Using Blockchain Technology to Grow Your Business

 

It has been simply impossible to ignore the popularity of cryptocurrency and the growth in adoption of blockchain technology in the last 12-18 month especially. As a business owner, you may be curious as to how adopting blockchain technology could help your business and moreover, how you could go about incorporating the blockchain into your business. The barriers to entry are not as high as you may have imagined. Here we will look at the three most popular ways to bring your business on to the blockchain.

Run an ICO

Rinning an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) has never been more popular. Already this year has seen over 500 ICOs launched which have generated over $11 billion for the companies involved. This is your ticket to getting your company on the blockchain but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Many ICOs actually fail to reach their targets for a number of reasons. Also, it is not cheap. The costs of running an ICO are rising in tandem with the popularity and can end up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range.

Start Your Own Blockchain

Why be a participant in the game when you can run your own. There are hundreds if not thousands of blockchains out there, hosting applications and providing frameworks for meaningful accomplishments, each one claiming to be better than the next. Starting your own blockchain is relatively easy as this guide shows. Marketing it to achieve enough attention, respect, and a user base however may not be so.

Coordinate with an Existing Platform

There are a variety of platforms out there which will take care of all of the difficult work involved in launching a blockchain based project so you don’t have to. This includes creation of smart contracts, issuance of tokens, and marketing. Some of these platforms are even free (commission based) such as BrightCoin which is worth checking out.

Conclusion

Launching or becoming involved with a blockchain based project is not as difficult as you may first think. It can be financially costly and time consuming with the possibility of failure, but then again, so can any business venture.

The Role of Ratings Agencies in Launching an ICO

 

Debate has been stirred lately about the role of ICO rating sites on the success of projects. More specifically, the debate surrounds how transparent these sites are when it comes to providing true and honest reviews. To counter existing rumors, major sites such as ICOBench have recently implemented more rigorous review processes when it comes to appointing platform reviewers.

That raises the question of just what kind of role the ratings sites play in the success of an ICO. Just how important are they?

Respected Community Exposure

Whether you agree with their concept or not, we cannot ignore the fact that most potential ICO investors check out the projects on a ratings site first. This means that a project will gain valid and valuable exposure to the market which it is try to attract. This can only be a positive.

Making the Correct Choice

There are many ratings sites available to choose from when launching your project. The major player in the industry is as we mentioned above, ICOBench. Therefore if you want the most exposure, that can be a god place to start. There are many other popular alternatives though. These will vary in terms of how they write reviews and how objective they are being. FXEmpire runs a network of several popular ratings sites which manage to attract very strong amounts of traffic whilst providing factual, objective reviews.

Combatting Rising Costs

Cost is a huge issue. This is exemplified by the big players in the industry charging anywhere from 1-10BTC for premium listings. For many projects, this type of pricing is simply not sustainable. IF you are looking to reduce your running costs, it may be worth looking at some start up ratings sites. These can still offer great promotion and potential at a much lower price point.

Decentralized Solutions

Ultimately, with many questions circulating about the legitimacy of some of the main players in the ratings industry, the time will eventually arrive where we pursue decentralized solutions on the blockchain. This will ultimately help us to ensure complete transparency and fairness for every project.

What is the Actual Cost of Running an ICO?

 

In recent months there has certainly been a downturn in the crypto market in terms of pricing where the major currencies and altcoins are concerned. This downturn though, has not stopped the flood of new ICOs coming into the market. This is already reached over $11 billion for the year.

Many projects think that launching an ICO is just as simple as starting a page for their ICO and deploying the smart contract, then just sitting back and reaping the rewards. This is simply not the case. There are many associated costs with launching an ICO which has seen the cost spiral as this method of capital generation increases in popularity.

To assess the true cost, we must look at the combination of factors which create the cost themselves.

Marketing

This is one of the biggest associated costs with launching an ICO. It is also one which is continuing to rise. The CPC of running advertising for an ICO is through the roof and as we have seen lately, many major platforms are restricting access to ICO advertising. This is why we see huge chunks of budgets now allocated to marketing.

To have your ICO listed on one of the major listing agencies and receive attention is one major way to generate investments. This does not come cheap though with prices running up to 10BTC for some premium listing options with certain providers.

A Professional Dedicated Team

If you want to band together a professional and credible team which will be respected in the industry, it will not come for free. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. This is very true in terms of team members.

It is essential to hire a diverse team of technical, security, development, blockchain experts, and legal compliance to make sure your project is completely on the correct path. Many of these team members will insist on being paid retaining amounts at the very least. They are highly unlikely to settle for token rewards, especially in the current market climate.

Development

Running an ICO from concept alone is often doomed for failure. Investors respect and require to see at least an MVP. These require often substantial investment to achieve. That being said, if you truly believe in the project and see a future behind it, it will be worth the investment.

Beginners Guide to Cryptocurrency

As a beginner, you should start of by purchasing Bitcoin or Ethereum. These are the main currencies that are traded for other cryptocurrencies. The most efficient method of purchasing is by using Coinbase.

 

Signing Up

Upon signing up, you will be taken through an identification verification process. Therefore, ensure you have your photographic identification on hand as well as your credit or debit card.

 

 

Buying

 

Now that you have completed the verification, go ahead and click buy/sell. As a beginner, it is best to start off by purchasing Ethereum. Click on Ethereum and decide how much you would like to purchase. Here you can buy 0.1 or 0.5 or more, once you have finished buying, you should  see ETH in your Coinbase account.

 

 

Trading Setup

 

This is a very simple explanation of cryptocurrency trading, but now let’s get started on trading the base currency for other currencies. Before you can trade, you need to sign up with an exchange. Binance is good to start with but they do have limitations on how many people can sign up on any given day. As an alternative, you can try KUCOIN.

 

Go through the signup process and hit the link that says ‘funds.’ Once you have clicked that, go on to click deposits/withdrawals. Look for Ethereum and hit deposit. They will then provide you with a wallet address, then copy ‘ETH DEPOSIT ADDRESS.’

 

-Go back to Coinbase and click accounts

-Hit ETH Wallet

-Click send

-Input the wallet address from Binance into the section that says recipient

-Hit ‘Send Max’ and click continue, here it should prompt you to provide a 2 step verification code.

 

Now we can trade your base currency for other cryptocurrencies.

 

Trading For Other Cryptocurrencies

 

The Ethereum transfer should take around 30 minutes to process. Once the transfer has arrived, it should show up when you hit the funds button.

 

Here we are going to trade the ethereum or ETH for IOTA. Go ahead and hit exchange followed by basic. Then choose ETH and search for IOTA, decide how much you want to buy. If you wish to just use all the ETH you purchased, select 100 percent.

 

How Much Should You Invest?

There is no recommended amount, it solely depends on how much you have got to spend. You can start with 100 or 250 or more. Just like any investment, you are taking a risk and the more you invest the more risk, but if your investment pays off, you will obviously reap bigger rewards if you invest a larger amount, but it is entirely up to you how much you want to outlay.

 

 

Tracking

This is a common question, how to track your investments. An efficient way to do this is by downloading tracker apps. Blockfolio is a good choice, as well as Delta. Download the apps from the Appstore or Google Play store if you are on Android. Both allow you to input the price you bought the coins for. The apps will provide you with an accurate calculation of the price in your local currency.

 

This is a very basic simplistic guide on how to start buying and selling cryptocurrency. However, if you would like to learn more, there are plenty of books and tutorials available on the subject.

Blockchain and the Shipping Industry

 

Over the course of the previous century, major advancements in technology have completely revolutionize commerce on global level. Almost every sector of industry has been affected by these changes, however, this has been especially true for the shipping industry, which has seen entire ports automate with the use of robotics, as well as allowing companies to built bigger ships that are able to transport goods from one side of the world to the other faster than ever before.

Still, although things are changing at a rapid pace, almost every company operating in the shipping industry still relies on traditional paper documents for their administrative purposes.

Now, two global giants, IBM and A.P. Moller–Maersk are looking to collaborate and bring a revolutionary change to the shipping industry. That’s right. The two companies are looking to implement blockchain solutions into the industry with the end goal of optimizing the fluidity of transactions between companies.

A massive undertaking, to say the least. However, if they are successful in their endeavor, this could completely change the maritime industry, as well as significantly reducing the high cost of administration faced by most shipping companies.

 

The High Cost of Using Paper Documents

According to a representative for Maersk, Vincent Clerc. Sending a single refrigerated shipment from Europe to East Africa involves over 200 communications and will typically pass through the hands of about 30 different shipping organizations before reaching its destination. And of course, this massive amount of coordination comes with an extremely high cost.

In fact, due to the amount of paper communications involved, the administration and documentation costs can represent up to 1/5 of the total cost of shipping a single container.

However, by implementing blockchain technology, companies would be able to streamline this chain of communication and make all their documentation available through a distributed registry. In turn, this would also increase the speed of the shipping process and it’s estimated that it could save the industry several billion dollars per year.

 

The Blockchain Solution

The blockchain is designed to be a secured distributed registry where all stakeholders have access to the same information.

Aside from being applicable to the maritime industry, blockchain technology could also be adapted to be used in other sectors. By using this type of technology, companies would easily be able to speed up their documentation process and reduce the amount of data entry needed by up to 80%.

Also, applying a blockchain solution could simplify custom checks and data exchanges while a container is on route, which would considerable reduce the risk of fines while shipping across international borders.

For their project to be a success, IBM and Maersk must first convince all those who would be involved that it is a viable solution. This includes customs officials, port authorities, as well as the shipping companies and a unanimous decision must first be made for the implementation to work.

How Bitcoin Can Help You Take Control of Your Wealth

Behind the development of cryptocurrencies was the fact that people wanted to have more control over their hard-earned money. As it stands, the current situation couldn’t be any worse. And, governments and financial institutions are able use taxpayer money however they feel necessary and in the event of economic collapse, they can use this money to bail them out from their problems. Furthermore, this is exactly what happened during the US recession back in 2008, when the financial sector had to be bailed out by the Bush administration.

 

Government Bail Outs

By the end of 2007, most US banks were on the verge of filing bankruptcy. To resolve the situation, the Bush administration bailed them out by handing out money and loans that came directly from the pockets of taxpayers.

Nearly $800 billion US dollars were handed over to these financial institutions and a staggering $2.2 trillion dollar were passed out in the form of government loans. This situation combined with other economic factors were the inciting force behind protests such as the Occupy Wall Street movement.

And, this has not just been the case in the US. In the past, governments have always bailed out financial institutions that have been on the verge of bankruptcy. While this would be a good thing if the recipients of the bail-outs were companies that belong to the manufacturing industry, however, when a financial institution is bailed out, it’s almost always to protect and save people who already have deeper pockets than most of the population.

 

Bad Financial Habits

Many economic experts believe that these types of bail-outs are setting an affair precedent for financial institutions as it encourages them to take bigger risks to increase their profitability, while putting massive amounts of public capital in peril. This is true because most banks and financial institutions are connected in some ways to governments and they know that in the event of a loss, the money could simply be recovered from taxpayer money.

With problems such as these running rampant in our economic world, it’s no wonder that people are looking to alternatives to take control over their own wealth. However, it’s very difficult to stop big banks and governments from playing with taxpayer money.

 

The Ultimate Solution

One of the only solution to this economic problem is to create a completely independent financial system, where individual have complete control over their own money. Bitcoin and blockchain technology represents this exact solution since blockchain networks are completely decentralized from governments and banks, which allow you to make the decisions over how you spend your hard-earned cash.