Tips for Improving Business Presentations

Most business professionals will find themselves giving a presentation at some point in their careers. For some, presentations are a routine experience. Whether it’s a one-off experience or done on a regular basis, giving a business presentation requires the ability to successfully share insights and information to an audience of people. Failing to do so can result in time wasted, lost sales, or worse.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to improve the potential of business presentations: 

Tell a story

The best way to keep an audience engaged in what you’re saying is to tell them a story. More importantly, it’s got to be an interesting story. Take a look at the information you’re presenting and identify the main characters, the conflict, and how the two interact. Make that the focus of your presentation. What’s more, take the audience on a journey from point A to point B, wherein the characters have undergone change and transition. Introduce problems and provide solutions for solving them. Storytelling is a timeless method of making people interested in what you have to say, making it a go-to technique for transforming a presentation into an adventure.

Show instead of tell

Most people assume a good presentation hinges on what they have to say. However, more emphasis should be put on what they show their audience. For example, rather than explain how a competitor’s website is better optimized for sales, use a capture web page tool to have it available to view when you need it. By accessing the site pages during your presentation, you’re able to show your audience exactly what you’re trying to get across. The findings can be supplemented by your narration, rather than the other way around.

Take advantage of technology

Storytelling has often benefited from advances in technology. For example, the development of photography ushered in the age of motion pictures, which remains the premier method of telling stories to modern audiences. With this in mind, harness the power of technology for your presentation. While your budget probably doesn’t have room for movie production, consider whiteboard animation as a means of providing your audience with a fun little video showcasing the story you’re trying to tell them.

Know your audience

The best live performers are those who can read their audience and act accordingly. What works for one group of people might not succeed with another. Use this to your advantage when preparing your presentation. Does the audience consist of coworkers who know you personally? If so, feel free to insert inside jokes into your presentation. Is it going to be executives from out-of-town? If so, you might want to stick to family-friendly forms of breaking the ice.

Prepare to answer questions

Many people tasked with giving a business presentation make it their mission to explain everything they can, in order to prevent members of the audience from having to ask questions. Not only is this impractical, but it also inhibits an organic form of audience engagement that presenters can use to their advantage. Rather than try and cover every base, engineer your presentation to lead to specific questions, and prepare your answers ahead of time. In the event nobody asks the questions you planned to answer, include the information as a postscript afterthought before concluding your presentation.

Presentations are the fact of life for most business professionals. Even if they’re only an occasional responsibility of yours, the stakes involved typically call for giving it your best. By taking steps to improve the power of your presentation, you’re more likely to reach the goal you’ve set out to achieve.

Starting a Marijuana Business: How to Sell Marijuana Legally

If you’re wondering how to sell marijuana legally, the answer is simple.

Marijuana is something that many people talk about because it’s cemented itself into mainstream culture. In recent years, it became legal to use marijuana recreationally across several states.

The recent legalization of marijuana has encouraged many business owners to start dispensaries. While a dispensary can be a great way to earn passive income, it requires a few more steps than a regular business does due to marijuana being the main product.

Read on to learn more about how to make money selling weed legally.

Get Insurance

One of the first things you’ll need to do if you want to make money with weed is to get your business insured. After you’ve chosen the location where you’ll operate out of, you’ll need insurance to cover the building in case it suffers from damage.

Associations like the National Cannabis Risk Management Association offer a variety of insurance options that will cover both your building and its employees. No matter what kind of insurance you go for, you need to ensure that your employees will be insured if they’re hurt.

Get a Business License

The next thing you’ll need to do is get a business license. All businesses need this kind of license because it lets the government know that what you’re doing is safe and legal. Without a business license, there’s a good chance you’ll get fined.

You must also ensure that you’re selling marijuana in a legal state. If you’re not, you could end up going to jail and get charged with several felonies. However, it’s unlikely you’ll make it this far if you’re in a state where cannabis isn’t legalized.

Most cannabis businesses will get multiple licenses to allow them to do various things. For example, you need to get an extra license if you’d like to produce cannabis. One popular cannabis business, Planet 13 Holdings, boasts about having six cannabis licenses.

Hire Certified Budtenders

Budtenders are those that produce cannabis and interact with customers. For anyone wondering how to make money selling weed, having certified budtenders is one of the best things you can do.

All budtenders are required to have a budtender certification, which essentially proves that they know a lot about cannabis. Certified budtenders will be able to make educated recommendations to customers and they’ll know how to maintain your company’s cannabis.

Now You Know How to Sell Marijuana Legally

Opening a cannabis business can be one of the most profitable things an entrepreneur can do. Now that you understand how to sell marijuana legally, we encourage you to open a dispensary. You’ll make money a lot quicker than you would with most businesses and the process is simple.

Should you decide to open a dispensary, start by creating a business plan. Decide where you’ll set up a shop and go from there. After choosing a location, you can start looking into insurance, licenses, and hiring the right people.

Browse our articles if you’d like to learn more about business-related topics.

 

5 Ways to Make Money In Retirement

Making money in retirement is easier than ever in 2020. With the birth of the gig economy and online jobs finding a way to monetize the skills you’ve mastered over the years is now a piece of cake. 

Don’t believe me? Follow along as we go through 5 easy ways to make money in retirement:

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is one of the best ways to make money in retirement. Not only are there are a number of online publications that accept submissions from the public, but writing online is a great way to utilize your skills and wisdom as a senior.

The great thing about online publications is as long as your content is high enough quality and fits the requirements of the site, you can get published.

Writing for online publications is a great option for seniors looking to make some extra money in their spare time as well. Having the flexibility of when and for how long you want to work is an awesome perk.

Getting to improve your writing skills, while you also share the wealth of knowledge you have accumulated throughout life can be a really beautiful, even cathartic experience as well.

Some online publications that accept submissions from outside sources include:

  • Poetry Foundation
  • Slate
  • Carve Magazine
  • Story
  • Ideomancer
  • Brevity
  • SeekingAlpha

You can also become an editor for publications like Retired Brains, who are looking for seniors to help edit the work of the younger generations. Don’t be afraid to start your second career as a freelance writer, it’s easier than you may think.

The Gig Economy

According to Peter Miscovich, Managing Director of Strategy + Innovation, JLL Consulting, by 2020 gig workers will comprise half the workforce and as much as 80% by 2030. Simply put the gig economy is taking over. 

That isn’t all bad news, especially for retirees. Instead of being forced to get a full or part-time job to make some extra cash during retirement, now you can easily secure an extra paycheck or two in your own time online or otherwise.

From rideshare services to Airbnb rentals, to pet sitting and dog walking gigs, there are plenty of options out there for every type of person to monetize their skills and time in the gig economy.

It’s not just one consulting organization that believes the gig economy is taking over either. Even institutions like Intuit (known for Quickbooks) have estimated self-employment will reach some 43% of workers by 2022. 

It’s rare that seniors get to lead our economy and be so vital late into their lives, but this generation has that opportunity—thanks to the gig economy. 

Publish Your Own Book

Publishing your own book may sound far fetched, but the reality is the majority of books these days are self-published. 

In fact, according to a survey by Bowker, there were 1.68 million ISBNs issued to self-published authors in 2018, that’s a 40% increase over 2017. That doesn’t even include books self-published on Amazon which don’t require ISBNs.

So if most books are now self-published, why not take a shot at it. Online self-publishing companies now make it an easy, painless process. 

Teach English Online

Once again, if you’re trying to make extra cash as a senior it pays to bank on skills you already have, that way you aren’t forced to learn something new before you can even start earning.

So, if you’re reading this, congratulations, you can become an English teacher in 2020. 

There are a number of organizations that help teach English online to the estimated 1.5 billion English-language learners worldwide (according to the British Council). 

Many of these require bachelor’s degrees at a minimum, including one of the most popular services, VIPKID, which pays an average of $22/hr. Teach Away is another popular organization, but it also requires a bachelor’s degree to become a teacher, although the average pay is slightly higher.

If you don’t have a college degree you may want to try Kukuspeak, an online service that teaches English to Chinese students.

Teaching English can be a fun and rewarding experience. What was once a volunteer role, now also leaves you some extra spending cash, you’re welcome retirees. 

Become A Beautician

The final, and admittedly most out of the box, way to make money during retirement is to become a part-time beautician. If you love fashion, beauty and are willing to learn, part-time beauticians have become sought after jobs of late

Beautician’s employers need part-time help but can’t afford to pay someone to come on full-time. You may think that it takes years of schooling to learn the techniques of beautician, but the reality is there are a number of easy classes available online to enhance your skillset and resume quickly.

Everything from online make-up classes to eyelash extension courses are available at reasonable prices.  Part-time beauticians make an average of just over $15K, working only 20 hours per week or less.

In 2020, making money in retirement is no longer a hassle. In fact, it can be a fun and rewarding experience that can invigorate your golden years. Thanks to the gig economy if you love fashion you can be a beautician, if you love to write you can be a writer, and if you love to teach you can become a teacher. 

So, don’t be afraid to follow your passions—and make some money doing it—in 2020.

 

How Facebook’s Libra could affect the Cryptocurrency market

Over the last ten or so years, cryptocurrencies have become an alternative to traditional modes of money, its success has been very profitable for early investors and since, cryptocurrencies have come and gone. Now Facebook is taking its own turn with Libra. A new cryptocurrency that will allow users to send money and make purchases with almost zero fees. The currency is still in progress but almost ready for consumers and will officially launch in 2020. But what does Libra do and what effect will it have on the cryptocurrency market? Read on to find out. 

Want to know more about cryptocurrency? Head to Crypto Head to learn more about cryptocurrencies. 

What is Libra?  

Libra is a new cryptocurrency that will be launched by Facebook and fellow investors. With Libra, users will be able to make anonymous purchases and to send money to other users with next to no fees and buy or cash out their Libra balances online or at exchange points such as grocery stores/supermarkets. Users will also be able to spend their Libra on interconnected third party wallet apps, such as Facebook’s Calibra wallet which will be installed into the Facebook app, Messenger and WhatsApp. 

Since Facebook is not the only investor of Libra, they will not have full control of the currency, instead, they will gain the power to vote on its governance along with the other libra Association founding members: Visa, Uber, and Andreessen Horowitz. The job of the association is to promote the newly open-sourced Libra Blockchain and developer platform. They are also tasked with encouraging businesses to accept Libra as a payment method and reward customers with discounts. This has also come with the launch of Calibra, a wallet company that will handle the protection of user privacy, meaning that your Libra information will be kept separate to your Facebook data. In order to stabilise the value of Libra, Facebook/Calibra and remaining members of the Libra Association will earn interest on the money users cash in, which will be kept in a reserve. 

If you’re interested in signing up for Libra, you can get in with the early access scheme, however, you will not be able to make or receives payments until the launch in 2020. 

How does it work? 

Simply cash in, cash out or send money to other users. The benefits are that you can cash out whenever you need to, you won’t be charged huge transaction fees, and what’s more, you have complete anonymity of your purchases and transactions. 

Just like any other Blockchain currency, you have a wallet, which is the method of making exchanges and transactions. This is the same in Libra’s case, although users will no doubt be encouraged to use Facebook’s own wallet, Calibra or Paypal. As we’ve mentioned before, Calibra will launch beside Libra and both will be available via the Facebook app, Messenger and WhatsApp via iOS and Android devices. 

Upon signing up, users will be guided through the “Know Your Customer” anti-fraud process in which, users will be asked to provide a government-issued photo ID to verify their identity. Like other money services, Libra will have to conduct due diligence on consumers and if they suspect any illicit activity, they must report it as such to the authorities. Once you’re all set-up and ready to go, you can deposit money into Libra, pick a friend or merchant then set the amount you wish to send to them, add an optional description and send them Libra. Like PayPal, you can also request amounts. Eventually, users will be able to make in-store payments with POS systems like iZettle. 

What does it mean for Cryptocurrency? 

The release of Libra could impact cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum which have to be mined, they could potentially become seconded as favourites. However, the ease of Libra means that for those who have wanted to get into cryptocurrency but have previously been daunted by the concept, the buzz words and the process can buy into a simpler and commercialised version. The fact that it is realised by Facebook and is supported by PayPal makes the deal all the more sweeter because they are two brand names people are already using and trust. With that said, Libra may encourage users to learn more about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and perhaps join the market. 

There is no sure way to tell how Libra will affect the current crypto market, but it will be an exciting development to watch unfold. 

The History of Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency eliminating the need for financial institutions due to a decentralized authority. The currency offer anonymity, high security and low transaction fees. Bitcoin is not a physical commodity. A public ledger called blockchain is used to store balances on the cloud. A tremendous amount of computing power is necessary for the confirmation of balances and transactions. Bitcoin represents the beginning of hundreds of subsequent cryptocurrency launches. These are referred to as altcoins.

We have watched the turbulence of bitcoin escalate. In 2017, one bitcoin was valued at $20,000. By 2019, the trading value decreased by half. Bitcoin tokens are stored in a cryptocurrency wallet using a private key. This is a lengthy string of letters and numbers. The public key is similar to a bank account number. This secret code is used for the authorization of cryptocurrency transmissions. This address is used to send bitcoin. Bitcoin is often abbreviated as BTC.

Bitcoin Mining

A miner is a company or individual responsible for the computing power necessary to make bitcoin. They receive rewards for their participation. Transaction fees and rewards are both paid using bitcoin. A miner is like an enforcer for the decentralized authority to ensure the network remains credible. Since its inception, approximately 21 million bitcoins have been mined. There is approximately three million bitcoin waiting to be mined. To maintain the stability of the pricing, the release rate matches the growth.

An algorithm is used to determine the release rate for bitcoin mining. Mining enables this release. Miners must have the ability to solve difficult puzzles to be able to discover a new bitcoin block. Upon discovery, new blocks are added to the decentralized ledger or blockchain. Transaction records for the entire network are verified through mining. The mining reward is cut by fifty percent after the discovery of every 210,000 blocks. In 2009, the miner received 50 bitcoins. By 2009, this had decreased to 12.5.

The amount of computing power required is referred to as the difficulty. In 2009, the mining difficulty was 1.0. By October of 2019, this had increased to more than 12 trillion. The standard desktop computer was originally sufficient. Mining now requires complicated and expensive hardware and advanced processing units. These are referred to as mining rigs. The smallest bitcoin unit is a Satoshi. This is 100 millionths of a single bitcoin.

Bitcoin Historical Prices

Bitcoin took off in 2013. The value was approximately $13.50 per bitcoin when 2013 began. In April, the price reached $220 prior to decreasing to $70 later in the month. The value at the beginning of October was $100. By the end, the value increased to $195. The price fluctuated wildly in November, from $200 to more than $1,120. This resulted from the entrance of China miners into the bitcoin exchange. This was when the bitcoin historical prices volatility really began. On December 4th of 2013, the value was $1,230. By December 7th, this decreased to $750.

Bitcoin stabilized in January 2014 at roughly $920. In February, another substantial crash occurred. By February 16th, the price crashed to $260. The price recovered to approximately $620 in March. This was the beginning of a gradual drop in value. Between July of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, the price decreased to $315. Bitcoin spiked again in November. The value on October 23rd was $275. By November 4th, this increased to $460. By November of 2015, the value was $360. We tracked the value for 2017 because this was the first time bitcoin exceeded $1,000.

Bitcoin prices spiked during the autumn of 2017. By October, the value exceeded $5,000. This doubled to $10,000 in November. By December the world saw bitcoin value reach $20,000. This was referred to by critics and commentators as the price bubble. The resulting crash took place in April of 2018. The value fell to less than $7,000. By November, bitcoin was at a low of $3,500. The price made a comeback in 2019 with an overall value of $10,000. This remains the average current price today.

The price is linked to the mining network. The difficulty is greater for larger networks with a higher cost. The pricing has increased the production cost. The aggregate processing power of the mining network is referred to as the hash rate. This is how many times each second attempts can be made to complete a puzzle. Once complete, the new block is added to the blockchain. The ultimate high was reached on October 23rd of 2019 at 114 quintillion hashes for each second.

The Origin of Bitcoin

The creation of bitcoin technically began in August of 2008. This was when the bitcoin.org domain name was registered. The first cryptocurrency mailing list was sent two months later. This was the first time we heard the name Satoshi Nakamoto linked to bitcoin. We saw the future start to change due to 30,000 lines of code on January 3rd of 2009. Bitcoin had officially arrived. Bitcoin is a lottery-based system run by an autonomous software program. The first bitcoin miner we heard about was Hal Finney. He heard about bitcoin from the cryptocurrency mailing list and became fascinated.

Satoshi Nakamoto sent Hal Finney ten bitcoins as a test from block 70. When Finney passed away from ALS in 2014, the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto was still a mystery. His family inherited his bitcoin in an offline wallet. The current value of a single bitcoin is over $10,000. We watched history being made when the first physical cryptocurrency purchase occurred. The bitcoin paid for a pizza at this time is now worth $100 million. What we found interesting is bitcoin was legitimized due to illegal trade.

The anonymity of cryptocurrency was used for drug trafficking, which proved bitcoin was an effective type of commerce. Bitcoin is a self-governed form of digital cash. In 2012, $10 million in bitcoin was purchased by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. According to bitcoin Reddit, the twins now own approximately one percent of all bitcoin. On April 23rd of 2011, Mike Hearn received an email from Satoshi Nakamoto stating he was no longer interested in the bitcoin project. Although the true creator was believed to be Dorian Nakamoto, this was disputed by Satoshi Nakamoto in an online forum.

The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is still a mystery although Nick Szabo, Dorian Nakamoto, Craigh Wright and others were all believed to be the creator. We believe the only way for the true creator to make themselves known is to release the PGP key (encryption program) associated with the name Satoshi Nakamoto. For now, this is one mystery that has not been solved.

The Rise and Destruction of Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox was launched in 2006. In 2010, the site started receiving attention. This was when the programmer decided an online exchange was required to buy bitcoin and sell the cryptocurrency. In 2011, the site was purchased by Mark Karpeles. This was the start of negligence, security breaches and operating deficiencies. Bitcoin prices decreased for purchases made on-site in June of 2011 due to a security breach. In excess of 2,500 bitcoins were permanently lost in October because the email addresses they were sent to were invalid.

Trade was suspended by Mt. Gox in April of 2013 due to the quickly increasing prices. During this time, the value of bitcoin decreased to under $55. In May of 2013, Coinlab sued Mt. Gox for breach of contract. Withdrawals in United States dollars were suspended by Mt. Gox in June. Although the suspension was lifted in July, months or weeks were necessary for the clearance of withdrawals for many users. By the end of the month, bankruptcy was filed by Mt. Gox. The company said its account holders lost over &50,000 bitcoins in addition to the 100,000 lost by Mt. Gox.

During this period, the bitcoin value decreased by 36 percent. During the peak of the company, Mt. Gox was responsible for 70 percent of all bitcoin traded across the globe. Mt. Gox lost seven percent of all bitcoin being circulated during this time.

The Many Uses of Bitcoin

Self-employed individuals can receive their pay in bitcoin. This is possible through numerous job boards and websites. This includes, full-time, part-time and freelance work. Certain casinos are now accepting bitcoin for numerous games including spread betting, jackpots and online lotteries. Bitcoin has become a viable alternative for traditional commodities such as silver or gold and fiat currency. The IRS made a statement in March of 2014. All virtual currency would be taxed as property as opposed to currency. Using bitcoin to purchase or sell services or goods became taxable transactions.

Businesses can accept bitcoin as payment using touch screen apps, QR codes, wallet addresses and hardware terminals. Online businesses simply add bitcoin to their acceptable forms of payment. This requires an external processor and bitcoin merchant tool. To buy bitcoin, the individual either earns bitcoin or visits a bitcoin exchange.

The Risks of Investing in Bitcoin

Once bitcoin began increasing in price in 2011 and 2013, numerous individuals purchased the currency as an investment as opposed to an exchange medium. Due to the digital nature and no guarantee regarding value, this presented a risk. Agencies including the SEC, FINRA and CFPB have issued warnings regarding bitcoin. Virtual currency is still relatively new, without the long history or credibility of traditional investments. Many experts classify bitcoin as an investment with both the highest potential for return and the biggest risk.

Bitcoin is an alternative to government currency, has been used legitimately and for tax evasion and illegal activities. This has resulted in bans, restrictions and regulations placed on bitcoin by many governments. The rules regarding bitcoin are dependent on each country. At this time, there are no uniform regulations. Most people using or in possession of bitcoin received their tokens through mining. Bitcoin exchanges are the markets used for purchasing and selling the digital currency. A bitcoin exchange is completely digital.

This means the exchanges are at risk for operational glitches, malware and hackers. Private encryption keys must be guarded to eliminate the possibility of being stolen. This would enable the thief to transfer the bitcoin into a different account. The best way to protect a private encryption key is by storing it on a computer unable to access the internet or printing out the private keys for storage in a safe or highly secure location. Bitcoin exchanges can also be the target of hackers. Successful hackers can steal thousands of digital wallets and accounts.

This is a major issue considering transactions using bitcoin are irreversible and permanent. The only way to reverse a transaction is if the individual receiving the bitcoin authorizes a refund. As opposed to credit and debit cards, bitcoin does not use a payment processor or third party. If an issue occurs, there is no appeal or protection available. Government and federal programs are used to insure a wide range of investments. There are no programs currently in place to insure bitcoin exchanges. There are steps being taken by some of the trading platforms to enable insurance for cash transactions.

Bitcoin transactions are registered and owners verified through the use of private keys. This has not prevented scammers from trying to sell fake bitcoins. Legal action has already occurred regarding a Ponzi scheme related to bitcoin. Bitcoin fraud has been documented for cases of price manipulation. Part of the issue is price fluctuations. In 2014 alone, the price of bitcoin crashed by 80 percent. Bitcoin may lose value if the rate of acceptance decreases too much. Hundreds of new digital currencies are competing against bitcoin. Bitcoin also presents a tax risk because investments are unable to legally be hidden from taxation.

Bitcoin Forks

When there is a disagreement between bitcoin developers and miners, a split can result in the bitcoin community. When the miners and users change the network protocols, it is referred to as a bitcoin fork. In some instances, this led to the creation of a new token such as the Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Gold created during 2017. This is referred to as a hard fork. A soft fork is when the protocol changes remain compatible with the previously established rules of the system. Block size has been increased due to a soft fork.

The Pros and Cons of Bitcoin

The most popular and widely used cryptocurrency is currently bitcoin. Bitcoin is responsible for the potential of anonymous transactions. The pros of bitcoin include:

• Bitcoin offers anonymity. Users are able to send money all over the world for a minimum cost.

• Bitcoin offers more speed than fiat currencies.

• Even with the bitcoin crash, the value offers more stability than the hyperinflation resulting from the currency used in certain countries.

• Impressive skill is required to steal bitcoin due to the complex technology backing the cryptocurrency.

• Bitcoin is one of the most secure forms of digital currency currently available. Thousands of individuals are consistently working to ensure bitcoin remains safe from hackers and scammers.

The cons of bitcoin include:

• The options for anonymous transactions have expanded. This has provided cryptocurrency investors with numerous options with the potential to decrease the popularity of bitcoin.

• There are currently more than 10 altcoins available offering almost immediate transactions. The fact this has not been achieved by bitcoins may be what significantly damages the popularity.

• The complexity and algorithm of bitcoin are currently nearly impossible to hack or decipher. This may become obsolete due to new technology. To remain at the top, innovation will be necessary.

• Although bitcoin offers more stability than some of the fiat currencies, cryptocurrency is not currently able to effectively compete with fiat currency. Popularity will be lost if bitcoin does not become the preferred investment option.

• Bitcoin is secure, but not free of risks. Numerous individuals have lost money due to exchanges being hacked and bitcoin scams such as trading robots based on bitcoin. Solutions for these issues must be found.

The Most Surprising Bitcoin Facts

The Honey Badger: The unofficial mascot of bitcoin is the honey badger due to the renown toughness and resilience of the animal.

Etherium Smart Contracts: The security and design of bitcoin contracts deliberately prevent, customized and complex smart contracts. Despite this, smart contracts compatible with Etherium can be executed for bitcoin payments. This is the result of a bitcoin sidechain.

The First Bitcoin Faucet: The first bitcoin faucet was created by Gavin Andresen in June of 2010. Due to the low value of bitcoin at this time, anyone interested could receive five bitcoins free every day. The faucet contained more than 1,000 bitcoin.

The Accidental Bug: In August of 2010, 184 bitcoin were accidentally created due to a bug. Five hours were required to fix the error through a patch created to ignore the extra coins. The error was eventually eliminated from the blockchain by being forked out.

The Mystery of Satoshi Nakomoto: The disappearance of the creator occurred after the CIA was visited by Satoshi Nakamoto. The purpose of the visit was to reveal information regarding bitcoin. According to bitcoin Reddit, the disappearance of Nakomoto may have been linked to this meeting.

Bitcoin Core Developers: The main bitcoin reference client is Bitcoin Core. Despite the many cryptocurrency wallets available, this company maintains the compatibility. In excess of 366 coders have made free contributions to developing Bitcoin Core.

The Ban on WikiLeaks: The banking block on Wikileaks was circumvented in 2011 by the Obama administration. This was when key American payment services and banks imposed this ban. Bitcoin became a currency resistant to censorship due to the ability to circumvent the ban.

Bitcoin Politics: A study conducted in 2018 revealed most of the 1,200 bitcoin users lean towards the right as liberals. Despite this, the attitude of every community is different. Of the participants included, 55 percent stated they were to the political right. We believe this is because the earliest adopters of bitcoin were crypto-anarchists and libertarians. The bitcoin trends are also against big and centralized governments. The statistics for Etherium are the exact opposite, with 55 percent leaning towards the left.

The Maximum Bitcoin Number: The number of bitcoins will not reach 21 million. The expected number is 20,999,987.4769. This should occur between 2128 and 2140. The number is less than the block reward mechanism devised by Satoshi. Creating new bitcoin has also been affected by mining errors. The total number may be even less due to the potential for future errors.

The Satoshi Unit: Due to the potential value of bitcoin, one satoshi may cease to become the smallest transaction possible in the future. We expect the decimal to be altered to enable even smaller units. This does not mean any additional bitcoins will be created. The only concept affected will be the size of the transactions.

Annual Bitcoin Transactions: The transaction rate for bitcoin is now higher annually than PayPal or Discover. Approximately $1 trillion bitcoin transactions were processed during 2017. This number is expected to continue increasing. The transactions currently processed by major credit cards are in the multi-trillion dollar range.

The Satoshi Candidates: Hal Finney was one of the first cypherpunks and one of the first to mine and receive bitcoins through the network and use a bitcoin wallet. Until he passed away in 2014, he was dedicated to improving the code used for bitcoin. Due to his cryptographic and coding skills and his early involvement with bitcoin, many individuals believe he was Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wei Dai was also a cypherpunk. He was responsible for the creation of b-money, an alternative monetary system. The concept of b-money was similar to bitcoin. He is a computer engineer, has made numerous advancements in the industry and worked for Microsoft conducting cryptographic research. Due to his private lifestyle, cryptographic skills and the creation of b-money, a lot of people believe he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Nick Szabo is yet another early cypherpunk. In 1998, he created Bit Gold. This is a decentralized monetary system. His system has been classified as the precursor leading to bitcoin. He also developed the smart contracts concept, used for numerous cryptocurrencies including bitcoin. His knowledge encompasses many fields such as law, cryptography and computer science. He is also believed to be a candidate for Satoshi Nakamoto due to his development of smart contracts and the Bit Gold project.

Adam Beck is both a cypherpunk and a cryptographer believed to be Satoshi Nakomoto. He runs a software company based on bitcoin called Blockstream. He was cited in the white paper as inventing the Hashcash system. This is the basis for the Bitcoin’s Proof of Work regarding mining. His invention of HashCash and his important role in Blockstream have led to questions regarding his identity. The numerous other potential candidates include Tim May and Ian Grigg.

One of the most amazing possibilities is Satoshi Nakomoto was not an individual. Some believe this was the name of a group. This group may have included many of the potential candidates collaborating using a pseudonym for the creation of bitcoin. Analysis has been conducted regarding the writing styles of all the potential candidates in comparison to the Satoshi writings. This includes forum posts, emails and the bitcoin white paper. The similarities found were very interesting.

The Crime Rate of Bitcoin: According to the DEA, only 10 percent of all bitcoin transactions were related to illegal activities. The concept that the main purpose of bitcoin is conducting illicit transactions through the darknet is nothing more than supposition and myth. The collaboration of the ATF, FBI and DEA determined a minimum of 90 percent of all bitcoin transactions have no connection to purchasing drugs. The myth linking the darknet to bitcoin originated between 2011 and 2012.

The Ratio Between Millionaires and Bitcoins: As of 2017, only 36 multi-millionaires were in existence anywhere in the world. At this time, there were only 17 million bitcoins. This means every millionaire does not own bitcoin. Individuals in possession of one bitcoin are considered members of the 21 million club. Those who own 21 bitcoin are members of the one in a million club.

Venezuelans and Bitcoin: When private property was seized by Venezuela, the result was monetary hyperinflation, scarcity of resources and economic collapse. Some Venezuelans survived the collapse by using subsidized and cheap power to mine bitcoin. Electricity in Venezuela is cheaper than almost anywhere else on the globe. Individuals able to access mining equipment made enough to survive. Mining is frowned upon by the Venezuelan government. Despite the attempts of the government to stop mining, credible reports show bitcoin mining is being used by the government for enrichment.

Milton Friedman: Milton Friedman is the Nobel Laureate and economist who predicted bitcoin. In 1999 he made a prediction the future would offer a monetary internet system not controlled by the state.

The Four Nines Range: The uptime for bitcoin has reached the four nines range. This means since the creation of the network, it has been functional for 99.99 percent of this period. The creation of bitcoin in 2009 compares exceptionally well to traditional centralized services. These services perform well when four nines are reached within the same month. The downtime in 2013 was caused by the LevelDB bug resulting in a hard fork. To ensure efficiency throughout the network, the bitcoind client version 0.8 was upgraded.

The problem was there were compatibility issues relating to the BerkeleyDB. This led to the split among users between the old and new versions. The pool operators and developers started notifying major miners which version they wanted them to run. More blocks were than accumulated by the miners using the old version. The split was resolved in approximately six hours.

Energy Usage for Mining: The amount of energy required for mining bitcoin is the equivalent of a mid-sized country. Mining requires approximately 73 TWh (Terawatt-hours). This is greater than the consumption of the 18 million people in Chili. The only way to ensure mining is economical is to use extremely cheap power. This is generally geothermal, hydro or renewable power. The scaling of bitcoin is accomplished through the use of different layers. Despite the potential energy costs, bitcoin may become a more efficient way to use the resources of the future than the standard monetary system.

The Silk Road Investigation: The FBI Agents conducting the investigation into the darknet were criminals. The darknet drug market enabling people to obtain bitcoin by trading narcotics became famous. Two formers agents of the Secret Service were supposed to shut Silk Road down. Although the site was dismantled in October of 2013, both of the agents were sent to prison due to their misconduct regarding the investigation. The charges included obstruction of justice, money laundering and extortion.

The 70 Bitcoin Forks: A minimum of 70 altcoins have resulted from the launch of bitcoin. The most commonly known include BTG (Bitcoin Gold) and BCH (Bitcoin Cash). This trend has died down due to the diminishing returns for new forks. Forkgen was even established as a fork coin generator for bitcoin. This enabled an automated creation of a bitcoin fork. The fee for the generation of a new fork is 0.017.

The Second Bitcoin Pizza: In February of 2018, Laszlo purchased a second pizza using bitcoin through the LN (Lightning Network). Due to the newness of this technology, all of the edges had not yet been smoothed out. Using this network with bitcoin was considered reckless. This does not change the fact that Laslo made bitcoin history twice.

The Average Bitcoiner: According to survey statistics from 2013 until 2015, the average Bitcoiner is American or European between the ages of 25 and 34. Despite the time these statistics were taken, they appear to remain consistent. These are the same types of individuals most often encountered at bitcoin events all over the world or on bitcoin social media.

The Core Developer: Mike Hearn is the former developer of Bitcoin Core. In 2016, he stated bitcoin was nothing more than a failed experiment. He strongly disagreed with the other developers regarding the scaling path proposed for bitcoin. He wrote a long pessimistic article in January of 2014. His decision to quit was called a whiny ragequit by the creator of BitTorrent.

The First Bitcoin Transaction: The first transaction took place in 2010 when two pizzas from Papa Johns were purchased by Laszlo Hanyecz for 100,000 bitcoins. The value of the bitcoins at this time was roughly $25. The transaction took place in America through a transatlantic payment from the British user prior to the delivery of the pizzas. On May 22nd of every year, this transaction is commemorated by Bitcoiners across the globe.

The Sync Time of the Blockchain: The original sync time of the blockchain has been improved due to optimizations and consistent growth. The IBD (initial blockchain download) is the time required for a new cryptocurrency wallet to be downloaded and complete the entire blockchain process. Due to new software versions, the IBD for Bitcoin Core has substantially increased in speed. This is amazing due to the growth of the blockchain of hundreds of megabytes every single day. The increase in speed resulted due to the years of optimizations made by the developers.

Satellites and the Bitcoin Blockchain: Satellites are used to beam the bitcoin blockchain all over the world. The most feared bitcoin attacks are shutting down the internet or taking action negatively impacting the bitcoin data transmission. The Blockstream Satellite project has neutralized the possibility of an attack by directly beaming down the blockchain data. There are four regions covered by the satellites. These are Europe, Africa, South America and North America. Once Phase 2 is completed, the entire planet will be covered. The satellite dish enables the transmission to be received. The transactions are broadcast using other methods to the network.

The Growing Acceptance of Bitcoin

The acceptance of bitcoin as an alternate currency is growing despite the link to illegal activities and issues experienced in the past. The rise of bitcoin all over the world is unparalleled to anything occurring in the history of the planet. Bitcoin is not issued by any country. There is also no intrinsic or tangible value. Despite this, the price of bitcoin continues to increase. Merchants and individuals across the globe are using bitcoin as a medium of exchange.

Bitcoin is currently being accepted for an extremely wide range of services and goods. This includes guns, real estate and gold from some of the biggest corporations in the world. Some of the experts believe bitcoin is once again approaching a cryptocurrency bubble. Very few of the venture capitalists, investors and cryptography experts ever believed bitcoin would reach the height of acceptability and success currently being seen. We plan on sitting back and watching what happens next.

How Do Online Loans Work and Which Online Lenders Can You Really Trust?

Do you need cash quickly?

If so, you’ve probably looked into getting an online loan. Online lenders are changing the way people receive loans because it’s a faster, easier to get money in your account compared to applying for a loan through a traditional bank.

But not all online lenders are a good idea, so you must do your research before taking any money, even if you’re short on time. Keep reading to learn more about online lenders, the benefits of online lending, and what to avoid to make sure you don’t get scammed.

What Are The Benefits Of Online Lending? 

Online loans offer a lot of different benefits to consumers. As we mentioned earlier, they are fast and convenient, but that’s not all. Here are three reasons you should consider online lenders:

  1. Easy Comparison Between Loan Options

Applying online lets you pull together options from multiple online lenders and easily choose which loan is best for you.

  1. Quick Approval 

Most online lenders offer rapid approval processes, so you can get money into your account faster and not have to wait days for loan approval.

With banks, the process is typically much slower. You might be able to apply for a loan online, but you will have to wait days for an answer and could have to go into a branch location.

  1. Better Rates 

Since online lenders don’t have overhead like banks and credit unions do, you’ll often see lower rates and service fees.

  1. Easier Approval 

If you’ve got a high credit score, getting a loan through a traditional bank is easy. However, if you’ve gone through some rough financial times or you are still building your credit, it will be more challenging to get money.

Online lenders are more willing to give people with lower credit scores the cash they need, and some don’t require a credit check.

  1. Unsecured Loans 

Many online lenders only offer unsecured loans. This type of loan means that only your credit score will go down if you can’t pay it back on time. Your car won’t be repossessed, for example, if you miss payments.

While there are plenty of benefits to online loans, not all lenders are legitimate, and you should always proceed with caution.

What Online Lenders Can You Trust? 

If you do a quick search for “online lenders,” you will find plenty of options, but how can you tell which ones you can trust?

You should be very skeptical of online lenders, especially when they ask you to share personal information. Before you apply for anything, make sure you check for reviews and bad experiences online.

Learn More About Online Loans 

The world of online lenders can be confusing if you’ve never received an online loan before. The best thing you can do before you commit is to conduct plenty of research and make sure you trust the company, and that you have the financial means to pay back your loan on time.

Check out the rest of our website for more important information on online loans that will help you make an educated decision.

 

Your Options When You Win a Lawsuit: The Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement

Your Options When You Win a Lawsuit: The Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement

When you win a structured settlement, you receive your payout over time rather than in one large lump sum. Some plaintiffs are more concerned with receiving a desirable outcome to their case and don’t give much thought as to how they receive their payout.But it’s important to understand the difference between structured settlements and lump sums so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances.Here are a few of the pros and cons of forgoing a lump sum in favor of a structured settlement.

Pro: Potentially Lower Tax Liability

Awarded funds may be subject to taxes, depending on whether the money is awarded due to punitive damages or as compensation for sickness or injuries.According to the U.S. Tax Code, structured settlements due to personal injury are considered tax-free with very few exceptions. Working with a CPA can help you determine exactly how much you’d pay in taxes in either scenario.

Con: Waiting for Payday

In a lump-sum scenario, you receive the entire settlement in a single check. If you choose to structure your settlement, you will receive a fraction of that amount over a determined period of time.For example, if you win $100,000, then you could opt to receive $20,000 every year for five years.

However, not receiving all of your money upfront may put a strain on your finances. For example, if you have an older car you want to replace or you have a child entering college, you may find it more beneficial to take the lump sum and ease your financial burden.

Pro: Easier to Manage

Many people who win large sums of money often end up losing almost all of it due to poor money management skills. There are countless stories of lottery winners that end up spending on their money on lavish items with no knowledge on how to protect their wealth.

Smaller sums of money that are earned over time are much easier to manage, much like receiving a regular paycheck. Because you’re limited as to how much money you receive at a given time, you may be less tempted to enjoy frivolous purchases.This alone can be an effective way to build and protect wealth for the long term.

Con: Limits Investment Options

If you’re planning on using your winnings to set yourself up for the rest of your life, investing can provide a viable option. Receiving smaller payments over time gives you less to invest.In addition,  a structured settlement won’t allow your investment to grow as quickly, which means you could be leaving money on the table.

Should You Opt for a Structured Settlement?

A structured settlement makes financial sense when you want to limit your tax liability, don’t have major expenses to pay for, or don’t have the means to manage a large sum of money.However, only you can decide which method will benefit you the most. Do your due diligence so that you can maximize your financial gains with confidence.For all things money management, head back to our blog.

 

Coping With Debt: Help Is Available

Owing money for a mortgage may seem like a normal part of life for many people. but being buried under a mountain of debt or falling behind on credit card payments can quickly become overwhelming. If you are struggling with debt you cannot manage, know that there are ways to get help and pay your balances. Consider these options that may help you cope with your situation.

Contact Creditors

Reach out to lenders to see if they can work with you to lower payment or interest rates, reverse fees, or even structure a repayment plan. If your balances are primarily secured, you may have better luck taking this route, since banks are not generally looking to enter the tangible property market.

Debt Resolution

If you honestly believe that your balances are too high for you to repay them, then debt resolution can be an option. It involves negotiating with creditors to accept a lower total payment on certain types of balances in exchange for a set payment schedule or single, lump-sum amount.

This can be done on your own, but it often involves using a third-party company, like Rescue One Financial, that specializes in this type of situation.

Financial Counselors

There are plenty of financial and credit counselors who can help you understand your finances and help get them back under control. No matter how you choose to tackle your current debt burden, talking to a counselor can help you stay out of the same situation in the future. Choose a reputable agency that you feel comfortable working with.

Even if you have a solid income and work hard to make ends meet, one wrong move or sudden illness can cast doubt on your financial security and make paying bills difficult. Use the resources available to you to find the best way to get out from under your growing debt before it becomes any bigger.