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Tag: markethive

Ways to make your inbound marketing stand out

Ways to make your inbound marketing stand out

Experts in content creation and digital strategy discuss the best methods and channels to attract new customers.

  

Marketing IT Bullseye

Converting leads and contacts into customers continues to be the top marketing priority for many companies, according to HubSpot research,. And organizations that focus on inbound — e.g. using content marketing, social media and SEO to attract customers — (vs. outbound) marketing are more likely to be effective. Here are a few things your business can do to make your inbound marketing efforts more effective — and convert more prospects into customers.

Know who your target audience is — and where they get their information

“You must define your audience before you even get started, creating the fundamental inbound marketing ‘buyer persona,’” says Ryan Malone, founder & CEO, SmartBug Media. Personas should factor in demographics — gender, age, education, location — and include things like the customer’s likes and dislikes, where they shop, where they work and who they buy for (family, friends, coworkers).

Once you’ve identified and defined your ideal customer, use that buyer persona to guide your strategy, “from the keywords [you] choose, to the website experience, the blogs you write to the social media sites you use for promotion,” he says. “Many organizations mistakenly try to be everything to everyone; however, to truly see inbound success, you must focus on attracting the right audience first and foremost."

Plan ahead

“SMBs need to look at the big picture and strategically plan content long term,” says Jamie Domenici, vice president of SMB marketing, Salesforce. “This allows your business to capitalize on… seasons, holidays or events [that are relevant to your business and target audience].” For example, Valentine’s Day is a holiday no florist, chocolatier or jeweler would want to miss. And “having an editorial calendar ensures the business can prepare interesting and insightful content well in advance.”

Develop an SEO strategy

“Search optimized blogging is one of the best ways for small and medium sized businesses to improve inbound marketing,” says Lauren Fairbanks, CEO, S/G Content Marketing. Just “make sure you focus on the right keywords that match your customer's pain points and work on creating content around those.”

“The best (and free) place to start with this is AdWords Keyword [Planner],” says Amy Nedoss, marketing strategy director at SocialRaise. “Find low-competition and high-volume search terms. Then align your content with [them]. That way the content is highly targeted and has a better chance of being found [by your target audience].”Fight enemies smarter and faster with an open, unified ecosystem for a resilient defense.

“Another trick to improve SEO is to revive your old content,” says Tim Jernigan, marketing analyst, Badger Maps. “If your existing posts don’t receive traffic anymore, you can revamp them with infographics [or] images. You can even combine a few blogs to make a PDF guide [or white paper] and post [with a new title].”

Create a company blog and fill it with useful content

“The secret to a successful inbound marketing strategy is to consistently provide quality content that is interesting and helpful to current and prospective customers. At the heart of this strategy is the humble blog,” says Domenici.

“Company blogs drive inbound traffic to your website, and can also give your business credibility within your industry,” she says. “Customers favor companies that offer valuable knowledge rather than ones that are too self-promotional, so be sure to identify common customer pain points and provide easy-to-follow solutions. Extend the reach of your blog by sharing posts across your social networks to engage with customers where they are.”

Send fewer emails but with better content

“A big theme we’re seeing this year is sending less email better, which is something we’re really leaning into at HubSpot,” says Jon Dick, vice president of marketing, HubSpot. “As people’s inboxes become more and more crowded, many marketers have resorted to increasing their email volume to get the same number of opens. But this approach is backwards.”Sending fewer but more relevant emails “will actually get you more opens and better engagement in today’s environment,” he says. The key is to “focus on adding… value and investing in good content that shows, not tells, your message.” If you do this, “the few emails you do send will get good engagement.”

Include graphics and/or photos in messaging

“Humans are more receptive to visual content,” points out Domenici. So “incorporating visual elements [in your messaging] is a sure-fire way for your small business to increase the draw of your inbound marketing strategy. Readers will often become disengaged with ‘how-to’ blog posts that are text heavy, but adding graphics can help illustrate step-by-step instructions in a clearer way. Video tutorials are also a great way to easily provide a solution to a common problem and can easily be shared through different channels.”

Interact with consumers through podcasts and videos

“Nothing showcases the personality of a brand better than utilizing the latest digital media channels,” says Mark Nardone, executive vice president, PAN Communications. “Brainstorm podcast topics that will open up discussions around industry trends and best practices. This will garner interest from consumers and influencers and position your brand as a thought leader and resource for your target audience.” And don’t leave out video.

“With a 5x higher recall than the written word, video is the most engaging media format and most effective in assisting conversions,” says Kent Lewis, founder & president, Anvil Media. “Video production costs have decreased dramatically. And live streaming (on platforms like Facebook), 360-degree video, augmented and virtual reality… and drones [have] all make video capture and viewing more dramatic and immersive. If your brand isn't doubling down on video as a key element for inbound marketing, you will miss the bus.” 

Tap social media influencers

“It’s imperative that brands use social media to develop an influencer repertoire to share news… and establish a brand image,” says Nardone. Social media “influencers play a crucial part in inbound marketing practices by acting as brand So after you have created your buyer personas, find out which social media platforms they are using and who are the influencers in your category or industry. Follow and interact with them to establish a connection. Then reach out to them about promoting your brand.

Try Facebook Lead Ads

“If you aren't using Facebook Lead Ads, you're missing out in a big way,” says Michael Mignogna, CEO, Minyona. “Prior to Facebook Lead Ads, when advertising on Facebook, you had to create an ad that pointed to a landing page on a website outside of Facebook and then hope the user felt like taking the desired action.

“With Lead Ads, an advertiser can offer a free download of an ebook, for example, and because it all happens inside of Facebook, the information the advertiser wants to capture is auto populated so the user can simply click ‘download,’” he explains. “We use this for several clients, and… we are able to bring them dozens of new inbound leads per week that automatically get opted into an email nurturing campaign.”

Share content on LinkedIn Pulse

Post blogs and articles you’ve written on LinkedIn Pulse. “It won't hurt SEO in terms of duplicate content, and it will help you reach many more people with minimal additional effort,” says Maddy Osman, founder & SEO content strategist, The Blogsmith. “LinkedIn has some of the best reach on any social platform, and as more people engage with your LinkedIn Pulse post, it will reach their networks as well. It's a great way to use your existing network to reach more people and funnel them to your website.”

Don’t offer up all your content for free

“The majority of your content should be freely available on your company blog, but some of it should be only available for download if people enter their contact details into a lead generation form,” says Brett Langlois, SEO & content team lead, Pure SEO. “This will allow you to capture their details and enter them into your sales funnel.”

Invest in marketing automation

“The most successful inbound marketers have the right tools to amplify their efforts,” says Tommy Burns, marketing specialist, Matrix Marketing Group. “There's only so much you can do alone, and marketing automation can free up valuable time to be directed where it's needed most. Increased inbound results offset any cost.”

Be patient and persistent

“Inbound marketing is a long game,” says Julie Graff, social content liaison, Pole Position Marketing. “While you can get some quick wins (particularly with pay-per-click advertising and some SEO tactics), it's going to take some time to see real growth. Don't pull the plug because you don't see results right away. Your goal should be long-term, sustainable growth. This takes patience, time and an ongoing strategy. When you do see results, you're not done. You need to keep going. Digital growth results stop when you stop investing time in them.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Assemble a Board of Directors for a Startup

How to Assemble a Board of Directors for a Startup

                           

…assembling a board of directors presents startups with significant opportunities to reinforce and expand on the business’s strengths while also addressing its weaknesses.

This post provides an overview of several of the legal and practical considerations startups should be aware of as they constitute their board of directors.

As mentioned on Bradley’s Family Business Advocates blog, a board of directors is the governing body of the corporation elected by its stockholders. The board will guide the overall direction and strategy of the corporation; it will hire, fire, and supervise the corporation’s officers; and it will ultimately decide all major corporate decisions, such as whether or not to sell the business. Good directors are valuable resources who may provide startups with credibility, technical expertise, industry experience, and access to new business opportunities. Accordingly, assembling a board of directors presents startups with significant opportunities to reinforce and expand on the business’s strengths while also addressing its weaknesses.

The initial directors of a corporation are appointed by an incorporator simultaneously with, or shortly after, the organization of the corporation. An incorporator is a person who creates the corporation by executing and filing the certificate of incorporation, and they will often be a shareholder, director or officer of the corporation or one of its representatives. If the incorporator chooses not to appoint directors in the corporation’s certificate of incorporation, then an organizational action is required by the incorporator to transfer governing authority over to the initial board of directors. Until this transfer of authority occurs, the corporation is governed by the incorporator, whose powers are limited by statute. 

Although most states do not mandate when the transfer must occur, some states, such as New York, have held that an incorporator may not operate a corporation indefinitely because the board of directors must manage the corporation.  While the NYBCL does not address when the organizational action must be taken, it has been held that an incorporator cannot operate a corporation indefinitely because the board should manage the corporation. The incorporator's powers are generally limited under Delaware law to organizing the corporation, adopting the bylaws, electing directors, and transacting other limited business as is authorized by state law.

Generally, state law provides startups with significant flexibility in structuring their boards. A board of directors must have at least one director, and all directors must be natural persons (as opposed to business entities or trusts). Otherwise few limitations apply as to who may serve on a startup’s board. The corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws may fix the number of directors and their requisite qualifications. Corporations often provide a range, rather than specifying the number of directors, which allows for greater flexibility as new directors are added and existing directors are removed or resign. Usually, the board will consist of a mix of the corporation’s key management (i.e., inside directors) and other individuals not employed by the corporation (i.e., outside directors). 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to assembling an initial board of directors…

The legal flexibility that startups have in structuring their boards is constrained by practical and strategic considerations. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to assembling an initial board of directors, rather each corporation must balance competing interests and tailor its board to its current needs. When determining the size of a board, although there is no maximum legal limit for the number of directors permitted to serve, a bloated board will often become ineffective and unmanageable. A board of directors will typically have an odd number of directors to prevent a voting deadlock.

A startup’s shareholder base will greatly affect the composition of its board. Outside investors routinely condition their investment on receiving a board presence that roughly reflects their ownership stake in the corporation. For example, a venture-backed startup may find that an outside investor holding 20 percent of the corporation’s stock would like to appoint one-fifth of the corporation’s directors. Further, depending on the rights granted in the corporation’s organizational documents, such an investor may be entitled to make this election without the input of the other shareholders. Even without command of a majority of a corporation’s board seats, outside investors often feel that representation on the board helps them maintain communication with management and visibility into their investment.

Although directors can often be a significant asset to a startup, it is important to take some time to appropriately vet and recruitable candidates for directorships. Initially, many startups may wish to proceed with forming a corporation to secure the benefits of the corporate form without appointing multiple directors to their board. In the interim, it is not uncommon for startups to organize an advisory board to realize some of the benefits of a board of directors without handing over actual authority to make business decisions or manage company affairs. Ultimately, a successful startup will likely see the structure and composition of its board of directors change significantly over time. It is important that entrepreneurs and investors seek corporate counsel throughout this evolution. 

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies Shaping Future Economy, Capitalism Morphing

Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies Shaping Future Economy, Capitalism Morphing

  

Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies Shaping Future Economy, Capitalism Morphing

Money has shaped our modern economy. We have gone from using grain and cattle and even salt as currency to using metal tokens (coins) and paper. However, paper has the habit of sticking and it has been around ever since the Chinese introduced it during the Tang dynasty. We have grown comfortable using paper currency and no one can deny that it has had its usefulness. Now we are approaching another era in which bits are playing the same role that paper did. Digital currencies are no longer something that will happen way into the future, they are here. How will the advent of digital currencies like Bitcoin, Monero, Ethereum and etc affect the future shape of the economy?

Is it the end of Capitalism?

Ed Finn wrote an article in the Guardian asking, “Do digital currencies spell the end of Capitalism?” Finn’s article covered the DAO issue and how Ethereum community dealt with the hack. He examines the very nature of digital currency and ponders the questions surrounding ‘programmable money.’

In the end, he succinctly concludes:

“If what counts, and how we count, is measured in processor cycles instead of human exchange, it will change the rules of the economy as surely as driverless vehicles will change transportation. What we value is fundamentally a question of belief, and it’s increasingly unclear what we believe in more: billfolds or bits?”

So what will change if we move to digital currencies, surely these currencies change the nature of money as they are not issued by a central monetary authority or backed by the promise of the sovereigns.

These currencies are an organism of their own kind. They open the doors to people issuing their own tokens and creating their own monetary policies. This could radically change the financial system as individuals could potentially fund their own enterprises with their own currencies. They also remove the vagaries of the interest rate cycles associated with government issued money and break the nexus between big businesses and the government.

The era of financial empowerment

Digital currencies have opened doors which were firmly shut. These currencies hold the promise of distribution of wealth like never before. Not only have they brought in the technology to transfer money in a blink of an eye at minimal costs around the world, they have also brought access to ‘money’ for people who never had it before.

As Dominik Zynis of the WINGS Foundation says:

“Digital currencies will allow anyone, be it person or community, to be included in the economy by self regulated credit expansion enabling trade people who previously lacked access to requisite mediums of exchange.”

Creating trust among people

At the moment people have no choice but to trust the sovereign's money. It is after all, a promissory note. Digital currencies put the trust fact squarely among the public. People who choose to use a particular digital currency, do so because they recognize it as money. Not because they were told to use it as money. The use of digital money or programmable money opens the doors for applications like smart contracts. Smart contracts within digital money can revolutionize the way ‘deals’ are done. Escrow can be inbuilt so that a transaction is only completed when certain parameters are met. This removes the need for having intermediaries in financial transactions, property transactions etc.

Capitalism is about to morph

The present economic system that we live in has reached its peak potential. We need a new era of economics if we are to develop further. In an era where the planetary resources are increasingly dwindling, we need a system that places less emphasis on profit and more on developing human resources. Virtual currencies or digital currencies can usher in an era of entrepreneurship and development. They can also transform how we do business today and remove regulatory bottlenecks out of the system. While capitalism might not come to an end immediately due to ‘programmable money’, it is certainly about to evolve into something different. No one can deny though that we are at the crossroads.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Crypto Capital Markets To Save Mankind From New Global Financial Storm

Crypto Capital Markets To Save Mankind From New Global Financial Storm

  

       Crypto Capital Markets To Save Mankind From New Global Financial Storm

Nick Ayton our London Correspondent, the Sage of Shoreditch looks beyond the current system at Crypto Capital Markets 2.1, a new world of finance and capital markets. The current Fractional Reserve banking system that few trust is failing, creaking at the seams. Will crypto economics be the only thing left as the global economies collapse under massive debts hidden from sight behind the media’s fake news?

With Bitcoin, Ethereum and crypto-currencies there is no concept of debt. In crypto capital markets bubbles stay in the glass.

Bubbles generally pop

It comes as no surprise that many predict another financial bubble that has been building since 2013. The West, Middle East, and Asia — nobody will be able to duck it. In the West, cars loans are the new subprime, student, and household debt is rising and credit worthiness is falling. And when it hits it will be worse than 2008. We are all victims of a dangerous game that is being played out by central bankers that have artificially kept interest rates at historic lows, so the pretense and promise of economic recovery can be maintained. There is no transparency, the truth is hidden from view, there is no trust left.

According to Business Insider,

Interestingly, rates aren't just low within the context of American history. They also happen to be at the lowest levels in the last 5,000 years of civilization.”

Half truths

Everything is censored because if everyone found out the banking system would collapse. The issues are real, they are not going away and it is time for a new economic model. However, unlike 2008 we have a chance to create a fairer system, a system that will be more difficult to manipulate and impossible to create new ‘bubbles’… Is it time for the people to embrace crypto economics and get in early before they miss the opportunity.

Alternative

Crypto Capital Markets a rapidly maturing and fast growing alternative to Fractional Reserve Banking and failing Capital Markets. A system that is rapidly being put in place by the Libertarians, free thinkers, and crypto entrepreneurs so that everyone can still trade what value they have, after the next collapse.

A new system free from tampering and manipulation, a system without censorship, open, fair and transparent.

And yes Bitcoin and other native Blockchains will become the new norm, they will be all that is left.

Financial panic

We are already seeing inflation rising in many economies and currencies under pressure. The central banks have gone too far, printing too much money that has fed the hunger to borrow more and more. With a mountain of debt that cannot be repaid and will never be repaid, an alternative is needed. A world of worthless paper currencies, called fiat, no longer backed by solvent governments, where the US Dollar will devalue fast, pulling other currencies with it. Europe will collapse first as banks like Deutsche bank remain 40 times overleveraged and will fail the consequence it will strand the Euro as a currency without sovereignty, pushing southern European countries into bankruptcy.

The Yuan will fall further, the net effect of failing currencies will be pushing the people to look for the safe haven of crypto-currencies.

Storm Approaching

When the next financial crisis hits, 2017/18 Crypto Wallet adoption will pass 500m users in just months and rise to one to two bln by 2019. The world’s forgotten people, the unbanked are already embracing a new humanitarian banking economy like Humaniq. Across the globe capital markets and financial centers are overleveraged. Housing bubbles are growing and stock markets are reaching new highs are hugely overpriced. Debt is stockpiling, the Fractional Reserve Banking is off the grid as having more than 20 central banks in negative interest rates demonstrates. They believe the taxpayer will end up bailing everyone out. Again. But not this time.

Safe haven

Brexit and the Trump effect was a voted not for the ethos or the people involved, it was a vote by the people, for the people that have had enough. Where banks have overreached, governments sit back and the one percent most wealthy play with people’s lives and manipulate markets.

Our future is Crypto Capital Markets for which we already have the infrastructure such as exchanges, coins/token, wallets and markets.

2008 was the start when people started to say ‘no more.’ The Satoshi Nakamoto paper — a peer to peer electronic cash system was aimed at ensuring governments and bankers cannot destroy value laying the foundation to a new Capital Markets 2.0 originally designed to cut out the banks. It may become the only thing we have that works.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Apple Accepts Zcash as Legitimate Cryptocurrency, Now Available on iOS

Apple Accepts Zcash as Legitimate Cryptocurrency, Now Available on iOS

  

Apple Accepts Zcash as Legitimate Cryptocurrency

Jaxx, the multi-cryptocurrency wallet platform which supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash, has recently introduced Zcash support for mobile users on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms. Apple’s rigorous and extensive approval process of iOS applications and updates is familiar to most developers. In particular, Apple is sensitive toward services and applications targeted to serve users of cryptocurrencies and whichever cryptocurrency Apple perceives as unfit for its iOS ecosystem, app developers are not granted the permission to develop apps around it.

Rapid development of the Zcash ecosystem

In September of 2016, the Jaxx development team and the firm’s CEO Anthony Dilorio were requested by Apple to remove a privacy-focused cryptocurrency called Dash from its iOS application. The removal of Dash consequently reduced the financial privacy of Jaxx users on iOS. Understanding the strict requirements and high standards of the Apple and iOS development teams, engineers of Jaxx and Zcash underwent a long development period to integrate Zcash into the Jaxx mobile application.

Developers of both companies collaborated to ensure that Zcash is approved and accepted by the Apple development team. Ultimately, Apple approved the integration of Zcash into Jaxx and accepted Zcash as a legitimate cryptocurrency built on top of proper cryptographic work and technology. With the introduction of Zcash to hundreds of millions of iOS users, Dilorio reaffirmed the importance of financial privacy and the necessity of anonymity which Zcash offers. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Zcash CEO Zooko Wilcox also noted the significance of financial privacy for all iOS users and the rapid development of the Zcash ecosystem.

“It is very important to provide platforms that, like Jaxx, are easy to acquire and easy to use. I'm delighted that Jaxx and other companies and open source volunteers are extending the Zcash ecosystem. Privacy is essential to all commerce, whether buying a cup of coffee, taking care of your family's needs, or executing major business deals,” Wilcox said. Furthermore, Wilcox expressed his excitement over the integration of Zcash into a widely utilized multi-cryptocurrency wallet platform. He explained that the simple and user-friendly interface of Jaxx on both iOS and Android will allow Zcash users to send and receive transactions with ease and full anonymity.

Wilcox added:

“I'm delighted that now anybody with a smartphone (iPhone or Android) can send, receive, and store Zcash right on their phone. It is delightfully easy to send "Internet money" with this simple app, whether across a table or around the world. We were delighted when Jaxx decided to support Zcash, and we offered them free technical support.”

Zcash projects in 2017, including Ethereum

One of the highly anticipated projects eagerly awaited by the cryptocurrency community is Zcash on Ethereum. On January 19, Christian Reitwiessner of the Ethereum Foundation released an update on the joint initiative between the Ethereum R&D team and the Zcash Company. According to Reitwiessner, the project was established to share the advantages and strengths of Zcash and Ethereum networks: programmability and privacy.

Reitwiessner wrote:

“One of the goals of the Zcash company, codenamed Project Alchemy, is to enable a direct decentralized exchange between Ethereum and Zcash. Connecting these two Blockchains and technologies, one focusing on programmability and the other on privacy, is a natural way to facilitate the development of applications requiring both.”

In addition to various ongoing projects including Project Alchemy, Wilcox told Cointelegraph that five new features will be released to the public in the near future. Two of these features include payment disclosure and user-issued tokens, which allow users to reveal information about a specific payment and issue unique tokens for particular projects.

For a company or a project raising funds in unique Zcash-based tokens, revealing the amount raised during the crowdfunding or funding round and sharing the allocation of funds in a transparent manner will be made possible with the payment disclosure feature. As the Zcash development community grows and the ecosystem expands more interesting features, applications and integrations will be introduced to the community.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Top Cryptocurrencies That Can’t be Mined

Top Cryptocurrencies That Can’t be Mined

Crypto that can't be mined

Everyone involved in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is well aware of how bitcoin uses a proof-of-work algorithm. New coins are generated through the mining process, which becomes more difficult over time. However, not all cryptocurrencies in existence can be mined. Below are some of the more popular altcoins that offer no mining incentive, yet are still quite valuable.

Ripple

The Ripple network works in a rather different manner compared to Bitcoin or even Ethereum. Positioning itself as the global settlement network, Ripple is not your average cryptocurrency by any means. Obtaining Ripple can only be done by buying the currency from various exchanges, as there is no option to generate XRP by mining. A total of 100 billion XRP has been created once the project launched. A few coins are destroyed every time a transaction takes place.

NXT

NXT is a popular altcoin that cannot be mined in the traditional sense. It is possible for users to forge new coins, but it doesn’t require dedicated hardware to do so. Instead, users need to leave their wallet open — assuming it contains a balance — and they will earn small amounts of interest in the process. NXT runs a proof-of-stake algorithm, which makes mining in the traditional way obsolete.

WAVES

Mining WAVES is entirely out of the question as well, since the project makes use of a delegated and leased proof-of-stake algorithm. The entire supply of WAVES tokens was premined, although users will be able to “mine” tokens in the future using a computer or mobile device. However, the entire token supply will never surpass the 100 million mark. All of the available tokens were issued during the WAVES pre-sale and the team’s bounty program.

Factom

When Factom was first launched, there was a lot of excitement regarding this project. Considering how the project runs on top of the bitcoin blockchain, it cannot be labeled as an altcoin per se. Factom is something entirely different, although the project’s currency — called factoids — can’t be mined directly. One could call this system “proof of usage”, as users who hold factoids can convert them into Entry Credits to be used within applications using the Factom blockchain.

The network does not support mining, as a Factoid Software Sale was organized once the project was announced. Investors who bought Factoids can either sell them on an exchange or keep them as a tool to buy Entry Credits. It is also possible to earn Factoids, by sharing computing power and resources with the network. It is quite an intriguing project that anchors data into the bitcoin blockchain. In fact, Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm ensures all of the data processed by Factom is safe from tampering.

MaidSafe

MaidSafe is another one of these projects that it not allow users to mine the native currency. All of the available tokens were issued two years ago, and no more tokens will be generated moving forward. This also makes it somewhat impossible to generate Safecoin right now, although it will be possible to mine the currency in the future. Investors hold 10% of the total supply, with 90% waiting to be rewarded to miners providing resources securing the system. However, Safecoin is not mined with graphic cards, but rather by users dedicating hard drive space to the project.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Most Promising Cryptocurrencies To Buy In 2017

The Most Promising Cryptocurrencies To Buy In 2017

  

                        The Most Promising Cryptocurrencies To Buy In 2017

The year 2017 kicked start with a booming bullish wave that pushed the price of bitcoin and many altcoins up to unprecedented levels. Bitcoin recorded its all-time high a few weeks ago, as it exceeded the $1300 price level for the first time ever since the genesis block was mined. This rise in the market capital of bitcoin, ethereum, monero and others was fueled by uncertainty towards the fiat economy secondary to Trump’s winning of the US Presidential elections, Brexit and the unrest in the Middle East.Throughout this article, we will point out the most promising cryptocurrencies that have the potential to grow massively and hence, can represent good investment opportunities in 2017.

Ethereum:

Ethereum is a unique cryptocurrency that presents a distributed computing platform that features the “smart contract” functionality. Many crypto-enthusiasts think that ethereum is undervalued at the moment and others believe that its real value is even greater than that of bitcoin. Ethereum is by far the most promising coin to invest in this year. During the past couple of months, ethereum has been witnessing a bullish wave that led to more than %300 rise in its price in March. Even more, ethereum has recorded last March its all-time high of $54. In my opinion, ethereum has the potential to be worth more than $100 by the end of this year.

Monero:

Monero is one of the most promising altcoins that will definitely witness enormous gains in 2017. Apart from most other cryptocurrencies, Monero’s transactions are anonymous, thanks to its CryptoNote protocol that relies on ring signatures. Similarly to ethereum, monero’s price spiked, recording more than 100% gains during the past few weeks. Interestingly enough, monero has also recorded, in the later half of last March, its all-time high of $25. Monero has the potential to grow to over $50, especially after AlphaBay, one of the major darknet marketplace, has chosen to add monero as a payment method late in 2016. Oasis, another darknet marketplace, also started to accept monero payments, and more markets are expected to do so too, during 2017, which will take the price of monero to the moon.

DASH:

DASH currently represents the third biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Similarly to monero, DASH’s transactions are anonymous via a unique coin mixing service known as “PrivateSend”. The year started with a bullish wave that has been controlling DASH’s market since then.  The bullish wave climaxed later in March by scoring DASH’s price all time high of around $116. DASH was the second cryptocurrency to be added as an accepted payment method on darknet’s marketplaces. It has the potential to grow to over $200 this year, especially that DASH is by far the cryptocurrency with highest anonymity levels.

Other Coins:

There are other coins that hold great potential for growth in 2017. Augur is a promising altcoin as it is presenting a new concept for decentralized market predictions. STEEM also holds enormous potential as it is by far the most successful decentralized social network. MaidSafeCoin’s price can also skyrocket during the upcoming months as it is supporting a new concept of crowd-sourced internet. GameCredits also hold great potential for growth during 2017, especially that it is introducing a new concept for online gaming markets.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

80% of all Bitcoins Will Have Been Mined In a year From now

80% of all Bitcoins Will Have Been Mined In a year From now

The World Bitcoin Mining

is in for quite a reality shock in about a year from now. As most people are well aware of, the amount of bitcoins being mined every day is much compared to a few years ago. What is even more intriguing is how the vast majority of BTC has been mined already. In January of 2018, 80% of all 21 million BTC will be mined and brought into circulation. A significant milestone that should not be overlooked by any means.

Inching Closer To 80% Of All Bitcoins

It is quite interesting to think about how far bitcoin has come since its inception. With a  hard limit of 21 million BTC to be generated by 2140, a lot of people assume there are still a lot of coins to be mined for the next few years. While that is true up to a certain extent, we are getting closer to 80% of the finite supply being brought into circulation already. Said milestone will take place roughly 365 days from now.

It remains a bit unclear as to what this will mean for the price per individual BTC, though. Asa mining becomes more difficult and less profitable unless continuous new investments take place, the price per existing bitcoin should go up in value. Moreover, with “only” 4.2 million coins to be generated after January 2018 = over the course of nearly 122 years — the demand for bitcoin should increase as well. However, neither of these factors are a given, as the cryptocurrency market does not operate like more traditional models.

At the same time, the 80% milestone could force some miners to shut down their operations. We have seen some major mining difficulty spikes over the past few weeks, and that trend will continue for quite some time. A higher mining difficulty requires more hash power and electricity to mine the same amount of bitcoin. For a lot of miners, January 2018 may become a good time to call it quits once and for all.

Should that happen, however, things will become even more intriguing. If there were fewer miners, it is expected the mining hardware manufacturers will take an even larger stake in the bitcoin mining process. Companies such as Bitmain and Bitfury have brought a lot of mining hardware online over the past few years. With more energy-efficient hardware still being developed, it is not unlikely a certain degree of centralization will occur in the mining world.

One of the lingering questions being asked aloud is whether or not we will ever see 100% of bitcoin’s entire supply be mined, to begin with. The final 5% could prove to be challenging, as the trade-off between costs and earnings will make it seem far less attractive to do so. It will take a very long time to mine the 21st million BTC, that much is already a given at this point. In fact, most people alive today in the bitcoin world will never that happen.

The coming year could become a very important one for Bitcoin as a whole. Albeit there are no guarantees or certainties, once 80% of the supply is mined, things will change eventually. Whether that will be in positive or negative fashion, remains unknown at this point. We live in very exciting times, especially when one has grown fond of the concept of bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency Versatility Creates New Opportunities

Cryptocurrency Versatility Creates New Opportunities

Crypto Coins

Over the last few years, the Cryptocurrency industry has been gaining popularity, and for a good reason. With the complexity that goes into making physical dollars, it’s clear now why people are opting to print a new form of currency. Making a digital currency is quite easier for someone with basic coding skills. Most are turning to the internet to gain ground and understand its use and value. Before, the concept was unfamiliar and scary just like the credit card some years back.

You might have come across the terms Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether. These are cryptocurrencies that use the Blockchain Technology to ensure this currency and technology is safe. Here we look at the some of the new opportunities created by cryptocurrency versatility in different fields. But before that, let’s look at the basics.

What is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is an encrypted digital currency that is created using advanced encryption techniques commonly known as cryptography. The concept became a reality upon the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. It captured the attention of significant investors in April 2013 when it recorded a price of $266 per bitcoin. So, will the currency eventually unseat the ruling currencies such as dollars and euros? The answer lies with the Bitcoin. That said, what are the new opportunities being created by the cryptocurrency? Find out.

Improvement in education

According to Gigaom reports, university students can now receive bitcoin once they enroll in school, and some universities are even accepting the currency as a form of payment for tuition. Dan Elitzer, the President of the MIT Bitcoin Club, and Jeremy Rubin, a computer scientist at MIT, successfully raised about half a million dollars for the enrollment of more than four thousand students worldwide in tech institutions.

The team together with the bitcoin community managed to provide students a chance to develop their own bitcoin wallets. This seems like a clever plan judging from the recent advancements in Bitcoin where they have developed the new Xapo Wallet. Today technology has enabled students to access different services including essay services and now cryptocurrency. Providing college students with access to bitcoin is a great step in cryptocurrency especially since universities are now accepting alternative currencies such as Bitcoin as payment for tuition.

Entrepreneurial innovation

The improved growth in the use of cryptocurrency leads to entrepreneurial innovation and it is said to foster growth in traditional banking infrastructure. Once the infrastructure is built and there is mass distribution of the currency, new businesses can build financial services without having to invest in expensive infrastructure. They just have to build applications and supportive services aside from the cryptocurrency system and they conduct their business without building a data center, huge hardware, and an IT department. The ability of an entrepreneur to access a source of payment method has fueled innovations in the financial services. These services are beneficial to the constituencies and areas that are underserved by the traditional banking providers.

Facilitates establishment of custom designed currencies

Cryptocurrencies are the latest technological advancements that have enabled groups to create custom designed currencies. Today we see banks and other institutions working hard to establish their digital currencies and this is a new chance to experiment new technology. Bitcoin has already set ground and proven to be quite dynamic and resilient amongst other currencies. It has undergone massive criticism but it has proven it’s powerful on the global perspective. Being an example of a successful digital currency, it is completely public and can be used in peer-to-peer transactions. It is a global financial utility that is accessible to anyone provided you’re connected to the internet.

Those who say that Bitcoin and Ethereum may become irrelevant may be surprised. Cryptocurrencies are high-grade financial tools that are made for legitimate and exciting function with a sense of global financial services that bypasses the infrastructure of traditional banking. Some experts even suggest that blockchain payment systems may beat the mighty U.S. Automated House financial transactions system come 2020.

With the technological advancement that is being experienced now, it is not a surprise to find that the cryptocurrency usage may accelerate to greater heights. The blockchain technology is expected to form a great part of the coming internet generation with massive transformation in commerce and overall structure of corporations and many other institutions across the globe. Be ready for this radical transformation. It’s worth checking out.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What you need to know about mining Bitcoin in South Africa

What you need to know about mining Bitcoin in South Africa

  

What is Bitcoin mining?

Bitcoin miners use computing power to add transaction records to the blockchain, which is a public ledger of transactions. Miners earn a certain number of Bitcoins for the work they contribute to this process and are paid a transaction fee by users sending transactions. The process of mining and adding a new block to the blockchain comprises the following steps:

  1. Verify that the transaction is valid.
  2. Compile valid transactions in a block.
  3. Insert the header of the most recent block into the new block as a hash.
  4. Solve the proof of work problem.
  5. When a solution is discovered, the new block is added to the blockchain.

The proof of work is designed to require a large amount of computational power, as this prevents the public ledger of transactions from being tampered with and controls the rate of new Bitcoins being introduced. The proof of work difficulty is updated regularly in order to maintain a controlled flow of new Bitcoins and improve the security of the system.

  

Mining Hardware

During the infancy of Bitcoin mining, many people used desktop processors to mine Bitcoin. However, as the difficulty continued to rise with the popularity of the cryptocurrency, specialized mining hardware was developed in order for miners to remain competitive. These days, mining Bitcoin requires a large amount of investment and work to make a profit, as there are many mining farms around the world.

While this increases the security of the system, it means that using your graphics card to mine Bitcoins in your spare time is no longer a viable solution for most miners. Most serious Bitcoin miners use hardware designed to mine Bitcoin. The efficiency of these devices is measured in hashes per second and their price can vary depending on performance levels.High-end hardware also draws a large amount of power and can be prohibitively expensive for casual Bitcoin miners.

Below are several Bitcoin mining hardware solutions available in South Africa.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware Pricing
Bitcoin Miner Hashes per second Power Consumption Price
Avalon 721 + PSU 6.0TH/s 850-1000W R21,799
Avalon 741 + PSU 7.3TH/s 1150W R24,999
S9 Antminer + PSU 11-14TH/s 1372W R37,580
Avalon 741 5 Unit Farm + PSU 37TH/s 5750W R119,999

  

Software and Bitcoin Wallet

After purchasing the required mining hardware, you will need to download Bitcoin mining software. This software connects you to the blockchain and ensures you are in consensus with the official Bitcoin network. If you are mining in a pool with other miners, data requirements are relatively small. If you are mining by yourself, you will need to download the official Bitcore client to synchronize with the blockchain. Bitcoin mining software is freely available online, with the most popular using a simple command line interface.

Below are a few popular Bitcoin mining programs:

  • EasyMiner
  • MinePeon
  • CG Miner
  • BFG Miner

Miners also need a Bitcoin wallet to store their earnings. There are a number of Bitcoin wallets available online, but it is generally recommended that users download a wallet which allows them to hold their own security keys instead of an online hosting solution.

   Saving keyboard money

Saving keyboard money

Additional options

Instead of purchasing physical hardware and using your own resources to mine Bitcoin, some miners opt to purchase cloud mining contracts. Cloud mining involves renting an amount of processing power from a service provider and earning Bitcoin relative to the amount of processing power purchased. There have been many scams involving cloud mining contracts, and there is no guarantee of security when using these services.

Miners can also choose to mine different cryptocurrencies using different blockchains, such as Ethereum. Each of these currencies has its own advantages and disadvantages, with some catering more to individual miners or offering reduced block time.

  

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member