It Takes a Village: Parenting on the Blockchain

It Takes a Village:
Parenting on the Blockchain

In 1996, former first lady Hillary Clinton published a book about parenting

and child-rearing called It Takes A Village. Clinton’s point was that parenting is a joint effort among many sources, and the ‘village’ is required to raise kids. While the book has since become a sort of joke among political insiders, there’s a subtle truth in Clinton’s concept – that where there are many caring eyes on children, safety is easier.

Never has this need for ‘crowd’ protection been greater than with the baby and children’s items market. Countless numbers of children’s items, with glowing reviews online, have since proven to be defective, dangerous, poisonous or harmful. When these problems are finally made public, the public has already spent money on these products – both a waste of funds and a massive risk for kids.

Enter the Blockchain

Where community and security are concerned, it seems that Blockchain technology has a solution for many problems. In the area of baby and child products, a group of family-focused business entrepreneurs has put together a trust-based platform using Blockchain technology called FamilyPoints. Parents can share real honest reviews about products and services.

Additionally, as parents share reviews and use discounts on products through the trust platform, they receive rewards and can use those rewards on additional discounts and services. These services include high-quality baby and child products without the huge margins of local stores, built in loyalty programs, and excellent educational content for parents and kids alike. As parent reviews and product knowledge grows on the ecosystem, the Blockchain ledger keeps everything immutable. Outside marketers and scam companies can’t influence the ways that products are reviewed. In other words, data and product knowledge are really honest – something that is almost impossible to achieve on traditional product sites.

Power in experience

The FamilyPoints group is not new to child products and education. They have already built one of the most successful content for parents on the internet called Babystep. Founded in 2015, Babystep has built the world’s largest video library of educational parenting content with over 1,150 videos in eight different languages. The company is a winner of the prestigious G-Startup award, China’s biggest startup competition, and has since launched its mobile video platform. Babystep generated 15 mln organic monthly views and has an established subscriber base of 1.5 mln in 2017.

Token sale

The Babystep success indicates that the FamilyPoints platform will follow suit and Clinton’s statement on child rearing may have somehow proven true. The company is planning to launch a new token sale in order to crowdfund the platform and to generate the internal cryptocurrency that will be used on the platform by subscribers. The tokens, FamilyPoints Tokens (FPT), will be generated in a one-time token sale for subscribers. These tokens will be used for reviews, purchases, advertising and more within the ecosystem. The pre-sale will start on Dec. 1, with the public sale following on Dec. 10 and concluding on Dec. 31. Early buyers will receive bonuses.

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Dnata Taps IBM for Air Cargo Blockchain Pilot

Dnata Taps IBM for
Air Cargo Blockchain Pilot

Dnata, provider of air and travel services in the Middle East,

has announced the completion of a proof-of-concept examining blockchain's potential in the Dubai air cargo industry. The pilot saw participation from project partners IBM, Emirates Innovation Lab and Flydubai Cargo, and looked at blockchain's potential to address issues across various aspects of airfreight, including security and operations, as well as legal aspects, a press release indicates.

The "successful" trial was conducted on a jointly developed logistics platform, utilizing blockchain for supply chain transactions, taking a purchase order from the origin to the final destination. Stating that blockchain technology and its potential is neither easy to understand or appreciate, Neetan Chopra, senior vice president for IT strategic services at

Emirates Group, said:

"It is imperative to carry out such business experiments and trials so that participants can experience the benefits of breakthrough technologies in a live environment."

The move follows the release of white paper by air transport IT firm SITA, detailing the use of smart contracts in the air transport industry. While, Air France is also testing blockchain technology for supply chain tracking.

Holding Strong:

Failed Price Breakdown a Boon
for Bitcoin Bulls?

Bitcoin has witnessed decent two-way business in the last 24 hours.

A drop below $8,000 during the Asian day was quickly undone and the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value once again approached record highs, hitting $8,333 this morning. At press time, bitcoin is changing hands at $8,228, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index. As per CoinMarketCap, the bitcoin-U.S. dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate has appreciated by 1.13 percent in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, the total trading volume in the last 24 hours was $5 billion, the highest since Nov. 16. The price action analysis indicates the failed breakdown below $8,000 may be costly for the bears.

The chart would show:

  • Failed breakdown: BTC witnessed a solid rebound from the upward sloping 50-MA and is back in the rising channel.
  • The relative strength index (RSI) holds above 50.00 (bullish territory).
  • The descending trend line seen on the chart above has been breached as well, suggesting there is scope for a rally.

The charts suggest a rally to new all-time highs around $8,600 (rising channel ceiling) is possible. The 10-day moving average (MA) is sloping upwards, suggesting dips below the same could be short-lived. Currently, the 10-day MA stands at $7,949 levels.

However, multiple 4-hour closes below $7,9

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A New Debit Card Is Poised to Make Spending Crypto a Breeze

A New Debit Card Is Poised to Make Spending Crypto a Breeze

               

To make it easier for people in the United Kingdom to spend
their various cryptocurrencies, startup London Block Exchange is launching a new Visa debit card called the Dragoncard. It pays the retailer in pounds, then takes money from the consumer's crypto wallet.

Spendable Crypto

Cryptocurrencies such as ether and bitcoin are surging in popularity thanks to their many benefits over traditional currencies, but they still lag behind those currencies in one key way: they are not easy to spend in physical stores. People can spend USD and euros using a plethora of debit, credit, and gift cards, but their options are severely limited when it comes to spending bitcoin or ether using a cryptocurrency debit card. That’s starting to change, though. The Centra Card can be used just like a debit card to spend bitcoin, ether, dash, and several other popular cryptocurrencies. Token Card is another cryptocurrency debit card, and soon, London startup London Block Exchange (LBX) will launch a prepaid Visa debit card that will act in the same fashion.

The Dragoncard will allow people to convert their bitcoin, ether, ripple, litecoin, and monero to sterling (aka the British pound) at the time of purchase, thereby making it significantly easier for those currencies to be spent in stores throughout the United Kingdom, including ones that have yet to accept alternative forms of payment. Business Insider reports the cryptocurrency debit card will be issued by pre-paid card provider Wavecrest, and it comes alongside an app people can use to buy and manage cryptocurrencies on LBX’s own exchange. When someone uses the Dragoncard, LBX will pay the retailer in pounds first, then take the equivalent amount from the shopper’s cryptocurrency wallet.

Learn more about the future of mobile advertising and how to reach modern audiences

Before rushing off to get a Dragoncard when it debuts in December, though, interested crypto owners should know a few things. First, the card itself is £20 ($26.33). Second, they will be charged a 0.5 percent fee whenever they buy or sell cryptocurrencies on LBX’s platform. Lastly, provider Wavecrest charges a small fee for ATM withdrawals — it is a debit card, after all.

The Path to Acceptance

Despite the fees, the Dragoncard and other cryptocurrency debit cards have the potential to help crypto become widely accepted and, more importantly, understood. The Dragoncard also arrives at a time when bitcoin is experiencing quite a growth spurt. With schools, companies, and even nations starting to embrace bitcoin, the currency is poised to continue increasing in value and popularity, and with the Dragoncard, LBX is hoping to help Londoners join that ever-growing segment of crypto supporters.

“Despite being the financial capital of the world, London is a difficult place for investors to enter and trade in the cryptocurrency market,” LBX founder and CEO Benjamin Dives reportedly said in a statement. “We’ll bring it into the mainstream by removing the barriers to access, and by helping people understand and have confidence in what we believe is the future of money.” “We’re offering a grown up and robust experience for those who wish to safely and easily understand and invest in digital currencies,” said LBX’s executive chairman Adam Bryant. “We’re confident we’ll transform this market in the U.K. and will become the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain consultancy for institutional investors and consumers alike.”

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Flying High: Bitcoin Cash Rallies on Korean Volume Spike

Flying High:
Bitcoin Cash Rallies on
Korean Volume Spike

Bitcoin cash is flying high today and could gain more altitude in the near-term.

This morning, the bitcoin cash-U.S. dollar (BCH/USD) exchange rate clocked an 11-day high of $1,623.80 at 08:14 UTC before losing some momentum. At press time, the world's third-largest cryptocurrency by market value is currently changing hands at $1,508 – up 21 percent for the last 24 hours, as per CoinMarketCap.

A look at the exchange data indicates that the rally is being fuelled by Korean desks. Trading volumes in BCH/KRW pair offered by Bithumb, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, have gone up by 42 percent in the last 24 hours. Driving the rise may be today's news that a South Korean financial regulator has said it has "no plans" to regulate cryptocurrency trading. Meanwhile, the total trading volume for the last 24 hours is well above $4 billion, the highest since Nov. 13. A high volume rally indicates an active market, and that a rally is likely to be sustained.

The price action analysis, too, suggests the rally could be extended in the near-term. The overbought nature of the relative strength index (RSI) could be responsible for the pullback from previous highs above $1,600. However, the 5-MA and 10-MA are curving up in favor of the bulls. On the daily chart, the moving averages (MA) are sloping upwards as well. The daily RSI, though close to the overbought territory, is well short of the highs seen in earlier this month.

View

  • The base appears to have shifted higher to $1,250.
  • Technical pullbacks could run out of steam around $1,250
  • BCH looks set to take out resistance at $1,550 (horizontal red line) and move higher to $1,800-$2,000 in the near-term.

 

Now You Can Invest in Bitcoin Without the Volatility, Apparently

Swissquote launches ETP that switches between bitcoin, dollars
Product will use algorithm to forecast market direction

Bitcoin: What’s Coming in the Year Ahead

Swissquote Bank SA upped its cryptocurrency game with the release of an exchange-traded product that will attempt to curb volatility by switching holdings between bitcoin and dollars. The Switzerland-based online trader called its offering the first actively managed bitcoin certificate. Funds will be shifted between the digital currency and cash based on an algorithm that will use “technical signals” and sentiment expressed on social media to try to forecast the market. Trading will take place on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Online trading firms, hedge funds and foreign-exchange platforms are launching new bitcoin products to try to get onboard a rally that has seen the biggest cryptocurrency surge eightfold this year. Traders are hungry for ways to hedge downside risk and adopt flexible positions after three separate slumps of more than 25 percent this year and a raft of commentators warning of a bubble. “Investors are excited about the cryptocurrency but are unnerved by its volatility,” Peter Rosenstreich, the bank’s head of market strategy, said in an interview. “So we tried to build a trading algorithm that’s a protection against downside risks”

Swissquote said in a statement Thursday it will hold the cryptocurrency and a buffer of dollars that ranges from zero to 40 percent of the certificate’s portfolio, depending on its quantitative algorithmic trading strategy. The exposure is limited to bitcoin and cash, minus a 1.5 percent management fee and trading costs, it said. Investor Mike Novogratz, who’s setting up a $500 million hedge fund to invest in digital currencies, said this week bitcoin will end the year at $10,000. The cryptocurrency fell 1 percent to $8,123.36 at 11:05 a.m. in London on Thursday.

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Thanksgiving Lull? Bitcoin Trades Sideways But Rally May Continue

Thanksgiving Lull?
Bitcoin Trades Sideways

But !!
Rally May Continue

Bitcoin is continuing its sideways journey today.

A move to fresh all-time highs above $8,300 earlier this week has been followed by consolidation in the range of $8,000-$8,300. At press time, the bitcoin-U.S. dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate is at $8,161 levels. According to CoinMarketCap data, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has depreciated by 1 percent in the last 24 hours. While BTC is holding above the $8,000 mark, the upside is being capped around $8,300. The muted trading conditions could be in part due to the Thanksgiving holidays in the major markets of Japan and the U.S. Further, concerns about the financial health of Bitfinex, one of the largest exchanges, are possibly having an influence.

However, the investor community does not appear too concerned about the Bitfinex issue and is instead assessing the impact of the rally in bitcoin cash (BCH) and ethereum (ETH) prices on bitcoin. Comments on social media indicate investors are expecting the number one cryptocurrency by market value to feel the heat of rallies in alternative currencies like BCH and ETH. More immediately, the price action analysis indicates scope for a healthy pullback, although the broader outlook still remains bullish with fans of bitcoin predicting a $10,000 price by years' end.

The above states:

  • Rising channel as represented by higher highs and lower highs on price, coupled with falling tops on the RSI (i.e. bearish divergence).
  • The 50-MA and 100-MA are curled up in favor of the bulls, suggesting a pullback could be short-lived.

View

A break below the rising channel support level of $8,020 could yield a pullback to $7,600 levels. Further losses are unlikely as the 10-day MA ($7,800) is curled up in favor of the bulls. Bullish scenario: A rebound from the channel support, followed by a move above $8,300 would open the door for a rally to a new record high around $8,550 (rising channel resistance).

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Crypto Bull Tom Lee Doubles Bitcoin Price Target to $11,500

Crypto Bull Tom Lee Doubles Bitcoin Price Target to
$11,500

Strategist says failed fork cleared room for coming surge
Call comes after Novogratz sees coin at $10,000 by January

Bitcoin:
What’s Coming in the Year Ahead
The bitcoin bulls are charging.

A day after hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz said the cryptocurrency will end the year at $10,000, Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee doubled his price target to $11,500 by the middle of 2018 — a 40 percent gain from current levels. Lee, who heads research at Fundstrat, said a 10 percent pullback earlier this month triggered by the controversial cancellation of an upgrade to bitcoin’s underlying software has set the stage for the coming surge.

The November slump “cleaned up weak hands,” Lee wrote Wednesday in a note to clients that almost doubled his last forecast. The strategist had warned earlier in the month that bitcoin’s rally to $7,000 from $3,500 raised the likelihood for a short-term pullback. “We no longer feel caution is warranted,” he said. Bitcoin rose 1.2 percent to $8,230.12 as of 11:05 a.m. in New York, about $100 short of its all-time high set Tuesday after Novogratz’s comments. The most popular cryptocurrency has surged more than sevenfold since December, surpassing $8,000 for the first time this week.

The ride to records hasn’t been straight up for the virtual asset, with three separate slumps of more than 25 percent all giving way to subsequent rallies this year. “We recommend steady buying of Bitcoin at these levels,” Lee said in the Wednesday report. Fundstrat also boosted its price target for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, an over-the-counter security that offers investors exposure to bitcoin. Lee predicts it will trade at $1,300 by mid-2018, up from his prior target of $800.

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Australian Government Grants $8 Million for Blockchain Energy Pilot

Australian Government Grants $8 Million for Blockchain Energy Pilot

The Australian government has announced that it will provide

over AU$8 million (around US$6 million) in grants for a blockchain-powered smart utilities project. The funding will see a grant of AU$2.57 million go directly to the project, which will be set up in the City of Fremantle. A futher AU$5.68 million will be provided via project partners including blockchain firm Power Ledger.

According to the company's blog, the pilot has been set up to explore how cities can use blockchain technology and data analytics to power distributed energy and water systems. The trial is being conducted with academic and technology partners, including Curtin University, Murdoch University, LandCorp, CSIRO and Cisco. Curtin University is to oversee project management and carry out research supporting the trial.

According Curtin's Prof. Greg Morrison:

"We will develop a smart metering, battery storage and blockchain trading system to allow energy and water efficiencies between critical dispersed infrastructures that would otherwise have required physical co-location."

Power Ledger, the post states, is providing a transactional platform for renewable assets, as well as the ownership model for the "precinct sized" battery.

Image via Power Ledger

The federal grants are being provided as part of the government's Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, with support also coming from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Western Power, and the CRC for Low Carbon Living. The pilot is expected to commence within two months, and will last for two years, the post states.

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Blockchain Has Potential in Curbing Odometer Fraud: EU Report

Blockchain Has Potential in
Curbing Odometer Fraud:
EU Report

The European Parliament has released a research paper

that explores blockchain, among other technologies, in the prevention of odometer tampering. he report, issued by the Directorate General for Internal Policies, investigates the possible role of blockchain technology in the use case, concluding that it might "present interesting potentials" for effective prevention of fraud through increased transparency and data privacy.

The report explains:

"The blockchain technology currently proposed by the car engineering and electronics industry would allow downloading mileage and GPS data from vehicles, and securing it on a 'digital logbook'."

The study further suggests that blockchain can be supported by a "connected cars" concept that allows cloud access to all relevant vehicle data in a future scenario involving autonomous vehicles. Blockchain technology is one among the three approaches identified to address odometer fraud in the paper, including a standardized framework based on international standards (ISO) and equipping a vehicle with hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect data. The issue of odometer fraud, or "clocking," is one being investigated by other startups in the blockchain space, as well as major enterprises.

In June, CoinDesk reported on a project by startup BigchainDB and German energy company Innogy that aims to create digital identities for vehicles on a blockchain. To tackle clocking, the CarPass project creates a record of the odometer and vehicle activity with the data visible and verifiable on a digital platform. "If someone starts tampering with the mileage, you basically see it as a step change in the data that someone tampered with [it]," said Innogy's Carsten Stocker at the time.

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Bitcoin passed $8,000 as institutional money inches closer to cryptocurrency markets

Bitcoin passed $8,000
as institutional money inches closer
to cryptocurrency markets

The future(s) is bright.

Bitcoin’s seemingly unstoppable bull run continued as it passed $8,000 for the first time around 6pm UTC yesterday (Nov. 19). The price has been flirting with $8,000 for days, probably because several signs point to the long promised arrival of institutional money in the cryptocurrency markets.

One indicator is the increasing popularity of bitcoin futures. Over the weekend, the first year-long contract for the price of bitcoin was agreed by traders on the LedgerX platform, an issuer of derivatives regulated in the US. The contract is an option to buy bitcoin at $10,000 by Dec. 28, 2018. According to LedgerX, this carries an implied probability that bitcoin will be above $10,000 on that date. LedgerX has conducted $16 million in bitcoin futures trades since it opened for business on Oct. 20, according to CoinDesk. Another major futures trading platform will also start testing bitcoin derivatives today. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) will begin letting customers test bitcoin futures today. The exchange plans to let customers trade bitcoin futures for real before the year is up.

Another sign that institutions are getting serious about trading bitcoin is a new service offered by the exchange and wallet provider Coinbase. It launched Coinbase Custody, a storage solution for institutions with at least $10 million in cryptocurrency holdings, last week (Nov. 16). Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong claimed in a blog post announcing the product that there’s over $10 billion in institutional money on the sidelines of the cryptocurrency market, awaiting custodial and other solutions, although he didn’t provide a source for this estimate. The eye-popping returns on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are difficult for any fund manager to ignore. Their entry to the still young cryptocurrency markets could drive the price of bitcoin and its ilk higher still. 

A Chinese tech giant just joined Facebook and Amazon in the $500 billion valuation club

WeChat mascots are displayed inside Tencent office at TIT Creativity Industry Zone in Guangzhou, China May 9, 2017. Picture taken May 9, 2017.

The latest company to cross the $500 billion valuation threshold

is virtually unheard of in the West. Shares of Shenzhen-based Tencent, a company that made its mark with its popular WeChat messaging service, rose 4.1% in trading Monday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to close at HK$420, bringing the company’s valuation to HK$3.99 trillion (about $510 billion).

That places Tencent alongside major US-based technology giants who have passed the $500 billion mark in recent months. Amazon, which went public in 1997, hit a $500 billion valuation in July. Facebook, which went public in May 2012, reached a $500 billion valuation that same month. (Both companies remain over the $500 billion mark.) Tencent went public in 2004 (paywall), with shares priced at HK$3.70 (then $0.47), raising nearly $200 million. Interest in the stock remained tepid for about five years, before its price began to rise—slowly in 2009, then steadily by 2013, and then meteorically in 2017. Its stock price is up over 120% since its first of day trading this year, according to Factset.

Tencent’s mobile chat app, ubiquitous across the country, originated in 2011 as the Chinese answer to WhatsApp, and now counts some 980 million active monthly users. It has evolved into a news reader, an online payment provider, a taxi hailer, and a search engine all rolled into one. While it makes very little money for Tencent directly, it’s a funnel for the mobile and PC games that have long remained Tencent’s cash cow, and it might eventually turn into something lucrative in its own right.

The company has delivered stellar earnings over the past year, driven largely by the success of the hit mobile game Honour of Kings. Last week it reported quarterly revenues of 65.2 billion yuan ($9.8 billion), up 61% from the year prior, and net income of

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Cryptocurrency is hot commodity as Bitcoin reaches record-high value

Cryptocurrency is hot commodity as Bitcoin reaches record-high value

Bitcoin now hovers around US$8,000 as investors pour into alternative currencies

The digital currency Bitcoin offers some benefits,

such as lower fees and global use. (David Gray/Reuters)  Cryptocurrency is a digital currency with no physical form or intrinsic value, but is an increasingly hot commodity as Bitcoin, its most well-known iteration, flirts with a record high. Bitcoin, the self-proclaimed original decentralized digital currency, is hovering around US$8,000 as investors pour into alternative currencies.

Many other types of cryptocurrencies exist, including Monero and Litecoin. These digital currencies are decentralized, meaning there is no third-party authority like a bank that oversees activity, and transactions happen directly between two individuals. This offers some benefits, such as lower fees and global use. Cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology. The blockchain is a public ledger of the currency's transactions.

Mining digital currency

Generally speaking, there are two ways to obtain cryptocurrencies: A person can purchase units on an exchange, or they can participate in cryptocurrency mining. Miners secure cryptocurrency networks. They receive new issues of the currency for verifying transactions, which are then recorded on the blockchain. Miners run software that can require special hardware, like asic chips — designed for Bitcoin mining. Their computers solve complicated math problems in exchange for new issues of the currency. A mathematical proof of work, created by trying billions of calculations per second, is required to confirm a Bitcoin transaction. The more puzzles a miner solves, the more cryptocurrency they earn — incentivizing miners to participate and strengthening the overall system.

Money math

On Bitcoin's network, the problems become more complex if they are being solved too quickly. As more miners joined the system and the problems grew very difficult, miners started to pool together to do this work. Once purchased or mined, cryptocurrency lives in the individual's digital wallet and can be used to purchase items online or at local stores that accept the currency. The digital currency's value is derived from demand. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin was worth roughly $9,800 (it is highly volatile), while Monero has yet to hit four-digit worth.

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