Connect with us

News

The Future of Digital Currencies

Published

on

[ad_1]

“Ah but it’s Digital now”. “Digital” a word whose origins lie in the latin digitalis, from digitus (“finger, toe”); now it’s use is synonymous with computers and televisions, cameras, music players, watches, etc, etc, etc. But what of digital money or even digital democracy?

The printing press caused a revolution in its time, hailed as a democratic force for good by many. Books available to the masses was indeed a revolution; and now we also have e-books and technological devices to read them with. The fact that the original words have been encoded into a numerical form and decoded back to words electronically does not mean we trust less the words we are reading, but we may still prefer the aesthetics of a physical book than a piece of high-tech plastic which needs to have its battery charged to keep working. Can digital currencies such as bitcoin really provide a contribution to positive social change in as spectacular a way?

To answer this we must ask what of money, how are we to understand it, use it and incorporate it into a sustainable model of a ‘better world for all?’ Money, unlike any other form of property, is unique in that it may be used for anything prior to an event even occurring. It implies nothing, yet can be used for great good or great evil, and yet it is only what it is despite its many manifestations and consequences. It is a unique but much misunderstood and misused commodity. Money has the simplicity of facilitating buying and selling, and a mathematical complexity as demonstrated by the financial markets; and yet it has no notion of egalitarianism, moral or ethical decision making. It acts as an autonomous entity, yet it is both endogenous and exogenous to the global community. It has no personality and is easily replaceable, yet it is treated as a finite resource in the global context, its growth governed by a set of complex rules which determine the way in which it may behave. Yet despite this the outcomes are never completely predictable and, furthermore; a commitment to social justice and an aversion to moral turpitude is not a requirement of its use.

In order for a currency to effectively perform the financial functions required of it, the intrinsic-value of money has to be a commonly held belief by those who use it. In November 2013 the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs acknowledged that virtual currencies are a legitimate means of payment, an example of such is Bitcoin. Due to the very low transaction fees charged by the ‘Bitcoin network’ it offers a very real way to allow the transfer of funds from migrant workers sending money back to their families without having to pay high transfer fees currently charged by companies. A European Commission calculated that if the global average remittance of 10% were reduced to 5% (the ‘5×5’ initiative endorsed by the G20 in 2011), this could result in an additional US$ 17 billion flowing into developing countries; the use of the blockchain would reduce these fees near to zero. These money transfer companies who extract wealth from the system may become dis-intermediated through the use of such an infrastructure.

Probably the most important point to note about cryptocurrencies is the distributed and decentralised nature of their networks. With the growth of the Internet, we are perhaps just seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in respect of future innovations which may exploit undiscovered potential for allowing decentralisation but at a hitherto unseen or unimaginable scale. Thus, whereas in the past, when there was a need for a large network it was only achievable using a hierarchical structure; with the consequence of the necessity of surrendering the ‘power’ of that network to a small number of individuals with a controlling interest. It might be said that Bitcoin represents the decentralisation of money and the move to a simple system approach. Bitcoin represents as significant an advancement as peer-to-peer file sharing and internet telephony (Skype for example).

There is very little explicitly produced legal regulation for digital or virtual currencies, however there are a wide range of existing laws which may apply depending on the country’s legal financial framework for: Taxation, Banking and Money Transmitting Regulation, Securities Regulation, Criminal and/or civil law, Consumer Rights/Protection, Pensions Regulation, Commodities and stocks regulation, and others. So the two key issues facing bitcoin are whether it can be considered as legal tender, and if as an asset then it is classed as property. It is common practice for nation-states to explicitly define currency as legal tender of another nation-state (e.g. US$), preventing them from recognising other ‘currencies’ formally as currency. A notable exception to this is Germany which allows for the concept of a ‘unit of account’ that can therefore be used as a form of ‘private money’ and can be used in ‘multilateral clearing circles. In the other circumstance of being considered as property the obvious discrepancy here is that, unlike property, digital currencies have the capacity of divisibility into much smaller amounts. Developed, open economies are generally permissive to digital currencies. The USA has issued the most guidance and is highly represented on the map below. Capital controlled economies are effectively by definition contentious or hostile. As for many African and a few other countries the topic has not yet been addressed.

Starting from the principles of democratic participation it is immediately apparent that bitcoin does not satisfy the positive social impact component of such an objective in so far as its value is not one it can exert influence over but is subject to market-forces. However any ‘new’ crypto-currency may offer democratic participation when the virtual currency has different rules of governance and issuance based upon more socially based democratic principles.

So what if a “digital” currency could provide a valid alternative to existing forms of money in performing the role of contributing positively to: the goals of promoting a socially inclusive culture, the equality of opportunity and the promotion of mutualism; which as their very name implies are alternative and/or complementary to an official or national sovereign currency? Virtual cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are a new and emerging dynamic in the system; though in their infancy, the pace of innovation in the field of cryptocurrencies had been dramatic.

There are many factors which determine the ‘effectiveness’ of money to bring about positive social and environmental change; pervading political ideology, economic environment, the desire of local communities and individuals to pursue alternative social outcomes whilst seeking to maximise economic opportunity, building of social capital, and many others. If a local digital currency could be designed to build extra resilience into a local economy and improve economic outcomes then introduction on a more widespread basis merits investigation. When the current economic system fails to deliver it is manifested in such ways as: increased social isolation, higher crime rates, physical dereliction, poor health, a lack of a sense of community, amongst other undesirable social impacts.

The future is digital?

[ad_2]

Source by Dawn Davies

News

Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?

Published

on

[ad_1]

Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program

Direct Sales Agents

Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.

Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.

Colleges and Universities

Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.

Freelancers

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.

Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.

Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions

There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.

Advertise!

The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.

Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.

[ad_2]

Source by Lina Stakauskaite

Continue Reading

News

Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them

Published

on

[ad_1]

The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.

The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?

Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.

Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.

Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon

First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.

Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:

  • 2006 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
  • 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
  • 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
  • 2020 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2020 to? – Prices Decline

*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.

The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.

Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound

Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.

Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.

Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.

To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.

Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care

If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.

However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.

Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.

This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”

Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price

This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”

However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.

Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.

Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.

Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price

Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.

Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.

During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.

The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.

Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission

Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction

Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.

For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.

Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.

In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.

By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.

[ad_2]

Source by Robert W. Dudek

Continue Reading

News

Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer

Published

on

[ad_1]

Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:

1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers

If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.

2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer

It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.

3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part

Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?

4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer

It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.

5) Brand is important

Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider

If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.

[ad_2]

Source by Damien Oh

Continue Reading

Tags

Live Statistics

Trending