How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Productivity in 3 Easy Steps

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How many times a day do you look at your phone? How much would someone have to pay you to quit Facebook? Has your attention span increased over the last few years or has it decreased? Chances are, you probably looked at your phone less than 10 minutes ago, someone would have to pay you over $100 to quit Facebook right now, and your attention span has likely decreased over the last 2 years.

Today, we live in a world in which technology seems to have seeped into every nook and cranny of our lives. From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night, we’re very rarely more than 2 feet from our phones, and we regularly spend 5+ hours of screen time per day. We are constantly connected, and interconnected to our friends, families, bosses, and colleagues.

Online we can make friends with strangers, build successful businesses, even fall in love, all with a few swipes in the time it might have taken our ancestors to carry water from the nearest well back home for a cold bath. We live in a wonderfully connected and convenient world, and we have fallen in love with it.

But it comes at a cost. The amount of effort that it takes to switch off from Netflix, to turn away from Facebook, and to stop swiping on Tinder means that our ability to stay focused on any one task for longer than a short period of time has been severely diminished. Today, young adults are said to have attention spans slightly less than 7 seconds long, which is less than that of a goldfish!

“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” – Buddha

That’s where mindfulness comes in. While mindfulness continues to carry many hippie and spiritual associations with Buddhism and meditation, it is quickly gaining mainstream acceptance as a practical way to reduce anxiety, develop self confidence, and even get better sleep. Apps like Headspace and Calm have done much to help promote this space as well.

In the spirit of being more productive in your day to day activities and reducing the amount of time you spend being distracted by things like streaming video and Facebook, here’s a 3-step mindfulness practice you can use to deepen your sense of focus. Like any form of exercise, repetition is the best way to see powerful results. A muscle won’t grow unless it is stretched and exerted. So, here we go.

This exercise can be done in 5, 10, or 15 minutes depending on how much free time you have. It should be done in a sitting position with your feet on the ground and your arms at your side or on your lap. You can close your eyes or leave them open, but most people find that by closing their eyes they’re much better able to concentrate.

Here is the 3 step mindfulness exercise you should start doing today:

1. Develop a clear intention

Define your intention in the moment. Consider what it is you want to accomplish from this exercise. What is the purpose of this activity? Do you have a task you need to be productive for? Is there something you’re putting off that you really should be doing but simply can’t? Consider these thoughts and then carefully choose a clear intention to focus on.

2. Focus on one thing, and one thing alone

This is a very hard request for people not used to focusing their minds very often. Choose what it is you will focus on and stick to it. Remember, this step is distinct from the “Intention” step because it requires focus, rather than intention. During the intention phase your mind may wander while you consider what your intention actually should be, but during the focus phase you must make a concerted effort to stay focused wholeheartedly on one specific thing. This is one of the hardest things to do in meditation and mindfulness, and will most definitely take practice before you get to a point where you can comfortably focus on one thing for more than a few minutes at a time.

“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

3. Practice sustained effort

As previously mentioned in step 2, focusing on one thing, and one thing alone, can be incredibly challenging. Your mind has been trained over the years to look for distractions. In fact, your primitive brain has become incredibly good at finding and focusing on distractions, as they may represent opportunities for an easy meal or existential threats to one’s safety.

Now, most distractions are opportunities to like someone’s instagram pic or threats of missing out on the latest Amazon flash sale. Seemingly important to our primitive brains, but not important in reality. In step 3, practice holding sustained effort on that one focus area for as long as possible, but don’t beat yourself up if your mind gets pulled in other directions. Just remember to take a step back and realize that that is what’s happening before you bring the mind back into focus.

If you develop this into a regular practice, you will soon notice your ability to concentrate on your tasks becoming easier. Projects will become more enjoyable and you will be more fulfilled in the work that you do. Let me know if this is working for you, and any tips you might have to share with others.

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China Crypto Mining Kingpin Issues Crazy Prediction: Bitcoin (BTC) To Hit $740,000

$740,000 Bitcoin?

Over the years, a number of zealots for the crypto ecosystem have made ambitious price predictions. Presidential candidate hopeful John McAfee, who founded the cybersecurity company that shares his surname, once told CoinTelegraph among other outlets that $1,000,000 for each Bitcoin (BTC) is just a “conservative bet.” He attributed his call to the potential the U.S. dollar has to collapse, along with the growth of the crypto ecosystem.

On the (somewhat) lower end, we’ve had people like Tim Draper remark that $250,000 isn’t out of the realm of possibility, citing global adoption as a positive catalyst. But, these two forecasts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to industry insiders making a tad crazy calls.

According to an exclusive report from 8BTC, a crypto-centric news portal based in Asia, a leading kingpin/tycoon in China’s mining industry is decidedly bullish on the prospects of Bitcoin. In a WeChat comment obtained by the outlet, Zhu, the co-founder of Poolin (currently has 11% of Bitcoin’s hashrate), told those reading that there’s a chance that BTC’s next all-time high will be around the 5 million Chinese yuan range. This equates to $740,000 U.S. He added that when the asset pulls back, it will find a bottom in the 500,000 yuan region, 90% lower than the forecasted all-time high.

While this seems absurd, he did admit that when the time comes, his predictions may be quite off. In fact, Zhu commented that his predictions may be off by upwards of 50% to 200%. The Poolin co-founder even noted that if BTC runs, this may be the last time that the asset posts such parabolic gains. The Chinese crypto insider isn’t the only one with such a theory. Angel Versetti, the chief executive of Ambrosus, notedthat while cryptocurrencies currently aren’t in a bubble, they will be once they enter the $10 trillion to $15 trillion range.

Regardless, stepping back, it was made clear that Zhu still sees dramatically higher highs for the flagship cryptocurrency. Yet, it wasn’t made clear when such highs would be established, if at all.

Crypto Diehards Remain Overly Optimistic

This comes just days after Zhao Dong, one of Zha Fa’s peers, made similar optimistic comments, albeit not as bullish.

Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Zhao, supposedly one of China’s foremost crypto industry participants, explained that as it stands, the public has avoided paying attention to BTC, thus making it logical to stock up on the cryptocurrency while the general consumer population isn’t FOMOing in. He backed his comment by drawing attention to his long-term beliefs regarding Bitcoin, noting that the so-called “crypto winter” will end in 2020, which will be when Bitcoin begins to run to his target of $50,000 in “summer.”

Zhao isn’t the only one to have touted the merits of buying BTC at current valuations. Josh Rager claimed that after 2019, few in the “general population” might be able to afford an entire BTC. Thus he added that while global household incomes could increase across the board, whether it be due to inflation, better market conditions, etc., the cryptocurrency will be “out of reach for most [to purchase].

Then again, some are adamant that there’s a high likelihood that cryptocurrencies won’t garner more traction than what was seen at 2017’s peak. Dr. Nouriel Roubini of NYU Stern remarked that Bitcoin is only used to be traded speculatively for “other sh*tcoins,” adding that the project is a whole bunch of vaporware.

The post China Crypto Mining Kingpin Issues Crazy Prediction: Bitcoin (BTC) To Hit $740,000 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Ethereum (ETH) Founder Vitalik Buterin Denies Attack Vector

Ethereum (ETH)–Co-founder of Ethereum and cryptocurrency figurehead Vitalik Buterin has denied rumors that a proposed feature in the upcoming Constantinople hard fork will allow for an attack vector on the ETH currency.

Buterin, speaking in an Ethereum core developer call held on Feb. 15 dismissed allegations and industry chatter that a smart contract creation feature, originally proposed by Buterin himself, would put the security of Ethereum’s blockchain at risk. Other core developers also vouched their support for Buterin and denounced the feature would outright hamper ETH functionality.

Create2, the improvement proposal at the heart of the commotion, is supposed to allow for user interactions with contracts that don’t currently exist on the blockchain, but may be pertinent to future development. The specifics of the proposal, contained under EIP-1014 states that Create2 will allow for “addresses that do not exist yet on-chain but can be relied on to possibly eventually contain code.”

Buterin had the support of other developers during yesterday’s conference call, but the original concerns over Create2 were voiced by ETH developers who claimed that the proposal had the potential for a serious attack vector on Ethereum’s blockchain. As laid out in these concerns, manipulating yet to be created smart contracts could allow users to code changes of address following their deployment, leading some to question the implication of Trojan horse deals being formed on Ethereum’s network.

Developer Jeff Coleman, in particular, voiced concerns over the ability for address commitments to be manipulated according to the new proposal,

“One of the things that is counter-intuitive about Create2 is that theoretically redeployments can change the contract byte code, because the address is only a commitment to the init code. People need to be aware that init codes are part of auditing, […] that non-deterministic init codes are a problem.”

Coleman went on to give his reasoning for how the issue could be rectified to prevent change of addresses or self-destruct following the initial establishment of the contract’s code,

“When we look forward to where we want to end up […] it would be to have all addresses […] contracted via the init code. We need content-based addressing of contracts, and not just order-based addressing, which is what Create1 is. So if we get to the place where Create2 is standard, get rid of self destruct entirely […] we could throw out this idea of a contract nonce.”

Buterin, for what it’s worth, supported his original position on Create2 as forward thinking, even if it creates a few bumps in the road to be smoothed out in the interim. Speaking on the growth of Ethereum smart contracts in the long term, Buterin told call audiences,

“The one thing we need to keep in mind is more for the future, when thinking about rents and deletion; that’s a way that can lead to contracts being in a state to being not in a state without a self-destruct operation […]. It’s not something we need to figure out in the next few weeks, but it’s still useful to keep in mind when getting the ETH 2.0 sharding to a VM spec very soon.”

With the Constantinople hard fork looking to shake up Ethereum and the broader landscape of cryptocurrency, the second largest coin by market capitalization could further its market dominance as the smart contract platform of choice. Bitcoin has managed to secure a dominant lead at the head of the industry, but Ethereum, with the support of ERC-20 backed ICOs and smart contract oriented developers, has managed to carve out a sizable market share.

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Why Bitcoin’s (BTC) future is vertical and crypto should give up going horizontal

Instead of concentrating on building the vertical second layer on top of the bitcoin network, the industry has been obsessed with developing competing base layers on a horizontal plane in the shape of new blockchains, often at great expense and with relatively little to show for it.

That, at any rate, is the contention of Ryan Radloff, the chief executive and co-founder of CoinShares.

And there is one technology in particular that is witnessing accelerated adoption, achieved not by inventing a “better” blockchain but simply by building on top of what already exists: it’s the Lightning Network.

Nodes matter and bitcoin is still on top by a mile

As of 10 February, the node counts of leading blockchains had bitcoin in first place with 10,336, Ethereum in second place on 7,574 and coming up fast, Lightning is in third place with a tally of 6,088.

Some way behind, in fourth, fifth and sixth place are Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple on 1,869, 1,589 and 1,047, respectively.

At the time of writing the Lightning node count has risen to 6,293, seeing a 14.6% increase in the past 30 days, according to Lightning data site 1ML. Network capacity has jumped 30% in that same period to $2,506,102 (691.01 BTC) and the number of channels stands at 26,990.

Going vertical with Bitcoin as new dapps launch but inactivity grows

OK, we can have an argument about bitcoin’s listening (full nodes) and non-listening nodes (SPV) that don’t have their ports open and similar issues to take account of on the other networks, but you get the idea. Bitcoin is by far the most decentralised network, although there is the consideration of the “political” control of those nodes, given the pockets of mining control concentration that ASICs brought to the world. Perhaps we should say bitcoin is the densest (and most secure) network.

Radloff argues that for the past three years the industry has been fixated on horizontal development by creating new “base layers” with a “’crypto Keynesian’ type spending model – raising a ton of capital & spending it on projects to promote network growth, hoping the spending would stimulate coin velocity & user growth… Now data is showing that isn’t working.”

Although not mentioned by Radloff, it might be noted here that a recent research on Ethereum by LongHash found that 10% of the dapps “running” on its blockchain were inactive.

Other data at State of the Dapps report in January revealed that 17% of all dapps were inactive, despite the new apps chart still trending higher.

Radloff compares EOS and Tron to the bitcoin network in somewhat disparaging terms, bemoaning the fact that they “still can’t achieve the same network size or node count success as bitcoin or even more embarrassing, bitcoins [sic] second layer – lightning network”.

He maintains that the approach of EOS and Tron is akin to governments implementing Keynesian-inspired public spending to manage aggregate demand in an economy with the aim of stimulating economic growth.

The development of the Lightning Network, by contrast, according to Radloff, has proceeded along the lines of “minimalist ‘boot strap’ funding”. And in so doing it is proving through example  that there’s a different way ahead that isn’t just cheaper but arguably  more successful.

However, critics of Lightning say its system of pre-funded channels that have to be opened between transacting parties will ultimately make it difficult to grow the network and ultimately an  unsuitable solution for payments at scale.

Does Cash and pizza prove the point?

Which brings us to a couple of news items on the Lightning front that perhaps go some way towards illustrating Radloff’s point.

First, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of both Twitter and Square, who said “it’s not an ‘if’, it’s a ‘when’” for Lightning Network integration in the Cash app, as reported earier this week by EWN.

Dorsey is what might be considered a bitcoin maximalist in altcoin circles, given that he has rebuffed all pleas to support top altcoins in Cash.

In December last year Cash was the most downloaded app in the finance section of the Google Play app store. And on 8 December it was the No.1 most downloaded app in the Apple app store. No wonder people are jumping up and down about Dorsey bringing Lightning to the app.

Now consider the launch of Lightning Pizza by the folks behind the crypto payment app Fold.

As the name suggests, the new service enables consumers to buy pizza from Domino’s Pizza with bitcoin. A Cheese Pizza, a Pepperoni Pizza and a Classic Garden Salad purchased from  from the New York store on 181 Church Street, costs 523101 satoshis ($18.58). LN.Pizza users get a 5% reduction.

Altcoin winter

The reader should be aware that Radloff’s comments came a few days before news emerged that CoinShares’ XBT Provider subsidiary was shelving plans to launch a crypto basket tracker fund.

The group already has two successful products in the crypto space – the Bitcoin and Ethereum exchanged traded note (ETN) trackers.

An ETN is constructed as a debt security and provides the owner with exposure to the underlying asset. Although similar in appearance, ETNs are not exchanged traded funds, despite trading on a stock market. The confusion on that score led to the XBT Provider products being suspended in the US by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bitcoin Tracker One and Ethereum Tracker One are both listed on the Swedish stock exchange.

In a Bloomberg report on 13 February Laurent Kssis, the chief executive of XBT Provider, explained the reasoning behind the cancelling of the crypto basket fund as down to the company having an insufficient understanding of the situation with hard forks affecting blockchains.

“It’s important to ask how the community is responding to the split and who’s going to support one asset versus the other. If we get it wrong, these assets will drop and if they’re part of the basket we can’t go back because it’s in the final term-sheet,” said Kssis.

Given the mess surrounding the Bitcoin Cash hard fork that saw the creation of Bitcoin SV, which is still the subject of much controversy as seen in Jimmy Song’s recent accusation that it is a “scam”, the doubts about a fund tracking a basket of cryptoassets at this point could be sound, although that may not be the whole story.

With a number of projects in danger of running out of funds as the crypto winter drags on, XBT Provider may be cooling on altcoins, with the exception of Ethereum, hence Radloff’s love of all things bitcoin.

Lightning ‘Pass The Torch’ game lights the way

On a seemingly more frivolous note is the progress of the Lightning Pass The Torch game on Twitter, where crypto luminaries ‘pass the torch’ by receiving a Lightning transaction and then adding 10,000 satoshi and passing on the torch, relay like, to someone else in the crypto community.

It was recently in the hands of Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive of Binance, who in turn has past it to Justin Sun of Tron who has now entrusted the imaginary flame to the safe-keeping of Erik Voorhees of ShapeShift. Attempts to get Elon Musk onboard have so far failed. Dorsey and Elizabeth Stark have previously been torch bearers.

If nothing else, the torch game is raising the profile of the Lightning Network on crypto twitter if not the rest of the internet.

Lightning has seen a number development teams building rival implementations, with Elizabeth Stark’s Lightning Labs arguably leading the way. Dorsey is an investor in the company.

Back with Radloff, how does he see Lightning and other second-layer efforts playing out over the next few years? Vertical expansion of course.

To provide a bit of context on how Radloff’s thoughts have been evolving, back in December 2017 he saw a marketplace of competing coins as a positive “Darwinian” struggle.

Maybe that struggle has played out and the “Bitcoin 2.0” he speaks of in the 2017 CNBC interview turns out to be Lightning and other second-layer tech yet to come, not Ethereum, EOS, Cardano etc…

Cryptocurrency story much bigger than bitcoin now: CoinShares from CNBC.


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Crypto Analyst Takes Bet That Bitcoin (BTC) Will Hit $1,165 Prior to $10,000

What? Bitcoin Could Hit $1,165 Before $10,000

Financial Survivalism, a Bitcoin proponent and self-proclaimed “financial revolution prepper,” recently remarked that from his point of view, BTC could fall to $1,165 in the near future, citing the so-called “Hyperwave” form of price analysis. Survivalism even remarked that if the flagship cryptocurrency reaches Phase 1 of its Hyperwave formation, it could rapidly spike under that level in a wick.

He was so confident that Bitcoin will eventually hit that price point, 68% lower than current levels, that he took up a wager with Murad Mahmudov, a leading crypto analyst and partner at Adaptive Capital that expects this market to reach a bottom in April/May. According to Survivalism’s tweet, he bet 0.1 BTC, valued at $360 U.S. dollars at current, that the flagship cryptocurrency will reach $1,165 on Bitstamp before $10,200.

Although this sum isn’t a large amount, the two notable analysts were willing to put their reputations and pride on the line for this wager.

In a separate chart, which disregarded Hyperwave analysis, the analyst drew attention to other technicals and trends that indicate Bitcoin could fall lower from current levels. More specifically, he drew lines between 2014/2015’s bear season and the one that the cryptocurrency space is currently embroiled in.

Survivalism noted that in the previous bear market, BTC entered a so-called “Adam and Eve” formation for a temporary upside breakout to test the 200-day exponential moving average, but fell lower in that cycle’s last bout of capitulation.

As the Bitcoin chart just entered an Adam and Eve formation, Survivalism claims that history may rhyme, meaning that the asset could first retest $5,500 before embarking on a move to establish lower lows. In fact, through this chart, the analyst revealed that if history actually rhymes, $732.84 for each BTC could eventually be in the cards.

While there are some evident discrepancies between his charts, an overarching theme that Survivalism has enlisted is the idea that digital assets could fall further from current prices, even if optimists would beg to differ.

Short-Term Bearish, Long-Term Bullish

Survivalism’s recent comments underscore a common sentiment held by a majority of industry pundits that while Bitcoin could fall lower in the short-term, over the long haul, the asset can appreciate in an exponential manner.

On multiple occasions, Mahmudov has drawn attention to the $1,600 to $2,300 range, claiming that BTC is likely to bottom in that range. While this may seem foreboding, he once commented that he’s so bullish on Bitcoin’s long-term potential that he wouldn’t spend the asset for 10 years.

Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) Could Fall To $1,800, But Now Is Accumulation Time

Zhao Dong, a Chinese Bitcoin legend, recently noted that while BTC could fall lower in this “crypto winter,” spring is around the corner, and it would be wise to accumulate cryptocurrency while the public doesn’t care. Analyst Josh Rager echoed that sentiment to a tee, explaining that after potentially further lows in 2019, potentially few of those in the “general population” could afford an entire Bitcoin.

Title Image Courtesy of Via Unsplash

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Here’s How to Achieve the Success You So Desperately Crave

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Have you ever wondered what separates successful and unsuccessful people? Many people say success is relative. It may mean one thing to you and something else to the next person. Getting a hold of what defines success for you is an important step toward achieving it. Nobody wants to go through life having not achieved anything they truly desired.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about how to establish a business, level up in your current career or even build more effective relationships. The most important thing to note is that you are central to what you want to achieve. Success begins with you. You need to possess a sense of purpose, whether that’s in business or your personal life.

If you’re going to succeed in business or other aspects of your life, you have to be intentional. You need to set clear and concise goals. More importantly, you truly have to be committed to achieving them. Even if it means starting from nothing. I can remember just 4 years ago, I had to fight my way to success without a house, a job or income. I was so determined to succeed and feel my family no one could stop me from hitting my goals.

Time is our most valuable asset and life waits for no one. You have to match the desire to succeed with a proper use of your time. Make every moment count.

What Makes You Tick?

What are you passionate about? Knowing the answer to this question is a giant leap to success. It is your passion that gives you an adrenaline rush. It makes you feel so pumped-up and ready to achieve anything. Identifying and understanding your passion creates opportunities for you and others to benefit.

You can have a passion for real estate, investing, acting or sport. Your passion becomes the avenue to achieve that success you crave. Think Serena and tennis, Beethoven and music or Bill Gates and computers. Everyone, including you, possess an innate skill or passion to explore. It’s quite simple to be a success when you love what you do.

If you have many interests, learn your strongest point and give it your best. Also, interests can be developed. You can actively learn valuable lessons from things that interest you. No one was born perfect. Even the best entrepreneurs had to learn a few more skills. Don’t let society put you in a box or define who you are. Spend some time thinking about your passions. As an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to acquire knowledge and new skills.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah

Start and Stay Positive

Often described as the hardest part for entrepreneurs, beginning takes a lot of courage. You’re never going to know until you try. And until you make an effort to begin, success will remain a pipe dream. Your intentions are just that until you put them in motion. In other words, get moving. While it’s okay to feel apprehensive, you can’t let fear of the unknown hold you back.

Nothing good comes easy. The business empires and flamboyant lifestyles you admire took a beating to get there. Failing is part of the process. You must view it as a learning curve; a fact of life. But in your race to success, you can’t just accept it, it’s only a brick wall. What do you do with brick walls? You either run through them or go around them. Begin your business with a positive mindset. Remember, the end justifies the means.

Get Out of the Mind Trap

It’s okay to think and dream big. What’s not okay is becoming a perpetual dreamer. You’d build finer castles than the Buckingham Palace. Only this time, it’s all in your head. Picture this scenario, you want that house, a car, that business and that firm. You can almost smell the paint and feel the lush lawns.

You imagine your kids playing with their toys and your buzzer blaring as more clients want you. The portfolio is stacking up. You love it all. The good life. Just when it’s getting so much better, you wake up. Again, it’s all in your head.

Nothing kills faster than a regret of what might have been. I got out of this trap, so can you. I refused to stay stuck on thoughts of having it big. I literally picked myself up, focused on a growth mindset and went all in. If you don’t want to keep wishing, ‘I just want to be successful’, double down and apply your dreams.

Work Extra Hard

You’ve probably heard the phrase that says, ‘hard work doesn’t kill’. If you’re looking to attain success in life and business, work hard. It’s that simple. Roll up your sleeves, grab a positive outlook and get to work. Embedded in every success story is a grueling experience of sweat and grind. You’d be amazed at the number of hours entrepreneurs put in to achieve that elusive dream. Success has many factors including opportunity and luck. Working hard is the best way to prepare for that one opportunity that can change your life.

Hardwork is the bedrock of success. There’s no other way I’d be able to hit over 40 real estate deals in my first year as a real estate agent. Neither would I have earned the rookie of the year award in a brand new city with no family, friends, or network. Develop a mindset for hard work and persevere through all the challenges. You need a thick skin and a huge disdain for negativity. Whether that’s from you, life situations or people.

“There is no subsitute for hard work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Consistency is Vital

Some people reach a level of success and stop growing. Like hardwork and perseverance, consistency reflects progress which can only lead to results. As an entrepreneur, you want to keep moving and achieving your business goals. If that takes a giant evolution, embrace it with both hands. Never stop growing or in most cases, looking to grow and expand.

Consistency involves habit and practice. You have to constantly aim to master what sets you apart from the competition. Sometimes our passion for what we love in life and business wear off. That’s not to say we hate it or want to give up. The fact is, we keep going not for the sake of it, but because more often than not, success is just a mile off.

Consistency means value. Value means you’re able to cater to more needs because people trust you to deliver. Again, you have to be committed to the cause. Whether that’s short-term or for the long run. Once you’ve nurtured this mindset, things will fall into place. As an investor and businessman, I’m still interested in habits that made me a success and branching out to other spheres of life keep me grounded and consistent.

Live, eat and breath success. Let everything you imagine spur you to greater heights and achievements. Don’t grab a chair to watch your life play out, take charge.

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Jimmy Song Gives 3 Reasons Why Bitcoin SV is a Scam… But Is It Enough to Change Your Mind?

Jimmy Song, a well-known Bitcoin developer and entrepreneur, did a live stream a few days ago explaining why he considered Bitcoin SV, the Bitcoin Cash fork promoted by Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre, to be a Scam.

Mr. Song has been a profound critic of Bitcoin SV from the very moment of its announcement, however even before its birth; he was one of the biggest voices against Bitcoin Cash, the altcoin from which it originated. A few months ago, on the Blockchain Cruise, Song held a debate with Roger Ver, in which he shared the reasons why he opposes the BCH philosophy. He argued that BCH was fiat on a blockchain, it was extremely centralized, it was somewhat toxic and not at all what was envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto

Following that same viewpoint, on the live stream, Song addressed his followers saying that “Bitcoin SV is clearly, clearly, a scam” and then went on to elaborate on three important reasons behind his thinking:

Reason 1: Craig Wright is a Kown Scammer

The first reason Jimmy Song gave against the project was that the person who promoted it, Craig Wright, has not proven to be a trustworthy individual. Craig has managed to get media attention because of his claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, but he has never been able to prove it.

Recently, Wikileaks called Wright a “Serial Fabricator,” explaining several tactics used by Craig to try to trick users with little technical knowledge, such as signing with public keys or altering old posts in blogs and forums:

“He (Craig) is a known scammer; he has never produced a signature as Satoshi … He hasn’t coded anything; he says ridiculous stuff. He uses only social signaling, he doesn’t provide any proof of anything, and the guy has been a con artist for a very long time. That by itself should make you very hesitant about Bitcoin SV.”

Reason 2: There’s almost no development activity around Bitcoin SV

This argument directly criticizes the Project. For Jimmy Song, the little (if any) activity around Bitcoin SV demonstrates that it is practically an instrument for speculation and not a crypto focused on offering its users functional solutions to real problems. The crypto does not seem to evolve or involve the community in its development.

Song commented that the apparent aversion of the team behind Bitcoin SV for open source development generates a danger for its users. He also emphasized that there is no sign of progress or evolution since “it’s all based on the Word of a con artist (Craig Wright).”

“If you look at their GitHub, They’ve done nothing in the past two months … They are not really trying to fix anything … They apparently have some sort of private development … They are not into open source. It’s anything but a secure protocol.
At some point I expect them to release a full node software or something like that that is straight up malware”

Reason 3: The behavior of Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre Is “Peculiar”

In this regard, Jimmy Song explains that Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre, the two main heads behind the Bitcoin Cash fork, have taken a course of action that does not lend credibility to the project. He mentions that from his point of view it is very probable that both are paying other influencers and developers to support this project, although he clarifies that he cannot prove it since there is no conclusive evidence of this:

“They wanted control basically, and they were threatening … I mean, it’s a completely crap vest with Bitcoin ABC, but the fact that they continued to fight and used their money trying to try to pop up this useless coin … it should tell you .. they wanted control their own money and they had enough of own ego to think that people just follow them”

Is It Enough to Call Bitcoin SV a Scam?

Despite the merits of Jimmy Song’s arguments, comparing his Livestream with the debate held in front of Craig Wright, it seems that he failed to attack the project and took the easy way by attacking the people behind it.

Whether Craig Wright is reliable or not, does not mean that the Bitcoin SV project is reliable or not. Comments to the video used precisely this flaw to discredit Mr. Song’s statements. Although YouTube comments show several BSV supporters defending Craig, one of the most interesting counterarguments was that of the user “Fomo Erektus,” who said the following:

“This is garbage.

To point 1: CSW is a “known scammer” in the BTC echo chamber. In the real world this verges on libel. Where are the victims? When has he ever been convicted of anything? But that’s not even the real issue here. The real issue is guilt by association. BSV is cryptographically secured; you don’t have to trust Craig Wright to use it.

2) Pay attention. nChain is focused on creating a microservices-based mining node which will process orders of magnitude more transactions than the current node software. This is public information. The protocol is not at risk. It’s being locked and TeraNode will be protocol-compatible with the legacy implementation.

3) Craig and Calvin used their own money in support of SV and you would like us to view that with suspicion? In what universe is “put your money where your mouth is” considered bad? You have literally not made one single substantiated claim in this whole video. You’re an embarrassment.”

Ultimately, the decision about whether to trust BSV depends on each user. While the actions of Craig and Calvin are not ideal, the project ranks 11th in the global market cap, and its destiny has not yet been written.

Full video available in the link below:

The post Jimmy Song Gives 3 Reasons Why Bitcoin SV is a Scam… But Is It Enough to Change Your Mind? appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Hackers That Stole Millions From Crypto Firm Planned the Attack Chatting On the Game PUBG

The cybersecurity agenda remains one of the main concerns that prevent financial institutions and users in general from adopting cryptocurrencies as a viable option for making transactions and saving money with the confidence of knowing that their funds are “in good hands.”

After the scandal surrounding the Cryptopia hack, a new case of theft with multimillion-dollar losses was reported in Turkey. According to an article in the local newspaper The Daily Sabah, a group of hackers stole more than 2.47 million dollars from a cryptocurrency company in Istanbul.

The newspaper reports that the band was made up of 24 individuals distributed throughout the country. According to police reports, the company (whose name was not disclosed) reported losses of a significant amount of Bitcoin (BTC) Ethereum (ETH) and XRP.

The losses are estimated at 13 Million Liras. The hackers were able to access the company’s wallet somehow and redistribute the tokens to other accounts that have not yet been tracked.

Criminals and Hackers are Improving Their “Game”

The Istanbul Cybercrime Branch Office revealed that the 24 suspects maintained communication through the internal chat of the famous online multiplayer game PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG) a mobile game very similar to Fortnite which is very popular in Android, Windows, Xbox and iOS.

Police were able to track and capture the 24 criminals after a series of raids in the provinces of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Afyonkarahisar, Bursa, Edirne, Bolu, and Antalya. After apprehending the suspects, further investigations allowed them to recover 54,000 lire in cash and 1.3 million lire in crypto. The rest of the money is still lost.

Of the 24 suspects, two are already at large. Of the remainder, six were arrested while 16 were released on condition of judicial control. There is still no set date for the trial of these criminals.

The police are still active in the investigations under the country’s legal stipulations. Although the exact name of the company is not known, it is most likely a local cryptocurrency Exchange.

Crypto Hacks: A Rising Problem Despite The Bearish Market?

According to a report by the cybersecurity firm CipherTrace, Cryptocurrencies stolen from exchanges and scammed from investors surged more than 400 percent in 2018 to around $1.7 billion. The firm commented that it was surprising to obtain these results precisely after the severe bearish trend of the last months.

The report points out that many of the crimes happen because the exchanges have a bad security policy and also because of an inadequate legal context in the countries where these businesses are headquartered:

“These bad actors are clearly flocking to jurisdictions with weak AML (anti-money laundering) and know-your-customer (KYC) regimes, because in our Q3 report we published the results of research showing 97 percent of criminal bitcoin flows into unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges”

The post Hackers That Stole Millions From Crypto Firm Planned the Attack Chatting On the Game PUBG appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Don’t Listen To Crypto Critics, Bitcoin “Really Is Money”

Since Bitcoin (BTC) came into being, incumbents of the legacy world, such as Jamie Dimon or Janet Yellen, have bashed the cryptocurrency en-masse. Dimon, the chief executive of JP Morgan (ironic, I know), remarked that Bitcoin is a “fraud” and of no inherent value, while former Federal Reserve chair Yellen quipped that the asset is “anything but useful.”

Even JP Morgan’s research group has been overtly skeptical of cryptocurrencies, remarking that BTC could fall to $1,260, as its value will only be proven in a dystopian world where fiat currencies and financial incumbents have bitten the dust. In other words, they don’t believe that the cryptocurrency is what it was created to accomplish.

Bitcoin Is A Means Of Exchange 

But Clem Chambers, the chief executive of investment website and a cryptocurrency commentator, recently took to Forbes to exclaim why Bitcoin “really is money,” not a purely speculative asset.

He first addressed the idea that Bitcoin isn’t a proper medium of exchange, as critics claim that the asset’s slock block times and high transaction fees make it illogical to use BTC in brick and mortar stores.

Chambers noted that this is far from the place, first noting that the fact that cryptocurrency transactions are immutable, while secure make it much better than traditional credit cards and services like PayPal, which allow for so-called “chargebacks.”He added that the fact BTC is international makes it better than “old fashioned money,” also drawing attention to the transparency that public blockchains provide. Thus, Chambers concluded:

It has many advantages over classic money, but also drawbacks. The fact is that it is a valid, fast, cheap and powerful new means of exchange.

It’s Also A Store Of Value

Chambers then touched on those who bash Bitcoin’s volatility, quipping that it is far from the second gold or digital store of value that its pundits paint it to be. The ADVFN founder said that such commentators are missing the point. From a fundamental viewpoint, he explained, money stored in BTC will remain there, in spite of short-term price fluctuations, which is in and of itself “far better than Venezuela’s money or Iran’s.

He added that even fiat currencies, like the Swiss franc, U.S. dollar, or the Chinese Renminbi, oscillate in value, which is a characteristic that hasn’t discounted their value as a relatively stable currency.

This comment comes just days after Mike Novogratz, the Galaxy Digital chief executive, that Bitcoin will be the only cryptocurrency with the atomic number of 79 on crypto’s periodic table.

Lastly, BTC is a Unit Of Account

Finally, he noted that crypto, especially BTC, can act as a unit of account. Blockchain technologies themselves are decentralized ledgers, thus making the argument that cryptocurrencies aren’t such units is illogical. Chambers even quipped that to say that “Bitcoin isn’t a unit of account” is like saying an abacus isn’t a form of calculator.

While he rebutted critics’ points well, he did note that it would be irresponsible to assume that Bitcoin is going to be widely used in the future, as it may not have enough benefits.

The post Don’t Listen To Crypto Critics, Bitcoin “Really Is Money” appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Ripple Upgrades XRP Ledger Version to 1.2.0 With New Features and Improved Security

Ripple remains focused on evolving as a company with a better product every day and does not let statements from competitors such as SWIFT and JP Morgan distract them from their goal.

In an announcement posted on its official website on 13 February 2019, Ripple, the company behind the popular XRP token and other blockchain-based solutions such as xRapid, xCurrent, and xVia, unveiled the release of an update to its XRP Ledger.

The product presented by Ripple is a decentralized cryptographic ledger that runs on a P2P network allowing users to store their tokens and perform transactions with the ability to resist multiple censorship attacks and optimize communication between peers.

Version 1.2.0 fixes several bugs and presents a significant number of optimizations, including the MultisignReserve Amendment, fixTakerDryOfferRemoval and fix1578. The company comments that it expects these amendments to be activated by February 27.

According to Ripple’s announcement, backwards compatibility is not planned, so those who have not updated the XRP Ledger version will lose certain benefits of 1.2.0 such as:

  • The ability to determine the validity of a ledger;
  • The ability to submit or process transactions;
  • The ability to participate in the consensus process;
  • The ability to vote on future amendments; and
  • Could rely on potentially invalid data.

This is because the servers will become “amendment blocked” after February 27th.

Ripple: Synonym of Constant Evolution

One of the advantages of the MultisignReserve Amendment is that it reduces the reserve required to associate a list of signatories, making the features more accessible and efficient.

The MultiSign Method allows users to Co-Handle the administration of funds through a combination of several private keys. This way not only one person would have the absolute monopoly of an account, but it could be managed between several people with different levels of privileges.

Until now the announcement did not have a significant impact on the price of XRP; however, some users comment that perhaps the effect could be seen on a date close to February 27.

At the time of writing this article, XRP remains solid in third place in the worldwide crypto ranking with a total market cap of 12.36Bn USD, and a price per token of 0.3 USD according to coinpricewatch data.

The post Ripple Upgrades XRP Ledger Version to 1.2.0 With New Features and Improved Security appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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