“[Bitcoin] is a remarkable cryptographic achievement… The ability to create something which is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value… Lots of people will build businesses on top of that.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google
There is no doubt that cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, has been a major global economic disruptor in the last year. Additionally, this trend is set to continue in 2018 and into the foreseeable future. Ergo, the question that begs is whether you should include cryptocurrency investments in your wealth portfolio or not?
At the outset of this article, it should be noted that the terminology “cryptocurrency” and “Bitcoin” tend to be used interchangeably. Bitcoin is the most successful (and most popular) cryptocurrency. Although, other currencies such as Etherereum and Litecoin are gaining in popularity. Therefore, when this content talks about cryptocurrency in broad terms, it applies to the coins that form part and parcel of the global cryptocurrency definition.
It would seem as though reactions to the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency are divided between love and hate. Traditional investors like Warren Buffet are vocal about the fact that they see no value in diversifying their investment portfolios to include cryptocurrency. In fact, Warren Buffet is quoted as saying on CNBC: “In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending,”
On the other hand, David Z. Morris’s article titled “Bitcoin Is Not a Systemic Financial Risk, Say Top Economists” notes that a current study by the London-based Centre for Macroeconomics has shown that, “nearly 75% of a pool of top European economists do not think cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are, or will become, a threat to the stability of the financial system.” Furthermore, the study found that 73% were of the opinion that cryptocurrencies currently do not (and will not) hurt the current global economic system.
Pointers to take note of when investing in cryptocurrencies
Therefore, when considering whether it is a good idea to trade in one or more of the known cryptocurrencies, it’s vital to take note of the following:
Make sure that you trade with a reputable broker
This tip seems overstated, and overrated to no small extent. However, it is crucial to ensure that the online trading brokerage that you choose is indeed a bona fide company.
How do you determine whether you are trading with a fraudulent broker or not?
The good news is that there are several things to look for on the broker’s website. These include:
- Does the broker’s website clearly state that cryptocurrency trading is a high-risk venture?
- Are you required to submit what is commonly known as the “Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation?
- Is the broker’s website well-designed and easy to use?
- Does the company provide comprehensive education materials and a demo trading platform that allows you to practice successful trading before you move onto the live trading platform?
- Does the broker’s trading platform include statistical and analytical tools such as oscillators and technical indicators?
Appreciate the level of risk involved
Investing in cryptocurrencies is a high-risk venture. However, risk is not always negative. High-risk investments can return high rewards; however, they also can yield significant losses. Therefore, it is vital to invest in cryptocurrencies knowing the level of risk involved as well as your limits regarding your exposure to risk.
In other words, if you are young and are starting to invest and grow your wealth portfolio, you can tolerate a high exposure to risk. On the other hand, if you are nearing retirement age, your risk appetite should be low. You can’t afford to lose money in high-risk ventures.
Plan your strategy and stick to it
There are mainly three basic trading strategies: long-term, medium-term, and short-term investment strategies. And each strategy’s exposure to risk is rated based on the length of time involved with a trading strategy.
Typically, a long-term trading strategy has the lowest exposure to risk. Investors purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (or part of a Bitcoin) when the price is low with the intention of allowing the investment to increase in value over many years. The long-term trading strategy ignores short- to medium-term market volatility.
On the other hand, the short-term strategy has the highest risk and investors should make sure that, when trading in cryptocurrencies, they have researched the historical, current, and forecast price movements of their chosen currency thoroughly before opening and closing a trading position. The short-term trading strategy utilises financial market volatility to increase wealth.
Finally, a medium-term trading strategy falls somewhere in between the short- and long-term trading strategy and has medium exposure to risk.
Cryptocurrencies are not going to disappear off the scene. As noted above by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, the foundation upon which cryptocurrencies are built has immense value for the modern business world.
Therefore, the only question left to ask is whether you are going to diversify your wealth portfolio and invest in cryptocurrencies, or are you going to take the conservative route like Warren Buffet and ignore the long- medium- and short-term value of cryptocurrency trading and investments?
SEO: 5 Reasons Why SEO is Still Relevant Today
The one constant about the Information Age is that it is fluid and everchanging. There is no consistency and stability over long periods of time.
Therefore, digital media marketing best practices also change regularly. Google, widely known as the world’s foremost search engine, spearheads this fluidity and transformation by continually enhancing their search engine algorithms to provide their users with improved search results to the queries submitted to the Google search engine.
Search Engine Optimisation: A succinct definition
Before we look at reasons why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is still relevant in today’s digital age, let’s look at what SEO is defined as:
According to searchengineland.com, SEO is “the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.”
This definition might sound esoteric or “up in the air”. Furthermore, if website traffic is derived from natural search results, then inevitably SEO specialists break the cardinal rule of the definition of natural, or organic, traffic.
There are several branches of SEO like on-page SEO where the search engine optimisation analyst’s main aim is to ensure that the keywords that the brand wants to rank on are contained within the website’s or text. Thereby, increasing the brand’s chance of ranking in the top three to five results on the SERP (search engine results page) and driving organic traffic to the brand’s site.
SEO and its application today
Global statistics show that Google processes about forty thousand search queries every second. This translates into “3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year.” Thus, these statistics alone show the need for a professional and knowledgeable SEO to optimise sites so that they rank in the top SERP results.
The salient point in this context is that it is vital for a knowledgeable and expert SEO to optimise websites.
Because of the high volumes of Internet content that is consumed daily, there is serious competition between brands to rank at the top of the SERP. Thus, it stands to reason that a mediocre SEO has the potential to do more harm than good to a brand’s SERP ranking.
Furthermore, what is vital to be cognizant of is the fact that the overall SEO model is still as relevant today as it was at the development of the digital media marketing genre. However, some of the details, based on the latest trends, within this model have changed. A typical example of these changes is the increasing importance and relevance of social media in the online community. Consequently, the primary difference between the original SEO and the current SEO is that brands with smaller marketing budgets can now compete with their global counterparts by using Social Media Marketing tactics.
As noted at the outset of this article, the single most important constant in the digital media marketing world is that there is continuous change and fluidity. Therefore, it’s vital to contract an SEO specialist to ensure that brands remain relevant within the everchanging digital world.
3 Life Hacks to Help You Survive our Post-Modern World
We currently live in a world that is plagued by regional conflicts, the threat of conflict, trade wars, rising violent crime levels, severe weather events due to climate change as well as the increasing cost of living while our wages stagnate. Therefore, it suffices to say that navigating our way through life is not easy.
However, the challenging geopolitical and socio-economic living conditions are not an excuse to give up. They are a reason to learn coping skills to live as healthy a life as possible.
Ways to live a healthy life in our crazy, modern world
Thus, here are three essential life hacks to help you learn the coping skills you need to live a full, successful, and healthy life:
Helen Keller, one of the USA’s leading educators and humanitarians in the 20th century, stated that “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
As an aside, it is worth noting that she was left deaf and blind after a devastating illness at two years old. As a result, it would be understandable if she was cynical and bitter throughout her life. However, the opposite is true. She went on to live a life of service to others and, in 1920, she ultimately co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU).
Additionally, Chad Cooper highlights “the importance of being in service to others for your own success” in his article on Medium.com. The salient point here is that if we serve others, we focus on others and forget about our misfortunes. Thus, we end up stronger people, better able to cope with the challenges that each day throws at us.
Thus, it makes sense to try and emulate Keller’s and Cooper’s example.
Mindfulness: Stay in the present
Mother Theresa, who also spent her life in service to the most impoverished communities in Kolkata, India stated: “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” It is vital to not let past events contaminate the present and the future. Therefore, treat each moment of each day as a separate, isolated event.
Imagine, a moment, raindrops falling on a surface. Each droplet can be equated to a moment in time. Depending on how hard it rains, how big the drops are, and how level the surface is, the individual drops will either run together to form a raging river, or they will dry up when the sun comes out. Thus, in our scenario, it is vital to ensure that the raindrops do not form a raging river, no matter how hard it rains. The trick is to keep our emotional surface as level as possible.
Spend time outdoors
Making a weekly date with nature is vital. It doesn’t matter whether you visit an inner-city green space, walk along the beach, or hike forest and mountain trails. Nature is therapeutic. Exercise is also extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, can you imagine the benefits of combining exercise and spending time outside?
The fact that our modern, crazy life is challenging to say the least. However, as mentioned above, it is possible to thrive by spending time exercising and in nature, living a life of service to others, and by treating each moment of each day as a unique opportunity to do good.
Top Blockchain Applications Making Waves in Commercial Real Estate
The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is comprised of many different types of service providers, including property management, brokerage firms, banks, and other types of lenders. When a CRE transaction takes place, there are various operators involved, requiring extensive sharing of official property documents, and financial information which need to be validated. The requirements for validating all information across all parties slows down the speed of each transaction, which can take weeks and months to complete. Many CRE firms have turned to blockchain to speed up execution times, decrease error and increase transparency in each transaction.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology is a way to store and transfer information in an encrypted manner by distributing data instead of copying it in a central location. Blockchain does so through a cloud, peer-to-peer network that eliminates the need for a third party, which ultimately reduces transaction fees. A digital ledger is then created and updated with each financial transaction in blocks.
There are plenty of benefits to making transactions and transferring data using blockchain as the technology is not controlled by one central entity, such as a central bank. This means that breaching these blocks is extremely difficult, maintaining the sanctity and transparency of its transactions and data.
Blockchain is the backbone of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which offer speedy and low-cost ways of sending and receiving money.
One of the most exciting ways blockchain is disrupting the CRE world is in the form of smart contracts. The industry currently relies on an inefficient system of old-school verification of property ownership by conducting research to ensure the property belongs to the party who is selling it.
Blockchain can reduce the speed in which the chain of custody regarding CRE properties takes place as a property’s title would be stored on a public ledger. This would remove the need for another central repository, thus reducing transaction, state, city and legal costs. The same principle would apply for leases that would be recorded via blockchain.
More Transparent Deals
Blockchain can also ensure that real estates assets are more liquid and the terms of the agreement are fully understood by both sides as every piece of data regarding a property would be stored publicly. This includes data surrounding former owners, construction done on the property, past maintenance costs and records regarding former inspections.
Having all this information available would give the investor a more comprehensive idea of the property they are investing in. Blockchain essentially ensures that everyone is on the same page and both sides are fully aware of what they’re getting into as every piece of information is out there for anyone to access.
Digital Paper Trail
Another challenge with the CRE industry is the fact that public records can be outdated, unreliable or not available. Following a property’s paper trail can be time-consuming and frustrating as a lot of this information is lost due to poor organizational skills from industry workers and legacy systems that lose data when updated.
With blockchain, every piece of information on a property would be available in the same place rather than in multiple physical and digital domains. Blockchain would also help to eliminate the type of fraud that sometimes exists in the industry as deeds and titles can be counterfeited easily.
Buying Property With Cryptocurrencies
As previously mentioned, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that relies on blockchain to complete financial transactions online in a matter of seconds. Some investors and real estate firms have started adding Bitcoin to the industry, including Ivan Pacheco, who bought a two-bedroom condominium in Florida for $275,000 in Bitcoin.
In the residential space, you can buy a condo on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with Bitcoin. Meanwhile, some apartments in New York City are allowing their tenants to pay for rent using Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies have been historically volatile and they’ve been on the decline since peaking in December 2017, but some investors believe that the future of real estate will be closely tied with Bitcoin and other digital coins.
Nevertheless, blockchain’s role in the CRE industry is becoming more prevalent each day. The technology’s potential to speed up transactions with smart contracts, its ability to add transparency to a deed or title and the fact that it dramatically decreases the chance for fraud suggest that more investors will flock towards firms that use blockchain for CRE transactions.
This article first appeared on RealAtom.
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