Category: Knowledge Base Economy

21 Oct 2017

Bitcoin Breaks $100 Billion in Value, Soars Over $6000 for the First Time in History

IN BRIEF

Bitcoin, which is unarguably the world’s most prominent digital currency, just broke through one of the most important milestones ever, vaulting to over $6000 and over $100 billion in value.

Welcome to a new kind of currency, or rather, welcome to a new kind of financial system. Today, for the first time ever, Bitcoin surpassed the $6000 barrier, proving that cryptocurrency is, in all likeliness, here to stay.

Bitfinex, which has the highest volume BTC/USD exchange, broke the $6,000 barrier initially. Now, the same can be said for all of the other major exchanges. It has only been a little over a week since the price of bitcoin soared passed $5,300, and then it quickly surpassed $5,800. Now, it has surpassed another barrier.

Ultimately, this surged caused its market capitalization to exceed $100 billion for the first time.

 

The digital currency is expected to continue rising in price, with cryptocurrency mogul Mike Novogratz predicting that it could hit $10,000 sometime next year and other industry experts saying it will top $25,000 within the next 5 years.

Considering how quickly Bitcoin has risen recently, such predictions may not be impossible…or even unlikely.

That said, Bitcoin isn’t infallible and could eventually collapse. Earlier this month, Harvard professor of economics Kenneth Rogoff claimed that it is only a matter of time before the currency takes a turn for the worse:

“It is one thing for governments to allow small anonymous transactions with virtual currencies; indeed, this would be desirable,” he said in an article that he wrote for MarketWatch. “But it is an entirely different matter for governments to allow large-scale anonymous payments, which would make it extremely difficult to collect taxes or counter criminal activity.”

This year alone, Bitcoin has been impacted by bans and restrictions that were set in countries like China, Russia, and South Korea. It seems, however, that these developments were only minor stumbling blocks for the currency, as Bitcoin has risen by more than 500 percent in value this year alone, and Vladimir Putin subsequently stated that Russia would issue its own cryptocurrency.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

Source: Futurism

13 Oct 2017

Bitcoin Price Goes Over $5,800, Setting a New All-Time High Record in Less Than 24 Hours

After reaching a record high $5,300 price at the end of Thursday, Bitcoin surged even higher earlier this morning. Bitcoin’s renewed price vigor seems to indicate that the market has now gotten over the fears caused by recent policy concerns.

Bitcoin prices surged past the $5,300 mark on Thursday, closing at $5,363 — only to reach a new all-time high value at $5,856.10 some time early Friday morning, after markets had opened at a $5,439.

The increase in value comes after Russia banned Bitcoin and expressed interest in rival Ethereum. The Russian ban followed previous moves against cryptocurrencies by South Korea and China, which included prohibiting initial coin offerings (ICOs). The market, it would seem, finally got over the fears incited by these moves.

bitcoin-price-surge-coindesk
Image credit: Coindesk

At the time of writing, revitalized Bitcoin is now at $5,714.95 marking a more than 13 percent increase in value in less than one day, and an over 30 percent increase in just one week. It isn’t the only cryptocurrency benefitting from the price surge, as the overall cryptocurrency market cap peaked at $171.94 billion early Friday morning — almost reaching a high comparable to that of September 1, when it reached $172.5 billion. Bitcoin, which makes up more than 55 percent of the whole crypto market, capped at $95.5 billion today (Friday, Oct 13).

Cryptocurrencies are no stranger to fluctuations in prices, which critics are always quick to note. Experts say crypto is destined to be more than a fad however, and that Bitcoin’s popularity will herald a bigger blockchain revolution. Whatever the case may be, experts expect Bitcoin to go as high as $6,000 by the end of the year, and over $10,000 by the first half of 2018.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

Read more at: Futurism

04 Oct 2017

Disney Built a Blockchain — Can It Compete With Ethereum?

From animatronics to digital animation, the Walt Disney Company has long been a pioneer in emerging technology. And blockchain technology is no exception.

In 2014, Disney’s tech-focused Seattle office started building what’s now known as Dragonchain, a blockchain protocol designed to allow for more data privacy than is possible on other enterprise-oriented blockchains like Ethereum. The idea was to develop a secure asset management system to be used internally.

However, Disney dropped the project in 2016 and decided to make it open source. Soon after, a group of former Disney employees founded the Dragonchain Foundation, a non-profit which manages upkeep of the protocol.

Now, they’re looking to build a commercial business — called Dragonchain Inc. — on top of the platform to help other companies quickly and easily start using blockchain.

But first they need to raise money to do so.

Gap in the Market

It’s commonly believed in blockchain circles that the technology could some day make up an entirely new infrastructural layer of the internet, replacing traditional contracts and payment systems used in industries like law and real estate, because the design of the technology makes it difficult to commit fraud.

Dragonchain Inc. chief business officer George Sarhanis (left) and CEO Joe Roets. Image Source: Dragonchain

This promise has drawn in research and development funds from industry powerhouses including IBM and Cisco, which have joined various unifying organizations such as Hyperledger and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance to better understand how this new technology can be leveraged commercially.

But many large corporations, such as Disney, have been hesitant to put their own data on public blockchains because the design would leave much of their proprietary and sensitive data open to prying eyes. The hope for Dragonchain is that other companies feel the same way.

Joe Roets, now CEO of Dragonchain Inc., was one of the engineers behind the original project at Disney.

“Disney was very forward thinking and wanted to know how people use different tech,” Roets said. “We started building things. It took two years to build out the platform, give or take.”

Roets described Dragonchain Inc’s platform as a “turn key” product, which makes it easier for companies to build what they want on top of the Dragonchain blockchain protocol, without investing in expensive and hard-to-find technological expertise.

Roets said that while it is possible to build security and encryption on top of a public blockchain, it’s a costly and time-consuming project. With Dragonchain, the encryption and obfuscation is built in.

“We realized some of the real world problems are that companies have access to traditional engineers, but they don’t necessarily have a crypto background,” Roets said . “If you go even further into blockchain, you need an economist or a game theory expert.”

More Private Than Ethereum

Like the technology behind the cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ethereum, Dragonchain is a digital ledger that uses complex algorithms to document transactions in a way that cannot be easily modified. Every blockchain contains a complete history of everything that has happened on it, which makes it harder for fraud to occur in financial transactions. Unlike the public bitcoin and ethereum protocols, however, Dragonchain is a hybrid. This means some information is private, and some is public.

“The main difference would be that with ethereum or any public blockchains, your data is out there,” Roets said. “You can do certain things to obfuscate your data. You could encrypt it. But it won’t matter in 10 years or 20 years.”

While Disney originally built the project as a private blockchain, this method doesn’t have the same authenticity benefits as a public or hybrid protocol. Having some of the data public is vital to making the technology effective in protecting fraud. That’s because the ability to spread data across a decentralized network is a key component of authenticating the validity of transactions. The blockchain usually requires consensus from multiple companies and computers in order to make a change to the blockchain’s history. Theoretically, this makes it difficult for solo actors to delete receipts for their own benefit.

Initial Coin Offering

Whether or not Dragonchain Inc. is able to move forward with its commercial ambitions depends a lot on how things go over the next month.

From October 2 to November 2, Dragonchain Inc. will hold an initial coin offering (ICO), also known as a token sale, to raise money for the company. Around 238 million tokens, which the team calls “dragons,” will be available for sale to the public.

Artwork, such as Mimmo Rotella’s “Palinsesto,” is for sale by auction on Look Lateral’s website. The company is working with Dragonchain to build a secure way to authenticate and pay for art. Image Source: Look Lateral

“Disney has no involvement in Dragonchain’s initial coin offering,” a Disney spokesperson said.

ICOs are an increasing common fundraising technique in the blockchain world. Companies like Dragonchain Inc. offer up a select number of tokens that can be purchased with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum. The tokens can be exchanged for goods and services within the blockchain platform. On its website, Dragonchain describes dragons as “tokenized micro-license for interaction with Dragonchain commercial platform services.”

While tokens are not currencies, they can be traded on token exchanges for higher or lower cash value than they were purchased for. Not every investor necessarily wants to use services within Dragonchain. Some may see it as an investment that could generate gains in the longterm.

Those that do want to use the service will have access to three different commercial products. The first is a developer-friendly platform for building new projects on top of Dragonchain. There’s also a marketplace that has a library of pre-built smart contracts and features to make the building process faster. The company will also fund an incubator for teams that want to develop projects on top of the protocol.

Several companies are already working on Dragonchain to develop new tools and businesses.

Look Lateral is an Italian fine art site which is using Dragonchain to create proof of authenticity for the art that it sells on its platform. Some pieces of art on the site cost over $100,000, so the blockchain will function as a way of paying for art, as well as a record of ownership. In the art world, this is referred to as “provenance.”

Another company called LifeID is working to build a secure identity platform on the blockchain. This would allow users to verify that they are who they say they are in digital and physical spaces, without relying on state-issued IDs, or corporately-owned social media, like Facebook profiles.

Dragonchain Inc’s ICO begins October 2.

Read more at: Futurism

12 Jul 2017

Top 10 Ways to Invest in Yourself and Why It’s So Powerful

Investing in yourself is one of the best return on investments you can have. Whether it’s investing in learning a new skill, developing yourself personally or professionally, tapping into your creativity or hiring a coach, you need to give to yourself first before you can give to others. It is our responsibility to take the time to develop our gifts and talents, so we can best serve others. Investing in yourself is an example of self-love, you must love yourself before you can expect others to love you.

Why is investing in yourself so powerful?

Investing in yourself, sends a powerful message to yourself and the world. The message is:

The value and potential that I possess, is important enough to me that I’m going to give it the energy, space and time to grow and create results.

When you’re willing to say yes, and take that leap of faith and invest in yourself, the universe will provide you with amazing rewards.

I would like to share some incredible ways that you can invest in yourself – the great news is they don’t all require money.

Top 10 Ways to Invest in Yourself

1. Set goals. Learn how to set personal and business goals for yourself. If you’re not taking the time to set goals it’s like driving in the dark with the headlights turned off. You will not know where you’re going and you will waste precious time. Be sure to also set some time frames in which to meet them. Your goals should be SMART goals -Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

2. Honor your intuition. You can show yourself love by trusting your gut and honoring the message that it’s sending. Listening to your intuition, will allow you to make better decisions. Valuing your intuition, by not allowing the thoughts, feelings or statements of others to take away from what you know to be true is very empowering. By paying attention to how you feel, it will help you to make better, smarter and quicker decisions. I know for me personally, if I choose to ignore my gut or intuition when I feel a strong feeling about something, it almost always is a decision or action that I end up regretting. I have learned to always trust my intuition and that is what leads me in my life and business.

3. Invest time in your creativity. Our creativity doesn’t have to diminish as we get older. In fact, it is believed that the peak of creativity in most people is around 30-40 years old. (Lindaur, 1998, Marisiske &Willis, 1998) Creativity can be the catalyst in the manifestation of continual learning and lifelong activity. It allows us to be inspired, have fun and appreciate the beauty in the world.

4. Invest in building your confidence. People who know their value, have something to say and others will listen. You can invest in yourself by developing an understanding of the value that you possess and offer others. Learn to have the courage to speak your truth. The more you love yourself and own the value that you offer, the more confident you will become in sharing it with others.

5. Read educational books. Books or audio books are an awesome resource to build your knowledge and expertise in any area.

6. Attend seminars and workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in your business and/or personal life. This will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who are like-minded.

7. Take care of your health. Eat right each day, fueling your body with nutrients. When you focus on eating organic and healthier choices, you will feel better and have more energy. I know that the unhealthy burger or cupcake gives us instant gratification, but if you’re like me, you regret it later, because you feel lousy afterwards. Exercise daily. Do something every day to get moving and get your heart rate up, even, if it’s just walking the dog. Exercise gives you the energy to take on the day with confidence because of how it makes you look and feel. I have dedicated
a whole chapter in my book on health (Chapter 11) because of just how important it is to your success!

8. Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life, rather than the negative. They are not held hostage by their circumstances. They look at all the reasons to be grateful. “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”- Abraham Lincoln

9. Work on your bucket list. If you don’t have a bucket list, then it’s time to start one. Your bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life. Your list may be ongoing, but you can start by writing 100 things down. Then each month or so, make sure you’re knocking out at least, one of the items on your list.

10. Invest in a coach. A coach can assist you in putting all of these strategies into action. A coach is your partner in success. It is their job to assist you in creating and implementing your success plan, so you can become the best that you can be.

I can promise this: When you invest in yourself, a world of opportunities will open up for you. And, if you have a business where you sell your services, you must know that no one will invest in you until you invest in yourself first.

Investing in yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially, will allow you to become the best version of yourself. When you are the best version of yourself, you will be an attraction magnet to others!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-tull/top-10-ways-to-invest-in-_b_8406130.html