Tag Archives: TCC

Spanish Banks Back ‘Red Lyra’ Blockchain Consortium

  

Have formed a new Blockchain Consortium.

It's the second group effort launched in Spain in recent days, though some of the new members, which include law firms and utilities, signify a wider scope than one that is purely financial. The newly minted consortium members are Banco Sabadell, Banco Santander, Bankia, BBVA, BME, Caja Rural, Cajamar, Cepsa, Correos, Ejaso, Endesa, Everis, Garrigues, Gas Natural Fenosa, Grant Thornton, Iberdrola, Icade, MásMóvil, Momopocket, Notarnet, Roca Junyent and Scytl.

What they're doing: 
According to releases from some of those involved, the consortium is tackling a "multi-sector" strategy in the kinds of projects they focus on.

As explained BBVA, the first major undertaking will be centered around digital identity, with the bank saying:

"The first project of the Lyra Network will focus on the development of a digital identification system that can be safely shared and comply with the requirements of Spanish regulation by all members of the network. Lyra will develop legal identification services or support contracts ( smart contracts ), hence it is particularly important that its founders include recognized law firms and legal experts."

Why it matters:

The news is the latest indication that Spain's business sector is throwing its weight behind the technology. Just last week, a group of regional Spanish banks launched a collaborative effort around blockchain, and while it’s not quite which kind of products or services they might develop in tandem, Cecabank's comments about "in-depth understanding" suggest that, at the very least, they’re trying to learn more. Indeed, some of those members – including Bankia and professional services firm Grant Thornton – are part of the new Red Lyra project as well.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
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TCC-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Bank of Canada finds flaws with current blockchain solutions

Bank of Canada finds flaws with current blockchain solutions

Not an option for underpinning payment systems at present

  

Underpinning wholesale payment systems with distributed ledger technology (DLT)

would introduce greater costs and risks for institutions than those which apply undergoing wholesale payment systems, the Bank of Canada has said. However, a study carried out by the Bank of Canada, into the feasibility of using DLT to create new distributed wholesale payment systems, identified the potential for DLT-based wholesale payment systems to deliver benefits if they could be linked in to other financial market infrastructure.

"Such benefits may be obtained by integrating other assets on the same ledger as payments – which could greatly simplify collateral pledging and asset sales – reaping economies of scope and reducing costs to participants by integrating back-office systems," the Bank of Canada said (11-page / 182KB PDF) in a report on its study. Benefits from the "interaction" between DLT-based wholesale payment systems and other infrastructure include "possible sector-wide" cost savings or efficiency gains, as well as shortened time for settling trades of some financial assets, such as stocks, bonds, and derivatives, the report said.

The costs of reconciliation could also be lowered, it said. "If a DLT-based system allows banks to validate their transactions at the very beginning, it could reduce back-office reconciliation work and potentially achieve major cost savings for the financial sector," the Bank of Canada said. "These cost savings depend on the nature of the DLTs." DLT is another term for blockchain, which is a shared digital ledger for recording information, such as the transfer of assets between two or more parties. A number of financial firms and regulators around the world have been exploring the potential of blockchain to support trades in financial assets.

The Bank of Canada's study, which began last year, has so far involved testing two different types of DLT platforms – Ethereum and Corda. Neither of the platforms is without their flaws, the Bank of Canada found when testing their potential to underpin wholesale payment systems. It concluded that "the versions of distributed ledger currently available may not provide an overall net benefit when compared with existing centralized systems for interbank payments".

In its report, the Bank of Canada noted that, when using the Ethereum platform, none of the payments made could ever be "fully settled" as there is "always a small probability that the payment could be reversed". That problem is, in theory, eliminated when the Corda platform is used for making payments, the Bank of Canada said. However, it said the Corda platform has still to be "stress tested".

The Bank of Canada also identified operational risk in using DLT. It said the way the technology works could create potential single points of failure in a payment system. There would be the risk that outages could prevent payments from being processed, it said. It might be "more expensive" to ensure the resilience of blockchain-based payment systems than the current centralized wholesale payment system in Canada, the Bank of Canada said. The Bank of Canada also said that the Ethereum platform was not suitable for providing an adequate level of privacy overpayments. While the Corda platform offers "increased privacy", it suffers from "lack of transparency".

"If the information at one or more nodes is corrupted, it may not be possible to reconstruct the entire network since even the notary does not have a full copy of the ledger," the Bank of Canada said in its report. "This creates the need for backups of individual nodes and a loss of the economies of scale associated with centralized systems." "Further, it raises the question of whether the proposed operational-resilience benefits of DLT are possible under the constraint that transactions remain private," it said.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Critical Social Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

Critical Social Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

Businesses fail at social media marketing for so many reasons, but more often than not, it is due to weak strategy

  

Research shows that there are currently more than 2.8 billion social media users,

and a whopping 83 percent of Americans use social media. Based on this, it is an easily established fact that social media is a force to reckon with. Despite increasing social media adoption, available data shows that a good percentage of businesses are not getting results from their social media efforts: According to research from Simply Measured, the percentage of businesses “struggling to measure the return on investment” of their social media marketing efforts is as high as 60 percent. Businesses fail at social media marketing for so many reasons, but more often than not, it is due to weak strategy. Below are six really critical social strategy mistakes you should avoid:

Assuming your social media marketing operates in a vacuum

The No. 1 mistake most businesses make with their social media marketing strategies is that of assuming that their social media marketing operates in a vacuum. Many of these businesses believe that simply investing huge amounts in social media marketing, or going viral, will solve their business woes. Usually, it won’t. More often than not, your social media marketing efforts are aimed at achieving a certain goal. Even if this goal is not a direct goal, such as increasing sales, the fact remains that you’re probably not on social media just to be on social media.

To make social media marketing work for you, your strategy must incorporate the big picture. If your goal is to boost sales and conversions, how do your social media efforts tie into your sales and conversion efforts? It is essential to consider this factor when working on your social strategy.

Overextending yourself and your budget on social media

Picture two businesses: Business A spends about $2,000 monthly on social media content and is able to create 200 pieces of content and distribute them to 10 different social media sites. Business B spends just $500 monthly on social media content and is able to create 800 pieces of content and distribute them to 10 different social media sites. Which of these businesses will get the most ROI? I think we can safely assume that it is business B.

While so many factors influence social media ROI, at the end of the day, social media budget doesn’t play as much of a role as many people assume it does. So what mistake is business A making that business B is avoiding? That of overextension. Simply put, business B has mastered the art of maximizing its budget. This is possible in several ways:

  • Repurposing content:
    Whereas business A keeps creating original content, business B repurposes the same piece of content into one-dozen different formats. Costs of production go down while the quantity of content goes up.
  • Content syndication:
    Business B is able to have the same piece of content distributed across multiple different channels, while business A focuses on having original content on every social channel.

Not realizing the importance of the mere-exposure effect

It is a well-established fact that more exposure to something increases our liking for it, regardless of how good it actually is. Psychologists have coined the term “familiarity principle” or “the mere-exposure effect” to describe this phenomenon. Interestingly, BuzzSumo’s recent research that analyzed more than 100 million pieces of content came to support the mere-exposure effect. The study found that sharing old pieces of content over and over again on social media can boost conversions by up to 686 percent.

Not being well prepared on the back end

Every business using social media needs to be familiar with Tina Henson’s story. With her startup taking up, Henson realized that there was an opportunity to generate some viral traffic and boost sales by tapping into the holiday season buzz. So she created a marketing campaign and things went bigger than she anticipated. She suddenly got a lot of attention, and visitors to her site suddenly increased by 40 times what she got on an average day. Unfortunately, she wasn’t prepared. Her site crashed, and she lost several thousand people who came to her site during her campaign.

Henson’s isn’t an isolated incident. Many businesses make preparations to key into a social media buzz, only to end up losing out. While your site might not even crash, being slow by one second could significantly decrease your conversions. There are so many reliable and inexpensive web-hosting options, so make sure your site is prepared.

Only targeting your offers to your followers

If, as a brand, your social media strategy mainly involves simply targeting your offers to your followers, you’re missing out on a lot of sales and conversions. According to research from Edison Research, only 33 percent of Americans have ever followed a brand on social media. It also doesn’t help that most social media sites significantly reduce your reach to followers. If you’re only targeting your offers to your social media followers, then you’re missing out a big deal. Instead, explore targeted advertising options, consider reaching out to influencers and brands that share a similar audience and encourage them to share your offers and regularly tap into trends to promote your brand.

Playing the quantity game

It is essential to realize that social media isn’t simply a numbers game. While numbers indeed do matter, it isn’t only about numbers—channel-audience fit and engagement are more important metrics to pay attention to. If you run a services business that targets professionals, for example, LinkedIn will yield more results compared to Twitter. Focus on being on the right social channels and put in more effort into creating engaged, loyal followers than in boosting your follower count.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
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Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The Rules of Social Media Marketing Success: Leadership and Community

The Rules of Social Media Marketing Success:
Leadership and Community

  

What kind of leader do you think will inspire a social media marketing team?

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is social media marketing success. It takes a combination of strategy, relationship building, trust, planning and more for a brand to capture an audience's attention and further, make them take action. This is the third in a four-part series. We've previously delved into the importance of listening and planning and the need to build relationships and trust. Today we're going to look at the role that leadership and community play in creating long-term success.

Demonstrate Leadership

Social media leaders — as is the case with their offline counterparts — are valued and respected for their knowledge, experience, passion and vision. The most effective social media leaders also demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, serve as standard bearers, have a relatively high tolerance for risk, lead by example, think strategically, plan for the short- and long-term, express humility, and have the ability to inspire others. Another important characteristic synonymous with social media leadership is integrity. And because of the ability for others to quickly and easily spot insincerity and dishonesty on social media, a leader's integrity must be rock solid at all times. 

Innovation is another hallmark of a strong leader. The most successful leaders on social media not only create new concepts and trends and serve as change agents, they also figure out unique ways to generate value and generously and consistently share that value with their online communities. Are you an influencer? Every effective social media leader is. In fact, many of their friends and followers are subconsciously looking to be influenced. It's how they learn. And that's why they keep coming back to the leaders for guidance and inspiration.

Finally, what about leadership style? Think about those leaders you know who are akin to a tyrant, ruling by dictate. Or the other ones you know who are compassionate but have a firm hand on their ship's tiller and wise words of advice for their shipmates. Which approach do you think has the most impact in the social media world? Demonstrating leadership is probably the fastest way to create a loyal following on social media. But along with that comes responsibility. So take it seriously.

Build Community

Building a loyal community of fans and followers is not a snap-your-fingers and you're done deal. You have to put effort into attracting and growing an audience, and you’ll have to continually nurture the crop before it bears any fruit. But the payoff for that investment can be significant. Where to begin? Start by identifying key influencers and cultivating individual relationships with them that you can later aggregate into a group of people who share common interests. This is your foundation — the heartbeat of your social media marketing activity. These relationships will become the core of your community and will help you expand its reach and contribute to its growth and influence.

The key to aggregation is providing quality content to your community that interests your target audience — content that’s informational in nature, not a sales pitch. And make sure that content is always relevant to your strategy and your followers. Effective connections with your audience are built when you provide information that’s based on understanding your market segment and your community’s needs, and by presenting those relevant morsels in a concise, easy-to-digest way.

And make it easy for your community members to share your content with their other communities. This will help dramatically expand your reach. Also, you don’t have to create all the content yourself. Instead, promote the submission of user content from within your community, so everyone who wants to get involved is able to do so. Yes, community building can be difficult, mainly because it requires determination, dedication, and grit — and a lot of time. But it’s key to your longevity in social media.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
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Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

What is happening due to the collision of the artificial intelligence and the social media marketing?

What is happening due to the collision of the artificial intelligence and the social media marketing?

The artificial intelligence has a long way to go; however, it’s thriving in a very quick pace. The entrance of the artificial intelligence has already revolutionized the social media marketing. Here are the ways how the artificial intelligence is changing the social media marketing.

  

How the Artificial Intelligence is changing the Social Media Marketing.

Slack Bots

There are some brands that need to publish huge volumes of posts every day. These brands also employ plenty of influencers by doing some social media outreach to promote their products. They find it difficult to decide which posts to highlight and which posts are likely to perform well among their audiences. Because it’s a tedious task to analyze huge volumes of contents, it’s more about guesswork.

The slack bots have been developed to avoid the guesswork. The bots have the ability to predict the chances of success of various contents and they can suggest the pieces of contents which have the highest possibility of doing well. Furthermore, these bots can also find the similar content on the social media and show you the performance of the content.

Facial recognition

The Facebook, which is the most popular social media platform in the world today, is focusing a lot on the development of the artificial intelligence these days. They have recently developed the facial recognition feature, and this feature is not only the tool to enhance the tagging function of the Facebook.

This feature can be used in various ways by the brands for developing their social media marketing strategies to further increase the reach and success of their social media marketing campaign. For an instance, the hotels, restaurants, clothing stores, and others can provide the coupons to their followers who post their picture in their place. With the images publishing getting more popular these days, this feature can help the brands to stand out with their posts.

Management

There are many creative social media marketers who are awesome at creating awesome contents. However, it’s not an easy task for the marketers to release the content, building schedules, maintaining content, and analyzing content. This is another reason why the artificial intelligence is so crucial for the social media marketers. The artificial intelligence can release all the pressure of analyzing and managing the content for the marketers.

Not only the use of AI will take off the pressure from the marketers, but it will also help them to grow as a successful marketer. The machine learning and other AI tools can analyze competitor’s performance, your historical content and performance, and much more to help you learn. These tools also provide you with the idea of what consumers want to see or want, which will help to make your every campaign an effective campaign. This can also help to publish the better sponsored blog posts to reach more people with the content people want to see.

Customer service

According to the study, the majority of the customers want to interact with the businesses via message nowadays. It’s because it’s very easy to communicate with the brands via a message in comparison to the telephone. Furthermore, the customers also want businesses to respond them as quickly as possible. It’s not possible to respond to a lot of customer’s queries quickly, and this is where the artificial intelligence is playing the role.

The social media marketers have the responsibility to engage with the customers after they are successful in getting plenty of queries regarding their posts. The artificial intelligence can help them to prioritize the queries of the customers, help them to find out whether the messages are from trolls or real users, and much more. All these tools can help the social media marketers to serve their customers in a better way; thus, increasing the chance of conversion.

A high volume of better data

The social media marketers need to listen to their followers to plan their next posts and also to make an overall strategy. The only way to find out what the customers want, the marketer needs to collect, interpret, and understand the data. However, the problem is that the massive amount of data is uploaded and downloaded each day, making it impossible for the human beings to correctly interpret the information.

The various AI tools help them to collect the valuable insights from the data collected through various social media platforms to get incredible insights on the customer taste and preferences. In the near future, the brands may also be able to find out who among their followers are wearing their brand’s T-shirt and using their products with the analysis of images and videos. It will help marketers create more personalized marketing campaigns.

Conclusion

By now, you must’ve known how the artificial intelligence is changing the whole picture of the social media marketing. You must have also realized that the traditional social media marketing strategies need to be updated in order to get the success of your social media marketing campaign. If you don’t combine the artificial intelligence in your social media marketing strategy, then you’re likely to fail to get any return from your campaign because the competitor will be using AI to gain competitive advantage.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

When Artificial Intelligence and Social Media Marketing Collide

When Artificial Intelligence and Social Media Marketing Collide

  

Both artificial intelligence and social media marketing

are getting a lot of attention nowadays because of their huge benefits and growth potential. They are benefiting both businesses and normal people in various ways. The investment has already been growing in the artificial intelligence, and the investment is further expected to grow by around 300%, according to the prediction made by the Forrester.

Talking about the social media platforms, more than 2.5 billion people are already using various social media platforms as per the statistic. This is nearly a 1/3 population of the whole planet. A marketer has the potential to reach a large no. of potential customers from all over the world with the help of various social media platforms. The artificial intelligence (AI) is already playing a key role in various business sectors, and now it’s colliding with the social media marketing.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

How Social Media Is Helping Local Businesses Take On S&P 500 Marketing Departments

How Social Media Is Helping Local Businesses Take On S&P 500 Marketing Departments

Today any local business can build its social media channels to challenge its largest competitors

  

Industries have evolved over the years,

with midsized and high-growth businesses quickly being acquired or outpaced by their larger rivals. It’s left a David and Goliath landscape, with most businesses being on the smaller side. Prior to the advent of the internet, larger businesses always had the upper hand when it came to marketing. They had bigger budgets and could afford the most coveted ads and support them with superior creatives generated by leading agencies while hiring the best internal talent.

Larger businesses also had the budgets to run radio and TV ads simultaneously across multiple networks, leaving most local businesses on the advertising sidelines. Their multichannel campaigns would blanket magazines, billboards, radio and television, leaving local businesses few options to build their brand awareness. Marketing decisions for local small and midsized business came down to budget constraints, while their enormous competitors were spending hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars on their campaigns.

Social media levels the playing field

Today any local business can build its social media channels to challenge its largest competitors. The barriers to entry are low since starting business pages is relatively easy and costs nothing. The investment comes from daily posts and leveraging best practices that are constantly evolving. Running a Facebook ad is a fraction of the cost of TV, radio or newspaper ads, and the business gains granular engagement metrics that aren’t provided by traditional channels, as well as the demographics of the people reached. Savvy business owners and marketers can glean a lot of information about their follower’s preferences based on the engagement and demographic data.

Only a handful of traditional marketing channels have the ability to provide viewers with coupons, and none of the traditional channels can collect a potential client’s email address for future marketing opportunities.

The overlooked modern marketing asset

Smartphones are a huge social media marketing asset that often goes neglected. Too many businesses miss opportunities to take quick pictures throughout their day that their followers would find interesting. Remember the old saying, “A picture is worth 1,000 words”—a before-and-after picture is worth more than 2,000 words: It’s priceless.

The local businesses that are finding success regularly post informational or humorous content, while leveraging pictures and videos. These social profiles eventually become company assets that generate new business, help with search-engine optimization and are a fraction of the cost compared with traditional marketing channels. It’s exciting how any local business can tackle Goliath with having social channels that resonate. The tough part is overcoming inertia.

Being agile

When it comes to being flexible, for the most part, the advantage favors local business owners. They can quickly respond, without lengthy legal reviews, to circumstances and events that can pose a threat if handled incorrectly or an opportunity for their business. Local businesses also have the upper hand in knowing who their customers are and their preferences. Knowing your clients is key to growing a business and marketing success. It also provides the ability to engage with them during each transaction and cross-promote social channels.

The businesses that are finding success on social media and other channels are blending educational insights with humor to deliver a memorable brand experience that’s trusted. Most of the time, social media marketing requires a plan, common sense and commitment to consistency.

Participating in making history

The capabilities and reach of new channels that emerged over the past eight to 10 years have enabled brands to rise from zero in revenue to billions of dollars. Local businesses can now execute the same caliber social media campaigns that their billion-dollar competitors are launching, while simply engaging and staying in touch with clients. Never before in history have people and businesses been able to communicate on a one-to-one and one-to-many level, while gaining transparent metrics into their marketing campaigns.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
Inbound Marketing.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Massive cryptocurrency botnet used leaked NSA exploits weeks before WCry

Massive cryptocurrency botnet used leaked NSA exploits weeks before WCry

Campaign that flew under the radar used hacked
computers to mine
Monero currency.

  

On Friday, ransomware called WannaCry used leaked hacking tools

stolen from the National Security Agency to attack an estimated 200,000 computers in 150 countries. On Monday, researchers said the same weapons-grade attack kit was used in a much-earlier and possibly larger-scale hack that made infected computers part of a botnet that mined cryptocurrency. Like WannaCry, this earlier, previously unknown attack used an exploit codenamed EternalBlue and a backdoor called DoublePulsar, both of which were NSA-developed hacking tools leaked in mid-April by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers. But instead of installing ransomware, the campaign pushed cryptocurrency mining software known as Adylkuzz. WannaCry, which gets its name from a password hard-coded into the exploit, is also known as WCry.

Kafeine, a well-known researcher at security firm Proofpoint, said the attack started no later than May 2 and may have begun as early as April 24. He said the campaign was surprisingly effective at compromising Internet-connected computers that have yet to install updates Microsoft released in early March to patch the critical vulnerabilities in the Windows implementation of the Server Message Block protocol. In a blog post published Monday afternoon, Kafeine wrote:

In the course of researching the WannaCry campaign, we exposed a lab machine vulnerable to the EternalBlue attack. While we expected to see WannaCry, the lab machine was actually infected with an unexpected and less noisy guest: the cryptocurrency miner Adylkuzz. We repeated the operation several times with the same result: within 20 minutes of exposing a vulnerable machine to the open web, it was enrolled in an Adylkuzz mining botnet.

Upon successful exploitation via EternalBlue, machines are infected with DoublePulsar. The DoublePulsar backdoor then downloads and runs Adylkuzz from another host. Once running, Adylkuzz will first stop any potential instances of itself already running and block SMB communication to avoid further infection. It then determines the public IP address of the victim and download[s] the mining instructions, cryptominer, and cleanup tools.It appears that at any given time there are multiple Adylkuzz command and control (C&C) servers hosting the cryptominer binaries and mining instructions.

Symptoms of the attack include a loss of access to networked resources and system sluggishness. Kafeine said that some people who thought their systems were infected in the WannaCry outbreak were in fact hit by the Adylkuzz attack. The researcher went on to say this overlooked attack may have limited the spread of WannaCry by shutting down SMB networking to prevent the compromised machines from falling into the hands of competing botnets. Proofpoint researchers have identified more than 20 hosts set up to scan the Internet and infect vulnerable machines they find. The researchers are aware of more than a dozen active Adylkuzz control servers. The botnet then mined Monero, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as being fully anonymous, as opposed to Bitcoin, in which all transactions are traceable.

Monday's report came the same day that a security researcher who works for Google found digital fingerprints tying a version of WCry from February to Lazarus Group, a hacking operation with links to North Korea. In a report published last month, Kaspersky Lab researchers said Bluenoroff, a Lazarus Group offshoot responsible for financial profit, installed cryptocurrency-mining software on computers it hacked to generate Monero coins. "The software so intensely consumed system resources that the system became unresponsive and froze," Kaspersky Lab researchers wrote.

Assembling a botnet the size of the one that managed WannaCry and keeping it under wraps for two to three weeks is a major coup. Monday's revelation raises the possibility that other botnets have been built on the shoulders of the NSA but have yet to be identified.

Promoted Comments

  • Everyone infected with Adylkuzz can regard himself as highly fortunate.
    Because Adylkuzz closed the infection route to prevent reinfection as a side effect it also closed the infection route against WCry. And compared to a deadly WCry infection the Adylkuzz infection is just a mere cold.
    Without the prior Adylkuzz bot, the impact of WCry would have been even worse.
    119 posts | registered 10/28/2008
  • We got a 64 core Linux server (with Xeon Phi processor) hacked on April 15 to mine Monero coins. The hack went through a cups (< 2.03) bug, unpatched in the latest patched CentOS 7.3 distro, allowing to install without any remote login a vmware image. Then a user "support" was created, using the monero binary over the 64 cores (they missed to use 256 possible threads actually) over the Easter week end, and communicating with chinese ip addresses. Every 5 min the crontab file was ensuring the hack would restart in case of interruption.

    The server has been reinstalled with a more recent Linux distro and no printer service.Using a botnet to mine cryptocurrency is also especially ill-conceived in the first place since the average CPU/GPU configuration is not particularly powerful… In fact, the majority of computers are likely to use iGPUs, so even across so many computers, the mining output of such a botnet is actually not that productive compared to dedicated GPU mining operations.

    Monero is known for being much more friendly to CPU miners due to the use of a different Proof-of-work algorithm that is AES heavy and uses a 2MB scratch. This makes it optimal for mid-high end desktop PCs that have multiple cores with large cache sizes. To date, there are no known ASICs for monero, and most GPUs only get about 10x over decent CPUs. Scale that to a large botnet, and you could collect double-digit chunks of the hash rate.

    Chuck Reynolds
    Contributor
    Please click either Link to Learn more about –
    TCC-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Even the world’s largest bitcoin exchange couldn’t handle this week’s cryptocurrency boom

Even the world’s largest bitcoin exchange couldn’t handle this week’s cryptocurrency boom  

For those operating a bitcoin exchange

— where people can buy Cryptocoins — you’d imagine that the current surge in value for bitcoin and others like Ethereum’s ether coin is a dream come true. The answer is yes and no. Coinbase, the world’s most funded Bitcoin exchange, was dragged offline by the massive increase in interest in the space. Users have reported issues with various aspects of the service this week, and things reached a head on Thursday when the Coinbase website and mobile apps were unavailable to users for hours due to “unprecedented” levels of trading and traffic, the company said.

Bitcoin crossed the $2,000 mark for the first time this past weekend, and the charge continued this week until yesterday when, after reaching a new high of $2,805 on the Coinbase exchange, the valuation fell to $2,307. The currency has since stabilized, but its current value of $2,475.23 represents a $116.41 drop over the last 24 hours.

“The market cap of digital currencies has increased ~50 percent to $91 billion in the past week. As a result, Coinbase has seen a dramatic increase in traffic and trading volume,” the company told TechCrunch in a statement. “The Coinbase engineering and support teams have been working round the clock to keep up with this unprecedented volume. However, Coinbase.com has suffered a few outages, including degraded performance and deposit/withdrawal delays for some users. We are actively working on resolving these issues and restoring our site to normal performance,” it added.

Things seem more stable today, with the Coinbase website and app functioning as usual. Having said that, at the time of writing, there are some minor issues with certain debit and credit cards, according to the company’s own status report. According to Crunchbase, Coinbase has raised more than $117 million from investors that include Bank Of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ, the New York Stock Exchange, Union Square Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Andreessen Horowitz. Its $75 million Series C in 2015 was a record funding round for any bitcoin-focused startup.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
TCC-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Why Bitcoin Just Dropped 30%

Why Bitcoin Just Dropped 30%

  

Since hitting a record high of over $2700

on Thursday, the digital currency Bitcoin has gone into a sharp correction, losing nearly 30% of its value in just two days, according to numbers from CoinMarketCap. A broad range of cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, and Monero also declined, in most cases dropping even more steeply. Some analysts have described this as profit-taking, which would suggest the declines will level off. But technical analysts speaking to CNBC say the losses could go as deep as 46.5%, pushing Bitcoin down to $1,470.

A look at history suggests even that might not be the floor. The cryptocurrency rally of the last six months is strongly reminiscent of a Bitcoin bump that unfolded from October to December of 2013 when the price skyrocketed from under $130 to over $1100. That was followed not just by a correction, but by a long, slow decline that had prices pared back to just over $200 within a year, followed by two years of steady, but slow, growth.

It’s unlikely that the same precise pattern will repeat itself, mostly because the ecosystem of startups and services surrounding cryptocurrency is vastly more robust now than it was four years ago. But a vital lesson still holds: cryptocurrency prices are volatile because very few speculators actually understand the technology or its potential, leaving it vulnerable to reactive, emotion-driven swings.

For proof, just look at how closely various cryptocurrency tokens' prices are tracking each other, regardless of their often very different realities on the ground. Bitcoin is the first and most basic form of cryptocurrency, with a lot of adoption and stability, but relatively few features. Ethereum is a robust ‘smart’ system that is already being widely adopted for building complex data-sharing applications. And Ripple is a mostly privately-held solution focused on interbank transfers. Yet the three tokens' charts for the last few months are remarkably similar. That suggests very little close analysis by those buying into cryptocurrency (and likely a lot of purely algorithmic trading).

The fundamental reason for these massive price swings is that the promise of blockchain tech is simultaneously so profound and yet so far from fruition. Even if one accepts the idea that blockchains will someday underly everything from health records to insurance, the road to overhauling those systems will be long and winding. We’ll see many more rallies and retreats along the way.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
TCC-Bitcoin.

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member