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Factors Pushing Bitcoin Prices Higher in 2017

Factors Pushing Bitcoin Prices
Higher in 2017

For newcomers to the market looking to make a quick win, the rollercoaster of a year has probably been a time of scratching heads and possibly a few tears shed. For the long-term investor, however, these periods are part of the journey and opportune times to snap up some more coins when the price takes a dip. Despite the precautionary cries of ‘bursting bubbles’, these market corrections are an anticipated occurrence.

    
Legislative Changes for Cryptos

Earlier this year, Japan announced that as of 1 April 2017, the country would recognise bitcoin as legal tender and make the provisions for administrative and accounting systems to be enhanced for cryptocurrency transactions to take place seamlessly. This was undoubtedly the major contributing factor to an initial surge in the price as Japanese individuals and corporations alike scrambled on exchanges to secure bitcoin for future purchases. Hundreds of thousands of retailers in the area are said to be equipping themselves to accept bitcoin payments, with a low cost airline, Peach, becoming the first commercial carrier to directly offer consumers tickets paid in bitcoin.

Australia quickly followed suit, announcing accelerated amendments to legislation that eliminated the incumbent double taxation on digital currency transactions. As it stands, Australians using bitcoin for transactions are liable for the 10% goods and services tax (GST) plus a further 10% tax for using ‘intangible property’ as a payment medium. Come 1 July 2017, these transactions will only attract GST, and be exempt from further taxation, no doubt fuelling a greater adoption of digital currency transactions. The proactive progression by these countries certainly paves the way for others to learn from their integration and regulatory practices, empowering mainstream bitcoin adoption, which naturally pushes the price higher as demand increases.

Scaling Debate Resolution

The scaling debate has been a long-standing hurdle for Bitcoin growth. The decentralised nature of bitcoin, which naturally is one of its most appealing qualities, presents some challenges when it comes to governance of remedial action. In an ecosystem where no single entity can dictate changes to the framework, a majority consensus must be reached. The fact remains that Bitcoin needs to scale from its current transactional capacity in order to meet the demands placed on the network in terms of the growing number of transactions, as the current block size is impeding quick and cost-effective transactions.

Whilst several proposals have been put forward, the Bitcoin community have yet to come to agreement on a viable solution that satisfies the majority, while at the same time doing what is best for the wider user base. In May 2017, at the annual Consensus conference, held in New York, an agreement has been signed by a ‘critical mass of the bitcoin ecosystem’ that set out a plan for the adoption of SegWit with a planned hard fork to a 2MB blocksize within six months. While further clarity is needed, it would appear that we may finally come to a point of breaking the stalemate, which will contributing factor in Bitcoin being able to advance and reach its full potential.

Economic and Political Uncertainty

One of Bitcoin’s undeniable drivers of growth are citizens who have lost confidence in their country’s ability to maintain sound economic and political policies, and desperately seek to establish their own sense of financial freedom outside the manipulation of governments.

Venezuela

Take Venezuela for example. An overly aggressive expansionary monetary policy has resulted in hyperinflation, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects to reach an explosive 1,660% this year. This has led to an unparalleled economic and social crisis. The removal of the 100 Bolivar note (the largest denomination and still worth only a few US cents) from circulation in December 2016 alongside the lack of availability of the planned 500 to 20,000 Bolivar notes, led to widespread chaos and violent protests amongst Venezuelans, who for the most part were heavily reliant on cash but were effectively left without money for weeks on end.

It is reported that the minimum wage is around 200,000 Bolivars, yet a single basket of groceries costs in the region of 770,000 Bolivars, nearly 4 times the minimum monthly wage. Whilst the government provide some subsidised basic goods, the ‘outlets’ have become hotspots for vicious crime and citizens have to weigh up the risks of cheaper food against the dangers that face them in the queues. This is what happens when people reach such levels of despair to survive. The alarming surge in crimes such as kidnapping and murder leave most Venezuelans living in fear for their lives on a daily basis, with little in the way of respite.

India

India is another prime example, where the most recent, and possibly most extreme case of a modern-day war on cash occurred in December 2016. Under the pretence of curbing criminal action and tax evasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi effectively wiped out 86% of notes in circulation overnight, when he announced the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 Rupee notes with immediate effect. Exchange was possible, but within a limited time frame and only up to a certain amount, the rest having to be processed via a bank account. This, in a country where almost half its population has no access to formal banking, let alone a bank account. This is just one of the reasons bitcoin holds such appeal in tempestuous economic climates. With Bitcoin, you are assured a level of financial security your money is removed from the coercion of the centralised system, therefore protecting your wealth from political agendas, damaging inflation and capital controls.

Increased Inflow of Institutional Money

Financial institutions, who are historically wary about Bitcoin are increasingly showing signs of interest in the digital asset. When compared to the performance of stock markets and fiat currencies, combined with more and more regulatory structure coming into place, it is unsurprising that institutional money has started flow into the crypto-economy. Regulation is arguably one of the largest barriers to cryptocurrency investment for institutions. Two nations, in particular, have been influential in this regard; Sweden and Japan. Sweden was one of the first movers in terms of a regulated Bitcoin investment. Back in May 2015, the KnC Group launched the world’s first ‘Bitcoin Tracker’ known as an exchange-traded note (ETN), which is publicly traded on a regulated exchange. This represented massive progress for Bitcoin at the time and essentially opened the market for institutions and private individuals to gain a regulated exposure to Bitcoin.

The ETN is designed to mirror the price movements of the underlying asset being USD/BTC. The company offering the ETN, XBT Provider, is required to hold the equivalent number of bitcoins as the number of ETN’s issued. In other words, when a financial institution or private investor purchases, XBT Provider has to purchase the same amount of bitcoins to back up the note. Earlier this month, Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest brokerage, announced that their clients would be able to access the ETN via their SIPP and brokerage accounts. This has opened the doors for retail and institutional investors to gain a regulated Bitcoin exposure in the UK.

As mentioned earlier, Japan has played a crucial role in moving bitcoin into the mainstream. This move has provided institutional players with the much-needed vote of confidence required before they got on board. Russia and India are looking likely to be the next countries to announce positive legislation after an increase in interest within the regions. This will further stimulate institutional investment into Bitcoin, leading to a stronger and more prosperous market for all.

Mainstream Momentum

Perhaps this can be linked back to the fact that with growing interest, and impressive growth, the media have been covering Bitcoin more and more frequently, exposing it to a wider audience. Personally, I have had more and more dinner table discussions about Bitcoin with friends, family, ex-colleagues and acquaintances, outside of the ‘cryptocurrency world’, all now showing interest in Bitcoin.

It was this month that the Wall Street Journal mentioned Bitcoin on its front page, highlighting that Bitcoin has had a strong 2017. This mainstream recognition for Bitcoin’s performance has been long awaited and will be a stimulus for continual momentum. It was only 2 years ago that most of the mainstream news stations were reporting Bitcoin’s demise. What a turn of events it has been. The factors I have outlined above are merely a few of the positive fundamentals Bitcoin has going for it. Driving demand, expanding its utility and subsequently, increasing its value and price. So yes, I am confident when I say that Bitcoin will continue to break through all time highs and find favour above the $3,000 mark before the bells ring in 2018.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin
a New High

Cannabis has been legalized in numerous states

across the United States. However, the cannabis industry is still plagued with limited access to banking services as traditional banks want to avoid dealing with businesses that engage in business activities that are still largely illegal under federal law. That is where cryptocurrencies could offer a solution.

Due to the loosening of anti-cannabis laws across America, the legal weed retail industry has grown quickly over the years and is expected to keep growing rapidly as more states debate and decide on its legality. Both the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and the District of Columbia, while the medical use of cannabis has also been legalized in an additional 20 states across the US. In late 2016, leading investment bank Cowen and Company published a report on the Cannabis industry titled, “The Cannabis Compendium: Cross-Sector Views on a Budding Industry” which postulates that the industry would grow to $50 billion by the year 2026.

However, because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, most legal dispensaries are having to conduct purely cash-based business, given most banks and other financial institutions will not allow them access to financial services as a result of regulatory constrictions. This leaves weed retailers vulnerable to theft, which criminals have exploited, as evidenced by statistics on dispensary robberies. The blockchain industry is looking to remedy this. Due to the decentralized nature and inherent security of the blockchain, it offers a unique selling proposition as a payments solution for the cannabis industry.

Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

PotCoin was created in 2014 to cater to the needs of the unbanked cannabis industry. The coin works on a proof of stake system with an Annual Percentage Interest (APR) of five percent. The coin also boasts fast processing time with relatively low fees. Though the coin has exhibited steady growth in its three years of existence, there has been a substantial spike in its price this week due to its sponsorship of retired Basketball star and Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea.

According to PotCoin spokesperson Shawn Perez, the main reason for the sponsorship of Rodman’s trip was to support “Dennis Rodman's mission to bring peace to the world." Though the visit does not seem to have any visible ties to the cannabis industry, PotCoin has benefitted from the media attention that has surrounded Rodman’s journey to North Korea. According to Coin Market Cap, the coin has shown over 70 percent growth, from just below $0.10 to $0.17 since the sponsorship was announced.

POSaBIT

Washington-based bitcoin startup POSaBIT has created a financial platform that allows customers at weed retailers to make purchases using their regular credit cards. The platform uses bitcoin as an intermediate payment system. Jon Baugher, co-founder of POSaBIT explained: “There’s no industry – whether it’s the production and sale of cannabis or the production and sale of a cup of coffee – that can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and traditional services. That’s where we thought we could leverage the use of digital currency.” The technology facilitates customers’ quick and easy access to bitcoin at the point of sale who can then use the digital currency anywhere that it is accepted. The platform is already in use by 30 dispensaries in the state of Washington.

The platform is attractive to cash-only merchants who want to accept another form of payment, retailers that want to be seen as more technologically savvy so as to differentiate themselves from the competition, and for small businesses that want to maximize profits by capitalizing on digital currencies’ low transaction fees. The technology is compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations while complying with laws regulating the cannabis trade. Since the platform reduces the reliance on cash as a medium of exchange, it is making dispensaries safer working environments for employees as there is less of an incentive for theft.

SinglePoint and First Bitcoin Capital

Holding company SinglePoint and blockchain technology provider First Bitcoin Capital announced a partnership on June 6. The joint venture agreement aims to create an efficient and workable payments solution for cannabis retailers using blockchain technology. Greg Lambrecht, SinglePoint CEO, explained: "In January 2014 SinglePoint announced and started working on a bitcoin payment solution, shortly after we recognized the issue of minimal user adoption of digital currency. The payments industry has rapidly changed since that time. There is now tremendous momentum and demand for bitcoin acceptance as an alternative form of payment.

This Joint Venture with First Bitcoin Capital is perfect timing. Bitcoin payments are catching on, and cannabis dispensaries need a solution fast." SinglePoint has previously worked with leading companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon on technology integration systems that have allowed for a more robust use of communication technology as a payment solution. The company now hopes to use this experience to create a workable solution for weed retailers.

Greg Rubin of First Bitcoin Capital stated: "We are optimistic that our partnership with SinglePoint will produce positive cash flow to our bottom line. Between the two of our companies, we will have the ability to develop a best in class solution, and SinglePoint will be able to help in distribution. We look forward to providing cutting-edge products and services to all states through the establishment of this new venture." “As with the massive and widespread adoption of Bitcoin worldwide, the two companies will pursue opportunities to leverage their payment technology background and develop a proprietary solution specifically for high-risk payment verticals including the cannabis industry.” the press release adds.

The two companies believe they have found a way for a smooth customer experience at the point of sale at weed dispensaries. Using SinglePoints’ technology integration experience and First Bitcoin Capital’s tech background, the company will create an “all-encompassing payment solution” for the retail cannabis industry. The platform will be easy to integrate into the existing point of sale machinery through a simple download. With the retail cannabis industry set to grow quickly in the coming years and the continuing lack of regulatory support at the federal level, it seems like the industry will have to rely on blockchain technology and digital currencies to facilitate easy trade and to securely store its profits.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

The Amazing Power of Blogging

The Amazing Power of Blogging

Original article by Tony Cordingley

So what is a blog? After all, it just looks like a regular website to many people. In fact, it is one of the best ways of holding a conversation online. You can hold this conversation with as many people as you want and it is only limited by the amount of people who come to your blog.

What is a blog?

It is a great way to connect with people especially those with similar interests to yourself. Simply put up interesting or controversial thoughts and opinions and invite comment. If you have a particular passion you can easily attract interest from similarly passionate people and stimulate further interest in the subject.

Of course, it hasn't taken long for commercial interests to cotton on to this and see the money making opportunities inherent in this technology. The main object here is to establish yourself as an authority on a particular subject and to build a profile for yourself.

This can work for anybody from an internet marketer selling money making products to your local real estate agent or neighbourhood lawyer. However, building credibility has it's cost. You need to maintain contact with your readership and regularly write interesting and valuable content for your blog. This regular input is the most daunting aspect of blogging unless you are a skilled and competent writer. Fortunately, these written pieces do not have to be very long but they do need to be regular, especially if you are also hoping to get noticed and indexed by the search engines. Getting on the first page of Google is incredibly good for business.

Blog

Be careful to avoid blatant advertising in your blogging. Otherwise, it is all too easy to put people off. A casual recommendation is the best promotion. Building your profile and authority will have all the positive spin-off to bring people knocking on the office door. Encourage questions that can showcase your knowledge in your answers.

Google alerts can be emailed to your email address daily and can be a source of inspiration on what to write or discuss with your readership. Regular attendance at online forums on your subject will also give you ideas on what is of current interest on your subject.

How to start a blog

Blogging can be purely a platform to share your passion on a chosen subject or it can be a great way to build your business. If it is for building your business be careful not to be too obvious about it. Give good content, good advice and be open and conversational and you can't go wrong.

Blogging is incredibly easy to set up. Google's Blogger.com or WordPress are very easy to set up even for those challenged by technology. And there is now also a new blogging platform for entrepreneurs called Marketive. There is no need to do anything fancy just blog regularly with good content and try to remain current with what is happening in your niche.

 

Start your free MARKETHIVE Blog today, join Markethive! >>> https://markethive.com/stephenhodgkiss

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

How to be an authority


How to be an authority (Know Your Why First)

Being an authority figure in the online space should really be the goal of any website. When you are an authority figure you have the power to socially influence through your actions and words which means you hold a great deal of power & trust in front of your audience. The Bing Webmaster Blog recently put out a great piece on being an online authority which I think everyone should read. Please keep in mind that being an authority figure does not come from slapping together a mediocre plan. It takes though and dedication to put together a fierce action plan.

From Google:

“If a site is an authority in your industry, you can bet that it will be for Google as well. So if you’re a web designer, a link from Smashing Magazine or A List Apart helps, as a lot of other web design sites will be linking to those sites, thus causing those sites to be ‘hubs’ in the web design space.”

— Joost De Valk, Yoast

Being an authority online comes with huge benefits.

  •     Increased rankings for individual website pages
  •     Industry authority
  •     Heavy online influence
  •     Increased business
  •     Immense traffic spikes

Basically there is no down fall to being an authority figure in any industry but if you truly want to get there you have to lay out a path in the right direction to make it happen.

Here are some great ways to get on the right path to be an authority figure in your space:

Be Knowledgeable

If you are just getting started in your space you are not going to influence anyone overnight. Authority requires seasoning and experience in a space along with being able to present that experience in the right manner in front of your target audience.

Get Active in your Community

You absolutely have to get active socially in front of your community. If you want to be viewed as a leader you will have to engage with your audience on social communities like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You also want to make your website a destination spot that promotes back and forth interaction. (important)

Be a Resource

You want your audience to come to you for advice and help. Once they start turning towards you for help that means they are starting to look at you in a whole new different light.

Encourage Sharing

If you want others to share your material you are going to have to share their material as well. Encourage proactive content sharing so your audience can learn from not only you but from the people around you too. This will allow you to become a central hub which is really the focus of your efforts.

From Google: (again)

Its generally held that when an engine assigns deep links to the content of your website, you’re an authority.  And while this is more or less true, the engine seeing you as an authority happens well in advance of those links appearing.

As you produce useful content, we try to match that useful content against queries.  If the actions searchers take indicate they are pleased with your content as a solid resource, then we try you again the next time.  This testing happens a lot.  Hundreds of thousands to millions of times, depending on query volumes and content matches.

We watch the patterns of interaction and soon enough, those resources that searchers seem to be particularly pleased with start to float to the top.  We’re not just talking click-through-rates here, either.  We’re talking the entire signal-set that influences ranking at work here.

  •     Do you have unique, useful content?  Check.
  •     Do you produce new content frequently? Check.
  •     Do you have a solid history?  Check.
  •     Do you have trustworthy links pointing at your content? Check.
  •     Do you have an active social presence?  Check.
  •     Do people retweet and like your social content? Check.

Negative Trust Influences

What can you do to your own site, or could a competitor do to you, that will nuke your trust and therefore rankings?

“I always think that links have a positive or negative value. Let’s say the BBC gives you a +10,000 and a spammy blogspot link gives you a -100, you still have a positive 9,900 score. The problems occur when the BBC get hit with a link selling penalty, if your backlinks have fallen into negative equity things go south quickly.

Get caught selling links and your link value could shift from a positive value to a negative value, so I re-visit my clients links monthly and check out what’s happening to the sites that link to them”

    — David Naylor, Bronco

Buy and Sell Links – First is if you are obvious in your link buying, don’t expect to last long in the search engines. Mr Cutts is very keen on tracking down and destroying sold links. There are even some sites that are so “dirty” in Google’s eyes that a purchase in the right place and right time can nuke you over night. Don’t believe me? Ask the right people at the right conferences to show you the evidence. That’s all I am saying 🙂

Bad Neighbors – If your links are not paid but still associate you with the seedier parts of the interwebs, don’t be surprised if you are seen as guilty by association.

Comment Spam – Leave the spam up, get it indexed, and watch your results rocket to the bottom. It’s the “broken windows” theory of SEO.

Unnatural Growth Patterns – Google will look carefully at your link growth for any signs of unnatural acquisition. This isn’t to say that if you get on the front page of Digg and garner 20k visitors and as a result, 100 fresh links that you will be penalized. What is likely though is they will take a closer look if your brand new domain arrives out of the gate with one page of content and 10,000 links overnight.

Lack of Link Diversity – Are your links coming from friends and your own sites or are they arriving naturally because your content is awesome?

Thin or Spammy Content – Duplicate, scraped or feed content, or spammy gibberish is likely to get marked down. As you would expect, Google is aiming to promote the highest quality. They will use human checks, algorithms and watch the behaviour of their customers to see if what they are delivering meets expectations.

So the first element to emphasize is make your site evolve as naturally as possible!

 

“You can manufacture authority with a very intelligent link building campaign but more often than not it’s the natural growth of the site and links with other sites in the same industry that gives Google reason to trust the site.”

 

    — Patrick Altoft, BlogStorm

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Boost Your Success as a Blogger – 7 Tips

All blog writers want their blog to be successful—this is the one thing they all have in common. For most blog writers, success is loyal followers.

Regardless of when or why you began your blog, a few modifications here and there to your blog and your mindset can transform things for the better.   Here's a list of 7 tips to help you be successful as a blog writer.

1. Finding Your Niche

This little bit of advice has been jumping around the Internet since the beginning of the first effective blog.   Still, a lot of beginning writers don’t take this advice, partly because a lot of new writers aren’t sure what to write about and partly because they don’t know what a niche is.

Niche is described as, “a specialized but profitable corner of the market.”

What we really mean when we say to “find your niche” is to slim down the focus of your blog.   Referring to anything and everything that comes to mind is great if you’re composing for yourself, but visitors may discover it to be disorderly and challenging. What visitors really want is an assortment of relevant and beneficial content on the same subject to help fix an issue or query.

Examples of areas include:

  • Health & Wellness
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Writing

While it’s correct that there are blogs on essentially every industry, the key to really succeeding and reaching your focus on industry is to filter your subject even further. Choose a gap in the marketplace and concentrate on that. This will decrease competitors while making you a go-to professional in your industry.

An example would be if you desired to start a blog about your travels.  Instead of concentrating on travel in general, you might concentrate on an individual nation or town. That way, you are likely to become the number one go-to blog for people who will be visiting that area.

2. Self-Promote

Promoting your own venture on public networking or within your team of buddies is overwhelming for a lot of people. You don’t want to appear to be boasting, and you definitely don’t want to come across looking like spam.

If you want to be successful, however, you have to tell others to get the word out, and who better to do that than you? It’s all part of the marketing procedure, and writers have to figure out how to use public networking and use feedback on blogs to promote themselves.

Many writers and public networking lovers recommend using 80% of your public feedback and shares to enhance other people’s works and 20% of it advertising your own services and products.  Sometimes tooting your own horn isn’t all that bad. The key is to find balance between self-promotion and humbleness.

3. Build on What Works

Use your web page statistics and comments feature to see how visitors respond to these new concepts. If you’re not seeing any sign of a response in your statistics, study visitors to see what they think.

Experimenting is all an element of the procedure, so don’t be worried about trying something new. Start guest posting, a new weekly blogging series, and try placing ads.

Testing one thing here or there isn’t likely to harm your writing exercise. Some of these tests often lead to a surge in visitors. What's promising is that you can always dump the ones that don’t work.

4. Perform an “Above the Fold” Test

Above the fold includes the content you see when you first view your blog. It’s anything that you see without scrolling.

Since you only have a few moments to create an excellent first impression and help visitors determine what they’re looking for, you want the most essential info above the fold. For example, individuals should be able to tell who you are and what you do without scrolling. If it’s not obvious in your blog headline, there is value including a tag line. If you want to highlight your call-to-action, that should appear above the fold as well.

Test your own site by using the Clue App to set up a free 5-second test.  Don’t like the results? It’s worth rethinking your website layout.

5. Make Your Blog Sticky

Sticky is a term that means you’re motivating individuals come back to or stay on your blog. For example, you might link to an appropriate article from your blog’s archives. You can do this within the material, or you can list additional sources at the end of each short article. The idea is that these hyperlinks point to your own material and offer visitors more in-depth information on the topic or a related topic.

As you do this, everyone is more likely to keep coming back and subscribe to your  blog. You can also make your blog sticky by inviting visitors to subscribe to your blog or by making your RSS feed available with the click of a button.

6. Ways to Extend Your Blog

To get individuals to stay and keep returning, it’s worth increasing  your reach outside of simple blog posts. This allows you reach more individuals who appreciate other types of content and contact, and it keeps your blog from getting boring.

Examples of ways to increase your reach include:

  • Releasing videos
  • Starting a podcast series
  • Hanging around industry forums or social media
  • Sending out newsletters

7. Create Quality Content

People have been saying it for a long time, and the saying still applies.  CONTENT IS KING!

Without well-written and interesting material, your blog isn’t going to go anywhere. Yes, your blog style and your promotion methods are essential, but they’re essentially ineffective if you don’t have quality material. Individuals may come because of the promotion, but they’ll remain when you provide material they need.

Pro tip:  Developing material customers “need” can include anything from educating them on something to offering them entertainment.  While writing a blog about yourself can have its advantages, you should always be concentrating on fixing the reader’s issues first (whether they are looking for advice or a good laugh.) 

Fulfilling your visitors’ needs is what will generate visitors to sign up to your blog.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member