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Tag: ChuckReynolds

Signs that you’re addicted to Social Media

Signs that you're addicted to Social Media

         

A new survey reveals that Instagram

is the worst social media site in terms of its impact on the mental health of young people. A survey of 1,479 youngsters aged 14 to 24, found Instagram was positive in terms of self-expression and self-identity but the #StatusofMind survey found that the photo-sharing app can negatively impact people's body image, sleep and fear of missing out.

Celebrity ‘selfies’: (clockwise from top left) Miley Cyrus, Conan O'Brien and Ricky Gervais, Helen Flanagan and Tom Hanks. In addition, many youngsters today say they feel “panic-stricken and physically sick” if they do not post dozens of ‘selfies’ a day on Facebook. In fact, Facebook addiction shows up in brain scans of those who can’t stay off the site, affecting the grey matter in a similar way that cocaine does.

Here are 12 signs that you too could be addicted to social media.

  1. You can’t get beyond the main course in a restaurant before you get out your phone and Instagram the duck confit. In fact, you are itching to snap away by the time the first course arrives. Ideally, you would chronicle the bread basket within three minutes of arriving. Because, frankly, a romantic meal for two isn’t a romantic meal for two unless you have shared it with all your followers. Course by course.
  2. The very first thing you do when you wake up is in reach for your phone (always by the side of your bed, in fact — usually under your pillow) and check how many times your witty comment from the night before has been retweeted or liked. You do this before you have left the bed, let alone rolled over and kissed your loved one.
  3. Your children catch you trying to post Facebook updates while reading their bedtime stories. You know it’s seriously bad when you agree that you will pay them 20p every time they bust you. It has got out of control when they can buy an XBox with the proceeds.
  4. You greet friends at a party by their Twitter handle. “Hey, @bobcat100, how are you?” It’s really bad when, after the second Aperol Spritz, you forget their real name. Do they even have a real name? Who knows?
  5. You can not visit the lavatory without using the 23 available seconds to investigate how many people have liked your photo. Snapchatting a selfie while sitting on the loo is a proof you have stopped understanding basic decent behaviour. Rather sadly, social media has killed off the immensely valuable and intrinsically British “loo book” market. We now swipe, tap, scroll, wipe.
  6. Brian from accounts, on a Monday morning, asks how was your weekend. And your first reaction is “What? did you not see all the amazeball photos I posted on Instagram? How can you not know that I had a *totes* great time?” You say: “Er, it was nice. Thanks.” And then think, I must unfollow Brian, the ungrateful idiot.
  7. You “like” your own updates on Facebook. You “favourite” your own Tweets. You “like” your own Iinstagram pics. You “pin” selfies on Pinterest. Stop it. Now.
  8. You “check in” at tube stations on the way to work. You “check in” when you go out to get your lunchtime Pret salad, you “check in” at the pub after work. You want to “check in” when you get home, but you suddenly realise that though you have remembered your phone (of course), you have forgotten your keys.
  9. The first thing you do on hearing that someone famous has died is to Wiki their career and urgently, in a panicky rush, find the most obscure fact you can find about them so that you can post an update. “So sad about David Frost. Of course, his greatest achievement was being offered a contract at Nottingham Forest FC. #RIP”
  10. Someone tells you a joke, and instead of laughing out loud, you use the phrase “lol”. As in, you actually open your mouth and instead of uttering the purest, most instinctive proof of humanity, you say “lol.” And then you laugh at your own cleverness.
  11. Watching the Great British Bake Off/Game of Thrones/X-Factor your anxiety levels rise to almost unbearable levels as you desperately try to be the first person on your timeline to tweet “Soggy Bottom/Jon Snow's Eyes/Has Simon had too much work done?”
  12. You use the phrase “hashtag” in normal conversations. #fail. Or rather “Hashtag fail”.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Your Addiction to Social Media Is No Accident

Your Addiction to Social Media Is
No Accident
 
  

They're using manipulative tricks from casinos, among other things.

On February 9, 2009, Facebook introduced the like button. Initially, the button was an innocent thing. It had nothing to do with hijacking the social reward systems of a user's brain. "The main intention I had was to make positivity the path of least resistance," explains Justin Rosenstein, one of the four Facebook designers behind the button. "And I think it succeeded in its goals, but it also created large unintended negative side effects. In a way, it was too successful."

Today, most of us reach for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with one vague thought in mind: Maybe someone liked my stuff. And it's this craving for validation, experienced by billions around the globe, that's currently pushing platform engagement in ways that in 2009 were unimaginable. But more than that, it's driving profits to levels that were previously impossible. "The attention economy" is a relatively new term. It describes the supply and demand of a person's attention, which is the commodity traded on the internet. The business model is simple: The more attention a platform can pull, the more effective its advertising space becomes, allowing it to charge advertisers more.

But the problem is that attention isn't some non-sentient resource like wheat or oil. Attentiveness is a human state, and our reserves of attention are finite. They're hemmed in by sleep, work, children, and relationships with friends who find it rude when we're on our phones. So ideally we'd want to invest our limited supply of attention on things that make us happy. But as Facebook observed, social feedback induces a burst of happiness so brief it's addictive, causing us to return more and scroll further.

"The like button, simple as it was, tapped into a bottomless font of social feedback," explains Adam Alter, author of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. "And I don't think social media companies are trying to make 'addictive' platforms, per se. But since they're all competing for our (limited) time and attention, they've always been focused on making the most engaging experience possible."

Following the introduction of Facebook's like button in 2009, YouTube moved to a binary like/dislike format in 2010. Instagram launched that same year and came ready-made with a like function shaped as a heart. Twitter adopted this same heart-shaped system in 2015, while, in the years since, Silicon Valley has come up with a multitude of new ways to gamify our need for social validation.

Former Google designer and ethicist Tristan Harris lays out the most common ways we're being manipulated on his blog. And as he explains, all of them use something called intermittent variable rewards. The easiest way to understand this term is by imagining a slot machine. You pull the lever to win a prize, which is an intermittent action linked to a variable reward. Variable meaning you might win, or you might not. In the same way, you refresh your Facebook updates to see if you've won. Or you swipe right on Tinder to see if you've won.

This is the most obvious way social feedback drives platform engagement, but others are harder to spot. You know when you open Instagram or Twitter and it takes a few moments to load updates? That's no accident. Again, the expectation is part of what makes intermittent variable rewards so addictive. This is because, without that three-second delay, Instagram wouldn't feel variable. There's no sense of will I win? because you'd know instantly. So the delay isn't the app loading. It's the cogs spinning on the slot machine.

Another piece of psychology hijacked by social platforms is that of social reciprocity; if someone pats your back, you'll feel pressure to pat his or hers. Facebook exploits this by alerting you when someone has read your message, which encourages the receivers to respond—because they know you know they've read it. And at the same time, it encourages you to check back to read the inevitable response. The same bits of your brain get a rush on Facebook as a set of wavy dots appear as someone writes a message. You might not exit if you think you're getting a message, or at the very least you're more likely to come back. And while Apple also employs this feature, at least it allows you to turn it off.

All this might seem a little underhanded, but it's nothing compared to some of the design features currently showing up on Snapchat. Of these is the one causing the most concern, and uses elongating red lines to display the number days of since two users interacted. According to Adam Alter, this design feature is so effective that he's heard of teens asking friends to babysit their streaks while on vacation. "It's clear here that the goal—keeping the streak alive—is more important than enjoying the platform as a social experience," he says. "This is a clear sign that engagement mechanisms are driving usage more than enjoyment." We asked like button co-creator Justin Rosenstein what he thinks is the most insidious form of social media manipulation, and according to him, it's the humble push notification.

"The vast majority of push notifications are just distractions that pull us out of the moment," he says. "They get us hooked on pulling our phones out and getting lost in a quick hit of information that could wait for later, or doesn't matter at all." And of course, all these little efforts to keep us hooked are having a very real impact. As Facebook's current head of marketing bragged in this speech, the average millennial checks his or her phone 157 times daily. That's a total average of 145 minutes every day that we're trying to feel connected, validated, and liked.

The increasingly time-absorbing nature of the internet is one of the reasons Justin Rosenstein left Facebook to start his own company. Today he's the co-founder of Asana—a web and mobile app that tracks work app that tracks work and allows collaboration without distractions like email. But according to author Adam Alter, change will only come from the bottom up. He claims the social media business model, built around the needs of marketing agencies instead of lives, are already far too entrenched and profitable for self-governing.

"It might diminish a bit," he says. "But as long as companies have an incentive to make their platforms as engaging as possible, the arms race forcing them to 'manipulate' users will continue." He encourages users to try and curb their own addictions or to install phone apps that will do that for them. He also says that by demanding more ethical design practices from companies—in the same way that we demand ethical environmental practices—we'll force change and claw back our free time. Because as Like button co-creator Justin Rosenstein highlights, "These are our lives. Our precious, finite, mortal lives. And if we're not vigilant, computers and mobile devices will guide our attention poorly."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Movers & Shakers: Anna Braun, JT Mega, director of business development

Movers & Shakers:
Anna Braun, JT Mega, director of business development

             

ANNA BRAUN — Director of business development

Anna Braun is helping to build a course for future growth as director of business development at Minneapolis-based food advertising agency JT Mega. Braun said the agency has been interested in adding leadership to build on its strong organic growth, which led to the creation of the new role that she has taken. "The thing that's exciting about JT Mega is there is so much opportunity for continued smart growth," Braun said. "To work with a great foundation and start carving out what some of the next business opportunities look like is really exciting to me."

Braun's responsibilities also include developing new business strategy, leading business acquisition efforts and establishing industry relationships. She previously led brand business initiatives as a marketing manager at Polaris and worked as an account supervisor at Periscope. "I really love the combination of business management and agency creativity and agency strategic work," Braun said. "For me, this role is a perfect mix of that."

JT Mega, founded in 1976, is an independent agency whose clients include Hormel Foods, Land O'Lakes, and the Schwan Food Co.

Q: What's driving the agency's focus on business development?

A: It's been on the forefront of the owners' and the leaders' minds here. They realized that as organic growth opportunities were coming there's a big opportunity for someone to come in and be able to focus specifically on this (new business) effort and help lead that. This industry is changing so rapidly and there's a lot of growth in different areas within the business. You see where the industry is going and now it's: "How do we proactively start carving out space where the industry is growing?"

Q: What are some possible growth areas?

A: The two areas of focus are absolutely expanding our foundation in food service and building on the retail space. We work a lot with clients selling into K-12, into the commercial space. A handful of clients sell directly into retail and direct to consumers. We're looking at where some opportunities in the retail space that would make sense for us.

Q: Why should a company work with JT Mega?

A: We work as an extension of the client's team, bringing a different point of view to the table. We understand the nuances of what it means to be in the [food and beverage] industry. The other thing is our scalability. We work with small, medium and big companies both in the B2B and B2C space. That's something that we really enjoy especially with how quickly this industry is evolving.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about
Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Business Development Associate at Full Harvest

Business Development Associate
at Full Harvest

  
Business Development Associate at Full Harvest

At Full Harvest, we are disrupting the agriculture space by solving farm food waste and bringing technology to a market where there was none. We are the first B2B platform connecting farms with food businesses to sell discounted, yet perfectly good surplus and imperfectly shaped produce that would have otherwise gone to waste. A huge environmental problem as approximately 20 billion pounds of produce goes to waste in the U.S. annually simply because they are not perfectly shaped for strict retailer standards.

As Business Development Associate, you’ll play a critical role in growing the company. You’ll have the opportunity to develop and shape systems and strategies as you design Full Harvest’s sales processes with food & beverage customers. You’ll work with buyers (food manufacturers) to close new accounts. You will attend various conferences and events as well as leverage your networks in the food and ag space to significantly build the business.

Additional Responsibilities:

Serve as an outside sales/ business development person to fill pipeline of new buy side food & beverage customers, working closely with the CEO and Director of Sales

– Identify potential buyer accounts, leveraging your network
– Attend food and agriculture events to network and build relationships with buyers
– Reach out to potential new accounts via phone, email, and in-person meetings to fact find and generate new leads
– Negotiate contracts and close the sales
– Serve as liaison between buyers and manage communication to finalize sales
– Support new buyer operational roll-out
– Research market to determine appropriate pricing for different items  Qualifications:
– Passion for Full Harvest’s mission
– Persistent go-getter with 5+ years of experience in sales, preferably working with large food CPG and/or agricultural companies
– BA, preferably in business
– Strong network with healthy food manufacturers
– Experienced project manager who can juggle a lot of moving parts with strong execution / operational roll-out skills
– Proactive / Takes initiative; ability to work independently
– Strong interpersonal skills and customer-facing experience
– Previous startup experience strongly preferred
– Knowledge and understanding of food manufacturing and/or produce industry

– Some travel will be required

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about
Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

FirstClose names Jorge Ponce director of business development

FirstClose names Jorge Ponce
director of business development

Ponce will oversee driving adoption, Client Communication, and Product Development

  

FirstClose has announced it has hired Jorge Ponce as director of business development.

Ponce has more than 15 years of experience in bank operations, mortgage and risk-based consumer lending. He will be responsible for driving adoption, client communication and product development for FirstClose, end-to-end technology solutions for refinancing and home equity lenders and 2017 HW Tech100 winner.

Ponce previously worked as a home equity product manager for New York-based Bethpage Federal Credit Union, which uses the FirstClose Report. Ponce is well-versed in the FirstClose system and was instrumental in helping to build the first version of the FirstClose Report, a comprehensive refinance and home equity loan solution with capabilities to deliver title, flood, valuation and other important data elements in one report, FirstClose said in a press release.

“With his experience and background in the credit union space, Jorge will deliver exceptional results to our financial institution partners,” said Tedd Smith, co-founder and chief executive officer of FirstClose, an Austin, Texas-based company.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about
Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

3M Strategy & Marketing Development (SMD)

3M Strategy & Marketing
Development (SMD)

Internal consultants in the SMD program are involved in projects dealing with the highest level of business operations across our five business groups, 25+ global divisional and corporate functions. SMD consultants work across 3M’s diverse customers, industries, geographic and technology platforms to create value for their clients. In SMD, you lead projects of critical importance and gain knowledge and understanding of the entire company while finding the path to your individual career.

                     

SMD is a unique two-year, non-rotational leadership development program

that leverages internal marketing and strategy consulting as a vehicle for development. SMD is the integration of two highly successful programs — Strategic Business Development (SBD) and Integrated Marketing Development (IMD) — that have thrived at 3M for over 20 years. The SMD program is designed for talented MBA candidates who have a strong desire to:

  • Lead individual and team projects that contribute directly to 3M’s growth across marketing, strategy and business development
  • Gain in-depth exposure to a broad range of customers, industry, and technologies in a global business arena
  • Drive a variety of functional, mentoring and leadership experiences that will enhance your personal and professional capabilities
  • Access SMD’s rich alumni network which totals over 100 members including Division and Function VPs

SMD’s collaborative environment fosters peer to peer learning. SMD consultants interact with the same team of peers over a two-year period, allowing them to build strong professional and personal camaraderie.

  • What We Do

    SMD consultants typically lead 3-5 projects at once, working closely with internal clients across 3M divisions, corporate functions, and subsidiaries. Project work spans marketing, strategy and business development. Common project types include:

    Marketing:
    Market and product opportunity analysis, commercialization of new products, customer journey mapping, the voice of customer analysis, new product introduction process, pricing analysis, competitive analysis, segmentation, brand strategy, digital strategy, etc.

    Strategy:
    Corporate and divisional strategic planning, market platforms assessment, technology assessment, growth plans, strategy development, etc.

    Business Development:
    Business modeling, new business development processes, mergers & acquisitions strategy and planning, etc.

    The Start of Your Career at 3M

    The SMD team serves as a source of top business and marketing talent to 3M. During their two years on the team, SMD consultants have the opportunity to identify industries and businesses of interest and customize their career paths based on business needs and personal interests. Upon completion of the program, SMD consultants typically accept marketing or business development roles within a 3M division or corporate function.

    Recruiting

    MBA students of all ages are welcome to apply.

    Must be legally authorized to work in a country of employment without sponsorship for employment visa status (e.g. H1B status). 3M is an equal opportunity employer. 3M will not discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status.

    • We recruit top talent through our seven partner schools and key diversity conferences. Our partner schools are:

      • Harvard Business School
      • Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
      • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
      • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
      • University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
      • University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management
      • University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

      We also recruit at these diversity conferences: The Consortium, National Black MBA (NBMBAA) and Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA).

    • To Apply

      Submit an application by the deadline at your MBA career services office or through the highlighted diversity conferences.

      Basic Qualifications

      • Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university
      • Currently enrolled in an MBA program at an accredited university

      Preferred Qualifications

      • Currently enrolled in an MBA program with an emphasis in marketing, finance, strategy, and/or general management
      • Minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (undergraduate degree)
      • Minimum of 3 years of full time work experience
      • Demonstrated leadership abilities and high ethical standards
      • Demonstrated interpersonal, communication, and team skills
      • Superior quantitative, analytical, problem-solving, project management, and presentation skills
      • Comfort with ambiguity in project work and a changing external environment

      MBA students of all ages are welcome to apply. Must be legally authorized to work in the country of employment without sponsorship for employment visa status (e.g. H1B status). 3M is an equal opportunity employer. 3M will not discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about
Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The technology and economic determinants of cryptocurrency exchange rates: The case of Bitcoin

The technology and economic determinants of cryptocurrency exchange rates: The case of Bitcoin

  

We theoretically discuss the technology

and economic determinants of the Bitcoin exchange rate We use the ARDL model with bounds test to address co-integration of a mix of stationary and non-stationary time series We find Bitcoin exchange rate relates more with economic fundamentals and less with technology factors as Bitcoin evolves We find the impact of computational capacities on Bitcoin is decreasing as technology progresses

Abstract

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have ignited intense discussions. Despite receiving extensive public attention, theoretical understanding is limited regarding the value of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, as expressed in their exchange rates against traditional currencies. In this paper, we conduct a theory-driven empirical study of the Bitcoin exchange rate (against USD) determination, taking into consideration both technology and economic factors. To address co-integration in a mix of stationary and non-stationary time series, we use the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model with a bounds test approach in the estimation. Meanwhile, to detect potential structural changes, we estimate our empirical model on two periods separated by the closure of Mt. Gox (one of the largest Bitcoin exchange markets). According to our analysis, in the short term, the Bitcoin exchange rate adjusts to changes in economic fundamentals and market conditions. The long-term Bitcoin exchange rate is more sensitive to economic fundamentals and less sensitive to technological factors after Mt. Gox closed. We also identify a significant impact of mining technology and a decreasing significance of mining difficulty in the Bitcoin exchange price determination.

Xin Li

is an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems at the City University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Department of Automation at Tsinghua University, China. His research interests include business intelligence & knowledge discovery, social network analysis, social media, and applied econometrics. His work has appeared in the MIS Quarterly, INFORMS Journal on Computing, Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems, IEEE Intelligent Systems, among others, and in various conference proceedings.

Chong Wang

is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Systems at the City University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. in Information Systems from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He received his Master's degrees from the Department of Finance at Tsinghua University, China, and his Bachelor's degree from the Department of Applied Mathematics at Peking University, China. His research focuses on understanding the social and economic impacts of information technology. His research projects cover topics in the areas of online social networks, crowdsourcing platforms, and financial information technologies. His work has appeared in the Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, and in various conference proceedings.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

After WannaCrypt, world faces massive cryptocurrency attack

After WannaCrypt, world faces massive cryptocurrency attack

"Adylkuzz attack" for cryptocurrency began on or before May 2, more than a week before "WannaCry" that hit 150 countries, including India

  An alternative to Bitcoin, cryptocurrency is being used for trading in drugs,

stolen credit cards and counterfeit goods. After facing a massive “WannaCrypt” ransomware attack that exploited a vulnerability in a Microsoft software and hit 150 countries, the same Windows vulnerability (MS17-010) has also been exploited to spread another type of malware that is quietly but fast generating digital cash from machines it has infected.

According to a report in The Registrar on Wednesday, tens of thousands of computers globally have been affected by the “Adylkuzz attack” that target machines, let them operate and only slows those down to generate digital cash or “Monero” cryptocurrency in the background. “Monero” — being popularized by North Korea-linked hackers — is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy, decentralisation, and scalability.

It is an alternative to Bitcoin and is being used for trading in drugs, stolen credit cards and counterfeit goods. “Initial statistics suggest that this attack may be larger in scale than WannaCry[pt], because this attack shuts down SMB networking to prevent further infections with other malware (including the WannaCry[pt] worm) via that same vulnerability,” US-based cyber security firm Proofpoint researchers were quoted as saying in the report.

How a cryptocurrency attack works?

The hackers need to mine cryptocurrency using computers/computing devices (IoT included). “Mining of cryptocurrency simply means solving complex cryptography problems designed within the algorithm of a cyber-currency that requires a lot of computing,” Saket Modi, CEO and Co-founder of Delhi-based IT risk assessments provider Lucideus, told IANS. To draw a parallel, there can only be 21 million Bitcoins that can be mined out of which 16 million have already been mined, informed Modi. “Monero”, on the other side, is slightly different than Bitcoin but for simplification’s sake, it can be assumed that it follows a similar architecture and similar mining process.

“Hence, there is a new wave of cyber attacks where the hacker is least interested in the personal information of the victim and instead his only motivation is to gain access to the CPU of the victim’s computer/mobile/IoT device so that they can use it to mine more currencies (and correspondingly make more money),” Modi told IANS. This looks like something more dangerous than “WannaCrypt” as the victim doesn’t come to know that they have been hacked, but, on the other side, “the good part is that the hacker here is not interested in the victim’s personal data,” Modi told IANS.

To achieve this, the hackers find a vulnerability in one of the servers in the targeted organization or they would infect a website which employees of a targeted organization often visit. “They would then infect the IT infrastructure of the target with malware and would identify where a server running SWIFT software is installed. They would download additional malware to interact with SWIFT software and would try to drain the organization’s accounts,” Altaf Halde, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab (South Asia), told IANS. According to Proofpoint, the “Adylkuzz” attack is still growing.

“Once infected through use of the ‘EternalBlue’ exploit, the cryptocurrency miner ‘Adylkuzz’ is installed and used to generate cybercash for the attackers,” Robert Holmes, Vice President of products at Proofpoint, was quoted as saying. According to experts, the “Adylkuzz” began its attack on or before May 2, more than a week before “WannaCrypt” arrived and hit 150 countries, including India. “Indications are that the crooks behind ‘Adylkuzz’ have generated a lot more money than the ‘WannaCrypt’ ransomware fiends,” The Registrar report noted. According to cyberscoop.com, “Monero” doubled in price over the last month to around $23 while other digital currencies, including bitcoin, saw a mixed month. “Cybercriminals intrigued by the currency’s promises of greater anonymity are using it more often on black markets,” it said.

How to save your organizations from cryptocurrency attacks?

“If your organisation has software tools for conducting money transactions like SWIFT software, invest into additional protection and regular security assessment in addition to standard protection measures implemented in all other parts of the organization’s network,” Halde informed. Protect backup servers as they contain information that can be of use for attackers: passwords, logins, and authentication tokens. “When deploying specialized software for money processing follow recommendations and best security practices from your software vendor and security professionals,” Halde added. In a case of suspicion of intrusion, request for professional assistance with incident response.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Top Reasons Why Bitcoin’s Price is Rising Right Now

Top Reasons Why Bitcoin’s Price is Rising Right Now

While Bitcoin’s market has been uncertain in the past week,

there is no doubt that the price is holding support surprisingly well. Even though there are quite a few issues that are hindering Bitcoin’s growth, there are also other events which are contributing to the cryptocurrency’s global adoption. This article will discuss the top 3 reasons why Bitcoin’s price is currently rising.

 Wanna Cry Ransomware

I am sure you have heard of the recent world’s largest ransomware attack by the name of Wanna Cry, aka Wana Decryptor. The aggressive ransomware has infected over 200,000 machines and so far has collected over $80,000, according to @actual_ransom — a twitter bot set up to track the ransomware. While it is unfortunate that Wana Decryptor has plagued cyberspace, its coverage in the media has brought attention to Bitcoin, the only payment method accepted by the malware. Furthermore, the fact that the ransomware attack began amid Bitcoin’s price rally only contributed to the positive momentum, which is probably why the current support at $1700 is holding so strong.

Even though using a ransomware to spread awareness about Bitcoin might not be beneficial to the cryptocurrency’s reputation, the idea that Bitcoin is used by criminals is not a new revelation by any means. Most people who know about Bitcoin already know that it is used on dark net markets for illicit purposes, so any more news about it being used by criminals most likely won’t have much of an affect on the market.

The Flippening

Altcoins existed ever since Bitcoin’s creation. Up until this year, they have been considered second-rate projects as they were perceived to be simply clones of Bitcoin. However, as Bitcoin’s scaling debate intensified and users sought a solution, alternative cryptocurrencies started to flourish. The Flippening is a paradigm shift where investors are starting to look at altcoins as having value in different ways compared to Bitcoin. While at first that may seem like bad news for Bitcoin, the whole ecosystem shares the benefits.

While Bitcoin’s dominance among altcoins is dropping, according to cornmarket cap, cryptocurrencies’ overall market cap has been rising exponentially, it benefits Bitcoin as well. Just like altcoins benefited from new money flowing into Bitcoin, BTC benefits from the curious investors interested in the cryptocurrency niche as a whole.

Japan’s Adoption

Last but not least, one of the biggest driving forces behind Bitcoin’s meteoric price rise is Japan’s adoption and legislation of crypto. After passing official KYC / AML laws regulating exchanges in Japan, the government essentially green-lighted the legal operation of cryptocurrency exchanges.

The new legislation increased Bitcoin’s popularity in the country and also invited Chinese investors who were looking to escape the country’s tight grip on the sector. In fact, withdrawals for Chinese exchanges have been suspended for a few months now. There is a light in the tunnel as the PBoC released a statement which hints that withdrawals may resume soon. While there is no definitive date, rumors have it that things may settle in June. Chinese news resource cnLedger had the inside scoop.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

From Here To Where? Bitcoin And The Future Of Cryptocurrency

From Here To Where?
Bitcoin And The Future Of Cryptocurrency

   There’s a number of reasons why cryptocurrencies are so inherently popular.

They are safe, anonymous and utterly decentralized. Unlike conventional currency, they are not controlled or regulated by some singular authority, their flow is determined entirely by market demand. They are also nigh impossible to counterfeit, thanks to the paranoidly complicated code system that encrypts each and every transfer, ensuring complete anonymity and utter safety to each and every user. They even make for a genuinely rewarding, if risky, investment endeavor, despite the fact that any financial advisor in their right mind will caution you against them. Therefore, despite the admittedly high stakes that this sort of dealing entails, not to mention the lack of any government agency to lend credence to them, cryptocurrencies can only thrive and multiply.

If I were to tell you of the history of cryptocurrencies, I would have to begin with cryptographer David Chaum, who in the 1980s devised an extraordinarily secure algorithm that allowed for the kind of encryption required in electronic fund transfers. Chaum’s “blinding algorithm” laid the groundwork for the future development of all types of digitalized currency transactions, be it alternative currencies like Bitcoin or just plain old digitalized cash transfers.

“I am personally excited for the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general. Current innovations such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others are just the beginning for this technology that can help revamp many industries. There is plenty of opportunity in this space.” — Chalmers Brown, Forbes

In the later part of the 1980s, Chaum relocated to the Netherlands, and, with the help of a few fellow enthusiasts, laid the foundation of DigiCash, a for-profit cryptocurrency network based on his “blinded money” algorithm. Unlike newer cryptocurrencies, DigiCash exercised full monopoly over its supply, a far cry from being a decentralized mode of transactions such as Bitcoin. While DigiCash was founded with the idea of trading directly with individuals, the Netherlands government imposed severe restrictions on the company, forcing it to sell only to licensed banks. This seriously curtailed the company’s profits, and after a decade of struggling and being partnered with by Microsoft, the company finally closed doors in the 1990s. Chaum did go on to try his luck on a few similar cryptocurrency startups at the time, though none of them were really successful to begin with.

Fast forward to 2008, when a whitepaper was released under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, detailing what would be widely regarded as the first modern cryptocurrency initiative. The idea combined concepts such as decentralization, perfect anonymity, finite supply and blockchain technology to pave the way for what we know as Bitcoin. Nakamoto, a pseudonymous individual or individuals operating under a fake name, released Bitcoin to the public in 2009. This idea was soon taken up by a gazillion different startups such as Litecoin. In 2010, Bitcoin received recognition as a proper currency after merchants such as WordPress, Expedia and Microsoft began accepting it as a mode of payment.

“Cryptocurrencies can better adapt to the prevalent challenges of both funding and the emerging digital economy in addition to being a way to engage communities through P2P tech and crowdfunding platforms. There are over 2 billion people without access to the financial economy and even basics of modern civilization. Here at Humaniq, we are a blockchain fintech startup aiming to tackle some of these challenges by tapping into the power of digital currencies to leverage social impact. Approaching these issues from the angle of Initial Coin Offerings, we have so far managed to secure over 10,000 investors and $4M in investments in the last two weeks.” — Dinis Guarda, CEO at Humaniq

Speaking for 2017, we’re still far from Bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency initiative, being officially recognized by a state government as a preferred mode of currency. Mere months ago, Bitcoin saw a 35% fluctuation in price range after a proposed exchange-trade fund by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust was denied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission due to concerns that the currency could be used for illegal purposes such as black market trading. However, hope is anything but out, and 2017 will be a year to watch out for as far as alternative currencies are concerned.

While Bitcoin experienced a drop in its prices, a cheaper cryptocurrency by the name of Ether reached its all-time highs at $40 a unit. While Ether’s current setup prevents it from being used as a direct method of payment, the cryptocurrency still seems to have a bright future ahead thanks to the concept of smart contracts. In the meantime, more privacy-concerned cryptocurrency alternatives are starting to gain prominence in favor of institutions such as Bitcoin, which despite their vigilant security measures, continue to have loopholes that could be exploited for access to personal data.

“In a reminder of just how fickle the market for such newfangled assets can be, just after 4 p.m. Friday, the Bitcoin price took a U-turn and plummeted to lows not seen in months, dipping below $1000 to as low as $980, after Bitcoin investors received some bad news from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.” — Jen Wieczner, Fortune Magazine

Another interesting turn of events is the acceptance of Bitcoin in the educational industry, what with the University of Ohio hosting classes about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a part of its MFE curriculum. Several colleges have even begun to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment, a move which will clearly help bring this alternative currency to the mainstream. The acceptance of Bitcoin, in general, has already led to a few companies considering genuine investment opportunities in the currency, further fueling its journey to mainstream.

Will cryptocurrencies be the new norm after 2017? Perhaps it is too soon to tell. But if there is one thing we know for sure, it is that the currency seems to have a wide appeal with a particular section of technologically-savvy individuals, a point that is sure to soon work in its favor.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member