Tuesday, April 24, 2018

3 Key Business Benefits of Blockchain (Guest Post)

The increasing popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrency is bringing a lot of opportunities to the business world. Not everyone can create a top five cryptocurrency project or exchange platform. However, there are still all sorts of other business benefits of blockchain and the industry surrounding it. Social media, smart contracts, and decentralized applications all present possibilities for entirely new business models. In this article, we’ll take a look at how these innovations will change the future economy and look at some companies that are already emerging in these areas.

Social Media Platforms

While many people in cryptocurrency might see ad bans on sites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter as a setback for the cryptocurrency market, this can also be viewed as a long-term market opportunity. As anyone who is familiar with ICOs and cryptocurrency projects knows, there are already all sorts of emerging social media platforms that have benefited from crypto’s rising popularity. Here are a few examples.
Telegram, which only launched on August 14, 2013, has already accumulated 200+ million monthly active users and has become a staple platform for successful crypto projects. While Telegram, of course, is not solely focused on cryptocurrency, many of its users utilize this app as a form of communication between themselves and crypto project teams.
Steemit is an example of a platform that revolves around cryptocurrency. By tokenizing content creators and curators, Steemit continues to attract more content creators and consumers to use its platform. More details about this project can be found in this detailed guide.
It is very likely that more social media companies will build entirely new platforms around blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Some of these new businesses could very well compete and even surpass the popularity of today’s top social media platforms.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are quite possibly the most far-reaching business benefits of blockchain and crypto projects. They are game-changing both for the project teams that create them and the businesses that use them. Essentially, smart contracts eliminate the need for 3rd party intermediaries in the approval/disapproval process of important public documents.
For example, a traditional contract must go through the approval process of a legal expert and is typically sent back-and-forth between the two signing parties until a consensus is reached. However, smart contracts use code to quickly verify the legitimacy of contracts.There are tons of crypto projects that are working to use smart contracts as a way to create official documents in a wide range of industries (legal, healthcare, real estate, finance, global trade).
The teams that can best develop and market this technology can sell this as a B2B service. The value upside is enormous because companies can use smart contracts to save money on legal fees and eliminate the need for constant, back-and-forth contract negotiation. Projects like Propy for real estate or IBM/Maersk for global trade are good examples of how smart contract technology can be implemented to solve specific, real-world business problems.

Decentralized Applications (DApps)

The rise of mobile apps have changed the way that people around the world interact on a daily basis. However, there is one large problem with the current app market: centralization of power. Essentially, Apple and Google determine which apps are available for the world to use. Many apps are even be censored by national governments around the world. Decentralized applications, however, have no single authority controlling which users can or can’t access them. This decentralization is one of the huge business benefits of blockchain for the wider economy.
Weifund is one example of a dapp that utilizes smart contracts to create a robust crowdfunding campaign platform. This project is likened to a next-generation Kickstarter that gives both investors and companies more freedom. KYC-Chain is an example of a dapp which prevents fraud and completes identity verification checks through the use of distributed ledger technology.
Dapps have the potential to replace and improve many of today’s existing mobile apps. The companies that are successful in developing them can have a significant impact on the future of the P2P sharing economy.

Entrepreneurship in the Crypto Era

Yes, there are lots of projects working on similar ideas and not every venture can succeed, but the good thing about the business benefits of blockchain and impact of cryptocurrency is that it is an ever-evolving space without one clear-cut winner.
Since this technology is still being perfected, there are new market opportunities every day. These opportunities exist for everyone, from dapp development companies to industrial-level ASIC chip manufacturers. Moreover, businesses that take the time to understand how blockchain/cryptocurrency technologies can benefit potential customers could very well become some of the biggest tech giants of the near future.

This article by Delton Rhodes was originally published at CoinCentral.com

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Is Life In Singapore Really Complicated?

Inspired by a recent post from a friend of mine at Growing Your Tree Of Prosperity, he recounted his amusing experience with a telco staff at Starhub and the twist is that he managed to turn himself from a consumer to a "seller"! Kudos to him! Go have a read here to see how he did it!

What caught my eye is not the main point of his post but rather the mentioning of "Life is pretty complicated in this island (Singapore)". Of course, he is right in some sense as even a most simple matter/stuff (like what to eat for lunch?) can be made complicated by human mind. Hence, my view is that what is completed is nothing to do with the life in Singapore (or for that matter, in any other places), but rather the mind that sitting within the blob of our head. 

The other thing is that we tends to translate/evaluate every action/things from the monetary/rewards point of view (which is not wrong) and we thought we are smart since we "streamlined" the evaluation of everything into a very quantifiable element (i.e. $). Right? The complication came as different people see the value of money differently (The value of $1,000 for person A, say a blue color worker will sure to outweigh the value of the same $1,000 for person B, say the CEO of an MNC)  and some people might treat other elements like time, friendship/kinship, enjoyment etc much more valuable than the cold hard money itself.

Of course, there is no right or wrong answer to such thing, it's all open for debate but one thing I am pretty sure is that : if you keep thing complicated, it's harder for you to be happy! Happiness need a lot of freedom and such mental baggage won't help!

Happy a great Sunday and cheers!  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

5 Steps to Protect Yourself Against Bank Fraud (Guest Post)

Often considered the most widespread crime of the 21st century, financial fraud is sweeping its way across the world as high-tech fraudsters instigate a disturbing collection of scams to pillage unsuspecting people's bank accounts.

Just like yours.

Too many people have found themselves victims of bank fraud. So, to decrease the chances of it ever happening to you, here are five steps to protect yourself against bank fraud.

1. Always keep security details private

The rise of online banking has created new ways for hackers to commit bank fraud. In order to keep your accounts safe, when on the phone, sending emails, or entering details online, never disclose personal information unless you are confident you know who you are dealing with, and it is a reputable company or person.

When you are on an unencrypted website or are sending an unencrypted email, never include personal information such as credit card details, as it won’t be secure.

Instead, install an ad block browser extension for your Internet browser to assist in securing sites and make sure that the URL of the page begins with “https.”

2. Regularly update your passwords and PINs

Too many people have the same passwords for every bank account (as well as cell phones, alarms, and the like). And, not only do they have the same code, but they also never change the PIN on their debit card or the password for their online banking transactions.

Even if your bank account hasn't been jeopardized in the past, you should be updating your passwords at least twice a year.

Think long and hard so that you don't use obvious choices and don't include names or dates that are easily guessable such as your birthday. So to take your first step towards protecting yourself against bank fraud and update your information this week!

3. Oversee, monitor, question

While you can (and should) take all the precautions necessary, the best thing you can do is to routinely oversee all of your accounts carefully for any signs of unauthorized fees, and to be on the lookout for any unusual transactions.

You are not going to notice any scams or fraud schemes if you do not review your account statements with the precision necessary to identify fraud.

Additionally, never consent to administer financial transactions on behalf of strangers. If you receive an email or phone call referring to your bank accounts, do not presume the person on the other end is honest — people are not always who they say they are.

4. Request for your bank to do a credit check

As mentioned above, overseeing your financial statements is vital. However, if someone has stolen your information to perform identity fraud and has taken out a loan or applied for credit cards in your name, then it most likely won't show up in your financial statements.

For this reason, you need to request for your bank to do a credit check for you. Through this, you will be able to see what accounts have opened or closed based on your identifying information.

To stay safe, request one every year or when you suspect something foul afoot. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to apply for your own personal loan in UAE.

5. Stay updated on popular scams and red flags

As technology develops and fraudsters become more sophisticated, the scams that occur also evolve. Therefore, you need to keep abreast with the current typical tactics and signs of scams in-the- making.

Websites such as Scambusters.org and Snopes.com track the newest scams and provide advice to help prevent them from happening to you.

Current tactics include:

● Fake tax/police scams: Receiving phone calls or text messages from people who insist you have broken the law or owe taxes. Often, they will tell you that you will be arrested if you don't pay a fine ASAP.

Always ignore these messages and speak to your financial advisor or bank if you have questions. If you continue to get harassed, report these calls or emails to the police.

● False antivirus: Many people have fallen prey to bogus antivirus messages that often pop-up in your web browser. By telling you that your computer is infected, these messages instruct you to purchase and install an antivirus product immediately. Almost always fake, don't follow their instructions as they are often ill-disposed.

By following these steps and remaining diligent with monitoring your online bank account in Dubai, you will massively decrease the chances of anything awful happening to your bank account and your hard-earned cash.

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