Bitcoin Would be Lone Survivor in Nuclear War Hunger Games: Charlie Shrem


bitcoin charlie shrem nuclear war

Early bitcoin evangelist Charlie Shrem said that it’s the only currency that could survive a nuclear war. | Source: Shutterstock

By CCN.com: Bitcoiners, rejoice! Only bitcoin (and maybe roaches) would survive a nuclear holocaust. In contrast, banks and fiat money would literally go down in flames. That’s what crypto pioneer Charlie Shrem wants you to know as you ponder a hypothetical dystopian future.

“If the unthinkable happens, Bitcoin would be a highly durable currency during nuclear war, as compared to fiat currency, which would fail for multiple reasons,” Shrem gushed in a Jan. 22 Hacker Noon post.

Since fiat money exists in the physical word and is not a digital entity like Bitcoin, it would be susceptible to being incinerated in the nuclear fireballs. Banks could instantly lose their cash reserves needed to operate.

‘Banks Would Be Vaporized’

Moreover, Shrem says nuclear warheads would decimate centralized banking organizations and render them useless. As a result, online bank balances would become meaningless once banks and computers get destroyed.

“Bank balances would suddenly become meaningless,” Shrem reasoned. “No one would be able to go to the bank or ATM to get their cash since the banks would stop operating the day the first nuclear bombs detonate.”

Indeed, Shrem cheerfully reminded readers that “some banks will be vaporized outright.” Meanwhile, others would be “contaminated with radiation.” But what would survive such an unspeakable tragedy? Bitcoin, of course! says Shrem.

Shrem: Decentralization Makes Crypto Invincible

While his essay is bleak, Shrem was trying to make a point about the anti-fragility of cryptocurrencies versus cash and even gold. Shrem pointed out that unlike physical assets, bitcoin has no physical presence, is decentralized, and has no single point of failure.

As long as there is at least one node running Bitcoin, the Bitcoin network will continue to function. It is highly likely that many Bitcoin nodes would survive even the worst nuclear attack since nodes are scattered worldwide, and they could communicate with each other via satellite internet.

In reality, if a nuclear war occurred, the last thing most people would be concerned about is money. However, Shrem raised some thought-provoking points to consider amid the current Crypto Winter.

During this protracted slump, naysayers are gleefully proclaiming that bitcoin’s price will tank to zero, while others insist that the entire market will crater into extinction.

Traditional Finance Has Physical Limitations

But Shrem says rumors of bitcoin’s demise are greatly exaggerated, and one only need look at the physical limitations of traditional financial structures to see this.

“Bitcoin’s decentralization also makes it impervious to economic calamity that would ensue from a nuclear war,” he cooed.

Bitcoin’s decentralization, the network will continue to run even in the event of a total worldwide collapse of electrical and telecommunications infrastructure.

Shrem No Stranger to Controversy

For context, Charlie Shrem is a crypto pioneer who founded the now-defunct bitcoin exchange Bitinstant in 2011 (see video).

In 2015, Shrem went to jail for allegedly selling bitcoin to people who tried to use it to buy drugs on the now-defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road.

In September 2018, the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, sued Shrem for $32 million, claiming he stole 5,000 bitcoin from them in 2012.

“Either Shrem has been incredibly lucky and successful since leaving prison, or — more likely — he ‘acquired’ his six properties, two Maseratis, two powerboats and other holdings with the appreciated value of the 5,000 Bitcoin he stole,” the Winklevoss twins alleged in their lawsuit.

Shrem denies the allegations, but the suit is ongoing.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

GoFundMes U.S. Government Shutdown Aid Campaign Just Hit its Funding Goal


Image: Shutterstock

By CCN.com: A GoFundMe campaign to assist federal workers affected by the ongoing government shutdown has reached its $200,000 funding goal barely three days after it was launched. Organized by GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon in partnership with author and motivational speaker Deepak Chopra, the campaign was organised to help affected workers with basics like food and household supplies.

Funds raised by the GoFundMe campaign are set to be shared across nonprofits who are supporting affected staff including #ChefForFeds led by José Andrés who has been feeding thousands of federal staff in Washington DC, and the National Diaper Network who are providing diapers to parents who the shutdown has affected. Solomon says more nonprofits will be added to the list as the GoFundMe campaign grows.

In the campaign statement, Solomon said:

Your donation will be distributed to several nonprofit organizations across the country offering direct assistance to government workers. These nonprofits are doing important work, providing hot meals, necessary counseling, and housing relief. I encourage everyone to support them.

The US Government Shutdown

Government workers in the United States have had to work without pay since December 24, 2018, in what is now the longest shutdown in the history of the United States. About 420,000 essential staff have had to work without pay from the beginning of the shutdown, with an additional 50,000 staff called back by President Donald Trump on January 15th.

While Congress has passed a bill which will ensure federal workers are reimbursed after the shutdown ends, this, unfortunately, does not extend to contract workers even though they still have to work. The shutdown has so far affected economic growth as experts suggest that for every week the government remains shut down, economic growth drops by at least .13 percent.

donald trump government shutdown us-china trade war
Donald Trump has a central role in both the government shutdown and the controversial US-China trade war. | Source: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Trump is asking for a $5.7 billion funding provision in the budget to permit the construction of a wall on the country’s southern border with Mexico. The Democrat-controlled house, however, is not willing to budge, saying that the wall is not necessary, but they would be willing to approve $1 billion to boost security patrols and devices at the border.

CCN reported earlier today that President Donald Trump stated that there will be “No Cave” in his border wall funding demand which led to the impasse that has created the shutdown.

The GoFundMe campaign is the latest effort to rally support for furloughed federal workers at a time when a number of retailers are currently offering free services and products to affected government workers.

PwC Thinks India will Outperform the U.K.’s Economy: Here’s what the Big Four Firm and the GDP…


India

Image: Shutterstock

By CCN.com: A publication by accounting firm PwC has placed India on track for a 7.6 percent growth in 2019, setting a path for the country to surpass both the U.K. and France in terms of economy.

But ask any economist, and they would point towards why the coveted Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – which most people and companies take at face value – figure is an inaccurate tool for assessing data.

The crowds love it though. A lack of public understanding for intricate economic terms means “trusted” companies regularly release optimistic outtakes and predictions, the government cites and publicizes them, and citizens continue to hustle through everyday life believing that change is coming.

Claims Without Substance

PwC talks about India’s enormous population and “favorable” demographics as significant factors leading the economy to eclipse the U.K. this year. The firm cites a World Bank report to validate its claims, stating India’s $2.59 trillion economy is just $25 billion lesser than the U.K.’s $2.62 trillion figure.

At the middle of this incorrect calculation is the GDP, an inaccurate economic tool used for decades to identify growing economies. The term is an expression for the value of goods and produced over time and the income generated from that period, relative to the expenditure on said goods and services.

However, there’s no mention of U.K. being relatively much smaller in size than India, having a lesser population and thus, producing fewer goods as an example. And with the above explanation of GDP in mind, it becomes immediately evident that India, a country of over a billion people, should post GDP figures in excess to that of U.K., a country with just 66 million people, as per Census figures in January 2019.

But India, a former British territory, has taken hundreds of years to come anywhere close to the U.K’s staggering growth – even with an indicator that creates an oversimplistic view of the world economy.

GDP rates measure the growth of a pie, but not necessarily how the pie is divided. A country with excess levels of crime could boast high GDP growth – in terms of more security infrastructure created to control criminals and creation of products to “replace” stolen goods; but would that be a country where businesses wish to set up offices in or the youth envisions a future in? Perhaps not.

Production but no Consumption

Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had once blasted the supply chain and logistics market powering the subcontinent. He noted that 30 percent of all agricultural output failed to cross the point of origin, and of the 70 percent that did make it to a wholesaler, more than 50 percent was “lost” due to poor storage and inefficient transport networks. Nothing that PwC’s report takes note of, however.

Wastages due to shoddy transport chains and below-par storage conditions are rife in the country. Pic: Shutterstock

Issues like the above are steadily being mitigated as foreign players, and domestic startups enter the market with their iterations of how an efficient supply chain should be. After all, the country’s alarming inflation rate is directly linked to a lack of organization in supply chains, with a 15-20 percent increase attributed to the fallacy alone.

But most of the profits such companies make are pocketed by investors and likely remitted to their home offices elsewhere. Sunanda Sen of the Economics Department at JNU calls this a “short-term” capital flow; consisting of foreign players pumping huge capital in Indian markets – leading to overestimated income rates – but quickly exiting their positions once profits are created. An adverse effect of such activity is that the Reserve Bank of India may not entirely hold its supposed $375 billion in foreign reserves.

It’s not like many are trusting the government’s growth figures either. Critics note businesspeople, executives, and people with higher disposable incomes are purchasing on luxury goods more than even, but foreign investment in the country has tumbled down to less than 30 percent in 2017-18. In comparison, China has experienced a 45 percent year-on-year investment rate since 2008.

Another factor that PwC’s glorified analysts fail to account for is the sheer ground reality of India. Employees crunching data over sophisticated MacBooks in air-conditioned offices with hefty paychecks are unlikely to notice the crumbling side of India’s economy – one that is marred with pothole-stricken roads dotted with bottlenecks, malfunctioning monorail systems, and increasing suicide rates in the interior regions.

Broken Infrastructural Backbone

Reports suggest a $190 billion deficit in the infrastructure sector for building roads and rail networks, which power the backbone of any flourishing economy. Trucks in India are also amongst the world’s slowest, and a train route between the major business cities of Mumbai and New Delhi takes 12 hours on average. Compare this to China’s train connection between Shanghai and Beijing, clocking just over 5 hours on a similar distance.

India’s infrastructure is severely lacking in efficiency. Picture: Shutterstock

With such factors, it is imperative that optimistic figures for India’s growth are not truly representative of the actual development taking place in the nation. While GDP figures can be essential to measure tax revenues and estimate productivity, they should not be considered to account for depreciation of capital and human resources of the entire country.

Sure, the wealthiest 1 percent just grew 39 percent for 2018 compared to 2017, but they probably added to the economy by purchasing air tickets to exotic destinations and throwing extravagant bashes for occasions.

From GDP’s perspective, bigger is better. But we do know what happened to the financial sector in 2008 as it got bigger and bigger.

Meanwhile, PwC should probably go back to investing time in securing compliance procedures for its business. The firm is prohibited from auditing any listed companies in Indi until 2020, after criminal charges were levied against the entity for having a below-par fraud team and audit service.

CBOE Chairman: Wall Street Wary of Crypto Investments Due to Lack of a Bitcoin ETN


bitcoin price wall street

Source: Shutterstock

By CCN.com: Chicago Board of Exchanges (CBOE) CEO Ed Tilly believes the cryptocurrency market needs a bitcoin-based Exchange-Traded Note to “truly grow.” His comments come on the back of postponed ETF launches for bitcoin, which could be pushed back indefinitely due to an ongoing U.S. government shutdown.

Regulators “Not Taking Calls”

Hundreds of theories tend to explain the lack of a bolstering bitcoin trading market. However, most base themselves on the absence of both institutional investors and traditional market-like frameworks in the cryptocurrency space.

Tilly strongly agrees with the above. He sees the lack of a traditional market-tracking index and a reliant futures contract – that most Wall Street investors use to hedge their bets – as a limiting factor in the crypto market.

Donald Trump Government Shutdown
Trump’s government shutdown is inadvertently postponing regulatory discussion surrounding bitcoin-related financial products.. Image from Shutterstock

But the lack of quick regulatory decisions made by the government means investors repeatedly face an old story—bitcoin-related financial products getting pushed back due to several reasons, with the most recent one being a government shutdown in the U.S.

Tilly explains his dilemma:

“I have two regulators that are not taking calls right now. That doesn’t mean there is nothing we are interested in. It means nothing is going to happen in this government shutdown.”

Mom and Pop Investors Remain Away from Bitcoin

While the CBOE offers Bitcoin futures on its portal alongside a host of savvy financial instruments, the growth of bitcoin is severely affected by the absence of a trading product geared at “mom and pop” investors – inexperienced traders chasing returns in the financial markets. Typically, such investors bring massive liquidity to the market with small investment portfolios, increasing the monetary value and awareness for many-a-firm. Such retail traders could greatly benefit from trading a bitcoin-tied tracker or note.

For the uninitiated, a bitcoin ETN would fundamentally differ from a futures product. While the latter is a contract for an underlying asset bought at agreed prices but paid for later, the former allows investors to purchase a debt note equalling the price of an underlying asset, such that its value increases if asset price increases and vice-versa. This allows for the trading of assets without actually physically trading said assets.

The presence of ETNs in a market allows investors to hedge their bets and cover losses in case a trade goes awry. Furthermore, purchasing ETNs is a reasonably straightforward process, unlike a significant amount of legwork and legal compliances required to trade futures.

CBOE Bitcoin Products Attract Few Traders

There’s evidence to back claims of ETNs completing the circle of institutional investments in bitcoin. Both CBOE and its rival Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) offer Bitcoin futures since January 2017, leading to widespread speculation at the time about institutional money coming to cryptocurrencies.

But trading activity remains wilfully low. The CBOE only has 3,475 contracts in “open interest” as of Monday, compared to 5,038 contracts in January 2018. Pit these figures against the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) of 370,354 contracts, and bitcoin trading equals a tiny 1.3% of the trading activity compared to CBOE’s most traded product.

Tilly attributes the success to VIX to related financial products structured around the creation, leading both Wall Street investors and retailers to invest.

So what’s holding back crypto-entrepreneurs from providing similar products and increasing adoption? It’s the legion of regulators and decision-making authorities stifling growth in the crypto markets with rejection after rejection of ETF applications, and no formal guidelines on what must be implemented to suit U.S. industry standards.

In August 2018, nine ETFs were declined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, including high-profile offerings from Gemini and SolidX. Regulators cite the lack of control over crypto-markets, both price-wise and judiciary, as the primary concern for authorities.

Tilly believes the first institute or individual to address the SEC’s issue would be awarded the first Bitcoin ETN approval. However, the ongoing shutdown means sophisticated Bitcoin products are not making their mark anytime soon in the traditional markets, let alone offerings based on exposure to other cryptocurrencies such as Ether and XRP.

Traders: Bitcoin Price Recovery Above $3,400 May Lead to Strong Short-Term Rebound


Bitcoin price

Image: Shutterstock

By CCN.com: On January 22, in a steep a sell-off, the Bitcoin price dropped from $3,615 to $3,401 by around six percent on the day.

Although a continuous fall below the $3,400 mark could have led to an extended sell-off throughout January, traders have said that the rebound of Bitcoin from a key support level could allow the asset to recover in the upcoming days.

Chart from TradingView

Not Bullish But Not Bearish For Bitcoin

Since December 2018, the Bitcoin price has shown a high level of volatility in a low and tight price range. In the grand scheme of things, Bitcoin has shown stability in a range from $3,500 to $4,000 and has been unable to break out of or drop below key resistance or support levels.

Alex Krüger, a cryptocurrency analyst and economist, said that Bitcoin’s recovery from $3,400 in the past 48 hours has restored the balance in the short-term trend of the asset.

“BTC failure test of the $3450 weekend low (i.e. push down swiftly rejected) tilted balance back to the long side in the short term. Nothing too exciting though. Short term crumbs for traders. Don’t see any reason for a bullish trend to emerge until sometime after Feb/27,” the analyst said.

Traders including Krüger are in agreeance that Bitcoin has not shown any signs of a major trend reversal. But, its price movement on January 22 prevented a steep fall to the low $3,000 region.

Last month, Krüger explained that due to the volatility of Bitcoin in a low price range and the low probability of major crypto assets breaking out of important resistance levels, it is of less risk for traders to aim for longer trend changes.

He said:

In my opinion, investors likely better off waiting for a trend reversal or sentiment change to start buying. That said, price is around long term trendlines. From that perspective, these levels should be attractive for those with a bullish Bitcoin investment thesis.

Where are Other Crypto Assets Heading to?

Major crypto assets in the likes of Bitcoin Cash and EOS have recorded gains in the range of four to eight percent against the US dollar in the past 24 hours.

If Bitcoin continues to demonstrate short-term momentum in the next three to four days, alternative crypto assets and low market cap tokens are expected to record decent gains against both the dominant cryptocurrency and US dollar.

DonAlt, a cryptocurrency technical analyst, suggested that Bitcoin could still be vulnerable to a short-term drop unless it breaks out of $3,700.

While the daily volume of the cryptocurrency market has slightly declined since mid-January, the volume of Bitcoin remains strong at $5.5 billion, which could contribute to the gradual recovery of the asset.

Fueled by the positive trend of the price of BTC, the cryptocurrency market has added more than $3 billion in the last 24 hours to its valuation.

Storymate Review-“Nobody But Nobody Undersells Storymate”

Thanks for stopping by to check out my review of Storymate.

I LOVE all things social media. I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest tips, tricks, and trends on social. So, you can bet that Storymate caught my attention.

And, it’s totally worth checking out!

So, let’s dive in…

What is Storymate and Why Should I Care?

It’s a new software that helps you easily create professional looking, eye-catching stories for Instagram and Facebook. Put your stories together on your desktop or laptop using a ton of done-for-you templates that even have theme music to choose from. With the click of a button, you can send your stories to IG and FB and save the time, energy, and investment you might otherwise make having a professional designer help you.

When it comes to IG and FB, all eyes are on Stories! Story posting is Growing 15X Faster than News Feed posting. Facebook & Instagram users no longer only update via a news feed status.  Stories are taking over, appearing at the TOP of your news fed on both Facebook and Instagram.

So, why should you care?

This is what works RIGHT NOW and there is a huge opportunity for early adopters who are using Stories.

  • 300 million of Instagram’s total 500 million users use Stories daily
  • 10% of Facebook users use Stories

Stories are growing FAST!

Need another good reason why Storymate is a sure thing?

Storymate is next in a long line of hugely successful and sought-after products from Luke Maguire. Known for his Aussie Accent, extreme sales videos, and #1 selling social media softwares of all time that have allowed not only him, but many of his students to create multiple 6 & 7 figure incomes.

Luke’s track record and history of quality products are a solid reason to check out THIS product.

So, how does it work?

I don’t know about you, but I am all about anything that will save me time AND make my social media look more professional… Especially if it’s easy to use!

And, Storymate is as easy as it can get.

In 3 Simple Steps, you’ll have Stories that outshine just about everyone:

  1. Select a template – 25 designs to choose from

2. Customize Your Content – Choose your images (upload your own or select from our library), add/edit your text, select your background music & click Render.

3. Post and Start Converting – Once you have your story ready, simply 1-Click sync to the Storymate Facebook Approved Android & iPhone apps to post to your FB & Insta Stories.

Boom! All the eyeballs that are all over Stories will soon be seeing YOUR Stories.

Want to see how it works

But wait…there’s more!

Not only will you love Storymate, but you will also love the bonuses you get.

  • Fast action bonus 1 – FB INVITE ALL PLUGIN – Running FB ads? Did you know if they LIKE your ad they may not have liked your fan page? The Invite All Bonus exclusively for launch week allows you to 1-click invite EVERYONE to like your fan page, growing your audience instantly.
  • Fast action bonus 2 – FB FONT CHANGER Tool – You will also get the Facebook Font Changer module 100% free when you pick up STORYMATE before the launch clock hits zero. This allows you to change your font on FB and really stand out of the crowd, stopping people in their feeds seeing your offer.
  • Fast action bonus 3 – AGENCY RIGHTS – Want to sell your rendered stories to local businesses, freelancers, social agencies or even create a gig on fiverr and keep 100% of the money? If you pick up Storymate right now you will get agency rights for life.
  • Fast Action Bonus 4 – 4 week Social Profit Hour Webinar Access – Picking up Storymate now means you will be auto enrolled into the creator’s launch week story webinars where you will be guided step-by-step through EVERYTHING Instagram & FB story-wise. Only available during Launch Week!

Fast Action Bonus 5 – VIP FB group – Access to the Instamate Secret VIP Group where Luke and other top online marketers will be working together WITH you. Your success really depends on who you know and network with the circle you surround yourself in is key to fast tracking your success and holding you accountable to get the results.

So…if you want to:

  • Create Beautiful, High Converting Stories In Seconds – With Templates created for Stories with ‘swipe up’ call to actions, animated videos, editable text, you will be ahead of the competition instantly.
  • Create Stories For NICHE Specific business’s – Storymate has templates for a wide range of niches from Ecom stores, local businesses, ebook downloads, direct to sale sites, affiliate offers and more.
  • Send users direct to your website on a mass scale (higher than regular FB or Insta news feed posts) – Pre-made call to action builder like ‘swipe up’, ‘opt in here’ to allow you to not only create high quality stories, but also provide a call to action that equals money in the bank.

Storymate is for YOU!

I give Storymate 5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why?

  • Easy to Use
  • Relevant in Today’s World
  • Value for the Price

Learn more at : https://trendfunnelsuk.com/storymate-review

Story Creator You Can Lean On! That’s Storymate

Storymate:

Created by Luke Maguire

Release date: 2019-January 16

Front End Price: $47

Sales Page: https://trendfunnelsuk.com/storymate-review

Niche: Social Media (Instagram and Facebook)

—————————————————————-

Ratings:

Ease of Use –   ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Price – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Value for Price – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Market Relevance – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

—————————————————————-

 

How often are you on social media?

 

Like…ALL the time, right?

 

And, whether they admit it or not, so is everyone else.

 

Nowadays, most people are spending their time on STORIES.

Stories are showing up at the TOP of FB and IG and growing 15x FASTER than posting on the actual news feed.

 

300 Million+ Users are interacting with FB and IG Stories!

 

So, now we know that Stories are where all the eyeballs are at…

But, creating effective Stories on FB and IG can be a time-comsuming pain-in-the-rear, right?

 

Well, not anymore…

 

There’s no need to spend hours figuring out how to film & edit videos on video editing suites that cost thousands, wasting time, money and energy…

 

Storymate is the NEW Solution.

 

What is Storymate?

 

It’s the Newest Way to generate & post Viral Facebook & Instagram Stories in 5 Minutes without needing to know how to use ANY Video Animation Tools. Create Beautiful, High Converting Stories in Seconds with templates created for Stories with ‘swipe up’ call to actions, animated videos, editable text, you will instantly be ahead of the competition.

 

How does Storymate work?

  1. Select a Template – Select a template out of  25 highly converting video designs made specifically for Insta & FB stories.
  2. Customise Your Content – Everything inside your template is customisable so choose your images (upload your own or select from our library), add/edit your text, select your background music & click Render.
  3. Post & Convert – Once you have your story ready, simply 1 click sync to the Storymate Facebook-Approved Android & iPhone apps to post right away to your FB & Insta Stories.

Sounds easy, right?

It is!

 

There are a lot of reasons you want to check out Storymate:

 

  • Increase your conversions instantly through Insta-stories – Storymate will create stories from a variety of templates to give you an extremely professional end result & allow you to post them instantly to Instagram and Facebook
  • Users don’t have to worry about being on camera – Many people HATE being on camera & with Storymate gives them the option for users to upload any content they wish or use royalty free content to create high converting stories.

  • Create niche specific content – There are templates that are perfect for Ecom stores, local businesses, personal profiles, and affiliate offers.

  • Build Your Email List Easily – Storymate allows you to create brand specific call to actions to build your email list from your facebook & Instagram followers.

  • Built-in Call to Action – Send users direct to your website on a mass scale that is higher than news feed posts. Pre-made call to action builders like ‘swipe up’, ‘opt in here’ allow you to not only create high quality stories, but also provide a call to action that equals money in the bank.
  • Do it All from Your Desktop – It’s much easier to create from your desktop, and yet easily post to Instagram and Facebook.

Using Storymate is simple and fun. Check it out:

 

All in all, Storymate is easy to use and it’s exciting to think of all the possibilities for this product. Not only can you create impressive, pro-quality stories for your own sites; you can create stories for other local businesses and create a whole other revenue for yourself! (Yep, Agency Rights are included in the Lauch Special Pricing!)

 

Become an early adopter of this new technology that everyone is going to want. Get Storymate with zero risk (14-Day Money Back Guarantee). But, you’ll be amazed at what it can do…and how east it is to make it work for you.

 

Stuff like this are why everyone loves your page

Digital Transformation is a hot topic these days. It might be in the running for buzzword of the year, along with blockchain, disruptive, and cloud-native. And yet, it’s a buzzword that businesses are taking very seriously.

As IDG noted in their 2018 State of Digital Transformation Report:

digital transformation first approach

“More than a third of organizations (44%) have already started implementing a digital-first approach to business processes, operations and customer engagement.

Some 19% are in the integration process of making operational and technology changes throughout the enterprise, and 18% are executing their digital plans and making process, operational and technology changes on a department and business unit level.

Just 7% of companies have already fully implemented their digital first approach and are in the maintenance phase.”

A recent Progress report notes that 85% of enterprise decision makers believe that if they don’t make serious progress on digitally transforming their businesses in the next 24 months, they’ll fall behind the competition and take a hit on their bottom line.

Clearly, people believe that digital transformation is a pretty big deal

But despite the significant enthusiasm and high hopes surrounding digital transformation, many people are still fuzzy on exactly what it means and how to implement it.

The whole idea can feel somewhat like Michael Scott’s proposed slogan for Dunder Mifflin in the show The Office: “Limitless Paper In A Paperless World.”

On the surface, it sounds appealing, futuristic, and forward-thinking.

But once people dive into the nitty-gritty of what’s actually involved, things become a little unclear. Phrases such as Internet of Things, asset digitization, and cloud infrastructure get thrown around, often without clarity on exactly how they relate.

The conversation can quickly devolve into buzzword soup.

In this article, we’ll break down the what, why, and how of digital transformation. We’ll walk step-by-step through the exact nature of digital transformation, why it matters to your business, and practical ways to actually implement it.

Consider this a detailed primer on digital transformation— a roadmap if you will.

What is digital transformation?

Essentially, digital transformation is the process of using digital tools and technology to improve or renovate existing processes.

This process involves strengthening or even replacing archaic, slow, tedious, often manual processes, with easier, efficient, and often automated processes.

But we also can apply a broader, more fundamental way to understand digital transformation.

It means integrating digital technology into all departments of a business, which then dramatically changes how each one operates.

Digital transformation also means a change in the business culture. This change starts in the C-Suite and filters down through every level of the business. It involves a commitment to using digital tools to increase the efficiency and, ultimately, the bottom line.

Digital transformation requires commitment because it’s not typically a simple process. It takes significant changes to long-used legacy systems.

This, in turn, means time and resources, as well as buy-in from the employees who will have to learn new ways to do tasks.

David Terrar at Agile Elephant puts it this way:

“Digital transformation is the process of shifting your organisation from a legacy approach to new ways of working and thinking using digital, social, mobile and emerging technologies. It involves a change in leadership, different thinking, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitisation of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organisation’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.”

And while all this may sound great, it does raise the question: why does digital transformation even matter?

Why digital transformation matters for your business

Frankly, all the high-level talk about the matter can fail to answer the fundamental question of why you should even care. After all, if it’s not broke, why bother fixing it? If long-standing processes and workflows seem to be getting the job done, why rock the boat?

These are certainly valid questions. There are a number of costs associated with digital transformation. It requires a significant commitment in order to make it all work. Is it really worth it for your company to invest time, money, and human capital in this process?

Short answer: yes.

At the risk of overstating things, it’s a matter of survival. Maybe not in the immediate future, but certainly a few years down the road.

Four reasons why digital transformation matters

You can think of these as a series of falling dominoes, with each one leading to the next.

1. Increased efficiency

By its very nature, digital transformation involves making processes and workflows faster, easier, and more efficient.

For example instead of spending hours processing paperwork, you can create digital workflows that will seamlessly and automatically move documents to their proper locations.

This increased efficiency frees up employees to focus on other, more revenue-centered activities.

In a recent survey of 100 IT leaders by Vanson Bourne, 44% of respondents indicated that legacy systems hold back or hamper nearly every project.

Digital transformation enables you to create much more efficient systems and processes, which in turn allows key tasks and projects to move forward much faster.

2. Improved customer experience

Implementing digital transformation allows you to remove points of friction experienced by your customers.

For example, if new clients or customers need to fill out a series of onboarding documents, digitizing and automating that process can lift a significant burden from the them.

This leads to higher customer loyalty and a greater Customer Lifetime Value.

3. Increased profits

digital transformation increased profits

The statistics are clear that implementing digital transformation leads to improvements on the bottom line.

In a recent Gartner survey, 56% of CEOs said that digital improvements have already led to increases in revenue. With this being the fundamental goal of all businesses, this in and of itself is reason to move toward it.

4. Keeping up with the competition

digital transformation influence on revenue

It follows that if digital transformation leads to increased profits, it’s also necessary for keeping up with your competition, who are most certainly implementing a digital transformation strategy.

A recent Forrester survey shows that executives believe that within five years, as much as 50% of their revenue will be driven by digital changes to their businesses.

Bottom line: Your competition know that digital transformation is crucial for future business success, and if you want to keep up with them, you also need to consider a competitive strategy.

Implementing digital transformation in your business

It’s one thing to recognize its importance, but making digital transformation a reality in your business is a different animal altogether.

It’s the difference between talking about running a marathon and actually doing it. Talking about the health benefits and the sense of pride of completing a goal come naturally. Actually running the race requires an intense commitment to training, eating properly, and purchasing the appropriate running gear.

So how do you move from talking about digital transformation to the actual transformation?

We recommend these ten steps for implementing digital transformation

1. Get the full support of top-level management

As noted earlier, this simply can’t happen if the CEO and leadership team aren’t on board. Making the transformation a reality requires time, human capital, and financial resources. It also involves employees learning to do tasks in new ways, which can generate pushback.

Additionally, because it touches every department, it’s essential that the push come from the top down. This commitment signals to everyone in the company that digital transformation is a priority requiring commitment from all parties.

As McKinsey & Company notes:

“…the CEO cannot simply sanction a digital transformation; he or she must communicate a vision of what needs to be achieved, and why, in order to demonstrate that digital is an unquestionable priority, make other leaders accountable, and make it harder to back-track.”

2. Identify strategic change areas

There are certain areas in your business that will benefit most from digital transformation. For example, internal research may show that shortening the time between an application being submitted and company follow up will dramatically increase customer loyalty and reduce the overall churn rate.

Once you’ve identified strategic areas for improvement, look for specific ways digital transformation can contribute to that improvement. Are there ways to automatically move submitted applications to the appropriate individuals? Can the application process itself be made simpler and easier for the customer? By implementing digital transformation in key areas, you maximize the overall effect.

3. Allocate sufficient funding

Almost every change project will require some portion of the budget. Whether it’s replacing legacy systems, making strategic hires, or creating partnerships with other companies, funding will be required.

To state the obvious, it’s critical to determine approximately how much the digital transformation process will cost and then set aside the appropriate resources. It’s true that it won’t be cheap, but the cost of ignoring it will be even greater. Additionally, the benefits created will far outweigh the costs in the long run.

4. Create a launch team

There’s a high probability that neither your executives nor your employees will have experience in engineering digital transformation. If you give them the job of bringing the change to pass, the endeavor will probably fail.

The solution? Creating a team of experts who can lead the process. This usually starts with hiring someone like a Chief Digital Officer, who is then responsible for assembling a team of employees, consultants, and engineers to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Duncan Tait, Head of Americas and EMEIA at Fujitsu, puts it this way:

“While businesses today recognize the need to adopt and adapt to technology, there remain significant issues that are contributing to substantial rates of failure and high associated costs. To realize their digital vision, it’s crucial that businesses have the right skills, processes, partnerships and technology in place. With digital disruption rapidly changing the business landscape, businesses can’t afford to fail in their transformation.”

5. Start with low-risk projects

This works in conjunction with Step #2. After identifying strategic change areas, start your digital transformation with relatively simple, low-risk projects in the strategic areas. Making small progress on big goals creates a sense of momentum and helps people see the overall potential.

Additionally, tackling smaller projects can give you at least a limited sense of what will be involved in the project as a whole.

6. Carefully introduce new workflows

Digital transformation always involves creating new, more efficient workflows. However, the launch team must be careful as they introduce these workflows within the different departments. If the workflows are simply dumped on a department en masse, it can create chaos and engender resentment.

Additionally, the launch team must be aware of the office politics that often accompany new initiatives. Department executives can be territorial and may push back against anything that seems like it might make things more complicated.

The launch team must carefully (and often slowly) introduce new processes, giving employees and department heads adequate time to process and learn them.

7. Continue to build the culture

Digital transformation isn’t a one-and-done process. Rather, it’s something that must be woven deep into the culture of your business. Technology is evolving at an incredibly rapid pace, and in order to keep up there must be a willingness within the organization to adapt, experiment, and strive for continuous improvement.

If this is seen as simply a one-time project, your company will fall behind competitors as technology continues to evolve. A company culture must be created that recognizes these new realities and is prepared to keep pace with them. “Evolve or die,” may be a cliche by this point, but there remains some truth in it.

8. Build momentum

As you make progress on the strategic areas you chose at the beginning of the process, you’ll begin to pick up momentum. Those areas of your business that have been transformed should generate additional revenue, which can then be used for further digital transformation.

Every new transformation initiative should build on the previous one, ensuring that momentum continues to build and revenue continues to come in.

As your efforts begin to snowball, continue to focus on strategic areas that will continue to enable growth. Don’t begin chasing every possible opportunity. Focus on the 20% that will move the needle.

9. Increase core business capabilities

If things go well during the initial rollout, there will come a time when more substantive changes are needed. Core operating platforms, as well as the people who run them, will need to be boosted in order for further transformation to be possible.

In some ways, this is the tipping point for your company. If you continue to build out your core business capabilities to enable further transformation, you can truly become a leader in your industry.

10. Change your operating model

A full digital transformation will eventually require you to implement a new operating model. Departments and functions that were once siloed will need to be reorganized to enable communication and collaboration. Data that was once the property of a single business entity must be easily shared across the company.

To quote McKinsey & Company again:

“…companies will have to lean away from a traditional matrix structure with rigid functional boundaries if the transformation is to succeed. They will need a network structure, organizing around sources of value, with product managers empowered to make decisions with implications that cut across functions.”

The times are changing

When it comes to the way successful businesses run, the times are certainly changing. The, “If it’s not broke then don’t fix it,” model simply doesn’t work anymore. Technology moves too fast and your competitors are moving with it. It’s not about keeping up, it’s about not falling behind.

Creating a company-wide digital transformation won’t be any by easy means. But it’s a worthwhile necessity. The increased efficiency, customer satisfaction, and revenue set you up for years of success.

Former president Bill Clinton put it this way: “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”

We wholeheartedly agree.

Brandyn is the Agency Development Director at MojoTech, a custom software development consultancy.

The post Digital transformation: What it is and why it matters in 2019 appeared first on ClickZ.

Ripple: 5 More Banks & Fintechs Will Use XRP Cryptocurrency


ripple brad garlinghouse xrp

Ripple announced today that a total of 13 more financial institutions had joined RippleNet, putting the total at over 200. Of these, five of them will use the ripple (XRP) cryptocurrency for liquidity. Institutions named in the press release are: JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS, and Euro Exim Bank. While they will use XRP to access liquidity on demand, the 8 others will not.

Kaushik Punjani, Director of Euro Exim Bank, said of the partnership:

As a leader in trade finance solutions for global corporates and fintechs, we are uniquely placed to offer new payment channels and ways to source liquidity. Our customers—whether big corporates or individual remitters—have historically been restricted from obtaining suitable funds or settling transactions in a cost efficient and timely manner. Working collaboratively with Ripple and selected counterparts, we have designed, tested and are implementing both xCurrent and xRapid in record time, and we look forward to the benefits these will bring our customers.

Significantly, most of the companies added to RippleNet will not be using XRP for liquidity. They will be using the settlement layer of RippleNet — Ripple’s enterprise blockchain — and the network of other institutions for cross-border payments. Notably, BBVA has arranged loans to Porsche and made massive instant international transfers using Ripple’s technology stack.

Ripple Price Somewhat Stable

RippleNet and xRapid are Ripple’s core offerings to the financial world. RippleNet allows banks to work with other participants in the network in ways that vastly reduce costs, while xRapid enables liquidity instantly via XRP.

The ripple price remains steadily around 37 cents over the 24-hour period.

The Ripple price remains steadily around 37 cents over the 24-hour period.

Still a long way from its all-time-high of more than $3 per XRP, by all means Ripple continues developing its technology and business relationships in order to increase the cryptocurrency’s network value. Interest in ripple is only growing, regardless of market metrics. Of course, one thing that depresses the price of XRP is the relative plenitude of its tokens.

Brad Garlinghouse said of the new additions to RippleNet:

In 2018, nearly 100 financial institutions joined RippleNet, and we’re now signing two—sometimes three—new customers per week. We also saw a 350 percent increase last year in customers sending live payments, and we’re beginning to see more customers flip the switch and leverage XRP for on-demand liquidity. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure our customers can provide excellent, efficient cross-border payments experiences for their customers, wherever they are in the world.

In reality, positiveness around XRP increases as more government regulation enters the crypto markets. Most importantly, it seeks to be a regulatory-compliant cryptocurrency. In other words, XRP is regulatory friendly in order to be bank friendly. Banks and financial institutions are its target market.

Brad Garlinghouse image from Ripple/YouTube. Chart from TradingView.


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BP Finds a Billion Barrels of Oil, Analysts Say Shares are a ‘Buy’


bp gas oil

Using advanced technology, BP has discovered new oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico. Many analysts are showing confidence in the stock and Goldman Sachs has reissued its “buy” rating for BP shares.

BP Finds New Oil in Thunder Horse Fields

Revealed today, BP has found 1 billion more barrels of crude oil at an already explored oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a payoff for BP after the petroleum company invested in advanced seismic exploration and data processing technology.

BP’s oil output from its Thunder Horse region will now double compared to output five years ago. The new technology utilized by BP meant it was able to analyze data from its Thunder Horse oil field in weeks instead of a year.

Bernard Looney, BP’s chief executive for production and exploration, said:

We are building on our world-class position, upgrading the resources at our fields through technology, productivity and exploration success.

BP also plans to spend $1.3 billion to develop its Atlantis field near New Orleans where it found a further 400 million barrels of oil. The giant is also reporting further new discoveries at its Manuel prospect, a site where Shell holds a 50% stake.

Time to Buy BP Stock? Analysts Say Yes

BP’s share price has risen steadily since the end of December and has fluctuated throughout today.

BP Share Price for the Last Six Months Source: TradingView

Analysts are increasingly positive on the British company. On Monday Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “buy” rating for BP stock. UBS Group reinstated its “buy” rating for the stock, and Raymond James upgraded to an “outperform” rating on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank reduced its price target but also set a “buy” rating. The consensus from analysts currently sits at 18 out of 32 providing a “buy” rating with just one expecting the stock to underperform.

Zacks Equity Research yesterday said that BP could beat its earnings estimates again. The company has set a recent trend of exceeding expectations. In the last two quarterly reports, it beat estimates by an average of over 16%.

Elsewhere in the markets today, Goldman Sachs stock failed to follow a green flush on the Dow Jones this morning. The Dow, however, continued to hold pre-trading gains on news from Donald Trump that trade talks with China are progressing well. The iconic American brand Sears may also have been saved at the final hour with a last minute agreement from Eddie Lampart and ESL Investments.

Featured Image from Shutterstock


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