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You can jump behind the scenes and get a birds-eye look into my business. There is nothing more valuable that getting the inside scoop on how I set up my business from the inside out and how I've been able to generate over 1.5 million business partners and earn over $40 Million online all from the comfort of my own home…

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Tap into targeted list building strategies that show you exactly how to grow your list into the thousands. There's a whole lot less competition in your inbox than other places online, and the less your potential customer or client has to compete with other sellers, the easier it is for them to read, click and buy from YOU! I'm going to teach you step-by-step how to leverage email marketing like a ninja!

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Just register below (1 Click) and join me in my free live webinars. These webinars are state of the art technology that requires no registration, downloads and are private and secure. Come as you are.

 

Thomas Prendergast

TP

Artificial Intelligence and Cryptocurrency Trading

Artificial Intelligence and Cryptocurrency Trading

Just because Grindelwald and Dumbledore had a deadly brawl during their quest to revolutionize magic doesn’t mean two great powers cannot be used in concert to change the world. This could be the worst way to start an important conversation about financial technology, but stick with me, it gets more interesting. We are speaking about the world-altering technology of Artificial Intelligence as the first superpower coupled with the financial system disruptive technology of cryptocurrency — a decentralized payment system that circumvents government manipulation of currency and is forcing us to redefine the concept of money. The question is: Can these two technologies be used together to change the way ordinary people like you and me invest our money — without expiring in a shower of blue sparks? “Avada Kedaura!”

But first, let’s take a step back and look into them as individual concepts, with respect to their relationships to investment and trading.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) means software that after its initial programming continues to improve its performance based on experience of the environment it has been set to ‘learn.’ Unlike in movies, where AI is characteristically portrayed as menacing, human-destroying droids, AI software has actually bettered our lives in fields as diverse as healthcare, education, safety, transportation and entertainment. In the field of financial trading, AI has been clandestinely used for two decades to generate profits for hedge funds, banks and other large trading companies.

In its early days, AI trading systems relied on human intervention to provide trade execution but since the rise of electronic exchanges, AI trading has probably changed the character of the world’s markets without the general public’s knowledge.

Today, it is the hedge funds, banks and major international corporations like Goldman Sachs that are reaping the benefits from AI-based trading of forex and stock markets. These companies harness “deep learning” — evolving mathematical and statistical models of prediction and probability — to forecast the short-and-long term outcomes of various financial markets. These models, because of their nature, should be able to track the changes in market condition and therefore continue to improve their performance over time.

Deep learning models aren’t concerned with the fundamentals of the underlying market. They work through pattern recognition, and like their human quantitative analyst counterparts seek the relationships between chart patterns and expected outcomes to generate a return. However, even the most disciplined human trader can be influenced by the fear of loss or greed which may change their trading behavior. AI Bots, however, execute trades consistently without emotion at lightning speed directly onto the exchange, placing and closing trades on behalf of their clients. They stick faithfully to limits, never lose discipline or waver from their assigned course based on the idiosyncrasies of emotion.

Digital Currency Trading

Digital currency trading, which until recently has been mostly centered on bitcoin, has gained momentum in recent years. Since Feb 2011, when bitcoin stood at parity with the US dollar, bitcoin has risen to where it is trading now some six years later at prices between $1,200 and $1,425. The reasons behind Bitcoin’s success are many. Coupled with its decentralized nature which protects it from all good and bad government policies; bitcoin is beginning to be seen as a viable alternative in certain countries where hyper-inflation or lack of confidence in government has rendered the local currency a less attractive alternative. Bitcoin is also becoming easier to manage, simpler to use, safer than carrying paper money and cheap enough to transact and carry, without needing an intermediary.

Despite the last 6 month’s remarkable price increase, bitcoin as an asset class has its share of ills, including periods of extreme market volatility. For example Bitcoin’s limited supply coupled with the inability of governments to intervene to counteract market forces means that bitcoin reacts quickly to market bias. Take for example, the very recent bitcoin ETF buzz: Bitcoin’s price trended northward comfortably ahead of the SEC’s ETF ruling amid growing optimism, hitting a peak of $1,327 a coin. But after the SEC shot down both the Gemini and SolidX bitcoin ETF projects, the price nosedived 20% before rallying within the month back to similar levels.

In addition, shorter term fluctuations can be seen if one looks at intraday bitcoin charts. On average an BTC/USD chart, Bitcoin’s value fluctuates between 10 and 15 USD every 4 hours and sometimes quite a bit higher. For many investors, such fluctuations make bitcoin an uncomfortable investment choice. However, there are day traders who use this volatility to take tidy profits out of the market on a daily basis. These are the traders who are fixed, glued to their computer monitors and mobile screens all day long, tracking the market to enter and exit positions.

So we return to the original question: “can a market as young and volatile as cryptocurrency be successfully partnered with Artificial Intelligence to produce a profitable outcome?

With market capitalizations in the low millions up to low billions, cryptocurrency markets present too small an opportunity to interest most trading banks and hedge funds. They use the power of their deep pockets coupled with AI to generate massive profits from high frequency trading where a few millisecond advantage over competitors can generate big returns.

This means, there is room while cryptocurrency markets are still in their infancy for AI developers to create systems that learn to identify profit opportunities in these young, highly volatile markets. And while a Goldman Sachs may snort at a market cap of 20 billion dollars, investors like you or me would be delighted with this kind of profit. We are starting to see young talent, like the people running the Our AI Bot blog out of the UK. These types of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are coupling their Deep Learning System knowledge with innovation, imagination and an understanding of the inputs that are relevant to predicting digital currency market movement to yield what look like fairly outstanding results.

But many within the cryptocurrency space feel the markets are moving towards mainstream and already there are players like Pantera Capital and banks like Santander and Citibank that are looking at how to generate profits from the cryptocurrency markets. So the window of opportunity for individuals to benefit from what AI can do in digital currency trading is probably limited. The time to look at this opportunity is now – “Expecto Patronum!”

Article by
Marcie Terman

Posted by
Thomas Prendergast

TP

The CoinPay merchant solution

The CoinPay Marchant Customer App opportunity

The Bitclub Network is getting ready to launch CoinPay, which is a new smart payment app that has been in beta (Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan) for over 18 months now. This platform will allow merchants to easily accept Bitcoin,  ClubCoin  and more by generating invoices and setting up products within a shopping cart that can easily be paid and settled quickly.

Bitclub has created an entire business model around members getting merchants to sign up for the platform. These commissions are paid strategically through the BitClub compensation plan, and as the merchant network grows we believe this could become the most valuable piece of BitClub Network.

Do you want a piece of CoinPay?

Not only will BitClub members have an exclusive to sell the platform and earn commissions on any merchants using it, but CoinPay will also be giving away 60-70% of the company to BitClub Network members in the form of ownership shares! These shares are FREE! Just like we gave you ClubCoin free (and continue to give it) we will be giving you shares of CoinPay as well.

You cannot buy these shares, you have to earn them through your membership and we will have many different incentives for you to earn more as the platform launches. It’s just another way that we like to provide value to our membership and help you cash in.

CoinPay will be its own entity with 1 billion tokens (coins) of this 600-700 million tokens will be given away to members of BitClub for FREE and the other 300-400 million will belong to the CoinPay corporate team, investors, programmers, etc.

CoinPay will operate independently of BitClub and its main focus will be on merchant adoption and support! CoinPay has been working in a private Beta for the last year.

We are now moving to the next phase with a full Beta launch to our Founders and anyone at the Pro Builder rank or higher. This will also be a limited Beta as we test on a larger scale and get feedback before we launch it fully.

You will be hearing A LOT more about CoinPay as it moves forward… It’s finally here…

Are you part of the Club already?

If not -> http://c.oinpays.com

CoinPay makes Bitcoin Payments Easy

Coming Services for Merchants

Cart Plugins Available

Thomas Prendergast
CEO
Markethive Inc.

 

 

TP

Some Bitcoin Unlimited supports will see this as a push for SegWit adoption

Some Bitcoin Unlimited supports will see this as a "push" for SegWit adoption.

The bitcoin network appears to be under attack once again. BitClub initiated a transaction malleability attack against the bitcoin network yesterday afternoon. Users are advised to exert caution when checking up on bitcoin transactions. It appears Jim Hilliard is the one responsible for this attack, albeit his motives remain unclear.

It seems odd to think a bitcoin mining pool would purposefully attack the network. BitClub owns 4.2% of the total hashrate, which makes them one of the largest in the world. For some reason, one of their members executed this transaction malleability attack since yesterday.All of the affected blocks were mined by the BitClub pool as well, which make it somewhat easier to find the culprit.

Network blocks 456545 and 456552 effectively halted block monitoring updates provided by popular platforms. A lot of bitcoin users had gotten concerned over this attack, albeit the motive remains unclear. It seems very likely this attack is a political move rather than a way to effectively harm the network. The tension between SegWit and Unlimited supporters has been heating up as of late.

A Successful Malleability Attack By BitClub

BitClub may try to influence developers and stakeholders to solve malleability issues. Segregated Witness is designed to address these problems once and for all, yet continues to be opposed by Bitcoin Unlimited supporters. There is a reason why companies and service providers all favor SegWit over BU, though. As a result of this BitClub-orchestrated malleability attack, a double-spend has been recorded. All transactions found within the two network blocks are double-spends.

An investigation has been launched to determine how this attack was performed. One thing is certain: malleability attacks need to be made impossible sooner rather than later. Rest assured this attack was unintentional by any means, as BitClub knew all too well what they were doing. Events like these always spark intriguing debates, even though this is a politically-tinted attack.

Some Bitcoin Unlimited supported will see this as a “push” for SegWit adoption. It is doubtful that is the case, even though BitClub identified a big flaw in the bitcoin ecosystem. If malleability persists, it will be impossible to tell which transactions are legitimate. Although it takes a lot of preparation to pull off such an attack, there is no reason to think it can’t happen again. Solving this problem needs to be the top priority right now. It appears we need SegWit for doing just that, regardless of how others may feel about this idea.

BitClub may try to influence developers and stakeholders to solve malleability issues. Segregated Witness is designed to address these problems once and for all, yet continues to be opposed by Bitcoin Unlimited supporters. There is a reason why companies and service providers all favor SegWit over BU, though. As a result of this BitClub-orchestrated malleability attack, a double-spend has been recorded. All transactions found within the two network blocks are double-spends.

An investigation has been launched to determine how this attack was performed. One thing is certain: malleability attacks need to be made impossible sooner rather than later. Rest assured this attack was unintentional by any means, as BitClub knew all too well what they were doing. Events like these always spark intriguing debates, even though this is a politically-tinted attack.

Some Bitcoin Unlimited supported will see this as a “push” for SegWit adoption. It is doubtful that is the case, even though BitClub identified a big flaw in the bitcoin ecosystem. If malleability persists, it will be impossible to tell which transactions are legitimate. Although it takes a lot of preparation to pull off such an attack, there is no reason to think it can’t happen again. Solving this problem needs to be the top priority right now. It appears we need SegWit for doing just that, regardless of how others may feel about this idea.

Published by JP Buntinx

JP is working hard to bring more credibility to the Bitcoin and blockchain news industry. Outside of being Europe Editor at Newsbtc, JP is also an active writer for the website, and does not shy away from letting his opinion be heard.

Thomas Prendergast

TP

What is cryptocurrency?

What is cryptocurrency?

 

Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency 

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is designed to be secure and, in many cases, anonymous. It is a currency associated with the internet that uses cryptography, the process of converting legible information into an almost uncrackable code, to track purchases and transfers. Cryptography was born out of the need for secure communication in the Second World War. It has evolved in the digital era with elements of mathematical theory and computer science to become a way to secure communications, information and money online. The first cryptocurrency was bitcoin, which was created in 2009 and is still the best known. There has been a proliferation of cryptocurrencies in the past decade and there are now more than 900 available on the internet. Here's everything you need to know about cryptocurrencies. 

How do cryptocurrencies work? 

Cryptocurrencies use decentralised technology to let users make secure payments and store money without the need to use their name or go through a bank. They run on a distributed public ledger called blockchain, which is a record of all transactions updated and held by currency holders.

Units of cryptocurrency are created through a process called mining, which involves using computer power to solve complicated maths problems that generate coins. Users can also buy the currencies from brokers, then store and spend them using cryptographic wallets. Cryptocurrencies and applications of blockchain technology are still nascent in financial terms and more uses should be expected. Transactions including bonds, stocks and other financial assets could eventually be traded using the technology.  

What are the most common cryptocurrencies? 

  • Bitcoin:
     
    Bitcoin was the first and is the most commonly traded cryptocurrency to date.  The currency was developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, a mysterious figure who developed its blockchain. It has a market capitalisation of around $45 billion as of July 2017. 
  • Ethereum:
     
    Developed in 2015, ethereum is the currency token used in the ethereum blockchain, the second most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. Ethereum has a market capitalisation of around $18bn as of July 2017. However, ethereum has had a turbulent journey. After a major hack in 2016 it split into two currencies, while its value has in recent months reached as high as $400 but crashed briefly to as low as 10 cents.
  • Ripple:
     
    Ripple is another distributed ledger system that was founded in 2012. Ripple can be used to track more kinds of transactions, not just of the cryptocurrency. It has been used by banks including Santander and UBS and has a market capitalisation of around $6.3 billion.
  • Litecoin: 
    This currency is most similar in form to bitcoin, but has moved more quickly to develop new innovations, including faster payments and processes to allow many more transactions. The total value of all Litecoin is around $2.1 billion.

Why would you use a cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are known for being secure and providing a level of anonymity. Transactions in them cannot be faked or reversed and there tend to be low fees, making it more reliable than conventional currency. Their decentralised nature means they are available to everyone, where banks can be exclusive in who they will let open accounts.  As a new form of cash, the cryptocurrency markets have been known to take off meaning a small investment can become a large sum over night. But the same works the other way. People look to invest in cryptocurrencies should be aware of the volatility of the market and the risks they take when buying.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

TP

Why the feds took down one of Bitcoin’s largest exchanges

Why the feds took down one of Bitcoin’s largest exchanges

Tracing Mt. Gox’s stolen coins led feds to Alexander Vinnik

  This week, one of Bitcoin’s largest and most notorious coin exchanges

was brought down by law enforcement — and police and prosecutors are now beginning to explain why. On Thursday, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against Alexander Vinnik — thought to be the operator, or one of the operators of Bitcoin exchange BTC-e — charging him with 21 counts of money laundering and other related financial crimes. The counts range from operating an unlicensed money transmittal business to a variety of money laundering charges, including laundering associated with ransomware payouts and a theft from the now-defunct Mt Gox exchange. More generally, the indictment paints BTC-e as a hub of criminal activity, laundering the proceeds of everything from drug trafficking to ransomware attacks.

As some suspected, Vinnik’s alleged crimes go beyond just operating the exchange. Feds believe he played a role in the theft of more 800,000 bitcoin — about $400 million at the time — from Mt. Gox, a staggering loss that ultimately shuttered the exchange. According to the indictment, 530,000 of those bitcoin ended up passing through wallets controlled by or associated with Vinnik, although his role in the larger scheme remains unclear.Vinnik’s alleged crimes go beyond just operating a Bitcoin exchange

Vinnik himself is in custody, arrested while on vacation in Greece, but the Bitcoin world is still sorting through the larger implications of his arrest. BTC-e was one of the last major exchanges outside the reach of conventional finance, and now that it’s gone, it’s unclear what might replace it. There are many legitimate uses of Bitcoin, but Bitcoin transactions have also become essential for online crime — whether it’s ransomware or Silk-Road-style online marketplaces. There will continue to be demand for exchanges like BTC-e, and ____. With feds directly targeting exchanges that don’t play by the book, the split between the two halves of Bitcoin is becoming starker and starker.

BTC-e, founded in 2011, always stood out as an anomaly among the major Bitcoin exchanges. Even a cursory look at BTC-e flagged it as a little strange. “Their exchange prices always seemed weird and out of line with every other exchange, and I had wondered why,” Matthew Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins University told The Verge in an email.

Nicholas Weaver wrote at Lawfare that BTC-e was noted for its “sketchy ownership and control.” The exchange was supposedly located in Eastern Europe, but there were no clues as to who ran it — until now.300,000 bitcoin from Mt. Gox went to wallets tied to “BTC-e administrative accounts” But the big surprise in the indictment is how closely tied BTC-e is to a massive theft at Mt. Gox, one that eventually bankrupted the exchange in 2014. Founded in 2010, Mt. Gox dominated the Bitcoin world for years, at one point processing 80 percent of all bitcoin-to-currency transactions. Mt. Gox first suffered a multimillion-dollar theft in June 2011. When the exchange collapsed in 2014, the equivalent of nearly half a billion dollars was unaccounted for.

On Wednesday, in the wake of the arrest of Vinnik, WizSec published a blogpost presenting the findings of an investigation into the Mt. Gox thefts that they have apparently been preparing for years. According to WizSec, the Mt. Gox hot wallet private keys were stolen sometime in 2011, and the hacker (or multiple hackers) continued to steal bitcoin through 2012 and 2013. The bitcoin were laundered through wallets controlled by Alexander Vinnik. The indictment claims that 300,000 bitcoin were stolen from Mt. Gox went directly to three connected BTC-e accounts “directly linked” to “BTC-e administrative accounts” that only BTC-e admins and operators could have had access to.

At least one of the accounts — under the name “Vamnedam” — was controlled by Vinnik and “others known and unknown.” (The “others known” are either not named in the indictment or have been redacted from the published document.)Many of the charges allege more straightforward money laundering" More bitcoin from the theft were sent to other Mt. Gox wallets and wallets at a third exchange — the now-defunct Tradehill, which operated out of San Francisco, California. From there, they eventually ended up at BTC-e, in an account that was directly controlled by Vinnik. WizSec also claims that the wallets that laundered Mt. Gox coins also handled “coins stolen from Bitcoinica, Bitfloor and several other thefts from back in 2011 and 2012.”

It’s not clear whether Vinnik was directly involved in the Mt. Gox theft, or how close he is to any of those previous thefts, or even the CryptoWall ransomware hackers whose funds he is accused of laundering. But when it comes to Mt. Gox, at least, BTC-e’s proximity to the theft is fairly suspicious.“Anybody who thought about this for a second understood that law enforcement was working on a case against BTC-e" While the Mt. Gox allegations are the most eye-catching, many of the charges that brought down BTC-e allege more straightforward money laundering. The very first count listed in the indictment is for operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business: a criminal charge based on failing to register with FinCEN, an intelligence network that’s mandatory for all financial companies dealing with US customers.

Participating in FinCEN comes with a range of requirements, from registration to internal anti-money laundering programs. Since 2013, it’s been clear that Bitcoin exchanges had to follow those same rules, and for the most part, exchanges have complied — and prosecutors haven’t been shy about filing charges against services that don’t. In recent years, BTC-e has been the largest Bitcoin exchange not registered with FinCEN, a distinction that made it an obvious target for law enforcement, even without Vinnik’s alleged Mt. Gox involvement. “Anybody who thought about this for a second understood that law enforcement was working on a case against BTC-e,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center. “The question was just whether the government would catch them.”“designed so that criminals could effect financial transactions under multiple layers of anonymity”

Where other counts in the indictment focus on money transfers linked to theft and ransomware, the first two — operation of an unlicensed money transmitter and conspiracy to commit money-laundering — focus on the technological capabilities of BTC-e itself, claiming that the exchange had a “criminal design.” “BTC-e’s system was designed so that criminals could accomplish financial transactions with anonymity and thereby avoid apprehension by law enforcement or seizure of funds,” the indictment says, pointing out that BTC-e only required “a username, password, and an email address,” unlike “legitimate payment processors or digital currency exchangers.” The indictment also points to suspicious usernames like “ISIS,” “CocaineCowboys,” “blackhathackers,” “dzkillerhacker,” and “hacker4hire” as additional support for the money-laundering allegations.

The language in the indictment about BTC-e’s “criminal design” mimics the indictment against Liberty Reserve — an anonymous currency service taken down by law enforcement in 2013 — which also accused the online exchange of having a “criminal design” and a system “designed so that criminals could effect financial transactions under multiple layers of anonymity.” (The Liberty Reserve indictment also took the time to point out that account names on the site included “Russia Hackers” and “Hacker Accounts.”) BTC-e’s website claimed that they required customers to provide proof of identity — namely, a scanned ID card and a scanned utility bill or bank statement — and forbid any US customers, letting them off the hook for FinCEN registration. But neither turned out to be true, according to the indictment.“Exchanges will go one of two ways. Either they’ll clean up their act… or they’ll go fully underground.”

Now that BTC-e is down for good, it could have a profound impact on the criminal ecosystem more broadly. BTC-e handled about 5 percent of total Bitcoin transactions, but recent research found that as much as 95 percent of ransomware cashouts happened through the platform. With most comparably sized exchanges already registered under FinCEN, the takedown could make it both harder and riskier for criminals to cash out — something law enforcement seems to be counting on. In the same Lawfare piece, Weaver says he thinks taking down BTC-e “will probably prove more important than the AlphaBay and Hansa takedowns” in fighting online crime. For Bitcoiners less invested in law enforcement’s war on dark web marketplaces, the lesson is a more ambiguous one. Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer says the focus on FinCEN compliance could lead to a lasting split in Bitcoin markets, as exchanges face the choice of whether to comply with US government demands.

“Exchanges will go one of two ways,” Sirer says. “Either they will clean their act, by first shopping for the most lenient jurisdictions and complying with relevant KYC/AML laws, or they'll go ‘fully underground,’ and operate with no rules, behind Tor and other anonymous communication technologies. The most colorful drama ahead will involve exchanges, such as Bitfinex, that operate in the gray zone, where they seem to neither comply with relevant laws nor go fully underground.” For a technology with a surrounding community built on libertarian ideas, that may be a difficult pill to swallow. But as the past week has made clear, those that don’t will be taking a very serious risk.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

TP

Bitcoin Cash: Why It’s Forking the Blockchain And What That Means

 

Bitcoin's scaling debate finally seems to be shaking out,

but some users aren't happy with the results. After a few years of debate, it was perhaps to be expected that at least some were going to come away empty-handed. Controversial scaling proposal Segwit2x tried to remedy this by joining two code change ideas – the code optimization Segregated Witness (SegWit) and a block size increase. Today, SegWit is just a couple of steps away from activating on bitcoin, but some bitcoin users are unhappy about the outcome.

Others who originally backed the Segwit2x proposal appear to be losing confidence in an eventual block size increase and are now taking matters into their own hands by making their own version of bitcoin – and they're doing so on a short timeline. On August 1, at precisely 12:20 UTC, the group claims that they will split off from bitcoin, creating a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. Developer Calin Culianu, who's contributing code to an implementation of Bitcoin Cash, is one user who doesn't like SegWit, suspecting that others feel the same way.

Culianu told CoinDesk:

”If the Segwit2x agreement fails to implement the 2x part, which is not entirely unreasonable, and only ends up being being basically SegWit without the 2x, many miners will likely defect to Bitcoin Cash."

What is Bitcoin Cash?

So, what is it? And how does it differ from bitcoin? There are two main changes of note:

  • It increases the block size to 8 MB.
  • It removes SegWit, a code change that might activate on the bitcoin blockchain by the end of August.

Some, including a few of the project's supporters, call Bitcoin Cash an "altcoin," a term that usually denotes a fork of the software that creates a new cryptocurrency, with its own market. Indeed, the cryptocurrency is currently trading at $461, meaning it's worth about 18% of bitcoin's current price of $2,568, in an already-open futures market. Unlike other altcoins, though, Bitcoin Cash's transaction history would be the same as bitcoin's – at least up until the point of the split. So, if and when Bitcoin Cash splits off, users would have bitcoin on both blockchains.

Another difference is the project says it will support multiple implementations of its software, a move that's not surprising given the criticism that Bitcoin Core's software is too dominant on the bitcoin network. BitcoinABC is the first software to implement the Bitcoin Cash protocol, but the goal is for there to be many implementations. Culianu said that both Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Classic, other implementations that aim to increase bitcoin’s block size, are working on a version compatible with Bitcoin Cash. These might or might not be ready for August 1.

Who's involved?

So far, most bitcoin companies, mining pools, users and bitcoin developers seem uninterested in the effort. Yet, there are some eager supporters.Beijing-based mining firm ViaBTC, which boasts roughly 4% of bitcoin’s computing power, is the clear ringleader. The firm, which also operates an exchange, has become the first to list the cryptocurrency and also has plans to launch a new mining pool dedicated solely to Bitcoin Cash. (Though, so far, it's not clear how much of its 4% mining hashrate it will commit to the effort.) Asked if he believed Segwit2x would fulfill its roadmap, CEO Haipo Yang responded: "I doubt it."

Further, Bitcoin Cash has attracted support from some users who want a block size increase, as well as developers of other proposals such as Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited. What might be more surprising, though, is who's not involved. Even former supporters, including mining firms Bitcoin.com and Bitmain, seem hesitant to back the effort. For now, they remain committed to controversial scaling proposal Segwit2x. Mining company Bitmain even inspired Bitcoin Cash. Yet, the firm said that they only planned on going through with making the switch under certain conditions. Still, the firm might support both Segwit2x and Bitcoin Cash in the future.

In a PSA statement, Bitcoin.com said that it will allow miners in its pool to choose if they want to mine the Bitcoin Cash token BCC. For now, though, it will mine on Segwit2x chain, though it said it "will immediately shift all company resources to supporting Bitcoin Cash exclusively" if the block size increase part of SegWit, scheduled for roughly three months from now, falls through.

Wait, but why?

There are a few reasons users and mining pools might like to break off from bitcoin:

  • These users want an increase in bitcoin's block size parameter, and believe that the cryptocurrency's future depends on it.
  • SegWit is likely going to activate soon and some users want to avoid the feature.
  • There's a possibility that Segwit2x's block size parameter increase will ultimately fall through.

This mix of ideological and technical reasons was also on display in conversations with users. When asked by CoinDesk what BitcoinABC's goal is,

Culianu responded:

"To save bitcoin. We want to scale bitcoin up so that it won't die. It's already a bit sick and dying."

What's different here?

Many other efforts over the last couple of years have said they would split off from bitcoin, if they gained enough support from those operating the computers that secure the network. But, to date, no group has actually carried through with this plan so far. Bitcoin Cash might be unique in that it's actually committing to a deadline to split bitcoin into two, and that deadline is less than a week away.

If miners and users indeed go ahead with the split, it would mark the first time a cryptocurrency split off from bitcoin, carrying with it bitcoin’s transaction history. Like past efforts intended to replace the bitcoin used today with a new bitcoin, however, Bitcoin Cash has the same goal, but it seems willing to wait and see if users join the effort. Rather than call it bitcoin, ViaBTC, as well as a group of bitcoin companies in China, signed an agreement to label it a "competitive currency," not the "real" bitcoin. The move could set up the split to happen more quickly, as in the past exchanges have expressed confusion over how to handle a fork.

What's next?

If a new cryptocurrency splits off from the main bitcoin network, it will mark a first. So, some users are curious to see what happens. Still, without much support from miners and users, it might not end up having that much of an impact on the course of the main network. Nonetheless, it might if be worth watching if the second half of Segwit2x falls through. That's when it might see some more supporters.

Culianu, for example, concluded on an optimistic note:

”My secret gut feeling is Bitcoin Cash may surprise all of us. It is not entirely impossible that it will be the de-facto bitcoin after a few months. The much roomier 8 MB block space is attractive."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

TP

Components of a Magnetic Inbound Marketing Strategy

Components of a Magnetic Inbound Marketing Strategy

Email marketing, SEO, content creation, social media, influencer outreach, lead nurturing…

Yes, inbound marketing encompasses them all. And let’s face it – that’s enough to inspire fear in the steeliest and most seasoned of digital marketers. With so many tactics to consider and too many leads to deliver it’s easy to lose focus of what you’re trying to achieve. That’s where a well crafted plan comes into play. Below we’ll reveal the strategic 7 step process that will help you deliver a customer-warming, boss-pleasing, prospect-loving strategy that’s achievable, realistic and bang on target.

Define Your Personas

Inbound marketing is all about your customers – you have no business in the um… business, if you center your plan around any other silly tactics, tricks or gimmicks. The first step of your plan should, therefore, focus on understanding what makes your customers click, tick and get excited. Get to the heart of your customers’ thoughts, behaviors, problems, needs and desires by creating well-fleshed-out, fully-defined and real-to-life personas.

Use HubSpot’s (free) Make My Persona Tool to create personas worth referencing. Your entire inbound marketing strategy should be built around your core personas – you’ll storm ahead of your competition if you consult these fictional customers at every stage of your planning process. This includes when you’re creating blog posts, crafting email campaigns and conducting keyword research – you can even bring them into your brainstorm meetings to add real insight and depth to your ideas.

Discover Your Customer’s Triggers

Pain Points

You need to understand at which points your customers interact with your messages. It is important to identify the pain points your customers experience and the problems they encounter to make them search for your product or service. This core insight alone can add true depth to your messages. Think about it – identifying your customers’ pain points enables you to target people with both reason and emotion at a time that makes sense to them. You’re basing your messages on real solutions rather than assumptions. And make no mistake about it – your competitors will assume rather than take the time to identify real solutions for real persona problems. That way you’ll win.

Different Needs for Different Stages

You’ve probably heard many digital marketers talk about the concept of context. Not all of your customers have the same needs – some arrive at different points of the buying funnel. When mapping out your pain points it’s essential to add context by considering the needs and desires of your different customer types at each separate stage of the operation.

Set Your Inbound Marketing Objectives

You will need to determine from the outset which inbound marketing objectives you would like your strategy to achieve. These should support and help you achieve both your digital marketing objectives and your business objectives. For example, if lead generation is the most important objective for your business, your inbound marketing plan should be centered around generating leads. And every tactic you employ should support your lead generation mission.

As with every digital marketing plan, your inbound marketing metrics need to be SMART. That means strategic, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. If in doubt, identify the information your CEO would want reported back to him/her in the boardroom – you need to answer the ‘what’, ‘how many’ and ‘when’ of your plan. For example, ‘We’re going to generate 200 new leads in a quarter.’ Each KPI needs to be realistic and achievable based on the success of past campaigns along with the predicted success of your inbound plan.

Define Your Content Strategy

Content is an integral part of inbound marketing. You will, therefore, need to create a content marketing plan to form the beating heart of your inbound marketing strategy. This is how you will keep your customers engaged with your brand and nourished with rich and valuable information. This is how you will keep your name on their minds at the point when they’re ready, willing and able to buy.

The Objectives

Your content strategy objectives should be SMART and need to support your inbound marketing objectives. Maybe they’ll be similar. If your inbound marketing objective is lead generation, for example, your content strategy should certainly support this.

Competitor Analysis

The purpose of this phase is not to copy your competitors but to define how you can be better. Research your competitors content marketing and investigate what they get up to on social media using a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite. Sign up to their newsletter so you can partake in their lead nurturing campaigns and use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer to track backlinks and discover how your competitors score on their overall SEO performance.

The Content

First it’s important to define how your content will help your customers. Will it educate them? Inspire them? Entertain them? Then you can decide on the types of content you’ll create and the topics you’ll tackle. For example, will you concentrate solely on blogging or will you try video marketing and webinars? Will you create long form posts or opt for shorter but more regular features? Will you seek industry expert opinions? More questions to consider at this phase include: Is lead generation important for your business and if so will you create gated whitepapers to help you generate new, quality leads? If you have a shoe company will you stick to writing about shoes or will you venture into the area of fashion and lifestyle?

Distribution

It’s equally important to create a plan for distributing your content. Will you enlist the help of industry influencers or will your trial paid promotion options like LinkedIn advertising, Facebook and Twitter ads or third party platforms?

Define Your Lead Nurturing Plan

Sometimes your customers will discover your website when they’re not quite ready to buy yet. Maybe they need more questions answered, maybe they need more time to decide whether it’s the right product/service for them, maybe they want to research competitor offerings or maybe they don’t have the money saved at that point in time. Whatever their reason for stalling, it’s your job to keep them warmed up for the sales team to prospect or until they’re ready to buy. Automated email trigger campaigns provide the perfect means to nurture leads. It gives you the ideal opportunity to keep prospects engaged with your content, your brand and your mission. You can segment your lead database based on the action your prospects took to give you their details. You can then set about creating a series of tailored and relevant messages.

Establish Your Influencer Outreach Agenda

Building quality relationships with key industry influencers is one of the most important components for inbound marketing. That’s because these people hold significant reach and authority in your industry. They have already established trust and have hundreds of thousands of social media followers – followers who look just like your customers.

The Target List

Use a tool like BuzzSumo to help you identify and create an outreach list of potential influencer targets. Then you can set about creating mutually beneficial relationships with these industry influencers. Always give more than you take – offer value and lots of it well in advance of asking for anything back. Once you have established a true connection with these influencers you can ask for a quick quote and a potential share in the politest and most humble manner possible.

Guest Blogging Plan

It’s also important to define your guest blogging approach at this stage. Research potential relevant and influential blogs in your niche and read the submission guidelines. You’ll can create a pitch at this stage if you wish but you will have to make sure it’s customized and relevant for every publication you approach. Read this guide ‘Influencer Cheat Sheet: How to Connect, Engage & Get What You Want’ for more tips on how to perfect your personal approach.

Decide How to Analyse & Report

Now that you have your inbound marketing plan in place you will need to decide upon the tools you’ll use to report on the progress of your objectives and the success of your KPIs. Will you, for example, use Google Analytics to track your goals and conversions? Will you use BuzzSumo to track the success of your content marketing and break down your shares by platform? Will you use Moz’s Open Site Explorer to monitor your SEO progress? Want to become an Inbound Marketing Specialist? Our Online Professional Diploma in Search Marketing is created, validated and accredited by industry experts and will give you the specialist knowledge needed to thrive in the field.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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US Signals Clampdown on Red-Hot Digital Coin Offerings

U.S. Signals Clampdown on Red-Hot Digital Coin Offerings

  • SEC says ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges subject to U.S. law
  • Startups have raised hundreds of millions through ICOs

U.S. regulators said they have jurisdiction over one of the hottest new areas of finance: initial coin offerings of digital currencies.

Companies that raise money through the sale of digital assets must adhere to federal securities laws, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday. Issuers must register the deals with the government unless they have a valid excuse, as should exchanges that offer trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, the regulator said.

“It’s been a long time coming and this is a big deal,” said Angela Walch, associate professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law. “People have been waiting for some kind of signal from regulators on ICOs.” This is the most detailed the SEC has been about how digital currencies and the exchanges where they trade fit into financial markets, she said. “It’s a reminder that basic consumer protection principles still apply” in the digital asset world, she added. “The tech people coming in don’t necessarily realize they’re playing with fire.”

Startups have raised hundreds of millions of dollars selling such tokens in 2017, bypassing traditional initial public offerings of shares — a process overseen by the SEC — in favor of so-far mostly unregulated ICOs. The commission examined the sale of tokens to fund a startup known as the DAO last year, which raised about $150 million over four weeks, according to the SEC’s investigative report released Tuesday.

The agency’s enforcement division was asked to decide if the DAO token sales “violated federal securities laws with unregistered offers and sales of DAO Tokens in exchange for ‘Ether,’ a virtual currency,” the report said. The SEC decided not to bring charges in the DAO token sale case.

Instead, the SEC report said it wanted “to caution the industry and market participants: the federal securities laws apply to those who offer and sell securities in the United States, regardless whether the issuing entity is a traditional company or a decentralized autonomous organization, regardless whether those securities are purchased using U.S. dollars or virtual currencies, and regardless whether they are distributed in certificated form or through distributed ledger technology.”

One recent ICO was led by Gnosis, a prediction market application based on the Ethereum blockchain. It raised $12.5 million in 12 minutes on April 24, resulting in a market value of almost $300 million. It’s generated no revenue and has little more than a white paper describing what it intends to do. Yet its tokens, which would allow users to bet on things such as election outcomes, have soared 200 percent since early May, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

Open Question

An open question is whether the SEC will apply these new standards to coin offerings that have already happened, said Walch, who is also a research fellow at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies at University College London. And while the SEC won’t pursue action related to the DAO token sale, “I don’t see anything in here that says there won’t be enforcement actions against others,” she said. Some recent ICO have been “egregious,” she said. “I’d be very surprised if they were willing to shove them all under the rug.”
The SEC decision comes a day after the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission gave LedgerX LLC approval to offer options trading based on bitcoin. That could help mature the business of bitcoin trading by helping traders offset risks with derivatives. But it also underscored the fact that digital currencies, decentralized technologies that appeal to the libertarian-minded, probably cannot escape governments.

ICOs offer an attractive deal to young companies: going directly to customers for funding, avoiding venture-capital firms and other professionals. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton addressed the balance he’s trying to strike, saying in the regulator’s statement that, “We seek to foster innovative and beneficial ways to raise capital, while ensuring — first and foremost — that investors and our markets are protected.”

“What the SEC did not say is that all tokens are securities. Rather, they suggest a facts-and-circumstances test,” Peter Van Valkenburgh, research director at Coin Center, said in an email. “We believe that applying the same facts-and-circumstances test to other tokens will mean that some do not fit into the definition of securities, particularly tokens with an underlying utility rather than a mere speculative investment value.”

Exchange Registration

Markets such as Coinbase Inc.’s GDAX and Gemini Trust Co. that offer trading in digital assets so far have dealt mostly with state, not federal, regulators. The SEC now says that will likely change. “Additionally, securities exchanges providing for trading in these securities must register unless they are exempt,” the agency said.

Calling that a “big deal,” Walch said, “Those in the crypto world have been acting as if they live in an alternate universe, and the SEC has delivered a reminder that they still live in the real world, with real investors and real people making decisions that they must be accountable for.”

 

By: Matthew Leising and Camila Russo
July 25, 2017, 4:16 PM CDT July 25, 2017, 5:10 PM CDT

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Wall Street stunned over AMD’s blowout results due to cryptocurrency mining demand

Wall Street stunned over AMD’s blowout results due to cryptocurrency mining demand

  • Wall Street is surprised over AMD's strong earnings and guidance due to digital currency mining demand for its graphics cards.
  • AMD shares have rallied 102 percent through Tuesday in the previous 12 months compared with the S&P 500's 14 percent return.
  • That performance ranks No. 4 in the entire S&P 500, according to FactSet.

Investors are mesmerized with AMD's impressive second quarter

as cryptocurrency mining demand drove the company's financial results above Wall Street's expectations. The chipmaker reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and guidance Tuesday. Its shares surged more than 10 percent in after-hours trading following the report and were up more than 9 percent in early regular trading Wednesday.

"AMD turned in a solid beat to our and consensus estimates as the company's new Ryzen desktop CPU ramped into production and GPU demand outstripped supply," Stifel analyst Kevin Cassidy wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. "While management wasn't specific on how much, the GPU revenue upside was driven by cryptocurrency applications."
AMD shares have rallied 102 percent through Tuesday in the previous 12 months compared with the S&P 500's 14 percent return. That performance ranks No. 4 in the entire S&P 500, according to FactSet. Cryptocurrency miners use graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia to "mine" new coins, which can then be sold or held for future appreciation. AMD traditionally has a better reputation for mining cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum cryptocurrency is up over 2,400 percent year-to-date through Wednesday, while Bitcoin is up about 160 percent this year, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. In June, AMD shares jumped after the company told CNBC that the dramatic rise in digital currency prices has driven demand for its graphics cards. At the time, major computer hardware retailers had sold out of AMD's recently launched RX 570 and RX 580 models. Digital currency mining was the key topic during AMD's earnings conference call with Wall Street Tuesday evening. Analysts asked company management three times for clarification on the magnitude and sustainability of cryptocurrency mining demand.

One analyst noted the company is working to mitigate future downside risk and is not incorporating continued digital currency mining outperformance in its guidance. "Crypto mining helped stimulate demand for AMD GPUs in Q2, which we think could translate to a risk should cryptocurrency values decline, AMD is working to manage the crypto risk by targeting supply to the core GPU gaming market, and working with some of its AIB [add in board] partners to offer specific feature sets to segment the market between gaming & mining," Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis wrote Wednesday. "AMD is not including upside from mining in its outlook."

Lipacis reiterated his buy rating on the company and raised his price target to $19 from $16, representing 35 percent upside from Tuesday's close. To be sure, some analysts are still skeptical on AMD after its big run. "We were surprised at the aftermarket reaction for the stock," Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore wrote Wednesday. "We continue to be somewhat cynical on the long term intrinsic value of the stock, despite being excited about Zen and maintaining numbers that are above the Street. As street numbers start to catch up, absolute valuation levels are going to matter more." Moore reiterated his equal-weight rating and $11 price target for AMD shares.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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