Use Crowdfunding If You Need Capital For Your Small Business

Crowdfunding campaigns may offer a lot of benefits to small businesses. They can help startups get access to a pool of prospective investors and several fundraising options. Although raising funds is always the primary purpose of these campaigns, you may also use these campaigns to gain visibility, customers, and success. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of the primary benefits of crowdfunding for small businesses. Read on to find out more.

1. Efficiency

If you are struggling to build your business and raise capital, you may not afford to pursue conventional financing requirements. In this case, it’s better to set up a crowdfunding campaign on a good platform. These platforms can help you get your message across to a lot of people.

These platforms can help you tell your story and benefit from a focal location that may get you a lot of potential investors.

2. High visibility

Good crowdfunding platforms enjoy high exposure. So, if you run your fundraising campaign on this type of platform, you can have social proof and validation for your prospective investors. And this will build a chain of investors for your startup. And this is what you want to grow your business.

3. Crowdsourced brainstorming

Crowdfunding offers an opportunity for you to brainstorm in order to refine your ideas. The basis of a new business is to look for something that your prospective customers may need. And you can brainstorm ideas to meet that need.

So, what you need to do is grab that opportunity and get customer feedback while putting together a plan for your startup. Crowdfunding can help you get closer to your prospective customers. This way you can engage your customers and field ideas, feedback, complaints, and questions.

4. Loyal advocates and early adopters

Crowdfunding can help you get in touch with early adopters and brand advocates. And these people believe in your product, service, or story. Therefore, they are willing to put their money into the longevity and success of your startup.

They will play an important role in making your crowdfunding campaign a success. Plus, they will get the word out about your success with their friends, family, and members of social networks.

5. Media exposure

Press coverage can attract a lot of potential investors to your campaign. Plus, it can help you raise awareness about your brand. You can achieve these goals through a print publication, blog, or a popular news station.

For instance, a feature story on a social network, such as Twitter can create a snowball effect and bring a lot of investors to you.

In short, crowdfunding has become an ideal way of validating businesses and looking for early adopters and investors. So, if you are looking to reap all these benefits, we suggest that you use a good crowdfunding platform.

Crypto Market Analysis

Cryptocurrency have been around for a while now and there are multiple papers and articles on basics of Cryptocurrency. Not only have the Cryptocurrency flourished but have opened up as a new and trusted opportunity for investors. The crypto market is still young but mature enough to pour in the adequate amount of data for analysis and predict the trends. Though it is considered as the most volatile market and a huge gamble as an investment, it has now become predictable to a certain point and the Bitcoin futures are a proof of this. Many concepts of the stock market have now been applied to the crypto market with some tweaks and changes. This gives us another proof that many people are adopting Cryptocurrency market every day, and currently more than 500 million investors are present in it. Though the total market cap of crypto market is $286.14 Billion that is roughly 1/65th of the stock market at the time of writing, the market potential is very high considering the success despite its age and the presence of already established financial markets. The reason behind this is nothing else but the fact that people have started believing in the technology and the products backing a crypto. This also means that the crypto technology have proven itself and so much that the companies have agreed to put their assets in the form of crypto coins or tokens. The concept of Cryptocurrency became successful with the success of Bitcoin. Bitcoin, which once used to be the only Cryptocurrency, now contributes only 37.6% to the total Cryptocurrency market. The reason being, emergence of new Cryptocurrencies and the success of projects backing them. This does not indicate that Bitcoin failed, in fact market capitalization of Bitcoin has increased, rather what this indicates is that crypto market have expanded as a whole.

These facts are enough to prove the success of Cryptocurrencies and their market. And in reality investment in Crypto market is considered as safe now, to the extent that some invest as for their retirement plan. Therefore what we need next are the tools for analysis of crypto market. There are many such tools that enable you to analyze this market in a manner similar to stock market providing similar metrics. Including coin market cap, coin stalker, cryptoz and investing. Even thought these metrics are simple, the do provide crucial information about the crypto under consideration. For example, a high market cap indicates a strong project, a high 24hour volume indicates high demand and circulating supply indicates the total amount of coins of that crypto in circulation. Another important metric is volatility of a crypto. Volatility is how much the price of a crypto fluctuates. Crypto market is considered as highly volatile, cashing out at a moment might bring in a lot of profit or make you pull your hairs. Thus what we look for is a crypto that is stable enough to give us time to make a calculated decision. Currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ethereum-classic (not specifically) are considered as stable. With being stable, they need to be strong enough, so that they do not become invalid or simply stop existing in the market. These features make a crypto reliable, and the most reliable Cryptocurrencies are used as a form of liquidity.

As far is crypto market is concerned, volatility comes hand in hand, but so do its most important property i.e. Decentralization. Crypto market is decentralized, what this means is that the price fall in one crypto does not necessarily means down trend of any other crypto. Thus giving us an opportunity in the form of what are called mutual funds. It’s a Concept of managing a portfolio of the crypto currencies that you invest in. The Idea is to spread your investments to multiple Cryptocurrencies so as to reduce the risk involved if any crypto starts on a bear run

Similar to this concept is the concept of Indices in crypto market. Indices provide a standard point of reference for the market as a whole. The Idea is to choose the top currencies in the market and distribute the investment among them. These chosen crypto currencies change if the index are dynamic in nature and only consider the top currencies. For example if a currency ‘X’ drops down to 11th position in crypto market, the index considering top 10 currencies would now won’t consider currency ‘X’, rather start considering currency ‘Y’ which have taken it’s place. Some providers such as cci30 and crypto20 have tokenized these Crypto indices. While this might look like a good Idea to some, others oppose due to the fact that there are some pre-requisites to invest in these tokens such as a minimum amount of investment is needed. While others such as cryptoz provide the methodology and a the index value, along with the currency constituents so that an investor is free to invest the amount he/she wants to and choose not to invest in a crypto otherwise included in an index. Thus, indices give you a choice to further smooth out the volatility and reduce the risk involved.

Conclusion

The crypto market might look risky at first look and many might still be skeptical of its authenticity, But the maturity that this market has attained within the short period of its existence is amazing and the proof enough for its authenticity. The biggest concern that investors have is volatility, for which there had been a solution in form of indices.

The Best Books on Cryptocurrency

The Sovereign Individual ~ by James Dale Davidson and William Rees Morg

The Sovereign Individual is one of those books that forever changes how you see the world. It was published in 1997 but the degree to which it anticipates the impact of blockchain technology will give you chills. We’re entering the fourth stage of human society, shifting from the industrial to an information age. You need to read this book to understand the scope and scale of how things are going to change.

As it becomes easier to live comfortably and earn an income anywhere, we already know that those who truly thrive in the new information age will be workers who are not tethered to a single job or career and are location independent. The pull to choose where to live based on price savings is already more appealing, but this goes beyond digital nomadism and freelance gigs; the foundations of democracy, government and money are shifting.

The authors predicted Black Tuesday and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and here they foresee that the rising power of individuals will coincide with decentralized technology nibbling away at the power of governments. The death toll for the nation states, they predicted with extraordinary prescience, will be private, digital cash. When that happens, the dynamic of governments as stationary bandits robbing hard-working citizens with taxation will change. If you’ve become someone who can solve problems for people anywhere in the world, then you’re about to enter the new cognitive elite. Don’t miss this one.

Choice Quotation: “When technology is mobile, and transactions occur in cyberspace, as they increasingly will do, governments will no longer be able to charge more for their services than they are worth to the people who pay for them.”

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind ~ by Yuval Noah Harari

Whenever I want to impress on someone how good this book is, I ask: “Do you want to know the fundamental difference between humans and monkeys? A monkey can jump up and down on a rock and wave a stick around and screech to his friends that he’s seen a threat coming their way. ‘Danger! Danger! Lion!’ A monkey can also lie. It can jump up and down on the rock and wave a stick around and screech about a lion when there is, in fact, no lion. He’s just fooling around. But what a monkey cannot do is jump up and down and wave a stick around and screech, ‘Danger! Danger! Dragon!’”

Why is this? Because dragons aren’t real. As Harari explains, it is human imagination, our ability to believe in and talk about things we have never seen or touched that has elevated the species to cooperate in large numbers with strangers. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, no religions and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings. It is us that makes them so.

All of which is a rather magnificent preamble to where we are today. After the Cognitive Revolution and the Agricultural Revolution, Harari guides you into The Scientific Revolution, which got underway only 500 years ago and which may start something completely different for humankind. Money, however, will remain. Read this book to understand that money is the greatest story ever told and that trust is the raw material from which all types of money are minted.

Choice Quotation: “Sapiens, in contrast, live in triple-layered reality. In addition to trees, rivers, fears and desires, the Sapiens world also contains stories about money, gods, nations and corporations.”

The Internet of Money ~ by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

If the two books mentioned above help us to understand the historical context in which Bitcoin first appeared, then this book expands on the ‘why’ with infectious enthusiasm. Andreas Antonopolous is perhaps the most respected voice in the crypto space. He’s been traveling the world as a Bitcoin evangelist since 2010 and this book is a summary of talks he gave on the circuit between 2013 and 2016, all tightened up for publication.

His first book, Mastering Bitcoin, is a technical deep-dive into the technology, aimed more specifically at developers, engineers, and software and systems architects. But this book uses some choice metaphors to explain why you can’t ban Bitcoin or turn it off, how the scaling debate doesn’t really matter and why Bitcoin needs the help of designers to lock in mass adoption.

“When you first ride your brand new automobile in a city,” he writes, “you are riding on roads used by horses with infrastructures designed and used for horses. There are no light signals. There are no road rules. There are no paved roads. And what happened? The cars got stuck because they didn’t have balance and four feet.” But fast forward one hundred years and the cars that were once ridiculed are absolutely the norm. If you want to swim around in the philosophical, social and historical implications of Bitcoin, this is your starting point.

Thinking of Investing? Think the Bitcoin Way

What is Bitcoin?

If you’re here, you’ve heard of Bitcoin. It has been one of the biggest frequent news headlines over the last year or so – as a get rich quick scheme, the end of finance, the birth of truly international currency, as the end of the world, or as a technology that has improved the world. But what is Bitcoin?

In short, you could say Bitcoin is the first decentralised system of money used for online transactions, but it will probably be useful to dig a bit deeper.

We all know, in general, what ‘money’ is and what it is used for. The most significant issue that witnessed in money use before Bitcoin relates to it being centralised and controlled by a single entity – the centralised banking system. Bitcoin was invented in 2008/2009 by an unknown creator who goes by the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ to bring decentralisation to money on a global scale. The idea is that the currency can be traded across international lines with no difficulty or fees, the checks and balances would be distributed across the entire globe (rather than just on the ledgers of private corporations or governments), and money would become more democratic and equally accessible to all.

How did Bitcoin start?

The concept of Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, was started in 2009 by Satoshi, an unknown researcher. The reason for its invention was to solve the issue of centralisation in the use of money which relied on banks and computers, an issue that many computer scientists weren’t happy with. Achieving decentralisation has been attempted since the late 90s without success, so when Satoshi published a paper in 2008 providing a solution, it was overwhelmingly welcomed. Today, Bitcoin has become a familiar currency for internet users and has given rise to thousands of ‘altcoins’ (non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies).

How is Bitcoin made?

Bitcoin is made through a process called mining. Just like paper money is made through printing, and gold is mined from the ground, Bitcoin is created by ‘mining’. Mining involves solving of complex mathematical problems regarding blocks using computers and adding them to a public ledger. When it began, a simple CPU (like that in your home computer) was all one needed to mine, however, the level of difficulty has increased significantly and now you will need specialised hardware, including high end Graphics Processing Unit (GPUs), to extract Bitcoin.

How do I invest?

First, you have to open an account with a trading platform and create a wallet; you can find some examples by searching Google for ‘Bitcoin trading platform’ – they generally have names involving ‘coin’, or ‘market’. After joining one of these platforms, you click on the assets, and then click on crypto to choose your desired currencies. There are a lot of indicators on every platform that are quite important, and you should be sure to observe them before investing.

Simply buy and hold

While mining is the surest and, in a way, simplest way to earn Bitcoin, there is too much hustle involved, and the cost of electricity and specialised computer hardware makes it inaccessible to most of us. To avoid all this, make it easy for yourself, directly input the amount you want from your bank and click “buy’, then sit back and watch as your investment increases according to the price change. This is called exchanging and takes place on many exchanges platforms available today, with the ability to trade between many different fiat currencies (USD, AUD, GBP, etc) and different crypto coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc).

Trading Bitcoin

If you are familiar with stocks, bonds, or Forex exchanges, then you will understand crypto-trading easily. There are Bitcoin brokers like e-social trading, FXTM markets.com, and many others that you can choose from. The platforms provide you with Bitcoin-fiat or fiat-Bitcoin currency pairs, example BTC-USD means trading Bitcoins for U.S. Dollars. Keep your eyes on the price changes to find the perfect pair according to price changes; the platforms provide price among other indicators to give you proper trading tips.

Bitcoin as Shares

There are also organisations set up to allow you to buy shares in companies that invest in Bitcoin – these companies do the back and forth trading, and you just invest in them, and wait for your monthly benefits. These companies simply pool digital money from different investors and invest on their behalf.

Why should you invest in Bitcoin?

As you can see, investing in Bitcoin demands that you have some basic knowledge of the currency, as explained above. As with all investments, it involves risk! The question of whether or not to invest depends entirely on the individual. However, if I were to give advice, I would advise in favor of investing in Bitcoin with a reason that, Bitcoin keeps growing – although there has been one significant boom and bust period, it is highly likely that Cryptocurrencies as a whole will continue to increase in value over the next 10 years. Bitcoin is the biggest, and most well known, of all the current cryptocurrencies, so is a good place to start, and the safest bet, currently. Although volatile in the short term, I suspect you will find that Bitcoin trading is more profitable than most other ventures.

Want to dip your toe into Bitcoin? Use this link to get started with the Coinbase exchange, and get $10 worth of free Bitcoin: [http://getstartedwithcoinbase.trade]

About me: I’m just getting started with crypto, and am still learning. While the whole thing seems like a fad, a bubble, and overhyped, there is definitely something there worth knowing more about. I hope this article was useful, and encourages you to dive in and check it out for yourself – the best way to learn is to DO, and a free $10 doesn’t hurt. Best of luck!

Should Bitcoin Replace Currency of Central Banks?

Tags: ,

Distinction between Bitcoin and Currency of Central Banks

What is the difference between central bank authorized currency and Bitcoin? The bearer of central bank authorized currency can merely tender it for exchange of goods and services. The holder of Bitcoins cannot tender it because it’s a virtual currency not authorized by a central bank. However, Bitcoin holders may be able to transfer Bitcoins to another account of a Bitcoin member in exchange of goods and services and even central bank authorized currencies.

Inflation will bring down the real value of bank currency. Short term fluctuation in demand and supply of bank currency in money markets effects change in borrowing cost. However, the face value remains the same. In case of Bitcoin, its face value and real value both changes. We have recently witnessed the split of Bitcoin. This is something like split of share in the stock market. Companies sometimes split a stock into two or five or ten depending upon the market value. This will increase the volume of transactions. Therefore, while the intrinsic value of a currency decreases over a period of time, the intrinsic value of Bitcoin increases as demand for the coins increases. Consequently, hoarding of Bitcoins automatically enables a person to make a profit. Besides, the initial holders of Bitcoins will have a huge advantage over other Bitcoin holders who entered the market later. In that sense, Bitcoin behaves like an asset whose value increases and decreases as is evidenced by its price volatility.

When the original producers including the miners sell Bitcoin to the public, money supply is reduced in the market. However, this money is not going to the central banks. Instead, it goes to a few individuals who can act like a central bank. In fact, companies are allowed to raise capital from the market. However, they are regulated transactions. This means as the total value of Bitcoins increases, the Bitcoin system will have the strength to interfere with central banks’ monetary policy.

Bitcoin is highly speculative

How do you buy a Bitcoin? Naturally, somebody has to sell it, sell it for a value, a value decided by Bitcoin market and probably by the sellers themselves. If there are more buyers than sellers, then the price goes up. It means Bitcoin acts like a virtual commodity. You can hoard and sell them later for a profit. What if the price of Bitcoin comes down? Of course, you will lose your money just like the way you lose money in stock market. There is also another way of acquiring Bitcoin through mining. Bitcoin mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the black chain, and also the means through which new Bitcoins are released.

How liquid is the Bitcoin? It depends upon the volume of transactions. In stock market, the liquidity of a stock depends upon factors such as value of the company, free float, demand and supply, etc. In case of Bitcoin, it seems free float and demand are the factors that determine its price. The high volatility of Bitcoin price is due to less free float and more demand. The value of the virtual company depends upon their members’ experiences with Bitcoin transactions. We might get some useful feedback from its members.

What could be one big problem with this system of transaction? No members can sell Bitcoin if they don’t have one. It means you have to first acquire it by tendering something valuable you possess or through Bitcoin mining. A large chunk of these valuable things ultimately goes to a person who is the original seller of Bitcoin. Of course, some amount as profit will certainly go to other members who are not the original producer of Bitcoins. Some members will also lose their valuables. As demand for Bitcoin increases, the original seller can produce more Bitcoins as is being done by central banks. As the price of Bitcoin increases in their market, the original producers can slowly release their bitcoins into the system and make a huge profit.

Bitcoin is a private virtual financial instrument that is not regulated

Bitcoin is a virtual financial instrument, though it does not qualify to be a full-fledged currency, nor does it have legal sanctity. If Bitcoin holders set up private tribunal to settle their issues arising out of Bitcoin transactions then they might not worry about legal sanctity. Thus, it is a private virtual financial instrument for an exclusive set of people. People who have Bitcoins will be able to buy huge quantities of goods and services in the public domain, which can destabilize the normal market. This will be a challenge to the regulators. The inaction of regulators can create another financial crisis as it had happened during the financial crisis of 2007-08. As usual, we cannot judge the tip of the iceberg. We will not be able to predict the damage it can produce. It’s only at the last stage that we see the whole thing, when we are incapable of doing anything except an emergency exit to survive the crisis. This, we have been experiencing since we started experimenting on things which we wanted to have control over. We succeeded in some and failed in many though not without sacrifice and loss. Should we wait till we see the whole thing?