Tag Archives: markethive

Profile Pages: Online Branding and Building Authority

Profile Pages: “Online Branding and Building Authority”

What is the difference between online branding and building authority? Some would consider it the same thing, but in reality it can be two completely different processes. Online branding is a way to get more exposure for your brand on all levels of online marketing, especially search and social.

Building authority takes online branding to the next level by making each online presence for a brand authoritative. It goes beyond just about creating a blog or social media account. The following are ways you can build your online brand as well as your authority.

Everyone wants to be an authority.  READ: How to be an authority (Know Your Why First)
https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/how-to-be-an-authority

Start a Blog with Awesome Content

Blogs are beneficial for brands for three reasons. First of all, blogs help you rank well in search engines – Google loves fresh, unique content on websites that are constantly updated. If you’re looking to meet this goal, be sure to use Markethive’s blog platform and build a blog team in a Markethive group to assist in greater content and curation.

RE: WordPress Markethive’s technology super charges WordPress campaigns.

Next, blogs provide for great content to share on social media networks. It’s hard to get traction if your just sharing product and sales pages. But if you’re sharing informative blog posts about your industry, you’re likely to get a lot of traffic and social shares.

Markethive provides plugins and widgets and tech that allows visitors to subscribe to your blog from their Social Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, thereby allowing your new Markethive posts to publish to their news feed automatically.

Finally, great blogs can help your brand build authority in your niche. This is where you go above and beyond cookie cutter posts that talk about your product to creating awesome content in the form of:

  •     Tutorials
  •     Infographics
  •     Videos
  •     Industry Interviews

Awesome content will show fans of your industry that you know your stuff and therefore are the brand to go with for their business needs. A great example of this is the blog you are reading right now – Markethive has Inbound Marketing technologies, the go to Social Network and infographics  that have been tweeted and liked over 10,000 times and posts that have been viewed on Facebook, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon over 100,000 times.

There are two great fears that brands have when it comes to blogging. One is that they won’t have anything to blog about, and this is a complete myth. Everyone can find something to blog about. You just have to expand your definition of the target audience. Imagine you had a body shop. You probably won’t get a lot of attention if you’re writing about paint booths and sanding tools all the time, but you will if you think about broader topics that would interest the people likely to visit an auto body shop. You can blog about the latest coolest Hot Rods at the coming Hot Rod Nationals show or the latest NASCAR winner to grab fans of those programs. Or you can blog about environmental issues and the Prious to grab environmentalists. Just think bigger!

The other fear is that they will be giving away “trade secrets” and lose their business. This one is especially common within industries like SEO, where a brand might feel like giving out ten steps to link building will give their customers the info they need to just do it themselves. But this just isn’t true. I have found that most of the time, if you give a complex, in-depth tutorial, a potential customer will see that your brand has the knowledge to do the service, but they won’t have the time or resources to do it for themselves. Hence, they’ll go with you because they feel confident that your brand has the expertise demonstrated in the content provided on the blog.

The key with your brand’s blog is to make sure that it is apparent who is behind the content. Whether you have your blog on your domain (yourbrand.com/blog), as a subdomain (blog.yourbrand.com), or as a separate site (yourbrandblog.com), be sure that it is matched to your brand. Check out Markethive’s site, blog, and subscribers profile pages, logged in dashboard and display variances on hand held devices. All are unique yet all are well branded and follow a conventional identity protocol (all on separate domains and different devices) as an example of great branding.

Guest Blog for Others (This is a major component in Markethive)

When it comes to blogging, you don’t want to keep the good stuff all to yourself. Guest blogging (join a Markethive Group to share content is that easy) is a great way to build your online brand presence and authority. The basic goal is to find a (GROUP) blog whose audience will be interested in your brand, and create a great piece of content for that blog.

Notice I said great piece of content. I would go so far as to say that the content you create for another (GROUP) site’s blog should be even better than the content you create for your own site. You want the content you create for another blog (GROUP) to rock. You want that content to generate additional social shares, comments, and traffic for the blog owner.

As you create GROUP posts for others, be sure to save the links to those guest posts for future reference. As you approach new GROUPs that you would like to guest post upon, you will want to include those links as examples of your successful guest posts in other Markethive GROUPS. If you can convince the GROUP owner that your post will be a perfect fit for their audience and will drive significant traffic and response, the GROUP blog owner will have a hard time resisting.

My main tips for GROUP blogging for your brand include:

1. Find the best GROUPs to guest post on.

When it comes to blogs you want to get a guest post on, your goal is to find those whose audience would be interested in your brand. The blog should get a significant amount of traffic and social shares as well – there’s no reason to post on a blog that has no visitors just because it has high PageRank or any other criteria – you want to get some brand exposure out of this! Use the Markethive GROUPs directory to start your search for blogs in your niche or industry.

2. Find the GROUPs blogging policy.

If you see that a GROUP allows guest bloggers or outside contributors, the GROUP should have some page or post posted that describes their post policy. If they do have a policy page or post, then be sure to note any and all criteria.

3. Start building a relationship with the GROUP owner first. (Markethive Groups is excellent for this)

Now that you’ve found the blog you want to pitch an idea to, don’t just jump in and pitch them yet. Start by getting to know the GROUP owner first by following their Markethive blog posts, their Twitter and their Facebook fan page. Comment on some of their latest posts – make those comments valuable to enhance discussion and demonstrate your writing skills and expertise in the industry. CoPromote their posts using Broadcasting tools and widgets. Do this for at least a week or two before pitching content to them.

4. Research and pitch great topic ideas. (Join others in our live Markethive Work Shops)

Don’t create the content first and then try to find it a home. Once you’ve found the right blogs and started engaging with the blogs themselves, you’ll get a feel for the type of content they publish.

To get an even better idea of what content is successful for each blog, subscribe to them in your Markethive back office blog platform. Then you will be able to see the site’s latest traffic scores. The higher score, the more comments, tweets, Facebook likes, and other social shares the post received. Use these high-scoring posts as an indicator as to what content does well on each blog.

Now you can message via the Markethive message system or request to join their group saying that you have recently enjoyed reading their blog (as evidenced by your commenting & social sharing) and would like to contribute to their site as a GROUP member. After reading their guidelines, you would like to see if they would be interested in the following topics. Then add three to four great post ideas that you believe will fit their audience to choose from. And of course, if you’ve done guest posts elsewhere, include some of your best links. If not, just include some great links from your own brand’s blog.

5. Create Awesome Content.

Once you get approval from a GROUP, your next job is to create an awesome piece of content. Make sure it fits the theme of that blogging GROUP and that it has the overall feel / tone of the GROUP blog you are submitting to. Also be sure to add in relevant links throughout your blog post – not to your own properties, but internal links to the blog itself. This shows the blog owner you’re really giving it 100% for them and their audience and not just trying to promote yourself.

The self-promotion piece should come at the end with your guest bio. Check out other author bios on the blogs and create yours to match. This is where you can say you are John Smith, an industry enthusiast from ABC Company.

Again, be sure to consider the blog’s guidelines and previous guest author bios when deciding to add one or more links back to your brand. The blog owner ultimately reserves the right to edit it as they feel is necessary.

6. Support your GROUP post once it goes live.

It’s not over yet. After that guest post goes live, you should give it your unconditional love in the form of social sharing with your brand’s audience on Twitter, Facebook, etc. as well as coming by to respond to comments. That kind of response on your guest post will further boost your brand’s reputation as a great guest blogger as well as a confident authority in your niche.

Don’t Forget Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is a great branding and authority building exercise you can do on any blog in your niche. I would suggest subscribing to the top blogs in your industry in Google Reader, and each time there is a new post, be sure to read it thoroughly and add a valuable comment. Remember this isn’t about link building – this is about building your brand’s presence online as an authority in your industry.

Get a Disqus account as well as it is a sort of social network of people that comment.

You can use the blog’s previous comments as a guide as to how you should format yours. Some blogs require you to only use your real name, while others are a little more lenient in using your name – your company. I would suggest linking your comments to your blog as people are more willing to click through to a brand’s blog than their main website.

Your Online Branding & Authority Building Strategy Using Blogs

What is your brand’s strategy when it comes to building your brand’s authority using blogs? Be sure to share what you find brings your brand the best results in the comments!

Create a Consistent Brand Image for Each Profile

Have you ever visited a company’s social profile, and you were not sure that it belonged to the company? One of the most important parts of branding is keeping a consistent image across all of your online properties so that no matter what path a person takes from one property to the next, they will always know it is your brand. For example, someone might:

Find your fan page through a friend’s activity stream and then follow it to your blog, then website

See a tweet from someone they are following, visit your Twitter profile, and then continue onto your website.

Start at your website, then go to check out your social profiles to see if your company is engaging with fans. Engaging is fuel and grows awareness, authority and respect. Comment, recommend. Just drive by liking and endorsing does no one any good and makes you look like a tire kicking couch potato.

Just like you wouldn’t want pages on your website to be different themes, you will want your social profiles to do the same. Markethive also leads the way in doing it right as well:

MARKETHIVE

Markethive probably does the best with branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube accounts as shown above. All five are branded with the honey comb logo, color theme and climbers ascending Mt. Everest in representation of the entrepreneurial social community of entrepreneurs helping each other achieve their agendas, so you can feel the consistency moving from one property to the next.

BMW

The above shows BMW’s branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles. Each online property uses the same color scheme and is currently focused on automotive technology. The logos are all consistent, and the auto focused in the pages is different perspectives, the coloring and themes are consistent as well

BOLTHOUSE

Bolthouse’s (organic farm fresh juices) branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles as shown above uses the same color scheme, logo, and focus on their primary product, carrots and selections of juices. Excellent example of branding and consistency!

Help People Find Your Profiles

I do a lot of competitive analysis in my line of work, and one of the most frustrating things I have to do is search for a brand’s social profiles. Don’t hide your social media presence – flaunt them! Be sure to:

  • Put Social Icons on Your Website – Let visitors to your website know that you are engaging with your audience on social media as well by adding social icons to your website design. The most common places to place them include the header / menu bar, sidebar, and footer. They don’t have to be large and in charge – BMW’s are none existent on their main page and Bolthouse are right up top left of center where they should be and get the job done..
     
  • Put Social Links in Your Communications – Do you send emails regularly? Add social links to your email signature. Do you send newsletters? Add social icons to them.
     
  • Make Your Profiles Search Friendly – If I Google your brand name + Twitter, I should get your Twitter handle in the search results. To make this happen, be sure that the name of your social profile (and the username if possible) matches your brand name. You might be tempted to keyword optimize your profiles instead of optimizing them for your brand name – this is something you need to resist. You can learn more about social media SEO on how to optimize for both effectively for search engines.

Another frustration is the direct sales industry.

Even though the size of this industry is huge by any comparison with a market measured in the trillions, even the top 100 fail miserable branding with social media. Do not be like them, rather show them a good example with your efforts. After several days of research I was able to find one such company that at least had the top 5 Social Medias registered with a similar array (not the same name) of usernames.  The super majorities only have a token Facebook page, even less with Youtube and Twitter and nearly nonexistent with a Google+ and for that almost none of them are engaged.

BEACHBODY

Team Beach Body with a yearly market of 250 million, struggles with social media but has managed to set up the top 5 social medias, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+, albeit, the account usernames vary, and across the media branding is seriously lacking. It becomes painfully clear this industry needs Markethive or at least their distributors seriously do.

Get Engaged with Your Followers, Fans, and Subscribers

You probably know that it is important to maintain an active account by posting lots of updates, and that it is best to do something other than blasting advertisements non-stop about your brand. So the question is, what should you be doing to stay active in your social networks? Get engaged with your audience, of course. Here are the top networks to get socially engaged in for your brand.

Twitter Engagement

If you’re goal is to build a strong presence on Twitter and demonstrate your brand’s authority in your industry, you need get involved with your following. Some ways to do so include:

Monitoring Brand Mentions – If you use Twitter itself, just do a search for your brand and save the search for future reference. If you use a Twitter management tool like HootSuite, create a keyword search column that will constantly update you with brand mentions. Anytime someone says something about your brand, whether it is good or bad, you should be responding to it if at all possible. This may mean adding some extra team members to your social media GROUP as a response staff. But over time, if people see that you are always on top of any discussion of your brand, you will gain trust and receive lots of great word of mouth marketing. People will tell their followers what a great response they’ve received from you and likely recommend you based on their satisfaction level.

Monitoring Industry Conversation – One of the best parts of Twitter is that you can jump into any conversation, anytime. So if you are a company providing Inbound Marketing services and technologies like Markethive, you can monitor anyone who talks about Inbound Marketing, SEO, linking, Entrepreneurial interests, and other related topics and just answer simple questions that anyone asks about those topics demonstrating your expertise.

Curate the Best Content – Even if you are the best content creator in your industry, people often like to see a second opinion. Find out who other authorities are in your industry and share their opinion on industry topics with your following. You will gain more relevant followers simply for sharing the best news.

Facebook Fan Page Engagement

There are several different ways you can engage with your fans using your fan page that will keep your current fans active and bring new fans to your brand. These include:

Updating Your Fan Page on Facebook – It’s tempting to use HootSuite and other automated programs to update your fan page. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that if you want your updates to show up in fan’s news feeds that the updates must be organic, or originating from your fan page itself. So take the extra time to disable all of your autofeeds and start updating your fan page manually on Facebook. And when people start engaging with your posts or posting directly on your wall, be sure to respond to them. If they know they’re getting response, they’re more likely to return. No one likes a one-way broadcast.

Try Out Different Types of Updates – Don’t just post links or ask questions. Spice it up – add some video updates and photos. Different types of people like different types of content – be sure to try to cater to everyone by mixing your content up!

Thanks to the last major update to Facebook fan pages, you are able to use Facebook as your fan page. This means you can like pages as your fan page instead of your personal profile and then comment on them as your fan page. If you can find pages that are not direct competitors but whose audience will be interested in your brand, you will want to get active on them. For example, social media consultants should be living on Social Media Examiner’s fan page to connect with other individuals and businesses looking for social media help.

LinkedIn Engagement

If your brand isn’t on LinkedIn, you are missing out. LinkedIn allows you to add a company page where you can post your products, services, job openings, and even send status updates to your company followers including your latest blog posts. But some of the best branding and authority building activities for this network lie in the activity of the professional profiles including:

Participating in Groups – There are lots of great, active groups on LinkedIn in a wide variety of industries. Find the groups that have your potential client base within them and start getting active in discussions and posting useful content. Just be sure not to do anything that the group moderator would consider as spamming!

Answering Questions – The next best area to build a great professional reputation and strong authority in your industry is in LinkedIn Answers. There are questions asked every day in topics ranging from administration to technology. The people who answer the most questions are also featured on the answers’ home page as the week’s top experts!

Gaining Recommendations – Last, but not least, is recommendations. You can get recommendations on both the company pages and the professional profiles of your employees. Imagine if someone is browsing your company’s page and sees that the top employees have a ton of recommendations. It will show that you have a lot of experts in the industry which will make potential clients even more confident in your brand!

Entrepreneurial Social Networks

Top 5 Social Networks Entrepreneur Strategy

There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.

Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground.

Here are the top 10 social networks for entrepreneurs. Each helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with the guidance, tools and resources they need to setup their company and gain exposure.

Nothing compares with the brute force horsepower Inbound Marketing engine that comes free with Markethive, but we need to build alliances among our peers and this list is the top 10 of other Entrepreneurial social nets we recommend you frequent as well.

1. Markethive

I am putting Markethive as number one for many reasons, including a serious case of bias. I built it, aside from that. Markethive is a traditional easily navigated and profile oriented network similar to Facebook, oriented like LinkedIn but unique in that it's engine is a multimillion dollar Inbound Marketing platform. As entrepreneurs, we invest (spend) millions on autoresponder systems, capture page systems, blogging platforms, broadcasting technologies, known as Inbound Marketing today. Markethive's founder is the same man the developed Veretekk and invented Automated Marketing, auto responders, capture pages basically what has become today known as Inbound Marketing. There is no other Inbound Marketing solution on the Internet that comes close, has the level of integration found on the Internet at any price and the other systems cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Markethive's Inbound Marketing platform is free included and built into the social network.

2.  StartupNation

Most social networks neglect the content aspect that makes StartupNation so useful.  With articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for their ventures and have the resources required to make better business decisions. 

There are a wide range of topics being discussed on StartupNation right now, including business planning, marketing and web-based business.  The site also offers a series of competitions, such as a dorm-based 20 contest and an elevator pitch competition. If you're an entrepreneur or hope to become one, this site is definitely one you can’t miss out on.

3.  LinkedIn

It’s difficult to leave LinkedIn off of any social networking list because it’s so useful for anyone who's either searching for a job, is trying to network with like-minded individuals, or building a company.  LinkedIn offers many resources for entrepreneurs, such as groups, including the very popular “On Startups” group that has over 54,000 members. 

Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn should brand themselves properly so they can attract the right kind of business opportunities, and perform searches to find service providers or partners.  As an entrepreneur, you should also be looking to participate in LinkedIn Answers, events and applications to spruce up your profile and become a valuable member to your community.

4.  Perfect Business

If you want to meet thousands of serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries, then Perfect Business might be the perfect social network for you.  The type of people you’ll find are potential business partners, potential clients and advisers. Additionally, the site has leading business partners like Entrepreneur and Virgin Money.

From business networking to a video center where you can learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center, you’ll have most of the resources you need to create or regenerate your business. There is a free basic membership and a gold membership that costs $29.99 per month.

5.   The Funded

The Funded is an online community of entrepreneurs who research, rate and review funding sources.  Entrepreneurs can view and share terms sheets to assist each other in finding good investors, as well as discuss the inner workings of operating a business.  General benefits of this site include viewing facts, reviews and commentary on funding resources, and accessing RSS feeds of the most recent public comments by members. 

By joining the site, you have access to detailed fund profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria, in addition to accessing partner vCards that have full contact information of all partners at venture funds.  In order to get any value out of this social network, you pretty much have to become a member.

 

 

University of British Columbia Study: Compliance Trilemma’ Limits Potential of ICOs

University of British Columbia Study: ‘Compliance Trilemma’ Limits
Potential of ICOs

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) are facing a regulatory
“compliance trilemma,”

according to a recent study released Nov. 19. The research, funded by regtech platform iComply and “supported by” Canadian non-profit national research organization Mitacs Canada, was carried out by the University of British Columbia (UBC).To prepare the report, UBC’s research team investigated the ICO space over the course of six months, focusing primarily on North America, but also delving into some other countries and jurisdictions. The team conducted 45 qualitative interviews with individuals in the ICO space, including representatives of the finance, law, and science sectors of the field.

Per the study, ICO issuers face a “trilemma,” wherein they can only address two of three objectives at a time, those being “having a compliant offering,” “reaching a distributed pool of investors,” in a manner that is “cost-effective.” The researchers define compliance as following regulations in the home jurisdiction of both the issuer and investor. While a broadly distributed pool of investors is said to be the principal benefit of an ICO as a funding mechanism, the cost of complying with financial regulators becomes “much greater” if the investor pool becomes more distributed.

“If issuers forgo these costs, the risk of being non-compliant rises significantly. The result is a trilemma, whereby issuers currently must forgo one of these goals to realize the other two, or to compromise on all three,” the study explains. The trilemma further reveals four basic approaches available to ICO issues, which are “the Maverick ICO,” “the Private ICO,” “the Hybrid ICO,” and no ICO at all. The first option refers to ignoring compliance for maximizing ICO reach and cost effectiveness, which reportedly runs a huge risk of regulatory enforcement.

The second approach focuses on targeting only accredited and institutional investors by sacrificing distribution, which may not affect cost-effectiveness but raise challenges in secondary market trading control. Regarding the Hybrid ICO, the report reads that it “compromise[s] on all three dimensions by issuing in select markets, resulting in bounded cost effectiveness, compliance and investor scope,” resulting in a combination of risks.

The researchers found that companies wishing to undergo an ICO sought relief from the trilemma through relevant regulatory authorities. Participants in the study reportedly called for amendments to regulation, including clarifications of existing regulation and development of “fundamentally new” regulatory definitions and frameworks. The study concludes that this “trilemma” has “substantially limited [the] potential” of ICOs,

noting:

“Many actors with legitimate ventures that could benefit from ICOs are likely holding back, due to combination of confusion over how exactly they might comply with financial regulations within and across jurisdictions, and the prohibitive costs of doing so manually.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, ICO performance in the third quarter of 2018 was in part characterized by “overall disappointment," in comparison with previous quarters. Last week, Cointelegraph reported that in a self-described “first,” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had imposed civil penalties against two ICOs over their failure to register their token sales with the agency.

Article Produced By
Ana Alexandre

Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/study-compliance-trilemma-limits-potential-of-icos

TP

What is an ICO Exactly?

What is an ICO, Exactly?

crypto

From Wall Street brokers to small time investors,

finance can be a dangerous game. The world’s currencies are constantly in shift, falling in and out of favour, and the results can often be disastrous (or highly fortuitous) for those involved. People win and lose big. That’s a fact of life, and it’s no different when cryptocurrencies are involved instead of regular cash. Having taken the world by storm in the past decade, the blockchain tech behind Bitcoin, Litecoin and other altcoins has changed finance – and money itself – forever. But how does one go about bringing a virtual currency into existence? Well, that’s where ICOs come in.

A Dictionary Rundown

An ICO is an initial coin offering much similar to an IPO. An initial public offering involves a new company selling shares to investors, the process underwritten by an investment bank. The company stocks are then listed on various markets. When it comes to an ICO however, no stocks or shares are sold.

Instead, it’s all about coins.

When somebody wants to launch a new cryptocurrency they’ll advertise its perks with something called a White Paper, then ask for investment from the public. Interested parties then donate existing cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, and in return receive some of the first rounds of, let’s say, ProfitCoin. The hope is that ProfitCoin will gain popularity, be used a lot, and as such rise in value. The investors will then, well, make a profit from their ProfitCoin ICO. Either way, they’re supporting the ecosystem and development of cryptocurrency in general.

ICOs vs Standard Investing

But why bother with an ICO? There are stocks, gold, oil, salt and pepper to be bought and sold after all. Forex already exists. Why venture into this new zone of risk and exploration? Well, put quite simply, because you may regret it otherwise. How many tech savvy folks and investors are kicking themselves for not jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon years ago? With ICOs, said folks now have a second chance to find the next cash cow. It’s a gamble, yes, but a relatively informed one if you take the time to research. If you were to head over to the Paddy Power Casino, make your deposit, get your bonus and take to the roulette table, for example, you’d be taking a similar informed risk. You can work out the odds, see the potential for a win, and decide whether or not to take it.

An ICO is similar, but instead of knowledge of cards or probability, you need knowledge of the cryptocurrency world. You need to read the new coin’s White Paper first things first, and then you can decide whether or not to go ahead.

The All Important White Paper

An ICO White Paper is the cornerstone of any new coin campaign. It lays out what this new currency can offer that others have not, it explains how the idea works, why it works, and why it’s better than what’s come before. It is, in essence, a business pitch; interesting, thorough, well-explained. A White Paper is addressed first and foremost to you, and to other potential initial coin investors around the globe – so best brush up before trading in your precious Bitcoin for ProfitCoin. The world of finance changed when cryptocurrency came into existence, even more so when it grew into a global market. Now the world of crypto is changing thanks to ICOs, and with every White Paper comes a new opportunity to win big.

Article Produced By
FinSMEs

http://www.finsmes.com/2018/11/what-is-an-ico-exactly.html

TP

A token airdrop may not spare you from securities regulation

Blockchain token based projects need network effects.

There needs to be a mechanism for fairly and widely distributing tokens to in order for the project to function well upon launch. A popular method thus far has been to sell those tokens in advance to prospective users of the network that are interested in crowdfunding its development. Another, lesser known, strategy is an “airdrop.”

In an airdrop, a project’s creators can take a snapshot of a public blockchain, such as Bitcoin’s or Ethereum’s, and send tokens to all wallet addresses containing some number of bitcoin or ether at the time the snapshot was taken. This requires no action on the recipient's part other than to take whatever steps are needed to take control of the tokens once they have been gifted. It can be a way to jumpstart a community by instantly putting tokens in the hands of a lot of people with a proven level of cryptocurrency savvy. This seems like something totally new and unique to token projects, right? Not really. It turns out people have tried airdropping before, but with stocks. And the SEC did not look favorably

upon the tactic.

In each of the four cases, the investors were required to sign up with the issuers' web sites and disclose valuable personal information in order to obtain shares. Free stock recipients were also offered extra shares, in some cases, for soliciting additional investors or, in other cases, for linking their own websites to those of an issuer or purchasing services offered through an issuer. Through these techniques, issuers received value by spawning a fledgling public market for their shares, increasing their business, creating publicity, increasing traffic to their websites, and, in two cases, generating possible interest in projected public offerings.

So, since the SEC has found that some tokens can be securities, if you are considering using an airdrop token distribution be warned that even giving away tokens is not necessarily free from scrutiny under securities law.e briefed Congress on tracking illicit cryptocurrency use and moderated a convening on ICO regulatory uncertainty.

This was a big week for cryptocurrency in DC.

On Tuesday, members of Congress and over 50 representatives from the crypto industry convened at the Library of Congress for a roundtable entitled “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies.” The event was organized by Rep. Warren Davidson and also attended by Reps. Tom Emmer, Ted Budd, and Darren Soto. Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito moderated the event, and entrepreneurs voiced their concerns about the lack of clarity around when exactly a cryptocurrency token is or is not a security.

Following the roundtable, 14 members of Congress, led by Rep. Budd, sent a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton echoing the concerns of cryptocurrency innovators and asking for more clarity around the regulatory treatment of these networks. In another event in Congress on Wednesday, in conjunction with the the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, Coin Center put on a briefing about the tools law enforcement has to track illicit use of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain forensics company Elliptic presented how their product works with real-world examples of illicit funds being traced by law enforcement. Reps. Emmer and Schweikert also gave remarks highlighting the importance of getting the regulatory approach to these technologies right and preserving a fertile climate for innovators in America.

Article Produced By

Peter Van Valkenburgh

https://coincenter.org/link/a-token-airdrop-may-not-spare-you-from-securities-regulation

 

TP

Crisis: After 30 Billion Invested Most Crypto ICOs Have Nothing to Show

Crisis: After $30 Billion Invested, Most Crypto ICOs Have Nothing to Show

Over the past two years,

initial coin offering (ICO) projects in the crypto market have raised more than $30 billion. Yet, most ICO projects have little to show, especially pertaining to user growth, blockchain adoption, and overall user activity on decentralized systems.

It Will Only Get Worse

A handful of tokens have demonstrated success in establishing clear vision, growth paths, and valid use cases of blockchain technology that benefits users. Binance Coin (BNB), for instance, which already operates as the base cryptocurrency of the Binance exchange, will be extensively utilized to process peer-to-peer trades upon the launch of the Binance decentralized exchange (DEX). Tens of thousands of merchants have also recently started to use BNB to accept crypto payments.

0x (ZRX), the native cryptocurrency of the 0x decentralized exchange protocol, is necessary to facilitate liquidity amongst many decentralized exchanges that operate on top of the 0x protocol. While there are several tokens in the market that represent viable applications of the blockchain, the vast majority of projects have ambiguous roadmaps and long-term strategies.

As Uber’s Sam Gellman said:

“After $30 billion invested in the past two years in ICOs there still isn’t a single crypto app with a real user base for anything other than speculating on crypto. The BTC price movement is tough, but the lack of real user base for anything they’re investing in is tougher.”

With regulatory hurdles set forth by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the ICO ecosystem will become even more difficult for both innovators and projects. This week, the U.S. SEC cracked down on two ICO projects called AirFox and Paragon, characterizing their token sales as unregistered security offerings and requesting the two tokens to refund all of their investors. “They have also agreed to compensate investors who purchased tokens in the illegal offerings if an investor elects to make a claim. The registration undertakings are designed to ensure that investors receive the type of information they would have received had these issuers complied with the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) prior to the offer and sale of tokens in their respective ICOs.”

The U.S. SEC emphasized that it is in support of the blockchain and the usage of newly emerging technologies. But, the commission said that market participants must acknowledge and adhere to local regulations. “We wish to emphasize, however, that market participants must still adhere to our well-established and well-functioning federal securities law framework when dealing with technological innovations, regardless of whether the securities are issued in certificated form or using new technologies, such as blockchain.

Importance of Bear Market

The bear market of 2018 will filter good projects from the bad, and those that survive will be projects that have a clear vision, roadmap, active user base, and a competitive model. As the capital in the market drops, investors who previously invested in every new project in the market will become more cautious and it will be challenging for token sales without competitive strategies to appeal to the public. Over time, as investors learn to conduct due dilligence and the market evolves into a more competitive sector, underperforming projects will naturally see a decline in investment opportunities, user activity, and demand.

Article Produced By
Blockchain News

https://www.ccn.com/crisis-after-30-billion-invested-most-crypto-icos-have-nothing-to-show/

TP

All About Airdrops

All About Airdrops

What is an airdrop?

An airdrop is simpy a marketing tool that many companies are using to drum up press for new blockchain projects. The concept is simple: You help a company with some of their initial marketing efforts by following them on social media, and they reward you with free tokens once the project launches. In many ways, airdrops represent free money. Using Quarry, you can apply for most airdrops in just a few minutes, and the rewards can range from a few dollars in value all the way up to hundreds in rare cases.

What do I need?

The first thing you need is an ERC20-compatible ETH wallet. If you’re using Quarry, don’t sweat it, because this has already been made for you. Airdrops will ask for your public address (not your private key!) in order to send you the tokens.

Beyond that, the majority of airdrops require:

  • an email address
  • a Telegram account
  • a Twitter account
  • a Facebook account

Rarely, a small number of airdrops may optionally require:

  • a Reddit account
  • a Medium account
  • a Discord account
  • a LinkedIn account
  • an Instagram account
  • a Steemit account
  • a Bitcointalk forum account
  • an Altcoinstalks forum account
  • a VK account
  • an AngelList account

If possible, you might want to consider using alternate social media accounts, instead of your personal pages. This will avoid cluttering your feed with too much token-related news, but it’s up to you. In Quarry, we even highlight on the airdrop page what accounts you will need ahead of time, so that there are no suprises on the page. Note that you never have to give any information that you aren’t comfortable sharing.

Are Airdrops Scams?

No. It’s a very fair trade. For one, having a lot of people following and reposting a project’s content on social media helps a company with brand awareness, much like advertising. Ideally, by the time the project launches, there are already thousands of people aware of the concept and excited to see it in action. Additionally, distributing airdrop tokens to participants actually helps the economics of the token on public exchanges, since the tokens are not concentrated in just a few locations.

In the past, a small number of scammers have pretended to run airdrops in order to steal information from unsuspecting partipants. One of the advantages of using Quarry is that we screen all airdrops before they enter the app to ensure that they are legitimate. However, just in case, please be vigilant. No airdrop should ever ask for:

  • your wallet’s private key (note: your public address is fine to share)
  • any kind of password
  • any amount of money

As long as you don’t hand out this information, you have nothing to fear.

When do airdrops pay out?

In general, an airdrop will pay out several weeks after completion. In some cases, it could take a few months. If you completed an airdrop and don’t see the coins yet, don’t panic! Most likely, the airdrop will distribute when the token crowdsale is complete.

What do I do when the tokens are paid out?

That’s up to you. Because projects doing airdrops are in very early stages of development, it is possible that the tokens will increase in value over time (remember when Bitcoins cost $5 each?), so it might be worth it to hold onto them for a while. However, if you would prefer to sell them once they hit the market, there are many token exchanges available online and on the Quarry “Discover” menu.

Article Produced By
Token Block Friends

We’re Token Block Friends, your buddies in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain applications.

https://tokenblockfriends.com/all-about-airdrops/

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France Attempts to Attract New Cryptocurrency ICO Token Issuers with New Legal Framework

France Attempts to Attract New Cryptocurrency ICO Token Issuers with New Legal Framework

France Tries to Attract Crypto-Issuers

France is looking to improve its stance toward cryptocurrencies by allowing their use, but with regulations in place to provide oversight. If France does establish regulations to oversee cryptocurrencies, it will be the first country in the world to do so, insofar as it relates to initial coin offerings. Those who are pro-regulation argue that coin issuers that agree to the regulation will be viewed as more trustworthy by investors, thus leading to more credibility in the long-term. Regulatory authorities will also issue a certification to issuers. It is important to note that issuers will also need to relent to having their profits taxed.

According to Fabrice Heuvrard, an auditor with a government task force responsible for developing accounting-related rules for ICOs, “The community is ready to pay taxes as long s they are not confiscatory.” France is looking to release new rules regulating the industry by next year. By regulating the industry and coaxing cryptocurrency platforms out of the shadows, so to say, the country may be able to create a market for companies interested in raising capital for ICOs and all the while receiving revenue and enhancing security for those who invest.

France is not the only country moving in such a direction. For example, though England does not regulate ICOs, it does have some financial oversight to determine whether the issuance of an ICO is under the purview of regulatory authority. As for the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been considering establishing that ICOs and cryptocurrency are subject to the commission’s purview. However, the country has yet to establish strict rules. On the far end of the spectrum, China has completely banned cryptocurrencies due to concerns about fraud.

The position that France is taking may be a positive approach because it allows investors to verify the parties involved in the issuance of a new coin and they can also determine what happens if a project is unsuccessful. This ultimately leads to more confidence in the process. As of late, the country has had ICOs that have raised 90 million euros. According to businessman and CEO of a Canada-based company, “The different regulators have been hyper, hyper proactive.” A French official also pointed out that there are still issues related to the tax status and whether it has been settled. Right now, the country needs to consider how much revenue is being raised and what is the best tax rate.

Allard stated,

“Our plan is to declare the money raised as revenue and pay taxes on the profits we will make on those revenues. Since we are not close to making any profits, it doesn’t really affect us.”

Article Produced By
Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/france-attempts-to-attract-new-cryptocurrency-ico-token-issuers-with-new-legal-framework/

TP

What Is An ICO Token And How Does It work?

What Is An ICO Token
And How Does It work?

What’s the definition of crypto token?

It's an entity with a value specified by the eminent. If it's a fashion startup, one token can be equal to one dress or a yearly license of a software in case of a hi-tech startup. You even can issue tokens of yourself and a token holder will be able to buy an hour of your work with the token. You can “tokenize” everything.

What’s the difference between cryptocurrency coins and tokens?

This is a difficult part. The easiest answer: tokens are not a currency. You don’t need to create a Blockchain to issue tokens, which is a must-have for a cryptocurrency, but you use an existing one (usually Ethereum, which was originally created as a platform for smart contracts and evolved to be a currency). A coin is a money equivalent, something that defines value and serves as a value transfer. A token is a symbol of a contract, the value does not depend on mining, gold price or any dynamic market criteria. A friend of mine once gave me a note saying that he will always make me a coffee on demand. He still does it, after 10 years, it was a heck good token!

What is a token contract and how does it work?

Ok, a token is not a coin, got it. But still, something should regulate it’s transaction, value etc? How does that work? You do need a platform for it. Let’s take Etherium as an example, since its one of the most popular platforms for smart tokens.

Here is the full contract cycle:

  1. Tokens creation: a company writes the basic rules (tokens amount, token value, special conditions). Once created the platform will serve as a very smart notary for all the future transactions, making sure all the conditions are carried out.
  2. Tokens acquisition: when somebody wants to buy a token, the process is really similar to buying a coke in a vending machine. You approach a machine, drop the coin and push the button “coke” (choose the token you want to buy). The machine checks if there are “cokes” in stock and if you are eligible to buy it. If everything is fine- you get your drink (or token in our case). The machine says “have a nice day” and updates the stock info (one coke less now).
  3. Token transaction: In case you have a coke, you can just pass it to your friend. For money or for free. In tokens reality, you have your token wallet which is supported by the same platform that issued the token. You can transfer your token using the wallet. And again, a virtual notary, powered by a smart contract, will make sure you do it according to the rules. Moreover, all the wallets activity is constantly recorded and being updated.

Is all this free? Nope. Somebody needs to pay for the notary, vending machine technician and coke delivery. In the token world – the operation processing called “gas.” So, each time you ask to buy or sell tokens, there will be some “gas” spent and you will pay its fee.

Note: the fee is not static. It depends on a number of transactions awaiting. You can define the max cap you are willing to pay for your gas. If the token cost is, say, $10 and the gas fee is $20 is not a great deal, isn’t it? So, you can say that you pay no more than $2 for your gas, click “submit” and find something else to do meanwhile. The system will serve the highest gas bids first and eventually yours when your time will come. There is a chance, you will wait for a long time (if others are willing to pay more than you). But you always can rise the gas cap.

Types of tokens

Let’s see the most common types of tokens.

Token – token (Utility tokens), the most popular type

Remember amusements parks from the childhood? Roller coasters, carousels, hot dogs and cotton candy? At the entrance, you’ve got tokens to buy food and enter the attractions. So, let’s pretend that a company is an amusement park and with the tokens, you can buy different services just as you do with carousels and hot dogs. Now, to make the analogy perfect, let’s say that you can buy lots of tokens before the park is officially opened, or when it’s just opened. If the park becomes popular, its tokens will be much more expensive. Like $10 for a hot dog. But a smart child who bought the tokens before the opening will still enjoy his meal for $1. This is basically the idea behind issuing and buying tokens. But if in the amusement park you buy the tokens at the entrance, where do you get a cryptocurrency token? The answer is ICO – Initial Coin Offering.

Token – stock (Equity tokens)

In this case, ICO is completely equal to IPO. Usually, token-stocks are issued when a startup does not require a crypto-technology. In this case, token holders will get dividend or fixed commission. They also will be able to take part is the company decisions. All this honor for supporting the project in the beginning of its life.

Token – credit

This is a loan; a holder gives to a startup. It’s another way to rise money. For example, you invest X to get X + 10 percent.

Token – combo

If you are not completely confused, you will be now: sometimes a token can belong to more than one type. For example, tokens Sia and Digix are both tokens and stocks. And Steemit has all the three types of tokens (Steem, Steem Dollars (SBD) and Steem Power (a denomination of VESTS).

How do you trade tokens?

This part is pretty similar to coins. You have to register on an exchange for buying and selling tokens. The transaction conditions can be really complicated: the contract can include multiple rules like “you can sell it only before a specified date” or “after some date but only for a certain vendor.” So, when investing in tokens, you should read the “small letters” really thoroughly.

Article Produced By
Cointelegraph

https://cointelegraph.com/ico-101/what-is-an-ico-token-and-how-does-it-work

 

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