the analogy — it wasn’t until the Internet reached a value well into the trillions that the market crashed. Compare this figure with that of the blockchain market which is worth no more than $100bn and it seems that we may still be some way off. Despite what seems like an inevitable bubble, the very long-term outlook for blockchain users, investors and developers could not be brighter.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Author: Mark

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Markethive Automated Workshop

Markethive is a Market Network

Come join me as I run the workshop system that lifts you up into entrepreneurial exceptionalism!

Markethive is a Market Network. That means it is basically broken down into 3 facets all integrated.

  1. A market platform for conducting business
  2. A social network primarily for entrepreneurs
  3. A SAAS (Software as a Service) Inbound Marketing platform

All systems (Facebook included) have a learning curve. Our focus, our goal, is to deliver to you a gentle intuitive fun and rewarding learning process. We are in the process of turning the entire process into an automated structure. Regardless, this learning structure is designed to build you into a powerful , wealthy, successful entrepreneur.

Are you an entrepreneur? Good question. Not necessarily easy to answer. So here are a few definitions:

The classic definition (I do not totally agree with)
en·tre·pre·neur
noun: entrepreneur; plural noun: entrepreneurs

  1.  a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so

Most people would agree that an entrepreneur is a person who has started his or her own business. But that basic definition barely scratches the surface. It does little to capture the true essence of what it means to be a risk-taker, innovator and individual willing to carve his or her own path in a world that doesn't always take kindly to people who fail to follow the status quo. 

Are you itching to venture out on your own, but you wonder if you have what it takes to choose the road less traveled? Check out what these company founders and business leaders think makes a truly successful entrepreneur.

However, before we venture further defining what exactly is an “entrepreneur” and other aspects breaking it down and related concerns like “venture capital” and the proverbial “entrepreneurial ecosystem, let me direct you along the paths of getting quickluy up to speed, as I believe that is exactly what you need. To succeed, attain structure, stability, vision and ultimately wealth.

Getting into our Workshops:

I made this simple little instructional video so you clearly see how easy it is to assimilate this ecocenter and huge powerful platform.

OK now about being an entrepreneur!

"Entrepreneurship is all about embracing challenges. When you're building something from the ground up, you need to get into the weeds and problem solve. All the weed whacking often allows you to better hone in on a better big-picture strategy — why did this happen? How do I solve it? How do smarter people than me solve it? With a young company, when you experience a new challenge, it's usually a growing pain. So while it can be difficult to get through, it's for the best possible reason — your company is getting bigger!" — Jennie Ripps, CEO of Owl's Brew

 

"To me, entrepreneurship means being able to take action and having the courage to commit and persevere through all of the challenges and failures. It is a struggle that an entrepreneur is willing to battle. It is using past experiences and intelligence to make smart decisions. Entrepreneurs are able to transform their vision into a business. I believe this process is at the core of any true entrepreneur." — MJ Pedone, founder and CEO of Indra Public Relations

 

"Being a successful entrepreneur requires a great deal of resourcefulness, because as an entrepreneur, you often run into dead ends throughout the course of your career. You need to be able to bounce back from losses if you want to be successful. Know that there will be much more disappointment than progress when you first start off, and you need to have a short memory in order to put the past behind you quickly. It's imperative to stay optimistic when bad things happen." — Vip Sandhir, founder and CEO of HighGround

 

"Entrepreneurship is the ability to recognize the bigger picture, find where there's an opportunity to make someone's life better, design hypotheses around these opportunities, and continually test your assumptions. It's experimentation: Some experiments will work; many others will fail. It is not big exits, huge net worth or living a life of glamour. It's hard work and persistence to leave the world a better place once your time here is done." — Konrad Billetz, CEO of Frameri

 

"To me, entrepreneurship is completely dedicating yourself to creating something out of nothing. It's not simply taking a risk and hoping to realize big rewards. Creating something out of nothing also tends to present numerous challenges and roadblocks which seem insurmountable. I believe the great entrepreneurs, who I look up to, can help their team push through those roadblocks and find solutions." — David Greenberg, CEO of Updater

 

"Entrepreneurship is the mind-set that allows you to see opportunity everywhere. It could be a business idea, but it could also be seeing the possibilities in the people that can help you grow that business. This ability to see many options in every situation is critically important; there will be unending challenges that will test your hustle." — Preeti Sriratana, co-founder and CEO of Sweeten

 

"It is not about making a quick buck or deal. Successful entrepreneurs look past that 'quick buck' and instead look at the bigger picture to ensure that each action made is going toward the overall goal of the business or concept, whether or not that means getting something in return at that moment." — Allen Dikker, CEO of Potatopia

 

"Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, in that being an entrepreneur is ingrained in one's identity. [It] is the culmination of a certain set of characteristics: determination, creativity, the capacity to risk, leadership and enthusiasm. I don't think you can be an entrepreneur without these qualities, and for me, that idea was ingrained in me very early on. An entrepreneur is part of the foundation of who I am, and who I strive to be." — Eric Lupton, president of Life Saver Pool Fence Systems

 

"Entrepreneurship is an unavoidable life calling pursued by those who are fortunate enough to take chances [and are] optimistic enough to believe in themselves, aware enough to see problems around them, stubborn enough to keep going, and bold enough to act again and again. Entrepreneurship is not something you do because you have an idea. It's about having the creativity to question, the strength to believe and the courage to move." — Jordan Fliegel, founder of CoachUp

 

"The journey of entrepreneurship is a lifestyle for many of us; we are wired this way and have no choice. We are driven by an innate need to create, build and grow. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you must have an underlying positivity that enables you to see beyond the day-to-day challenges and roadblocks, always moving forward. You must also be a master plate juggler, able to switch between thinking, genres and activities moment to moment. Most importantly, you must not be afraid to fail, and you must be comfortable living with risk and unknowns — a state of mind which is certainly not for everyone!” — Justine Smith, founder and CEO of Kids Go Co.

 

"Being an entrepreneur is about giving everything you have when the going gets tough and never giving up. If you truly love and believe in what you're doing, then you must hang in there. Entrepreneurship is not knowing everything about your business. You must humble yourself and not work from your ego. Always be willing to grow, change and learn." — Jennifer MacDonald and Hayley Carr, founders of Zipit Bedding

 

"Entrepreneurship is seeing an opportunity and gathering the resources to turn a possibility into a reality. It represents the freedom to envision something new and to make it happen. It includes risk, but it also includes the reward of creating a legacy. Anti-entrepreneurship is satisfaction with the status quo, layers of controls and rules that hamper forward movement, and fear of failure." — Maia Haag, co-founder and president of I See Me!

 

"When it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, I think one must possess grit. The stakes tend to be high, the bumps in the road frequent. Remaining focused, regardless of the obstacles, is paramount. That said, being an entrepreneur means being in full control of your destiny. If that's important to you, then all of the challenges associated with striking out on one's own are but a small price to pay.” — Mike Malone, founder of Livestock Framing

 

Thomas Prendergast
Founder CEO
Markethive Inc.

P.S.

Reid Hoffman Tells Charlie Rose: "Every Individual Is Now An Entrepreneur."

https://techcrunch.com/2009/03/05/read-hoffman-tells-charlie-rose-every-individual-is-now-an-entrepreneur/

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How To Secure Your Funds In Periods of Prosperity of the Cryptocurrency Economy?

How To Secure Your Funds In Periods of Prosperity of the Cryptocurrency Economy?

How To Secure Your Funds In Periods of Prosperity of the Cryptocurrency Economy?

2017 is definitely the year of crypto, as the past 4 months have witnessed the unprecedented growth of multiple coins’ markets. Bitcoin has recorded more than 70% price gains so far this year. Yet more, the altcoin market capital has exceeded $50 billion for the first time ever in 2017. This prosperity in the crypto economy acts as a magnet that attracts hackers who would try to steal some coins using one of the tricks in crypto’s black book. So, throughout this article, I will highlight some basic instructions to help you secure your coins.

Avoid online wallets whenever possible:

It goes without saying that if you don’t own the private keys of your coins, then you don’t control your coins. That being said, I can never emphasize how secure it is to keep your coins on a desktop wallet on your machine. For bitcoin, the most secure way to save your coins is to download and install Bitcoin Core; download the full blockchain; encrypt your wallet and send your coins to one of the addresses of your wallet. No matter how secure Blockchain.info’s wallet might seem, it can be no more secure than your own desktop bitcoin core wallet. Note that blockchain.info doesn’t control your coins’ private keys.

You should do the same for altcoins too, keep your coins in a wallet on your machine to have control over your private keys. If you have to use online wallets, never rely on passwords alone; use two-factor authentication as an added security measure. Also, use a randomly generated password and avoid meaningful words, as they can easily be cracked via dictionary attacks. Passwordsgenerator.net can help you generate random passwords with the length you choose; use at least 16 characters for your password.

Don’t leave your coins in an exchange’s wallet:

Many would use their exchange’s trading accounts as wallets for their altcoins. I don’t advise you to do this, as you won’t have control over your coins’ private keys this way and also, pay attention that periods of crypto economy prosperity is when most exchanges are attacked by hackers, so you don’t want your coins to be confiscated in case the exchange is hacked.

Use cold storage whenever possible:

Cold storage refers to the process of storage of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, offline. By far, cold storage is unarguably the most secure way to store cryptocurrencies. If you want use cold storage to store your bitcoins, you have to download and install bitcoin core’s wallet on your machine, download the full blockchain, encrypt your wallet and then import your .dat wallet file, or your coins’ private keys, and use them for cold storage via USB drives, hardware wallets, paper wallets, physical coins….etc.

Keep the email you used for your cryptocurrency accounts safe:

For maximum security, don’t share the email you used to create your blockchain.info’s wallet, or your cryptocurrency exchanges’ accounts, with anyone and don’t use them for creating accounts on any other websites. If a hacker knows the email you used to create you accounts, this would markedly make it easier for him/her to hack your accounts.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

More Billionaires Are Buying Cryptocurrencies

“It is the best investment of my life,"

said billionaire Mike Novogratz at an April 19 Harvard Business School Club of NY event, where he announced that he holds ten percent of his net worth in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Mike Novogratz was the Chief Investment Officer of the Fortress Macro Fund, and principal and a member of the board of directors of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Novogratz joined Fortress after a decade-long tenure at Goldman Sachs. He featured on the Forbes billionaire list in 2008. While clearer revelations on his investment in cryptocurrencies have come out now, his interest in cryptocurrencies isn’t new. He has been advocating for Bitcoin as a good investment since 2013.

Bitcoin’s journey has been incredible. It started trading at around $0.0007 per bitcoin in the beginning of 2009 and about two years later, it hit parity with the dollar. While the year 2013 saw Bitcoin's potential, it displayed its massive volatility. Even 2014 remained volatile but it was milder. In 2015, there was recovery and gradual uptrend which continued through 2016. The year 2017 has been exceptionally good for Bitcoin which crossed the $1,300 mark for the first time. Mike Novogratz now predicts it to go past $2,000. Mike Novogratz has invested in Ethereum (ETH) as well. He made his investment when it was trading at $1. Today, it's trading around $69 and is the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. (Related reading, see: The 6 Most Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin)

Mike Novogratz isn’t the only billionaire supporter of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Patrick M. Byrne can be called a bitcoin enthusiast. Back in 2014, when no major revenue generators were accepting bitcoin as payment, he decided that Overstock.com, with $1.3 billion in revenue then, would accept bitcoins. Overstock became the first large retailer to accept Bitcoin, going live in January of 2014. Then we have Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates — a seed-stage venture capital firm — has been investing in Bitcoins (ad now Ether) too. He ranked #98 on the 2014 Worth Magazine 100 Most Powerful People in Finance. (Related reading, see: Overstock.com Announces Rights Offering on Blockchain Platform)

The rising awareness, acceptance by governments and rising adoption are supporting Bitcoin’s price movement which is motivating people to invest. Bitcoin is emerging as a new asset class and given its low correlation with traditional asset classes, it’s being dubbed as a perfect diversifier for an investor’s portfolio. However, like any investment, there are risks involved and investors must factor them in being leaping into the world of cryptocurrencies.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

MCAP: The New Buzz in the Cryptocurrency World

MCAP:
The New Buzz in the Cryptocurrency World

   MCAP is a mining

and ICO token launched by BitcoinGrowthFund (BGF) which is a Blockchain based Venture Capital Fund. BGF is a kick-starter where customers can own equity in the form of tokens in various investment opportunities.

$4 million raised so far!

BGF launched the sale of MCAP tokens on the 27th of April and took the Blockchain world by surprise by raising over $4 million in 10 days. The sale of MCAP tokens will end when we reach the sale cap or when the number of tokens released is exhausted. MCAP will be available to the public for trading on various platforms in the coming month.

Quick facts about MCAP:

  • Through MCAP tokens, clients can invest in mining and potential ICO’s.
  • The dedicated team of analysts at Bitcoin Growth Fund continuously analysis the various ICOs based on more than thirty parameters such as the background of the team, the viability and scope of the product idea so that our investors never need to worry about their investments.
  • An algorithm to calculate which AltCoin would be most profitable to mine at any given moment based on its difficulty level, trading volume and the profit it would generate.
  • The large pool of investors depicts the confidence of the public in MCAP tokens.

The Blockchain community is showing a keen interest in our token sale and many members have been kind enough to offer their support and invest in our MCAP tokens.

Skyrocketing prices of cryptocurrencies boost MCAP

As the public is slowly becoming more aware of the cryptocurrencies circulating in the market, more people have started investing in coins such as Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin etc.

In the recent months, the price of Bitcoin has gone from $954 to a little over $1500 and predictions are that by the end of 2017, Bitcoin will see an increase of nearly 150% of its price in March ’17. Similarly, other cryptocurrencies such as Ether, Litecoin, Zcash etc. have also witnessed an exponential increase in their price. We at Bitcoin Growth Fund have realized the potential profits which can be generated from mining and have developed an algorithm to calculate which cryptocurrency would be most profitable to mine at any given moment based on various parameters.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is the latest development in the market to raise funds for projects where companies raise money through tokens to invest in other avenues. According to the recent article published in Forbes by Roger Aitken, the boom in cryptocurrencies by the end of 2017 will outpace bitcoin by a wide margin and their mining will yield substantial returns. With MCAP tokens, our aim is to enable the average user to be able to earn huge returns in the long run by investing in one single coin rather than investing in multiple cryptocurrencies and hoping for their price to increase.

With the money raised through the sale of our MCAP tokens, BGF will invest in the mining of Bitcoin & other alt-coins along with investing in other ICOs. With the growing market cap and gradually increasing trading volumes of cryptocurrencies, our development team at BGF has developed algorithms to help us decide which alt-coin to mine at any time to get maximum profits.

A ‘Token’ of advice

Once released onto several trading platforms, supply and demand will be the only factors affecting the price of MCAP tokens. Our token is the best possible long term investment for customers as the MCAP tokens will surely yield huge returns and we hope to see the price of each of our tokens increase to $70 once the users start buying and selling MCAP tokens. BGF is offering lucrative discounts to the early buyers of MCAP tokens. Kindly refer to the website link for more details.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency could spur significant developments in NZ property law

Cryptocurrency could spur significant developments in NZ property law

  

Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies may be the catalyst for significant developments in New Zealand law.

The treatment of 'intangible property' is an area ripe for clarification, and cryptocurrency may well give rise to the case to test the boundaries. A Russell McVeagh publication explores the question of what legal remedies are available if bitcoins (or any valuable property rights stored on the blockchain) are stolen from the rightful owner and reviews the treatment of intangible property in various Commonwealth jurisdictions. Banking and Finance Partner Tom Hunt says, "Cutting-edge innovations in cryptocurrencies, as well as blockchain technologies, smart contracts and Robo-advice are shifting the landscape of financial services and the companies that make use of them.”

“While each promises a wealth of opportunities, these technologies also bring about new challenges in regulation and enforcement to be considered." The more obvious claims available to target a third party recipient would not work if the third party received them innocently (the so-called 'bona fide purchaser' defense). A claim in knowing receipt, a proprietary restitution claim or a claim for unjust enrichment, would probably be defeated by this defense.

One answer might be a claim in conversion.

Conversion is a tort of strict liability and may operate in circumstances where the bona fide purchaser defence does not apply. It would, therefore, be a significant expansion of the rights of recourse if the New Zealand courts extended the tort to apply to intangible property such as cryptocurrency. Litigation partner Chris Curran adds, "As the Blockchain is increasingly used to store things of value, this legal area seems likely to be tested at some point.” “We will watch with interest to see where New Zealand lands regarding the protection of property rights in this emerging and disruptive FinTech field."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Florida Bill Would Punish Criminals Who Use Cryptocurrency

Florida Bill Would Punish Criminals Who Use Cryptocurrency

Florida Bill Would Punish Criminals Who Use Cryptocurrency

 

State lawmakers in Florida have introduced two bills which would add virtual currencies to the state’s money laundering statute. The bills were introduced in the wake of a Miami court case from last year, where a judge ruled that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not money, and thus did not fall under the state’s money laundering law. The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 1626, was first introduced in the Florida Senate on March 3rd by Republican state Senator Rob Bradley. The companion bill in the Florida Houses of Representatives, House Bill 1379, was introduced on March 7th by Republican state Representative Jose Felix Diaz. State Rep. Diaz represents District 116, which includes Miami-Dade County.

On April 18th House Bill 1379 passed the state House’s Appropriations Committee unanimously, and on Monday the 24th the bill unanimously passed the the state House’s Judiciary Committee. The House version of the bill was added to the Special Order calendar for Wednesday the 27th, where the bill could be voted on by the full state House of Representatives. Senate Bill 1626 unanimously passed the state Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee on March 27th, and then unanimously passed the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice on April 13th. The Senate’s version of the bill is now being considered by the state Senate’s Appropriations Committee.

The two bills were drafted with the help of Katherine Fernandez Rundle, a cybercrimes prosecutor from Miami-Dade County.“The high-tech criminals of the 21st Century use virtual currencies like bitcoin to accumulate and hide the profits of their illegal activities. This legislation makes sure that traffickers and fraudsters can no longer try to use internet-based currencies to hide and move their ill-gotten gains,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

The proposed legislation would define virtual currency as “a medium of exchange in electronic or digital format that is not a coin or currency of the United States or any other country.” The language used in both bills is practically identical. For now, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not among the types of financial instruments and transactions which are applicable to the money laundering statute. The current law in Florida prohibits people from gaining money from a criminal activity, as well as prohibits using money to further a criminal activity. Due to the court ruling from last year, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not legally recognized as money, and therefore cannot be treated as such under the state’s current money laundering law. If the proposed legislation is enacted, prosecutors will still need to prove that a person intended to help launder money, or intended to help further criminal activity.

In the case which inspired the two bills a Florida man, Michell Espinoza, fell victim to undercover law enforcement agents who tried to set him up in a sting operation by buying, what at the time was, $1,500 US Dollars worth of bitcoin. The undercover agents told Espinoza that they had planned to purchase stolen credit card numbers with the bitcoin he was selling them. Michell Espinoza won his case and was cleared of all charges in July of 2016. The state unsuccessfully tried to appeal the judge’s ruling in that case, but were unsuccessful.

While legislators may intend for the two new bills to make people like Michell Espinoza into criminals, it is important to remember something that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler wrote in her eight page opinion in the case of the State of Florida v. Michell Abner Espinoza, where Judge Pooler wrote, “This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning.” Even if the new bills are enacted, it is possible that future defendants being prosecuted under Florida’s money laundering statute could successfully argue that the law is unconstitutional in that it violates the vagueness doctrine.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Price Calm Before the Storm?

Bitcoin Price Calm Before the Storm?

Bitcoin Storm

After a 2 month rally leading to all time high prices, Bitcoin has finally reached an equilibrium. The price has been bouncing between $1500 and $1600 since Friday, and as Monday came along it seems that the market is still unsure of its next move. Some of the pullbacks may be attributed to Ripple’s exceptional rise in the past couple days as its market cap reached $8.3 billion — almost as big as its closest competitor Ethereum. No one is sure why Ripple’s price has more than tripled in the past week rising from a price of $0.05 to more than $0.22. Kiritoflash 

Reddit claimed:

Well, over $4,000,000,000 (Four-Billion Dollars) was put into Ripple in the past week [] That is a lot of money to invest.

Furthermore, there are rumors on bitcoin talk speculating that the Ripple team is looking to lock down a huge amount of coins for as much as a decade:

“Rumors are dense about Ripple releasing an extensive lock-up agreement spanning a whole decade and more”

 

Supposedly, the team will reveal more info at the upcoming Consensus event hosted by Coindesk. The combination of this gossip along with an HODL mentality from the Ripple investors is more than likely the reason behind its astronomical rise.

How does Ripple’s rise affect Bitcoin?

While there is no direct correlation between Ripple and Bitcoin, the fact that the number three crypto more than doubled its market cap and became one-third that of Bitcoin may have made some Bitcoin investors uneasy. However, it is still impressive how resilient Bitcoin’s price has been even after the massive bull run. The current political turmoil surrounding Brexit, and the tensions between the US and North Korea has created a market for smart money looking to hedge on these events. As a result, it looks like crypto as a whole is experiencing a second wave of investments flowing into the ecosystem. We can see evidence of that if we take a look at cornmarket cap's chart of overall market capitalization:

  

We can clearly see in this chart

exponential growth in an overall market cap for all cryptocurrencies. To support that rise, we are also seeing the significant increase in trading volume to a level never seen before. Keep in mind that anybody who bought and held bitcoins in the past eight years is seeing the significant return on investment, so if you are looking to buy into crypto right now you may want to tread lightly.

What does the Future hold for Bitcoin’s price?

As discussed in our previous article, since current Bitcoin price is outside of any previous price levels it is hard to analyze the market. Users have been resorting to using Fib Retracements to predict future market action. Using the $1623 high and the $1426 low, the Fib Retracement predicts a next resistance level of $1700. According to the charts, there is also strong support at $1500 that has already been tested multiple times over the weekend. As the week progresses we will see if Bitcoin will be able to break past $1600 and test the higher resistance levels, otherwise, expect the price to stay in the $1500 until the next wave of volume comes along.

Since the amount of volume is similar from the time Bitcoin’s price rose from $1300 to $1600 to the past few days where the price has been bouncing between support and resistance, suggests that the bear and the bulls reach a stalemate and are violently trading back and forth trying to decide who will win. The price can keep on climbing astronomically or crash if the bears take the lead. The sideways trading over the past three days and the relatively high volume may be a sign that some major price action is incoming. Right now would be a good time to remind investors to never trade with more than you can afford to loose, as the consequences of a bad trade can catch up with you rather quickly.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member