The Return Of The Crypto
Bitcoin (BTC) became an overnight sensation last year when the price of one bitcoin (BTC) reached an all-time high of $19,783.06 in December 2017, and over the last 24 hours, cryptocurrencies have channeled the same energy. Bitcoin added 2%, trading above $6,600 for the first time this year, with bitcoin cash, the fork of bitcoin created last year, adding 13% as well. Analysts attribute this growth to Bitcoin bull and CEO of Overstock, Patrick Byrne’s fandom over cryptocurrency. Back in 2014, Overstock (OSTK), Amazon’s (AMZN) key competitor in domestic markets, starting accepting bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method for their site. Byrne has said, for some time now, that society is on the brink of a crypto revolution in response to the collapse of our current financial framework.
“People turn to it where they collapse, like Venezuela or Syria, something like that…When people start getting into it is when their own financial systems collapse. So yes, given that I think the entire modern financial system is a big Keynesian, magic money tree Ponzi scheme, I do expect that the day will come when people turn to crypto.”
-Patrick Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, Overstock
Humoring Byrne’s foretelling of the death of current financial systems is still a hypothesis until proven factual. In the interim, investors in the crypto space are gearing up for the potential revolution detailed in Byrne’s prediction by ramping up efforts to mine cryptocurrencies, most notably Ethereum (ETH).
Similarly to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) is a public blockchain network. However, whereas bitcoin serves the purpose of supporting a peer to peer electronic cash system, the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain was designed to run the programming code of any decentralized application. Instead of mining for bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) miners earn Ether, a crypto-token used to access the open source network. Amid positive trends in the cryptocurrency market, Ethereum has gained 3.7% in the last 24 hours, indicating to investors that now may be the right time to buy ethereum (ETH).
Ethereum is on fire in the crypto market, and the heat will potentially rise faster than Usain Bolt versus a local 5th-grade track team. Investors in the crypto space are witnessing a coin that has the potential to triple in value this years according to Ethereum co-creator Steven Nerayoff. Businesses across a myriad of sectors are recognizing the value ethereum’s (ETH) platform offers. Nerayoff attributes the success of his coin to its programmed ability to process transactions at a faster rate than bitcoin (BTC).
“What you’re seeing with ethereum (ETH) is a exponential increase in the number of project — there are billions of dollars being poured into the ecosystem right now — maybe 10 times more projects this year than last year, which could easily lead to a doubling, probably tripling in price by the end of the year.”
-Steven Nerayoff, Co-Creator, Ethereum
Ethereum is currently trading at $216.30 per coin after a miraculous upswing from the dip below $200 in mid-October. The coin’s resistance-breaking performance last Sunday indicates the crypto market is once again highly volatile and ready for a close-up, Mr. DeMille. Investors interested in buying ethereum (ETH) may rest easier knowing that the coin has remained clear above the $200 resistance level since Sunday.
Based on market cap, ethereum is ranked second among cryptocurrencies which means that investors looking for profitable opportunities are analyzing cryptocurrency price predictions to determine if they should buy ethereum. Ethereum’s (ETH) “smart contracts” function of their platform has enticed corporations to invest in the platform, thus increasing the price of the coin itself. Given the coin’s practical applications for businesses and its underlying usage, crypto analysts believe ethereum may rise above other coins.
“People are actually using it for currency, as well. Lower transactional costs are increasing the usage of the entire network, and that’s increasing the network effects of it. There are more suers, more projects being built on there and more programmers.”
-Steven Nerayoff, Co-Creator, Ethereum
Investors looking to get involved in buying ethereum, or cryptocurrencies in general, need to consider several factors. First of all, you need to consider the coin’s usability as well as its application. This base-level understanding is crucial to determining and predicting the appreciation value of coins in the crypto market. In the case of those looking to buy ethereum, investors should know that the coin largely differs from other currencies in the space because of its potential use-cases.
Ethereum’s (ETH) ability to separate itself from the pack, in terms of usability, enables the coin to offer conceivable gains in the near future.
Nike Doesn’t Need Roads
A long time ago, in a Pacific-Northwestern state far far away, a man named Bill Bowerman preached the gospel of the original running shoe. “A shoe must be three things,” he proclaimed. “It must be light, comfortable and it’s got to go the distance.” In the late 1950s, Bowerman was displeased with the current track shoe market. Shoes were made of heavy leather, metal, and were anything but soft and comfortable. As a track coach for the University of Oregon, revered both then and now as an elite running school, Bowerman was obsessed with helping his runners slash seconds of their times. He would dismember track shoes in his garage, and experiment with different animal skins to determine which material made the fastest shoe for his athletes.
One of the first student-athletes to try a Bowerman original was Phil Knight, the eventual founder of Nike (NKE). As to why Bowerman chose him, Knight admitted that “he wasn’t one of the best runners on the team. Bowerman knew he could use me as a guinea pig without much risk.” Bowerman made every shoe to the exact dimensions of a runner’s foot, measuring widths and noting individualities, such as extended heel or slim ankle. As for raw materials, nothing was out of the question. Bowerman used kangaroo leather, velvet, deer hide, snakeskin, and even fish skin, in pursuit of the perfect track sneaker.
“Most American shoemakers are not interested in what we track coaches think about track shoes. The best shoes…at this time are made by the Germans. Their sole material is not too good and I can either replace their sole or I can make my own shoe. I don’t think there is any question, certainly, in my own mind there is not, that I now have the best shoe in the world — if I could just find some good American shoemaker to make it.”
-Bill Bowerman Co-founder Nike 1960
Bowerman would eventually find a good American shoemaker, or better yet, he would become the shoemaker he sought out. Partnering up with his former student-athlete, Phil Knight, the two running enthusiasts would eventually start Blue Ribbon Sports and years down the line, Nike (NKE).
Nearly six decades have gone and went since Bowerman pioneered the first pair of Nike (NKE) running shoes, and since then Nike (NKE) has achieved preeminent success as the be-all, end-all sports brand for athletes, no matter what they play. While shoes designed for athletic performance have been tweaked and reworked for years now, we have yet to see a major alteration in how shoes are tightened, i..e advancements in lace technology. Leave it to Nike (NKE) to, once again, lead the way, running head first into the future.
Earlier this month, Nike (NKE) released the new Adapt BB, a play on the HyperAdapt 1.0, which is itself a real-life attempt on the self-lacing sneakers from Back To The Future II, only this time, no Delorean or wild-eyed scientist could have prepared any of us for this sneaker. Nike managed to create a shoe with power laces controlled via a companion smartphone app.
Matthew Panzarino, a staff writer for TechCrunch, brought up an interesting point when speaking to the possible use cases for app-controlled sneakers. He talked about how basketball players sometimes need coaches to tie their shoes before a game, and after hours of the same level of tightness, with no relief even on the sidelines, this can restrict blood flow and cause injury.
“Consider basketball: Over the course of a basketball game, the foot can expand almost a half-size during play. A level of fit that feels comfortable at one point might feel constrictive just 24 minutes later. Because the needs of the foot change at any given time based on the sport, its duration and on specific movements, like a slashing cut to the basket, “perfect fit” is a floating target.”
–Nike on “Adapt BB” basketball shoe
Trump Unfazed By Buzzfeed Report
Ever since I was a child, my mother always taught me to remember that the worst truth was better than the best lie. She’d whip out this adage anytime she had some inclination that what I had recently told her wasn’t the whole truth, nothing but the truth, but in fact, a bald-faced lie. I recall one evening where I was heading to the house of a friend who lived a considerable distance away.
At that point in my driving career, I hadn’t learned how to operate a vehicle on a highway, so my mother made me promise I would take side streets. Unbeknownst to her, the highway shaved off about twenty minutes of the drive, so naturally, I winged it and made it safely to my friend’s place. I held onto that lie for several weeks until she found out and made me take the bus for the rest of high school. I bring up this story not to bore you, but to demonstrate that all liars must come to terms with their deceit one way or another and that it could’ve been much simpler to just come clean and get it over with.
A bombshell report released by Buzzfeed News late yesterday evening claims that President Donald Trump personally directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen “to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” To those of you who have just about had it with media coverage surrounding our President, imagine how the millions of Americans who voted him into office must feel after hearing about this news.
Over the last two years of the Trump presidency, much has been brought up regarding his behavior as commander-in-chief, with phrases like “obstruction of justice” and “impeachment” coming out of the mouths of Democrats and several disgruntled Republicans. The new report from Buzzfeed alleges that Trump not only “directed” and “personally instructed” Cohen to lie to Congress, but that the goal of these mistruths was “to obscure Trump’s involvement” in the Trump Tower Moscow venture.
Since the release of the report, Democratic leaders have been screaming “obstruction of justice” so loud that even the people in the cheap seats are irritated with the high-decibel blathering.
My opinion, which I can guess might be largely unpopular, is that Americans and left-leaning politicians have had qualms with Trump since he was inaugurated, and in that time, headlines have emerged detailing immoral platitudes made by the President via his official presidential twitter, as well as a need for a federal investigation into whether he colluded with foreign powers to secure the Presidential seat. If the Democratic leadership wanted to introduce articles of impeachment, what’s been the hold up from doing so?
I believe that Trump may be unimpeachable at this point, that is unless the Buzzfeed News report ends up being true and he did direct Michael Cohen to lie under oath in front of the United States Congress.
Back in June, about a month before special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation started heating up, President Trump fired Michael Cohen after his residences and homes were raided by the FBI. Lying awake in anguish every night, Cohen couldn’t stomach his relationship with Trump and eventually decided to cooperate with Mueller. Michael Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in jail for nine counts of felony charges, including being charged with scheming to help secure the Trump presidency.
“I have been living in personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen I deeply admired. Today is one of the most meaningful days of my life. The irony is that today I get my freedom back.”
Following his sentencing, Cohen sang like a canary, to anyone that would listen, about the suspicious activities he partook in whilst serving as Trump’s legal counsel. Cohen admitted that he and several Trump aides continued negotiations with Russian entities about the Trump tower project in Moscow well into the 2016 presidential campaign. He blamed “his blind loyalty to this man [Trump] which led him “to take a path of darkness instead of light.”
As for the fate of our forty-fifth president, we’ll just have to wait and see if Buzzfeed’s report will substantiate a major move by the Democratic leadership, or perhaps their lackadaisical nature will buy Trump a couple more months to come up with a backup plan.
Google Pixel Watch May Be Closer Than We Think
It may surprise you that I am incredibly concerned about the fate of human existence in congruence with modern technology. I firmly believe that with every day that goes by, we are becoming far more dependent on devices than any of us would like to admit, except for me. I fully understand the glitz and glamor dazzling friends with the newest Apple (AAPL) product or some other shiny, high-functioning device, but doesn’t it bother you that devices are becoming more connected to our bodies, both technically speaking as well as literally, in terms of their designs.
A decade ago, almost nobody could’ve anticipated that millions of people would buy a watch that tells time, but also gives you access to your own internal vital signs. Whereas televisions were invented with remote control, giving users a comforting distance between themselves and the screen, we are slowly innovating towards closing the gap between our physical proximity with our devices. One such category of devices referred to as “wearables” by those of us privy to tech jargon, is a collection of pieces of tech driving someone like me up the wall with anxiety. We decided some years ago, after the release of the Apple Watch (AAPL), that wearing technology was somehow a brilliant idea.
In the years following the introduction of wearable devices, companies across the tech industry have championed products designed to allow consumers to track their heart rate, send text messages, and even navigate around whatever city they may find themselves in. One such company, Google (GOOGL) has yet to enter the wearable space, but rumors about a Pixel Watch have whispered in the wind for quite some time now. Today, the world’s search engine turned rumors into facts as it announced plans to purchase smartwatch technology from Fossil Group (FOSL) for $40 million. As part of the transaction, per the official press release, a portion of Fossil Group’s (FOSL) research and development team currently supporting the transferring IP will join Google (GOOGL).
“Fossil Group has experienced significant success in its wearable business by focusing on product design and development informed by our strong understanding of consumers’ needs and style preferences. We’ve built and advanced a technology that has the potential to improve upon our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our innovation partner, we’ll continue to unlock growth in wearables.”
–Greg McKelvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Fossil Group
Though the smartwatch sub-sect of the tech consumer marketplace has been dominated by Apple (AAPL), Fitbit (FIT), and Samsung, it makes sense that Google (GOOGL) would have an interest in getting a piece of the action. Stacey Burr, VP of Wear OS, Google’s (GOOGL) wearable technology division, lauded the Fossil collaboration announcement, expressing that “the addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team” would allow Google (GOOGL) to develop a beautifully designed portfolio of smartwatches, while continuing to support the “ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer.”
It’s worth noting that Google’s (GOOGL) $40 million deal is for technology that has yet to hit the market. Fossil Group’s (FOSL) research and development team have been working tirelessly to create a new product innovation relating to smartwatch technology, but it been kept under wraps for the most part. Burr told Wareable that Google (GOOGL) saw the technology being worked on by Fossil R&D and believed that it “could be brought out in a more expansive way if Google (GOOGL) had that technology, and was not only able to continue to use it with Fossil but bring it to other partners in the ecosystem.”
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