London Scene Round Up: PutinCoin vs.TrumpCoin

London Scene Round Up:
PutinCoin vs. TrumpCoin

 Great few weeks in the fintech capital.

ICOs remain the investment vehicle of choice for crypto-entrepreneurs

While VC and seed investment levels may have dropped recently there is no doubt the preferred fundraising method remains an ICO as a simpler, lower friction and faster means for entrepreneurs to raise capital. It has been another great month for ICOs with a couple of Blockchain Gaming opportunities, Contingency and Etheroll and with EdgeLess starting in the few days the gaming sector promises a great deal of disruption ahead.

Coupled with Lykke a crypto asset exchange, Humaniq 4.0 banking for unbanked, Melon Project for asset and Intellisys for fund management and with Chronobank just finishing, February 2017 has been a pivotal month and a major step forward for the evolution of a Capital Markets 2.0 economy. Best of all the good news is March is lining up to be an even stronger month for launching new Blockchain businesses that will create more havoc and disruption across a wide range of industries and bring about new business models and ways of exchanging products and services as value.

We will soon see a TRUMPCoin

With the plethora of crypto altcoins and Colored coins that cover almost every industry from music and entertainment, porn, supply chain, recruitment and time itself will we see a TrumpCoin increase in value when Donald the businessman finds out Vladimir Putin already has one. Will he use TrumpCoin to Trump PutinCoin?

I am not sure about the investment value of PutinCoin though given its value and MarketCap but I intend to buy TrumpCoin with its slogan “Let’s rebuild America” is encouraging and suggests his fans will start buying coins by the dozen. The Donald is sure to be very happy as of writing this article, TrumpCoin at number 102 and PUTINCoin at 109 on the long list of crypto coin tokens. Game on then.

Satoshi spotted again

I caught up with Vittalark Buttering at Liverpool Street station just by the thriving fintech hub of Shoreditch. He was looking anxious as usual.

Cointelegraph: So, Vittalark, how is it going? I have seen you since England France at Twickenham.
Vittalark Buttering:
I saw him you know, I chased him through the crowd for 40 minutes and then I lost him near the men’s toilet under the West Stand. We have the same rucksacks with a “Bitcoin Sold Here” sticker on them.

CT: Where are you off to now?
I found out that on a Friday Satoshi likes to get a pedicure at the Chinese FooSpar near Spitalfields Market run by Mr. Woo. I sent Mr. Woo one BTC and asked him to tip me off when Satoshi comes in. Vittalark then gets out his iPhone and shows me the text. The text reads: “Mr. Vit, it’s Woo here, ‘him is here’, socks are off, you cum quick, his feet in water with fishies now.”

VB: You see it is him.
Vittalark then called Mr. Woo “Mr. Woo it is Vittalark here. Just to let you know I am on my way woo be with you in five minutes, don’t let him have his shoes and socks until I get there.” And then Vittalark was gone, last seen running up Bishopsgate towards Spitalfields with his rucksack flapping his Bitcoin Sold Here sticker visible as he is clearly in a rush. Good luck, Vittalark, I hope Mr. Woo will help you get your man. I look forward to the day we can see a selfie of Vittalark and Satoshi together at last.

IBM announces HyperLedger Fabric Composer

I spent a great day at IBM Labs Hursley this week the centre of Hyperledger activity to learn more about IBMs Blockchain plans, I see them as one of the strongest and most complete Blockchain offerings available. As a cross-industry distributed ledger technology, Hyperledger is maturing fast and sits alongside Intel’s SawtoothLake and Iroha (named after a Japanese poem) that can cover most organizational and industry needs. A permissioned distributed ledger technology that doesn’t use a token and where nodes act as notary validators and where block size and consensus can be adjusted to the user requirement.

I have to say I like the look of HyperLedger, especially SawtoothLake that offers core infrastructure to support and underpin a strong IoT offering (as in Smart Planet, Smart Cities) that comes with a more economic consensus model called POET (Proof of Elapsed Time) and another partner Blockchain Iroha that offers a special link to mobile using clever APIs that open the door to Blockchain/5G integration with an extensive library of IOS and Android dev apps which will be a real game changer delivering low latency, scalable and high throughput Blockchain, when 5th Generation wireless data-comms finally rolls out.

The HyperLedger Fabric is a solid offering and fits together nicely and with the new fabric composer, it is now easier to link smart contracts, with inputs and applications. It doesn’t take too much imagination to realize that with SawtoothLake with Intel’s hardware expertise, and Iroha in toe will be part of the next generation of IoT support infrastructure enabling billions of devices to write transactions back to the secure digital ledger, at speed and scale. Should be a real winner.

ChocoholicCoin just in time for Easter

I came across Gill at the Chocolate Hotel in Oxford Street the center of London’s west end shopping district as she barged me out of the way to get to the new dark chocolate orange cups that had just gone on sale. It turns out this rather rotund lady is a chocoholic entrepreneur who goes by the name of Gillian Sweeting aka @LondonSweetLady. I decided to find out her plans to flood the London Markets with chocolate and ChocoholicCoins.

CT: What’s the big idea behind ChockieCoin?
No its ChocoholicCoin for people who can’t get enough, who want to make sure they don’t lose out at Easter when the “easter bunnies” deliver everyone’s chocolate eggs.

CT: How does it work?
In two ways, you leave ChocoholicCoins for the fairies who control the bunnies to make sure they come to your house and if you get caught short you can eat them.

CT: No, seriously!
This is very serious, when you buy chocolate with our Coin you can scan the QR code on the back and see exactly where the cocoa came from, who processed it, packed it and shipped it. All production and supply chain activities are recorded on the Blockchain so they can’t be tampered with and their provenance checked.

CT: Can’t someone steal and eat the Chocolate when it’s en route?
Not really the cartons are also tagged with sensors and any attempts to move them from their journey, open the carton or try to eat them triggers our operations center where Fred presses the RED Button that gives the perpetrator an 11,000 volts jolt.

OK, then ChocoholicCoin sounds really interesting especially the bit about paying off the fairies albeit it can all end badly as I imagine 11,000 volts would also melt the chocolate.

Chuck Reynolds

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Life in the Body of Christ It is important to be part of a local church or christian community.

It is important to be part of a local church or christian community.

Written by Hope on 01/12/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Service
“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . .” Hebrews 4:25

Last week we learned about being part of Christ’s Body, the Church. We also talked about how important it is for every believer to be part of a local body of believers., a “little c” church.

These days, you can “attend” church online. You can sing songs, hear great preaching, and even give money. But you would miss your chance to make a difference in the lives of other believers. That’s why Hebrews 4:25 says, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . .” You AND your disciples need to physically “show up” at church or in a fellowship group.

The New Testament is full of instructions on relating to one another. In fact, 56 passages include the phrase “one another” or “each other.”* Here’s just a few:
• Love one another – 15 separate times in the New Testament we are commanded to love each other (John 13:34-35, Romans 13:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:9 to name a few). When Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment, He told us there are two: To love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). He said that all the commands of Scripture were summed up in these.
• Serve one another – Galatians 5:13 tells us to “serve one another humbly in love.” Jesus was our example, saying in Matthew 20:28, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This world is filled with people who care only about themselves. When we put others first and serve each other with pure motives, the world takes notice, and God is glorified.
• Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16) – In music, harmony means not doing the same thing as everyone else, but playing or singing something different that blends with others, increasing the beauty and power of the song. On the other hand, just one person playing the wrong note can make the whole group sound terrible!

In the same way, when we are in conflict with our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, or worse, spreading that conflict to others, the whole body is “out of tune.” It stops functioning as it should. Ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to use you to build unity instead of conflict.

*For a list of all the New Testament commands concerning “one another,” see

Pray this week:

That God will give you opportunities to serve, love and live in harmony with others.

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Control When we attempt to take control of our lives, we become our own God, telling Him he’s not good enough.

When we attempt to take control of our lives, we become our own God, telling Him he’s not good enough.

Written by GodLife on 17/02/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Control, God, Sovereignty
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own expectations. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Do you want control?
Many people want to have everything under control, or at least believe they do. It feels predictable; it feels safe. At least we hope those feelings will result from having control of our lives. And though we should know better, it is our human nature to crave control.

Are you in control of any part of your life right now? Maybe you are enjoying a successful career. Or maybe you have a long list of qualities you’re looking for in a potential life partner, or even in close friends. Do you have control over your children’s success? Your daily schedule? Sometimes I even want to control the traffic lights and the cars around me. Ironically, that usually only happens when I’m in a hurry!

Think for a minute about the things that you control. Does that really satisfy you? How much stress do you bring on yourself by trying to achieve that control? When I try to control my life, I’m filled with worry and anxiety. The weight of the world is on my shoulders, like a huge burden.

God’s Character
God cares for us so much. And he doesn’t want us to feel burdened, stressed or worried. In fact, in the Bible, Jesus commands us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). Isn’t it amazing that God loves us so much that he doesn’t want us to worry about anything? Not only that, when we worry, we are disobeying God. Anxiety distances us from God and keeps us from focusing on pure obedience to Him.

When we think we are in control…
When we attempt to take control of our lives, relying on our own wisdom and our own power instead of seeking God’s guidance, we are doomed to failure. We become our own God, telling Him he’s not good enough.

Let Go and Let God
Surrender. Cast your cares upon Him (1 Peter 5). Jesus died on the cross to release you from the power and penalty of sin. Then he rose again to show His mastery over everything, even the grave. When you let God have control of your life, He will guide your decisions and give you wisdom. Any hardships you endure will make your faith stronger, if you trust Him to work through them. Since God knows your past, and holds the future in His hands, why wouldn’t you want to give Him control? He will never lead you in the wrong direction. So, what does it look like to surrender control of your life to God? Trust Him. Rely on Him. Glorify Him and acknowledge Him in everything you do and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Consult the Lord in prayer before every decision, large or small. Begin every day with Him, asking Jesus to be your Lord as well as Savior. Just a suggestion: Spend a few quiet minutes with God. Ask Him to examine your heart, and reveal to you the ways you have tried to be your own god. Write down everything God shows you. Confess each thing, surrendering control back to Him. Then, destroy the list. You can shred it, burn it, or even bury it (or all three!). But DON’T hang on to it, because those things are now in God’s hands.

Pray this week:

That God will show you the ways you have been trying to control your life.

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What Bitcoin Traders Should Know About Technical Analysis

What Bitcoin Traders Should Know About Technical Analysis

Evaluate the CryptoCurrency Market

While bitcoin traders have many tools they can use to evaluate the cryptocurrency market, one of the most tried-and-true methodologies is what's called technical analysis. Using this approach, traders can get a better sense of market sentiment and identify key trends, and, with this information, make better-informed predictions. Technicians (sometimes called 'chartists') take a practical approach, looking at a security’s history (using price charts) and applying various analytical tools to get a better sense of how the market feels about that particular security.

While 'fundamental analysis' – the counterpart to technical analysis – is more interested in determining what a security 'should' be worth, technicians are only concerned with a security’s actual price movements. By looking at bitcoin’s price history, technicians attempt to identify well-known patterns such as 'support' and 'resistance'.

Laying the foundation

To get a better understanding of technical analysis, it is important to grasp the basic concepts of Dow theory, which has provided the foundation for this practical method for evaluating securities.

Dow Theory provides a few basic assumptions:

1. The market discounts everything. All past, current and future information is already factored into existing asset prices. In the case of bitcoin, this would include variables such as past, current and future demand, as well as any regulations affecting the digital currency. The current price reflects all existing information, including the knowledge and expectations of all market participants. As a result, technicians seek to interpret what the price is saying about market sentiment to make educated predictions about what prices will do going forward.

2. Prices movements are not completely random. Instead, they frequently follow trends, which can be either short-term or long-term. Once a security forms a trend, it is more likely to follow that trend than go against it. Through technical analysis, technicians seek to identify trends and profit from them.

3. 'What' matters more than 'why'. Technicians focus more on a security's price history than the specific variables that have created this price movement. While any number of factors could have caused a security's price to move in a certain way, technicians take a more direct approach by looking at supply and demand.

4. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Market psychology is predictable, and traders often respond the same way when provided with similar stimuli. Digital currency markets, for example, have frequently provided bullish responses to key events such as news evidencing rising adoption or greater visibility.

Identifying trends

Identifying trends, or the general direction in which a security is moving, can be very helpful for bitcoin traders. However, singling these trends out can be a challenge. Digital currencies can be highly volatile, and looking at a chart of bitcoin's price movements will likely show a series of highs and lows. However, technicians know that they can look past the volatility and identify an uptrend when they see a sequence of higher highs and higher lows. In contrast, they can single out a downtrend when they identify a string of lower lows and lower highs.

There are also sideways trends, in which a security experiences little in the way of upward or downward movement. Traders should know that trends come in many lengths, including short-term, intermediate, and long-term.

Moving averages

One technique bitcoin traders can use to more easily identify trends is to use 'moving averages', which help smooth out a digital currency's price fluctuations so market participants can get a better sense of where the price has been going.

The most basic kind of moving average is the 'simple moving average', which is determined by calculating a security’s average price over a specific time period. Traders might look at what bitcoin has done over a five-day or 20-day period, for example. A similar tool that bitcoin traders can use is the 'exponential moving average', which gives greater emphasis to more recent price values when calculating an average.

By analyzing moving averages, traders can get a better sense of when momentum shifts. For example, if a five-day moving average falls below a 20-day moving average, this development could point to a bull market turning bearish. Should the opposite take place, with the shorter average rising above the longer average, the converse is true.

Chart 1: A five-day moving average (SMA 5) repeatedly surpassing a 20-day moving average (SMA 20):

Support and resistance

Another crucial tool is the analysis of support and resistance levels. By identifying these levels, bitcoin traders can help get a better sense of the supply and demand surrounding the digital currency. The support level is effectively the price at which a large number of traders are willing to buy a security since they believe it is 'oversold' (ie sold at a price below its perceived true value). As the security approaches this price, market participants step in and purchase it, creating a 'floor'.

For example, if bitcoin prices trade above $1,000 for several days, any retreat to this price level might prompt market participants to believe the currency is oversold and therefore start buying.

Chart 2: Support level (in green):

The counterpart to support is resistance, which is a price level where a large number of traders are motivated to sell a security because they think it is 'overbought' (ie overvalued due to many traders buying at excessively high prices).

For example, if bitcoin prices trade below $1,000 for several sessions, moving toward $1,000 might prompt a significant number of traders to enter sell orders for the security, thereby creating resistance.

Chart 3: Resistance (in green):

Bitcoin sometimes fluctuates between levels of support and resistance, which work together to create a range. This is called 'rangebound trading' and creates opportunities for traders to buy bitcoin when it is near the bottom of the range and sell when it is close to the top.

Chart 4: Ranges of support and resistance:

However, should bitcoin prices exit a trading range, this can result in robust trading activity, significant volatility and a new trend.

For example, if bitcoin prices break through a price level that previously served as resistance, this price frequently ends up serving as a support level. Alternatively, the opposite could happen, with the digital currency’s price falling below support, resulting in this level becoming a new resistance level.

Volume's key role

Bitcoin traders should keep in mind that volume plays an important role in evaluating price trends. High volume points to strong price trends, while low volume indicates weaker trends. If bitcoin prices experience a large gain or loss, traders should be sure to examine volume.

For example, if bitcoin enjoys a long uptrend and then declines sharply one day, it is worth checking out a volume to get a better sense of whether this downward movement represents a new trend or simply a temporary pullback. Generally, rising prices coincide with increasing volume. If bitcoin prices enjoy an uptrend, but the currency’s upward movements take place amid weak volume, this could mean that the trend is running out of gas and could soon be over.

Chart 5: Volume rising as the price climbs:

Criticisms of technical analysis

While technical analysis can be a valuable tool in a bitcoin trader's arsenal, those considering using it can benefit from being aware of the criticism brought against this particular approach. Much of this criticism comes from the 'efficient market' hypothesis, which is the idea that market prices reflect all available information.

If this assertion is valid, then there is no value to be had from conducting analysis in an effort to determine when securities are undervalued or overvalued. An Efficient market hypothesis has both its critics and advocates and arguments can be made either for or against the idea. At the end of the day, it is up to each individual bitcoin trader to consider both sides and determine what they believe.

Key considerations

By leveraging technical analysis, bitcoin traders can gauge market sentiment, identify trends and potentially make better-informed investment decisions. However, there are a few key variables they should keep in mind. For starters, technical analysis is a very practical approach, looking only at a security’s price and volume. As a result, relying on technical analysis could potentially cause a trader to either miss out on opportunities to buy bitcoin when it is undervalued or, alternatively, purchase the digital currency when the price may be inflated, at least according to the fundamentals.

To manage this risk, bitcoin traders can potentially combine fundamental analysis with technical analysis. For example, if a bitcoin trader concludes that technical indicators and patterns are telling him to buy, he can help affirm this by evaluating some fundamental data, such as the approaching SEC ruling on the Winklevoss ETF. Alternatively, a bitcoin trader could leverage fundamental analysis to determine whether bitcoin is undervalued or overvalued and then harness technical analysis to calculate the best point to either buy or sell the digital currency.

Chuck Reynolds

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How to Avoid Losses When Bitcoin Price Goes Up and Down

How to Avoid Losses When Bitcoin
Price Goes Up and Down

Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin

If you’re just joining the Bitcoin train, it’s probably hard to imagine what the world of early 2014 was like. The largest Bitcoin exchange at the time, Mt. Gox, had just imploded and about $450 mln in customer funds had gone missing. The market reaction to this catastrophic failure was both immediate and prolonged: Bitcoin price would tumble down a series of cliffs from a $1200 peak to a $180 floor over the next 12 months, shaking all but the hardiest of investors.

Using Bitcoin as a mode of transmission rather than a store of value

Preventing such a precipitous loss of value was one of the primary goals of Bitreserve, the startup launched by Halsey Minor in late 2013. Unlike most of the community, the founder of CNET wanted to emphasize Bitcoin’s use as a mode of transmission rather than a store of value, which immediately put him at philosophical odds with purists and crypto-anarchists.

Bitreserve’s product strategy was to mimic the function of a Bitcoin wallet, while actually storing your coins’ value in your preferred fiat currency. Sending Bitcoin to a Bitreserve wallet would instantly peg it against, say, the US Dollar price at the time of transmission. If the USD price for Bitcoin was $1,100 and you deposited 1 BTC, your Bitreserve account balance would read “$1,100” in perpetuity. When you wanted to spend some of those Bitcoins, Bitreserve would look up the USD-BTC price at that moment, and dynamically convert your dollars to Bitcoins as needed.

This meant that you avoided losses if the Bitcoin price happened to fall, but the converse was also true. When the price started to rise — as during the bull markets of late 2016 and these recent weeks — your money would be left behind, languishing in its fiat prison. Bitreserve raised close to $10 mln before going through a major revamp in mid-2015. Anthony Watson, the former CIO of Nike, took over the CEO position, and rechristened the company “” It maintained the original vision of Bitreserve but did so with greater reach and a brighter color palette.

Importantly, they launched the Uphold Connect API, which allowed startups to build their own third-party financial products on top of their expanding network. Uphold was now essentially a wallet-as-a-service platform, allowing young entrepreneurs to build verticals without making large investments in the underlying infrastructure.

Two of those entrepreneurs were Antonio Garcia and Ruben Galindo Steckel, the founders of AirTM. “A year ago, [these] two young guys from Mexico City interned at Uphold’s San Francisco office,” writes Tim Parsa, Uphold’s head of Global Strategy and Markets, on the company blog. “A few months later they presented an idea for an app built on top of Uphold’s open API.”

“Human ATM” and pegged currency balances

AirTM combines two interesting ideas: Abra’s “human ATM” concept and Uphold’s pegged currency balances. It currently enables the flow of funds and exchange of currencies in some 62 countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, the US and China. Co-Founder Ruben Galindo Steckel explains that their focus is in helping people in “harsh currency regimes” who are in need of basic financial services.

AirTM works by first connecting its customers with local “cashiers” in their country who can accept their cash deposits. Once the customer hands over their cash, the cashier will then send an equivalent amount of BTC to that customer’s balance on AirTM/Uphold. Once “in the cloud,” the customer can manage their funds as they see fit. This strategy allows AirTM’s users to maintain their money in any currency they desired, which in the case of Argentina and Venezuela, usually means anything other than their own.

Having cashiers that are based in one or more of their supported countries allows AirTM to essentially facilitate self-service remittances. As long as the sending customer has money in the cloud, they can forward it to any beneficiary anywhere in the world. That beneficiary will then coordinate with their own local community of cashiers to receive funds in their desired currency. One of the biggest surprises about AirTM is the average size of their transactions. According to Co-Founder Galindo Steckel, it’s just $36.

The global average remittance size is much higher, close to $200. The fact that AirTM’s average is small seems to indicate that they’ve found a way to sustainably facilitate micro-remittances via Bitcoin. That segment that has proven to be largely unreachable for traditional remittance providers like Western Union, whose $4 flat fees force customers to wait and batch their transactions instead of sending them as needed.

When asked what other services AirTM had in store for its users, Galindo Steckel lists “debit cards, microloans and a mobile app” as near-term improvements that the team was already hard at work on.

Chuck Reynolds

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Japan Supports Hitachi’s 150 Mln Member Blockchain Project

Japan Supports Hitachi’s 150 Mln Member
Blockchain Project

Japanese cryptocurrency

and Blockchain development company Tech Bureau and $89 bln multinational conglomerate company Hitachi is implementing the NEM-based Mijin Blockchain platform onto Hitachi’s point management solution “PointInfinity.” PointInfinity, Hitachi’s point management solution which handles over 150 mln members and users, is Japan’s most widely utilized system by merchants and service providers. PointInfinity allows merchants to deploy point-based and electronic money managements systems, wherein they can design their own membership programs and Point of Sale (PoS) software for loyalty programs and special offers.


Hitachi’s point management solution is particularly popular amongst restaurants, coffee shops and retail outlets that provide users with unique offers, discounts and loyalty points. Tech Bureau and Hitachi are seeking to integrate the Mijin Blockchain technology into Hitachi’s point management solution in the near future, to autonomously process loyalty points and manage electronic money settlement platforms within a more secure, transparent, efficient and immutable ecosystem.

Based on NEM, the 9th largest cryptocurrency and Blockchain network, the Mijin Blockchain platform allows large-scale companies like Hitachi to utilize an unmodifiable, undeletable and transparent Blockchain network with support for multiple assets, multisig accounts, and smart contracts. Local support for multiple assets is specifically important and necessary for Hitachi as users of its point management solutions operate various loyalty programs which depend on different levels of rewards and assets.


Unlike the majority of Blockchain platforms that are currently being explored by major businesses and technology companies, the Mijin Blockchain platform prioritizes security and immutability. Hitachi saw great potential in the secure Blockchain technology of Tech Bureau and has been testing the Mijin Blockchain platform since Feb. 9. After gathering results from the tests, Hitachi decided to engage in the proof of concept and to implement the Mijin Blockchain technology into its PointInfinity. If Hitachi and Tech Bureau successfully integrates the Mijin Blockchain technology into PointInfinity, it will mark the largest non-finance Blockchain implementation by far. Upon the integration of Mijin, Hitachi will begin processing data points of its 150 mln users.


Developers of Mijin wrote:

“With this specific application test, the large scale point management solution “PointInfinity” will leverage “Mijin” to verify the predictability of the Blockchain technology application that has entered into product development and expansion. Hitachi Solutions currently has over 150 mln members on their point management solution and Hitachi will engage in this proof of concept.”

One advantage Tech Bureau and Hitachi has over its competitors in the global Blockchain market is that the Japanese government and its Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry are in full support of Hitachi’s vision of utilizing Blockchain technology to optimize its point management solution.

“Local currency is supposed to be used for substituting settlement with legal currency, and high availability is required accordingly. Higher availability may be required for local currency than for loyalty point services. In this respect, Blockchains are effective in that they can build and operate more stable systems,” a report from the Nomura Research Institute contracted by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry read. With such support from local authorities, Hitachi will be able to focus on product development, rather than allocating its resources to avoid regulatory conflicts in the future.

Chuck Reynolds

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Nasdaq Executive Fredrik Voss Optimistic About Blockchain in Capital Markets

Nasdaq Executive Fredrik Voss Optimistic About Blockchain in Capital Markets

Blockchain technology

The vice president of Blockchain innovation at Nasdaq believes mainstream adoption of Blockchain technology in capital markets is promising and inevitable. The vast majority of financial institutions and banks which are actively looking into the potential of Blockchain technology are struggling to establish a clear vision and roadmap when it comes to the development and implementation of Blockchain-based platforms.

Sense of urgency

There is a relatively limited range of applications which Blockchain technology could realistically revolutionize and innovate within the realm of finance. Capital and stock markets are two of the few areas in traditional banking or finance in which Blockchain technology can prosper because they will depend on Blockchain technology’s immutability and transparency.

The key to operating or facilitating an efficient stock or capital market is transparency and autonomous trading. Stock markets like Nasdaq are actively experimenting with Blockchain technology with a sense of urgency because they are in need of a base protocol or platform that can eliminate human labor, manual processing, and opaque operations. Various projects including Counterparty and Overstock’s T-Zero have demonstrated the potential of Blockchain technology in capital markets. Overstock’s T-Zero, in particular, has already carried out successful tests and deployed a Blockchain-based capital markets platform with increased transparency, efficiency, real-time settlement, and audibility.

Still in the early stages

As Voss notes, platforms like T-Zero or Blockchain technology, in general, are still at the very early stages and are far from being commercially implemented. Developers and researchers are still working on ways to implement Blockchain technology in capital markets for mainstream adoption. Some of the hurdles that developers must go through are regulatory conflicts and security issues.

“There is a long way to go before we see a very wide scale adoption of the technology in capital markets, but it looks more promising now than we thought three years ago.”

Currently, the structure of capital markets and stock exchanges are needlessly complex and ambiguous. It is difficult for traders to track down their shares in a company and there exists no tool or a real-time settlement network which can prove the ownership of shares in a company efficiently. By implementing Blockchain technology in capital markets, Voss hopes to see increased transparency, particularly in the process of lending or selling shares or ownership in a company. Voss stated:

“If you own shares in that company, you’ll be given tokens equivalent to what you own and then I can transfer them to [someone] for him to vote on my behalf. We can follow the whereabouts of these votes, which solves the problems of, if you’re a proxy today, it’s hard to demonstrate to the person who delegated the votes to you that you followed the instructions.”

Recently, Nasdaq and the team of Voss began to feel more optimistic towards Blockchain technology and Blockchain development than they did three years ago when the company just began to look into the potential of Blockchain technology. Voss is especially enthusiastic about how Blockchain technology is helping Nasdaq and other market participants to evaluate various operations and analyze their efficiency.

“It has also forced market participants to talk to each other about some of the collective utilities, like, are we happy with how the post-trade plumbing works? Are we happy about the level of transparency we provide regulators? … The technology has really encouraged the financial markets to look at some of its problems with fresh eyes,”

Chuck Reynolds

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Top Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

Top Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

To some entrepreneurs, social media marketing is the “next big thing,” a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.

Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. The statistics, however, illustrate a different picture. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.

This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results. Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media marketing can improve your business:

Increased Brand Recognition.

Every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.

Improved brand loyalty.

According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.xxxxx

More Opportunities to Convert.

Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Even if your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant.

Higher conversion rates.

Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element; the fact that brands become more humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.

Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience in social media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.

Higher Brand Authority.

Interacting with your customers regularly is a show of good faith for other customers. When people go to compliment or brag about a product or service, they turn to social media. And when they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow you for updates. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users. Not to mention, if you can interact with major influencers on Twitter or other social networks, your visible authority and reach will skyrocket.

Increased Inbound Traffic.

Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads and more conversions.

Decreased Marketing Costs.

According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic. Six hours is not a significant investment for a channel as large as social media. If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and syndication strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget—once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly.

Better Search Engine Rankings.

SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.

Richer Customer Experiences.

Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or phone calls. Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your customers. For example, if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a customer compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets customers know you care about them.

Improved Customer Insights.

Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most interest—and then produce more of that type of content. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.

These are the benefits of sustaining a long-term social media campaign, but if you’re still apprehensive about getting started, consider these points:

  • Your Competition Is Already Involved. Your competitors are already involved on social media, which means your potential social media traffic and conversions are being poached. Don’t let your competitors reap all the benefits while you stand idly by. If, somehow, your competition is not involved on social media, there’s even more of a reason to get started—the field is open.
  • The Sooner You Start, the Sooner You Reap the Benefits. Social media is all about relationship building, and it tends to grow exponentially as your followers tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and so on. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing that audience.
  • Potential Losses Are Insignificant. Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting involved in social media. The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start posting is usually minimal, compared to other marketing channels. Just six hours a week or a few hundred dollars is all it takes to establish your presence.


The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Social media marketing, when done right, can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more conversions, and it’s here to stay.

Chuck Reynolds

Visit the Kairos webiste

Reasons retailers fall short in email and social media marketing

Reasons retailers fall short in email
and social media marketing

 They’re constantly trying to sell their customer, rather than to help and engage them.

Email marketing and social media marketing are two critical marketing tools for communicating to your customer.  Many look at these as separate disciplines, but at ClicBlox Digital we view them as the same. When we post items on our social channels, we are looking for engagement.  We want to see what our followers react to, comment on and share. These small interactions on social media give us an indicator of what will get a customer to open an email. 

These will help us build the important Subject Line. Stop trying to sell your customer in the subject line. The subject line is the most important part of the email.  It is what the customer uses to decide to open your email.

What we see from most brands is usually along the lines of:

“One Day Sale”
“Your Favorite Items 25 -60% off”
“Tuesday Specials”

Stop it!  Stop selling for a minute because you are just turning off your customers! Email and social media are a way to connect with your customers.  It is a way to engage with them.  To tell them about your brand and what you stand for.  Consumers want to be educated on why they should by from you.

Customers respond to the benefits of using your products. 

I have been in the skin care business for many years.  When we send out emails our subject line is generally around education.

“The Reasons We Get Dark Circles Under Our Eyes”

This email had a 63% open rate.  So, that subject line worked because the customer new, our sole purpose was to HELP them solve a problem.  Not just sell them with a discount. As we discussed the five reasons in the body of the email, we linked to various products and showed various products to solve the problem. With some minor modifications, we used this on social media as well with equally impressive engagement.

Provide Solutions To Connect With Your Customer

This is marketing 101.  Customers shop for solutions to problems.  The reason that the Apple stores are so successful is that they teach people how to use the technology to enhance their lives. Your email and social posts should relate to your brand message. If your branding is to inspire people, then your posts and emails should be inspirational, not discounts.

Personalize your emails

There are so many tools today to personalize emails that there is no excuse for not doing this.  Who wants to open an email to “Hello Valued Customer” vs “Hello Janet”. Do your research and know your customer inside and out.  If you truly know your customer, then you can personalize the emails in so many other ways by addressing the points that matter most to your customer.

If you are in fashion then you want to talk about how to look good for any event and lead them to your products that make them look good. If you are in the software business, then show them how your software can make their job easier. But talk to them.  Stop selling them. I read an article the other day about how a Fortune 100 consumer products company was abandoning their social media advertising strategy because it wasn’t working.

I was curious so I went back and looked at what they had done. I use it to show what not to do with social media.  It didn’t work because it was just ad after ad after ad about their products.  Coupons and discounts. Email and social media are engagement builders for your customer.  It is an inexpensive and effective way to connect with them and sell to them without selling.

Chuck Reynolds


Visit the Kairos webiste

The Economy Only Looks Good If Your Eyes Are Closed

The Economy Only Looks Good If Your Eyes Are Closed

There are multiple little anecdotes and ways to say the same thing:

  • People see what they want to see
  • If it looks to good to be true it probably is
  • All that shines is not gold
  • Cheer up…it could get worse

….to name just a few.

But me…I've read The Bible and I'm looking for the signs of the Last Days that it talks about. 

Currently I see many of those sings everywhere I look. 

For example, traditional business metrics do not lie. They can't. 

Number readily available today point to a financial and monetary train-wreck much closer than most people don't want to see…therefore they don't.

Trump is nice to have come along right now but he doesn't represent the end of the war between good and evil. He only represents one battle won within it… just like an uptick in the stock market.

I would like to call my readers' attention to two article by one of my favorite trend analysts, Simon Black, founder of Simon recently wrote two very good articles that both talk about certain economic realities that only a fool (which there apparently are a lot of) would ignore.


Do you know what a P.E.Ratio is?

You've probably heard the term. Here's what says it is: 

For example, suppose that a company is currently trading at $43 a share and its earnings over the last 12 months were $1.95 per share. The P/E ratio for the stock could then be calculated as 43/1.95, or 22.05.

In this article, Simon ponts out that the P/E Ratio for the S & P Index is currently 26.5, a level only reached three previous times in the US economy, each of which immediately preceded a major financial disaster (the Panic of 1893, the 2000 dot-com crash, and the 2008 financial collapse).

That should make you feel real good, shouldn't it?

You can read the article for more detail and examples. As usual, Simon lays it out very simply and logically and to paraphrase what he says: deep do-do is just around the corner.

It just amazes me that people seem to be blissfully unaware or willfully ignorant of the factors that go into that conclusion. But I know what the Bible says. It says that in the End Time there will be:

  • Wars and rumors of war. (No kidding….Check!)
  • Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom (No kidding…Check!)
  • People will be lovers of self. (Check!)
  • Good will be called bad and bad will be called good. (Check!)
  • Animals dying everywhere (Check!)
  • Earthquakes everywhere (Check…they're there…you just don't hear about them)!
  • Seas dying. (Check!)
  • A time of great contrast between rich and poor. (No kidding…Check!)
  • Israel blooming but increasingly abandoned by former friends.(Check!)

I'm sure there are a few other conditions I don't recall at the moment but my point is that it won't take much…not much at all… for this whole House of Cards to come tumbling down. Humanity is indeed dancing on the deck of the Titanic, and most of us have no idea what's ahead.

But…moving on…

In Simon's other article, which you can read here, he warns us that, "there are certain anomalies that are too absurd to last", and warns us that far too many US companies must have some of those Superbowl ad chimps making their corporate financing decisions for all the lack of wisdom shown.

To put their financial imbecility in simple terms: How is it possible that major companies like Exxon, Verizon, and many others seemingly can pay out more money in dividends that they have 'free cash flow'?

The answer is easy if you have a mind like those chimps: You just borrow it. They go deeper and deeper into debt.

And why wouldn't they be able to, considering that they get their money from banks which get it from governments that print it like it was so many coupons for a Penny Saver newspaper?

The result is that politicians get to keep their jobs because they can tell the plebeian masses that everything is just fine. Big corporations can tell their stockholders that everything is just fine. And 'We The People' suffer a continually declining standard of living and wonder why we seem to be working harder but not getting ahead and always in debt.

Trump is nice to have on the scene, but he's only one man. Apparently, he's a Christian and a patriot and does believe in the American Ideal. That's nice. He's doing what he should do. But his ultimate home is no more in 'this World' than any other Christian.

The way I see it, our mission right now is simply to get ready for Jesus, keep our head low, save as many unsaved as we can, give as many as we can something to think about when we're gone, and to piss off as many of the 'hard-heads' as we can so that they can get saved the hard way when the time comes.

Meanwhile, I personally keep waiting for a few last pieces of this puzzle to fall into place. I'm not convinced that all our problems are solved and, like the title of this article says, I think the economy only looks good if your eyes are closed.


Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
email me 

Visit the Kairos webiste