5 Problems Entrepreneurs Face In The First Year

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Entrepreneurship isn’t for the squeamish, cautious, or faint-hearted. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that will quickly squash anyone who isn’t up for the challenge. And while great successes can be enjoyed, they typically don’t happen right away. Struggles, failures, problems, and friction are very common in the early days.

The road to entrepreneurial success is littered with stumbling blocks and potholes. As you launch your startup, be prepared to face the following:

1. Product Validation.

“I’ve seen many startups rush into development of an idea before truly understanding the requirements for a successful product and before validating the financial viability of the opportunity,” says entrepreneur Brandon Hoe.

Hoe believes that you can avoid issues with product validation by asking yourself three questions before launch:

  • How well do you know the problem or industry?
  • Why would someone trust you to deliver a solution?
  • How will you monetize – and will it be enough to cover your expenses?

If you don’t have clear and concrete answers to these three questions, then you need to continue brainstorming and optimizing.

2. Cash Flow Problems.

Cash flow is almost always a sticking point, particularly when it comes to bootstrapping a startup. If you’re committed to not giving up equity in your business, you’ll need to get creative with how you manage your money.

A cash loan can supply you with some money in your personal life, which will allow you to continue running your business without pulling out a paycheck. However, this isn’t sustainable forever. You’ll eventually need to scale your business to the point that you’re able to earn a little money.

3. Limited Time.

You can’t be everywhere at once, yet you’ll find that – particularly in the early stages of growth – you’re being pulled in multiple directions. One solution is to be more diplomatic with how you schedule your days and break things down into digestible tasks and goals.

As one entrepreneur explains, “You should have a list of lifetime goals, broken down into annual goals, broken down into monthly goals, then broken down into weekly goals. Your weekly goals, then will be broken down into specific tasks by day. In this manner, what is on your task list in any given day is all you need to do to stay on track with your lifetime goals.”

4. Talent Acquisition.

You can only be a one-man operation for so long. Eventually, you have to bring other people on board so that you can grow. But if you don’t have a background in talent acquisition, onboarding employees can be extremely tough.

For major corporations with hundreds or thousands of employees, a single bad hire isn’t a disaster. Sure, it’s a waste of time and money, but it’s not going to impact the bottom line tremendously. For a small startup with just a handful of employees, a bad hire can wreck the entire operation. If you don’t feel equipped to do the hiring yourself, a consulting firm may be your best bet.

5. Work-Life Balance.

If you thought you struggled to achieve good work-life balance in your previous role as an employee of a company, wait until you launch your own startup. Startup founders find it nearly impossible to achieve optimal work-life balance within the first couple of years. Finding ways to address this challenge will prove fruitful.

Embrace Your Challenges.

In the words of a famous Teddy Roosevelt’s speech, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…”

As an entrepreneur, you’ll face many challenges within your first few years of building businesses. Instead of fleeing from them, why not face them with vigor and excitement? Why not be someone who tries, even at the risk of failing? Whether it’s this business or your next, you’ll eventually find great success.

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California Sports Betting Faces Tough But Not Impossible Road

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California is the fifth largest economy in the world — if you carved it out of the US — but is still in the 20th Century regarding gambling regulation.

With a projected first-year tax revenue of $100 million, one would think that California would want to have sports betting legalized as quickly as possible. But…it could be at least five years, if not longer, before sports betting is legalized in the state.

Much of the problem is the lack of understanding of the territory, and how the stakeholders interact with each other and the state government. Hopefully this article will clear some of the smoke from the room.

As this is the second industry this decade that has flipped from illegal to regulated, California already has some experience in that regard. I’ll try to decipher here what the issues are, in the hope that better understanding of those issues will help get to a win/win for all parties involved as efficiently as possible.

The lay of the land for California sports betting

Current stakeholders in CA gaming include these three entities:

  • Cardrooms
  • Tribes
  • Horse racing tracks

The cardrooms

Cardrooms have been legal since 1936 (draw poker; hold’em and other poker games were held to be legal in 1987, player-banked table games were legal in 1988). In all three instances, the cardrooms had to go to court, challenge the state’s gambling statute, and win.

They are subject to state regulation, which has been criticized (and justly so, in my opinion) by tribal gaming interests. They are a politically powerful enough group, but pale by comparison to the political power that the tribes have in California.

Tribal gaming

Tribes originally offered bingo, then after winning the landmark Cabazon case in 1987, which led to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, moved on to slot machines, player-banked table games involving cards (house-banked card games in 1993), and eventually went to the electorate to have their casinos fully legal in 2000. The ballot initiative, Prop 1A, amended the California Constitution as follows:

The Legislature has no power to authorize, and shall prohibit, casinos of the type currently operating in Nevada and New Jersey. (Art. IV, Sec. 19 (e))

The tribes (or rather, their attorneys and lobbyists) have interpreted this to mean that they have a monopoly on anything which could be offered in a casino, which would include sports betting. 

Racetracks

While horse racing is generally considered to be a mature industry, with two major tracks closing in the last ten years because the land was more valuable put to housing and other uses, it is still a popular pastime for many in California, and the horsemen have political clout as well.

How they all intersect

As one would expect, the three stakeholders don’t like each other.

The real stakeholders, of course, are the people of California, who would likely see tax revenues approaching $100 million in the first year of operation, and upwards of that as the market matures.

However, the CA state budget is about $180 billion a year, so everything is relative. One would think there’s enough money to go around this time, which wasn’t the case with online poker, which a minority of California tribes managed to defeat in the legislature over a nine-year (and counting) period.

A brief legislative history of sports betting in California

Sports betting has been discussed in the legislature for almost two years now. Early in 2016, Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), who is also chair of the Assembly’s Governmental Organizational Committee (which oversees, among other things, gambling in the state) introduced AB 1573, which would create a framework for offering sports betting.

The bill was fairly vanilla in terms of regulation: service providers licensing with a stakeholder to provide services. For many reasons, including the federal sports betting ban was intract at the time, the bill never got past a reading, nor was there any sort of informational hearing on the matter.

Assemblyman Gray returned in 2017 with ACA 18, which would change the California Constitution to allow the legislature to regulate sports betting. This also went nowhere, although it’s interesting to note that Gray may or may not have had his timeline backwards.

Generally, with regards to gaming expansion in California, you need the electorate to approve a ballot proposal first, then the legislature would write and approve regulations for it. There may or may not be a suggestion here that lawmakers thought it initially wouldn’t need voter approval to promulgate sports betting regulations.

Changing the constitution?

Finally, a group called “Californians For Sports Betting” announced it would be trying to get an initiative on the 2020 ballot which would repeal the aforementioned clause approved by the electorate in 2000.

The first ballot proposal sought to strike down Article IV, Sec 19 (e) of the California Constitution. I originally thought this ballot proposal was sponsored by a sportsbook, because no one with knowledge of how California politics works would understand that the tribes would spend upwards of $100 million, and not batting an eye writing the checks, to defeat this measure and protect their property interests.

What this accomplished was the following:

  • It irritated the tribes so much, they used their political power to have any hearings canceled on the matter, thus effectively killing any legislation for 2018.
  • The measure also annoyed the cardroom industry, because it preempted anything they were trying to accomplish with sports betting, and because many tribes (wrongly) would think the cardrooms were behind the bill (they weren’t). There’s not a lot of trust right now between the cardrooms and the sportsbook operators.

There’s a fear among both some tribes and some cardroom operators that the sportsbooks could just sweep in and dominate the gaming industry, and want to know more before deciding how to proceed. Whether that fear is rationally based isn’t relevant.

A rewrite of the ballot measure

The promoters did rewrite the initiative a couple of months later, which left Art IV, Sec 19 (e) unchanged, but restricting the governor from negotiating compacts with tribes who want to conduct off-reservation gaming (which many tribes probably would support), and directly authorizing the legislature to regulate sports betting, in the manner proposed by Gray’s 2016 AB 1573.

So, the current version of the ballot initiative looks more like it was written by a party with some sophistication as to how gaming works in California, or at least got some help on the issue.

Finally, I would expect some version of the previous ACA 18 or AB 1573, or perhaps both, to reappear shortly after the legislature reconvenes after the holidays.

Who will get to divide the money, and when?

The stumbling block in all of this is an unnecessary battle as to who gets to own the game.

The tribes originally tried to play the monopoly card, but realizing that the tracks are just too strong to be excluded, enlisted them in an alliance against the cardrooms.

Moreover, it’s not a good look to say you’re against sports betting, as some tribes and tribal advocates have stated, when you’re not only remodeling your unprofitable off-track-betting facility, you’re advertising the reopening of it as well. In fairness, tribal interests aren’t necessarily aligned on this issue, depending on the tribe. As you’re going to see, there’s going to be something here for everyone who’s invested in this to hate.

The biggest problem, as I see California, is that you have two major entities who operate gaming businesses with substantial political power, but really don’t understand either gaming nor the casino business.

Cardrooms and tribes stand to benefit

Cardrooms can’t have any interest in the outcome of any deal in their cardroom. Moreover, although some operators fantasize about being able to bank their own games (and hence eliminate the (Third-Party Providers of Proposition Player Services or TPPPS), the reality is that particular learning curve is going to be steep and likely very expensive. Game protection is a totally different animal when it’s your bankroll at stake.

Tribal members get a check, and if they’re lucky, a healthy check, each month from gaming revenues, but don’t really understand how that check is generated. So, you have two related, regulated industries which are essentially mom and pop businesses, no matter the size of them, that generally rely on others to advise them how to run their businesses.

The tribes generally are happy with the status quo and leary of anything but, and that’s certainly understandable.

There are no visionary Jack Binion or Terry Lanni clones in tribal gaming or the cardroom industry. What confusion which comes from that is certainly understandable. Unfortunately, this brings in a number of actors that don’t always have their clients or investors best interests at heart.

No shortage of unsympathetic parties

The tribes, for the most part, rely on their corporate attorneys and lobbyists, who, for the most part, oblige them by treating them like ATM machines, selling unneeded, unnecessary, and most importantly, unwinnable conflict.

The most recent development is a lawsuit filed last month by two Southern California tribes against a number of cardrooms, asserting they are running banked table games in violation of their so-called monopoly on table games.

The first problem is that if this is true, they’re suing the wrong people; their beef is with the state. The second problem is that if you are going to sue the State over breach of compact (the proper filing and cause of action here), that lawsuit necessarily is heard in federal court. As there’s a failure to join a necessary party to the litigation (the State of California) which likely won’t consent to be sued in state court, the most likely result is probably that the matter will be dismissed on procedural grounds.

Effective regulation?

On the other hand, you have a number of “old school” cardroom investors who keep score by not how much they can make, but by how much they can get over. You have a couple of operators who frankly should not, in my view, hold gaming licenses, and the tribes’ complaints to the state about their inability to regulate (read “discipline”) these operators is a legitimate one.

It also fairly begs the question whether or not the state is properly equipped to actually enforce bad behavior (as opposed to letting the miscreants write a check to “settle” the accusations). If they can’t revoke a licensee for egregious anti-money laundering violations, it makes one wonder if they can fairly regulate a business which handles substantially more cash.

The tribes have fought the cardrooms for a number of years on the so-called player-banked game issue. Cardrooms, due to California law, can offer table games, as long as the players bank the games and not the house. Services called TPPPS will bank the games when no one wants to. The existence of these companies is at root the heart and soul of the beef the tribes have with the state.

They assert that they have a “monopoly” on table games and slot machines, where the reality is they probably have neither. They know this, too. For years, they have threatened all kinds of litigation.

The problem is, any litigation against the State of California would necessarily take place in federal court, and not state. Why is this important? With a US District Court judge, which is an appointed for life position, the ruling is going to be on the law, and just the law, instead of the political triangulation elected state court judges frequently offer as a guise to interpreting the law.

To get past motion in federal court, you’re going to have to prove you’ve been injured; in other words, you’re going to have to prove you actually have a monopoly. Hanging your hat on a vaguely written section of the state constitution is a surefire way to jeopardize what monopoly may exist in your own mind.

While courts have used the word “monopoly” in their opinions regarding tribal gaming in California, there has been no explicit grant of a monopoly by the electorate. The constitutionality of Art IV Sec 19 (e) has never been challenged, in my view the clause is murky, especially in light that the tribes could have choosen more direct language in writing the ballot proposal.

Moreover, in the litigation which has previously taken place, it has been by individual members of tribes suing as individuals, using some creative methods for getting their grievances aired in (state) court. So, looking at things from a purely historical manner, the tribes probably know exactly where they’re at with all of this.

The reality for CA sports betting

There are four issues that are real and static.

The convenience factor

First, cardroom customers are almost invariably customers of convenience. Think about the person who’d rather shop at 7-Eleven (poor selection, high prices) than the Safeway, because the 7-Eleven is across the street and he has to drive ten minutes to the Safeway.

Most gamblers just want to be in action as soon as possible. That’s why a gambler who lives in Alhambra, east of downtown Los Angeles, which is maybe 45 minutes from San Manuel, one of the best locals casinos anywhere, would rather drive the 15 minutes to Commerce Casino, even though the amenities are inferior and the cost of gambling is much higher.

As such, even if some of the table games went away tomorrow, the cardroom customer would likely just go back to playing the traditional player-banked games (i.e. Pai gow tiles, Pai gow poker, etc) or poker. Yes, cardroom revenues would decrease somewhat but the tribes would get very little of that. Certainly not any the millions they’ve invested with the lawyers and lobbyists on this particular issue so far, for sure.

Geography

Second, the real complaint that the tribes have with the cardrooms on sports betting, is about the real estate. The cardrooms, which the larger ones are almost exclusively in metropolitan areas, the real estate favors the cardrooms.

With any introduction of sports betting, it is likely the path will duplicate what some other jurisdictions have done previously: roll out the product as land-based only to start. This is concerning to the tribes, but perhaps they have no reason to be concerned.

Let’s take the person who lives in West LA, would he prefer to drive 20-30 minutes to Hollywood Park (or a little longer to Gardena or the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens) or at least double that time to San Manuel, Pechanga or Chumash to make a bet?

This isn’t really business the tribes are getting anyway, and you’re almost certainly losing business because of it. Very similar to the table games issue, in my view.

What’s the plan?

Third, it’s pretty clear the sportsbooks don’t have a plan for California, at least yet. Exhibit A would be the first ill-advised ballot proposition, which effectively killed any chance of getting the matter to the voters in 2018, and certainly didn’t help things for 2020 and perhaps beyond.

Some European operators are online only; the thought of doing retail (walkup, traditional) mortifies some of them. However, they are also natural partners for the cardrooms, as in any legislation that goes through, the cardrooms likely wouldn’t be able to take bets themselves, and would be consigned to charging rent to their operator-tenant.

So, some of this delay in the process is technology-driven, or rather the inability of some modern online operators to operate a “traditional” sportsbook. However, some operators have walkup books in Nevada, the UK, and other jurisdictions and can certainly use their experience to a competitive advantage if and when California opens for business.

Finally, and most importantly in my view, unlike the struggle to get online poker legalized, there’s more than enough money to go around. Pretax revenue for a mature California market, retail books only, has been estimated to approach $1 billion, or roughly 40 times what online poker was estimated to bring in.

At a ten percent tax rate, which is a reasonable one for all parties involved, tax revenue could approach $100 million.

Suggestion box

While the legislature has traditionally deferred to the stakeholders to hammer out their own deal and get back to them, perhaps its time for the legislature to legislate more aggressively instead of defer, because of the amount of potential tax revenue involved.

As stated in the beginning, the real stakeholders in this are the people of the State of California, and as such they’re owed a duty by the people who represent them in Sacramento to get this matter to ballot as efficiently as possible. Especially as there will be layers in this, because of the underlying previous disputes, the legislature would be well advised to be more proactive this time around.

The post California Sports Betting Faces Tough But Not Impossible Road appeared first on Legal Sports Report.

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71 Classic Zig Ziglar Quotes

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Hilary Hinton or better known as “Zig Ziglar” was an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker.

Zig Ziglar is the author of 33 books, including his top selling book “See You At The Top” which sold over 1.7 million copies.

Here are 71 Classic Zig Ziglar Quotes:

1. “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember ~ the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” – Zig Ziglar

2. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar

3. “I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” – Zig Ziglar

4. “Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. If we do our best, we are a success.” – Zig Ziglar

5. “There is little you can learn from doing nothing.” – Zig Ziglar

6. “Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.” – Zig Ziglar

7. “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

8. “The way you see people is the way you treat them.” – Zig Ziglar

9. “Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.” – Zig Ziglar

10. “Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.” – Zig Ziglar

11. “Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission” – Zig Ziglar

12. “If you can dream it, then you can achieve it.” – Zig Ziglar

13. “You can succeed at almost anything for which you have unbridled enthusiasm.” – Zig Ziglar

14. “Ask yourself a question: Is my attitude worth catching?” – Zig Ziglar

15. “The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.” – Zig Ziglar

16. “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” – Zig Ziglar

17. “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” – Zig Ziglar

18. “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” – Zig Ziglar

19. “You are what you are and you are where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You change what you are and you change where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” – Zig Ziglar

20th Zig Ziglar Quote – “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” – Zig Ziglar

21. “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

22. “The more you are grateful for what you have the more you will have to be grateful for” – Zig Ziglar

23. “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

24. “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” – Zig Ziglar

25. “Failure is an event not a person.” – Zig Ziglar

26. “Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Zig Ziglar

27. “Make today worth remembering.” – Zig Ziglar

28. “Every choice you make has an end result.” – Zig Ziglar

 

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29. “Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.” – Zig Ziglar

30. “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now” – Zig Ziglar

31. “Success is not a destination, it’s a journey.” – Zig Ziglar

32. “It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.” – Zig Ziglar

33. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar

34. “Every obnoxious act is a cry for help.” – Zig Ziglar

35. “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” – Zig Ziglar

36. “Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours.” – Zig Ziglar

37. “Happiness is not pleasure, it is victory.” – Zig Ziglar

38. “If standard of living is your major objective, quality of life almost never improves, but if quality of life is your number one objective, your standard of living almost always improves.” – Zig Ziglar

39. “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” – Zig Ziglar

40th Zig Ziglar Quote – “If you’re sincere, praise is effective. If you’re insincere, it’s manipulative.” – Zig Ziglar

41. “You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” – Zig Ziglar

42. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

43. “When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you.” – Zig Ziglar

44. “Everybody says they want to be free. Take the train off the tracks and it’s free-but it can’t go anywhere.” – Zig Ziglar

45. “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” – Zig Ziglar

46. “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.” – Zig Ziglar

47. “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” – Zig Ziglar

48. “Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.” – Zig Ziglar

 

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49. “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” – Zig Ziglar

50. “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar

51. “If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar

52. “Your business is never really good or bad ‘out there.’ Your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears.” – Zig Ziglar

53. “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” – Zig Ziglar

54. “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” – Zig Ziglar

55. “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar

56. “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” – Zig Ziglar

57. “Building a better you is the first step to building a better America.” – Zig Ziglar

58. “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

59. “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” – Zig Ziglar

60th Zig Ziglar Quote“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.” – Zig Ziglar

61. “You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.” – Zig Ziglar

62. “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” – Zig Ziglar

63. “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” – Zig Ziglar

64. “It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one.” – Zig Ziglar

65. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

66. “It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” – Zig Ziglar

67. “Try to look at your weakness and convert it into your strength. That’s success.” – Zig Ziglar

68. “Problem-solving becomes a very important part of our makeup as we grow into maturity or move up the corporate ladder.” – Zig Ziglar

69. “Dreams grow if you grow.” – Zig Ziglar

70. “He climbs highest who helps another up.” – Zig Ziglar

71. “Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand-new day.” – Zig Ziglar

What’s your favorite Zig Ziglar Quote? Share your favorite quote in the comment section below.

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TRON Gaming Should Lead the Way for TRX in 2019

Cryptocurrency, TRON (TRX)–With the crypto markets showing a moderate amount of price stability in the final week of 2018, after falling nearly $700 billion in market capitalization throughout the year, coin projects are consolidating and focusing on growth for 2019.

TRON, in particular, is in the position to expand beyond its current limitations through the industry of gaming.

Since first gaining traction through a strategic partnership with blockchain gaming portal Game.com, the TRON Foundation and the TRX currency have been the premier project for advancing the interest of gaming through cryptocurrency. The white paper for TRON, while controversial and criticized, outlined the project as a platform that would tackle the landscape of digital entertainment, with gaming being one of the more prominent and approachable avenues for cryptocurrency to infiltrate.

The potential for TRON gaming increased midway through the year, with the announcement that TRON founder Justin Sun had acquired BitTorrent in a wholesale purchase of Rainberry, Inc., giving the budding TRX Main Net access to the 170 million user base affiliated with the filesharing service. While BitTorrent is not as direct of a route to gaming as the Game.com partnership, it does present a significant overlap in consumer bases, with the torrenting crowd finding a like-minded interest in the decentralized money of cryptocurrency. Project Atlas, which is being designed to further integrate BitTorrent on the TRON platform while providing greater incentive for torrenters to participate on the network, could also deepen the relationship between the two platforms.

However the announcement of TRON Arcade, as reported by EWN at the end of November, gives a clear indication of the direction for the TRON Foundation in next year and beyond, or at least provide some focus for the currency’s development and investor base. According to the press release at the time, the TRON Foundation will be paying out $100 million over the next three years to spur innovation in blockchain gaming on the TRON platform, while also providing a strong incentive for gaming developers to integrate TRX into their creations.

Justin Sun characterized the announcement as “crucial” for the growth of the currency and crypto gaming, going on to expand upon TRON’s role in the broader sphere of digital entertainment,

“TRON strives to tackle existing issues faced by the gaming industry by leveraging the open, transparent, and immutability of blockchain technology. TRON Arcade will play a crucial role in encouraging developers to join in our mission and provide the best blockchain gaming experience to users around the world.”

With the market still reeling from the deep bear correction of 2018, gaming provides an outlet for TRON to hinge upon and expand in the interim period of recovery. The TRON Foundation and Justin Sun may seek to tackle the megalith of digital entertainment, but with gaming, it may not be necessary to reinvent the wheel. TRON only has to find a way to improve upon the current landscape through the TRX coin in order to incentivize greater investment interest and development for the coin. E-sports, in particular, are projected to surpass $1 billion in global revenue next year, showing an industry that is both experiencing explosive growth and ripe for the input of a technology like crypto.

The post TRON Gaming Should Lead the Way for TRX in 2019 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Justin Sun Quips That Ethereum’s ConsenSys Will Join Tron (TRX)

Tron’s Justin Sun Urges Developers To Join Him

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, as reports arose that ConsenSys, the Ethereum development consortium headed by Joseph Lubin, Tron CEO Justin Sun urges developers at the startup to send resumes to his team. Sun, who formerly worked at Ripple Labs, quipped that his project’s family is “fast-growing and well-funded.”

Now, just one week later, after fear, uncertainty, discomfort (FUD) continued to leak out of ConsenSys‘ walls, Sun has doubled-down on his call for Ethereum’s best developers to join him.

In a tweet posted on Saturday (seen below), the crypto entrepreneur, who also heads BitTorrent, noted that the “next news will be ConsenSys joining Tron,” commenting in response to an article that claimed the project tapped a former Ethereum Classic dev. This recent message comes just after he controversially likened Ethereum to a sinking ship, adding that developers leaving en-masse and startups shutting down is in the project’s cards.

The aforementioned innocuous comment, likely made in jest, only underscore Tron’s recent drive to outperform in 2018’s crypto bear market.

Tron Surges Past Blockchain Milestones

Some have claimed that Sun has been tooting his own horn, so to speak, for good reason. In the past weeks, the Tron CEO has drawn attention to a number of milestones that his brainchild has surpassed. Per Sun, the Tron blockchain now facilitates 83 decentralized applications (DApps). This statistic is up by ~400% since November’s end, when the network ran approximately 20 DApps.

The optimist claimed that at current growth rates, Tron will surpass EOS in terms of DApp counts by the end of January 2019. Block.one-backed EOS, for some perspective, currently houses 259 blockchain applications.

Along with posting a staggering month-over-month DApp growth rate, Sun recently took to Twitter to claim that contracts on the network have been triggered 100 million times, only accentuating that Tron’s DApps have viable use cases.

These two milestones come just days after Tron registered its one-millionth account, which comes just 185 days after the project migrated from Ethereum to its own networks.

Tron’s mainnet also recently surpassed 100 million processed transactions, which indicates that Tron has continued to see monumental levels of interest, in spite of the crypto bear market. This is likely due to the popularity of the network’s dApp offerings. This jaw-dropping milestone came a day after Tron set a new record of 2.64 million transactions in a single day. On that day, this 2.64 million sum was purportedly 9.6x more than the number of transactions processed on Bitcoin, 4.6x Ethereum, 4.1x XRP, 188x Tether, and 264x Stellar.

At the time of writing, TRX tokens are going for $0.019946 a pop, and have posted a -1.5% loss in the past 24 hours. This is in step with Bitcoin’s performance, as BTC has found itself down 1.2% in the aforementioned time period.

Title Image Courtesy of gbarkz on Unsplash

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Buy Bitcoin (BTC), But Diversify Into Crypto Assets Too: Pantera Capital Partner

“Now’s A Great Time To Invest Into Bitcoin (BTC)”

As the year comes to a head, a number of crypto traders and investors have sought to figure out what lies in wait for Bitcoin (BTC) in 2019. Paul Veradittakit, a partner at the San Francisco-based Pantera Capital, has told CoinTelegraph that now’s an optimal time to buy into Bitcoin (BTC).

In a recent Youtube interview with CoinTelegraph, Veradittakit, a prominent venture capitalist and advisor to Blockfolio and Icon, has claimed that from a short to medium-term outlook, it would be logical to invest in BTC at current prices. The Pantera partner isn’t the only industry insider to tout such sentiment, as a number of crypto traders have claimed that in the years to come, traders will be kicking themselves for not buying BTC at $4,000.

Veradittakit, touching on the state of the cryptosphere, noted that altcoins at large remain strongly correlated to Bitcoin (save for Ethereum and XRP). Regardless, the long-time crypto entrepreneur noted that with markets low, today is still a “great time to be buying cryptocurrencies,” adding that diversification into this dynamic industry would be advantageous. He added:

“Putting all your eggs in one basket is probably not a good strategy. So either investing into an index, or investing into a bunch of them [altcoins] that you’re really passionate about, or even going to a fund manager [to run your holdings is logical].”

The Pantera partner’s statements come hot on the heels of a recent report from Ethereum World News regarding Tone Vays’ thoughts on the same subject matter. As reported by us previously, Vays told CoinTelegraph that 2018’s bear market is “significantly different than what happened back in 2014 or 2015.” More specifically, the trader, formerly of J.P. Morgan, noted that this time around, when BTC surges, the “altcoin bubble will not return.”

Vays hinted at the fact that the industry has already preemptively indicated that altcoins won’t return, as made apparent by the Bitcoin Cash debacle (he called it an “implosion”), and other smaller events that accentuated the irrelevancy of these alternative coins.

Jimmy Song, a leading Bitcoin educator and developer, echoed his peer’s points, stating that many “crappy projects (altcoins)” are likely in their death throes, and will be eventually purged from this nascent ecosystem. Song, touching on why this is significant, explained that there has been a “lot of malinvestment in this space,” making the removal of fraudulent projects positive for bonafide coins.

Yet, while there are contrasting views on this topic, both sides do have their biases. Vays and Song, by no fault of their own, entered the industry when there was only Bitcoin (essentially), and have built their investment theses around the flagship cryptocurrency. And while Pantera’s founder forayed into cryptos early, the fund actively invests in altcoin-centric platforms, products, and services, like Abra, Brave, Civic, Ripple, and ZCash to name a few.

2019 Will Be A Great Year

Veradittakit went on to touch on what’s next for the cryptosphere in 2019. The Pantera insider first noted that Bakkt’s launch, which was recently rumored to have been delayed, will be an integral part of the narrative moving forward. he explained that if the crypto market is to return in full-swing, institutions will need to have a viable way to foray into this industry. Bakkt is, of course, a viable fiat on-ramp backed by the Intercontinental Exchange, Starbucks, and Microsoft.

The investor noted that he expects 2019 to beckon in scalability projects, like the Lightning Network and other smaller efforts. But interestingly, Veradittakit explained that he doesn’t expect any of these ventures to be able to compete with Ethereum. Along with a push for scalability, the prominent crypto advisor also noted that he expects for significant institutions to acquire and invest capital into startups, especially as talent continues to flock to this industry.

Title Image Courtesy of Bruno Van Der Kraan via Unsplash

The post Buy Bitcoin (BTC), But Diversify Into Crypto Assets Too: Pantera Capital Partner appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Chinese Survey: 40% Want To Invest In Bitcoin (BTC), 98% Know Of Crypto

40% Of Chinese Surveyed Want To Invest In Bitcoin

According to a survey conducted by PANews, routed through Chinese crypto-friendly media outlet 8BTC, 98.22% of those surveyed had heard of cryptocurrency technology, whether it be Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or otherwise. The survey had 4,980 respondents, 4,200 of which responded in a valid/bonafide manner.

While essentially all respondents have heard the good word of crypto, so to speak, only 14.6% of those surveyed have purportedly made a capital allocation into the crypto market. Yet, 40% have claimed that they are willing to invest in cryptocurrencies sometime in the future. This discrepancy can likely be chalked up to the lack of infrastructure in China, as fiat on-ramps are restricted, if not banned, and accessing crypto-related media, news, and resources aren’t possible without a Virtual Private Network or other mediums to bypass the Great Firewall.

And with the rise of China’s social credit system, which punishes those for breaking laws, however civil or criminal, it makes sense why a majority of Chinese consumers are likely hesitant to foray into Bitcoin or other prominent cryptocurrencies. A reason why adoption has been limited can also be chalked up to the 63% of respondents who claimed that cryptocurrencies aren’t a viable medium of value.

Interestingly, those who bought cryptocurrencies were majorly in the 19-28 age range, with many investing anywhere between 10,000 to 100,000 yuan. This can be chalked up to crypto’s ability to connect with millennials, as Baby Boomers and generations in that vein often fail to comprehend the value of blockchain technology and digital assets. And a good percentage of these entrants first threw money at cryptocurrencies during the 2017 bull run, which mostly preceded the Chinese government’s newfound hate for this budding industry.

Some Skeptical Of Crypto Survey’s Data

While these statistics paint the Chinese crypto scene in a positive light, some have claimed that the survey may be skewed. First, the demographics of the respondents, specifically location-wise, weren’t divulged. This has led many to believe that PANews surveyed middle-class or upper-class citizens that live in sprawling metropolises (Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, etc.), rather than those who live in the countryside. Other skeptics drew attention to the discrepancy between those who want to invest, and those who have invested.

And there are more reasons to doubt the data than just the aforementioned.

As covered extensively by Ethereum World News in recent months, the Chinese government has recently become heavy-handed against the cryptosphere, doubling-down on its aversion to this technology. Case in point, Beijing has banned crypto-centric news outlets on WeChat as hinted at earlier, while Alipay has purged covert Bitcoin over-the-counter operations. Other regulatory measures include curbing access to foreign crypto exchanges and silencing discussion regarding cryptocurrencies online.

Yet, some have claimed that the bans are overstated.

Charles, a crypto trader based in Hong Kong, noted that while the government’s move to ban crypto-related social media channels and physical events may sound harsh, especially considering free speech rights, in reality, China remains one of the world’s most liquid OTC-based cryptocurrency markets. And interestingly, the savant noted that this hasn’t been even going on under the government’s nose, in fact, Charles added that local regulators haven’t sought to crack down on ‘off the beaten path’ platforms.

Shanghai Title Image Courtesy of Li Yang on Unsplash

The post Chinese Survey: 40% Want To Invest In Bitcoin (BTC), 98% Know Of Crypto appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA) and NEO Showcasing Resistance towards the Bears

With the speedy up and downs throughout the market, it has a reached a difficult state to predict what could take place or happen next. But, for the time being the one that is standing out heavily is Ethereum – the third largest by market capitalization.

Ethereum ETH

Without a doubt, the talk of the week is Ethereum and how its performance is closing-in dangerously towards Ripple”s XRP just-gained second place right below Bitcoin (BTC). Roughly two weeks after the fateful BCH civil war took the crypto market by surprise and threw it off a cliff, Ethereum and most coins took heavy blows by the bears. However, XRP appeared to stand ground and reach $4 bln more market capitalization just in a few days compared to the previous-second place holder.

Returning to the present, the very popular Ethereum is standing in the spotlight for the past week and so it is only half a billion far from Ripple’s XRP. Per time of writing the pair ETH/USD is one of the only in the green with 2.70% gain in the last 24-hours.

Eth XRP

source: coinmarketcap

As XRP experienced heavy grinding throughout the year, many thought that Ethereum is history and now the real game is between the crypto-pioneer Bitcoin BTC and the speedy XRP.

However, the next weeks and months could counter-reply the ETH-bearish ideas spread in the crypto community. Case in point, the project’s Constantinople upgrade, the next step in Ethereum’s multi-year plan to integrate Serenity (Proof of Stake, sharding, etc.), is slated to activate over the next three weeks.

Constantinople, which will cut Ether’s issuance rate by 33% and activate short-term scaling solutions, will activate (via a hard fork) at the processing of the 7,080,000 blocks.

Read in details:

Ethereum (ETH) Closes In On XRP After 15% Gain

Showcasing good numbers are also Cardano ADA and NEO against the US Dollar. The pair ADA/USD has reached the level of $0.043 with 3.23% increase in the last 24-hours expanding the market cap gap between it and IOTA (MIOTA). Also, NEO is battling sellers to re-test the major $10.00 mark is it is counting 4.35% in the last day.

The post Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA) and NEO Showcasing Resistance towards the Bears appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Crypto Wallets Still Aren’t as Safe as They Should Be

We’re about to enter 2019, and hardware wallets still aren’t enforcing the protections they should be. Investors and their crypto stashes are still very much at risk, according to a new study.

A team of security researchers – Dmitry Nedospasov, Thomas Roth and Josh Datko – began examining varying cryptocurrency wallets in June to see if these wallets could be compromised or hacked. Six months later, they’re showing their findings in a new presentation at the Chaos Communication Congress.

Are Crypto Wallets Up to the Test?

Among the wallets tested were the Trezor One, the Ledger Nano S, and the Ledger Blue. The developers tested these and other wallets against both supply chain and side channel attacks, finding both chip and firmware-level vulnerabilities in the process.

One of the biggest problems came in the form of the security stickers that vendors typically use as “seals” for the wallets’ boxes and casings. If the sticker is intact, it is often assumed that the device hasn’t been tampered with or is safe to use.

However, Datko demonstrated that a malicious individual can easily remove the sticker by blasting it with a hairdryer on low heat. This pushes the sticker back without leaving any residue on the case. Datko was then able to remove the stickers from the Trezor One boxes and USB ports, leaving no glue or attaching substance behind.

Following this demonstration, Datko opened the wallets’ enclosures, gaining access to the hardware underneath. From there, he was able to replace the microcontroller, commenting:

“Once you’ve done that on the Trezor wallet devices, you can put your compromised bootloader in there.”

This later allowed Datko to connect to the chip and gain consistent access with a hardware debugger, which would allow an individual to install malicious code onto the wallet(s). He then took things further and installed what he referred to as a “cheap hardware implant” onto the Ledger wallet that allowed him to approve transactions without a user’s permission or knowledge. This is particularly dangerous in the sense that a hacker could easily garner and move illegally possessed funds and the wallet owner would never know.

What Could Happen if These Issues Aren’t Solved?

Lastly, the researchers were able to reverse-engineer firmware upgrades and find technical issues that would allow hackers to write custom firmware on the devices.

Granted these and other wallet vulnerabilities remain, 2019 could potentially start in the same way 2018 did – with another Coincheck. What a great beginning to the new year, right?

Do you believe wallet companies aren’t doing enough to protect their clients? Why or why not? Post your comments below.

Image courtesy of Shuttershock

The post Crypto Wallets Still Aren’t as Safe as They Should Be appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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Samsung Files Crypto Trademark in the U.K.

Electronics company Samsung has filed a U.K. trademark for a new crypto wallet. The trademark was filed on Thursday, December 27 with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.

Samsung is also including smartphones, tablet computers, portable computers, computer software and mobile telephones with the crypto wallet in its registration paperwork.

Crypto Goes Well with Technology

The company stated in its filing:

“Computer software for use as a cryptocurrency wallet; computer software for cryptocurrency transfer and payments using blockchain technology; computer application software for smartphones, namely, software to allow users to transfer cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology and pay via third party’s application software.”

Previously, Samsung had denied rumors that its Galaxy S10 phone possessed its own cryptocurrency wallet, though earlier in the month, the venture filed three different trademark applications with the European Union for both blockchain and cryptocurrency-based software.

This isn’t the company’s first outing into crypto territory. Last summer, Samsung announced that it would be using CopPay – a multi-cryptocurrency payment platform for both consumers and businesses alike – to accept digital asset payments for goods and services in the three Baltic States (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). Customers living in those countries could now purchase smartphones, television sets, laptops, tablets and other Samsung products using virtual currencies like bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin.

CopPay announced:

“Our goal is millions of CopPay virtual terminals installed and functioning around the world. CopPay makes it simple for merchants and service providers to become a part of the growing cryptocurrency economy and attract new clients.”

The company further stated that it possessed the “global infrastructure” to allow cryptocurrency payments in the first place.

Despite regular price drops in the likes of bitcoin and its altcoin cousins, there appears to be a growing pressure amongst traditional companies to get involved in the digital asset space. As time goes by, we are seeing more and more companies that have little or nothing to do with digitization or technical finance step into the ring with crypto.

More Businesses Will Lead to Legitimacy

Recently, Madison Holdings Group – a Hong Kong stock exchange-listed wine company – announced that it would be purchasing a 67 percent share in BitOcean, one of Japan’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges. The purchase is alleged to cost more than $30 million.

This suggests that many companies – despite regularly falling prices – see crypto as the wave of the future and are eager to get a piece of the action before things get too expensive or the space is overrun. The more these businesses get involved, the more legitimate the space will become.

Are you excited about Samsung’s latest blockchain developments? Why or why not? Post your comments below.

Image courtesy of Shuttershock

The post Samsung Files Crypto Trademark in the U.K. appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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