Tag Archives: AmazinGrape

Qatar Blockchain Experiments Can Help Rescue Country From Sudden Isolation

Qatar Blockchain Experiments Can Help Rescue Country From Sudden Isolation

    

Blockchain could come to Qatar’s rescue after four Middle Eastern countries cut ties

with the country over its alleged support of terrorism. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced they had severed diplomatic and transport ties on Monday while neighboring Pakistan said it currently had “no intention” of following them. The Financial Times quotes a Saudi news agency stating the government enacted the policy for the “protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.”

Qatari sources reacted saying the collective move “was founded on allegations that have no basis in fact.” While the government added it would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents,” Qatar’s isolation could provide a timely opportunity for disruptive innovation to take hold. The country has been an active participant in Blockchain experimentation, specifically in its banking sector, with pilot schemes being successfully completed for money transfers in April.

“We have just started blockchain, a cutting-edge technology that will be used for remittances. We are the first bank in Qatar to actually pilot this approach,” Joseph Abraham, CEO of the Commercial Bank of Qatar, told local news resource The Peninsula last month. Of the four states pressuring Qatar, the UAE and increasingly Bahrain are also becoming major players in Blockchain.

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

Why Your Sales Team Needs Inbound Marketing Strategy

Why Your Sales Team Needs Inbound Marketing Strategy
    

Real time is a new mindset in marketing,

and that is what inbound marketing is all about. Interruptive sales approaches include telemarketing calls, direct mail, email spam, print advertising, television and radio ads, interstitial and transitional online and pre-rolls ads. And you know what? Your customers are fed up with these outdated and traditional approaches. In the digital era, outbound sales practices such as the ones mentioned above are losing their effectiveness rapidly.

Inbound marketing strategy is the new kid on the block!

Rather than pushing your product/service to consumers, an inbound approach focuses on educating them about a particular offering. Inbound marketing is a type of permission-based marketing which concentrates on presenting offers and related information to people who are actively looking for the same product/service. There are several ways to increase your leads, but the most effective way is to increase your lead capture rate. An inbound marketing approach could also help your sales team in maximizing this rate. So how does this methodology help your sales team in boosting their work productivity? Let’s find out…

Why your sales team needs an inbound marketing strategy ASAP!

Saves Time and Money (and a lot of it)

A primary advantage of the inbound methodology is that you can easily identify your customer’s behavior and develop a precise buyer persona. This approach saves a lot of money and time for your sales team as they can quickly eliminate all the leads which don’t match the persona. Your sales team can easily identify the ideal prospect which enables them to focus more on the leads that require more attention, in terms of calls or in-person meetings.

Helps you get more Qualified Leads

Sales teams wind up losing tremendous time and effort on low quality leads. With inbound marketing, you can improve your lead quality by running more relevant and effective campaigns. Let’s say your sales team is using a CRM to track conversions. With inbound marketing, your sales rep can record all their activities in the CRM and send it to the marketing team to review. Your marketing team can then check all the logs and collaborate easily with the sales team for better feedback. This invaluable data enables marketing department to learn more about the effectiveness of each campaign and improve the buyer persona in the future. These small improvements can generate high quality leads for your sales team in the future.

Inbound methodology attracts a customer base that is truly interested in your product or service. By offering the most valuable and relevant content to visitors, the entire process not only assists your sales team in getting better leads but also provides a huge amount of relevant content to share during the sales process. As a result, you can build your own loyal customer base. This method also helps amplify  the reach of your content which boosts your chances of getting more qualified leads.

Enables Collaboration Between Sales & Marketing teams! (smarketing!)

In most companies, sales and marketing teams tend to have a troubled relationship.There is no alignment between both teams and blame games are quite common. Inbound marketing strategy plays cupid between both teams! Inbound methodology increases collaboration between ales and marketing teams through a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This agreement:

  • Holds both teams accountable to each other
  • Measures outcomes of respective teams
  • Helps in determining exactly what is going wrong if enough leads aren’t being generated.

The whole process creates a unified sales and marketing alignment or as we like to call it – Smarketing

Facilitates meaningful Sales Conversations:

Gone are the days when a sales rep closes a deal by blabbering a few persuasive words. Due to information explosion on the digital platform, people refuse to accept traditional sales gimmicks. In inbound marketing, the role of a sales rep is more of an educator than a hardcore seller. By understanding the buyer persona and buyer journey of a customer, a sales rep can have a much more meaningful communication with the prospect. By determining interest levels of a customer and establishing a plan beforehand, your sales team can close deals armed with relevant knowledge about the prospect. Has your sales team considered going inbound? Or have you already adopted the inbound route? How well did it work out for you?

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

OneGram Sharia Compliant, Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency Announces ICO

OneGram Sharia Compliant, Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency Announces ICO

OneGram, the first ever Sharia-compliant gold-backed cryptocurrency announces the launch of its ICO.

    

Dubai holds the distinction of being the financial capital of the Islamic world.

Now, a firm based out of the Emirate has decided to redefine the digital “gold standard” with OneGram, while factoring in the 1.6 billion followers of the Islamic faith. The gold-backed cryptocurrency has announced its ICO at the recently concluded Consensus 2017.

OneGram calls itself the world’s first Sharia-compliant cryptocurrency whose value is backed by actual gold reserves. Hailed as a Bitcoin alternative for the Islamic world, the ICO was announced to coincide with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. The OneGram platform is aiming to raise a total of $500 million against 12 million OneGram tokens (OGC).

In the recent press release, the CEO of OneGram, Ibrahim Mohammed is quoted saying,

“We are very pleased with early support for the OGC token crowdsale from the cryptocurrency and Islamic finance communities. More than 1,000 people have registered for GoldGuard accounts to participate, and the number is growing each day as we prepare to launch our crowdsale in alignment with Ramadan.”

The ICO will go on for 120 days, and the purchase of OGC tokens during the crowdsale will also include a 10% fee which will be utilized by the platform for business development, marketing costs, operational costs, and salaries. In the release, the company also states that each OGC will have a 1% transaction fee associated with it, of which 70% will be reinvested to buy more gold reserves.

Those buying OGC tokens will have to create an account on GoldGuard and purchase gold at live spot rates. The platform has announced that a portion of the proceeds from collected purchase fees will be used for charity donations and PoS mining rewards. This is not the first time someone has created a gold-backed cryptocurrency. There are various initiatives which revolve around the same core concept. However, unlike the rest, OneGram will have a much greater appeal to devout Muslims who prefer to follow the Islamic laws. With a huge target population, OGC has a huge potential in front of it, which could be realized in due time.

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

Amid Bitcoin Trading Resurgence, Chinese Miners Shut Down Without Warning

Amid Bitcoin Trading Resurgence,
Chinese Miners Shut Down Without Warning

    

A strange phenomenon is unfolding in China

as Bitcoin miners mysteriously close down or relocate their operations. Mines in the country’s Sichuan province were “reluctant” to discuss the reasons for withdrawal, major news resource People.cn reports. Bitcoin has recently continued its expanding price as Chinese exchanges get the green light to allow Bitcoin withdrawals. As traders delight in the new possibilities for sanctioned exchange use, however, a lack of corresponding regulation for miners is causing problems.

“A local official said the closure of the Bajiaoxi Mining Company aims at cracking down on illegal cash operations and on controlling systemic risks,” People reports, while no party was directly cited giving an explanation for the upset. Sichuan’s hydroelectric power is among the world’s cheapest, but the departure of miners is set to cost one power station $147,000 per month in lost billing. At a time when Bitcoin fees are higher than ever, the effect on miners themselves is also significant. “The southwestern region has abundant hydropower resources,” an “insider” source told fellow publication YiCai Global. “So electricity costs about half the price during the wet season. It’s hard to imagine why any mine would want to relocate now.”

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

Walmart Wants to Track Delivery Drones With Blockchain Tech

Walmart Wants to Track Delivery Drones With Blockchain Tech

  

Retail giant Walmart is seeking to patent a system

that uses blockchain technology to track packages delivered by unmanned drones. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the application, innocuously titled "Unmanned Aerial Delivery to Secure Location", on 25th May, and while that title may not give away much of Walmart's plans, the application itself reveals further details. As outlined, the retailer is looking at blockchain tech as a way to track shipments that involve flying drones.

The patent application explains:

"In some embodiments, the delivery box may also include a delivery encryption system comprising a blockchain for package tracking and authentication. Package tracking by blockchain may include elements including but not limited to location, supply chain transition, authentication of the courier and customer, ambient temperature of the container, temperature of the product if available, acceptable thresholds for ambient temperature of the product, package contents placed in the container system (products & goods), or a combination thereof."

It's a notable release from the global retailer, which has revealed some of its work with blockchain in the past. For example, last October, Walmart announced that it was working with IBM to develop a supply chain solution focused on China’s pork market, the largest in the world.

At the time, the retailer indicated that it was looking to apply the tech to other supply chains. And while it provided no hint that it was looking at blockchain as an underlying mechanism for aerial drones, Walmart told CoinDesk that it wanted to leverage blockchain to facilitate "fresher and faster deliveries". The application also details how the tech could be used to establish identity within the package system. "Authentication and access may be restricted to specific blockchain keys to access the contents of a parcel's payload, and may include specific times and locations," the authors write. "Access to the contents may be determined at the scheduling and purchase of a delivery or products."

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

Critical Social Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

Critical Social Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

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

  

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

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

Assuming your social media marketing operates in a vacuum

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

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

Overextending yourself and your budget on social media

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

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

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

Not realizing the importance of the mere-exposure effect

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

Not being well prepared on the back end

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

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

Only targeting your offers to your followers

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

Playing the quantity game

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

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

Massive cryptocurrency botnet used leaked NSA exploits weeks before WCry

Massive cryptocurrency botnet used leaked NSA exploits weeks before WCry

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

  

On Friday, ransomware called WannaCry used leaked hacking tools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Promoted Comments

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

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

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

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

Start investing in bitcoin and earn up to 45% ROI Monthly

Start investing in bitcoin and earn up to 45% ROI Monthly

  

Trade Coin Club TCC

Start investing in bitcoin and earn up to 45% Return On Investment  This is what Trade Coin Club can offer you when you sign up for the “Senior Trader” account.  You see, Trade Coin Club wants to make you money as the company makes money and they are willing to cut you in on the action.

Secure your position fast here:

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All you have to do is sign up and invest using bitcoin and you can start building a nice little nest egg for your future.

What Is Trade Coin Club?

Trade Coin Club was registered on August 2, 2016, in Belize. The site is registered as private enterprise

The Product

Trade Coin Club doesn’t offer any retail cable products for sale but offers residual income opportunities.

The Opportunity

There are several ways for you to make money. One of the ways is by the compensation plan. Within this structure, there are three levels you can join.  The first level is the “Apprentice” which requires you to invest 0.25 to 0.99 BTC. Once you set up your account you can then begin to earn 0.35% ROI daily. The ROI is good for 8 months and the company is hoping that with the extra funds you might want to step up to the next level which is “Trader”.

Secure your position fast here:

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To Learn more, check this page as there much more info. http://hive.pe/80

There are 3 Trading options. No need to recruit or sponsor anybody

1). Apprentice – 0.25 btc gives back up to 0.99btc

2). Trader – 1btc gives back up to 4.99btc

3). Senior trader – 5btc.

All options come with a membership processing fee of 0.05 BTC. At the “Trader” level you invest 1 to 4.99 BTC. Once you have everything in order and your funds in the account, you are guaranteed to receive 0.4% ROI. Now with the “Trader” account, you are granted the 0.4% ROI for 12 months instead of 8 months you get with the “Apprentice”.

Next, you can sign up for “Senior Trader” with an investment of 5 BTC. Now you can invest more if you want, but the minimum is 5 BTC in order to be in this category. In the “Senior Trader” compensation plan you are guaranteed 0.45% ROI daily for one full year.

The only thing you need to be aware of when signing up to join the compensation plan is the 25% maintenance fee on ROI that is mandatory to be paid every four months. If you want to refer people, you earn some bonuses. It is not compulsory to refer people at all: To earn through the company’s referral program. The referral program goes down eight levels deep, you can be sure to earn a little extra cash while still collecting your daily ROI. How much you make all depends on what plan you signed up for.

If you are an “Apprentice” you will earn 10% for those you recruit on level one. You will then earn 3% for those in level two and 2% for those you recruit who are placed on level four. Once you get that ranking you can fill up all eight levels. Apprentice only allows you to go down to level four, while Trader only allows you to go down as far as level 6. Other compensations are also available

Gift items such as Rolex watches, Car Awards, Traveling and international training opportunities. You make your money work for you and also enjoy time freedom in grand lifestyle.TradeCoinClub The Worlds First Licensed Top 10 Auto-Trading Cryptocurrency Platform. Join us in pre-launch to be a pioneer. Contact me asap to join.

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

Citi Launches Blockchain- Based Payments Service with Nasdaq for Private Equity

Citi Launches Blockchain-
Based Payments Service with Nasdaq for Private Equity

    

A major U.S. bank and financial exchange have married two blockchain-based systems

to enable clients who are raising funds or swapping private shares through Nasdaq to take advantage of payment services provided by Citi. The Citi-Nasdaq partnership is one of the first examples of an enterprise blockchain system to enter production. Citi says the project went live on Monday in an announcement at the annual Consensus conference in New York City. Over the past year, many banks and financial institutions have completed proofs of concept for projects that rely on blockchain or distributed ledger technology. But so far, few of those projects have graduated into functioning systems.

Nasdaq launched a blockchain-based platform called Linq in 2015 designed for private equity, but the system lacks the ability to process payments—it is mainly used to record ownership of shares. Investors or issuers had to leave the system and initiate a wire transfer to pay for shares once they were traded on Linq. With Monday’s announcement, Nasdaq integrated Linq with Citi’s WorldLink Payment Services through a new offering that Citi c CitiConnect for Blockchain. The offering allows Nasdaq to transfer a payment request from Linq to Citi as soon as a share is bought or sold. The bank then automatically processes that request through WorldLink, which Citi clients primarily use to make payments that require foreign currency exchange.

To make the integration work, Citi and Nasdaq developers had to create several new features, including a way for Linq to automatically retrieve an exchange rate request from Citi in a customer’s local currency, share that rate with the customer, allow the customer to accept the rate, and share the customer’s wiring instructions with Citi. (Individual investors need not hold a Citi bank account in order to participate.)

At first, the Citi-Nasdaq collaboration will focus on structured liquidity programs. The popularity of these programs has grown in step with a broader trend: Increasingly, U.S. companies are staying private for longer. As a result, early investors and employees who hold equity in a company must also wait longer to access the cash that their shares represent. Structured liquidity programs allow a group of early investors or employees to sell their shares for cash to new investors long before the company goes public.

Within Linq, a record of those shares will be preserved on a distributed ledger to which only the parties involved in the trade have access. Similarly, through CitiConnect for Blockchain, a record of payment is also added to the same ledger as soon as it is processed. On both sides of the system, this creates a “golden record” of the transaction and payment that either party can refer back to in case of disputes. The Citi and Nasdaq systems are built on a unified code base called Chain Core provided by Chain, a company that specializes in applying blockchain technology to financial services. Chain Core includes application program interfaces and software development kits to allow customers to adapt it for their own purposes. Nasdaq and Citi Venture have both invested in Chain.

“Nasdaq Linq, which we built on top of Chain Core, is completely different from the CitiConnect for Blockchain product,” says Adam Ludwig, CEO of Chain. “Both connect to a Chain Core underneath, those Chain Cores talk to each other on a shared ledger, they form a network, but they have their own separate IP.”  Chain, Citi, and Nasdaq began working on the project in April of 2016. Private equity has become a popular focus area for those interested in finance and blockchain technology because it has a low volume of trades. Fund managers and entrepreneurs may spend weeks or months completing a single deal.

Some blockchains have shown a limited ability to scale, which raises concerns about the technology’s ability to handle much larger volumes of transactions within seconds. To stress test Chain’s technology, Nasdaq required the company to run an entire day’s worth of trades from the public exchange through their system—which Ludwin says consists of more transactions than the Bitcoin blockchain handles in a year. “Nasdaq knew there’s no way you bring this type of infrastructure to run the public equities business first,” Ludwin says. “You don’t start there. You start in an area where you have more control over the end-to-end process.”

For decades, Nasdaq has provided a central clearinghouse for investors to trade shares of public companies through the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Nasdaq’s Private Market, launched just four years ago, was Nasdaq’s attempt to allow private funds and companies to exchange options and shares with investors and employees. With its 2015 debut, Linq provided private parties operating in Nasdaq’s Private Market with the ability to issue or receive a digital record of ownership linked to a blockchain. For a private company, these digital records could theoretically replace paper stock certificates. With the new payment service integration, a company or fund manager could potentially raise a round of investments entirely through Linq.

Since its launch, it’s not clear how many of Nasdaq’s clients have opted to use Linq. Neither Nasdaq nor Citi were willing to share projections for the volume of trades they expect to pass from Nasdaq to CitiConnect for Blockchain in the project’s first year. At the height of activity, there could be hundreds to thousands of transactions flowing through Linq, according to someone familiar with the platform who wished to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about it publicly. Nelson Griggs of Nasdaq said during the announcement on Monday at Consensus that a small transaction on the broader Nasdaq Private Market would hold a value of $50 million, and a large one would consist of hundreds of millions of dollars.

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

How to Vet An SEO Agency (and Prevent Failure)

How to Vet An SEO Agency
(and Prevent Failure)

  

 Major Algorithm Updates, Explained 

Finding the right SEO provider is important. It also can be a lot of hard work. This is why vetting SEO agencies is so important. You want to make sure your SEO agency is:

  • Easy to work with.
  • Going to deliver real value to your business.
  • Consistent.
  • Knowledgeable about the industry.
  • Within your budget.

The stakes are high. In most cases, SEO can make or break your business. Choose the right SEO agency and your business could start generating more traffic and revenue than it’s ever seen. Choose the wrong SEO agency and it could lead you to failure. We’re talking wasted money, penalties, and countless lost opportunities (e.g., rankings, traffic, and revenues). Although there are many honest and reputable agencies to choose from, there are still a few scam artists and dishonest agencies looking to exploit unknowing businesses.

The SEO Agency Horror Show

As the head of an SEO agency, I’ve seen the success stories. It’s always great to see clients grow and succeed because it helps us take pride in our work and showcase what SEO can do for businesses. But I’ve also heard some horror stories. One frustrating aspect of being an agency is hearing stories from businesses that come to us wary and frustrated from bad experiences they’ve had with unreliable SEO agencies. In speaking with such clients, there seems to be a common crescendo that leads them to their unfortunate breaking point, and it goes like this:

A business decides SEO is the next step in their growth plan, so they seek out and speak with an agency about services. The agency sells them potential results of successful SEO and makes guarantees about what they can achieve for the business. The business thinks it sounds great and takes the agency at their word. Ultimately, the business signs a contract with the SEO agency and gets locked in for an extended period of time. Fast forward a year or two later, and some businesses find themselves drained of money with little to show for it, or in some cases, with penalties that have made their online performance worse.

Tips for Vetting SEO Agencies

The advice and questions that follow are what businesses absolutely must consider and ask while vetting SEO agencies from an actual SEO agency’s behind-the-scenes perspective.

Develop a List of Criteria

Having some criteria beforehand will make you think critically about your expectations, protect you from going in blindly, and keep you in charge of what you want.

Think about things like:

  • Budget.
  • Desired contract duration.
  • Whether you want a local service provider or if you’re OK with a remote agency.
  • Reporting frequency.
  • Any other potential deal breakers.

Talk to 3 Different SEO Agencies

It’s smart to talk to at least three SEO providers before you make a decision. Aside from this being a generally good idea for the sake of knowing all your options, it also helps give you some leverage for possible negotiations regarding prices, services, and contract stipulations.

Make a List of Interview Questions

Asking the right questions before signing a contract can prevent the majority of SEO horror stories. Have the questions ready to ask each agency you speak with, so later you can compare answers and have plenty of information to help guide your decision.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
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