Global Business Speaks English

Global Business Speaks English

Ready or not, English is now the global language of business. More and more multinational companies are mandating English as the common corporate language—Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor, and Microsoft in Beijing, to name a few—in an attempt to facilitate communication and performance across geographically diverse functions and business endeavors.

Adopting a common mode of speech isn’t just a good idea; it’s a must, even for an American company with operations overseas, for instance, or a French company focused on domestic customers. Imagine that a group of salespeople from a company’s Paris headquarters get together for a meeting. Why would you care whether they all could speak English? Now consider that the same group goes on a sales call to a company also based in Paris, not realizing that the potential customer would be bringing in employees from other locations who didn’t speak French. This happened at one company I worked with. Sitting together in Paris, employees of those two French companies couldn’t close a deal because the people in the room couldn’t communicate. It was a shocking wake-up call, and the company soon adopted an English corporate language strategy.

Similar concerns drove Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten—Japan’s largest online marketplace—to mandate in March 2010 that English would be the company’s official language of business. The company’s goal was to become the number one internet services company in the world, and Mikitani believed that the new policy—which would affect some 7,100 Japanese employees—was vital to achieving that end, especially as expansion plans were concentrated outside Japan. He also felt responsible for contributing to an expanded worldview for his country, a conservative island nation.

The multibillion-dollar company—a cross between Amazon.com and eBay—was on a growth spree: It had acquired PriceMinister.com in France, Buy.com and FreeCause in the U.S., Play.com in the UK, Tradoria in Germany, Kobo eBooks in Canada, and established joint ventures with major companies in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Brazil. Serious about the language change, Mikitani announced the plan to employees not in Japanese but in English. Overnight, the Japanese language cafeteria menus were replaced, as were elevator directories. And he stated that employees would have to demonstrate competence on an international English scoring system within two years—or risk demotion or even dismissal.

The media instantly picked up the story, and corporate Japan reacted with fascination and disdain. Honda’s CEO, Takanobu Ito, publicly asserted, “It’s stupid for a Japanese company to only use English in Japan when the workforce is mainly Japanese.” But Mikitani was confident that it was the right move, and the policy is bearing fruit. The English mandate has allowed Mikitani to create a remarkably diverse and powerful organization. Today, three out of six senior executives in his engineering organization aren’t Japanese; they don’t even speak Japanese. The company continues to aggressively seek the best talent from around the globe. Half of Rakuten’s Japanese employees now can adequately engage in internal communication in English, and 25% communicate in English with partners and coworkers in foreign subsidiaries on a regular basis.

Adopting a global language policy is not easy, and companies invariably stumble along the way. It’s radical, and it’s almost certain to meet with staunch resistance from employees. Many may feel at a disadvantage if their English isn’t as good as others’, team dynamics and performance can suffer, and national pride can get in the way. But to survive and thrive in a global economy, companies must overcome language barriers—and English will almost always be the common ground, at least for now.

The fastest-spreading language in human history, English is spoken at a useful level by some 1.75 billion people worldwide—that’s one in every four of us. There are close to 385 million native speakers in countries like the U.S. and Australia, about a billion fluent speakers in formerly colonized nations such as India and Nigeria, and millions of people around the world who’ve studied it as a second language. An estimated 565 million people use it on the internet.

The benefits of “Englishnization,” as Mikitani calls it, are significant; however, relatively few companies have systematically implemented an English-language policy with sustained results. Through my research and work over the past decade with companies, I’ve developed an adoption framework to guide companies in their language efforts. There’s still a lot to learn, but success stories do exist. Adopters will find significant advantages.

Why English Only?

There’s no question that unrestricted multilingualism is inefficient and can prevent important interactions from taking place and get in the way of achieving key goals. The need to tightly coordinate tasks and work with customers and partners worldwide has accelerated the move toward English as the official language of business no matter where companies are headquartered.

Three primary reasons are driving the move toward English as a corporate standard.

Competitive pressure.

If you want to buy or sell, you have to be able to communicate with a diverse range of customers, suppliers, and other business partners. If you’re lucky, they’ll share your native language—but you can’t count on it. Companies that fail to devise a language strategy are essentially limiting their growth opportunities to the markets where their language is spoken, clearly putting themselves at a disadvantage to competitors that have adopted English-only policies.

Globalization of tasks and resources.

Language differences can cause a bottleneck—a Tower of Babel, as it were—when geographically dispersed employees have to work together to meet corporate goals. An employee from Belgium may need input from an enterprise in Beirut or Mexico. Without common ground, communication will suffer. Better language comprehension gives employees more firsthand information, which is vital to good decision making. Swiss food giant Nestlé saw great efficiency improvements in purchasing and hiring thanks to its enforcement of English as a company standard.

M&A integration across national boundaries.

Negotiations regarding a merger or acquisition are complicated enough when everybody speaks the same language. But when they don’t, nuances are easily lost, even in simple e-mail exchanges. Also, cross-cultural integration is notoriously tricky; that’s why when Germany’s Hoechst and France’s Rhône-Poulenc merged in 1998 to create Aventis, the fifth largest worldwide pharmaceutical company, the new firm chose English as its operating language over French or German to avoid playing favorites. A branding element can also come into play. In the 1990s, a relatively unknown, midsize Italian appliance maker, Merloni, adopted English to further its international image, which gave it an edge when acquiring Russian and British companies.

The fastest-spreading language in human history, English is spoken at a useful level by some 1.75 billion people worldwide—that’s one in every four of us.

Obstacles to Successful English-Language Policies

To be sure, one-language policies can have repercussions that decrease efficiency. Evidence from my research at Rakuten—along with a study I conducted with Pamela Hinds of Stanford University and Catherine Cramton of George Mason University at a company I’ll call GlobalTech and a study I conducted at a firm I’ll call FrenchCo—reveals costs that global English-language rules can create. Proper rollout mitigates the risks, but even well-considered plans can encounter pitfalls. Here are some of the most common.

Change always comes as a shock.

No amount of warning and preparation can entirely prevent the psychological blow to employees when proposed change becomes reality. When Marie (all names in this article are disguised, with the exception of Mikitani and Ito) first learned of FrenchCo’s English-only policy, she was excited. She had been communicating in English with non-French partners for some time, and she saw the proposed policy as a positive sign that the company was becoming more international. That is, until she attended a routine meeting that was normally held in French. “I didn’t realize that the very first meeting after the rule came out was really going to be in English. It was a shock,” Marie says. She recalls walking into the meeting with a lot of energy—until she noticed the translator headsets.

“They’re humiliating,” she says. “I felt like an observer rather than a participant at my own company.”

Compliance is spotty.

An English mandate created a different problem for a service representative at GlobalTech. Based in Germany, the technology firm had subsidiaries worldwide. Hans, a service representative, received a frantic call from his boss when a key customer’s multimillion-dollar financial services operation ground to a halt as a result of a software glitch. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were at stake for both the customer and GlobalTech. Hans quickly placed a call to the technical department in India, but the software team was unable to jump on the problem because all communications about it were in German—despite the English-only policy instituted two years earlier requiring that all internal communications (meetings, e-mails, documents, and phone calls) be carried out in English. As Hans waited for documents to be translated, the crisis continued to escalate. Two years into the implementation, adoption was dragging.

Self-confidence erodes.

When nonnative speakers are forced to communicate in English, they can feel that their worth to the company has been diminished, regardless of their fluency level. “The most difficult thing is to have to admit that one’s value as an English speaker overshadows one’s real value,” a FrenchCo employee says. “For the past 30 years the company did not ask us to develop our foreign-language skills or offer us the opportunity to do so,” he points out. “Now, it is difficult to accept the fact that we are disqualified.” Employees facing one-language policies often worry that the best jobs will be offered only to those with strong English skills, regardless of content expertise.

When my colleagues and I interviewed 164 employees at GlobalTech two years after the company’s English-only policy had been implemented, we found that nearly 70% of employees continued to experience frustration with it. At FrenchCo, 56% of medium-fluency English speakers and 42% of low-fluency speakers reported worrying about job advancement because of their relatively limited English skills. Such feelings are common when companies merely announce the new policy and offer language classes rather than implement the shift in a systematic way. It’s worth noting that employees often underestimate their own abilities or overestimate the challenge of developing sufficient fluency. 

Gauging Fluency

Job security falters.

Even though achieving sufficient fluency is possible for most, the reality is that with adoption of an English-only policy, employees’ job requirements change—sometimes overnight. That can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially among top performers. Rakuten’s Mikitani didn’t mince words with his employees: He was clear that he would demote people who didn’t develop their English proficiency.

Employees resist.

It’s not unusual to hear nonnative speakers revert to their own language at the expense of their English-speaking colleagues, often because it’s faster and easier to conduct meetings in their mother tongue. Others may take more aggressive measures to avoid speaking English, such as holding meetings at inopportune times. Employees in Asia might schedule a global meeting that falls during the middle of the night in England, for instance. In doing so, nonnative speakers shift their anxiety and loss of power to native speakers.

Many FrenchCo employees said that when they felt that their relatively poor language skills could become conspicuous and have career-related consequences, they simply stopped contributing to common discourse. “They’re afraid to make mistakes,” an HR manager at the firm explains, “so they will just not speak at all.”

In other cases, documents that are supposed to be composed in English may be written in the mother tongue—as experienced by Hans at GlobalTech—or not written at all. “It’s too hard to write in English, so I don’t do it!” one GlobalTech employee notes. “And then there’s no documentation at all.”

Performance suffers.

The bottom line takes a hit when employees stop participating in group settings. Once participation ebbs, processes fall apart. Companies miss out on new ideas that might have been generated in meetings. People don’t report costly errors or offer observations about mistakes or questionable decisions. One of the engineers at GlobalTech’s Indian office explained that when meetings reverted into German his ability to contribute was cut off. He lost important information—particularly in side exchanges—despite receiving meeting notes afterward. Often those quick asides contained important contextual information, background analyses, or hypotheses about the root cause of a particular problem. He neither participated in the meetings nor learned from the problem-solving discussions.

An Adoption Framework

Converting the primary language of a business is no small task. In my work I’ve developed a framework for assessing readiness and guidelines for adopting the shift. Adoption depends on two key factors: employee buy-in and belief in capacity. Buy-in is the degree to which employees believe that a single language will produce benefits for them or the organization. Belief in their own capacity is the extent to which they are confident that they can gain enough fluency to pass muster.

The two dimensions combine to produce four categories of response to the change, as shown in the matrix “Four Types of Employee Response.” Ideally, employees would fall in what I call the “inspired” category—those who are excited about the move and confident that they can make the shift. They’re optimistic and likely to embrace the challenge. But undoubtedly, some employees will feel “oppressed.” Those people don’t think the change is a good idea, and they don’t think they’ll cut it.

The reality is that without buy-in, employees won’t bother to brush up their language; without belief, they’ll lose hope. I’ve identified some guidelines managers can follow to help people along. Rakuten’s Mikitani has successfully implemented a version of this framework.

Leaders and managers can help employees move from one box to another more easily than you might expect. There are fairly simple strategies that aid the shift, typically involving some combination of a strong psychological boost and practical training. To shift employees from “frustrated” to “inspired,” for instance, managers must offer constant encouragement and an array of language-development opportunities. To shift employees from “indifferent” to “inspired,” managers must work on improving buy-in—once these employees feel invested in the change, their skills will follow.

Improving belief in capacity.

Managers can use four strategies to help people boost their belief in their ability to develop language proficiency.

Offer opportunities to gain experience with language.

Whether through education, employment, or living abroad, experience tends to give people the confidence they need to succeed in this task. You can’t change past experience, but you can provide opportunities, such as overseas language training and job rotations, that open new doors and allow employees to stretch their skills. Rakuten has sent senior executives to English-speaking countries like the UK and the U.S. for full language immersion training. Employees have also been offered weeks-long language-training programs in the Philippines. Although not easily scalable to 7,100 Japanese employees, the programs successfully produced individuals with functional English skills. Rakuten also plans to send more than 1,000 engineers to technology conferences outside Japan.

Foster positive attitudes.

Attitudes are contagious: People’s faith in their own capabilities grows when they see others around them—peers, managers, friends—having positive experiences with the radical change. The reverse is also true, unfortunately. Managers can model good risk-taking behaviors by showing that they too are trying new things, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes.

Mikitani focused his personal attention on middle managers because he knew that collectively they could influence thousands of employees. He encouraged them to constantly improve their own language skills and even offered to teach them English himself if need be. (Nobody took him up on the offer.) He also encouraged managers to support their subordinates in their efforts to develop their language proficiency.

Use verbal persuasion.

Encouragement and positive reinforcement from managers and executives—simple statements like “You can do it” or “I believe in you”—make all the difference. To mitigate turnover threats at Rakuten, managers identified talent that the company wanted to retain and tailored special programs for them, all the while cheering them on. Also, Mikitani repeatedly assured his entire workforce that he would do everything in his power to help every employee meet his or her English-proficiency goals. He made it clear that he believes that with effort everyone can adequately learn the language of business and that he did not want to see anyone leave the company because of the English-only policy.

Encourage good study habits.

Companies need to contract with language vendors who specialize in helping employees at various levels of proficiency. The vendors need to be intimately familiar with the company context so that they can guide employees’ learning, from how best to allocate their time in improving skills to strategies for composing e-mails in English. Rakuten considers language development to be part of every job and grants people time during the workday to devote to it. Every morning, employees can be seen flipping through their study books in the company’s cafeteria or navigating their e-learning portals.

Improving employee buy-in.

Shifts in buy-in call for different measures. But they don’t operate in isolation: Buy-in and belief go together. Strategies that can help people feel more confident include:

Messaging, messaging, and more messaging.

Continual communication from the CEO, executives, and managers is critical. Leaders should stress the importance of globalization in achieving the company’s mission and strategy and demonstrate how language supports that. At Rakuten, Mikitani signaled the importance of the English-language policy to his entire organization relentlessly. For instance, each week some 120 managers would submit their business reports, and he would reply to each of them pushing them to develop their language skills. I surveyed employees before and after Rakuten implemented the adoption framework. Results indicated a dramatic increase in buy-in after Mikitani showed his employees that he was “obsessed and committed to Englishnization,” as he put it. The vast majority of the employees surveyed said that the policy was a “necessary” move.

Encouragement from managers and executives—simple statements like “You can do it” or “I believe in you”—make all the difference.

Internal marketing.

Because a language transformation is a multiyear process whose complexity far exceeds most other change efforts, it is crucial to maintain employee buy-in over time. At Rakuten, the now-English intranet regularly features employee success stories with emphasis on best practices for increasing language competence. Companywide meetings are also held monthly to discuss the English-language policy.

Branding.

Managers should encourage people to self-identify as global rather than local employees. It’s difficult to develop a global identity with limited exposure to an international environment, of course. Rakuten tackled this challenge by instituting an enterprisewide social network to promote cross-national interactions. Employees now interact and engage with colleagues worldwide through the company’s social networking site.Adopting a universal English policy is not the end of leadership challenges posed by global communication. Using English as a business language can damage employee morale, create unhealthy divides between native and nonnative speakers, and decrease the overall productivity of team members. Leaders must avoid and soften these potential pitfalls by building an environment in which employees can embrace a global English policy with relative ease. In this way, companies can improve communication and collaboration.

When I asked Mikitani what advice he’d give other CEOs when it comes to enforcing a one-language mandate, he was emphatic about discipline. CEOs need to be role models: If they don’t stick to the program, nobody else will. Mikitani even holds one-on-one performance reviews with his top Japanese executives in English. “If you forgive a little,” he says, “you’ll give up everything.”

Mikitani doesn’t fear resistance. He believes, as I do, that you can counteract it—and ultimately bring about significant transformation in employees’ beliefs and buy-in. A global language change takes perseverance and time, but if you want to surpass your rivals, it’s no longer a matter of choice.

 

Tsedal Neeley is the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School and the founder of the consulting firm Global Matters. She is the author of The Language of Global Success. Twitter: @tsedal

Chris Corey

China blockchain firms may lose access to US capital markets

China blockchain firms may lose access to US capital markets

Sunlight is often said to be the best of disinfectant.

For publicly traded companies, that sunlight comes in the form of transparency and reporting. Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate took steps toward forcing Chinese companies to adhere to the same transparency rules as other corporations or risk losing access to U.S.-based stock exchanges. For China-based ASIC hardware manufacturers, this new regulation might be the last nail in the coffin for their U.S. capital market aspirations. It could lead to delisting for those already traded.

Controversy has followed many leading China hardware makers when they have attempted to list publically in the past. Canaan and Bitmain were accused of misleading investors regarding their financial well-being in the lead-up to an initial public offering (IPO). Online reports claim Bitmain omitted negative Q2 2018 info on their investment prospectus during its ill-fated first attempt at an IPO listing. A lawsuit filed by Scott+Scott Attorneys accuses Canaan of misleading an investor before their recent NASDAQ sale, which only raised less than one quarter of its $400 million initial target. Ebang has recently announced they filed for a $100 million IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company’s prospectus shows it made over $109 million in 2019, but it also had a deficit of around $41 million.

The IPO move comes two years after its aborted listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx). Chinese news outlet Sina Finance reported that Ebang halted that $1 billion IPO raise while under a cloud of alleged involvement in illicit financial activities. In late December 2019, 8BTC reported the company was under investigation by Beijing authorities. The bipartisan bill, known as the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, passed unanimously. It requires Chinese companies to disclose if they are owned or controlled by a foreign government. The companies must also submit to an audit that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) can review for three consecutive years. There are over 150 Chinese registered companies listed on the most prominent three U.S. stock exchanges. These companies are currently not subject to PCAOB audits.

Some organizations might look to repatriate back home to the stock exchange in Hong Kong or Shanghai rather than submit to this enhanced regulation. Proponents of the bill point to the recent Luckin Coffee scandal were employees fabricated $300 million in sales to justify the critical need for investors to know more about the foreign organization being listed. Alongside new congressional regulations, Reuters reported that the Nasdaq exchange is preparing to unveil its own new restrictions on IPOs, which will also make it more difficult for smaller China-based companies to get listed. Small Chinese firms often pursue IPOs because it allows their founders and early backers to cash out, rewarding them with U.S. dollars they typically cannot easily access. The founders can use their new Nasdaq-listed status to convince lenders in PRC to fund them or get subsidies from Chinese local authorities after going public.

Per the report, what motivates the proposed rules is, in part, concerns that some Chinese IPO hopefuls lack accounting transparency, have low liquidity, and close ties to powerful government insiders. The upcoming rule change will require companies from certain countries to raise $25 million in their IPO or at least a quarter of their post-listing market capitalization. It would also require auditing firms to ensure that their international franchises comply with global standards. Nasdaq will inspect the auditing of small U.S. firms that audit the accounts of foreign IPO hopeful. In any event, the future for these Chinese ASIC hardware companies doesn’t look for investors. Because of the market price stagnation of BTC, there is no demand for their products. Geopolitical issues aside, they built their revenue models based on the demand growing from a digital currency that has no intrinsic value or utility. 

Article Produced By
Jacob Rozen

Jacob is a lifelong system engineer and a longtime advocate for Bitcoin. His goal is to continue learning more about Bitcoin SV while also helping onboard other into the ecosystem.

https://coingeek.com/china-blockchain-firms-may-lose-access-to-us-capital-markets/

Chris Corey

Bitcoin Association opens registration for third BSV Hackathon

Bitcoin Association opens registration for third BSV Hackathon

Today, Bitcoin Association officially announces and opens registration for its third BSV Hackathon competition

for developers, with $100,000 in cash prizes (payable in Bitcoin SV) staked for the winners. Following two successful Hackathons in 2019, Bitcoin Association is once again delighted to partner with leading enterprise blockchain development firm nChain, as well as digital currency conglomerate CoinGeek to organize this third competition. BSV Hackathons are global coding competitions for developers. Within a set frame, entrants (which can be individuals or teams) are tasked with developing an application on the Bitcoin SV blockchain within the parameters of an overarching theme announced at the commencement of the competition.

Registration is free and open now. This 3rd iteration of the BSV Hackathon will look a little different from past editions. As with prior competitions, there will be a virtual competition period, but it will last almost two months rather than just over one weekend. The virtual competition commences on June 23 and ends August 18. This longer competition period allows entrants to take advantage of their extended time at home during current COVID-19 self-isolation periods, and conceptualize, design and build a more complete project. Entrants will be provided with access to a digital platform designed to facilitate collaboration between team members, as well as experts from nChain and even fellow competitors who will be available to provide advice throughout the competition period.

Following the virtual competition period, three finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges. The finalists will present their submission at the CoinGeek New York conference (anticipated to be in New York in October 2020) for final judging. Normally, a representative from each finalist entry is flown to the CoinGeek conference city to make their presentation in front of the live conference audience. Given event and travel conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bitcoin Association will evaluate later whether finalist presentations will happen live or through online video. The winner will walk away with a $50,000 prize, with $30,000 for second place and $20,000 for third, all paid in Bitcoin SV.

Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of Bitcoin Association, commented on the announcement, saying:

‘It’s extremely exciting for Bitcoin Association to kick off our third BSV Hackathon, following months of work from our team planning for the competition. Developer training is a core element of Bitcoin Association’s work and the BSV Hackathons provide a fun opportunity for developers to test themselves and learn more about building applications on the Bitcoin SV blockchain, all the while competing for some serious BSV prizes! We encourage all developers – whether you have worked on other blockchain platforms or have no blockchain experience at all – to compete in this Hackathon and build with us on BSV.

Past entrants have used the BSV Hackathon as a platform from which to build and develop not only innovative solutions, but real businesses – as finalists have the opportunity to be considered for investment if their projects can sustain a business venture. Now that Bitcoin SV’s Genesis upgrade has restored the original Bitcoin protocol and massive scaling continues on BSV, I’m looking forward to seeing what creative developers can build using the technical power inherent in the original Bitcoin and the massive scaling capabilities of BSV.’

Steve Shadders, CTO at nChain, also spoke, saying:

‘The BSV Hackathons are a great point of entry for developers interested in developing blockchain applications. They’re an exciting time for us here at nChain too – we’ll once again be responsible for the technical elements of the competition, with our team providing support and development assistance throughout the competition. We’ve seen some excellent ideas come to fruition as a result of the first two BSV Hackathons and I’m sure that with the longer time frame for this third competition, we can expect many more to emerge this time around.’

Article Produced By
Press Releases

https://coingeek.com/bitcoin-association-opens-registration-for-third-bsv-hackathon/

Chris Corey

Does Russia hate digital currency?

Does Russia hate digital currency?

Recently, a number of draft bills have surfaced in Russia that would prohibit and criminalize digital currency if they were to become law.

The bills penalize individuals and companies who make payments or are looking to buy/sell digital currency with expensive fines and jail time. Many people are calling the draft bills “anti-crypto.” 

The details

The bills were reportedly drafted by staff at the Digital Economy think tank and the Skolkovo business accelerator. The bills prohibit using digital assets as a means of payment, purchasing digital currencies with cash or by transferring funds to Russian bank accounts, and disseminating information regarding digital currencies. The only way that an individual or company is allowed to partake in any sort of digital asset activity under the new bills would be if they submit a declaration and receive a court order that permits it, or if they receive digital currency via an inheritance transfer.

The penalties 

The proposed bills include strict penalties for those who break the law. If individuals continue to issue digital currency to others under these laws, they would have to pay a fine ranging from 50 to 2 million rubles ($.70 to $28,000) If an individual participated in a digital currency transaction—using digital currency as a means of payment—they would have to pay a fine ranging from 20 to 1 million rubles ($.28 to $14,000) or could face up to 7 years in jail. Regardless of how an individual breaks the proposed laws, the digital currency involved would be confiscated by authorities.

Preventing the development of Russia’s digital asset industry

If these proposed bills are put into law, they would cripple the development of Russia’s digital asset industry. “In general, the package of bills is clearly aimed at preventing the development of cryptocurrency projects on the territory of the Russian Federation,” Efim Kazantsev, an expert at Moscow Digital School, told ForkLog. Companies associated with cryptocurrency circulation and blockchain platforms, in the event of the adoption of this package of bills, will either have to completely shut down or seriously rebuild and get all the necessary permissions.” If the proposed bills become law, then the digital asset industry in Russia pretty much comes to an end. If businesses or individuals wish to keep working with digital currency under these laws, they would have to jump through multiple legal hurdles to receive the necessary permissions to keep operating. Lucky for them, the bill is a long way off from being passed, and is currently being reviewed and commented on by Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development.

Article Produced By
Patrick Thompson

https://coingeek.com/does-russia-hate-digital-currency/

Chris Corey

How Blockchain can change the business?

How Blockchain can change the business?

Do you want to know how does this technology work?

What are the characteristics of the blockchain that make it attractive to the business? What are the main application areas and projects underway in 2020? What are the points of attention for CIO and top management? Eefficiency, innovation and cyber security: these are the three priorities on which most of the attention of companies focuses today and in all of these the application of the blockchain can “make a difference”. We see below a brief explanation of what blockchain is, how it works and what the main application areas are. Click on Bitcoin Up to know more.

Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA)

If those described are the two main protocols, others have been created, partly a derivation of these, partly with totally new elements. Among the most interesting are the Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA), developed by the Stellar Development Foundation (and used since the second half of 2015 by the Stellar blockchain ) based on trusted units (quorum slices) decided by the individual servers that together establish the level of consent of the system. The difference between public and private blockchain Finally, remember that if the blockchain was born as a public way to carry out transactions, Blockchain 2.0 sees the spread of this technology. And it increases the chances to earn more money. The latter are often the result of the creation of consortia for specific supply chains. We can therefore say that we have:

  • Ppublic blockchain: everyone can access and operate transactions within it or participate in the validation process.
  • Bblockchain consortia: the authorization process is delegated to a pre-selected group (among the main consortia there is for example R3 which groups the largest banks in the world). The possibility of joining the blockchain and of carrying out transactions within it can be public or limited to participants only. This type of permission blockchain is particularly suitable for use in the business world.

3 types of blockchain applications, from bitcoin wallets onwards

Today the applications of this technology can be divided into three macro categories based on the development stage of the technologies used. The Blockchain 1.0 category concerns all financial applications for the management of cryptocurrencies (regardless of the validation protocol used) starting from the historical (and which currently still holds the leadership of cryptocurrencies) Bitcoin. In practice, bitcoins are files that can be saved in each user’s digital wallet. Each bitcoin address in the wallet can be associated with a variable number of bitcoins. And each address (public key) is associated with a digital signature (private key), to make sure that only the owner of a certain address can initiate a transaction linked to it. The Blockchain 2.0 category extends the blockchain to sectors other than the financial sector thanks to the implementation of smart contracts The next step will be that of Blockchain 3.0 with the spread of (decentralized applications): a future in which we will all use blockchain technologies, probably without even realizing it, because they are encapsulated in the “things” connected to each other, without human intervention, with applications that will self-compile.

The “crypto-winter”

After the strong media attention received in 2017, driven by the increase in their price, 2018 is characterized by an unstoppable collapse in terms of capitalization. The whole Blockchain community coined a new term to define this moment: “crypto winter “. But winter hasn’t come for the technology behind cryptocurrencies. The Blockchain continues to arouse great interest from companies. The technology evolves, thanks also to the efforts made by the developer communities that revolve around public Blockchains. Meanwhile, the future remains to be written. In the exposition of this text we will therefore speak of Bitcoin blockchain (with a capital “B”), blockchain technologies (with a small “b”) and Distributed Ledger Technologies or the acronym DLT. So crypto-winter is person who is ready to earn by crypto money. He must aware about latest technology of the crypto and know how to use these techniques to earn money. There are many software which are used by the investor to earn more and more cash using the simple techniques and without doing any affords.

Article Produced By
UseTheBitcoin

https://usethebitcoin.com/how-blockchain-can-change-the-business/

Chris Corey

Is it is good idea to trade in cryptocurrency?

Is it is good idea to trade in cryptocurrency?

Given the rise of digital currencies or cryptocurrencies,

there are risks that must be avoided when buying or spending in the online universe. There are also many cryptocurrencies, and each one is different, which could cause some confusion among buyers. In this article we are going to base ourselves on the pioneering currency, Bitcoin, and we will also talk about secure websites where to buy and spend this innovative currency in the world of technologies.

Is Bitcoin a secure cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin is a currency that today has a high security mechanism. For example, btcs must be purchased through a secure site, such as eToro, from where you can choose to make the purchase as brokers or as exchanges, the first investing in digital assets through contracts and with low commissions based on the spread, while in the second the rates are usually higher.

Delving further into security, it should be noted that the mathematical formulas that support Bitcoin are very strong and it is impossible to access its encryption , if it were not so, the people who trust this system would not do it, also this type of encryption allows updating constant within the system for efficient and optimal use. Of course, special attention must be paid to the private key or private keys that the user and owner of the bitcoin coins have assigned. That is, cybercriminals can steal your private key just like any other, whether it is in PayPal or a Gmail account that is why there is a need to protect our keys and not make it easy for hackers. Bitcoin Evolution is a great way to earn money.

What is Bitcoin Vault?

With pseudo-cryptocurrencies from companies and unscrupulous people looking to become millionaires overnight, the task of finding true investment alternatives to Bitcoin is not an easy mission. A good altcoin that deserves our investment must meet very clear conditions and among the most important are the following:
1. Make it a truly decentralized cryptocurrency.
2. That you have a limited number of units to mine (Bitcoin, for example, has a limit of 21 million units).
3. That offers at least the security that Bitcoin currently offers.
4. That it be welcomed and recognized by the main mining pools, exchanges and crypto investors.

Tips to increase your Bitcoin security

One of the tips that are usually given is that you change your Bitcoin account if you suspect that someone has been able to get your private keys, for this it is easy to register a new account since it is free and so you can send your bitcoin coins to the new one, avoiding any surprises. When buying btc it is good to have activated the option to save and protect the private key inside, otherwise you would expose yourself to taking unnecessary risks. As for the password to protect your private key, it is best to use a password of more than 10 random characters, as well as letters and numbers and don’t forget to remember it. Here you can find some ideas to create a safe and easy to remember password.

Finally, do not trust even your own computer or laptop; always keep all your devices, even your mobile, clean from viruses and malicious programs. Finally, keep in mind that if you decide to use an online wallet for Bitcoin, investigate carefully who is behind it since it could have access to your data and keys; the best option is to use an offline wallet.

Places to spend bitcoin safely

In recent years the community to spend btc cryptocurrency has been growing and there are already a few websites where the owners of this currency can spend it without any concern. From brands like Expedia that were pioneers in allowing payment with btc to Internet service providers such as the purchase of domains. Nor should we forget the physical shops, which are increasingly aware of the use of this type of currency and offer the consumer this option. Security is something to keep in mind when buying and spending btc, as well as doing your own research on the matter on the Internet.

Article Produced By
UseTheBitcoin

https://usethebitcoin.com/is-it-is-good-idea-to-trade-in-cryptocurrency/

Chris Corey

How you do your Bitcoin out of a paper wallet

How you do your Bitcoin out of a paper wallet

 If you have a paper wallet (actually only a piece of paper that includes the secret key to access your Bitcoin),

then the information you need to access your money is on paper. It is a set of numbers – usually starting with a 5 – known as the private key.

How to get your Bitcoin

Hardware wallets (also known as cold wallets) consist of external storage devices that are designed to keep your Bitcoin as secure as possible. This means that getting your money out can be a bit tricky. The easiest way to do this is through the hardware portfolio’s own service or software. If you want to know about the Bitcoin Future, it is good idea to read bitcoin latest updates.

Ways to lose your crypto-currencies.

1. Losing your password.

One of the most absurd and frequent ways to lose your coins is to lose your password. There are many who long ago bought bitcoins to use as currency and given their little use, they left them cornered in a drawer. This drawer was the hard drive of a computer, which when it was obsolete ended up in the trash. At other times the key was in a USB that refused to resuscitate, after years without using it. Now that the price is skyrocketing, they pull their hair trying to get their old coins back. Other times the owners have their bitcoins, but they cannot use them because they do not remember where they kept the keys. These days, they’re trying to find a discarded disc, which they assume is in a dump in South Wales.

2. Hackers

Yes, it is possible to steal your information from your computer or mobile phone without your realizing it. The latest theft detected by this system operates in the shadows and hijacks a currency transfer operation to a virtual wallet. Basically, the user enters his private key in the wallet where he wants to send the money. The Trojan detects the operation and replaces the target wallet with its own. This crypto shuffler has been stolen more than $ 140,000, according to Karspersky. There are also cases of wireless key theft. A client claims to have lost $ 155,000 of his digital portfolio after connecting to the Wi-Fi of a restaurant

3. Pump with timer.

Tether, a startup that works with the exchange of crypto-currencies in virtual wallets, claims that a hacker stole $ 31 million from them. The most worrying thing about the news is not the robbery itself, but the possibility that it is a robbery from the inside. This aspect is something that is being investigated. These systems are created by developers who can insert lines of code to be activated on a favorable date or circumstance. Programmable internal theft is a real threat. At other times “pre-mined” cryptocurrencies can be put into circulation. With this system it is easy to guess how the listing price can be manipulated.

4. Bugs.

An error in the development of systems can cause the loss of currency by mistake, or facilitate its theft once the vulnerability is discovered. You don’t have to be a great cyber security expert; we all are familiar with cases of unexpected vulnerabilities. The penultimate one that affects the security of Wi-Fi networks. The last one that affects a series of digital certificates printed on our DNI, and that has already been disabled. The last such loss was $ 300 million, when a technician trying to restore the functionality of a series of virtual wallets blocked them forever.

5. The traditional scam.

A system already successfully used to steal bitcoins is the hacking and subsequent hijacking of a computer. The sadly famous “Wannacry” locks a computer and asks for a ransom in bitcoins. Phishing attacks such as those that continue to be used successfully against bank accounts can also be used. Cheating is something that is beyond e-security. It does not matter how sophisticated and secure a system is in its implementation, if someone is able to gain your trust and make it easier for you to access your data.

Article Produced By
UseTheBitcoin

https://usethebitcoin.com/how-you-do-your-bitcoin-out-of-a-paper-wallet/

Chris Corey

Riding the wave of artificial intelligence with Sensitrust

Riding the wave of artificial intelligence with Sensitrust

The disruptive technologies of this era have brought about a term called “programmable economy”,

created by Gartner Inc that describes the all-new smart economy which is a result of technological innovations. It is the way now goods and services are created and consumed that has enabled diverse ways of exchanging monetary and non-monetary values. The traditional ways, which appear very inefficient and non-optimal, are making it difficult for companies to get a position in this competitive world. Time-to-market has become crucial and a delay in product or service release leads to loss of money and reputation. This wave of Millennials and now Gen Z workforce is all about passion economy which enables them to pursue what they love and make money out of it. The idea of working from home, flexible hours and new business models to support this is inundating the workspace and the job arena. This change calls for an evolution in the way recruiting is done, with the advent of artificial intelligence in this space.

Blockchain technology is an emerging technology being adopted by forward-looking companies which is all about shifting from a centralized to a decentralized, transparent, and safe way of managing data. Using this technology, the activities of all the stakeholders of a project are supported by Smart Contracts, while the adoption of sophisticated methods of Artificial Intelligence helps the stakeholders to make business-critical decisions. In this context, working nomads, who travel and still keep in touch with their customers, is very alluring but also requires safety measures and regulation. Sensitrust aims to be that bridge between customers and professionals to define a new ecosystem of safe interactions by exploiting the peculiarities of Blockchain, Smart Contracts, and Artificial Intelligence technologies.

Blockchain technology is also referred to as DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) and is a means to share digital assets whose integrity is preserved by maintaining a transactional ledger of all changes happening to the asset. This revolutionary technology allows a scalable and risk-free system for several uses. How will it be if you can get the right kind of data, which is always up to date, which matches professionals to customers and gives the most appropriate advice by filtering from a large amount of data?

Instead of rummaging through a wide array of profiles, many of which are of no use to you, you can actually get a selected few which are an ideal match for your requirements. Imagine how much time you would save and also make a risk-free selection by eliminating wrong profiles. This is where the AI technology, adopted by Sensitrust, comes in with its predictive engine. It acts like a human expert who has accumulated a huge experience analyzing historical data, collected organically in the platform, to predict the outcome of newly occurring situations. The predictive engine of Sensitrust is capable of learning from mistakes automatically in a transparent way using deep neural networks and many other models. The many ways it helps customers and professionals are the following:

  • It exploits advices and feedbacks of customers to provide more customized profiles, following all the requirements and constraints.
  • The analysis performed for a successful project is used by the engine to improve the outcome of similar future projects.
  • It provides professionals with valuable inputs for proposing their participation to Calls To Action (CTAs). By matching active CTAs to the expertise and skills of a professional, the engine will suggest ideal campaigns from the numerous opportunities available.
  • Recommendations are provided to customers to consider which team of professionals could possibly act on their CTA and send them automatic notifications. This is done by considering the similarities with past successful participations of  professionals to CTAs.
  • It also exploits past negative cases which led to disagreements and disputes, in order to avoid such situations in the future.
  • It can predict the customer satisfaction according to the service level that a professional can potentially offer, in terms of products and services. This provides a significant advantage, since professionals are selected based on the level of satisfaction they can bring to the customer and not only on the basis of the cost or past feedbacks.
  • Customers will receive advices about the most fitting subscription for his needs (both upgrades and downgrades) to optimize the cost/benefit of his experience in the platform.
  • The cost asked by professionals is analyzed by the predictive engine to figure out if it is appropriate or not. It takes into account multiple aspects like popularity and skill of professionals, feedback received by professionals on similar projects, etc.

The Sensitrust native token (SETS token) will be used to access all such services at a discounted rate.

This plethora of capabilities provided by Sensitrust is backed by a team of highly informed technical wizards who make use of the latest and most sophisticated AI and Machine Learning approaches, including:

    • Deep Neural Networks, that are able to classify and forecast future values on the basis of videos, images, or time series.
  • Tree-based models, that provides predictive models which decisions can be directly read, interpreted and validated by human experts.
  • Recommender systems, that are used to provide suggestions on the basis of the description of items (such as, user profiles, projects, activities) and on the basis of common relationships among them.
  • Clustering methods, that identify groups of similar items on the basis of their characteristics and relationships. Sensitrust will identify groups of customers, professionals and activities for profiling purposes, as well as to provide predictions and recommendations.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods, that analyze text-based unstructured data, to perform tasks such as translations. Sensitrust will automate the review of specifications and the evaluation of the quality of products or services which can be described textually.

Sensitrust is a platform which helps in managing data and artefacts used for carrying out projects, by means of Smart Contracts, throughout all the phases of a project which is developed using this platform. The many applications of Sensitrust can be found in the IT industry for hiring quality professionals, in the banking domain by replacing traditional operations with Blockchain-based solutions, and also in the Academy, for the identification of expert reviewers as well as of an international team for the implementation of research projects.

Article Produced By

Ishan Garg

Ishan is a cryptocurrency trader and a journalist. He is the founder of Blockmanity. He trades cryptocurrencies and holds some but he prefers holding

https://blockmanity.com/news/press-release/riding-the-wave-of-artificial-intelligence-with-sensitrust/

Chris Corey

Litecoin LTC to be used as a payment option in Atari’s gaming ecosystem

Litecoin (LTC) to be used as a payment option in Atari’s gaming ecosystem

Litecoin Foundation announces partnership with Atari

Litecoin foundation has struck yet another lucrative partnership with gaming giant Atari to promote the use of Litecoin. Atari is widely known for making popular games such as Asteroids, Breakout, and Centipede among others. As part of the partnership, LTC will be accepted as a means of payment for investing in Atari’s own token which will be issued in September 2020. In addition to that users can also use LTC to buy the new Atari VCS gaming console for a discount. The Atari Token will have a list of uses such as managing Atari purchases and playing games in Atari Casino. The token will also be used in yet-to-be-released games where users play against each other.

Fred Chesnais, CEO Of Atari said:

“We Are Pleased To Have Litecoin As A Means Of Payment For The Atari Token Sales. Litecoin’s Ease-Of-Use And Low Transaction Costs Make It A Perfect Fit For Use Alongside The Atari Token And Other Projects.

Litecoin Foundation’s managing Director and creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee said:

“Many of us remember growing up and playing games from Atari”  “It is great to see Litecoin being used in a variety of different ways within the Atari ecosystem, from purchasing the new Atari VCS gaming console to being used as a way to invest in Atari Tokens. The Litecoin Foundation is excited to see the possibilities a partnership like this can have for not only Litecoin and cryptocurrencies but also the gaming industry and lifelong fans of Atari.”

The Litecoin Foundation is known for striking lucrative partnerships, last year they were featured in UFC 232 and also onboarded Ben Askren as an ambassador for Litecoin. The foundation also became a part of the Hollywood world by sponsoring the Mammoth Film Festival. It will be interesting how Litecoin will actually gain adoption with such partnerships!

Article Produced By
Shrikar

Shrikar is the co-founder of Blockmanity and a Blockchain evangelist. He is a die-hard fan of security tokens. He follows the market closely but does not trade. He believes in Hodling.

https://blockmanity.com/news/litecoin-ltc-to-be-used-as-a-payment-option-in-ataris-gaming-ecosystem/

Chris Corey

Can Blockchain be the solution to preventcontrol future pandemics?

Can Blockchain be the solution to prevent/control future pandemics?

The effect of COVID19 on us is as plain as a pikestaff.

Hardly there has been any sector immune to the virus. We are not going to discuss the devastating effects of the virus again. But is there a way out to control pandemics like these in the future? Is there anything government agencies around the world could have done better to reduce the impact of the deadly monster we have amongst us today?

The Build-up

Blockchain is still in its early stages but its capabilities in various industries are not new to us. The amount of data that is generated every-day is beyond one’s imagination and it is only going to creep up. The way to succeed for most organizations today has been taking the path of digital transformation. Now imagine the amount of data that will be generated and the number of transactions that would be recorded every second of the day in the coming time.

Clearly, the next big change we are talking about is having the capabilities to handle this gargantuan amount of data. With so much data and transactions invites another age-old problem – The security of this data. Thus, BlockChain can play a huge part in every sector and it will be imperative for organizations to leverage this technology to cut down on their costs and operate in a smooth manner for the post COVID era. Restricting ourselves to the healthcare sector, Data is the fuel to provide the best care in Healthcare today and BlockChain could be the vehicle to drive us there. It can play a pivotal role in the healthcare sector and all the agencies involved in the healthcare ecosystem could look upon to invest in this technology to control pandemics of a similar scale in the future.

So how can Blockchain help?

In difficult times like this, a proper mechanism needs to be established to gather data and protect that data. Blockchain can be leveraged to collect and collate patient data more efficiently by the government agencies and by those who are part of the health-care ecosystem. Further, patient movements can be effectively monitored to guarantee social distancing. Since we are talking about blockchain, people need not worry about protecting their identity as it is taken care of by blockchain.

Currently, most of the data on COVID-19 is being shared through APIs and the data is being stored on centralized databases, making the whole system vulnerable and prone to data misuse. Being part of the blockchain system will allow the patients to selectively share their data that are important for mitigation efforts while not disclosing the entire information. The data will remain anonymous in the network and the patient will own it entirely. This will reduce the severity of a pandemic like COVID and help most of the businesses to function as close to normal, significantly bringing down the chances of getting infected from such diseases.

Another advantage a decentralized platform like BlockChain can provide is in the Supply management side. The Global supply chain has been compromised in these tough times and there has to be a way around it. HealthCare authorities, especially those concerned in dealing with medical supplies, are at times unclear on sourcing supplies without knowing the origin. Long supply chains cause problems with forecasting and Blockchain can be utilized here to solve the problem. Having Blockchain incorporated in the healthcare supply chain will allow organizations to break the silos and establish a sense of safety. This has already been embraced by IBM with Rapid Supplier Connect and its time all the players slowly implement blockchain as a part of their digital transformation.

Block-chain could be the missing piece of the puzzle in the health-care system that can help authorities to collect data effectively, ensure data interoperability, dismiss fake news, and prevent countries from hiding information. All the federal authorities can begin by taking mini-steps towards adopting BlockChain NOW! The above article is written by guest author Sushil Sali. he has worked for the biggest healthcare insurance platform in the US and is now exploring Blockchain use-cases in the healthcare and other industries. 

Article Produced By
Guest Author

https://blockmanity.com/blockchain/can-blockchain-be-the-solution-to-prevent-control-future-pandemics/

Chris Corey