Overcoming Founder’s Blues: How Entrepreneurs Can Recognize and Treat Depression and Anxiety

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By Srini Pillay

Mental health is a leading cause of disability in the workplace, yet 71% of U.S. adults will not contact a mental health professional. In fact, people loathe talking about mental health in the workplace, and the C-suite in businesses of all sizes is no exception.

One key reason people do not talk about their mental health is the stigma associated with it. They likely fear that they will be judged and socially discriminated against. In fact, the pressure for them to succeed is huge, and the stakes are often so high that 72% of entrepreneurs report mental health challenges, commonly referred to as “founder’s blues.” For these founders, special risks include losing their funding if they’re judged.

People, unfortunately, have many misconceptions about being judged. For instance, CEOs may feel ashamed they have mental health challenges, but if nearly three-quarters of entrepreneurs report mental health challenges, they are certainly not alone. Also, depressed people often feel like they are odd. Yet the World Health Organization predicts that depression will be ranked as the second largest cause of burden of disease by 2020. One in six people will have depression at some point in their lifetimes, and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses.

Be aware of your feelings

In 2015, psychology professor Michael Freeman researched mental health conditions among entrepreneurs. He found that 49% of entrepreneurs reported struggling with at least one mental health condition, and depression, the number one reported condition, was present in 30% of participants—more than four times the rate of the general U.S. population.

It would help if small business owners and C-suite executives could self-identify their depression or anxiety. Moodiness and being on edge might be part and parcel of the day in the life of an entrepreneur, but when depression and anxiety start to disrupt your social and work lives, it’s time to start paying attention.

Typically, depression is accompanied by trouble sleeping, poor diet, and lower energy, and you may also find you no longer can concentrate on your work and the work itself feels far less interesting than it used to. Often, entrepreneurs feel guilty about this. And in some cases, they might be slowed down, keyed up, or on edge and, in the worst cases, suicidal. They are all signs of a clinical depression.

Anxiety can also present in a variety of forms. You might notice panic attacks that appear out of the blue, feel excessively worried, or feel anxious in social situations. Each of these types of anxiety connotes a specific type of anxiety disorder and should be attended to. These symptoms are often accompanied by a fear of being able to escape when in crowds, anger, body tension, or a fear of being embarrassed in front of a group.

Although there are no signs of depression or anxiety that are unique to business owners, the stressors that precipitate these syndromes might be situation-specific. Often, the very strengths that make entrepreneurs unique, such as their risk-taking ability, creativity, ability to manage stress, and ability to stand out from a crowd, lead to stressors such as uncertainty, inability to stay in control, burnout, and loneliness.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

  • The Complete 35-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business
  • 25 Frequently Asked Questions on Starting a Business
  • 50 Questions Angel Investors Will Ask Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Key Lessons for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business

For health and happiness

If you are wondering when you should take action, you should do so the first time you register that something out of the ordinary is happening. You may be so consumed by work that you think that poor sleep or trouble concentrating is par for the course. But if you seek help early, you may be able to prevent severe depression or anxiety.

The first person to talk to is you primary care physician. Depression and anxiety could signify a medical illness. For instance, depression might be a presenting sign of an underactive thyroid gland, or it might even signify heart disease. Similarly, anxiety might indicate an abnormal heart rhythm, or it might be due to a tumor of the adrenal gland.

Once medical issues have been ruled out, you may want to consider medication or psychotherapy as a treatment. There are many effective medications and psychotherapies for depression and anxiety. A psychiatrist or registered nurse practitioner can prescribe medication, and psychologists and social workers can provide psychotherapy, too.

Apart from formal mental health treatment, you can also make lifestyle changes to help your anxiety and depression. For instance, physical exercise can be helpful for anxiety and depression. Also build breaks into your days to manage your energy more effectively and to strategically unfocus, too. Contrary to what you may think, it is better not to isolate and jump into your pajamas when you get home. Natural light can be helpful for dealing with depression, and at work, moving a desk toward light might help, too.

Emotions are contagious

If you think you need to communicate you condition to other members of your team, you don’t need to describe your exact condition, but you can say you have been diagnosed with a condition that might affect your working patterns and the duration is not known. When a leader takes care of his or her own depression and anxiety, he or she is also taking care of the mental health of the company as a whole. Emotions are contagious, and unaddressed anxiety and depression can eventually affect the entire company.

Depression and anxiety also have significant financial costs as a result of absenteeism and presenteeism. That’s why addressing this issue is so important not only for a small business owner’s personal well-being, but also for the emotional culture and financial growth of the company.

RELATED: Taking Care of Business by Taking Care of Yourself

About the Author

Post by: Srini Pillay

Srini Pillay, M.D., is the CEO of NeuroBusiness Group and the award-winning author of numerous books, including Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind, Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear, and Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders. He also serves as a part-time assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and teaches in the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School. Recently, Srini created a series of videos on “Managing Depression in the Workplace” for LinkedIn Learning.

Company: NeuroBusiness Group
Website: www.nbgcorporate.com
Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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4 Reasons Why a Professional Headshot Matters in Business

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By Matthew Hamilton

In today’s world, our digital identities have become a huge part of our lives. And headshots have become, in a way, the new business card or logo. Anyone who is entrepreneurial, looking for a new job, or is trying to step up their online presence needs an awesome headshot. Even if you just want a profile photo for Facebook or Instagram, having a great photo is crucial as more and more businesses are looking at our social media accounts before hiring us.

Here are a few ways a professional headshot can help take your career to the next level:

1. It’s your business card

Headshots have become the new business card. In many scenarios, it’s your first impression and the first look people may have at what you look like. According to a Career Builder survey, 70% of employers will look over your social media pages before hiring you. While this may seem creepy, it is a good opportunity for you to impress your future employer by showing them you are a professional during your after hours, too.

However, keep in mind there may be negative implications of not having a professional photo as your profile photo. Filling your avatar image with a selfie from a wedding last year might not be the way to go. What does that image say about you? Is it helping the brand you are trying to build? Is it a good representation of who you are trying to be? Which leads me to my next point . . .

2. It offers a peek into who you are

Your headshot is a perfect and easy way to tell the story of who you are. A great headshot should show your personality, so people can get more of a sense of who you are, and while you still look professional. Everything from the background, facial expression, to the clothes you wear tell a story and allows viewers to get a peek into who you are. Make sure to think about all of these moving parts while you’re getting your photo shot (or before) as they all will impact how well your headshot works for you.

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  • The Complete 35-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business
  • 25 Frequently Asked Questions on Starting a Business
  • 50 Questions Angel Investors Will Ask Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Key Lessons for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business

3. It’s an extension of your personal brand

The look of your photo should match whatever you see as your “brand”—meaning, everything about this photo should scream YOU to the visitor. As an example, if you work for a business casual company, your clothing should match that look. If you work for a funeral home, perhaps a jolly smile is not the best look for your profession.

Your photographer should be able to give you some insight on what might look best in your particular case. Remember though, this is a team effort, let your photographer know the vibe you are trying to give off in the photo so that they can then work within that idea. For instance, I like to shoot against a grey background just because it’s what I prefer. However, if someone comes in and they envision their headshot on a white background, we are going to shoot on white. It is up to you to decide what you think will work best for your personal brand.

4. You are investing in yourself

A professional headshot is an expense that you owe yourself; you will be investing in your future. The level of positive reach this one photo could get you is immeasurable. Having a professional headshot not only shows potential employers how confident you are that you can get the job done, but you are also showing yourself that you can do it, too. Confidence can be instilled just by seeing a great photo of yourself.

Make a great first impression

I want you to now look at your current headshot. Does it display the first impression that you want? Does it show potential employers the person you want them to see? Do you think it represents you well?

Having an up-to-date headshot that puts you in your best light is paramount. We’ve already talked about social media and the role it plays; having an up-to-date photo gives people a more accurate insight into who you are. You may also get a request asking for a headshot to accompany an article being written about you, or your employer may need one for the company website. You do not want a quick photo taken by a friend to get posted on a website or to go out with a special announcement.

If you’ve been putting off having your photo taken, now is the time to invest in your future and get a great photo that will take your personal brand, social media image, and professional life to the next level.

RELATED: Could Your ‘Facebookonality’ Be Hurting Your Business?

About the Author

Post by: Matthew Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton is a portrait photographer based in the Philadelphia area who specializes in headshots. Matthew has experience in both photo and video settings. His work can be found at: www.mhamiltonvisuals.com
.

Company: MHamiltonVisuals
Website: www.mhamiltonvisuals.com
Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Precision Marketing: How to Boost Sales By Staying Relevant to Your Customers

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By Ashley Kimler

Your customers have never had it so good, in the sense there’s never been so much choice. On the flip side, too much choice can be a bad thing if a customer feels overwhelmed and can’t decide which brand to shop with. 

What all customers would prefer is a brand that knows them inside out, and tailors marketing campaigns and products specifically to them. This would encourage customer loyalty and mean customers don’t have to waste time trying to find the right brand each time they go shopping. Instead, they can return to old familiar faces. 

In a nutshell, this is where precision marketing comes in. For businesses, it’s a weapon for hitting the spot with existing customers so they turn into loyal, long-term customers. 

What is precision marketing?

Picture it: You’ve just made a purchase from an online store and you’re happy. Two days later, the same store sends you an email offering a discount on the item you have just purchased. Matter of fact, the item arrived at your door that morning!

This kind of thing is a major turn-off to customers. It tells them that the business just doesn’t get them. It’s the same with content. If you bombard existing customers with content that doesn’t match their needs, you’re missing the mark and turning people away. 

The point of precision marketing is to target existing customers with the aim of promoting brand loyalty. Instead of using ads, marketers create tailored offers, deals, and even gimmicks, that hit the spot. 

Market segmentation is at the heart of precision marketing. This is when you take your market and divide it into smaller chunks of customers who each have their own unique needs. Sometimes a segment will be broad (men) and sometimes it will be super specific (unmarried men under 40), for example. 

Look at it like this: While social media provides us with a place to direct our marketing campaigns, precision marketing helps us target the right people at the right time with the right message. This, in turn, boosts conversions and customer loyalty by ensuring we’re not wasting people’s time with messages they don’t want. 

Just ask yourself how many times you personally have been bombarded with unwanted ads on Facebook that have eventually caused you to block the page. With precision marketing, brands are able to fine-tune the direction of their arrows so their messages target the right people. This means no more unwanted products, deals, and offers that are a major turn-off for customers. 

It’s all about connecting with customers with greater relevancy so you are building your brand with individuals who actually want to buy from you. With precision marketing, you can use tools and data to adopt a content-rich, data-driven customer communications approach that produces results that are better than ever. 

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  • The Complete 35-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business
  • 25 Frequently Asked Questions on Starting a Business
  • 50 Questions Angel Investors Will Ask Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Key Lessons for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business

How to use precision marketing to boost revenue

Like with any marketing campaign, you must begin with a goal. What is it you want to achieve with your precision marketing campaign? Do you want to achieve a better response rate to your promotions? Or perhaps you want to bring dormant customers back into the game?

Let’s take a look at two ways you can approach precision marketing.

For the first one, let’s say you’ve set your goal. Then, you need to leverage and evaluate the data from your current campaigns. This data should help you develop targeted segments. Start by creating a customer segment that has the planned level of engagement before identifying customers whose previous engagement and behaviors best match this group. You can then divide this new segment into a control group and a target group

Next, you want to synchronize your campaigns so you are able to work out which message is best for the channel. For example, you might examine your active members before discovering, say, 50,000 users who enjoy a similar lifestyle to your most high-value customers and are likely to engage in your promotions.

You then might want to target 50% of this group with personalized messages via a weekly loyalty statement (or monthly). You can leverage the statement to inform your reward program members how much quicker they can build up their points during a promotional period.

Once you’ve run a campaign, you will need to measure the results. And then you will need to refine and repeat this test to see whether similar or totally different results are produced. This will help you to understand your results and how your company can use them to increase its revenue. 

Another technique is to analyze customer data from your rewards program to find out how the most active customers react to promotions. These insights can help you identify program members who have been unresponsive but have a high likelihood of engaging with your business again. You can then reach out to these customers with promotions on their rewards statements that you usually only send to your active customers. There’s a chance this technique will bring dormant customers back into the game and boost your revenue.

It’s all about data and branding

Data is at the heart of precision marketing, but it’s also important to highlight how key branding is. Data is your new best friend in that you can use it to learn more about your audience. Here are some of the analytics processes you will need to learn:

  • Segmentation analytics: Segmenting data according to your companies marketing goals 
  • Profiling: Using high-value customer descriptions to help you find “look-alike” prospects so you can target them with specific messages 
  • Predictive analytics: Capturing behavioral data in various ways so you can make more accurate forecasts about future prospect behavior

In addition to analyzing data, you will need to work on your branding to increase customer retention. While data is what helps you create highly targeted messages, it’s your branding that people will become familiar with. When we become familiar with a brand, we basically become attached to them. 

If you haven’t yet refined key elements of your branding, such as your logo, your voice, and your colors, now is the time to do it. You can use data and run A/B tests to find out which logos and colors your audience responds to best. Whatever you do, make sure your brand aligns with your values, as well as the values of your customers. 

Conclusion

All in all, precision marketing is all about refining your message so that it hits the right spot with the right people. Using data and analytics, you can fine-tune your campaigns so that conversions and revenue increase. 

RELATED: Got a Boring Business? Try These Marketing Ideas

About the Author

Post by: Ashley Kimler

Ashley Kimler is a member of the superhero team who fights black hat SEO crimes at Heroic Search. She’s been working in the digital marketing industry for over a decade. Follow @ashleykimler and @heroicsearch on Twitter to see what she and her team share next.

Company: Heroic Search
Website: www.heroicsearch.com
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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Driverless Cars: A New Opportunity for Small Businesses

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By Patrick Peterson

Driverless cars seemed like a pipe dream a few decades ago, the stuff of science fiction novels and movies. Not anymore.

Autonomous vehicles (AV) are already here, and it’s only a matter of time before robots take over the wheel. It’s an inevitability that big tech companies like Alphabet, IBM, and Amazon believe in. Nvidia, Intel, and auto industry giants Ford, Tesla, Nissan, and others are jumping in. Even ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are going all-out.

The AV situation is all fine and dandy, but where does that leave small businesses?

Significant developments in the driverless car industry

Autonomous vehicles have come a long way since the Stanford Cart in 1961. After DARPA’s involvement in AV in the early 2000s, the technology behind driverless cars has kept getting better and better. Waymo, Alphabet’s own take on autonomous vehicles, has rolled testing for its robot taxi service in Phoenix.

Uber is already operating driverless taxis in Phoenix and Pittsburgh. French startup Navya is operating an AV shuttle bus in downtown Las Vegas. And Toyota recently unveiled its concept-i UX car that has a built-in AI they named Yui. Yui can get to know you and read your emotions. The developments in driverless tech are only going to get better over time.

Excellent opportunities for small business

As the AV industry continues to grow, it’s going to need plenty of outside help. This is where small businesses can come in and carve a niche for themselves.

Plenty of startups have already taken advantage of this emerging technology. Some small businesses are helping to develop cheaper LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology. Others are offering automotive wireless technology alternatives.

There’s a plethora of other AV parts and tech that are still available and ripe for the picking. Software startups can also take advantage of the need to create services for AV owners. Let’s take a look at the future of apps and software in the driverless car industry.

Driverless car industry can be your oyster

The time will come when AV’s need to be online all the time. When robots can take the wheel completely, human passengers will have nothing to do in the car. This is where software and app developers come in.

The AI in driverless vehicles will be so smart, it would get to know user habits, emotions, and address needs. AI startups can configure their systems to connect to smart homes and remind the user that she’s running out of milk, for example.

Driverless cars will know precisely where the user is, and give recommendations on where to eat or grab a drink. If the AI senses that the user is getting sleepy, it may play music and stop at a coffee shop. Cameras mounted all around the vehicle can do a car history check—even on another car during an accident or if the police issue a bulletin on a suspect.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

  • The Complete 35-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business
  • 25 Frequently Asked Questions on Starting a Business
  • 50 Questions Angel Investors Will Ask Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Key Lessons for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business

Mom and pop stores will also benefit

With the adoption of self-driving cars, business models from almost all industries will change. Consumer electronics, telecommunications, and logistics face a significant shift in the way they do business. This shift can only mean good news for small businesses.

Take logistics, for instance. Small mom and pop shops can finally venture into e-commerce because shipping will be much cheaper. Self-driving delivery vehicles will cost less compared to deliveries that have to pay human drivers an hourly wage. Driverless cars are also safer, so you can rest easy that your goods reach their destination in one piece.

For restaurants, food deliveries will have the potential to reach people faster than ever. Backyard kitchens can reach more people by using driverless cars as a mobile food vending machine. People will have the option to choose what they like, and the self-driving kitchen-on-wheels will dispense the food.

If you already have a small e-commerce business, one self-driving car can make multiple deliveries before heading back. Driverless vehicles can cover more ground, and drones can reach places that four wheels can’t.

Opportunities for small hoteliers

The benefits for small businesses don’t stop with efficient and more affordable logistics. Think Airbnb on wheels. If you run a traditional “bed and breakfast,” your business is pretty much locked-in to your location. With self-driving vehicles, you can branch out and take your show on the road.

Small hoteliers can offer the same comfort and amenities an airplane or train ride has, but with more toys and room. Consider this: Unless you choose first or business class on a plane, all you get is a cramped seat with a tiny LCD screen for entertainment, not to mention the hassle of driving to the airport and going through all the checks just to get on a plane.

Trains have bigger spaces but run on a strict schedule, and you can’t make pit stops at scenic locations. Self-driving vehicles converted into mobile hotels change all this. You have an ample space all to yourself, traveling at 200 mph. Most likely, there will be a desk where you can work and the entire seat to sleep in.

The entertainment options are also endless. Imagine watching a movie on a 4K Ultra HD curved screen. The entire windshield can act as a TV screen, not to mention all the high-end speakers most luxury cars have these days. You’ll be traveling in style, hitting all the destinations in the comfort of your room.

Funding opportunities in the autonomous vehicle industry

Want to be at the forefront of this game-changing industry, but lack the funding to do so? There are various funding opportunities and grants available for small businesses. The UM-Smart Mobility Enterprise, for example, grants funding to small businesses in “New Mobility.”

The U.S. Department of Energy also includes self-driving tech to their recent funding law. This could easily mean an influx of over $1 billion to companies helping develop autonomous vehicle technology.

The future is now. If you’re a tech-savvy entrepreneur looking to shape the future, driverless cars may be your ticket to success.

RELATED: 4 Steps to Coming Up With a Great Business Idea

About the Author

Post by: Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson is a writer/editor at AutoDetective. Born and raised in the automotive world, he’s a passionate writer who crafts exquisite content pieces about everything related to cars and bikes.

Company: AutoDetective
Website: www.autodetective.com

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3 Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Stand Out Before, During and After Networking

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Oftentimes, entrepreneurs spend a good amount of time networking to create leads and fill knowledge gaps. Networking events and conventions offer a high level of excitement and engagement, but how do you keep the momentum going and stay in front of potential leads without spamming? How do you actually have people follow up with you directly?

Below, I have listed 3 strategies to help you stand out before, during and after networking:

1. Be consistent with your brand on social media, or don’t be on it.

Most people have an online presence, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone without a social media account. Especially those with a product or service to sell. Even if the pictures posted to your social media account are only pictures of you and your dog, those images communicate a brand, and that’s what followers come to expect when they interact with your page.

If you connect with someone at an event, and they visit your social media profile, is your most recent post reflective of who you are? Is it a pillar in your brand? Another aspect to consider is that everyone has their go-to platform, therefore, it is important to be active on multiple social media platforms. That being said, if you are not active on a particular platform, your business and networking prospects can be harmed.

You may want to consider doing away with the social media platform you’re not active on. If you live on Instagram, don’t be on another social media platform that you are not going to put effort into, or consider outsourcing it. The key here is post networking, you want people to see you regularly, and consistently with the same message.

2. Publishing your own book is the modern-day business card.

With today’s technology, many entrepreneurs debate on the need for a business card, and in a networking event, you can apply a variety of techniques both with and without one. That being said, when someone asks the proverbial networking question “What is it that you do?”, handing them an autographed book that tells your story and about your area of expertise is hard to forget.

It gives credibility in your field and positions you as an authority. It’s easier than ever to self-publish your knowledge, and being a published author opens doors. It allows others to know and learn more about you, not unlike the podcast and your online presence, but it also helps take your personal brand and business to the next level. With a book, you also become an expert in your industry, and it paves the way if you have the desire to speak at conferences and/or events adding another level to your networking.

3. Having a course or mastermind will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

With the first two mentioned above in place, people want to connect with you before, after and during a networking event. So how do we keep teaching and networking with them? The book you authored can be turned into an online course. Each chapter offers the chance to go deeper into the material, and therefore go deeper into the brand and business.

It serves as a companion piece for those who read your book, and with the completion of the course or mastermind group, they have the necessary tools to accomplish the goals outlined in your book. Your mastermind can be delivered in several ways. You can do a weekly call with a group and almost run it like a book club.

The other option is through a Facebook group where you do a weekly live explaining the topics in each chapter, and answer questions in the comments. The final option for the busy entrepreneur is to create a prerecorded webinar or online course that can be accessed 24/7 by current and potential clients.

Networking is the key to success for any entrepreneur, but the money is in the follow up. These three simple things give you credibility, allow you to connect with more leads in one session and create a consistent and clear personal branding message for you online. Remember, your network is your net worth.

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Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) Closing Weekly Above $11,500, Sets Stage for 20% Boom

Bitcoin Needs to Hold This Level to Head Higher

Surprisingly, Bitcoin (BTC) has managed to recover after the $3,000 collapse earlier this week. As of the time of writing this, the cryptocurrency is right back up to $11,800, down 3% in the past 24 hours. With this recovery from $10,400, some have begun to suggest that bulls have the momentum once again, making it likely that BTC is poised to test $13,800 yet again.

One analyst, however, recently explained that Bitcoin isn’t home free just yet. Per a recent tweet from Level’s Josh Rager, in around 24 hours from the time that this will be published, cryptocurrency traders will get an indication from BTC as to where it will head next.

If Bitcoin closes above $11,500, a key weekly resistance that acted as BTC’s top in early-2018, he claims that this would dramatically increase the probability of a move to test $13,800. A move from the resistance to year-to-date highs would represent a 20% surge, which, if you haven’t noticed, is entirely possible in the cryptocurrency market today.

If BTC closes under $11,500, Rager suggests there will become a “real opportunity” for Bitcoin to “retest at $9,532”, which is where BTC struggled to break past earlier this month on its way past $10,000.

While Bitcoin’s chart looks positive, especially considering the lack of continuation after this week’s plunge from $13,800 to $10,400, some suggest that the bearish scenario is more likely for the cryptocurrency. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, known trader Financial Survivalism claimed that the chances of a strong correction have been building for a while now, ever since Bitcoin broke past $5,800 and then $8,000.

The analysis, posted some 24 hours ago as of the time of writing this report, predicted the rebound to $12,400, which is just over where Bitcoin sits now.

This is important, as Survivalism predicted that once $12,400 has been hit, a correction to $9,000, which has acted as an important level of both support and resistance over the past few weeks, will begin to take place. This has yet to occur, but considering the accuracy of the target of $12,400, this 25% drop may come to fruition in the near future.

As to technical reasons for this reversal, Survivalism seemed to point out three. Firstly, a move to $9,000 would give Bitcoin a chance to revisit uptrend support that BTC followed closely from late-April to just two weeks back.

Secondly, the BitMEX funding rate has hit very high levels, implying that longs may need to close their positions, leading to a devaluation of the cryptocurrency. And lastly, the Average Directional Index, a technical analysis indicator meant to determine the strength of a trend, is “looking ready to roll over soon on the daily”, implying weakness.

Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash

The post Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) Closing Weekly Above $11,500, Sets Stage for 20% Boom appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Chainlink (LINK) Surges 137% on the Week as Coinbase, Google, Oracle News Activates FOMO

Chainlink Literally Moons in Bizarre Upswing

Bitcoin (BTC) may have stuttered this week, but Chainlink (LINK) sure isn’t. While the leading cryptocurrency rallied by 20% to only fall by $3,000 the next day, LINK, a top Ethereum-based token, has rallied by 137% in the past seven days according to Messari’s OnChainFX. With this move, the cryptocurrency has entered the top 16, which is a far cry from where it was during the last market boom. The chart below sums up the asset’s performance rather well.

While LINK may be looking much like any random “pump and dump” coin, there has been an array of positive news for the cryptocurrency as of late. This may be the one time in this cycle that news has directly led to price action in a large-cap cryptocurrency.

As of the time of writing this article, LINK is up 50% in the past 24 hours, finding itself at $4.20. During the same time period, Bitcoin lost 2%, accentuating the craziness of the Ethereum token’s crazy swing to the upside.

Here are a few tidbits of news regarding the asset class.

Reasons for LINK’s Jaw-Dropping Surge

Firstly, Google, yes the Google, announced last week that it would be integrating the asset and technology into its Cloud services. In a blog post titled “Building hybrid blockchain/cloud applications with Ethereum and Google Cloud”, the Silicon Valley giant revealed that it would allow for

Chainlink, and thus Ethereum smart contracts, to interact with BigQuery, Google’s data analyzer and portal. What this does is allows for developers to build decentralized applications that can harness Google, theoretically improving the efficiency and viability of smart contracts. As a Cloud developer concludes:

“We’ve demonstrated how to use Chainlink services to provide data from the BigQuery crypto public datasets on-chain. This technique can be used to reduce inefficiencies (submarine sends use case) and in some cases add entirely new capabilities (hedging use case) to Ethereum smart contracts, enabling new on-chain business models to emerge.”

For those unaware, Chainlink’s claim to fame is its so-called “oracle” system, which is a recently-launched product meant to improve processes on something like Ethereum. For instance, if someone is betting on a real-world financial scenario with the Ethereum-centric Augur, an oracle can be used to make the outcome verification process much easier.  Google later name dropped Chainlink in a Youtube video. This mainstream support is important, especially in an industry where startups announce countless fraudulent, misguided partnerships.

Secondly, technology giant Oracle, the third biggest software company, has revealed that it will be using Chainlink technologies. It isn’t clear how exactly the company will be using the startup’s technology, but it surely won’t hurt its budding ecosystem.

Thirdly, Coinbase recently unveiled support for Chainlink for both Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com, which gives U.S. investors a regulated onramp into LINK, which will likely be integral once Binance leaves the U.S. This is important than more reasons than just a listing. You see, earlier this year, Coinbase announced intentions to support staking for cryptocurrencies. With the Chainlink Network involving staking-enabled nodes, institutional investors that use Coinbase’s custody platform may begin to take further interest in LINK, which can create passive income in an investor’s portfolio.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The post Chainlink (LINK) Surges 137% on the Week as Coinbase, Google, Oracle News Activates FOMO appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Silk Road: Dealer Fights Police over Bitcoin (BTC) Worth Millions

Vancouver Police Department Accused of Withholding $2.5m in Bitcoin

Despite the fact that the Bitcoin-friendly Silk Road in its original form is now long gone, there still remain court cases on the subject matter.

For those who missed the memo, the Silk Road was the name of a popular, infamous online marketplace (situated on the deep/dark web) that allowed its users to trade an array of different goods, mostly narcotics, for BTC. However, it was shut down after U.S. authorities managed to capture those involved, including Bitcoin pioneer and now-convict Ross Ulbricht, who many in the cryptocurrency believe should not be held responsible.

Anyhow, back to the matter at hand. As reported by prominent Canadian media outlet CBC this week, an individual going by “D.A.L.” is accusing the Vancouver Police Department of mistreating assets pertaining to his case.

D.A.L., who has already served his time for trafficking mostly marijuana, claims that the VPD should not continue to have access to a laptop hard drive, reported having millions worth of Bitcoin stored on it because earlier this month, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that it should be returned to the owner.

The police believe that the Bitcoin found on the hard drives, seized in 2013, are the proceeds of the sale of illicit goods on Silk Road, and have thus kept it. D.A.L., on the other hand, has begged to differ, stating:

The police committed fraud by deliberately failing to advise the justice of all the pertinent facts. The police deliberately and fraudulently misled, not only the justice who approved their application, but also counsel.”

The Bitcoin in question amounts to 226.44 coins, which is valued at over $2.5 million U.S. as of the time of writing this. It is no small sum, that’s for sure. But back then, the cryptocurrency may have only amounted to a few thousand dollars. Considering that the cost of living in Vancouver, which is where D.A.L. and his family reside, is sky-high, it is no surprise that he is fighting for the money that he believes he deserves.

If courts find that the Vancouver Police Department’s claim of upholding justice to keep the hard drive is unbacked, D.A.L. is likely to receive the Bitcoin back. However, with the ever-changing state of the cryptocurrency markets, the value of said coins may be drastically different then than it is now.

D.A.L.’s case is very different than other Silk Road traffickers in that he claims that he should have possession of the Bitcoin, while other cases have seen the suspects lose their assets, which often amount to millions worth of different digital assets, forever.

Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

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Why is Bitcoin (BTC) Here to Stay? Former Bear Explains

Why Bitcoin is Here to Stay

To most in the Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto community, mainstream media is viewed with intense skepticism. Case in point, the leading cryptocurrency has been declared dead over 360 times according to 99Bitcoins.

Most of these attacks come from mainstream outlets, from CNBC and Forbes to the New York Post and Bloomberg. For instance, one Bloomberg op-ed headline published in January 2018 reads: “Sorry, Bitcoin Fans. Digital Currency Is Still a Dream.”

This recently changed, however. A Bloomberg columnist and prominent economist going by Tyler Cowen recently gave a few nods to Bitcoin, releasing an article titled “Bitcoin is (Probably) Here to Stay”. Here is a quick compilation of his thoughts on why BTC is, after all, a viable asset in today’s ever-changing economic climate.

Geopolitical Tension: US-China Trade War

Firstly, the US-China trade war is likely to drive Bitcoin’s long-term value proposition. This is because it is widely believed that Chinese investors, namely those looking to bypass currency controls, are putting their capital into BTC and other digital assets via backdoor on-ramps, suggested to be Tether (USDT) and over-the-counter trading desks.

As reported by this outlet previously, Blockchain.com’s research division found correlations between periods of Chinese Yuan devaluation and Bitcoin growth, further corroborating this theory.

And more importantly, there has recently been a massive uptick in interest for Bitcoin in China, as made apparent by data from Tencent (WeChat), Baidu (China’s Google), and other outlets that suggest cryptocurrency is, once again, starting to grip the hearts of investors in the nation.

Libra Validates Bitcoin

Secondly, Cowen believes that Libra’s launch validates the idea of cryptocurrency. While he is skeptical of the Facebook-backed project’s ability to “get off the ground”, he noted that Libra is “backed by a pretty striking and radical innovation”, this being the potential for transactions to cost much less than their predecessor. He concludes on this specific matter:

The idea that transaction costs on remittances and other fund transfers can be lowered significantly by defining a new medium of payment, piggybacking on older media of exchange… Crypto still holds this promise.

Left-Leaning U.S. Politics

Thirdly, he remarks that the Democratic Party in the U.S. continues to lean left on many matters, especially in regards to wealth and taxes. Thus, he notes that a need for offshore banking, which can technically be Bitcoin or other decentralized cryptocurrencies, is likely to grow with time. This is because the nation’s sovereign debt continues to grow due to the need for more government services, necessitating the government to take more from taxpayers.

This catalyst is similar to one in Italy. For those who missed the memo, a prominent Italian minister recently proposed a wealth tax of around 15% on citizen’s safety deposit boxes. As some have put it, Italy could be the best thing to ever happen to Bitcoin, as investors would seek to store their money in an asset that the government cannot exactly confiscate.

Need for a Portfolio Hedge

Lastly, Cowen writes that there is a need for a hedge in today’s geopolitical and macroeconomic climate:

One final possible explanation for the resurgence of Bitcoin: Populism is spreading, the Middle East is not calming down, and the world is not solving its geopolitical problems. 

This is obviously in reference to the idea that Bitcoin is a proper replacement for gold.

Photo by Zoe Ra on Unsplash

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Analysts Expect Major Weekend Volatility as Bitcoin Attempts to Find Its Footing

Bitcoin

Bitcoin and the aggregated crypto markets have been incurring notable volatility over the past several weeks, which has primarily been cause by Bitcoin’s recent parabolic surge towards $13,800, and subsequent drop into the $10,000 region.

Now, analysts are warning that the weekend trading session could be a time where the markets once again experience a volatile movement, which may mean that traders and investors alike will soon know where the markets are heading next.

Bitcoin Struggles to Break Into $12,000 Region 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 1% at its current price of $11,785 and is down slightly from its daily highs of $12,500 that were set yesterday.

While zooming out and looking at Bitcoin’s weekly price action, it becomes abundantly clear as to just how volatile BTC has become as of late, as earlier this week it quickly surged to highs of $13,800 before incurring a significant influx of selling pressure that pushed the price to lows of $10,500.

This volatility is emblematic of the improving market conditions, as BTC still remains in a firm uptrend despite its inability to push past $13,800.

Historically, Bitcoin and the entire crypto markets have incurred a good majority of their volatility during weekend trading sessions, which Hunter Horsley – the CEO of Bitwise Asset Management – attributes to the large amount of retail investors who trade during weekends.

“The market is, by and large, retail individuals and I think that weekends are a time when those people have more free time to read the week’s news, to chat with friends, to pitch friends on exciting things they heard about during the week,” he explained while speaking to Bloomberg.

So, Where Will This Volatility Lead BTC This Weekend?

Although the next 48 hours or so may hold some volatility in store for BTC, one analyst believes that the cryptocurrency will begin bouncing between the upper and lower boundaries of a recent established trading range.

Cantering Clark, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this trading range in a recent tweet, explaining that the most immediate range Bitcoin is caught in exists between roughly $11,600 and $12,200, which may persist for the foreseeable future.

“Look at the reactions, notice many of these and you can assign greater importance to these areas moving forward. Trade the range now until the weather changes,” he explained in a recent tweet.

Although Bitcoin is largely flat at the present and may continue to trade sideways in the near-term, it is highly unlikely that its recent volatility ends here, and traders will likely gain a better understanding of which direction the cryptocurrency is heading next as the weekend drags on.

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