Tag Archives: #blockchain

Bitcoin tumbles as cryptocurrency sell-off intensifies

Bitcoin tumbles as cryptocurrency
sell-off intensifies

Cryptocurrencies plunged on Friday,

with bitcoin at one point sliding below $8,000 and headed for its biggest weekly loss since December 2013, as worries about a regulatory clampdown globally sent investors scrambling to sell.The currencies have come off their lows but analysts said the sell-off was probably not over.

This week’s slump brought the total market value of cryptocurrencies down to around $400 billion, half the high it reached in January, according to industry tracker Coinmarketcap.com. The market value of cryptocurrencies is calculated by multiplying the number of digital coins in existence by their price, although many question whether that is the right way to value them. Bitcoin, the biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, fell as much as 15 percent on Friday to a two-month low of $7,625 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange BTC=BSP. It clawed back some losses and was down around 4.1 percent at $8,623.50 in mid-morning New York trading. The virtual currency is down by close to 25 percent this week and almost 40 percent in 2018.

The second and third largest virtual currencies, Ethereum and Ripple, also plunged more than 20 percent at the session low, Coinmarketcap.com said. Ethereum was last down 18.2 percent, at $913.37, while Ripple last traded at 80 U.S. cents, down 16.7 percent. Retail investors have poured money into digital coins, enticed by the huge run-up in prices. Regulators say cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and dangerous investments. On Thursday, India vowed to eradicate the use of crypto-assets, joining China and South Korea in promising to ban parts of the nascent market where prices have boomed in recent years.

Social media website Facebook (FB.O) said this week it would ban cryptocurrency advertisements because many were associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices. U.S. regulators have sent a subpoena to two of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency players, Bitfinex and Tether “The growing confusion revolving around the Indian government’s view on cryptocurrencies sparked uncertainty, consequently exposing bitcoin to downside risks,” said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM. “Price action suggests that bears are clearly in control, with further losses on the cards as jitters over regulation erode investor appetite further,” he added.

A massive $530 million hack of a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last week renewed worries about the security of the industry. Critics of virtual currencies have called the run-up in prices a speculative bubble, but supporters of cryptocurrencies say short-term price volatility is to be expected, and the blockchain technology underpinning these assets maintains its power and value. Going back to 2011 and including the current selloff, bitcoin’s price has been halved nine times on the Bitstamp exchange before recovering. The last time was from November 2014 to January 2015.

TP

The secrets of successful legislative marketing

The secrets of successful legislative marketing

Many in Congress hope to reap the rewards of their legislative accomplishments

in this November’s election. For Republicans, passing tax reform, removing the mandate to purchase health insurance, and approving a broad swath of judicial nominations will top their hit parade. Democrats will focus on how they protected ObamaCare from repeal, held the line on spending cuts, and list the priorities they would tackle if voters returned them to the majority.  And who knows, maybe 2018 will even include some unexpected bipartisan wins for which both sides can take a bow with constituents. 

Whatever the substance, selling Congress’s work is a perennial challenge. The reasons for this communications riddle are numerous. For starters, voters are preoccupied with their personal lives and often distracted, bored, or confused by the details of congressional rhetoric, policy debates, and an arcane lawmaking process. Moreover, in a nation closely divided along partisan lines, legislative “wins” are often zero sum. For example, while Republicans will tout tax reform as the crowning achievement in the 115th Congress, some Democrats will continue to label it as “Armageddon” and “the end of the world.” No doubt, each party’s most faithful followers will believe them. In navigating these shoals, both parties would be wise to follow a few simple rules to maximize the impact of their political communications.

First, recognize that messaging success is more like a series of niche marketing campaigns, rather than a single national advertising effort. Not only do congressional parties and individual lawmakers lack the resources to execute such a large-scale communications strategy, that approach does not work for other reasons. “You can’t boil the ocean” is an often-repeated phrase among communicators, and nowhere does it apply more than talking to the public about legislative accomplishments. Moreover, we live in a diverse country with assorted political views, varied interests, and short attention spans. A one-size-fits-all approach is a formula for failure.

Author Chris Anderson, in his 2006 book The Long Tail, outlines a better approach. “Our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of ‘hits’ (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail,” Anderson says. 

The good news is technology allows politicians, like other marketers, to follow the Long Tail approach. Finding niche audiences on social media or through online advertising is easy. The beauty of this “narrowcasting” approach is it applies to major legislation, as well as seemingly minor legislative accomplishments. As an illustration, when Congress passed the 21st Century Cures bill a little over a year ago, it offered lawmakers a broad array of potential niche audiences to target and claim credit.

Those interested in boosting NIH funding, mental health reforms, or transformational changes to the drug development and approval process were among the diverse stakeholders members of Congress could appeal to. One lawmaker (and he was not alone) had an active and engaged group of constituents concerned about Lyme’s Disease. He told me the bill’s provision’s dealing with that complicated malady represented the number one benefit of the bill he would tout to that community. For a group of stakeholders, intensely interested in that disease, he was right.

Second, do not forget the rule of repetition. The virtue behind this simple principle is often lost. Here is the typical pattern. Lawmakers consider an issue, debate, vote, and then move on to the next subject. It happens all the time and it is a mistake. Voters don’t absorb information in one news cycle or through a single press release. It takes repetition. Success in this area requires going against the instincts of most congressional offices. Lawmakers and staff are always looking for the next new issue or hot topic. But they need to build on what they have done. Repetition is boring, but it’s successful.

Third, Congress needs to behold the beauty of brevity. Most lawmakers and staff believe three bullet points are persuasive; five, even better; and 10 will defeat even the most recalcitrant opponents.  Wrong. That is not how voters consume and digest information. They tune out lengthy and detailed justifications. Brevity works. “There is a reason why no one puts a laundry list on a bumper sticker,” says messaging expert Rich Thau, president of the research firm Engagious. He goes on to say, “One big idea packs more of a punch than five or 10 smaller ideas combined,” and he’s right. Unfortunately, a lot of legislative communications snowballs into an avalanche of information, which buries the audience, the message and the messenger.

Voters will assemble scorecards before the November election to evaluate the performance of lawmakers. Those representatives and senators who identify and appeal to the preferences of many niche constituencies, remember the rule of repetition, and the beauty of brevity, stand the best chance of joining the 116th Congress next January.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Fact Or FUD’? Pressure Drives Crypto Markets Down Almost 20

Fact Or ‘FUD’?
Pressure Drives Crypto Markets
Down Almost 20%

All of the top 50 cryptocurrencies fell by as much as 18.05 percent

in the 24 hours to press time, Thursday, Feb.1, as fresh volatility in Bitcoin undermines previous sideways growth. Cross-exchange data from CoinMarketCap shows the broad copycat effect of Bitcoin’s drop on altcoin markets. Only six altcoins in the top 50 had made 24-hour gains at press time, with these nonetheless trending downwards.

Bitcoin faces renewed pressure after India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley announced a crackdown on “illegitimate activities” involving cryptocurrency in his 2018 budget speech this morning. Jaitley also stated that the government does not recognize crypto as legal tender and would seek to freeze out crypto from the “payments network”.  However, industry participants claim his words do not mark any real change in India’s regulatory perspective.

Others, such as BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen, decried negative press attention on India as “FUD”, short for fear, uncertainty and doubt. Nonetheless, alternative viewpoints were enough to send Bitcoin below $10,000 again Thursday, with new lows centring just below $9600 on averaged readings. Bitcoin is trading at an average of $9,609 at press time, down almost 7 percent today.

Running parallel to the news from India is an ongoing narrative surrounding the impact of Tether’s token supply on Bitcoin prices. After a curious second market reaction to news that Tether and associate exchange Bitfinex had received subpoenas from regulators in December, analysts are casting doubt on previous assumptions that Tether’s issuance was artificially raising BTC/USD rates.

“Given $USDT stores $2.2B in value — currently 0.4% of aggregate crypto value & 1.3% of total bitcoin value — have a hard time believing it could be systematically propping up these markets,”  Placeholder VC partner Chris Burniske wrote earlier Thursday in a series of tweets on the subject.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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India: Bitcoin Prices Drop As Media Misinterprets Govt’s Regulation Speech

India: Bitcoin Prices Drop As Media Misinterprets Govt’s Regulation Speech

Bitcoin markets are reacting to fresh regulatory comments

on crypto from India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, made during his most recent budget speech in the Parliament today, Feb.1. After Jaitley noted in his speech that cryptocurrency is not legal tender in the country and promised a crackdown on “illegitimate activities” involving crypto, a flood of misinterpreted comments warning of an outright ban appeared across the mainstream press and social media.

Markets in turn fell in trading on Thursday, Bitcoin dipping below $9,512 after breaking $10,300 Wednesday, Jan. 31, data from Bitstamp shows. India has been sporadic in its attempts to formalize cryptocurrency regulation over the past two years. Since the country’s currency reforms, interest in Bitcoin especially has skyrocketed, with local exchanges reporting huge growth. At the same time, India’s central bank has issued repeated warnings on cryptocurrency investment, some of which appeared tantamount to calling it illegal.

During his budget speech today, Jaitley stated:

“The government does not recognise cryptocurrency as legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system.”

While Jaitley’s speech noticeably avoided any mention of legality of crypto in and of itself, commentaries by third parties and mainstream media journalists controversially claimed that a ban was imminent. “Arun Jaitley has just killed India’s cryptocurrency party,” Quartz’s article on the subject proclaims, citing a lawyer who expects “a legislative mechanism or… suitable amendment in existing legislation to ensure that dealing and trading in cryptocurrency is made illegal and to penalise entities and individuals who are involved in their trade and circulation.”

On Twitter, the curious reading of Jaitley’s words continued, with declarations of Bitcoin being “illegal” and soon to be “eliminated.” From within the industry, however, sources told an altogether different story. Crypto exchange Unocoin summarized that there had been “no change” in government perspective since the budget speech. “It is business-as-usual,” it added in its most recent twitter activity. Cointelegraph correspondant Joseph Young also posted on his personal Twitter about the FUD in mainstream media surrounding the finance minister’s comments:

India on Blockchain

In line with previous government initiatives, Jaitley similarly produced no surprises with his commitment to expanding the use of Blockchain technology at the state level going forward. “The government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in the digital economy,” he said in his speech.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Selling Marketing Software to Marketers: It’s More of a Science Than an Art

Selling Marketing Software to Marketers: It's More of a Science Than an Art

The number of marketing technology (martech) providers vying

for every marketer’s attention is staggering: In his latest report, Scott Brinker, vice president of the platform ecosystem at Hubspot, estimated that there were 5,000-plus providers in 2017 — representing a 40 percent increase over the previous year. Add to that the five or more options every martech tool typically offers for marketers to choose from. Medium, for example, has to compete against other CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Hubspot Blogging Software and Kentico.

This mountain of rivals that marketing-software brands must contend with every day makes their effort to appeal to their target customers — marketers — a little like trying to run after your hat in a hurricane. On top of that, martech businesses are trying to beat their marketer-customers at their own game — after all, marketers are quite familiar with the marketing strategies martech brands use. It all becomes a bit like a psychologist working with a psychiatrist on his or her latest addiction. An observer might wonder, who’s asking the questions and who’s taking notes? Still, marketing a martech brand to marketers need not be so hard. How's that work? Let's start from the view that selling to marketers is more of a (simple) science than an art.

Recognize that selling to marketers is more science than art.

Selling to marketers, in my view, is almost entirely science. I'd personally estimate a breakdown of 20 percent creativity and 80 percent science — meaning research, numbers, measurements and tests. Marketers — the customers – look at numbers and validations (both of which are scientific elements) when making decisions at their jobs. Further, marketers can be attracted to martech companies' designs, graphics, art — even their jokes. But when it comes to getting those same marketers to pull out their wallets and take martech companies' products to their CMOs or clients, those marketers will need proof (science) that any particular product is worth spending their company's money on — or no deal.

Before spending $10,000 on social media marketing's ad costs, for instance, marketers might test out a concept with $100. In fact, they’re always testing; and there's science in that. So, if you're the martech rep, show the marketer proof, and chances are that he or she will buy in. Offer a trial of your marketing software and let the marketer test it out to get raw data. Display testimonials of happy customers. Share the numbers you’ve achieved. And pay attention to the language you use.

Use the lingua franca marketers use.

A lingua franca is a common language used by speakers who speak different native languages. This applies to marketers, too. Even though they have different native tongues, they speak a common language. So, if you're a marketing software brand and you're not speaking that common language, you'll have a hard time. In a recent Salesforce study, 65 percent of businesses surveyed said they were likely to abandon brands that didn't provide "customized communications." In other words, if your software brand speaks to marketers in a foreign language, they may ignore your campaign without thinking twice.

So, use marketspeak, words like:

  • MRR and ARR, not “income”

  • Optimize, not “make the most of”

  • ROI, not “efficiency of investment”

And so forth. As someone who does content marketing for martech and other marketing-focused brands, I can vouch for these words as terms I use for promoting content to martech clients. Using these terms doesn't guarantee your customers (marketers) will be falling head over heels for your campaigns. But it does mean they'll stop scrolling and at least give you five seconds to convince them. If you don't use that language, you may not even get that. My friend, Carlos Aguilar, of Conversion Surge, puts it this way: “To increase conversion, pay attention to the copy on your website . . . Does it use the same language of your ideal customer?”

Know where marketers hang out.

Know where marketers hang out online. This means places like:

LinkedIn:

Linkedin is almost a requirement for a marketer; virtually all marketers actively use LinkedIn to showcase their portfolios and interact with other experts in their connections and groups. So, any great, targeted campaign here has a chance to work wonders.

Twitter:

Marketers also use Twitter, to connect with other marketers and interact with reporters and editors of top publications. They use Twitter to follow trending news and hashtags on entertainment, politics and other interests.

Email:

Marketers daily use email for work. So, when doing a martech campaign, you need to grab their emails. Once you have those, you get access to advertise your marketing software in their inboxes.

Communities:

Platforms like Inbound.org and Growth Hackers allow marketers to interact about real issues they face in our day-to-day work.

Marketing blogs:

Marketers subscribe to sites like Digiday, Marketing Land and Kissmetrics, frequenting them to find new strategies to use to get better at marketing. Engage marketers on the platforms they already frequent. But be sure to use these platforms the right way, so you don’t get penalized by their owners or ignored by the marketers you’re trying to sell to.

Marketers love high-quality, helpful resource hubs; build one.

It’s true we’re experiencing an overflow of content. But it’s also true that people still give their attention and time to good resources. Need proof? Maybe it's the fact that you're reading this post. Marketers have to keep abreast of new trends and strategies all the time. And that gives you, as a martech company, an advantage when you sell to them. They need great resources, so if you provide them, they'll pay attention to your brand. I know, I know; it's not simple. But with a good strategy,

if you can:

 a) create high-quality resources that will help marketers become better marketers; and

b) promote the heck out of those resources, attract and convert customers and even generate accurate customer information for your database.

Final words

Marketing to marketer-customers can be easy if you employ these strategies. That's why you should approach these customers with what they themselves base their decisions on. Remember that they care most about numbers, tests and proof. Remember to speak the marketer's language: ("revenue," not profit; and "customer acquisition," not cost of getting customers). In the end, selling to marketers using the science involved (and not the art) improves your chances of selling to them and rising above the many other martech companies competing for the same prize. 

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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South Korea says no plans to ban cryptocurrency exchanges uncovers 600 million illegal trades

South Korea says no plans to ban cryptocurrency exchanges, uncovers $600 million illegal trades

SEOUL (Reuters) –

South Korea’s finance minister said the government has no plans to shut down cryptocurrency trading, welcome news for investors worried that authorities might go as far as China’s tough action in blocking virtual coin platforms.

FILE PHOTO:

Broken representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency, placed on a monitor that displays stock graph and binary codes, are seen in a illustration picture, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo. The comment by Kim Dong-yeon on Wednesday comes as traders at home and around the world have been spooked by conflicting comments from government officials in South Korea, a major hub for cryptocurrency trade, that Seoul was planning to ban local digital coin exchanges.

“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency (market),” Kim said, adding the government’s immediate task is to regulate exchanges. Reinforcing Seoul’s intent to tighten the screws on a market widely seen as opaque and risky by global policymakers, the country’s customs earlier on Wednesday announced it had uncovered illegal cryptocurrency foreign exchange trading worth nearly $600 million.

“Customs service has been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force,” it said. South Korea has been at the forefront of pushing for broad regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency trading as many locals, including students and housewives, jumped into a frenzied market despite warnings from policy makers around the world of a bubble. Seoul previously said that it is considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which threw the market into turmoil and hammered bitcoin prices. Officials later clarified that an outright ban is only one of the steps being considered, and a final decision was yet to be made.

CRYPTO CRIMES

Customs said about 637.5 billion won ($596.02 million) worth of foreign exchange crimes were detected. Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, it said in a statement, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches. In one case, an illegal FX agency collected a total of 1.7 billion won ($1.59 million) from local residents in a form of “electric wallet” coins to transfer it to a partner agent abroad. The partner agent then cashed them out and distributed the settlement to clients based in that country, according to the statement.

In South Korea, only licensed banks and brokers can offer foreign exchange services. Local companies and residents who move more than $3,000 out of the country at a time must submit documents to tax authorities explaining reasons for the transfers. Annual overseas transfers of more than $50,000 must also be reported with similar documents. Effective from Jan. 30, authorities imposed rules which allow only real-name bank accounts to be used for cryptocurrency trading designed to stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes. Among other breaches, Customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.

It said authorities will continue to monitor for any violations of foreign exchange rules or of money laundering activities. Bitcoin stood at $10,123.13 as of 0842 GMT on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. The heightened regulatory scrutiny around the world, however, has seen bitcoin dive about 27.1 percent so far this month, on track for its biggest monthly decline since January 2015. Cryptocurrencies got another jolt last week after Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck said hackers stole over $500 million in one of the world’s biggest cyber heists.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Samsung’s now making chips designed for cryptocurrency mining

Samsung’s now making chips designed for cryptocurrency mining

An ethereum mining rig in South Korea.

  Samsung’s semiconductor business is booming, with the company recently overtaking Intel as the world’s biggest chipmaker. But the South Korean firm is not resting on its laurels, and is currently looking to expand into the buzziest contemporary market for processors: cryptocurrency mining.As reported by TechCrunch, Samsung has confirmed it’s in the process of making hardware specially designed for mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. A spokesperson for the firm told TechCrunch: “Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips. However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers.”

These chips are known as ASICs, or application-specific integrated circuits. ASICs are processors that have been specially designed for a single computational task, as opposed to the multi-purpose processors we use in computers and phones. As the valuation of cryptocurrencies has shot up, so has the demand for these sorts of chips. In the case of bitcoin, the currency is created by solving mathematical problems, with these calculations also maintaining the integrity of bitcoin transactions. As more bitcoins are mined, these math problems become increasingly difficult. This has led to miners moving on from using normal integrated graphics cards, to GPUs designed for gaming, and now to specially built ASICs.

It’s not clear exactly what sort of products Samsung will be making, but according to reports from Korean media, it’ll be working with Taiwanese firm TSMC. The company currently supplies chips for a number of firms set up solely to mine cryptocurrencies, including the China-based Bitmain. Meeting the demand for these chips has added around $350 million to $400 million to its quarterly revenue, says TSMC. That’s nothing to be sniffed at, but it’s a small sum compared to the $69 billion revenue generated annually by Samsung’s chip business. Mining cryptocurrencies is buzzy, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be extremely profitable for those selling the silicon shovels.

Samsung made a special chip for mining cryptocurrency

Maybe don't expect GPU prices to drop anytime soon, though.

Samsung has a chip designed specifically for mining cryptocurrency.

Rather than repurpose a GPU to do the dirty work, Samsung made an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), which is a specialized processor that is more efficient at mining than, say, an NVIDIA 1080 card. The company has entered into a distribution agreement with an as-of-now anonymous Chinese partner for distribution. As TechCrunch notes, this is significant for at least one reason: This gives the Korean company a way into the Chinese ASIC market, where local firms dominate. It's too early to tell what sort of impact (if any) this could have on Samsung's bottom line, or how it could affect cryptocurrency and China's local players.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

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What’s Ahead for Marketers and Influencers in 2018?

What’s Ahead for Marketers
and Influencers in 2018?

Opinion:
Brands must keep a keen eye out for trends and be ready
to shift their strategies

Influencer marketing has maintained its value
through the existing influencer-follower relationship.A new year always brings about much speculation in the world of marketing. Recent years have seen a seemingly endless stream of new technologies, platforms and tactics that marketers and brands can leverage to stay ahead of the curve. Throughout 2017, influencer marketing has maintained its value through the existing influencer-follower relationship, and it has continued to evolve. While the end of 2017 brought with it new technologies and opportunities for brands that incorporate this marketing tactic, we expect to see some of these developments really gain their momentum and mature in 2018. Below are a few trend predictions and tips for marketers and brands that want to start the year with strong influencer marketing strategies.

Influencer network as a service

By now, most marketers now know what an influencer is and have already incorporated these content creators into their marketing strategies and budgets. A recent survey revealed that 61 percent of brand respondents had worked with digital influencers within the past year. As brands become more comfortable with the influencer marketing process and better understand the additional value that brand-tailored campaigns can provide, some are looking to take a more active role in establishing their own influencer relationships and managing the entire campaign process.

One way that brands are taking more control is through a new model known as influencer network as a service. This model gives brands the tools they need on an easy-to-use platform so that they’re fully equipped to manage their own campaigns and influencer relationships directly, making for a more streamlined experience. Additionally, brands have the option to build their own custom-created networks from scratch, catered to a specific niche audience or designed for a select campaign. These influencer networks as a service give brands a new way to create meaningful content by working with influencers whose values are aligned with those of the brand. This type of custom fit cannot always be achieved with a premade influencer network.

Social platforms catered to influencers

Brands aren’t the only ones taking note of the power of influencers. As more marketers plan to launch influencer campaigns or increase their influencer budgets, social media platforms are stepping up their games to provide a better overall experience when working with sponsored content. In 2017, we saw social platforms create features and updates that simplify and enhance the influencer marketing process in an attempt to draw in more brand and influencer activity. Big changes came to Facebook marketing, including a feature that allows brands to share influencer posts directly with chosen audiences and an option to select which influencer can tag the company in branded content.

Instagram rolled out a new way for influencers to identify sponsored posts, which make it easier for brands and influencers to comply with Federal Trade Commission disclosure policies, and it added a new polls feature giving brand and influencer followers a new and exciting way to engage with these accounts. And Snapchat released a long-awaited, influencer-friendly feature that allows users to add external links to their videos. Social media is the go-to place for many shoppers these days. A recent survey found that almost one-half (47 percent) of social purchases are made via Facebook. Going into 2018, we’ll likely see more influencers and brands adopting these platform changes in an effort to engage their followers in new ways, while also streamlining their own efforts so that campaigns can become even more targeted to audiences.

Increased product involvement from influencers

More customers than ever are trusting influencer opinions on products. A recent survey found that 49 percent of consumers rely on recommendations from influencers they see on Twitter. While many consumers are loyal to their favorite brands, loyalty to influencers is a bit different. You expect brands to promote their own products in sponsored posts, but influencers are real people who often choose to work with brands that they believe in and are connected to, so there is less perceived bias. Loyal followers notice this and are more likely to pay attention to an influencer’s recommendation of a certain brand, product or style. As marketers catch onto this trend, many are offering their popular influencers a seat at the product-planning table. Influencers who are particularly engaged with their followers have their finger on the pulse of what the brand’s target audience is currently interested in.

This information can be very valuable when the time comes to design new products and campaigns that will catch customers’ eyes. So far, we have seen this trend emerge mainly for beauty and fashion brands, which are more likely to release special collections and lines tied to seasons or themes. However, as it gains traction, don’t be surprised to see a more diverse group of brands work closely with influencers for development in 2018. Although influencer marketing is no longer a new tactic, it is one that will remain relevant as time goes on with the introduction of new tactics and best practices. In the new year, as consumers and social platforms evolve to capitalize on these changes, brands must also keep a keen eye out for trends and be ready to shift their strategies and make the most of influencer campaigns.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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UK: Cryptocurrency Trader Robbed At Gunpoint’ Amount Stolen Unknown

UK:
Cryptocurrency Trader Robbed ‘At Gunpoint’, Amount Stolen Unknown

Four masked robbers have broken into the house

of a cryptocurrency trader in Moulsford, Oxfordshire and forced him to transfer all of his bitcoins to them “at gunpoint”, The Telegraph reports Sunday, Jan. 28. According to The Telegraph, this is the first case of cryptocurrency robbery in the UK. The criminals entered the house of a crypto trader and forced him to transfer his entire Bitcoin stash. The exact amount of bitcoins stolen has not yet been specified. Fortunately, the incident did not cause any serious injuries to anyone. The police immediately launched an investigation into the case, however, no arrests were made as of press time.

The police have also asked for help from local citizens:

"Officers are particularly interested in speaking to anyone travelling through [Moulsford] on the A329 Reading Road between 7.30am and 10.30am on Monday who has Dashcam footage or anyone with mobile phone footage.”

Due to their relatively anonymous nature, cryptocurrencies are becoming an increasingly popular target for robberies. Back in December 2017, Cointelegraph covered another case: the managing director of the cryptocurrency exchange EXMO Pavel Lerner was kidnapped in Kiev by an group of unidentified people. Fortunately, Lerner got out safely just two days later, albeit having to pay a ransom of $1 mln in bitcoins. Another robbery has taken place in neighboring Russia in mid-January, in which a locally famous cryptocurrency blogger was deprived of $425,000 worth of bitcoins. The latest news shows that cases of Bitcoin robbery aren’t limited to Russia and surrounding countries, as even the citizens of UK can be targeted by the criminals.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Fork Fail: US Government Claims Bitcoin Cash Is Original’ Bitcoin

Fork Fail:
US Government Claims Bitcoin Cash
Is ‘Original’ Bitcoin

A US government institute has claimed Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

is the “original” Bitcoin while Bitcoin itself (BTC) is a “fork” in a surprising official research into cryptocurrency. In a document titled “Blockchain Technology Overview” from the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the US Department of Commerce, authors Dylan Yaga, Peter Mell, Nik Roby and Karen Scarfone claim that “technically,” the perception that BTC is the genuine version of Bitcoin is incorrect. “When SegWit was activated, it caused a hard fork, and all the mining nodes and users who did not want to change started calling the original Bitcoin blockchain Bitcoin Cash (BCC),”

they write.

“Technically, Bitcoin is a fork and Bitcoin Cash is the original blockchain. When the hard fork occurred, people had access to the same amount of coins on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.”

The document makes for curious reading at a time when the cryptocurrency industry remains awash with propaganda and marketing activities from BCH and BTC representatives alike. Confusion for new users in Bitcoin has increased following July’s hard fork due to some major resources in the industry, notably Roger Ver’s Bitcoin.com, controversially allying with BCH.

More recently, two scandals involving BCH, mainstream news outlet CNBC and major US exchange Coinbase further dented BCH’s reputation. The US government document nonetheless appears unfazed by both the events and the nature of Bitcoin’s hard fork itself, continuing on to provide descriptions of other cryptocurrencies. Litecoin, authors say, is a “complement to Bitcoin,” while Ethereum Classic is underlined as the original version of “more popular” Ethereum. Last Week, ratings agency Weiss also caused a stir when it delivered its first cryptocurrency ratings, giving Bitcoin a ‘C+’ and Ethereum a ‘B.’

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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