Bitcoin’s Highs and Lows: Where to Next?

Since the critical acclaim of Bitcoin and digital currencies in 2017, there has been a lot of talk about its future. Bitcoin was the first digital currency to attract mainstream attention, and after that, 2018 was less than glamorous, with the price plummeting. Are cryptocurrencies a thing of the past already, or a Hard Trend of the future?

Since the critical acclaim of Bitcoin and digital currencies in 2017, there has been a lot of talk about its future. Bitcoin was the first digital currency to attract mainstream attention, and after that, 2018 was less than glamorous, with the price plummeting.

Are cryptocurrencies a thing of the past already, or a Hard Trend of the future?

A Bitcoin Overview

Cryptocurrency uses peer-to-peer technology, similar to the file-sharing technology of the early 2000s. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, it being virtual and decentralized. This means no one is in charge of it and it isn’t backed by the government. Bitcoin’s value is protected only by a distributed network that maintains its ledgers and protects its transactions by means of cryptography.

The concept behind Bitcoin first emerged in 2009 by an anonymous programmer (or programmers) using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. A single Bitcoin is today valued at $8,204, while the market cap is now at $145.66 billion.

Every Bitcoin is connected to an address and every Bitcoin is sent or received by a digital wallet attached to the address. Names aren’t associated with the transactions, creating a system that is wholly transparent while remaining functionally anonymous.

Bitcoin: A Soft Trend?

What exactly can you do with Bitcoins? It’s digital currency, so saving or spending them seems to be the immediate answer. However, in order to spend them, individuals and, more importantly, businesses must accept your Bitcoins. While a growing number of businesses accept Bitcoin, such as Overstock.com, most popular merchants and service providers including Amazon do not.

Let’s first discuss my Hard Trend Methodology and the differences between Hard Trends and Soft Trends to assess Bitcoin’s longevity.

A Hard Trend is a trend that will happen and is based on measurable, tangible, and fully predictable facts, events, or objects. They are future facts that cannot be changed.

A Soft Trend is a trend that might happen and is based on an assumption that looks valid in the present, and it may be likely to happen, but it is not a future fact. Soft Trends can be changed.

While Bitcoin itself grew in popularity, its future success is still a Soft Trend. During 2017, Bitcoin was treated by many as more of an investment than actual currency and likewise faced backlash when it was used for illegal online transactions.

However, the concept of cryptocurrencies is a Hard Trend, and here’s why:

Cryptocurrency: A Hard Trend

Cryptocurrencies are here to stay, including the underlying technology (blockchain) that enables them to function. Cryptocurrency, as well as blockchain, represents a radically new idea in finance: a decentralized system for exchanging value. Due to its open-source nature and its copyright-free core program, there will always be room for improvement. Programmers around the world have already developed military-grade encryptions and new ways to trade, thus stabilizing the prices.

Cryptocurrencies exist as mere entries in a blockchain-enabled accounting system. That system acts as a transparent public ledger that records transactions among “addresses.” Owning cryptocurrency isn’t analogous to having paper money in your pocket. Instead, it means a personal claim to an address, with your own password, and the right to do with it as you see fit. Over time, this will increasingly disrupt traditional models and global currencies, playing a role in a number of future digital transformations.

The Future of Currency: Digital Payments

Imagine you want new shoes, and your favorite shoe store accepts some form of cryptocurrency. If you don’t already possess cryptocurrency, you purchase some from a crypto-currency kiosk or an online exchange and assign it to your online account, known as a “wallet.”

When paying for your new shoes, you open your “digital wallet,” which is unlocked with passwords and/or biometrics, and the currency network is publicly informed that you’ve transferred $100 worth of cryptocurrency to the store. This happens fast, and there are almost no fees and no personal information divulged. Compare this with the slow debit or credit card counterpart, often with a third party involved. The benefits become more clear.

Other Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin was the first digital currency, but not the last. A large number of cryptocurrencies now exist, and the list is expanding. Litecoin, for example, was launched back in 2011 on the same blockchain as Bitcoin and was meant to improve it. Ethereum was created in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin and is a blockchain-based platform that can be used for developing decentralized apps and smart contracts. The list of cryptocurrencies is actually quite large and, as I said earlier, growing. And the enabling technology, blockchain, is being applied to a rapidly growing number of industries creating both disruption and new opportunities.

In Conclusion

Bitcoin versus the technology category of cryptocurrency gives us a clear example of the difference between Soft Trends and Hard Trends. Cryptocurrencies will continue to evolve and integrate into our economy and everyday life, as will the enabling blockchain technology, making cryptocurrency a Hard Trend, while the future success of individual cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is a Soft Trend: It may or may not have a bright future. When you’re able to distinguish between the Soft Trends that might happen and the Hard Trends that will happen, you will dramatically improve your ability to understand and manage risk as you become more anticipatory.

Learn how to accurately manage risk with my latest bestselling book The Anticipatory Organization.

Business Insurance: What you need to know

Getting your own business up and running can be an exciting and deeply rewarding prospect. Being your own boss and pursuing something you’re truly passionate about is the driving force behind many business owners’ decision to take the plunge and branch out on their own.

Yet running a business can also carry elements of risk. Though we like to assume everything will run smoothly, life can sometimes throw us a curveball and it pays to be prepared should things turn pear-shaped. Regardless of your industry, mistakes can be made, accidents can happen and complaints can be filed by angry or spiteful customers.

Therefore, taking out an appropriate form of business insurance is essential. Whether you’re expanding your side hustle into a small business or already managing your own restaurant with a roster of 25 staff, ensuring you have the right sort of cover should sit high on the list of priorities.

There’s a huge range of business insurance options available in Australia, and it can be a bit overwhelming trying to determine which cover is most suitable for your needs. A good place to start is by assessing your key business risks. How vulnerable are you to theft? What would happen if one of your employees was injured on the job? Do you offer any products or services that customers might be unhappy with?

Once you’ve determined any issues your business may be likely to face, you can then begin to compare policies. A basic business insurance policy will ensure that in the event of a serious setback – such as fire, theft or injury – you have sufficient cover to pay for any additional costs that arise as a result.

Some business owners will opt for more extensive policies that will also cover their employees. For example, they will get cover for the sudden loss of staff or for workers taking a significant amount of time off due to injury or illness.

Depending on your level of risk, you may only need one type of basic cover or a combination of policies. Some examples include the following:

  • Public liability insurance is for businesses that offer the use of a public venue, such as a function centre or performance space. This will cover negligence, such as a customer falling over and injuring themselves in the venue.
  • Professional indemnity insurance provides protection for businesses that offer their expertise as a service to clients, such as an accountancy firm or law firm.
  • General liability insurance provides general cover for any accidents or illnesses that take place on the business premises.
  • Cyber liability insurance is for businesses with large amounts of online data that rely on certain types of software.

Once you’ve selected a policy, it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with what’s actually covered. You don’t want to be caught out by the fine print in your moment of need. Often there are certain situations insurers won’t accept a claim for, such as damage caused by a natural disaster, out-of-date equipment that is no longer in use or buildings that are vacant or unoccupied.

Keep in mind that there are downsides to business insurance as well. Taking out cover can often be quite costly. There’s also no way of predicting whether you’ll ever actually be required to use it. Yet unexpected setbacks can arise out of nowhere, and there’s no certainty that you’ll be able to cover the costs on your own. Business insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Bessie Hassan is Money Expert at finder.com.au

Financial Education: The Key to Rich Dad Poor Dad

If you think a balance sheet is a piece of linen that helps you with your equilibrium, there’s probably a good reason why you have not achieved your financial goals.  And make no mistake about it, no matter what some authors tell you, becoming wealthy is much more complicated than sacrificing your daily latte.  Instead, wealth is a matter of education.  That’s the idea behind Robert Kiyosaki’s classic 1997 book, Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Make no mistake about it.  If you have ever listened to anyone who knows anything about making money, it’s often like being in a foreign country, with all the buzzwords and complicated concepts to be heard and understood, but just like visiting a foreign country, once you understand the language and the concepts, you will be in a better position to absorb everything and learn a lot that you can put into play.

The same is true for earning your way to wealth and prosperity.  Once you understand the language of business and how the concepts work together to form a unified whole, you can better understand what the gurus (not to mention the financial books and newspapers) have to teach you.  That’s the whole idea behind Rich Dad Poor Dad, which gives the reader a basic understanding of financial matters so they can use them to their benefit.

Kiyosaki is careful from page one to tell the reader that his book is not a complete financial education, but once you read the book, you will be in a good position to understand the concepts of financial matters and use them to help you build a bright financial future.  Will you get rich by reading Rich Dad Poor Dad?  It’s hard to tell, but the results reported by numerous readers are encouraging.  You have nothing to lose by reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, only the financial mistakes of the past and perhaps a financially independent future.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Top Ten Reasons To Become A Coach Now

Kamy Ahmed shares 10 reasons why anyone should consider coaching as their next career move based on his experience as a respected strategy expert for coaches

As more and more people are becoming sick and tired of the 9-5 grind, more and more people are deciding that they want to step away from the traditional ways of making a living and instead are opting in to become highly ‘credible’ coaches. Ultimately this has given a huge surge to the coaching industry as more and more people are becoming aware that they are able to start a very profitable business using a laptop and an internet connection. the rise of the coaching industry has been phenomenal. It is estimated that by 2020, the coaching industry will be worth well over $2 Billion dollars and being able to work with coaches on a daily basis, here are my top 10 reasons for becoming a coach.

1. Have Total Life Freedom

Have you ever dreamed about working from anywhere in the world? Not having to answer to a boss or anyone for that matter? Being able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, how often you want? Well, now you can. With coaching, you’re able to have that complete life freedom and as long as you have a laptop and a internet connection, you’re able to provide tremendous value to your clients.

2. Doing more fulfilling work

Every single day, I speak with people who are completely unhappy in their jobs. They are miserable because they’re doing the same things over and over again, not going anywhere, staying comfortable because it pays the bills. Becoming a coach helps to get rid of that sense of unfulfillment by helping others get results every day. When you see others succeeding and you were the catalyst in their growth, there comes a true sense of fulfillment because ultimately your clients success is your success. No more feelings of being unfulfilled.

3. Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself

When you push clients further than no one else has pushed them and they get the results they’re looking for, ultimately it motivates you to push yourself. Just imagine everyday you are striving to be the best version of you. Soon enough you will see tremendous results because now as you grow, your clients grow and vice versa. The cycle is definitely one which you want to be stuck in.

4. Financial Freedom

Having true financial freedom allows you to make as much money as you want. No more worrying about how to make ends meet until your next paycheck. With this new found freedom, you now have options, the option to fire your boss instead of him firing you.

5. Become The ‘Go-To’ Person On A Subject

As more and more people are becoming sick and tired of the 9-5 grind, more and more people are deciding that they want to step away from the traditional ways of making a living and insteading are opting in to become highly ‘credible’ coaches. Ultimately this has given a huge surge to the coaching industry as more and more people are becoming aware that they are able to start a very profitable business using a laptop and an internet connection. the rise of the coaching industry has been phenomenal. It is estimated that by 2020, the coaching industry will be worth well over $2 Billion dollars and being able to work with coaches on a daily basis, here are my top 10 reasons for becoming a coach.

6. Have Total Life Freedom

Have you ever dreamed about working from anywhere in the world? Not having to answer to a boss or anyone for that matter? Being able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, how often you want? Well, now you can. With coaching, you’re able to have that complete life freedom and as long as you have a laptop and a internet connection, you’re able to provide tremendous value to your clients.

7. Doing more fulfilling work

Every single day, I speak with people who are completely unhappy in their jobs. They are miserable because they’re doing the same things over and over again, not going anywhere, staying comfortable because it pays the bills. Becoming a coach helps to get rid of that sense of unfulfillment by helping others get results every day. When you see others succeeding and you were the catalyst in their growth, there comes a true sense of fulfillment because ultimately your clients success is your success. No more feelings of being unfulfilled.

8. Become The Best Version Of Yourself

When you push clients further than no one else has pushed them and they get the results they’re looking for, ultimately it motivates you to push yourself. Just imagine everyday you are striving to be the best version of you. Soon enough you will see tremendous results because now as you grow, your clients grow and vice versa. The cycle is definitely one which you want to be stuck in.

9. Financial Freedom

Having true financial freedom allows you to make as much money as you want. No more worrying about how to make ends meet until your next paycheck. With this new found freedom, you now have options, the option to fire your boss instead of him firing you.

10. Become The ‘Go-To’ Person On A Subject

Just imagine what life would be like if you were seen as the ‘expert’ on a subject? What if people were to pay you large sums of money for your advice and expertise? How about if you were seen as the ‘Tony Robbins’ or the ‘Zig Ziglar’ in your industry? All of these things are possible when it comes to coaching. Once you truly stand out and differentiate yourself from everyone else, you become the undisputed king in your field and people will want an expert’s advice, which will be yours.

Kamy Ahmed

By Kamy Ahmed

Kamy is a Strategy Analyst specialised in healthcare, pharma and big data. He works at Dot Coach and Co-Founded How Did He Do It? a strategy non-profit whose mission is that of providing good business strategy to those who can’t afford it.