An Untraceable Currency? Bitcoin Privacy Concerns

Bitcoin is frequently portrayed being an untraceable technique of payment that facilitates illegal activities by allowing crooks to create and receive payments without being tracked. This depiction implies that users transacting in bitcoin can completely do so anonymously that their identities will never be exposed. However, that isn’t fundamentally the way it is. Although bitcoin provides better privacy when compared with traditional-payment connecting a 3rd-party intermediary for example a credit-card provider, it’s nevertheless not as anonymous as a cash transaction. A person’s identity could potentially be exposed in bitcoin transactions in fact, there are many ways.

A general idea of the Blockchain

Bitcoin isn’t anonymous. As we explain below, it really is pseudonymous an important distinction. It can also be a decentralized, peer-to-peer currency that is digital having no third-party intermediary for instance, a charge card issuer, vendor processor or bank that is involved to verify a transaction between a customer and vendor. Since there is no party that is third there must be another way to confirm a transaction between two users and avoid the double-spending problem i.e., a means of guarantee that an individual does maybe spend bitcoin they have formerly transferred.

This is where the Blockchain, the undoubtedly revolutionary aspect of cryptocurrencies such as for instance bitcoin, is necessary. A Blockchain is just a public, distributed ledger, by which every transaction is documented. A Blockchain ledger is distributed across a group of computers thousands of them, each with its own copy of the Blockchain transactions unlike traditional payment systems in which the ledger is maintained by a single third party.

Each block of deals in a Blockchain is complete by users within the peer-to-peer network, known as miners, who compete to resolve a complex problem that is computational. 1st successful miner to validate the deal broadcasts it to the network that then checks the results. Once checked, the new deals are added as a new block to the Blockchain. The miner who first successfully verified this transaction gets rewarded by the network with newly created bitcoins in the case of bitcoin. At the time of 2016, the reward was reduced from 25 to 12.5 bitcoins, and it is expected that the reward will be further reduced to 6.25 bitcoins in 2021 July.

Tracing Bitcoins Back to Individuals

Encryption might make the impression that these transactions are visible however unmatchable to specific individuals. However, bitcoin isn’t as untraceable as encryption may indicate. Tying an encrypted transaction to a real person may be it’s not really a risk that is remote. There are numerous ways this could occur. Users who count on a bitcoin trading exchange such as Bitfinex and Binance or Kraken to switch money for bitcoin have to divulge their information that is personal to exchange to produce a free account. The information collected by the trade varies, however normally includes, at a minimum, a user’s first and name that is last and, possibly, a phone number. The trade may additionally collect a user’s ip. If these exchanges had been subject to a data protection breach, a user’s personal information could be exposed. In addition, some exchanges that are centralized to manage users’ bitcoin funds and users’ private keys on their behalf.

You can find additionally wallet that is on line providers that control users’ wallets on their behalf. A wallet is really a software program that stores an accumulation of a public that is user’s personal key pairs. The storage space of personal tips makes these central exchanges, and online wallet providers, prime targets for crooks because, as discussed above, you aren’t access to a user’s personal key should be able to develop a bitcoin transaction that is valid. A hacker who accesses a user’s private key can send all of that user’s bitcoins to him or herself, or even to any intermediary of their choosing.

Summary

Although bitcoin is a decentralized and unregulated payment method, users should recognize that this does not mean that their bitcoin transactions are private and hidden from scrutiny. The public nature for the Blockchain coupled with the increasing threat of government regulation can result in the identification of users involved in transacting the currency.

 

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New ICO Offerings – Wall Street

Initial Coin Offering (ICO), a crowdfunding practice that issues digital tokens, continues to attract record attendance and rave reviews from the media and crypto enthusiasts – for good reasons. Its influence goes far and wide, creating a new breed of tech millionaires out of small investors and ordinary citizens.

The success of ICOs such as Ethereum, Spectrecoin, NEO, etc., coupled with the significant growth of the cryptocurrency market has more and more people interested in the emerging digital currency market. Big risks, big rewards, they say. To help you find some of the best investing opportunities, this piece lists the newest and most promising ICOs you should know.

Newest ICO’S

  1. Crystal Token (CYL)

Crystal Token is a cryptocurrency that brings innovation in the area of smart investments through a concept known as Virtual Staking. The Virtual Staking program offers a unique combination of lending and staking, where investors can borrow at least 100 Virtual Crystal Token (VCYL) and receive a maximum of 2 percent interest each day.

In addition, investors who borrow more than 2,500 VCYL will get either 3% or 7% interest worth of coins when their capital is due. Investors can reinvest their funds back into the program automatically if they like. In this case, the interest is added to the original loan instead of creating a new one. Depending on the amount invested, investors can receive capital anywhere between 120-180 days.

Those who cannot wait that long may consider lending into the short term program where capital is released between 30 to 90 days. However, this program attracts a maximum of just 1% interest on a daily basis.

The token, which runs on the Ethereum platform, has a total supply of 28,000000 (CYL), out of which around 7,000,000 are currently in supply.

Ubex is a decentralized advertising platform built on mutual trust and efficiency. Organizations who wish to advertise on this exchange can buy ad slots in real time using programmatic technology. Ubex is based on neural networks with the use of smart contracts.

The neural networks assess users’ interests, estimate the probability of targeted actions for the advertising company’s offers, and then selects the most appropriate advertisement. Around 2,880,000,000 UBEX tokens are available for sale.

  1. MB8Coin (MB8)

MB8Coin is a cryptocurrency that was designed to power the current Multibuy loyalty rewards network, which makes it the first ever digital currency with established world applications. MB8 runs on the X13 platform. The going ICO price is 1 Euro = 3 MB8. About 550,000,000 MB8 tokens are available for sale.

  1. Aenco (AEN)

Aenco is a financial solutions platform that is based on the blockchain. The token has applications in health, smart capital, as well as prime brokerage. It enables health organizations to research, examine, and assist each other in finding cures for diseases.

  1. SilkChain (SILK)

First announced in March 2018, SilkChain is a blockchain-based token that seeks to improve international trade. The token has a total supply of 10,000,000,000 SILK. The ICO conversion is 1 ETH = 11,000 SILK.

Last Word

While it is hard to say for sure what the future holds for these tokens, it cannot be denied that they are a critical part of the innovation process that brings new ideas and concepts to the world of cryptocurrency. As far as ICOs go, they represent some of the most promising you’ll find anywhere today.

 

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How Blockchain Is Transforming The Online Gaming World

Blockchain and the Impact on Transforming The Online Gaming World

Blockchain technology has certainly taken over every domain of digital transactions. It has revolutionised the world of cryptocurrencies and has given everyone around the world a new platform to do online transactions. The Blockchain technology has definitely exceeded expectations and has reached new heights year in and year out; the tech has even lengthened its reach and can even be found in the online gaming world. In fact, it has made quite an impact in gaming and it should be very interesting to see how Blockchain will revolutionise the gaming space.

Private, Legal, Low Cost and fairly accessible Option

Cryptocurrencies have managed to find their way into the casino industry and in doing so its expanded its status. An increasing number of online casinos have introduced cryptocurrencies as a main payment or as a substitute payment method. The great thing is that these forms of payment are safe, accessible and well documented which further strengthens the reputation of cryptocurrencies. With the use of cryptocurrencies these gaming companies allow their members to remain anonymous and give them a piece of mind knowing that it is extremely safe. Cryptocurrencies also make it easier because gamers and gamblers don’t run into any difficulties with regards to financial documents or setting up an account.

Reduces Fraud and Loss of Revenue

Fraud and a loss of revenue is relatively widespread on the internet and this is really unfortunate. Studies have confirmed there were approximately two million online fraud incidents reported in 2017, with the general belief being this number is only the tip of the iceberg. Blockchain technology has ensured the extermination of fraud and revenue loss which will save the online casino industry billions every year.

Developers are creating Blockchain driven games

Blockchain has created many games but it has taken their technology to a new extreme. Developers have created Decentraland which is a virtual reality platform which is powered by Ethereum Blockchain. Decentraland allows people to own different pieces of land which you are free to do whatever you want to with. With this so called ‘digital real estate” players are able to access an entire new platform that has businesses, services and social activities.

Ensures more equality in the online gaming industry

Most players have the idea that the house always wins but that is no longer the case thanks to Blockchain. The majority of gamblers have accepted the fact that they would most likely lose more often than not, but Blockchain has created equality in games. Smart contracts, cryptography and Blockchain technology have all worked together to develop a system which has ensure that there is equality in any games that contain their technology.

Therefore, it is clear that the Blockchain technology has had a significant effect on the online gaming industry. Blockchain technology has given this industry room to flourish and has also made the online gaming industry a much safer environment to get involved in. This technology has also improved payments, betting and encouraged the creation of new types of games.

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How to Buy Bitcoin – Wall Street

Smartphone with Bitcoin chart on-screen among piles of Bitcoins. Bitcoin trading concept.

Virtual Currency

We were already impressed about a decade ago, but today we can see that cryptocurrency has come a long way since then. Digital currencies are becoming much more widely adopted, and it is never more apparent than when you look at bitcoin, the first, most well-known, most accepted, and most commonly adopted cryptocurrency out there.

The virtual currency, which was created in 2009 by an individual (or group) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, has seen a repeated rise, fall, and resurgence yet its influence remains. Given its importance and popularity, it makes sense that it is the go-to digital currency for people joining the crypto-craze.

If you are looking to get into the cryptocurrency game, this comprehensive guide provides the necessary guidance on how to buy bitcoin.

Before You Buy Bitcoins

To buy bitcoins, you first need to get yourself a bitcoin wallet to store the tokens you will be purchasing. Bitcoin wallets are applications that have been specially designed to store bitcoins in much the same way your bank account stores your traditional currency.

Besides holding bitcoins, a crypto wallet is used to send or receive bitcoins from other users. The most popular wallets you can use to store, send, or receive bitcoins include the Ledger Nano S, Trezor Wallet, Electrum Wallet, Coinbase, MyCelium, Xapo, Blockchain.info, among others. These wallets provide you with different levels of security, storage, and access options.

How to Buy Bitcoin

That said, some of the best exchange platforms to buy bitcoin from include:

Purchase Bitcoins on Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms

One of the ways to purchase bitcoins is to use a cryptocurrency exchange. A cryptocurrency exchange platform is an online portal that lets you buy, sell, or exchange cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for other digital currencies or central bank issued currencies like the US dollar or Euro.

These platforms automatically merge a buy and sell order without market participants knowing each other. Exchange transactions are completed instantly. One of the main factors to consider before choosing an exchange platform is your location. This is because some exchanges are not available in all countries.

There are many ways you can buy bitcoins. You can choose from the following:
  • Coinbase: Coinbase is one of the world’s most popular digital currency exchanges with over 20 million accounts in its care. The platform lets users buy, sell, store, and trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Bitcoin can be purchased using debit or credit cards at a fee of 3.99%.
  • Coinmama: Coinmama is a worldwide exchange that lets you buy bitcoins with debit or credit cards. The platform charges 6% for every purchase made.
  • io: This platform allows you to buy bitcoins through a variety of payment channels including credit card, SEPA transfer, ACH bank transfer, AstroPay, and even cash. CEX.io charges a low transaction fee of 0.2%.

Other platforms you can use include Gemini, Kraken, Bitstamp, Changelly, etc.

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs offer a fast, secure, and convenient way to purchase bitcoins. To buy bitcoins via an ATM, all you need to do is insert cash into the machine. After that, you will receive a paper receipt containing the codes and instructions on how to send the funds to your bitcoin to your wallet.

Alternatively, you can scan your mobile wallet QR code to have the funds transferred directly to your wallet. Purchasing bitcoin on these machines attract between 3-8% commission on top of the standard exchange price.

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer service which matches bitcoin buyers and sellers. The platform, which also provides an escrow service, enables buyers to transact face-to-face with a local seller. To enhance privacy, LocalBitcoins allows you to purchase bitcoin in person without linking identity to an exchange.

Trades can also be carried out over the internet, provided you and the seller agree. Transaction fee varies between 5-10% depending on the seller you’re dealing with. This amount is paid in addition to the original exchange price.

Gift Cards

Another way to buy bitcoins is to trade gift cards for bitcoins. To do this, buy a gift card from any retailer, then log into a bitcoin exchange platform where gift cards are accepted (such as LocalBitcoins, Paxful, etc.) to complete the transaction.

Conclusion

Buying bitcoins is fast and easy, which doesn’t come as a surprise given the popularity of the token. However, we advise that you do your research thoroughly before you proceed to buy bitcoins, especially if you are using gift cards. This will help you avoid fraudsters looking to cheat and con you out of your money.

 

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5 Top Financial Technology Trends

Trends in FinTech

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz in the financial services space over the quick and radical changes in the sector brought about by its shift to a new, digital model that will fundamentally transform everything.
In this Featured Article, we take a look at the trends shaping the financial services industry to bring you the most current trends affecting your everyday life. Financial Technology is move at an incredible speed.
  1. Digital Transformation

Our world is becoming very tech-inclined with a growing reliance on technology and online resources. This, coupled with increased competition from fintech and regtech firms whose business model revolves around a variety of new technologies has forced traditional financial institutions to invest in digital technologies to remake processes and become more efficient.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain

AI and Blockchain continue to expand the frontiers of technology, enabling companies to solve even harder problems and disrupt the financial services landscape with huge competitive advantages. AI, for one, is taking the financial services industry by storm.

Several financial services firms now rely on artificial intelligence to cut cost, save time, and add value. For instance, wealth management institutions now use robo-advisors to analyze and understand client investment, spending, and general behavior regarding money management so they can customize the advice offered to customers.

Similarly, the blockchain, the technology which runs cryptocurrencies, continues to power innovation in the financial services sector. It offers an opportunity to speed up and simplify cross-border payments, ensure greater trade accuracy, improve online identify management, and ensure transparency in financial operations.

Through smart contracts, transactions and agreements are executed automatically once the conditions coded in them are satisfied. This help eliminates the need for an intermediary and leads to a reduction in cost.

  1. Digital-Only Banks Influence in the Financial World Continues to Grow

Digital-only banks and fintech companies are threatening to replace traditional banks as the focal point of the banking experience. As technological advancements continue to expand and consumers become more comfortable using the internet, their expectations for instant and straightforward digital interactions will continue to increase.

By their very nature, digital-only banks possess the tools necessary to offer consumers what they expect and prefer. Not operating from any physical location means they attract low transaction cost, which allows them to distribute resources better to provide customer experiences that are uniquely differentiated.

For instance, DBS Bank, a Marina Bay-based digital-only bank offers up to 7% interest rates on savings accounts, unlimited access to ATMs, zero balance requirements, etc., all of which can be difficult for legacy organizations to provide.

  1. Big Data Continues to Drive Modern Business Operations

Organizations continue to find new ways to leverage big data. This data now enables companies to create real competitive advantages by providing large amounts of information to assist with their research, marketing, etc. It is predicted that the Internet of Things will make big data even bigger by providing plenty of storage space as well as by offering the big data itself.

  1. Banks and Financial Institutions Embrace Cloud-Based Offerings

Cloud innovation has been a thing in the financial services industry for a while now. However, it wasn’t until recently that banks started to embrace it. The innovation was generally not well received by traditional banks due to security issues. Brick and Mortar institutions feared that entrusting data to cloud will make it more susceptible to hacks.

Today, however, the technology is becoming more widely accepted, as banks now use cloud computing for non-critical functions like email, human resource, customer relationship management (CRM), customer analytics, as well as for development and testing.

 

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The Evolution of Cryptocurrency – Wall Street

Cryptocurrency Evolved Out of Necessity

Nearly ten years after the introduction of bitcoin, the first and most prominent cryptocurrency, digital currencies continue to defy the doomsday. Despite being around for less than a decade, cryptos already show potential to replace traditional fiat currencies and transform the financial services landscape. But how did they come so far so quickly?

The Beginning

While the concept of online currency predates bitcoin, 2009 marked a defining moment for peer-to-peer electronic cash system when an individual (or group) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto publicly released the bitcoin software. Bitcoin was created to protect against inflation, provide security, and put the control of money in the hands of the people.

The release kick-started what is now known as bitcoin mining, and indeed the introduction of alternative currencies, which have been developed, either to address bitcoin’s perceived shortcomings or to accomplish different goals.

Bitcoin was valued for the first time in 2010 when an early adopter decided to swap 10,000 units for two pizzas. The token is believed to be worth around $0.00001 when it was first created.

The Emergence of Alternative Cryptocurrencies

As bitcoin grew in popularity and gained more acceptance, users began to notice some of its shortcomings. As a result, alternative cryptocurrencies (often referred to as altcoins) were launched to fix its perceived flaws in areas such as privacy, transaction speed, DNS resolution, proof-of-stake, among others.

Similarly, Forks like Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Cash were created by manipulating the existing bitcoin code to reduce confirmation times, reduce transaction costs, or correct scalability issues.

Namecoin, Litecoin, and SwiftCoin were the first altcoins to launch in 2011. Today, some of the most popular alternative cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, Ripple, Zcash, Litecoin, Monero, and Dash. There are currently more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies online.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO), a fundraising tool for startups, makes it easier than ever to launch new cryptocurrencies. The first ICO was held in 2013 by Mastercoin. Since then, several cryptocurrencies have begun this way. Some of the most popular cryptocurrencies created through this means include Ethereum and NEO.

Growing Acceptance and Surge into Mainstream

The popularity of cryptocurrencies is on the rise. Countries like China, Ecuador, Tunisia, Venezuela, Senegal, Sweden, Estonia, Singapore, etc. have either created their own national cryptocurrency or are planning to launch one.

In addition, bitcoin and other popular digital currencies appear to be gaining more acceptance as a growing list of retailers and services now accept them as payment. The market value of digital currencies is expected to reach $1 trillion this year as positive sentiments continue to rise.

Challenges to Mass Adoption

Cryptocurrencies are a suitable medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account. Possessing these characteristics make them a reliable form of money by any yardstick. However, some obstacles must be overcome before the general public widely adopts these online-based currencies.

One of the major barriers to mass adoption of cryptocurrency is volatility. Merchants are sometimes reluctant to accept cryptocurrencies as payment because their prices fluctuate very often. Scalability issues, security, and regulatory challenges are other factors that impede further adoption of digital currencies.

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The Future of Cryptocurrencies in Banking

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

Cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology seem to be slowly but surely gaining acceptance in many sectors seeking speed, low fees, and a connection with the digital generation. Thanks to their decentralized nature, cryptos give power to the individual, ensure access for everyone (including the unbanked), and grant users control over their digital future. For most adopters, these are the major draw.

But that is not to say that the journey has been smooth and sailed. Digital currencies have had their fair share of challenges and failures since bitcoin launched in 2009. More so, their volatility, exposure to manipulation, and use in illegal trade (drugs, illegal pornography, hacks, and thefts, etc.) still constitute a problem. Despite them, however, many still believe cryptos have a bright future in the banking sector.

An Evolving System

The evolution of cryptocurrencies has the potential to be revolutionary. Digital currencies are seen in many quarters as having all the ingredients necessary to challenge some more legacy business models in banking.

Powered by the blockchain technology, cryptocurrency transactions are registered in a verified ledger system, which enables individuals and financial organizations to transfer funds in a secure and traceable way. As a result, their application in banking will help build trust in the financial services arena.

While most of the commentary regarding the future of cryptocurrency has emphasized the threat to established bank models and how they’ll remove the need for intermediaries, new cryptos are being developed to serve as regular money within traditional financial institutions.

These new “currencies” do not behave like speculative bubbles or securities. Instead, what developers are trying to achieve is make these tokens function as a medium of exchange in much the same way as fiat currency.

A good example of such currencies is the SOV, the Marshall Islands’ very own cryptocurrency, which will be distributed as legal tender alongside the U.S Dollar. A report on Reuters said the SOV will be issued to the mass public via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Russian Releasing Cryptoruble

In a related development, Russia is also pondering the release of Cryptorubble, a state-controlled digital currency to serve as an intermediary instrument that will facilitate the exchange of goods and services.

In the Middle East, the Central Banks of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are already taking steps to develop a cross-border cryptocurrency exchange to facilitate the buying and selling of items between the two countries.

Asset-Backed Tokens to Become Mainstream

Meanwhile, it is believed that banks could use digital currencies to buy, sell, and trade goods by backing tokens with real assets in the future. Asset-backed tokens offer benefits such as the securitization of assets, liquidity, ownership rights, lowered volatility of crypto assets, among others.

The LendingCoin (TLC), a real-estate backed cryptocurrency token, is a good example of such tokens. Investments in TLC “…are backed by the refinancing of commercial property with proven value,” according to the Lending Coin website.

Asides refinancing the real estate, the Lending Coin will branch out to other sectors of the real estate market like residential properties, which could potentially disrupt traditional mortgage payments and home refinancing.

Outside of real estate, asset-backed tokens will have applications in industries such as art, gaming, and will help ensure self-sovereignty by giving individuals complete control of their information.

 

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The XY Oracle Network / Cryptographic Location Network

 

Initial Coin Offerings

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have changed the world of venture capital and continue to offer a new way to raise money. The massive increase in the value of cryptocurrencies and the incredible power of the blockchain, decentralization, and tokenization continue to drive the growth of ICOs in recent times.

This has led to the explosion of applications, platforms, and technologies being launched into the crypto space. Of these, one specific project could prove to be significant and revolutionary: the XY Oracle Network. In many quarters, the network is seen as having the capacity to remake the location tracking system. But what exactly is this platform and how will it bring changes?

What It Is

The XY Oracle Network is a secure, decentralized, and truly trusted proof of location system that connects the digital world to the actual world, thanks to its technology infrastructure which allows smart contracts to access the physical world. By so doing, the network’s ecosystem of devices tries to verify a node’s specific XY-coordinate and allow users to utilize apps that perform transactions in a Smart Contract.

Anything that needs to verify location data in any form can benefit from what the XY Oracle Network brings, as the blockchain-based platform was designed to ensure the accuracy and validity of location-related information.

The main aim of the XY Oracle Network is to build a consumer product business that is based on location and puts traditional location technologies like Bluetooth and GPS tracking beacons out in the actual world. Current use cases of this technology can be found in industries such as rental car agencies, logistics, and e-commerce, among others.

The native token of the XY Oracle Network is called the XYO. The token incentivizes both XYO holders and crypto-location miners, and at the same time ensures low transaction fees, proper liquidity, and long-term value.

Why It Matters

The world is becoming increasingly reliant on data owing to advances in technology. Think package delivery drones, self-driving cars, and smart cities, which all require location data to function effectively and efficiently. These innovations necessitate the introduction of a decentralized platform that can obtain location data from several different location-tracking devices.

Consequently, the XY Oracle Network looks to resolve this problem through the provision of trustless location data using an ecosystem of crypto-location technologies and protocols. The ability of XYO Network to change the face of location tracking system depends largely on a set of a mechanism of cryptography: Proof of Origin and Bound Witnesses.

Proof of Origin help ensures that the data being provided is valid and cannot be falsified. The concept of Bound Witnesses, on the other hand, guarantees that two different nodes were in proximity to each other, confirming that the component of the XYO network provided precise location data. Besides, four key elements help facilitate the delivery of accurate data on the XYO Network. They include Sentinels, Bridges, Archivists, and Diviners.

Where It’s Going

The ability of the XYO Network to provide accurate, verified, and tamper-proof location data has the potential to disrupt existing industries and change the world.

First, it will enable organizations to provide an autonomously verified ledger to monitor a shipment process from start to finish. Being a decentralized and trustless platform, the XYO network allows independent confirmation of delivery and delivery history. This makes it possible for e-commerce platforms to implement a pay on delivery system.

Second, the XYO Network will protect public safety and privacy through the creation of a universal location protocol for automated drones to make the drones publicly accountable in the event of a breach in security or personal privacy.

Third, the XYO Network will help create a culture of accountability in health care and reduce medical errors. Others include reduced risk of fraud in insurance, enhanced security of authorized firearms in high-risk areas, etc.

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Hot Small Business Tech Trends That Will Improve Efficiency

Technology for Small Business

Technology is a valued resource for small businesses. Adopting the right technology helps give brands more flexibility and opportunities for innovation in product design and improves their business and operating income.

For most small businesses, technological advances are lowering transaction, transport, and communication costs, enabling firms to invest where they can be most productive and find the best combination of skills, investment opportunities, and business environment.

Here are some of the major technology trends that will streamline small business efficiency and productivity:

Internet

The advent of the internet offers small businesses more control over marketing, brand development, customer engagement and improves sales opportunities. Thanks to the internet, firms can now offer clients a more comprehensive value proposition that is tailored to their needs. What’s more, the incredible growth of the internet has helped position it as a powerful driver of economic growth, giving businesses the chance to streamline and consolidate their business operations with custom online solutions.

For instance, businesses now have the opportunity to improve business efficiency through a centralized database, which makes data easily accessible for all needs. Small business owners can also build an online presence by developing websites and utilizing various social media platforms to create awareness for their product and boost sales by reaching more people faster. Further, the internet offers businesses the chance to outsource labor they are too busy for or those they are not very conversant with.

E-Commerce

E-commerce is one of the major trends that are shaping the small business landscape. The growing number of internet users worldwide has necessitated businesses to be selling more online than through traditional brick-and-mortar stores. This is because owning an e-commerce store makes it easier than ever before for small businesses to reach tech-savvy clients who now prefer to shop and buy items through digital channels across industries.

Also, it is easier and cheaper to set up an e-commerce store than to maintain a physical storefront. E-commerce platforms such as Shopify, 3dcart, and Magento enable brands to develop an e-commerce store without breaking a sweat.

If you are on a budget, you can utilize a point of sale system such as Vend to create a cloud-based, mobile-friendly online store within a short time. Doing so will enable you to reach many consumers who due to convenience, addiction, and impulsivity, prefer to make secure purchases online. More so, e-commerce gives small businesses an opportunity to adopt technology that supports real-time commerce.

Digital Banking

Many tech-savvy clients nowadays value banking convenience. For this reason, they prefer to bank online than visit a physical bank location. This is gradually shifting transactions away from traditional banks to digital ones. And with millennials expected to rule the market, the switch might happen faster than predicted.

Blockchain

The blockchain technology is capable of causing significant shifts in the way small businesses are conducted. Its application in payments and money transfers, digital identity, distributed cloud storage, smart contracts, etc., is expected to cause shifts that will change the small business arena.

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Are Millennials and Cryptocurrency the Future?

We live in an age of disruption fueled by millennials, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency. The relationship between millennials and technology is easy to understand. They are the first generation to grow up with computers. As a result, they have become accustomed to working in virtual teams and are used to today’s fast-paced life.

From the internet to emails and everything in-between, there’s not a thing that they do not understand about technological innovations. They have often led older generations in the adoption and use of new technology. They are reshaping business models and still lead the way in digital future. In many ways, it appears that they have all it takes to mold the future.

Cryptocurrency is another issue that industry leaders continue to follow with a great deal of interest in the immediate future. Just like the millennials, digital currencies have the potential to change the world by ushering in a new financial order. There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies and how they may change our world, especially traditional finance, as we know it.

Why Are Millennials and Cryptocurrency the Future?

Millennials are a different breed. They view the world differently and possess the right tools to bring about change: knowledge and technology. On top of that, they are the biggest generation ever born and constitute the largest generation in the US labor force. Besides, older millennials are entering their peak spending years.

And, because we live in a market that panders to those with means and resources, millennials are expected to cause significant shifts in the marketplace, as businesses look to develop products and practices that cater to their preferences, trends, and buying habits.

What’s more, millennials know technology, applications, social media, and market trends. Growing in an information age also enables them to understand the issues and needs around them and create solutions to such problems. For so long as their size and spending power matter, millennials will continue to rule the market and dictate trends.

The impacts of cryptocurrencies on future transactions is also clear as day, as they appear to be nudging us in a new direction where people might not require traditional financial organizations such as banks and payment companies. Every day, millions of people around the world use the internet to conduct financial transactions. However, privacy and security concerns deter some consumers from making purchases online.

Cryptocurrency is expected to change all of that by enabling shoppers to conduct secure, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions. The secure nature of cryptocurrency transactions will help inspire trust and make people more willing to transact online. When this happens, the mass public will become more willing to adopt cryptocurrency. Such increased adoption of digital currencies could lead to a fall in demand for fiat currency.

This, coupled with the emergence of Generation Y, which seeks convenience and is adept at technology, could see peer-to-peer electronic payment replace traditional payment systems as the standard. Further, the potential increase in digitization makes it even harder to imagine a future without digital currencies.

There Are Still Hurdles to Clear for Cryptocurrency

Despite holding so much promise, cryptos still have a long way to go before they are more widely accepted as a standard means of payment. This is because prices of cryptocurrencies change so much that it becomes hard for the mass public to use them as a trusted medium of exchange.

As with any currency, cryptos need to be stable before they are widely adopted for everyday transactions. Nevertheless, it is hoped that with advances in technology and behavioral changes, digital currencies will become stable enough to be used as means of payment.

 

 

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