BitMEX Research: ICO Tokens Allocated by Teams to Themselves Lost 54% of $24 Bln Value

BitMEX Research: ICO Tokens Allocated by Teams to Themselves Lost 54% of $24 Bln Value

  

The value of tokens that over a hundred of initial coin offering (ICO) teams have allocated to themselves has decreased by 54 percent from the initial figure of $24 billion. This was revealed in the latest research by cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX published Jan. 16. BitMEX has conducted a research of the ICO market in collaboration with analytics firm TokenAnalyst, looking into treasury balances of more than a hundred projects on the Ethereum (ETH) network. The analysis reportedly made use of machine learning techniques and was based on the interpretation of smart contract data and transaction patterns on the Ethereum blockchain.

According to the report, the combined value of all the tokens that the analyzed projects have allocated to their own teams, has gone down from $24.2 billion at the time of each individual token’s issuance to about $5 billion as of today. BitMEX cited the 2018 crypto bear market as one of the main reasons, along with $1.5 billion worth of transfers to external addresses,

further explaining:

“Based on current illiquid spot prices, the ICO teams still appear to own around US$5 billion of their own tokens, money they essentially got from nothing, depending on ones view. At the same time the teams may have realized gains of US$1.5 billion by selling tokens, based on coins leaving team address clusters.”

The report also highlighted that the historical combined peak value of the tokens controlled by the subject teams was more than $80 billion, using each coin’s individual price peak. The conclusion drawn by BitMEX and TokenAnalysits from their research is that the ICO market suffers from a lack of standards and transparency, especially in regards to allocating tokens to the founding teams. BitMEX noted that the analysis could be further complicated by the ability of ICO teams to mint, burn, buy, and sell their own tokens. As BitMEX found in November, at least 12 ICO projects, each of which has raised over $50 million via a token sale, have yet to launch. The company’s CEO Arthur Hayes commented back then:

Article Produced By
Ana Alexandre

Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitmex-research-ico-tokens-allocated-by-teams-to-themselves-lost-54-of-24-bln-value

Volume of Crypto is Dropping, is Bitcoin Headed Below $3,000?

Volume of Crypto is Dropping, is Bitcoin Headed Below $3,000?

  

In the last 48 hours,

the volume of the crypto market has dropped from $15 billion to $13 billion as the Bitcoin price fell below the $3,600 mark. Analysts have started to demonstrate concerns regarding the declining volume of digital assets and the potential scenario of cryptocurrencies free falling without significant sell pressure from bears.

Is $3,000 Inevitable For Bitcoin?

Generally, traders in the crypto market expect a lackluster year with low volatility, at least until cryptocurrencies escape the last stage of a 12-month-long bear market and initiate a strong accumulation phase. In the short-term, however, many traders envision most cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin testing key support levels in a low price range.

A cryptocurrency trader Josh Rager wrote:

As the volume continues to slowly descend Bitcoin could see more sideways ranging This could last for days or weeks until a decrease in buyers, currently holding up the market, at these levels. Nice support below $3,000 with lots of buyers waiting there.

Currently, following an intense sell-off on January 11, the crypto market is demonstrating stability in the range of $122 to $124 billion. But, the combined valuation of all cryptocurrencies in the global market is down nearly $100 billion since November 2017 and the asset class is struggling to demonstrate signs of a trend reversal. Considering the lack of momentum of cryptocurrencies and the inability of dominant digital assets in the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum to breakout of important resistance levels, a cryptocurrency technical analyst DonAlt suggested that 2019 may turn out to be a boring and a low volatile year.

“I’ve been relatively inactive this year – for one reason – there just hasn’t been too much to trade. I wouldn’t be surprised if ’19 plays out like this, boring, choppy and frustrating to trade. The worst thing you can do is force trades when your system doesn’t give you any,” the analyst said. As Bitcoin approaches the low $3,000 region, similar to its corrective rally in mid-December, it may initiate a relatively sharp recovery triggered by big buy walls on major cryptocurrency-to-fiat exchanges such as Coinbase and Bitstamp.

How About Other Cryptocurrencies?

If Bitcoin continues to fall below $3,500 and possibly to its 12-month low at $3,122, cryptocurrencies with low market caps and daily volumes are expected to experience intensified downward price movements against both Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar. Digital assets that have shown strong upward price movements in the past several weeks due to product launches and protocol upgrades including TRON and Ethereum have already begun to drop in value, affected by the negative sentiment surrounding the short-term trend of the cryptocurrency market.

The price movement of Bitcoin, until the January 11 correction, was seen as a positive short-term breakout above $4,000. But, based on the intensity of the sell-off over the past week, it will likely have a minimal impact on the performance of the asset class in the weeks to come.

Article Produced By
Joseph Young

Hong Kong-Based Finance and Cryptocurrency Analyst. Contributing regularly to CCN and Hacked. Providing unique insights into the crypto and fintech space since 2012.

https://www.ccn.com/volume-of-crypto-is-dropping-is-bitcoin-headed-below-3000/

CryptoCurrencies: What is an Initial Loan Procurement and why it will drive the Markethive.

CryptoCurrencies:
What is an Initial Loan Procurement and why it will drive the 
Markethive.

There seems to be a lack of awareness around Initial Loan Procurements (ILPs), as well as a lot of confusion if that. This post will try to explain what ILPs are and their significance to finance and Markethive.  

The Initial Loan Procurement

is a new fundraising method that is similar to an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) but in the form of loans rather than coins. In this ILP scenario, borrowers and creditors enter loan agreements through legally binding smart contracts. Markethive is one of the firsts to offer an ILP along with the originator from Blockhive. ILPs (Initial Loan Procurement) disrupt the global debt capital market and have the potential to become bigger than ICOs. Blockchain is revolutionizing finance, especially capital markets, which allow companies (and even governments) to raise money from investors globally.

Let’s talk about how companies and governments raise investor money:

  

Companies can either sell stakes in the company or equity.

This is done by issuing stocks and stockholders share the company’s profits. Likewise company losses are stockholders losses and companies aren’t required to pay the investors back. On the other hand, companies can borrow from investors by issuing corporate bonds. Although bondholders don’t share in the company’s profit, they will be paid back their original investment + interest unless the company goes bankrupt.

Governments can issue government bonds to big investors as well and the logic works the same as corporate bonds. Since the government is deemed less risky, government bonds typically have lower interest rates. Examples are US Treasury bonds. When companies/governments first issue these financial securities, they are issued in what is called the primary market. The average joe does not participate in this market. The big banks and institutional investors are the usual investors. After this, the already-issued securities are traded in the secondary market which includes retail investors like the average joe. Ex. Stock market

Then there’s the private capital market. All companies start private and once they get big, they might go public and list on one of the stock exchanges. Ex. Uber is currently a private company valued at $70B, and they are supposedly planning an IPO soon. Only then, would the average joe be able to buy Uber stocks and invest in the company. So who invests in these private companies early on? Big institutional investors such as Venture Capital firms (VCs) with lots of money get to invest early on for equity and if the company takes off, they could multiply their investments by orders of magnitudes.

  

This was how things were done TRADITIONALLY.

With Blockchain technologies, modern finance is changing. Initial Coin Offerings provide companies (and governments) with a whole new way of raising capital. It’s easier, faster, and the whole world gets to participate. Although coins are not 100% like stocks, a lot of them behave that way: Many tokens will profit if the issuing blockchain company becomes successful. (For example exchange token holders earning trading commission fees). Like stocks, there is no legal obligation for the company to pay the investors back their original investment. Initial Coin Offerings serve as the primary market and exchanges like Binance serve as the secondary market. This change is happening extremely fast. In 2017, more money was raised with ICOs for blockchain start-ups than ALL of Venture Capital. Pretty much EVERYONE can participate in these ICOs as well as trade the tokens once they are listed on exchanges.

This is why regulators are going crazy about cryptocurrencies right now. Throughout history, financial market crashes have devastated many lives, and each time regulators stepped in with rules to protect consumers. Let’s not debate the pros and cons of regulation here, but it’s just the way things are. With cryptocurrencies, regulators see more risk than ever for consumers as now regular people are participating not just in this unregulated secondary crypto market, but in primary markets as well through ICOs.

  

Meanwhile,

the global debt capital market has barely been disrupted by blockchain tech. If anything, there are many crypto projects in the works for peer-to-peer lending, but there is only one project that I know of focused on disrupting the public debt capital market: Initial Loan Procurements (ILPs).

  

A fundraising structure utilized by Markethive,

this has the potential to grow even bigger than ICOs (The world debt market is way bigger than the world equity market). This year Markethive will be one of the firsts to offer an ILP, like Blockhive, and will be one of the first companies to raise capital by decentralized crowdfunding of debt.

  

To summarize Markethive’s ILP:

we are targeting 10.5M Dollars (USD in Bitcoin) from lenders (think ILP). In this decentralized world, anyone can participate. The loan period is projected to be 10 years and the interest is 20% of Markethive’s operating profit. For example, if I lent Markethive  $1,000 through this ILP, I will be repaid this principal in 10 years, and also earn interest over that period (In Markethive's case, 20% of Markethive’s operating profit will be distributed across the lenders. Furthermore, the ILP structure issues Hive Foundation Shares (HFS), which will allow me to sell my loan contract in the secondary market, if I don’t want to wait 10 years to be paid back. Each ILP will have its own FLAT to provide liquidity in the secondary market. Markethive's FLAT is also called Hive Founding Shares.

All ILPs are powered by legally-binding smart contracts (loan contracts between each creditor/issuer), and digital identity/signature solutions. The token utilized for these products will be traded on the open market exchanges (yet to be announced)

  

This is HUGE.

Instead of issuing traditional bonds, corporations and governments can participate in this decentralized form of crowdfunding loans. It’s fast, easy, and the whole world can participate.

 '

The financial revolution is now just starting.

The need

The Markethive team believes that there is a need for an alternative to ICO due to the following shortcomings. The token economy is based on the demand, and sometimes selling tokens doesn’t make sense because the token has no real function for your business. Also, laws and regulation are an important consideration, because countries such as China have banned ICOs. Taxes also play a major part. Some countries consider money raised through ICOs to be income rather than capital and may tax it at rates as high as 40 percent.

The alternative 

Markethive has partnered with smart-contract development firm Menlo Tech and the original developer of the Monero Coin to develop a way to raise funds using loans. Here are some unique points of ILP: The structure is as effective as an ICO because it is open to individuals around the world. It is legally binding because agreements are digitally signed using blockchain technology which records information in a distributed database so they can’t be easily altered, adding a level of security for creditors.

Because ILP is in the form of loans, it is considered to be debt, and not subject to tax.
For businesses that don’t need tokens in the first place, ILP provides an alternative so more time and energy can be spent on business development, rather than creating tokens with no actual usage.

The ILP is regulation-friendly. Markethive conforms with regulatory frameworks designed to fight fraud and money laundering. Therefore, participants of ILP will be required to submit their identification and to go through the process of authentication (KYC). The Markethive team says, “ILP provides a fast track alternative so more time and energy can be spent on business development. Last, but not least, because ILP is in the form of loans, it is considered to be debt, and not subject to tax.”

How does it work?

In Markethive’s case, We first ask our creditors to register their identification, address and other information. Then, they will digitally sign the loan agreement and send Bitcoin to our registered account. Once we receive the Bitcoin, the contract is made. That means Markethive’s creditors can receive 20 percent of Markethive’s monthly profit as an interest payment.

After the loan contract is made, Markethive will issue the Hive Foundation Shares (HFS the FLAT  Future Loan Access Tokens). HFS gives creditors the right to transfer loans to others, using Markethive’s Wallets, Markethive’s internal exchange or on public exchanges. The team further clarifies, “When individuals receive HFS tokens, they become potential creditors and can use the tokens to sign loan agreements with the borrower, in this case, Markethive. Once they have signed the loan agreement with Markethive, they are now the new creditors of the loan agreement and they will get the interest payments.”

Take part in the Markethive ILP

The ILP seems like a much more secure approach to fundraising while keeping the ease of raising funds like the ICO. Markethive is a first test case of this new funding method. It is currently in pre-launch and you can register for it here – https://markethive.io

Article Produced By
Thomas Prendergast
Founder
Markethive

https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/cryptocurrencies-what-is-an-initial-loan-procurement-and-why-it-will-drive-the-markethive

Bitcoin Has Jumped 82,000 Percent over the past Seven Years and Declared Dead for 91 Times in 2018

Bitcoin Has Jumped 82,000 Percent over the past Seven Years and Declared Dead for 91 Times in 2018

   

Bitcoin was declared 91 times as dead this year alone,

and 337 times so far. But despite the current bear cycle, data show that Bitcoin has grown more than 82,000 percent over the last seven years.

Bitcoin “died” 91 times in 2018

According to the website Bitcoin Obituaries, there were 91 publications in 2018 that announced the demise of Bitcoin (internationally even much more). Interestingly, even in 2017, the number was 125, the number actually increased after Bitcoin reached its all-time high of about $20,000 in December. Altogether, the black painters, according to the website, Bitcoin since 2010 for 337 times declared dead. But how dead can it be if it works around the clock with near-full availability and has been operating for over a decade now?

82,000 percent growth in the last seven years

It is true that the continued bear market has been steadily adversely affecting Bitcoin price. Bitcoin is currently trading more than 80 percent below its all-time high so far. However, if you measure Bitcoin only in terms of its price in dollars, it turns out that Bitcoin not only that is not dead but has actually grown by more than 82,000 percent in the last seven years. In addition, the basics are still intact, while other metrics, such as hash rate (network security) and layer 2 scaling solutions (such as the Lightning Network) are actually experiencing unprecedented growth.

Bitcoin acceptance is a real

Regardless of how often the black painters have announced the sinking, so does the number of investors own or use Bitcoin. Four separate studies by the Ontario Securities Commission and the Central Bank of Canada show that three to five percent of Canadians own Bitcoin.

Another survey conducted by the market research institute YouGov revealed that up to nine percent of British residents own the cryptocurrency, while 90 percent have since heard of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In addition, the state of Ohio accepts Bitcoin for tax payments. And for what is supposed to be “dead”, over $410 billion was transacted in 2018 over the Bitcoin network or an average of $13,000 per second (despite its falling value). After all, this is not the first time the cryptocurrency has suffered 80 percent loss. However, as it turns out, Bitcoin came back every time and reached an even higher level.

Article Produced By

Vidrih Marko

I love writing, and that is why I do it. A passion for not only providing the information but for helping people understand.

https://medium.com/@VidrihMarko/bitcoin-has-jumped-82-000-percent-over-the-past-seven-years-and-declared-dead-for-91-times-in-2018-77da724c6397

 

THE RESULTS of the reddit cryptocurrency survey – a comparison of opinions, demographics and portfolios of redditors from different subreddits

THE RESULTS of the reddit cryptocurrency survey – a comparison of opinions, demographics and portfolios of redditors from different subreddits

  

One month ago I posted a survey of over 40 questions

to a range of different cryptocurrency subreddits and collected just over 300 responses. Since then I have processed the data and taken a look at the different demographics, opinions and portfolios of different users as well as comparing the results from different subreddits. This post is the results of this survey.

In this post I have condensed the results to a number of key stats and graphs. If you want to take a look at the graphs or read the discussion, they can be found in the full report. For the graphs, just scroll down to each section in the report and you will see them.

How do steemit users compare to reddit users?

I don't know so I have set up an almost identical survey for all steemit users to respond to if they like. If I can collect enough responses then I will make a comparison post like this one comparing reddit users and steemit users! If you would like to fill out the survey, you can do that here.
The live raw data collected from this survey can be found here:

Key Stats:

Section 1: Reddit and social media use

• Two thirds of cryptocurrency subreddit users frequently browse non-crypto related subreddits.

• Over 70% of cryptocurrency subreddit users used reddit previous to finding out about cryptocurrencies.

• For 1 out of every 8 cryptocurrency subreddit users, reddit is the only social media platform they use to keep up with crypto.

• 94% of cryptocurrency subreddit users check the price of their cryptocurrencies daily!

• Over 40% of cryptocurrency subreddit users check the price of their cryptocurrencies over 10 times per day and 80% check the prices at least 3 times per day.

Section 2: Demographics

• 95% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are male.

• The median age of cryptocurrency subreddit users is between 26 and 30 years old.

• Almost 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are from Europe and another third are from North America.

• Over 75% of cryptocurrency subreddit users either have a University degree or higher or are currently studying at University (University is the same thing as college for any Americans reading this).

• More cryptocurrency subreddit users are living off money they made from crypto than there are users who work in the blockchain industry.

• Over 20% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are students, of these students, 60% of them are at University.

• Nearly 40% of cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves gamers.

• 2 of the 331 cryptocurrency subredditors sexually identify as an attack helicopter. It is fair to say that I have learned not to add an “other” gender option in future surveys!

Section 3: Experience and interest in cryptocurrencies

• 70% of cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves HODLers.

• Decentralisation is the main ideological reason for cryptocurrency subreddit users to be into crypto and blockchain tech.

• 36% of cryptocurrency subreddit users got into cryptocurrencies in 2017 and 27% got into crypto in 2013.

• 45% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have previous experience in the stock market.

• The average cryptocurrency subreddit user is into crypto for the money but still has a significant interest in blockchain tech.

• Most cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves very likely to mention cryptocurrencies to a friend.

Section 4: Crypto Portfolio

• The median cryptocurrency subreddit user has somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000 invested in cryptocurrencies.

• Nearly 45% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have invested either less than 10% or more than 90% of their total savings in crypto.

• Nearly 10% of cryptocurrency subreddit users would rather not share what price category the size of their investment in crypto fits into for this semi-anonymous survey.

• 80% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have made a profit off their crypto investments.

• 60% of cryptocurrency subreddit users who invested in crypto after June 30th 2017 have made a profit off their crypto investments.

• 60% of cryptocurrency subreddit users own altcoins outside the top 10 coins by market cap.

• 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users own 3 cryptocurrencies or less.

• Nearly 30% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have invested in an ICO before.

• The average (median) cryptocurrency subreddit user is signed up for 3 cryptocurrency exchanges.

• For just one third of cryptocurrency subreddit users, altcoins outside the top 10 coins make up more than 10% of their portfolio.

Section 5: Cryptocurrency Knowledge

• Most cryptocurrency subreddit users believe that they understand blockchain technology quite well.

• More than 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have fully read a whitepaper.

• Over 75% of cryptocurrency subreddit users know of Satoshi Nakamoto, Vitalik Buterin and Charlie Lee and who they are.

Section 6: Opinion

• Most cryptocurrency subreddit users think that 3-5 of the current top 10 cryptos will still be in the top 10 in 3 years.

• Nearly 40% of cryptocurrency subreddit users don’t support SegWit2x.

• Just 10% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitcoin.

• Nearly 70% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have a favourable opinion of Ethereum.

• More participants have a favourable opinion of Ethereum than Bitcoin.

• More than 55% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitcoin Cash.

• Almost 75% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitcoin Gold.

• 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitconnect while a further 47% don’t know how they feel about it or don’t know enough about it to have an opinion.

• 45% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Ripple.

• Nearly 55% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Ethereum Classic.

Final Section: Subreddit Comparisons

• Over 70% or r/Bitcoin users are opposed to Bitcoin Cash while just under 20% of r/BTC users are opposed to it.

• Over 25% of r/ETHTrader users don't have an opinion of Bitcoin Cash.

• 80% of r/BTC users approve of SegWit2x while just 6% of r/Bitcoin users approve of it.

• Over 50% of both r/Ethereum and r/ETHTrader users don't have an opinion of SegWit2x.

Which Subreddit has the highest rate of ICO investment?
The highest rate of ICO investment by users from r/CryptoCurrency where 38% of users have invested in an ICO.

Which subreddit has the most compulsive price checkers?
The two trading oriented subreddits (r/BitcoinMarkets and r/ETHTrader) had the most compulsive price checkers, with r/BitcoinMarkets having a significantly higher percentage of compulsive price checkers.

Which subreddit rates their crypto knowledge the highest?
r/Cryptocurrency, r/Bitcoin and r/BitcoinMarkets all have similar distributions with the same averages (median of 7 out of 10 and very similar mean values just below 7). r/ETHTrader rated their crypto knowledge the lowest with a median of 6 out of 10 and a mean just above 6 which as about 0.7 lower than the mean values of other subreddits.

Closing Words

That's it! If you want to read through the full report I made or want to see the rest of the graphs, I have left a link to the report where you can find them near the top of this post. I will also leave the raw data and the spreadsheets I used to process the data below if any of you are interested. Finally I’d like to thank everyone who participated and especially those who gave criticisms and feedback on what I covered in the survey and how I formatted it. I’m open to any recommendations for next time and criticisms of this survey so that I can make my next survey better.

Article Produced By
trickybits

https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@trickybits/the-reddit-cryptocurrency-survey-a-comparison-of-opinions-demographics-and-portfolios-of-redditors-from-different-subreddits

Earn Crypto Part 2: Incentivized Social Media

Earn Crypto Part 2: Incentivized Social Media

   Earn Crypto Part 2: Incentivized Social Media

In this article, readers will be introduced to incentivized social media networks

that enable participants to earn cryptocurrency for contributed content. More specifically, readers will learn how they can make money on the get-paid-to-play-blog platforms Steemit and Yours.

What Is Incentivized Social Media?

Incentivized social media are digital content networks that pay their users to contribute and curate content. As opposed to traditional social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, which harvest users’ data, incentivized social media networks reward their users for contributing to their networks. While incentivized social media networks exist outside the cryptocurrency space, it was arguably the cryptocurrency sector that enabled the birth of this new breed of social media through its ability to process micropayments at low-costs to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. The market-leading cryptocurrency-paying incentivized social media network is Steemit. However, there are also other platforms, such as the bitcoin cash-powered Yours network that pays users in the bitcoin hard fork cryptocurrency.

Steemit: Curation, Creation, and Earning around High-Quality Content

Steemit was launched in 2016 as the first blockchain-powered social media network. The platform was built on the Steemit blockchain and pays its users in cryptocurrency to publish and curate content. Steemit users are rewarded in a combination of the platform’s three native digital currencies: SteemPower, Steem Dollars, and Steem, with the latter being the most popular and most widely traded cryptocurrency on third-party exchanges. Users can earn cryptocurrency for publishing high-quality original content and for upvoting popular content. The financial rewards for popular content are split among the content creator and the curator to ensure participation among the social media network’s users.

Using SteemPower, users can also increase their influence and the number of financial rewards they can receive for posting and curating. SteemPower can be acquired by exchanging Steem Dollars and Steem into SteemPower. For successful Steemit users to cash out their earnings, they have to turn their Steem Dollars or Steem into bitcoin or other digital currencies on third-party exchanges as very few retailers accept Steemit’s digital tokens as a payment method.

The blockchain-based platform provides an excellent channel to earn cryptocurrency for anyone who has a knack for creating, or at the very least spotting and upvoting, high-quality content that other social media users will appreciate. Some of the highest earning posts have made several $1,000 worth of Steem while the highest earning Steem users have made tens of thousands of dollars by posting content on the platform.

Yours: Income for the Bitcoin Cash Community

Yours.org was launched in 2016 by bitcoin developer Ryan X. Charles to enable social media users to be financially rewarded in bitcoin for posting and curating content. After the Bitcoin hard fork in August 2017, Yours joined the Bitcoin Cash camp and implemented BCH as the new digital currency of its platform due to BCH’s ability to process microtransactions at close to zero fees. Therefore, Yours users are now rewarded in bitcoin cash (BCH), instead of bitcoin (BTC), which has resulted in the platform gaining popularity in the Bitcoin Cash community.

To make money on Yours, users can post content and place a price on that piece of content that has to be paid by users who want to read it. Prices can range from $0.10 to several dollars, depending on how much you believe people will be willing to pay to view it. Users can also earn bitcoin cash by upvoting popular content early. It costs to vote up content but users are rewarded with a share of later votes for the same piece of content and are, thus, rewarded for recognizing high-quality content early on. Additionally, users can also earn BCH from tips, which can be paid directly to a user’s profile page, their content, or a comment of theirs.

Making Sound Money on Incentivized Social Media Platforms

While Yours is still in the process of establishing itself as a crypto-powered social media network, it is effectively only being used by the Bitcoin Cash community. Steemit, on the other hand, has become a go-to source of income for content creators from around the world.  Steemit has managed to grow its user base to over one million people in less than three years and has become particularly popular in emerging markets where the bulk of Steemit users are reportedly located.

It is difficult to say exactly how much one can make on Steemit because the financial reward is linked to the amount and quality of the content provided and how much content they curate. For individuals living in developing countries where the average monthly income lies below $500, however, a successful Steemit user can supplement a substantial percentage of their income by being active on this incentivized social media network.  A brief glance on Trending Posts on Steemit shows that the most popular posts of the day are earning around $250 and the topics covered are not just focused on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.

Steemit and other cryptocurrency-powered social media networks like Yours and those still in the making, therefore, provide an opportunity for anyone, anywhere to earn digital currency to supplement their income provided they put in the time and effort to create and curate amazing content.

Article Produced By

Alexander Lielacher

Alex Lielacher is a former bond trader who now writes about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He holds a degree in Investment & Financial Risk Management from Cass Business School, London and has been following bitcoin since 2011.

https://btcmanager.com/earn-crypto-part-2-incentivized-social-media/?utm_source=Telegram&utm_medium=socialpush&utm_campaign=SNAP

6 Actionable Marketing Trends for 2019

6 Actionable Marketing Trends for 2019

The hot item on everyone’s agenda heading into 2019:

how to climb to the top in today’s ever-changing, omnichannel, content saturated marketplace. Keeping up with the innovations and trends of the industry is key to developing actionable marketing plans and breaking through the noise. Here are 6 actionable marketing and advertising trends to take notice of as you finalize your 2019 marketing plans.

1?—?Welcome the New Layer of the Lead Funnel: Fierce Brand Loyalty

What do all of these direct to consumer (DTC) brands have in common? Each of these DTC companies have disrupted their industries and are proving the power of a strong brand narrative and streamlined shopping experiences. The return… fiercely loyal communities of brand ambassadors. The modern consumer is interested in more than just product features. They strive to cultivate an emotional connection with the brands they invest in. These successful DTC brands make engaging customer experiences their core offering. In turn, their customers

convert into loyal advocates.

The modern consumer is interested in more than just product features. They strive to cultivate an emotional connection with the brands they invest in.

We are seeing other consumer-oriented companies taking notice and doing something about it. Gigasavvy’s Brand Strategy Director, Kristy Gulsvig, notes, “in 2019 true brand engagement will come first, and the sales and leads will follow.”

In 2019, all companies should be asking themselves:

  • Do consumers understand who you are and what you’re about?
  • Are consumers excited about what you offer? Why?
  • How can you create a connection beyond product features and functions?

2?—?Data Fueled Marketing Campaigns

From Mark Zuckerberg testifying before US Congress, to the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, customer data has been the buzzword of the past year. But what does this mean for marketers entering 2019? How do marketers responsibly use data to fuel tailored and

personalized marketing campaigns?

Being responsible with the customer data that we are provided is essential. From this place of respect, marketers will earn the fierce brand loyalty as we drive relevant and highly targeted campaigns

Gigasavvy President, Kyle Johnston, elaborates, “a sound marketing strategy should always be data driven. The problem is most organizations don’t know what to actually do with their data to drive good decisions. In its simplest form, good data should help your brand’s story to be more relevant. In an age where we are overloaded with content, relevance is often overlooked, but is also the most important step in obtaining your audience’s attention.” Johnston adds, “only from creating that attention, does your brand have the opportunity to connect on a human level and build an actual relationship with the consumer. Only then can we even begin to talk about loyalty. Everyone wants a loyal group of brand ambassadors, but you have to work harder to earn it in today’s marketplace. This is the area we want our clients pushing into in 2019”.

Being responsible with the customer data that we are provided is essential. From this place of respect, marketers will earn the fierce brand loyalty as we drive relevant and highly targeted campaigns.

3?—?Social Media from A… to Gen Z

Introducing: Gen Z?—?the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media as a regular part of their everyday routine. According to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 45% of teens now say they are online “almost constantly.” That’s almost twice the percentage of teens who answered the question when Pew conducted the same survey three years ago.

So what does this mean for marketers and executives?

In 2019, influencer marketing and ambassador programs will continue to grow in demand. Gen Z consumers understand that these individuals are paid, but the personal connection and transparency of the brand interaction offsets any dissonance that they might have during their purchase process. In November of 2018, Instagram announced that the social platform will have additional machine learning tools to help identify accounts utilizing third-party apps to purchase fake followers or likes?—?continuing to reinforce that brand’s prioritize transparency during influencer campaigns. 2019 will be the year that the buzzword “authenticity” will actual be

put to the test.

Gen Z will be the generation to challenge how we consume social media and give marketers the opportunity to set the standard for strategic and transparent campaigns.

Finding a correct influencer to fit a campaign is a highly personal and investigative process… especially with Gen Z in mind. We think of everything from voice of the influencer to engagement rates and potential conversion metrics. It’s the science of digital storytelling. In the future, Gen Z will be the generation to challenge how we consume social media and give marketers the opportunity to set the standard for strategic and transparent campaigns. In turn, brands will feel the benefits as vanity metrics diminish as a focal point, and instead the drive will shift to a healthy ROI.

4?—?Branding Converts to Engagement

Today’s consumers are looking for more than just a product to purchase; they are looking for a brand to invest in. At the intersection of strategy and design, interactive brand stories come to life. In application, our Wahoo’s Fish Taco 30th Anniversary campaign did just that. Wahoo’s found a way to convert customers into brand advocates by involving fans in their history: from distributing custom designed stickers echoing popular surf brands, to a documentary-style brand video

sharing the heart behind the tacos.

Today’s consumers are looking for more than just a product to purchase; they are looking for a brand to invest in.

This interactive campaign resulted in a dramatic increase in Wahoo’s Fish Taco sales as well as a boost in social media engagement and followership. Everyone from the casual Southern California surfer to pro skateboarder Tony Hawk in Japan joined in.

5?—?Design of the Future is Here

Surrealism and imagination are taking over the design space moving into 2019. From banner ads to interactive web design, marketers can expect to implement vivid color combinations, as well as dreamy color transitions. To break through the noise?—?the designs create their own. (Note the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year… right in line with this trend)

The design experience should be curated to draw the consumer into an element of brand ownership. This piece of ownership comes from layers of customization of messaging and imagery. Clients need to engage with their audiences in meaningful ways?—?at a quick pace. Because of this, motion design is now deeply embedded in the customer journey. Movement is a critical component to enticing the audience to click and view the promotional content. Design and technology will continue to overlap with a strategic approach to brand experience.

6?—?Hey Siri? (SEO and Search)

Google claims that 50% of searches will be conducted using voice search by 2020. Voice search growth statistics have exploded with the introduction of “smart speaker” devices, such as Amazon’s Echo,

Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod.

When consumers talk to their devices?—?instead of typing?—?they use very different terms than long-form text search

Heading into 2019, we can expect changes in the way people search with their voice. When consumers talk to their devices?—?instead of typing?—?they use very different terms than long-form text search. With this change in consumer behavior, our tactics should also change as we understand the fundamental differences between voice and text search.

Article Produced By

Riley Insko

Digital Marketing Strategist and Coffee Drinking Content Creator

https://medium.com/@riley_18961/6-actionable-marketing-trends-for-2019-1be8d8976e

12 social media marketing trends to follow in 2019

12 social media marketing trends to follow in 2019

These are the key trends to follow for another successful year of social media marketing for your company.

   

As the social media landscape is changing at a fast pace,
it’s important to keep up with the latest trends every year to ensure that your strategy is still successful.

It’s the perfect time to review your existing social media marketing strategy to find what works and what can be improved. 2018 had been a busy year for all social media platforms. There were lots of positive and negative stories that had to do with their usage and it’s now time to review our social marketing strategies. Here’s a closer look at the key trends of the year and how they will affect 2019 to help you proceed to the necessary changes to your tactics.

Engagement is more important than ever

Facebook has announced early in 2018 the focus on meaningful interactions as part of their updated algorithm. This meant that their algorithm started favouring content that sparks a genuine conversation, which inspired many Page Managers to create more engaging content. As organic reach becomes harder, the only way to survive is to aim for content that is:

  • Interesting
  • Appealing
  • Engaging

Algorithms are becoming smarter so there’s no short route to genuine engagement. It’s not enough anymore to encourage people to like, comment, share on your post. Social platforms are trying to cut down on engagement bait techniques so you may risk losing your existing reach in the longer term with such techniques. Thus, it’s time to stop ‘cheating’ to win engagement and start thinking of an improved engagement strategy for every channel to continue reaching your followers.

Influencer marketing and the rise of micro-influencers

Influencer marketing is becoming an established element of your marketing mix. Influencers can make thousands of dollars through paid sponsorships while brands are constantly seeking for the best influencers for their campaigns. As influencer marketing grows, big influencers are becoming more expensive for small and medium-sized brands. That’s when micro-influencers came in to make up for the gap between being interested in influencer marketing and having the right budget to try it out. Micro-influencers may not have the outreach of celebrities, but they may have an even bigger influence on their own followers. Even 40k followers as an audience can be perfect for a brand, provided that they are working with the right influencer for their target audience.

For example, a food brand may see better results by working with a rising food blogger with 30k followers than a well-known chef who may ask for 20x of the budget. And just as micro-influencers keep winning ground, there is also the trend of nano-influencers, or else influencers who have up to 10k followers. They may not have a big audience to follow them, but they can still have a great influence over them, either by their job, their engaging social presence or their passion about a specific industry/topic.

Nano-influencers don’t require a big budget to work with them but you may need to spend more time on the research to find the perfect one for your brand. Since they may still be new to the influencer marketing world, they may be seeking a partnership that matches their values and could possibly last in the longer term. They can also be easier to reach since they don’t have to deal with thousands of messages every day.

Social media for sales enablement

Social media is already helping customers in the phase of product discovery. Brands are able to promote their products through social channels and customers are finding out about them before making a purchase. Social media is not anymore just about awareness and engagement, but it’s heading even more towards consideration and sales enablement in the business funnel. According to Mary Meeker’s report of Internet Trends in 2018, 55% of respondents who discovered a product through social media proceeded to purchase later on. Facebook seems to be the first channel that people discover new products, with Instagram and Pinterest following up.

What do these mean for 2019? Brands have a great opportunity to benefit from this trend to improve their social strategy. You don’t always need a sales pitch in all your messaging to convince people to trust you. Social media can help you tell your story and improve consideration. Right after someone discovers your product online, it’s up to you to provide a smooth experience that will make sales easier.

AI and customer service

Bots and automated messaging have already shown up in many brands’ customer service. Social media has made it easier for customers to reach a brand, which means that the expectations about the response time are increasing. Chatbots have started becoming popular through Facebook’s Messenger when brands realised that it’s an easy way to add additional customer support to the mix.

Not all customers were convinced that this is the best way to reach a brand, but the adoption rate is improving thanks to the enhanced intelligence and programming of the latest bot experiences. More brands are spending the time to program the bots in a way that they seem as authentic as possible. Whether it’s about giving them their own character or simply predicting as many customer questions as possible, there has certainly been great progress in how they work.

AI can also come in providing automating messaging to customers who want an answer to a common question. Brands can set up messaging that keeps their customers satisfied while they’re also saving time in repeatedly answering the same questions. 2019 will bring an improved adoption of AI as part of social customer service and it’s time for more brands to give it a try to ensure that their customers are finding the answers to their questions as fast as possible.

Stories, stories, stories

Stories are everywhere! Visual content in a vertical format that usually lasts for 24 hours became popular from Snapchat and it soon was copied by Instagram to turn into a global trend for people of all ages. Snapchat may have struggled since then to remain relevant, at least in the way that it was known for, but we’ve already seen Stories to Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and just recently, LinkedIn. There are currently more than 400 million people consuming Stories on Instagram on a daily basis, while Facebook is trying to integrate Stories to our daily routines. Advertisers have already realised that Instagram Stories ads can be very effective, with Snapchat and Facebook following up with their current hype and demand.

Article Produced By

Tereza Litsa

Social media manager passionate about content marketing, creativity and writing.

https://medium.com/swlh/12-social-media-marketing-trends-to-follow-in-2019-af2749d8019e

How to Create Client Testimonials to Promote Your Business

How to Create Client Testimonials to Promote Your Business

   

I often tell my clients that people buy from people
they like and trust and they are very often inspired to buy by people they identify with.

In B2B circles, it stands to reason that a businessperson is more likely to listen to a recommendation from a similarly placed businessperson about a product or service than the pitch of a sales professional?—?no matter how well positioned.

Solve Problems

When we buy products or services, we do so in the hope that they will solve a particular problem. Only someone who has walked a mile in your shoes is ever really likely to understand the difficulties you face and how a particular product or service can solve them.

Note: There’s no difference in B2C marketing. The problems might be a little different?—?but at the end of the day, people look to people they admire or aspire to be like when making their buying decisions. This goes some way to explaining the importance of today’s social media influencers and why so many brands desperately seek their approval.

Testimonials and Case Studies

With this in mind, testimonials and case studies featuring happy customers explaining how your business solved a particular problem for them, should be front and center of your email, content, social media strategy. However, many businesses struggle to create and publish compelling testimonials on a regular basis. This could be for many reasons, however, in my experience the number one reason is due to the following two reasons:

  1. They don’t ask for them and if you don’t ask you don’t get.
  2. They do ask for them but expect their clients to produce them for them. While many of your clients would love to help you, they are busy people and just don’t have the time to doing your job for you.

It’s Your Job

Note: As a marketer, it is your job to write any copy that your business wishes to utilize as part of a marketing campaign. I’m constantly amazed at how many “marketers,” in what should be a creative industry, tell me they haven’t got the skills or basic desire to do this. So how do I go about creating testimonials and case studies? Here’s a simple 10 step process.

The 10 Step Process to Writing and Publishing Awesome Testimonials and Case Studies

  1. Identify Clients:
    I work with account managers and salespeople to identify the hottest prospects for a testimonial or case study. They tell me how the client has used a particular product or service and how it has delivered them success.
  2. Email Introductions:
    The account manager or salesperson than contacts them with an email telling them that I would love to speak with them about their success for a possible case study.
  3. Email Questions:
    I then send an email introducing myself and invite them to join a call at a specific time (asking for alternative times if the initial time isn’t suitable). I explain why I want to speak to them (to write about their experience) and send them over a few sample questions.
  4. Meeting Software:
    I then send them a link for them to join an online meeting?—?I use a software service called Zoom.us. This allows me to record the conversation, so I don’t have to rely on hastily scribbled notes.
  5. Get Them Talking:
    I prefer to just chat with the client rather than interrogate them. This sets them at ease and gets them talking about their business. Don’t worry if the conversation goes a little off-piste occasionally?—?sometimes this will reveal some real gold. Just be sure you have a bank of questions at hand to get you back on track.#
  6. Transcribe Your Notes:
    After you have completed the call, listen back to your recording and transcribe your notes into text format. I prefer to do this myself?—?as it enables me to listen back on the conversation?—?but if time is short, you could find a freelancer on a service like Fiverr to do it for you quite cheaply.
  7. Write the First Draft:
    Once you have the transcript, the copy will almost write itself. Don’t worry about moving things around and tidying up quotes. Your clients will expect you to do this (people want to look and sound knowledgeable and eloquent) and you should have set expectations during the call.
  8. Send for Approval:
    Email the draft text to the client and ask if they would like you to make any changes. In my experience, edits rarely exceed one or two sentences.
  9. Design, Proof, Publish and Promote:
    It really couldn’t be any simpler. The whole process shouldn’t take more than a few days to complete (on average, it takes me around 8 hours) and the end results can be used across multiple marketing channels?—?think email, your corporate blog, social media, any printed materials, etc. etc.
  10. Bonus Points:
    If the audio recording of your meeting with your client is suitable, why not edit it into a podcast? You may even be able to use the video if you connected via webcams.

Article Produced By

John W Hayes

Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist.

https://medium.com/@john_w_hayes/how-to-create-client-testimonials-to-promote-your-business-169f7edac3a9

Adding Video Content to Your Social Media Strategy

Adding Video Content to Your Social Media Strategy

The impact of social media has altered all kinds of industries.

The value of having a presence online has never been greater. Word-of-mouth marketing that once occurred in small social circles or at the office now takes place online?—?a much larger platform for communication. That value is steadily increasing as time goes on. Now more than ever, brands are able to reach larger audiences with recommendations, partnerships, and ambassadors on social media.

The projected figure for social media users this year will land somewhere around 2.62 billion. Social media now attracts users of all ages. Unfortunately, some brands still underestimate the power of social media. Even though brands may have opted out of creating an online presence due to their demographic in the past, now even once a large following has been established, some accounts may not take full advantage of the potential they have.

What do users like?

Different types of content are gaining traction online, including video content and live streaming. While these may seem new, foreign, and maybe even intimidating to certain brands, it is hard to ignore that this is the content users are beginning to prefer. In fact, according to Cisco, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (85% in the US) by 2020. Understanding how to engage an audience with video content and live streaming is vital to increase and properly utilize a company’s online presence. Fortunately, these types of content are also excellent for driving site traffic.

How can companies utilize video on social media?

In order to increase engagement and clicks, create an introduction video or demo a new product. Companies can record and package a short and sweet video or conduct a live stream to engage social media users in a live conversation with brand experts, developers, or ambassadors. Another great piece of content to create for your social media platforms are how-to videos. These can be formatted in jump-cut style steps and are great for highlighting how a product can be used in creative ways. You may recall on your personal social media feed viewing some very satisfying cooking how-to videos. They are always very brief and cleanly executed (for some great examples, take a peek at Tasty Presents). This is the type of content that users are beginning to prefer.

Event coverage is also a great way to grow your brand reputation online. Again, this can be through an edited piece of footage, or through a live stream. Live streams are great for events because they allow users who could not attend to feel like they get to be a part of the experience. They also allow your customers to ask questions on the spot which can create greater company transparency and customer loyalty.

Create, learn and start again.

As with any online activity that a company may conduct, it is important to gather data garnered from video content or live streaming. How many views did your content receive? How many users watched the entire piece of content or stream? How many users dropped off after a certain point? How many users asked questions, left comments, or shared your content? How did your company’s site traffic change once the content was released? How did site traffic and online content impact sales?

Although video content requires a certain level of planning, production, and execution that may surpass what your brand has accomplished in the past with simply photo content alone?—?it is undeniable the potential benefits that video content can have. In order to fully reap the benefits of digital video content creation, data must be recorded and analyzed.

Business Insider reported on a finding by Zenith, predicting that global online video consumption will grow by an average of nine minutes per day each year until 2020. These findings support the idea that the digital video audience is becoming more engaged?—?something all companies with an online presence, seeking to increase site traffic, engagement, and sales, should be aware of.

Article Produced By

Megan Gonzales

Revenue-generating, brand-building marketer. PNW explorer. Yogi. Animal enthusiast. Marketing Manager.

https://medium.com/@megangonzales/adding-video-content-to-your-social-media-strategy-70263056c712