Does fear of failure keep you from starting exploring new ventures?
Have you ever asked yourself, why online success comes easily to other people, but seems to be eluding you all the time?
Have schemers driven you to the point of giving up?
My advice is short, sweet and to the point: You need to know that, it’s always too soon to quit! Remember quitters never succeed.
Successful people hang in there, they get back up when they fall and try again. You see, your friends who have become Online Success Stories didn’t throw in the towel and quit when the going got tougher, NO, No , No! They knew what they wanted in life and they wanted it badly enough to persevere through the desert, and what happened: They got to the other end. They paid the price and achieved their Online business dream. You CAN too ,only if you don’t quit on yourself and your internet venture.
Remember: It’s always too soon to give up. In other words, Never Give Up until you get the results that you after.
All the best!
In the course of operating their businessess entrepreneurs meet challenging situations on a daily basis. However, its how they react that determines their altitude. It is very important for the business owner to know the value of challenges. That challenges are meant to make us strong, many of the great achievers we see today turned obstacles into stepping stones and in the end became successful beyond measure.
Today, I have decided to share a story which I am sure will help to make us appreciate the role of obstacles in our different situations . Lets learn to welcome challenges for our own growth.
By: Author Unknown
A little girl walked daily to and from school. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trip to school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lighting.
The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school, and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child.
Following the roar of thunder, lightning, through the sky and full of concern, the mother quickly got in her car and drove along the route to her child’s school.
As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly, each with the little girl stopping, looking up and smiling.
Finally, the mother called over to her child and asked, “What are you doing?”
The child answered, smiling, “God just keeps taking pictures of me”.
Less than a fortnight since his appointment as Zimbabwe’s finance minister, the new treasury boss is potentially placing himself on a collision path with the country’s central bank with his pro-cryptocurrency stance.
According to Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s newly minted Minister of Finance, cryptocurrencies could assist the southern Africa country to solve the cash crunch that has been ongoing for the last two years. Towards the realization of this, Ncube has promised to nudge the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe(RBZ) into establishing a cryptocurrency division that will be tasked with assisting the country’s apex bank to develop a better understanding of digital assets, IT Web Africa reported.
Ncube cited the example of Switzerland where the European country’s central bank has adopted a more progressive stance on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies saying Zimbabwe should copy this example.
“One can pay for travel using bitcoin in Switzerland. So, if these countries can see value in this and where it’s headed, we should also pay attention,” Ncube said. “We have innovative youngsters so the idea shouldn’t be to stop it and say don’t do this, but rather the regulators should invest in catching up with them and find ways to understand it, then you regulate it because you now understand it.”
With banks imposing a cap on amounts that depositors can withdraw, the severe cash shortage in Zimbabwe has been worsened by the fact that savers tend to hold on to their money rather than entrust it with the financial institutions. And as the economy gets more dollarized, the cash shortages have been further exacerbated with the result being that foreign currency reserves are also dwindling.
If Ncube is able to convince the RBZ to set up the cryptocurrency unit it will be a 180-degree turn for Zimbabwe’s central bank which has taken an anti-crypto stance. As CCN reported in May this year, for instance, banks in the country were prohibited from processing cryptocurrency transactions for both investors and traders of the nascent asset class citing risks and dangers associated with them include their use in money laundering and other illegal activities.
“Further, cryptocurrencies can be used to facilitate tax evasion as well as externalization of funds in violation of a country’s laws,” the RBZ wrote in a circular to financial institutions at the time.
Though a High Court in the country’s capital later reversed the ban, the regulatory uncertainty has forced some of the cryptocurrency exchanges such as Golix to explore other markets in Africa to avoid overreliance on the Zimbabwean market.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat classified Malta’s efforts to become a crypto and blockchain-friendly jurisdiction as a “calculated risk.” So far, work by authorities to turn Malta into a world leader for both industries looks to be paying off.
A variety of nations across the world have spent time investigating how they can control and manage the spread of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Malta has been moving in an encouraging direction for a while now.
A number of prominent exchanges, namely OKEx and Binance, have moved to the tiny Mediterranean nation. The Maltese Parliament was hard at work over the summer approving legislation concerning crypto and blockchain.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has also been very bullish when it comes to virtual currency. He remarked in April how cryptocurrencies are the “inevitable future of money.”
When asked in a recent interview about the variety of steps the island has taken to become a blockchain and crypto powerhouse, Prime Minister Muscat noted efforts were “a calculated risk” to help further diversify the economy.
AGGRESSIVE STEPS FORWARD
According to Prime Minister Muscat, part of this risk-taking includes slashing “layers of bureaucracy” and making it easy for entities in the blockchain and crypto world to come and set up shop in the country.
Malta has long been an attractive destination for digital companies due to the open stance of many government officials. Additionally, the island also features low tax rates, and the nation’s stock exchange is currently speaking to companies about listing virtual assets.
Officials are also collaborating with PricewaterhouseCoopers to roll out blockchain licenses for regulated entities. Parliamentary secretary Silvio Schembri said these would be issued in November.
All of these industry-friendly policies seem to be engendering a sense of optimism on the island, even if questions about future regulation are still up in the air.
In the interview, Prime Minister Muscat said how Malta is a trailblazer when it comes to regulations for the crypto world, and speculates the EU might one day be “doing what we are very much doing right here today.”
Michael Binanchi, chairman of the Founders Bank, toasted Malta as the “blockchain island” at a recent dinner.
THE ROAD AHEAD FOR MALTA
Some believe Malta’s open policies could continue to attract a variety of forward-thinking entities that could really shake up the financial world.
The Huulk digital exchange applied for a license in Malta in late August, and has a focus on attracting listings from fintech startups that are Sharia compliant. Ultimately Huulk is keen to list around 20 firms, many of which are located in nations like Turkey and Malaysia.
The ability to tap into religiously-sensitive investors across the world is thought to be a big opportunity for an exchange like Huulk. The same goes for Malta, especially since the nation’s Bianchi Holdings Limited would be an equity partner if the license is approved.
Millennials are more optimistic about the chances of cryptocurrency being widely accepted, and nearly half of who think this would prefer using cryptocurrency over the U.S. dollar, according to a recently conducted consumer survey on awareness of and attitudes about cryptocurrency.
Nearly 80% of Americans (79%) are aware of at least one type of cryptocurrency, according to the study by YouGov Omnibus, a research firm that conducts online nationwide surveys.
Bitcoin leads the field in terms of awareness, with 71% of participants recognizing it by name. The next closest contender, Ethereum, garnered 13% recognition. The survey, which was fielded on Aug. 29 and 30, listed 16 cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Cardano, Stellar, NEO, EOS, NEM, Dogecoin, Midseason/SafeCoin, Lisk and Storjcoin X.
Cryptocurrency awareness was higher among men than women for nearly all types of cryptocurrencies mentioned. Twenty-seven percent of women were unfamiliar with any cryptocurrency, compared to 16% of men.
More than a third (36%) of all respondents said they believe cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted for legal purchases in the next 10 years. Millennials, more than any age group, were more likely to believe this (44%), compared to 34% of GenXers and 29% of baby boomers.
A nearly equal number (34%) said cryptocurrencies are not likely to be widely accepted in 10 years.
Millennials More Likely To Use Crypto Than Dollar
Among those believing cryptocurrencies will become more accepted, millennials are nearly evenly split between using cryptocurrency in place of U.S. fiat (48%) and not doing so (50%). This makes them the most likely group to use cryptocurrencies in place of the U.S. dollar.
More than a third (36%) of all respondents who think cryptocurrencies will become more accepted said they would be more likely to use a cryptocurrency in place of U.S. fiat. The majority (57%), however, said they would not choose to use cryptocurrency over the U.S. dollar.
A hefty 87% of those who are aware of bitcoin have not used it in any way. Nearly half (49%) of those who are aware of it said they were glad not to have purchased it and have no plans to do so. Fifteen-percent said they regretted not buying bitcoin at an earlier time, but think that time has passed. People 35 to 54 years of age were more likely to express this sentiment, as 21% of them said they wish they had purchased bitcoin, compared to 11% of those 55 years of age and older.
The perception of cryptocurrency’s use for illicit activity continues to cloud the way many people view it. A quarter of the suvey respondents said they believe cryptocurrencies are more often used for illegal purchases, compared to 17 who think they are more often used for legal purchases and 19% who say they are used both legally and illegally.
Hispanic Americans more often believe cryptocurrencies are used for legal purchases.
U.S.-based crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase is looking to create a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the help of the Wall Street investment management giant BlackRock, according to a Business Insider report September 6.
Coinbase has reportedly “held conversations” with $6 trillion asset manager BlackRock’s blockchain working group, Business Insider reports, citing “sources familiar with the matter.” The proposed crypto ETF reportedly discussed is aimed to allow retail investors to gain access to volatile crypto markets. Meanwhile the report states that it “remains unclear whether the talks were a one-off or part of ongoing conversations between Coinbase and BlackRock.”
Earlier in August, Coinbase announced that the company would reduce its Index Fund’s annual management fee “for all new and existing investors” from 2 to 1 percent, Cointelegraph reportedAugust 13. Coinbase stated that the move was intended to “help introduce a new category of institutional investors into the cryptocurrency space.”
On Aug. 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied applications for nine separate ETFs submitted by three applicants. However, on August 23, the agency made a statement that it would review its decision of all nine ETFs, though it has yet to release a deadline.
Iconiq Funds, the asset management arm of Germany-based Iconiq Holding — the team behind the ICO and token sale accelerator program Iconiq Lab — is launching a series of digital asset index funds beginning in Q4 2018, the company announced on Aug. 17, 2018. Investment into crypto assets will become available through traditional and regulated financial vehicles, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs).
The first digital asset index fund is planned to be launched under Maltese jurisdiction as a Professional Investor Fund (PIF). It is currently under review by Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).
The company claims the “diversified exposure to the digital assets market” as a key selling point for this new series of instruments. An investment fund essentially hides the intricacies of crypto assets from its participant, offering participation in a selected group of tokens. An investor expects that, even if some tokens of the group won’t perform well, the growth of others will compensate for it.
Iconiq Funds says the company will offer its financial products under the supervision of a governmental watchdog — such as MFSA for Malta. The team explains that, for many conservative investors, the lack of regulatory oversight was a key reason to avoid exposure to crypto assets.
Maximilian Lautenschläger, Iconiq Holding’s managing partner, believes that such investment vehicles could help bring new capital to the crypto industry from the traditional financial markets. “Iconiq’s aim is to make ICOs and crypto investments accessible to institutional investors, family offices and retail investors. Only through such regulated vehicles can we open the doors for the trillions of capital from institutional markets to enter crypto.” Lautenschläger said, according to the announcement.
Later, Iconiq Funds also plans to offer other financial products suited for traditional investors’ demands, such as crypto index exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and notes (ETNs) in 2019.
Digital asset management token
The company says that Iconiq Funds is not merely a traditional asset management firm that started trading in crypto. It is, rather, a part of a larger, community-driven ecosystem that Iconiq Holding has built around its own token, ICNQ — initially released by Iconiq Lab. The ICNQ token functions as a “decentralized VC club membership instrument.” According to Iconiq Funds, its holders receive access to presales of companies graduating Iconiq Lab’s token sale accelerator program. It can also be used as a voucher instrument for payments within the asset management ecosystem created by Iconiq.
“We have successfully positioned the ICNQ token as the token for digital asset management,” said Iconiq Holdings CEO Patrick Lowry. “ICNQ tokens can now be redeemed in our ecosystem for products and services provided by Iconiq Holding companies, including by our digital asset index funds to pay asset management fees to the fund manager, Iconiq Funds. We are excited to add this new value-driver to the ICNQ economy, with many more to come for the benefit of our community.”
According to the internal memo Cointelegraph had access to, Iconiq Holding will be selling up to 10 million remaining ICNQ tokens, with a public token sale taking place on the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange Grid in October 2018. The ICNQ token will then be traded on Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange after the sale, with more exchanges to come.
Iconiq says it plans to capitalize on opening the crypto marketplace to a completely different, and much more powerful class of investors, which may bring “a tectonic change” to the crypto market. Also, it hopes the ICNQ token itself will have the potential to become a kind of derivative instrument that would reflect the influx of the virtually unlimited capital from the outside world of traditional finance into the much smaller crypto ecosystem.
The one thing that makes economics hard to understand is that there is no such thing as money. Money is just an item for trade — valuable paper, or a valuable transaction. Nothing actually has a fixed or defined concrete value. Value is a completely abstract idea. A five dollar bill is literally just a piece of green paper. We’ve just inherently developed the idea of its value because we regularly trade it in for items we believe to be worth 5 dollars.
Background: Centralized Institutions
You may have heard about the 2008 financial crisis. What you probably don’t know is that the global financial impact was magnified by excessive risk taking by banks.
Banks, legally, were only required to actually hold 10% of your money in liquid assets. A liquid asset is anything that can be transferred easily: cash and stocks? Sure. But a house? Not exactly.
So every time you put in 10 million dollars in to the bank, they’d only have 1 million out of the 10 you gave them in cash. The other 9 they’d use for investing and other purposes — they’d put it in assets that would grow in value over time. The reason they’re able to give you back 5 million when you ask for it is because there’s some other guy who’s put 100 million in the bank, so the bank has that 10 million from that guy’s money to take from to give to you. At the point where they have less than 10% total, they’re required to liquidate (read: move to cash) enough of their assets to abide by the 10% rule. (Note: the legal requirement is that the bank must keep 10% of their total deposited assets, among all their customers).
On a side note, if you’ve ever wondered why, this explains the reason why banks offer different types of bank accounts: checking accounts generally require high liquidity (because you need to withdraw frequently), so banks can’t take much and use it for investing; they need to keep it in cash. Savings accounts are for long term, so banks can use it for investing and to grow that money. It makes sense that banks want to incentivize customers to use these accounts more so that banks can invest more of this money — they do that in the form of higher interest rates for savings accounts and close-to-zero rates for checking accounts.
So what happens when a lot of people want to pull their money out of the bank at once? Well, the bank can give the 10% they have, but often times, the other 90% isn’t very liquid and the bank has to say “Sorry, but we lost $90 million of your deposits. Here’s 10 million though, have a nice day!”
And then you have the Great Depression.
A bank is a centralizedinstitution (you’re going to hear that term several times) that controls your money and could very easily lose a lot of it because it’s only required to hold 10% of all its deposited assets in liquid form.
Governments — Fiat Currency (read: literally just normal, regular currencies like the USD that are managed by a government)
When governments are incompetent or corrupt, like those of Zimbabwe and Venezuela, their currencies experience hyperinflation, tanking the value of currency and bankrupting the nation. The government prints more and more money, dramatically reducing the value of each unit of currency.
The US government wasn’t immune to this. In fact, in the first decade that the US dollar existed, it was more than 10 times more volatile than Bitcoin is right now.
Fiat currencies, like the dollar, can be printed and regulated and dictated by one authority — the government. When more money’s printed, the value of each unit of currency goes down — known to many as inflation. Current inflation rates are high, which means for every dollar you own in cash or the bank, the value of your money is going down.
Gold, however, doesn’t require a faith in government or authority. There’s a fixed supply of gold — a finite amount available in the world, and no central authority controls it. Nobody can influence how much gold there is in circulation — there just is whatever amount there is. More can be mined, but at some point all the gold available on the planet will be in circulation, and mining yields tiny amounts of it. Since nobody can just get gold out of thin air, it doesn’t inflate like fiat currencies.
So if gold is so perfect, why don’t we use it as a currency?
Imagine walking to Starbucks, gold nugget in pocket (probably pulling your pants up every five seconds because of the weight), walking up to the counter, and then shaving off exact measured amounts to hold onto value of the 5 cents of change for your latte. Not very efficient.
The government, like a bank, is a centralized institution that basically controls the value of fiat currency — the value of that currency is prone toinflation and loses value. Gold is decentralized but is impractical for daily currency.
What is Bitcoin?
It’s literally just a digital version of gold (except better). Just like gold, no central authority controls the supply of it. So it can’t inflate like fiat currencies do.
There is sophisticated technology to control the supply of Bitcoin — it’s “mined” digitally, similar to gold.
And then some. Bitcoin, because of its digital form, can be transferred to anyone, anywhere, securely, in real time, in any denominations. No shavings or on-demand gold weighing scale necessary.
Sidenote: Bitcoin’s whitepaper is pretty informative and has a lot of good information beyond this article if you’re interested.
In cryptography, hash functions are often used to securely perform identity checks and transfer data. These hash functions are one-way functions: it’s easy to find the output for a given input, but it’s almost impossible to find the input given an output. These types of functions are useful for a variety of things; the most common use is for most login systems. An app or website never needs to store your actual password — this could prove a huge security risk. Instead, all they need to know is whether the password you enter when you try to log in is the same text as what they have on record when you signed up. So, instead, they could store the one-way hash as your password and then when you sign up and check if the stored hash and the login hash (of whatever text you type in when you try to log in) match.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and all other cryptocurrencies are based on the blockchain, which is built on one-way hash functions.
The blockchain is the backbone of the Bitcoin technology, and it’s quite literally what it sounds like — a digital chain of blocks. The blockchain is a ledger that contains a record of every transaction ever made with bitcoins since its inception. Each block holds information about transactions. There’s a network of computers on the blockchain, and each one of these computers holds its own copy of the entire blockchain.
When one computer on the network propagates a block to the network, each computer on the network will verify the identity of the computer and the validity of the block being pushed. If a majority of the other computers on the network accept the validity of the node and the block, the block officially gets pushed onto the blockchain.
These computers on the blockchain network are called “mining nodes.” These mining nodes are responsible for validating transactions, creating new blocks, and propagating them to the network.
As a reward for maintaining this blockchain network, these mining nodes are awarded a set amount of Bitcoin for each block they push.
The production of bitcoin is controlled by code that dictates you must find a specific answer to a given hashing problem in order for mining nodes to unlock new bitcoins: the mining node must find a hash that results in a new string with a given number of zeros at the beginning.
Each new block in the blockchain is based on all previous blocks; the set of all current blocks is hashed to a string of characters. For example, let’s say the hash of the current state of the blockchain is the string “0000abcd.” This tells us that the current “difficulty” of the hashing problem is 4, because the string starts with 4 zeros. To push the new block, we first append the hashes of the identifiers of transactions made by other people that we want to propagate, as well as the hash of the transaction identifier that gives the mining node Bitcoin— “trans1”, “trans2”, and “givemebitcoin.” Now our current string is “0000abcd-trans1trans2givemebitcoin.” Now we need to add a final piece, called a “nonce”, which will make the hash of the full string lead with the same number of zeros as the difficulty of the problem (4 in this example).
We first start with the nonce as “1”; chances are, you won’t get a leading zero in the hash. Then we try 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on. The mining node needs to brute force nonces until it gets a hashed string with the leading number of zeros equal to the Bitcoin mining difficulty.
The Bitcoin mining difficulty number is controlled by algorithms that assess how quickly Bitcoin is currently being mined and try to increase the difficulty so that a new Bitcoin is mined every ten minutes or so. Check out the current Bitcoin difficulty here.
It’s Still Young
Bitcoin is still a very young and early currency. While it’s true that not many places accept Bitcoin as payment, everything takes time. Time and patience.
Just a decade after its creation, the US dollar had already suffered inflation and collapsed. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is worth more than ever just 9 years after its inception, and currently boasts a market cap of over $40 billion.
It’s still volatile and a very risky investment, but in the long run, will prove extremely valuable.
“The most dangerous question a prospect or customer asks is “Why should I?” And he may ask it more than once… The product and its communication stream must continue to provide him with both rational and emotional answers.”
Another day passes by and although August is a traditionally slow month in the business and finance circles, Malta does not seem to be resting on its laurels at all. After several announcements regarding cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto banks, we now have the announcement coming that ZB.com, the world’s fith-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, is setting up shop on the sunny Blockchain Island.
ZB.com will set up its operations in Europe with the launch of a new exchange in Malta. The company, which is the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value, will open an office in St Julian’s, a bustling business centre in the heart of Malta. This latest announcement follows those by Binance, OKEx and DQR, who have also opened offices on the island.
Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri also tweeted about the announcement and told CCN that this was another link in the chain for Malta to cement its leading position in the cryptocurrency space.
The company will initially start out as a crypto-to-crypto exchange and will eventually look to offer fiat-to-crypto trading pairs through its new platform based out of the European island nation. This is the third exchange that is coming up with this proposition, after Binance and Bitbay.
“Malta is perhaps the world’s most progressive and forward-thinking nation in DLT, crypto and fintech, and we are very excited to be part of the Blockchain Island. We are confident we will be able to announce our live operations soon,” co-founder Jimmy Zhao said.
Zhao said he had recently been invited to Malta by his local partners and met with the Maltese government to discuss their crypto exchange operations. “You quickly realize Malta’s commitment to building and supporting the crypto ecosystem,” he added.
ZB.com regularly ranks among the five largest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of daily trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap, trading an average of about $400m daily. The proprietary technology behind ZB.com also supports several other top-tier exchanges such as EXX.com.
ZB.com is strictly a cryptocurrency exchange and does not offer any other type of tradeable assets. That being said, there are various markets in which these cryptocurrencies can be traded. For instance, traders can exchange cryptocurrencies against QCash (QC), tether (USDT), and bitcoin (BTC).
The Maerki Baumann private bank will become the second Swiss bank to accept cryptocurrencyassets, financial news outlet International Investment reports August 6.
The private Zurich bank has decided to accept crypto assets from payments received for services rendered, as well as those earned from crypto mining, as a response to new market demands and the rise of cryptocurrencies’ popularity, International Investment writes.
Maerki Baumann noted that they are not ready to provide direct cryptocurrency investments, but will provide “experts” to clients interested in crypto investing. According to their statement, the bank “closely monitors the development” of crypto as an investment vehicle and its “underlying regulation,” noting
“We currently see cryptocurrencies as alternative investment vehicles, but we have limited experience and data (prices, volatility, trading volumes) available in our house.”
However, the bank does state that they “currently advise against larger investments in cryptocurrencies,” adding
“Crypto currencies [sic] are not, in our estimation, suitable for long-term investment due to the uncertainties outlined above.”
Earlier this summer, the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg had become the first bank Switzerland to provide company accounts for blockchain and crypto-related fintech companies. Last year, the Falcon Private Bank had received authorization from the Swiss Financial Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for managing Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies based on blockchain technology.