Bitcoin, Ethereum are most profitable investments of the decade

As the decade draws to a close, it’s time to look at the investments that were the most successful. And, unsurprisingly, cryptocurrencies top the list of …

As the decade draws to a close, it’s time to look at the investments that were the most successful. And, unsurprisingly, cryptocurrencies top the list of the most profitable investments of the decade.

Up first, is Bitcoin. The first cryptocurrency, built by an anonymous programmer known as Satoshi Nakamoto, it led to the creation of many Bitcoin forks—alternative versions running on similar code—and thousands of altcoins, either using the same code or trying out new features. But, if you got in early, you had the chance to make a quick buck.

Since the first bitcoin was available for trading, its price has accelerated 62,500 percent. Outshining many traditional stocks, it even spawned an entire culture built around prices “mooning” and the promise of lovingly labelled “lambos.” Due to the extreme rise, many critics have called it a Ponzi Scheme and say that its price pumps are bubbles that keep popping. But despite the criticism, an entire industry has been built around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, leading many countries around the world to start adoption blockchain technology.

Much of the promise of blockchain technology can be seen with Ethereum. It offers features known as smart contracts, which allow for the creation of decentralized apps. These have interesting applications, particularly in the world of finance.

The price of Ethereum has shot up too. Even though the price has dropped heavily since its all-time high in January 2018, the price of Ethereum is still up by 17,900 percent. One ETH is currently worth $132.

However, some traditional stocks have not been far off. Netflix had a strong performance this decade, rising 4,280 percent. It’s not too surprising given how ubiquitous it now is. Even new films are now launching on Netflix instead of heading to the cinema. But it’s epic rise has led to an increase in the number of competitor video streaming companies. Will it be able to fend off the competition going into 2020?

Along with the rise of Netflix, and watching TV at home in general, another company did particularly well. Domino’s Pizza saw an increase in share price of 3,000 percent. Who knew pizza and TV were a winning combination?

In line with the trend of not needing to go outside, Amazon grew considerably in the last decade, rising 1,250 percent. It’s worth noting that not only does Amazon ship products to your door but it also offers a TV streaming service. What’s next, Amazon pizza?

Those doing yoga, trying to work off the 1,000 calorie pizzas, helped to boost the price of Lululemon shares, a retailer known for creating activewear and clothes for “most other sweaty pursuits.” They rose by 1,300 percent.

On a different track, healthcare company Abiomed saw a 2,000 percent rise in the last decade. It creates medical devices, such as artificial hearts.

Shotly behind Amazon is NVIDIA, known for creating computer chips. Interestingly, it pulled in $1.95 billion in revenue from its crypto mining business. But it wasn’t without controversy. In September, critics accused it of surreptitiously influencing the development of an upgrade to the Ethereum network. But nothing was ever proved.

Other profitable investments of the decade were payments processors, including Mastercard and VISA, up 1,100 percent and 760 percent respectively. Google shares rose by 350 percent and Apple shares went up by 840 percent.

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Technology And Society: Can Marketing Save The World?

Few administrations and a handful of companies are charting the road of post-quantum encryption. The U.S. is one of those. The National Institute of …

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In 1991, Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta worked to develop uncrackable encrypted stacks of blocks, creating a database nobody could tamper with. At that time, they likely could not have imagined this technology would become the foundation of blockchain. Blockchain was born after Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper in 2008 about cryptocurrency that unraveled the many more applications this technology could have.

The foremost practical benefit of blockchain, in any application, is that of taking away reliability from humans and putting it into machines. It is the ultimate automated trust it generates through an uncrackable system of collaborating computers that creates encrypted blocks that guarantee the security and authenticity of any transaction or interaction, avoiding data bridges and human intermediation

In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the birth of several initiatives and organizations that are attempting to make the most out of this technology. It seems we are on the verge of a revolution that will change our lives in much the same way personal computers did throughout the last 30 years.

While it seems clear the value this technology may bring, we tend to forget that most technologies used today are data-driven, running over binary systems. Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), industry 4.0, autonomous vehicles and most of the amazing achievements of the last 50 years are based on this type of computing. What would happen if these types of binary systems became obsolete?

Change Is The Only Constant

With the technology we have today, cracking current encryptions that guarantee cryptocurrency security through blockchain is not an easy feat. That is what makes blockchain a safe place to authenticate transactions. But what if a new type of computer could do it in just minutes? What’s known as a quantum computer is already used by companies like Google and IBM.

Suddenly, blockchain, the technology that was supposed to change the future, becomes obsolete, and with it, most attempts to be its early adopters. Few administrations and a handful of companies are charting the road of post-quantum encryption. The U.S. is one of those. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has already identified 26 algorithms that could become the standard to protect information today and tomorrow.

But there is no reason for panic. As Ian Kahn mentions in his acclaimed “Blockchain City” documentary, “Tomorrow is not here yet,” and it seems, as he also reminds, that our tomorrow is made of the only constant there is: change. Through constant change, evolution is happening at an accelerating pace, giving us little time to adapt and transforming governments, organizations, companies and consumers all into forced early adopters.

While quantum computers may seem a giant bridge, it is no different than all the other technologies we are benefiting from and do not realize we are using. As consumers, we do not understand internet protocols, and yet, we buy online every day. With quantum technology, it will happen the same: We may not understand it, but we will still run applications that will reap the benefits of this giant disruption that will boost innovation in a way we cannot even imagine.

I believe quantum computers are the new giant leap by humankind that will boost our capacity to understand, learn and build. With them, we will be able to open the doors to unimaginable discoveries and possibilities that will likely make us look like aliens on our own planet. This is the power that is being unleashed for which we will have to work on defining a purpose beyond profits and power, securing its use for the benefit of all. Dreamers will no longer exist the way we know them today.

Innovation Must Have A Greater Purpose

After many years doing marketing for companies of all sorts and sizes on three different continents, I came to the conclusion that focusing on technological innovation only could be a fatal — or at least dangerous — mistake. Marketing is one of the industries that has embraced and adapted to these new technologies at a really fast pace. However, having the power unleashed through technology is not enough if you don’t have a clear aim, and that aim cannot be only profits.

Technology, in most cases, increases efficiency. In essence, we achieve the same results, but faster, safer, in a cleaner way, with fewer resources. Take marketing, for instance: Social media, digital environments and IoT are all techniques marketing is using to the benefit of businesses’ profit and loss. Yet, these technological innovations are obtaining the very same results, though more efficiently, than our old, traditional, nondigital media: reach and segmentation.

I believe society is clamoring for a different impact. Innovation in technology is not enough. We need to innovate in management models that can guarantee, through the use and development of new technologies, that the impacts we generate are different. We need a broader base of prosperity that generates larger social equity and improves our environment.

Richard Branson has stated, “The brands that will thrive in the coming years are the ones that have a purpose beyond profit.” The future is now, and companies need to use technologies, products and services that allow them to go beyond, but never forgetting, profits.

Looking To Marketing As A Model To Follow

Marketing is the leverage that can serve as a bridge between corporations and society at large, launching profitable projects that also have social and environmental impacts. Marketing can also make consumers understand that they have the collective power, fostered by individual behavior, to demand those kinds of projects while accepting that companies make money along the way. It’s not bad to make money while helping others and the environment, and it is necessary to make those improvements sustainable.

Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

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Bayern Munich Tokens Sell for Over $30000

According to Stryking, the Ethereum-based NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens with the “…rarity, authenticity, and ownership secured and …

Seven bundles of Stryking’s official Bayern Munich non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been sold at auction for 240.9649 ETH, equivalent to approximately $31,100. One full set of the special Christmas 2019 Edition collection, featuring 24 players from Germany’s most successful football club, went for 133 ETH (around $16,700) while the remaining six bundles contained four cards each.

The value of each four card set varied from 33.9 ETH down to 4.4 ETH depending on the status of the players they portrayed. Top price was paid for the international quartet of Robert Lewandowski, Sven Ulreich, Kingsley Coman and Ivan Perišić.

The numbers dont lie for the excitement around the @stryking_io Holiday Auctions as according to @opensea we had a 6000% increase in the ETH value of sales from the past week!#blockchain#crypto#cryptocurrency#Dapps#ETH#ethereum#bayernmünchen#Bayern#NFT#technewspic.twitter.com/GV7MZwa2FV

— stryking.io (@stryking_io) December 29, 2019

The sale saw a spike in interest for Berlin-based Stryking products with performance analytic charts logging an impressive 6000% increase on the previous week. Until the sale, Stryking were probably best known for Football-Stars, their web and mobile gaming platform aimed at European fans.

Sporting Connections

Stryking made news in 2018 when they garnered support from Portuguese star Luis Figo and are now a subsidiary of Animoca Brands after being acquired in September this year. Animoca Brands have themselves previously enjoyed NFT auction successes with their official connection with Formula 1 motor racing.

Not resting on their laurels, Stryking have already started a second sale for Bayern Munich NFTs – called New Year 2020 Edition Legendary Player Cards – which will run until 6 January.

Ready for some Fireworks? 🎇Our New Year #FCBayern Special Edition cards are out‼️‼️⚽️ Auction is on, make sure to get yours at https://t.co/PsYOU9UxsG#NFT#digitalcollectibles#Blockchain#TokenSalespic.twitter.com/7jDcgn5lPW

— stryking.io (@stryking_io) December 30, 2019

According to Stryking, the Ethereum-based NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens with the “…rarity, authenticity, and ownership secured and guaranteed by blockchain technology.”

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Analyst Who Called Bitcoin’s Crash to $6000 Says Ethereum Bottom In

Take one look at Bitcoin’s chart and you would assume that Ethereum, XRP, and all the rest have had a great 2019 too, but you would be sorely …

Take one look at Bitcoin’s chart and you would assume that Ethereum, XRP, and all the rest have had a great 2019 too, but you would be sorely mistaken in saying that. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, since earlier this month, the price of ETH is actually down in 2019, which comes in stark contrast to Bitcoin’s 95% year-to-date gains.

This harrowing price trend has been attributed to a confluence of factors, one such being that the PlusToken Wallet scam that brutalized many in the industry has a large portion of ETH that is being or will be liquidated, making investors price that potential sell-off in.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Youtube’s Bitcoin Ban, Ethereum Co-Founder Sells Stash, China’s Digital Currency Nears

Whatever the case, a prominent cryptocurrency analyst that has a solid track record has said that the technicals suggest Ethereum has found a bottom, potentially setting the stage for a return to a bull trend.

Ethereum Has Bottomed? Really?

According to a recent tweet from technical analyst Dave the Wave, Ethereum may have just put in a bottom in terms of its price against the U.S. dollar, looking to the chart below to prove his point.

In the chart, the popular Twitter analyst noted that ETH recently bounced off the 0.786 Fibonacci Retracement level of the price action from the 2018 bottom to the 2019 bottom, while the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) has shown signs of a reversal on a medium-term basis, boding well for bulls.

Freebie from my alts page.

And that ladies and gentlemen may have been the bottom in ETH. May it be a happy and prosperous new year.🥳 pic.twitter.com/TJZW4SNbLe

— dave the wave (@davthewave) December 30, 2019

So what are Dave’s credentials? Why should we listen to a Twitter analyst whose avatar is the famous Japanese painting of a tsunami?

Well, this trader is the one that called for rationality to return to the crypto markets when BTC was trading above $10,000, claiming the move was a clear overextension of BTC’s long-term growth curve and standards. He went as far as to say that Bitcoin was poised to return to $6,700 — this was months ago.

Related Reading: Math Shows That 2020 Could Be a Great Year for Ethereum Bulls; Here’s Why

Not All Is Fine and Dandy

Not all is well and good for Ethereum though.

Google recently removed the Ethereum interface application MetaMask’s application from the Google Play Store, citing concerns about violations of the company’s financial services policies, meaning that access to the blockchain may be restricted. Coinbase may follow suit with its own decentralized application interface.

Along with bearish fundamental developments, there are also some harrowing analyses in terms of the ETH charts.

Per previous reports from NewsBTC, a trader going by Mac wrote that he expects both altcoins as a class and Ethereum to fall by 20% against Bitcoin, noting that the ETH/BTC pair is currently far above any semblance of support.

This came shortly after another analyst, Velvet, said that Bitcoin’s dominance metric is likely to hit 78% — some 10% higher than current levels — by March, just four-odd months away. He attributed this expectation to the fact that BTC is showing signs it is about to begin its next leg higher — one that will bring it to BTC — meaning that capital flows towards altcoins is likely going to slow at a dramatic pace.

Yes, ETH/BTC could fall buy ETH/USD could rise in dissonance. The point is that not analysts are decisively bullish on the second-largest cryptocurrency.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Thanks to Better UX, This Year Dapps Will Go Mainstream

Jason Goldberg is founder of OST, which powers the ethereum application layer, and Pepo, an app where people share videos for tokens. As recently …

This post is part of CoinDesk’s 2019 Year in Review, a collection of 100 op-eds, interviews and takes on the state of blockchain and the world. Jason Goldberg is founder of OST, which powers the ethereum application layer, and Pepo, an app where people share videos for tokens.

As recently as a year ago, even the most ardent blockchain proponents had to concede the user experience was too clunky for any app using cryptocurrency to make it in the mainstream. After all, who could imagine users accustomed to smooth on-boarding and participation on apps like Instagram, tolerating having to write down 12 words to secure a wallet or operate a second browser window or another app to “sign” transactions. Can you imagine asking Instagram users to make sure they have enough ETH in their ‘Insta-wallets’ to pay gas on each transaction?

Thankfully, 2019 will be remembered for technical innovations that enabled dapps to start to feel like apps. The foundation is laid, and blockchain is finally ready for primetime. 2020 will be the year we begin to see mainstream adoption of crypto-powered apps.

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It’s all about solving real problems for real people. Until now, crypto has sometimes felt like an elegant solution in search of a problem – a blueprint for a far-out, visionary utopia. While thinking big is admirable, new technologies must first identify real problems and offer solutions people can use. Most people don’t wake up in the morning thinking in bold strokes about decentralized finance; they worry about how they’re going to pay the bills, live, learn, experience, and laugh. It’s these people and use cases that crypto must, and will, address.

The failure so far of crypto projects to gain broad-based user adoption comes down to the fact that, until now, the tech and the user experience have not been ready. But quietly, developers and founders have been building the infrastructure layers for crypto apps to break out.

This parallels previous technology cycles, to which I’ve had a front-row seat. I started at AOL in the late-90s before founding a series a “web 2” companies. It usually takes a few years for technology to catch up to vision. YouTube would have been impossible in 1997 because broadband didn’t exist. Social media could not have taken off in 2000 because there weren’t enough people online to create robust connections, and the smartphone was not yet invented. In each of these cases, technology, user experience, and adoption needed to reach a certain inflection point before a new vision could really catch fire.

Blockchain is now at exactly this type of inflection point, turning the corner from an exciting concept into real-world solutions for millions of people. Ironically, it’s when people are most disillusioned that builders break through, and that’s what happened in crypto in 2019. The builders and makers have prepared the infrastructure. And now the tech is ready to offer products that genuinely address a need – that make life easier, better, or just more fun for people.

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A year ago, many projects would have run aground because crypto couldn’t deliver a seamless user experience. Onerous requirements around account recovery, transaction signing, and gas payments limited adoption to the “crypto-native.” But this year has seen technical breakthroughs that finally make crypto capable of delivering the user experience necessary to appeal to a broad audience. Smart contract wallets give users self-custody of their assets without requiring them to write down 12 words and store them on a piece of paper. Now, all they need to initiate account recovery is a 6-digit pin. An account that cannot be recovered is no better than one where money has actually been stolen, so this is a huge improvement in account security. Plus, the improved user experience brings crypto into line with something as mainstream as an ATM.

For the first time, we can offer dapps with beautiful, blazing-fast UX.

User experience is further strengthened through meta-transactions, which can be programmed to remove the need for users to pay for gas each time they move tokens. And multi-signature, or “multisig,” contracts have led to innovations like session keys, which remove the need for users to sign every transaction. These two breakthroughs combine to make the experience of using an Ethereum-based app far smoother. With the crypto machinery running silently and smoothly in the background, for the first time we can offer dapps with beautiful, blazing-fast UX.

Platforms such as Gnosis and Argent are now leveraging these capabilities to deliver tangible benefits to users across a range of use cases, including digital ID, finance, and custody.

Following three years of working deep in the infrastructure layer of the Ethereum stack, I’ve spent the past year building out Pepo, an Ethereum-based dapp that feels just like an app. In Pepo, every tap of the “like” button transfers a token – giving a whole new meaning and value to likes. Suddenly, content creators can be instantly rewarded by their fans and earn real money for their creations, without any middlemen. Social networks such as Facebook may have popularized the concept of “likes.” But only a blockchain-powered app can add cryptocurrency, decentralize peer-to-peer payments, and monetize the experience with its capacity of micro-transactions.

Crypto serves a clear additive purpose for apps like Pepo. Providing content creators with tokens instead of just “likes” establishes a clearer rewards structure within the app, It is also designed to serve a curating function, as users are less likely to send tokens to creators of content that doesn’t truly appeal to them. Pepo was approved by Apple for in-app purchases and cash-out options, a precedent that is essential for the mainstream adoption of crypto-powered apps.

Other projects will come to market in 2020 showing how crypto can power a new generation of technical solutions. Particular areas to watch are direct-to-consumer retail, the sharing economy, media platforms, multiplayer games, influencer marketing, and asset management. The crypto apps that launch in 2020 will show that tokens can have real utility; that there are use-cases where crypto really does offer the best possible solution; and that we can create a superb user experience that is made better, not just bearable, by blockchain technology. That’s why 2020 will be the year crypto finally breaks out.

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