New Smart Contract Platform DocTailor Brings Blockchain to Businesses

New Smart Contract Platform DocTailor Brings Blockchain to Businesses

Cryptocurrency expert Sam Enrico Williams has announced the launch

of a new blockchain-based project designed to improve the accessibility of customisable, legally-binding smart contracts. DocTailor aims to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency holders and non-crypto businesses, making it simple for any business operating within any industry to create their own cost-effective contracts on the blockchain.

DocTailor will be used solely to enable the creation of customisable legal smart contracts. Users of the platform will be able to select, find, and replace clauses from standard legal document templates, from a database created by legal professionals. With these resources, users will be able to easily create and send tailor-made legal documents on the blockchain with the implementation of a smart contract. News of Williams’ groundbreaking project comes at a time when cryptocurrency is heading towards a staggering half a trillion in market capitalisation, and is predicted to climb further in the coming years.

The platform will utilise its own tokens (DOCT) as the sole designated means of payment, giving users access to DocTime where they can use a selection of features and clauses to create their own smart contracts. "The platform will reinvent the current status quo in the legal industry by effectively and securely bridging the gap between non-crypto businesses and an ever-expanding crypto economy", says Williams. Boasting a wealth of experience within cryptocurrency, blockchain, and financial markets, Williams aims to boost widespread adoption of beneficial technologies through addressing today’s common issues.

Currently, creating unique legal smart contracts is both time-consuming and costly, particularly for users with no developer experience, or little understanding of how to receive cryptocurrency or utilise blockchain technology. DocTailor has been designed to solve the problem through provision of an automated legal contract database which can be used to create growth and development opportunities.

The release of the platform demonstrates a clear commitment to improving blockchain adoption rates, as well as making it quicker, easier, and more cost effective for non-crypto businesses to utilise revolutionary technologies. DocTailor is aimed at lawyers and legal professionals, businesses in all industries, and individuals, with an easy-to-use interface. The platform is expected to benefit users through the provision of more than 10,000 legal clauses, the ability to merge clauses into existing document structure, and integrated tracking options which can make it simpler for businesses to monitor recipient action.

A comprehensive list of the integrated features and functions that will allow users to create contracts on the blockchain and effectively grow revenues to their current non-crypto and crypto businesses can be found on the platform’s dedicated website. The website also offers visitors the opportunity to download and read the DocTailor white paper, which explains more about DocTailor’s place in the current market.

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Black Monday’ Shows Bitcoin Isn’t As Dangerous’ As Regulators Claim

‘Black Monday’ Shows Bitcoin Isn’t As ‘Dangerous’ As Regulators Claim

Looking at mainstream media headlines

over the past few weeks shows a lot of columnists and pundits have declared that ‘bitcoin’s bubble has burst.’ They always claim that it’s much safer to invest in traditional investments like equities or the stock market while at the same time highlighting cryptocurrency’s volatile price swings. However, on Monday, February 5th the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,175 points, losing more value in one day than the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem over the past six weeks. 

The Black Monday of 2018

It was a ‘Black Monday’ on February 6 when both global stocks and the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem shed billions yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) and a good portion of stocks worldwide plummeted at 2:40 pm EDT; more so than the drops during the 2008 economic crisis. Yesterday’s stock market dip broke records not only bringing up memories of 2008 but the day was also very similar to the other ‘Black Mondays’ of 1929, 1987, and 2000. However, mainstream media is not so quick to call the stock market slump a ‘crash,’ a ‘bubble pop,’ or even a death spiral. Yet the Dow lost more value ($300 billion USD) than the entire crypto-bear run of 2018 in one intraday.

On Monday, February 5th the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1175 points losing $300 billion USD in value in just one intra-day.

Some Reports Say the Stock Market Sell-Off Pushed Money Towards Crypto-Investments

In addition to the grueling stock market madness, the financial publication Business Insider published a report that stated, “money was pouring into crypto during the stock market’s selloff.” The Dow started to nosedive at 2:40 pm EDT, and twenty minutes later the entire cryptocurrency capitalization according to Coinmarketcap spiked 7 percent one hour later.

“Cryptocurrencies got whacked alongside equities last week,” explains the report on Monday evening.   

But Monday’s continuation of the stock market selloff appeared to send some investors to digital currencies in search of a safe haven.

One publication, Business Insider says on ‘Black Monday’ money from the stock market sell-off was “pouring into crypto.”

Yesterday BTC/USD markets tumbled 20 percent in 24-hours reaching a low $5,900 which shaved $18 billion USD from its market cap. The following day BTC markets have rebounded considerably back above the $7,200 price territory. The Dow average took another hit during the opening bell on Tuesday, losing 500 points but has since recovered much of the morning loss. However the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq, and a vast swathe of traditional investments still look unsettling. The Dow is showing some slight recovery, but many other mainstream investment vehicles are still nurturing losses. Moreover, European stock markets are declining rapidly after U.S. and Asian markets were routed.

Mainstream News Outlets Have No Problem Saying Bitcoin Is Dead But They Think Twice When It Comes to the Global Stock Market

Over the past week, mainstream news outlets have had no problem calling bitcoin markets ‘dead’ and publishing reports stating that it will never recover. There are at least seven new editorials per day stating that bitcoin is “done” since the beginning of January. There’s no hesitation towards telling the public that the dream of cryptocurrencies has come to an end, and many columnists are telling people to sell.

On Tuesday, February 6, mainstream media’s outlook on the stock market is gloomy, but there’s not that many (if any at all) editorials about the stock market ‘crashing,’ or the ‘stocks bubble has popped.’ The only ones calling the stock market ‘dead’ are the lesser known ‘conspiracy-like’ publications. Mainstream media pundits wouldn’t dare shake the market with headlines saying that traditional markets are in a ‘death spiral.’ But with cryptocurrencies, these ‘news outlets’ could not care less about spreading FUD among the crypto-investment crowd.

The Stock Market Can Be Far More Dangerous Than Crypto

The truth is stocks, bonds, equities, and nation-state issued currencies can suffer from extreme volatility. Some nation-state currencies are so worthless people weigh bags of cash on scales rather than counting. Moreover, stock markets can cause significant disruption to retail investors, and way more than the digital currency ecosystem governments warn everyone about. Stock market crashes can collapse an entire housing market, banks close in record numbers, and in some cases, there can be a run on the banks.

This week U.S. regulators mentioned the ‘dangers’ cryptocurrencies could bring to retail investors during a congressional hearing, but of course, they failed to mention that regulated and centralized markets can be even more dangerous. What do you think about the stock market tumble in comparison to bitcoin markets? What do you think is more dangerous?

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How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune

How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune

The Winklevoss twins, Cameron (left) and Tyler, at their office in New York City.

A bet on Bitcoin several years ago has grown into a fortune for the brothers. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times.The Winklevoss twins have carved an unorthodox path toward fame in the American business world.They went to Harvard University and then on to the Olympics as rowers. Along the way, they fought a legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg over the ownership of Facebook. In the Oscar-nominated movie “The Social Network,” they were portrayed as uptight gentry, outwitted by Mr. Zuckerberg, the brilliant, budding tech mogul. Cameron, the left-handed Winklevoss brother, and Tyler, the right-handed one, followed that with a risky bet.

They used money from a $65 million settlement with Mr. Zuckerberg to load up on Bitcoin. That turned them into the first prominent virtual currency millionaires in 2013, back when Bitcoin was primarily known as a currency for online drug dealers. More than a few people in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street saw the towering twins as the naïve — if chiseled — faces of the latest tulip bulb mania. Many still do. But the soaring value of Bitcoin in recent months is giving the brothers a moment of vindication, and quite a bit more than that: Their Bitcoin stockpile was worth around $1.3 billion on Tuesday. “We’ve turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back,” Tyler Winklevoss said in an interview last week.

It is unclear how fleeting their vindication, or their fortune, will be. Many Bitcoin aficionados are expecting a major correction to the recent spike in its value, which has gone from $1,000 for one coin at the beginning of the year to around $18,500 on Tuesday. Currently, the average price of one Bitcoin is about $8,143, according to Blockchain.info, a news and data site.

If nothing else, the growing fortune of the 36-year-old Winklevoss twins is a reminder that for all the small investors getting into Bitcoin this year, the biggest winners have been a relatively small number of early holders who had plenty of money to start with and have been riding a price roller coaster for years. (The mysterious creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is believed by researchers to be holding on to Bitcoin worth around $19 billion.) .The New York offices of Gemini, a virtual currency exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

Some of these new Bitcoin millionaires are cashing out and buying Lamborghinis, professional hockey teams or even low-risk bond funds. The Winklevoss twins, though, said they had no intention to diversify. “We still think it is probably one of the best investments in the world and will be for the decades to come,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “And if it’s not, we’d rather live with disappointment than regret.” They have collected an additional $350 million or so of other virtual currencies, most of it in the Bitcoin alternative called Ethereum. The brothers are also majority owners of the virtual currency exchange they founded, Gemini, which most likely takes their joint holdings to a value well over $2 billion, or enough to make each of them a billionaire.

They have sold almost none of their original holdings. While they both have apartments in downtown Manhattan, they say they live relatively spartan lives with few luxuries. Cameron drives an old S.U.V.; Tyler doesn’t have a car at all. The Winklevoss twins’ financial rise began during their settlement with Mr. Zuckerberg in 2008. Their lawyers urged them to take the $45 million (after lawyers’ fees) in cash. But they wanted to be paid in shares of Facebook. “The lawyers thought we were crazy,” Cameron Winklevoss said last week. “We thought they were crazy for taking cash.” By the time Facebook went public in 2012, their stock was worth around $300 million, their rowing careers were over, and they were looking for something new.

When they began buying Bitcoin in late 2012, the price of an individual coin was below $10. Few people in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street had publicly expressed interest in the virtual currency. Have to admire the twins for being on the cutting edge on two major investments. But I would like to have heard their take on Bitcoin…Over a few months, the brothers bought 1 percent of all the outstanding Bitcoin at the time — some 120,000 tokens. As they did, the price soared, making their Bitcoin portfolio worth around $11 million by the time they went public with it in April 2013.

Their buying spree was mocked at the time, and a few of their early decisions fueled that derision. They also invested in Bitinstant, one of the first companies to trade Bitcoins online. Bitinstant’s executives, in fact, had tutored the brothers in the basics of Bitcoin. The chief executive of Bitinstant, Charlie Shrem, was arrested in 2014, accused of helping to supply Bitcoins to users of online drug markets. Mr. Shrem pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to a year in jail. The Winklevosses were never implicated in the wrongdoing, which happened before they became investors.

While that drama was unfolding, the twins applied to create the first Bitcoin exchange traded fund, or E.T.F., an investment product that would hold Bitcoins but be traded on stock exchanges. That brought more criticism from people who wondered why someone would buy a fund rather than Bitcoin itself. In March, regulators rejected the application. On top of all that, until last year the price of Bitcoin was sliding and the virtual currency concept was looking wobbly. But the Winklevosses, who once bet that years of punishing rowing practices would take them to the Olympics, held their ground. “We are very comfortable in very high-risk environments with absolutely no guarantee of success,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “I don’t mean existing in that environment for days, weeks or months. I mean year after year.”

They sold some of their tokens to pay for Gemini, a name that means twins in Latin. Like the Bitcoin E.T.F., their investment in Gemini was driven by their experience with the difficulty of buying and securely storing Bitcoin. Every Bitcoin sits in an address that can be accessed only with the corresponding password, or private key. The problem with this system is that anyone who gets hold of a private key can easily take the Bitcoin. And unlike money taken from a bank account, stolen Bitcoin are essentially impossible to retrieve. A number of virtual currency exchanges and wallets have collectively lost billions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin to thieves.

The Winklevosses came up with an elaborate system to store and secure their own private keys. They cut up printouts of their private keys into pieces and then distributed them in envelopes to safe deposit boxes around the country, so if one envelope were stolen the thief would not have the entire key. With Gemini, they have created a high-tech version of this process to hold customer money. Getting into the company’s wallets requires multiple signatures from cryptographically sealed devices that were never linked to the internet. Gemini got a license from New York State regulators that allows them to hold Bitcoins for regulated banks and asset managers — something essentially no other virtual currency companies can do. That has turned Gemini into one of the most trusted destinations for sophisticated investors.

“Gemini is an underappreciated exchange, one of the few exchanges I trust as a custodian,” said Ari Paul, a managing partner at the virtual currency hedge fund BlockTower Capital. Gemini is now expanding from its old 5,000-square-foot offices to new, 35,000-square-foot facilities in Midtown Manhattan. This doesn’t mean Gemini or the Winklevosses have ironed out all the kinks. Like many other exchanges, Gemini has struggled to stay online in the deluge of new customers in recent weeks. These growing pains are part of the reason the brothers say they are holding on to their Bitcoin. They believe virtual currencies are still a long way from real mainstream adoption.

They said they might look at selling when the value of all the Bitcoin in circulation approaches the value of all gold in the world — some $7 trillion or $8 trillion compared with the $310 billion value of all Bitcoin on Tuesday — given that they think Bitcoin is set to replace gold as a rare commodity. But then Tyler Winklevoss questioned even that, pointing out the ways that he believes Bitcoin is better than gold. “In a funny way, I’m not sure we’d even sell there,” he said. “Bitcoin is more than gold — it’s a programmable store of money. It may continue to innovate.”

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Why Employers Can’t Pay You in Cryptocurrency

Why Employers Can't Pay You in Cryptocurrency

With the help from recent news headlines

chronicling the substantial increase of some cryptocurrencies, more members of the public are discovering what people who’ve dealt with digital currencies like Bitcoin already knew. Although volatility is constant, it is possible to become wealthy with Bitcoin and similar non-physical forms of money. So you might be wondering, why isn’t it possible for your workplace to pay your wages in cryptocurrency? Some employers actually do – we’ll cover those later. But first, let’s discuss four barriers that make widespread adoption of that payment method difficult.

Some laws specify cash or check payments only

One of the main federal regulations that cover employee wages in the US is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It stipulates that employers must meet at least some of their minimum-wage requirements by paying workers with cash or checks – as of now, Bitcoin payments don’t apply and the same is true for overtime compensation.

However, outside those federal requirements for minimum wage and overtime, employers and workers can agree on other forms of payment if desired. Employers could theoretically pay employees partially with cash or checks, then give them supplementary amounts made up of cryptocurrencies. The system isn’t so straightforward in certain states, though. For example, Delaware and Texas are two of several states where wages can only be comprised of US currency.

Cryptocurrencies may be deemed securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement about cryptocurrencies to remind people that investments associated with them can quickly cross into other geographical boundaries without owners’ knowledge, which increases the possible risk. Also, the SEC may ultimately decide some cryptocurrencies are designated as securities. In that case, employers would have to comply with additional laws for securities in addition to the wage-related rules mentioned above.

 Employers could feel wary

The rapid fluctuations in value associated with Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies may make employers balk at the idea of paying their workers through these non-traditional means. Similarly, they might feel that not enough merchants accept cryptocurrencies as payment yet,  even as the number grows.

However, a BitPay debit card allows people to convert amounts from their cryptocurrency wallets into dollars in minutes. People can then use the more widely accepted currency anywhere that accepts Visa. This capability takes care of the potential issue of someone having cryptocurrency but not being able to spend it. The card also offers a safeguard if cryptocurrency holders learn about market conditions that signal a likely, sudden drop in value. In such a scenario, people could quickly make conversions using the card to avoid holding onto large amounts of cryptocurrency that could lose substantial worth in a few days or less.

The tax implications vary by country

If an employer regularly hires remote workers who are legal residents in one country and pay taxes in other, the different ways countries view cryptocurrencies for tax purposes could also be a barrier to adoption. In Canada, for instance, the country views cryptocurrency earnings as barter transactions. Companies based in the US have to convert cryptocurrency values to dollar amounts for the IRS on the dates payments occur. Similarly, employees must report all earnings in dollars, even when earned as Bitcoins or another currency.

Depending on the respective countries, reporting cryptocurrency earnings for tax purposes could be a straightforward process. However, companies with large percentages of international workers may decide that figuring out the logistics requires too much time-consuming research. If that happens, workers who strongly desire cryptocurrency payments could offer to find out the details and report back to their employers.

Some companies do pay employees with cryptocurrency

Despite the challenges we’ve presented, pioneer companies do exist that pay their employees in cryptocurrencies. Notably, none of the businesses are within the US, so some of the issues you learned about above may not apply to them. Geographical differences aside, if a growing number of companies around the world conclude that cryptocurrency payments for employees make sense, it could encourage other entities to follow suit.

Starting in February, GMO Internet, a Japanese company, will give portions of employee salaries in Bitcoin.  Employees will be able to receive the equivalent of $890 per month in Bitcoins. A representative of the company said the move to offer Bitcoins as salary was intended to make the company at large more literate about how cryptocurrencies work. Another business to consider is Buffer, a company associated with social-media tools that save time and grow traffic. It pays one of its developers, who reside in South Africa, a portion of his salary in Bitcoins. In this case, the employee is a big believer in the potential of Bitcoins. As such, he wanted to receive five percent of his wages in the currency.

The man approached a payment associate that works with Buffer and began a dialogue, later completing research to find a company that specializes in payroll services related to cryptocurrencies. He’s a good example of an employee who was proactive and got positive results even though the company was not offering widespread cryptocurrency payments. If a business is already in the cryptocurrency market, they might even ask employees during the hiring process whether they’ll accept non-physical payments. That situation happened at Bitedge, a sports betting establishment based in Australia. The company’s web developers receive 100 percent of their income in Bitcoins.

The future is bright

If you’re eager to explore the possibility of getting paid in cryptocurrency, it’s crucial to be aware of the volatility associated with cryptocurrency values, as well as the possibility that employers may not be up to speed about digital forms of payment. They might require you to research the specifics and provide guidance. As cryptocurrencies become more prominent, finding ways to overcome these and other challenges get easier. You can strengthen your stance as an early, in-the-know adopter and get involved in what could eventually revolutionize the way employers give compensation.

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Marketing Dept
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General Manager of BIS Wants To Prevent Crypto From Joining Main Financial System’More

General Manager of BIS Wants To Prevent Crypto From Joining ‘Main Financial System’

Augustín Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements

(BIS), called Bitcoin a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”  and asked central banks to more closely regulate cryptocurrencies during a speech at Goethe University on Feb. 6. BIS is known as the “bank for central banks,” for it only provides banking services to central banks and other international organizations. In August 2017, when Carstens was the head of the central Bank of Mexico, he argued that Bitcoin is not a currency but a commodity and warned against its potential use for cybercrime.

Carsten’s recent comments Tuesday morning come after both the traditional and crypto markets have been experiencing a large drop since Monday, Feb. 5. Also this week, several large banks, including Lloyds Banking Group and J.P. Morgan Chase, banned credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies. In Carsten’s opinion, the global interest in cryptocurrencies is just a “speculative mania” and thus strict regulation by

central banks is needed:

“If authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability.”

Carsten considers it “alarming” that some banks are releasing Bitcoin ATMs, for he considers Bitcoin’s potential use for illegal transactions too high to allow the currency to be associated with mainstream

financial institutions:

“If the only ‘business case’ is use for illicit or illegal transactions, central banks cannot allow such tokens to rely on much of the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and freeload on the trust that it provides.”

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and Elliptic, a Bitcoin forensics company, released a report in late January that showed that less than one percent of all Bitcoin transactions represented money laundering.

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UAE Issues Warning On ICOs, Says Investors Should Assume Full Risk

A new document issued by the UAE Securities and Commodities

Authority (SCA) on Sunday, Feb. 4 warns investors about the risks of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). In the document, the SCA emphasizes that investors involved in ICO fundraising campaigns have to assume all associated risks, given that digital token-based fundraising activities are not regulated by the UAE, and no legal protection can be provided in cases of fraud.

The major risks, as pointed out by the SCA, include high volatility of ICO tokens on secondary markets, misleading or unaudited details in ICO offerings, as well as common unawareness of potential costs and gains shared by most retail investors. Moreover, the SCA mentioned the risks of investing in foreign ICOs, commenting that it may be difficult to verify the proper regulatory compliance of such fundraisers and track the invested money as it leaves the UAE.

This is the second time that the country’s government warns its citizens about the risks of ICOs as back in Oct. 2017, Abu Dhabi's Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) issued its guidelines on both ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

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Personalize Your Marketing Communications in 2018

Personalize Your Marketing Communications in 2018

 

 

 

 

The power of Personalization is no secret to marketers today.

Today's consumers have come to expect—if not demand—laser-like precision in the messages that brands are delivering to them. Unfortunately, message personalization is often used to refer to tactics such as putting a customer's name in the subject line of an email or adjusting the send time to the user's location. Personalization has become a buzzword in marketing, but in most cases what's being used is easily captured demographic and geographic data. True personalization is about so much more. It's about understanding the behavior of your customers, then tailoring your messaging around that behavior.

Let's take an example.

Say your product is a dating website. You know that if someone doesn't upload his photo, he stands a very poor chance of generating romantic inquiries. Crafting an email around getting people to take that one particular step of uploading a photo is a very good idea. Messaging personalization really comes to life when you use such real-time behavioral data. Targeting your messages to your customer's behavior might be harder than slapping a "Hey $FNAME" to an email before it heads out the door, but get it right… and you'll be well on your way to a one-on-one relationship with each consumer that leads to long-term loyalty.

Here's my best-practice advice to getting behavior-based messaging right.

1. Decide which behaviors warrant a message

Not all behaviors are created equal. It's up to you to figure out what behaviors the user takes (or doesn't take) that are worthy of sending a message. To again use the dating website example from earlier, the behavior in question could be creating a profile or sending five messages. If you're unsure what these important actions look like, start by defining your ideal end state: What does a successful customer look like? What steps do they need to complete before they can be successful? Those are the actions you need to encourage in your customers

2. Prioritize the behaviors

Just because a message you send is personal doesn't mean it's of value to your customers. For example, let's say you've just signed up for that cool new productivity app on Product Hunt, invited your first teammate, created your first to-do list, and uploaded your first file all in the space of 30 minutes. And like a configuration of falling dominoes, a series of messages hits your inbox in a predetermined order until they run out—and you unsubscribe.

Does it make sense to attack your customer's inbox with messages for every single action the customer takes? Of course it doesn't. To make sure your messages are relevant and timely, have a clear priority for your behavior-based messages. Perhaps customers will receive a welcome email, but you'll leave them alone for the next few days if they're making good progress. In general, I recommend leaving at least two days between each message to avoid overwhelming your users.

3. Understand the customer's entire lifecycle

Having data around the actions that people take in relation to your product is among the most powerful kind of information you can have. But it tells only one part of the story. To deliver meaningful one-to-one personalization at scale, you need to use the many context signals at your disposal. Let's say you own a collaboration app and a customer has taken one of your product's most important actions: completed his first project. A perfectly adequate message to send here would be "Congratulations on setting up your first project—keep it up." But you can do better.

Ask yourself: What else do we know about this customer?

  • Has he opened previous messages?
  • Has he visited the knowledge base before?
  • What size company is he from?
  • Has he opted out of marketing communications?

The above are but a handful of signals that, along with usage data, can help us deliver messages that are laser-focused in their accuracy. For example, if you're speaking to a high-value customer who has contacted customer support several times already this month, your message will have to reflect that. Personalizing your messaging correctly is at the core of a sound—and scalable—customer-engagement strategy. The idea of a "spray and pray" messaging strategy is ancient history, whether you're a startup just hitting your stride or a large company swimming in inbound inquiries. The good news is that once you've properly got to grips with behavior-based messaging, sitting down to write the perfect message becomes much easier.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough Hit as Gateway Drug’

Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough
Hit as ‘Gateway Drug’

Interest in Bitcoin hit its high point leading up to its own high of $20,000

in the middle of December last year. Interest peaked, not only in investing circles, but also in the mainstream as Bitcoin became the buzzword on everyone's lips. This adoption was championed by Bitcoin as it welcomed millions of users to the cryptocurrency community, as expressed in Coinbase’s figures alone. However, in this fast paced ecosystem, Bitcoin is not enough to hold the attention of this vastly diverse community. So, while it may be the ideal coin to get people hooked on cryptocurrencies, once they are in and settled, there is time to seek out a multitude of other coins that are better suited to their needs or beliefs.

The draw of big growth

Bitcoin’s biggest draw was the incredible returns it was offering as it rallied from 2,000 percent in 12 months. This phenomenal growth continued to increase interest in the currency, and that sparked even further growth in this massive hype cycle. It has been correlated before that searches for on Google for Bitcoin are closely related to its growth – a phenomenon known as the ‘Satoshi Cycle’. In the lead up to December’s high, the Satoshi Cycle was in full effect as Google trends showed some interesting figures.

Nicholas Colas, a pioneering Bitcoin analyst in the world of traditional investments, has taken this correlation very seriously and states that it plays a big part in his predictions. "Going into December, [searches] skyrocketed," Colas said on CNBC’s Fast Money. He added that the total number of Bitcoin Google searches worldwide

tripled that month:

"You saw that correlates to the total increased number of wallet growth, which doubled in December from approximately 5 percent to 10 percent as Bitcoin rallied.”

Already hooked

However, taking this metric into consideration, it could be argued that the new wave of adopters are now starting to disperse and find their way to other coins that are more suited to their individual needs. It makes sense that as people become educated and learn more about options in the crypto community that they begin to diversify and pick out their favourite coins to invest in. This often leads to money moving away from Bitcoin and into Altcoins. Bitcoin, being the dominant, most adopted and scene-leading coin, will continue to be the ‘gateway drug’ of the community, but it is finding it harder to hang on to total support and dominance. These sentiments are expressed by Colas,

who adds:

"Bitcoin is considered the gateway drug to all cryptos and it has acted exactly that way. Right now [the Google search data] is telling me there's not really that next leg up in Bitcoin because there's not that interest that leads to wallet growth that leads to price appreciation."

Proof?

Colas tries to justify this position by explaining how Ethereum has been the only coin that has fared relatively well in the top echelons of

the CoinMarket Cap:

“Some of the movement in Ethereum, which has traded much better [in January], is just money which is being pulled out of Bitcoin."

However, it is important to note that Bitcoin’s price fluctuations and movements are still heavily linked to all other coins. The saying that: ‘the tide moves all boats’ is still true in the cryptocurrency market with Bitcoin essentially being the tide. When Bitcoin is up, most coins follow, and when it is down, the same red graphs appear to follow suit across the board.

Chuck Reynolds

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Bitcoin’s 2 Month Low – Sign of the Time

Bitcoin's 2 Month Low – Sign of the Time

2018 has been particularly cumbersome for the cryptocurrency markets,

as Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren have endured a bashing. The preeminent cryptocurrency has hit a two month low sitting around $8,800 according to Coinmarketcap data at the time of writing. There are a plethora of reasons why the market has been trampled in the first month of the new year. Much of this has been due to uncertainty over regulatory moves by governments around the world, in reaction to what was a revolutionary year for the cryptocurrency market as a whole.

A couple of weeks of serious uncertainty in South Korea, a tightening of the regulatory belt in massive economies like China and India, and some harsh commentary coming from financial heads and world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos have led to a sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets. The overall market capitalization has dipped to $415 bln, with Bitcoin’s market dominance sitting at around 35 percent. Its price drop has been mimicked by almost every altcoin in the top 50, all in all, summing up the current mood in the space.

However, its not all doom and gloom as industry experts, those cryptocurrency gurus who’ve been around since it all started, have seized the moment to highlight vital characteristics that led to cryptocurrencies being adopted around the world. Casting aside fear, uncertainty and doubt, core members of the community believe the very qualities that underpin the revolutionary aspects of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will inevitably be their saving grace from market manipulation and governmental crackdowns.

Shrem’s take

Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem posted some insightful comments on Twitter this week, as Bitcoin continued it’s slide to recent lows. In an eight-part series of Tweets, Shrem unpacked the prevailing sentiment towards cryptocurrencies by banks and government institutions. Starting off, he said that “Bitcoin and other privacy-focused and decentralized cryptocurrencies are the biggest innovation of my lifetime. They literally take the power and control of money out of the hands of government and into the hands of people that use it.”

He hit out at recent ICOs that have created ‘a dilution of our beautiful technology’ calling ‘permissioned Blockchains’ and ‘digital ledger technology’ glorified ‘google spreadsheets.’ He also said anything that claims to be Blockchain technology but is controlled by a single entity is not Blockchain. Following that, he explained why this ‘liberating’ technology will be targeted and undermined by established institutions.

“Of course governments are going to do the same. What did you think? They would roll over while we built our alternative financial system and people started using it? Governments don't like competition.” The World Economic Forum in Davos also provided a glimpse of the future, as more governments are likely to follow in the footsteps of Russia and Venezuela, that are issuing state-owned virtual currencies.

Shrem also cautioned against this move, saying we will “see a systemic push for regulated and controlled Blockchains by ‘DLT’ companies, banking consortiums and governments. THESE ARE NOT CRYPTOCURRENCIES. Do not be fooled!” Bitcoin and other privacy focused and decentralized crypto currencies are the biggest innovation of my lifetime. They literally take the power and control of money out of the hands of government and into the hands of people that use it.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

TP

Facebook Goes Local More Opportunities for Agent Marketing

Social media is constantly changing, adapting to new platforms

and the way people use them. Facebook has made strides in functionality to keep it relevant among the multitudes of platforms looking to take over as the top social platform. In order to maintain this relevancy, Facebook is looking to get even closer to its user base by catering to individual needs. A few months ago, Facebook introduced an apartment search engine to its marketplace. And more recently, the social media giant made headlines for its attempt to promote Facebook-validated news sources. Now, the platform wants to be involved in a more intimate way by providing more local news than national news on users’ feeds.

“People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook. Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a recent Facebook post. “Research suggests that reading local news is directly correlated with civic engagement. People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference.” So, what does this mean for the real estate industry?

Facebook Has More Power Over Content

While it is too soon to tell, real estate business pages may or may not fall under the news category according to Facebook. And if they do, real estate professionals will have difficulty determining whether their pages are being considered trusted local news sources that are appearing more frequently, or if they are being grouped as untrustworthy and are not being viewed. Real estate agents will need to keep a close eye on their pageviews and Facebook analytics to determine if this change is for the better. For industry professionals that use only their personal pages to promote their business, this local announcement may not impact them, unless Facebook is scanning posts by content instead of source.

The More Local, the More Relevant

If Facebook is looking to push local sources, the news factor may not play a role at all if real estate professionals are promoting mainly local content. Instead, agents and brokers may see a surge in pageviews from increased visibility to their content. If this is the case, real estate professionals should be prepared to post more content that features specialized local data versus articles with national or generic elements.

“Starting [Jan. 29], we’re going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city,” wrote Zuckerberg. “If you follow a local publisher or if someone shares a local story, it may show up higher in News Feed. We’re starting this first in the U.S., and our goal is to expand to more countries this year.”

Content Will Need to Be Reviewed Carefully

According to the social platform, these are just the first steps being taken to ensure high-quality news is prioritized. Since Facebook’s algorithms are already a mystery to the masses, agents and brokers will need to carefully read through their content before posting on Facebook to ensure the platform doesn’t pick up on any clickbait-type words that cause it to be labeled as untrustworthy.

These recent announcements from Facebook have received a lot of backlash from the social media community. While local news is slated for Facebook’s near future, the way it is packaged and how it will evolve remain a mystery until individuals begin to monitor their content more closely, paying special attention to how their local content fares in the social world. “Local news helps build community—both on and offline. It’s an important part of making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is valuable. I’m looking forward to sharing more updates soon,” wrote Zuckerberg. As a real estate professional, how do you feel about Facebook’s recent push to control news visibility?

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

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Where Will Bitcoin Ethereum Ripple And Other Cryptocurrencies Be Twenty Years From Now?

Where Will Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, And Other Cryptocurrencies
Be Twenty Years From Now?

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies

have been on a roller coaster lately. Sharp upturns have been followed by sharp downturns, with each upturn and downturn lasting only a few weeks or a few days. Thus far, the cryptocurrency roller coaster has helped speculators who have been on the right side of the market to amass fortunes. The trouble is that no speculator is smart enough or lucky enough to “time” the market. At least that’s what mainstream financial economics claims.

Sooner or later, speculators who play this game will find themselves on the wrong side of the market, losing the fortunes they have amassed early on and then some. That’s why cryptocurrency investors should look beyond the current roller coaster, and ask where cryptocurrencies will be twenty years from now.

[Ed. note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don't own any Bitcoin).“Unfortunately, almost anything connected with the future of bitcoin is speculative right now,” says Jason Labrum, founder and president of Labrum Wealth Management. “When you look at the sophistication level of the average person buying bitcoin, it’s scary. They just see an asset that at times has gone up a whole lot in value, so you get a herd mentality of people wanting to jump on the bandwagon.”

Labrum isn’t clear how things will look in twenty years from now. “It will be interesting in 20 years to look back on the conversations we are having today about bitcoin. By then, cryptocurrency could be a normal part of everyone’s life, or it could be a once-trendy thing that everyone has forgotten about.” Matthew Schutte, Director of Communications at Holo, takes a pessimistic view on cryptocurrencies. “By 2038, the Euro, the Dollar, and other national currencies will be largely extinct, but so will Bitcoin and the rest of the current generation of money-like cryptocurrencies.”

But he’s optimistic on blockchain technology. “They will not have been killed off by some single new token of value – but will instead have been replaced by a vibrant ecosystem of cryptographic currencies — i.e. digitally signed signals — each designed to make particular flows of activity visible, so that the individuals, organizations, and communities that make use of them are better able to sense and steer,” adds Schutte. While it’s still unclear where cryptocurrencies and the technologies behind them will be twenty years from now, one thing is clear: volatility will continue in the cryptocurrency markets – and that is a game for speculators rather than investors.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

TP