Tag Archives: Money

Technology Meant to Make Bitcoin Money Again Just Went Live
March 15, 2018 6:32 pm|Comments (0)

A version of the technology that’s meant to make cryptocurrency payments faster and cheaper went live Thursday.

The software, called Lightning Network, can now be used for Bitcoin payments after more than a year in which thousands of developers tested it. Lightning Labs, one of the firms developing the technology, released this initial version, which is compatible with networks being developed by other groups, such as Blockstream and Acinq.

Bitcoin has become digital gold — or a viable investment alternative — to many, but it has been harder for it to fulfill its original purpose of becoming digital money, as transaction fees have skyrocketed to as high as $ 50, while confirmation times took as long as a week at their peak. Enthusiasts say the Lightning Network will solve these problems with fees at a fraction of a cent and instantaneous transactions.

The Lightning Network rolls out, another technology meant to speed up transactions, Segregated Witness, gains traction, with the number of transactions using it doubling to more than 30 percent of total Bitcoin transactions in the past month. Bitcoin transaction fees have plummeted in part thanks to this, but the total number of transactions has also declined. Lightning Network is also meant to help lower fees on the main Bitcoin network.

The Lightning Network allows Bitcoin users to open payment channels between each other. The parties can than conduct transactions without having to post them to the Bitcoin blockchain, avoiding delays and costs that result from recording those transactions each time. Once the channel is closed, only the resulting balances are recorded on the blockchain, not the full transaction history of the channel, and only then are Bitcoin fees paid. There is no required time or transaction limit required to close a payment channel, so they can potentially remain open for months of years.

Elizabeth Stark, Lightning Labs founder and chief executive officer, says merchants and especially online businesses will be the most likely users as it facilitates a high volume of payments and its near-zero fees allow for micropayments. Cryptocurrency exchanges could also use the software to accelerate deposit and withdrawal of funds, she said.

The network is currently able to process transactions in the low thousands per second, according to Stark, which is still far from Visa Inc.’s maximum of 56,000, but an improvement on Bitcoin’s five transactions per second. More than 4,000 payment channels have been opened since the technology was released in January 2017, and even though it was in testing, some merchants already started using it. Block & Jerry’s, an online ice-cream store playing on American ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, is one.

“Bitcoin enthusiasts have gotten excited about this, merchants are excited about this,” Stark said. “It feels like we’re right on the edge of mass cryptocurrency adoption.”

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Now You Can Play ‘Angry Birds’ for Real Money
February 21, 2018 6:10 pm|Comments (0)

The hottest game of 2009 is hoping to be just as big in 2018 by adding a cash component for players.

Angry Birds Champions will let players toss birds at pigs and structures, as all the other games in the series have done, but this time, they’ll do so in a tournament mode, by wagering and winning real money.

Developer and publisher Rovio is working with WorldWinner.com on the game (which is played via the WorldWinner app, not a standalone one).

Players can compete in either a best-of-three or progression-style game, with their highest or combined score being recorded. The game then finds a similarly skilled person to play the same levels. Whoever has the highest score takes the cash.

Games typically cost under $ 1 to play and winners usually walk away with a $ 3 to $ 4 in their pocket for a victory. Players who just wish to compete against others for fun can also play without paying.

Because WorldWinner walks a thin line between amusement and gambling, it doesn’t offer cash tournaments in 10 states—Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

Rovio launched the original Angry Birds game in 2009, and has since released at least 25 variations of the game, including Star Wars, Transformers, and Rio-themed versions. In 2016, it co-produced The Angry Birds Movie for $ 100 million, bringing in nearly $ 350 million in ticket sales. A 2017 IPO, though, was disappointing for investors.

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Mark Zuckerberg Has Lost This Much Money for Changing Facebook’s Feed
January 15, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Facebook stock took a hit after the social network announced massive changes to its news feed. And no one felt that hit more than Mark Zuckerberg.

The founder and CEO of Facebook owns over 400 million shares of the company, meaning stock fluctuations hit him the hardest. The trick is figuring out exactly how hard — and that’s where things get a little difficult.

As of April 14, 2017, the company’s last proxy statement, Zuckerberg owned over 2.6 million shares of Class A stock and nearly 411 million Class B shares. In September, though, he announced plans to sell as many as 75 million shares over the following 18 months “to fund the philanthropic initiatives of [he] and his wife, Priscilla Chan,” according to a filing.

So, for argument’s sake, let’s say he’s halfway through that sales goal (unlikely, but it doesn’t hurt to be conservative) — bringing his total holdings to approximately 377 million shares.

Given the company’s 4.5% drop on Friday, that would mean Zuckerberg lost more than $ 3.1 billion, on paper at least. (If he hasn’t sold any of the 75 million shares he’s planning to, the loss escalates to nearly $ 3.5 billion.)

Of course, Facebook shares will almost certainly rebound. And analysts say they expect the changes will drive higher ad prices and could result in more money for Facebook, something that always cheers investors.

Ultimately, though, Zuckerberg’s likely not concerned. He’s already pledged to give away 99% of his net worth in his lifetime.

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How to Use YouTube to Reach More People and Make More Money in 2018
December 28, 2017 6:00 pm|Comments (0)

In 2018, the importance of being found online is key. It’s how most people search for, well, anything. That’s step one. After you’re found, you want to hold the attention of your potential customer or client. With everything online today, that’s not easy.

It’s no secret online video is engaging and growing in popularity. That’s the reason more and more people are turning to YouTube to spread their message – whatever it may be. According to FortuneLords.com, almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.

Some people see YouTube as a social media platform where you can watch silly cat videos. Others are using it to reach more people, grow their brands and businesses, and increase revenue.

Focus on SEO

Yes, YouTube is a search engine, just like Google. It’s owned by Google, so the strategies are the same.

“If you can get the video to rank in Google, then a lot of the searches that are being performed on YouTube will click on your video in the results. Then, YouTube will judge your video based on how people interact with it. User engagement is the most important YouTube ranking signal, said Christoph Seitz, the CEO of CFR Rinkens.

Time your video

When you’re creating your video, try to make it at least five minutes long.

“Similar to text-based articles, longer videos rank higher. They consistently outperform shorter videos on YouTube and Google, said Dan Roberge President of Maintenance Care.

Remember, the length of time people are engaged plays into how high you rank on the platform.

Team up with other YouTubers

In order to stand out by using video online, utilize a recognizable influencer whose audience aligns with your target demographic.

This is something I did with YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi a few months ago. Because we both share the same audience and work to help them achieve the same goal by doing different things, it was a great fit.

Many marketers believe influencer marketing helps them raise brand awareness on social media.

Use other platforms to drive people to YouTube

In 2018, many people will not want to waste time. They simply want to get the information they need that they catch on their social feed.  

“What organizations are doing to stand out is posting fun, informed content on YouTube, then distributing soundbites of that video through social media,” said Vijay Koduri, the Co-Founder of HashCut.

Koduri suggests teasing them with a five-second soundbite on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,  or over email and drive them to your YouTube channel to see more.

Be yourself 

Michael Freeby, a model and photographer who has randomly amassed nearly half a million views on YouTube said, “Don’t try too hard. Always be yourself and stay the best representation of your brand.”

That doesn’t mean don’t create high-quality content that people will go out of their way to enjoy. You should do that, but remember your brand’s core message. Make the content less about yourself, and more about presenting something of value for your audience.

Tech

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IDG Contributor Network: When does tech make you money and when does it cost you?
August 7, 2017 2:20 am|Comments (0)

There’s an interesting Forbes article on the topic of turning a cost center into a profit center. In it, author Larry Myler talks about three ways to “become a hero” by:

  1. Killing overhead,
  2. Inventing revenue, and
  3. Supporting company strategy.

Having worked in cost centers within organizations myself, I was skeptical as to whether this can actually be done. If so, it would change the game for just about any company trying to reduce costs and increase revenues (and that would be almost every organization).

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing


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IDG Contributor Network: When does tech make you money and when does it cost you?
July 24, 2017 7:30 am|Comments (0)

There’s an interesting Forbes article on the topic of turning a cost center into a profit center. In it, author Larry Myler talks about three ways to “become a hero” by:

  1. Killing overhead,
  2. Inventing revenue, and
  3. Supporting company strategy.

Having worked in cost centers within organizations myself, I was skeptical as to whether this can actually be done. If so, it would change the game for just about any company trying to reduce costs and increase revenues (and that would be almost every organization).

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing


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Conquest Mo Money or Cloud Computing? Preakness Stakes Predictions 5/20/17
July 19, 2017 8:20 am|Comments (0)

According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Cloud Computing is a -145 money line favorite over Conquest Mo Money, who has odds …


Cloud Computing

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Ledge uses Venmo to make borrowing money and paying it back dead simple
January 29, 2016 4:40 am|Comments (0)

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We’ve all been there – sometimes you simply need to borrow money. Whether it’s for a big investment, moving to a new place or life just getting a little rough, Ledge aims to make it dead simple to borrow money from friends, family and others – and actually pay them back. It essentially works like a crowdfunding platform, but with a few twists. After borrowers create a campaign explaining how much cash they need, they give the loan interest rate (which adds a lending incentive), and specify the number of installments payments will be made over.   Like on several other platforms, funds aren’t available…

This story continues at The Next Web


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