Category Archives: Markethive

Social Media Definition

Social Media Definition

Social Media Is an Excellent Way to Promote Your Business

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn't allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content. As Ron Jones explains, "Social media essentially is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online." There is a wide variety of social media, ranging from social sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr through social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

In my opinion, social media has shot to the forefront of people's attention because it's fun. Thanks to social media, it's easy to share your ideas, photos, videos, likes and dislikes, with the world at large – and find out what they think of them. You can find friends, business contacts and become part of a community or a bunch of different communities. Social media gives you what TV never could – a chance to be engaged and engage others.

Because of this, social media is of particular interest to businesses. Currently, businesses of all sizes are embracing social media marketing as a low-cost form of business promotion, grappling with the question of how to get in on what appears to be an especially viral way to get their message (and their products) out there. If you run a small business, How to Create a Social Media Plan explains how you can pick the best kinds of social media to promote your business and how to design and implement a winning social media strategy.

                                                The Most Popular Forms of Social Media
Facebook

Founded in 2004, Facebook is the most well-known form of social media, with over a billion active members. It allows users to create a profile and share status updates, photos, videos, and exchange messages. Creating a Facebook fan page is a popular low-cost way to promote your business and keep your customers informed about your products and services. 

Twitter

Twitter allows registered users to send short messages (called "tweets") to "followers". Tweeting has also been referred to as "microblogging" since tweets are limited to 140 characters in length. Over 500 million tweets are sent out every day. Businesses use Twitter as a marketing vehicle by keeping followers up to date with product offerings via regular tweets. It is also commonly used by businesses to respond to customer support queries. For more information on Twitter see:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking service for business professionals.  Users can create profiles and form professional relationships by "connecting" with other users. Businesses can use LinkedIn as a low-cost marketing tool by posting product/service announcements or other company news.  Employees can post their own profiles and link to the business, thereby showcasing company talent with prospective customers.

Pinterest

Pinterest can be described as a virtual pinboard. Users can create and share collections of images, text, web page links, etc. and organize them into "boards".  Pinterest content can be shared by sending "pins" to other users. Businesses can promote their products/services by combining images and text in an eye-catching, informative way.Other Pinterest users can "repin" your content, increasing your exposure and driving traffic to your business website. To get started with Pinterest, see  as the heading suggests, only some of the more popular forms of social media; other examples include LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Reddit. As well, new social media platforms are being created and gaining popularity every day.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Capture More Leads with Inbound Marketing Software

Capture More Leads with Inbound Marketing Software

The Best Inbound Marketing Tool

Marketing has changed. Today’s consumer take their time to get informed about a product before buying it. Thanks to Google, Yelp, Wikipedia, and a wide variety of websites, your customers can easily gather enough information to be well-informed on any topic in minutes, and that information dictates which companies they choose to work with. People have adapted their habits when it comes to browsing the internet, but there’s a way to take advantage of those new browsing habits. Just think about the last time you made a purchase decision – did you “Google It” before making up your mind?

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is where your customers find you!… Instead of you chasing them down. Inbound marketing is a method of creating SEO friendly (i.e. people can find you on Google), customer-centric content that your audience is looking for, rather than trying to reach out to someone who may or may not be interested in what you have to offer. Outbound marketing has been the standard way of doing things for a while now. You buy ads, set up a newsletter, send out cold emails, make cold calls, and generally shout into the darkness about your site in hopes that someone will hear you and respond. And to be completely fair about it, if you shout loud enough, you will attract some visitors to your site, but they might not be the visitors you were hoping for.

Inbound marketing works differently. Instead of doing everything in your power to reach outward in hopes of finding your audience, you create high-quality content like blog posts, videos, podcasts, and interactive demos. By doing so, you’re ensuring that your audience will want to find you. Outbound marketing yields a mixture of visitors who are interested in what you have to offer and visitors who had the wrong idea about your business. Some of those leads are warm, and some aren’t; it’s a mixed bag. With inbound marketing, every visitor is a warm lead. They’re coming to your site because they’re interested in what you offer, not because you were the loudest voice on the internet.

Why should you use inbound marketing?

 

Let’s start with the cold hard facts. According to Hubspot, inbound marketing costs 61% less to implement than outbound marketing, and it has been proven to generate 54% more leads. If your marketing budget looks a little like the piggy bank above, those two facts alone should be reason enough to give it a try, but there are plenty of benefits beyond the severely decreased cost per lead. For starters, each lead you get will be warm. With inbound marketing, your audience finds you naturally; in other words, they’re already interested in what you have to offer before they ever hear your sales pitch. Even better, if you start with great content, your visitors will come back to your site, again and again, giving you more chances to take advantage of a warm lead!

You have good content! Now how do you make that content work for you?

 

If you start with good content, every visitor to your site will be a warm lead. All you have to do from there is capture the leads, and that’s where Digioh comes in. Our lightbox is a robust and powerful tool that helps you put the right call to action in front of the right visitor. Once you’ve used inbound marketing to bring warm leads to your site, the Digioh Lightbox can help you to capture your visitors’ interest by presenting a compelling offer to them. By offering a free guide, a one on one consultation, or a discount on their next purchase, you can get your visitors to subscribe to your mailing list, or provide their contact info. Once you have that contact info, you can help them understand why they should buy your product.

The Digioh Lightbox is designed to put the power in the marketer’s hands. Once it’s installed on your site, you won’t need to deal with the IT department to make changes. Just log into Digioh, and use our user-friendly editor to change your call to action, or alter the appearance of the lightbox, and then just hit the publish button to push those changes to your site. Our lightbox also offers a suite of powerful rules you can use to set who sees it and when you can create a lightbox that will only show to users who came to your site from a specific referrer, you can target your lightbox based on the visitor’s geographic location, and you can target it based on the page your visitors are viewing. These customization options make it easy to put the right call to action in front of the right visitor.

All of those customization options make easy to create an engaging form to present to your visitors. If you know where they came in from, and what page on your site they’re reading, it’s easy to craft a message that’s going to appeal directly to their needs. You know what they’re looking for, and now you can craft an opt-in form that shows them you can give them what they need! With all of these powerful tools at your disposal, it’s easy to turn visitors into leads, and leads into conversions!  Don’t let all that time and effort you put into making great content go to waste; use the Digioh lightbox to engage your visitors, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of the audience your content has brought to your site!

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Effective Business Development Strategies to get started

 

  Effective Business Development Strategies to get started

 

Over the past few years, organizations worldwide are beginning to understand the importance of business developers and the value they bring to the organization, although not all companies quit comprehend what business development managers do exactly.

Let us say you have just moved into a business development position from a sales or a marketing background, normally, big enterprises provide their employees with training and orientation, small and medium size companies on the other hand usually lack such processes, if you want to find out where to start, then keep on reading…

In this article we will discuss business development activities that successful business development managers adopt to ensure success in their work, these main strategies are divided to three main parts:

  1. Business Development Activities
  2. Enhancing Public image
  3. Increasing market exposure

 Business Development Activities

Market Research

Performing market research is highly important in order to understand your company current position and determine where it is headed, for that, you will need to do the following: Perform research about the industry you are in, the geographical area you cover and the market segment you are targeting. There are many ready made reports about the industry, market, country over the Internet sphere that you can find useful, they inform you about market trends and value, you can then calculate your market share out of the total market value.

Research for contracts, bids and opportunities of cooperation with other companies that your company can take to increase its channels of revenues. Subscribe to industry related databases, forums and blogs; these can be of great value to you, if you were in the construction or building industry for example, such databases will provide detailed information regarding all projects within your area from concept to execution, this would save you plenty of time consumed normally in collecting information and vastly reduce your market intelligence efforts, use them wisely as leverage over your competition.

Competitive analysis

Once you learn everything you can about the products/ services your company offers, you have to learn about your competition in order to understand where you stand compared to others, it will also help you determine your desired market positioning, for that you will need to do the following:

  1. Determine your company top competitors (4-6 competitors)
  2. Set up a criteria or mechanism of comparison, choose different variables of which you will do the comparison with, this could be in the form of strengths/ weaknesses or in other form such as price, product quality, exposure, brand reputation, etc.
  3. Try to find out what are the projects your competitors are targeting within your market segment, assess if you can develop an offering that can win those business from them.
  4. Since you are a new employee, competitors do not know you yet, use that to visit your competitors showrooms (if they have any), therefore you can visit them anonymously like any regular customer and collect valuable input to use in your research.

Current Client Relations  

  1. Conduct warm calls to your existing clients, in order to assess the company current situation, what are you doing right/ wrong? In order to assess your strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT Analysis) and ensure your clients are not being tempted by other competitors.
  2. Build close relationship with your clients, through the use of emails, phone calls, face to face meetings and product technical presentations in order to assess your client requirements and needs, do not forget to provide them with the latest copy of your marketing material.
  3. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up, do not push hard, but also do not give up easily, 80% of B2B sales are conducted after the 5th encounter.
  4. Identify your main target audience sectors, then categorize the main companies you want to approach within these sectors.
  5. Conduct cold calls with the desired company and arrange meetings in order to identify their current supplier or service provider, find out why they are currently working with that supplier/ service provider and if they were happy about their current provider, tailor your sales pitch based on the given feedback to win the business.
  6. Email your marketing materials to existing clients & potential clients within your target audience in order to raise awareness about the latest products you added or new services you provide.
  7. Follow up, Follow up, and Follow up! Don’t push too hard but also do not give up. There are several email tracking tools that you can use, these can be useful as you will find out when a certain person have checked your email recently therefore you know that something must have come up and perhaps you should give your client a call.

Reach out to new clients

  1. Identify your main target audience sectors, then categorize the main companies you want to approach within these sectors.
  2. Conduct cold calls with the desired company and arrange meetings in order to identify their current supplier or service provider, find out why they are currently working with that supplier/ service provider and if they were happy about their current provider, tailor your sales pitch based on the given feedback to win the business.
  3. Email your marketing materials to existing clients & potential clients within your target audience in order to raise awareness about the latest products you added or new services you provide.
  4. Follow up, Follow up, and Follow up! Don’t push too hard but also do not give up. There are several email tracking tools that you can use, these can be useful as you will find out when a certain person have checked your email recently therefore you know that something must have come up and perhaps you should give your client a call.

Networking Events

As a BDM, spending your whole day inside the office will not be the best use of your time, you need to spend time out there, meeting people related to your market. Attending networking events can be of great value to you, you get to meet new people and learn new things about your market.

Attend industry related networking events, exhibitions, seminars, conferences and trade shows to be in contact with new; potential clients, having a booth in the exhibition is an advantage, however make sure it presents a good image and reflects the company brand identity, otherwise, you may be perceived to be unprofessional or cheap. Attend as many industry related events as you can, make sure you follow up with a thank you email to everyone you meet the second day.

Enhancing the Public image

This strategy addresses the company’s image and how it is perceived by the different stakeholders, the company is a brand, and like any brand, you cannot control the way perceive it, however you can only try to influence your audience perception, this can be achieved through:

Website 

  1. You can work with the marketing division or marketing specialists on enhancing the company website, making it more user friendly, with a clear call for action message to converge views into actions, a poorly designed website can repulse people from your business and can cause you to lose customers before you even have them.
  2. Make sure your website is ‘responsive’, what responsive means is that your website should be able to adapt to whatever browser used for view and it should also be able to fit multiple screens sizes depending on the gadget used to view your website (PC, Tablet, Laptop, Mobile, etc.)
  3.  Proof your website content and ensure there are no punctuation or grammatical mistakes within, your font must be clear enough to read without problems, these small mistakes can go unnoticeable most of the time, however for clients with an eye for details, your company will be perceived as unprofessional or of low quality.
  4. Use only high quality images on your website, low quality images may reflect bad image or poor quality, consider hiring a professional photographer to take some shots of staff in office or engineers working on site, these photos can be used on the website and for other marketing materials so don’t forget to archive these photos and label them for ease of use in future.
  5. Consider adding the organizational chart of your company to the website, at least for upper management, this could ease the life of the website viewers as it would be clear who does what inside the organization, and whom they need to contact.

 Branding 

There should be only one integrated communication theme that governs all aspects of your brand, whether online or offline your brand must reflect consistency. Creating and implementing the below in compliance with your brand guidelines will ensure your company is presented with one unified, cohesive and professional image, addressing your customers in English is important, you need to consider your target audience, therefore adding the native language of your target audience is as important, your marketing material should include:

  • Company Profile
  • Generic Company Brochure
  • Product Catalogs
  • Branded Folder
  • Branded CD’s
  • Customer testimonials
  • Press Releases
  • A unified presentation template, also be sure all employees use it.
  • Short 1-3 minutes promotional videos that promote the company and its products to be used on multiple platforms (YouTube, Exhibitions, Reception area, etc.).
  • A unified company signature for emails and make sure all employees use it.

Office

Ensure your company offices reflect the company brand image, this includes:

  • Reception Area should be equipped with marketing materials and business cards displayed in an attractive manner, available as takeaways for visitors.
  • Company videos are displayed on loop in the waiting area, it gives your visitors an opportunity to know more about your business while waiting.
  • Proper Signage displayed in all the company common areas, clearly displaying the company name and logo.
  • Common areas and staff offices must be clean, tidy, uncluttered and inviting, bathrooms must remain clean at all times.
  • Make sure that snacks and hot beverages are available at all times for visitors, served in an attractive dish wear.
  • Your conference room should always be ready to accommodate guests, training, seminars and meetings, therefore it should be equipped with a screen or projector, a laser pointer, teleconferencing equipment and a white board.

Increasing market exposure

Optimize your online presence 

  1. Conduct and online reputation management research, this would ensure that all articles, posts, videos and comments out there present your brand in a positive manner.
  2. Develop your company presence over different social media platforms, ensure you choose your platforms according to your target audience (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
  3. Develop content to post on your different social media platforms, such as (Press releases, Success stories, case studies, promotional videos, ongoing training activities, testimonials, etc.)
  4. Increase your online exposure by applying search engine optimization techniques to enhance your online visibility.

By applying the above strategies, you can get ahead of your colleagues and reflect a professional image in front of your superiors, make sure you get upper management support for your actions, present them with a plan of what you want to do, they need to believe that what you are doing is in the best interest of the company, you will find that without upper management support, accomplishing the above strategies will be difficult if not impossible.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

A Regulated Cryptocurrency

A Regulated Taxable Cryptocurrency

A regulated Chrypto currency

Regulatory compliance and cryptocurrency are unlikely bedfellows; paying tax on crypto transactions isn't even in the room.

But times are changing. We are seeing a crop of services doing just those sorts of things, leveraging the transparent, immutable nature of distributed ledgers to track and trace cryptocurrencies.

Recently the IRS has been rattling sabres at Coinbase in a move to get cryptocurrency holders to pay tax on transactions. According to court filings, less than 1000 people have registered to pay tax on Bitcoin transactions in the last three years.

Enter Node40, a blockchain accounting system which has grown out of a business hosting Dash masternodes.

Node40 co-founder Perry Woodin explained the company was being paid mostly in Dash for its infrastructure services and had to report US taxes.

"We asked our accountant how to do that and he wasn't sure. Most accountants look at capital gains for gains and losses; they look at first in, first out.

"That strategy doesn't work for digital currencies because of the way transactions are built with multiple inputs and all these inputs have potential gains and losses and various days carried."

Sean Ryan, co-founder Node40, wrote a program to figure out gains and losses. Users import transactions from their Dash wallet and these are analysed against the blockchain to work out the average US dollar value for every single transaction.

Ryan said: "You upload your list of transactions and you get the final number. We don't actually calculate any percentages for taxes – so, for example, your jurisdiction would say that if you made this much income, we are going to tax you at say 22%.

"What we do is present numbers that you would be obligated to pay taxes on. There are levels that allow you to get to those answers, all the way down to the individual components that make up an individual transaction.

"Because these ledgers/blockchains are open they are mathematically sound, all you need to do from an engineering perspective is extract the pieces of data from the blockchain that are most relevant to specific transactions."

The user can then annotate transactions using Node40, like they might with QuickBooks or TurboTax: who they sent the funds to, who they received them from, marking certain things as tax exempt in the case of assets purchased rather than income received.

"There are some additional nice things like being able to set custom values on what your incoming purchase was. If the market value says one Dash is worth $100 but you bought it from somebody who was willing to sell it to you for $90, we allow people to override that initial value," said Woodin.

"Once people have gone in and started annotating transactions, we produce nice reports that show then their performance of their asset with their portfolio. Then as a last step they are able to generate their IRS documents, and that's a capital gains document – form 8949."

The recent surge in cryptocurrency values, not least Dash which has shot up in price, is probably also garnering attention. But Woodin pointed out that holding crypto that goes up in value does not constitute a taxable event.

"If you are just buying something and holding it, there is no taxation even though there's an increase. If you received it as income or if you are exchanging it for some other asset like dollars, euros then that's a taxable event."

Woodin said the ongoing IRS Coinbase scenario has definitely got people edgy and this may be the year people begin to start paying their taxes on crypto.

"I think by next year it's just going to be assumed that if you are transacting in digital currency, you are going to be paying taxes. It's that conversion from digital currency to fiat where the government is going to say: why do you have a deposit in your bank account with no record of income?"

Node40 Balance is now live to use with Dash and will be ready for Bitcoin later in the year.

"There are certain exemption limits and thresholds that we observe. We have four different KYC levels that we enforce. Up to €150 we just need to know the shopping cart details from the merchant which includes the name of the consumer and the email address," said Kaufmann.

"If it goes higher there is another flag at €800, then at €4000 and every time the consumer has to provide more information."

So rather like transaction reporting as it exists today. Kaufmann added that a large transaction – say €25,000 to buy a load of servers – would merit closer scrutiny.

"We have the capability of doing an online verification where people can jump on Skype with our customer support. We will take a picture of their passport number using machine readable zones that are scanned into the system and then we verify it and run it against a sanctions list.

"There is some very profound filtering going on. We do have tools that allow us to look back at the history of Bitcoin transactions. We are careful to follow Swiss data privacy laws and have the support of a fintech-friendly regulatory regime," he said.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 


 

By Ian Allison

 

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

The sudden rise of cryptocurrency in 2017 explained

The sudden rise of cryptocurrency in 2017 explained

The online cryptocurrency Bitcoin is rapidly becoming 2017’s go-to currency. The Bitcoin demand is on the rise, and one Bitcoin is worth around $1010 and rising. Currently, there is a threat of a “hard fork” on the cryptocurrency network, causing many users to concern over their cryptocurrency accounts. Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, which is not controlled by any organisation originally developed by a software developer called Satoshi Nakamoto. The idea was to create a decentralised form of currency, which would be used for economic transactions with low transaction fees, according to CoinDesk.

Bitcoin price surpassed the $1,115 mark during the early hours of March 22, 2017.

Where does a Bitcoin come from?

Bitcoins are not printed physically because they are created digitally by a community of people that can be joined by anyone in the world. The currency creates “mining” bitcoins, which means that transactions for online coins are tracked by computers, in order to confirm that they have a monetary value.

The copy for every blockchain is available for anyone participating in the cryptocurrency business, but miners have to confirm that the blocks -seeing as they’re not being regulated by anyone- are in fact a legitimate transaction. To do this, they run a mathematical formula to the block, turning it into a “hash,” that allows miners to know if a block has been tampered with, meaning that the block is fake.

 

Bitcoins are not physically printed, but instead, they are digitally verified.

“The bitcoin network deals with this by collecting all of the transactions made during set period into a list, called a block. It’s the miners’ job to confirm those transactions, and write them into a general ledger,” explains CoinDesk. “This general ledger is a long list of blocks, known as the ‘blockchain’. It can be used to explore any transaction made between any bitcoin addresses, at any point of the network”.

Miners use hashes to seal off a block, and they use software written to mine the blocks. When a miner creates a successful hash, they earn 25 bitcoins, and the information is added to the blockchain. However, creating hashes from data available isn’t too hard -although more specifications to filter the number of successful hashes have been added- and the cryptocurrency network is growing larger every day.

Upcoming hard fork could be worse than ‘Ethereum’s hard fork’

Cryptocurrency is growing so fast as a currency option, that a hard fork is predicted for Bitcoins. Circle Internet Financial, a technology company that offers user online wallets for cryptocurrencies, sent out an email to users on Monday suggesting that they should sell all of their bitcoins, to avoid the potential consequences of the upcoming hard fork.

The tech company used to trade bitcoins while users were able to sell and buy bitcoins on the page, but it stopped offering the service in December, only keeping the online wallets. The company explained in the email, that if a hard fork were to happen, their bitcoin services would be disrupted for an extended period of time.

 

Analysts are predicting a possible hard fork regarding Bitcoins.

As it relates to blockchain technology, a hard fork (or sometimes hardfork) is a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid block/transactions valid (or vice-versa), and as such requires all nods or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software,” according to Investopedia. “This essentially creates a fork in the blockchain, one path which follows the new upgraded blockchain, and one path which continues along the old path.”

The hard fork is not unheard of in the cryptocurrency network. Last year, the “Ethereum hard fork” took place in October, when a software development team, named Ethereum, designed a hard fork to increase the gas cost of transactions. However, the hard fork increased the number of service attacks, known as DoS attacks. This has lead to Bitcoin users raising their concern about the called “replay” attacks that the server may suffer after the hard fork. The Merkle describes the bitcoin replay attack as an issue that would allow attackers to steal other user’s coins. The coins stolen may or may not go to the attacker’s wallet, but either way, the vulnerability could empty users’ wallets.

The rise in cryptocurrency exchange

The rise of cryptocurrency is fueled by economic measures around the world, as the bitcoin is calculated taken the world’s economy into account. Estimates predict that with President Trump’s economic policies, the currency could rise to $2,000 dollars in 2017. The rise has been real, as in early December the Bitcoin was traded at $754. Boby Lee, CEO of BTCC talked to CoinDesk about the rise in the cryptocurrency.

“I think 2017 could be a continuation of 2016, in terms of it being a growth year for bitcoin’s price,” said Lee. “We are clearly in a bull market for bitcoin now, and my experience tells me that bitcoin bull markets don’t end until the previous high ($1,150 in December 2013) is exceeded, and that the new price is several multiples higher than the previous high.”

Experts and cryptocurrency-trading companies say that there is a plan to protect users’ Bitcoins in the event of a hard fork. However, if a hard fork takes place, two copies of the blockchain, two networks and two versions of the software would be created, leaving users to gamble on which one to use. Experts also said that if the hard fork takes place, all exchanges are likely to freeze for a period of time before and after it occurs.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Top Cryptocurrencies With High Block Rewards

Top Cryptocurrencies With High Block Rewards

It becomes difficult for developers to make their coin stand out.

With so many alternative cryptocurrencies in existence, it becomes difficult for developers to make their coin stand out. Some developers prefer to offer large block rewards, even though that will only add to coin inflation as time progresses. Below are some of the alternative cryptocurrencies with the largest block rewards in history. Not all of these projects are still operational today, though.

While the list is ranked based on the raw amount of coins that a cryptocurrency’s network rewards, we also measured each crypto’s reward as a function of its total supply. You will be surprised to find out that while a cryptocurrency may reward users with 10,000 coins per block when factoring in its total supply some of the coins’ rewards are very close to that of Bitcoin. This is a reminder to always keep data in perspective.

Bonus

                                                   bonus logo

Perhaps the only altcoin with a somewhat intriguing name is Bonus, listed as BNS on various cryptocurrency exchanges. Although this altcoin doesn’t offer much in terms of innovation, the block reward of at least 2,300 BNS is plenty of reason for some miners to jump in. The block reward rate of 2,300 is the minimum as a random bonus will be assigned on top of the original reward.

If we were to compare Bonus’ reward to that of Bitcoin, since there are 2.5 billion BNS in circulation, a 2300 block reward would equate to a 23 BTC reward if the network was Bitcoin. Remember that Bitcoin would have 21 million total coins in existence which is roughly 1/1000 that of BNS. It is important to keep these values in perspective when comparing block rewards.

Mazacoin

                                                   

MazaCoin is one of those altcoins which has seemingly been around for quite some time. Despite gaining some initial momentum, there are very few use cases for this particular currency. That said, the coin made it onto Poloniex, which is considered to be the leading altcoin exchange to date. Mazacoin had an initial block reward of 5,000, which halves every 12 months. Due to its low trading volume on exchanges, and the 50 million pre mine MazaCoin never amounted to much. With a total supply of around 2.4 billion and a block reward of 5,000, if MazaCoin was a Bitcoin network, the reward would be roughly 50 BTC.

EarthCoin

                                                   earthcoin logo

At one point in time, many people thought Earthcoin could become the next Dogecoin. Rather than positioning itself as a meme, EarthCoin intended to change the world and protect out natural ecosystem  Things did not work out all that well. With a variable block reward – usually, around 10,000 – the coin is plagued by significant inflation. With no clear use cases and no one interested in using Earthcoin, that inflationary supply is doing more harm than good. With a supply of 13.5 billion and a block reward of 10,000, Earthcoin has roughly 500 times the supply than that of Bitcoin. If it were a Bitcoin network, the reward would be around 20 BTC.

Dogecoin

                                                    

Once called the joke-coin of the internet, Dogecoin turned into something much more powerful than that. Dogecoin gained a lot of mainstream media recognition by sponsored various sports teams and even a NASCAR driver. Even though there is no limit as to how many Dogecoins can be generated in the end, many people still like this concept. The current block reward still sits around 250,000 DOGE, which is way too high. Dogecoin still generates a fair bit of trading volume across exchanges, though. With its current supply of 108.619 billion coins, there are a lot of DOGE in the world. In fact, the number of coins is 5,172 times higher than bitcoin. If this were a bitcoin network, the block reward would be 48.34 BTC.

ReddCoin

                                                    

When it comes to finding an altcoin with a very large supply, look no further than Reddcoin. There will be 109 billion coins at the end, which will be achieved due to the currency’s high block reward. After initially starting at 300,000 RDD per block, the reward dropped to the 100,000 mark. However, the currency eventually dropped proof-of-work altogether.  It is not a surprise the value of RDD has tanked significantly as more time elapsed. Reddcoin has a total supply of 28.279 billion, resulting in there being 1,346 as many coins as bitcoin. If this were a bitcoin network, the block reward would be 74.29 BTC.

                                                                       MoonCoin

                                                 

When MoonCoin was first introduced, a lot of people were very sceptical about this process. The developer deliberately introduced significant block rewards, which started at two million MOON. As more time progressed, the reward dropped to 1 million, although mining was halted shortly afterwards. With so many coins in circulation and no way to spend them other than selling MOON in favour of bitcoin, this project ground to a halt pretty quickly. It is still the altcoin with the highest block reward during the time it was actively mined. The current MoonCoin supply sits at 221.64 billion MOON, making it 10,554 times as common as bitcoin. If this were a bitcoin network, the block reward would be 94.75 BTC.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Strategies and Tips for Trading Cryptocurrency

Strategies and Tips for Trading Cryptocurrency

Trading is not Cut in Dry

One fact of trading that’s best to make peace with is that you’re never going to perfectly time your buys and sells. What are the chances you’re going to purchase at the exact bottom and sell at the exact top, coupled with putting enough capital into the trade to make a dent in your wealth, Trading is not cut in dry in the sense that there is only one set path to take. Every person has different goals in investing and trading, and cryptocurrency trading is similar in that regard.

We know firsthand what it’s like to kick yourself over trades that haven’t worked or worked spectacularly yet not have the desired position size. All you can do is live in the now, the past is over. After all, hindsight is 20-20. It would’ve been nice to go all in when Bitcoin was $600 a year ago and cash out on a high return, but that’s not how it works. Imagine if you bought in 2013 when Bitcoin was 1,000, panicked when it dropped to 200 then sold? Imagine that sting. Hindsight is 20-20, we can’t predict the future. Learn from past successes and failures and apply it moving forward. Here are some tips, in our experience, for new cryptocurrency investors.

Understand the Power of Cryptocurrency

We liked our approach to stock investing. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are commodities; they are not stocks. They have prices, but they are fundamentally different. The exchange may be the only similarity between the two. We know that the underlying technology powering Bitcoin has potential to be adopted for institutional and retail capital alike. Cryptocurrency’s decentralised nature means that it cannot be shut down or manipulated easily. Many people ask why own Bitcoin, it’s that simple. We believe in the future and so should you. So we’re going along with Bitcoin anticipating capital will continue to flow as it’s potential is realised.

Determining a Strategy

How often will you buy or sell? Some people want to be day traders, but we’ve shown that holding could be the best bet. The general rule of thumb is that the longer of a time horizon you plan on holding for the less risk you incur. This rule carries over into the realm of cryptocurrency from stock investing. However, here may be times to simply cut and run. Declines due to unforeseen structural issues are an indicator to cut losses and sell out.

Initial Investments

Dollar cost averaging one’s purchases of Bitcoin reduces risk in sudden changes. This reduces the sting of or sudden pricing changes, reducing reliance on a single point of entry. By increasing your Bitcoin investment over time, you reduce the desire to buy or sell often. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the long run is that Bitcoin is here to stay (knock on wood). Stick to your gut, but don’t ignore others.

Hedge Your Bets

Various exchanges allow short orders. This allows one to place bets on either side of Bitcoin’s price movements. For example, a simple strategy would be to have 90% long and 10% short. This strategy assumes you are more confident in a long position. So this strategy may cater any level of risk.

Altcoin Trading

It is important not to neglect the power of altcoins, or non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies. Altcoins are less prone to public speculation. Their smaller market caps are more prone to larger swings in pricing. Each altcoin has a purpose and an intent, catering to different niches. There are larger risks associated with investing in altcoins, but also larger rewards. Our personal favourites are DASH, ZCash and Monero. An example would be allocating percentages based on your risk tolerance. It’s something like managing a fund. Some altcoins are more stable like Ethereum, while some are more prone to fluctuation. In one instance a trader might allocate 50% in Bitcoin, 25% in Ethereum, 20% in DASH, and 5% in ZCash.

Get into It

As Bitcoin heads toward a new all-time high, many are eager to reap profits. The ETF disapproval is a sign of changing attitudes for Bitcoin. It was unlikely the SEC was going to approve the ETF. This reinforces how important it is to stay up to date. Get involved; chat on boards, comment on blogs, and follow news on social media. A viable strategy for one person may not work for another. It’s all for naught if you don’t appreciate the power that cryptocurrencies mean.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Can Allow Mobile Payment System

Bitcoin Can Allow Mobile Payment System

Bitcoin Can provide mobile payment system

What Bitcoin solves…

The essence of mobile payment systems is to make the life of individuals comfortable. Mobile payments are supposed to offer clients a convenient method of paying for goods and services while on the go. Since mobile payment solutions were introduced, experts have been saying that mobile payment is the biggest innovation in this age and that it is set to change the lives of individuals and businesses alike.

The beauty of mobile payments is that individuals do not have to carry cash whenever they are traveling. As long as people have their smart phones, they can successfully make purchases and pay for services using special applications on their mobile phones.

However, it is instructive to note that the manner in which experts envisioned mobile payment services had not been proven to be accurate. Initially, two giants, Apple and Samsung, were touted as the potential leaders in mobile payments.

Apple introduced its solution, Apple Pay that is based on its proprietary operating system. Samsung, banking on the open Android platform, was keen enough to develop its solution, Samsung Pay. A third competitor, Square, also emerged. Therefore, at first, the mobile payment market was set to be dominated by these three giants: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Square.

But the response of the market has not been favorable to the likes of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. So far, consumers have not embraced these two major mobile payment solutions in a manner that is similar to the way they have embraced their mobile devices. For example, Apple Pay has failed to break into the market and reach its projected rates of growth.

Similarly, Samsung Pay is still struggling to hit its projected numbers. Interestingly, the story is not different when you consider Square. Therefore, all these three major global mobile payment services have failed to create the buzz and excitement that they expected to create in the market.

Cryptocurrencies in general, and Bitcoin, in particular, may be the perfect solution to the problems that consumers experience when they are using the likes of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. No one can deny that the use of Bitcoin has been growing steadily over the years. To many, Bitcoin is the perfect solution to the problems that they encounter when they would like to pay for goods and services without using cash.

For example, the use of Bitcoin does not involve intermediaries as it is the case with the conventional methods. Besides, individuals can send and receive Bitcoins at the convenience of their homes or anywhere else. Moreover, many people find that using Bitcoins costs much less than what they may have to pay concerning transaction fees when using the conventional mobile payment methods.

Moreover, you do not need to have a bank account to use Bitcoin. In fact, Bitcoin helps you to make and receive payments as an unknown entity. The element of anonymity when using Bitcoin is very attractive to many people who do not like the current model used by global mobile payment services.

Therefore, it is highly likely that Bitcoin is going to be the future of global mobile payments. The anonymity aspect of the payment method, its low transaction fees, and convenience are some of the attributes that make it better than the conventional methods.

David Ogden
Entrepeneur

 

Artical By AliRaza

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Coinbase has added margin trading to its bitcoin exchange

Coinbase has added margin trading
to its bitcoin exchange

GDAX, the cryptocurrency exchange run by Coinbase, has added margin trading to the platform.

Eligible traders can now trade up to 3X leveraged orders on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin order books. If you’re unfamiliar with trading and exchanges, margin trading is when you borrow money from your broker to buy or sell more stock than you can afford. It’s essentially a short-term loan. By buying or selling on margin, traders can increase their leverage and buying power, potentially generating profits beyond what their own cash balance would have supported. This feature is mainly geared toward institutional investors. That’s because Coinbase has launched the feature attempting to fit within the boundaries of the Commodity Exchange Act.

This means that traders have to certify that they meet one of the qualifications to be allowed to trade on margin. While the full list is here, the requirements include things like being a corporation with a net worth exceeding $1,000,000 and trading on margin in order to hedge risks associated with your business. Individuals need to have a minimum of $5,000,000 invested on a discretionary basis in order to be allowed to trade on margin. By deciding to build their product within the guidelines of the Commodity Exchange Act, Coinbase has at least initially excluded a large segment of their user base. Other exchanges, like cex.io, offers margin trading to all users — but probably wouldn’t stand up to U.S. regulators.

For Coinbase, moving slowly and maintaining a favorable relationship with regulators is necessary if the company wants to stick around. The company explained: “we’re committed to working with regulators as the blockchain space continues to develop, rather than take on unnecessary risk just to get features out more quickly. Some other digital currency exchanges have decided not to do this. For us, the best approach was to carefully design our margin trading feature and engage with the CFTC to make sure that GDAX remains compliant.”

Additionally, the exchange isn’t currently charging interest or fees to access Margin Trading because they “believe that consumer lending laws require specific licenses to do this.” This move should also please Wall Street investors who were waiting on the recently denied Bitcoin ETF application. With the combination of margin support plus the strict regulatory focus, Coinbase and GDAX could be an ETF alternative for investors wanting to safely purchase bitcoin now.

Bitcoin takes a beating while rivals soar to all-time highs

Fears of a network split have shaken bitcoin while boosting ethereum, dash and monero

Call it the schadenfreude trade.

Bitcoin’s price is taking a beating, having shed about one-fifth of its value over the weekend. At the same time, its biggest rivals in the cryptocurrency space are ascendent: The price of a single ethereum token, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, touched an all-time high above $50 over the weekend just as bitcoin’s losses were beginning to accelerate.

Bitcoiners have widely attributed the drop to fears that the bitcoin network might split in two, which is ironic: Ethereum suffered that exact fate over the summer when a contingent of its users refused to accept a mandatory software update that would’ve, among other things, amended the ethereum blockchain to return some of the $50 million worth of tokens stolen during the DAO hack. Bitcoin US-BTCUSD  traded as low as $947 a coin on Saturday, down from around $1,260 a coin on Thursday. That was its highest level since March 10, when the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a proposed rule change that would’ve allowed for the creation of the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund, sparking a brief selloff.

The two moves are likely interrelated: Data provided by CryptoCompare, a company that supplies data and analytics about the cryptocurrency market, suggest that ethereum has largely benefited from bitcoin’s decline: The bulk of trading in ethereum has been conducted in bitcoin, trading volumes show, suggesting that worried investors are swapping their bitcoins for ethereum. Ethereum isn’t the only cryptocurrency benefiting from bitcoin’s selloff: Dash, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, broke to an all-time high above $100 a coin on Monday. Monero, the fourth-largest digital currency, touched an all-time high above $20.

The bitcoin selloff started around the time that AntPool, the largest collective of bitcoin miners, on Friday adopted a controversial software update known as bitcoin unlimited. The proposed update is what's known as a “hard fork,” meaning that, once it receives a certain baseline of support, everyone running the bitcoin software will either need to accept bitcoin unlimited, or risk being shut out of the bitcoin network. As of Monday, bitcoin unlimited has the highest level of support among any of the proposed solutions to what’s known as the scalability problem: The fact that the bitcoin network is extremely limited in terms of the transaction volume that it can handle. Critics of bitcoin unlimited feel it would strengthen the control that a small group of miners have over the network.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Is This Massive Power Struggle about To Blow Up Bitcoin?

Is This Massive Power Struggle
about To Blow Up Bitcoin?

Bitcoin's price plunged 25% over the weekend on rumors conspiracy theory to take over the network. Long-simmering tensions between two factions hardened, with each side threatening the other with everything ranging from lawsuits to software changes that would completely cut off the opposing group.  Twitter, Reddit and Bitcoin forums were aflame with insults and tough talk as each stakeholder vied to ensure that their piece of the cryptocurrency, whose market cap fell from $20 billion to $15.5 billion, remained secure. 

“We’re dangerously close to what could be the death of bitcoin,” said bitcoin developer Andrew DeSantis over the weekend after he posted a tweet storm Friday that set off alarm bells for many in the community. What triggered the widespread panic was the possibility that the network would be controlled by an oligopoly rather than held in an equilibrium of competing interests. From Thursday to Saturday, the value of bitcoin dropped 25%, though it has recovered somewhat to 15% below. That day, Vinny Lingham, an entrepreneur in the space known for his price targets, said, “The smart money left three days ago.”

The alleged bad actors maintained innocence.

“I think it’s conspiracy theorist stuff,” said Roger Ver, one of the most vocal advocates of a new version of the bitcoin software called Bitcoin Unlimited that, if it gains sufficient control of the computing power in the network, could become the main version of bitcoin and be incompatible with previous versions. (Ver is nicknamed Bitcoin Jesus because of his history evangelising bitcoin.) His fellow Bitcoin Unlimited supporter, Jihan Wu, the co-founder of bitcoin chip manufacturer Bitmain, said by phone from Beijing, “Definitely, I don't have such kind of plan.” Whether or not the conspiracy theories are true, over the weekend, what has so far been a two-year-long he said-she said stalemate turned into an incredibly expensive game of chicken.

What They’re Fighting About

The crisis has its roots in a two-year-old debate over how to scale the network, which currently accommodates, on average, about a handful of transactions a second, based on a data cap of 1MB roughly every 10 minutes. On the surface, the argument is that some participants in the ecosystem want to raise that limit, called the block size, to what, under Bitcoin Unlimited, would be a flexible cap, while the developers who have been designing and maintaining the software for the last several years, a team called Bitcoin Core, want to keep the 1MB limit but make the system more efficient so it processes more transactions per block.

The argument stems from philosophical differences. “At the highest level, there are two camps that see bitcoin becoming two different things: digital gold or electronic cash,” says Adam White, head of GDAX, the professional trading platform of one of the most well-known startups in the space, Coinbase. “Neither is right or wrong. They’re just different perspectives on what the network can become.” The developers’ approach is one more of digital gold — not necessarily putting every coffee payment onto the bitcoin network itself, but having them processed by other, faster networks that would later connect to bitcoin’s to provide finality to the transaction. Bitcoin Unlimited’s vision, supported by a number of miners at this point, is of bitcoin as e-cash — a network that has room for every morning coffee to be processed on bitcoin’s network, which would, incidentally, give them more transaction fees.

However, what might, in the abstract, be called a philosophical disagreement has become, on the ground, an all-out power struggle.

To understand the fight, it helps to know the game theoretic aspects of bitcoin. Bitcoin miners are people and companies with computers that process transactions for the network by adding them to the blockchain, or the ledger of every bitcoin transaction since the network launched in January 2009. Miners are motivated by a payout that the bitcoin software makes as it mints new bitcoin with every block of transactions processed. (This so-called block reward is currently 12.5 bitcoins, or about $13,750 at press time.) In addition to newly minted bitcoins, miners also receive small transaction fees paid by every user sending bitcoin. Wu is involved in mining in two ways: He not only manufactures bitcoin mining chips through Bitmain but also runs the biggest bitcoin mining operation called Antpool.

Designing the game, and the incentives in it, are the developers. Their motivations can range from ideological to technical. Many developers simply want to see a decentralised financial system not controlled by one or a few entities, whether it’s a government or a few big miners. But they need the miners. Without miners, the network wouldn’t exist, and without enough of them, it’s not secure. However, if too few of them dominate, then the delicate balance of no one party fully controlling the system falls apart since mining would be run by an oligopoly. Conversely, if the developers don’t do enough for the miners, the miners can retaliate against the developers.

Because of the developers and the miners both needing each other and have opposing incentives, they don’t fully trust each other. “Bitcoin is one of those things where nobody wants to be seen as controlling it,” says DeSantis. The magic of bitcoin has been the ability for various players with opposing interests to engage in a system that has so far led to an optimal outcome for all of them.

There’s one last group important to the game theory of bitcoin, but before we get to them: The detente between the two sides has lasted for a few years because the people who support bigger blocks (now in the form of Bitcoin Unlimited) had too little computing power on the network to take control of it. Also, certain technical upgrades, including a block size increase, require what’s called a hard fork, which runs the risk of creating two versions of bitcoin if not done with the full support of the community. Many consider this type of hostile hard fork a potential nuclear option in bitcoin — one that could destroy, or at least damage, the industry that, until last Thursday, had a $20 billion market cap.

From Impasse To Panic

On Friday, several exchanges announced that, in the event of a fork, Bitcoin Unlimited would not have the ticker symbol BTC. They were effectively preemptively awarding Bitcoin Core the reputation of being “the true bitcoin.” Many people in the community thought that that would deter Bitcoin Unlimited from forcing a hard fork.

But alarm spread when, later that day, DeSantis posted a 28-point tweet thread pointing out that Wu would soon be launching new facilities that would bring a lot more computing power to the network. (One deal was for U.S.-based facilities with John McAfee’s company MGT set to launch in the second quarter of 2017 and called MacPool.) While that wouldn’t necessarily give Wu or his companies more than 50% of the computing power, the worried developers hypothesized that since Wu’s company Bitmain manufactures the mining equipment that many miners use, purchasers of his mining equipment might feel pressure to support Bitcoin Unlimited so as not to have their supply of mining equipment cut off in the future. That could then tip Bitcoin Unlimited over the threshold that could allow them to, essentially, create a new version of bitcoin that cut off control from the current group of developers, which would then put the Bitcoin Unlimited developers in control and, at the very least, sow confusion in the market about which was the “true” bitcoin, if not make their version of it the dominant one.

The clincher? Bitmain owns BTC.com, and Ver controls Bitcoin.com. DeSantis asserts that, through search-engine strategies, Wu, Ver and their affiliates could lead many newcomers to believe that Bitcoin Unlimited is the “true” bitcoin. (The MacPool website, currently under construction, sports a ticker provided by Bitcoin.com; Ver is an advisor to MGT.)

As DeSantis puts it, “Most of the hardcore Bitcoiners are not good at talking to the press. They’d probably try to tell you about how the code is not the same and they’d go into some mathematical stuff and it would be a nightmare. You’d have a bunch of guys walking around, talking about math, and then other guys” — Wu, Ver, Bitcoin Unlimited — “saying, ‘We’re Bitcoin.com. Use Bitcoin.’” (DeSantis also notes that McAfee has been accused of murder and Ver is a convicted felon.)

In response, the Core team, DeSantis and other bitcoin developers are contemplating their version of the nuclear option: that they change the Bitcoin software so that it no longer works on the hardware currently running it. It would be as if Microsoft decided to change Office so that it no longer ran on PCs, rendering an entire industry useless. (Such a move would hit Wu, as both a manufacturer of the equipment and a mining pool operator, doubly hard.) But Eric Lombrozo, a Bitcoin Core developer, says, “I’d rather that not happen. I think it’d be dangerous for the network to go down that route. It’s basically a warpath…. But all the players have to consider that these things might actually happen.”

The Defense

Both Ver and Wu deny that they plotted to bring online new mining facilities that would force a fork to Bitcoin Unlimited and then push that as the “true” version of bitcoin. Their criticisms of Core are somewhat similar: Both are unhappy that the team has ignored what they believe is a need for bigger blocks, and both have personal gripes about the developers.

Ver says that Core is ignoring very real problems that currently exist on the network that not only slow transaction times but therefore make transactions less safe altogether. He also says that they treated “horribly” several developers who had been deeply involved in developing the protocol when they advocated for increasing the block size.

Wu thinks that Bitcoin Core’s current proposal to make the network more efficient (for technical reasons, called SegWit) is good technology that solves a number of problems. However, he is angry that about a year ago, a number of Core developers and miners came to an agreement in Hong Kong to adopt both SegWit and a small block size increase. Since then, the developers have proceeded with what they wanted — SegWit — but not the bigger blocks the miners desired.

(Calling the Hong Kong agreement “a diplomatic failure” and “botched,” Lombrozo wrote in an email, “The agreement was not signed by the Core team as a whole…it was signed by a few individual contributors and many of us felt that not only was it impossible to deliver what was expected but that it was contrary to the philosophical underpinnings of Bitcoin. … Ultimately, protocol changes cannot be negotiated behind closed doors by small numbers of people.”)

As for theories that purchasers of his mining equipment would feel pressure to support Bitcoin Unlimited, Wu says, “We have to look at the facts — whether I have ever done this to my customers before. No, I have never. Because the customers give us money to buy equipment. Maybe I can talk to them, maybe I can convince them about what is the best interest of bitcoin miners, but I never force them to do anything because that is anti-bitcoin.”

He also notes that some of the computing power in the new mining facilities will mostly be rented out to other miners (10% of the Chinese facility will be controlled by Bitmain) and so those miners, and not Bitmain, will choose whether to run Bitcoin Unlimited or Bitcoin Core on their individual machines. However, despite a March 1 press release announcing MacPool would go online in Q2, he could not give a launch date for either facility and said both were delayed.

When asked about the possibility of the Core team changing the software so it no longer works on his mining equipment (which involves changing something called the proof-of-work, or POW, algorithm), Wu, who first learned about bitcoin in 2011 and launched his company in 2013, said he remembers the first time he heard this threat in a chat forum in early 2016: “I was astonished. Switching the POW algorithm of bitcoin was never the kind of idea you can think of. If someone disagrees with you, you decide to what? I decided this was very political and was about interests, it’s not only about engineering. If it was only an engineering debate, it would not escalate to this level.” His conclusion: “Since they are doing such threatening, I think it’s OK that we run another kind of software, Bitcoin Unlimited.”

Wu says if Bitcoin Unlimited gets enough network power, the fork will occur. This could create two coins — one with less value than the other, as happened last summer when the Ethereum network split into two, creating Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, the latter of which is worth a fraction of Ethereum even though it is technically the original chain. When asked why he would be willing to risk losing what could potentially not only be a huge sum of money but his entire business, Wu says, “I will reject your assumption” — meaning, he refused to even entertain the possibility that Bitcoin Unlimited would become the chain of lesser value.

Hypothetically, the final touches on the Bitcoin Unlimited nuclear option would be if, after the fork, Bitcoin Unlimited allocated some of its computer power to attacking the other chain so that it was unable to function properly. It would be possible technically since, in order to fork, it would need to gain 80% of the computing power, which means the other side would have a fraction right after the split. (Unlimited has ramped up steeply, rising from about 20% to 37% share over the last month, while Core fell from 80% to 62%. Another miner today announced support for Unlimited.) When asked if Wu would undermine Core, he wouldn’t rule it out: “It may not be necessary to attack it. But to attack it is always an option.” Another way of harming Bitcoin Core would be if supporters of Bitcoin Unlimited dumped all their Bitcoin Core bitcoins, driving down the price for Bitcoin Core coins.

Meanwhile, the Bitcoin Core developers and DeSantis say they are working on a compromise to prevent the various nuclear options. Wu declined to comment on whether he is currently negotiating with anyone. However, just in case, Core is working on new versions of the software that wouldn’t run on current mining equipment.

The Way Forward

Back to our game theory analysis: The last group with an interest in bitcoin are the users, whose motivation is to make bitcoin transactions. (Note: exchanges have a role too, but they will ultimately follow the market, hence, for this discussion, we’ll lump them in with the users.) The way in which the network accommodates more transactions may be immaterial to many of them, making them neutral on the e-cash vs. digital gold question. However, their power over the system is economic: If, say, two versions of bitcoin came out — one that reflected the miners’ preferences and one that reflected the developers’ — the one that would prevail (or at least dominate, if both continued to exist) won’t necessarily be the one that the majority of miners support even though that network might be more robust. Nor would it necessarily be the one that the majority of developers support, even though that network might be perceived as being more technically sound or more decentralised. It would be whichever one the greatest number of investors put their faith in.

Wu suggests a futures contract to determine what the market response would be before any nuclear options are pursued. One currently on offer on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex shows Bitcoin Unlimited having a fraction of the value of Bitcoin Core. But Wu says the contract is not structured correctly and instead suggests one with three possible outcomes: Bitcoin Unlimited after a fork; Bitcoin Core after a fork; and Bitcoin Core as it is now, no forks. (The current contract could be lumping together the latter two possibilities into one.)

Whether this death match ends in disaster or a truce remains to be seen. After all, Bitcoin's "death" has been pronounced many times. However, while Bitcoin’s price has been seesawing, the value of Ethereum has more than doubled in the past two weeks and quadrupled since January, giving it a market capitalization of almost $4 billion. Bitcoin’s has now risen to $18 billion by press time, though it was as low as $15.5 billion on Saturday. Still, many cryptocurrency traders talk of what they foresee as “the flipping” — the moment when Ethereum’s market capitalization surpasses that of bitcoin’s. Some industry players surmise that if bitcoin underwent some fiasco around the same time Ethereum gained more validation, the two market caps could cross and never reverse. (Bitcoin's block size debate may have also gotten at least one Ethereum developer contemplating reducing the reward to their miners.)

Lingham no longer even cares about DeSantis’s theory that Wu, Ver, McAfee and company planned to use their new mining facilities to force a fork to Bitcoin Unlimited. “I don’t want to delve into the details of whether this is true or not,” he says. “It’s irrelevant. The point is … this should not be possible in bitcoin.”

Despite the bitter grudges held on both sides, multiple sources said that they thought the most likely outcome was that no hard fork would occur. “My suspicion is these people aren’t dumb enough to try to actually, in such a public way, get control of bitcoin because they know it would lead to a big price drop in general, no matter how good the outcome was,” says Peter Todd, a bitcoin protocol researcher who is aligned with DeSantis and Core. “I think the most likely scenario is that nothing will happen. I really mean nothing.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

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